Still on her knees with her purse and water bottle, Lisa looked incredulous at the two individuals who were staring at her with a curious look. Despite the headache that was beginning to hit her, she analyzed more carefully the place where she was, it was a really strange tower, the marks on the ground reminded her of religious signs: a circle containing a triangle, containing itself a point in its middle, it must have had an iconographic meaning, but she could not guess it; the ground also had black marks, like a fire left after being extinguished and a smell of burning came to her nose. Looking at her tailor, Lisa saw a hole at the location of his breastbone, but the hole was big enough to show her chest; she instinctively had the reflex to hide it with her arm.
"Here, take this." began the man in a calm voice, taking off his jacket and giving it to her. "Sorry about your clothes, but it's impossible to stop this from happening."
"It's no big deal, it's just two pieces of flesh sticking out," Lisa replied, taking the jacket. "But thank you for the attention."
There was a silence during which Lisa looked at the small village at the bottom of the tower, which seemed absolutely uninhabited, or at least there seemed to be no outdoor activity while the Sun was at its Zenith, moreover it was very hot, you could even see the reverberation due to the heat on the roof tiles of the houses. Some of this houses had broken windows and others had traces of squatting and vandalism, giving the place a ghost town look. The village also had a well in its center, but in view of its condition, it must have dried up long ago and some of the stones that formed it were crumbling.
"You must be a little lost, I'll explain everything a little later, if you'll excuse us. I'm Arles, this is Ellyn," continued the man, pointing to the young woman with horns who immediately smiled at Lisa. "Could you come with us, we'll take refuge in one of the old houses... I can't stand the heat..."
"Yes, no problem..." replied Lisa perplexed, she paused and started talking again as she walked down the steps of the tower. "Lisa Neiler."
"This is your name?" asked the horned woman.
"Yes." she simply said, by looking at the steps of the tower carefully.
She knew she would have answers to these questions once she was to the fresh air. In the worst case, if she was ever attacked, she always had the knife of her father in her bag and she can also fight perfectly well, with her 5 years of aikido and 2 years of boxing. She had learned to defend herself shortly after entering middle school, after being harassed for several years by a bunch of kids who didn't realize what they were doing.
The steps of the tower were on the outside of it and there was no railing, if anyone ever fell, it was probably death assured, for her who was in a heel shoe, she was quite apprehensive and careful with every step; luckily, the wind was very light and did not exceed the breeze.
After descending the tower overlooking the village for about twenty metres, she caught her breath and followed the two individuals as they headed towards one of the vandalized houses. After entering it she saw that most of the things had been either stolen or ransacked.
"It's a very sad village," Lisa whispered as she opened a button on her blouse because of the heat.
"Some things are inevitable, what happened to this village was just as inevitable," Arles replied as he sat on an old stool. "What is this country... we've been burning for a week..." he grumbled, tilting his head back.
"You were the one who wanted to come here first, I remind you, Arles." Teased Ellyn by tapping him on the shoulder.
"As if I had a choice."
Lisa went to sit on another stool right in front of Arles; she took off her tailor and just kept her blouse and the man's jacket, she put her purse on what was left of a table and took out her water bottle half full.
"Maybe you're thirsty, take it, you can drink the rest," she proposed with a smile. "She's not poisoned or anything, it's just water."
"Thank you," he replied, drinking half the rest of the bottle. "Here, Ellyn, drink the rest." he continued, handing the bottle to the woman. "It's a very strange material, I thought it was glass, but no... anyway, let's move on; as expected, I'll explain what's happening to you. You may have understood it, but you are no longer in your home world."
"Yes, all this is different from the cities in my world and even the sky has a slightly different hue, not to mention the fact that gravity itself is a little stronger. In other words, I was summoned or something?" Lisa laughed.
"Yes, that's right, but what's so funny?"
"Nothing, nothing, it just reminds me that it's the fantasy of many people in my world, to run away into another reality and it certainly falls on me when I don't really deserve," she added nostalgically.
"Don't get me wrong, Lisa." Ellyn said, still standing against a wall. "I looked for several weeks for a person with a very specific profile, despite your violent actions just before coming here, you are still the one I selected. I don't regret it."
"You know what I did just before I got here...?"
"Yes, it's my blessings, I can see people's past, if I add that to dimensional magic I can even go dig into the lives of people of another dimension. In other words, I know everything about you," Ellyn said in an amused tone. "I mean, it's more complicated than that, but I'm keeping it simple."
"Do you know everything about me? Everything...?" she asked again.
"Everything!" Ellyn exclaimed with a big smile.
Lisa suddenly felt extremely uncomfortable, the fact that this woman knew everything about her made her more stressed than anything else, either she had to make an ally of it, or she could say all her private life and make her die of shame. Although she didn't do anything shameful, Lisa was the kind of woman who was afraid of being laughed at, which was in sharp contrast to her usual temper. Ellyn saw this easily.
"Don't worry, I won't say anything." she reassured her with a hand movement.
"Okay... Thank you... Let's go back to your explanation Arles," Lisa sighed again.
"All right. Ellyn watched you at length to see if you could be an ally, she also paid attention to the fact that the chosen person isn't too much to lose. By observing your way of being and thinking, we have therefore decided to invoke you here and now in order to help us prevent the genocide of a people."
"Your ears didn't fool you, you understand what i'm said. The largest countries in the world have plans to annihilate a people in order to put pressure on another people further north, they are the only ones who know where the artifact that once allowed the demon people to be immortal is hidden, but from their alliances they have annihilated demons, crushed other small peoples already in sub-minority, stolen land from other peoples or enslaved goblins. All thanks to manipulation and armed power."
"I see... Isn't there anyone trying to fight...?"
"The Drows are the ones the Alliance wants to put pressure on, there almost everyone in this country there is willing to fight, that's why they don't dare get too close, they prefer to scare them. The dwarves too... they have always been against the Alliance from the beginning, but here again, the Alliance is reluctant to attack, the dwarves have a maritime force far too superior to any other fleet. As for the people of Woleh... it's more complicated, the Alliance countries surround this small country, the beast men of which Ellyn is a part may have superior capabilities to men in general terms, but they can't survive a cannon fire... As for the elves, we don't know much, we haven't seen them leave Ceten for decades, they may very well be preparing something, but they may just as well have left the Alliance, nobody knows."
"You have a choice, Lisa." outbids Ellyn seriously. "We won't force you to join our cause, but I think it's important for you to know that if you join us, we don't promise that you will survive, even if we will do everything necessary to protect you. However, if you help us, I can assure you that you will have a great notoriety, social and financial success, not to mention the fact that you will have a much richer social life than in your original world. I don't know if these arguments will help you make a choice but-"
"I'm coming with you. No need to procrastinate, now that I'm free from my old life, it's time to free other people from their chains... Moreover, I think that's what my father would have liked..." replied Lisa instantly without wait.
"Well, it was even faster than expected!" admitted the horned woman.
Everyone stopped talking and enjoyed a short moment of silence, during which the summer breeze crept through a broken window and refreshed the room in which they were standing. Lisa decided to stand up and move towards Arles, she reached out to him and waited for his reaction.
"A handshake?" he asked in astonishment.
"Yes, to seal the contract, so there is no escape for you or me," she explained positively.
"You're an surprising woman, Lisa, I like your temperament," he replied, shaking her hand, she did the same with Ellyn right after.
Arles seemed to be thinking of something important and turned to Lisa, he put his hand in one of the pockets of his jacket that the former CEO was wearing and took out a ring. He looked at the jewel with incomprehension, then looked at the woman in front of him.
"I thought you took this ring to talk to us..." he muttered as he stared at the ring.
"Is that a special ring?"
"One of the three rings of Babel... it allows us to understand the languages of the peoples of this world while waiting to learn them... it must be one of your blessings."