"Family quarrels, finding work, aiming for excellent grades. Having personal issues are troubling enough."
The unknown voice uttered.
"What if troubles other people have or world issues being brought up are also getting into you? Anyone would think of just running away from it, away from this cruel and troublesome world. Don't you think so, Lyrica?"
"What the... Huh?"
Lyrica thought she was just hearing things at first. But when the female voice called Lyrica by her name, she realized that someone is indeed speaking directly at her. This urged Lyrica to open her eyes, only to be dumbfounded by her surroundings.
"What in the world?"
The birds fluttering their wings above the skies, the trees flailing caused by the wind, the people screaming on the sidewalk, and the jeepney right in front of Lyrica. Everything around her had stopped moving.
"Unfortunately, the world itself won't let you escape from its grasp."
Lyrica tried to look around, but there's no one out there that could be the one who's speaking to her right at that moment. This drove Lyrica to the conclusion that the voice is directly speaking to her inside her head.
"No matter how hard you try to avoid it, the world will find a way to bring you trouble. That's the rule of the reality of your world. But, what if that 'Rule' were to change?"
"Change?" Lyrica's eyes narrowed and deep lines appeared on her forehead. "Are you saying reality can be changed?"
"Yes," The voice replied. "I can change reality. I can change reality for you, but only if you answer my question."
"If you were to live in another world, what kind of world would you like to live in?"
By the looks of things, it appears that Lyrica is not dead yet. However, to live in another world and to change reality just for her. That's something Lyrica never thought she would hear right before her demise.
'Changing reality is impossible. Let alone live in another world. It's ridiculous. It's nonsense.' That is what Lyrica wanted to reply to the voice.
But seeing how everything around her was put to a halt. And the fact that she's communicating with someone inside her head, it's making Lyrica reconsider her thoughts about the possible and impossible.
"What's the matter? Are you still thinking what your ideal world is?"
It was then Lyrica remembered the novels Erika would recommend to her almost every day. Novels that are all about the main protagonist being reincarnated, summoned, and the like in another world to save it from peril. It was interesting at first, but as the novels Erika recommended are following the same plot, Lyrica could no longer read past the first three chapters.
With that in mind, a thought came to Lyrica's mind.
'Perhaps... What's happening right now is the same as those in the novels?'
It could be? Or maybe not. Lyrica has no way of figuring that out unless she answers the question.
"Another world, huh..."
But then, should she trust the unknown voice inside her head? If she were to answer the question, can the voice really change reality? Will she be transported into a world of her liking? If she were to refuse, what awaits her in the afterlife? Is it the same as how everyone thinks the afterlife is? Or could it be the exact opposite?
"Jeez... So many uncertainties..." Lyrica grits her teeth in irritation. "Am I going to get troubled even in between life and death?!"
If anything, the only certain thing is that she's able to think. Which means, she's still alive.
"Looks like you're troubled."
The voice's comment made Lyrica's left eye twitch.
"Yes, I am. Thanks, captain obvious!"
The voice chuckled. "Well, know this. The situation you're in is something not many people but you will ever experience."
Lyrica turned silent, allowing the voice to continue speaking.
"This is the only opportunity you will ever get. If you decline, everything will revert to normal, the jeep will end your life, and you will go to kingdom come. But if you answer my question, you can start a new life in your ideal world, a life you desire."
If only Lyrica didn't learn to avoid people, she would let the voice send her to another world, no questions asked. But otherwise, she starts pondering.
"To live a life I wanted in another world. It sounds so unrealistic. But at the same time, a very tempting offer."
"Isn't that righ–"
The voice paused.
"As much as I'm uncertain what awaits me in the afterlife, I'm also not certain whether I can trust you or not."
The voice chortled in response to Lyrica. "Don't worry, I am someone you can put your trus–"
"I hate lies and betrayals more than anything."
The threatening tone in Lyrica's voice and the hostile glint in her eyes stopped the voice from completing her sentence.
"Once I learn that you're lying to me, I will find you and make sure you regret it," Lyrica warned the voice.
"I... will keep that mind."
"Now to answer your question." Lyrica took a deep breath and exhaled. "If I were to live in another world, I want a world where I can live in peace and without trouble."
"To live in peace and without trouble, huh..." The voice paused for a couple of seconds. "Very well."
After answering the voice's question, a blinding light engulfed Lyrica.
Just like that, Lyrica is transported into a whole new world. A world of peace and without trouble. Or at least, it's what she thought until she encountered the slimes.
"This world... is not the world I'm looking for!"
And thus, Lyrica's new life in another world begins on a chase.