“Huh…Where…am I?” he asked as his eyes opened to a darkened landscape, his head felt as if it had its own heartbeat with how much it ached.
“Where you are, you are in a space between space, a void between worlds.” a male voice said from within the darkness.
“Void between worlds, I don’t.…” he said with a groan, reaching for his head, he wasn’t prepared for what he would discover, his sensation, or lack thereof, of touch was absent, “Why can’t I feel my…well anything, what’s going on?!”
His panicked question was met with only silence from the voice within the darkness. He was on the verge of tears and shook his head in disbelief, his mind was flooded with several thoughts at how he should be processing thing. Suddenly he heard a faint laughter coming from the darkness.
“Be calm child, as of now you are but a light floating in the void, a soul whose actions have been deemed worthy.” the voice said.
“What actions, what do you mean by soul?” he asked as a light suddenly caught his attention.
“That is all for now, your time has come and a great gift will now be granted to you, a new life, a new existence in a new world.” the voice said, “You will gain access to the skills; blood sacrifice and mimicry, grow strong and unlock more.”
“I don’t understand what you mean, you aren’t making any sense.” he replied.
“This is where our paths part until we meet again.” the voice said and gave a brief laugh, “We will meet soon, I can’t wait to see how you develop.”
“Wait…wait!” he shouted as the darkness vanished within a bright flash and a bird staring down at him took its place.
He turned his head and saw several other birds looking down at him from their roosts within a tree. He raised his right hand and stared at it for a few minutes before dropping it back to the ground. He heard a thud and felt a slight pain, which made him jolt up after a few moments, he felt it, the sensation of pain, he felt it.
“I felt it, I have never been so happy to feel pain before but was that all a dream, how did I get here, the last thing I remember is...ah…is.” he said, unable to recall, his memories were foggy and he couldn’t clearly remember anything before the voice, “What did it mean by a new life?”
A cool wind ran along his cheek and distracted him from thinking, only then did he notice the shrubs, trees and the shining sun over his head. He stood up and walked around the surrounding forest, not straying far from the spot he woke, and when he arrived back he crossed his arms. Looking up at the birds that looked back out of curiosity, he stretched out his hand to them but they only tweeted and chirped to each other as if having a conversation which he couldn’t understand. He only knew he was the subject and watched them until they flew from their roosts.
He didn’t want to lose them so he rushed off in pursuit, and as he ran throw the forest he brushed aside any vegetation that was in his way. He constantly checked to ensure he hadn’t lost them and when they finally stopped he found himself in a clearing within the trees. In the center was a crystal blue, mesmerizing lake. He slowly approached it as if he was hypnotized and when its waters met his feet he bent down to scoop up some water.
When he was about to take a sip he glimpsed his reflection in the water and flung himself back in fright. He shakily crawled back to the water and looked down at himself, he was naked and his body was no longer the one he knew. This new body’s skin tone was like a blood red ruby with its pigmentation, his hair was white and ran down to his shoulders, flowing in the wind like a stream of snowflakes. However, what struck him the most was his eyes, they were like a sea of pure blackened darkness, like smooth obsidian.
He sat on his knees and rubbed both his arms, from wrist to shoulder, at the same time, using the opposite hand for the respective arm. He found that the skin on the same side as his palm was soft, like what he knew before, however, patches on the back of his arm was rough. When he looked he saw patches of scales, similar to a snake’s, that ran from his shoulder to the back of his palm and ended at his fingers. His fingernails were small, black, and sharp, similar to claws and he gazed at them for a brief moment before going back to his examination. The same scales dotted his legs in a spiral pattern down to his toes that had the same nails as his fingers.
“What the hell happened to my body, is this some kind of weird cosplay dream where I am dressed like some monster.” he said and nervously stepped backwards from the lake.
His lack of backward attention made him trip over a rock, and he braced himself for impact with the ground. After a few seconds of not feeling the earth on his head, he opened his eyes and found himself being kept aloft by a pair of dragon like wings. When he questioned himself the flapping stopped and he fell to the ground.
“I have wings now!” he laughed and gripped his face with both hands, “This is all crazy, I wonder if someone spiked any food I had, if I even did eat anything.”
He shook his head and repeated the word no to himself as he swayed from side to side. Without him noticing, a calm thick ghostly mist descended upon the lake and when he finally caught a glimpse of it through his fingers he lowered his hands. The atmosphere had become hit by a strange deafening silent, the birds were heard no more, the forest seemed asleep even though he could feel the wind blowing through its trees.
The only sound that was heard through the silence was one that sounded like a series of water droplets harmoniously falling into a larger pool of water. He looked around to find the source of the sound since he didn’t see any rain falling into the lake. He didn’t find anything falling from the sky, rather, what he ended up seeing were isolated ripples that ran from the center of the lake.
“What is that?” he asked and narrowed his eyes to try and see it clearly from where he was standing.
“I haven’t sensed your stench in millennia, I wonder how you found me.” a voice said through the mist, “Why have you come to my home and why do you feel so much weaker!”
In an instant he felt himself dragged into the air and pulled down towards the water, only stopping when he was hung upside down over the surface. He bent himself to try and see what was holding his legs and he saw that he was being suspended by a pair of tentacles, one holding a respective leg, made purely of water from the lake. He watched as an additional pair of tentacles rose from the water and coiled, like twin snakes, around his chest and tightened their grips.
He attempted to thrash around and fight against the tentacles’ grips but it was futile. The more he struggled, the tighter he was held causing him to give up after it reaching a painful limit, at which time the tentacles slackened a little. The water below him started to pulsate, forming small waves, and created an opening which allowed him to see the lake’s floor. Standing on the floor was a figure that looked up at him, he watched as it slowly levitated towards him.
When the figure stood in the air before him, he saw that it was a man whose features were similar to his own. The man’s hair was a shimmering black as if made by the night itself, not to mention it was longer than his own. His eyes were golden like a pool of untainted gold and they glistened in the sunlight. His skin was a dark blue with scales in the same places as his own. The man had three pairs of dragon like wings, which were bigger than his own, with each wing possessing a black spike at its bend.
The man had horns that curved around his head and formed a crown with the tips facing outward. Furthermore, to top off the man’s strange features, he had a snake for a tail that had similar golden eyes. The man’s outfit consisting of a; black trousers, a white T-shirt and a black hooded jacket that ran down to his hips and had white fluff around the rings of the sleeves and hood along with its bottom edges.
“I will ask you again.” the man said, “Why have you come here?!”
“Well you see, I just came into this world and landed not far from here and well…followed the birds and ended up here sir.” he replied in a quick and frantic manner.
“You came to this world, so that means you’re a starling.” The man said, rubbing his chin, he closed his eyes and sniffed, “But you have his presence and similar scent.”
“Um…whose presence and sir?” he asked.
“Silence, I am trying to think and my name is Angil for your information.” the man replied in an irritated tone, “I am the demon of the tides and waves.”
“Oh, well my name is….” he said, after a few moments he gasped, “I…cannot remember my name.”
“No shit.” Angil said, “You just came here so why would you.”
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“Monsters such as you and I don’t normally have unique names, like humans do, to identify us beyond our race.” Angil explained, “Rather, we are called by our race’s name and when multiple monsters converse, they can usually tell who its being directed to at that time.”
“Monster, I am a monster.” he quietly said to himself, “Makes sense since I couldn’t be human anymore, nor do I even look human.”
“Seeing as you are clearly clueless on this world and not a young child nor infant, I will believe your story of coming here on accident.” Angil said and stretched his right hand forward, bending his wrist downward.
He felt his body being moved once more and he was brought to the lake’s shore, after which he was dropped just inched from the ground. When he landed, he held onto his hips from the pain and watched as the tentacles merged back into the lake. He looked over at Angil, whom hovered towards the shore, and landed in front of him. He stood up and found that Angil was taller than himself.
“Um…thank you for releasing me, mister Angil.” he said and lowered his head.
“Just don’t make me regret it.” Angil replied, “Tell me, what you can remember about your past life starling.”
“I remember being alone in a black space with a male voice.” he said, “After that I woke up this world, all I can recall before that was that I was human.”
“Really, nothing else like what happened before you went into the black space?” Angil asked but was answered with the shake of a head.
“If I may ask, you look like me so what am I?” he asked with a desperate look on his face, “Please I need to know?!”
“Calm down, I am a member of the demon race and so are you.” Angil replied, “I can imagine this is all much for you to handle given you said you were once human, especially not having a name like one anymore.”
“Yeah.” he said and nodded his head, “Back in my old world a name was a common thing, guess here it has greater importance.”
He stared at the ground with a forced smile, a slight sense of remorse clouded his mind over what he seemed to have lost in coming to this new world. Angil awkwardly rubbed the back of his head and repeatedly tapped the ground with his left leg, unaware how to respond. In contemplation, he didn’t notice that Angil had stepped over to him until he felt Angil’s hand on his shoulder.
“Huh?” he said and looked up in surprise.
“Do you…want a name starling?” Angil hesitantly asked.
“Yes!” he quickly replied, when he noticed his reaction he covered his mouth as his face became a darker crimson, “Ahem…I mean, how do I get a name?”
“A name can be received by earning it through an extreme milestone or by being given it from another person, monster or human, that already possesses a name.” Angil said, “The former is much easier to gain than the latter.”
“I see.” he said, “How did you get your name, also demon of the tides and waves is such a cool title, how did you get it?”
“I rather not talk about it right now.” Angil said and briefly looked off to the side, he took a deep breath and looked back, “What are your skills?”
“Skills?” he asked with a puzzled look, “What are those?”
“Skills are the magical and non-magical abilities that all creatures in this world have and gain by increasing their levels.” Angil replied, “An example is the one I restrained you with.”
“This world has magic!” he ecstatically exclaimed, a large smile spawned on his face and his eyes sparkled, his reaction weirded out Angil quite a bit, “Do you think I can do magic?!”
“Yes to this world having it, as to if you can do it, you most certainly have the potential since demons are one of the strongest magic using races but it depends on what your skills are.” Angil replied.
“Damn it, now I wish I knew what they were now!” he shouted and huffed.
“I could check for you if you want, as well as show you how to do it.” Angil said.
“Yes please, I would appreciate it.” he replied.