Three long months passed since the final battle. Prier had gotten back into the swing of things; slaying a Zombie here, a bunch of wayward bats there, ect. But without Alouette, things just didn't seem the same. Their little band which had always consisted of three since Prier and Culotte had joined up, was now down to two. So when Sister Romaine asked them to take on a new trainee, they were excited.
That was how Prier and Culotte ended up lounging around the re-built office one morning in late fall; their new trainee happened to be late getting back from her trip to Mayonnaise Harbor to check on the rebuilding efforts. Sister Romaine was at her desk; reading reports from the scouts in the field. At around noon, the door finally opened to reveal a young woman of about 18 years of age. She had long blue hair and sea green eyes. The skirt she wore was worn long in the back and short, though not slutty short, in the front while her short sleeved shirt was white. A pair of black shoes were worn on her feet.
"This is Sister Francois," Sister Romaine introduced, "She has been with our charity unit for about a year now, but took the test to be in La Pucelle when a few friends of hers were killed in the massacre at Mayonnaise Harbor. Sister Francois, these are your superiors; Culotte and Sister Prier. I hope you all can get along well. Because I've got a little practice mission for the three of you to go on in an old castle."
"I've heard so much about you from the others, Prier. You're supposed to have slain the Dark Prince when Maiden of Light Alouette found that she hadn't the power remaining to both perform the Miracle and follow up attack. She chose you because you had a strong will and caring heart. Did you really kill the scourge that has haunted our people for many years now?" inquired the excited Sister.
Prier looked her in the eye. She didn't want to lie, but then again technically she wouldn't be. Technically, she and Croix had slain the Dark Prince together. So she told Francois, "Yup, I sure did. But if it hadn't been for the fact that I had my friends with me, I wouldn't have succeeded. Anyway, Sister Romaine, what type of mission will we be going on? Are there Demons infesting an abandoned palace?"
Realizing the conversation had been easily swayed from the potentially embarrassing subject of Prier's love life, Sister Romaine cleared her throat. "There's an old castle to the north of Montblanc Castle; I think it might have been a fort for his soldiers. Ghosts have begun appearing inside it and have been attacking travelers. The Infirmary is filled to the brim with people wounded by their fire. I know it's less exciting a mission than defeating the Demons that attacked Paprica, but you do have a beginner with you. Remember how it was like when you started out Prier? I know you weren't thrilled about Zombies."
"I don't mind," Prier replied, "After all, right now I'll be glad for anything to come around." She blushed at the very fact that even her earliest exploits were being debated on. But this would be good for her; anything to get her mind off of missing Croix. Besides, it should be a piece of cake for one like her.
Prier couldn't have been more right. The ghosts were all at low levels and seemed to walk right into their attack setups. Some were too stupid to use their magic and instead got killed by a Counter before striking even once. Though Francois needed a little help with some of the enemies; Prier had to remind herself twice that she was dealing with a new member to La Pucelle. And the girl was friendly at least. Her only vice seemed to be that she talked incisively about every single guy she had ever met.
'Not the worst thing she could have; she could be so blissfully ignorant that she paid no attention to the enemies. Besides, if I could live with Alouette's constant nagging, then I can live through her obsession with the male gender. One day I might even tell her about my own love life,' Prier thought.
Suddenly, she began to feel dizzy. Holding her head in her hand, the young woman looked down towards the ground. What was in the air around here? But since Culotte and Francois, both not as strong as her, looked healthy she quickly dismissed that theory. However, Culotte noticed her weird behavior and asked, "Prier, what's wrong? Do you need to see Sister Cherrie when we get back home?"
Prier laughed a little. "Nope, everything is just dandy. I'm in tip top shape. Just…I think I might be hungry; my stomach feels like it's turning cartwheels inside of me. Let's go back to the church and get a nice bowl of soup for lunch." She hoped her ploy would work; Culotte was starting to become a tad overprotective of her following Alouette's death. Did he think she was going to leave him all alone too?
Unfortunately for Prier, her little ruse did nothing. Instead, her brother walked up to her and put her right arm over his shoulder. When she struggled, Sister Francois slapped her with her Power Glove; causing Prier to reel in pain. They were obviously not going to take No for an answer. She sighed and reluctantly agreed to go with them to the Infirmary. Heck, all that she would be told was that she needed to get something to eat. That's all it was; there was no way that Prier would ever find herself getting sick.
"Tests show all is normal," Sister Cherrie informed Prier, "You don't appear to have a fever and you aren't in pain due to an injury. Just…there is one thing that might be going on. But it's a tad personal so I'm going to have to ask you a few questions. First of all, knowing that you spent the entirety of the festival with Croix, are you still a virgin? Second of all, when was the last time you had your period?" These little questions were met with a punch in the face and Prier turning as red as the Sister's hair.
"None of your business! What does that have to do with my symptoms?" she yelled at her. But when Sister Cherrie gave her the eye as if to say "answer me and you'll see," she recanted. Prier told her, "Yes Croix and I did get a little out of hand that night; we weren't planning on it, things just happened as we were saying goodnight. And come to think of it…I haven't had my period since before the final battle."
Cherrie stated, "Well, you told me earlier that this hasn't been the first time you felt like this; just the first time it happened when you were in the company of your brother. I have to run a few tests first, but I think you might be pregnant. Don't worry Prier; I know you and Croix were worried about each other. I know you two wouldn't have written these sort of things in a day planner. Love takes you where it wills."
When Prier finally left the Infirmary, her heart felt as if it would drop right to the floor. Pregnant; of all things that could have happened to her. Sister Romaine had to be called in and the three women had to have a long discussion. Prier was put on sick leave for the next year and a half; though she would still be training Francois in the field. As if things couldn't get any worse, Culotte had to come and give her a lecture about what were she and Croix thinking. Of course, her response wasn't the most polite one she could have given; this is Prier after all. "Do you think I wrote in big bold letters on my calendar 'Croix and I explore our intimate desires?' No! It just happened and now I'm going to have a child. Let me be!"
"I'll never understand my sister," Culotte muttered as he walked away, "She's Miss Independent Woman one day, sleeping with her boyfriend the next, then back to being Miss Independent Woman as if nothing ever happened. Maybe I should talk to Éclair and Homard; they're much more sane than Prier."
The next six months were perhaps the worst of Prier's life. She was gaining weight at a horrid rate and less able to fend for herself. Culotte and Francois helped out a lot; though that didn't change the fact that Prier's pride was being severely compromised. The woman had decided not to call Croix on three important grounds. First, if he came back to care for the child, he would be restless and that might put some strain on their household. Second, if he came back to check on her but continued his journey, he would be feeling guilty and worried over Prier. Third, he'd probably break his neck trying to get home as fast as he could. It was better for all three of them if Prier took care of the new baby on her own.
Finally, it was time for the child to be born. Since there was no father to help out with the birthing, Culotte, as the uncle, had foolishly stepped in. I said "foolishly" because Prier had thrown every single bit of verbal and physical abuse that she had energy for his way. In fact, when it was over, he had to get treated for some nasty bruises courtesy of Prier's fist. But it was worth it when he saw his newborn niece.
"Would you call the others in Sister Cherrie? I want them all to be here now that the baby has been born," Prier stated. Cherrie opened the door to reveal Francois, Father Salade, the Director of the Orphanage, Éclair, Homard, and the entire crew of the Escargot. They crowded around Prier's bedside.
Éclair commented, "She's so pretty Prier. I think she has a bit of you around the face. Though her ears look more like Croix's. I'll bet anything that this child is going to grow up to become a strong Demon Hunter just like her parents. What are you going to call her anyway?" The princess beamed at her new godchild; she and Homard had been asked to be the godparents because of their closeness to Prier and the fact that Culotte was already her uncle by blood. Prier was lucky to become a mother.
Prier smiled as her daughter opened her brown eyes; the same color as both her mother and uncle. "I thought a lot about what Croix would have wanted; he isn't here to name our daughter so it was hard to take him into consideration, no easy task there. In the end, I decided to name her Angelique."
"I see that you've taken to romance novels while Croix has been gone," Homard commented, "Ah, when the handsome knight passes away in combat and his beloved princess is heavy with child. And she names her only son for the father he'll never know." However…Homard's dramatic moment didn't last too long. For no sooner had those words left his mouth, an extremely red faced Prier slugged him in the gut.
"For one, that is none of your business! For two, I was thinking about what Croix would have wanted! And for three…I am not upset over him leaving on his mission! He's doing what he needs to do and then he'll be back! So would you all just get off my case!" she demanded. Somehow, she managed to sound extremely forceful and ticked off without raising her voice too high; after all, she was still holding the baby. Francois thought this Croix must have been some guy for Prier to be this hung up over him.
At that moment, Culotte returned from his treatmentÉclair exclaimed, "Oh Goddess! What in the world happened to you Culotte!" He might have been patched up and ointments applied to his wounds, but he still looked as if he'd gotten into a fight with a wild bear; or Bear Socks had chased him for a bit of Mooboo steak that he was cooking. The boy sat down on the stool; holding his head to ease the pain.
Prier sweatdropped. "Sorry Culotte; I guess I got a little carried away with my emotions there."
"I see," Éclair stated, "He helped you to birth the baby and you were stressed out. I might not have gone through this myself, but I do know from the books I've been reading lately that even a mild mannered woman gets easily upset when she's having a baby; there's a lot of physical stress involved."
"That's a real comforting thought Éclair. When we have a child of our own…I think you, me and Dark Éclair are going to have to have a long talk about the delivery; she does have a tiny temper there," Homard said. Éclair nodded; though she had to tell her dark side that beating up Homard for getting her pregnant would not be fun at all…one look at Culotte was enough to quell even the tough Dark Knight.
Prier cradled her young daughter against her body. She thought, 'Croix, you don't have to worry about a thing. I'll take care of Angelique until you return. Though this may sound strange but I'm happy that I got pregnant. This child will be the cure for my loneliness; she and I can lean on one another for support and I know she'll never desert me. When you return, then we can all be a family once more.'
Teefa's Last Words...
This may be the end of the fanfic, but not the story. There will be a sequel to this one that takes place when Angelique is three years old. It starts around her birthday and will then jump three months to the four year anniversary of the end of La Pucelle's storyline. Yeah, we pictured Homard as the one with a sensitive side; he did come off as a bit of the romantic under his somewhat perverted joking exterior. RPG pirates tend to either be that way or really ruthless brigands; that's usually the evil pirates though. And since Homard isn't extremely ruthless, we assumed the former.