Chapter 1 – The Summoning
There was an open space stretching itself without end in sight. It was illuminated by numerous small orbs of light floating in the air. It was neither cold nor warm. The space had a holy and otherworldly aura. There stood eleven people varying in age and ethnicity.
These people all stood apart from each other without speaking, immersed in their own minds. However, most of them shared the same expressions: arrogance and pride, impatience and excitement. Their backs were straight and their eyes sparkling. There was a certain thrill in the air. They were the chosen ones. They’d left the mediocrity of their life on Earth behind to become people who would bathe in wealth and glory.
Someone finally complained, “How long are we supposed to wait here?” The man was tall and bulky as if his muscles were built from rocks. His chin was high and his gaze was condescending.
A series of complaints started to flood the space.
Some statics sounded, followed by the familiar monotone voice, “A hero has yet to finish.”
An annoyed young woman with red hair asked, “What’s taking them so long? We’ve finished a while ago!”
Just then, a ripple of magic crossed the space, and the last summoned person appeared in front of the group. She was around 1m65 tall (5.4ft), her skin was of a milk chocolate colour, and her features showed that she was mixed. She had long straight black hair with some silver locks and hazel eyes.
However, in this crowd of beautified heroes, she looked somewhat average and painfully awkward. She’d even forgotten to change her clothes and was still in her old pyjamas. Placed in front of the group, her face paled; she looked particularly spooked and uncomfortable.
The red-haired woman asked with disgust, “We were waiting for that?”
The newly-arrived member blinked fast, bowed in apology, and then hurried toward the back of the group.
Their gazes stained with contempt and impatience followed her as she passed by. On her way, she bumped past a half-elf dressed in black lost in the crowd. She quickly apologised without looking at him. Reaching the very back, she bit her lower lip and was about to lower her head when up high, a bright light appeared, and the silhouette of a woman dressed in white emerged from the void.
As she was descending, she announced, “Welcome, heroes! I am Lyres, a God’s Avatar. You were summoned into this world called Arkanium. The demon race is on the verge of conquering the free world. In times of need, summoning Heroes from another world is our last resort. You were given skills and powers, make good use of them.”
Lyres surveyed the room, her eyes straying a bit longer on the latecomer. She slightly bowed, and added, “Please help Arkanium!”
The bulky man roared with confidence, “Hahaha, don’t worry! With the great Dorian here, you have nothing to fear! You can at least count on me.”
The others also smiled with ease. They received such a good opportunity to restart their lives and create their own unique skills. How could they lack confidence? But the half-elf dressed in black remained silent, his expression indifferent and stiff. He had glanced around at each of the others, his eyes darting over all parts of their bodies and armour. Not too far from him, Ran was mumbling under her breath and fidgeting with her fingers. She looked weak-willed at best.
Lyres bid them goodbye, “Go, children! May fate be in your favour.”