"Senior priest! Don't go! You are the only one who can keep this temple running in the 21st century!"
Who is this boy. I can no longer recognize him. I feel as if my mind is slowly slipping away. Bit by bit, like the shifting sands of the desert. Who am I...
"Wallace Shielder, useless person...1st Hell"
"Feng Hao, greedy businessman...3rd hell"
"Tarou Tanaka, ordinary salaryman... 2nd Hell"
"Gira Yoshikake, serial killer...straight into 5th hell"
The priest slowly moved forwards as the queue slowly became shorter. He didn't know when it started but he simply found himself slowly walking towards the figure stamping papers. The figure was broad, skin red as flames dressed in a purple robe donning what seemed like crown. Ever so often, a spectral figure would carry a stack of papers to him and he would give judgement through stamps. Finally it was time for the priest to face his judgement.
"It's nice to meet you, Lord Yama."
The priest gave a small bow before accepting his judgement. This was the judgement hall of the underworld. All souls will be judged, gone through a hell and be reincarnated as a new being.
"Oh who do we have here... Ninth Priest of Eight Restraints Mountain, As one who has never been touched by earthly pleasures you have committed the worst crime possible for a priest. A untainted yet fractured soul...Hmm...It's you again"
"This lowly priest asks for only the harshest punishment."
"Your soul is too clean... The hells itself will reject your existence."
"Lord Yama ...I implore you."
"I will send you to the unused 11th Fate Rending Hell again. It is the only hell which will accept your soul and is also the most powerful one. Even I do not fully comprehend it. They say those who enter will reincarnate cursed for four lives, blessed for the next four and transcend in the last.. If I remember correctly, this is your final reincarnation."
"Thank you Lord Yama."
"I should be thanking you...After all, I now have hope for a successor...I'll be expecting you"
A chasm appeared beneath the priest's feet and he fell down. In what seemed like an eternity, he stopped and landed in a white room. The room was barren, no beasts, no temptation, just a chair. He slowly sat down on the chair. Memories from past lives slowly tore away at his mind tormenting him of his darkest times. But he didn't flinch. He didn't even care.
His first fateful life was of a scholar. He was full of hope, only to be betrayed by his best friend. He climbed the ranks of the social ladder making enemies left and right. When the revenge he long yearned for was right at his finger tips, his friend died of natural causes.
The next life was that of a warrior. He fought battles for his king. Kingdoms fell under his sword and he was known as the world's strongest. Yet as peace slowly dawned upon the kingdom, he was sent to execution to appease the masses for all the people he had killed.
The third life had a darker turn. He was born from a test tube. Torture was all he remembered from this life. Needles, saws and drugs were the only things that he could see in this lifetime. By the end, even his soul was experimented upon, fracturing in the process.
His final dark life was of a girl born in a brothel. Grew up beautiful, would have had a great future. Yet the brothel held her back. A man offered to take her far away. She accepted and followed him. However she was discarded once word of her pregnancy got out.
The next was the start of his happier lives. The first is the story of a lion. Free in the wilderness in a world where the king ruled all. He lived a fulfilling life, born in a powerful pride and eventually becoming the alpha. He had died fulfilled and undefeated.
The next was that of an aspiring boxer. Fought from the bottom in the slums and eventually becoming the reigning champion. Although defeated, he had a fulfilled life. An accomplished dream, a loving family and a place to call home. Death was simply another phase in his life.
His third life was of a warrior born to fight the battlefields. He fought valiantly, never taking an innocent life. He died fulfilled, protecting his home.
His Fourth was of a Daoist priest. Born as a simple villager, raised as the ninth to inherit a temple. Under his leadership, he protected his temple from men trying to take away the sacred land for their own benefits. He had many capable disciples and could pass on the legacy to the next generation. He died a happy death.
The priest now no longer had any form and could freely see beyond the walls of the room. He slowly floated towards the walls and simply phased through. In the distance he could see a bridge with no ending. As he slowly moved towards the bridge, a frail figure started to emerge.
"Child...to pass...Drink the soup."
The figure passed a bowl full of soup towards the now shapeless soul. The priest reformed his body and gulped the soup in one take.
"You may pass."
The priest once again lost form and slowly crossed the bridge.
[ Installing Ultimate Rice System ]
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