Vol 2 – Chapter 41: A message from the past
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Sir Évreux and his men finally made their way to the castle. Once inside the outside wall, they discovered that there was no entrance into the castle. There were blast marks along one of the walls where the Bromanian army had tried to force their way inside, but it clearly didn't work. Sir Évreux noticed an ornate hand sized seemingly decorative emblem on the wall. He walked over and poured mana into it. An image of a much older Olivier appeared with his normal goofy smile. The image looked Sir Évreux up and down and then said, "Charles, you look so young. That's good. This message found you while you were still young and able-bodied. I'll give you the bad news first. We aren't coming back. As of right now, I am the last of us. All the others have passed on either from war, accident, old age or simply not wanting to live any longer. The castle here is packed full of three hundred years of our inventions, our life's work. Algernon, Guy, and Madeline created most of what you'll find inside, Doreen and Ella helped out here and there. Claude, Wolter, Alicia, Renée and myself handled most of the world exploring. Wolter and Alicia founded Wütendes Menschenreich as the very first Emperor and Empress. While Claude and Renée founded our own Pays Des Abrutis. Ah, but you don't need to know any of that, you just need to know how to open the door and walk in, don't you? The door is right here, it's just hidden by an illusion to keep the riff-raff out." 

Sir Évreux looked at the wall and then said, "Dispell." Instead of near the center, the door to the castle was close to the right side in a spot no one would think to place a door to a castle. It was also a lot smaller than such a grand castle would be expected to have. They walked over and opened the door, inside the door, they found that the castle was majestic. Just as the illusion of Olivier had said, inside they found a treasure trove of books, inventions, and artworks. The last of Sir Évreux's party entered which caused the door to close. On the outside, the illusion reactivated itself hiding the doorway behind them. 

One of the knights asked, "Sir Évreux, should we report this to the King?" 

Sir Évreux turned and said, "Yes, send word to the Palace, we have discovered the fate of the Council of Magic, they traveled to the past and lived long lives. We're going to return with the floating city of Laputa and their legacy." Sir Évreux opened a gate to the Palace and sent one of the men through with the message. Then he looked around and said, "Now, let's find the controls to pilot the island."

*****

Madeline held her baby in her arms and smiled, "She has your eyes, Guy." 

Guy snorted and said, "She has the Montfort eyes alright, I wonder who's side she'll take after when it comes to other things." 

Madeline looked at Guy and smiled, "She'll have her father's sense of duty and her mother's intellect." She nodded. 

Guy frowned, "Hey, what's wrong with my intellect?" 

Madeline just giggled at him as she held her baby close. She thought for a moment and then asked, "What shall we name her?" 

Guy thought for a while and then shrugged, "No idea, I am terrible with names. I guess we could name her something like..."

Olivier walked in and said, "Olivia d'Montfort." 

Madeline smiled and looked at her daughter before softly murmuring, "Olivia Celeste d'Montfort, that will be her name."

Guy looked at Olivier and asked, "You going to name your daughter Guy now?" 

Olivier laughed and then said, "I'll name my son Howie, what do you say?" 

Guy frowned and then said, "You know it's Aoi, and that name doesn't belong in this world, my friend. Here, I am just Guy. So, name your son Guy if you want to honor your best friend."

Olivier laughed and said, "Wouldn't I be naming my son Claude if that were the case?" 

Guy made a face as if he had been stabbed through the heart causing Madeline to laugh softly. Baby Olivia started to cry and then Guy grumbled, "See, Olivier, your humor made the baby cry."

Olivier shook his head and said, "Ella finally wants to have a child of her own, getting to hold little Olivia set off her own desire to have one." 

Guy smiled and clapped his friend on the back, "It's about time, the rest of us already have children. You two were the last of us to give in."

Olivier shook his head while smirking, "You are only saying that now because Madeline's baby was a surprise. Speaking of which, did you hear the news? Wolter managed to convince all those tribal leaders to unite under his Wütendes Menschenreich banner. He founded the empire just as he said he would." 

Guy nodded and said, "It' about time, it only took him what, five years?" Guy smiled and the reached out and stroked baby Olivia's head before he asked, "My sister said Claude is having trouble with those lords still, it might take him another five years before he gets them all into a single room, let alone uniting to form a country."

Olivier nodded and said, "They all refuse to back down, we'll most likely need to kill a few and take their lands by force before the others see the wisdom in coming together."

Guy looked around and then said softly, "Don't let Doreen and Algernon hear you, they abhor violence you know." 

Olivier snorted and said, "Doreen, abhorring violence. That's a good one. Does Doreen abhor sex now too?" 

Algernon walked in and said in a calm even tone, "No, she's still as promiscuous as your mother, Olivier." 

Olivier started to retort and then shrugged and laughed, "Sorry, Algernon, it's just Doreen has always been a violent one." 

Algernon nodded and said, "I understand, no offense taken. Speaking of that, Olivier could we get you and Ella to watch the children next weekend, I'd like to test out my new invention." 

Olivier nodded and said, "Of course, Ella loves the kids, we'll plan on being there then."

*****

Sergeant Batey and his men skirted around the edge of the island, a few times they came close to bumping into knights and soldiers from the North, but they were luckily able to stay hidden. Eventually, they made it back to the small house they had set up the radio in. One of the men spoke in a soft almost whisper, "Sarge, I can't get through to Alpha One on the radio. I'm just getting static." 

Sergeant Batey frowned and then made a few hand signals to his lookouts who shook their heads no. He spoke up then and asked, "Any sign of Jonesy or Tank?" 

One of the men at the top of the stairs softly spoke, "Still no sign Sarge, it's as quiet as the grave out there."

Sergeant Batey wiped the sweat from his brow when one of the men upstairs suddenly spoke up, "Jonesy and Tank are back, they only have a few chutes. I think something happened." 

The two men barged in and quickly closed the door behind themselves and then rushed over to Sergeant Batey. The huge man named Tank said softly, "Sarge, they were all over the chute drop, I found our drop chutes, but only these four were useable." 

Sergeant Batey nodded and said, "It's ok, you did the best you could." 

One of the soldiers in the room asked, "Sarge, there's twelve of us and only four chutes, how are we supposed to survive?" 

Sergeant Batey said, "Ok you mutts, crowd in we're gonna talk this out." He looked around from face to face, "I'm not gonna sugar coat this, there's no boat and we only have four chutes. Even the guys that jump may just drown before anyone comes. I want to try and tough it out, these Northern bastards might pull out of here and go home, I think we should wait them out. We'll keep trying the radio, if we get Alpha One on the horn, we'll get a ship here and four of you can go home. The rest of us, we're in for the long haul."

The men all looked from one to the other and then one of the men who hadn't spoken up said, "Sarge, none of us wants to leave their brothers behind. We're all sticking it out together." 

Sergeant Batey wiped the sweat off his brow and then pulled out a cigar and put it in his mouth, "This is my last Cigar men, from here on out, things are going to get worse. So, smoke 'em if you got 'em."

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