Chapter 1 – Summoned
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A whole percussion orchestra was performing inside Elania’s head. She distantly heard someone groaning, and it wasn’t until she found her way to consciousness that she realized the sound was coming from her. Thoughts stirred slowly in her muddled brain as she recalled the night before. The term paper for her history class was due, and she had spent the last two days suffering a procrastinator's fate, consuming an alarming amount of various energy drinks. 

Why did her head hurt so much, and... her eyes sprang open, realizing that she was naked and not in her bed.  Aside from soft flickering yellows that revealed the chamber's size, everything around her was shrouded in darkness. 

‘Oh my god, I've been kidnapped by some sick freak!’

"She's awake."

"Send for the bishop!"

Panic settled in. There were two of them... no, from what one of the voices had said, there were at least three. She started groping for something—anything that might help her. As her eyes adjusted even more, she found herself nestled in soft pillows. Those sick freaks had stolen her clothes!

The floor was cold and hard, some type of stone and the cushions were laid out in a circle around her. As far as Elania could see, aside from the pillows, the room was devoid of any other furniture. Staying on the ground made her feel vulnerable, so she stood.

"What do you want with me?" she asked in a shaky voice. 

"Please, mistress, wait for the bishop. He will explain everything! We are just devoted initiates who don't deserve your attention!"

Her eyes continued to adjust much more than she had thought possible, even muted colors somehow finding their way back into view as the darkness lifted and everything seemed to be bathed in an ambient light. She almost wished that wasn’t the case as the first thing she saw was that the circle and symbols around her were drawn with blood.

She looked around and didn't see a dead corpse as she half-expected. Secretly, she hoped it was only a chicken or something along the lines those sickos had used.

‘Insane. These people are totally insane!’ 

Taking a step back, she decided to make a run for it and escape the room. Except as soon as she touched the circle, a light flared, and a great pulse of something like static electricity burst up to burn her hand.

"Wait, Mistress! The summoning circle has not been dismissed yet. His unholiness was waiting for you to awaken!"

She would have thought they had put something like an electric fence around her to shock her... if a green screen with black text hadn't appeared suddenly for her to stare at.

[A Demonic barrier is unbreakable with your current power.]

She waved her hand through the image as if it wasn't physically present. This kind of holographic projection was too much. What was going on? She pressed the black 'X' in the corner of the message, and a sudden stream of information appeared.

 

[Status update.]

[You have arrived from another world!]

[You have earned the title, 'Summoned from Another World!']

 

Elania felt her blood turn cold. An ex-boyfriend had been a serious closet Otaku and had introduced her to all kinds of anime and manga. She had actually enjoyed them herself, and long after they had broken up, she still sometimes indulged in a few favorite shows, but... had never met Truck-san!

The panic and silly thoughts had her giggling madly at the insanity of the situation. All the while, the initiate that had remained behind began to sweat in fear. 

"Wake up, wake up, wake up,"  Elania mumbled, giving in to the situation. 

What was real, and what was imaginary? Her hand still hurt from the electric shock, and she hadn’t snapped awake or anything of the sort. At least she could feel pain along with a cold breeze that suddenly coursed through her body, making her shiver. It was hard to tell whether it was from the chill, fear, or both, but Elania had never felt so vulnerable in her life.

‘Take a deep breath, Elania,’ she advised herself, and doing so, she tried to take an objective inventory of what she knew. She had no clothes and was trapped in some kind of magic circle made out of blood. The 'cultists' were bringing someone called 'The Bishop' to talk to her and possibly let her out... she wasn't sure if she believed that. 

It was like one of those bad Isekai LitRPG novels she had read in her spare time.

Weren't there commands or skills those characters could conjure up to their minds?  What was it called?

Profile? Inventory? Attributes? Status?

 

[Status]

Name: Elania Reyes

Race: Lesser Demon (S Class Monster)

Level: 1

Power: 0/100

Karma: 12

Attributes: [Locked]

Skills: [Locked]

Titles: [Locked]

[Some functions are disabled due to insufficient requirements.]

 

A hand instantly went to her heart in a panic as she took in the words 'Lesser Demon' on the status screen. The last time she had checked, horns weren't present, neither did she have a tail or wings. That was a relief. Her body seemed to be perfectly normal.

But what did this Status mean? She was absolutely weak. In every novel she had read, the protagonist had received amazing abilities and powers to wipe away whatever came at them. Apparently, she was so weak she couldn't even access all the functions.

The clinging of something metallic striking stone drew closer as someone approached, and Elania glanced at the hall leading out of the chamber. She didn't have to wait long, though, as a few moments later, a man appeared in her line of vision. Her stomach turned. 

The new arrival ticked off all her mental boxes for an insane cult leader. The man was older, age lines covering his face where his long gray pencil straight beard didn’t hide them. He was clothed in a black robe embroidered with red hems, but it was the accessories that stood out to Elania.

Staff topped with a skull, check. Some dark leather-bound tome for dark rituals, check. Antlered skull for headwear, double-check. Flanked by subordinates who looked equally terrified of him, check.

Elania barely contained her laughter. The costume might have been ideal for cosplay at some expo or convention. Only the precariousness of her position in this 'new' world and the man's serious expression kept her from moving or making any sound.

He came to a stop outside the circle. The lackeys spread out in a semi-circle around her and knelt, putting their heads down like the one who had been waiting all this time. The metal staff crackled the stone three times, and then the 'Bishop' held his arms outstretched in some grandiose gesture.

"Great Queen, we welcome you to Eladu. We have awaited your arrival for countless years and harkened that you have responded to our summons!" He lowered his arms and finally looked at her. "We beseech your greatness to sign a contract with us and lead us to victory against the overworld!"

Elania felt a slight twitch under one of her eyes. Everything was so over-the-top and ridiculous that she wanted to scream at them. Demon-worshiping cult ostracized and at war with the rest of society? Hell-no!

 

[Cult of the Black Candle wishes to make a contract with you!]

[Do you wish to see the contents of the contract? Y/N]

 

"No." She waved her hand, and the screen obediently disappeared. "Send me back."

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