Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Siege of the White Mountain, Vol. 3: Due to the Dead--Part 18

Jean stared at the dead bodies before her.  "So... they tried to set the city on fire?" she stated.

"No," said Arcadius, shaking his head.  "They succeeded in setting large portions of the city on fire."  He sighed.  "You should see it.  They tell me it's heartbreaking when you actually remember how the place used to look."

"Right."  Jean nodded, as she looked over the bodies.  "Well, I'm going to avoid it then.  My... adopted father and me had some fun times in Cazlona."

Arcadius coughed.  "Oh.  Right.  Sorry."  He glanced away.  "I think I've been hanging around Constans for too long.  Getting too used to feet getting put in mouths..."

"I thought that was just a Sacristan thing," said Jean.

"Why would you?" began Arcadius.

"Well, I was dealing with Justinian for a long time," she replied.

Arcadius blinked.  "Ahh, yes." He considered things for a moment.  "You might just be right there."

She glanced back at the bodies.  "So that's it, eh?  You're forcing them further, and further back into the hills?"

"Yep," he stated.  "We think they're headed for the Concordat.  Of course, what happens when they get there is anybody's guess.  Maybe the Synod will accept them all with open arms. Maybe they'll kick them over to northern Leonais..."

"Why northern Leo...?" began Jean.

"You haven't heard?" said Arcadius.  "The Council has seized control of Joyeuse and the south.  They've announced that Amfortas has been deposed."

Jean blinked.  "It is all falling apart for him, isn't it?"

"He's still got the north.  And the Concordat.  And Tintagel," replied Arcadius.  "And we still don't know what the Easter King will do."  He nodded slightly.  "But it certainly seems that way, doesn't it?"

"You know, once on the river," said Jean quietly, "my father and I saw a massive log, floating by.  It looked huge and solid.  But my father gave it one solid blow with his oar, and the whole thing just... crumbled apart."

Arcadius nodded silently.  "Right.  I'm stealing that, when I describe these events in the future, all right?"

"Be my guest," answered Jean.

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