The party mood prevailed eased by the flow of champagne and tempered with good humour. A sense of perspective returned as Roselinde kicked back and memories of hatred, death and destruction were mercifully forgotten. DD caught up rapidly as the stories and anecdotes flowed freely. It was a baptism of fire for her but the normally insane ramblings of a few psychic questers seemed to make increasing sense to her analytical mind and she was able to make several acute observations that shed light on the overall mental process that was occurring. Our discussions in the hotel bar went long into the night as we were all too aware that there would be a parting of the ways come dawn. Finally we hit bed around three o'clock much the worse for wear. Our alarms set for a masochistic six o'clock start as we all felt that we needed to get going in the morning. Before turning in I text Jean my boss at La Voix du Nord and suggested that instead of returning to Lille we push on with our research as we were hot on the trail.
Lilly had suggested this as she wanted to visit Luxembourg to see if we could pick up any clues as to our next move. I was only too happy to go with the cosmic flow and be guided by her dragon princess instincts. I was sure that Jean wouldn't mind us not being in the office as August was traditionally a quiet month and we could submit our articles electronically thanks to modern technology.
The good news was that Deborah had decided to come along for the ride. She had no commitments for the week and could therefore spare the time to join the quest. I noticed that she had become much more engaged in the story as we talked freely about all that had happened since that fateful day in Metz. In fact even the very mention of the word Metz seemed to have drawn a subtle reaction from her. She could certainly drink and was excellent company. It almost felt that she was somehow part of the unfolding events. We would see by doing the experiment. Perhaps it was all meant to be?
The alarm went horribly quickly and I crawled out of my bed and into the shower. The sun had already been up a good two hours so that eased my pain a little. The initial cold water woke me up as it hit my face, it was a good couple of minutes before the hot came through and it reached civilised temperatures. Ablutions finished I felt at least back in the land of the living if somewhat jaded after our titanic session.
I text Lilly and DD - Bonjour mes enfants! I hope you slept well lol are we ready for another glorious day. P.S. Breakfast at seven, taxi at seven thirty!!! Xxx
I needn't have worried for being more efficient than me they were already up, packed and waiting in the dinning room.
"What kept you?" Lilly giggled as she sipped her hot chocolate from an enormous French coffee cup. The aroma was to die for. She held it two handed and that allowed the warmth to penetrate her body through her hands. Then placing it down on the table she dunked her croissant into its luxuriously warm contents and took a dainty bite.
Roselinde was amazed at how we ate our croissants as she struggled to apply her apricot comfiture and butter in a lady like fashion. DD explained that you had to break a croissant rather than cut it with a knife as you would with toast. A quick practical demonstration made the point.
Leaving them to it I walked over to the buffet and poured myself a large steaming bowl of French coffee. Its aroma assailed my nostrils with delight and my mood instantly improved no end. Taking two fresh croissants on a white porcelain plate I returned to the table.
"It's all due to the Battle of Vienna in 1683 which put the Hapsburg dynasty on the throne. Having defeated the Ottoman Turks, the pastry chef produced a crescent shaped croissant so that the royal court could eat the crescents of the defeated enemy! In French it is known as Viennoiserie, and it is believed to have been introduced into France by Marie Antoinette who of course was an Austrian dragon princess."
"Your encyclopaedic knowledge never ceases to amaze me Yann! Lilly spoke with a genuine note of affection in her voice.
"It's totally politically incorrect now of course but we are French!" DD added with a smile and a glint in her eye. "They were different times."
I dipped my croissant in my coffee and took a bite. It melted in my mouth like hot butter. It was the only proper way to enjoy a croissant.
"Well I never knew that!" Roselinde said positively and attempted to emulate the technique. "Yes I see what you mean. It does work rather well."
Lilly and DD smiled, "Sante!" They said in unison as they simultaneously raised their croissants.
Breakfast over we settled our accounts and headed out into the street. The pristine white umbrellas and tables guided our way. Turning right we made the short walk to the Boulevard Foch. The taxi was already waiting. The azure sky, green trees and multitude of tourists thronging the streets complete the perfect scene.
I greeted the taxi driver. "Champagne-Ardenne TGV s'il vous plait et rapidement."
"Certainement Monsieur." The taxi driver was obviously well aware that time was of the essence as he was no doubt familiar with the TGV timetable. Effortlessly he navigated the early morning traffic free roads and swiftly made the short journey to Bezannes and the TGV station. We barely had time to take a last look of the Vesle river as we crossed by road bridge into Courlancy. As we passed the Hippodrome Roselinde enquired as to its purpose. Lilly obliged with a description of the unique horse and trap racing that is so characteristic of northern France.
"Ah yes I remember you mentioning it briefly in Lille." She said enthusiastically. DD delighted in explaining the betting system that accompanied its popularity and helped to finance the sport.
Barely 15 minutes later we were at la Gare Champagne-Ardenne TGV. I paid the driver, tipped him and thanked him for being so efficient. We purchased three tickets to Gare Lorraine TGV. Roselinde already had her return to Gare Lille Europe so waited quietly as we organised ourselves we would use our return tickets later. The air became rapidly charged with emotion as we realised the hour of parting was approaching.
"You will have to see us off." I said rather awkwardly as we stood on the southbound platform. "Our train is at eight sixteen."
"Yes I know." Roselinde interjected. "Mine is at eight twenty eight, you needn't worry Lilly explained everything last night and it is my decision to return to England " A tear appeared in Roselinde's eye as she spoke. Emotion was getting the better of her despite her stiff upper lip.
"France is your home." I said softly. "It is stained with your blood."
She became very tearful and wept, "I know." Those two words of recognition were enough for me as it signified that Roselinde had accepted her soul memory and removed the mental blocks; the reconciliation was underway and she would now heal given time.
"Be brave as you always have been." I said finally and found myself saluting. As I spoke the southbound TGV came coasting in silent a silver wraith, the hum of the electric motors barely perceptible. We embraced and kissed on both cheeks and then again once more. Lilly and DD followed suite. I boarded the train without looking back in order to disguise my pre-emptive feeling of loss. I hated long goodbyes for that very reason. Finding a window seat I looked for Roselinde through the glass. She seemed so small and frail as she stood on the platform. What a remarkable woman, I thought, so noble and proud but my contemplation was shattered by the sudden noise and bustle of Lilly and DD as they stowed their luggage and sat down. The train started to move off without a sound true to its spectral qualities. I turned and looked once again out of the window but Roselinde had already disappeared.
To fill the energy vacuum of her missing presence Lilly chirped up, "How long does it take to Lorraine TGV, Yann?"
"Forty one minutes according to the timetable." I answered precisely and logically like an automaton, my left brain had kicked in to retrieve the situation and relieve the emotion of parting.
"That's quicker than I imagined." DD added, "Itâ€™s hardly enough time to get comfortable." As she spoke her leg momentarily brushed against mine and I felt a jolt of electricity. There was something strangely familiar about her vibratory energy, personality and voice. Just her presence seemed mysteriously to inflame my soul with passion. It was a totally novel experience for me, the palms of my hands became suddenly moist and my heart suddenly began to race in response to my feelings. This for me was an entirely new sensation that I had not previously experienced in this present life before. I was puzzled.
Lilly sat opposite and had already plugged into her iPod. She smiled as my glance caught her. We had chemistry but more as a father-daughter and an equal. I loved Lilly plain and simple, we had grown very close and there was without doubt a soul bond between us, intangible and unbreakable. I knew that I would sacrifice my life for her should it be necessary, she was beautiful, strong and intelligent but DD had all that and more. With DD I sensed raw passion and a fire within my soul. The smouldering embers of which were beginning inexplicably to flicker into flame. The more I thought about it the more her energy resonated with my soul and the more I felt alive. I knew then that this was much more than a random encounter, this was destiny, fate, kismet call it what you will but it was damn powerful whatever it was?
I abstractly looked out of the window to engage my conscious mind but the feeling of attraction towards DD just accelerated exponentially. My mouth became dry and my heart rate increased yet again. I knew from past experience that my subconscious was screaming in my ear for it knew the truth, but my conscious mind was deaf to its protestations. DD sat closer and I could feel her body warmth penetrating my being. She was reading Elle magazine and an article about French women and sexuality; it was tantamount to pouring petrol on a fire! Her cheek protruded from her blonde hair, her skin soft and without flaw. I observed every molecule of her being, there was something so wonderful about her, she shone, she was radiant and for me she was beauty personified. Her profile seemed perfect.
Then DD turned her head and smiled, our eyes met and our souls embraced. I was lost, totally lost in her beauty. The world stopped and time froze, nothing seemed to matter, only our unspoken love. The words came naturally and just entered my consciousness from nowhere. It was the signature recognition of a soulmate. I was lost for words and smiled back. She just carried on reading her magazine.
Without realising we had passed Gare Meuse TGV and were on the final approach to Lorraine TGV. Time had contracted like a piece of elastic. The train was audibly slowing down and I could feel the change in inertia from the deceleration. Silently the platform came into view and the train stopped. We exited.
We headed for the Avis car rental desk and using my credit card I signed up for a Renault Megane diesel. I knew that we would be travelling a fair few kilometres and this gave us range and flexibility in our movements. We had cut loose and who knows where we would end up. Three days had become the standard procedure now, so three days it was. We were literally living three days at a time. The chase was on and Lilly was leading the charge.
Having taken delivery of the metallic blue coloured car we walked to the rental parking lot. Lilly adjusted the seat and took control for this was her shooting match. The station resembled an oblong box placed in the middle of nowhere; it was geometric, simple and effective.
I decided to take the back and let DD sit in the passenger seat so that she could chat to Lilly. I wanted time to think about my feelings and the messages that they were giving me. It was nine thirty when we set off. Lilly drove with purpose and used her natural inbuilt compass for she was going home.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/118/1a5731f892df47bdb63afa4988f75e15.jpg
"I've booked us in at the hotel Le Royal, seemed appropriate and we are on vacation sort of. I got a very good internet deal, half price!" Lilly said with a giggle. "I want to get to the bottom of who I was and the Bibliotheque national de Luxembourg should have the answers, it is right next to the cathedral. I don't expect to recognise much though as the Haute Ville part of the city has been rebuilt so many times and dates, mainly from the early 17th century, but we shall see. It has been called the Gibraltar of the North due to its fortress like qualities, independence and the fact that it is all built on a giant rock formation overlooking a bend in the river Alzette."
Lilly talked rapidly as she drove out eastward along D918 towards Louvigny, at the roundabout we headed north up the D913 towards Verny and Fleury. The route nationale road was nice and straight which gave it a Roman like quality thanks to Napoleon's love of straight lines. Just before Metz, Lilly took the N431 ring road east to circumnavigate the city; the city where our adventure had begun. The landscape seemed familiar and friendly, for me it had a home like quality that touched my soul. At Maizieres les Metz Lilly turned north up the E25 to Thionville and from there to Dudelange in Luxembourg.
"Welcome to LÃ«tzebeurg, the castle of light!" Lilly's sudden exclamation and use of Luxembourgeois language woke me with a start for I had been silently dozing due to the late night session.
"Wow, you can see its fortress like qualities from the way it sits above the landscape, are we going in over one of the viaducts Lilly?" DD asked as she became aware of the proximity of our goal.
"I'm going to skirt left around the city and enter through the route d'Arlon as that takes us straight to the hotel." Lilly had certainly done her home work and seemed extremely confident. I was glad of the rest and looked on with pride as my able companion led the way.
"Just over there is a place called Le village les Dragons!" Lilly said pointing towards the southern part of the city below the rock corniches. "I would say that that is a bit of a clue wouldn't you?"
I laughed, "Sure is you couldn't make it more obvious to those that know! It is a shame that it is all so built up, it would have been so much better had some more of the original medieval architecture survived but I suppose re-development is the name of the game in such a small country."
As we came into the city it all seemed so modern and clean. The wooded green areas outlined the course of the river as it wound around the fortress burg. A few minutes later Lilly pulled up outside a very large hotel that resembled an office block but with greater architectural style; the T shaped relief use of concrete between windows clean and pristine. We left the car and went to check in. Lilly took charge and soon had our keys, as with Reims we had adjoining rooms and DD like Roselinde before would share with Lilly.
The rooms were extremely spacious and plush as one would expect from a 5 star hotel in an extremely well off city with a strong economy. Luxembourg sits at the heart of western Europe and is near to the European parliament at Strasbourg, its power confirmed by ancient roots and our medieval era. It was no coincidence that Robert des Armoises had found himself working for the Grand Dowager Duchess of Luxembourg, Elisabeth GÃ¶rlitz, Dragon Queen par excellence. I hoped Lilly would find out more about her former mother in the BibliothÃ¨que. nationale de Luxembourg
I had barely unpacked when my iPhone buzzed, it was a text from Lilly, it simply read - ready! XXX
We met in the corridor and made our way to the reception. "I've taken the liberty of ordering coffee, hope you don't mind."
"Of course not what's the plan chief?" I said respectfully, emulating the tone of voice heard in a TV cop show.
Lilly giggled at my joke and laid out a sketch map that she had drawn. This impressed DD and I as showed much fore thought and planning. We recognised the big X that marked the position of the hotel. "I shall head straight to the library as it is open until six thirty tonight. I intend to spend most of the day rooting around old manuscripts and history books, so I thought that it would be more interesting if you and DD play tourists. How does that sound?"
"Perfect," I said after some thought and a short pause looking at the map, "Provided of course that DD is happy?" I looked up at her and saw that she was beaming a smile. Her beautiful face shone and gave me the answer I needed.
"Why not?" she confirmed verbally and sipped her coffee coyly. "I am on holiday after all!"
"OK that's settled. I marked the possible places of interest on this map and you can search out a nice restaurant for dinner tonight." Lilly had the bit between her teeth and he meticulous agenda had all the hall marks of a well planned military operation. She had obviously thought about this for a good number of weeks; it wasn't just a last minute whim.
Coffee over, Lilly stood, shouldered her rucksack and placed her trusty camera around her neck. I stood and kissed her on both cheeks and once again, then gave her a big hug. "Go get 'em tiger!" I smiled and Lilly grinned.
"And you Yann Baillieu behave yourself!" she sounded just like a mother packing her wayward son off to school. She could obviously sense the power of the chemistry between DD and me, which must have stood out like a sore thumb to a dragon princess. As she turned she winked at me and then disappeared.
I sat down again and DD moved her chair nearer to me. She studied the map intently in a military fashion I leant forward to get a better view as she pointed out several possible areas of interest. Her Chanel perfume caught my senses and again that profile of her soft cheek and distinctive nose protruding from her blonde hair triggered my subconscious. I could feel my mind screaming again in my ear but the message still alluded me. I just felt an overwhelming soul connection and buzz of electricity between us. Perhaps we would discover the connection as the day wore on? I hoped so with every fibre of my being I hoped so.
DD was dressed in a very bright printed blouse of cobalt pink and purple, sky blue jeans and opened toed mules. She carried her handbag awkwardly and freely admitted that she didn't like handbags, preferring to carry change and keys in her jean pockets normally. She looked fabulous, her long blonde hair fell down around her square strong shoulders, her athletic figure tapered at the waist and flowed effortlessly into powerful legs packed into her tight jeans. She marched like a soldier and kept pace with me easily.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/118/f70341e197fe8323b37848522f99e52f.jpg
We headed south down the Boulevard Royal and passed the famous Nana sculpture "La Grande Temperance" by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle. The huge primeval blue woman stood on the plinth like a prehistoric fertility goddess yet dressed in a garish red and yellow striped circus costume with a weight lifter's dumbbell in red sporting two golden balls. On her shoulders either side of her disproportionally small faceless blue head were asymmetric wings, the one on her left shoulder like a giant B, her left leg cocked sideways to give her a jaunty look. DD and I stood transfixed for a number of minutes and discussed the many connotations of the sculpture. As with all good art it provoked thought. I was reminded of the phrase "Art disturbs, science reassures" a famous quote by Georges Braque, the blue goddess certainly fulfilled that criteria! I took several photos on my iPhone the statue and DD, she was a very different goddess, beautiful, strong and athletic; a warrior goddess.
As we walked we took little notice of the bland office blocks and shopping areas that made up the city vista, for we were so lost in each others company. Soon we reached the city wall and the view of Pont Adolphe the famous viaduct bridge that enters the south west corner of the fortress on the rock. Turning left we strolled along Boulevard Franklin D Roosevelt that parallels the old Spanish fortified wall to Place de la Constitution. We descended the balustrade lined steps to the well kept garden space below the road level that provides spectacular views over the val de Alzette. A giant flag pole sat centre stage with seven smaller flag poles arranged in a neat line along the edge of the rectangular space above a triangular ravelin of the fortress.
We sat conversing on a bench and admired the panoramic vista before us. A sense of history gripped us and we found more common ground as we talked. It was as if we were cosmic twins separated at birth and now reunited, each a mirror image of the other. I was reminded of a play by the famous English playwright William Shakespeare's, Twelfth Night, I think it is called? I would be Sebastian and DD my Viola except we would not be brother and sister, the feeling of passion and soul connection was far too strong for that. After what seemed like a few minutes but was in actual fact an hour we continued our walk along the city wall. The Cathedral Notre Dame came into view on our left as we continued, but I was not drawn to it, instead we passed by the collÃ¨ge des JÃ©suites and then cut across to the Chemin de la Corniche via a quaint narrow old cobbled street that reeked of age. Coming out into the sunlight again on the eastern side of the city we found ourselves amongst the delightful period streets of the corniche. Leafy trees lined the inclined streets dotted with old fashioned lamps and all around we were over shadowed by the massive Vauban parapets of the fortifications towering above us. The view over the confluence of the Alzette and PÃ©trusse rivers was beautiful and we could see the Grund area in the distance. We stood for sometime in silence admiring the view. Then without warning DD kissed me on my right cheek. It was like an electric shock but so much more pleasant; a long forgotten sensation that kick started my subconscious memory with an almighty jolt.
"I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me! It just seemed the right thing to do. What must you think of me?" She spoke in hushed tones with her sparkling blue eyes fixed on mine. In that moment my heart melted and I just held her close. We needed no communication. The gentle touch said it all.
After several seconds that seemed like an eternal moment I began to listen again as DD told me more of her life story and the sad loss of her sister through illness just a few short years ago. Her story touched my soul so deeply that I just wanted to sweep her up in my angel wings and enfold her with love such was her pain.
We continued our walk in the old part of the city but nothing seemed real, I just floated along barely touching the ground beneath me. It was a feeling like no other that I had ever experienced in my present life. Time the sneak thief of all things told me that Lilly would be waiting for us as it was now gone six o'clock. Obligingly we hurried up the inclined narrow roads and back through the crenulated gate into the Haute Village as it is called. Back to the world of governments, administration and shopping; an emotional desert for the soul. But the connection had been made and now I had DD by my side. I felt invincible.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/118/930a1ecdb031dbea5d5ede62ad370f98.jpg
Nowhere is very far in the city of Luxembourg. Like naughty children late home from school we hurried through the busy streets into Place Clairefonteine. There was just time to look at the Grand Palace and the beautiful statue of the Grand Duchess Charlotte who reigned from 1919 to 1964. Depicted in bronze she stands as a young woman with her hand out stretched to the people. Inscribed beneath is the simple phrase "Mir hun lech gaÃ«r." - we love you - in the native Luxembourgeois; immortalised she stands surrounded by official government buildings and Notre Dame Cathedral.
Whilst DD admired the statue I texted Lilly to say that we were in the neighbourhood and could meet her in front of the Cathedral quite easily. Within a minute she sent a text back saying that was great and see you in five. So DD and I took a short cut through the churchyard to the great west door. Within a couple of minutes Lilly appeared clutching lots of photocopies and handwritten notes.
"I've found loads of information! I knew I would." As she spoke a gust of wind came and she dropped several pieces of paper. We rushed to help her recover them. The one that I picked up had a large heraldic diagram of a shield with 12 blue and yellow sun rays and a centred small shield vertically divided half white and half red. The title read Armoiries des Armoises, Lords of Differdange. I knew then that Lilly had been really busy as she had found out information about me as well as herself.
"Looks like a successful day! Well done my dragon princess." I said encouragingly. "I look forward to hearing all about it back at the hotel."
"Yes exactly, but first it's time to hit the spa!" Lilly shot a glance at DD who nodded her approval.
"Excellent, on ya va!" Lilly exclaimed as she turned on her heels and set off in the direction of Pont Adolphe and Boulevard Royal.
Within 15 minutes we had covered the length of the Boulevard Royal and turned the corner into view of the hotel. As we entered reception Lilly spoke up, "I have some difficult information to discuss over dinner, but first us ladies must hit the spa in order to make ourselves devastatingly attractive! See you at eight in the restaurant; the table is booked so no worries." With that she bid DD to follow her and smiled a quizzical smile. I was perplexed at Lilly's sudden sombre mood but it did explain her non-triumphalist stance as she met us outside the BibliothÃ¨que. I would have to freshen up and wait for the appointed hour. Still thinking deeply about the events of the day I entered the lift and headed for the shower in my room.
As I showered my euphoria at having spent the day with DD subsided and I found myself puzzling more and more over Lilly's comments. Finally dressed and ready for dinner I descended in the lift and headed for the hotel restaurant La Pomme Cannelle. The hotel information in my room described it thus:
â€œWith a passion for fresh ingredients and true European gastronomy, La Pomme Cannelle, has earned its reputation not only as Le Royal Hotels & Resorts - Luxembourg's gourmet restaurant, but the city centre's address for excellence in innovative French cuisine. The restaurant serves a delicate blend of classic French dishes enhanced with choice ingredients from around the world. The restaurant's warm colours of cinnamon and bamboo in bright decor are reminiscent of colonial times during the spice trade.â€
It certainly sounded exceptional so my mood lightened somewhat in anticipation.
"Ah Monsieur Baillieu your table awaits you, please follow me." The Maitre d' had somehow recognised me and escorted me to my seat with courtesy and efficiency. I was immediately struck by the black Iris centre piece and black serviettes that set our table apart from the others in the restaurant. Lilly's idea of a prank was my first thought but then again she had been in a dark mood just before we parted; perhaps not?
As I perused the menu with approval at the excellent choice on offer the girls entered the restaurant and the Maitre d' escorted them to our table in the same way that he had me just a few short minutes before. Lilly and DD both sat down. They looked radiant, what ever magic had been performed in the spa had worked extremely well and now both glowed with vitality and health. I ordered Kir Royale aperitifs which arrived promptly as we chose from the menu.
Finally Lilly looked up and said, "I suppose you are wondering why the black Iris and serviettes? We are here to celebrate my death!"
My jaw dropped and I suddenly went cold. "But you look so young, beautiful and full of life Lilly!" it was as much as I could do to utter those words in denial without tears. DD just looked stunned and sat there in silent shock.
"I was once Marie Yvette Elisabeth GÃ¶rlitz, daughter of the Grand Duchess Elisabeth GÃ¶rlitz of Luxembourg. My father was Antoine, Duke of Brabant, killed at Agincourt 1415. They were married in 1409 in Brussels. He had helped my mother secure the throne and helped to defend her from three uprisings by the nobility of Luxembourg. My maternal grandfather was John of GÃ¶rlitz Duke of Lusatia and GÃ¶rlitz, Elector Brandenburg, Third son of Charles IV Holy Roman Emperor, my maternal grandmother was Richardis of Mecklenburg-Schewerin and daughter to Albert King of Sweden. I was born on the fourth of June, 1412 not several hundred metres from this very spot, the second and last surviving child of Elisabeth my beautiful dragon princess mother. My older brother William had been born on the second of June, 1410 but alas he survived only five weeks before he died.
My mother remarried in 1418, he was a terrible man, John III also known as the Pitiless. He was poisoned in 1425 and my mother free of his evil influence then ruled alone. My mother never talked about his death and I never asked but she poured all her love, wisdom and knowledge into me, her only daughter."
Our drinks arrived and we sat there spellbound as Lilly unfolded her findings. She grew more tearful but resolute as she continued. "I died in 1429! I found details of my death recorded in an old leather bound tome entitled Codex Draconis, Maison du Luxembourg. The entry under our family history simply read; Marie Yvette Elisabeth GÃ¶rlitz 1412-1429 - Draco Princeps fuit in proelio interfectus - Dragon Princess was killed in battle - her heraldic symbol, an Iris noir on a field gules. I have made a sketch here." She took out a piece of paper meticulously drawn in black ink, hand coloured red and placed it on the table.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/118/e81549f27caa83a7c524db52b075a754.jpg
I studied it closely and passed it to DD. "How beautiful!" She said.
"But I saw you at the wedding in the Lâ€™Ã©glise Sainte SÃ©golÃ¨ne, Metz! I married Jehanne dâ€™Arc and your father was there, he gave her away." I frantically searched my memory for the truth, " and you, you had a brother and sister! You can't have died?"
"Well that is a big mystery I guess we are going to have to find out the hard way? May be the Codex is wrong? Anyway, I'm here, I'm flesh and blood and very much alive so... Sante!"
Her smile returned and we all raised our glasses. "Un pour tous et tous pour un!" DD raised her voice with the customary musketeersâ€™ toast.
"Hey that's my line you stole that!" I joshed and slapped DD on the back in a friendly way that seemed perfectly natural between us. "Where did that come from? It just seemed the right thing to say.
Perhaps I'm in this too!" DD quipped.
"I think you are Madam, there is more to you than meets the eye." Lilly chinked DD's glass. "But first let's eat, I'm starving!"
The waiter brought the starter and after that the main course. The cuisine was superb and the hotel certainly lived up to its reputation; in fact the chefs surpassed themselves.
After the main course Lilly produced another piece of paper with a direct translation copied from the Codex Draconis. "This concerns you Yann or should I say Robert. Read the details closely it gives us a clue as to where to search next!"
I studied the archaic middle French and then read my poor modern translation to DD and Lilly. I knew that Lilly had probably worked it out already but I wanted to check that I had it right.
" Le vingtiÃ¨me jour du mois de mai 1436, la Pucelle Jehan ne qui avait Ã©tÃ© en France, vint Ã la Grange-aux-Hormes, prÃ¨s de Saint-Privey. Elle y fut amenÃ©e pour parler Ã quelques seigneurs de Metz. Elle se fai sait appeler Claude. Le mÃªme jour, ses deux frÃ¨res arrivÃ¨rent auprÃ¨s dâ€™elle. [...] AussitÃ´t quâ€™ils la virent, ils la reconnurent, et elle les re connut aussi. [...] Elle fut re connue par plusieurs dÃ©tails pour la Pucelle Jehanne de France qui amena Charles Ã Reims. [...] Jehanne revint Ã Arlon, et lÃ fut fait le mariage de Messire Robert des Her moises, chevalier, et de JehanÂ¬ne la Pucelle."
Ces lignes sont extraites de la Codex Draconis Maison du Luxembourg- Thibaut ou Chronique de Metz. Ainsi donc, Jeanne rÃ©apparaÃ®t cinq ans aprÃ¨s son procÃ¨s.
"The twentieth day of May 1436, the Maid Jehan who was not in France, came to the Grange-aux-Hormes, near St. Privey. She was brought to speak to some lords of Metz. She is known to call Claude. The same day, her two brothers came to her. [...] As soon as they saw her, they recognized her, and she knew also them. [...] She was re known more details to Joan the Maid of France who brought Charles to Reims. [...] Joan returned to Arlon, and there was made the marriage of Sir Robert of Her moises, knight, and Joan the Maid. "
"Interesting it is actually like going back in time, Arlon that is not far from here, it in Belgium I believe?" DD was quick off the mark, "It seems a familiar name, I've never been there but somehow I feel that I know it?"
Lilly and I glanced at each other and she gave me that look! "Well we shall soon find out as we are going there in the morning. It's the first Sunday in the month but who's counting? We are all on holiday, so to speak; so no peace for the wicked."
She laughed at the last remark and took a sip of her wine. DD and I remained thoughtful and studied the exact wording more closely. "It's all here in black and white, very precise dating too." I added.
The dessert came and went and we finally settled down to liqueurs, cognac and coffee. As we settled down Lilly began to speak quite grandly but in hushed tones, "And now for the bombshell, which is not for public consumption and must remain a secret for fear of ridicule but I am of the opinion that it is all true. See what you think? It concerns the origins of the dragon genes and dragon line of inheritance. In a nutshell the human race is the product of Extra-terrestrial genetic engineering and manipulation. Three races were created around 200 000 to 100 000 years ago. The first was part reptilian and part hominid but not successful. The second was an improved reptilian-human hybrid species that were overseers of the third pure human species. The project was to create gold mining slaves to extract the valuable metal for their ET overlords who would periodically return to collect their tribute. They ruled by using mystery and ritual to control the masses. As the ET dragon lords moved on only the hybridised humans with dragon genes and the pure humans were left. Those with dragon genes and the associated psychic abilities became the guiding aristocracy of the old world. They were the leaders and organisers of the human race. As their genes became diluted so the system broke down. The medieval period was the last hurrah of the dragon princesses and dragon knights so says the Codex Draconis of the House of LÃ«tzebuerg."
DD and I sat there in complete stunned silence. "Is that for real?" I said finally to break the awkward silence and sniffed the warm aroma of my cognac in order to ground my mind.
"That is quite some statement Lilly and if it had come from anyone else I'm not sure I would be able to believe it." DD added with a deep intake of breath.
"Oh yes I believe it!" I added quickly, "if you had seen what I have seen then you would believe it. It does explain our ability of being able to navigate time streams and harvest data and it may even explain my extra blood supply and associated plumbing to my brain; amazing! Well done Lilly."
I sat back in my chair and studied the Jehanne and Robert des Armoises translation again. "It says they were married in Arlon, not Metz? How can that be? I have come to trust my flashbacks implicitly."
Lilly thought for a moment and then spoke. "I think, and this is only a rough hypothesis, that you viewed an alternative time stream, a reality that only exists if I survive my death in 1429. If I die in battle as it says then the present time stream as recorded in the Codex Draconis exists? Does that make sense?"
I sat and thought over Lilly's profound words and found myself doodling complex annotated timelines in the form of geometric diagrams on my serviette. "Yes, yes I think you might be right. If we view our reality as just one cell in a multidimensional geometric construct then all realities can co-exist. It would make sense of the comment Jesus made in John 14:2 â€“ In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you."
"Wow, you amaze me Yann Baillieu, how do you manage to remember all that?" Lilly exclaimed.
"Simple, I've puzzled over that phrase since I was a child and now at last it kind of makes sense!" I said with quiet satisfaction.http://www.ravenecho.com/static/118/a19379d828209320db27a78d7c23aaa6.jpg
"Yes, it makes perfect sense to me!" DD added, "As a mathematician at university we routinely played with multidimensional constructs and of course the famed hypercube. They could easily contain more than one 3D space capable of sustaining a complete reality. Imagine a 200D shape, that would blow the mind of the average human being or even and infinityD shape, an entire multiverse where all realities that are possible co-exist at any one given moment!" DD positively enthused as she spoke with the conviction of a personal revelation. In that moment she was more adorable than I had ever seen her and I found myself falling deeper and deeper in love with her.