HAPPY NEW YEARS!!! Enjoy.
We start where we left off. Jiang and Antoine are in the carriage, being taken to Antoine's house.
Jiang: So tell me, where did you learn to speak Chinese.
Antoine: There are many agents that come through Europe, bringing news or just traveling. I offered my home to them to rest up, and in return, i learn about them and their homeland. Now, where did you learn to speak French.
Jiang: When i left China, i did it on a Steamboat to Paris. While we were sailing, i met a traveling French merchant who had done business in China. It would take 2 days for us to sail, counting a stop in Italy. If i was to spend two days at sea, then i might as well put that time to good use. From him, i learned about French culture and language. Now that's out of the way, tell me everthing about the operation.
Antoine: We have agents and the "Knights" positioned all over the train stations, docks, and roads leading outside the city. We have more and more people coming in everyday to support us in the checkpoints and searches.
Jiang: I see, but what do you know about the Cult's actions? If they haven't escaped yet, they must be planning something.
Antoine: Based on what we recovered in docuements and through our interrogations, we found out that they plan to launch an attack on the city. The attack is to serve as a distraction in order to escape the city, along with their research and the "apple".
Jiang: Do you think they plan to use the "apple" against us?
Antoine: Highly possible, but according to their research, "Those without strong wills can become either deadly allies or enemies.".
Jiang: I noticed that the cultists in Bejing when they used the artifact, their men attacked each other, even our forces lost control. Should they be strong enough to resists the effects, then we are doomed.
Antoine: Rest assure, if they use it, all we have to do is put these on...(reaching into his pocket and pulling out a gold ring with glowing patterns.)
Jiang: What is that? Some kind of rings?
Antoine: These "rings" are actually artifacts. They were made to counter against effects from other artifacts and make the wearers completely immune.
Jiang: Ah, i see, so you have a contingency plan ready.
The carriage then stops.
Antoine: We'rr here.
Antoine opens the door and steps out. He then helps Jiang down before paying the driver.
Jiang: So...this is where you live....all by your self?
She see's a 2 floor mansion in front of her with a garden in the front and a porch with 2 chairs and a glass table.
Antoine: No, but that reminds me since your staying here, i might as well introduce you to someone.
They both walk towards the front door.
Adrien (echo): You know, this place looks a lot like mine.
Marinette (echo): Yeah, it kind of does. But you did you hear everthing they said?
Adrien (echo): Yeah, sounds like a huge fight coming.
Antoine opens the door as Jiang steps and he closes the door. They enter the foyer with a stair case in the middle, two doors on the both sides of the room. On the walls are hunged paintings, shelfs holding trinkets and other strange items.
Antoine: Hmmm... Where is that girl? DOROTHY, WHERE ARE YOU?
???: Coming, father.
They both walk to the center as a 17 year old girl with blond, wavy hair, and green eyes (wearing a red dress, with white collar and red carvat, and black shoes with low heels) coming down the stairs.
???: You called, father?
Antoine: Dorothy, I have a guest who will be staying with us for "business. I want you to be polite and treat her kindly.
Dorothy: Okay, father.
Antoine: Jiang, this is my daughter, Dorothy Agreste. She is staying with due to some "trouble" between her and her mother.
Dorothy: It is a pleasure to meet you Ms. Cheng (bowing her head).
Jiang: It's okay little one, you do not need to bow.
Antoine: (chuckling) She too has learned much during her stay. She often reads books and talk to other guests i have over.
Dorothy: (standing back up) I always wanted to learn about Chinese culture and legends
Antoine: Dorothy, why don't you make us some tea while i take our guests up to my studies When you do, your are welcome to join us.
Dorothy: Okay father.
She then walks to the right door and leaves the room.
Jiang: Nice girl, was she raised like that?
Antoine: I'll tell you everthing. Come, my studies are the second floor.
They walk up the stairs and to the door on the right. Upon entering, Jiang sees a large room with 2 long bookcases,filled on ever shelf, a grand father clock in between the 2 cases, a 19th century model globe in the middle of the room, a desk with piles of paper, and a stone table with 3 chairs in front of a large window.
Jiang: (taking a closer look at the book shelves) Why some many books? Surely you can't read them all.
Antoine: I buy books for Dorothy. She maybe young, but she is a curious learner. Please have a seat.
Jiang sits down at the table as Antoine puts his cane on it and sits down.
Jiang: So what can you tell me about Dorothy?
Antoine: It's a long story. You see, when i ran away from my family's home in Nanste, i was seen as a disgrace, a mockery of my family name. So, they cut all ties to me and i became a distant memory. A few years later, my sister got marry to Mercatti Lorenzo, a wealthy Italian man who had gained his fortune by running a trading company in port citites like Venice and Monte Carlo. She would have 3 children, one of them was Dorothy. Now she...she was a gifted girl, who had an amazing will to learn.
Jiang: But how did she end up here?
Antoine: Well, It wasn't till her 10th birthday that she discovered me through my sister's diary. She found out that i used to sneak out back then to go see the city. Dorothy planned to do it at her 15th birthday, the same age i first done it. But when her mother found out, she wasn't happy, especially when her daughter brought up my name. So, Dorothy did the same thing i did all those years ago (but at a younger age) : she ran away to Paris to find me. She wouldn't be found for 2 days when one of the "Knights" brought her to my doorstep. When i heard her story, i decided took her in. I gave her new clothes, books and a new place to call home. So, for the past 7 years, i have been raising her like a daughter. And you want to know something, she sees me as more of a father than uncle. In fact, on her 12th birthday she changed her last name from Lorenzo to Agreste.
Jiang: I see, but it's is almost...
Antoine: Unbelievable? That's because it is.
Jiang: I still can't believe that she tried to run away at such a young age. Wasn't that dangerous for her?
Antoine: Yes, you see, the "Knights" rescued her when they heard she was looking for me. When they found her, she was dirty and sick. But now, i keep her clean and healthy while giving her my love and happiness.
Jiang: Hmmm....sounds like you could be a perfect father.
Antoine: (with a smirk) Are you trying to say you fallen in love with me?
Jiang: No, i was just...
Dorothy (muffled): Okay, tea is here.
Dorothy comes in with a tray, holding a tea set and sets it down on the table as Antoine grabs his cane and lays it against his chair.
Dorothy: Here you are, father (handing Antoine a tea cup and plate). And for you, Ms. Chiang (handing Jiang a tea cup and plate). I also brought some biscuits i made this morning (setting a plate of biscuits on the table).
Antoine: Dorothy, why don't you sit down? You can go ahead and ask Ms. Jiang questions.
Dorothy: Okay father.
She sits down as they spent the next few hours in discussion till it was nighttime.
Marinette (echo): Wow, hearing all of this is amazing.
Adrien: (echo) Who knew that there was to Chinese culture than in the books. Jiang is a pretty cool.
Marinette (echo): Yeah, but so is Antoine. I mean his personality is surprising. But his sense of style, cultural values, and relationship with Dorothy, makes him a great man.
Adrien (echo): Hang on, i think she's finished.
Jiang:...and that's why it is famous story.
Dorothy: Wow, father, can you get me "Journey to the West", please?
Antoine: (putting down his tea cup) I'll try, but that novel may be hard to find.
Jiang: Well, i could send a request to the Chinese "Order" to send a copy.
Dorothy: (getting up and bowing) Thank you, Ms. Cheng (stands up). I won't forget your kindness.
Antoine: Calm down, Dorothy. (looks at the clock) Look at the time, it's getting late. Jiang, we'll start our search tomorrow morning. But for now, Dorothy will show you to the guest room.
Dorothy: Okay father, but what about the dishes?
Antoine: I'll take care of them. Just make sure you get ready for bed and i'll come check on you.
Dorothy: Okay, father. Ms. Cheng, if you please.
Jiang gets up and they exit the room. Antoine gets up and walks in front of the window, putting his cane down in front of him with both his hands on it.
Antoine: Something tells me that our business here just got more interesting. Well, "the more, the merrier.
He then turns, picks up the tray and exits the room.
Adrien (echo): What did he mean by that last part.
Marinette (echo): I wonder does he...
Suddenly, time begins to change as night turns to day.
Marinette (echoe): What's happening?
Adrien (echo): It looks like it just became morning.
Marinette (echo): Are you saying that time...advanced?
Adrien (echo): Looks like it. Now, let's see what happens next.
I hoped you liked. Jiang and Antoine are about to begin their search. Find out how it goes down in Chapter 17: The Knight's Hunt.