The one doing the unlocking was the bailiff, and behind him, prosecutorial assistant Eugene stood with the sword in his hand. Claudia’s right and left hand shackles were unlocked first, causing her to scramble to attack and retrieve the sword from Eugene, making my blood run cold, but as the shackles on her ankles were still in place, they pulled her back, causing her to grandly tumble on the spot.
… Thud! Her hands remained firmly held out, so she hit the ground nose-first, giving off an intense impact sound.
I heard some snickers leak out from the gallery.
“Um, are you alright?”
Eugene leaned down and offered her a hand, but Claudia lunged forward, and took the sword in both hands.
Though in the process, the chains pulled at her legs again, causing her to slam into the floor once more. This time, her hands were firmly clasped around the sword, so she didn’t hit the ground face-first.
She was merely breathing heavily. Her shoulders were rising up and down intensely, as she desperately gripped the sword hilt so as to never part with it again as she spread herself out on the courtroom floor.
Her ankles were still fettered. They were each connected to the respective leg on the iron chair, and from all the times she’d lashed out, the skin under the shackles alone had turned purple.
The bailiff didn’t particularly try to stop her. Since having her go violent was most convenient, perhaps the prosecution had ordered him so, but because of that, without anyone getting in the way, Claudia was able to reunite with her beloved… The moment she held the sword, her menacing air disappeared, and I saw deep relief run across her face.
The shackles on her legs were removed. She could now move freely. But regardless of that, she remained motionless on the floor for a while.
After some time passed by, she took off her own gag. And slapping it down on the spot, it made a bang as it hit the ground. She pressed one hand into the floor, holding the sword in her other, as she rose up with horridly slow movements.
“Defendant, step forward.”
Perhaps she didn’t hear the judge’s voice, as she merely stood petrified on the spot. For an instant, she sent a look at me, but I had a recollection of those eyes.
When walking the streets, you’d occasionally happen across a stray cat. With no one keeping it company, and continual abuse, the stray cat would become of wild disposition, sending sharp glares as if the entire world were their enemy.
The look in her eyes was precisely that.
There were no allies here. Everyone was an enemy. Looking around with wary eyes, she eventually took a step towards the witness stand.