The woman opened her eyes .
She looked around and saw that she was floating in a s.p.a.ce with white murky clouds swirling around her .
As she continued to look around, trying to figure it out, she tried to recall her last memories .
But the only thing she could remember was a shadow looming over her, an orange light, and a sharp pain in the chest and neck .
As soon as she did so, she doubled over, clutching her chest, as the pain and burst of emotions that she recalled coursed through her body .
She started to fall to her knees, but a pair of hand caught her on the shoulders and held her up .
“Deep breaths . Try to get your breathing under control . ”
As an unfamiliar voice whispered to her, she did as she was told and started to breathe deeply and calmed down after a short while .
“Are you alright? Can you stand?”
When the voice called out to her again, the woman turned to see the person who was holding her, and she saw that it was a boy wearing a mask .
“Yes, I’m alright now . Umm…Can I ask who you are?”
When she asked, the boy smiled and let her go .
“This is my world . A special s.p.a.ce for me, it’s creator . ”
The boy then spread his arms, and the clouds swirling around the two of them dissipated, revealing their surroundings .
In front of them, was a sea of clear water, stretching as far as the eye could see, and behind them, was a large temple, gleaming white .
As she whispered, looking around in awe, the boy looked back towards the temple and told her .
“Welcome to ‘Soul Sanctuary’ . ”
“’Soul Sanctuary’…hmm? Soul? Are you saying I’m dead?”
When she asked the boy, he was silent for a moment, and then replied with a troubled smile on his face .
“I guess that would be the case, unfortunately . ”
When the woman heard those words, she froze, trying to process them, and after a long silence, she managed to form the words from her mouth .
“If I’m dead, then that would mean this is the afterlife, wouldn’t it? I thought it would be a bit more crowded, though . ”
The boy let out a laugh .
“It’s true you died, but this isn’t the afterlife . ”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“This is a safe haven . A special place for wandering souls like yours . ”
“Yeah, but not just any soul . Usually a soul would need my permission to enter this place, but a strong soul can manage to make its way in this place . One with a powerful conviction . One with a wish that it would sacrifice everything to make come true . ”
The woman couldn’t help but give the boy a puzzled look as she heard his explanation .
“So, you’re saying that I came here without your permission?”
“That’s right . You’re a strong soul with a wish you want to make come true . ”
“Yeah . Can you remember what it is?”
The woman started thinking .
What could I possibly want?
If what the boy said was true, what would I want so badly, that I would give up everything for it?
She tried to remember her last memories .
The pain, the light, and the burst of emotions she felt .
After a while, she looked back at the boy, who smiled as he saw the fire in her eyes .
“Looks like you found it!”
With no hesitation, she told him her wish .
“I…I want to kill…the Hero . ”
As the boy burst out in laughter, the woman lashed out at him, looking hurt . ”
“W-why are you laughing? Is there something wrong with my wis.h.!.+?”
As she glared at the boy, he quickly stopped and waved his hands at her .
“No, no . I didn’t mean anything like that . ”
“It’s just that it was exactly what I expected, but as the creator of this place, I can see everything about you . ”
The boy then stopped smiling, looked up into her face, and stared into her eyes .
“That’s a strong wish, but is that really the wish? The one wish that you would give up everything, even your very existence, for?”
The woman continued to lock eyes with the boy, but soon looked away .
She indeed had another wish .
One that she longed for more than anything else .
She wanted to return to him .
The place where he was waiting for her .
But it was something that she couldn’t let come true .
She looked at the boy again, with strength in her eyes .
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“Yes, that’s my wish . I want to kill the Hero, nothing else, no matter what!”
As the boy’s figure got lighter and lighter, the woman stopped him .
The boy turned back with a puzzled look on his face .
“What’s wrong? Did I say something weird?”
“You said you would grant my wish, right?”
“What’s the price? There’s no way you’re going to do it for free . ”
“Well, it’s a wish you would sacrifice anything to make it come true, isn’t it?”
The woman hesitated for a moment .
“In that case, it doesn’t matter what the price is, isn’t it? As long as your wish comes true . ”
After a moment, she smiled .
“Of course . Of course, it doesn’t matter . ”
“Then that’s settled . ”
The boy smiled, but the woman called out one last time .
“I know that you know who I am already, but I haven’t properly introduced myself . ”
She looked at the boy in the eyes and said firmly .
“My name is Grea . And I just want to say…thank you…”
The boy smiled and took off his mask, and Grea was shocked when she saw his face .
“Don’t thank me yet . I haven’t done anything yet . ”
The boy turned and started walking again, finally fading into nothingness, with his final words echoing throughout the chamber .
“My name is Zack . I’ll see you later…Grea . ”
Grea stood speechless, with the image of Zack’s face still burned into her eyes .
But after a quick thought, she closed them and smiled .
She still wasn’t sure what had happened and how she got here .
It was still difficult to believe the things Zack had told her about .
She wasn’t sure if it was reality or if it was just a dream, but there was one thing she was certain of .
If it was all but a dream, she didn’t want to wake up from it .
…Not yet .
She smiled as she the name of the boy escaped from her lips .
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