|Curse of Time|
|Book: Curse of time, Chapter 2|
Chapter 2: Road to Gallia and Revolution
It was still the same night in Gallia. After hearing of an uprising within her own kingdom, Queen Tabitha/Charlotte pulled herself out of bed and went down to the meeting room where her mother and Generals were waiting. Illococoo was also present.
"What's going on?" Tabitha demanded when she arrived in the room
"Your Majesty." said one of the generals as Tabitha took a look at the map they were viewing "The uprisings occurred in these three towns in the southwest portion of the kingdom." he pointed to the three towns he was referring to "Though they were in in separate towns, the fact that they happened at the same time can only mean that they are connected."
"Revolts in three towns." said Tabitha's mother "We could be looking at full scale rebellion. Possibly civil war."
"I sense Omeggadons hand in this." said Tabitha
"Isn't he dead?" Illococoo asked
"Not according to my latest message from Queen Henrietta." said Tabitha
"What should we do Your Highness?" a second general asked
"We need to act fast." said Tabitha "I'm not going to send troops to put these revolts down. By the time they get there, the rebels will be well organized and our forces could be crushed. Not to mention they will have control over a large portion of our territory."
"Then what are you going to do?"
"They will be gathering followers fast. We won't be able to defeat them without aide. We start... by gathering the old crowd."
"You mean...?" Tabitha's mother asked
"Yes mother. Illococoo, go to Albion as Sylphid. Tell Tiffania to get here as fast as she can." she then turned to her generals "The rest of you send summoning messages to Romalia and Tristain. Tell Henrietta to bring the old crowd, and their children."
Illococoo and the Generals carried out their orders. By the time the messages reached their targets three days later, Tabitha's prediction had come true. The rebels had gained a foothold and were in control of almost the entirety of the southwestern peninsula. They had also named themselves the Kingdom of Hispania.
Within a day of the messages arrival in Tristain, Henrietta had gathered Louise, Saito, Guiche Sr., Montmorency, Kirche, Jan Colbert, Siesta, Suzuka, Guiche Jr., Drako, Hermione, Agnès, Dina, and Erlea and headed to Gallia.
"I can't believe Tabitha has lost control of her own kingdom." said Saito, who was riding in the royal carriage with Louise, Siesta and Henrietta, on their third day of their journey to Gallia. They had just passed into the country the day before. Dina was driving, and everyone else was in the wagon behind them. Suzuka was riding on Ro with Hermione, and Agnès was on her own horse. Drako and Guiche had also brought their familiars, Koba and Lanayru, and so did their parents.
"This wasn't her fault." said Henrietta "She doesn't know what caused it."
"The period since her reign began has been known as the Gallian Revolution, hasn't it?" Siesta asked
"Yes." said Louise "She has reformed Gallia in so many ways since she became queen. It's difficult to imagine what could've caused this uprising."
"Maybe someone who was loyal to her uncle didn't like what she was doing." Saito suggested
"If that be the case, this could be a revenge plot." said Henrietta. just then, Suzuka tapped on the window to get their attention. Siesta opened the window so Suzuka could talk to them.
"Aunt Henrietta, I've been needing to ask, where exactly are we heading?" Suzuka asked
"We're meeting Queen Tiffania at Al Hambra." Henrietta replied "Then we're heading to Beautis, and the Gallian Royal Palace.
"Right then." said Suzuka. she then had Ro double back so she could talk to Agnès
"It's been six years since you last saw Queen Charlotte, or Queen Tiffania." said Agnès
"I wish I could see them again under better circumstances." said Suzuka
"At least the rebels are nowhere near the capital." said Hermione "Or Al Hambra. I wish we didn't have to go to Gallia at all."
"Why does the town 'Al Hambra' sound so familiar?" Suzuka asked
"Because your old self heard mention of that place when she was still around." said Agnès
"Of course." Suzuka replied "By the way, I noticed you didn't bring Yuki with you."
"I know. But who's looking after her?"
"I have your aunt Cattleya looking after her." said Agnès
"Good choice." said Suzuka. She then doubled back again to the wagon where Drako, Guiche Jr., and Erlea were
"So, where are we headed?" Guiche, who had Lanayru around his shoulders, asked
"Al Hambra first. Then we're going to the palace." Suzuka replied
"I can't wait to see Tabitha again." said Kirche "Though we mainly communicate through letters now, she's still my best friend. She's practically your aunt, Drako."
"Yes, yes. So I've heard a thousand times." said Drako in a bored voice
"Don't talk to your mother like that." said Jan, who was driving
"Anyway, how you holding up Erlea?" Suzuka asked. Erlea didn't answer "Erlea?"
"W-what?" Erlea asked, jerking out of her daze
"Oh never mind." Suzuka said, going up to Agnès's side again
"Erlea's been acting strange lately." said Hermione "I'm getting worried."
"So am I." said Suzuka, and she had a reason to be. The day before they left for Gallia, Suzuka went to check on Erlea, but noticed her door slightly open and peered in. She saw Erlea viewing herself in the mirror with her shirt raised, and Suzuka saw the viper tattoo on her belly, and she knew for a fact that it was never there before. She didn't question Erlea about it, but it's sudden appearance made Suzuka worry greatly.
The coming evening;
"We're stopping here for the night." Agnès told them as night began to set in, and the coach and wagon came to a halt
"Finally. I can get out and stretch my legs." said Louise as she, Siesta, Saito and Henrietta got out of the carriage
"Suzuka and Hermione are going to need more than stretching." said Siesta
"Suzuka and Hermione fell asleep while riding." said Siesta pointing out Suzuka and Hermione on Ro. They really were asleep. Siesta and Louise stopped Ro and then shook Suzuka and Hermione awake. "Awake at last you two?"
"I can't believe we fell asleep." said Suzuka rubbing her eyes
"You probably needed it." said Louise "You two need a bath too."
"But there's none around here." said Hermione
"No, but there's a river over there." said Siesta pointing to a deep river a short ways away "We can bathe in there later."
"We?" said Suzuka
Just as Siesta said, the four of them, Suzuka, Louise, Hermione, and Siesta, went to bathe in the river while everyone else was asleep.
"I know this isn't a real bath," said Siesta as they all undressed "but it will at least get the sweat and dirt off of us."
"What I don't get," said Suzuka as they all got in the water. She and Hermione shivered easily in the cold "Is w-w-w-why we d-d-d-didn't take the O-O-O-Ostland."
"Henrietta said she didn't want to make it easy for the rebels to spot us if they are in the area." said Louise, who, along with Siesta, was quite undisturbed by the cold water. "Though she might just be being paranoid. Cold?"
"V-very." said Suzuka
"H-h-how can you st-st-stand this?" Hermione asked through shivers
"You'll get used to it." said Siesta, as she ran water on her arms "Come on, it's not that bad."
"It really isn't." said a voice behind them that made them all jump. It was Henrietta.
"I thought you were one of the boys." said Louise
"Well I'm not. Can I join you?"
"Feel free." said Louise, and Henrietta undressed and got in too
"This reminds me of the night I met prince Wales." said Henrietta
"Who?" Suzuka asked
"The long deceased Prince of Albion. Tiffania's predecessor actually. Ancient history."
"I see." said Suzuka
"Though a history lesson never hurts." said a deep voice behind them. This time it was a man. several bandits, at least six, had surrounded them. "Look what we have here boys. Five maidens wallowing in the river."
"Go away you slime balls." said Siesta, who was holding onto Hermione since she clung to her in fright
"Our companions and guards are right over there." said Henrietta "If you try anything, we'll scream and-."
"I recognize you." said another of the bandits, who had a lighter voice "You're Tristains Queen Henrietta."
"So what if I am?"
"You, and your companions here, could fetch us a hefty price." said the one who appeared to be the leader
"I brought a lot of money with me." said Henrietta "If you want a ransom, I can pay it myself."
"That's not how we operate." said the leader "If Tirstain will pay to get you and these four back, chances are the rebels, will offer even more. Take them boys, and bring their clothes too."
Without their wands to help them, all five of them were taken away to be held ransom.