The Du Lac Chronicles: Knights in Armor

In Five Short Parts

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. I write this fanfiction for no profit nor expect to receive profit.

A/N: This is a rather experimental one-shot forming a short version of a far longer story. Please R/R, tell me if you understand what I'm getting at.

Eleven

A clear cloudless sky; bright trees in bloom; children's laughter ringing from the orchard.

Vincent du Lac sits under a tree with a tattered piece of parchment clutched in his hand, staring it as though the sheer force of his will can decipher the scrawled and blurred lettering.

The girl high in the tree throws an apple at his head, and he looks up. Elenya laughs wildly from the top of the tree, urging Vincent to put down the scroll and join her. As she laughs, the branch she is astride sways, and a blonde boy tries to grasp her leg to prevent her from falling. He has the same green eyes as Vincent, though his skin is tanned a shade darker and his fair hair is nearly the opposite shade of his brother's.

Elenya neatly scrambles out of the way and lifts herself higher in the tree despite the protestations of her fellow climber. He is the oldest of the three, and believes it is his responsibility to look after the others.

Seventeen

The young green-eyed sorcerer marks the final rune in the center of the hexagon before stepping back to take his place in the Circle. In defiance of all his family and especially his brother have ever believed, he fights as a junior magic-user in the army of the Lady Rezalia, for the so-called King Mordred.

It's her he truly follows, the Dark Elf sorceress born seven hundred-odd years ago during the height of the Cataclysm, known as the greatest sorceress in a race of sorcerers, who seduced and imprisoned the Lord High Merlin.

The hexagon's border burns withblazing light, and from inside the design the demon emerges, in form a golden-eyed winged woman, inhumanly voluptuous. The Lady takes a step forward to bind the demon's powers to her will, and they converse in low tones.

For a moment the demon fixes her eyes on Vincent's, and smiles.

It's the beginning of a long interest in demonology.

Twenty-three

The war was over, Good King Stephen held on to his throne, and the Lady Rezalia, after masterminding a peace treaty favorable to the Elves returned to the Darkholt to raise her and Merlin's daughter. Vincent had fled the side of Mordred, and reappeared to fight at his brother's side. Through his sorcerous skill and his brother's bravery they had both become known as heroes. Yet Vincent's solitary ways and interest in ancient texts had not made him as popular as the jovial Hugo du Lac, known as the greatest Knight of all.

Elenya Tseutame, only child of her house, is to wed Hugo in two weeks, uniting the holdings of their parents, though neither party is in love.

She looks at Vincent across the room, and he realizes how much she's changed from the tomboy he knew. Her skin's the pale color affected by so many noblewomen, gained from a combination of cosmetics and time spent indoors, her once-wild hair has been tamed into an elegant bun, and she's dancing gracefully rather than whirling across the room in a flash of energy.

Elenya smiles at him, and they have the next dance, and the next. They find the time to talk, and Vincent can't help noticing herbrilliant blue eyes in the torchlight.

It was always his brother who was the brave knight and the golden boy and the King's beloved servant. Why should Hugo be the one to have Elenya, too?

"I have no wish to marry one I do not love," she says, gazing deeply into his eyes. "I always wondered when you were going to come back, Vincent."

In the end, Hugo takes the elopement of his brother and childhood friend rather well, though the rift between the brothers was never fully repaired.

Thirty-eight

Rezalia strides through the hallway of the ancient castle, frowning in concentration. The war between the King's men and the sorcerers has reached a stalemate, and it is rumored that Hugo du Lac will return from his retirement with his young bride to fight again.

There's a glint of sunlight on a dagger, a running figure, a blast of red light, and a human body on the floor.

In life her name was Elenya, though few lived who cared. The sorcerer Vincent du Lac had a war to fight and was unable to waste his time on a neglected and high-strung wife. Rezalia, of course, cared nothing for any human.

Thirty-nine

On the Plains of Mercury, created by a sorcerous battle some two hundred years ago between Rezalia and the insane Lord Bloodstone, a rogue birdman fighting under Hugo du Lac is able to overcome the sorceress' powers.

Though a body is never found, the Dark Elf never returns to her daughter.

A year later, the sorcerer Vincent du Lac is also killed in battle, after Hugo uses a gift from the Lord High Merlin to the best of his abilities.

Against the advice of his Knights, Hugo du Lac does not burn the body of his brother.

THE BEGINNING.