Chapter 2:

An Earthling Wins an… Embarrassing Contest

Blasphemy: Saga of the Blackgoat Prince!

“You are dead.” Bookmark here

That is the first thing I, Akane Ito, hear the instant I open my eyes. Bookmark here

“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. Bookmark here

“Dead people can't feel pain, right?” Bookmark here

“...What an interesting reaction.”Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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.”Bookmark here

“Oh! I see. I died from getting hit by a truck.”Bookmark here

“...Not quite.”Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

“The truck didn’t even hurt you, really. It just spun you around until you collapsed onto the street merely skinning your knees.”Bookmark here

“Mmm. So how did I end up here?”Bookmark 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.”Bookmark here

“So I died because I am a clumsy cry baby.”Bookmark here

“...Yes.”Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

This lady sure sticks to the point, I think as my eyes begin to well up with fresh tears. Bookmark here

“But!” She says with a slightly panicking expression at my distress. “There is good news!”Bookmark here

“What could be good about dying in such an embarrassing manner?”Bookmark here

“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!”Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

“Like a light novel?”Bookmark here

“Exactly like a light novel!”Bookmark here

I tilt my head and touch a finger to my chin and think about the light novels I borrowed from big bro.Bookmark here

“So… you’re like a god?”Bookmark here

“Now you're getting it!”Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“Are you sure I’m not dreaming?”Bookmark here

“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. Bookmark here

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?”Bookmark here

I sit up a little bit straighter after hearing that.Bookmark here

“eh? Like cheat abilities!”Bookmark here

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!”Bookmark here

She turns around and waves her hand and a big holographic-like screen forms out of thin air. Bookmark here

“You are allowed to literally pick out every aspect of your life!”Bookmark here

As she spoke images that matched her words filled the screen she summoned.Bookmark here

“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!”Bookmark here

“In light novels, the new worlds usually have their own gods. Will letting me do something like this really be ok?” Bookmark here

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”Bookmark here

I barely catch the last word since she whispered it and I suddenly start to feel cold sweat drip down my back. Bookmark here

“About what you just said…”Bookmark here

“Don’t worry! Don’t worry, I say. It’ll be fine I tell you!”Bookmark here

This god is starting to feel less and less reliable. But the perks!Bookmark here

“So I can really choose anything I want?”Bookmark here

“Pretty much! And it all starts with the appearance selector.”Bookmark here

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…Bookmark here

There they are! The options to change… well me!Bookmark here

“So is everything good?”Bookmark here

The god gives me a mischievous cat-like smile as she sees me caught in the trap.Bookmark here

“So I can really choose to look any way I want?”Bookmark here

“Any way!”Bookmark here

“Well if this is a dream I might as well enjoy it.”Bookmark here

“Not a dream, but right on!”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“Oh! Before I forget! Time works… differently here, so I can’t give you forever to choose everything you want.”Bookmark here

She snaps her fingers and numbers appear counting down next to me like a stopwatch.Bookmark here

“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?”Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“Great! See you soon.”Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“So didya finish?” The goddess says cheerfully as she plops herself behind her desk.Bookmark here

“Yep!” I respond with equal excitement as I turn the screen towards her with a big smile on my face.Bookmark here

“Wow! So pretty! I’m jealous.” She says, grinning. “What about your stats? Your perks? Tell me before I die of curiosity!”Bookmark here

“”Bookmark here

“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?!”Bookmark here

“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!”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“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!”Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

“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!”Bookmark here

“So what's going to happen now?”Bookmark here

“It’s already happening… look.”Bookmark here

I look down at my self. A white light pure enough to hurt my eyes has surrounded me and I’m becoming indistinct. Bookmark here

“Am I in trouble?”Bookmark here

“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…”Bookmark here

“I didn’t finish.” I have almost completely faded away. “Is there anything you can do?”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

“What is it?” I say my heart lifts a little at her words.Bookmark here

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.”Bookmark here

As I disappear she smiles sadly and whispers. “Good luck, and choose carefully. You can only use it once!”Bookmark here

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