Blasphemy: Saga of the Blackgoat Prince!
“You are dead.”
That is the first thing I, Akane Ito, hear the instant I open my eyes.
“Dead?” I look around. I don’t feel dead. I pinch my cheeks while squeezing my eyes shut as tightly as I can. It hurts a lot. I puff out my cheeks and stare around.
“Dead people can't feel pain, right?”
“...What an interesting reaction.”
The beautiful career woman in front of me has shimmering white hair. Its strands drifted around her shoulders like clouds driven by a gentle gust as she looks at me with a twitching smile. I wonder how her hair moves like that when I can’t feel any breeze.
She clears her throat. “Nevertheless you are dead. While walking down the street you, eh… tripped over your own shoelaces, stumbled into the street where you were clipped by a passing truck delivering kegs of foreign beer.”
“Oh! I see. I died from getting hit by a truck.”
The woman takes a pair of glasses from the breast pocket of her blouse and stares at the computer screen on her desk; her lip were twitching like she was swallowing a chuckle.
“The truck didn’t even hurt you, really. It just spun you around until you collapsed onto the street merely skinning your knees.”
“Mmm. So how did I end up here?”
“Well… Apparently you were so distraught that you dropped your favorite snack onto the street, you remained on your knees weeping. Unfortunately, the truck driver received such a fright at your sudden appearance in front of him that he crashed into a nearby light post; which freed the doors of the truck and you were...erm crushed beneath the foreign beer kegs as they came tumbling free.”
“So I died because I am a clumsy cry baby.”
This lady sure sticks to the point, I think as my eyes begin to well up with fresh tears.
“But!” She says with a slightly panicking expression at my distress. “There is good news!”
“What could be good about dying in such an embarrassing manner?”
“That is the good news!” She says flashing me the most dazzling smile. “Every day we run a contest giving the person who died the most embarrassing death on earth the opportunity to start life in a new world! Magic! Fantastic beasts! Beautiful men, beautiful women! Lands so amazing when you see them you won’t be able to believe your eyes!”
Her eyes are sparkling by the end of her speech as she stands leaning over the desk with her hand stretching out towards me like a game show host. Her impressive chest heaves with the passion of her words as she stares into my eyes searching for a comparable enthusiasm.
“Like a light novel?”
“Exactly like a light novel!”
I tilt my head and touch a finger to my chin and think about the light novels I borrowed from big bro.
“So… you’re like a god?”
“Now you're getting it!”
I stare around us and the first word that comes to me is an office. Granted instead of walls there is only an infinite whiteness, and below our feet is something that can only be described as the entire universe. But everything else… the only thing that comes to mind is a career woman and an office.
We aren’t even the only people here. There seem to be endless desks with countless impossibly beautiful people occupying them. They are scampering about, passing memos, sending emails, and loudly complaining about their jobs like employees at any office on earth. I can’t see much difference, except all of them have impossible hair of every shade, some of which I don’t really know the words to describe.
“Are you sure I’m not dreaming?”
“If you were there’s no way I would be able to answer that!” She says slapping the table repeatedly and giving me a scary look that brings fresh tears to my eyes.
She takes a deep breath and hangs her head. “Look if it is a dream just enjoy it! Maybe you’ll feel better after I share the fabulous perks you get for winning this contest?”
I sit up a little bit straighter after hearing that.
“eh? Like cheat abilities!”
The god crosses her arms and looks down at me with a haughty smile. “Cheat abilities? Ha! Something as pedestrian as that is saved for heroes summoned to another world. I have received clearance to give the Embarrassing Death Contest winners something far better than that!”
She turns around and waves her hand and a big holographic-like screen forms out of thin air.
“You are allowed to literally pick out every aspect of your life!”
As she spoke images that matched her words filled the screen she summoned.
“Wanna be rich? You can start your new life with enough money to buy a country! Wanna be immortal? Eternal youth coming right up! Anything short of God level abilities are a go! We let you choose your stats, your magic affinities, your age! Where hero summons get 1 cheat ability you can have a hundred!”
“In light novels, the new worlds usually have their own gods. Will letting me do something like this really be ok?”
The god avoids my eyes and starts sweating lightly. “Well for one reason or another the gods of the worlds we send our contestants to aren’t really in the position to care about something like this so… it's all fine. Probably”
I barely catch the last word since she whispered it and I suddenly start to feel cold sweat drip down my back.
“About what you just said…”
“Don’t worry! Don’t worry, I say. It’ll be fine I tell you!”
This god is starting to feel less and less reliable. But the perks!
“So I can really choose anything I want?”
“Pretty much! And it all starts with the appearance selector.”
My eyes are about to pop out of my head as a screen materializes in front of me. It shows my current plain-looking high school appearance but…
There they are! The options to change… well me!
“So is everything good?”
The god gives me a mischievous cat-like smile as she sees me caught in the trap.
“So I can really choose to look any way I want?”
“Well if this is a dream I might as well enjoy it.”
“Not a dream, but right on!”
As I start crafting my new look (blond hair maybe… no too cliche, red! And big boobs, big boobs! Ikue and Honoka would be so jealous!), the god gets up and starts walking towards the infinite white beyond me.
“Oh! Before I forget! Time works… differently here, so I can’t give you forever to choose everything you want.”
She snaps her fingers and numbers appear counting down next to me like a stopwatch.
“Time is still moving in the world we’re sending you and we can’t stop it for one person, so you’ll have until the clock winds down to finish up. Keep an eye on it! We’ll give you plenty of time. To you it will feel like whole one day has passed. So don’t worry, but once it runs down it’s over. Got it?”
“Mmm,” I say, half-listening as I get drawn into my altered appearance. I waste no times erasing all of my unflattering flaws. My image is already rapidly approaching a stunner that could rival the goddess.
“Great! See you soon.”
“Yeah…” I say with a dreamy expression as I get consumed by the passion of changing myself into the beauty I always dreamed of being.
“So didya finish?” The goddess says cheerfully as she plops herself behind her desk.
“Yep!” I respond with equal excitement as I turn the screen towards her with a big smile on my face.
“Wow! So pretty! I’m jealous.” She says, grinning. “What about your stats? Your perks? Tell me before I die of curiosity!”
“Eh? What do you mean, eh?” She leaps to her feet, her fingers fly over the screen faster than lightning, far too fast for anything a human could do. “You didn’t choose anything?! What were you doing this whole time?!”
“Working on the way I look…” I say before glancing at the timer. My jaw drops. “There’s no way that much time’s passed. No way!”
I stare with my heart racing as the timer flashes a big neon red zero in my horrified face. It feels like I just started.
“I told you to keep an eye on the on the timer!” the goddess is pacing behind her desk running a hand through her fantastical hair. Her nerves are making it go from pure white to stormy grey complete with flashes of panicked lightning. “This is not good. This is really not good. Talk about airheaded, jeez!”
“What does this mean?” my fears are feeding off the panicked goddess. My heart races so fast it feels as though it's about to leap from my chest. “Cant you give me more time? All I need is a few minutes.”
“I can’t give you more time.” The goddess plops down on her chair with a defeated expression. “You don’t understand. I told you time moves differently here than you’re used to. In that space of 24 hours that passed, 2400 years have gone by! I don’t have the clearance to grant you any more time than that!”
“So what's going to happen now?”
“It’s already happening… look.”
I look down at my self. A white light pure enough to hurt my eyes has surrounded me and I’m becoming indistinct.
“Am I in trouble?”
“More than you can possibly understand. The world you’re going to is incredibly dangerous. With the character creator program everything would have worked out, but…”
“I didn’t finish.” I have almost completely faded away. “Is there anything you can do?”
Tears have started flowing down my face freely. The goddess looks at me with a miserable frown for a moment before her eyebrows shoot up and she slams her fist into her palm.
Looking around to see if any of the other gods are watching her, she calmly walks over to me with an expression that is screaming: look away! Nothings wrong! Right before I fade away completely she grips my hand and a warmth flows into it.
“Ugh, I’m gonna get in so much trouble for this, but I just can’t bear that expression.” She says with a bitter smile. “I can’t alter your stats or give you a new cheat ability, but I can transfer one of mine. It’s not an extremely powerful one. Someone will notice if I give you one of those, but if it's just this one… maybe you’ll be ok.”
“What is it?” I say my heart lifts a little at her words.
I am able to catch her last words right as I pop out of the plane of the gods. “I gave you the power to create one bond with anyone you meet in the new world. Anyone. Be it king, or dragon, demon, or god. The type of bond is one you decide, but no one will be able to break it.”
As I disappear she smiles sadly and whispers. “Good luck, and choose carefully. You can only use it once!”