Sunday, April 29, 2007


This post concludes the My Journey 'introductory' series of posts that started out with Genesis, continued with Embarkation and was left hanging for a long time with Voyage. While being long overdue, for a variety of reasons not least due to the lack of urge to write on the subject matter and various distractions, it's always better late than never. I'll just carry on straight where I left off in Voyage so if you're lost I suggest you re-read the links above.

Sean had broken up with his Ex just recently before meeting me and was understandably jaded on the love/romance end. Persistent sod that I was, after having met him the first time round, I was really determined to make him mine so I cajoled/reasoned/persuaded with a vengeance. Even though I was mentally prepared to have him as just a good friend first (cuz scrupulous guy that he was, Sean never had sex with anyone whom he wasn't intimately related with), it was a last option resort.

I guess Lust (as usual) played a big factor in the beginning, that physical attraction and burning desire to see just how he was in bed drove me crazy. What followed was a 10 day whirlwind romance period that involved late night conversations with me trying to persuade him to 'give it a go', clubbing at Whynot with two different groups of friends while we eventually sneaked off to share a drink and after shameless flirting via SmS; and culminated in him picking me up at Chevrons after some stupid Army signal battalion dinner.

On the journey back to his place, the tension in the car was palpable. It wasn't the oppressive kind that leaves one feeling uncomfortable but rather the sense of expectancy. And we were both not naive/stupid enough to believe that sleeping over didn't entail some other nocturnal activity that had nothing to do with rest. I'd never felt so jittery before which was really ironic considering the relative wantonness I'd displayed previously in sex in places that ranged from shopping mall toilets to staircase landings. Mistaking his elder sister for his mom when we reached didn't exactly help either.

So sitting at the edge of his bed, by which time I would have normally got down to business, I remained immobile and hesitant even though the one thing I wanted was finally within reach. It felt like the first time all over again. Then leaning over casually, he reached across the bed and grabbed me. Of course, that cheeky sod strung me along for a couple more days before he officially confirmed our status and it was at my place while we were busy celebrating that the Mother with Granny in tow decided to return home early. Naturally she took things a lot better than the Lube in a tube incident.

Five and a half years have passed since then and a lot has happened since. We broke up twice, both times at my behest, the first when he was leaving for his studies in Australia and haunted by those memories of the last parting with T., I wholly irrationally cut off all contact with him 2 weeks prior to the date he was leaving which made him discontinue his phone line a week earlier than planned. Still no excuse. The second time was sometime in the summer of '04, 6 months before he was due to return. Till this date I cannot ascertain the exact reason I gave. Sure lofty arguments and cold cutting statements made to justify that were ultimately inconsequential. But we failed to communicate our fears and desires and the resultant angry exchange of acerbic words left both of us drained and his parting words "I know that's not what you really mean, I'll wait for you." really got to me much as I tried to shrug it off then.

Both times I chased him back though that was really more the case after the second breakup when I realised how stupid I'd been and how much I really still loved him. It's sad but in terms of relationships and the emotional subject of love it's taken me a long time to realise what I really want and to appreciate what I really have. Which undoubtedly caused a lot of pain to the people around me and Sean but I'm grateful that he never gave up.

We changed too, our outlooks and perceptions. Less anal and prejudiced in certain areas, more willing to come out of our comfort zones and that recognition that our lifes no longer centered around ourselves, decisions/choices made which would affect the other party. I can honestly say that communication and the effort made to communicate, be it our fears, issues, viewpoints or problems, kept the relationship growing and brought it to where it is today. For indifference and apathy are silent killers that corrupt the very foundation of a relationship. If one cannot communicate, how can a relationship last?

We communicated on issues ranging from the banal like physical aka sexual needs (Top or Bottom?) to extremely serious ones like my previous infidelity (Truth) that posed a real threat to the relationship. Sure, while communication is essential it remains insufficient, some things like the genuine love and attraction for the other person cannot be constructed or 'worked upon'. You either have it or you don't. And it was the latter that pulled us through the more serious obstacles.

He's changed. Once when even touching him in the now defunct Centro on the gay Sunday night would have pissed him off (he had this mentality of private vs public segregation that was mind boggling in its severity), he now puts his arm around my shoulder of his own accord in public while strolling down Orchard Road. And we inevitably guy/couple watch when we go out, it's pretty easy to tell who's gay these days, 10+ years( about 8 for him) of honing the gaydar makes it almost second nature. So whilst commenting on other couples one day I asked casually," So it should be pretty obvious when people see us on the street that we're a couple huh?" To which he nonchalantly replied," Of course. That's so obvious." And it no longer bothers him.

I've changed. Not such a atrocious boyfriend anymore (hopefully), I've realised that running solves nothing. Communication is key and learning (still) that my life is no longer mine to live for decisions I take, the choices I make affect him too. And the recognition that sometimes cold brutal logic isn't always the way to go. Words fail me here. I guess change is always more accurately perceived from an external perspective so the Boyfriend and the people around me would better suited to comment on this. Suffice to say that the person I am now is not quite the one I was 5, 6 years ago. I only hope that this change has largely been for the better.

A former acquaintance as cynical as ever, what has embittered him so I know not and it matters not, once disputed my personal observation that life and love is a journey. For as he viewed it to be, realistically, philosophically and semantically, there is no journey, we have only today, gone tomorrow. We are lost on a darkling plain with the stars as lamplights and each other as company. But I beg to differ from this morose, desolate view of life and mutual misery.

We are only lost if we perceive ourselves to be. Today is here today, gone forever tomorrow. That is an eternal truism. This journey is a one way train ticket, it is up to us to make the best of the ride and treasure the things important to us instead of bemoaning about inconsequential affairs and revelling in negativity. Love too is a process that requires careful nurturing and cultivation. And when that constantly cultivated evolution blossoms, the journey is that much better.

This Journey along with you.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Dear in Drag.

Alright I'm just thoroughly amused. The Boyfriend had earlier smsed gleefully from his company's dinner function announcing that the drag dance number his team had put up came in first and he had also clinched an additional best dressed award with a 100 bucks Tangs shopping voucher as the prize. That coming from a guy to whom the whole concept of 'drag' is an alien affair and regularly receives very unwanted attention (from my point of view) from his female colleagues. And to think that two days ago he was still lamenting over the phone that his team members commented that he looked too stiff and unnatural when performing the number. Oh I can just imagine. Ha ha.

So while on the phone with Sean later I asked him whether he felt 'more in touch with his feminine side.'
"Eh, of course not! It felt strange and that need to keep crossing my legs cause the skirt was really airy down there."
"Hmmm that drag routine didn't destroy your reputation as an eligible bachelor amongst the office ladies?"
"Nope, still very popular."
"Right.... pity. "
Then it suddenly occured to me.
"Wait, you danced in your colleague's dress and high heels? How did you fit in?"
"Squeezed a bit for the heels. But the dress was no problem."
"She's that big sized??"
"Her waistline is bigger than mine..."

Suits me fine, I like my guy just the way he is: a man not a drag.

It's been like what close to two weeks since I've last seen him due to my exams and his work and I miss him so badly. To see him and hold him. Two more days...I know, there are people in long distance relationships who can barely see each other once a year and hats off to those who can maintain/suffer through something like that.

Though I guess maybe once you have something, the knowledge that that special someone is nearby/available and the experiences cum memories you have just spending time with that person makes that sudden absence more unbearable than if you never had much interaction in the first place. Maybe.

For now, all I know is: I need him to Rescue me.....

Rescue Me: Aretha Franklin

Rescue me
Oh take me in your arms
Rescue me
I want your tender charms
Coz I'm lonely and I'm blue
I need you and your love too

Come on and rescue me
Come on baby and rescue me
Come on baby and rescue me
'Coz I need you, by my side
Can't you see that I'm lonely
Rescue me

Come on and take my heart
Take your love and conquer every part
'Coz I'm lonely and I'm blue
I need you and your love too
Come on and rescue me

Come on baby and rescue me
Come on baby and rescue me
'Coz I need you by my side
Can't you see that I'm lonely
Rescue me

Oh take me in your arms
Rescue me
I want your tender charms
'Coz I'm lonely and I'm blue
I need you and your love too
Come on and rescue me
Come on baby, take me baby, hold me baby, love me baby
Can't you see that I need you baby
Can't you see that I'm lonely
Rescue me

Come on and take my hand
Come on baby and be my man
Cuz I love you cuz I want you
Can't you see that I'm lonely?
Take me baby
love me baby
need me baby
Can't you see that I'm lonely?

Rescue me, rescue me.......

Friday, April 27, 2007

Your One Stop Guide for Yaoi, Anime & OST.

I've noticed a large number of hits on this blog are related to the various Yaoi mangas, certain Anime series and a number of Theme songs from the Anime OSTs. As promised, here's the compiled comprehensive guide for selected (ie: good & popular) titles and series, complete with links to where to go to find them. The links provided here are NOT direct downloads (certain exception for the titles in the Anime OST section). They direct you to the respective groups/pages where you may find the files.

<Latest Update: Updated Anime section with a new series, 07-Ghost. The manga is in my opinion Shonen-ai. though it is not marketed as such. It's a bit hard to conclude otherwise when two teenage boys declare their love for one another and one very sexy priest does naughty things to the protagonist. The anime sadly is a lot more toned down.

Fairy Tail, the anime has also been added but is currently only available from Taka fansubs via torrent. Onemanga and Taka Fansubs added to the manga and anime sections respectively

PS: To Singaporeans who use this review please be smart and don't use the BT links. Unless you want to be Odexed. - 31/10/09>

This guide will be separated into three sections.

  1. The first being Yaoi Scanlations which will list the few selected titles and links to the scanlating groups. Links will also be provided for certain extremely useful communities like Yaoi Shares and Aarinfantasy. Subsection for Yaoi Doujinshi added.
  2. The second will be for Anime : this includes both the Yaoi and Non-Yaoi ones which I think are outstanding and links to the fan-subbers will be provided.
  3. The third will be for the popular songs from Anime OST(original soundtracks). To which links to lyrics will be provided on this blog. As to the actual mp3s and files, you'll be able to find it on my playlist anyway. Just take the time to search. Links to these OSTs/Songs will be provided at my discretion. DO NOT hotlink/ trackback to these files or they will be removed.

I will continue updating this guide as and when new series come out and I feel it to be necessary. Constructive comments on how to improve the guide will be entertained. Enjoy!

A.) Yaoi Scanlations.

By far the most popular keyword activity on this blog. Yaoi scanlations are easy to find if you know where to look. Of course one should ALWAYS support the mangaka and buy the licensed English version if/once it is released by BeBeautiful/June Manga/Blu/ Kitty Media etc. For the plethora of unlicensed yaoi mangas, yaoi scanlations by scanlator groups give us our Yaoi fix, tiding us over till the next release.

Essential Sites:

Yaoi Shares (Yaoi Sharing Community- one has to join via a Livejournal account and apply to join the community. It's Free and Massive.)

Aarin Fantasy (Another one stop site. This revered scanlating and fansubbing group is probably the biggest English resource site for Yaoi. It also has a lot of non-Yaoi anime. Join the forums for access.)

Youka Nitta LJ Community (Your one stop site for all manga scanlations of youka nitta's works [And she is a very GOOD mangaka churning out excellent series like Haru, Sound of my Voice (Boku no Koe) & When a Man loves a Man]. You NEED to join the community before you can access. Files may be found at the memories section. The main memories page (with all the titles) can be found HERE.)

Tokudane (This site is like your Yaoi Stock Exchange board. It updates daily and shows which scanlation groups have released what new chapters/volumes/series for that day. Links to the groups are also provided.)

Onemanga (Your onestop manga website for all your non-yaoi & non-deviant manga. Love it, read it.)

Yaoi Titles (Selected Scanlations): And now for the part you've been waiting for.

  1. Denkou Sekka Boys by Tohjoh Asami @ Hochuuami
  2. Chouhatsu Denkou Sekka Boys by Tohjoh Asami @ Yaoi Shares.
  3. Haru Wo Daiteita by Youka Nitta @ Yaoi Shares. <Updated: ALL of the currently available Haru wo Daiteita volumes and chapters can be found @ youka nitta LJ community over HERE. Current latest english scanlation is Chapter 45 by Love & Voice. Once again, you need to join Youka Nitta LJ Community first before you can access the files.>
  4. Sex Pistols by Kotobuki Tarako @ Yaoi Shares
  5. Gaten na Aitsu by Shiuko Kano @ Obsession
  6. Loveless by Kouga Yun @ Obsession
  7. Fingertip's Love by Naono Bohra @ Yaoi Shares
  8. Kusatta Kyoshi no Houteishiki (Bad Teacher's Equation) by Kazuma Kodaka (10 Volumes complete- my all time favourite) @ Terrygold
  9. Dear Green & Hitomi no Ounowa 1-2 by Fujiyama Hyouta @ Obsession
  10. Mizu Nurumu by Yamada Yugi @ Obsession
  11. Under Grand Hotel vol 1-3(C) by Sadahiro Mika @ Nakama
  12. Yaizu Brothers, Fucking Cool! vol1-2(C) by Shiuko Kano @ Obsession
  13. A Passage from Servant Boy by Dr Ten @ (Dr Ten Translation Project)
  14. Nagai Kajitsu - A Bitter Fruit (Translated by Aelgtoer along with Mizu as part of the Obsession team) by Shiuko Kano @ Obsession.
  15. I'm not your Stepping Stone by Shiuko Kano @ Obsession.
  16. Negai Kanae Tamae - Grant My Wish (vol 1-3) by Nishida Higashi @ Volyund (A very touching series about yazuka & a piano teacher, not your average yaoi fluff. Scanlated entirely by volyund.)
  17. Into your heart through the Door by Yamada Yugi @ Eastern Blue. (The second book in the Close the Last Door Trilogy, this scanlation focuses on the other two Honda brothers. Part of the Close the Last Door classic yaoi manga series by Yamada Yugi)
  18. Allure by Ebihara Yuri @ Yaoi Shares.
  19. Rules (vol 1-3 Complete) by Miyamoto Kano @ Liquid Passion/ Hack the Mainstream (For the other two volumes, go to the Liquid Passion link)
  20. Okane ga Nai (No Money) [Vols 5/6] by Tohru Kousaka @ Yaoi Shares.
  21. Aitsu to Ore (Vols 1-2 Complete) by Tohjoh Asami @ Yaoi Shares.
  22. Tsumasaki ni Kiss (Tiptoe Kiss) by Fuwa Shinri @ Faux Nostalgia's LJ
  23. Brother X Brother (vol 1) by Kisaragi Hirotaka @ Forever-more
  24. Star (Chaps 1-2 only- get the DMP manga) by Keiko Konno @ Yaoi Share
  25. I'm Falling in Love with your Magic by Kotobuki Tarako @ Ob-session
  26. Sweet Whisper (Chap 1-3 - get the DMP manga) by Fujiyama Hyouta @ Yaoi Shares
  27. Constellations in my Palm by Honami Yukine @ Yaoi Shares
  28. Yamane Ayano's complete Scanlated Works (Target in Viewfinder, Crimson Spell, etc) @ Yamane Ayano LJ Community (You have to join the community before you get access to the links)
  29. Ze by Shimizu Yuki (Vol 1-3 ongoing) @ Yaoi Share or Peccatore Sanctuary
  30. Collection of Kisaragi Hirotaka's works (Smut!!) @ Zero-Kiryuu's LJ
  31. Weekend Lovers by Fuwa Kiriko @ Yaoi Eden

Yaoi Doujinshi

  1. Various Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Doujinshi @ Kitsune's LJ & Kaibayami's LJ (No Yamamoto)

Note: Most scanlations (many many other titles) can be found at the scanlation groups websites themselves( ie: Obsession). For some groups though like the huge and consistently efficient, Nakama, scanlations may only be found in their Yahoo groups community which you will need to join in order to get access to. Small price to pay. As a last resort the mIrc way is always available but is not recommended, due to the much slower speed and hassle of searching for files.

B.) Anime

Anime hits on the blog make the second most popular category of keywords. Let me first state for the record for those very misguided people who keep attempting to search for Mirage of Blaze Scanlations... there is no such thing as scanlations for Mirage of Blaze. It is an anime based on the still continuing Japanese NOVEL series by Mizuna Kuwabara. It is NOT a manga so hence there are no scanlations.

However, if you want to watch the anime which I highly recommend even though it is rather abrupt ( ie: it's more of a teaser really, the main story hasn't even ended in the series), you'll find the links here.

Essential Anime sites

Aarin Fantasy (This link is to the forums page-You must have registered to have access. Again this is THE one stop for all your yaoi anime. It also has a fair bit of non Yaoi ones.)

Boys on Boys on Film (Despite it's rather pornographic sounding name, this site is NOT a gay porn site. It's a site that provides very excellent reviews on the various mostly yaoi anime titles that lets you decide before hand whether it's worth getting/grabbing in the first place.)

Naruto Mania (This site I find essential for all my non-yaoi animes. Basically downloads for Naruto, Naruto Shippuuden, Bleach & D Gray Man can all be found here. Contribute a one off sum of $20 and you get access to a WHOLE LOT more for 6 months. Including some series you'll be really hard pressed to find else where.)

Bleach Network (Latest and most reliable anime site. Number of anime series is small but has expanded recently. Examples include Naruto, Bleach, Gintama, One Piece and Fullmetal Alchemist 2. Registration is required but free.)

Combined Community Codec Pack ( This website provides the complete hassle free package of codecs complete with a very easy, no frill media player for watching all kinds of anime/video files in whatever video format. Previously VLC was the only other media player which could play such an extensive range, MediaPlayer Classic in the CCCP package however is a lot easier to use (playback, fullscreen, pause, etc) and the subtitles are rendered very nicely, automatically. CCCP was formulated with anime in mind and is highly recommended by the various fan-sub groups. Play with Media Player Classic.)

Anime-Eden ( A reliable anime and manga site for the episodes of many popular anime series like Claymore, Bleach, Darker than Black, etc. Downside is the latest episodes take a while to be updated, the manga selection is also limited. Registration is required.

Note - Singaporeans download at your own risk of getting Odexed.)

Gendou (Another reliable anime DDL site. Large database of Anime OSTs, all the great songs from your favourite anime series as well as episodes from certain anime series can be found here. Note: Use of Download Accelerators will result in a ban. So don't use it. )

Selected Anime (Both Yaoi and Non Yaoi. Yaoi will be indicated with a Y) Note: a lot of Yaoi animes are a lot more toned down than their manga counterparts.

  1. Mirage of Blaze (Ep 1-13) & OVA1-3 @ Aarinfantasy (Y)
  2. Loveless (ep1-12) @ Aarinfantasy (slashable Y)
  3. Winter Cicada @ Aarinfantasy (Y)
  4. Kizuna (1-3) @ Aarinfantasy (Y)
  5. Gakuen Heaven(ep 1-13) @ Aarinfantasy (slashable Y)
  6. Haru wo Daiteita @ Aarinfantasy (Y) -covers volumes 1-2 of the series. Very nice.
  7. Bronze & Zetsuai @ Aarinfantasy (Y) -Old but a real classic. Can be really angsty but still nice.
  8. Saigo no Door wo Shimero! (Close the Last Door OVA 1) @ AarinFantasy (Y) - English sub. (Updated: aarinfantasy English sub download link- 03/05/07)
  9. D-Gray Man @ Black-order- You can get it either at the black-order fansub site or at Narutomania.
  10. Naruto Shippuuden @ Dattebayo -Available at either Dattebayo or narutomania
  11. Bleach @ Dattebayo -Available at either Dattebayo or narutomania
  12. X (ep 1-24) @ Aarinfantasy - Classic Clamp animation. Very nice.
  13. Death Note @ Kuro-Hana- Available at either Kuro-hana or narutomania.
  14. Inuyasha(TV series) @ Naurtomania- Available only at the donator's private server at narutomania. Donate a small sum for access(well worth it) to the extensive amount of anime ($20) for 6 months. Preview of the list (no downloads) can be found here. Alternatively you can find it @ Cireus's anime hosted links forum. However episodes need to be requested as not all are uploaded. Narutomania is still a faster and more convenient option.[UPDATE: All completed episodes also available via Bit Torrent links at MiniNova's Inuyasha category ]
  15. Inuyasha Movie 1: The Love that Transcends Time (BT link) @ MiniNova(BT Link) or Catatonicloki ( HTTP dld- Megaupload ENGLISH DUB only)
  16. Inuyasha Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass (BT link) @ MiniNova(BT Link) or Catatonicloki ( HTTP dld- Megaupload ENGLISH DUB only)
  17. Inuyasha Movie 3: Swords of an Honorable Ruler (BT link) @ MiniNova(BT Link) or Catatonicloki ( HTTP dld- Megaupload ENGLISH DUB only)
  18. Inuyasa Movie 4: Fire on the Mystic Island (BT link) @ MiniNova(BT Link) or Catatonicloki ( HTTP dld- Megaupload ENGLISH DUB only)
  19. Okane Ga Nai (OVA 2/4) @ Aarinfantasy (Y) - BT links may be found here
  20. Code Geass (Season 1 & 2) @ Cireus's Anime Forum (HTTP hosted links), BT links found at gg fansub's site here. [NOT meant for Singaporean anime fans.]
  21. Darker than Black @ Cireus's anime forum or Everyanime (Latest episodes only, Singaporean anime fans- download at your own risk.)
  22. Fullmetal Alchemist 2 @ Bleach Network
  23. 07-Ghost @ Bleach Network
  24. Fairy Tail @ Taka Fansubs

More titles may be found at Cireus's lovely little anime forum over here. (Registration is fast & painless- Registration is necessary to access the forum and the hosted links.)

C.) Theme Songs/ OST (original soundtracks) from Anime series

Essential Anime OST site

Anime Lyrics (Basically, your one stop site for all your anime lyrics.)

These are the nice OST/songs from the anime I've watched so far, links to the posts with the lyrics will be provided. Most of the songs listed here can be found on my Playlist. You just need to search through it to find the song, that's not too difficult. If not on the playlist, a download link will be provided (courtesy of aarin fantasy) for the specified song. If you're not content with streamed music you can try your luck at Aarinfantasy's OST section over here.


(ALL your favourite Anime soundtracks from your favourite anime series can be downloaded here. Not to mention anime episodes. Do note that NO download accelerators are allowed. Else you get an instant ban. )

Theme Songs/Anime OSTs

  1. Panorama by Masaaki Fujioka
  2. Shirushi by Can-goo
  3. Tsuki no Curse by Okina Reika
  4. D-tecnolife by UVERworld. Link provided courtesy of Aarinfantasy forum.
  5. Yume no Tsuzuki e by Surface. Link provided courtesy of Aarinfantasy
  6. Change the World by V6.
  7. I Am by Hitomi. Link provided courtesy of Aarinfantasy
  8. Ore Ska Band by Tsumasaki. Link provided by AELGTOER. DO NOT hotlink to the file or it will be removed.
  9. BLAZE by Kotani Kinya. Link provided courtesy of Aarinfantasy
  10. Every Little Thing by Grip. Link provided by AELGTOER. DO NOT hotlink to the file or it will be removed.
  11. Itazura na Kiss by Day after Tomorrow. Link provided by AELGTOER. DO NOT hotlink to the file or it will be removed.

That's all for now. Hope this guide was useful especially for those blindly googling and not knowing where to go. This guide should point you in the right direction. I'll update the guide from time to time and please remember to click on the Ads if you found this useful. :)

Reporting any dead links (in the event they occur) would also help immensely.

v 3.5

Update Log-Last 5 Updates:


08/03/08 12.52 AM: Added link (finally) to Shimizu Yuki's (of Love Mode fame) Ze.

30/03/08 10.14PM: Added link to a sizeable collection of Kisaragi Hirotaka's gloriously smutty works (Brother X Brother, Keep Out, Spectre, etc) Kisaragi Hirotaka is one of the very rare male yaoi mangakas. Nice style, good non-fluffy plots and moderately explicit smut.

10/07/08 10.40PM: Updated Anime OST & Anime Section with a very comprehensive Anime Music OSTs & Anime Series Download website, Please note use of Download Accelerators are NOT allowed and will result in a ban. -Haven't been updating much due to work. But keep the input on nice Yaoi manga coming.

02/08/08 1.00AM: Updated Anime section with a new Yaoi Doujinshi subsection with some *gasp* Hitman Reborn Yaoi Doujinshi love. The main manga is in itself average, though it is getting better. I just can't get enough of Yamamoto though, preferably in various stages of undress. Ho Ho. Also added Weekend Lovers by Fuwa Kiriko.

16/04/09 12.06AM: Updated Anime section with a new series, Fullmetal Alchemist 2. The manga is of course highly recommended. Current Non yaoi choices include Ubel Blatt, Black God, Claymore, Fairy Tail, Bleach, Naruto, D Gray man, Katekyo Hitman Reborn and of course Fullmetal Alchemist. All these manga can be read online at Onemanga. Also added new anime direct download site, Bleach Network.

31/10/09 12.04pm: Updated Anime section with a new series, 07-Ghost. The manga is in my opinion Shonen-ai. though it is not marketed as such. It's a bit hard to conclude otherwise when two teenage boys declare their love for one another and one very sexy priest does naughty things to the protagonist. The anime sadly is a lot more toned down.

Fairy Tail, the anime has also been added but is currently only available from Taka fansubs via torrent. Onemanga and Taka Fansubsadded to the manga and anime sections respectively

Click on the ads please. Thanks! :)

PS: As of 1 August 2007, the RSS feed to this blog has been partially re-enabled. You need to continue to visit the blog directly to view the FULL entries.

Aelgtoer/Errath (ex-Translator nick for Obsession & BLiss)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Watch that Code!!! Stats that Spy & other spyware.

Alright, this might be old news to some. But still it's always good to take some precautions. And be sure to junk that stats provider which surreptitiously plants tracking cookies aka spyware into your blog/site via the code. Recently, Stat Counter made news when it announced that it had rejected big bucks from advertisers who wanted to implant a spyware cookie into the Stat Counter tracking code. The shocking news was that another well known stats service provider had agreed and allows spyware cookies to be implanted into its tracking code which affects all its members' websites.

This popular stats provider, SiteMeter, has an implanted spyware cookie in its code called specificclick that 'tracks browsing activity.' Which as Laura Scott's very informative post on the same subject matter puts aptly: Such activity seems harmless enough until you realise that 'it's tracking all browsing activity, not just clicks on that site where the cookie is set. Meaning they know where you bank, what discussion forums you visit, what, ahem, other websites you might be viewing on the sly.'

Not to mention the fact that such irritating spyware cookies bog down the loading time of affected pages (with the code) and are responsible for all those irritating pop up ads that sometimes even supplant the main tabbed web page you happen to be viewing at the moment.

As Laura's testing showed, the SiteMeter code implants the specificclick cookie while thankfully StatCounter remains clean and true to its claim: one single cookie, which they use to track behaviour on your site and nowhere else. And naturally, I just had to confirm the findings for myself. It's easy, just clear your browser of all cookies and go to a site first with StatCounter, (ie this Blog) and check the cookie left behind. Sure enough, there was only one cookie left by statcounter.

A soujourn to another site with SiteMeter as the stat counter tracker (ie: jon's blog) left both the SiteMeter cookie as well as the specificclick spyware cookie behind; real life confirmation of the insidiuous nature of hidden spyware implanted into innocuous looking stat tracking code. ClustrMaps, that popular tracker that provides free code which reflects hits on a thumbnail sized global map has also publicly announced that it is free of all spyware and cookies which it guarantees. A quick self-check with the above mentioned method proved good their claim.

Which means for now, SiteMeter needs to fix its shit or it'll continue losing its members. No one likes having spyware supplied in code which they upload onto their site without knowing. Spyware cookies that are an invasion of privacy (collecting info on all your surfing habits, annoying pop up ads and slowing down page loads afflicted by such cookies,etc). Like Laura, I'm just glad I stuck with StatCounter and ClustrMaps, good clean stats without hidden shit.

SiteMeter though isn't the only site one should worry about (though as a stats service 'provider', anyone not interested in spyware would do well to stay clear of them), download/file sharing websites that allow you to download and upload files to share with friends can be just as nasty and virulent. Some like Gigasize add other spyware cookies like adbrite in addition to their own cookie which results in EXTREMELY annoying pop up ads- the kind Norton Internet Security will NOT protect you against. Trust me.

Others like TurboUpload don't implant the spyware cookies directly, it's when you click on the download link (and you're not fast enough- it's about a 3 second time frame), the resultant pop-up pages are the ones that implant the spyware cookies. Once in a while you get a particularly nasty pop-up that even tries to implant a trojan virus, usually Trojan.Anicmoo (Which Norton Internet Security DOES protect against and block/remove). And if you don't have a decent, updated Antivirus program, well you'll never really know what hit you.

Certain free host domains also pose a threat and implant spyware cookies the moment you enter the site. There are a number but a common one and the one I've personally encountered are those with websites ending with the '' domain. Example: Again the adbrite spyware cookie is implanted by the domain host and we all know what happens from there onwards. Slow page loads, irritating pop up ads and that terrible invasion of privacy.

Unfortunately, short of not using the code (ie: SiteMeter) and not visiting suspect websites, there is not much one can really do to prevent such spyware cookies as once you visit a page with the implanted spyware cookie, you'll be hit. And in SiteMeter's case, it's often hard/impossible to know if a website has the said stat tracker embedded especially if it's invisible. One solution which only works for blogs is to subscribe to the rss feed which is then free from cookies but it also means you lose out on the miscellaneous stuff like tagboards and music playlists.

Cultivating the habit of clearing ones internet cache of cookies and Temporary Internet files is still the best defense. (At least once a week, I'd recommend every other day but that's just me.) For IE users, it's found under Options in your Tools drag down bar. And soon you'll realise how much more enjoyable surfing the net is; minus irritating pop up ads, slow page loads and with that peace of mind that what you're surfing remains private.
Hope this helps, happy surfing!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Irrational Euphoria

As usual, I've been gripped by this irrational sense of euphoria after the end of the first paper. This inexplicable feeling that the holidays have started and that will-sapping, rose-tinted view that the next paper won't be all that hard. Irrational because no matter how one looks at it, I'm really still in the midst of an exam that only officially ends on 2nd May 15.30 +8 GMT time. Though everytime I try to remind myself that this holiday mood is really a little premature, that hopelessly slacker side of me brushes it off with a 'Just ONE more paper, let's celebrate!'. So I inevitably oblige on account that a couple of days off the grind really doesn't hurt and that perennial excuse: 'Hey so many more days towards that last paper means more time to space out the last min cram session!'

Given that this has been occuring ever since I started law school back in '03, today is of course no exception. And what better way to get one into the quasi-holiday, should-be-studying-but-it-can-wait-a-while mood than some good ole pre-2000 diabetic pop love number, I Think I'm in Love with You by Jessica Simpson that resident blond bimbo. Never fails to remind me of those bitter-sweet JC days when that song carried the entire sentiments and dreams of a poor horny sod ( yours truly), driven wild & blind by that crush on a fellow classmate. Ahh, those were the days.

So despite the minor bump of not finishing half-a-question, which sadly happens to be the normal practice for most papers- exam time management is not my forte; the impending final paper was the last thing on my mind when I returned home this afternoon. Turning on the laptop and downloading the latest HQ episode 3 of Darker than Black, reading blogs, surfing for porn (well not yet, still got tons on the HDD), checking mail and the latest yaoi scanlation releases before deciding on the spur of the moment to cook something for dinner.

After all, it's been sometime since I cooked for the Family, but more importantly i felt like having some soup with loads of ingredients dumped in. Not the kind you'd be able to find outside and like they say, if you want to eat something, you jolly well learn to cook. I'm a soup person, probably the one thing I inherited from my dad's cantonese side, after all the Cantonese are the most avid drinkers of soup and come up with the most kick-ass ones. I usually like my chinese soups that way, boiled over a slow fire for more than two hours that brings out all the subtle flavours and gives a very tasty soup with robust flavours. What they call, 纯汤.

However, on the spur of the moment kind of urges coupled with the frequent time restrictions often means there is little time for the cooking and preparation involved for making the above-mentioned type of soups. 清汤 or 'clear soup' as it is loosely translated are then the alternative, with a cooking time of 30mins-1 hour, the flavours are more subtle, involve a lot less herbs and more usual ingredients like mincemeat and mushrooms, giving a taste that is light and refreshing. Plus one has a lot more leeway with the combination of ingredients and what actually goes into the soup when cooking 清汤 than the long-boiled 纯汤 counterparts. Certain herbs and ingredients are no-no combinations for the latter. (example Ginseng and Bittergourd).

So I was glad that I cooked the 清汤. In typical fashion, I dumped in what I deemed to be compatible: a couple of defrosted chicken drumsticks and pork shoulder butt cut into cubes, a couple of lovely red NZ tomatoes, a clove of garlic (peeled), one packet of those delightful Japanese bumi mushrooms they use in their Odens, fresh White Fungus and a packet of silken Tofu, with three spoonfuls of Shaoxing rice wine and one No MSG Knorr's chicken stock cube.

The end result after 50 mins of cooking, a pleasantly piquant and refreshingly tasty soup, the slight tang of tomatoes balanced nicely with the aroma of the mushrooms with the meat still tender and juicy unlike their often tough counterparts in the long boiled soups where all the flavour has already leeched out into the soup. Considering that this was one of the few times I've actually attempted to cook 清汤, I was rather pleased with the result.

I stirred it up quite a bit while tasting before I remembered to take a photo which would explain the rather sad and flattened state of the tomatoes. Though I personally prefer my tomatoes pulpified and it's the taste that counts ultimately! So that, steamed rice and stir fried cabbage with oyster-sauce provided for a gratifying dinner topped off with the Sister's rapidly diminishing supply of Japanese confectionaries. (She ate the last Tokyo Banana! ><)

Which makes it a relatively good time now to go for my night jog, though I fervently hope those cheap ass town council people leave the lights on in the park this time. Yesterday's running through a Pitch Black park was a cheap thrill that at some points in time involved slowing down to a slow measured jog as I attempted to figure out where the path ended and the steep slope begin that eventually culminated in an exit which positively startled two yakking Filipino maids and their small yappy dogs.

And still this irrational euphoria afflicts me, that mental urge to grin like an idiot hard to suppress. So while I'm in this ridiculous helium high, I'll leave you folks bopping or cursing to the strains of Jessica's I Think I'm in Love with You.

"I think I'm in love..Boy I think I'm in love with you... I've been doing silly things when it comes to you.. In love, Boy I think that I'm in love with you... I've been telling all my friends what I feel for you.."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Snack attack & Assorted Japanese offerings.

The Sister came back from Japan yesterday after frollicking there for an enviable three weeks in Hokkaido and various other parts of Japan. Which is still one place I very much would love to go and it looks like a trip is probably in the works at the end of this year. As expected she bought back a shit load of deliciously eccentric but yet wonderfully intricate and tasty food stuff, most of which were inevitably confectionaries and sweets. Which meant an afternoon of 'sampling' everything which she opened up : Royce's macha (green tea) cuboid dark chocs, the ever popular Tokyo Banana, soft sponge cake in the shape of a banana filled with flavoured custard and other assorted stuff which included a freeze dried strawberry coated with white chocolate.

The standard guilt attack that usually accompanies such wanton indulgences of the sweet tooth or after a particularly sinful repast was surprisingly mild; repressed firmly and ruthlessly explained away as 'Just a one off kind of affair' coupled with the standard 'I'm going to jog later anyway.' Yeah, well we all know that one. As they often say, there are those who eat to live and those who live to eat. I'm in the latter category in case you haven't noticed by now and while the years of wanton pigging out haven't (thankfully) wrecked noticeable havoc on the body, the Fight against Flab is never ending. Not least because I'm pretty sure once I hit my thirties, the metabolic rate will go downhill and all those years of hrm culinary enjoyment will suddenly materialise in all the wrong areas.

So the looming spectre of Gravitating gobs of fat towards the gut is about the one overwhelmingly motivating factor that spurs me on for the night jogs, inspite of the increasing inertia just to put on those track shoes and get out of the house sometimes. But I digress. This was supposed to be about all things Japanese anyway. Speaking of which, I'm continually amazed by the stuff they can come up with. On top of the usual kawaii notepad and pen my Sister bought for me, she purchased some 'safe' toiletries. 'Safe' as in your average neutral stuff which most people would use and not the highly subjective/sensitive kind of cosmetics (ie: Toner/facial cleanser/moisturizer etc).

Which consisted of some hair styling clay and some toothpaste-like breath freshener. Though I must say that the term 'Design Mud' doesn't sound really enticing for something you'd like to use for a hair styling product. I'm sure they meant to say Designer Clay or something like that but still the packaging was clean and appealing, the light grey content nicely scented without that cloying viscosity that characterizes Gatsby's hair wax products (ie: getting that wax out of one's hair involves a conditioning-shampoo-recondition regime that is much too time consuming). I haven't tried it yet but I'm sure any product by Shiseido will have decent standards.

As for the toothpaste-like Apple flavoured/scented 'Breath Palette', I haven't quite steeled myself to try it yet. I hate the taste of inadvertently swallowing some Colgate and a swalloable paste-like breath-freshener looks too much like that nasty colgate toothpaste sitting in the bathroom. Other than food, alcohol and various parts of the Boyfriend's anatomy, I'm rather picky about what goes in my mouth. Still, I'll probably get round to trying it sometime when I'm either starved/drunk or maybe after oral. Ha ha. Which should be well before the expiry date.

There is something about the english they use on those Japanese products though, so eccentrically mangled, it's funny to read (and decipher if possible) in a kawaii (cute) sort of way. Take the description of the Shiseido Geraid 'Design Mud' : Make your skin & hair beautiful. Claims of wild and beautiful. Can't stand being like other men. You get the drift more or less but the literal translation is so amusing. Or the description off that wrapper from the Tokyo Banana, which some might call a gourmet Twinkie (tho the Banana is a whole lot better), I just finished : 'People gather to TOKYO from here and there with memories of their home. And then Tokyo gets the everyone's home town'. But still the Banana was so nice, plus it's thoughtful of them to provide a little after-snack entertainment. Considering that was the third piece today out of a box of eight though, I think the Sister might have a fit later. Too bad.

More yaoi scanlations out this week to look forward to. As usual, the chinese scans are infinitely faster, which is fine for me despite my rather spotty command of Chinese. Reading Yaoi or any manga for that matter means not needing to worry about cheem complicated, mind-numbing where is my dictionary kind of chinese which is the kind you'd expect from your average chinese literary novel. After all, how complicated can the phrase "I want to fuck you." be? Not very.

Haru wo Daiteita (Embracing Love) Volume 12, which comprises Chapters 43-47 plus the sequel has been finished by the chinese group Friday, so you can get yours from the megaupload link provided if you understand Chinese or just wanna see the pics. Link provided courtesy of Yaoi Shares which I suggest you join if you want a huge huge fix of yaoi, they have a lot of hard-to-find titles nicely catalogued for free.

I've noticed a lot of hits on this blog for the various animes and yaoi scanlation titles, so when I've the time, I'll come up with a nice comprehensive post with links included (NOT downloads- go to the groups to get your files and thank them). For now it's back to the books, for that last min cram session before the Law and Soci for the family paper tomorrow.

I leave you with Tsuki no Curse (Curse of the Moon) by Okina Reika (first song on the playlist for now), that wonderful opening song from the anime Loveless. Lyrics may found here.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Studying is a Bore.

Studying, even when out of utter necessity, remains an utter bore. I'm always amazed at how people can be so motivated even passionate about plain mugging and hitting the books, sometimes with an intensity that is both enviable and downright scary. Staying over at my Granny's place for three days of self-imposed isolation, which really is a misnomer as you see I still have access to the Net, it's the little things she does that breaks the monotony of plowing through La La land inducing Law and Sociology of the Family crap.
Like when she came trundling up with some hot Chinese tea and a big packet of chocolate hazelnut wafers which I recognised as being those we bought in Austria a little under two years ago. "Studying?" she queried, picking up some notes and peering at it before shaking her head and putting it back down. "Ya." I replied then stopped as I tore open the wrapper. "Hmm why's it cold? You left it in the fridge?"
" No la, I just took it out from the freezer not too long ago. I was running out of space." she replied.
Noticing my wary glance at the wrapper, she slapped my shoulder. "Not expired la! Your uncle's fine after eating it anyway." Not that I'm an ingrate or whatever.. it's just she's innocently served me various snacks up to five years past the expiry date before. Whereupon after pointing out to her that such stuff should obviously be thrown away, she'd sometimes go, "Is it? But it's always been in the fridge! I think I just had some last month!" Hmm yes, that's my granny.
But it remained fresh and still tasted nicer than the Loacker ones. Those Austrians really know how to make their confectioneries. In other news, I'm only behind schedule by half a seminar. Having plowed through 7.5 seminars so far, I can safely conclude that if you can spout stuff like 'Laws are explicit manifestations of norms and values that dictate minimally accepted social behaviour.' and ' The children's welfare is of paramount importance in deciding matters of fairness between divorced parents' continually with various citations thrown in as 'substantiation' come the Exam, a B should be achievable.
And I leave you with Wendy Moten's classic hit, Come in out of the Rain, the new (first) song on the playlist. Perfect song when/if you want to get back together with that special person you happened to dump for varied (stupid) reasons.
Ooo-ooo-oo Ooo-oo-oo Ooo-ooo-ooo-oo
You said you believed that we'd
Find love together happily
After all the wrong I've done
You feel that I'm still the one
To give your loving to
So bring it home to you

You told me that you'd love me if I'd ever change
Welcome me into your arms again
Come on in out of the rain, hey
There's a place in your heart to love me again
Happiness and joy you bring
When you call my name
Come on in out of the rain
I loved no one but you
But I strayed, I know I made you blue
You spoke unto my very soul
You warmed my heart that once was cold
Now I'm so glad to know

You told me that you'd love me if I'd ever change
Welcome me into your arms again
Come on in out of the rain, hey
There's a place in your heart to love me again Happiness and joy you bring
When you call my name
Come on in out of the rain
Some people spend a lifetime looking for love
And I had love right here all the time
Why did I try to deny it
Deep inside I just couldn't fight it
You turned my life around
The love I lost is found
So let the rain come down

You told me that you'd love me if I'd ever change
Welcome me into your arms again
Come on in out of the rain, hey
There's a place in your heart to love me again
Happiness and joy you bring
When you call my name
Come on in out of the rain
(Come on in out of the rain) Ooooo-oh-ooo, yeah, yeah, yeah (Come on in out of the rain)Baby come out of the rain.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Darkness Rising II (End)

I've compiled the two chapters and epilogue together for easier archiving.
All time favourite emo song, Wonderful, now on the Playlist.

Chapter 1.

Skenda jerked awake, a faint sense of unease pervading his entire being, his hands cold and clammy with sweat. Swinging out of bed, he hurriedly pulled on a shirt and brushing the tent flap aside, he stepped out. The bracing night air greeted him, the moon full and heavy hung just over the western horizon. An ominous portent the court astrologer had said, for the moon had a reddish tinge, its lower half a darker shade akin to a sickly blackish red the colour of dried blood. It gave an observer the impression that the bloodied moon was bleeding copious amounts of blood into an inky sky devoid of stars. Just as worrisome was the fact that the moon had not waned for the past two weeks and had remained immobile, fixed over the horizon like a malevolent eye. The Blood Moon, the phenomenon was called, had not occurred for 2500 years and the last time it had appeared, existing historical sources recorded great disasters and 'gnashing of teeth'.

Suppressing a shudder, Skenda tore his eyes away from the bleeding moon and strolled across the clearing, acknowledging the sentry's salute with a curt nod. Below him some distance to the west lay the great city of Amarivel, first of the seven ancient Cities built by the long dead High Kings of Grunma and one of the last human bastions against the advancing wave of Undead which had risen up so suddenly.

As Prince-Regent of Ortezel, heir to the throne, Skenda had been sent by his ailing father to cement the alliance between the two Cities as well as to discuss the strategy of combining the cities' two great Relics of the Light which lore had it, had once banished the demons back to the Abyss and ended the Age of Chaos. Lately however, communications between the two cities had become strained and the rise of the new Lord Chancellor in Amarivel had cooled relations even further. It was with the hope of reviving the spirit of co-operation and kinship that the ailing ruler of Ortezel sought to send a high ranking delegation under his son to bring it about. This news was received, to Skenda's surprise, with great joy and warmth with the Ortezellans informed that such an esteemed visit would be most welcome and that the Amarivellans hoped much would come from it.

This unexpected response was received with great cheer by Edrion, Skenda's father, and despite Skenda's initial misgivings, was soon making preparations for the delegation's departure. Lord Chamberlain Llaric, his father's aged and trusted advisor, counselled that it was the best option and after a short counsel, Skenda too was forced to admit that it needed to be done. Looking out at Amarivel, the numerous lights of the city twinkling in the darkness, its graceful spires and multi tiered walls brightly illuminated, Skenda thought it looked rather like an exquisite glass crown nestled on a hill.

Yet somehow, he was unable to shake off that gnawing sense of dread, the unease which had wrapped itself tenaciously about him ever since the Blood Moon had appeared. Llaric dismissed it as mere superstition and Edrion was set upon the swift departure of the delegation to restore relations as soon as possible. Skenda had been unable to refuse, there was no rational reason for him to do so and he constantly reminded himself that it was in the best interests of Ortezel to proceed as soon as possible. Llaric noticing his unease had counselled the prince in a tone which sounded almost conspiratory, "For all you know Your Highness, the portent may bode ill for our enemies, the ancient histories never mentioned that the sign was an affliction to all."

Skenda's thoughts inevitably turned to Llaric, his father's most trusted advisor, and who was accompanying Skenda on the delegation. Tall, thin and wiry, Llaric possessed an austere handsomeness which was accentuated by his sharp nose and thin piercing eyes. Eyes which revealed great intelligence and were able to pick apart the many enemies and traps Edrion had encountered. Though stern, he had always been approachable and had been a second father to Skenda. But there had been a subtle change which as far as Skenda could tell, occurred five years ago after Llaric had returned from his pilgrimage to the Shrine of Aariel. What exactly had changed, Skenda could not quite place his finger on. While still approachable, he seemed to possess a certain ability of quietly forcing the people around him into meek submission simply through his presence.

Even his strong willed and independent father, Edrion, seemed somewhat subdued around him. Skenda certainly felt it, at times it was so palpable it was almost like Llaric had an aura emanating from him. 'Cold, isn't it?' An unmistakable voice observed drily. Skenda started. That was another damn thing about Llaric, he was so quiet, few knew when he came or departed. "I'm sorry I affrighted your Highness but tomorrow's matters weighed heavily on my mind." "Oh, not at all." Skenda replied, feeling the familiar tightening of his throat, the chill slowly creeping up his spine.

"Yes tomorrow will be an important day for us all..Llaric. And a fruitful one I pray." Skenda sighed, drawing his shirt about him to block out the sudden chill even though the night remained still, devoid of even a passing breeze. "Best you not think too much your Highness, we have done all we can, the rest... Fate will decide." Llaric paused, rolling the word 'Fate' as if pondering it in bemusement. Bemusement? Skenda's tired mind protested. But Llaric had laid a firm hand on his shoulder and was bidding him to go rest. To Skenda, Llaric's hand felt like a frozen vice and he shuddered involuntarily before retiring to his tent.

Watching the departing Prince's back, Llaric arched an eyebrow before turning round to survey the city of Amarivel once more. "Ah, Amarivel." he sighed, the corners of his lips upturning in the faintest of smiles. Turning, Laric strode back to his tent.

Chapter Two

The sun was well on its journey across the heavens and hung directly overhead the delegation when it reached the gates of Amarivel. The Lord Mayor together with a number of city officials were already there waiting for them. A round, colourless man of sallow complexion, the Lord Mayor accorded the delegation the requisite courtesies and uttered the correct formal niceties, right down to the proper amount of deference due a high ranking delegation from a sister City, without so much as a trace of emotion.

'Why the lack of cheer, your Grace?" Skenda could not help commenting. "There is precious little to be happy about with the Undead so near and so much to do; though your Highness's presence brings us much hope." the man smiled wanly and made a visible effort to be more upbeat for the rest of the procession. Riding through the city, Skenda was greeted with loud cheers by the crowds that lined the sides of the streets, throwing confetti and flower petals in their path as the delegation went past. Yet that sense of dread and unease he felt remained unabated, if anything it intensified, reinforced by the veneer of artificiality that Skenda felt underlay the gaiety of the welcome. His instinct had served him well in the past on battlefields and he was not about to discount it.

As if reading his thoughts, Llaric who had urged his mount forward to trot beside Skenda's counselled , "Your Highness, it be normal to feel ill at ease when embarking on such an important mission for nothing can afford to go wrong. I myself was a bundle of nerves when I set off on my first diplomatic mission. But what matters is the mission itself and you must steel yourself to see it through." Skenda nodded and Llaric fell back to his place behind the Prince in the procession. Llaric's advice was invaluable as always, the current mission was important and his inexperience in diplomatic forays could have contributed to his unease.

Yet still that feeling of wrongness remained. Shaking his head, Skenda firmly put all such thoughts out of his mind and focused on the upcoming meeting with the King and ministers of Amarivel. In the distance, the imperial palace could be seen, its golden towers and domes shimmering in the afternoon sun.

After a lavish state luncheon hosted by the withered looking King Ashkon in honour of the visiting Ortezellan delegation, the delegation was ushered into the stately Presence Chamber. The King visibly depleted and trembling slightly pleaded fatigue and retired but not before informing Skenda that his Lord Chancellor, a man he most trusted and to whom he had delegated most of his powers would discuss the strategy with him.

Shortly after the King's exit, the man himself entered. Lord Chancellor Byr, was a big man, powerfully built, his bald pate and angular face detracting nothing from the air of authority about him. "Your Highness, I am sorry for keeping you waiting and indeed I hope you forgive my earlier absence at the banquet. But there is much to do and the forces of Darkness are ever relentless in their assault." Byr bowed. "Of course your Grace, the fight against evil occupies our time so fully now, Light willing, I look forward to the time when we may sleep in peace." Skenda replied graciously.

"Soon, your Highness, soon. But if you will, the following discussion on matters of gravest importance should be left to the highest echelon of government officials." Byr's eyes flicked to the small bevy of bodyguards and scribes, his tone leaving no doubt as to his meaning. Skenda was about to protest but was stopped by Llaric who declared aloud ,"There is wisdom in what the Lord Chancellor says, we would not want the grave and dark matters which we must inevitably discuss weigh unnecessarily on the minds of our subjects or allow the spread of panic by rumours amongst the populace." Unhappy with this sudden state of affairs, Skenda rebutted ," I see no reason why Llaric, Lord Chamberlain of Ortezel, and a scribe to record the agreements reached should not be present." And the look he shot Byr held an unspoken challenge.

Byr held his gaze, then smiling thinly,bowed his head slightly and replied smoothly that no it was no problem at all and that he had been about to suggest the very same thing. The great doors were shut on the backs of the departing members of the delegation and only Llaric, Skenda and Tyron the scribe, a shy lanky lad of thirteen who was beginning to manifest the first signs of puberty, remained. Along with the Lord Chancellor Byr. They proceeded without hesitation and Skenda soon found himself in the thick of the discussion.

The war against the undead had not been going well, hampered by the plague and remarkable resiliance shown by the undead. To complicated matters, the commanders of the undead scourge remained enigmas, their identities unknown and all attempts to uncover more about them had failed. Just as Skenda was about to nod off, he was brought back to the dreary reality by a discreet nudge from Llaric.

"Your Excellencies, I understand that you wish to discuss the possibility of combining the two Sacred Relics of our cities as a force to aid us in our struggle. Did you perchance bring it with you?" Byr was saying. "Er.. I'm afraid not, your Grace. The Guardians would not allow the Chalice of Aariel to be brought along on the trip fearing that it would be too dangerous." Skenda explained. Byr arched an eyebrow. "Too dangerous? Surely our Ortezellan brethren are confident of our ability to ensure your Excellencies' safety and that of the Chalice? Or are we suspect too given our proximity to the front lines?"

Skenda looked askance at Llaric, eager to diffuse the sudden tension and partly because the situation had arisen from Llaric's actions. The Guardians recognising the need for an alliance had agreed to let the Chalice travel with the delegation to Amarivel on the condition that four Guardians accompany it. This had been flatly rejected by Llaric who had insisted that the delegation was to be a state affair, any religious representatives out of the question. The Archprelate refused to budge and despite Llaric's cajoling and Edrion's pleading had obstinately refused. So they had gone without the Chalice.

Without missing a beat, Llaric explained smoothly that the Chalice was required for an important ceremony and that the Amarivellans would be able to see it for themselves when they visited Ortezel, assuring Byr that the trust Ortezellans had in their brethren were unshakeable. Byr appeared mollified."One can never be too cautious in times like these." He continued," But it is a great honour to show my brethren from Ortezel, Amarivel's Sacred Relic of the Light, the Orb of Lesmyra." Skenda blinked, "The Orb of Lesmyra?..Now?" "Yes, your Highness, Now." Skenda felt Llaric stir beside him in quiet anticipation. The curiosity Skenda felt was so overwhelming he ignored the faint stirrings of unease. "I'll be honoured your Grace, the Orb of Lesmyra is the most ancient of the Seven Relics and reputedly the most powerful too." Byr nodded and rising, he strode to a side door which he rapped thrice in quick succession. A courtier opened it and after a few whispered instructions bowed and took his leave.

Shortly after, the same courtier appeared holding a cushion upon which lay a rod-like object draped in black velvet. "Behold, the Orb of Lesmyra." Byr waved as if showing off the latest bric-a-brac. By this time, Skenda's disquiet had increased so greatly that he could not help but voice it. "But surely my Lord Chancellor, there is some form of ceremony to be observed before the public unveiling of a Relic? I do not see the requisite four priests and the Keeper of the Relic around."

Byr laughed, a singularly unpleasant one. "Your Highness, here in Amarivel we do not give much weight to useless superstition and ceremonies. Power validates without the need for rituals or form to justify." "But surely, the high priest and his priests would accompany such a sacred Relic?" "The priests are at the front lines and the Archprelate is indisposed,"came the curt reply. "If your Highness feels it unbecoming to unveil the Relic without the priesthood and the proper rituals I can always send it back." "No!" Skenda said a little sharply. "No, I'm sorry I was a little tired. Do please, show us the Orb." Byr nodded and with a swift sweep of his hand, pulled away the black velvet covering the Relic.

The sight which greeted Skenda sent him scrambling to his feet in shock. "How can this..?" The Orb mounted on an intricately carved golden sceptre gave off a sickly green glow, numerous veins of black ichor threading through the orb itself which had lost much of its clarity and looked rather like a grotesque tumor. The signs of corruption were unmistakeable. "But how?" Skenda queried, his mind still reeling from the enormity of what he was witnessing. "The Relics may be corrupted by no force of Darkness!" he reiterated in disbelief.

"In that you are right your Highness but.." "It is the corruption and greed of humans, the guardians of the Relics that has acted as a conduit for corrupting the relics." the cold, clear voice of Llaric interjected cutting Byr off in mid sentence. "Precisely, my Lord." Byr smiled and the deferential bow he gave Llaric was not one exchanged between equals but one unmistakeably reserved for an overlord. "My Lord??" Skenda's eyes narrowed in suspicion as alarm bells went off in his head. " Explain yourself Llaric! What is this man to you?!" he shouted, pointing his finger with ill-concealed hostility at Byr.

"Why, your Highness." That word now dripped heavy with sacarsm and venom. "That is Holgyxxia, my Lieutenant-General. Commander of the Western Front." Llaric drawled, his smile mocking. Byr leaned against a pillar smirking. Skenda could barely recognise the strangled gasp that emerged as his. Holgyxxia was one of the Vile Three, subordinate only to the Archdemon Phopyros. If Byr was Holgyxxia, Llaric could only be...

"Foul Demons," he hissed. Drawing his sword form its sheath, Skenda lunged at the thing once called Llaric. Phopyros thrust our his left hand, fingers splayed outwards and the sword was stopped in mid swing by an invisible barrier, clamped immobile by an unseen vice. "Guards! To me!" Skenda bellowed, beads of perspiration appearing on his forehead as he struggled to wrench his sword free. "They will not come. You disappoint me Skenda, did you really think you could stop me with this?" Phopyros advanced, arm still extended, until the blade was bending omniously, metal shrieking under the strain. Byr made a move as if to step forward but Phopyros waved him back.

"Traitor!" Skenda snarled through gritted teeth. "Fool!" Phopyros thundered, his black eyes glittering and with a curt flick of his wrist sent the sword crashing into the pillar beside the terror-stricken scribe. Freed from the immobilizing grip, Skenda lunged forward, executing a powerful kick at Llaric's head. As if swatting a fly, Phopyros gave a nonchalant swing of his arm and Skenda was sent flying across the chamber, landing heavily on the marble floor before sliding to a stop beside a pillar. "Humans, ever so weak." Phopyros spat in disdain.

Skenda spluttered, choking and gasping for air, fingers tearing uselessly at the invisible fingers that had enclosed around his neck as he was lifted into the air, legs kicking. Tyron the scribe who had been stock-still, immobilized by horror as the terrible events had unfolded was finally spurred into action at the sight of the life draining from his Prince, held aloft and strangled by some demonic force. With a wild cry, Tyron ripped the sword free from the pillar and arms extended forward, his slim hands firmly gripping the hilt, charged at Llaric. Byr who had been watching the whole affair with faint amusement stepped forward. Skenda sought to cry out a warning but all that came out was an unintelligible rasp.

Skenda watched in helpless horror as Byr lazily drew back his arm and threw a ferocious punch in the direction of Tyron's head. There was a sickening crunch of snapping vertebrae and Skenda could tell from the impossible angle the head moved in relation to the rest of the body, the long stream of blood flying forth from the open mouth, that Tyron was dead before he even hit the ground. At this moment, the choking vice about Skenda's neck ceased and he fell to the ground, coughing and sobbing in relief. Ignoring the searing pain in his side and the strident protests his body was making, Skenda crawled, weeping in helpless frustration and despair, toward Tyron. The lad had died needlessly, in attempting to save Skenda's life, he had lost his own. And he had been fond of the lad too.

Skenda never reached him. Phopyros who had been watching him scornfully, grasped at air, his hand claw like, was rapidly enveloped in a fiery red nebula. Skenda screamed in agony, his back arched as wave after wave of coruscating pain wrecked his body. Through a red haze of pain, Skenda was dimmly aware that Phopyros was grinning diabolically and was beginning to grasp the red mist even tighter with that claw like hand. A painful shower of sparks erupted in front of his eyes and he cried out like a tortured beast, an inhuman howl of anguish and pain. For the pain afflicting him had intensified and it now felt like a thousand red hot needles were forcing their way out of his skin, inch by inch. He screamed.

Skenda did not know when the maelstorm of pain stopped nor if he had lapsed into unconsciousness. What he did know was that it had stopped, leaving behind faint throbbing aches too numerous to count and the pounding of blood loud in his ears. "Ah, I see our Prince has come round. What did I tell you Holgyxxia, there is indeed some blood of the Old Humans left in him." Phopyros's voice drifted over. "I feared he would not survive your ministrations, my Lord. A dead prince while no barrier to us would hardly be desirable to yourself especially after decomposition sets in. But you were right, he is hardier than he looks." Holgyxxia conceded. Phopyros grimaced. "I certainly have no wish of looking like one of those undead underlings."

Phopyros face swam into view. "Ready, my Prince?" Staring into the cold jet black eyes, Skenda felt something warm and sticky trickle out of his nostril down onto his lip. He tasted it and was rewarded with the salty tang of blood. His blood. Without hesitation, Skenda pursed his lip and spat into Phopyros's face. Phopyros turned but was not quick enough. Skenda looked with satisfaction at his handiwork, a gob of bloody spit slowly trailing down the side of Phopyros's cheek. Holgyxxia started forward , his face convoluted with rage but stopped at Phopyros's upraised hand.

His eyes never leaving Skenda's, Phopyros commented icily, his every word tinged with menace, "I do believe he is ready." And stretched out his right hand above Skenda's face. The pain returned with a vengeance, his entrie body felt as if it was being turned inside out but this pain had a new dimension to it for it was accompanied by a raging black darkness. A consuming darkness with malevolent intelligence that was battering his very soul. He would not give them the satisfaction of hearing him cry out, he would not! Skenda willed himself to remain silent but his body unable to withstand the agonising torture betrayed him and he cried out.

"Kill me, you foul fiend for I shall never serve you or the Dark!" Skenda hissed, voice quaking at the attempt to remain intelligible in spite of the pain. Phopyros smirked. "I'm afraid that choice is not yours to make. Your dear father though would be proud." "You'll not harm my father!!" Skenda managed through gritted teeth. The darkness was ravaging his very being and no matter how hard he fought it, it was continuing its inexorable advance. "Your father? Of course not. You'll be the bearer of great tidings to him. News so wonderful, it would very likely prove fatal." Phopyros grinned maliciously.

"Noooo!!!!!" Skenda's strangled cry tore from his tortured throat as he realised the diabolical plan Phopyros had in mind. "Yes!" Phopyros bent, whispering fiercely in his ear. "How does it feel knowing that you are to be the instrument of your father's death?" A wordless cry of rage, despair, helplessness and pain all mingled into one burst forth, resounding and echoing through the entire hall.

Skenda fought ferociously but his body was failing, having been subject to the tremendous abuse wrought by Phopyros and the darkness was rapidly closing in upon that dwindling spectre of consciousness that still remained. Then darkness descended and with it, oblivion.


Skenda sat up and winced, his body protesting against the sudden movement. Feeling something weighing him down, he looked down and saw Llaric buried face down in his lap, his wispy grey hair in disarray. "That old fool." Skenda said in disgust, shoving the body away forcefully. He noted with some satisfaction, the unmistakeable crunch of breaking bones. Getting to his feet, Skenda brushed himself off and examined himself.

The toned, lightly muscled body was a much better acquisition than a seventy years old one beset with the beginnings of a aching back and rheumy joints. A young healthy body meant possessing none of the ailments that afflicted the aged. The trauma suffered by the body due to Llaric's ministrations were rapidly healing, the bruises lightening, the ache in his side fading. Skenda would be perfectly fine in a couple of minutes.

He turned and saw Byr leaning against the pillar watching him patiently. "That was close," Holgyxxia commented. "He fought harder than I expected. A couple more minutes he would have died before the possession was complete. Who would have thought that word of his father would evoke such strength in him. It was like fighting a Great Adept." Byr raised an eyebrow. "That strong, my Lord? Well it seems there is much about the humans we have yet to learn." "Indeed, there is." came the dry reply.

"But for now, I have good news to bring to that fool Edrion of Ortezel." Skenda smiled. A cruel smile that held no warmth. "Await my signal, you know what to do." Byr nodded. "And these two?" He gestured at the bodies. "Send them to the necromancers or raise them yourself, they'll serve in the army."

Striding down the chamber, the great doors swung open of their own accord to reveal the members of his delegation waiting patiently. To the casual observer, they would appear identical to those who had entered the city and would indeed behave similarly. "Great One!" the demons bowed reverently. "It's your Highness in this form and let none forget it." Skenda corrected. "Yes, your Highness." they chorused.

"Come! We ride for Ortezel. Edrion misses his son." Skenda laughed and turning, he strode off, the delegation hurrying after him.

The End.

Author's note: My darkest and certainly longest short story to date. Originally titled as Betrayal, the title Darkness Rising was deemed more apt and the story conceived, as was the case with The Interview, on one of the occasions I was afflicted with Acute Boredom. I might return with a sequel, a pity to let it end hanging but it all depends whether I feel like it. After all this blogging stuff is all about what you feel like talking about,when.

While certainly not everyone's cup of tea, if you read this with the expectation of a happy ending with the gallant knight in shining armour emerging victorious, you've come to the wrong blog. The title should be warning enough already. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Statcounter is a little gem. Other than the usual provision of code that shows the plethora of numbers and hits on the webpage, I only realised recently that it provided a whole lot more information about visitors than simple page hits. Stuff like the visitors' countries, IP addresses, visit lengths, even keyword activities are readily accessible with a few clicks. Which can be really scary I guess just how much information (even if not personal) one can leave behind just by surfing the web. Still statcounter does provide some entertainment value in between the bouts of studying and surfing.

I've realised that search engines seem to direct queries about a certain subject/keyword to blog entries that happen to have/ mention such phrases. Which can be incredibly useful to the querier sometimes when you hit jackpot at exactly what you've been looking for. Most of the time though, it usually ends up a huge disappointment or something totally irrelevant. Which also means that if you're evil and bored enough to put things like HOT SEX and NAKED CHICKS with HUNG STUDS and BIG T#Ts into your entry and sprinkle these terms liberally throughout, you'll theoretically speaking, get a larger number of page hits from horny porn seekers only to be rudely disappointed. Add FREE PICS and you have yourself a winner. Lol.

So it isn't really surprising that the majority of keywords center around 'Yaoi Scanlations' and other assorted anime and song titles I've mentioned in this blog. Panorama by Masaaki Fujioka seems to be really popular, not that I'm surprised though, it's one hell of a nice song, I've placed it on number 5 of this blog's Playlist. Some of the keywords/queries that got directed over by google are really weird though. Like the one from Italy which had the query "Mixed Vegetables with Manga sauce." Which is seriously mind boogling. Mixed vegetables served with shredded Japanese comics (Manga) pulpified to form some kind of sauce (?) is not something you'll find in any cookbook/recipe anywhere soon.

But the prize probably has to go to the very very disturbed person in Denmark who got directed here after typing in a query for CASTRATED PICS. I have no idea what kind of allure there is in beholding bloody images of removed penises but there you go, you get all types. And no I never mentioned a single word of castration in this entire blog, certainly not castrated pics. Though ironically google directed that sad sod to an entry with a very white-pasty faced photo of the Sister who had put on too much make-up (as usual), where I commented that her white face would have done a Geisha proud. How that translates to Castrated pics, I have no idea. Google was probably working overtime just to come up with something.

On to happier stuff, my all time favourite Yaoi series from Yamada Yugi, Saigo no Door wo Shimero! (Close the last Door- volume 1 licensed and released in USA by June Manga), has finally been animated and Act 1 has been released!!!

As usual the chinese subbers are insanely fast at subbing and have the chinese sub version out just a week after the Japanese one was released. The Chinese subbed version can be found at darklightshine's LJ over here. If you can't understand Chinese, you'll just have to wait to see if Aarinfantasy picks it up. Though if you have the English version of the manga (which is available in the US and worldwide), following the short anime won't be a problem since it's based off Book 1.
Scanlations for the yaoi manga Into your Heart through the Door, the second book in the series, just after Close the Last Door volume 1 and before Close the Last Door volume 2 may be found at Eastern Blue.

And to end off a relatively eventful day both online as well as off, I finally managed to get hold of the mp3 version of 千里之外 sung by Jay Chou and Fei Yu Ching. Which means that it is now uploaded on the Playlist and the first song (for now) is not Calvin Klein by Byl or whatever the player shows (the player can't recognize non-english characters) but is, yes you guess it, 千里之外. You might not be able to understand the chinese lyrics but don't bother really, it's the tune that moves me more anyway. Especially when that old evergreen Fei Yu Ching sings, even though I'm not a fan of any of his other songs, that man has a mellifluous voice.

In other news, I'll be offline for two days. The granny's place doesn't have wireless and some self-imposed studying is very much needed. Plus I'll be well-fed there. Yum. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pleased as Punch.

Well alright, despite supposed to be having spent the whole day studying for the upcoming Finals just a week away. I ended up spending the larger part of the day tinkering with the blog, switching the background (cause someone said it was way too distracting ^^) and more importantly after hours of finding a suitable host site, I spent the rest of the evening/night fooling around with three playlist sites before finally settling with Project Playlist.

I wasn't that bored, just that Project Playlist was down for quite a while due to maintainence and after an hour of tinkering with MYsplayer I realised to my horror that the dumb thing doesn't recognise MP3 files... only mp3 files. And re-editing and uploading the files into Archive again was too much of a hassle not to mention time consuming.

WebJay looked really promising, unlike the other two, Window Media Files could be uploaded too and the editing/linking interface was pretty user-friendly. The end product however was really buggy, firstly .wma files can't be played with the embedded sfx player and secondly for some archaic reason, the code/play list would work fine sometimes (ie: load and play properly) when pasted into the Blogger interface but other times it'd just get stuck and never play. By that time, Project Playlist was up and a test run of the code/player thankfully worked without a glitch, plus the colour customization was a welcome change... after hours of uploading and slogging through the different players, I wasn't really in the mood for mix and matching a suitable colour template. Tweaking the width and height of the player though was still necessary but easy. All those hours spent previously tweaking the blog width paid off after all.

My only gripe I have I guess is why the hell don't they have an embedded player that plays .wma?? There's this song by Jay Chou and Fei Yu Ching that I really like (now) called 千里之外, but the bloody thing's in .wma format and I can't convert it to mp3 no matter what I use. I suspect it's encrypted. If anyone has 千里之外 in MP3 format, do let me know!!! As for hosting files, I recommend Archive, which might be a real pain to start with (just remember no spaces between different words allowed, use _ to bridge the gaps and NO special characters,', etc), I spent a good 35 mins wondering why the hell I couldn't upload into the ftp before I realised just how restrictive the naming rules were. ><.

But other than that, it's a public site, a self-proclaimed Internet library with access to all sorts of info yada yada, still a good site, just make sure you watch what you upload. I know to most of you this is already probably child's play and you're going 'WTF!!? This twerp doesn't even know this?' Well yes I'm sorry I didn't and just as recently as January when I first started this blog on a whim, the whole HTML code thing was still technical jargon to me. So just indulge me this much eh. I might have started out really late, considering my age too (shame, lol) but it's always better late than never!

Now to start studying... really. Before I flunk or start panicking on Friday or something. I'll still try to finish Darkness Rising during one of the numerous bouts of boredom I foresee afflicting me throughout this week.