"I'm really doing this huh." Gabrielle Agustin, muttered. The girl, whose eyes carried bags the size of mountains sighed, she looked left and right, and saw that there weren't any passing vehicles yet. "At worst the driver would die with me. At best they just get hospitalised. But eh, I don't really care. As long as Nanay gets the money and moves them out of that shit-shack I'll be content." Her tired voice resounded through the quiet highway, the cold wind blew through her hair as she looked longingly above her, the stars twinkled and she couldn't help but let a smile rise to her face.
"I shouldn't be this calm about jumping into traffic. But I am. God what is actually wrong with me?" She picked at her tan skin and wiped away the tears that threatened to fall. "And now I'm crying. Great, fuck I can't believe I'm crying. Why am I crying? I'll pluck your fucking eyes out Gabrielle if you don't stop the pity party." Her voice was harsh and demeaning, hateful in tone and loud in volume. She let loose her wavy black hair and threw away the scrunchy that held it up in a neat ponytail.
"I'm tired… Well at least I'm done with my share of hardships. I made enough money selling drugs for Luis' and Tina's futures, got my mom a brand new phone, and now my savings would be transferred to her account so they could get away from dad. I can finally rest. Twenty long years… can't believe I used to want to become a fashion designer. I wonder if little Gabbie would be proud of me, doing all this for my little siblings and my mother." Gabrielle looked to her right, seeing the headlights of an incoming vehicle approaching. She smiled to herself and grabbed onto her backpack tight.
"This is gonna hurt…" were her last words before she ran onto the highway and got hit by a motorcycle.
It wasn't an instant death as she hoped, she felt her body fly a long way forward and her bones breaking. She lay down in a pool of her own blood, her mangled lower half intensely bleeding out. She couldn't groan, the air in her lungs left and she couldn't get any back in. She laid there, under the light of the stars, watching the moon. Despite the pain of her crushed bones and her gored body along with the biting cold of December she felt comfortable as she lost blood. It felt like she was floating, her consciousness was flickering at this point but she was content. With the last drops of her blood gone she felt like she was flying through the skies with the stars, her consciousness fully faded and the girl known as Gabrielle Agustin died.
Or that's what she hoped would be the result. Somehow, someway, her eyes opened and she was sitting in a beautiful meadow where orange flowers grew. "Huh, hell's looking mighty beautiful. What gives? Where's the demons that are supposed to like take me away and stab me for eternity?" She said with a voice full of bravado.
"Maybe this is like a calm before the storm type of thing? Well if this is hell then the anti-theistic pamphlets I handed out in my college are starting to look like a mistake." Her voice was low and quiet, she was genuinely contemplating whether passing out pamphlets and posters with the words 'God has abandoned us' in big bold red letters were a mistake.
She concluded, however, that she was only being true to her beliefs. if the Christian boys could threaten to rape her without any repercussions from God or their church because they passed out Christian pamphlets every Sunday, then she didn't mind burning in hell with the cool kids for all eternity.
'Granted I would burn with pedophiles and serial killers too. I just hope I'm getting roasted with the lesbians, at least we can have some fun while our spiritual skin things are peeled off by raging hellfire.'
"Welcome." A unified voice of three resounded throughout Gabrielle's mind, making her cry out a very loud 'fucking hell'.
"Uh, thanks?" Gabrielle replied to whatever thing, or well, things just welcomed him into what she assumed was the reception room for hell.
"I am Claven." An old man suddenly appeared in a flash of light in front of the confused Gabrielle.
"Oh great, my torturer's a creepy old guy. You know my dad would be a way better option, just seeing him makes me want to tear off my skin in disgust. But okay." Though she was actually terrified of eternal damnation, Gabrielle didn't really want to look like a disheveled crybaby on her first day. That just wouldn't be her style.
"You are mistaken, child. I am a god. And these are my colleagues. Clarisse, and Claudia." With those words, two people, a little girl and a woman, revealed herself from behind the aged man.
'Huh, that woman's so pretty. If it was her, maybe I wouldn't mind getting myself skinned.' She thought to herself as she stared at the woman called Claudia. Her red hair flowed in the gentle breeze and her eyes were kind and motherly. 'Talk about Mommy issues, I can't believe I'm thirsting over women older than me, even in death.'
"Thank you, Gabrielle. But I swear I'm not a torturer." Claudia let out a graceful chuckle and smiled at Gabrielle.
"WAIT NO- I mean yes! But uh- nevermind, fine I find you hot. I should have considered the possibility of hell's demons being able to read minds." Gabrielle stuttered and stumbled over her words.
"Stop, we aren't demons. We're here to help you. You stay at home most days and read about reincarnation into another world, right? Well this should be pretty simple then. All of those books you've read have a semblance of truth in them, we're sending you into another world." The little girl called Clarisse explained to the flustered Gabrielle.
"Indeed, your soul's core is heavily damaged due to what we assume to be your experiences on Earth. We are more or less one of the many deities in charge of making sure reincarnated souls are intact. And so, we are here to send you off with boons." Claudia added.
'Oh I'm getting reincarnated.' Gabrielle thought. 'If this was a novel it'd probably be named something like 'The Wimpy College Girl's Ascent Into Overwhelming Power Due To Blessings Given to Her By a Holy Triune, But a Different Triune From the Abrahamic Religion's The Father The Son And The Holy Spirit', it'll probably flop though.' Gabrielle thought sarcastically. Logically she knew that none of this was real and a figment of her dying brain's imagination.
"Yes, we know, sweetheart. This doesn't feel real. But we swear it is." Claudia reassured Gabrielle.
'God why is she so h- Gabrielle stop! She can read minds and we're already embarrassed enough as is. Just get this over with.' Gabrielle cleared her throat, a flush was visible on her face and she knew this fact but chose to ignore it instead. "Okay, uh, well. So what do we do?"
"Just stay still. We'll handle everything from this point on." The three said in perfect unison, their voices harmonised and shook something inside Gabrielle.
From within Gabrielle, a small shard emerged. Gabrielle looked in wonder while the gods were filled with concern. They looked like they wanted to say something, but decided against it. Claven took it into his hands and started to speak in a solemn tone.
"With my authority as the God of Uniquity and Talents, I, Claven, bestow upon you five skills. This is my will, and so it shall be!" His voice was gruff and ravaged by father time, but it commanded an impressive power.
"Pick from any of these five cards, and it shall be available to you from birth. The other four you will have to work for, however." Claven summoned five cards, they each circled around the confused girl.
'Knowing my luck it'll probably be something horrible. So uh this I guess.' Her thoughts were clouded with the prospect of having a useless skill, she didn't mind that much though, she was used to getting the shorter end of the stick. And she didn't think that the gods who claimed to be oh so benevolent would give her anything that was too useless.
"Harmless Sweetie… Huh… okay… WAIT WHAT!? ISN'T THIS A BIT TOO SCARY? If I had this in my previous life I wouldn't have had to kill myself…" Gabrielle muttered to herself, she was shocked, the skill itself was something that criminals would kill to have. It made the owner of said skill always be perceived as innocent and harmless.
"Consider it as a gift. We know what you've experienced on Earth, and we wanted to make sure your next life would be extra special. If not then your soul might collapse in on itself and we'd have to send you through many euphoria loops just to fix you." Clarisse explained, "None of the five cards were duds anyway, all of them are useful and tailor-made for you and your own personality and desires."
"Are you sure you're going to give this to me? A numb college girl who sold drugs for a living? Aren't you concerned about the possible repercussions this may have if I went haywire?" Gabrielle questioned, her voice shook and she spoke with incredible speed. "This is too much power for someone with no sense of responsibility." She said, her anxiety showing in her tone of voice.
"Please calm down, Gabrielle. It is time for my own gift to you." Claudia's voice resounded as the wind stilled. She let the shard float onto her hands before she opened her thin lips to speak, "As the Goddess of Limits and Potentials, I remove your limits, keep growing and let your power rise up to the skies with no ceilings to ever stop it." Claudia declared, the fragmented piece of a soul shone a bright blue.
"Oh god now I don't have limits??? I mean yeah I guess I want to be powerful but are you really sure you're giving all this to the right person? I me-"
"Please pipe down. Do not worry. We don't care about what you might or might not do in the world that we will be sending you in. It is of no importance to us." Clarisse sighed as she took the shard into her own hands. "As the Goddess of Family and Connections, I bestow upon you a fruitful childhood. Bloom into a beautiful flower using the love that will be given to you." The little girl cupped it into her hands and let it go, letting it float towards Gabrielle, who still looked very panicked.
"Though you will not remember us, please do live this life that you will be given to your utmost. We would hate to see you here with your soul in less than adequate condition. Goodbye now." The three's voices resonated, and with that, Gabrielle once again lost consciousness.
"Lilianna Diancia, give up now. We have you surrounded. Give us your seed." A male wizard said, looking at a smiling woman surrounded by ten other beings of varying races, shapes, and sizes.
These were her friends, these were Liliana's friends, these were the people she's spent a long time bonding and adventuring with. These were the very same people that pledged that, even if she was a witch, they'd still stay by her side and fight with her.
"God, and you even took my Hashflag Lifehack. Well done, Notos. I really trusted you, I should've known you would turn them all against me at some point. Before I go haywire and use my Witch Factor, and I will, can you answer this simple question for me?" Her voice dripped with despair, and her smile was a melancholic one. The ground that she stood on was a cursed ground that only she could tread on, and it was about to disappear, she knew that the second it did she would be killed. Or at least they could try, after all, if the Leviathan couldn't kill the Witch of Despair, then the people around her could only trigger her slumber at most. With that in mind, she'd rather put herself into slumber than be forcefully made to sleep by these traitors.
"No… HURRY! SHE'S ABOUT TO BURN EVERYTHING DOWN! CAST MORE HOLY MAGIC, PIERCE THROUGH THAT GROUND'S DEFENSES, DESTROY THE ARRAY RIGHT NOW! NO ONE CAN SURVIVE HER FACTOR, ESPECIALLY SINCE SHE'S PUSHED INTO THE BRINK OF INSANITY BY DESPAIR." Notos yelled at the priests and arch-bishops that were currently trying to dispel the cursed ground that Liliana was standing on.
"Tell me, why does betrayal reek of updog?" Lilianna smiled bitterly at the male wizard in front of her, memories flashed before her as she prepared to activate her Witch Factor.
"HOW DARE YOU JOKE AT A TIME LIKE THIS!?!" Notos' voice shook with anger and resentment, with a hint of bitterness after remembering the more peaceful times with the witch. He yelled at the despairing witch in front of him, cursing her and wishing upon her the worst of fates.
"No… I've told you so many times before, again and again and again and again and again… you're supposed to say 'What's updog?'... and then I'd reply, 'Nothing much.' you never learn, do you, Notos?" Her voice trembled with an indescribable hollow emptiness, black tears that burnt Lilianna's cheeks started rushing down her face, the bitter smile on her face never left despite the agony the tears put her in. "The rivers may dry up and fire may be put out, the wind may still and the earth may erode. But remember this, all of you, I love every single one of you, even if you betray me a hundred times I'll never forget the sugar buns we shared on that day, promising that we'll always be by each other's side."
"But alas, I'll have to drag everyone and everything down with me." Her voice was so quiet that not even the spirits could have heard it. "Crab Mentality." She whispered as she, and numerous places on the Eastern Isles went up in an unquenchable hellfire. Rivers went aflame, forests quickly turned into ashes, kingdoms were razed and whole lakes dried up. The gods panicked as they tried to put out the fires that Lilianna Diancia set, and the Leviathan that slumbered deep in the abyss resurfaced to help put out the fire that raged throughout the Isle.
"If I take too long to wake up… and they reincarnate to use up all of this world's magic again. Then save all of them, save the dianians, the danzians, the elisians, and the gregorians. Protect them, be my stand-in, carry this heavy burden for me. And when the time comes that I awake, you shall rest, and you shall be one with me again." Liliana muttered, she was still burning, but she couldn't care less about the pain, her skin peeling off, or her eyes starting to explode. All she could care about was the tiny fragment of soul that she ripped from inside her, she let it enter the cycle of reincarnation, with a spell to make sure it came back to Magamundo within the next one hundred and fifty years.
Though the person formed from this soul would be an incomplete being that lacked certain emotions. She knew that this would be good enough. The fragment would only be a stand-in for her, and when she gathers enough strength to take the stand-in's body then she will do so.
Unless, of course, the stand-in develops an ego of its own.