Laura found herself standing in front of yet another door. Ever since she had woken up in this weird place she could only move forward as several strange things continued to happen. At first she was stuck in an empty white space that stretched on forever, then she was ordered around by some random voice to go through weird steps to move forward. When she was scanned and shown her stats she wasn't too surprised to find out that her mental stats were a bit higher than her physical ones. She also learned that her ranking throughout the first phase was second and she could guess who probably came first. If she was second then Madalyn and Natalie were probably right behind her, but considering all the stuff Joshua had done there was no doubt in her mind that he would finish with the first place rank.
Then the weird voice asked her if she wished to accept the job that was picked for her by the system. When she looked at the option she was given she was slightly surprised. Based off of how Nathan had explained job and class systems in games, when she saw her stats she was expecting that the job that would be picked out for her would be something along the lines of a mage. That would have gone extremely well with her stats based off of how Nathan had explained their meaning to her in the past. Instead she was offered a job that wasn't expected, but was definitely a welcomed surprise.
After seeing her stats, seeing her rank, and getting a job another door opened up in front of her and lead her down a long dark hallway. At first she looked around to see if anything else had changed in the open space, but when she found the dark hallway to be the only way forward she stepped inside. It took a while for her to reach the end, but when she started to approach a bright red and orange hue coming from a door up ahead she could feel the air around her start to gradually heat up. When she finally reached the door the immense heat she was feeling would normally cause someone to pass out as though they had been wandering through a dry dessert, but for Laura it was an amazing feeling. It was as though whatever was on the other side of the door was calling to her.
When she final touched the handles of the door to pull it open she had to close her eyes at the bright lights in front of her. An extremely comfortable feeling flooded her body as more waves of heat fell upon her skin. After opening her eyes she was surprised at what she was seeing in front of her. In the center of the room was a small bird that was covered in a beautiful assortment of red feathers with gold tips at the end. Its eyes were a glowing golden color as they watched her from the moment she entered inside. The bird had waves of fire around it causing everything in its surroundings to heat up, but that only seemed to attract Laura even more as she slowly approached it.
Laura and the bird stared at each for a moment before it let out a shrill cry and flapped its wings to ascend into the air. It flew around the room for a moment causing the fire to spread even more before swooping down and entering Laura's chest. At first Laura panicked expecting pain from the crazy bird's actions, but was instead met with a refreshing sensation as her body heated up in reaction to the bird merging inside of her. After a few moments all the fire in the room died out and all that was left in front of Laura was another door that appeared out of nowhere thus leading to her current situation. So far nothing bad had come of entering these doors, so Laura took a deep breath before grabbing the handles and swinging each side open.
There was another flash of blinding light for a moment before it settled down allowing her to look around her surroundings. She was in another room, but this time it looked like a decent sized auditorium with a stage out front and lots of room for an audience next to it. There were several other people in the room that all seemed to come from different parts of the world based on the fact that she could hear several people speaking in different languages. More and more doors seemed to open up along the nearby wall allowing more people to step inside the room. For a moment Laura wasn't quite sure what to do next, but then she saw a familiar face enter the room and walked over to her. "I'm glad to see you made it out alright." Laura said causing the woman to turn around.
Natalie smiled when she saw Laura was the one talking to her and immediately wrapped her friend in a tight hug that brought a small smile to the cold girls face. "I'm glad you're alright too. I wasn't sure we were going to make it with all those things flooding the building at the time. I guess Madalyn and I were able to hold them off long enough for you and Josh to finish the job?"
"I guess so as well. I passed out after handing the spear over to Joshua so I'm not quite sure how things ended." Laura replied, but was surprised when someone else sneaked up behind them and wrapped their arms around both of them.
"I'm glad you two are alright. I guess the big guy must have pulled through in the end. A good thing too, I was a split second away from having one of those creatures tear into my neck before waking up in this place." Madalyn said as she playfully pulled the two of them into tight one armed hugs.
"I'm glad we all made it, but where do you think Joshua and Nathan are? Even the Carsen brothers should be here if it comes down to a contribution system." Laura said as she managed to wiggle herself out of Madalyn's grasp. "Based off the fact that we were given rankings and there don't seem to be enough people here to be all the survivors of the first phase, I'm guessing that these are the people with the highest ranks."
"Probably so, most people here seem to be able to handle themselves to some degree. Along with the fact there is clearly far more woman than men I can assume these are the top rankers…" Madalyn started to say when she saw a few people and waived them over. "Well there's the Carsen brothers." Laura and Natalie turned and noticed Dave and his two brothers make their way over through the crowd. They all gave each other hugs and smiles when they met up. Clearly surviving such a disastrous situation together had brought them all closer to some extent.
"Have you three seen Joshua or Nathan?" Natalie asked after they finished with the pleasantries.
"We haven't seen Joshua since you guys headed for town. Nathan on the other hand was with us and everyone else in the basement when that sub-boss started tearing up the mansion." Dave explained.
"The damn thing was about to break through the door to the basement when everything went white and we all ended up here. Got to see some weird stats thing, get some sort of class, and meat our apparent spirit animals before coming here." Devin explained getting nods from everyone else.
"If that's the case then I wonder where those two are." Natalie quietly replied.
"If I had to guess Nathan might be in some other group because he technically didn't do any fighting. I'm sure there are others that helped out without actually fighting so their might be a specific group for them." Madalyn said gaining nods from the others. "Joshua on the other hand is probably getting some sort of special treatment. Let me guess, you got ranked second right Laura?"
"Right, so that would probably mean you and Natalie are third and fourth?" Laura asked getting simple nods in reply. "Then I guess they might have something specific in mind for him, will just have to wait to see him again."
The group continued to chatter with each other about what happened in their last moments when a voice interrupted them. [All top rankers must move to their assigned seats before things can proceed. Please find the seat that matches your rank number and then wait for further instructions]. Everyone in the room looked up in surprise at the voice before several seats appeared in the open space with numbers on them. From what Laura could see they were numbered from one to a thousand. Laura and her groups started to head for their seats which caused a lot of attention to fall upon them. Laura sitting in the number two seat caused the room to be filled with choice words of different languages as people discussed the revelation. Madalyn and Natalie sitting right next to her only increased these talks. The Carsen brothers on the other hand found a row behind them sense their rankings were in the teens although they were all sitting right next to each other with Dave having the highest rank.
Soon several people started to take their seats and Laura and the others noticed quite a few people that had a certain aura about them. The person that took a seat next to Natalie in the number five seat was on the quiet side and was clearly Asian American with his looks and the way he spoke to the people next to him. He had a fairly intimidating air about him, but seemed to smile and nod along with the couple of people next to him. The next pair of guys had voices that seemed familiar to her as they joked around and messed with the previous man. All of them seemed to know each other really well. After that the rest of the first row of ten people was filled up with women from different walks of life. Most of them seemed to know how to handle themselves based off of their physique or disposition.
While Laura was looking through the people around her she heard on of the three guys sitting next to Natalie asked about Joshua causing all three of the girls in her group to turn and look at them in surprise. Just when she was going to ask them if they meant the same Joshua she was thinking of someone seemed to appear in a flash at the front of the auditorium causing the room to go silent.
"Hello everyone." A short woman that if not for her appearance could have been mistaken as a child bowed towards them with an ever present smile on her face. "My name is Thalia and I will be the one to introduce you all to the Risen World System."