Chapter 46:

Interlude: Calm

Fighting For My Freedom In Another World

Alena closed her eyes and touched a finger to her forehead as she thought. Bookmark here

If she had been Maria, at least that’s what she would have done. What Alena did was no more than pretend. She put on an act of being deep in thought and analyzing the situation. In reality she was doing nothing more than waiting. Seeing if the same thing would happen again. If it just had been an accident, it would be impossible for her to cut herself on a piece of particularly sharp wood or anything similar again by accident as long as she sat perfectly still. Bookmark here

Alena sat there, and waited. Bookmark here

“Princess? Is something wrong? It is unusual to see you so calm.”Bookmark here

She ignored Elodia, whose curiosity seemingly had been roused by the princess’s peculiar behaviour. Bookmark here

Focused on staying as still as possible, and on not dying from boredom as she did. Bookmark here

Something sharp stabbed into one of her legs. Bookmark here

Alena used her magic. Not her illusions that she had spent so much time practicing, but what had been given her with no need for effort. The magic that made her stronger. Boring, but practical and effective. Bookmark here

Her magic let her react before the cut grew deep enough to be dangerous. Bookmark here

She jumped. Bookmark here

And promptly hit her head against the ceiling. The carriage was hardly more than two and a half meters tall. Hitting your head against the ceiling would normally be one of the least of worries for someone of Alena’s stature, but with magic… Well, magic had this tendency to make things quite a bit easier to accomplish. Bookmark here

If it was a physical feat, and your magic boosted your physical abilities? All the more so. Bookmark here

She came back down with a slight headache, but at least she hadn’t been hit by whoever or whatever tried to attack her. Bookmark here

With the boost from her magic, Alena easily got out of the way. But her co-passenger?Bookmark here

Elodia didn’t have anything to help her out with mobility. Nothing to protect her from whatever was attacking them. Bookmark here

What she did have that Alena didn’t was armour. Rather useful against sharp objects and certain types of magic, but less effective when faced with others. Bookmark here

So, she wasn’t stabbed. There was no need to worry about that. Bookmark here

But what did happen was, while not quite as bad, still not exactly the most pleasant of outcomes. Bookmark here

Something emerged from the shadows on the floor and grabbed her, then threw her at the door.Bookmark here

Elodia was heavy enough and had been thrown with enough force to go straight through it and hit the ground outside. Alena didn’t have time to see if she was alright. Knowing her, she probably would be. The armour she wore would hopefully also help avoid any serious injuries. Bookmark here

Alena needed to make sure the same fate didn’t befall herself. She didn’t have any armour, anything to protect her. Her magic made her able to take more, but only to a limit. She didn’t mind the pain, but avoiding injury was usually still the wiser decision against someone trying to kill you — someone on the same side as her, such as Maria, was a different matter. Then getting hurt was fine. Bookmark here

What, exactly, was she up against? Someone that attacked from the shadows, apparently. Beyond that? Not enough time to think about it. Bookmark here

Alena tried to keep moving inside the carriage wagon. Not make herself an easy target for whoever she was fighting. Her enhanced physical ability let her move faster than most people. Enough that being caught would usually be the least of worries for her. Without magic, almost no one else could move faster than her. Bookmark here

Against someone who was using magic? It turned out to not be nearly as helpful. Bookmark here

Especially this kind of magic. It wasn’t a kind Alena had seen anyone use before, so in other words not something most would find useful enough to learn, or maybe more difficult than most people were willing to put up with. But fighting against it? That proved rather annoying. Bookmark here

Alena kept getting small cuts in various places no matter how much she jumped around the place, no matter how much she tried to keep moving. Bookmark here

She should have been faster. But in reality...Bookmark here

...It hardly mattered against someone who seemed to somehow be following along with her own shadow. No matter how fast Alena was, outrunning her own shadow was certainly still beyond her. Bookmark here

Alena kept moving. Darting back and forth in the small amount of space available to her. She didn’t dare go too close to the opening that had been created when Elodia was thrown out, afraid of getting distracted and being pushed out herself. Bookmark here

She never left enough time for any deeper cuts. Made sure she would at least be safe from that much. Alena thought she saw a flash of metal each time something made contact with her. Bookmark here

If she had been faster, perhaps she could have grabbed it. Sadly that seemed quite out of reach unless she could predict where it was going to show up before it did. Which… Actually wasn’t entirely impossible. Bookmark here

It seemed to be following Alena’s own shadow, emerging from it only to attack her. Alena knew how her shadow was supposed to move under certain circumstances. Bookmark here

She’d be able to tell where her opponent would show up next. Bookmark here

Alena kept moving around the carriage, but no longer randomly. This time it was with purpose. In a pattern she would be able to recognise the movements of her shadow in. Where she would be able to tell what was off. Bookmark here

She watched carefully, and…Bookmark here

...There! Bookmark here

Alena twisted to get her ankle out of the way of the stabby thing heading towards it, at the same time as she twisted herself and lunged towards the very same object with her upper body. Bookmark here

She managed to get a hold of it.Bookmark here

She grabbed it, and pulled. Holding it hurt, but there hardly seemed to be any other good options. Bookmark here

A knife and a hand holding it emerged from the shadows as Alena pulled, followed by an entire man. Bookmark here

Alena used the momentum to throw him outside, leaving her safe and alone in the carriage.The sun was high in the sky, and they were passing through the middle of a mostly open field. If his magic had something to do with shadows the man wouldn’t find much use for it out there, and he would certainly pose no threat to Alena herself.Bookmark here

Alena was forced to jump out of the carriage almost right afterwards. She remained in safety for all of five seconds before a crackling sound came from the front, and she dove outside without even turning around to check what it was. Bookmark here

She recognised that sound.Bookmark here

The carriage exploded behind her. Bookmark here

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