Chapter 1 – 15 years before

2867 Words
I am driving my company car to work. I overslept, and because I had to skip breakfast, I am feeling hungry, but there’s no time for even a sandwich because of a scheduled meeting with a customer. I find myself in the middle of a lot of traffic while crossing a very large bridge in the city where I work, but that is expected at this hour of the morning. The traffic is slow and, considering that I am the last in line, I am feeling lucky that at least it’s moving. This bridge is very large. There are two lanes going and two lanes coming from the other side. On the right lane, facing the river, there’s a School bus filled with happy, jumping kids. There is one little girl with blonde curly hair and blue eyes looking seriously at me. Strangely, all the other kids are fooling around, but she is just sitting there, looking at me. I try to make her laugh, so I close one eye while putting my tongue out while looking up, but she doesn’t change her expression. Strange... There’s a loud noise coming from the back, the sound of something blowing up. I look in my rear mirror and I can’t believe what I see. A truck in the right lane, with the engine on fire, is on a straight course with the School bus. The traffic in front of me and in the right lane moved. The School bus moves as well. I react. My hands squeezed the steering wheel. My foot presses the pedal. The little girl with blonde curly hair and blue eyes is still looking at me. She got up and screamed at me through the open window of the bus, “Are you going to do something?” As soon as she says that, I press the gas. Turn the wheels to the right, accelerate, change to the right lane, put on the reverse gear, and speed up backwards. Since the truck is not coming at a high speed, I think I will be able to slow it down or, at the best of chances, stop it. Right before my car hit the burning truck, I knew. “s**t, I am going to die...” ... I still feel my body, but have no idea how. “Strange! Nothing hurts. I can’t see anything. I guess I closed my eyes in anticipation of the truck’s impact. Stupid...” I opened my eyes. “Weird. It’s dark around me. I am floating very high above the clouds, I am not falling, can only see a World down there with a strange topography, two moons on my left, a strange disposition of stars above me, and one little girl with blonde curly hair and blue eyes looking seriously at me on my right... Something is wrong. I couldn’t be floating without falling. I was going to be hit by a truck on fire!” Only then do I realise that there’s one little girl with blonde curly hair and blue eyes looking at me. “Hello, little girl. It’s strange to see you here. I think I am dreaming after I got hit by that truck, but at least now I am seeing your pretty smile.” There is no reaction; she is just staring at me. “This is the part where you think I am funny and you smile and say, ‘you’re funny, mister‘, and we both laugh.” Still no reaction. “I hope that you and all the kids on that School bus are okay. If not, I am feeling kind of stupid for that stunt I did. I really hope that everyone is alright and I am just dreaming on a hospital bed, all messed up.” “Everyone is okay, but you are not dreaming on a hospital bed. I am sorry.” Her expression changes. She’s looking at me with a gentle smile, and I understand immediately. “I see... Well, if all the kids are okay, I am glad. And you are also okay, so I guess I did a good thing.” “Why did you throw your car in front of the truck and end your life like that? It was because I spoke to you?” “No. I was already moving the steering wheel and shifting into gear. It was just a coincidence that I pressed the gas when you yelled at me.” The little girl smiles at hearing that. “I knew it. You figured out what was going to happen, even so, you rushed your car against that big truck. Why did you do that?” “Why not? A School bus full of little kids just having fun. Little kids! Of course, anyone would do the same thing.” “I have been watching your kind for many, many millennia. You guys always surprise me. Lately, I have been impersonating this body and trying to find someone like you, willing to even throw away their life to help others. It’s been hard...” I frown and answer. “That’s strange. Normally, no one would do anything to protect little kids.” “No, normally, everyone freezes in a dangerous situation. Or it takes a second to react to actually being of significance. You did well, and for that, I thank you.” After hearing that, one dark thought crosses my mind, and I yell, “Did you cause that accident? You knew that something like that was going to happen?” The little girl covers her ears with her little hands. “Hey, don’t scream! I am just a little girl! You are going to make me cry!” “No answer... Really, you are scaring me...” The little girl shakes her head. “Sorry about that. No, I didn’t cause anything. I just had a small hope of finding someone like you until the end of that day, because the next day, I was going to another country to look around again, and again, and again...” “Alright. Then, there is the one-million-euro question... Who are you?” The little girl smiles with her hands behind her back in a cute pose. “I am Aria. Nice to meet you.” “Hello... Who are you?” The little girl stands up straight, in a proud pose, with her hands on her waist. “I am Aria, the Goddess of Creation of the World Ariansyl. Nice to meet you.” “Lucky me, a real, live Goddess in front of me. But a very cute, small, and young one?” At this point, she laughs. One very funny laugh that sounds like a small kitten making noises! “Knnya... knnya... knnya” “That’s a very weird laugh...” She slowly stops, and she looks embarrassed! “Sorry, you just really made me laugh. It’s been a long time since I have laughed like this. I didn’t want you to see such an unfit side of me. I am trying to cause a good impression here, after all.” That was surprising! “A Goddess, trying to make a good impression on a mere mortal Human?” “Well, yeah! Because I want to ask you something very important. And when I reach this part, previous ones have denied doing what I asked...” “Previous ones? What happened to the previous ones that denied you?” She points her hand to the sky, and then, afterwards, shakes her finger in denial. “Their souls followed the natural path... and you don’t need to know what that is.” “Okay, and was there ever anyone that accepted?” “So far, five did. The last one was 1.000 years ago. By the way, I only search for new help every 1.000 years.” I rolled my eyes because that conversation was getting too weird. “Lucky me then. I am supposed to be the new helper of a Goddess. Great. And what am I supposed to do?” “When I was chosen as a Goddess and I was given a World to take care of, using some pointers from some colleagues, I started putting Races in my World and waited for them to evolve and prosper. And I helped a little on the evolution, just a little...” I notice one weird thing and I think for myself before speaking. “||...She is changing the topic of the conversation...||” You were chosen, received a World, other colleagues placed Races, messed with natural evolution... seems like I am hearing many things that I am not supposed to learn.” Aria looks worried. “Yeah, you shouldn’t... I am going to be scolded for this later... moving on! Because I started just some millennia ago, I am a rookie, really green on the job. So, despite a lot of help at the beginning, I was doing all that I could for the first 1.000 years, when I realised I needed some help. Since my colleagues refused and because it was my responsibility, I came to your World. I looked everywhere and finally stopped in Japan. The Feudal Era was amazing! Samurais, Ninjas, Emperors, Lords, Shoguns, people worried about improving every day! I was mesmerized!” “||...She’s still not answering my question...||” Yeah, you didn’t look at the wars, the endless killings, the bandits, diseases, the suffering and hard life of the simple commoners... I understand those sides are not pretty. It’s always better to just remember the beautiful things." Aria sticks her tongue out. “You meanie... Yeah, I saw all of that. But I already had that in my World.” “But the Feudal Era was not 5.000 years ago. Unless time is different where your World is...” “It is... kind of... moving on! So, 2.000 years ago, my helper was from mediaeval Europe. He was a Templar Knight. An amazing fellow, but too strict and kind of fanatic. I don’t know why, but he always called me Mary and asked for my son... Really weird... Well, 1.000 years ago, I returned to Japan, and that woman was strong and exceptional. My World advanced immensely. But soon after, it stagnated. And it has stayed like that for the last 500 years.” I raise one eyebrow because her explanation seemed to jump a few steps. “You know that advancements on Earth take time, don’t you?” Aria speaks very excitedly, and she also has a big smile on her face. “But in 200 years on Earth, there have always been new things appearing! In Japan nowadays, there’s Manga, Anime, Video games, movies, robots! They have robots! Moving, talking robots!” “Yeah, it looks like you really didn’t go to Earth recently. But what is it you want me to do for you?” She smiles at me in such a way that I am puzzled, as she answers, “I need you to defend, rule or help one of those Races to advance and evolve faster than any of the other Races.” “Just one of them? How many are there? What kind?” Aria looks troubled. “Well, that’s... I mean... Well, first I have some questions for you, as a test.” “||...Still evading questions...||” A test? Okay, ask away. But considering that I am dead, floating up here, you can just make me do and accept everything.” “It doesn’t work that way. Question one, you choose to defend, rule, or help one of my Races?” “I choose to help all of them.” Aria looks shocked! “Help all of them?” “Yes.” “I see... Question two, even if one of the Races is not Human?” I confirm it, but then an alarm rings in my head. “Yes... Wait, what kind of World is yours?” Aria is counting with her fingers. “Pretty, different, amazing, Magical...” “Sounds interesting. Next question.” “Okay... My World has different Races and is filled with Magic, which if one is born with an aptitude for it, they can use it at will. Question three, knowing all this, what is your answer?” “I am in.” “Wait, you don’t want to think it through? The previous five took some time to decide. The last one took some days to think about and questioned me a lot. Are you sure?” “You convinced me with the part about helping different Races.” Aria is now clapping her hands, and she looks pleased. “I knew I had chosen well... Now, I am going to offer you the possibility to choose two Gifts, and you will gain them upon your birth in my World. And I even let you choose from the four main Races where you wish to be born.” “Can I ask some questions too?” “Ah, so you have doubts... ask away then.” After two seconds to gather my thoughts, I ask, “What are the four main Races? There are smaller Races then? What kind of Magic exists in your World? What is the development in your World? What Gifts can you give me? And only 2? Will I see You again or can I ask anything to You if I ever need help or advice?” Aria is smiling because of all my questions. “So many questions! Okay, there are Humans, Elfians, Dwarfs, and BeastKind. Smaller in numbers, there are Dragonoids, Demonoids, Fairies, Mermaids, Beasts, Magical Beasts. There are also normal animals and normal plants. There’s Magic of the attributes of Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Light, Dark. In terms of development, they’re stuck in mediaeval Europe with a strong influence of Japanese culture, the Japanese way of life, and Bushido, the way of the warriors. Gifts, ask, and I will see what I can do. You can get a maximum of 2, not more. Any more than that, and you could become a God. If you behave properly, I will let you see me again. But I still want you to pray to me and thank me for your life in my World. After all, I am a Goddess!” I start to think that I need to choose well. “Mmmhhh... is there a Human country, a peaceful one, where more Races live?” “Yes, of course.” “Okay... Can I be born in that country, in a small village away from the big cities? And my parents can be gentle and kind? I want to live peacefully until I grow up.” Aria looks surprised by my choice. “Are you sure? You can be born in a capital, into a Noble family or a Merchant family!” “Too much trouble. For my first Gift, can I keep all the memories of my previous life, along with everything that I learned or saw since I was born there?” “Well, that’s obvious. For you to help me evolve my World, of course, you need to keep your memories!” “Not only my memories, but everything that I learned or saw. Basically, I need a tremendous good memory. I may have read or studied something that could be needed in your World and I don’t even remember it now!” She lifted one hand and closed her eyes, concentrating. “Mmmhhh... Done!” “You said there’s Magic of the attributes Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Light, Dark and if one is born with an aptitude for it, he can use it at will. I suppose one needs to practise and learn a lot, not only rely on aptitude, correct?” “That’s about right.” I grin at my weird idea. “For my second Gift, I want to be able to use Magic from all the attributes. And can I start practising while in my mother’s belly?” “What? All of them? And you want to practise them even before being born?” “Yes. I suppose I need to start as soon as possible, for so many attributes.” Aria looks puzzled, and explains, “Well, you need to start early to master one attribute... but all of them... it will be very hard... I suppose I can do that... there are no rules about it... Yeah, it’s better if you learn how to feel the Magic Flow before you are born, and only practise when you can move your body properly so that you can run away if you lose control of your Magic!” “Understood. I don’t know what that Magic Flow is, but I will try.” Aria does the same pose. “Mmmhhh…. Done! I wish you a good life. I am counting on you.” “Thank you. Goodbye, you cute, small, and young Goddess.” Aria laughs again, hearing me say that. “Knnya… knnya… knnya…” And while the sound of her laughter is disappearing, I am too. …
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