1 Death, Ascension, Reincarnation

Elliot stared at the sterile white ceiling as he struggled for each labored breath. 

The incessant beeping of the machinery barely keeping him alive seemed more disruptive than usual.

Ever since his lung cancer diagnosis, he had lived each day battling the merciless disease, clinging to the hope that he might prevail. 

But for those who cannot afford it, hope can be a dangerous thing to cling to. And Elliot was realizing that too young.

He blamed it all on his workplace. An esteemed engineer and valedictorian, intelligence was an understatement for his brilliant and creative mind.

But he had been naive, falling for the wrong woman and taking the wrong job under her ruthless father. 

Her father was excavating gold from a perilous site, and needed to hide the operation. Building an oil rig provided the perfect cover - while it was under construction, the gold could be hastily extracted without arousing government suspicion.

Elliot's ingenious mind had been exploited through the whole charade. Like a tool, he was used up completely and then discarded by both his girlfriend and her father.

Just seven months into working there, Elliot received his cancer diagnosis. Though its origins remained unclear, shortly after, his girlfriend left him and her father erased his existence.

All of Elliot's life savings went towards desperately trying to battle the cancer and cling to life. That fight now seemed profoundly foolish. 

He should have surrendered from the beginning.

Gritting his teeth, Elliot resentfully replayed it all. Why, why, why had he been cursed with such misfortune? Why couldn't the world be a better place?

As Elliot felt the remaining vigor drain from his veins, he forced himself to release that bitter hatred. At least he didn't want to die and become a lingering, wandering spirit. 

'If I die now...I wish I could start over in a better world...'

He knew it was pure fantasy, impossible in reality. But as death approached, such thoughts preoccupied his mind. 

Ever since starting chemotherapy, Elliot had developed an affinity for novels and comics about characters who died and awakened reincarnated in other worlds. 

Why not indulge in a bit of fairy tale fancy? He was a dying man after all...cut him some slack.

Elliot smiled slightly, losing himself in fanciful daydreams of life beyond this one. Baseless and fleeting, such musings would scatter like dust when death's candle blew out his flame. 

Yet for now, imagining another chance is what kept the faint smile upon his face.

The machine's beeping slowed... Nurses rushed in as doctors desperately tried saving him. 

"120 charge!" Beep!

"150 charge!" Beep! 

Their efforts faded into background noise as Elliott's smile darkened into lifelessness. His glazing eyes grew unfocused and motionless as the agonized chaos unfolded around his corpse. 

With a last failed jolt of electricity, the doctor conceded defeat, dropping the defibrillators. "Time of death, 3:04pm..."

Peace at last...or so Elliot assumed.

But where was this place? 

He couldn't feel a body - no hands, legs or form - just an orb-like essence. Strange glowing orbs traversed a vast expanse of white roads leading towards different portals. 

Curious, he wondered - what are those things? 

"Those, my friend, are souls," a masculine voice replied unexpectedly.

Elliot tried glancing upwards but could only see about ninety degrees around. Then, without willing it, his orb lifted up towards the source of the voice. 

What met his gaze was someone - or something - too perfect to be mortal. Flowing silver locks framed striking yet sage features with flawless symmetry. Garbed in ornate floral fabrics, everything about this being oozed cunning intellect and absolute authority. He had a divine, terrible beauty. 

"Hello odd one," he murmured while closely scrutinizing the soul in his palm. 

"Never have I encountered a soul so curious about other souls."

He twirled his fingers, blue sparks dancing. Then his eyes shot wide.

"Oh my!" His mouth fell open in astonishment. 

An ear-to-ear grin stretched across his face. 

"In three thousand years...never did I expect to discover such a rare treasure!" 

He shouted joyously, giddily tossing the soul up and catching it. 

Thoroughly perplexed, Elliot wished the exuberant stranger would explain what was happening instead of throwing him around like a ball.

But before Elliot could question anything, the being conjured a portal with one swirl of his finger. 

"I'm sending you somewhere exciting! But given the urgency, explanations will have to wait. I promise aid and answers soon!"

Laughing, he hurtled Elliot's soul towards the shimmering portal. But in the final moments, an external force knocked his trajectory off-course, sending him tumbling down endless glowing pathways.

The man whipped around furiously. 

"How dare you!" he spat.

"You'd be stupid to think I'd let you get your way, trickster," a wispy female voice retorted. 

An ancient, diminutive woman leaned on a cane, seemingly appearing from thin air. 

"Meddlesome hag!" the man hissed. "What could you possibly know?"

She shrugged indifferently. "I know nothing. But that soul's not going back to you." 

Cackling, her entire presence exuded a mischievous, cunning witch.

The man glared at the sea of souls then smirked coldly. 

"Foolish old crone. Have you forgotten that I am the God of Deceit? No matter where he lands, I will find him."

With that foreboding declaration, the man disappeared. The woman's triumphant expression chilled into unease. 

Meanwhile, Elliot's soul continued falling further down the glittering cosmic maze. After a few more aimless tumbles, he landed on an empty, isolated path. 

Gazing around, Elliot saw no other souls. He couldn't fly or climb back up the brilliant white web. 

But directly ahead lay an open portal. Ominous yet enticing, it offered the sole way forward. Against his better judgement, Elliott entered the ominous gate.

His vision faded into darkness. Müddled sounds filtered through - chaotic chatter and a woman's pained screams. 

"Push! Push my lady! Puuusshhh!" 

It felt arduous...oppressive. Then Elliott felt himself dragged out by a strong force both inside and outside. 

With cold dread, he suddenly understood.

'Oh crap...'







I don't talk much, cause I'm so introverted lol but I want the support, I want the power stones, I want the golden tickets, I need my readers for this book to make it to the end.

Welcome to the start of the journey.

You can join the discord server:


Next chapter