Raye and Quinn close their eyes and chants in low voice. I am standing in the middle, feeling awkward and uneasy. They aren't going to sacrifice me, are they? It's been only a day since I have been reborn in this body. I am getting sacrificed to the dark lord. How are they going to kill me?
I should run. Screw thirteenth or fourteenth god! I have a bad feeling about this. The original owner died because of magical fire. These two boys want revenge for the kids who were killed by some woman. I am not cut out for this. The original owner was thirteen when she died. I was twenty-six years old when I died. She died when she was half of my age. She was brave and hero to these people. I am not a hero. I am a shut-in freelancer who doesn't like talking to other human beings. I want to go back.
The list is long. Before I can run, a giant metallic gate with different sizes of mechanical gears and chains appear in front of me. Raye and Quinn stop chanting and looks at the gate with amazement. My reaction is the same. How can a gigantic gate appear out of nowhere? Why I am still standing here after seeing this? I am amazed that I have not peed my pants.
"It worked." Raye releases a breath of relief. "Kresi, open it."
I stare at him blankly. Dude, how am I supposed to open this thing? It's a magical door. Who knows where it goes!
"Raye, she said that she forgot." Quinn pushes his glasses on his nose. "Do you know how to open it?"
"She didn't teach me that." Raye scratches his head. "Kresi, you taught me how to summon the gate. You told me that using a strand of your hair as a medium would work. But, I used you as the medium. You didn't tell me how to open the universal gate."
"..." Original Owner, what was just wrong with you? What have you been teaching these kids? If you wanted to teach, you should have taught everything. I point at the gate. "The God is inside there?"
"He should be." Raye doesn't look sure at all.
"The universal gate can open the gate to any place or world." My ears perk up when I hear Quinn's words. So, this gate can take me to any world or any place. Can I go back home then? My world. Planet Earth. I want to breathe the polluted air in my city. I want to touch my laptop and phone again. I want to eat delicious food again.
"But, we also need the key." Quinn raises his finger. "The universal gate is like an empty portal with no destination. If we put in the right key, we can go to the place where we want to go. Kresi told us before that the key is buried in the heart of Belan. We are standing here now. The gate needs to absorb the key."
"Ah!" Raye looks like he can understand Quinn's gibberish. "I can't feel any key though."
"Kresi can." Quinn glances at me. "You are the harbinger. You were the first one to know that the key was here. You should be able to summon it."
"..." Things are pointed back to me again. I can't go back to my world. I have to find a damn key. Am I transmigrated to an MMORPG? I have never played fantasy games though. Let's get this over with. I take a deep breath and ask, "Do you know how to summon a key?"
"She doesn't remember anything." Raye looks like he is going to start crying at any moment. "We don't have much time before the daybreak. If we fail, the Belan spirit will kill us. The day of the union will not happen for the next hundred years."
Okay. Noted. We have to leave this place before daybreak.
"Touch the ground and try to feel it." Quinn points at the ground. He doesn't move from his spot. "If you feel something, try to summon it to you."
Is it a dog that will come if I call it to come to me? I shake my head dismissively and follows his instructions anyway. The ground is wet and cold. There is a faint scent in the air. At first, I don't feel anything special at all.
I open my one eye to peek at Quinn. Then, I open my other eye to peek at Raye. Both of them are looking at me with full of expectations. I sigh. Kids. I put some efforts in...summoning.
If there is a key in the ground, please come to me.
I feel the vibration under my hand. A pull. Like magnets. As if a thread is connected on the other side. I pull it toward me slowly at first. Then, I lose my patience and try to wrap it up as fast as I can. The glowing blue key suddenly appears in the hand.
"I knew that you could do it." Raye claps and grins widely. I roll my eyes. You were on the verge of crying a minute ago.
Quinn is nodding his head like an old man. "Kresi, we don't have time. Open the gate."
I look at the gate. I can't see any key hole. I put the key in my palm and show it to the gate. Does it need a spell? Abra ka dabra?* Khul Ja Sim Sim?*
The keyhole appears in front of me. I sigh and put in the key. The glowing blue magical key disappears and the gears start to move. I hear the sounds of chains moving. The sound is loud and captivating. Not just one lock. I see many locks and each lock is unlocking the other one. Finally, it stops. The mechanical gears disappear from the gate. The universal gate turns black.
"It is open." I am awed and dazzled. I lightly push the gate. It opens soundlessly. In front of me, there is only hollow darkness. I hesitate and look at Quinn. "Do we have to go inside?"
"You have to go inside." Quinn gives me a small smile. "We can't."
I stare at the darkness. I can't hear a sound. I can't smell or see anything. I have lived alone. So, I am not afraid of darkness. But, it feels like bad things are there. It's natural that these two kids are afraid.
"It's going to be daybreak soon. The Belan Spirit will wake up soon." Raye looks up at the sky with worry. "Kresi, you go inside and find our God. We will go back to Beggar City. After you find the god, you should meet us there."
"No...wait...how do I even get to the beggar city?" I look at him with shock. These kids are abandoning me. They are really using me as a sacrificial lamb.
"You have to ask our God," Raye tells me with a straight face. "He can open the gate to anywhere."
"But..." I protest. This is unfair.
"Kresi, the Belan Spirit won't hesitate to chop us into pieces if she sees us here. Get inside." Raye sighs and waves his hand. I feel a push and fall through the gate. I scream when I hit the hard floor. The gate closes behind me.
"These punks!" I curse them. I have been used.
*Some popular lines from the famous stories
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