Firstly, sorry for not having replied to all the last reviews. I have been busy (how the hell can I be that busy while being on holidays? O.o) but I swear I will do that tomorrow.;)
Secondly, many apologies for the spelling and grammar mistakes in the previous chapters. I wrote them late at night, and I can't really say I was very focused on grammar… And it is probably going to be the same with this very chapter…(embarrassed cough)
Thirdly, to my greatest horror, I have just realised I fell in the trap of the "Baddy's-monologue-at-the-end-of-the-story". Gah…:S
Sigrid was floating in the dark. Or rather, she had the feeling she was floating in the dark, because something was telling her that neither "dark", "floating" nor actually the notion of "self" had a true meaning here.
Here… What was "here", exactly? Well, she knew she was dead, but she could not remember how it happened precisely… She was also aware that she should have been extremely upset about something, but it is quite difficult to be angry when you could not remember why….
So, there she was, floating in that…place. Whatever or wherever it was. But was the question relevant anymore? After all, she was feeling perfectly fine here. Not happy, but not sad either. Just… appeased. And now, all she wanted was to be sucked into that infinite nothingness and stop questioning herself about "being or not being".
"Ah, here you are!" exclaimed a voice which came out of nowhere.
The tone of the voice was pleasant, but there was something strange to it. First, it seemed to come from all around her. Second, when it was speaking, it had different kind of… harmony, as if a crowd of men and women of different ages were talking together at the same time. Paradoxically, the result was both comforting and scary. Comforting, because in that chorus of voice, some of them were very familiar. And scary for the same reason. Indeed, since when people you knew – and which were now dead – speak like in a choral coming out from a vast emptiness?
"I am glad I have managed to find you before you definitely faded into me." the voice carried on. "Otherwise, it would have been quite hard to bring you back…"
As soon as the voice had spoken, all Sigrid's feeling of appeasement had gone, now replaced by annoyance.
"Fading into you…?" she barked. "Bringing me back…? What do you mean? Who are you!?"
"Oh, such hostility!" exclaimed the voice, sounding more amused than offended. "I am the Void, but you can call me Dread Father, or Sithis, if you prefer."
Sithis… Dread Father… The names rang a bell, and something had started worrying Sigrid.
"Excuse me, but if you are the Void," she asked carefully, "how can you pretend to be something if you are nothing?"
"Quite a philosophical question, which requires a philosophical answer." replied the voice sententiously. "Do you want to ear it?"
"Er… no. No. Sorry, just forget about it, and, if you do not mind, I have to go now…"
Sigrid tried to stay as polite as she could, but she was finding it quite hard. She was picturing the eternal peace that was lying in front of her, and she really did not feel like talking to anyone anymore, Void or not... After all, she was dead, and wasn't she supposed to rest in peace rather than being forced to have a rap with some kind of supernatural entity?
"Well, I am afraid it won't be possible, Lady Trencavel. Your services are still required."
What pretended to be the Void sounded embarrassed and Sigrid could not help feeling quite worried now.
"My services…? What do you mean?"
"You will find out soon enough…"
Later on, Sigrid would explain to her companions that coming back to life was pretty like being hit with a sock full of sand. It was not exactly painful, but not really enjoyable either – especially when you had lost people you cherished and you had to reintegrate a damaged body.
However, the pain and the memories did not come back immediately, and while her numb nerves and muscles were slowly waking up, she kept her eyes closed and was able to hear a heated conversation which was taking place not far from the bed where she was laying.
"Hang on, hang on…" said a male voice Sigrid's sleepy brain cells recognised as being Teinaava's. "She was dead. I saw her! I mean, you could not be deader than she was…"
"She is not dead anymore, so I can't see the point in arguing." Ocheeva replied flatly to her twin.
"But she was…!"
"Well, maybe you were confused..." interrupted a voice Sigrid could not identify, even if it was familiar to her. "A trick of the light or something…"
"I am an assassin, Master Scribonius!" the Argonian spat. "Being able to make the difference between a living and a dead person is quite a requirement in my branch of activity! Sigrid-was- dead!"
"Yes, she was." added the high pitched voice of Antoinetta Marie. "I saw her too, when Lucien got down from the White Gold Tower…"
"And it is not as if Lucien was reputed from being a clumsy assassin..." M'raaj-Dar the Khajiit pointed out in a soft voice. "So, Ocheeva, would you mind telling us what happened exactly? Don't you think that, after all those deaths – and I am not only mentioning Sigrid's and Vicente's tragic ones here – it is time to give us a clear explanation?"
There was a heavy silence, and despite her foggy mind, Sigrid knew she should have started to worry about something. But her brain cells were reluctantly getting back to work, and forcing them to produce a coherent thought would probably earn her a strike…
"I have no idea." Ocheeva admitted reluctantly. "Lucien refused to give me more details. But he added that he would clarify the situation later…"
The Argonian stopped as Sigrid grunted ad moved a bit on her bed.
"Sigrid? Can you hear us?" she asked.
But Sigrid did not reply. Her nervous system had completely woken up in a few seconds, and memories of what happened in the Imperial City flashed in head at very high speed while an awful pain brusquely tore her entrails.
Then, she opened her mouth and yelled.
Sigrid vividly remembered the period of her life right after her "miraculous resurrection" – as assassins of the Dark Brotherhood would call it later – despite the fact she spent most of the time in bed, being prey to hallucinations because of fever. In her nightmares, she could see Martin, Vicente and the Ankou, while, standing in the background, was a menacing hooded figure who was holding a purple, gleaming sword…
When she was conscious and concentrated enough to think, Sigrid tried to work out why she had been brought back to life. Even if she was not exactly familiar with the phenomenon of resurrection, it was certainly not a simple thing to do, and if the Dread Father himself had decided to intervene… The girl shivered at the very thought. What else the Dark Brotherhood had in store for her?
If only she could talk to someone about it… But Vicente and Martin were dead, and the Voice was gone. She had never felt so lonely before, in spite of the fact that all the residents of the Sanctuary visited her regularly and tried to make her eat some kind of repulsive gruel she consciously refused to eat. Ocheeva kept repeating she needed to eat to get better, but Sigrid really doubted about the nutritive qualities of that…soup, having learnt it had been cooked by Antoinetta Marie…
Of course, today was no exception to the rule – someone had decided to visit her. Sighing heavily, Sigrid heard the footsteps which were getting closer to Vicente's roo… to her room. She groaned and hid under her blankets.
Frankly, she was in no mood to see and talk to anybody today… Since she had been brought from the dead, she had been surprise to see that she was not exactly overcome with sorrow. Of course, she was missing Martin and Vicente awfully, but it was as if her stay in the Void had more or less sooth the pain. No, more than grief, it was shame and hatred she was experiencing. Shame, because she was alive while the ones she loved died and she had not been able to save them. Hatred, because she had been betrayed, and that feeling was reinforced every time she dreamt about the hooded figure with the purple sword…
But today was a bit different, and it seemed that grief was taking over the other feelings. Earlier in the morning, her eyes had fallen on Vicente's collection of coffin-shaped things and she had realised how little she knew about Vicente and Martin's life before she met them. And this was making her very, very sad…
The person who was walking toward her room was now knocking at the door and almost broke it in the process. Sigrid's heart leapt in her chest. There was only one person able to do that…
"Gogron!" she said exclaimed, throwing the blankets away and jumping out of bed as the Orc entered the room, carrying in his hand a bowl full of the Infamous Gruel.
"Hello, miss!" he beamed. "Lunch time!"
Sigrid jumped from her bed to throw her arms across his bull neck, but she was still very weak and did not calculate the distance correctly. There was a splat! and the Orc looked down at the girl who was standing at his feet, flat on the floor.
"You are not reasonable, Sigrid." the Orc grumbled, putting the bowl on the table and picking her. "Jumping out of bed like that…"
"I am not a reasonable person." Sigrid said between her gritted teeth as Gogron was helping her to get back to bed. "And it is only now you visit me! I was starting to wonder if you were dead…"
The Orc laughed, making the walls trembling.
"The one who is going to kill me is not born yet! And now please, don't make a fuss like with the others! This gruel is perfectly safe to eat!"
Sigrid was about to reply that gruel usually did not make spoons melting, but, as she watched Gogron, she realised that there was something wrong… Something was missing. And when she realised what was bugging her, her jaw dropped.
"Gogron… What… What happened to your arm?" she asked, her voice trembling.
She realised her question was stupid, as the answer was quite obvious.
"Oh, that?" said Gogron, sounding abnormally relaxed. "Well, Dagon did not appreciate our interference in his business, so he showed his displeasure by tearing off my arm…"
The Orc smiled sadly. Sigrid had put her hands over her mouth and her eyes were wide in horror and concern.
"I am so sorry, Gogron… It must have been terribly painful!"
"Bah, yeah, a bit." he shrugged, and Sigrid could not help herself but winced at the sight of his stump of an arm. "But the Night Mother cured it partially, so it is OK…"
"Partially…Why?" Sigrid asked, dumbfounded.
"For the same reason she did not cure you completely and left time for your body to heal by itself…" he sighed. "Our great and wise Unholy Matron think that the pain of the mind is worst than the pain of the body, and that by allowing it to recover slowly, it gives more time to the mental wounds to heal. But I am not sure she is right..."
And the Orc burst to tear. Sigrid was so shocked it took her a while to find something to say.
"Gogron? What's wrong? What do you mean?"
And then everything became clear. All the inhabitants of the sanctuary had visited her. All, except for Telaendril, the High Elf… First, Sigrid had put this on the fact of the mutual dislike, but apparently, her absence was justified by more serious reasons…
"Telaendril had to die, you know…" the Orc started as if he has worked out Sigrid's unspoken question. "After Antoinetta had learnt from Mahaut Montfort she had sold you and Vicente to her, she could not be considered as trustworthy Dark Sister. So the Listener killed her… At least, he tried to be merciful and made it quick... By Sithis, I loved her so much! Why did she do this to us?!"
Sigrid did not say anything and hugged Gogron, while the latter passed his only valid arm around her shoulder.
"But there is a positive thing in that story." he said between two sobs. "Now, I can now hug people without risking breaking their ribs."
Weeks passed slowly. It had been three months now that Dagon had been chased from Nirn, and Sigrid was gradually recovering from her wounds. And as soon as she had felt better, she had tried to come back to a normal life – if living with a Dark Brotherhood sanctuary could be qualified as normal.
A general and unofficial consensus had been found on the fact that Vicente's room was now Sigrid's. It had imposed itself as perfectly normal. No one had objected to this, and apparently no one was willing to. So Sigrid was now spending all her days – and nights – in the Sanctuary, as Ocheeva had made clear that getting out now would be suicidal.
Indeed, officially, Trencavel died as a hero helping Martin Septim defeating Dagon. If she had reappeared now, it would have brought too many questions, especially after the accusations of necromancy from which she had been victim…
Of course, Sigrid had protested first, not only because she wanted to get some fresh air, but also because she was afraid from dying of boredness. But above all, it was the feeling that Ocheeva wanted to keep a close eye on her that was making her ill-at-ease. The Argonian knew something she ignored, she would have been ready to bet on it…
This sensation of being closely observed had been reinforced by his companions' determination to constantly be after her, talking to her, doing different activities with her… Sigrid first had thought it was to prevent her from pondering too much on very painful subjects, but the real motivations behind their invading interest in her little person soon became obvious.
After having blown up half of the hall by inadvertence, it became clear that now the Voice had left her soul, Sigrid was showing magical abilities that desperately needed to be controlled. Given that M'raaj'-Dar and Scribonius – who was feeling perfectly at ease in the Sanctuary and had decided to stay – were the only ones in the Sanctuary experienced enough in the magical arts, they had been chosen by Ocheeva to taught Sigrid the basics about her new talents, like not blowing up the buildings in which she was living in or her friends.
As for the second reason, she had a few clues, and her fears when confirmed later…
It was one night she could not sleep. She was walking along the corridors of the Sanctuary toward the training room, hoping that exercising a bit would release the mental and physical tensions she was experiencing. And as she arrived in the hall, she saw him.
Lucien Lachance was standing right the middle of the room, looking as if he had been expecting her. He was as good-looking as ever, but the awesome face that had once seduced Sigrid was now making her sick and she had to take several deep breaths to curb her urge to stab him.
For a second, she thought about walking back to her room, acting as if she had not seen him. But it was too late. He had noticed her, and anyway, she would have felt like running away…
So, she walked toward the dark figure, clenching her fists and gritting her teeth so hard her jaw was aching. As she passed by him, she nodded quickly, trying not to meet his dark eyes and swiftly continue on her way toward the training room.
"Good evening, Trencavel." he said in her back. "Are you going to try to avoid me for the rest of your life, or will you have the courage to face me?"
At the words, fury menaced to overcome her completely. How dared he? How dared he? He had killed her, and now, he was acting as if she was the one who should be ashamed!
"What do you want?" she growled, still showing her back to him.
"Well, I only came here to see how you were doing." Lucien replied in his deep and warm voice, sounding as calm as ever. "Ocheeva told me you were a bit… down lately. And there are a few issues we need to talk about."
"There is nothing I want to talk to you about!" she yelled.
Her voice echoed against the thick walls of the hall, and she was pretty sure she heard Teinaava shouting something like "Can't you two go arguing somewhere else, please?" from the sleeping quarters.
"Really?" Lucien asked, and the flagrant irony of his voice acted like a spur on Sigrid.
Stifling back a torrent of insults, she turned back toward him teeth bared and eyes glittering in pure hatred.
"You knew!" she spat. "You knew I was pregnant! That is why I have been resurrected, is it not?!"
Lucien sighed and shrugged. His face was inscrutable and he was using his typical businesslike tone.
"I did not find out until the night I ki…you died." he explained, eluding to answer her last question. "I did not know what to do, but J'Ghasta suggested I took you and the Umbra to Bravil. Once there, the Night Mother freed you soul as well as Clairvaux' from the sword and let them slip into the Void… I guess you know the rest of the story."
He ducked and a chair crashed on the floor behind him.
"You should not get angry like that. It is bad for the baby." he said flatly, looking at a completely unnerved Sigrid. "The Night Mother was delighted when she found out. An heir to the Imperial throne... That was so unexpected! And the rest of the Sanctuary – myself included – is quite happy for you too…"
"I guess the Night Mother was ecstatic! It gives the Dark Brotherhood quite an asset, hey?" Sigrid burst out. "As for you… What playing with other people's life earned you this time, Lachance?" she added with a malevolent joy. "A new deadly artefact? Or maybe the Night Mother made you Listener? Don't tell me… All this was again the result of your little scheming mind! And talking about intriguers, is J'Ghasta still alive or did you feel necessary to kill him to ensure your position and power?"
A shadow passed on Lucien's face and Sigrid internally smirked as she realised she had managed to irritate him. But it lasted only a few seconds, and Lucien quickly recovered his unreadable expression.
"I am really sorry to disappoint you, Sigrid, but I am not Listener and J'Ghasta is still alive and well - he says hello, by the way. And contrary to what you seem to think, I do not just walk around killing the persons under my responsibility. "
"But killing me was perfectly all right, was it?" she hissed, trembling in rage.
"I did it because I had to. And I would do it again if it was necessary."
There was a pause during which they glared at each other. Sigrid knew he would never apologise… He was, after all, a Dark Brotherhood assassin.
"Where is the Umbra?" Sigrid asked dryly, trying to change of subject.
"Our Unholy Matron kept it. There was a consensus on the fact that the blade should remain hidden for a while…"
"At least you have done something clever, Lachance." she smirked.
Lucien muffled a yawn and picked up Schemer who was scratching his leg, begging for being cuddled.
"Now you have insulted me until no more – and if you have nothing to add – I would like you to come with me." he said, petting the rat. "There is something I have to show you…"
"And what if I don't want to go along with you?" she demanded, raising her head in an arrogant and defiant move.
"Do as you wish… But given it was concerning Vicente Valtieri, I thought you may have been interested…" he said, apparently looking unconcerned.
Sigrid narrowed her eyes and her fists clenched a few times. Then she turned around and walked back toward her room.
"I am going to fetch my cape. I will be back in a minute." she said as she walked away.
And indeed, she came back a minute after and followed Lucien as they silently slept out of the Sanctuary and of the sleeping city of Cheydinhall. They walked a while in the forest, until they reached a building Sigrid immediately identified as Fort Farragut, Lucien's home. They walked round it and then, she saw it. A tomb…
"No." she thought, and she felt a pang of anguish. "Not a tomb. Vicente's tomb…"
It was a sober one and consisted in a tombstone on which was engraved the name "Vicente Valtieri". Sigrid frowned. Someone had planted a bush of belladonna near it…
"Well…" Lucien said after Sigrid shot him an inquisitive look. "Given the fact that we could not burry him near Rivanone back in High Rock – it would raise too many questions –J'Ghasta and I thought it would be nice if he could have his Belladonna indirectly near him."
He then had an embarrassed cough, and despite the surrounding darkness, Sigrid was sure he was blushing.
"How nice of you." said Sigrid, shooting him a smile which had nothing to do with humour. "Now, would you mind leaving me alone for a moment?"
"What? Oh, yes, yes, of course… But before I leave, I have something for you…"
And without saying anything more, he put on the ground a big parcel and left. Sigrid listened to the sound of his footsteps dying in the night, and when she was sure he was far enough, she kneeled on the tomb and gave a big sigh.
With a faraway look in the eyes, she remembered the time she had spent with Vicente. There was a question she really wanted to ask him: why did he care for her? Because she was Rivanone's granddaughter or because he really liked her for what she was? But it was too late now. Vicente was dead.
"And now, this is the moment you collapse on the tomb, crying and saying things like 'Oh, Vicente, I am soooo sorry…!' "
Sigrid froze, blinked and slowly looked around. She was certain she was alone, and surely, Lucien would not dare to do such a bad joke, would he…? But the voice sounded quite familiar, even if a bit muffled, as if as wrapped into something. At the thought, her eyes fall on the Lucien had left for her.
"Are you going to open it, or will you wait for me to get bored to death?" the muffled voice demanded. "It is darn hot in here…"
Taking a deep breath, she grabbed the wrapped object. Contrary to what Sigrid was expecting, it was quite light. She started to take the wrapping off and she got annoyed when she realised her hands were shaking.
Sigrid's jaw dropped as she recognised the sword immediately. The Dwemer blade was gently gleaming in the night, and Sigrid let her fingers ran on it – make sure she did not cut herself with the razor edges. Oh yes, she knew that sword very well, but last time she had seen it, it was not gleaming like that…
"I have always wondered were Vicente found that sword." the voice said again. "It is pretty uniq…"
Sigrid gasped and dropped the sword on the ground, looking at it in awe. Then, carefully, she picked it up again and frowned.
"The Voice? Is that… Is that you?"
"Itself!" the Voice exclaimed happily. "It is nice to see you again – and alive…"
"But… how?" she asked, trying not to inch herself to make sure she was not dreaming. "I mean… I thought the Dread Father absolutely wanted you back, because you were defying his powers by…"
"Long story…" the Voice interrupted. "Well, in short, let just say that Sithis was not as pissed off as he used to be, and that I have managed to convince him I could be useful in many ways rather than fading into the Void for ever."
There was a pause, and Sigrid's feature hardened.
"You could be useful in many ways, hey?"
Something in Sigrid's voice made the Voice think it may have made a stupid mistake.
Sigrid growled and threw the sword into the grass. The Voice yelped.
"In other words, you could keep an eye on me for him!" she exclaimed angrily.
"No you are wrong! Spying for Sithis? But he is omniscient! He only wants me to make sure you and the baby will be safe!" the voice protested savagely. "I swear! If you accept me as your sword, I will belong to you, and you alone!"
Sigrid crossed her arms on her chest and closed her eyes. She was feeling exhausted. What was she expecting anyway? That the Dark Brotherhood would leave her alone now that she was pregnant with Martin's child? As for the Voice was the only thing that linked her to her former life, and she really needed true support for the moment, even if this support consisted in a talking sword…
"You know, it is traditional for magical swords – especially talking ones – to have a name…" the voice started, almost whispering now. "So, er… I wanted to know if you already had any idea on how you are going to call me?" it added, sounding hopeful.
Sigrid gave an annoyed sigh. If the sword had had eyes, it would have made puppy ones.
"I think… I think I am going to call you… Clairvoix."
There was a thoughtful pause as the sword registered the information.
"'Clairvoix'…" the sword repeated, sounding satisfied. "A pun on words on the name of 'Clairvaux', my previous identity, and 'claire voix', which in Breton means 'clear voice'…"
"Yep." Sigrid replied flatly. "Do you like it?"
"Er, yes, but… Does that mean you are going to keep me?"
Sigrid smiled and got up, attaching the sword to her belt.
"Sounds like it, hey, Clairvoix?"
She then looked at the sky, where Masser and Secunda were shining. She had no clue what the future would be made of, but at least she was not alone anymore.
It is always hard to tell when a story exactly begins. In our case, did it started when Sigrid entered the Brotherhood? Or rather when Aimard Clairvaux decided to betray the Dread Father and the Dark Brotherhood? Or simply when Nirn was shaped by what would become later the Gods and the Daedras?
Well, the same problem goes about the end of a story. Where does it end exactly? Given the facts that the last two chapters of this tale has been rather sad and that this story was supposed to be a funny one, narrative causality demanded that it ended on a positive note. So now, let's draw our omniscient readers' attention to another place…
The camera slowly takes some distance with Sigrid, travelled into the night sky at high speed, then gets closer and closer to the Imperial City, flying over the roofs and continuing until it reached a particular window of the Palace's aisle dedicated to important guests…
And in the personal apartments that had been devoted to him, Captain Burd was taking a bath. Or rather, had been forced to take a bath. A hot bath. With scented oils.
By the Nine, only sissies were taking hot bathes with scented oils! The captain was dead against any kind of luxury and comfort. According to him, they were softening the body and weakening the mind. And a good soldier needed both to be as sharp as possible, for Akatosh's sake!
Burd grumbled as he pushed the little yellow wooden duck that a servant had felt necessary to give him. The thing was floating on the water with a stupid smile on its face. That wooden bird was annoying him greatly, but the captain could not say why… Frowning, he took the duck, examined it from all angles, and, yielding to a sudden impulse, tried to squish it. But of course, nothing happened.
Burd glared a while at the wooden duck which squinted back. For some weird and inexplicable reason, he had expected the bird to go "squeak!". Feeling a bit disappointed, he put it back into the hot water with a sigh.
Darn, this was going to be a long week… After the battle of the Imperial City, Ocato had decided to convoke the Council again in order to decide of the new political organisations of the Empire. The streets of the City were full of rumours about the setting up of a federal republic of Tamriel, but nothing official had been announced from the Palace. Ah, everything would have been so much easier if Septim was still alive…
Burd knew the debates were going to be stormy. In addition to the question of the future of the Empire, the Council also had to debate about burning issues, like determining if it was necessary to turn Martin Septim into a God and Trencavel into a Saint, as the people of the Empire wished …
Burn scratched his chin and wondered what happened to Trencavel's body. He had seen that Lachance dude disappearing with it, and despite Ocato's , no one had ever been able to find the assassin – which did not surprise Burd much. Of course, it had not taken long for the people to whisper that Sigrid Trencavel was still alive and would come back if the Empire was threatened again, and Burd wondered if what part the Dark Brotherhood was playing into that…
The Captain gave an annoyed hiss when a knock on the door interrupted his thinking.
"I said I did not want to be disturbed!" he barked. "Get out of here if you don't want me to kick you out!"
But despite his warning, he heard the door opening. Swearing out loud, he was about to get out of the bath to beat the shit out of the intruder but he stopped as he found himself facing Countess Nirana Carvain.
The Captain shrieked in a rather unmanly way and splashed back into his tube.
"Am I disturbing you, Captain Burd?" Carvain asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Nonono, it is… perfectly fine!" Burd said quickly, trying to sound casual but his heat was beating widely. "So, er… How was the, er… meeting, your Highness?"
Apparently not noticing his uneasiness, Nirana Carvain sighed and sat on a bench by the tube, and Burd blessed the scented oils which had made the water opaque.
"The meeting? It was awful… After five minutes, it already turned into a fight, and I preferred leaving the room before Ontus Vanin decided to turn Chancellor Ocato into a mudcrab."
"A wise decision, you Highness…"
"Indeed…" replied the Countess, making a pout. "Oh, by the Nine, it is hot in here!"
"Er, feel free to open the window, your Highness…"
The Countess gave Burd a bright smile. The latter's highly developed sense of danger was yelling at him to run away. But he stayed in his tube, paralysed by the Countess' gaze.
"It is open already, Captain." she said softly. "And I don't think this is what I need at the moment…"
She then stood up from the bench, and, in a dramatic move, her robes dropped on the floor in a silky swish.
"Gnnnarglblub!" Burd gargled, half drowning in the tube.
"No, my dear Captain. What I really need now is… a bath."
And without waiting for an answer – which would have never come anyway as Burd looked like he had been turned to stone – the Countess slowly entered the hot water.
"Hmmm, do you mind if we take the little duke out?" she asked, drawing closer to the captain and passing her arms around his neck.
A few seconds later, a guard who was standing on the parapet outside saw a small wooden duck flew out of the window, while, in the room, Burd reconciled with hot baths.
Yeah, well, I know… Some people will complain that I have resurrected Sigrid, but I had planned this long ago, so...;) And she will be needed in the sequel…:D
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I really would like to thank all the readers and reviewers for their supports and suggestions, especially those who have been following the story since the beginning, like Doro 666 and Pizza The Hut. I wish I could have written faster than "a-chapter-every-month", but writing in a language which is not mine was quite a challenge…:D
A particular thank to ThatCrazyHaloGirl, who reviewed EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER I wrote (XD), Peanuckle for her suggestions, the Vampire Apple, Trooper987 (the founder of the C2 "Those who creep in the Dark") and Extoice for their great support.
And many thanks as well to my friends on Deviant Art.
Please forgive me if I have forgotten someone, it is almost 1am here…;)
As mentioned before, I am (probably) going to write a sequel (two actually), even if I won't to do it before a few weeks. And now, it is time for me to go on holidays to wonderful Ireland! XD
Take care everyone! big hug