A thick dark liquid envelops me from all sides, blinding me. I feel nothing but weightlessness and numbing frigidness. Every part of my body refuses to respond.
Have… Have I died?
A faint grey light then manifests in front of me, though it feels like more of a mental image rather than a visual one. Within the light is the faint, white and fair visage of a young woman hidden behind a starry silver veil. Her straight silver hair runs down past her shoulders into the endless void in which the rest of her body resides. Her face is devoid of features, yet I could sense the presence of a smile.
"Your time has come, yet your soul refuses heaven."
She has a soft ethereal voice.
It appears that I'm dead. However, what is she talking about? I'm not fighting back at all. Just take me. My life wasn't worth much, I'm fine with this.
I attempt to respond, but nothing comes out.
"Your confusion is expected. You are nought but a wandering soul. Worry not, for I am here to grant your wishes."
Wishes? What wishes?
"There is a world which the denizens of Earth have only dreamt of. Camavira. But if you wish to enter, I must baptise you directly."
Camavira, heaven, baptism… Is this a goddess I'm speaking to?
"Withstand this and you may have a vessel once more."
I can't see anything but dark fog. Yet this goddess' words feel calming and irrefutable.
"I have none but a single request. There is a force. A force so strong, even one of my standing can not grasp its power. I want you to learn its name, how to use it, then I want you to present it to me."
A power even a goddess cannot grasp? What could that even be?
"Become attuned to me."
Out of the void, she takes her arms out and motions as if she were opening a gate.
The freezing cold liquid then entangles and squeezes me. Many presences make themselves known as they stare at me from the dark, but none of them approaches me.
Ignoring the strange creatures lurking about, the goddess starts moving towards me. I still can't see below her shoulders, but I can faintly make out a silky dark dress. She stops right in front of me to lay her hand on me.
A searing pain wells up within my chest. Then, it quickly spreads to the rest of my entire being.
Every single fibre of my existence feels as if it's been ripped apart, then being replaced all at once. The pain spreads through me, filling me and emptying it at every moment. I cannot move. I cannot breathe. I can't do anything except sit here and endure whatever is happening to me.
Why? Why am I not in heaven?
I don't want to live anymore, please just take me.
Maybe, if I just concentrate hard enough… I can convince the goddess I don't want th-
"Please... Don't leave me… You promised me… Please..."
A girl's solemn and sobbing voice writhing in sorrow fills my mind.
Who are you?
A warmth suddenly wraps around me. An unknown warmth that fills me to the brim with determination.
I must live. I have a promise.
I can't remember why. I don't know why, but I must live.
Instantaneously, the pain ends. A fresh feeling of relief circulates through my body. It feels as if my blood is rushing back into a numb limb I've accidentally slept on.
I look down. My physical form has returned.
"It is complete. Find a new name for yourself."
A new name…
"I Raquia, bestow this gift upon you. Not only will this gift give you an edge in an unfamiliar world, but it will lead you to finding the force. I will do everything within my power to help you. However, as I am beyond both worlds, my influence may only go so far. When in doubt, remember my name. In times of trouble, think of me. Go forth son of Earth. I will be watching you."
And just like that, a bright light fills my view.