Where am I? Did I not just die from that freakin dark light? I clearly felt the touch of death or whatever, that thing was colder than ice. But I am still conscious and I think I can feel something. Yeah, I definitely feel something, so that means I am not dead. But I do not feel safe either. Maybe if I just open my eyes a little I can probably see something. Just a little and … white. The floor is white. That's not a good sign since this white is like as white as the teeth on a commercial. And they are clearly edited. And the floor doesn't look like stone or wood. No, it looks like the very light is the floor. So I am currently lying down on a floor made of light. I think I really died.
"I know that you are awake mortal and you wonder what brings you here but know that the heavens have granted you another chance."
Ok so I am dead and this voice, which I think is a female voice, if there is gender in godhood, is probably coming from a god. I mean she said heaven so she could be an angel. I really open my eyes this time and yeah there it is. She got a sun behind her, wings of white feathers, the few things missing would be a choir of angels and a golden halo on top of her head. But still, that intro with that pre-planned sentence is a good thing, that calms me a little. I mean, it looks so fake, it's almost funny. And so God, or at least the angel in charge of Earth, is clearly a woman. I don't know why everybody has put a man instead. Not that it really matters but still, I think nearly all religions got it wrong this time. As I stand up and watch around I notice absolutely nothing. Here there is only me, the divinity in front of me and the floor made of light. The rest is just darkness, shadows, and more darkness. But that's trifling, what matter is.
"So I died, and I have another chance, so miss, goddess, angel? Can you explain?"
"My name is Aria, and I am what you, human, would call a goddess. I am in charge of dealing with unfortunate souls that have died but still seems worthy enough by the heavens to choose to either stay dead and have your soul flying into the heaven…" she says as she opens a portal totally dark and clearly menacing "… or reincarnate into a new world…" and this time the portal is golden, with little blue butterflies flying around.
As I watch her saying her monologue, I can't help but feel that something is off. Without talking about the clear difference between the two portal and that she clearly implies that to reincarnate is better, shouldn't that be allowed? I am fairly certain that there are rules that should prevent that manipulation. Perhaps there is a quota for reincarnation and she didn't reach it? But the problem is that except some elders that still get scammed by a Nigerian prince, no human with a minimum of intelligence wouldn't find the situation weird. It's clearly too big so there is a problem somewhere, as for dying, I am not dead yet apparently, still have a chance.
Ok, what did she said, she said stuff about gods, heavens, worthy, worthy enough? Me, someone who could be described at best as an opportunist and at worst a leech. I certainly didn't kill millions of people over some beliefs or religion but worthy to reincarnate, I don't think so. There are two possibilities, the first is that they messed up the background check or the second is I am not supposed to meet that goddess. The first is unlikely, I mean maybe some angels sleep instead of working but the person in front of me would have noticed something weird. Instead, she did something weird so the second option is probably true. One way to find out.
"Thank you very much for this chance but I think my time has come anyway so I will rest in the heaven." I say while putting a face of resignation." But I am still happy about the life that I lived."
As I walk toward that dark portal the face of the goddess keeps changing between stupefaction, fear, and anger. Just before I can reach the portal she stopped me.
"You sure you want to die, I mean you can have a pretty nice life in the other portal, maybe you can finally find your true love, have kids, a loving family", she says desperately.
Ok, now I am certain they didn't mess up the background check. She knows that I don't have a wife, neither I have children. And she really, really, really wants me to reincarnate.
"You can't force people to choose between the two portal, right?"
"No, but …"
"But you don't want me to go to the heaven and maybe tell your superiors why I am there?"
"No, no that's not ..."
"Maybe, because I am not supposed to be there?"
"You, you died so my job is to …"
"Yes, but why I died, I remember a peculiar dark light coming toward me. I wonder what the one in charge would say after I tell him that."
"No, no, no you can't say it, it was an accident, an accident, it was…" and she stopped talking and looks right into my eyes and I can clearly see her burning with hate
"You dirty human, you tricked me, you tricked a goddess, I will kill you!!! You lowly life, you rat, you leech, you're even worse than a worm!!!"
"But you already did", and as I say that all her rage disappeared and she looked a little scared of me. I really don't know why, except for the fact that she probably knows me and she knows that I like to exploit people. The fact that I am still alive as a soul or whatever I am right now meant she has no real power over me.
"Please, please just revive into this world please." She even begins to beg me so I guess she broke a major rule, like killing an innocent bystander.
"Alright, I will do as you say."
"Is it true?" She says with a puppy face, with her eyes filled with tears and shining.
"Yes but first, where is my compensation?"
"Compensation? What compensation?"
"You killed me so either I enter this world with a cheat ability, as the son of the emperor of the world blessed by the gods or the descendant of the mightiest dragon or I go directly through this", I say while pointing to the threatening portal.
"I can't change the environment where you reincarnate, I can't make the son of a specific human or monster but I can give you this."
Instantly, a 2.5-meter double-edged sword appears with burning flame on the blade. Well, that's a cheat weapon. That's clearly the stuff with 1% probability of dropping in the last raid boss of the latest expansion. And that's totally useless to a normal human who is not a Hulk. This sword weighs probably 200 kg at the minimum. How am I supposed to use it? But now, I know that she can give me advantages in my revival. I just need to pick the right one.
"Not enough… Are you kidding me that's the sacred sword of the Archangel Balef, a sword used to kill a Great Demon King, a mighty and powerful Great Demon King? Do you know what it is?"
I guess my remark hurt a little of her self-esteem, seeing her shouting hysterically like that. But still, a sword is just an instrument and in fact, that sword will make me die quicker than everything else. You see a normal-looking man with a clearly powerful and shiny sword will probably die the moment he falls asleep in his bed. With the 10 other men who were trying to steal his sword and failed.
"Not enough, what I want is a system, a cheat-like system you see in any RPG."
"A system? What is that thing?" The goddess questions.
"A normal system with Exp, HP, level, stuff like that."
"I don't think I have that…"
"But can you make it?"
"Hold on, if I gave you a system like that, would you be immensely powerful?"
"No, in fact, I would be the same as I am now."
"So why do you want it?"
"Because I can."
As I say this she is clearly debating whether or not she should give me this. And while what I say is true, the benefit of a system is not the immediate strength, it's the perpetual power increase it gives. Mastering a spell, simply trying it 1000 times and it works. All the title, passive abilities and stuff easily can turn you into the strongest being of the world. Of course, it needs time, but if just survive can grant you more power than a century of training, it is totally worth it. Now I just need to convince her that what I ask is not dangerous.
"I don't really know why you want this system, and we don't have that but if you really want I can create it, I just need you to explicitly say how that thing works and what it gives to you."
She is not as stupid as I thought. With this, I cannot say openly how it's broken beyond salvation so I have to carefully choose my words.
"A RPG system is a system that allows the user to see each of his attributes like health, mana, strength clearly. It records the different skills and passive abilities that the character learns. There is some specificity like a title system that can either increase or decrease certain attributes, for example, a title like [dumb thinking] would remove one point of intelligence. But this kind of system allows any intelligent creature, human or monsters, to easily keep records of their evolution and progress."
I think I covered all the problem, I didn't say it's overpowered and even include a disadvantage. There is no way she would refuse a deal like that.
"Ok, I guess that would not break the law of the world, therefore I grant you that wish. You will obtain it after you walk through the portal to the world of Astria. Now go, I don't want to see you ever again."
She says it with a big smile like she is happy to get rid of me.
Yes, I always wanted to say it and the fact that I scammed her allowed a parody of an evil Russian mafia. If I won with brute strength, I would have said Hasta la vista so it's fair. But still, as I walk toward my future life, that big smile on the goddess face reminds me that I probably missed something. There is no way she is happy after I blackmailed her. But I got what I want. I hope.
(Finally, Marc Cassidy entered the portal and disappears from that place, but as he did that, Aria let escape a sentence that will send our poor hero into despair very quickly.)
"An intelligent creature ha ha ha."
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