Tart Magica Chapter 6

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The chapter opens with Jean, Tart's escort, narrowly dodging the pincer of a witch that looms before him. The witch appears like a giant crab with a dinner table draped on its back, candlesticks and silverware all layed out, and a girl sitting on her knees weeping at the center of the table. Tart runs in front of Jean in order to defend him. Bertrand, the other escort hired to guide them to Chinon, spits and readies his blade for battle but Riz tells him to stay back as he has no chance of hurting the witch and leaps at it, daggers ready in her hands. The chapter details their long journey of 600 kilometers from Vaucouleurs to the city of Chinon and how they were accosted by patrols of English soldiers, rampaging bandits, and the occasional witch.

Late one night on their journey, as Betrand keeps watch, Jean appears to offer to help him with the nightly watch. Bertrand teases him and says that doesn't sound like the same shallow guy he knew back at Vaucouleurs. Jean says he can be counted on when the time comes and would like to at least help La Pucelle out somehow since he can't help during some of the tougher battles. Bertrand thinks Jean has fallen for her to which Jean quickly defends himself. They talk about how they saw her split the fortress back home in two with her incredible power. The chapter flashes back to the battle with the unnamed crab witch from earlier. Riz strikes at the pincer claw of the witch but to no avail as its shell is too strong. She leaps back as the witch brings its clawed hand down at Riz. Tart isn't surprised to find that the shell of the witch is as tough as it is due to it being a crab after all. As Riz stares at her incredulously, Tart thinks she's never seen a crab before and mimics the pincer hands of one. Riz snaps at her and tells her that it's dangerous to judge a witch by its appearance alone. During this time, the witch turns its sights back onto Jean and is chasing him across the narrow field. Tart runs after Jean and manages to push him out of the way just as the pincer closes around Tart. Tart is just able to keep the pincers from closing down on her completely as Bertrand yells out to her and Riz rushes in to protect Tart. Riz slashes off the ends of the crab witch's legs, causing it to topple down onto its belly. Before Riz can reach Tart to help her break free, Tart musters her strength and shatters the pincer holding her into pieces. A magic circle appears beneath her feet as she summons her magic sword, leaping into the sky and throwing down her sword, causing it to pierce the crab witch straight through the middle as the girl on the crab witch's back screams. A burst of light appears and the crab witch is obliterated. Riz goes to check on Tart's soul gem and notes it has become quite impure despite Tart trying to hold back as much of her power as she could. Riz uses a grief seed on Tart's soul gem and warns her to learn to control her powers better before she enters into battle again. Jean has a faraway look to his face as Bertrand realizes that the battle is already over. Tart asks if they are alright, but Jean is more worried about her and is blaming himself for putting her in harm's way. Tart only beams in response and tells him she's alright.

As the flashback ends, Jean acknowledges she has incredible power despite being a sweet, simple girl. Still, he denies having a crush on her. Bertrand leans back in his seat and says he's just doing nothing more than following orders. But Jean points out that Bertrand went all the way to Domremy to explain the situation to her family so they wouldn't worry and that was well beyond simply "following orders". Bertrand stutters as Jean accuses him of blushing and Bertrand can only hit him in the head as response. They agree to get Tart to Chinon unhurt as soon as possible and wonder that they keep being attacked by all these witches ever since they left Vaucouleurs. Riz too is wondering about the witches they've encountered since then, especially since normally humans would not be able to see them.

On March 4th, 1429, amidst the echoes of the noonday bells, Tart and her company arrived at Chinon. Despite Jean's exhaustion, Bertrand urges him to go and announce their arrival. Bertrand then turns to Tart and thanks her for protecting them on their journey despite the fact they were supposed to protect her. He thought it would be a simple escort mission but now he really hopes that Tart is able to accomplish what she came to do. As Tart shakes his hand goodbye, Jean returns and makes a big point of their hand-holding to which Bertrand smacks him on the head. The two depart as Tart and Riz turn towards the large citadel in the center of town.

Meanwhile, inside the throne room of the palace of Chinon, La Hire slams back a beer and demands another one of a nearby maid. The maid is his daughter, Melissa de Vignolles, who chastises him for destroying his health after barely returning with his life. Instead, La Hire offers Melissa a taste of his wine claiming palace wines are really good. Melissa takes a sip and declares it utterly delicious before beginning to slurp it all down. As La Hire looks about for something else to drink, Lord Gilles offers him a draught from his family's private stores. La Hire thinks it's delicious and asks Melissa to come over and pour a drink for Lord Gilles. La Hire introduces her as his favorite daughter and warns Gilles not to lay a finger on her. Gilles laughs it off saying little girls like her hold no interest to him, and ugly men less so. At this point, it is announced to all that the Grand Chamberlain of France will now be addressing the court. The Chamberlain stands at the head of the throne room right beside the throne where the Dauphin Charles sits. He thanks those attending for arriving and that they are awaiting an audience with a lowborn girl known as La Pucelle. Charles' mother-in-law gossips to her son, Charle's brother-in-law and also the one who petitioned for the audience to begin with, believing the Chamberlain to have some scheme hidden in his sleeve. Charles begins to address the court, telling them of how La Pucelle has come from Vaucouleurs with the express interest of gaining a short audience with himself. He scoffs that such a person would come to meet a man ridiculed and reviled as the so-called king of Bourges and asks that those attending court play along with a bit of fun he has devised to see if she really is sent from God. The Chamberlain tries to protest but Charles silences him.

It is shortly after this point that Tart arrives with Riz close behind her. Melissa watches as Tart walks straight forward to where the throne sits, and notices the strange whtie creature sitting on her shoulder. Lord Gilles sits on the throne and welcomes Tart to the palace of Chinon. In the back of the audience, Charles and La Hire watch as Tart stands before the throne. La Hire thinks it's wrong to have someone else sitting on the throne even if it is just a test whereas Charles believes if she really is sent by God then she should be able to pick them out from the crowd easily. As Tart stands before the throne, Lord Gilles asks why she is so quiet if she traveled so far so see him. Kyubey telepathically tells Tart there is something about this man and Tart responds telepathically that she too could somehow sense it. The Grand Chamberlain asks Tart is she is going to present her message to the Dauphin or not but Tart declares that this man is not the Dauphin. The court chats and whispers among themselves at this declaration. Lord Gilles declares himself to be Charles de Valois, the true king of France but Tart only smiles and says he is not and that her angel said so as well. Lord Gilles is shocked as Tart tells him that while he is no doubt extremely high-born, he is not the Dauphin and there isn't a moment to waste. Lord Gilles then slumps into the throne as Tart makes her way to where the courtesans are standing watching. She walks straight up to Charles and kneels before him, giving him her name and telling him her angel said he would be anointed and crown in Reims and that she has been dispatched to see him crowned King of all France. Charles calls out to his Grand Chamberlain and tells him he would speak privately with Tart. The Grand Chamberlain worries of the danger of him being alone with a stranger but Charles reiterates his statement and commands that no one enter the room while they are talking. Riz telepathically tells Tart she'll be near should anything happen as Tart leaves with Charles. Lord Gilles sitting on the throne wonders that little girls could be so interesting.

Meanwhile, in a nearby private room, Charles questions whether Tart is really a messenger from God. Tart kneels before him, she explains that she has heard the voice of an angel for several years now and that the angel gave her a power with which she could bring light to France. Tart then stands and transforms into her magical girl state. Charles asks if this power is really meant to be used for him and when Tart responds to the affirmative he is overjoyed at the news. He describes how he has seen other with the same kind of power, a power so overwhelming it drove him easily from Paris. After assuring Charles that she will indeed free him from his imprisonment in the south of France, they leave the room and join the rest of the courtesans who have been waiting. Charles announces to all that La Pucelle is truly a messenger from God.

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