Tonight, she didn’t have that dreaded nightmare about her death. Instead, it was a happy memory.
She and her mother were at the amusement park for a birthday party. She was having fun on the rides and loved seeing the attractions. But at one point in time, she ended up apart from her mother. She cried and cried, yet no one came to help her.
Well, not until he came. He was the balloon guy. Around his head was a flower hat balloon and it was her favorite color, yellow. She was so excited, she completely forgot about her mother for a moment.
But it was just a moment.
“I lost my mommy!”
“That’s okay. Let’s go find her.”
He led her to a location where a pretty lady was at.
“Yep. Can you do the honors?”
“Hey there! What’s your name?”
“What a pretty name. What about your mother’s name?”
The lady pulled at her shirt and spoke into it. Her voice traveled across the amusement park.
“Miss ******, your daughter, **** is here. Please report to the Lost and Found booth!”
It wasn’t long until her mother came over while crying.
“Ohh, my baby! I thought I was never going to find you!”
The balloon guy nodded his head and then removed the yellow flower hat and gave it to her.
“Here you go. Make sure to wear this. Your momma will be able to see it better.”
“Tell the nice man thanks.”
“Haha! No problem. However, I think light blue works better than yellow, hold on.”
“Because it matches your eyes.”
Suddenly, the face of the man contorted and became Nolan’s. Ilya woke with a start and rushed out of the room, waking up Bailey. Ilya dashed into the boy’s dormitory and found Nolan through his scent. She crashed through the door and jumped into Nolan’s bed. Without even realizing what she was doing, she started crying without end.
Nolan woke with a start, unable to completely comprehend what was going on. However, he just petted her ears and held her close. Emeril, who was still asleep, continued to snore loudly, so it was fine.
Though rumors would spread, that night, all the two did was hug each other and sleep.
However, the group of players wanted to know what was going on.
And so, Nolan brought Ilya to the RtP club.
“It would seem that Ilya is a player like us.”
Only Bailey nodded without surprise. She had noticed the obvious change in Ilya’s attitude way back when, so she wasn’t upset. Everyone else was flabbergasted.
“I don’t know why Delania didn’t say anything, though.” (Nolan [You're welcome])
“I didn’t have to. I only care about your thoughts.” (Delania)
Two girls had arrived at the club room.
“Nolan, what is this about you sleeping with Ilya alone last night?” (Gina)
“Hehe, Gina, hold on. This is important.” (Nolan)
“So you don’t deny it! Then tonight you are sleeping with me!” (Delania)
“Eh? Didn’t we already, though?” (Nolan)
“Wait, what?! Hey, is it not my turn, then?!” (Gina)
“Ah, no, never mind!” (Gina)
“Hey…you guys…” (Bucco)
Thankfully, Bucco brought everyone back to normal.
“So what happened?” (Abigail)
“Well, apparently, she is a girl I helped out back in the original world when I twisted balloons at the amusement park.” (Nolan)
“Huh? Balloon twisting? No way…” (Zack)
Zack was the first to reply. After that, everyone told their stories about the balloon twister.
“Well, that sounds like me, but I don’t remember having those conversations…I don’t really remember Ilya’s either, but it sounds like something I would do.” (Nolan)
“Could it be? You existed in all of our alternate dimensions.” (Bailey)
Bailey was the one who cast the idea of multiple dimensions in the first place, so it must have been on her mind quite often. At these words, everyone started to tense up.
Why were they all here if they had a connection to Nolan? What was the meaning of this?
“Ah, good. You’re all here. I wanted to talk with you before the second year started.” (Deidrick)
Suddenly, a strange apparition appeared behind the group. They all turned to see a familiar looking man.
“You are the one who brought me here!”
Everyone, save for Gina and Delania, reacted upon seeing the guy. He was the person who got them a trip to this world in the first place!
“Hehe, sorry for lying to you. See, there are some important things I can say, and some important things I can’t say as of yet. But for now, I can tell you why I selected you. For one, it was only supposed to be him.”
He pointed at Nolan.
“When I looked for worlds to select from, I noticed eight worlds where the best candidate was the exact same person. As eight was the maximum amount of people I could select, I was intrigued by the coincidence. So, I decided to try bringing them all. Then I remembered the rule that it would do no good as they would all try and inhabit the same body.” (Deidrick)
All the Nolans would try and compete for the main body, like a multiple personality disorder, probably.
“However, if I removed this candidate from the list in those worlds, in seven of the worlds, the next best person was someone who was affected by him. So, I decided to leave him in for one and choose the other seven of you to be here as well.” (Deidrick)
“So we were add-ons?” (Tetra)
“No. You can think of yourselves as main characters instead of supporting ones, but your influence is minimal compared to Nolan’s. You can tell by how fast he grows. It is the same with the others that were selected. The other players that will be joining will all be like him and grow fast. That is why I was able to choose first. You don’t have to worry about your classmates and loved ones being taken over, so that is good.” (Deidrick)
“Who are the other players? You said that we are all here, so there were only eight of us this year, right?” (Yidris)
“I can’t answer that first question, as even I don’t know yet. But yes. There are only eight of you. The next selection will probably have over four times as much as mine, as he has been a god longer than I have. Then again, it will be a bigger problem the year after that, as the god making the selection will be even stronger.” (Deidrick)
Everyone had stupefied looks on their faces. They only had 27 of the players of the incoming freshmen. More than four times? Isn’t that at least 5 more out there in hiding? Not to mention that in their senior year, there will be even more?! How crazy is that?!
“But like I said, don’t worry. You are headed down the right track. Have fun.” (Deidrick)
And then he disappeared. Everyone looked at each other with dumbfounded expressions and stayed silent until the girls attacked Nolan and took him away.
It would appear that their Academy life would get a little turbulent. However, the question as to why they were brought here was still unanswered.