A New World

I woke up feeling grass under my skin, with the sun bearing down on me in an insufferable barrage of heat. Slowly blinking myself awake, I pushed myself into a seating position and took stock of my surroundings. Where was I? I was seated on part of a field of yellowed grass, right next to a road – not the roads of asphalt that I had grown used to; it was a road paved with stone, much like those I had traversed in that other world, years ago. I tried to stand up, but my legs collapsed beneath me – they were still asleep. How long had I been lying here?

As it turned out, there was no reason for concern – though a number of carriages and men on horseback passed by me, none of them seemed to notice I was there. I sat with my legs stretched out, trying to get the blood flowing through them again, when I realised that they were slightly different than I remembered. More muscular, as if I had still been living in that time where I did daily training. I touched my fingers to my forehead – the wrinkles were gone. I felt… younger, more energised than I had in years. I glanced to my hands – slender, firm, and yet covered in battle scars. Scars that I remember vanishing when I returned to my own world. Finally, I recalled the conversation I had with Yingquan in that space between worlds. I remembered that I had chosen to be reincarnated. I had chosen that option for a reason… but…

I couldn’t remember.

Why did I choose to reincarnate? I had a vague feeling of purpose, a strange, fuzzy sensation. I felt like I was searching for someone. But I couldn’t remember who. I couldn’t remember why I had chosen this option – which was strange, considering I clearly remembered everything else about the conversation that had taken place, including the last moment when Yingquan bestowed on me a blessing. I remembered everything but one crucial detail, the composition of which eluded my grasping, slipping out of my reaches, unwilling to be remembered. I ground my teeth. What kind of stupid trick did Yingquan pull this time.

Slowly, cautiously, I got to my feet. I wobbled a bit, but I managed to keep my balance this time. As I rose, a small card dropped from the folds of my clothing. It was a white card, about A5 sized, with cherry blossom motifs decorating the edges. The side that faced upward was blank. I reached down and picked it up, causing the smell of cherry blossoms to assault me the moment I touched the card. I wrinkled my nose in distaste – not because of the scent itself, but because of the associations it brought to mind. I gingerly flipped it around, allowing me to see that a message had been scribbled across it in an elegant hand that depicted inelegant words.

“I still think you should have picked my Afterlife :/ We could have had so much fun >:( Oh well, maybe the next time you die. Anyway, I’ve brought you to the world you wanted. As a little extra service, I decided to revert your body to its prime, just the way I remembered you when I first saw you home. Aren’t I a generous and benevolent deity? But it was nothing for my favorite hero in the whole multiverse <3 So yay! You have a 17-year-old body again! And, just like how you kept it in your own world, you still have my Armsmaster gift – I’m sure it’ll be super helpful when you eventually start beating up bad guys :3

Don’t worry about the whole comatose-for-3-days thing, I made sure to wrap you up in a protective field. Nobody can see you, and anyone who happens to run into you will pass right through you. So you can sleep safe and sound. As long as you don’t move away from this spot. If you do, well, you’re on your own :v

Anyway, this world isn’t technically under my domain, so my level of interference is limited. There were certain things I couldn’t really do that would help you fit in – uh… you’ll probably find out what those are soon >.> But, uh… I believe in you, you can do it! Oh, and I should probably have changed your clothes to fit the new world, but that would be such a waste of a wonderful gown, no? You look so pretty in it! Sure, it might get a few odd looks, but you’ll definitely be the talk of the town, yep!

Finally, enjoy your new reborn life! Make the most of it! Can’t wait for your soul to get up here again <3

Hugs and Kisses,

Yingquan (Your favorite goddess <3 )

P.S. You might be experiencing a bit of amnesia about why you decided to come to this world. Sorry about that. Rules are rules. Transfers are supposed to make the most of their new lives, so the process removes all memory of the reason you wanted to come to this world so that you don’t get caught up in it. Don’t worry too much about it. If your reason is important enough to warrant going to another world, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Eventually. Good luck!!”

I read over the note. Then I read over the postscript. Then I angrily tore the note to shreds. Of course, it instantly started to reassemble itself. Divine paper was hard to get rid of. Still, the tearing was cathartic. I cursed under my breath.

“…Yingquan. I am so going to get back up there and kill you. I swear.”

I decided to casually ignore the fact of goddesses being immortal for a while and sat there amusing myself by fantasising about increasingly brutal ways of killing Yingquan. Then I sighed and began to take a step forward. As I did, I realised that I was still wearing my ruqun. I touched the material, confused. This really wasn’t my style of clothing. I had always gone for more practical clothing – on the other hand, this ruqun was uncharacteristically easy to move in, even if the colour was a bit too flashy. It was a style of ruqun that was unconventional yet fitted me perfectly. It had been given to me as a gift, that much I recalled. I felt a strange conviction when I ran my fingers over the smooth material. I was wearing it… for some reason. It was important to me. Somehow. Touching it made me feel a sense of comfort, assurance… and sadness. This garment had been given to me by someone very important to me…

…but who was it? I did not remember. Which, based on the note that Yingquan had left, suggested that whoever it was had been my reason for coming here – I was searching for that person. But try as I might, I could not recall who this person was. It felt like there was a void in my heart and soul, a void that refused to be filled. I kneaded my brow, frustrated. Then I resolved myself. Goal or not, I would not achieve anything remaining in this spot. I stepped out of Yingquan’s barrier, feeling it collapse behind me, and started walking along the road, hoping to find out more about the land I had found myself in.