WARNING: This is a intense moment in this chapter!
We start in the study, Antoine (wearing a white dress shirt and black pants) sitting at his desk (with hands clench in a raised position) with Aujeán standing in front of the window.
Aujeán: We finally did it....Paris is free...soon Framce will be too.
Antoine: We have won the battle, but the war still rages on.
Aujeán: (turns around) I was afraid you would say that. But for now, let us celebrate. (walks forward, in front of Antoine) The boys are waiting for us at the bar.
Antoine: You can go meet them, i have...business to take care of.
Aujeán: Are you sure? I know that she's been like that for the whole day, but the doctor said she'll make a full recovery in the morning. Dorothy can take care of her.
Antoine: (gets up) I...i rather be with her. (walks to the door)
Aujeán: Just what happened between the two of you?
Antoine then stops.
Aujeán: Ever since we found the two of you on that road, you haven't left her side. I have never seen you like this, do you have...feelings for her?
Antoine:..She...I...(lowers it, looking down, then raises it and turn his head)...whatever happened is between her and me.
Aujeán: I see...i'll be going now.
They both go out of the studies and into the foyer. Antoine stops in front of the stairs as Aujeán walks down, heading to the door. Dorothy passes by him. She stares as Aujeán grabs his coat from the hanger, opens the door and leaves.
Dorothy: (turns and walks up the staris) Are you not leaving father?
Antoine: No Dorothy, i'm staying for the night.
Dorothy: Are you sure? I can take care of her.
Antoine: It's fine, i intended to stay with her. You go enjoy yourself, here...(reaches into his pocket and gives Dorothy 2000 Euro)
Dorothy: Okay, i'll be going out to the café.
Dorothy walks down the steps, heading to the closet.
Antoine: Don't be out too long.
Dorothy: I won't...
Dorothy opens the closet, takes out and puts on a crimson fur coat. She then closes the closet, opens the front door and leaves. Antoine then goes into the hallway on the right of the second floor.
Adrien (echo): I can understand how you feel. I would have done the same with....
Antoine then stops in front of a door. He opens it, walking into a bed room with a Canopy bed, two dressers on the right side of the room, a closet in front of the bed, and two bedside tables (with a lit candles on each one.)
Jiang (wearing shorts, her chest, left arm and right leg wrapped in gauze) is lying down on the bed.
Jiang: Dorothy, do you have my...(turns her head, seeing Antoine)...oh...it's you.
Antoine: She's out, enjoying her time. I'll be taking care of you tonight.
Jiang: I see, but aren't you missing the celebration?
Antoine: I am, but i thought it would be better to stay here...with you.
Jiang: Oh...(blushing)...well, i don't mean to be rude but...why am i in your bedroom?
Antoine: I thought you would be more comfortable in my bed. Besides, i thought it would give us the chance to spend time together.
He walks to the bed and sits down on the side.
Jiang: What happened...in the forest...i thought
Antoine: I was gone? I thought you weren't interested.
Jiang: I...i just couldn't bare to lose anyone else.
Antoine: I understand, i know what happened in China. I know what it was like to lose a family...and find a new one. Dorothy has been a good girl, one that proudly calls me her "father" as i treat her as the growing women she is.
Jiang: My "family" was the monks at the temple. When the master took me in, he introduced me to everyone. They all treated me nicely and kindly as i began to grow and train. They were always there for me when i needed them. But...most of them are gone now...done in by Li Wren's betrayal, including the master.
Li Wren...she my best friend, i trusted her with everything...but...
She atempts to get up.
Antoine: Allow me...
Antoine helps her up as she move besides him and rest her head against him as he puts her arm around her.
Antoine: So what will you do? After you return to China?
Jiang: I don't know, maybe go back to the temple ruins and salvage. Revive the Order, train recruits.
Jiang: (sits up and turns to him) What?
Antoine: I know what it is like, to be afraid of taking the next step without guidance, to be alone.
Jiang: I...i am. I don't know what to do nkw. (in a sad tone) I have nowhere to go, no place to call a home, and no friends to help me. I'm all alone now.
Tears begin to fill her eyes as she starts to cry. Antoine then grabs Jiang and hugs her.
Antoine: You are not alone...
Jiang: (sniffling) What do you mean?
Antoine: I too feel loneliness, ever since i left my family. Though i had company with me, i wasn't enough to fill the void. But that all change when Dorothy came. I was surprised at first when she came, especially when she ran away. Do you want to know what i told her when i said i would send her back to her mother? She said, " No, I won't go back to that awful place!". It was at that moment that i realized something
Jiang: What was it?
Antoine: "Fear is just another reason to try." She felt the same fear i had when i was young, fear of being alone. If we continue to live in fear, then we already forfeit our lives. It is just an obstacle, waiting to be overcome, but we cannot do it alone. We need the compassion of others to take the first step.
Jiang: (looking at his face) Antoine...
Antoine: Allow me to take the first step with you...
Antoine then kisses Jiang as the two fall on to the bed.
Marinette (echo): Oh my....
Adrien (echo): I knew this was going to happen.
Antoine pulls a rope hanging off the bed. Curtains then drop, covering the Canopy bed as the candles dim out.
??? (echo): You are not old enough for this next part.
Marinette (echo): Mr. Stérn?
Time advances as the dusk turns to dawn and the Agreste manor disappears and the docks appears.
Antoind, Dorothy, Aujeán, and the Knights stand on the docks as Jiang (in her robes) stands near a docked steamboat.
Dorothy: Must you leave already, Ms. Cheng?
Jiang: I'm afraid so. There is still some work to be done.
Aujeán: An agent's work is never done. But, before you go, the men and i must commend you for your service. We have loaded supplies you might need to help in your efforts.
Jiang: Thank you, Aujeán. I'll sure find use for them.
Antoine: I have already sent word for agents in Asis to go to China to help in your effort.
Jiang: Thank you, Antoine.
The ship's horn blows.
Jiang: I must leave now (walking towards the ship).
He grabs her hand, Jiang turns around.
Antoine: I have something for you.
He reaches into his coat and pulls out a small box. He then puts in her hands and closes it.
Jiang: What is this?
Antoine: Something to remember us by...and one more thing.
Adrien (echo): Wait, i think i know what's he going to say.
Jiang/Marinette (echo): What is it?
Antoine/Adrien (echo): We will see each other again...
Antoine then leans and kisses Jiang as the two embrace. The ship's horn blows as it departs. Jiang runs and jumps onto the ship. She turns around, seeing everyone waving goodbye to her as the ship continues to travel out of sight.
Antoine: (turning around, facing everyone) Alright, boys, we got some work to do. So get moving.
The Knights then as they shout orders .
Aujeán: You miss her already, don't you?
Antoine: A little bit, but time heals all wounds.
Dorothy: What did you say to her?
Antoine: A promise...nothing more.
They all leave the docks and move to the streets as city begins disappear.
Cooper (echo): It is done...
Marinette (echo): What?
Pyrrha (echo): Memory is complete, Adrien Agreste is now stable.
Adrien (echo): Now that's good to hear.
Everything begins to whiteout till....cold air is blown as Adrien and Marinette are unconscious, lying in a pile of snow in a forest covered in ice and snow. They then wake up.
Adrien: Ughhh...where are we?
Marinette: We must be in the Frozen Forest.
Nathan (echo): Sorry, but something's wrong with the scanner. Pyrrha?
Pyrrha (echo): I'll run a diagnostic......
Jaune (echo): Well...anything?
Pyrrha (echo): We have a problem!
Cooper (echo): What did the diagnostic say?
Pyrrha (echo): Nothing, my terminal just shut down.
Marinette : Is there a problem?
Nathan (echo): We do, all systems are shutting down...on their own!!!
Adrien: Wait! What's that mean for us?
Cooper (echo): It means we can't bring you back remotely and the virtual world will be "deleted", along with you!
Jaune (echo): It's okay, you can still get out. Head for the beach, on the Island....
Cooper (echo): ...And hurry, we can slow the shut down, but not for long.
Adrien: Got it! C'mon Marinette.
They both run, heading to the edge of the forest, disappearing out of sight as snow continues to fall.
I hoped you liked. Can Marinette and Adrien escape before they are "deleted"? Find out in Chapter 24: Heroes End.