Volume 1 Afterword.

Greetings, Readers. This is the author, Eric Fretheim, also known as Fushigi. I’ve been enjoying spinning this yarn and I hope you’ve been enjoying reading it.

With this, Volume I is complete. We have finished the initial arcs of this story, and we have firmly set sail on the arc which will constitute the bulk of Volume II. I know I’ve left the place littered with teases and mysteries, but never fear; the point of the volumes that follow is to unravel the tangled mess I, the author, have made out Tiana’s life. It should make for good reading, so stay with me and I’ll make it worth your while.

If you hope for more Tiana-as-teenage-fiancée-and-student, have no fear. That will be much more the focus of volume III. Look forward to it.

You may have noticed that I am dragging one cliché after another into this story as I progress. I usually do not write template stories like this, but this story has a very unique origin.

I have been writing since Middle School, but about ten years ago, my lifelong health problems began to get progressively worse. It reached the point where I could not concentrate to write anymore. I would occasionally improve, write for a week or so, but then I would go right back into too-sick-to-concentrate mode. Eventually, I could do nothing at all in my life except drag myself back and forth to work so I didn’t lose my job.

Things stayed that way for several years, until one day, the doctors noticed that my liver had become sick, and I would die sometime soon. However, there is a solution for that, and late in 2018 (almost Christmas, in fact) I received a transplanted liver.

And as I began recovering, I discovered I could write again. I played around with various unfinished stories for a few days, but then I decided, to get back into the habit of producing, I should just write something from scratch, for the fun of it.

I proceeded to pull together every recent Isekai LN stereotype I could think, started out with the MC getting whacked by Truck-san, per template, then proceeded from there. It was so generic that my original working title for it was simply “Isekai”.

But instead of dropping it as I originally intended and going back to my ‘real’ stories once I got back into the writing habit, I discovered I was enjoying the story I was writing. So I began writing it seriously, and in Mid-March, barely more than two months after I began it, I began posting chapters here on Creative Novels. One decision I made was to not go back and try to un-template the story. In fact, I’m continuing to toss more clichés in as I go, just to stick with the nature of the storytelling. As one example of this, in Volume II, there will be cat girls!

Mind you, I am still working on other stories, but I am keeping up a two chapter per week rate for writing new chapters of Substitute Hero, and thus I am posting at that rate. I intend to continue.

Dear Readers. Scrapers have recently been devasting our views. At this rate, the site (creativenovels .com) might...let's just hope it doesn't come to that. If you are reading on a scraper site. Please don't.

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Q & A session!

I didn’t really have enough readers at time of writing to call for actual questions from the readers. I will do so when I am approaching the end of Volume II. This time, I have simply thought up a few obvious ones and presented their answers.

Q: Is the current Tiana really not Tiana if all Tiana’s old memories are intact? Does it matter that her original soul moved on?

A: I suppose that whether it matters or not depends upon your perception and beliefs about the soul. I won’t get involved in that. But I will say this: The current Tiana is a very different person than the old Tiana, and also a very different person than the late Robert Stewart. And she is still sorting out who and what she  actually is.

Q: Is Tiana Heterosexual, Lesbian or Bisexual?

A: Actually answering that would be a spoiler, because at this point in the story she doesn’t have an answer for this herself, and I’m not going to reveal where she will end up. The old Tiana was Hetero, and so was the old Robert. Tiana believed that her vampiric attraction to girls was just that; vampiric. Humans easily conflate vampirism with sex, but for vampires, it actually is a different thing.

Only allowed on Creativenovels.com

Now as for what is going on in the current Tiana’s mind; it’s mostly ‘I’m not thinking about that right now’. She has moments of attraction to girls when the Robert personality is more in charge, which tend to be immediately countered by the Tiana personality aversion to it.

But this is actually happening in the other direction too. Whenever she recognizes a male as attractive, she automatically thinks of it as ‘how the original Tiana would have viewed it’, which is Robert’s aversion kicking in. For practical purposes, this is leaving her Asexual more than anything.

Q: Why on Earth does Tiana not just say no to the clothes, the engagement, and all the other annoyances? She used to be an adult guy!

A: Let’s get something straight. Being a guy or a girl does not define how much backbone you have. That’s not political correctitude, it is a bona fide fact. If you disagree, I can introduce you to my sister the firefighter (it’s a fact.) And it turns out, Robert was by no means as strong a person as the original Tiana.

As for why either the old Tiana or the current Tiana doesn’t say no to these things, it’s rather easy to explain. Some parts of Tiana’s original personality are very strongly defined: her discipline as a knight, her honor as a noblewoman, and her filial piety as Mother’s daughter. These parts of her personality have come through with strength in the current Tiana. She is simply too well behaved to say no to her mother and too faithful to her knight’s oath to say no to King Owen.

Q: Are you going to see this story through to the end?

A: This is partially dependent on YOU, dear reader. You see, the hosting site where I post this is currently being ransacked by thieves. Specifically, people who steal stories and post them on their own sites. The site cannot maintain its existence unless the readers come here.

Does it matter whether you read it on the original site or somewhere else? Yes it does. Very much so. The author loses out and has no incentive to continue writing. He gets no information on how many people are reading his work on the thief site, and he gets no share of the advertising money that the thieves are making off of you, the reader, when they steal his work. So make sure that you are reading this and other originals hosted by this site on the only site that I am actually posting on, Creative Novels. Although I have a restricted location where a parallel copy of this story is being kept, as long as Creative can stay in business, I will not be putting this online anywhere else. 

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That’s it for Q&A.  If you have a question, feel free to go on Discord and DM me (find me on the Creative Novels server, https://discord.gg/PEnhzKX user name Fushigi#4621) or just go right ahead and write a comment. I do read comments, and sometimes I answer questions, if it doesn’t risk a spoiler.

Next posting will be the first chapter of Volume II, posted on the normally scheduled time on Tuesday. Look forward to it, and to the volumes beyond!

Thanks for Reading!

– Fushigi

- my thoughts:

Custom note? The entire 'chapter' was a custom note! See you in volume II!

Check out my other novel: Tales of the ESDF

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