Tomorrow Margaux would join L’Empereur’s honour guard. Years of training had brought her to this point. A dedication greater than that of any monk. A life devoted to the defence of a nation and the family at its heart.
Everything she had sacrificed was all for this. So why now for the first time in her life was she unsure?
Deep down she knew but instead focused on how she got here. How she snuck her way into a recruitment camp two years before she was allowed. How she taunted the sergeant into training a poor girl from Echine despite having no-one to recommend her.
How the boys overlooked the small girl and how they were humiliated in every sparring session.
That was before she was ever given the tabard of a musketeer. The simple days when swordplay was but a game.
After the tabard the game became real. No matter the danger that threatened her home she would always be the first to leap at it no matter the cost. With passion she fought for Montaigne and with pride she bled for the crown.
The Officers stopped seeing the little brawler from slums who they had trained to hold a sword. They began to see a confident defender of the throne. Reckless but devoted, brash but graceful, uncultured yet charming. They trained her to be a true champion of L’Empereur and his people.
She seduced spies, making them betray their own cause. She caused inquisitors to doubt their conviction long enough to quell their flames. She boarded pirates forcing them to abandon ship. She charged towards cannon fire to inspire a final defence that prevented invasion.
She fought with a grace and elegance that inspired courage among those on her side. She fought with a determination and fury that caused enemies to run.
She did all that was asked of her and more. To defend her homeland and its people were her passion. To know the royal family was safe gave her peace.
So utterly committed to her people and those that governed them that she was blind to what would happen.
To defend some noble whose name she had never even heard before Margaux was forced to fight her fellow countrymen. Not criminals, not murderers or terrorists. Normal people whose only crime was that they were vocal about the fact they were starving.
A simple protest that should have been resolved with kindness was instead met with malice from the young and brash count. The fool Threw an apple core at one of the poor children and openly laughed at them when they started to eat it.
Margaux wanted to kill him herself but instead saved his bloated arse from the mob.
She fought them. She killed them.
She killed Montaigne’s who had refused to be humiliated and starved.
Now she was being rewarded for it. Given everything she had ever wanted.
Could she bear the weight on her soul in the name on L’Empereur?