(Summary of chapter 6, which I never wrote: Jiang’s army has surrounded the capital and demanded Ki-Lin, or they will destroy and pillage the city. Ki-Lin, horrified at what her “selfish” decision has led to, turns herself over to Jiang’s officers. However, before she is taken away, Aislin rescues her and the two attempt to escape. Unfortunately, Ki-Lin is recaptured protecting a weakened Aislin from the soldiers. Aislin is also almost captured later, but suddenly falls into a hole…)

Part 7: Decision

Aislin unexpectedly tripped and crashed into the wooden floor. Looking up, still panting from her escape, her eyes widened as she recognized this area.

She had returned to the library, and Ria was standing in front of her.

“Sorry for the sudden…teleportation, I guess you’d call it.” Ria extended her hand to help Aislin up. “I happened to check in when you were in trouble. Not only that, but you got all the information I needed, so you didn’t need to be there anymore–”

Aislin interrupted. “Send me back.”

“Your work in that world is done, so you don’t need to go back.”

“I said, send me back.”


Aislin jumped up, and grabbed Ria by her shoulders. “I need to save her…Ki-Lin, I said I’d save her!”

Ria tried to get out of Aislin’s grasp. “Even if you saved her, it wouldn’t matter in the end.”


“You were only gathering information that had been lost from the world’s data. Even if you had prevented her capture now, it would have happened later. You can’t change the future.”

Aislin was silent. Her arms dropped to her sides. Ria continued to speak.

“I’m sorry, but you have to understand this to continue…working here.”

A heavy silence hung in the air. With her eyes cast to the floor, Aislin slowly walked to her bedroom, locking the door behind her.

A long time passed before Aislin emerged from her room. Ria watched her as she walked into the main room. Aislin looked back, and the two girls stared at each other awkwardly.

“Would…you like something to eat?” Ria asked quietly.

“Not hungry.”

“Ah, you won’t be, since you don’t have a physical body, but it’s still nice to eat sometimes…I’ll make something you like…” Ria’s voice had dropped even lower now, and Aislin could barely hear the last words she said. Not that she cared at this moment. She walked across the library towards the door at the far side.


Aislin didn’t respond. She placed her hand on the doorknob.

“Aislin…you know that door leads to the soulstream…right?” Ria walked up behind her. “If you open it…”

“My shell will dissolve. I’ll be absorbed into the stream to await reincarnation.” Aislin turned to Ria. “I…This…” She hesitated.

“…Are you angry, Aislin? About earlier?” Silence. “You want to leave because of this?” Silence, again. “I thought you wanted to live…”

“Shut up!” Aislin spun around, swatting at Ria, who screamed and jumped back. The dark-haired girl paused, then sighed and pushed past Ria, heading back towards her bedroom.

“Fine then, be angry!” Ria called out to her back. “I don’t care what you choose to do!” The only response she received was from the slamming door. Knowing that Aislin wouldn’t be out again for a while, Ria went into the kitchen.

“That girl…maybe this was a mistake.” She muttered while pulling out various cooking ingredients and utensils. She busied herself with her cooking, trying to forget about the other girl’s outburst.

Aislin was curled up on the bed, hugging the pillow tightly. Her stomach kept churning, and her head was pounding.

Why did she care so much about Princess Ki-Lin? Was it to show that she wasn’t selfish in wanting to live again? It was a selfish wish, she thought. And she could easily turn that wish around…set things to how they should be.

“I don’t want…to die…” she whispered to herself. “Though…I’m already dead. I don’t want to be…dead dead.” Aislin sighed. The concept of this afterlife was still confusing to her. But there was Ria…Aislin realized how little she knew about the mysterious girl. She did know, however, that she needed Ria to live again.

Aislin sat up. Maybe she should apologize to that girl…and then get back to work.

“Oh, you came out.” Ria said flatly as Aislin entered the library. “I made food, you can have some if you feel like it.” She gestured to the table, which had various plates set on it. Aislin took a bowl of fruit and picked at it as Ria continued to speak.

“I guess you’ve decided to stay? Well, I don’t personally care about your decision, but I’d just like to make sure that you’re still working here. For other reasons.”


“…Okay, then. I picked out the next world I’d like you to fix up. It’s the total opposite of the last one.” Ria held up a blue book. “I’ll go set the door up while you finish eating…um…do you like those fruits?”

“Mm.” Aislin emptied the bowl, and placed it back on the table.

“You could use words, y’know. Whatever…I’ll get more for when you return, okay?” Ria went to the back door of the library, and ran the machine that connected the worlds. Aislin followed her, and waited until the door was ready.

“Stay safe. The rules are the same as always.”

“Right.” Aislin nodded. “…Ria?”

“Uh…yeah?” Ria was a bit shocked at Aislin saying her name for the first time.

“About earlier…sorry.” Aislin stepped through the door, leaving an even more shocked Ria behind.

(And that’s all that was written.)

Afterlife: Second Tale – Chapter 7

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