Suddenly becoming aware that things were not right, Marcus looked all around him and saw that he was in some sort of line of floating balls of light.
At first, he thought that maybe he was still dreaming, but when he received a message inside his head, he somehow knew this was no dream.
'Earth Soul Designated Marcus Ferrous, you have died. We at soul placement understand that this is likely distressful, but we ask that you try to remain calm. Please wait patiently until your time to be served.'
After hearing this synthetic sounding voice in his mind, Marcus for some reason felt that it had just told him the absolute truth.
All the doubt in his mind was washed away and he knew he was dead.
Quickly, in contrast to what the voice had said, Marcus naturally began to panic, especially since he had no idea how he had died.
He had simply gone to sleep and now found himself here without a clue.
Unfortunately, even with the extreme panic he was feeling, it made little difference in what his actual situation was.
No matter how hard he tried to move or scream, nothing happened.
It was as if he was on a set track, and all he had that still function was his mind which was currently in turmoil.
Still, eventually he began to calm down a bit, and took stock of his current situation.
He could see around him in every direction if he focused, though his surrounding were not very interesting.
All around him were other little balls of light that he assumed were souls, in and endless row of lines that were slowly moving forward as if on a converter belt.
'Well, this is bleak. Hopefully it does not take too long for me to get served, because this is incredibly boring. I don't even know how I died, I just went to bed and then ended up here.'
Soon enough, Marcus' initial panic had settled down, and now he just felt tired and bored.
He wondered how long he was going to have to stay in this state and hoped that it would be over soon.
And after what felt like forever, even if it was truly only a few hours, Marcus was finally able to see some sort of structure.
At long last, in front of him was a small white building that he could see the souls in front of him entering.
Seeing this, he could only assume that this was the service station he had been waiting to arrive at and would hopefully receive more information than just that he had died.
Though as he got closer, the calm the had slipped into began to leave him, as he became nervous about what might happen.
Certainly, he did not think he had done anything bad enough to get sent straight to hell, but the thought was creeping in the back of his mind.
Along with that, plenty of other horror scenarios played through his head, but as he got even closer, he began trying to think positively about what might happen to him.
Then finally, he was at the front of the line and was soon pulled into the plain white building where his fate would be determined.
As he was sucked into the building, he suddenly found himself floating in front of some sort of desk with what looked like a vaguely human shaped white blob looking at a monitor.
"Hello welcome to the soul terminal, I am the officer that will be helping you with your soul placement today. I will give you a time for questions after my explanation of what is going to happen to you is complete, so please refrain from asking any until that time. Now let us get started."
After saying that the terminal officer scrolled through their monitor and said, "To start, Marcus Ferrous, you died on your home planet of Earth via a gas leak in your hotel that caused you to suffocate. Now you will not be able to return to your original planet, but you are very lucky as we do have two options for how we can handle your soul."
"Normally your only option as a low powered soul would be to enter the cycle of rebirth again with your memories wiped. However, you have met a special condition and gained access to a second option."
"For your second choice you may choose to transfer to the world of Mirrion with your memories intact, since you are the tenth million soul in your batch from Earth to die."
"Now which option would you wish to choose?"
Taking a moment to think, Marcus tired to ask his soul placement officer a question and said, "Could you tell me exactly what is going on here? You have not told me what kind of planet this Mirrion is, or what happens if my soul is sent into the cycle of rebirth? Or much of anything for that matter?"
Yet as Marcus said this, the being that was facilitating his soul placement responded, saying, "Now is not the allotted time for questions, please make your choice or one will be made for you. There are many more souls waiting for their turn to be served."
Feeling the panic of having to quickly choose what his fate would be, Marcus began weighing one option against the other, before ultimately deciding to be sent to this planet called Mirrion.
This way, at the very least he would retain his own memories instead of having his soul be wiped.
However, before Marcus could even respond out loud, the soul placement officer said, "Very well your choice has been registered. Soul Designated Marcus Ferrous has selected to be sent to Mirrion with his memories intact."
The white blob "helping" him, then hit a couple of stokes onto its monitor before turning back towards Marcus and saying, "Now that you have chosen to be sent to Mirrion, I shall give you some general information about the new planet you shall be going to, and run down the transfer process."
"Mirrion is a world that is quite different from your previous world in many ways. It is over thirty-six times bigger than Earth and is a world with what you call magic. It would be considered by you to be a world that is similar to many of the fantasies depicted in fiction on your former planet, and along with that is also supported by a system that helps people to advance in strength and learn skills more efficiently. And unlike Earth Mirrion is home to many different intelligent races aside from humans."
"As for the transfer process, it can follow either one of two methods. The first in which you will be reincarnated as a level one newborn to any possible intelligent race, along with four random blessings. Or you can be transferred using your old body as a template for a new one on Mirrion. along with one random blessing and starting at level forty."
"In either case, you will also receive the unique skill personal status, a small item box, a single language token, and a beginners guide to Mirrion booklet. At this time, you may ask any questions you have in the allotted ten minutes before you need to make your choice of transfer process, or one will be chosen for you. Also, there may be some question I am unable to answer so please understand that I may refuse some of your questions."
"Your time for questions starts now."
Taking around thirty seconds to quickly compile the information he had just received, Marcus started with asking questions about the most relevant subjects that he knew would affect him.
"Earlier you mentioned blessings, could you give me some more information on what effect they have on me?"
"Understood. A blessing is a boon granted to people that gives them special abilities. For example, the blessing of fire would give a person a higher affinity and a boost in power for fire related magic and skills, as well as some minor resistances to fire. Blessings are normally given to people at birth, but it is possible to obtain them later in life. As there are thousands of different blessings, I will not be able to give any more specific examples."
Nodding his head, this was relatively in line with what he guessed, though he did wish he could get some more information.
Still his time was limited, and he had other inquiries to make.
Next, he asked about the unique skill that he had told he would be receiving called personal status.
"The personal status unique skill is awarded to all transfers to Mirrion. With this skill you will be able to view your status at any time, as well as distribute both stat and skill points as you desire. You will be able to find out more about this skill once you have been transferred and have access to it."
With the most pressing of the questions he had, answered to at least some degree, Marcus switched over to what he wanted to know next.
"You told me that every ten millionth soul from Earth is also given the option to go to Mirrion, how many other people from Earth are currently there?"
"Currently seven hundred twenty-one other individuals from the planet Earth reside on Mirrion."
"How many people live on Mirrion?"
"I cannot answer that question."
Finding his first unanswerable question, Marcus felt a bit frustrated since he was hoping to find out his odds of finding another person from Earth.
With his currently line of questioning reaching its end, Marcus decided to switch things up and figure out another important aspect of the world he was about to be sent to.
"What is the highest level possible on Mirrion?"
"I cannot answer that."
Internally groaning, Marcus was not happy to find his questions being blocked at every point, but there was still plenty he had to ask about pertaining to this subject.
"What is the average level for intelligent life on Mirrion?"
"The current average level for intelligent life on Mirrion is 13."
"What is the average level of all life on Mirrion?"
"The current average level on Mirrion is 21."
Hearing this, Marcus was able to surmise that starting at level forty would certainly put him above the curve, but would it really be all that impressive.
Trying again in a more roundabout way to figure out the top level on Mirrion. This time, Marcus asked what the highest level any creature had, but ultimately his attempt ended in failure when he was told that his question could not be answered.
'Guess they are not going to make it easy on me. I was hoping to find out exactly how good level forty is, but it semes higher than average is the best I can get. Of course, there is the other option of starting out as a newborn, but I really do not have any desire to have to go through infancy and puberty again with an adult mind. Hm, maybe I can try bargaining? I mean maybe I could ask for some sort of busted skill or something that makes me untouchable in exchange for some of the levels or the blessing.' Marcus thought, throwing some ideas around.
However, he never expected to receive an answer to his inner thoughts as he forgot that whatever entity was helping him right now could read his mind.
"I am afraid that that would be impossible to trade any of your starting boon… wait, I have received a message from the system administrator allowing it. Very well you request has been accepted and your starting level has been lowered in order to facilitate the necessary changes."
Hearing this Marcus was taken aback, since he had just been tossing around the idea, but getting a broken ability that made him untouchable still sounded pretty good.
"What type of ability was I given and how many levels will I lose for it?" Marcus asked wanting to get the specifics of what his busted power would be and what it would cost him.
"The ability that makes you untouchable is given via-"
"Ah, I am afraid that is all the time you have been allotted for questions, and I will now begin your transfer to Mirrion."
"Wait, that is it. I could have sworn I had more time left to ask questions."
"Transfer initiated. Thank you for your patience during this process and enjoy your new life on Mirrion."