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Literature / Reasoning

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Reasoning is an ongoing horror web novel written by Tyk 5919.

While uncovering information behind a recent hitman's incarceration, Beverly Nokken finds herself being hunted by an associate of a mafia organization. It isn't until after she confronts her pursuer that she realizes the hunter isn't exactly human. Shortly afterwards, Beverly finds herself encountering otherworldly creations and struggling to comprehend if the creatures she's seeing are real, or if she's simply losing her mind.


Due to the massive plot twists that occur early on in the story, there are various unmarked spoilers below.

Reasoning provides examples of:

  • Action Survivor: Beverly is just a normal reporter who knows how to use a gun, not someone with special powers or some kind of former soldier. But she's very Genre Savvy, and smart enough to know when to run, hide, or fight depending on the circumstances.
  • All Just a Dream: Implied. It's yet to be proven whether or not Beverly is stuck inside of a nightmare; even she keeps thinking she's dreaming. It doesn't help that she starts seeing the strange creatures she stumbles upon after being deprived of sleep for thirty-six hours and passing out late at night.
  • Ambiguously Evil:
    • The Architect. It's implied that he's behind the strange happenings going on, but he's nowhere near as bad as the Venator, and he shows no malicious intent towards Beverly when he first meets her. Chapter 7 muddles things even further, as it's revealed that the Architect manipulated Beverly into getting herself and her companions trapped in Aevum for unknown reasons.
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    • EYE is a similar case, as it appears in Beverly's dream claiming that the Architect is evil and that it can help Beverly, but it refuses to explain what is happening, why it's happening, or how it can help Bev. Whether or not it was being genuine or trying to manipulate Beverly into a trap is uncertain. Chapter 11 finally makes it clear that no, EYE is not benevolent, and it is trying to destroy all of humanity.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The Venator bites off Leon's arm towards the end of chapter 5.
  • Anti-Climax: Chapter 10 features the four protagonists venturing into a series of tunnels filled with ravenous creatures known as mansergos. Nothing happens to them. Turns out that most of the mansergos either starved to death or are so malnourished that they can't even so much as bite them.
  • Ass Shove: Subverted. Leon tries to kill the Venator by shoving an arrow up his ass. Beverly convinces him not to after suspecting the Venator was trying to fart or defecate in his face.
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  • Badass Bystander: Leon Grimewall is a Crazy-Prepared stranger living deep in the woods. He happens to be just as Genre Savvy as Beverly, and is a highly-skilled archer who subdues the Venator in seconds in chapter 4.
  • Belly Mouth: Chapter 5 reveals that the Venator secretly has one.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: Chapter 7 reveals that the monsters all come from a realm known as Aevum and were being transported to Earth for some unknown reason. This is all revealed after Beverly and her allies get stuck in said realm with no idea how to get back, and with strong implication that they're going to encounter more monsters and deities like the Architect.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Chapter 12 reveals that Macy has been suffering from loneliness and spends most of her free time in bars late at night waiting for someone to notice her for who she is, not what she is.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Almost all of chapter 12 focuses solely on Macy's backstory and her "interactions" with the Dungeon Keeper.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Subverted in chapter 11. The Mad Rabbit chooses Beverly to be a sacrifice and promptly slices an artery in her arm, seemingly killing her after she spent the whole story being the main lead. It's later revealed that he closed the wound while she was unconscious and saved her, albeit not without draining a lot of her blood first.
  • Despair Event Horizon: All the protagonists reach this point in chapter 7, after getting trapped in Aevum and failing to save anyone from being killed during a monster invasion in a local town.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: Averted in chapter 12. The Dungeon Keeper invaded Macy's mind, erases her memory, and replaces fragments of her past with fabricated moments where the two of them had sex. When the protagonists find out what the Dungeon Keeper did, all of them are disgusted at him—especially when the Dungeon Keeper tries to downplay what he did by saying he didn't physically rape Macy, and therefore what he did was okay.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Almost every single creature and character in Aevum is trying to kill Beverly and her companions. The Venator, eyeless monsters, man-eating monsters, carnivores plants—even the trees are implied to be dangerous in chapter 10.
  • Evil Smells Bad:
    • The Venator can be smelled before he's seen. It's noted that he always smells like carrion, or that he's been sleeping in a landfill.
    • The Dungeon Keeper also smells horrid. Lentip, a plant who has no nose, figures out that he's infiltrated the Mad Rabbit's garden just by detecting a dreaded stink in the air.
  • Exact Words: When the protagonists confront the Dungeon Keeper in chapter 12, he tells them all that he never raped Macy, and all of their sexual encounters were consensual. Technically, this isn't a lie. But he disregards brainwashing Macy, erasing some of her memory, and planting false memories of the two of them having sex with each other, which is more or less Mind Rape.
  • Expressive Skull: The Architect is capable of shifting his brows and grinning, despite his head being nothing but a skull.
  • Extra Eyes:
    • The Venator has six eyes in his head instead of two.
    • Exaggerated with EYE, who is essentially a man-sized humanoid entity composed of thousands of eyeballs.
  • Eye Scream: In chapter 4, the Venator gets shot in two of his eyes with Leon's bow and arrows.
  • Eyeless Face: Several creatures from Aevum have no eyes, or have eye sockets but no eyeballs.
    • The Larrxox is a massive lamprey-like beast that only has a mouth on its face.
    • The Gorge is a Blob Monster with empty eye sockets in its head.
    • The mansergos are dog-headed creatures with no ears or eyes.
  • Fan Disservice: Chapter 12 has a scene featuring Macy and the Dungeon Keeper stripping as they prepare to have sex. Which would be enticing if the Dungeon Keeper was not a skeletal, reptilian, Humanoid Abomination getting nude in front of a human being.
  • First-Episode Twist: The end of the first chapter reveals that the "man" chasing after Beverly isn't even human. And he's seemingly indestructible.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • There are some hints leading to the revelation that Beverly was on Earth all along.
      • The motel Bev fell asleep in did not change in the slightest. The only change in her scenery was the Venator's presence—which makes sense once it's revealed that he was sent to Earth from Aevum.
      • None of the scenery has changed. The woods look the same, the sky, the plants, everything. Beverly even comes across some animals that look like perfectly normal squirrels and rabbits.
      • When Beverly runs into Leon, he tells her that he's lived in his cabin for over two years and nothing about it changed overnight. He even tells Beverly that transporting an entire forest into another dimension where everything conveniently looks exactly the same makes no sense whatsoever.
      • In chapter 6, the Architect says he comes from the realm of Aevum. He never said he comes from here, because at the time, he was still on Earth.
    • Mason's homosexuality was hinted at multiple times by Grant. He repeatedly called him "Big Bear" (a nickname for brawny gay men) and lewdly asked him if he was gonna stick a "long, thick barrel into his mouth and let it blow him," implying fellatio.
  • Forgot to Feed the Monster: No matter how big and scary monsters are, they still require food to live and build up energy. None of the mansergos from chapter 10 are strong enough to attack the protagonists because almost all of them have been deprived of food for so long.
  • Genre Shift: The story starts off as your typical slasher story, albeit with some Lovecraftian elements splashed in here and there. In chapter 7, however, the story turns into full-on cosmic horror, with the heroes witnessing several Eldritch Abominations sack a town moments before they're trapped in a dark, unknown world with little hope of returning home.
  • Heroic BSoD: At the end of chapter 7, Beverly and her companions just sit or lie on the ground in silence after freaking out the moment they realized they were no longer on Earth, and that the Architect tricked them all into getting trapped in Aevum.
  • Home of Monsters: Aevum is a realm filled with all sorts of monstrous creatures, many of whom are animalistic, eyeless, or simply eldritch.
  • Hopeless War: It is not possible for four regular human beings with a couple shotguns and pistols to stop a monster invasion in a local town, especially when many of the monsters are impervious to bullets and/or have Regenerating Health.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Chapter 1 ends with Beverly running over the mysterious assailant, and shooting him multiple times, seemingly ending right then and there. Then she finds out he has Regenerating Health...
    • Chapter 4 ends with Beverly meeting a Badass Bystander who subdues the Venator in seconds, and they take proper precautions to ensure the Venator will be killed. Then the Venator manages to subdue Beverly and bites off Leon's arm with a hidden Belly Mouth, and escapes shortly afterwards.
    • Chapter 7 ends with Beverly and her companions finally escaping the monster by going through a portal back to Earth. Then it's revealed that they were on Earth the whole time, and they went into a whole new dimension and are stuck there indefinitely.
  • Killed Offscreen: Chapter 7 confirms that the Venator killed Leon and took his machete as a trophy.
  • Made of Iron: The Venator. He's been shot in the head, run over by a car, got struck with arrows, set on fire, and impaled in the head with a machete repeatedly. He's still alive and well.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Nearly all of the flowers and plants in the Mad Rabbit's garden are sentient, carnivores creatures. Most notably, there's Lentip, a giant plant that seemingly resembles Petey Piranha and considers humans to be compost for him to feast on.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": In chapter 7, all the protagonists have a justified Freak Out once they realize they inadvertently left planet Earth and were warped to Aevum, the realm where all the monsters are coming from.
  • Meaningful Name: "Venator" is Latin for "hunter." The Venator spends most of his time hunting human beings for sport.
  • Mercy Kill: Solphoros offers this to Beverly and her companions in chapter 10, telling them that being devoured by him and slowly digesting in his stomach acids is a far better demise than what Aevum has to offer. They all point out how ridiculous this sounds and that Solphoros is just being selfish and greedy.
  • Mind Rape: In chapter 12, the Dungeon Keeper kidnaps Macy and erases her memory before planting false ones in her mind. He even warps Macy's mind so she's convinced that they fell in love in the past and had consensual sex, despite it never happening.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The Larrxox has several rings of teeth in its mouth in a similar manner to a lamprey.
  • No Biological Sex: Some of the deities from Aevum, like the Architect and EYE, are agender. In the former's case, he prefers to be identified as male.
  • Never My Fault: The Venator wants to kill Beverly because she ran him over with her car and shot him multiple times. He refuses to acknowledge that she only did this in self-defense.
  • Regenerating Health: Chapter 4 reveals that the Venator's body can naturally heal its wounds in a matter of seconds.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Leon Grimewall. He is by far one of the most Genre Savvy characters in the story and is more than prepared to defend himself from the monster invasion. His death makes it clear that being genre savvy does not matter in the slightest and that the monsters can still kill the characters using unconventional means.
  • Skull for a Head: The Architect has a seemingly-human body, but his head is just a skull with two horns on it.
  • Straight Gay: Chapter 11 reveals that Mason is homosexual while he's explaining why he became a police officer to Beverly. Besides a few comments from Grant, this is not once hinted at, and Mason never even talked about previous boyfriends or desires to have sex with other men.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Chapter 12 ends with the Dungeon Keeper spawning two giant monsters to attack and kill all of the protagonists, with Sheriff Mason realizing they don't have enough ammo to defend themselves.
  • To Serve Man: EYE's ultimate goal. It wants to feed all of humanity to the denizens of Aevum so they won't starve to death or resort to cannibalism like the mansergos shown in chapter 10 did.
  • Toilet Humour: Defied. When Leon tries to shove an arrow up the Venator's rectum, Beverly tells him not to do it, because she suspects the Venator will use the opportunity to fart or shit in Leon's face.
  • Up Close with the Monster: Beverly is caught by the Venator in chapter 3, but he doesn't kill her. Instead, he takes the time to sniff her and lick her face.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 7 shifts the story into a whole new direction. Beverly and her allies Mason, Macy, and Grant all escape the Gorge and the Venator, only to come across more monsters massacring the entire town. After failing to save anyone, they all head for the portal and successfully get through...only to find out that the Architect tricked them into entering the realm of Aevum, the monsters' origin world. The chapter ends with everyone trapped in Aevum with no idea how to return back home.
    • Chapter 11 answers several questions while also providing a plethora of new ones. The Mad Rabbit chooses Beverly to be the sacrifice needed to open the portal, and he seemingly kills her. While dreaming, Beverly discovers that EYE plans on exterminating all of humanity so that all the creatures in Aevum won't starve to death, and it nearly kills Beverly while she's unconscious. After waking up, she and Mason find out that the Mad Rabbit (along with Erihsehc and the Architect) are trying to free Hryzilli, a Satanic Archtype for Aevum. Just as the two of them start questioning the Mad Rabbit, a seemingly powerful monster known as the Dungeon Keeper abducts Macy while she's sleeping and traps her within a dark void.
  • Wham Line:
    • This line towards the end of Chapter 7 makes it very clear that the protagonists are not on Earth anymore, and their journey has only just begun.
    Macy: "Why are there three moons?"
    • The final line at the end of Chapter 10 gives the protagonists a bit of hope, but it comes with a huge price.
    Beverly: "So what details did Erihsehc leave out? You said this leads to a portal; what’s the problem?"
    Mad Rabbit: "The portal can’t be opened without a human sacrifice."
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It's yet to be determined what state the story takes place in.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Chapter 10 reveals that the mansergos are deadly carnivores that attack in swarms and have serrated claws and teeth. Despite this, none of them pose a threat to Beverly and her companions, since most of them either starved to death or resorted to cannibalism.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Venator isn't above killing children. Bev is horrified when she finds two children's corpses in a tent, and the Venator doesn't even try to deny that he killed them when she confronts him about it.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • Beverly does everything you'd expect a smart protagonist from a slasher film to do. She calls the cops the first sign of trouble, carries a handgun, tries to subdue or kill her attackers, and flees when she knows she can't kill her attackers. None of this helps her in the slightest, because all the creatures trying to kill her don't abide to conventional horror tropes at all.
    • Sheriff Mason is no different. When he sees people in trouble, he instinctively tries to save them all without putting other people's lives in danger. This kind of logic means nothing in chapter 7 when he tries to stop a monster invasion using nothing but a few mundane weapons.
  • You Dirty Rat!: The Venator is a humanoid, six-eyed rat creature. He's also a recurring antagonist who enjoys hunting humans to satisfy his hunger and senseless sadism.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: When Leon and Beverly try to kill the Venator by poisoning him with bleach, they both recoil the second they open his mouth, and Leon mentions that a crocodile has fresher breath than him.
  • You Taste Delicious: The Venator licks Beverly's face very slowly in chapter 3 after he corners her in the woods.