And then will I be reunited with the Emissary?
She'd been given an address, and instructions. A loyalty test, she was told. Failure meant she was unworthy of the Emissary, and unworthiness meant death. And death for her family. That was the threat that was never spoken, but always there. But Leah didn't need that threat. To serve the Emissary, to prove herself, was enough.
It hadn't been hard to get access to the house. She claimed to be fleeing an abusive boyfriend, with painted on bruises to go with her story. They were nice people. They wanted to help, promised to protect her. After that, it was even easier. Pick up the baby, put a knife to its throat, toss handcuffs to the parents and order them to cuff themselves to the radiator. Put the baby down, and murder the parents. She didn't know what the Emissary wanted with the baby, but the instructions were clear. After the parents are dead, take the baby out the back door. Await further instructions.
These instructions had been delivered in person, by someone invisible who whispered them in her ear. The most terrifying instructions she could have received. But what could she do?
You will infiltrate Remnant through the Penal Company. You will survive your training, and your first battle and learn everything you can. You will not betray your true reasons for being there. Your story is that you killed them so you could take their child. If you betray us, if you die in training, if you die in your first battle, you know what will happen. If you succeed, you'll be contacted.
she had asked. But no answer had come. She had her instructions. She ran until she was caught.
Leah lay curled up on her bed, after taking her pills and drinking the water. She had pushed herself as hard as she could, and had gotten up several times after falling, earning a lot of glares from other prisoners. Her dropping didn't punish anyone, but her getting back up, stumbling and falling further behind did. She was in the first half to drop for good though.
She could see now how well the Emissary's handlers had prepared her, training her enough to be healthy and in shape, but not enough to be suspicious. But now she second guessed herself. She'd pushed herself because the Emissary wanted her to survive, but she needed her fellow soldiers help to survive too. She shouldn't earn their hatred.
Leah could cry at least. Nothing in her instructions, either from Jyarl or from the Emissary prevented that. So she did.