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Chapter 2:Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Oww... my head...

The dull ache in her head did not keep the memories from leaking back into her thoughts. Her eyes snapped open. And immediately shut again, waiting for the nausea to vanish. She was seeing double, the ground was moving. This was not good. How would she be able to defend herself this way?

After a few moments of long agony, the motion stopped. Rein propped herself up slowly, using her elbows gingerly, still conquered by motion-sickness.

Suddenly a door opened, dazzling light blinding her. Someone grabbed the chains securing Rein's hands roughly, pulling her into the light. She wasn't ready for it and she knew it. She fell on the ground, scraping her bare elbows, knees and the left side of her face. Rein hissed, held breath seeping out through her clenched teeth.

"Listen to her, she's fierce," a voice said. Almost immediately, the guard pulled at her chains, forcing her to her feet.

Rein's eyes darted around wildly, her eyes finally accustomed to the change in brightness. About time, she thought.

There were about eight guards surrounding her, four holding the chains to keep her down. She could not see Jae anywhere. Rein bit the inside of her cheek, her stomach turning.

"Let's move!" a soldier at the front commanded. The others started walking. Rein hobbled forward as well, she might be strong but she definitely would not stand a chance against four grown men. Her eyes ravaged the area hungrily, looking for any means of escape.

The garden dotted with small bushes and flowers, served no hiding place even if she did manage to escape these chains. It was surrounded by walls that were about fifteen feet high, she estimated. It looked smooth and there was no way she would be able to climb something that high without anything to hold on to.

And where was Jae anyway? Rein's mind churned furiously while her eyes darted around, now unseeing. She was probably in Soul now, she decided. No soldier from Brint could be this nasty. So, Jae would most likely be here as well. But where, in Soul? How big was this place? There were too many unanswered questions, Rein fumed.

A rifle hit her in the back of the knees, not giving her any other choice but to kneel. Her knees were shaking and she inhaled deeply, steadying her body, so that it showed not one sign of weakness.

A soldier grabbed her chin, forced it up so that she was looking directly at the face of the man standing in front of her. The man was sneering at her.

"Are you sure this is it?" he growled at the guard.

"This was the best we could find. Don't be fooled by her dainty looks, she has the real potential, sir," was the guard's answer.

Rein's eyes narrowed, trying to make sense of the words. It was like some alien language, there was nothing she could piece together. Potential? Potential for what?

The man's hand moved, taking only a fraction of a second. Rein's eyes widened, there was nothing she could do. He backhanded her, striking her across the bad side of her face. She fell. As she fell, she hissed. Even louder than the first time when the soldiers had pulled her out of the carriage. Her face was burning.

Rein glared up at the man, her eyes wild. He smirked.

"Interesting," he said to the guards, "The two other wimps you got me last time could only whimper and moan. Had to sell them to the slave mongers in the market."

"Put her in the Pit. You can remove the chains, all but one around her foot. We'll see how she does against them," his lips upturned into a cruel smile, his eyes never leaving Rein's all the while.

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