In the last part earlier today, Kiriyah is exposed to the alternate universe of death, where she learns the ways of the three doors and the keys, the rules of death, and so on. The person who shows it to her, an old lady known to the dead as the Key Keeper, is kidnapped by a gang of white, lithe figures. Let’s see what happens next….

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Kelly had done it.

She had made it past the wall, finally, after centuries of waiting. She was finally free.

What to do first? Kelly didn’t know. There was so much to see and do, since she had made it to the heroes and heroines section of the universe.

She decided to take a walk. It was so enjoyable in life, so why not in death as well?

Then it hit her. Life. She could search for the doors.

She had heard many rumors about where each door lay, but only the green door’s key was in the realm. She had heard the stories that the green key was hidden deep under the snow around the blue door, so off she went.

She took a path that she was certain to lead her to the door’s location. Not long after that, she found herself approaching the end of the trail, where it led abruptly into a rock wall.

Surely this is too obvious? Kelly thought. She was about to step out of her hiding place when the blue door, shimmering in the orange haze of afternoon mist, materialized and a girl stepped through. Behind her, the door vanished as the girl marveled at her surroundings.

She was alive.

Kelly’s eyes widened. She’d also heard, from her time enclosed within the walls, that only one human was allowed to roam the land of the dead, as decreed by the Spirit Queen, simply because she had two of the three keys to the existing doors. They never said anything about a girl, especially not one her age–when she was alive, of course.

Kelly narrowed her eyes. Instead of revealing herself, she crouched down, disguising herself in the bush where she was hiding.

The girl was talking to someone. Kelly peered around the bush to see who.

This must be the caretaker of the two keys; it made sense that she was a whole lot older. Yet why was she telling this young a girl about this universe? Kelly knew that the Spirit Queen would not be happy if and when she found out. It was only a matter of time.

The Keeper was explaining the rules of the universe to the girl. Kelly knew all of these things, yet she listened anyway for a piece of crucial information. She watched the girl look at the blue key in her hand and then pocket it–Kelly’s ticket to true freedom.

Suddenly, she heard a soft scream from the Keeper, and saw the girl look up. Kelly watched in silence as a gang of white key bandits threw a sack over her head and ran off. They clearly didn’t know that it was not the Keeper who had the key that time. It was the girl.

Kelly followed the girl quickly and quietly as she pursued the bandits. When the girl finally stopped to catch her breath, so did Kelly, although she was perfectly fine as an advantage of not needing oxygen or energy in death.

The girl cried out weakly, but did not follow any longer. Instead, she stood up straight and turned around, no doubt remembering that she shouldn’t be there. Her hand snaked into her pocket, where the key was, but she probably figured out by now that she didn’t know her way to the blue door anymore.

Kelly sighed. Those bandits weren’t any random gang. It was a palace Key Search, and it was obvious that the Keeper would be held at the Spirit Palace. Some problem with the keys.

Kelly knew she could help the girl. She knew how to get to the Spirit Palace. Her sister, who had died a few years earlier, had gotten a job at the Palace as soon as she left the walls behind, so she was a good contact who knew how to avoid the guards and the Spirit Queen–and who knew the layout of the Palace, including the dungeons. The girl had the key to the blue door, and Kelly knew the way back to it. An idea began to blossom in her mind.

Kelly took a deep breath, steadied her shaking hands, and stepped out to greet the girl.

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