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Magic Kingdom at War

Magic Kingdom at War Volume 1

Magic Kingdom at War Volume 1

Written by: Tao Wong
Narrated by: Neil Hellegers
Audiobook Length: 2 hours and 52 minutes
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Read an Excerpt of Magic Kingdom at War Volume 1

=Chapter 1=

Being called into Kyran’s office first thing in the morning was never a good thing. That he had left a message at reception for Matt Fang to come by the moment he arrived for work – five minutes before nine as always – boded ill.
Six months and twenty-three days. Well past his probationary period, at least. Which was a better showing than his last job by a good five months. He’d been careful to leave that job out of his resume. Not that it helped a lot.
Arriving at the partially closed door, Matt rapped on it. A quick scan of the office behind him showed half the desks in the open-plan office filled. Everyone else had arrived early as usual. Mary, mousy Mary with her frizzy brown hair and big brown eyes, ducked her head as he caught her looking, refusing to meet his eyes.
“Come in.”
Matt wiped the smirk off his face, made sure he looked serious, and pushed the door open. Kyran within was glowering at the monitor, not even bothering to look up as Matt walked in. He didn’t bother sitting, figuring it wasn’t worth the energy. Of course, his boss with his carefully tended trendy fade of a haircut didn’t bother looking for long minutes.
Childish power plays, but then again, the boy was a child.
“You left early yesterday.” Kyran swung his office chair straight, facing the man squarely. “Again.”
“I left at five-oh-five,” Matt said, not rising to the bait.
“The Rushman project was not finished.”
“There’s about two hours of work left on it, yes,” Matt replied. “I was intending to finish it this morning.”
“Don’t bother. I gave it to Mary. She got it done, yesterday.”
Silence stretched between the two as Matt just waited patiently for what he knew was about to come. He’d done this dance often enough.
“We’ve discussed the requirements of your job before,” Kyran said, leaning forwards and steepling his fingers. He tried to look stern, but it mostly made him look constipated to Matt. “And how your dedication to the company is lacking, especially compared to your peers. Now, an important project was nearly not done on time.”
“I informed you about the problems with the project two weeks ago, how the client has not provided answers to pertinent questions. I’d already alerted them about the potential extension of the deadline if we did not receive answers promptly and when it arrived late, I again informed them about the delay,” Matt said, shrugging a little. “It’s not like everyone involved didn’t know what would happen.”
“Our job is to make our clients happy!”
“If you wanted the work finished on the original deadline, you should have assigned someone else to help me, as I’d asked.”
“Are you saying I am in the wrong?”
Matt chose not to answer that. It was rather obvious after all and there was a slim margin he was not about to get fired.
Very slim.
Silence again, drawn out. After a moment, Kyran cleared his throat. “The Jacobs’ file. I’d like you to go over it and get me a summary by tomorrow morning. They’re looking to divest some of their poorer performing investments and reinvest in a few new ventures.”
“The whole file?” Matt asked carefully. The Jacobs had been working with the firm, making use of their financial service advice, for nearly two decades now. They had over fifty million dollars in holdings, spread out across a variety of industries and companies. There were dozens of contracts and investments to review, from private companies to public shareholdings, ETFs, real estate investments, forex reserves and bonds, and more.
“Of course.”
“Who else is on it?”
“No one.”
“It won’t be done by then,” Matt replied firmly. “It just isn’t possible. Not if you want a proper review.”
“I’m sure it can be, if you’re dedicated enough.”
“Are you paying overtime then?” Matt said archly.
“You’re a salaried employee.”
“That a no?”
Kyran let out a long, dramatic sigh. “You know, my father thought you’d be a good fit. He insisted that I give you one last chance, says you’ve got a great mind on you. Said that the work you do, it’s world class. But all I see is a lazy man whose actions are driving a wedge into my company, destroying morale. I won’t have it.”
“I don’t work for free, and I won’t work unpaid overtime. It’s not my responsibility to manage the schedules and workload. Just the clients and their expectations.” Matt shook his head, his smirk making a reappearance. “Which isn’t made easier when you won’t back us up.”
“Your job is to keep them happy!” Kyran slammed a fist on the table as he finished. “Or do you not know how much money they bring in?”
“I do. I also know how much you pay us.” Matt shrugged. “And that you can afford the overtime.”
“You… you…” Kyran pointed at the door. “Get out!”
“Okay.” Matt stepped back, then hesitated. “So, when you said get out, did you mean of the office or the company?”
“You’re fired, you idiot!”
“Figured.” Grinning now, Matt reached up and tugged on the necktie around his neck, loosening it. He then sauntered over to his desk, pulling open the drawer, grabbing the stash of candy bars he had in there, and stuffing them into his pocket. He scanned the table, searching for anything else he had brought in.
Nope. The single, dismal potted plant had been bought by the company. So had the laptop, which they had hinted he bring home and he had refused to do so. No company phone, of course. They’d been too cheap to buy him one. The pens and other stationery were all from the company store.
He’d stopped bothering with bringing in personal effects a while ago. Since the… fourth? job he’d been let go from. Hauling it all around was annoying.
Satisfied he was leaving nothing behind, he sauntered to the exit. The other employees dared not even look at him, their eyes glued to their screens. Even Mary only glanced at him before looking down, shoulders hunched. His smirk grew even more pronounced.
On a whim, he stopped at the exit, near where the receptionist waited. Raising his voice, he made sure to project so that they could all hear him.
“You know, the job market – especially for qualified CPAs – is really tight right now. Why’d you think half the desks are open? No one is really willing to work for these cheapskates.” A crash came from Kyran’s office at his words, muffled cursing arising from within, but Matt ignored it. “Is this what you want? To spend the rest of your lives seated at a desk, making rich men richer?”
Silence from the group. That smirk turned into a sneer as Matt regarded his ex-peers, the beaten and scared faces never turning his way. Exasperated, he threw his hands up and added, “At the least, get paid well for doing this shit!”
As soon as he finished, a red-faced figure poked itself out of the office, a finger leveled at Matt. Kyran was bent over, clutching his leg as he growled, “Get the hell out of my office before I call the cops on you!”
“I’m leaving, I’m leaving.”
“Don’t believe all that bullshit he talked about. You think he knows anything? He’ll find that burning bridges with us is a fool’s game,” Kyran ranted. “A good reference from us…”
Rather than wait for the elevator and listen to the boy’s voice a moment more, Matt headed for the stairs. It was only six floors after all. As the door cut off his ex-employer’s voice, Matt began to whistle a jaunty tune. Losing a job sucked, but it was all the same anyway, wiling away time doing bullshit work till you died. He’d find something soon enough.
In the meantime, it was a brilliant day outside. Maybe sitting by the beach with some ice cream was called for.
His whistling slowed and came to a halt as he skipped down to the third floor. He put a hand to his head, wincing at a growing pressure. His other hand gripped the railing as the pressure and pain increased. Eventually, he found himself on a knee, vision swimming and a message in his head.
Not a vision, just a message that he somehow knew.

To all humans,

The time of trials is before us. We – your gods – have failed to hold the line. Now, a final test must be enacted. But before this test may begin, we require champions. Will you stand between humanity and the chaos that approaches? Know that in doing so, there is no return, no glory, no acclaim. Just the knowledge that what you do matters.

Will you face this challenge?

The pain subsided, only a single locus point of focus left. A thought that he could push one way or the other to offer an answer. Strangely enough, there was a certainty within Matt that this thought, this message, was real. Perhaps it was a side effect of a stroke or seizure. Or perhaps it was because it was real and true and part of the divine message that it was.
He held no doubt this was real.
He wondered how many had chosen no. How many had refused immediately. Who had quailed at the thought, who had chosen to accept the call. Soldiers, firemen, charity workers. He wondered what kind of trial it might be.
And then, as he made his decision, he wondered why he ever hesitated.
After all, what else had he been waiting for, all his life?

Product Details

Release Date:

Pages: 81

Genre: LitRPG Fantasy

eBook ISBN: 9781778552007

Language: English

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About Magic Kingdom at War Volume 1

Dying the first time sucked. Matt's trying to avoid a repeat performance.

For Matt, joining Earth's last line of defense was exactly the purpose he had been seeking. Having to save the world after being reincarnated in a magical realm might be enjoyable, in a soul-crushing responsibility kind of way. 

But trading his office cubicle for the battlefield chaos of a 4x game world wasn't what he had in mind. The world map is made out of hexagrams, the units are semi-sentient and his opponents have a head start. As if that wasn't enough, there's no instruction manual for this nightmare.

Now, Matt’s going to have to figure out how to rule a Magic Kingdom at War… or face annihilation along with the world he once knew.

Magic Kingdom at War is a tactical base-building crunchy LitRPG series by Tao Wong.

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