(Warp created! One extra level allocated for unique spell creation.)
Ahhh, that's better. Once I got started on that, I just had to finish. At any rate, it's complete. A transdimensional gateway operating on five dimensions to instantaneously and safely transport matter. Simply calling it 'Warp' seems a little underwhelming, but then again, I suppose I don't have much decision in the matter.
Wait, what? I didn't want this to happen!
A purple hole in space opens up underneath me, and I drop into it. Lola doesn't notice, because of course she's still hugging the humanoid beetle.
A split second later, I find myself in a black void. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, I'm quite satisfied with how well the Warp worked. No missing limbs, minimal mana consumption, and of course instantaneous, comfortable travel.
"Ohhh, thank God. I thought you were never going to show up." Everything around me flashes in a variety of mixing colors, every spectrum of light visible. I close my eye in reaction to the unexpected light show and briefly wonder if I have epilepsy. I find it unlikely since I don't have a brain that can have diseases or disorders.
Wait, that's beside the point. Who spoke just now?
"Yeah, that's me. I'm the guy who's been talking into your head this whole time."
...Did it just read my thoughts?
"Yup. I sure did. I'm the, uhhh... 'universe', as you call me."
"Okay, let's just calm down before any of us makes-"
Who in the world is this bad at managing a universe? Your blatant incompetency and horrendous decision-making skills have made this whole experience a borderline nightmare! Your status boards are inconsistent and forgetful, to say nothing of the awful communication and naming skills!
"Ouch." The colors flash a bright red at the statement. "Seriously, calm down, all right? I've been helping you this whole time!"
Like I would believe that! You had me begin in a library, with no abilities, no method of communication, and no information as to my situation! In what dimension would that be considered helpful?
"But I have been helping! Your original plan was to sit in a library and amass skill points over time - which wouldn't have worked, by the way - and I changed your mind there! Isaac wasn't going to keep you until I reversed time and forced his decision!"
So how do I know you haven't done the same to me? What kind of free will can I possibly - can anyone - possess if you continually are modifying their decisions to suit your own stupid choices?
The universe pauses. "Well, okay, that's a good point. But I stopped like two days ago, so it's fine, right?"
I'm barely three days old! Two days ago is more than sixty-seven percent of my life!
"Okay, okay! Look - I brought you here for a reason, all right?"
You used my spell to get me here. Don't take credit for it. As for the rest of what he wants to say, I really wish my curiosity was less all-consuming sometimes.
"That's the spirit! Anyway, I need a replacement, and you're perfect for it! What do you say?"
...If I didn't find crass language so inane, I would be sorely tempted to use harsher words than 'screw you'.
A streak of gray flashed across the void I was in. "Ouch. But come on, think about it! You'd be the universe! In charge of everything and everyone - you want someone's memories erased? No problem! You want infinite mana and all the spells you can think of? Easy as pie!"
If it's so great, why do you want to shove it onto someone else?
A hint of dark green infused the not-air. "Well... it requires a certain amount of... creativity. That I don't have."
What are you saying?
An irritated orange hue stabs at me. "Look, I'm not the brightest bulb on the shelf, all right? I died and ended up here, and the other guy wanted out. What was I supposed to say, no?"
Of course you say no. Set up a full contract detailing the exact terms of the position, ensure that you have an insurance escape to maximize safety, and then employ your fullest intelligence to create the most advantageous possible scenario for yourself.
"Oh. That's a good - I'm going to write that down."
A moment later, the universe asks hopefully, "So, do you want to be the universe? Take over for your old pal the system?"
Again. Screw you.
Red explodes around me. "All right, look here! I can literally annihilate you if you don't accept the position! I can't do this, I'm new here! How was I supposed to know I was going to be running a whole freaking universe?"
That's why you should have clarified!
"ARGH, I can't deal with you right now! How can you be so intelligent and so annoying at the same time?!"
A short silence ensues.
"How about this."
What is it?
"I stay as the universe, and you give me... tips. In return, I do stuff for you."
...I'm listening. What are your terms?
"I only have two conditions. Help me redesign the system so that it works better. The people here only understand half of what I'm throwing at them because I'm forcing their brains to. Second, kill Noah Cosmic. I don't care how you do it, I don't care what you do to get to the point where you can, but I need him gone. He messes up reality by just existing, and I'm pretty sure he's raising another system to replace me."
Why don't you just wait for his project to finish? Based on how you describe this Noah, I believe he might be significantly more powerful and more intelligent than yourself. Simply allow him to succeed.
"Pfft. That's just dumb. I don't want someone to take my position, I want to give it to someone. Why else would I have picked you? Where you're from, you're like the smartest guy on the planet. Maybe not the wisest, no, but definitely the brainiest."
WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY.
"Oh, frick - gimme a second!"
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT-
[Deviating from desired timeline! Rewinding and repairing... complete!]
What were you saying?
"Ohhh, good grief. That was too close."
What was too close?
"Uh - Noah. He almost, uh, destroyed something important. Back to the point! What do you say?"
Hmmm... fine. I accept your conditions on one condition of my own.
"Thank you so much! I swear, anything! Name it!"
Ensure Lola stays safe. No matter what.
A disturbing shade of purple. "I promise!"
I don't trust you at all. In fact, I think you might be the first thing I've truly hated.
"Ehhh... that doesn't sound promising."
But, with regards to your system, change the health stat to endurance or defense, include specific numerical counters for the amassed mana pool, categorize health into a quantifiable statistic, and make it so that death is possible only when the health quantification reaches zero, barring unusual circumstances. As for Noah, let him do whatever he wants. If he's as dangerous as you say, then I don't stand a chance against him no matter how powerful I get.
"Wow. That's a lot of good ideas - let me just implement those really quick. Rewrite everyone's memories, la di da di da and that's all finished, and you're good to go! All right, then - thanks for the help!"
If you betray me, there is no universe or dimension that I will not hunt you through.
"Real friendly type, eh? I'll see you around."
A purple Warp opens behind me, and I'm suddenly back in the forge. Lola is still hugging Xephyx, which either means she's extraordinarily clingy or no time has passed. Either way, I have a lot to think about.