Tart Magica Chapter 5
It is February 12, 1429 outside of the city of Orleans. A soldier struggles to stand as behind him the fortress stands in ruins and three magical girls shrouded in shadows loom before him. A magical girl in a cat mask, Minou, steps before the soldier and commends him on a magnificent attack, expecting no less from the commander of the Orleans Forces: Jean de Dunois. A magical girl in a crow mask, Corbeau, smirks and compares the soldiers to nothing more than paper dolls. The third magical girl, wearing a rabbit's mask and going by Lapin, laughs and agrees with Corbeau. Corbeau commands the soldier to stand and fight to his last and proceeds to kick a dead soldier before her. Angered, Jean attempts to stand despite the arrow lodged in his leg. Corbeau charges at Jean but before she can attack something or someone manages to hit an arrow at her. She turns to see who it is as Lapin tells her that her big sister will never forgive her for getting hurt. The last of the soldiers that managed to survive the fight from earlier ready themselves and prepare to defend their commander. Corbeau grins and before the commander can finish calling out a warning to his troops, they are torn in half by Corbeau's relentless attack. Lapin turns to leave and whines about how Corbeau left her no toys to play with. A large man going by the name La Hire appears, having been searching for him and helps Jean to stand, insisting on getting him out of there. Minou notices what is happening and pulls out her cat-o-nine tail whip, determined to kill the losing commander. The ground before them erupts as she lashes the ground with her whip. The dust settles around Minou but the body of La Hire and the commander are nowhere to be found. Minou chuckles at the thought of having worthy prey. As La Hire and Jean limp away, they marvel that the three women were able to dispatch a force of over four thousand men so easily.
The chapter begins to detail the siege of Orleans, describing its geographic importance to the Dauphin, considering it the last stronghold of southern France. The French had formed an alliance with Scotland who was fighting its own war with England at the time and had sent a battalion of soldiers to aid France in their war. Etienne de Vignolles, La Hire was the commanding officer of a large troop of mercenaries that had also been secured to help defend the city. However, despite their seemingly overwhelming numbers, the French suffered a total loss at the hands of the three magical girls. La Hire helps Jean to return to Orleans and rally the surviving troops all while encouraging him, but Jean can only look upward and pray for a miracle to save Orleans.
At the same time as the crippling defeat of the French and Scottish forces near Orleans, Tart and her friends were still in Vaucouleurs. Doing his best to keep his promise to Tart, Baurdicourt had sent her request for an audience with the Dauphin to his direct superior, Duke Rene D'Anjou, as well as an introduction of Tart to the Duke, his father-in-law and the Lord of Lorraine. Duke Rene was the Dauphin's brother-in-law and Tart made her acquaintance with him in a town called Nancy, a suburb just outside of Vaucouleurs and was waiting for a formal invitation to Chinon. However Tart was becoming impatient with the waiting and sat kicking her feet at the kitchen table when some of the villages came knocking at the door. Some were children asking to play while other villagers inquired of her health and offered her goods such as freshly farmed eggs. Riz notes that she has been very popular and Kyubey thinks it may be something special about Tart that draws people to her. Finally Lord Baudricourt returns to the town and tells Tart there is both good and bad news. He believes some of the news would only spread unrest among the populace so him and Tart step inside to talk privately. Inside, Lord Baudricourt tells Tart the good news first: namely that her audience with the Dauphin has finally been approved. While Tart jumps for joy, Lord Baudricourt relays the terrible news of the defeat the French army suffered at Orleans. Riz understands how important the southern fortress is to France's success while Lord Baudricourt explains that the most unusual part is how the entire army was defeated by a mere three girls. Riz speaks to Kyubey telepathically and wonders if the three girls were magical girls as well or possibly witches working for the English. Tart realizes they must leave for Chinon in order to meet the Dauphin immediately and Lord Baudricourt leaves to make ready their trip. The people of the village see her off as Jean and Bertrand accompany Tart to ensure she arrives safely at Chinon, though it seems Jean has some trouble controlling his horse.
In the city of Chinon, the Grand Chamberlain stops a man walking down the court halls. It is Gilles de Rais, a high noble of the kingdom of France who has come to satisfy his curiosity about rumors concerning Vaucouleurs. It seems he has heard of "La Pucelle" and the Grand Chamberlain tells him of the invitation that was sent only days ago. Gilles dismisses her as some country girl and promises to take care of her should she make any wrong moves, flourishing his words with a spear stab at the Grand Chamberlain that narrowly grazes his cheek and pins a moth to the wall. The Chamberlain is satisfied that the Dauphin Charles will be well protected during this audience and tells Gilles that the news of their defeat at Orleans has hit the Dauphin hard; So much so that he has barely left his chambers and an audience with him would be unlikely. Both Gilles and Charles ponder the arrival of "La Pucelle"