Work: the hilariously full Stalinist https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/68117/i-ran-away-to-evil-a-litrpg-romcom
The devotion to evil is astounding. I like how even the machine-drawn cover accurately depicts a typically-deformed psychopath. The mutated brain also shows up in mutant physical asymmetries.
Favourite line; "Consent was important." Yes very real-person speak that real people definitely think. And such a flair for prose. Really pulls you into the story. For spice, the past tense form subtly implies it's no longer true; "Only important in fiction or long long ago, far far away." Mask slipped a bit there, kek. Summer court: concealing mutilating intent with surface kindness.
There are 18 reviews for this, all perfect 5-star. Hence, thank you for the incontrovertable proof that the way to get ahead on Royal Road is to pay for reviews.
What would we do if devils didn't constantly tell on themselves?
I assume Mother of Learning is nailed to #1 through in-house manipulation. We can't have the poster child knocked off his throne by the vagaries of hoi polloi, now can we? The other entries are indeed all utter shit in comparison; only one makes for good representation.
This particular author doesn't strike me as amazingly corrupt. It's not impossible he was offered a deal and took it, but if not it means they did it without his knowledge, which would be precious.
Not that they really need manipulation. The startlingly homosexual 'trigger warnings' will do that all by themselves. Anyone with self-respect and without a heavy-duty hazmat suit finds the place intolerable. A clever selection effect.
Best part: paying for reviews doesn't even work very well. They're corrupt, and they're also bad at being corrupt. As per usual: if you're skilled you don't need to risk being corrupt. The latter strategy is distinctly downmarket. Not exactly regal.
All they have to do is add: "Read at own risk." (P.S. Lel, lmao. So cowardly even reading takes them significant courage. The archetypal spindly nerd activity is now a Herculean challenge.)
Mother of Learning, not coincidentally, lacks trigger warnings. Naturally, the warnings are mandatory. It was, briefly, possible to skip them and imply you'd 'forgotten' them or something, but not anymore. Especially if the staff are anything less than completely enthralled by your story. In other words, pay the jizya; "free speech" and "artistic liberties" are punchlines.
Second favorite part of the referenced work: the villains are cartoonishly evil. This is because the author doesn't look good except in comparison to folk so crude they would openly rape babies for fun. If flagrantly betraying your own children isn't normal and common and can only be solved by their superstitions, they don't have a leg to stand on.
I'm reminded of Chris Rock mocking scholars who want brownie points for taking care of their kids. Likewise, who needs to constantly remind themselves to leave place they're not wanted? Think about it. Do you think ninjas are actually taking care of their kids?
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