“I’m alive! I’m back on Earth!” I shout.
The Goddess delivered on her promise and brought me back. Not that I truly ever doubted her, but... It’s such nice confirmation to return back to this world safe and sound, I will say that.
Speaking of safe and sound...
I check my HUD and see what this rebirth has in store for me.
23 Destiny Points.
My Destiny Card inventory is the same, too:
Transmigrated Spirit: Rank 3. Summon an otherworldly spirit to assist for five minutes.
Super Hearing: Rank 1. Increase sonic perception abilities dramatically for five minutes. Cost: 70 LP.
Absorb: Rank 5. A healing attack that drains LP from the target. Must have direct contact. Cost: 0 LP.
Minor Heal: Rank 2. Gain 1,000 LP. Cost: 0 LP.
Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Satchel (Size: Extra Large).
Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Short sword.
Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Bow and arrow.
My life has been reset, with a full health boost at the cost of absolutely nothing else. This has been an amazing, excellent, fantastic turn of events!
This is the best day of my life.
Here in the “car” with two new friends, refreshed at full health, given a brand new chance at becoming a legendary S-Rank Hero, it feels like just about everything is going right for old Eryk Solbourne.
Now to get down from this seat I’m dangling in.
“Y’know,” I tell the others, “The Goddess is the reason we survived this crash.”
“What do you mean...” Francis answers groggily. I think he’s starting to get light-headed from hanging upside-down all this time.
“Well, when we crashed, we actually died in a horrific—” I realize Delta is looking at me with an extremely angry glare and decide that it will be best if I refrain from explaining the situation to them for a little bit longer. “Perhaps we should unbuckle ourselves and exit this vehicle while it is still safe.”
“No shit,” says Delta.
“Yeah, no... shit...” adds Francis.
It is a very fortunate thing that we buckled these seat belts of ours. Crashing a vehicle going as fast as our “car” was going, and flipping over as we did, we would have surely perished without these seat belts. Thank The Goddess for seat belts!
Soon, all three of us manage to exit the vehicle and examine our injuries. Thanks to the terms of my second reincarnation, we have all emerged unscathed. Francis seems very happy by these turn of events, though Delta seems very nearly emotionally moved by everything. She sure is staring at the wreckage a whole lot. And muttering many obscenities. I suddenly have a great desire not to be in close proximity to her for the next while.
I attempt to soothe the situation. “So, we are refreshed and healthy, and the car made its noble sacrifice to us. It was a great steed, and we shall honor its memories in our future quest.”
“Eryk, you probably shouldn’t...” Francis begins to say, but he trails off as Delta turns her gaze to the two of us.
“You are correct, I say. “What we must do is find the fiend that caused this catastrophe and enact justice.”
“Truly only a heinous being would do something as craven as run into us on this highway just to cause us harm. We must defeat them, not only for revenge but to make sure their reign of terror ends.”
“Eryk, please stop,” Francis says. “Nobody hurt us. It was a freak accident and it’s a miracle we’re alive. I know you aren’t from this world, but... you’re being a little bit rude right now. Can you give it a rest?”
An... accident? Could such a terrible event have really taken place by the will of fates alone? I start to consider such an option. If Earth is really such a dangerous place that instant death lies around any corner, then I will have to keep up my guard. The Goddess promised a quick reincarnation into Lava World the next time I die, and—
Wait, wait, there is a man right there in front of us, standing in front of his over-sized vehicle. He wears a plaid jacket, but its sleeves have been ripped off as if by a bear. He does not wear a shirt underneath it, despite his considerable muscles showing off to the entire world.
“Hey you!” the man shouts.
“Hey, us?” I ask.
Francis turns to Delta. “Who’s the guy in the Hummer?” he asks.
“I believe he may have rammed us off the road.”
I look closer at this “hummer,” and in fact I do see that its front is slightly damaged, with dents all over and paint smears in the same color as Delta’s car.
He really is a fiend!
“You better give me your insurance info,” the man yells from across two lanes of highway. “If you’re uninsured, I’m really gonna be pissed. You have no idea how much the repair job is gonna cost.”
Francis, for the first time since I met him, has adopted the face of someone who is angry. Particularly angry. He steps away from our car and towards the man. “Hey, buddy,” he says. “You ran us off the road. Flipped our damn car over. Couldn’t you show a bit of decency?”
The man laughs. “Listen, listen.” He clears his throat and cracks his neck. “Yeah, my name’s Buddy. Impressed you knew that, though I guess you knew that from the commercials.”
“Commercials?” Francis asks.
“Yeah, you know, the Buddy’s Honda Emporium.” He starts singing a tune. “’Come on down, it’s Buddy time, it’s gotta be Honda today!’ You know, that one?”
“I don’t watch TV much.”
“...doesn’t even drive a Honda...” mutters Delta.
“Kids these days... Listen, give me your insurance info and I won’t press charges.”
“Press—What the hell?!”
“Yeah, you heard me. What, you think cops’ll believe a dyke and some nancy boy over me, Buddy, San Fransisco’s main buddy? I sold them their damn police cars, you know.”
“I hate car culture,” Francis says.
I’ve had it.
I step in front of Francis and walk into the two lanes separating our upside-down car from Buddy’s hummer. “You won’t get away with your treachery!” I shout.
“You’re going to pay for attempting to kill me and my friends, as futile as it was. For I have The Goddess herself on my side, and with her power, I shall wreak vengeance and exact justice on my enemy!”
I summon my sword and get ready for a fight.
Buddy laughs. “I’m gonna beat your ass, and then I’m gonna have you arrested for assault. I can do that, you know. Buddy’s Honda Emporium has friends in high places.”
“You’ll have friends in high places soon once I launch you into the sky!”
“Woo-hoo, go Eryk!” Francis shouts.
“Yeah, kick his teeth in!” Delta screams.
My friends have given me words of encouragement. The power of friendship has filled me with a newfound vigor.
I am ready to win my first real battle on Earth.