Chapter 6: A Rite of Passage
After an hour of debrief we left the church, my head was still reeling from the after shocks of what I had experienced. It was a pity that there was not more original fabric from the medieval period to explore in Metz; I would have to be content with what I had already discovered.
Soon we were back at the hotel and it was time for a shower to freshen up. "I'll see you for dinner at eight, Lilly." It had been a paradigm fuse blowing day and I wanted now to do some further research in order to plan tomorrow's agenda.
"Yes, no problem I'm going to have a lie down and then a shower. Thatâ€™s enough excitement for one day! I also want to have a little think about what exactly happened." Lilly looked tired so I smiled gently and watched her safely enter her room.
â€œThanks for being there today,â€ I said warmly, â€œthis experience would be nothing without you. It seems I am the lock and you are the key. We make quite a team together.â€
Lilly smiled and shut her door bringing with it a deep sense of finality that meant I was on my own once again. The shower was hot and refreshing. I enjoyed the tingle of its energy on my skin which was a reality check of sorts. I thought of Descartes and the nature of our everyday existence; just how do we know what is real and what is illusory? Is the universe just one giant illusion, yet we think it is physical and solid? Timeless questions percolated through my head. This is why science invented experiments I thought. If the same outcome is achieved each time then we can formulate a law, which is usually backed up by mathematics of some sort, be it an equation or calculus; cause and effect appeared to drive the universe simple as that. Yet, how could I quantify my experience today, it was totally subjective but so real; was it just fantasy?
I sat in my bathrobe and tapped the keys of my laptop idly reviewing the information on Jehanne and Robert des Armoises. I kept pausing on the image of Jehanne taken by Lilly and each time I felt a warm sensation of love welling up in me.
What about the other portrait, the one at Chateau Jaulny? I looked at it online; not the same feeling there was no connection. Yet, I was intrigued by Robertâ€™s distinctive red hat which was obviously symbolic and deeply significant to those that knew its meaning. I loved the twin dolphins of the pedestal that supported the circular wreathed head of his portrait. They were my favourite creatures, that couldnâ€™t be a coincidence; it was a definite cause and effect connection. Jehanne had a sun or green man carved on the door yet it was not painted on the portrait above the chimney, she had been given the same ubiquitous dolphins as Robert. The later copy made by an unknown artist had obviously omitted this important feature. For me the green man represented the wildwood and her love for nature and in particular trees, for she was an Elven fairy princess; it was therefore totally appropriate. The carvings secretly encoded such information; I just had to remember what it all meant?
I finally made my mind up, it was a lightning trip to Chateau Jaulny in the morning before taking the TGV back to Lille via Paris at 17:00hrs. I would stretch the rules of the assignment a little! Jean wouldnâ€™t mind if it meant an interesting story and we had now had loads and loads of detailed information on which to base the article. I searched online for a hire car company in Metz and found one, as the hour was late I decided to phone instead of book using the internet. I was lucky the office was just closing and I managed to secure a small Renault ScÃ©nic for an early start in the morning. By now it was 18:00hrs, time to chill out so I set my alarm for 19:30hrs; time for a rest. Lying back on my bed I closed my eyes, relaxed and prepared to doze off.
Instead of blackness I started to see bright colours it was the looking glass calling to me again, the question was should I resist it or should I take the plunge and step in? I made the conscious decision to enter the circular lake of colours not knowing if I would ever find my way back again without the aid of Lilly. I paused for a moment then leapt in....................
I was totally shocked; for there next to me on a large four poster bed lay my dragon princess totally naked. A large fire blazed away in a huge grate and the light danced off of her ivory white skin. As it flickered it threw into sharp relief every contour of her perfect feminine form.
â€œIâ€™ve been waiting for you Robert where have you been?â€
I found myself replying automatically, â€œI had to say goodbye to the last of the wedding guests and make sure everything was bolted and secure for the night,â€ my voice was slightly deeper and I spoke with an archaic accent using dialect Franconian, yet I understood perfectly.
I found myself naked too, I distinctly felt the fur of the bed cover as it played with my skin, I looked longingly and then slid effortlessly alongside my lady, â€œYou are incredibly beautiful Jehanne. I do love you so much.â€ I traced my fingers over her body and paused just short of the livid scar above her right breast. It had healed now but it was a constant reminder of her pain and suffering at the hands of the English. I kissed it gently, â€œYou have healed well my warrior princess.â€
â€œYes its been seven years since the arrow found its mark as I scaled the walls of Les Tourelles at Orleans. Jehanne seemed unperturbed by the wounding and trauma suffered that day, â€œthe armour took away most of the sting. Luckily it was high enough to miss my heart.â€ She placed my hand on her warm beating breast and spoke softly as she reminisced. â€œSt. Catherine was at my side that day!â€
â€œYes, I remember, the army thought you were dead, the English thought you were dead and even I thought you were dead, but miraculously you survived! I remember them helping you mount your horse once the wound had been dressed. They handed you your banner and you winced as you held it aloft to inspire the troops; then we cheered, oh how we cheered. The English couldnâ€™t believe it â€“ witch magic they called it, scared them to hell and back!â€ I chuckled softly at the memory, â€œNo wonder they wanted to burn you so badly!â€
I kissed her neck and then gently her lips, her back arched as she warmed to my embrace and her eyes sparkled. â€œYou saved me Robert, my handsome black knight, not once but twice, stole your dragon princess away from under their very noses.â€
â€œNot before you suffered their insane tortures my love. God I hate them, their accursed church and all their deceptive workings. They masquerade as saints, but behave like devils. They are pure evil incarnate!â€
â€œHush my chevalier noir, they are winning at the moment, but their God is false and in the end they and their workings will fall and the people will be free, but the people have to free themselves. We canâ€™t do it for them. We are an old race midwiving the birth of a new type of human.â€
â€œYou are right my darling. They slaughter us when we show them the truth and they still canâ€™t grasp how this magnificent universe works. Our Lord spoke those very words at his moment of suffering â€“ forgive them for they know not what they do.â€
My gentle caresses were beginning to arouse the warrior angel I now held in my arms. As the soft sensual touches increased in intensity and urgency Jehanne started to writhe with pleasure. She kissed me in return with amazing intensity and power responding to the rhythm of our sacred dance.
Then she whispered sofly in my ear, â€œYou may drink from my living fountain if you wish Robert.â€ She indicated by pressing on my shoulders that I should slide down her body so as to stimulate her further. Within minutes she gushed forth her divine waters and I drank a deep and heady draught.
The effect was instantaneous, the serotonin and melatonin within the clear sweet smelling liquid stimulated my psychic receptors and jolted my consciousness into hyperspace. I could see the world at my feet. All the silly games humans played, the misery and the suffering caused by them. I could see the English being thrown out of our country in the not too distant future. The rise of empires and the demise of France in the New World and the ultimate triumph of the English language, yet they too would fall, but not before they had defeated the Germanic threat of the black soldiers with their lightning strike collared insignia and red arm bands with black spiders. Then I saw beyond them to the fall of religion and the new age of enlightenment with its golden age of truth, science and logic.
I accelerated my travel, it went way beyond this tiny planet and time seemed to stand still. I saw millions of populated worlds similar to our own and basked in the radiant light of the universe. I was enfolded in a blanket of pure love and I understood the hidden mystery of everything. There was only bliss and oneness with the source, it was as if I had died; no pain, no suffering, just pure universal love. As the glow subsided I returned to the arms of my warrior angel, warm and soft she embraced me; so tender, so perfect, so wonderful.
Her soft voice whispered gently in my ear, â€œNow you understand my chevalier noir. This is the wondrous gift of true sight that is mine to bestow on the man I choose. You are now my dragon lord and I am your dragon princess. I contain the key within me that unlocks the door to the Fairy realm. I give it to you freely and as a token of my true love, for no man can take this gift by force.â€
I wept at the beauty of the moment, her words of affirmation and the revelation of true knowledge that I had received. â€œIt was incredible Jehanne; I saw the truth of your words. I understand everything you say now. It is a wondrous gift and I am my ladyâ€™s humble servant forever more.â€ I stood naked in the firelight and then knelt before her royal presence and bowed my head.
â€œHush, hush Robert, arise, you are a dragon lord, you are my equal and you have taken your first flight into the Elven fairy realm. Hush, lie with me and sleep, sleep my love.â€
Then the alarm on my mobile phone went off and I was jolted back to reality as if attached to a bungee rope. Oh my God, what in the name of all things sacred was that all about? I lay naked on the bed, it was 19:30hrs and I could hear Lilly showering next door.