Paris

1791

Notre Dame was on the verge of being set ablaze by Revolutionaries, and from there the response was quite clear.

Royalist guards loyal to the King and Queen of France went and surrounded the famed cathedral, preventing any and all those who wished to do it harm from getting close. They were vastly under prepared for the number of civilians that surrounded them. There were two large crowds, one for sacking the cathedral to spite the aristocracy , the other being there to stop the others from destroying a symbol of Paris and France as a whole.

The blue coated royals were not only out manned by outgunned, being armed only with muskets and their officer sabres. If things got out of hand, which was the way it was looking tonight, they would no doubt be slaughtered.

Yet help arrived within hours of their deployment.

The Duchess of Austria sent in her personal guard, the Queensguard, to help the situation. A trio of flamboyantly dressed soldiers in the spirit of the old musketeers of past times. That meant the wide brimmed hats and extravagant yet useful outfits. There were three soldiers in the 'guard, all dressed in different colors. All three were at the front of the cathedral, their mere presence being one reason the rioting in and around Notre Dame hadn't gotten any worse.

At least that is what Juste thought. The youngest of the trio, dressed in dominantly red and brown he had two rapiers attached to his hips ready to be drawn should trouble be started.

His superior Richter was inside speaking to the Archdeacon and the other priests, trying to convince them to leave the place before harm could come to them. The fact he had been in there for nearly an hour proved that wasn't as easy as it sounded.

There the final two guards remained at the front of the cathedral. Along with Juste was a woman dressed in a green uniform similar to him but her hat was more flamboyant and her outfit more form fitting. Being a woman in a role usual fit for men, the woman named Cerise let her skills prove her worth to her naysayers.

Juste crossed his arms over his chest and casually asked his comrade, "So, how long do you think this will go on?"

"Until they get what they desire, and maybe more," replied the woman. Cerise had always kept her opinions on the peasants and their issues to herself though more often than not she seemed to pity them. It was a sentiment that Juste shared with her, him being born of an impoverished family in the French countryside, he knew what these people were going through.

"Sometimes that is not enough," said Juste removing his hat to look up at the clear blue sky, distorted by the black smoke of the nearby fires of the protesting and riots. "Sometimes a hero is needed. Someone they can look up to."

"You think the Duchess could deliver?"

Juste chuckled. The woman he swore to protect was naive but she had drive. Usually that was all one needed to deliver on the good they hoped to give. "I'll give the Duchess the support she wants. Of course, when her sister is one of the rulers of this country and she's done a rather terrible job to say the least it makes the job even harder than it should be."

"I suppose so-"

Cerise's words were cut off by a bright flash of light on the rooftop across the clearing. Even the peasants that were rioting noticed it and went quiet. Then they all turned to see a tall humanoid about three meters tall and looking like it was wearing crude armor made of ash white bone. It was frightening to those who saw it, except for the two guardsmen that is.

Having seen magical beings and sword magic beyond expression there was little that could frighten either Juste or Cerise. Yet there was something about it that Juste didn't like so much that he lost his confident smile upon laying eyes on it.

"Cherie, what manner of creature would that be?"

The woman took a step forward, taking notice of the silence in the crowd before them. In her mind she ran through some possibilities but none of them made sense to her. 'If this was a part of the riots, no doubt they would not be acting like this wasn't expected...yet I don't think its here to help us-"

Her doubts were proven correct as the armor clad creature lept from the roof and landed in the middle of the clearing a couple dozen feet away. It shook the immediate area upon landing and knocked everyone around it off their feet. This was the catalyst that sent the crowd into another frenzy, but this one out of panic instead of protest. The people all took off in every direction and took cover and hid anywhere they could.

Until all that was left in front of Notre Dame were the two Queensguard and the strange creature.

"Well, now what to do?" asked Juste as he straightened the brim of his hat.

"I think Richter must know of this development."

Her answer was simple enough but something in Juste's mind was nagging at him. 'I don't think it will just let us leave...' He pulled out both of his small rapiers from their scabbards and rolled his neck on his shoulders. "Then fetch our captain. I shall indulge this...whatever it is."

Cerise's expression was one of incredulity. "Monsieur, you surely jest! You cannot-"

Turning to the woman Juste's cocky smile returned to his young face. "Worry not for me, Cher amie. I shall proceed with caution." He waved her off and turned back to the hulking brute before him.

Taking not but a moment to gather herself she quickly ran back and through the cathedral's large wooden doors.

Once his friend was inside Juste walked almost casually up to within arm's reach of this tall creature. "Now, monseiur-if I can even call you that-what brings you to Paris? The aristocracy? The Jacobin club? The Americans or even the British? I can't say that I blame them for taking advantage of this revolution-"

The young man stopped his diatribe, not because there wasn't a response but because the creature moved. Pulling its fist back and it was subsequently forced forward.

Juste saw it coming just barely and he leapt back just before the fist would have connected with his body. Concrete and brick flew into the air from the impact, a small hole was left behind in its wake.

More impressed with the speed than the fact he almost got pummeled, Juste ran around to behind the creature. "Shocking."

He didn't have long to admire the strength as he took off running in the opposite direction of the cathedral towards the streets leading away. The reason behind this was more to prevent it from going into the church but to be honest Juste hadn't thought about it any further than that.

As he ran down the street people scurried out of his way, and the creature followed close behind. It stomped with each step shook the street and it made Juste run even faster as a result.

He only had himself to blame for this roughshot plan. "Obviously I didn't think this through well enough!"

Turning a corner, the creature well on his heels, he came face to face with a line of blue coated soldiers. All of them were armed with muskets and were ready to fire.

"PrĂȘt! Objectif! Feu!" called the captain. Juste only had enough time to dive forward before they pulled the triggers. The loud bangs of the guns echoed loudly through the neighborhood and Juste turned to see most of the shots hit their mark on the creature. The range was almost point blank and thus there was no way they could have missed. Yet from what Juste saw the lead balls merely bounced off the armor, sparks flying from contact.

They had no effect. The soldiers, courage lost in their bellies and energy flew to their feet, dropped their weapons and made off like frightened cats.

Juste was once again alone to face the monster. Yet he didn't try to run this time. He raised both his swords, "En garde!"

Before the creature knew what happened, the lone Queensguard was slicing with precision and stabbing as quick as a flash. It retaliated by swinging its massive fists, and missed every one as Juste dodged with increasing speed.

Using his training of be abusive yet elusive, Juste and his magically enhanced steel rapiers managed to make damaging blows to the creature but, even though he was aiming for where typically vital areas would be it didn't seem to slow his foe down.

He left noticeable marks but no blood was shed.

'But if I cant get him to bleed, then I might as well light him like a torch,' thought Juste. Hopping back a few meters, Juste concentrated into his swords using the magic granted to him by the Duchess to empower his swords with purifying power of fire. "Sabre de Flamme!"

Both blades were covered in a red hot flame and Juste could feel the fire as he swung them.

The creature raised its hands to defend itself, and every strike sparks and embers flew but Juste wouldn't let up even after his hat flew from his head.

Yet with each seemingly ineffective blow the monster was beginning to glow red on its arms, the armor heating up and cracking under the pressure.

"Come, monseiur, you must be more than just a fearsome facade," said Juste with a bit of cockiness in his voice.

The being took a step back, its armor glowing yellow-orange. It seemed to be backing down. Maybe out of surprise at the level of resistance it was faced with. Maybe that was why it got still and did nothing even as Juste was ready for another barrage.

Yet what happened next made Juste lose his smile as quickly as it had formed.

The creature spoke with a demonic sounding voice that chilled the guard to his core.

"TARGET EVALUATED. INITIATING PROTOCOL ONE: TRANSFER TO BATTLE WORLD BEGIN IN THREE...TWO...ONE-"

A bright light started within the chest of the creature and when it grew too bright Juste raised an arm to cover his eyes.

And when the light vanished, both the Queensguard and the creature-as well as the red hat that belonged to Juste-were gone.