GG

He almost came to regret his decision as light flooded the dim corridor. Air rushed to his face, drowning the deafening cheers of the crowd on the other side. He could hear them since he had left his cell, the hundreds of thousands of feet that made the whole main arena shake, the muffled cries that demanded more, and the screeches of the horns that announced the end of yet another match. Blood rarely flowed in the arenas and when it did, it didn’t stain the ground for long. No, usually the only blood was the one boiling in the veins of the participants and in those of the spectators, or the blood thumping in his ears when he was in the center of it all. Perhaps tonight would be a bit of both…

It felt as if the world started to move again after stopping completely for a moment. His heart was pounding and he forced a smile on his pale face as he stepped into the outer rim of the arena. He had to look, if not for himself or for his audience, for Io. He couldn’t let the young Ehnar worry for him, plus Alexis would beat him to death if she knew what he was about to do and how he felt anything but confident about it… He knew he could do it, somehow. Probably. He had to do it so feeling indecisive about it changed nothing, he was backed into a corner, something he had gloriously achieved himself, and he had no option but to fight his way out.

The spotlights were on him and the three other gladiators that had been chosen that night. Well, “chosen” was perhaps a stretch. True the one in the green corner had been picked almost randomly to fill the slot, but he and Jams had instigated this whole thing, and Kietro had been more than eager to try anything to squeeze herself in-between them. Why she did that, he never knew, but it seemed she had either a grudge against Kietro or a weird fetish for getting into situations that could lead up to violent altercations. Altercations she could then be a part of, sometimes not even to win or beat other people up, but simply for the “thrill of it”.

He looked around and saluted the audience and the casters twice, doing his best to smile as confidently as he could until the moment he would be able to put on his mask. The smiles and the waves were for the audience and the favor points he could get, the mask was for the sponsors, to give a more mysterious image and aura to his gladiator persona. Everyone knew his face but it wasn’t to hide his identity, it was to hide his weaknesses during the bouts and to give himself courage by making himself believe he was becoming someone else, a better, stronger, version of himself. And even if it was only psychologically, and partially, true, it felt right. Finally the first bell rang and he put on the wooden artefact that would hide his features.

It felt as if he was underwater again: everything felt distant and cold, but his heartbeat seemed to calm down instantly. He closed his eyes and focused his mind, which was becoming clear again, on himself and the reasons that has pushed him to do this. Io, he was here to avenge. Or at least, if not to restore their honor, to show that there was still hope. Kietro, he had to defeat. If he could beat him this round it would be perfect but beating him was the top priority. He had to show him what he was capable of and what he, as a more veteran of the league than him, could not. Alexis, he was simply here to prove wrong, to piss her off, like always. And Nerio, he didn’t really know. To show him that he had grown, perhaps?

He had grown. That was obvious, mostly in physique, but also in mentality. He knew he had been too proud, and wrong. But he had learned from this. He hadn’t finished learning, of course. He would never finish learning, as Nerio often liked to remind him, be he dared to believe he had learned enough to call his own bluff tonight. At least, if not for him, for them. Io deserved to know they weren’t alone… The second bell rung and his whole body tensed up. he would have to be ready for the third one, a single misstep as it began and he might be done for. The column, the path, the house. The column, the path, the house. He reviewed his battle plan in his head. Everything would work, it had to. And if it didn’t… well he would make it. Or the arena be damned, he would never utter a single stupidity like this ever again! The third bell rang, his legs felt heavy but as he jumped, he caught the fleeting look of surprise on Kietro’s face. Maybe, just maybe.


A sort of short summary of the opening scene, or prologue, from a story I have had in mind for quite some time now. Perhaps this will motivate me to try to explore it in more detail… Maybe, just maybe.

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Of My Ideal of Storytelling

This is not a poem nor a short story, rather it is another one of those incoherent rambles. But don’t leave yet! It will be interesting (maybe, I hope) and I’ll try to keep it short and to the point, I promise! #PinkySwear

The concept I want to talk about today (or tonight, as it’s already night time here) is storytelling. Ah, storytelling… What a vast subject that could be tackled on so many different angles. I, however, shall tell you about something more specific, something more personal. A dream of mine, to be precise.

As you may or may not know, I have been studying English these past two years and a half, English language (how to speak it good), civilisation (why, when and how English) and literature (English but with a glass of champagne in one hand, a cigar in the other and an accent just as fine as your moustache). It has honestly been a blast, I’ve been having a lot of fun and studied many an interesting thing. Well, for the most part, ’cause, you know, there’s always those one or two classes that you don’t know what they are doing there but you still have to go to even if they are as boring as hell.. (Perhaps a bad analogy here, considering hell is supposed to be pure pain for eternity and that pain is not boring at all, far from it… Well, maybe after a whole eternity, who knows… Anyway!)

Boring classes, yeah, and the fact that I am not too good with the format in general, and that I hate working… I do find the subjects very interesting though, that’s a silver lining isn’t it?

So! As I was staying, studying English. This semester, during which I have been studying in Ireland instead of France because the program of my university required me to go abroad for a semester – that was also great, but a story for another time because I can already feel you dozing off here -, I have had to choose classes to follow. Some that I don’t necessarily have back in France. This has allowed me to study film and its relationship with sound, which was awesome in every way, much more interesting than I thought it would be when I picked it! But also literature (Irish authors and also the romantic genre) but of course Irish civilisation and Irish folklore too!

Those last two were great because I learned a lot about the relationship between the history of Ireland and its folklore, and about not only the content of said folklore (mainly through folk tales) but also about the way an Irish folk tale works and is transmitted. This last part, the study of folk tales was what truly got my attention, leading me back to the subject of this post: storytelling.

We studied the mechanisms of folk tales, how they were built, why they worked, why they appealed to us despite their apparent simplicity and why they had lasted so long, all very interesting things to know but not what I want to talk about here. No, what I want to talk about is the way these folk tales are transmitted and what has got me thinking about the whole storytelling concept. You see, traditionally, Irish folk tales are transmitted orally by storytellers. Now, I know that it is the case in many different cultures and that many different peoples have long used the voice as medium to tell stories, and I have known that for a long time too, don’t worry.

So why did it leave such an impression on me now?, you ask. Well, the answer is long and part of what I like to call the ‘latching point’ (another subject for another time), but I’ll try to make it short: basically I have been struggling to write my stories these past years (and it’s not for trying, though not that hard I must admit), but I have been doing a decent job – I would say – at writing poetry, with more than 500 poems posted here to this day and I have not stopped thinking about them, toying with the characters, the plots and fleshing everything out even more than before. And yet, not even three chapters were posted here for Tales of Ore (in French) in the last 6 months, perhaps in the last year…

That is what has been on my mind lately: realising I wasn’t going very fast nor very far with my novel-writing. It was a realisation that came not all at once but over time, and it did not come alone, it was followed by many questions: was I really passionate about it? Was my method wrong? What could I do to remedy to that? Should I think of other stories to write about if those didn’t work? Should I start over? Should I change the medium? And so on and so one… I must admit, I don’t really have an answer, at least not very clear, to this day. I am still trying to figure out what I can do. Or to act upon it because I know there is only one way to move on: move on. I have to do it, to make myself work on them more regularly.

One thought stuck with me however: should I change medium? I have long thought about turning one or more of my stories into comics (as you may have already seen if you have been following me for some time now), and still do (if anyone is interested to talk about a possible project with me, don’t hesitate!), or into audio series or things like that. A few problems arose. One, I don’t draw well, not well at all. Two, I’m too lazy and discouraged to try to learn at this point (though I may get to it one day). Three, audio series need either a diverse range of voices or actors, and good scripting. Which I am not very good at, at the moment, unfortunately…

So, yeah, not a lot of positive things there. That’s why, learning about storytelling and seeing how people like Seán Ó Conaill (look him up, very interesting stuff! [not Sean O’Connel, the professional fighter though, Seán Ó Conaill and his folk tales]) could create very engaging stories through the power of their voice and their way of telling them. No long period of writing, no struggling before a blank page, just a nice, comfy chair, a fireplace on a winter night and a few people to listen.

Okay, yes, there’s more to it than that. ONe has to know how to tell a story, which story to tell, how to manage an audience and many more things than that. It’s something you have to work on and practise, it’s not as easy as I just made it sound. Plus the stories better be interesting. Also, there are some negative aspects to that: you have to be in front of an audience, which reduces the number of people you can reach at one time, and it’s live so, no messing up. So, yeah. But still, it sounded so interestingly awesome to me because I know what my characters are supposed to do in my stories, what happens to them and how to tell it (in which order, in which context, etc.) and I could actually, honestly tell you the story without much difficulty right now if you asked me. It seems so easy and fun to do and the more I though about it, the more I was attracted to this.

Of course, it’s not that simple because I have never done it before (I am not good at it), my stories are not entirely complete (which could lead to useless storylines or digressions) and I don’t have any people interested in listening to me ramble on for hours and hours. So, this solution, although easier to achieve than a comic and easier to do than some sort of audio series or audiobook, is not perfect and requires practice and other people interested in what I have to say. But, it is interesting. No matter how much I think about it.

I would love, and I mean really love, to have my main story, Tales of Ore, completed as a novel and for people to be able to read it and possibly to enjoy it as much as my. However, at the same time, somehow, the prospect of actually telling this story to people, not just giving them the book or reading it to them but actually telling them the story is very attractive. And so, I have kept thinking about it for the last few weeks/months, playing with it, trying to find ways to make it work somehow.

As I write this today, the best solution I have been able to come up with would be to record myself and to post this fireplace-corner-comfortable-seat-storytelling on a platform like YouTube or equivalent in episodes of 15 or 20 minutes and to tell it orally bit by bit, like once a week or something. Perhaps it would work, perhaps not. That’s for future me to see. I feel I would really love to try it! I don’t know if I’d be good at it, if my stories would be interesting or if the concept would work but I really want to try. Also, I have so many stories to tell that I have material to practise for a looooong time before I run out of things to say, so at least I would probably end up being better at it if I did it.

It would require a few different things, a comfortable chair and a fireplace to begin with, but also some training and an actual plan as to what I am going to tell and how. That is not something I view myself as doing in the near future (meaning the next few days or weeks), I feel that until I come back to France at least, it’s no use trying, but it is a possibility I am seriously considering because it would be such an enriching experience, it would allow me to flesh out my stories even more, to try my hand at something different and new for me, but it would also be a fresh concept (at least I haven’t seen much of anything like this on the internet until now) and maybe, just maybe, it would allow me to actually finish and share my stories… Maybe, with a little hope and faith.

So, yeah, that’s my great dream right now: become a storyteller, an oral storyteller, and to tell the stories I have thought about for years now to people, not by writing them down or by drawing them but by actually telling them. A bit like a new Morgan Freeman, when I think about it… With a far less appealing voice though.

One day perhaps… Who knows? Who nose…?

Any thought, tips or comment on this? I’d love to know what your opinion on this is, if you think it would work or not and if you would be interested in this!

Thanks for reading! (This got way too out of hand again, damn it!)


Also, feedback would be appreciated!

An unusual request

The shop had been quiet for a few days now, which was completely normal, mind you, with everything that was going on around the Curve and its gates. It was like this every damn season: Leaf had its refreshing resorts opening their doors, Tear, its holidays and family reunions, Sand had holidays AND great weather, always, and Zephyr and the rest managed to make people get off their asses to move even though she couldn’t understand why after all those years… But what was the most mind-boggling was the people themselves, those who stupidly thought that by starting a few hours or days early they would manage to wiggle through when, after so many cycles, it was always the same thing. The same damn thing, always. Too many people would all think of getting an early start at the same time and it would end up like always, with the gates over-packed and her shop more quiet than usual…

This time was no exception. It even seemed even more quiet than the previous cycles. She knew that clients would always end up coming back at one point, often in much higher numbers in the first weeks following the change but it still managed to freak her out to an extent, even after all this time. I am no better than those idiots, am I? Thinking it’ll be different this time… She sighed and adjusted the new items she had received the previous day. Dust-globes of the citadel, animae of the shuttles gliding along the Curve’s rainbow paths, a bunch of Nat’ur magazines – stupid hipster name – and, last but not least, a dozen pairs of the latest lenses of truth by Trigon, supposedly able to display events past and future of the location you looked at. She knew it was a scam, as most merchants and tourists did – even Trigon themselves, the product’s distributing guild had admitted it sometimes operated in ‘unpredictable ways’ for Io’s sake! – but it never seemed to stop selling, the speed at which they disappeared even seemed to increase.

She was in the middle of putting the contents of the last box on display when the gong echoed. She looked up and saw a red-haired mudborn walk towards her. No, a human, she corrected herself silently. Not cool Vee, not cool… Those were the remains of the old her, she tried to let those apprehensions fizzle out in the far reaches of her mind but it was much more easily said than done. She had learned to see past what her clan had taught her when she had left her home all those years ago but it wasn’t perfect yet. Who is perfect anyway? Nothing it lost as long as you know it’s bad Vee, as long as you know it’s bad, she repeated the words of the preceptor as a mantra. She stood up and dusted her hands on her robe, everything needed a good scrub anyway and she still had some time to get the shop clean and proper before the number of clients soared again.

“Hello, how may I help you?”, she asked, putting on her best smile as the woman walked up to her.

“Hello”, the woman replied with a slight accent, which she found cute, “I am looking for a specific item and have been… unlucky in acquiring it in the shops I have visited previously. I was told that if I asked for a certain Verian here, they would be able to help me…”

The way she had paused in the middle of her sentence had caught Vee’s attention, she studied the woman a little more closely. She looked and sounded like a tourist passing through with her light clothes – an ample white blouse, an equally floating lilac-coloured skirt and a large curved straw hat – and her slightly rolling accent. The only thing missing to complete the look were large sunglasses. But as Vee observed the red-haired woman a bit more closely she noticed the small wooden stick – probably a wand – hanging by her side and the deep yet cold brown of her eyes. Not a passing client, she is dangerous… Vee immediately settled the broad smile on her face so as not to let on her thoughts. Now that she thought about it, the woman had an unfamiliar and spicy aura around her, which was definitely not common. And if he had been recommended to her by her peers, it must mean she was ot a usual client either.

“Of course, I am Verian,” Vee replied, “what is it that you seek to obtain? I may already possess something of the kind in my inventory.”

She went straight to the point and the woman seemed to appreciate that.

“To be frank, I am not looking for an object, rather… a creature. One of great power. I was hoping you would be able to provide counsel on this.”

Interesting, thought Vee. Usually when clients came to her with special orders they were seeking materials or objects, those who came to obtain other types of merchandise like living creatures or other were even more rare. And yet she felt that woman in front of her was of another kind still. She seemed to know exactly what she wanted already and someone who had the means to acquire it by private circuits rather than through merchants or guilds. So why would she come here?

“Come with me.”, Vee said before moving to the back of the shop, not even locking the front door as she was sure no one would disturb them.

The woman followed her to a larger, more lit room which served as a meeting room for the rich and important clients. Windows displaying different landscapes were placed along the walls. Of course they were false, this room had no other physical entry or exit that the one leading to the shop, and it was tailor-made to become a very, very sturdy safe-room if anything went wrong during or after a deal. Or if anything went wrong in general, with her establishment so close to the Curve it was always a risk, no matter what the officials could say, she trusted her judgement more than their corrupted one.

“Have a seat.”, Vee gestured and a row of different seats appeared behind the woman.

She sat on the one covered in pale blue fur. Nice choice, Vee thought, it was the most comfortable one, after her own of course, which she outed immediately after. She also outed a small table with refreshments, she always kept some in case of unexpected business.

“So,” she sat down in her own seat, a thin layer of ochre sand cut into the shape of an armchair, “what exactly brings you to see me?”

She shifted slightly, taking a cookie from one of the jars in front of her, resting her tale on her shoulder. The woman filled a small cup with the sweet ruby liquid in the bottle next to it and took a sip before replying.

“I have a – let’s say a project in mind, small and inconsequential to the scale of the Curve but which I hold quite dear right now. I am very peculiar on the details of this project but it requires a piece that I have not yet been able to put my hands on.”

She paused and took another sip, she seemed to enjoy the drink. Vee did not speak and simply bid her time, she knew when to respect her clients’ pace.

“The creature I am looking for is a dragon,” the woman said after a short silence.

Vee couldn’t help the slight surprise but nodded to hide her small frown. Why would a client come to her for such a simple task as this? There must have been something else…

“As you might expect, I am not looking for simply any kind of dragon, I wouldn’t have come to you if it was the case. I have specific requisites that must be met.”

Of course, it couldn’t be that simple.

“I understand. Would you care to give me these details? I will know immediately what preparations are needed.”, Vee said.

Dragons. She had a few of those in her own inventory but they were common and relatively easy to obtain. They would most likely not be what her client was looking for. That wasn’t a problem though, she hadn’t gotten her reputation by chance, if it existed, she could most likely get her hands on it and most assuredly make a nice deal of it.

“What I am looking for is a hybrid, cross between the black Zora and the small Iyor. It must still be in the egg state, that is very important.”

Vee was mentally reviewing her database to see if she could already pinpoint a location or at least a first move as to how she would fulfill this task and she visibly frowned at the second part of the request. A dragon, whether purebreed or crossbreed was relatively easy to find for someone with her background, but a specific crossbreed and adding the absolute condition it needed to be an egg made things more complicated. Not impossible, though she was confident she could achieve that by going through a few unusual channels. However she froze when the woman added a third condition.

“And you have to bring me along to choose the egg. I would normally ask for its location and go there myself but I am not familiar with these parts and I need a guide…”

Vee checked to see if this was joke, but nothing in her client’s attitude indicated anything of the sort. The red-haired human was completely serious. Damn… I should have expected this…, she silently cursed. Usually, for such a request, she would have her few trusted associates work for or with her and only move once the product was located, or not even move at all sometimes. But that damn woman wanted her to do it herself and to tag along, this was trouble, definite trouble! She did not want to be a babysitter to this human girl, even more so when she had this uneasy feeling about her. She was about to voice her refusal when she felt the spiciness of the air. The woman’s eyes were not cold, nor did they reflect any malice but she felt pressured nonetheless; there was power in those eyes, she could feel it and she wasn’t sure if she was ready to go against her request. She wasn’t even sure she could as she opened her mouth to speak.

“Very well,” she said, refraining a sigh, “I believe I will be able to fulfill your request. However, for this special treatment, the fees will be higher than usual.”

The red-haired woman simply nodded her approbation and Vee waved her hand, vanishing the food from the table and outing the documents to validate this contract.

“Usually for requests like these, I require a month. But since you wish to come with me, I will need a few days to prepare, no more than three, to get the shop in order and to gather some information as to the place where we will begin our search. I hope this is fine for you.”

“I see no problem, it will give me time to continue my preparations and to take a closer look at the citadel.”

“Then if you would press your finger here…”, Vee said, pointing to the thin silver sheet before her on the table.

The woman followed her instructions and Vee did the same on the other side, explaining the exact details, the dangers and the rules that would have to be followed. A copy was then made and one was kept by her, the other given to the woman. Then she accompanied the red-haired human to the door with a smile. It was only partially forced this time, this trip would not be pleasurable to her, she was sure of it, but she would making a nice profit, whether she succeeded or not. However, considering her impression of the one at the origin of the request- no, the demand, she had a feeling that failing was not an option she would enjoy… Vee watched with mixed feelings the woman only known to her by her initial, a cursive E on the contract, take out what she believe was a wand only to have it grow to the size of a broom, and hop on it with elegance before silently flying off.

“Well, this is going to be fun…”, she muttered, her tail purring with apprehension at what was to come.


Prompted by a Reddit thread.

The Shore

The waves had carried the small boat to the shore. She didn’t know where it could have come from but somehow it felt it had arrived right where it should be. As she approached she noticed the young man, lying in it, his face pale and his side bloody. His breath was ragged, his skin was cold and yet he was obviously burning with fever. He was dying. She knew it immediately. He was dying and there was nothing she could do. Nothing to save him at least, but perhaps she could ease his pain. The heavy wrinkles were unmistakable traces of the suffering. They were not scars and yet they were, momentary scars of the turmoil that went on inside. He was dying and she wanted to help.

How she managed to make her voice carry to the castle she couldn’t say, all she knew is that it had and somehow the guards had found her. She had given orders and the young man had been carried to a room in the high tower, her room – she would sleep in her sister’s, it was long unoccupied anyway. Her father had come with the doctor, finding her on her knees, by the large bed, lost in her patient’s form. Her patient he was now, for even after the doctor repeated the words she had already formulated in her own mind, she insisted that she would nurse him. Perhaps not back to health but at least to a more painless death. She would nurse him if none other would try, even if were to fail, even if he died. He wouldn’t die though, she could feel it. Or at least she hoped so with all her heart, day and night, by his side, she hoped and hoped. She would not stop hoping. She simply could not. Even thought she knew perfectly well that she didn’t know him, he was nobody to her, but she had found him on the beach and thus it had become her duty to take care of him.

Day and night. Night and day. Day after day. Week after week. For months she remained by his side, only leaving to attain to the basics of her status as the castle’s lady and to sustain her self. A full moon came and went and he remained bed-ridden, shivering with cold and burning up at the same time, unresponsive but breathing. He was alive. Alive weeks after the short time the doctor had given him, alive in spite of all common sense. Hanging by a thread of sheer willpower, or luck, or divine clemency – she could not say – and taking in breath after breath, each ragged and difficult, but taken in nonetheless. Finally, one fine morning, as winter began to melt upon the world and the sun rose to the east, after refusing to go away for so long, the wound at his side finally shed its last bloody tear.

No matter the cataplasms, the potions or the spells, nothing had worked, it had kept spilling the life out of him, each day annulling the care that the lady had put into treating and keeping the young man on the edge of the last breath. Nothing had worked. It was cleaned, disinfected and stitched shut each night, and every morning it would be found open again, spewing blood. Not profusely but never a small enough amount to hope for him to recover. However, that one morning it had stopped, after hours upon hours of sweat and prayers, after days of struggling and nights of wakes, as the young woman woke up she saw no blood. It had refused to close, the deep and fateful cut as fresh as on the first day she had laid eyes on him, but bleeding no more. The day had passed and although his state had not changed in any way, it had not gotten worse. Then came night and then day again, with no sleep on her part, no rest for her weary heart and mind, which over time had grown accustomed to his uneven breathing and the boiling chill of his skin.

It was on the first light of the next day that the countless prayers she had thrown into the air, all the hopes she had kept afloat for so long, for the first time, crystalized into something beautiful. A single tear, running from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth. It glided soundlessly on the pallor of his skin, stopped only by her finger as she ran it on his cheek. Awestruck, she had seen the water collect and the power of gravity slowly do its deed as it attracted the painful rains to the ground. She could barely believe it but, refusing to let this miracle be lost, she let her hand shoot to his cheek without a second though and collected the living pearl. Reflexively, as her fingers touched the cold and gruff surface, she let them keep contact and run further, along the hill of his cheekbone to the ledge of his jaw line. A small beard had begun growing again and the fever had kept him at the edge of freezing and boiling, and yet, under her finger, nothing had ever felt more soft.

Still in the most complete of silence, a small wind began to blow through the half-open window and sunlight poured in over the bed. Suddenly, the world seemed to halt as she felt it. It was lightning quick and softer even than the songs of birds outside, yet she had felt it. As clear as she saw the tear run along her finger now and as strongly as she heard his ragged struggle for life, something she felt she had not in an eternity. A heartbeat. A single, solitary heartbeat, lacking strength, lacking its ever-present echo, but a heartbeat nonetheless. There, in the morning-lit room, where the dead man had kept bleeding for so long, and where silence reigned unchallenged, her shoulders began to shake…


The scene where it all begins again.

In a part of the story inspired by an old legend.

A hero’s fate

.

Battle for the future under the night sky

.

When the night has come

And the land is dark

And the moon is the only light we’ll see

No, I won’t be afraid

No, I won’t be afraid

Just as long as you stand, stand by me

When the knight has come

And the stand is stark

And the moon is of red, bright and bloody,

No, I can’t be afraid

No, I can’t be afraid

Just as long as I stand there is glee,

If the sky that we look upon

Should tumble and fall

And the mountains should crumble to the sea

I won’t cry, I won’t cry

No, I won’t shed a tear

Just as long as you stand, stand by me

If I try to fight on and on

But stumble and fall

Then the fountains will rumble, and tears flee,

I will try, I will try,

No, I won’t sheath my spear

For as long as I stand, you are free.

.


I was picturing a scene in my mind, for one of my stories (which you will perhaps one day have the occasion to read), and had an epiphany of some sort and the words of Ben E. King from Stand By Me came to mind.

I now see those words in a whole new light, the moon’s light, bloody red against a sea of dark blue…

angello i rodin

.

Ces battants aux fines gravures

Qui gardent l’entrée du mur

Se tiennent dignes : hauts et droits

Et ne s’ouvrent pour nul Homme

Qu’il soit simple badeau ou roi,

Qu’il supplie ou qu’il les somme,

Car aucun n’en a le pouvoir

Après l’ultime au revoir

Devant cet antique chambranle;

Mais lorsqu’enfin ils s’ébranlent,

S’ouvrant synchrones et boisés,

Un sentiment malaisé,

Né des enfers, descend du ciel

Et vous assaillit soudain

De maux singuliers et pluriels

Coulant en vos veines, ondins…

.

Spark

.

How aeons pass in an instant,

Many a universe is born

Before fading in the distant

Cold and silence of the forlorn,

A single word, a single note,

Gives way to myriads of beliefs

To which I heartily devote

Before they fall to the ground – leafs,

It lives, it dies, I hope, I part

My mind explores the many ways

Of this old, ever-changing maze

Oh it is no science but art;

Only fools make their existence

The sole seeker of emerald light

That glimmers into the distance

While basking in the dark blue night

Instead of pursuing the sun,

Instead of living out the song,

We drown the music out and shun

All that is right with all that’s wrong…

.

Noir

Sur le grand tableau blanc qui trônait au centre de la salle étaient épinglées toutes les photos qui avaient été recueillies au cours des premiers jours de l’enquête. Six portraits en A4 étaient alignés sous le bord supérieur. Six visages, trois hommes et trois femmes, et, juste au dessous, les photos de la victime. Encore plus bas, les photos de la scène du crime, sombre et sanglante.

Sur le premier portrait on pouvait voir le visage d’un homme sur lequel s’étaient imprimées les marques du temps passé. Sa crinière sauvage et sa moustache finement taillée, ornements argentés qu’il arborait fièrement, lui donnaient un air des plus dignes. On pouvait également apercevoir le haut du col d’un gilet couleur moutarde au bas de la photo.

À sa droite, celui d’une femme d’âge environ égal à l’air revêche. Elle fixait l’objectif d’un œil noir derrière les verres en demi-lune de lunettes perchées sur le bout de son nez, nez aussi pâle que l’astre nocturne lui même.

Le troisième portrait attirait immédiatement l’œil de part la beauté naturellement hypnotisante de la jeune femme qui y apparaissait. Sur son visage aux traits fins se dessinait le fantôme d’un sourire narquois et étonnamment confiant. Dans sa longue chevelure noir de jais on pouvait apercevoir une petite broche en forme de rose rouge.

Les deux suivants étaient des hommes.

L’un portait des lunettes, l’autre non. Le premier était vêtu d’un foulard couleur aubergine, l’autre d’une redingote vert foncé à col haut. Le premier semblait grand et mince tandis que le second plus courtaud. L’un arborait une chevelure épaisse et sauvage, presque rousse tandis que l’autre était brun, au crâne presque dégarni. Rien ne semblait rapprocher les deux hommes, l’un était homme de science, l’autre résolument d’église, et pourtant, pour l’observateur attentif, on pouvait déceler dans leur regards quelques similaires lueurs sombres.

Le sixième portrait était celui d’une femme d’une cinquantaine d’années, les cheveux coiffés d’un couvre chef blanc de domestique. Elle semblait mal à l’aise, étrangement apeurée. On pouvait presque entendre la voix chevrotante qui s’échappait péniblement de ses lèvres lorsqu’elle parlait.

Sur la grande table devant le tableau était étalé un plan détaillé du manoir où avait eu lieu le crime et, répartis autour de ce dernier dans des sacs plastiques, les différents objets qui avaient été récupérés et analysés par le département scientifique. Il y en avait six en tout, dont un couteau, une clé anglaise et un pistolet.

La salle, illuminée par la lumière blanchâtre des néons, était vide. Mais cela ne durerait pas car bientôt l’équipe d’enquêteurs entrerait et se mettrait à travailler d’arrache-pied afin de résoudre le mystère qui entourait la mort du vieux Docteur. Cela leur avait été explicité de façon on ne peut plus claire : il était primordial de retrouver le meurtrier du Docteur, c’était tout ce qui importait à présent.

Alea jacta est, les dés étaient jetés…


“Qu’est-ce ?”, vous entends-je demander. Eh bien ne paniquez pas, il y a quelques indices ici et là… ;)

Ps: C’est pas Harry Potter >.>

Black

On the large white board which stood in the middle of the room were displayed all the pictures that had been taken during the preliminary phase of the investigation. Six large portraits had been printed and were aligned horizontally at the top of the board. Six faces, three men and three women, and, just under them, a seventh: the victim’s. Still below, pictures of the crime scene, dark and bloody.

The first face, on the top left corner, was one of a man on whom time had left its mark. His silver mane and impeccably well-trimmed moustache which he proudly displayed gave him an air of strength and dignity. One could also catch a glimpse of the mustard-colored collar of his jacket in the bottom of the frame.

On his right, the surly face of a woman of roughly the same age as him. She seemed to look straight at the camera, her eyes dark behind her glasses shaped in half-moons which were hanging on the very tip of her nose, nose which was as pale as the nightly orb itself.

The third portrait immediately caught the eye due to the mysterious beauty of the young woman who appeared on it. One could see the ghost of a surprisingly confident smirk on her face. Tangled in her long dark hair was a pin in the shape of a red rose.

The next two portraits were of two men.

One had glasses, the other had none. The first wore an eggplant-colored scarf , the second a dark green frock coat with a raised collar. The former seemed tall and skinny whereas the latter appeared short and sturdy. One had thick and wild light brown, almost red hair while the other had lost most of his dark hair to baldness. Everything seemed to draw them apart, one was a man of science while the other was unwaveringly religious, however, despite all this, to the eye of the careful observer, a similar glint of darkness could be seen in both their gazes.

The sixth picture was one of a woman in her fifties, white hair covered by her servant headwear. She seemed uneasy, almost scared. One could almost hear her quavering voice coming out of her mouth with great difficulty when she spoke.

A large and detailed plan of the manor where the crime had taken place was spread on the large table in front of the board and, around it, the different objects that had been taken from the scene and analyzed by the forensic department wrapped in plastic bags. There were six in all including a knife, a wrench and a gun.

The room, lit by the sick white glow of the neon lights, was empty of any life. But that would not last for much longer as, soon enough, the team of detectives would come in and begin working on this case without rest until the mystery that surrounded the death of the old Doctor was solved. It had been very explicitly clarified : finding the Doctor’s killer was of the utmost importance, it was all that mattered now.

Alea jacta est, the die had been cast…


“Now what is this exactly?”, I hear you ask. Well worry not, there is a clue in there, somewhere… ;)

Ombre & Plumes – 12 – Essayage royal

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "cloitre"


D’ombre et de plumes

12

Essayage royal


Alors qu’il arrivait près de la jeune femme blonde et de l’homme aux cheveux blanc Thrista salua discrètement Todd et Hannah de la tête. Cette dernière lui lança un bref regard mais Thrista décela la noirceur qui s’y cachait encore. Il ne l’aurait pas avoué si on lui avait posé la question mais il réalisait qu’il prenait un certain plaisir à énerver la jeune femme brune. Il n’y avait aucune raison particulière à cela sinon qu’il trouvait cela étrangement satisfaisant de tester les limites de sa patience. Il s’arrêta à quelques pas de la princesse, sur la gauche de l’homme et attendit qu’elle le salue avant de la saluer à son tour. Siléna et son interlocuteur se retournèrent tous deux vers Thrista presque immédiatement.

« Ah Thrista ! Je suis contente de te voir !, s’exclama la princesse, gratifiant le jeune homme d’un léger hochement de tête auquel ce dernier répondit en s’inclinant.

– Moi de même chère princesse, répondit le jeune homme.

– Je ne crois pas que tu connaisse messire De Guidre, il est capitaine de l’un des trois vaisseaux de l’armada Galadéenne. »

L’homme aux cheveux blanc s’inclina alors à son tour et tendit une main que Thrista serra.

« Messire De Guidre, j’ai l’honneur de vous présenter Thrista Daener. C’est l’un de mes plus ancien et fidèle ami. Il est aussi le fils d’Ellias Daener, l’un des plus illustres gardiens du royaume. »

Thrista sourit légèrement, il était reconnaissant envers la princesse de le présenter ainsi. Il n’aimait pas se vanter de ses origines mais dès qu’il donnait son nom on voulait savoir s’il avait un lien de parenté avec « le grand » Ellias Daener. Cela avait eu pour effet de le décourager de se présenter complètement, il préférait en général ne donner que son nom, surtout aux militaires car ceux-ci ressortaient alors des tréfonds de leur mémoire tous les détails qu’ils connaissaient de la vie de son père. La princesse avait su comment s’y prendre, le présenter comme son ami avant d’annoncer sa parenté avec Ellias Daener permettait d’atténuer grandement le nombre de questions, recentrant la conversation sur l’amitié du jeune homme et de Siléna plutôt que sur son lien de parenté avec son père. Au grand soulagement de Thrista le vieil homme sourit simplement à la mention de son père et ne posa pas de question.

« Ah oui ! Je le connaissais peu mais, bien que cela ne fasse pas toujours plaisir à entendre, je vois la ressemblance. Vous avez une présence très similaire, remarqua De Guidre ce qui fit sourire les deux jeunes gens.

– Oui, je m’entends souvent dire que je lui ressemble. Cela ne me déplait pas mais il est vrai que ce n’est pas toujours réjouissant. Et vous maître De Guidre êtes donc l’un des capitaines de la flotte de Galaeda ?

– Tout à fait, je suis le capitaine de l’Archéniss, le meilleur des trois vaisseaux de l’armada !, répondit l’homme aux cheveux blanc en rigolant.

– Je ne crois pas que le capitaine du Leïkan soit du même avis, rétorqua Thrista un sourire aux lèvres. »

Le vieil homme eut un petit sourire à cette remarque.

« Non, en effet, acquiesça-t-il. Vous avez donc pu rencontrer Irina ?

– Non, je n’ai pas eu l’honneur de la rencontrer directement, mais j’ai eu la chance de croiser son second lors de la traversée et d’après ce qu’il m’a dit j’en ai déduis qu’elle est très fière de son vaisseau.

– Ah, ce cher Jacob, il à la vie dure le pauvre ! Oui, Irina Evinsky est la première femme à être devenue capitaine de l’un des trois bateaux de la flotte, elle en est très fière. Mais elle a aussi de quoi, c’est une très bonne capitaine et navigatrice !, expliqua le capitaine de l’Archéniss souriant toujours.

– La première seulement ?, s’étonna Siléna. Aucune autre femme n’y était parvenue avant elle ? »

De Guidre se tourna vers la princesse.

– Non, malheureusement aucune avant elle n’avait réussi à obtenir ce poste. Mais le capitaine Evinsky a du caractère et elle a passé toutes les épreuves qui se dressaient devant elle avec brio. Elle fait une très bonne addition à notre flotte.

– Evidemment, une femme apporte toujours du positif !, avança Siléna avec ferveur. »

Le vieil homme rit de bon cœur et approuva la jeune princesse.

« Tout fait chère princesse, ou du moins sa présence nous empêche de dire le contraire, répondit-il avec un clin d’œil. »

Ce fut au tour de Thrista et de la princesse de sourire à cette remarque.

« Attention à ce que vous dites messire De Guidre, l’une d’entre elles pourrait vous entendre…, le mit en garde Siléna. »

Le capitaine rit à nouveau avant de s’excuser.

« Veuillez m’excuser à présent mais, malgré tout le plaisir que j’ai a discuter avec vous chère princesse, le devoir m’appelle et je me dois de retourner à mon navire pour surveiller l’avancement des préparatifs. Je vous souhaite tout le bonheur du monde, à votre famille et au peuple de cette magnifique cité. A une prochaine fois peut-être. »

Il s’inclina devant la princesse puis devant Thrista.

« Et vous jeune homme bonne chance, même si le chemin n’est pas de tout repos il faut continuer à aller de l’avant. Passez le bonjour à votre père de ma part lorsque vous le verrez. »

La princesse le salua de la tête et le jeune homme s’inclina légèrement à son tour avant que le vieux capitaine ne fasse demi tour et se retire.

« Au revoir messire De Guidre, au plaisir de vous revoir !, s’exclama Siléna alors que l’homme s’éloignait. Elle se tourna ensuite vers Thrista. Tu n’imagine même pas le nombre de personnes ennuyeuses que j’ai dû saluer et auxquelles j’ai dû sourire et faire des courbettes ce matin…, soupira-t-elle.

– Tu n’avais pas l’air de t’ennuyer avec le capitaine De Guidre pourtant, la taquina Thrista. Mais heureusement que j’arrive alors, ajouta-t-il avec un sourire narquois.

– Ne te crois pas aussi intéressant que cela cher ami, tu vas prendre la grosse tête ! Mais je dois dire que ça fait du bien, la salle du trône était pleine à craquer au lever du jour. Je vais enfin pouvoir prendre une pause, la première de toute la matinée, et me reposer. Viens avec moi, marchons un peu, ajouta-t-elle avant d’entraîner Thrista à l’écart dans l’un des couloirs secondaires. »

Elle fit signe à ses deux gardes du corps avant de disparaître.

« Je leur indique qu’on sort, Père a menacé de me m’interdire toute sortie du château pour les dix prochaines années si je sortais encore sans être accompagnée avant le mariage…, expliqua la jeune femme devant le regard interrogateur de son ami. »

Ce dernier sourit à cette remarque en imaginant très bien le roi essayant de raisonner sa fille et devant en venir à des menaces pour se faire écouter.

« Je vois, dit-il simplement. Et où allons nous alors ?

– Me préparer pour mon mariage évidemment !, s’exclama la jeune femme. Mon futur époux est sûrement déjà en train de se préparer, il est temps que moi aussi je m’y mette. J’ai quelques derniers essayages à faire pour ma tenue.

-Très bien, je te suis alors, acquiesça Thrista. Mais, d’ailleurs, pourquoi n’était-il pas là ce matin, ton cher futur mari ?

– Mon cher Thrista, après tout ce temps passé à courir dans les couloirs du palais n’as-tu rien appris des traditions de Tébor ? Aujourd’hui est un hommage à l’héritière du royaume en honneur de son mariage, c’est-à-dire à moi. C’est seulement demain soir, après la cérémonie, que les hommages en l’honneur des mariés auront lieux. Et je vais encore devoir faire des courbettes à de nombreux hypocrites… Siléna soupira. Au moins je serais avec Thédric, ça devrait faciliter ces longues heures. Peut-être que je m’amuserais même un peu, qui sait ?, ajouta-t-elle avec ironie.

– C’est ton mariage Siléna, essaye d’en profiter, ça n’arrive qu’une seule fois. Enfin ça dépend pour qui…, dit Thrista. Et si ton prince est aussi charmant que cela il saura quoi faire. Sinon, je suis désolé de te le dire, mais c’est un imbécile…

– Eh !, s’exclama la princesse en donnant un coup de coude au jeune homme qui se mit à rire.

– Excusez-moi princesse…, répondit Thrista en s’inclinant jusqu’au niveau du sol. Cette réflexion était tout à fait inappropriée de ma part et j’en suis désolé. Mais c’est tellement drôle de te voir défendre ton âme sœur avec autant de passion !, ajouta-t-il avant de s’écarter précipitamment en riant lorsque que la jeune femme tenta de lui asséner un second coup.

– C’est ça ! Cours parce que si je t’attrape… !, alors que le jeune homme s’éloignait en parcourant le couloir à grandes enjambées.

– Si je puis me permettre, ce n’est pas digne d’une princesse de se comporter ainsi en public !, s’écria le brun alors qu’il disparaissait dans la cours intérieure du palais. »

Celle-ci était construite sur le modèle d’un cloître mais de taille bien plus grande et était ornées d’arbres, de statues et d’une fontaine en son centre, sur le même principe que les jardins. Le jeune homme avait juste eu le temps de voir le regard amusé de Todd, qui les suivait en retrait accompagné de son binôme, avant de se retrouver à l’extérieur. Lorsqu’il vit enfin arriver la princesse et ses deux gardes du corps il était assis sur le rebord de la fontaine et admirait la statue d’un des premiers rois de Tébor accompagné d’un oiseau de proie. La jeune femme blonde était rouge et lui lança un regard meurtrier qui signifiait sûrement « Tu ne paie rien pour attendre ! », mais qu’il préféra interpréter comme « On ne s’assoit pas sur le rebord de la fontaine ! ». Il se leva donc et alla rejoindre Siléna qui se dirigeait déjà vers l’autre côté de la cours.

« J’ai comme l’impression que j’ai provoqué le courroux de sa majesté…, chuchota Thrista au blond avec un sourire complice alors que celui-ci arrivait à son niveau. Pourtant je ne vois pas ce que j’ai bien pu faire… »

Celui-ci lui répondit par un haussement d’épaules et un petit sourire amusé avant de lui emboîter le pas à la suite de la princesse. Thrista croisa brièvement le regard plus sombre et désapprobateur d’Hannah à l’intention du blond et de lui-même et ne put s’empêcher de sourire, ce à quoi cette dernière soupira et détourna le regard. Le jeune homme rattrapa la princesse et marcha en silence à ses côté pendant un moment le long des immenses couloirs du palais avant de reprendre la conversation.

« Où allons-nous alors ?, demanda-t-il enfin en évitant de nouveau un coup de coude de la jeune femme. Mais je n’ai rien dit cette fois !, s’exclama-t-il.

– Mesures préventives, répondit simplement la blonde avec un sourire sarcastique. »

Elle s’arrêta devant une grande double porte pour répondre au jeune homme avant de les ouvrir d’un mouvement sec.

« Et pour ton information, nous allons dans les ateliers du palais, je dois aller me changer. Je te rappelle, au cas où tu l’aurais déjà oublié, cher ami, qu’aujourd’hui est le dernier jour de préparatifs avant mon mariage… »

Ils entrèrent dans une large salle où une dizaine de femmes s’affairaient autour de nombreux tissus et étoffes. Des coffrets de bijoux occupaient chaque centimètre carré restant des trois tables disposées dans la pièce. Seule une ou deux d’entre elles se retournèrent à l’entrée de la princesse et la saluèrent avant de se focaliser sur les étoffes à nouveau, ce qui ne sembla pas déranger cette dernière et ce qui n’étonna pas Thrista. Depuis le temps qu’elles la côtoyaient, les couturières avaient dû s’habituer à ses exigences familières en matière d’interactions, de gré ou de force.

« En parlant de mariage…, le jeune homme fouilla dans sa sacoche et en sortit une boite en bois rectangulaire, j’ai oublié de te donner ça tout à l’heure. »

La jeune femme le regarda un instant, la curiosité pouvant se lire dans son regard, puis pris la boite et la posa sur une petite table basse qui était dépourvue de tout objet.

« Merci, dit-elle avec un sourire avant de se diriger vers l’une des femmes se trouvant dans le fond de la pièce. Je le mets ton cadeau de côté, je l’ouvrirai plus tard si cela ne te dérange pas. On dit qu’il n’est pas bon de trop vouloir se précipiter dans ce genre d’événements. »

Elle lui tira la langue puis se tourna vers une femme âgée habillée d’une tunique pourpre.

« Madame Angelis, on m’a dit que vous aviez besoin de ma présence. Dites moi où vous en êtes. »

La femme se retourna et salua la princesse avant de la conduire vers l’une des trois tables se trouvant derrière elles.

« Mes hommages princesse. Votre robe est prête, il ne vous reste plus qu’à la porter pour que nous puissions faires les derniers ajustements nécessaires. »

Elle désigna une large pièce d’étoffe blanche et bleu marine reposant au centre de la table.

« Bien, allons-y alors, je préfèrerais que cela soit terminé au plus vite… Je n’aime pas les essayages…, répondit la princesse avant de se diriger vers un grand rideau beige dressé au centre de la pièce.

« Ma dame, ne voulez vous pas faire sortir ces jeunes gens d’abord ?, demanda la femme en désignant Thrista, Todd et Hannah.

– Non, ce sont mes gardes du corps personnels et un ami d’enfance, ils peuvent rester s’il ils le désirent. Je leur fais confiance pour qu’ils se tiennent correctement.

– Bien Ma Dame, elle s’inclina puis se tourna vers les autres femmes. Bien, nous avons peu de temps alors mettons nous au travail !, s’exclama-t-elle en frappant dans ses mains. »

Chacune des femmes présente connaissait son rôle parfaitement, pas une n’hésita avant de se mettre au travail, choisissant les étoffes et les bijoux nécessaires avant de disparaître derrière le rideau. Hannah alla se poster près de la porte d’entrée, s’appuyant contre le mur. Todd lui alla s’asseoir sur l’un des bancs en bordure de la pièce et Thrista vint le rejoindre. On pouvait entendre les courtières s’affairer derrière le rideau, la voix de la femme âgée donnant des ordres, prodiguant des conseils et s’informant des préférences de la jeune femme pour sa tenue.

« On dirait qu’elle me fait la tête, elle n’a même pas regardé mon cadeau plus de quelques secondes avant de le mettre de côté, dit-il après s’être assis sur la gauche du jeune homme blond. »

Celui-ci sourit à nouveau à cette réflexion.

« C’est le moins que l’on puisse dire. Mais cela ne devrait pas durer, elle à bien d’autre choses à penser en ce moment qu’une simple querelle avec un ami… Et puis, si je peux me permetre, au vu de son attitude depuis hier, je ne pense pas qu’elle t’en veuille beaucoup, elle te fais marcher.

– Je n’en suis pas si sûr, soupira Thrista. Même dans les pires situations elle sait se rappeler des choses les plus insignifiantes. Elle saura me le faire payer en temps voulu.

– Espérons que le futur prince saura la raisonner et tempérer son caractère…

– Il est vrai qu’elle a beaucoup changé depuis la dernière fois que je l’ai vue mais ça m’étonnerait… Enfin bon, je survivrai. Il faut juste que je trouve un moyen de me faire pardonner. »

Thrista lança un regard en direction du rideau, se rappelant les quatre cent coups que lui et la princesse avaient fait plusieurs années plus tôt, avant de reprendre la parole.

« D’après ce que j’ai cru comprendre ce Thédric Junon à l’air d’avoir un caractère plus calme et réfléchi que la princesse. Je n’ai pas grand espoir que cela la fasse changer radicalement mais qui sait… Peut-être qu’elle en oubliera mon affront de ce matin…, dit-il avec un petit rire amusé. En tout cas, Siléna à l’air de beaucoup l’apprécier. C’est plutôt bon signe.

– Vous vous connaissez depuis combien de temps ? Si je puis me permettre, demanda Todd.

– Je l’ai rencontrée pour la première fois alors que j’avais à peine sept ans. Mon père a été chargé de plusieurs missions pour le roi au cours des années et, lorsqu’il était parti en voyage, je séjournais ici, au palais. Ça a pris quelques temps mais nous sommes devenu de bons amis Siléna et moi. C’était elle la plus casse cou de nous deux, toujours à vouloir aller plus loin et elle refusait d’écouter qui que ce soit excepté elle-même. Cela fit sourire Todd. Elle est restée très indépendante très longtemps, toujours à s’éclipser du château et à mener la vie dure à ce pauvre Oscius. Même depuis tout à l’heure, depuis que je l’ai vue discuter avec Messire De Guidre, je ne peux m’empêcher de le remarquer. C’est subtil mais le changement est bien là. Bien sûr elle ne se laissera jamais dompter, la preuve avec son escapade d’hier qui, vu votre réaction, ne devait pas être tout à fait prévue ni organisée, mais j’ai l’impression qu’elle mesure plus le poids de ses actions. Je me demande si ça à un lien avec sa rencontre avec le futur prince…, ajouta Thrista, pensif.

– C’est possible, acquiesça Todd.Heureusement que j’ai l’habitude de faire avec les personnes têtues, chuchota-t-il en faisant un signe imperceptible de la tête vers sa coéquipière.

Le brun se contenta, pour toute réponse, d’afficher un sourire amusé hochant la tête. Todd et lui se mirent à rire silencieusement. Ils attirèrent les regards noirs de la Dame Angelis, par derrière le rideau, et d’Hannah, dont ils sentirent le froid dans leur dos.

« Et vous, comment en êtes vous arrivé à être gardes du corps de Siléna ?, demanda alors Thrista.

– Hannah et moi voyageons ensemble depuis un certain temps déjà. Pour découvrir le monde et nous entraîner à l’art de l’empirium. »

Thrista acquiesça.

« Oui, c’est bien ce que je pensais. J’ai senti son énergie magique quand Hannah m’a surpris dans les jardins du palais, dit-il.

– Oui. Excuse là pour ça, elle à tendance à prendre ses missions trop au sérieux…, répondit le blond en souriant l’air gêné.

– Aucun problème, elle ne faisait que ce qui lui était demandé. Thrista écarta l’incident d’un geste de la main. Et vous voyagez dans toute l’alliance ?, demanda-t-il.

«  Oui, nous parcourons l’Alliance à la recherche d’autres mages pour s’entraîner et de temps en temps nous offrons nos services en échange d’argent ou de nourriture.  Nous sommes arrivés en ville il y a trois semaines et nous avons appris que le roi cherchait des gardes du corps pour la princesse. Il a été convaincu lorsqu’on lui à montré ce qu’on pouvait faire.

– Il pensait sûrement qu’avec vous et vos capacités la princesse serait plus en sécurité.

– Sûrement oui. Nous sommes censé la protéger jusqu’à la fin de la semaine, après le mariage. Ensuite, eh bien, nous partirons sûrement vers le sud. Il y a quelqu’un à qui je dois aller rendre visite là bas.

– Et vous allez participer au prochain Tournoi ? Thrista vit Todd froncer imperceptiblement les sourcils à la mention du Tournoi des Sages mais ne releva pas.

– Je ne sais pas encore, commença le jeune homme blond. Hannah aimerait bien y aller, moi aussi, mais de là à y participer rien n’est décidé. Et puis, avec toi comme adversaire, ce ne sera pas simple…, ajouta-t-il alors que son sourire revint. »

Le brun sourit également à cette remarque.

« Oh je n’en suis pas encore là !, s’exclama-t-il. J’ai encore beaucoup de choses à apprendre. Mais j’espère vous y croiser tous les deux si j’y arrive moi-même. »

Todd hocha la tête.

« Alors je vais y réfléchir, répondit-il. »

Les deux jeunes hommes discutèrent pendant l’heure qui suivit, partageant leurs expériences de voyages et leurs impressions de la princesse. Thrista remarqua que la jeune femme blonde et la dénommée Hannah se ressemblaient sur plusieurs points. D’ailleurs, elle n’avait pas bougé depuis tout ce temps, remarqua-t-il en jetant un coup d’œil vers la jeune femme brune. Elle était toujours adossée au mur dans la même position, les yeux fermés. Quelqu’un de non initié à la magie aurait pu penser qu’elle se reposait ou même dormait mais Thrista remarqua qu’elle méditait, son esprit était replié sur lui-même et elle semblait ne pas être dérangée par les bruits provenant de la préparation de la princesse. Ni le bruit des outils de couture, ni les réflexions des femmes ou les jurons de la princesse ne semblaient la déconcentrer. Au bout de trois quarts d’heure de discussion vieille femme émergea enfin de derrière le rideau. Elle se dirigea vers Thrista et Todd et ces derniers relevèrent la tête.

« Je suis désolée messires, mais cette fois je vais devoir vous demander de bien vouloir sortir. La princesse doit essayer sa nouvelle robe et, comme le veut la tradition, personne autre que nous ne doit la voir avant la cérémonie. »

Todd se leva et se dirigea vers sa coéquipière mais Thrista s’adressa à la princesse.

« Es-tu sûre ?

– Certaine !, lui répondit la voix de la princesse depuis l’autre côté du rideau. »

Il sourit, sachant pertinemment que la princesse ne les congédiait que pour en finir avec les préparatifs, il s’inclina alors vers femme âgée.

« Dans ce cas Dame Angelis je me retire. Merci de nous avoir autorisés à rester. » Ce à quoi la femme le salua de la tête avant de se retourner et de se diriger vers le rideau. Il s’adressa ensuite de nouveau à la princesse avant de se diriger vers la sortie.

« A tout de suite votre altesse. »

Thrista rejoint Todd et Hannah au niveau de la porte et fit signe au jeune homme de le suivre.

« Ne vous inquiétez pas, tout va bien. Il ne faut pas contredire les ordres de la princesse.

– La tradition veut qu’aucun homme ne voie la princesse avant le début de la cérémonie. Je ne suis pas un homme, je reste au cas où, déclara la jeune femme brune.

– Hannah !, commença Todd, mais Thrista intervint avant qu’il ne puisse contredire sa coéquipière.

– Non, c’est bon. Elle peut rester si elle le souhaite. Après tout il est vrai que la tradition n’impose pas aux femmes se retirer. »

Todd regarda Hannah pendant un cours instant, le regard de cette dernière ne vacilla pas, puis levant les mains en signe de défaite il soupira.

« Bien, alors allons y. »

Ils se dirigèrent donc tous deux de nouveau vers la cours intérieure après avoir refermé les doubles portes derrière eux.

« Je n’y crois pas !, s’exclama le blond une fois qu’ils furent arrivés au niveau de la fontaine. Elle n’en fait qu’à sa tête…  C’est vrai que notre mission est de protéger la princesse mais quand même, elle prend tout trop au sérieux je trouve… »

Thrista sourit à ces mots.

« Ne t’inquiète pas, tant qu’elle ne ralentit pas la bonne marche de l’essayage en organisant une fouille de dernière minute, ce qui lui vaudrait les foudres de la princesse, tout devrait bien se passer.

– Elle en est bien capable malheureusement…, s’esclaffa le blond. »

Ils marchèrent alors dans les allées du petit jardin intérieur, profitant de la fraîcheur de l’ombre que projetaient les arbres et discutant de leurs différents projets pour la suite. Ils aperçurent parfois quelques servants et gardes qui s’affairaient aux préparatifs mais dans l’ensemble cette partie du palais était calme. Tout le personnel devait déjà être à son poste en train de veiller à ce que tout se passe bien bien lendemain. Une autre heure s’était écoulée lorsqu’ils virent enfin la princesse, suivie de près par Hannah, ressortir de l’atelier en soupirant bruyamment.

« Je sature ! Il est vraiment temps que la cérémonie commence ! Plus vite ce sera passé, mieux ce sera…, s’exclama-t la blonde en les rejoignant. »

Thrista ne put s’empêcher de pouffer légèrement de rire, ce qui eut pour effet de lui valoir un autre regard noir de la part de celle-ci.


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