Prologue: The night at the castle
I helped light a fire and serve the tables when I heard approaching steps. I turned to see at least a hundred people, noble and poor, ready to gather in the great hall of King Gauthier's castle to listen to my story. The king announced:
-Here are some good court people, come to listen to your story. Is it enough?
-More than enough my lord! So sit down all, I'll tell you the story.
I took a deep breath and started.
"Good evening, my ladies and my lords, my name is troubadour Bérard. During this beautiful summer night in Brittany, I will tell you a wonderful story ... A story that represents the true virtues of a real knight. Those of Charles de Courtepaille, also named Charles au Basilic.
King Gauthier announced:
-Please do, Berard! You may start…
-Very well your majesty...
Chapter 1: Charles the Knight
Once upon a time, in 1245, in a seigniory of Aquitaine, a young knight named Charles de Courtepaille was sent to Petrus of Ausonius. His parents, having a duchy of Provins, decided to send their youngest son to the lord to become a squire. Until he was seventeen, he served as a scholar and disciple, a great knight of the court of Petrus, whose name was Eudes le Bel. Charles was well known in the court for his knightly skills by the fact that he had saved one of the drowning ladies when he was only 13 years old! One day, Eudes the Fair left and never returned to the court of Lord Petrus. This made the Lord furious because he had to find a new knight to replace him. The young knight was troubled by what had happened between Lord Petrus and Eudes the Fair. He knew that the Lord and Eudes the Fair had quarreled, but that was all. He did not care much and concentrated on his training with another less talented knight than Eudes, who was named Adrien de Sagace.
When Charles was eighteen, Lord Petrus decided to adorn him for his knighthood. He became Knight Charles of Ausonius and one day he decided to participate in one of the tournaments of Lord Petrus near his castle. He faced many other knights but won every time. He impressed all the nobles at the tournament with his talents and the great ladies too. He was going to face his last enemy, when he got off his horse. He turned his gaze into the stands and noticed a beautiful, refined and elegant girl who kept his eyes on him. He gave his equipment to his squire, his horse to his groom, and approached the Lord Petrus. He asked him:
-Hello my Lord. Who is this young lady in the stands?
-Oh, my dear Charles, this young lady you are talking about is my daughter Aude.
-Thank you my lord, I'll start my new fight now. I will see you later my lord.
The knight then left a happy face to the battlefield, thinking that Aude, the daughter of Lord Petrus whom he had great respect for, would marry him one day.
For a week he wondered how he could make Aude guess that he loved her without revealing her identity. After a few days, a very good idea crossed his mind. He asked one of Aude's best friends to write him a poem by dictating it. One night Charles went to Aude's door and slipped a small envelope with a little piece of parchment that he had stolen from the monks, where the poem was written. He knocked on his door and ran away for fear of being seen. Aude opened and found the envelope. She picked it up and went back to her room, slamming the door behind her. She sat on her bed, opened the little envelope and read:
"My beautiful Aude,
Your ash hair
And your coriander fragrance
Enchants all my senses
I love your beautiful green eyes
When I discovered them
I almost fell to the ground
So they enchanted me
Your teeth whiter than all the stars
And your cheeks like roses
And your grandiose smile
Never makes me morose”
Aude let out a small sneer and extinguished his candle.
Chapter 2: The disappearance of Aude
A week passed and Charles went every morning to the rose gardens that Aude loved so much to see her. This platonic love made him happy, and one fine day he decided to ask Lord Petrus for his daughter's hand. He arrived in the big courtyard where Petrus and his wife, Cassandra, were. He saw them sitting together on a bench where a gloomy atmosphere was floating. He approached and said:
-Hello my lords ...
They both jumped and turned to him.
-Yes, my dear Charles, said Lady Cassandra, what do you want?
He hesitated and ended up saying something along those lines:
-I wanted to ask you ... If I could ... I promise you that ...
The tears of Lady Cassandra and Lord Petrus interrupted him. Charles, worried, tried to comfort them:
-Lady Cassandra, Lord Petrus, I see you so moved ... What is bothering you so? Is it the fact of having asked for the hand of ...
-Oh no, my dear Charles, said Petrus, it's not that, it's that—
-Eudes, Eudes le Bel! He has, he has ...
Lady Cassandra had not even finished her sentence that she began to faint.
-Eudes the Bel? What did he do?
Lord Petrus stood up and said:
-Eudes le Bel, a former grand knight of the Lordship of the Petrus family of Ausonius, captured Aude, our daughter.
The young man looked horrified. He shouted:
-Eudes the Bel! Who taught me? Why would he do such a thing?
-Yes, it is well the one who has guided you, replied Lady Cassandra, if you bring our daughter back to us, Aude will be your lady.
Lord Petrus got up and said:
-That coward, this traitor! Eudes took our daughter because he loved her! Do you remember when he left last year? I had refused him the hand of Aude...
He took a deep breath and announced:
-Lady Cassandra, Lord Petrus, I will do everything in my power to find your daughter Aude! I will cross the most dangerous moors, I will face the most deadly beasts, all for the honor of your family and my love for Aude! I'll leave tonight!
Charles kept his promise and departed that evening with a proud and fierce steed. Proud of accomplishing his duty, he darted forward. His armor shone and his helmet covered his head and bore the symbol of the famous lion and dove of the court of the Petrus family. His sword attached to his belt was as sharp as the teeth of a dragon that Audibert, a great blacksmith, had made for Lord Petrus. At about midnight he went into the forest, convinced to save Aude.
Author Notes: I hope you enjoyed, other parts are coming soon!