No, I was not dead. Despite the fact that I’d just bled out in some random alleyway, I was not dead.
Alive and wearing a padded leather helmet, the gambeson, leather greaves, and uncomfortably tight boots, just like last time. I’d been in too much of a pain haze to notice the rest of my armor the last time.
I stood by the gates of some small castle, clenching a familiar spear in my freezing fists. This was the weapon that killed me. Why am I holding the thing that ended my life? Why am I still alive after having my life ended?!
A million more questions ran through my head but no answers came. All I could do was stand there in the cold, blinking rapidly as the blizzard raging all around me tossed snow in my eyes.
Great realization, of course. Sighing through chattering teeth, I looked to my right and saw a similarly armored guard shivering on the other side of the gate. He, too, held a spear in his hands.
“Hey, mate,” I called to him. “You know what this place is?”
The guard looked over to me but I could barely see his face through the torrent of snowflakes. Squinting, I could see his mouth open, shouting at me but the wind whipped away the words.
Move closer, duh.
I did just that, tromping through the half-foot high snow toward him. Standing two feet away, I finally managed to hear him over the wind.
“We guard the magnificent gates of the Elden Keep, fellow man!” she – because the voice was quite clearly female now that I could hear it – yelled. “It is the utmost honor to defend Lord Kakos’s family and possessions!”
I tried to process this information until she started repeating herself. Frowning, I cut her off. “Yes, you told me that already.”
She stopped talking, stepped back, and barked, “Back to your post, fellow guard! You never know when an enemy could be near!”
With that, I trekked back to my ‘post’, occasionally looking back at her. She stood ramrod straight against the keep walls, holding up her spear.
This is insane, I thought. What is going on here? First, I wake up with a spear in my chest with no memory of how it got there or literally anything else, then it turns out I can come back to life, and now I’m a guard for some castle?
Am I going insane? Is this some hallucination? What’s going on with me?