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Tuesday, 25 November 2008
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The Day Before the Next- Part VI, A Hunt Given Chase
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And so Dante Marcel now known as alive, Jean is reunited with an old friend and family member as Beregond attempts to hunt Jean's brother

Day Before the Next- Part VI, A Hunt Given Chase


Summer, 1539; it had been days since I had lost my way. What few strangers I found cowered from me... the mark of a heretic being this symbol from hell. As far as I know the accusations against me didn't stop at the borders either. Some even tried to burn me as I entered their town, though this became more and more common as fanatical peasants seemed to roam the countryside.


I knew not where to go, nor who to see, but I had found myself wandering into l'Anguille again. It was summer so I could survive the nights for now, but come winter I wouldn't know how to. The only good side to any of this nonsense was that I knew where I was. I had forgotten any goals, any life, any hope as I stepped over the horizon of a hill.


I looked down and sorrow darkened my face further. In the distance there was a cliff's edge only a good walk away as I made my way there. I stood at the edge of it as the sun set and the night seemed to demolish any light in the sky.


It was dark now, and the rain that had began pouring only made it worse. The mist from the sea by my homeland of L'Anguille brushed up against my face, my hair dancing with the wind as it flew past me, out of my eyes. I turned to see what was behind me: a ruined castle... crumbled beneath chaotic feet... and burnt to the ground. Its rule over the small city by the Northern Sea had fallen. Who knew how long it had been like this.


Thunder roared and lightning flashed lighting up the fields, the sounds of the waves crashing strong against the cliffs below. The lightning flashed again... you could see something come out of the shadow, they were 2 crosses. I walked into the ruins and picked up a piece of wood. It was inscribed: Marcel. I only stood there amongst the wreckage, thinking to myself, remembering the past.


"Father..." I said softly as I remembered him. What had I done? I could not even stop the murderer of my family... what kind of man was I? Regardless of what status I had ever earned as a knight, stripped from me or not, regardless of my age, I was no man; not yet. The sound of a horse could be heard from behind as I turned in the cold rain to see a figure approaching.


I looked away for a moment as they came close enough to see me. "Jean? Jean Marcel? Is that you?" The voice asked... I knew that voice... yes! Yes I did! "Dominique?" I asked into the night. "Yes, it is I. It is good to see you Jean! What has happened to you! I have heard many unfortunate tales!" He said as I turned to look at his face. He gasped in a slight shock from the scar born upon my cheek and looked down in disappointment. "I'm sorry Dominique..." I said. He snickered for a moment. "For what? I am disappointed in this world today for those who think the son of Uncle Alexander would be tainted!" He said with a chuckle afterwards. My heart swelled and then sighed in a safe relief.


Earl Dominique Claronne was my cousin. His father brother to mine, they had time and time again fought by each other's sides and in the greatest hosts of knights the family of Claronne would hold the great Battle Standard of the house of both Claronne and Marcel. His father had a timely passing in a fight against a horde of orcs 10 years ago, though, and Dominique took his rightful place as Earl over the small town of Bryesse.


"Come with me, come, come." Dominique urged as I stood up smiling and followed him westward to Bryesse. "You may stay as long as you like... after all you're family and it is what counts here." He said, nodding happily. I nodded in return as I longed to ask him a question, but didn't want to seem insane. "Is something troubling you, Jean?" Dom asked me. He's always been like that- as if he knew everything going on in my head. Turning to him I asked him clearly: "Dom... what year is it?"


Dominique laughed. He knew I had been gone for some time and this man had a heart of gold. "Why, Jean, it is 1539!" He replied with a chuckle afterwards. Then this confirmed it- whatever happened in that forest, whatever it was that had kept me there... it had been 2 years since I could remember. "And what are the rumours you hear of me?" I asked back at him. Dominique's head looked down for a moment and then looked at me. "Witnesses claim... that after Gresdale was sacked you followed a chaos worshipper into a woodland area and didn't come out. At first they thought you were dead until there were reports of your sightings in Lyonnesse! The very guards of the Fief of Borechard and some theorists in Roiglan claimed to have seen you murder the guards and slit the throat of Henri Borechard himself. They didn't doubt that you may just have well have killed Lord Forésen while you were at it. You weren't seen for a year and a half. You then showed back up... you were said to be branded with an 8-pointed star on your cheek, the mark of a heretic, and that you were to be hunted for murder."


"I did no such thing Dominique!" I protested. "I know you didn't Jean, it is like you to be rash, but not THAT outgoing." He said, again with a bit of a chuckle. He had his ways of lightening the mood with his laughter even when it may have been... uncalled for. Either way I made it back to Bryesse safely and was let inside with no harm. That was the first night for a while that I had slept warmly in a bed. I can't even remember if I had dream... it was so peaceful a sleep.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 November 2008 )
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