In the void of space, one lone soul was contemplating his fate.
‘How many eons have passed?’ He did not know. ‘How many more do I have to wait?’ This was also a mystery.
Slowly but surely irritation built up within the lonely soul. After a day, he became restless. After a week, he was boiling with rage. Finally, after a month of contemplating these questions he had enough.
The old soul trembled. How could he, Ethan Masalis, 9th rank mage of the old world be stuck in this state?
‘If not for that bastard, I’d be drowning in pleasure.’
Thinking about his past harem made him even more annoyed. Ethan was not a patient man. The only way for him to pass the eons as a powerless soul was to shut down his thoughts. Now that they had returned, there was no turning back.
“To hell with waiting!”
He switched his focus to a nearby planet. It was large enough and had bountiful mana. Once the planet’s core became aware of his existence, there was no turning back. The old mage’s soul was sucked into a vortex of mana.
The planet threw his soul into the same stream as all the others who were awaiting reincarnation. However, he could not stay here or he would lose his memories and truly start anew.
Using the strands of mana he had picked up during his eons as a soul, he searched for an appropriate host. He was not particularly picky. As long as the host was young, he’d have sufficient time to rebuild his strength.
He could tell the age of a person by the characteristics of his soul. Soon, he struck gold. A young soul had joined the stream.
“Mine, mine, mine!”
Without a second thought, Ethan threw himself out of the stream towards the now corpse. Each independent step he took required endless amounts of mana to resist the stream’s pull.
“A little more!”
He had not wasted his time in solitude. It took insane amounts of energy to rebuild a 9th rank mage’s body. Though he didn’t accomplish his original goal, he had gathered enough for this task.
With one last push the body and the soul became one. Slowly, he stood up. A new mage had joined this world, and he would rock its very foundations.
Ethan walked towards a puddle to check out his figure. What the reflection revealed was a skinny boy around 16 years of age. He had brown hair and brown eyes, a pale complexion and sunken cheeks.
‘Why do I look so malnourished?’
After this thought crossed his mind, intense hunger followed. The old mage, used to all his needs being satisfied at will, crumbled to his knees. His stomach rumbled furiously, and for a moment, even his vision became blurry.
‘This kid died of hunger?’ If it were a wound or illness, Ethan could have used what little mana he had left to fix it. But hunger?
He desperately looked around for anything to eat. He was in the middle of a crowded street, so he begged for money or food.
However, as he tapped into the boy’s mind for memories of this land’s language, it soon became apparent why he had perished. He was an orphan, and no matter how much he begged, no one would spare him a glance.
‘Shit, what do I do? Steal? I can barely walk.’
The old mage already looked like a ghost, and he would soon become one again. Would his efforts amount to nothing?
In vain, he struggled to put one step in front of the other until the last of his mana was gone. With nothing to sustain his weakened body he crumbled to the ground.
In his final moment of despair, he heard a beautifully melodic voice. His eyes lifted sluggishly to gaze upon an angelic face with golden hair. Her black eyes looked at him with worry, and in her tiny hands was an apple.
Upon seeing the fruit, strength he thought was long gone returned to his body. He grabbed the apple like an animal and ate it seeds and all.
The girl was startled, but instead of backing off, she took another apple from her basket and gave it to the youth. One by one, the boy devoured the fruits until the basket was empty. He was still not satisfied, but at least his stomach no longer rumbled.
“Feeling better?” the girl asked with a smile. She seemed around his age, dressed in peasants’ clothes, and with calluses on her fingers.
There were many people walking down this street, some of which were obviously well off. But, it was only her that helped him.
Ethan slowly got up. After looking at the girl up and down, he took her hands into his own.
“Young Lady, you are my savior. What is your name?”
“Ana?” she answered with a shaking voice. Her cheeks were red due to the unexpected gesture.
“Ana…” The boy pondered. “I can only thank you today, but I swear upon my name, I will return this kindness. Tell me, what is it you want?”
“Huh?” Ana tilted her head unsure of what to think. However, she soon understood the boy’s sincerity and smiled warmly.
“It’s ok. You don’t have to do anything.”
“Nonsense!” retorted Ethan. “Just say it and it will be done.”
‘What is he on about?’ thought Ana. She was rather poor too, but this boy couldn’t even take care of himself. If she left him alone, would he even make it through the day?
At home, she cooked, cleaned, and did most of the chores. Adding another mouth to feed wouldn’t make too large of a difference. With this train of thought, the girl gave her answer.
“Be my friend.”
“That’s all I want. Now, come with me.”
Clueless to the majesty of the one she was speaking to, Ana grabbed the boy's hand and led him home.
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