Chapter 0 – Prologue
The laundry hadn’t been done in a while.
The sink was overflowing with dirty dishes.
There was nothing to eat in the fridge.
The cupboards were empty.
The sun hadn’t found its way inside this apartment for days, the shutters stayed stubbornly closed.
The lonely figure of a woman in pyjamas stood in the middle of the living room. Black circles, empty eyes, and tired eyelids.
The woman sighed. It was just another dark and rough patch; it wasn’t the first one and wouldn’t be the last. It hadn’t been long since she’d started over; she needed to give herself time. Take things slowly.
She gave a hoarse chuckle. So weak! She shook her head in an attempt to make the dark thoughts dizzy, but unshed tears still threatened to drown her.
The woman dragged her feet, peeking from beneath the stained pyjamas, to the mattress laid out in the middle of the kitchen.
A nap. Yeah, she needed a nap. Or an ethylic coma.
She hesitated for a second. The second option was incredibly tempting. A smoky whisky or a dark rum?
No, forget it. She threw herself on the bed and shut her eyes. Let’s give my liver a chance.
Her dreams had ceased to be dreams a long time ago.
Nightmares, she was used to it. Tortuous paths and unbearable pain.
Same old, same old.
From the depths of the abyss, a warm light flickered. Faint and pale at first, it grew and grew until it became blinding and hot. The light swallowed her whole. Her body warmed up a bit.
Dazed, she laid down on the white floor that expanded itself to infinity. She blinked and sat there in a daze.
“This is different,” she mused.
Such a dream was a novelty, so she stood up and chose a direction to walk in.
A clear tingle of bells echoed in the empty space, taking the woman by surprise.
“Welcome, Chosen One,” A monotone and unidentified voice resounded. “We need your help, Ô Chosen One. Our world is in peril and only you Heroes can save it.”
The woman blinked, a bit lost, and asked, “Where is this?”
“You are on your way to another world.”
“Another world? What a good joke.” she scoffed, looking around at the empty space that was still bleak.
“Chosen One, you are now a Hero who will fight alongside others against the tyranny of the Demon Race and free the Human Race,” announced the monotonous voice.
She grumbled, “Really? What kind of dream is that? Gosh, I knew whisky was the best way to go.”
“Unlike Earth, this new world is filled with magic…” The voice glitched.
“I don’t want to be a hero. I’m just some loser, find someone else”—the woman waved and walked away—“I need to wake up. Now.”
“Unlike Earth, this new world is filled—” the voice repeated like a broken record.
“Seriously, Brain? A summoning in an Isekai? Talk about originality.”
“—with magic, that’s why we are giving you the chance to create your own skills and design your body—”
She stopped in her tracks and knitted her messy brows, a frown of suspicion forming between them.
“I can create my own skills and body? Why?”
“So you can fight against the legion of demons to your heart’s content.”
She was stumped. What the hell!
She pinched herself and winced at the pain. She frowned harder and pinched with greater strength.
“Why can’t I wake up?”
“Only you Heroes can defeat the Demon army,” the voice added.
Ignoring it, she mumbled, “There is no way this is happening, right? For Earth to have a connection with another world is—”
Suddenly, she realised something. “Heroes? How many?”
“Twelve! Twelve people have been transported to this world?” She couldn’t believe it.
“Correct. Twelve Mighty Heroes have been summoned into our world,” the monotone confirmed.
“No way! You transferred twelve people like that?” she asked. How can they move this many people through worlds?
“Indeed,” affirmed the voice.
She could barely process the situation. She ruffled her hair and paced around before stopping dead, “Wait… wait… didn’t you just say that I can create my skills and body?”
“Am I the only one who can do that?”
“No. All twelve can create their own skills and bodies”
The answer had her shaking her head; this was too ridiculous. There was no way this was happening. Must be a new nightmare! “It’s definitely my retarded brain. There is no way this is real! As if any deity or whatever could allow this kind of bullshit! ”
“This is… real,” the voice felt a bit out of tune.
High in the sky, some faint statics appeared as if space itself had become unstable.
She started, “Well, too bad! I don’t want to. Send me back. I can’t possibly—”
“Time is limited. Please start the creation of skills and new body otherwise they will be assigned at random,” stated the monotone.
A game-like window flickered then opened in front of her. She stood still, staring blankly at it. Deep inside, she felt the anger she’d tried hard to repress so far rise. “No, no, no! NO! I don’t want to! I don’t want to save anybody from anyone.”
She ruffled her hair with force, on the verge of losing it. She had tried so hard to be normal, to suppress emotions and memories, to have a semblance of freaking stability, and now, this happened. “Send me back, RIGHT NOW! I’m not made to be a hero! Don’t you dare force me into this nonsense!”
“Only you can… fight the Demon army and free us all,” the voice repeated like a broken vinyl.
“I don’t care! I don’t give a damn about demons and whatnot! I’m weak! I’m more than weak,” she yelled with force.
Space seemed to tremble under her emotions. A distortion started to take form.
“I can’t even save myself, how can I help anybody?”
“LISTEN TO ME!” she pleaded, her voice turned hoarse. “I—I don’t deserve to be anybody’s hero.”
“Time is limited. Please start… the creation… of skills and new body otherwise they… will be assigned at… random.” The voice glitched.
“LISTEN TO ME, DAMMIT!” She collapsed on the floor.
“Time… is limited.” The voice died.
The ethereal windows were blinking in front of her. Fate was a cruel thing. She was now stuck in a fantasy world.