Adventuring through twisted time.
“I do.” King Mark said
“I do.” Isolde said choking back tears as she stared blankly to the man in front of her that was wedding her to the King of Cornwall to unite Ireland and Cornwall as one. This was to be a joyous moment as she stood in front of the kingdom. She was marrying a good man after all. Yet in her mind she wanted Tristan's hand to appear and the pair run off together. She hadn’t seen him since that stormy night after he told her he couldn’t want her. It was wrong.
She told herself nightly as she cried herself quietly in her bed that he was right they couldn’t be together. She was to be married to his uncle. Though the potion that linked them made it hard as she dreamed of him nightly. She always wondered if he dreamed of her as well. Isolde snapped back into the moment of her wedding as they turned to face the crowd of people. Isolde forced a painful smile as her eyes scanned for Tristan.
Nowhere to be seen. Maybe he just didn’t want to see her. She thought to herself as the pair walked down and made their way to the ballroom of the castle where there was to be a huge party in their honor. She took a seat at their table and watched the room fill with music and people having a good time. Her eyes still searching for him till Mark leaned in calling her attention.
“My dear, I am so happy this day has come. You look beautiful. I cannot wait for later tonight when you grace my bed.” His voice was a gentle whisper in her ear then a gentle kiss placed on her ear. As King Mark pulled back Isolde pressed that force smile to her lips again.
“If you excuse me I need to freshen up.” Isolde said as she stood from the table and moved out of the ballroom. She walked down the hall, her hands shaking as she pressed them to her corset. When she was sure no one was around she found the closest empty room and started to breath raggedly. She had forgotten all about the wedding night, it was something she wasn’t ready for… not with him.
She lowered herself to the ground, no longer able to stand as her hands came to her face, tears falling down her cheeks. All the tears she managed to hold in the whole time while the wedding was going on.
His sword lowered. Tristan turned away from the woman as she tried to explain her reason for invading on their lives. Asking for trust when all she did was sneak around in the shadows of the castle and meddle in their lives with magic no less, seemed like an absurdity. He kept his gaze pinned to the floor where the remnants of the man still lay in a pool of rotted filth. His jaw clenched in an effort to hold his tongue. He didn't have the strength to fight her, physically or verbally. The magic that had filled the room exhausted him completely and being in her presence was only exacerbating it further. The very air he breathed in here still felt like poison moving through his body.
"My lord?" A questioning voice from one of the knights who'd been on guard earlier appeared in the doorway with a few of the others. Their eyes moved between him and the wildman that was no more.
Tristan looked to where the sorceress had been moments ago and saw she was now gone. To where, he had no idea, but was sure he'd see her again in one way or the other. Sheathing the sword, he heavily pushed himself away from the cell and moved his way between the men who stood silently waiting for some direction. "Burn the remains outside the walls. Burn them till there's nothing but ash that remains and then bury those ashes." The words were spoken over his shoulder as he slowly walked down the hallway, passed the other cells of prisoners, who seemed to be having some form of clarity again now that the wildman and the thing possessing it had gone.
Leaning against the wall for support, getting to the top of the stairs was its own chore. He immediately stepped out through the archway to get outside and breathed in the fresh air for a few moments. He wiped the sweat from his brow and pushed his damp hair away from his face in some attempt at appearing like he had it together still when he felt quite the opposite. Tristan had had to pull himself together during plenty of battles to appear strong for his men and so he did the same again before heading back inside.
The hallway in which he'd left Isolde in was significantly quieter now, though there were still plenty of people moving about in the current chaotic situation they were now in. The three knights he had stationed to remain at the door of the queen had not moved from their positions. His uncle was standing with some of his advisors further down the corridor and so he ducked into the open room where the queen was still.
"Leave us," he said to the ladies who were attempting to help the distraught queen and they quickly bowed and exited the room to wait outside. Tristan knelt in front of Isolde who still remained on the chaise, meeting his tired eyes with hers. "I'm so sorry," he whispered, his hand coming to her cheek and brushing the tears that fell down her pale skin as the other clasped over her hand. He brought her fingers up and kissed them softly. "I saw the sorceress again." Tristan then explained everything he could from what had happened in the dungeon, leaving out most of the gruesomeness. "It seems she was not expecting that foe to be there either and its somehow interrupted whatever plans she has herself. She may be the only one to really know more about what's going on. More about the enemy that keeps trying to hurt you and our kingdoms." He looked to the open door and saw they were still as alone as could possibly be with knights and servants just feet away. Gently wiping more of the tears away, Tristan kept himself from acting on the urge to wrap her in his arms. "You should rest. Be somewhere quiet and away from this."
Her mind was over encumbered with every bad thought that could vex it and yet the moment her eyes landed on Tristan. Her shoulders relaxed slightly and her eyes moved to the ladies in waiting. “Go on.” Watching as they left the pair alone once again. She moved to sit down on the chaise feeling the events of the morning, it wasn’t even midday at this point and she wished to crawl back into bed and rest her head. Holding his tired eyes she felt the tears welling up once again.
Leaning into his comforting touch as his hand moved to brush her tears away. “You have nothing to be sorry for.” she managed to get out as she swallowed back the new tears that wanted to fall over. Closing her icy blue eyes that were stormy and dark now at that moment. The light kisses along her fingers made her want to crawl into his arms and sob away but she knew that wasn’t an option in that moment. Her eyes shot open as he spoke of the sorceress, an angry red tone flashed across her the flesh of her chest.
The more he spoke of his encounter though, she felt the flash of anger that ran through her fade. Isolde could tell he was holding back details but she was sure he had his reasons for that, not wanting to push, since it was probably for the best. She turned her head from looking at Tristan off somewhere in the room weighing her words on what to say. “So we are caught between two monsters and may have to choose a side?” she asked as she pulled her hand free from his to rub her face with both her hands and through her wild curly hair. “The only thing we can be sure of, is that the Sorceress hasn’t tried to harm us. Whereas this wildman wanted too, plans too.”
The Queen gave a shake of her head for a moment, “Do you think we can call the sorceress to talk with us?” She leaned her heavy head into his touch for a singular moment. “We may be able to get more answers if it's both of us.” She said quietly as one of her hands mindlessly reached to touch the dagger scar. “What is the likelihood that all of these enemies are just toying with us?” she questioned quietly as she closed her eyes. “When the word gets back to Ireland about my m-mother.” her voice broke at that moment. “They are going to want the head of who took hers, or a war may come.” Her eyes opened to lock with him to express the seriousness of this.
“Your uncle wants me to leave the castle grounds.” She said as she moved to her feet then. “Says there is a safe house far from here for me.” She smoothed her hand over her night clothes for a quiet moment. “I’m not sure how long he is going to want to send me away.” her hands came to take hold of his and give them a gentle squeeze. “I have no idea who he plans to send with me either.” After a moment of holding his hands she pulled away to move and place space before she requested him to hold her. "Or when I will be forced to leave the castle, to leave you." she said the last part almost so low he couldn't hear it.
Tristan let out a breath through his nose, looking down. He wished he had the answers. Anything that would let them see some ending to this all. It felt like there was nothing but additional questions instead as they gained more enemies than allies. Isolde had more confidence in this sorceress than he did. There was not a single drop of trust or good will he had toward the woman. However, with this new unknown foe that had taken control over the wildman before completely obliterating him, perhaps the sorceress would be more willing to provide them aid. It was true that she didn't actually cause any physical harm to either of them, but she did meddle in their lives for reasons neither of them knew. Not to mention this potion of what seemed to be eternal life that they were forced to drink. It was something he had yet to come to terms with while dealing with everything else going on.
The knight looked up to her as he tried to find the words, but was silenced when she mentioned the king wanting to have her moved. His brow furrowed and he stared after Isolde as she dropped his hands and moved across the room. Everything else suddenly didn't matter. Having her gone from the castle was unimaginable. Despite the expansiveness of the grounds and the need to always have some distance between them, Tristan at least knew she was around somewhere. He could steal a few glances every now and again and would come running should she need. Only some hours earlier, everything changed. The tether would drive him mad at the new distance.
Tristan stood, glancing over his shoulder to ensure no one was looking into the room. "I'll request my uncle let me come with you. He'll want the best few to guard his wife and the most trusted." He moved far too close to her and took one of the queen's hands in his while the other cupped her face. "One thing at a time. You need rest and to grieve for your mother. The king will of course want you both to return to Ireland for your mother's funeral rituals and to stay any thinking that may lead to us having anything to do with what happened. I will deal with the rest for now. You mustn't go around the castle without the escorts, please." His thumb brushed over her freckled skin as he raised her hand and kissed it softly before resting his cheek against her fingers for a quick moment. He finally forced himself to step away from Isolde and bowed shortly. He turned and hated every thoughtful pace he took to leave the room, but without a plan, Ireland would no doubt be knocking at their door with sword in hand. They needed to send a discrete messenger out ahead of them because there was no chance the queen's absence wouldn't be noticed which meant they must've been keeping it a secret from the rest of their kingdom.