Luigi eagerly offered himself as my second which I quickly accepted. This small thing seemed to make him quite happy. Maybe I was wrong about his intentions?
Dinner was uneventful which was probably the best to be hoped for. I spent the evening basking in the glow of Grandmama’s good will. I was so happy to be home and pleased to show my companions the grandiosity of the Montaigne as hosts. Throughout the evening I was aware the Wolfie seemed incredibly uncomfortable with our impending contest and I spent the meal preoccupied with discovering a solution. Do not mistake me, I was actually looking forward to our exchange and would face it happy if it were not causing Wolfie so much unhappiness.
It was only when I was preparing to retire for the evening that I hatched a brilliant plan. I immediately went to Wolfie’s rooms to put the idea before him. I suggested that Wolfie would be happier were he not fighting me and he admitted this to be true. So I put forth the possibility that were I unwell on the morrow, he would face my second, Luigi in my steed and as such would be able to fight him fairly in all good conscience. I think I caught him by surprise, he actually looked shocked for a few moments before agreeing.
I hurried back to my apartment nearly gleeful. This was perfect! Wolfie could relax as he wouldn’t have to fight me (and lose publicly), instead he would fight Luigi. And Luigi would have the chance to have the spotlight in front of my family and if he truly were interested in my hand he would be thrilled. Perfect!
Grandmama would see through any lie I put forth so I knew any frailness on my part would have to be truth. I might have been a bit overzealous in the dosage of the emetic I took and it was not long before I was cramping and retching. I called for my maid and as one would expect both Mama and Grandmama came to my side. I told my Grandmama while I was not able to fight in the duel that I had a worthy second and she should not postpone as she was inclined to do. Justice should not be delayed.
In the morning there was a commotion that eventually drew my attention, and I donned a robe and stumbled to the nearest balcony where I could see what was going on. It seemed Gaston had returned and with his usually style was trying to quell the peasants with threats and bluster. Wolfie had set out to intervene and Grandmama found me where I leaned against the balustrade. Into my hands she thrust a small potion which she told me to swallow. I did so and quickly felt improved but not quite my old self. Then she told me to prepare myself for the duel. I petitioned against this, explaining that Wolfie would truly have the advantage against me and she said it would rest in Theus’ hands. Again I tried to explain how Wolfie would have an advantage but she would not hear me.
I returned back to my chambers to dress and prepare. It pained me to take the next steps but while I dressed I was sure to include some mistakes and bad choices. Then I swallowed a few more herbs for good measure and stumbled down to stand for justice.
The mob was roiling, Wolfie was expounding and Gaston and Luigi were facing off against each other. I didn’t know what else was going on but Grandmama was determined we proceed. Luigi tried to stand for me but I stood him down and stepped forth to my place upon the field. Another commotion among the peasantry, then before I even understood what was happening I was attacked by men I did not know who were robed in purple.
Gathering my wits quickly, I surveyed the scene, and threw my knife into the side of the villain threatening Wolfie then swept my blades through those before. Two fell to my feet. I glanced off a few blows but my luck did not hold and the earlier nicks I had barely noticed were nothing to the next attack I received. I noticed that Alexis had taken a blow while protecting Grandmama up on the balcony and so I cleared a path to a nearby cart by dropping two more robed figures on my way, and with an assist from Wolfie launched myself to clear the railings. I landed with enough momentum to take a shot at the threat and was sure to twist the blade a little as it sunk home.
Alexis had another exchange with our masked foe and I attempted another blow but missed as he bent backwards to evade my blades. Angered by my miss I redoubled my efforts and landed two solid attacks. It seemed but a moment and he dropped his blade. I stepped on it and called for guards. Not a moment too soon, as I was going to have to vomit again soon and it wasn’t eager to do it in public. A musketeer removed his mask and Wolfie stepped to my side to question him.