36 Joan (1)

Joan smiled down at them from atop her horse. Since she wasn't using her own strength to move, it made it difficult for Leonel to get a reading on her stats. He almost felt that there was something in her smile that said she was doing it on purpose.

On the other hand, Leonel felt that he was reading into it too much. The moment he saw Joan, other than being stricken by her beauty, he instantly remembered the fact that he was meant to kill this woman eventually.

Leonel sighed inwardly. Maybe it was easier to paint her out as some evil mastermind now so he could more easily do what needed to be done in the future.

Quite frankly, Leonel was unsure how the 'Boss' of a Zone was decided. Were they always bad people? He wasn't certain of that. He only had one sample to pull his conclusion from.

However, if he purely used the reason why they entered Zones to draw his conclusion — to deal with instances of higher Dimensions touching their timeline before they should — then the logical answer was no. They weren't always bad people…

It was very possible that Joan's only crime was being ahead of her time, awakening abilities before she should have… In such a case, Leonel found he had taken a leap head first into yet another dilemma.

"Forgive me for not stepping down from my horse to greet you personally. I took an arrow to the thigh in my previous battle and am unable to walk under my own power currently."

Hearing these words, Leonel felt even worse about his previous thoughts. History did speak about Joan being injured on multiple occasions. The fact she came out to greet them and even swung up to sit on her horse in such a state made her more than worthy of praise.

It only made it more difficult now that he remembered that in this year, she was actually his age… She had recaptured Orleans at just 17 years old. By now, she was like 18.

"We take no offense, Lady Joan. Please excuse my companion, she cannot speak. We've humbly come to be your aid."

"Cannot speak French? And please do not call me a Lady, I am no noble." Joan giggled a light, airy laughter.

"I'm certain that you are in the eyes of many." Leonel said with a smile. "My companion has been a mute since her birth. Our family believes that this may have been the price to pay in exchange for our abilities…"

Leonel spoke of the story he and Aina had decided upon. Of course, he embellished a bit. Adding a hint of superstition common in this era. Of course, this story assumes that he and Aina are brother and sister.

In truth, on the surface, this isn't so easy to accept. Leonel had too many Hispanic features, while Aina herself was more northern European. However, Leonel knew that in such a situation, over explaining would be more eyebrow-raising.

People tended to fill in the blanks themselves.

As expected, Joan paused for a moment, but seeing that Leonel didn't intend to explain, she accepted it in stride.

"I see… I hope there comes a day when your sister recovers, then. I am very interested by these abilities of yours, though. Can you tell me more?"

"Even we do not know much." Leonel was sure to answer without holding any hesitation in his voice. He wanted to appear as though he trusted Joan completely and had no reservations about telling her everything. "We only know that we are stronger, faster and quicker than others by a large margin. We can only call it an act of God. When we heard of your exploits, we felt that you were no better person to sympathize with us."

Leonel felt that Joan's gaze softened slightly and her smile became more genuine.

Like this, Leonel and Joan were ushered into Château Royal de Blois. Or, rather, they were led to a holding in the outer castle.

Castles were functionally cities within walls. They were separated into several layers, of which had their own walls for protection, usually offset so it was more difficult to charge through their gates in one go.

It was actually already a privilege for Leonel and Aina to come this far. But, it also seemed that they had to earn their keep very quickly, because not even a day later, a march toward Patay was announced.

'… So it begin… According to history, this will be Joan's final major victory. After this, King Charles will be crowned. She'll then fail to recapture Paris, before finally being captured in her battle for Compiegne.'


"You say there are two more like you, Joan?"

"Yes, my King. Because of them, we can move our battle for Patay up. According to General Franck, they all but annihilated an army of 20 000 strong by themselves, forcing them into a retreat. The brother in particular fought alone for half a day."

Joan knelt before a throne with one arm across her chest, and another tightly holding onto a wooden crutch. Despite the fact Charles VII had yet to be officially crowned, she still called him King.

"Joan, have I not said you do not need to kneel before me when it is just the two of us? I've also said to call me Charles on such occasions."

If Leonel was here, he would likely once more be shocked. According to history, it was Charles who refused to give the order to save Joan when she was captured, leading to her execution.

But, the Charles of right now seemed to be almost fawning over the kneeling beauty. He was completely unlike the ungrateful King who abandoned her after getting what he wanted.

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