Tart Magica Chapter 11

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It is May 8th, 1429 outside the walls of Orleans. It is the day after the French took the Tourelles and both the French army - which had suddenly turned the tide of the siege - and the English army - which had seen demoralizing losses - gathered up their remaining forces and stood on the field of battle, facing each other. Jean is standing beside La Hire, both ready for battle, as he asks if La Hire is up to facing the English after the hard day he had. La Hire is fine, but isn't quite sure what happened other than Melissa saved his life as if by some sort of miracle and now stands at the front lines. If anything, he's more worried whether that masked girl or the huge monster from before were going to show up again. Riz looks out at the English army and says she doesn't see any magical girls on their side. Jean suddenly notices that one of the English men has broken from their lines and is heading towards them. The Englishman asks for a parley with no weapons and introduces himself as John Talbot, commander of the English forces. He asks to speak to the French leader Lord Batard as well as La Pucelle. Batard asks if Tart agrees and she does. As the three gather together to discuss things some ways away from the two opposing armies, John tells Batard and Tart that they've already lost the battle and asks if they can leave the field. Both Batard and Tart are surprised at this turn of events and asks if he is truly serious about what he said. John admits they do not presently have the forces at their disposal to stand up to La Pucelle and reminds them that today is the Sabbath, and therefore the perfect day to ask for an end to a fruitless battle. He turns to Tart who agrees full-heartedly, albeit a bit taken back by everything that is happening. John laughs and says he finds it hard to believe she is the same peerless warrior who fought yesterday and expects she is nothing more than a sweet normal girl during times of peace. However, he learned a lot from watching her fight the other day and knows that when Tart picks up her sword she becomes England's greatest enemy. He takes his leave of Batard and Tart and hopes he has the chance to see her on the battlefield once more. As John leaves, he thinks to himself that it would be impossible for them to stand against three warriors with that kind of power before pausing and realizing there was a fourth warrior as well. Elisa continues to watch the proceedings from her cliff-side vantage point.

Tart turns to Batard and asks if they won. Batard is trembling for a moment before wiping a tear from his eyes and declaring Orleans finally liberated to the gusto of the French soldiers. As the soldiers celebrate their victory, the French constable tells Elisa and her uncle that it seems Talbot has become aware of their presence. Elisa agrees and comments that he's sharper than he looks. Her uncle calls him the best active general in all England much like the constable is the best in all France. Elisa concurs and says he is also a skilled politician as well and claims nothing is more annoying to people in power than a man with his many talents. Elisa's uncle Oswald asks if he will be leaving to which constable Arthur de Richemont replies that he will indeed be returning to their own lands for the time being. Elisa smirks and tells him their paths will cross again very soon and leaves him. Her uncle Oswald bids Arthur "Auf Wiedersehen" and the two ponder if war in France is inevitable.

Meanwhile the people of France celebrate the victory of Tart at having broken and overturned the seven-month siege of Orleans by the English Forces. People drink and celebrate in the streets as the fame of La Pucelle spread throughout France, bringing with it the light of hope. Riz watches the merriment around her and wonders that they're still celebrating so late into the night; Melissa says it's almost like a fair. Riz turns and thanks Melissa for saving Tart and knows that becoming a magical girl will mean she will have a bleaker future than she can imagine. Melissa doesn't think her future will be bleak since she's happier than she's ever been knowing she can now be of some use to Tart. She knows Tart will be the one to bring the light of hope to the entire nation and they should walk that path at her side.

It is May 9th, 1429, the day after the liberation of Orleans. Tart and her retinue departed Orleans amid the undiminished revelry and made their way to see the Dauphin Charles. On May 11th, she met with him again in the town of Loches. As they approach the gates of the castle, Chateau de Loches, they are amazed to find the Dauphin Charles himself approaching the group with a small retinue of guards behind him. It seems the Dauphin has taken it upon himself to greet his subjects. As he welcomes La Pucelle back, Tart races forward and sets upon one knee before him, eager to impart the news of their victory. But it seems word had already reached them as the Dauphin grabs Tart by the hands and has her stand before him. He kisses her hand and congratulates her on a job done magnificently. The nearby nobles are shocked and begin to tell the Dauphin that she is not worthy when the Duke of Alencon also arrives and wishes to thank her as well. He tells Tart he would be happy just knowing the horse he provided for her had aided her in any way and Tart bows as she thanks him. Still, Tart wonders how they were able to hear of the events before their arrival and Charles tells Tart they had received report from her ladyship as Elisa steps into view. Charles begins to introduce her, but Elisa interrupts him as she would rather do it herself. She begins by bragging of how proud she is of her name and would gladly declare it to anyone who would know it, no matter how lowborn. As her uncle weeps at how stirring a figure the Lady Elisa is, Elisa yells at him for giving her name away before she could. She then declares herself to be the daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor and a proud member of the Order of the Dragon, twirling around so her cape shows the figure of a large dragon on the back. As she flashes her soul gem ring, she telepathically tells Tart and Riz that she is also the magical girl who saved them during their battle with the witch the other day. Tart and Elisa shake hands as her uncle introduces himself to the group, informing them that he too is a member of the Order of the Dragon. Charles asks Oswald if he will finally tell them the reason they came to his court. Elisa informs Charles that her mother has heard rumors of this "messenger from God" who was sent to ensure Charles is crowned king. She sees the instability of Europe coming as a result of the feud between England and France and has given various members of the Order of the Dragon orders to verify if La Pucelle's powers are real. If they prove to be real, then they are to lend all possible aid to the Dauphin Charles. Oswald informs Charles that they were privileged to witness the power of La Pucelle the other day and have pledged themselves to assisting him in claiming his rightful place at the throne. While the Duke is glad to have the assistance, the Chamberlain tells Charles he shouldn't agree so quickly. He argues that it's been too soon since they liberated Orleans and should focus on fortifying their position there by any means diplomatic. And while forces from the Holy Roman Empire would be more than welcome, they too are engaged in their own war with the Saracens and heathens (aka the Hussite Wars). Because of this, it is more than likely that the Holy Roman Empire would only be able to send a small contingent of members and wonders how much they could really help. At the sound of this, Elisa readies to draw her weapon as she deems his words an insult to the honor of the Order of the Dragon. Oswald quickly steps in and compliments the chamberlain on his calm and rational thinking and assures him that their help is not a token gesture as Constable Richemont is already on the move. At the sound of this name, the Chamberlain realizes that several thousand soldiers would be coming with him and comments that Richemont was expelled from the court by Charles himself. Elisa tells the chamberlain that he is wrong in his estimation of Richemont and that he is a great man before wondering out loud if his being expelled was *only* Charles' idea as she glares at the Chamberlain. The Chamberlain gathers himself and informs Oswald that this will still have to be approved by the other vassals of his majesty's court and arranges for a council gathering as soon as possible. Charles stammers his approval and the two head back to the palace. As they leave, Oswald realizes the chamberlain is more astute than he lets on and reminds Elisa to not let herself be provoked so easily since that was the chamberlain's intentions to begin with. Elisa puffs with pride as she tells Oswald she would never allow the Order to be spoken of like that. As Elisa beams with self-righteous pride, Oswald wonders to himself why the chamberlain would try to refuse help to a desperate France unless he had other reasons for doing so. As the chamberlain and Charles head back, the chamberlain thinks to himself that this recent development is not a good one and thinks of a way to report this back to them.

The scene shifts to a large marble bathhouse. On a nearby counter, Lapin's rabbit mask lays in the steam. As Corbeau washes Lapin's hair, she apologizes that her promised bath had to happen later than expected. Lapin giggles and asks if the fight wore her out and how strong was La Pucelle after all. Corbeau smiles and tells her that at one point she thought she had crushed her but La Pucelle was able to recover and stand against her again. Despite this, it only made Corbeau want to come at her harder than ever and she was able to meet someone she personally found to be an even more fun challenge. Lapin and Corbeau step into the steaming water and Lapin squeezes the water between her hands, saying the next time it'll be her turn to play and squish her opponent. Minou steps into view and says the two seem to be having a good time. As she goes to join them in their bath, she comments that the next time all of Lapin's wishes will come true and promises she will be able to play as much as she wishes. Glad of this news, Lapin jumps into Minou's arms, burying her face in Minou's chest. Corbeau asks if they've been given new orders but Minou assures her that their orders have not changed since last time. Lapin assures the two that everything will be alright since all they have to do is crush La Pucelle into tiny bits. Corbeau agrees and hugs herself with joy at the thought of having found someone else to make sport of. As Minou steps into the water and joins her sisters, she admits she's jealous and asks if they shouldn't all go together to meet La Pucelle and send their enemy into the darkest depths of despair.