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Chapter 1: So, this is how I die.

"If you intended to die anyway, don't die quietly like a pussy! Go out in a fucking blaze of glory!" a rough and gruff voice shouted as I laid face down on the cold pavement. Aside from this voice, there were no other people around me.

Excruciating pain assaulted me the moment I tried moving my limbs. I coughed, spitting out blood to clear my throat. Worsening my condition, the blows to my eyes forced them shut due to swelling.

"ARGH! FUCK!" I groaned in pain as I tried to move.

Even with such small movements, I cursed due to the agony I was in. I definitely had broken bones in both my arms and my right leg. Moreover, the sharp stinging on numerous spots on my abdomen told me I probably had at least two cracked ribs as well.

Still, despite such a state and predicament, the muscular old man kept conversing with me.

"Oy. You still with me, boy? What is it going to be?" he asked nonchalantly.

This senile bastard! He showed zero compassion and kept saying things that made no sense.

At least he could have called 911, that fucking bastard! He had not only watched silently as I got beaten to an inch of my life, but he even had the audacity to chat like nothing had happened.

Trying really hard to keep my emotions in check, I asked about the most pressing matter on my mind.

"Did she get away safely?" I asked, my voice strained.

Holy hell, that was me?! It sounded like metal rakes being dragged on a steel floor.

Shit, I sounded horrible, almost like I had gargled a bag of razor blades.

Unable to even push myself up, only the heavy smell of iron told me I was losing blood. How badly? I didn't know. Still, slowly but surely, my brain started to feel hazy, like I was sleepy.

Right, the reason for my condition was because I had stupidly challenged seven men to a brawl. Four of them even had baseball bats and crowbars. It really had been unlike me. If not for the terrified screaming of a girl, I probably would have not done such a thing.

The young woman had worn an indigo hoodie and her limbs had been bound. A group of men had surrounded her while dragging her body into a dark corner.

Within seconds, I had lost my shit and charged. Maybe it had been the desperation in her voice, I didn't know. I didn't even see what she looked like.

Maybe I had just wanted to be a hero or something.

They said there were moments in people's lives when they moved before they could think. Mine had been back when I saw the woman's poor visage. And I was going to die because of it! Talk about irony.

The sharp crunches of heavy steps echoed in my ears. The approach of the old man ended my short daydream.

"Well, look at the balls on this fucker!" he said, his tone arrogant.

Another condescending reply. From his words, though, I noticed that the surroundings were eerily quiet.

I couldn't boast about how safe Arizona was, but this place shouldn't have been so secluded that not even a car passing by could be heard.

Why did this man not help me? Was he one of their friends? Now that I thought about it, the thugs didn't even notice him. I had only seen a glimpse of him as I got pummeled. He had a black trench coat, white hair, and a large build.

A frigid cold slowly began to embrace me, telling me all I needed to know. Only at that moment did I finally realize how dire my circumstances were.

"So, this is how I die, huh? Beaten to death on some street," I mused rhetorically.

"It seems so. I mean, look at you boy! You look like you got ran over by truck or something! Don't be sad, this is just your limit. Some people were just born to never achieve anything," the old man said in contempt.

My limit, huh? Right, aside from the senile bastard, I already felt it. It hurt! It hurt so fucking much.

Why did I do this? Why didn't I just walk away?

No one would answer me, no matter how long I waited. A calm silence and enveloping darkness were the only ones beside me.

I started to tremble in fear as a thought slowly entered my mind. Was this what it meant to die?

I was - I was scared. I didn't want to die. Bu…but what did I even live for?

My consciousness slowly started to slip as I pondered this.

NO! Not yet!

As I denied my death, I rallied my will to find some meaning to my existence. The memories of my life played like a montage in my mind while I stood at death's door.

Still, after it ended, only a feeling of hopelessness remained.

A family I barely knew. Friends I no longer see. A lover who left me for my best friend. A demeaning job where I got treated worse than shit. Student loans over $140,000. A small room with a bed, and a laptop with a few video games.

That summed up my life. The bitterness was enough to drown out the pain of my injuries.

I - I didn't live at all, did I?

What use did my life even serve?

Such a realization hammered my mind harder than the beating I endured.

No one would remember me when I was gone. No one would mourn. Would anyone even notice?

Uncontrollably, tears started to stream down my face. Some reached my lips.

Just then, the old man spoke up. Not in disdain, but in respect.

"She did, boy. Because you took on seven men while unarmed, a young woman got to go home safe and sound. You weren't the only one who heard her screams, yet it was only you who moved to rescue her. If nothing else, your last act was that of a hero. You did well, boy."

Relief flooded my entire being. I knew neither her face nor her name. Still, her survival became my sole pride in this pathetic life. Would that girl remember me, at least?

I was not selfish for thinking that, right?

As I focused on my last act, the pain became a bit more bearable. My life was not for nothing.

Despite the absurdity of the girl hearing my thoughts, I began to preach to her as I would to my own child.

'Live. Live a life you can be proud of. Do well in school or work. Find a good man, fall in love, and make a lot of babies. Enjoy your life to the fullest. Don't be like me. I hope you find meaning and purpose. I wish for your happiness,' I ordered her inside my head.

We were strangers who didn't even know each other, yet my heart felt warmth as I thought of her.

Attaining a deep sense of peace, I was disturbed in this serenity because of the loud grumbles of the old man.

"Like I said earlier, you were not supposed to die today, John Smith. The young woman should have. For giving your life for hers, I offer you a choice. Die right here and go to hell, or live on as a reaper. What will it be?"

His words brought me back to reality. A reaper?

Did he mean like the grim reaper or something?

Before I could speak, the old man continued.

"Boy, you know about Norse Valkyries, right? The ones who bring souls to Valhalla and all that. I am the same. But I will send you to gates of hell. So instead of dying pathetically on the ground, you may join our version of Ragnarok and fight demons till the end of the world. Exciting, right? You interested?" the old man asked with a smile that looked like the devil himself.

What the fuck had he been smoking? He could take his crazy talk and shove it up his own ass. How could he even hear me? I couldn't even open my mouth right now.

"That's because you're already dead, boy. Anyway, for your heroism, you have gained an invitation to join the reapers. You had a lot of regrets, don't you? I am offering you a second chance to live again and fulfill them all."

A second life, huh. Regrets. Hmm.

If I did get the chance to live again, I would live differently. I was done with following the rules of others. I would go beyond my limits!

"Perfect. I will take that as a yes," the old man said as he picked up my body like a sack and then embraced me.

"See you on the other side, John. Welcome to the Revenant Project."

After the senile bastard's words, I suddenly felt two sharp objects pierce the right side of my neck. A searing heat entered my body, burning it from the inside. Before I could think of anything else my mind went dark and I felt no more.


CREATORS' THOUGHTS
Yinghuo_392 Yinghuo_392

Hi Everyone,

Initial upload for my new Novel Limitless the Strongest Reveneant. If you like the novel please support it with PS and a review.

Regards.

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