"What is your motivation?"
A soft yet clear voice slips from the lips of tall women in business suits with long pants. Slick puffy white hair, her sharp flat bangs that gives a spotlight to her striking blue gaze, sitting on top of a boulder while her finger touches her lips. She is asking none other than you.
You scramble your sentence, glancing left and right, "My motivation? Where is this? Who are you?"
"What is your weapon?"
Ignoring your confusion, she maintains her judging gaze.
"I don't have any." You answer.
She laughs wholeheartedly. Her finger then points at her own head from the side.
"It's in here." She says, with confidence.
Despite the inner chaos, you manage to keep yourself intact, "How to use it then."
"You don't, you can't use your own brain."
The background behind her becomes clearer, it's a mountain of skulls, with a glinting golden throne on top.
Standing up, she towers over you with a stern expression, "You use other's."
Chills run down through your spine. Your mind stops for a moment, thinking about the whole picture and the reason why she says this. Using others? The idea itself is ambiguous and dreadful, if she means 'trampling others for self gain', then you might need to be wary.
Her face becomes tepid, "The lady, the gain of lotto to live for the lazy." As she gestures with open hands to showcase the demonic mountain in the background, "The name is Fortune. Be happy, I'm not choosing you, you've chosen yourself. You have a very great attitude for your attributes, a sentimental value for me to take."
This person is scary but you couldn't help yourself to go along, "A very ominous background behind you begs to differ."
"Ah, is that so? If you mind, please excuse me for this abomination of aptitude."
In an instant, you're brought to a chair with a table in front of you. Fortune is there on the other side as if you're being interviewed.
"Do you want to haggle for a better life?" She asks with a carefree attitude.
"Why would I?"
"Because you're currently dead."
A thunder of realization curses you from behind. Whether she told the truth or not, it's still risky to haggle with an ominous person who claims to be the lady of luck while giving the aura of a death bringer.
"What if I'm not?"
"Ah, good question. Especially knowing that your choices might result in that."
You feel discontent with her tone, as if she already holds your life hanging by a thread. Well, it could be, but that doesn't mean you will apply willingly knowing that she might give you an unfair deal. Life is not cheap, if it was, then there is no such thing as death. "What is your offer?"
"It seems like you don't know the situation at all, my dear 'Lamentor'."
Painful memories of you being killed over and over by your doppelganger is surging through your hippocampus. You've been grinded, tortured, burned, skewered, plucked, decapitated, solidified—all of the pain is running through your senses like an old cinema tape as the reels travel round with the speed of a machine gun's barrels. The sadistic smile from your doppelganger shows you that she is the meaner beast with no one on the saddle.
With a snap of a finger, she turns your state back to normal, together with the eternal phobic experience.
"You're currently on your four thousand, four hundreds, and forty three death streak. Usually, you will make it out somehow but not this time, your end has already been written." She stares at you with a devious smile, "you're out of luck, my love~"
"And what is the benefit for you?"
"I strive for your sentimentality. Many people wanted you dead, and many wanted you to live. Isn't that exhilarating?"
"Straight to the point."
Her face has become stern once again, her voice becoming distortedly unnerving, "I'm giving you the luck to haggle with Fortune itself. The luck to say 'f*ck you' to life, the 'death threat' to reality, the 'rotten green apple' of heaven. How dare you to question my good will for you unworthy trash with rotten flesh. One more time you say that forsaken sentence like you have a chance yourself to belittle me then I'm going to pay the underworld for your VIP realm in hell."
You're lost for words, it seems like holding your pebble pride is not worth it.
"Did I scare you? My love?" She tilts her head with an empty smile, you know that she is really pissed. "I'm just joking! No need to be worrying about your manners in front of 'the lady'."
"Then, then what do you want?"
"I want you to haggle with me."
Her face becomes stern once again, realizing something unrelated, she then glances over at her watch. "Ah, it seems like I'm running out of time. Oh well, I'll let you slip this time. Make sure you use your last chance I'm giving you. There will be no retry after this."
The ground shatters as you fall into the pitch black emptiness. One of the darkness is piercing your forehead, again, and again, and again, and again.
You're back into the time where your doppelganger crushes your wrist.
The scene reenacts on again, nothing changes. Still conscious with all your senses except your sight knowing that she has grinded your face into the ground, crushing your eyes, nose, and mouth until it was distorted.
"So Chronos prepared this much for the next candidate, huh. I'm merely amused by her effort, but this is disappointing,"
What does she mean? Who is she? Why did she do all of this to you, have you done anything wrong!? Pain, you're only experiencing pain, instead of being unconscious you're alive to go through it all, your fragmented bone within the skin is chipping down your flesh from the inside, many of your organs have been raptured beyond help. Why are the Chrolings making you go through this? Do they inherit their creator's sadistic trait!?
With no drops of blood to spare, she hurls you hard into a tree and as there is nothing left for your body to move, you couldn't resist. Rather than haggling, you really want this suffering to end and die. Until something inside you clicks beyond your knowledge.
"How far does Chronos plan about this?" Mutters the devil, you can't see her face but her tone changes.
Suddenly, an immense energy has discharged within your mana sea. All of the scrapped skin and blood regenerates back. Returning back your vision of a shocked devil in front of you.
"JUST LET ME DIE! DAMMIT!"
If you're confused or surprised of the dying and restarting thing, Chapter 5 'Late instead of Deceased' already foreshadowing this. Most of the time, I make most of the dialogue and narration to be a foreshadowing, it might not be revealed instantly but be sure to be wary~