Palace Versailles, 12 miles south of Paris
The night was young and the party was still going strong. Men and women, all nobility of varying wealth and relation to monarchies including that of the French monarchy. The party had filled up the palace to where it spilled out into the lavish gardens frequented by Queen Antoinette and her children.
The Queen herself wasn't there now, but her husband Louis was as he entertained guests and friends, all while his ministers had all but left him to his own devices.
The front gate of the palace, manned by only four armed guards dressed in royal blue uniforms, had been forced to not eat or drink for the last few hours. Yet they didn't complain for fear of disrespecting the royal family. Thus they weren't on high alert and were tired.
A carriage bearing the emblem of the Hapsburg family on the side approached them, their shoulders straightened and they got into position to welcome the rather late arrival. the first guard opened the door and before he could address the noble out stepped an older man dressed in blue, a uniform that was unusual. It spoke of formality but had scratches and such that showed experience. The man who wore it had a sword strapped to his left hip. A prominent white moustache was above his upper lip, he had wrinkles on his face showing his age to be over fifty. Yet as Captain of the Queensguard Richter Castile was the one who was the right hand of the Duchess he swore to protect.
The soldier raised his free hand, "Ah, welcome to de Palace Versailles."
Richter was followed out by two more similarly clothed men, one wearing bright green and the other a crimson red. Both had wide brimmed hats that had not been used in any guard since the days of Louis XIII. Then, the best was for last, as a woman in an intricate and flamboyant pink and white pastel dress and braided blonde hair, looking no older than thirty stepped out of the carriage.
Richter spoke with a boisterous voice, "Duchess Sophia of the Hapsburg Royal Family."
The soldiers nodded as Sophia offered her own invitation. the seal of her family was enough for her to enter, being related by blood to the Queen of France.
"Ah, milady, please come in. Her Majesty has been expecting you," said the soldier before showing her the way.
Sophia turned to her two other guards. "Juste and Cerise, please remain outside. Richter I wish you to come with me."
All three of them nodded, having been given their orders and thus had nothing more to say. Or should even have to say on the matter.
Yet while the Duchess had spoken her mind without anything afterward, the same could not be said of the elderly Richter. He turned to his subordinates. "Now, please keep your heads high and ears open. Talk of revolt has been rampant recently and we should be on alert. so, please do not fail us."
The young man in red nodded sarcastically. "This means we're on guard duty? Please monsieur, can you give us a more interesting torture?"
"Juste, all you'll do is talk to the ladies or stuff your face of the food instead of taking care of the Duchess," said the third 'man' named Cerise. This man wasn't actually one. Were one to take a closer look they would see a youthful face with ruby red lips and distinctive hazel colored eyes. That's because Cerise was indeed a woman doing a man's job, which was unheard of in the high ranks of the aristocracy. She was also the most level headed one of the trio in the Queensguard.
Juste on the other hand, was the bluntest. "Oh I suppose I am quite the open book to you, Cerise." Said the youngest Queensguard.
Richter knew the two were on the verge of arguing and was not going to be involved. Small wonder he had to convince Sophia to let them stand outside instead of potentially cause a scene in the King's palace. That was the last thing he wanted, on top of embarrassing his charge.
Thus he went unnoticed with Sophia when they started shouting at each other, and their case was only made apparent when the gates were almost closed and they had to squeeze their way in before they were left outside.
Yet they continued to bicker as they made their way to the palace steps.
True to his order they stood outside the palace doors, acting as back up to Richter as he never left the Duchess' side while she conversed in various forms of conversations. As there were parties almost every night at the palace some nobles didn't have much to talk about save for their menial everyday activities. Yet poor Richter was forced to listen to all that which while he understood had to force it all to fly over his head to maintain his focus. Being in the guard for over half his life time he knew the procedure on how to properly be a soldier protecting the Duchess. Had either Cerise or Juste been in the same place they would not be doing as well.
Thus they were outside the doors minding themselves while keeping an eye out for anyone that could be seen as dangerous.
While they could pass the time by talking to the nobles the separation of class made it apparent they had no interest in the Queensguard.
"Look at them, gouging on food while people in Paris wonder in much and starve. Makes me sick." Juste, being born of the lowest class, had nothing but disdain for the aristocracy and he wasn't hiding it.
Cerise on the other hand tended to be better than pure venom in her words. "As someone who has worked for these people for years I think you've gone a bit harsh on them."
"You empathize with the nobles?"
Cerise shook her head, "The starving peasants and lower class can certainly be helped, but changing their minds is next to impossible."
"I've always believed a good knock on the head does wonders," said Juste half-jokingly. He had no qualms about attacking nobles when they deserved it. He had a real short fuse when it came to them. Other than the ladies that is.
But as Cerise was his colleague and not an easy heart to sway with words or drink Cerise was immune to his charm. Yet she was not immune to his often terrible attitude. "Nay, I prefer persuasion to action at times."
"Not me. My sword tends to be my way to handle transgression," said Juste, putting his hand on the handle of his rapier, nicknamed Crimson Thunder. The young man pointed to the sword on Cerise's right hip. Unlike most people skilled with a sword she was left handed. "And you should be more inclined to use yours too."
Defensively Cerise put her hand on the hilt of her own rapier, known to her as Azure Gale, and ran her thumb over the green gem on the end of the handle. She didn't like to use it unless it was necessary.
Yet with revolution brewing in the country of France there was no doubt her hope to never use it to kill would be in vain.
As if he knew what she was thinking Juste spoke. "This country is like a powder keg, and no one is doing anything to sever the fuse while its burning..."
"Well, until it does we have little to worry about for the duchess, no?"
Juste chuckled and walked a few steps away. He was an optimist and Cerise shared this view with him but when the symptoms of the disease known as revolution was this apparent and obvious even he had the idea that it was going to be bad.
Yet he knew for a fact that they also shared another viewpoint. Cerise proudly spoke her mind, "We will protect her, and France, from anyone who would want to destroy them."
"With the power of sword and sorcery, cher ami," Juste said with an arrogant smile. "And I will be the first line of defense."
Cerise rolled her eyes, "You're a fool."
"My disposition must be sunny, the ladies like it."
"Like I said: you're a fool."
Little did they know, that at the infamous fortress known as the Bastille, where the storage of gunpowder and shot was stored the people who sought to bring about the ruin of the monarchy or the country.
these men, dressed in white who happened to be the color of the French royal family, had already killed the guards inside the prison and were in the process of passing out powder to be taken to carts and into Paris proper. By the end of the following day there would be chaos in the streets.
There would be blood. Revolution resulted in nothing less.
Since 7/14 is Bastille Day in France, thought I would write this as a means to write about it. Vive la France^^