Chapter 1:

What happened to being reincarnated?

Afterlife in Another World!!

Kikuchi Emiko’s nose itched.Bookmark here

Emi's nose itched more than she could bear. However, no matter how hard she tried, she found herself incapable of relieving the itch.Bookmark here

Eventually, she resigned to lying flat on her back, arms spread wide, staring at the bright white ceiling. Bookmark here

The ceiling was so far above her that she wondered whether there even was a ceiling. Bookmark here

In fact, the room appeared to stretch endlessly in all directions, even beneath her.Bookmark here

A bright white room? Bookmark here

I've got a bad feeling about this... Bookmark here

The longer Emi stared at the ceiling, the more unnerved she became.Bookmark here

In books and movies, people often found themselves in a bright white room after dying, right?Bookmark here

Panicking, Emi sat up and glanced about her. The room truly looked to stretch endlessly in all directions.Bookmark here

However, the fact that she was stark naked startled her more than her unfamiliar surroundings. Bookmark here

Since her hair stopped just below her collar bone, she hurried to cover as much of herself as she could with her slender arms. She was suddenly grateful for the bright white room, which was so light that its ethereal glow somewhat concealed her naked form.Bookmark here

Okay, now I really have a bad feeling... Bookmark here

She glanced about the infinite room and cast her eyes over her body once more. Bookmark here

I'm floating? she realised, noticing her posture.Bookmark here

‘Well fuc-‘Bookmark here

‘Language,’ a sickly-sweet voice interrupted her.Bookmark here

Emi turned to the voice and yelped.Bookmark here

A strange creature was hovering over her. It was like no animal she had ever seen before, not only because it had just spoken to her. Its fur was iridescent, and it had three long fluffy tails and a pair of large, erect ears.Bookmark here

Curiously, it wore a long white sheet akin to a cheap Halloween ghost costume.Bookmark here

The creature was upside-down.Bookmark here

...or am I upside-down? Emi wondered.Bookmark here

The sheet made it difficult to tell whether the creature was supposed to be a fox, a cat, a dog or something else entirely. All she could see was its silhouette, four fluffy paws, three tails and a pair of beady eyes, which bore into her like a pair of all-consuming black holes.Bookmark here

‘I’m dead, right?’ Emi sighed, getting the hint.Bookmark here

‘Yep,' the creature told her cheerily. 'Completely and utterly done, dead, kaput, finished, deceased, decaying-'Bookmark here

'Stop,' Emi told it. 'I get the picture.'Bookmark here

She shook her head and noticed that her dark hair was on end.Bookmark here

Yep, I'm definitely upside down...Bookmark here

‘So, how did I die?’ she asked, unable to recall what she had been doing before waking in the bright white room.Bookmark here

In fact, all of her memories were fuzzy.Bookmark here

She shook her head again.Bookmark here

'Never mind, don't answer,' she told the strange creature, avoiding its eyes. 'Are you an angel?’Bookmark here

The cosplay ghost laughed at her. Bookmark here

‘You can call me Angel if you'd like?’Bookmark here

‘Sure,’ Emi said dismissively while trying to massage out the sudden throbbing in her temples.Bookmark here

Then she remembered that she was naked and returned to shielding her body from Angel's dark eyes.Bookmark here

‘So ... what happens now?’ she asked after calming a little.Bookmark here

'I suppose you could say you'll be reincarnated.’ Bookmark here

‘And if I don’t want to be reincarnated?’ she asked. ‘I am Kikuchi Emiko, next in line to head the Kikuchi family and inherit Kikuchi Corporation. Several universities are already fighting for my attendance. I was loved by everyone. I like - or rather, I liked - my life. I had everything planned out-’Bookmark here

Emi yelped. Angel’s black eyes suddenly appeared in front of her, piercing her. Bookmark here

'You're dead,' Angel told her. 'You have no future.'Bookmark here

Emi pouted to hide the fact that her lower lip was trembling.Bookmark here

‘Well, that sucks,’ was all she could think to say. ‘So, what happens now?’Bookmark here

‘Now…’ Angel said, its sweet voice darkening.Bookmark here

Emi screamed. She fell. However, it was difficult to tell if was truly falling since her surroundings did not change.Bookmark here

Then her throbbing head hit something.Bookmark here

I guess the room wasn't infinite... was her last thought before all went dark.Bookmark here

*Bookmark here

Emi started and woke up.Bookmark here

She had fallen asleep at her desk in school. She glanced at the clock on the wall and heaved a heavy sigh of relief.Bookmark here

It was only twenty-eight minutes past eight, meaning homeroom had not officially started yet.Bookmark here

As though reading her mind, her homeroom teacher arrived and called her class to attention. Emi stood, bowed and greeted her teacher alongside her classmates.Bookmark here

When she retook her seat, she noticed her desk was littered with flowers and cards.Bookmark here

Who put these here? Bookmark here

She glanced about the room, wondering why nobody seemed surprised by the sorry state of desk. Her desk was so littered that there was no room to lay down her notebook.Bookmark here

Is this a prank? she wondered, glancing at her classmates.Bookmark here

Nobody had ever pulled a prank on her before; nobody would dare to upset her.Bookmark here

She was Kikuchi Emiko.Bookmark here

At the top of her desk, facing the board, was a framed photograph. Emi leaned over her desk to take a look.Bookmark here

It was a photograph of herself.Bookmark here

Her classmates’ attention remained on their teacher, who was registering attendance.Bookmark here

‘Iwase.’Bookmark here

‘Here.’Bookmark here

‘Kawasaki.’Bookmark here

‘Here!’Bookmark here

‘’Kobayashi.’Bookmark here

‘Here.’Bookmark here

Emi flinched.Bookmark here

Did he just skip me?Bookmark here

Emi glanced about the room again. Nobody was smirking or glancing at her out of the corners of their tired eyes. Uncertain of what to do, Emi raised her hand.Bookmark here

Her teacher ignored her.Bookmark here

‘Excuse me,’ she said quietly and, when nobody responded, repeated herself. When yelling did not work, she waved her arms wildly until she could no longer stand the aching in her shoulders.Bookmark here

Then her nose began to itch. Emi grumbled and made to scratch it. Bookmark here

She yelped when the hand travelled through her desk. An unpleasant tingling sensation filled her palm and wrist.Bookmark here

Then suddenly, the plastic stool beneath her disappeared, or rather, she travelled through the stool to land on her bottom on the classroom floor.Bookmark here

Emi stood as quickly as she could, flushing, and glanced at her classmates again, expecting everyone's' eyes to be on her. Bookmark here

No one was looking at her.Bookmark here

‘Hello?’ she whispered to no reply.Bookmark here

Desperate, she waved her hand in front of her desk neighbour's face but he did not seem to notice her. Bookmark here

Emi noticed that the date in his notebook read the twelfth of June.Bookmark here

She moved back to her desk and scanned the cards scattered amongst the flowers.Bookmark here

Rest in peace Kikuchi - Arima Hana xxBookmark here

You were so nice! I’ll never forget you - Murakami RikuBookmark here

You were the sweetest girl I ever meet! You’ll be missed – Etoh Honoka Bookmark here

Sitting next to you was fun - Miyazawa MinatoBookmark here

The messages went on in much the same way, calling her 'nice' and 'sweet' and telling her that she would be sorely missed.Bookmark here

Emi scratched the tip of her nose. She could feel her hand against her skin but struggled to feel much else; she could not tell whether she was warm or cold or whether she had a pulse. She could not feel her heart beating in her chest.Bookmark here

Then she remembered her conversation with Angel.Bookmark here

Wasn't I meant to be reincarnated?Bookmark here

She backed up, walking through tables and through her classmates, shuddering.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

‘Okay,’ she mumbled to herself, her voice rising. ‘Something has definitely gone wrong here.’Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.