The duel provokes a lot of speculation within and between the schools and the outcome of the duel will be taken by the students of the winning side as a validation of their school over that of their rivals.
By discretely asking around Guy learns that the nobleman is the Baron Simon d’Ile-de-Batz.
Meanwhile, Gaston and Cassanha, both masters of the Italian style, face each other similarly armed with rapier and main gauche. Cassanha is faster, but his rapid thrusts are repeatedly parried by Gaston who uses a combination of ripostes and thrusts to drive his foe back and then back again. Gaston parries then counters with his vizcaina in a deadly throat slash. Blood spurting from his throat, Cassanha counters with a stop-thrust wounding Gaston in the leg, but the stop-thrust draws Cassanha’s rapier out of position and Gaston delivers a fatal lunge to his opponent’s heart. Cassanha falls dead.[i]
The duel done and his wound bandaged, Gaston returns to the Dancing Bear Inn. Now that he has a commission with the Picardy Regiment he must spend some of his time performing his regimental duties. Major Gerald Larocque, who is in charge of the junior officers, assigns Gaston and the other new officers the task of assessing the new recruits. The Major makes it known that how well the lieutenants do this job may help decide which lieutenant is given temporary command of a company – the company is short of company captains so one or more lieutenants will need to be given a brevet command. Success training the recruits will impress the Major; failure the opposite.
Gaston spends Tuesday and Wednesday the 7th and 8th of February working with the new recruits. He identifies several veterans and assigns them to drill the green recruits in how to march – a key aspect of soldiering. Gaston succeeds, though not more so than his peers. His greater military experience being offset by his lack of noble birth and his less charismatic style of leadership. Biscarrat on the other hand is thought to be a natural leader. Lieutenant Colonel Boisson is most impressed with Daumier and Biscarrat. It looks like Biscarrat may not have to remain an ensign for very long and for now Daumier has the inside track on a brevet captaincy.
[i] Gaston’s Riposte with his vizcaina did -8 Lifeblood and his Lunge did -11 Lifeblood. This would have left Cassanha dead at a net -9 Lifeblood. However, Cassanha is a villain and as he had not used any of his Fortune Points, he used them to survive the apparently fatal blow. He will recover somehow, however he is left with a horrible scar to his throat that reduces his voice to a Christopher Lambert like whisper. He gains the Flaw: Obsession (Defeat Gaston). He is obsessed with proving himself by defeating Gaston in a one on one duel. However he no longer has faith in the teachings of his master. He abandons the Italian Style that he learned from Sapristi. Once he recovers enough to travel, he will go on a quest for a new style or an ultimate, unstoppable move that will let him defeat Gaston and finally Prove Himself.