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Nine Lunar Cycles of A Youth's Tireless Toil Ends

In an abode of industry, a youthful figure diligently plied the keys of an apparatus, casting intermittent glances at the chronometer then redirecting his gaze to the illuminated screen, resolutely continuing his labor. For an extended span, he had inhabited this domain. When the cloak of night descended at the ninth hour, the young man retraced his steps homeward to a modest dwelling, observing it pensively, murmuring softly, "At last, the cessation of labor. Time hath traversed significantly—approximately nine lunar cycles, if my calculation holds true."

In the sanctum of industry, a young soul diligently plied the levers of a contraption, stealing fleeting glances at the timepiece before fixing his gaze upon the luminous screen, steadfast in his duties. For an enduring span, he inhabited this realm. As the cloak of night fell upon the ninth hour, the young man retraced his path homeward, towards a modest dwelling, contemplating it gravely, murmuring softly, "At length, respite from toil. Time has journeyed notably—nearly nine lunar cycles, if my estimation holds true."

Surveying his surroundings, he acknowledged this domain yet remained unaware of its precise nature. Nine lunar cycles had passed, yet the fate of his kin—parents and a younger sibling—remained shrouded beyond the distant horizon. Mio lamented, "Ah, might a return to them be within my grasp?"

During these cycles, sporadic were his ventures into the sacred confines of the system's training ground, seeking enhancement for his physical form. Despite the ordeals, Mio did not shun these physical trials.

Glancing at the calendar, he pondered, "On the morrow, the seventh day dawns, offering reprieve. A fitting time to revisit the training grounds anon. Therein lies the quest to fathom the realm of this Kamen Rider."

Fatigue weighed upon him, and he succumbed to slumber upon the bedstead. At dawn, Mio awoke invigorated, hastening through his preparations, nourishing himself, and setting forth towards the training ground.

After sixty intervals, he emerged, bearing bruises upon his physical frame, his stride faltering. Providentially, the system's healing enchantment swiftly mended him. The vestiges of injury vanished, and Mio continued upon his path.

Gazing upon the vast expanse, he contemplated deeply, "Which realm does this encompass? Shall unveiling accompany the pursuit of this quest?"

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Many people don't believe that everything is connected. It's strange. They believe in magnets, in electromagnetic waves, in quantum action at a distance. They believe that the force of gravity makes the Earth revolve around the Sun, and yet they do not believe that the same forces can influence the smaller details of our fate. They believe that it is all up to them. That they have free will. They say that Jupiter can gently pull the Sun, yet it cannot move our infinitely smaller souls.

A paradox.

The stars are difficult to read, for sure. The horoscopes in the newspaper are wishy-washy nonsense written by lowly paid interns who do not have an inkling of physics or differential equations—you would not expect someone to be able to predict the weather without a doctorate and a powerful computer, would you? This is no different.

As a mathemastrologer, I can see the strings with which the cosmic puppeteers ordain our every move. I can follow their course, untangle their knots. This is how I have been able to read my own future for the past ten years. I knew prior to conception that I would become pregnant, and that it would be a boy. I saw my mother's death in the conjunction of Saturn and Venus, right before a car accident plucked her out of the numbers of the living.

One month ago, I read the death of my six year old son in the firmament.

As unwavering as it used to be, my faith was shaken.

In astrology, but I suppose this is true of other disciplines, you get attached to the objects of your work. You come to love the intricate play of the planets with your own fate, the way that your mood ebbs in sync with Neptune's tempests or gets lifted by the tides. I was married to the cosmos—but that day, the idyll was shattered. The cosmos had betrayed my trust. It had been difficult to accept my mother's death, to see it coming without interfering, but I had told myself that this moment comes for everyone. This, though, I could not abide. It was too cruel. Dear little Patrick, the star around which my life revolved, could not be extinguished, not now, not ever. I would rather do without the rest of the universe.

I started to believe in free will. Not out of logic, but out of necessity. There had to be a way to save him.

I poured myself in calculations, poured my life savings into computing power, sat night and day at my desk to find out precisely how and when Patrick would die. “He will drown in the pool,” the stars said. Very well—I drained the pool. But fighting fate was like trying to contain water within a sieve: if you plugged one hole, the water would simply drip from another. Still, I thought, there was a finite number of them: could I not plug allholes? I had to be strong, clever, steady, relentless, exhaustive. How was Patrick going to die, now that the pool was empty? Drown in the bathtub? I locked the bathroom. Drown in a friend's pool? Let's not go to their place, then. Drown in the lake? Let's not go to the lake. Soon enough, there remained no possibility of drowning.

The firmament still wanted Patrick's soul to rise up into its clutches, though. Fall down the stairs? I confined him to the first floor. Choke on food? I blended it into puree. The star map became more and more erratic in its dogged attempts to murder my child, threatening anything from an exploding oven (let's not cook) to plague rats (they cannot bite through five inches of padding). The signs became more and more numerous, culminating into a singularity at midnight when the dangers would number into the millions. After that, I could not tell, but I was determined to find out. I would fight off an infinite number of threats for Patrick's sake. At midnight, he would be alive and I would have asserted my free will, in defiance of the cosmos.

Six hours before midnight, someone banged at my door, insistently. I tried my best to ignore it, but I saw it was my colleague Olaf, the most brilliant mathemastrologer I knew, and a small part of my mind wanted to hear him out. I opened up a sliver.

“What is it?”

“Sonia,” he said, wringing his hands nervously, “whatever you are doing, please stop.”

“Stop what?”

“Stop, uh… You cannot save him. It is Written.”

“No,” I sneered. “I am his mother. Do not tell me what I can or cannot do.”

I stared him down. Blessedly, the stars foresaw no harm would come to me, which meant that he could not force his way in or do anything rash to stop me, lest he violated the celestial plan to the same degree that I was going to. I felt like a chess Grandmaster.

“Please, Sonia, please,” he pleaded, literally falling to his knees as he did so. “You have no ideawhat forces you are meddling with.”

I knew exactly what forces I was meddling with. I was meddling with the Sun (330,000 Earths), with Saturn (95 Earths), with Jupiter (318 Earths). If their combined masses couldn't stop me, that was their problem, not mine. I did what I had to do: I slammed the door in his face.

“Free will exists, Olaf,” I yelled through the wood for his edification, “and I will prove it.”


The Silent Witnesses

【Handsome straight cop/Mixed-race metrosexual forensic pathologist】

They are working together to solve a series of strange cases!

Every serious case tells a story of life and death, laughter and tears,

all awaiting your investigation...

Free Web Version - Quick Links to Split Volumes

🔗【VOL. 1 Top Secret】A pregnant prostitute is found dead in a sub-divided unit of Room 7C of Choi Fung Building. Why are there so many suspects?

🔗【VOL. 2 Twelve Old Men】Twelve old men living alone in the Eastern District commit suicide with a smile on their faces, but the forensic pathologist cannot find anything suspicious in their autopsies.

🔗【VOL. 3 A False Step】Five missing people die on the same day, all showing signs of frostbite. But early spring in Heticity is not that cold!

🔗【VOL. 4 Criminal Minds】The clinical psychologist in the police force seems to have a secret...

🔗【VOL. 5 Bog Body】A rare bog body is found in an old well, marking an important discovery of a mysterious case.

🔗【VOL. 6 The Silent Outcry】An internet celebrity died of throat slit in a hotel. The Serious Crimes Unit solves the case swiftly, but somehow there is something fishy about it.

🔗【VOL. 7 Buried Bones】Thirty years ago, there was not enough evidence to prosecute the suspect for murdering his pregnant wife. Is there any hope of solving the case now?

🔗【VOL. 8 The Goddess of Vengeance】Extra! A rare late autumn typhoon attacked Heticity together with a killer posing as the judge and the "Goddess of Vengeance".

🔗【VOL. 9 The Rainy Night Butcher】The door to the sealed memories gradually opens in a rainy night.

🔗【VOL. 10 Going "Potty"】A series of cases occur, all seemingly related to an odd work of art.

🔗【VOL. 11 The Phantom Rapist】A rapist escapes from a lift leaving no trace. Can he be brought to justice by forensic science?

🔗【VOL. 12 Broken But Fearless】The G.O.A.T. of "Kingdom of Fantasy" vanishes just before his final match before retirement. All that is left is a bloody, broken hand.

🔗【VOL. 13 The Shattered Corpses】The dismembered bodies of an old couple comes as a great shock. Yet it cannot be ascertained which suspect is responsible for the murder.

🔗【VOL. 14 A Lifelong Conviction】Broken body parts from different deceased bodies are sewn up as one. Lying behind are the dark secrets waiting to be spoken out by those silent witnesses.

* Translated from Chinese. For the work in the original language, please visit https://www.penana.com/story/91119/.

* Explore more in The Art of The Silent Witnesses (including fan arts)(Chinese version)

* Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events or persons is entirely coincidental. Please do not commit crimes or imitate any dangerous acts in the story.

* If you like this piece of work, don't forget to comment, like and share!

Update every Sunday at 23:00 (UTC +8)

Affordable swimming pool layouts and designs: Budget-Friendly Design Ideas

In today's article, we explore affordable swimming pool layouts and designs, focusing on budget-friendly ideas that blend functionality, aesthetics, and cost-effectiveness.

Choosing the Right Pool Type

When considering an affordable swimming pool, it's crucial to choose a design that suits both your budget and your space. Options such as above-ground pools or compact inground designs can significantly reduce costs compared to larger, more elaborate installations.

Materials and Construction

Choosing the right materials is critical in keeping costs down while maintaining quality. Materials such as vinyl or fiberglass for pool liners, and concrete or compacted gravel for bases, offer durability without the high price tag of luxury materials like tile or natural stone.

Energy Efficiency Considerations

Incorporating energy-efficient features can significantly reduce long-term operational costs. Options such as solar covers, LED lighting, and variable-speed pumps not only save money on utilities but also align with sustainable practices.

Landscaping and Aesthetic Enhancements

Enhancing the surroundings of your pool area can add value and aesthetic appeal without breaking the bank. Simple landscaping with native plants, strategic lighting, and minimalistic furniture arrangements create a serene ambiance while keeping costs manageable.

Maintenance Tips for Longevity

Proper maintenance is crucial for prolonging the lifespan of your pool and minimizing repair costs. Regular cleaning, pH monitoring, and timely equipment inspections prevent costly issues down the line, ensuring your investment remains affordable over time.


In conclusion, designing an affordable swimming pool involves strategic choices in layout, materials, energy efficiency, and maintenance. By focusing on cost-effective solutions without compromising quality or aesthetics, you can create a functional and attractive pool space that enhances your home while staying within budget.

This comprehensive guide provides actionable insights into creating affordable swimming pool layouts and designs that balance cost-effectiveness with quality and aesthetics. For more detailed consultations and personalized advice tailored to your specific needs, feel free to reach out to our team.

Go to Check - https://pacificpools.co.nz/


Welcome to BERIES-5 MYSTERY!


Get ready to be swept up in a web of intrigue, suspense, and captivating puzzles waiting to be solved. These tantalizing stories will have you turning pages with bated breath, your mind racing to uncover the truth alongside the sharp-witted protagonists. Don't be surprised if you find yourself piecing together clues, analyzing subtle details, and formulating theories as you delve deeper into the enigmatic cases at hand. Prepare to be captivated by these suspenseful tales that challenge your powers of deduction and keep you guessing until the very end.


Why is it called BERIES-5?

BERIES-5 is short for BEARly's mini series. This is the first series that I've had the pleasure of posting, featuring a captivating blend of genres for your reading enjoyment. The number 5 stands out, as each story consists of 5 captivating chapters


(Stay tuned -> Jul 30, 2024).

Coming soon...