What’s that putrid stench and what is this pain?
Did I die?
I can’t have died like this, I have to live… I was barely able to grasp my hands on a lead.
So many have died for me to meet my family, just once, please let me meet them just once.
This light? It’s too bright? HUH???
- - -
I opened my eyes once again to a familiar sight and smell… blood, covered from head to toe in blood. The smell of it told me it had been at least a few hours since whatever or whoever bled out enough for the stench to assault my nostrils.
As if the smell wasn’t bothersome enough, it had run down my head and onto my eyelids and hardened like half-dry clay.
When I managed to blink away the dry crust of blood for a clearer view, I saw a woman, a woman I’d seen a long time ago 38 years ago to be exact, arms wrapped around me tight as if to protect me.
What the heck is going on here? I was on the battlefield just before I closed my eyes. Now I've opened them again to see this face… Is this like my life flashing before my death? Or did the God’s give me a second chance like I'd prayed for?
I pushed her body off of me, I have to see the damage first, the last time… The first time I was too shocked to even remember her face or observe my surroundings.
Her clothes, albeit covered in blood, looked as though it was made out of good quality fabric, the stitch work was clearly done for those either with money and/or a noble. Her hair was done in a neat updo but no matter how long I stared at her, I couldn't recognise her.
The carriage seat, which was now above my head, was clearly made from high-grade leather and looked plushier than most carriages used by commoners.
I was dressed in a yellow silk dress surrounded by lace detail, I frowned a little confused.
Strange… This situation makes no sense, silk and lace are extremely expensive but the colour yellow is rarely seen with the two, this woman is dressed in an outfit that might be considered a maid uniform but I don’t know of any noble in the empire who would spend this much money for a mere maid. The carriage looks luxurious but the wood used is not suitable for the transport of a noble.
I look towards the door of the carriage, the handle is too far away for me to reach…
‘Too far away to reach? What?’ That is when I finally realised that I had become the size of a bean…
WTF???? I need to see my reflection… I thought it was just a memory I was seeing before death but perhaps I really have come back to the past… how old was I when this happened? 7? Fuck there isn’t shit I can do with a 7-year-old’s body. Let’s get out of here quick
I grabbed what looked like a piece of the carriage that was lying under my feet and hurled it towards the half-broken window, of course, that did little to nothing…
‘Fuck… how long does it take for a child to grow? Never in my life did I ever think that a small body would be the thing that gets in the way of me finding my family.’
I somehow managed to kick in the window with my feet, it must’ve taken a good 10 minutes at the very least.
‘Dammit if I don’t work on my stamina I might never be able to wield a sword again.’
Upon stepping outside the carriage I could finally get a clearer view of my surroundings, ‘forest? How did they even get this carriage into this forest?’
Now that I was standing outside the carriage I can tell clearly this carriage was attacked… No secondary tracks of horse hooves which tells me 2 things, I had no escorts but also whoever ambushed us were waiting in this forest, either that or they’re assassins that are trained incredibly well enough to follow a carriage quietly using trees. Which is unlikely, even in the past there were no assassins who could or would even try to do something so reckless.
This took planning… The coachman was most likely in on this, too bad he’s also dead and I can’t grab him by the throat and ask him who I am…
That woman… She tried everything to save me, I swear in this life I will find my family and avenge your death.
Even now I can’t tell if I was a noble or not… I’ve already checked with the 3 wealthy commoner families in the empire and none of them have ever had a daughter. Perhaps I'm from a different kingdom? If that was the case what was a foreign noble child doing in the forest all alone with no guards? So many questions yet no one to answer them…
What do I do now? From what I recall I waited here for days and was taken to a slave trade then sold to an underground fighting ring, that’s where I was trained like hell.
Why would anyone sell a girl to a fighting ring you ask? Well… because… I have red eyes, red eyes the same colour as the devil, no one but the fighting ring would take such a being.
I don't want that, it took me 6 years to get out of that hell… by then I had lost everything that made me human, I have to run away before they can find me.
“I’m sorry… I promise this chance you gave me… I’ll use it properly this time, now that I think about it, perhaps you were my only remaining family, if so… was this chance your way of telling me to forget and live happily?” I scoffed at myself, I was now talking to a corpse, if… if this was another chance given to me with your sacrifice then should I really waste it looking for a family who never looked for me? It doesn't matter, for I will keep walking forward now.
- - -
How long have I been walking now? I’m sure it had been hours but there was not a single sign of this sudden downpour stopping anytime soon.
I need to find shelter fast, I won’t last much longer in this rain, not to mention the ankle that has been bugging me for a while. I must’ve hurt it during the carriage incident.
I kept walking deeper into the dense forest, hoping to find any sort of shelter that would allow me to light a fire to stay warm.
The sun was setting by the time I'd found a stream of water that seemed to be drinkable, the downpour had settled to a light dribble. Something about the setting sunlight peeking through the cracks of orange leaves and the sound of water travelling downstream made me feel sleepy.
Is this a symptom of early-onset hypothermia? I cannot fall asleep until I can light a fire, I have to get out of these wet clothes too.
“I have to stay awake, let’s talk to myself… It’s strange, no matter how many times I think about it. It's strange this situation… and the fact that I came back in time, why am I accepting this so easily? Wouldn’t a normal person be really freaked out by this whole ordeal? I have to find a shelter quickly… but it's getting harder to concentrate…”
My… Consciousness… I can’t… I…I…