Chapter 1 - 15 years before
I’m driving my company car to work.
I overslept, and because I had to skip breakfast, I’m feeling hungry, but there’s no time for even a sandwich because of a scheduled meeting with a customer.
While crossing a very big bridge in the city that I work, I find myself in the middle of a lot of traffic, but it’s kind of normal, at this hour of the morning. The traffic is slow and considering that I’m the last in line, I’m feeling lucky that at least it’s moving.
This bridge is very large, there are 2 lanes going and 2 lanes coming on the other side. On the right lane, facing the river, there’s a school bus, filled with happy jumping kids. There’s one little girl with blonde curly hair and blue eyes looking very 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, a sound of something blowing up. I look through my rear mirror and I can’t believe what I see. A truck on the right lane, with the engine on fire, is on a straight course with the school bus. The traffic in front of me and on the right lane, start to move. The school bus starts to move as well. I react. My hands move. My foot moves. The little girl with blonde curly hair and blue eyes is still looking at me, get up, and she seems like she is going to scream at me, through the open window of the bus.
- Are you going to do something?
As soon as she said that, I press on the gas. Turn the wheels to the right, accelerate, change to the right lane, put on the reverse gear, and accelerate backward. Since the truck is not coming at high speed, I think that I will be able to slow it down or at best of chances, stop it. Right before my car hits the burning truck, I knew.
- Shit, I’m going to die...
- ? Strange! Nothing hurts. Can’t see a thing. Guess I closed my eyes waiting for the impact from the truck. Stupid...
I opened my eyes.
- Weird. It’s dark around me, I’m floating very high above the clouds, I’m not falling, can only see a World down there with a strange topography, two moons on my left, strange disposition of stars above me, one little girl with blonde curly hair and blue eyes looking very seriously at me on my right... Something is wrong. I can’t be floating without falling, I was going to be hit by a truck on fire!
Only then I realize that there’s one little girl with blonde curly hair and blue eyes looking at me.
- Hello, little girl. Strange to see you here. I think that I’m dreaming after I got knocked by that truck, but at least now I’m seeing your pretty smile.
- This is the part where you think I’m funny and you start smiling and say, ‘you’re funny, mister’.
And still, no reaction...
- I hope that you and all the kids on that school bus are Ok. If not, I’m feeling kind of stupid for that stunt that I did. I really hope that everyone is alright and I’m just dreaming on a hospital bed, all messed up.
- Everyone is ok, but you are not dreaming on a hospital bed. I’m 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 ok, I’m glad. And it seems that you are also Ok, so I guess I did a good thing.
- Why did you throw your car in front of the truck and ended 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 by hearing that.
- I knew it already. You knew what was going to happen, but still, 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’ve been watching your kind for many, many millennia. You guys always surprise me. Lately, I’ve been impersonating this body and trying to find someone like you, willing to even throw their life to help others. It’s been hard...
- That’s strange. Normally anyone would do anything to protect little kids.
The little girl shakes her head.
- No, normally, everyone freezes on a dangerous situation. Or takes a second to react to actually be 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’m just a little girl! You are going to make me cry!
- No answer … Really, you are starting to scare me...
- Sorry about that. No, I didn’t cause anything. I just had a small hope to find someone like you until the end of that day, because on the next day, I was going to another country and look around again, and again, and again...
- Alright. Then, the one-million-euro question... Who are you?
The little girl smiles with her hands behind her back, in a cute pose.
- I’m 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’m 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 starts to laugh. 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’ve laughed like this. I didn’t want you to see such an unfit side of me. I’m trying to cause a good impression here, after all.
That was surprising!
- A Goddess, trying to cause a good impression on a mere mortal Human????
- Well, yeah! Because I want to ask something very important from you. 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 afterward, shakes her finger in denial.
- Their souls followed the natural path... and you don’t need to know what that is.
- Ok, and was there ever anyone that accepted?
- So far, 5 did. The last one was 1.000 years ago. By the way, I only search for new help every 1.000 years.
- Lucky me then. I’m supposed to be the new help of a Goddess. Great. And what I’m 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 on 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.
- …||…She’s changing the topic of the conversation…||...You were chosen, received a World, other colleagues, placed Races, messed with the natural evolution... seems like I’m hearing many things that I’m not supposed to learn.
Aria looks worried.
- Yeah, you shouldn’t... I’m going to be scolded for this later... moving on! Because I started just some millennia ago, I’m a rookie, really green on the job. So, despite a lot of help at the beginning, I was doing all that I could the first 1.000 years, then I realized that I needed some help. Since my colleagues refused and because it was my responsibility, I came to your World. I looked everywhere and I 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 puts 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! 2.000 years ago, my helper was from medieval Europe, he was a Templar Knight. An amazing fellow, but too strict and kind of a fanatic. I don’t know why but he always called me Mary and asked for my son... Really weird... 1.000 years ago, I returned to Japan, and that woman was strong, exceptional. My World advanced immensely. But soon after, it stagnated. And it has stayed like that for the last 500 years.
- You know that advancements on Earth take time, don’t you?
Aria starts to speak very excitedly, she also has a big smile on her face.
- But in 200 years on Earth, there’s always new things appearing! In Japan nowadays, there’s Manga, Anime, Videogames, movies, robots! They have robots! Moving, talking robots!
- Yeah, looks like you really didn’t go to Earth recently. But what is that you want me to do for you?
- 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? Ok, ask away. But considering that I’m dead, floating up here, you can just make me do and accept everything.
- It doesn’t work that way. Question 1, you choose to defend, rule, or help one of my Races?
- I choose to help all of them.
Aria is shocked!
- Help all of them???
- I see... Question 2, 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.
- Ok... My World has different Races and is filled with Magic, which if one is born with an aptitude for it, they can use at will. Question 3, knowing all this, what is your answer?
- I’m in.
- Wait, you don’t want to think it through? The previous 5 took some time to decide. The last one took some days thinking about and questioning me. Are you sure?
- You convinced me with the part about helping different Races.
Aria is now clapping her hands, she looks pleased.
- I knew I had chosen well... Now, I’m going to offer you the possibility to choose 2 gifts and you will gain them upon your birth in my World. And I even let you choose from the 4 main Races, where you wish to be born.
- Can I ask some questions too?
- Ah, so you have doubts... ask away then.
- What are the 4 main Races? There are smaller Races then? What kind of Magic exists in your World? What kind of development is on Your World? What kind of 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 questioning.
- So many questions! Ok, there’s Human, Elfians, Dwarfs, and BeastKind. Smaller in numbers, there’s Dragonoids, Demonoids, Fairies, Mermaids, Beasts, Magical Beasts. There are also normal animals and normal plants. There’s Magic of the attributes Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Light, Dark. Development, they’re stuck on medieval Europe with a strong influence of Japanese culture, the Japanese way of life and Bushido, the way of the warriors. Gifts, ask and I 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’ll let you see me again. But I still want that you pray to me and thank me for your life on my World. After all, I’m a Goddess!!!
I start to think, I need to choose well.
- Mmmhhh… is there a Human country, a peaceful one, were more Races live?
- Yes, of course.
- Ok… Can I be born in that country, in a small village away from big cities? And my parents can be gentle and kind? I want to live peacefully until I grow up.
Aria is surprised by my choice.
- Are you sure? You can be born on a capital, on a noble family or a merchant family!
- Too much trouble. For my first gift, can I retain 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 on evolving my World, of course you need to retain 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 study something that can 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 practice and learn a lot, not only relying on aptitude, correct?
- That’s about right.
- For my second Gift, I want to be able to use Magic from all the attributes. And can I start practicing while in my mother’s belly?
- What? All of them? And you want to practice them even before being born?
- Yes. I suppose I need to start as soon as possible, for so many attributes.
- Well, you need in fact 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...Ah, it’s better if you just learn how to feel the Magic Flow before you born. And only practice 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’m counting on you.
- Thank you. Goodbye, you cute, small, and young Goddess.
Aria starts to laugh again, hearing me say that.
- Knnya… knnya… knnya…
And while the sound of her laughter is disappearing, I am too.