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Milady stared out over the village, thinking about everything she had heard. They claimed that the peasant girl, Jeanne, had become a witch with real magic. It went beyond just turning the heads of the village men with her looks, or producing gold when none in the village had a loaf of bread to their name, let alone a denier… Milady should have known back then that the rumors would simply grow more impossible.

Now she was out in the woods, and somehow protected from the dangerous animals and wild brambles. Most of the villagers didn't dare to set foot in the forest, save for the hunters who skirted around the outer edges with their dogs and bows. Those same hunters and dogs had pursued Jeanne in her earlier flight, and now their women visited her for herbal cures! Everyone from the old grandmothers to the priest's acolyte were visiting Jeanne as though they hadn't tried to kill her just a season ago!

It made Milady furious; all of her attempts to degrade the girl and put her in her place seemed to have backfired. Her husband hadn't rejected her, even after losing a limb, and the villagers hadn't managed to finish the job last year. Against all odds, she continued to survive — and thrive. However, there was no way that Jeanne could have gotten this far on her own, Milady knew. She had to be getting help from someone.

Or something.

Milady would need to do something about the girl, and soon, before she managed to turn the whole village against Milady. Perhaps she'd send her page in search of the girl. He could get close enough to find out what she was up to. And then, Milady could put a stop to it. For good, this time.