Chapter 2:

Strung Up And Waiting For Slaughter

Fighting For My Freedom In Another World

My surroundings were dark, and I… I couldn’t move. No matter how hard I tried to, my body just wasn’t strong enough to win against the resistance it faced each time I attempted even the slightest motion. Where was I? And where was this?

I had been out running just a moment earlier… had I passed out? My body had suddenly started hurting, and I fell over, but that was about the last thing I could remember. There was absolutely nothing in my memories that gave me any remotely useful hint as to my current whereabouts, no matter how hard I thought about it.

There was a cold and metallic sensation near my ankles and at my wrists. Something was stuck around them, and it was probably what stopped me from moving.

Even in the dark, it was also easy to tell I wasn’t touching the ground. Was I… strung up, or something? Hanging in midair, cruel iron chains the only thing holding me up… It wasn’t exactly pleasant.

All I could do was wait. My body ached all over, and in the quite awkward position I found myself in I couldn’t give it any relief. Even as my eyes gradually adjusted to the darkness, I couldn’t make out anything of significance. There didn’t seem to be any windows, or if there was it must have been the darkest of nights outside. Either way not a single speck of light was to be found.

I waited, and waited. Did my best to bear the pain, to somehow endure all the discomfort and the aches.

I didn’t know how long I had to wait. Wait in silence, wait in the dark, wait hanging in midair with no way to move, wait while hurting all over, before there at last was an interruption in the monotony.

There was a creaking noise. Some light streamed in as a distant doorway was opened. Not enough light that I could see clearly, but an amount just sufficient enough to barely make out what was around me.

First of all, that speculation about being chained up? Turned out it was right on the mark. I was in something that looked very much like a prison cell, with walls and floor made entirely out of stone. I also couldn’t help but note how I was barefoot and the stone floor looked like it would be quite cold to walk on.

Now that I had some light I could also see myself slightly more clearly: I was wearing a skirt much shorter than anyone in my past life would ever have approved of, which thankfully was paired with a pair of socks long enough to still give the outfit some semblance of modesty. My upper body was covered up by what seemed to be essentially just a normal plain black t-shirt. It was slightly torn in spots, but other than that nothing that would have been out of the ordinary to wear in normal everyday life.

I was also actually chained up, in midair, just as I had thought. That was basically about it as far as sights went.

Oh, and there was something painted on the floor to my right in bright red. Or at least it was some shade of red. It wasn’t quite bright enough for me to tell exactly which one. Some kind of weird symbol?

Setting that aside for the moment, there were some more pressing matters to think about first. That door that had opened a minute or two earlier? Two men(probably, judging from their stature) clad from head to toe in armour had come walking through it and disconnected the chains that had been holding me. Unfortunately from where they had been connected to the floor and ceiling — the loops around my wrists and ankles were still quite intact and very attached.

I wanted to ask things. To find out what the heck was even going on.

It didn’t really look like either of the two men would be very cooperative though. I kept my mouth shut for now. Partially because they looked rather intimidating, and partially because...

...well, because they were now poking me with some very proddy and sharp distinctly spear-like objects that probably were spears, motioning for me to get moving. My muscles hurt, but it didn’t exactly look like I had much of a choice.

There was also how one of them smacked me rather hard the moment I did try to open my mouth to ask a question, before I could even get out any sound. It kind of sent signals they weren’t the talkative type. So I stumbled along between the two guards, slowly making my way towards the distant light.

I dared to sneak a single look behind me back at my(?) cell, only to realise that it was the only one I could see; this wasn’t a whole jail, or if it was, its purpose was only to hold a single prisoner… must have been someone important. From here it was possible to see that the cell didn’t contain any furniture. There was absolutely nothing in it aside from the chains I had been hanging from and the weird symbol on the floor.

My whole body ached when I walked, but I grit my teeth and kept somehow making my way onwards. It wasn’t exactly fast going. It felt like it took ages. In reality it was probably just a few minutes. I wanted nothing more than to be away from here, to go back to running through the cold morning air. Not to be here, wherever this was.

Until we reached the door, and I was outside. It felt good, the first time I breathed fresh air in who knows how long… even if it was my own thought, I immediately realised it didn’t make any sense. I had just been outside a few hours earlier, at most.

But I really did feel like I had been hanging in that prison cell for days or maybe even weeks.

I hadn’t quite been willing to let it sink in until now, but whoever I was now, whoever this body should have belonged to… it wasn’t me.

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