1. Welcome to Black Dahlia, an adult 18+ roleplaying and writing forum! Don't forget to vote daily for BDRP! The more you vote, the more awesome writers find BDRP, so vote each day! Click here to vote on Top RP Sites and here to vote on Top Site List.
  2. Follow BDRP on all major social media! Tweet at us, Like us, Follow us, Pin our Boards, Reblog us, and check out member Art!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Hey there Guest! Looking for more ways to find awesome stories? Check out our newly revamped Fandom Catalogue and our brand new Genre Catalogue!

    Sign up and share what fandoms and genres you are interested in!
    Dismiss Notice

 Female x Male The Fallen House Part II (Nepenthe WIP DO NOT DELETE!!!!)

Discussion in 'Roleplay Area Archive' started by Laster, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Laster

    Laster A Mischievous Fox Member

    Messages:
    400
    Local Time:
    10:32 PM
    Théadan couldn't hide his disappointment in hearing nothing more came with the journals, some sort of word of who or why they had been sent would have been nice. But it was simply not the case, it would have to remain a mystery for the time being, at the very least he would have some of his journals returned to him. The young man was very certain he would be released, but he had not seen Kazim's reaction to him, right now Théadan would have to wait. The surprises did not stop just yet however, havin recovered from the sight of his journal, the young man revealed one last surprise for him, stating in so casual and matter of fact way, that he seemed to gloss over it as though it should have been obvious all along. This was Sai, Navia's brother. "Sai?!" He murmured, taking a closer look of him, trying to spot some similarities too Navia, their eyes were the same, their noses were a lot alike too. How strange to be face to face with someone so important to Navia, but for her not to be there for the introduction.

    Sai insisted on being called Sai rather than Sainan, on account of the nature of his and Navia's relationship. The questions kept coming from Sai however, as he started asking questions about their relationship, and why he would want Navia when there was so many problems for them, even questioning what made Théadan think it was love. He ignored the questions for the moment, intent on getting back around to them, but having to address the fact he was talking to Navia's youngest brother. "I suppose that explains a lot actually." He muttered, thinking of some of what Sai had said, and some of his mannerisms too. "Navia talked a lot about you, and with a lot of pride." Théadan said, recalling how important her family were too her, how excited she was to see them again, and the nerves that came with it. "She's missed you dearly, and seeing you and Yousef again is what I think she's been most looking forward too. If you haven't seen her already, you should go see her the first chance you get."

    Théadan went back to leaning against one of the walls, taking his journal and pushing it into one of his pockets for the time being. He'd have to be careful to make sure it didn't get wet while he was here. "I suppose I have even more reason to be open with you, and give the answers to the questions you ask." Before he even knew this was Sai, Théadan had been quite happy to answer Sai's questions, but now he did know, he felt it important to answer as much as he could. First he needed to correct the misguided view that Navia wouldn't mess with him. "For your information, there is nobody on this planet that Navia loves messing with more than me. She wouldn't know what to do with herself if she didn't find ways to tease and provoke me. I think she just finds it funny to see what kind of reaction she can get by being as annoying as possible." Being able to accept and enjoy that side of Navia was probably one of the key parts to their relationship, it was such a large part of what made their relationship so fun, a lot of their games were borne from her need to tease. "Ah, but that's the thing, I do enjoy it. It is very difficult for me not to get caught up in all her games, and try to get my own back."

    To answer why he had to be with Navia, why he loved her, Théadan supposed Sainan deserved to hear the whole story. Hopefully Navia would be able to fill in what he missed out when they saw each other again and talked. "When we first met, I was the one who took her from her home." He confessed, his tone apologetic and honest. "I set an ambush to catch her while she tried to escape Vanam, imagine a Mes'Mo'Tanian warrior on the back of the biggest horse you've ever seen, with our nightmarish masks, catching you unarmed in the dead of night." Navia had flinched, but she had remained strong and resolute, turning the tables on him in an instant. "Navia's reaction was outrage at the injustice of what I was doing, there was no fear, just fury. I may have been the one to catch her offguard, but I was the one left stunned and surprised by our first meeting, and I liked her straight away. She had fire and courage, and strength." It was rare and it was precious, and goddess how he wanted to protect it. "We spent a lot of time together in the month it took us to head back to Nygaard, and we grew very close in that time. Once in Nygaard, I couldn't stay away. I wanted to help, and to be with her."

    Giving her away in Nygaard was probably the thing he was most ashamed of in his history with Navia. He felt he had failed her and the longings of his own heart. But since that night he snuck into Navia's room, and was discovered by his own family, Théadan had not a single regret. "There's a lot I regret from these passed few years, but I have not regretted a single choice since I chose to leave my home to be with Navia. She saw the best in me, and helped show me I did not have to be the Prince my family wanted me to be, I could be my own self, and be all the better for it." Their relationship had really gone from strength to strength once they had healed their wounds together, and stopped trying to hide their relationship from others. "I was imprisoned by my own family for a week because I chose to be with Navia, now I've been imprisoned by Navia's. But if it means I get to be with her, it's worth it." He shrugged his shoulders at the thought of what others might think of their relationship. "I do not care how frowned upon it is by both our countries, Navia and I, we are meant to be together."
     
  2. Nepenthe

    Nepenthe And yet she blooms. Administrator

    Messages:
    502
    Local Time:
    4:32 PM
    It was funny to hear Navia bothered this Mes’Mo’Tanian so much that he claimed she loved messing with him above all others. His sister was so small in stature compared to the fearsome warrior locked in the prison cell; to think of her tormenting Théadan was amusing and Sai did not doubt for a second that Navia enjoyed it. Growing up her provoking ways had been more focused on Kazim and Yousef, but it did not mean Sai had been immune to them. Navia had just tended to have a more maternal attitude toward him…most of the time. That Théadan enjoyed the teasing and had fun trying to get back at her for them made Sai smile slightly; it certainly sounded as though Navia had met her match. He could not imagine her husband stooping to the level she sometimes reached to try to get a rise out of her victims.

    The moment Théadan revealed he was the one whom had taken Navia from them in the first place, Sai’s demeanor changed. His brows knit together and he frowned while he listened to Théadan explain what had happened. He and Yousef had spoken so hatefully about whoever had dared to take their sister and further pain an already wounded country and family. To have the source of that hate standing in front of him in the form of someone he was already finding that he liked and got along well with was disheartening. Théadan described what had happened that night and while it was angering to hear Navia had even been put in that type of situation, pride swelled in Sainan to hear how his sister had not backed down. He would have been surprised to hear otherwise.

    Though it was angering and disappointing to hear Théadan had been the one to cause his family so much strife, it was clear Navia had not only forgiven him, but had chosen to look past the wrongs and embrace Théadan. Of course, he wanted to hear it from Navia herself, but the fact she had brought the man with her to Mandira was a testament to her dedication. He also liked what Théadan said about how Navia had helped him move past the expectations his family had on him. Sai understood that pressure and that want to be free of it, but given the title as a prince, Théadan had likely been under even more pressure than he was. That was only affirmed by the revelation Théadan had been incarcerated by his loved ones. He thought it was worth it to be currently confined to the dungeons though, if it meant he could be with Navia.

    Sainan contemplated that with a frown. “You will likely meet a lot of resistance if you try to remain with Navia,” Sai told Théadan truthfully. He liked Théadan well enough, and could tell he was dedicated to Navia, which was why Sai felt the need to warn Théadan. “Obviously your introduction did not go well if you’re in here, but just…just be ready for Kazim to accept none of this. In his eyes, Navia probably belongs with Devam and no one else. He also probably sees losing the war and failing his country all over again when he looks at you. You likely won’t be able to get far with Yousef either, but Navia might. You claim you and Navia are meant to be together, but what if you are not allowed to leave here? Have you considered that? Do you think she’d leave us again? Do you consider her your samava?”

    Before any answers could come, a bark in Khluri blared into the room and Sainan grimaced. “That’s Yousef,” he explained as more Khluri words were flung in his direction, “Someone told him I’ve been speaking with you.” He looked toward the door briefly, answered his brother in Khluri as well, then looked back through the bars back at Théadan with a smirk. It was clear he was likely going to be in trouble for spending time with the Mes’Mo’Tanian savage, but had no worries about it, “I have to go, but I’ll come back. I still have plenty of questions for you, especially in regards to your journal. Bye!” And with that, the young duke hopped off the chair again and jogged out of the dungeon cell, calling out to his brother that he was coming.
     
  3. Laster

    Laster A Mischievous Fox Member

    Messages:
    400
    Local Time:
    10:32 PM
    Sainan was stating the obvious that there would be a fair amount of resistance to Théadan and Navia staying together, but there was absolutely no two ways about it. Even if people were so inclined to completely ignore the fact they loved each other, or that it was entirely their decision to make and no one elses, there remained the fact Navia was pregnant with their child. They couldn't point that out to anyone though, they needed people to accept them being together, and not make it about their child. That would have to remain a secret until everything was settled, and that meant he could not point any of that out to Sai. Théadan was already well prepared for Kazim to be absolutely against them being together, he had seen it in his eyes the moment they met. He did not look likely to forgive him anytime soon. However it was interesting to learn the King believes Navia belonged with Devam and no one else. That was likely to be important information when dealing with the king.

    It was disappointing to hear Navia's other brother, Yousef, was not likely to be as amiable as Sainan had proven to be. He must have seen too much of the war, experienced it first hand, and seen the result of some of Théadan's acts. There was hope however, but it would be dependent on Navia urging Yousef to give him a chance. Sai had more questions for him, but before Théadan could answer someone sounding quite angry was calling out to Sainan, who explained it was his brother having come to the dungeons because someone had told him about Sainan speaking with him. He had a smirk on his lips, and Théadan couldn't help letting out a small snort of amusement and shake of his head, Sai looked like he had his sisters trait for enjoying getting into a little trouble every now and then. Sai had to go, and was giving a quick farewell and the promise he'd be back with more questions, before hopping down from his window. "You'll know where to find me." Théadan called back as he heard him scampering away.

    Théadan was then left alone in his cell, Yousef apparently did not wish to speak to him yet as there was no sign of him opening the door. He must have just come for Sai. The questions Sai had posed remained in Théadan's mind, he had not yet had time to really consider whether he would or wouldn't be allowed to leave, but in the end that didn't make much difference. Théadan knew just how determined and committed Navia was to their relationship. She would remain stuck down in these cells with him if that was the only way they could be together. This couldn't be what happens though, they needed to make this work, not just so they don't end up stuck in a cell when their child is born, but also because one of Sai's other questions was very telling. 'Would Navia leave us again?'' Théadan knew the answer to this because he had already seen Navia make the choice back in Nygaard when she had chance to leave if she so chose. She had chosen to stay with him, and she would again. He had been forced to leave his home to be with Navia, and that was an experience he did not want Navia to have to go through, especially with how much she loved her family. They had to make it work.

    The final question had Théadan's brow knitting. 'Samava'. He had heard Navia speak of them before, but it had been some time ago, when they were still travelling towards Nygaard. What was the full meaning behind the word again? It went beyond love, it meant something deeper, and the Khluri had certain laws for it. He would have to ask Navia about it when they had a chance to speak.



    Théadan's night was disturbed by his dreams again, the same as before with the setting now firmly in the jungle, and him feeling extremely protective of the two leopards against all the threats the jungle had to offer, and there was much out there. He could hear the snarls of some large and ferocious cats stalking their prey, the beating of chests from apes, intimidating those who had dared to cross into their territory, and the hiss of snakes threatening to ward of any intruders who made any misstep. There was a lot of danger here for him, but he sensed there was danger for the little snow leopard too, and that was truly frightening for him. The details of his dreams were lost however, disturbed by the unceremonious banging against his cell door, and some call in Khluri, before a little gap opened at its base and a small bowl was shoved through to give him some food.

    He had ended up having to fall asleep up against the wall to keep himself propped up so he wouldn't end up sleeping in the water and water logging some of his clothes, his trousers in particular. The bowl was a useful sight however, giving him something to store his journal and be certain it would not end up getting ruined by the water. He crossed over to the bowl picking it up, and taking what little food had been given to him, munching on it as he replaced it with his journal for the time being. There was some commotion going on outside the cell doors however, the guards making a fuss over someone, which gave Théadan some inkling that he was about to receive another guest. He doubted it would be Sai considering little fuss was made by his coming and going. Théadan stood, placing his bowl and journal behind him, before waiting to see who would come.
     
  4. Nepenthe

    Nepenthe And yet she blooms. Administrator

    Messages:
    502
    Local Time:
    4:32 PM
    "Let me down there, Yousef."

    "It does not matter how many times you ask, the answer will still be no."

    "He does not deserve this! He is not a threat to us!"

    "That is not for you to decide and even if it was, the dungeon is no place for a woman."

    Before Yousef could reach for the door knob leading down to the dungeons, Navia shoved herself in front of him, eyes fiery as she glared up at him. "That is not for you to decide," she told him angrily, using his own sexist wording against her, "And it also does not sound like you. You've been spending too much time with Kazim."

    "You mean our King? The one who does decide these things?" He rolled his eyes at her, then reached past her, his shoulder butting against hers to shove her out of the way enough for him to open the door.

    Perhaps it was because it was Yousef, who she had been around her entire life, or perhaps desperation to make sure Théadan was all right, but Navia was quickly and childishly trying to shove past her brother to squeeze through the door before he could. All he managed to be able to do was shout down in Khluri for Sai to get his ass back upstairs before he had to slam the door shut to keep Navia from wiggling into the dungeons.

    "My siblings have gone mad!" He groaned as he pressed both hands on Navia's shoulders and guided her back from trying, his expression a mixture of irritation and bemusement, "Do neither of them love their country as I do?"

    Before Navia could answer, the door opened and Sai stepped out. She jerked away from Yousef's hold to take in her younger brother's appearance. Had he grown taller? When had he started to grow a beard? Was his build different? After a beat of staring, Navia decided it didn't matter and hurried forward to embrace him.

    "He's fine," Sainan assured Navia, figuring the worry on her face had been for the man downstairs and hugging her tightly, "Nothing bad has come of him. I've missed you." While they hugged, they both felt Yousef's hand fall to rest on one of their shoulders and the three were all together again.

    "I've missed you too," Navia answered with a brief break in her voice, thinking of how much she'd hated been so far from her brothers. Théadan’s status quickly returned to her mind though, and she pulled back to look up at Sai, "You spoke with him? How is he feeling? Did you like him?"

    "You are not to speak to him again, Sai," Yousef warned, causing both of his siblings to turn and glare at him.




    They had not let her near the dungeons again that evening. Yousef had insisted they have their first dinner together as an entire family for the first time since Navia had left Mandira, which she had begrudgingly attended and argued for Théadan's release every chance she got. She and Sai tried to discuss his meeting with Théadan as well, but Yousef and Kazim managed to make it very difficult for them. Her frustration had mounted and Navia had decided to try to sneak into the dungeons late at night to see Théadan, only for Yousef to catch her and send her back to her chambers with a guard posted at her door. She had spent her first night home, alone in the bed she and Théadan had talked of, and had begged for dawn to arrive so she could try again.

    The next morning, she'd been blessed with a chance. An innocent kitchen servant, who had known nothing of the rift forming in the Royal family, had entered the dungeons to bring breakfast to the imprisoned. Navia had waited until that moment and snuck in behind them. Resistance was met the second she step foot in the dark, damp place, which she took in with wide eyes. It was clearly a place she did not normally belong in and her presence seemed to shock the guards as much as she was to finally be in the dungeons. They took in the pale pink gown, it's flowy skirts and intricate champagne beading across the chest, the thin, gauzy white sleeves, the golden jewelry chain stretched straight across her forehead, and simply gawked at her. Her eyes narrowed at both men before demanding they open the door to Théadan.

    One of them resisted briefly, stating his King would not allow it, but Navia's sharp tongue stating his Duchess demanded it, seemed to startle them enough into complying. The door opened and Navia stepped into the doorway to take in the space her lover had been forced to occupy. She noticed the water on the floor immediately, but said nothing when her gaze landed on Théadan. Hating what her family had done, that they had not reacted to him the way she had been so sure of, Navia looked upon him defeatedly before hurrying forward to him. Her delicate khussas splashed through the low water until she reached him and slung her arms around his neck to be in his arms once more. "I'm so sorry," she breathed as she hugged him tightly before the words began pouring from her, a jumble of frazzled and frustrated thoughts as she turned her head to press relieved kisses to his cheek and temple, "I'm so sorry, Théadan. I would have come sooner, but Yousef confined me to my room and I’ve haven’t been able to get in here. I never thought they would do this to you. If I had, I never would have allowed you to bring me home. How are you? Are you all right? Sai said you were fine, but I've been so worried and I've missed you so much."
     
  5. Laster

    Laster A Mischievous Fox Member

    Messages:
    400
    Local Time:
    10:32 PM
    When the door swung open Théadan was filled with relief to see Navia being the one to stand before him. A small part of him dared to hope she had succeeded in convincing the king that he was no threat to Khlurios, but that disappeared quickly as the door closed behind her, and the sorrowful look on her face told him just how upset she was by how her family had reacted to him, and treated him. She wasted no time in closing the distance and throwing her arms around his neck, her embrace warm and comforting, the only frustrating thing was he could not return the warmth of the hug due to the manacles on his wrists, the chain linking them kept him from wrapping his arms around her, he had to make do with holding her hips and leaning into her hug to enjoy it as much as he could.

    Apologies were the first thing to come from Navia's lips, but to Théadan they weren't necessary, she had done nothing wrong, she wanted them both to be with and welcomed by her family, and after everything his own had done, he wanted Navia to have everything he did not. Which made it all the more disappointing to hear Yousef had Navia confined to her room, and kept from seeing him, Théadan had a good idea for how much that would have annoyed her, especially when she did not like others trying to dictate her life. She had a quick flurry of questions, everything spilling out of her in one big mess, ending with her mentioning Sai and their meeting.

    Théadan pressed a kiss to her cheek first, hoping to help calm her with a little affection and ease some of her troubles. "You don't need to apologise." He told her with a shake of his head. They had both decided to come here, and he had been aware of some of the risks from the moment he left Nygaard but had come anyway. "I would have insisted on us coming here regardless, your family is important to you, and it's important that we at least try to make a life for ourselves here." Yes he was locked in a dungeon, and all the nobility hated him, but nothing had been decided yet, they could still make something from all of this, they just needed the opportunity. "And I know you're doing everything you can to get me out of here." He pressed a quick kiss to her lips in gratitude for that, before looking into her dark eyes with affection. "I'm fine and well, no one has harmed me, though I do wish my cell wasn't so leaky." He gestured with his eyes around him, but shrugged a moment later to act as though it was not a big problem for him.

    "Here, hang on a moment." Théadan asked, removing himself from Navia's hold for a moment so he could raise his manacles above her head so his arms could come down either side of her, with the chain around her back, allowing him to hug and hold her, bringing her into his arms. "There, now no one can drag us apart." He murmured with a slight rattle of the chain behind her just to make his point. "At least I did manage to make one new friend while I was here." He smiled, looking for some positives to give her encouragement. "Sai was very chatty, and brought me a little extra food, as well as one of my journals, which for some reason has been sent here." He nodded to the journal sitting in the bowl behind him. "He was nice, though does not hold back with the questions."

    His attentions were shifting on to her however, wondering how she was handling everything. Navia was clearly upset by it all, her expectations had been shattered by reality, and she seemed to take it hard. "I'm sure your cousins reaction was a shock. How are you doing?" He asked, having a look at her with concern on his features, only to then notice just how dressed up Navia now was. Her clothes were of a higher quality and had so many more details to them than anything she had worn while they had traveled together. There was makeup and jewelry too, things Théadan had not seen on her since that awful ceremony where he had to give her away, even that did not fully compare to how she looked now. "You're looking much more like the Duchess I first met." He couldn't help but point out, his eyes looking at the little ruby jewel on her forehead, remembering the amber one she once had when they first met. Théadan didn't much care about jewels, but in that one case, he did rather like how it looked on Navia. "I like the jewel." He said eyes briefly traveling to her forehead, before he tilted his head and looked at her earrings. "But these earrings will make it a little more difficult to nibble on your ears."
     
  6. Nepenthe

    Nepenthe And yet she blooms. Administrator

    Messages:
    502
    Local Time:
    4:32 PM
    Théadan’s first words to her were ones that Navia did not want to hear. She did need to apologize and on top of that, she was not pleased to hear Théadan would have still wanted them to come to Mandira even if he had known he would have been thrown into prison. They had discussed it before and he had said virtually the same thing, but Navia was still unhappy to hear it again. At least he knew how much she was fighting for them to be together; the kiss he gave her to show as much cleared away the frustration with his words. They did not need to be causing tension between each other anyway, not when so many were trying to pull them apart. The way he looked at her only affirmed that for her as it was. He always looked at her with so much fondness and pairing it with the assurance no one had hurt him during their time apart, Navia’s despondency over their predicament lessened.

    That Théadan wanted to move away from her after they had been apart for a day startled Navia and she watched him with confusion until his arms lifted and she finally noticed the fact his wrists were bound in manacles. “What—they—“ She started to say, but the shock of her family using the manacles on her had her tongue and she looked on as Théadan lowered his arms around her and pulled her in for another hug. It was horrifying to see and to feel the chains against her back, but it was also so comforting to have his arms around her again. Frowning while Théadan spoke, Navia slid her own arms around his back to keep herself close to him in hopes no one would show up to take her away.

    It took her a moment to realize Théadan was speaking of her brother, her mind having been stuck on the fact he was chained up because of her. Smiling upon hearing him call Sai his friend, Navia nodded her agreement, “He appears very taken with you, but I haven’t been able to speak with him much about his conversation with you…” Yousef and Kazim seemed bent on making sure that did not happen. That was not important however, not when Théadan was giving a nod toward a journal of his sitting in a bowl. Navia frowned at that, trying to work out how a journal that had been housed in Nygaard would have reached Mandira and into Sainan’s care. Théadan was asking how she was though, and something about the journal was niggling the back of her mind, causing her to at first shrug distractedly before Théadan commented on her appearance.

    “Well, that certainly won’t do,” she smiled at him after he stated her earrings would be in his way if he chose to use his teeth on her ears, “You’ll have to learn how to take them off or I’ll find smaller earrings. I had to dress my part though…” Navia shrugged, finding it tedious to be worrying about her appearance when Théadan didn’t even have the luxury of sitting down without getting wet. “I need Kazim to take me seriously and he won’t if I’m not dressed like a Duchess,” she explained before looking up at Théadan with a pouty expression, “As for how I am, I just miss you. And I’m angry and embarrassed my family would do this to someone I love. Yousef and Kazim are trying to keep me from you. I finally managed to sneak down here, so don’t be surprised if one of them figures out where I am and shows up angry.” She just did not care though; they could leave her there with Théadan for all she cared. By his side was where she belonged.

    As if to spite them, Navia rose on her toes to catch Théadan’s lips with hers for a kiss she had meant to be brief. The urge to forget the fact he was clapped in chains and in a dungeon urged her to push such a truth from her mind though, and Navia was rapidly pressing forward to deepen the kiss. Her hands tightened on his shirt, her mouth growing more demanding against his, and she started to pull him down to her more before she suddenly pulled back from him with a small gasp. “I remembered!” She laughed, looking up at him with a grin as she stole a brief kiss from his lips, “The day we left Risho’s ship, he agreed to send a letter from me to Captain Culruus. In it, I asked him to try to mail your journals to Sainan so you could have them when we arrived here. I thought it would be less obvious who they were for if they were addressed to Sai. I completely forgot and to be honest, I’m surprised my letter actually made it to Armen and that he could follow through with my request.”

    Navia looked over at the journal in the bow briefly before she smiled up at Théadan, “I hope you’re happy to see them. I wanted you to have something from your home other than Wyndagar.” Wanting to take advantage of time they had together and to hopefully make them both feel better about the awful situation they found themselves in yet again, Navia drew Théadan down closer to him, her voice lowering while her lips drew closer to his, “So you like the jewel…but what about the rest of my clothing? This is one of the dresses I had wanted to show you…” It was a pity they were not in a place for them to do anything about whether he liked the dress, but she still wanted to know.
     
  7. Laster

    Laster A Mischievous Fox Member

    Messages:
    400
    Local Time:
    10:32 PM
    Navia seemed to relax a little as they spoke talk of her brother and her appearance helping to settle her, as well as the comfort of being able to hold each other again. The shock of having been pulled apart had passed, and Théadan supposed now she could see for herself that he was unharmed and none the worse for wear, she could put any of those worries at ease. She gave a reason for why she was now so well dressed now, needing her cousin to take her seriously, and he only would if she looked every bit the duchess she was. Théadan hadn't really considered how their clothes might affect such perceptions, and hadn't really considered how Navia's dresses might change once she was home, at least not beyond his own pleasures of seeing her in different dresses. He supposed however that this was simply the way for Khluri, he would have to adjust and get used to the sight of people being dressed in clothes with such astonishing amounts of detail sown into them, and little jewels placed here and there to make them sparkle.

    That Navia was having to sneak around was frustrating to hear, Théadan had not anticipated her being denied her freedom to roam the palace as she pleased. She had succeeded in her finding her way to him regardless, and he had come to expect no less of her, pleased with her efforts to see him. Even if Kazim or Yousef showed up and angrily told Navia to leave the cell, at the very least they would get to see the two of them together, and that sight might help if they saw they truly were in love. She was rising on her toes to pressing her lips to his seeking a kiss, one which grew all the more demanding as her hands tightened on his shirt and held him too her as she deepened it. Théadan let himself sink into it, enjoying her taste on his lips and making the most of it, he could not be sure when he might have another after all. Only for Navia to suddenly pull back and blurt out she had remembered.

    His brow raised at her as she pecked another kiss to his lips and she was quickly explaining why his journals had arrived. Navia surprised Théadan with this, it was not something he had thought about, yet her considersation had ensured some of his journals would find their way back into his care. He had to be thankful to Captain Culruus too, again he had helped him reminding him that he did at least leave Mes'Mo'Tan with some people thinking well of him. She brought herself closer to him, her voice taking a hushed tone as she asked about what else he liked about her dress, but first Théadan felt the need to thank her, pressing a brief kiss to her lips. "If I wasn't stuck in this cell I would show you just how thankful I am for you having my journals sent here." He said softly, hands resting on her hips. Any other time he would have been tugging at her dress, or showering her in kisses until they found themselves sinking to the floor. But this was not the place for that, and even if he were that desperate for her, he did not want their first time together in her home to be in a dungeon. "It was very thoughtful, and I am glad to see them here. I feared they would have ended up being burnt had my family discovered them."

    In all likelihood she had saved his journals by sending that letter to Armen, so he pressed another pair of kisses to her lips in gratitude, making a mental note to properly thank her for it once he was out of this cell. Théadan turned his attention back to her final question however, as well as her change of appearance as a whole. "If you plan on keeping those earrings you will have to show me how to remove them." He said, as thoughts of not being able to do it right and causing Navia discomfort made the notion of fiddling with them unattractive. "As for this gown..." He murmured and leaned back to look downwards and take in the sight of the pale pink dress, complete with all it's intricate designs and the beading across her chest. "I feel this beading is purposefully there to draw my eyes to your chest, or perhaps that's just where my eyes naturally head." He said with a grin and a shrug, before looking at it more closely wanting to give a proper opinion on it for her. "It's pretty, but I always think deeper colours compliment your skin better, and I worry the bottom of it may get ruined in this water if your not careful."

    Théadan pressed one more kiss to her lips before he sort to address the current predicament they were facing. "Navia, do you have any suggestions for what I can do to help?" He asked, hoping she might be able to think of something. Right now he had not been given an opportunity to prove he truly was intent on making amends to Khlurios and its people. He supposed he was dependent on Navia to help create that opportunity, but it would be up to him to seize and impress upon Kazim, Yousef, and anyone else who granted him even a moment to listen, that he truly did regret his actions in the war. "I trust you to do everything in your power to help me get out of here, but I really could do with a little guidance to help me when they do eventually come to talk to me."
     
  8. Nepenthe

    Nepenthe And yet she blooms. Administrator

    Messages:
    502
    Local Time:
    4:32 PM
    A chuckle left her upon hearing Théadan saying he would show his gratitude that she had managed to get some help saving some of his journals. It only made her wish even more that her family was acting so belligerently toward him so she could find out what he would do to show how thankful he was. At least Navia was the recipient of a few kisses to reward her, but their attentions both shifted to the dress she wore. They looked down at it together and Navia laughed upon hearing what Théadan thought of the beading. His comment about liking her in deeper colors was when she filed away to remember, so her focus was more on his comment about her dress. “I don’t care if it gets ruined,” Navia shrugged, glancing down and noticing the ends flowy skirts were floating in the water, “Nor do I care about these khussas. I needed to see you.”

    The question of what Théadan could do to help their problem was one that Navia did not quite know how to answer. She was glad to hear he trusted her, and Navia knew she would continue fighting until he was released, but it felt somewhat like she was butting her head against a stone wall and expecting it to cave in. She just had to pray it would eventually crack or she had some help knocking it down. “After they took you away, I did my best to appeal to Kazim. I told him how you’ve saved my life and you’ve been hurt because of me…I told him that you’ve left your country behind,” she hated thinking of how much of his life Théadan had given up to be with her. It caused her to frown and look down at his chest instead of looking him in the eye.

    “I think part of Kazim is angry I’ve moved on from Devam. He told me I was ruining myself by being with you,” Navia sighed, her gaze rising, “Even if I can convince him to release you, I worry he’s going to be difficult when it comes to our relationship.” Normally she would not care; but they were talking about the most powerful person in their country. It would be arrogant of them not to consider how Kazim would react to them. It did not mean they hid it, but perhaps they needed to remember to be more conservative around him until he was more amenable to them. She did not want Kazim lashing out at Théadan because he was not Devam. It was not fair and as far as Navia was concerned, it was not her cousin’s place.

    “You’re right that they’ll come talk to you, but Kazim won’t visit you down here,” Navia went on, trying to think of what all she could provide Théadan with to give them a better chance of everything going well when the others chose to speak with him. “I know Kazim’s advisor agreed to come down here and talk to you. His name is Marek Bakar. He’s older, he was my uncle’s advisor and then Kazim’s until Kazim brought Devam in. He’s not someone you want to try to appeal to when it comes to our relationship. He will likely appreciate your honesty and I think he’s someone who will consider your desire to do good for the Khluri people. He might also appreciate you defending me when your family treated me like they owned me.” Eyebrows drawing together, Navia tried to decide what all she could say about her brother. “I don’t know if Yousef will come down to speak with you. So far he has refused to talk to me about you, but I’ll wear him down eventually. I always do. If he does come down, or if he requests to speak with you after you’re released, you can talk about us with Yousef. Tell him how happy we make each other and all the pain you’ve suffered because you chose to be with me. He’s a family man who wants his family happy. Eventually he’s going to figure out I’ll only be happy here if you’re with me.”

    Sighing, Navia reached up between them to cup his cheek in her hand. She looked up at Théadan with a small smile, her palm rubbing along the scruff of his bear. “Whatever you do, don’t become sarcastic with either of them or bring up how often we have sex like you did to your mother,” she chuckled, knowing it was likely obvious but still wanting to tease him a little to lighten their spirits.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  9. Laster

    Laster A Mischievous Fox Member

    Messages:
    400
    Local Time:
    10:32 PM
    It was probably quite predictable that Kazim would be so unyielding in his stance, Kings had a habit of digging in one a position and refusing to change their opinion. But it was still disappointing for Théadan to hear how Kazim didn't want to hear about it, that he thought Navia was ruining herself with him. Just for a moment a memory stirred from one of their earliest times together, Navia suggesting he had ruined her after being so fervent in their lovemaking. This was probably not quite what Kazim meant, but Théadan was briefly tempted to remind Navia of it for the sake of keeping their spirits up, but thought better of it. What she was talking about was important, this was the King of Khlurios, and they had to take it seriously. The legacy of Devam hung over Khlurios and Théadan both, in the eyes of all Khluri, Théadan trying to be with Navia while respecting his memory was going to be like walking a tightrope, and it sounded like that would be even more difficult with Kazim.

    Whatever Kazim thought, he was not the one coming to speak to him, which meant Théadan could set aside any thought of trying to prove to him he was not a threat to his nation, instead he just needed to focus on proving to his advisors that they need not confine him to a cell. That was to be the first step, the rest they could begin to work out after. A man by the name of Marek Bakar was going to come to question him, and thankfully Navia had some advice for handling him. Appealing to him about his and Navia's relationship may not be an option, but at least the man respected truths, and of those Théadan had plenty to tell if Marek was willing to listen. Knowing how Navia had given him a chance in those first days together, it was a little surprising for Théadan to learn her own brother was resisting her attempts to even speak to him on the issue.

    A small grin crept over Théadan's features as she confidently predicted her being able to wear her brother down eventually, she was persistent like that, it was a shame he wouldn't be able to be there to see it. Navia had good advice for him though should Yousef come see him, suggesting he speak of how happy together they are, and everything they've had to go through to be together. Her hand came to cup his cheek, rubbing the scruff of his beard, before telling him not to be sarcastic or bring up sex like he had on the day he had been punished by his family. She chuckled at it, and Théadan shrugged in response, thinking it wasn't likely he would be doing something like that again. "I only did that because I grew frustrated from being locked in a cell..." His words trailed off as he remembered the similarity of circumstances, and that if he remained stuck in this cell for a week, having to sleep and sit in this water, there was a good chance he would get every bit as ornery as he had been that day a couple months ago. "Ok duly noted. I'll try to keep some of my more sarcastic tendencies in the face of frustration to a minimum." He agreed. "I'll treat anyone who speaks to me with respect, and I'll try not to step on any toes."

    Ultimately the King of Khlurios would decide what happened to him, so it would be up to them to convince him he was here to do good, and not cause anymore harm o Khlurios. "It seems likely Kazim won't want to speak to me at all, so I guess it's mostly on you to convince your brother, and for me to convince Marek." Through them they'll begin to make progress. "If we can do that, hopefully they'll both suggest to Kazim he give me a chance and we can change his mind that way." It was a plan at least, a path towards their goal. It was impossible not to think about what he would want to do once he finally did get out of the cell, and they could be together properly, without chains or locked doors barring him from exploring the home Navia had so eagerly wanted to show him. "I have decided on what we'll have to do first once I get out of this cell and out of these chains." He said, leaning in close and drawing her in close, so their bodies could press together, and his lips could brush against her ears. "You are going to help me bathe."
     
  10. Nepenthe

    Nepenthe And yet she blooms. Administrator

    Messages:
    502
    Local Time:
    4:32 PM
    The defense of being so brazen with his mother caused Navia to raise a brow at Théadan, but he seemed to realize that he was in a similar situation to what he had been in then as well. It caused him to agree with her and she nodded with a smile, content with his answer and happy to listen to him go on about how they could split up their efforts and hopefully have the ending they desired, with Théadan walking free. Once that it was decided she would work on Yousef and Théadan would know he needed to impress Marek, he seemed satisfied and was pulling her in closer. She always loved feeling that, the way he would draw her in more when he wanted them to be closer. The hand she had at his cheek slid around to the back of his head and she chuckled upon hearing his voice in her ear, her other hand pressing against his back so they snugged up against each other more.

    “Mm…” She sighed, loving the way his lips brushed and his voice sounded in her ear. She could understand why he would want that; they had not had a proper bath for days before reaching Mandira. On top of that, Théadan had been thrown into a dungeon. “It would be my pleasure to help you do that,” she told him honestly, turning her head a bit to press a couple kisses to his cheek before nuzzling against him and inhaling his scent. He still smelled like himself, like the best, most comforting scent in the world to her. “I’ll do whatever you want after you’re released,” Navia admitted as her lips moved closer to his and she whispered, “I mean it, kamin. Whatever you desire of me, you can have.” It was the least she could do after the embarrassment of what her family was doing to him.

    Their lips were so close that it would be disappointing to not let them meet, and so Navia went to do just that. Before she could kiss him, the sound of a door opening and slamming shut in the distance could be heard. “Damn,” Navia breathed softly, knowing she’d been caught and that her time with Théadan was coming to a close. She knew she’d fight it, but it was still depressing to know she even needed to do so. Why couldn’t her family give Théadan a chance to show them he meant no one any harm? Knowing the door was going to open and someone on the other side was going to demand she step away from him, Navia looked up at Théadan sadly, not wanting their time together to ever end. Her lips parted to apologize to him, but the door opened at the same time and so her attention was diverted to see whom it was.

    Yousef stood in the doorway with a completely unamused expression on his face upon seeing his sister in the arms of the enemy. He was dressed splendidly in an attractive outfit of greens, blues, and silvers, making him look just as out of place in the dreary dungeon as Navia. It was clear by his expression that not only was he exasperated that Navia would seek out the incarcerated Mes’Mo’Tanian, he was not all that surprised she’d finally managed to getin. It looked more like he had been expecting it to happen. “Why do you always have to make my life so hard?” He complained, not bothering to even address Théadan and instead looking straight at his sister.

    “Make it easier on yourself and let me stay down here then,” Navia tried, the hands she had on Théadan tightening instead of releasing.

    “That’s not going to happen, Navia,” Yousef shook his head at her stubbornness before sighing and gesturing behind him, already knowing how to win such an argument, “Either you come with me now or I have the guards extract you. Do you want to find out who they’re going to be rougher with between the two of you?”

    Her gaze narrowed at her brother. It was obvious he knew that having the guards become involved was not something she wanted, but Navia had to wonder if he knew it would be because she did not want Théadan harmed or if he thought she wouldn’t want herself to become injured somehow. Knowing she had to concede to keep Théadan safe, Navia pursed her lips together before growling her frustration, “Fine! Turn around and let me say goodbye.”

    Yousef’s answer was to roll his eyes at her and do as she demanded. The instant he did, Navia returned her attention to Théadan, a regretful expression on her bronzed features. “I’m sorry,” she whispered to him, rising onto her toes so her lips could find his, “I hate leaving you here, but know every minute I’m away, I’ll be fighting for you. I’ll try to come back as soon as I can.” And because she was annoyed she was being forced to leave him, because if she was to be parted from him, she at least deserved to have his taste on her tongue, Navia tugged at Théadan to draw him into another hungry kiss, one that was laced with how much she yearned for them to be together. It could not last long however, not with her brother granting them a few moments privacy before they needed to let go of each other, and Navia was soon pulling back with a few tears in her eyes and her voice thick with the emotions leaving him was bringing out in her when she said, “I love you, Théadan.”
     
  11. Laster

    Laster A Mischievous Fox Member

    Messages:
    400
    Local Time:
    10:32 PM
    Navia was of course happy to agree to his request, and the thought of it would give Théadan something nice to look forward too, and imagine while he was stuck in this cell for the time being. She extended on the offer further though, suggesting she would do whatever he asked of her, which certainly promoted some possibilities, and gave him something to think about to make sure he made the most of it. They drew close again, he lips seeking to merge once more, only to be interrupted by the sounds of a door slamming with the tell tale sound of someone who was angry. Navia's muttered her frustration that they were likely about to be interrupted, and their time together coming to an end for the time being. At least she had seen for herself how he was, and hopefully that would give her some relief from her worries, and renewed strength to keep on her relentless pursuit to seek his release.

    The door to the cell swung open to reveal her brother Yousef, he was dressed extravagantly in Théadan's eyes, but it was becoming ever increasingly clear this was the norm within the palace. If he was released from the cell, would he have to follow suit? Would that help in his efforts to show he was not like the rest of his family, that he genuinely did want to respect Khluri culture and help heal the wounds he and his people caused? They were questions that could be answered later, right now he could see Yousef had no interest in speaking to him, practically refusing to even look at him, keeping his eyes trained only on his sister, frustrated by her having finally found her way into his arms. Théadan had been left frustrated by Navia in the past, and might have sympathised with Yousef on that account, but he couldn't help but enjoy the fact this was because she had wanted to see and talk to him.

    Yousef complained, and Navia countered with her own argument for remaining. Despite the situation it was clear they were siblings, what authority Yousef had in his position held little if any sway over Navia, and clearly he knew he could not use it to dissuade, instead having to resort to the threat of calling in the guards, and pointing out who they were more likely to rough up between the pair of them. Théadan cringed a little at that, he did not like how he was used against Navia there to make her comply. But she did have to accept she could not stay any longer, telling her brother to turn around so they could say good bye for the time being.

    Her dark eyes were looking at him once more, and after brief glance Yousef's way to see him turn his back on them both, Théadan was staring down at her again as she whispered an apology to him. He knew how much she didn't want to leave him down there, and knew she would not stop fighting for his freedom until they unlocked his cell door, but it was still good to hear it from her lips. Navia pulled him into a kiss, deep and satisfying, the chains at his hands jingled as he briefly tightened his hold on her and savoured her lips. Then their lips parted and she was stepping back, whispering her love for him. He raised his arms above her head, releasing her from his hold and carefully guiding his hands back between them, taking a moment to wipe away some of the tears that had formed at her eyes. "I'd expect nothing less of you." He said softly, knowing how she meant every word of what she had said, before adding. "I love you too." And pressing another quicker kiss to her lips. "I will see you soon."

    Before Navia departed however, Théadan picked up his journal from the bowl, fearing it may get damaged if it remained in this cell with him. "Keep this safe for me." He asked, handing it to her, and then looking the way of Yousef who remained with his back to them both. Her brother had refused to acknowledge his existence, maybe out of loyalty to his country, or orders from his King. Théadan couldn't be certain of the reason for sure, but he was Navia's brother, and that meant he automatically wanted to get along with him, knowing how important family was to Navia. First he needed to at the very least look at him, but all Yousef had done when Navia told him to turn around so she could say goodbye was roll his eyes at them. It was a clear indication of just what Yousef thought about their relationship. "Yousef." Théadan said, trying to be careful with how he spoke to him. "I'll be waiting should you decide it wise and worth your while to come speak to me." The offer and suggestion was there in the open, and while Yousef may have been intent on ignoring him, in the same room he could not keep himself from hearing him.
     
  12. Nepenthe

    Nepenthe And yet she blooms. Administrator

    Messages:
    502
    Local Time:
    4:32 PM
    Théadan’s arms lifted from around her and Navia lost the reassuring sensation of the warmth in his embrace. She watched him with a despondent expression as he brushed at the tears beginning to slide down her cheeks, her features not changing as Théadan returned words of love and pressed another kiss to her lips. It was so hard to know she had to walk away from him and leave him alone in the dungeon again. He assured her he would see her again and she nodded, knowing they were always going to figure out a way back to each other, but not wanting to go through the pain of waiting for that way to appear for them. She started to leave him then, but it was turning away and reaching for his journal so she paused. “I will,” Navia answered quietly as she took the journal from him and held it to her chest for safekeeping. With Théadan’s attention shifting over to her brother, Navia’s did as well, her eyes taking in the way he stood stiffly just outside the door, waiting for them to finish.

    He just could not understand. Could not fathom how this man had convinced his sister, his intelligent, clever sister that they were in love with each other. Yousef might have turned around to give them the privacy Navia had requested, but it did not mean he did not hear their quiet words to each other. Yousef had agreed to let Marek question Théadan, but the more Navia fought to reach the Mes’Mo’Tanian, the ornerier she was about his release, the more questions Yousef had. So when Théadan addressed him directly, reminding him that he would be waiting if Yousef decided he would speak with Théadan, he was tempted to say he would be. He would have to consider whether that was smart however. His allegiance to Khlurios needed to remain pure and Navia’s relationship with the prince could lead to that becoming tainted.

    He could feel Navia’s intense gaze on his back though, and knew if he did not at least acknowledge the call of his name and invitation for a talk, Yousef would not hear the end of it. Knowing that, he half turned to see the way Navia was standing next to the prince with tears in her eyes and regretful expression on her face. His gaze then darted over to rest on the Mes’Mo’Tanian who had seemingly captured her heart. A simple nod was all Yousef gave Théadan in response before he looked back to Navia, “Let’s go.”

    She hesitated briefly, not wanting to leave and looking back to Théadan with a frown. She didn’t want to anger Yousef after he’d given them time to say goodbye though, and so Navia rose onto her toes to press one last kiss to Théadan’s cheek and squeezed his arm gently in silent goodbye before she removed herself from the prison cell as well. “Could we remove his chains?” Navia asked her brother as the dungeon guards stepped forward to shut the door again and she watched Théadan disappear from her view, "He has not fought any of this unneeded aggression toward him."

    “No.”

    “What about providing him with a bed? He can’t sleep in a room like that—“

    “No, Navia.”

    “He’s a prince, Yousef,” Navia protested emphatically as she followed her brother up the stairs and out of the dungeons, her wet khussas leaving footprints behind her. As soon as they were back out in the light of the palace, Yousef turned around to glare at her, but Navia took advantage, placing a hand on her brother’s arm to steady herself while she removed her soaked shoes, preferring to go barefoot in the palace than to have wet feet, “Does he not deserve some of the comfort his title would normally bring him?” Royalty from any country were never treated the way her family was treating to Théadan. Reminding them of that could possibly at least free him of the dungeons.

    “Has he ever told you how many Khluri he’s murdered?” Yousef countered with a growl, “I bet he doesn’t even know. Why should we give someone like that any comforts?” He had seen the horrors of war himself, had seen what those three princes had done for the glory of their country. How could Navia ask him to look past those terrible memories so the prince could have some comforts while he awaited the King's decisions?

    “All I know or care about is how much he loves me,” Navia answered savagely, hating that Théadan’s past was all Yousef could see, “If you would just give him a chance to—“

    “Don’t try to go down there again, Navia.”

    “Will you please listen to me—“

    “If you do, I’ll have him moved and you won’t find him.” Before she could protest, he spun on his heel to depart. It pained Yousef to threaten her, but Navia needed to understand it was for her own good. She had to get used to the fact the Mes’Mo’Tanian would soon no longer be part of her life.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  13. Laster

    Laster A Mischievous Fox Member

    Messages:
    400
    Local Time:
    10:32 PM
    "Is this really necessary?" Théadan griped, as the two guards held him to a wall and secured his chains through some metal pegs to keep him from moving. Not long after Navia and Yousef had left, Théadan had received another visitor to his cell making it three in two days. He was popular man to visit it seemed, though having agreed with Navia to not be sarcastic in front of others, he duly kept that thought to himself. Instead watching as the guards finished making sure he was restrained and crossed over the room to leave the cell, making way for the older looking Khluri man who walked in carrying a wooden chair which he set down between him and the door. He must have been in his fifties, Théadan couldn't be entirely sure, but he had a lot of grey hairs, more than he had seen on most older looking Khluri's, so it seemed a fair assumption. His clothing was just all neat and proper, colouful with it's purples and silvers, and with a number of jewels tied woven into the chest piece just to make him appear that much more important, or so Théadan presumed. What he could tell was this man did not like a thing to be out of place. No creases, everything perfectly symmetrical.

    He was one of the advisors to the King, Marek as Navia had called him, one he had briefly met yesterday before being dragged away. Hesat down on the chair before him, crossing his legs and resting his hands at his waist lacing his fingers together as his eyes studied Théadan. More than likely he was assessing him just as Théadan had been doing so to him. "You waged a war against us, murdering thousands of our people. Yes, it's necessary." He remarked, his tone matter of fact. "You and our dear sitvati are the talk of the palace at the moment. People are equally joyous to see her return, and horrified to see you arrive with her." The guards shut the door leaving the two of them alone for the time being. Clearly chained to the wall as he was, he could be of no threat to this man. "Théadan Rúl, I am Marek Bakar, advisor to the King, and it is my job to ascertain what threat you are to our nation."

    Théadan could not recall hearing his name before, but he was important, and he was one of the people he had to impress if he was to leave this cell. They were worried he was a threat to their nation, somehow he had to prove otherwise. "Now I have questions, all of which I expect answers from, and it will be in your best interest to give me those answers, for if you do not, I assure you, that window will be the only link to the outside world you'll have for the rest of your life." Marek pointed to the window above Théadan's head to make his head, and then shifted in his chair to sit up properly and keep a straight back. "Now lets begin. Why have you come to Khlurios?"

    "To be with Navia, living a safe and free life away from my family, and close to the people she loves." It was the honest answer, maybe Marek was expecting something different, but that was the truth of it.

    "You will never be safe within Khlurios." Came another matter of fact reply. Still Marek's brow furrowed as he cocked his head. "Your crimes are far too great for that. Bloodthirsty though you maybe, that does not mean you are a complete fool." He said suspiciously, wondering what the real reason was, what alternative would make sense? "What is Mes'Mo'Tan planning?"

    Théadan struggled to suppress a laugh. It had been months since they had left, and when they had Mes'Mo'Tan had only just finished celebrating their victory over Khlurios. "Nothing as far as I know." He shrugged, not meaning to be condescending with his mannerisms. "I have parted ways from my family. These scars you see are not all from war, many are their idea of how to teach." He held open his hands so he could see the most recent of them, burns that would not have come from battle. "Navia and I left the moment my brother died, it was the only way I could guarantee her safety, and-."

    "And yours." Interrupted Marek, finding that to be a much more believable answer. The prince was seeking to keep himself safe. He was a scarred man, many will have come from war, but some may have come from his own family. Perhaps it was his brother who scarred him so? Perhaps he lashed out in anger and attacked him? "We heard the rumours your brother Argyle had died. So explain what happened. The sitvati claims to have been the one to murder him. The man was known for his warrior instinct and the cold way with which he murdered civilians to bait us into battles. Do you expect us to believe the sitvati, who has never so much as touched a weapon, will have succeeded in killing him?" The elements of this story did not fit with the duchess all of the nobility knew. She was a prideful woman, more vociferous than most women, but some found that endearing about her. She had a strong personality, but never she was never violent, bringing herself to take a life, even out of desperation? That Marek could not see. "What did you have to gain from his murder?"

    "Again nothing." Théadan replied, but that was perhaps not true. He had gained Navia with his brothers death, though that was not a thought he wanted to entertain. "I did not murder him. I arrived too late to help Navia, she simply defended herself." He remembered the blood, the tears and shock on Navia's face, the last gurgles of his brothers life escaping him. They were memories he did not want to revisit. "I've lost everything but Navia, she is all I have, and all I want."

    "Yes," Marek remarked dubiously. "And I'm sure you intend to use her, steps will be taken to ensure that is not the case. But she is not the topic we are interested in." Clearly whatever plans this prince had, it directly involved Navia, be it for his own safety, or to regain some measure of power. Whatever the reason the best way to disrupt his plans would certainly be to keep him and Navia apart. "So explain to me in detail just what happened to the Crown Prince and yourself, what we can expect of Rhodon, and the state of your Father, we know he grows weaker with every day." Mes'Mo'Tan's succession would bring new troubles, the prince was willing to talk, and with his own family wanting him dead there was certain to be truths mixed in with any lies he told. It would be a matter of unraveling fact from fiction. "How long until Rhodon ascends to the throne, and will he come seeking revenge for his murdered brother?"
     
  14. Nepenthe

    Nepenthe And yet she blooms. Administrator

    Messages:
    502
    Local Time:
    4:32 PM
    The rest of her day had gone by with too much activity for Navia to manage to find a way down to the dungeons. It was always there in her mind; her soul seemed to demand she be by Théadan’s side until he was rightfully released and allowed to walk among the free. It appeared everyone in the world required her attention however. Yousef’s wife asked Navia to accompany her and baby Yousef for a walk in the gardens, then Kazim’s wife asked them both to help with arrangements for some celebration they wanted to throw for Kazim in the coming weeks. While Navia had been content to spend time with Ruvi and Haide, she did not quite understand why they both seemed so intent on having her opinions on matters regarding the celebration. They constantly asked what she preferred, then always chose her decisions as final without even consulting each other.

    At one point Haide and Ruvi had been poring over a guest list while Navia entertained the baby. Holding the infant and watching the inquisitive way he stared up at her had tugged at Navia’s heart, but it had reminded her of the fact that in only a matter of months, she would be looking down at her own child. That thought had instantly brought Théadan up in her mind as well, and so as soon as the two other women had been satisfied with their planning, Navia had excused herself. She’d been pretty confident she’d be able to make it down to the dungeons again when Yousef had caught her outside them once more. They’d argued, she’d stalked off, and she had run right into a pair of aged noblewomen who had asked her to tour the gardens with them. She’d ended up walking the same gardens as earlier in the day, unable to tell the elder women no. By the time evening came and she’d shared a meal with her family, Navia had been exhausted and unable to muster the energy to try to break into the dungeons again.




    The dream returned. That awful, horrendous dream where the child had the dull blue eyes of the man she had killed. The same dream that had ended with her eyes on the body of her lover and the life being choked from her as a bloody Argyle glowered down at her. She’d woken up in a sweat, in tears, and had rolled over to remind herself Théadan was okay, that he was there by her side and would comfort her…except he was not. It had hit her harder than ever that Théadan was not there to help her and Navia had laid in bed weeping over his absence before she’d finally risen and reached for her robe. She had to see him. She had to know he was all right. The nightgown she wore was thin and made of off-white satin, but it was masked by the deep blue robe of the same material that she pulled on. After slipping into some khussas and convincing the guard outside her door she just needed a drink of water, Navia had hurried down to the first floor so she could try to figure out a way to get through the door leading to the dungeons.

    The palace was quiet, telling her it was very late into the night. The large sconces on the walls lit her way however, and Navia moved through the familiar halls with a sense of dread that still lingered from her nightmare. By the time she reached the hallway she needed to walk down to reach the dungeons, she felt frazzled and nervous from being so alone. All she wanted was Théadan; all she needed were his arms around her and his soothing voice in her ear. The door leading to the kitchens opened ahead of her though, and as soon as Yousef stepped out, Navia knew she was not going to reach Théadan and the dejection was clear on her face.

    He was dressed similarly to her, in pajama pants and to make him more presentable in case he ran into someone so late at night, and had a bowl in hand. He stopped after stepping through the door, surprised to see Navia walking toward him. It was clear she was upset, he could see it both on her face and in the tense way she walked, and concern rushed through him, “Navia, what’s wrong? Why aren’t you in bed?”

    She considered begging Yousef to let her see Théadan, but figured it would not happen after how angrily he had threatened to send her lover away, so she instead shrugged and answered her brother in a small voice, “I had a nightmare and I…well, I couldn’t go back to sleep.” And she likely wouldn’t sleep again that night, as upset as she was and as badly as she wanted Théadan to make it better for her. Yousef wouldn’t want to hear that though, and instead Navia reached up to wipe at her tear-streaked face before saying brokenly, “I didn’t want to be alone.”

    Her brother stepped forward and pulled her into a tight one-armed hug, his chin resting atop her head while she fought back a harsh sob. “Come sit and tell me about it,” Yousef suggested quietly, wanting to ease his sister’s pain. It was not often in life he had seen a tearful Navia. The dream had to have been particularly awful. “You will feel better and it might help you go back to sleep.” He felt her nod against his shoulder and so Yousef guided Navia over to one of the comfy sofas that had been placed in the hallway nearby in case someone wanted a spot to rest and enjoy all the artistry of the royal palace. Everywhere one looked, there was some form of art, be it in the paintings that were displayed on the walls, the ornate rugs uniformly laid out on the white marble floors, or the decadent tilework and architecture of the palace walls and windows themselves.

    “I’ve had this dream a few times since I left Mes’Mo’Tan,” Navia explained once they’d sat and she composed herself enough to speak, “I’m always walking through the markets here and I can see you and the rest of the family in the distance, trying to get me to join you. Then it used to be that Théadan would come along and take my hand and I would see…” Navia hesitated, knowing the child in her dream that she saw was supposed to be her own, but she was not ready to share that with Yousef yet, “I would see someone with eyes like Théadan’s in the crowd, but now they have Argyle’s eyes…and now in my dream, it’s not Théadan who reaches for me, it’s Argyle and he’s killed Théadan.” Remembering how real it felt, how gut-wrenchingly real, tears formed in her eyes and Navia reached up to touch her throat, where Argyle’s hands had taken root to end her life, “And then he tries to kill me and all I can see is Théadan’s body on the floor behind him…and…and then I wake up.”

    Yousef waited quietly for Navia to finish, but his mind was racing with thoughts on such a dream. How had this Mes’Mo’Tanian gotten so far under Navia’s skin? How could he be so ingrained in her that she could be this upset over the possibility of his death in a dream? But most of all, it was clear his sister was tortured by the death of the Mes’Mo’Tanian crown prince, causing him to say to her quietly, “You really did kill him…” And how Yousef hated that for her, knowing how hard it was to take a life and how it weighed on the soul. He did not want that for his little sister, and yet when Navia nodded solemnly, he could tell that was exactly what she was dealing with. Sighing, shaking his head, Yousef took a bite of the cut up fruit he had pilfered from the kitchens, “You are in too deep with this man, Navia. Look at the heartache he has caused you. Think of all the pain he has caused our family by taking you and what he has done to our country. Do you realize how much of a betrayal it is to your family to stay by this man’s side?”
     
  15. Laster

    Laster A Mischievous Fox Member

    Messages:
    400
    Local Time:
    10:32 PM
    "I don't know." It had been his answer to many of Marek's questions, but that was the truth, Marek was asking him questions he did not have the answer too. It had been many hours since Marek had stepped into the cell and began asking his questions, but he never seemed satisfied. Théadan did what he could to answer, giving as detailed an account of what happened for him to arrive in Khlurios, his reasons for doing so, and the state with which he had left Mes'Mo'Tan, and yet Marek would try to probe further, trying to unravel hidden mysteries that simply weren't there.

    "Being uncooperative will not help you." Marek remarked, his face was stern but he kept emotion out of his voice. With the exception rising from his feet to stretch his legs with a walk, Marek had stayed in this room with Théadan for hours now without relenting in his questioning.

    "I am being cooperative." Théadan groaned with frustation. Having been held to the wall by the chains his arms were growing tired, raised up either side of his head made them ache. His interrogator, because that was most certainly what Marek was, must have figured making him horribly uncomfortable might get him to open up or confess to something he had presumably thought he was hiding.

    "And trying to hide truths will only make things worse."

    Théadan's head hung low as he tried to rest what he could of himself. "I'm doing all I can to prove to you I am not a threat to your country. I am not here to create trouble, I am here for Navia, and I'm here to try and right as many wrongs as I am able." He reiterated the assertion he had made half a dozen times now. "My family discovered how I truly felt about Navia. They tore us apart, put me in a cell and then punished me with these burns." Marek had already seen many of his scars, but the burns on his hands remained the most recent, and would not have come from the war. "They gave Navia to Argyle and when he tried to take her, something happened, and it ended with Argyle's death." He had not been there to witness how it happened, but he knew enough from what Navia had told him to know she acted entirely in self defense. "I was injured, but the moment I could move I went to find Navia, arriving just after Argyle died. I was too late to spare her that trauma. We left that night before anyone could know what happened, which is why my family believe I did it, and I'm happy for them to keep thinking it if it protects her."

    This was all Théadan had said before, he was rigidly sticking to his story. What annoyed Marek was that it was difficult to pick apart, especially when the sitvati herself was willing to back it up. The details of the sitvati's and Théadan's relationship however were unnecessary, whatever commitment he claimed to have for her was not to be believed. Whatever his claims it was easy to pinpoint what drove Théadan, a desire to escape the wrath of his own family, and a need to hold on to whatever power keeping the sitvati by his side might afford him. He probably thought her some bargaining tool, yet it still remained foolish for him to have come here with her. None of that mattered however, it was the threat Mes'Mo'Tan posed that needed unpicking. "Tell me more of Rhodon." Marek ordered.

    "He's paranoid and vengeful. He would attack Khlurios if he thought you a threat, but after the war he may well not believe you to be. His attentions may turn else where, to where ever he may believe there may be a challenge to his throne." Knowing Rhodon he was as likely to look for enemies within his borders as those outside. A tumultuous time lay ahead for Mes'Mo'Tan, Théadan was certain of that much. "So long as he believes me to be the one to have killed Argyle, he'd likely only want to see me dead, rather than care what happens to Khlurios."

    "So we should hand you over to him to ensure that?" Marek queried, wondering how the prince would react to such a threat.

    "I'd really rather that didn't happen."

    "Fearing retribution?"

    "I'm fearing losing Navia." There was a good chance Navia would follow him if that was the case, and he feared what danger that would pose for him, her and their child. Marek however still seemed to think he had some guilty conscience over what happened to his brother, but what guilt Théadan carried, remained reserved for the Khluri he had wronged. "It's my mother who currently controls the throne, my father trusts her to guide the way. Your guess is as good as mine for when he passes, but the throne will not go to Rhodon until that day comes."

    Again none of this was new information for Marek, and he let out a small disgruntled huff at how little there was coming from the prince. Where he kept trying to push for information about Mes'Mo'Tan's threat to Khlurios, the prince would keep trying to shift the topic back to the sitvati. It felt like they were getting nowhere. "Mes'Mo'Tan's armies, what is their current state."

    "I don't know." Came the all too familiar answer. "It's been over two months since I was there, I'm sure what ever informants you have in Mes'Mo'Tan can and have answered that question better than me." He was supposed to be changing Marek's mind, convincing him he was no threat, that he was only here because he loved Navia. Yet he got the sense with the repeated questions, Marek was simply not liking what answers he got, and was seeking an answer that was out of place.

    Marek shook his head, and rose from his chair letting out a huff as he did. "For a Prince of Mes'Mo'Tan, you seem to know precious little of what's happening within it. You flee your home in the wake of your brother's murder, and take the sitvati with you, coming to Khlurios instead and putting her home in danger by your being here. From what all accounts I have gathered your brother is a madman, and the two of you never got along." What information had been passed on by informants suggested the brothers did not always see eye to eye, and that there had been fights in the past. It's entirely believable this prince murdered his eldest brother, and Rhodon will try to have him murdered, such was the way of bloodthirsty savages. "Your very being here is a danger to our country, and an unncessary risk. There is no value to be had for Khlurios by allowing you to stay here. And I'm quite certain it will be in the sitvati's best interest to keep you away from her." Marek concluded having had enough with the Prince.

    "What do you plan to do?" This blunt assessment of what Marek thought showed he had failed to convince him. It made Théadan stomach sink as he watched Marek leave his chair, and knock on the door for the guards to come let him out. He had to hope Navia had more success than he with her brother, or their options would be limited, and their future would look grim. As the door swung open and the guards came to remove the chair, and to allow Théadan down from the wall, Marek did choose to answer his question, but without revealing any details.

    "What ever is best for Khlurios."
     
  16. Nepenthe

    Nepenthe And yet she blooms. Administrator

    Messages:
    502
    Local Time:
    4:32 PM
    “I realize you may see this as a betrayal,” Navia said carefully, wanting to validate Yousef’s feelings, but determined to show him how misplaced they were while trying to be gentle with her brother so a fight did not arise, “But please, Yousef, please understand none of the pain I have suffered since leaving Vanam was ever born from some vindictive side of Théadan. He does not have one. His family does, and his desire to do good by them has caused him to do some awful things in the past, especially toward our country. But other than taking me from my home, and even then without any violence towards me, Théadan has acted to keep me safe. He’s dedicated to me, Yousef, not his family or his country. Does my safety and the fact he has brought me back here not account for anything?”

    “He took you in the first place, Navia!” Yousef shook his head at her again, feeling like it was always what he was doing toward her, the situations just kept changing, “And I’m assuming if you ended up in the clutches of the crown prince, he even gave you to him or to the king, like our spies said would happen. So tell me. How does someone so dedicated give up the person they are dedicated to so easily?”

    “I let him do it,” Navia answered plainly and was unable to not smirk at the slack jaw expression that bloomed across her brother’s features. She knew how strange it sounded, that she would let someone betray her in such a way, so she hurried to continue so he would understand, “He gave me a chance to leave, Yousef. I was on a horse and ready to go, but Théadan would have suffered horribly at the hands of his people. They have some barbaric customs, ones he does not agree with but felt tied to, and I couldn’t leave him. I love him too much to know he’s in suffering of any kind. Why do you think I’m here instead of in bed? We share this connection—“

    “Stronger than ours?” Yousef interjected with a shrewd look, “Or with Sai? At what point does your love trump you family?”

    “Do you love your wife?”

    “That’s different!”

    “How?”

    “She is Khluri!”

    Navia snapped up from the sofa with an exasperated growl and began to pace, her khussassilent against the plush carpeting, “Théadan might have been born and raised in Mes’Mo’Tan, but he is not like them, Yousef! He has the morals and values of us, not them!” It was clear convincing her brother was proving to be more difficult than she had thought and Navia could not quite grasp why. Yousef was normally not prejudiced, he was not normally overtly difficult for difficulty’s sake. Trying again, Navia looked back to her brother, who was trying to calculate her every movement, “If you cannot accept him, you must tolerate him. If not for the type of man he is, for what he has done for me, Yousef. This man is everything to me and I cannot accept life without him. I will not accept life without him.”

    He could see it in her eyes, in her stance. Navia was every bit as dedicated to the man in the dungeons as she claimed he was. Yet Yousef knew Kazim’s mind was made up, that Théadan would die no matter what Navia said of him. There was no point in Navia having hope, in waiting around. She was going to have to deal with a life without this man she claimed to love, whether she could accept it or not. That was what worried him most though, that his sister was going to be unable to accept the loss and move on. He knew she had not loved Devam, Kazim might have tried to pretend they were, but Yousef had always known Navia had tolerated the union and had been somewhat happy. She had never once uttered her love for the general and certainly did not speak of him the way she did this newcomer.

    Yet he still shook his head a third time, looking away from Navia. It pained him to pain her, but he also needed her to begin preparing for when Kazim took her lover’s life, “Kazim will never allow him to stay here.”

    “But where will he go?”

    “…back to his own country,” Yousef answered with a moment’s hesitation.

    “To atone for my sins? The second he steps foot on Mes’Mo’Tanian soil, he will be made responsible for Argyle’s death. You would allow someone else to take the blame for my mistakes?”

    “If it keeps you safe!”

    “I am tired of everyone making these terrible decisions to keep me safe!” Navia wanted to rip at her hair in frustration and began pacing again to try to safe her hair from suffering, “It is not your job or Théadan’s or anyone else’s job, it is mine! I make my own decisions! I choose who I want to be with and I choose where I want to be!” She turned back and stared directly at Yousef so he could see how incredibly serious she was, “Wherever he goes, I will go with him.”

    “That’s what I fear most,” Yousef answered quietly, shaking his head as he stood to close the distance between him and his sister, “I will always do everything in my power to keep you safe, whether it is your decision or not, Navia. I promised our father and it is my duty as your brother.” He pressed a kiss to her forehead in parting, and turned to leave her, “Go back to bed. There are guards outside the dungeon doors now.”

    Navia gritted her teeth together in frustration, watching her brother leave. “Yousef, wait—“ She said suddenly. She had seen it when he kissed her forehead and had wanted it. The second her brother turned around to see what she wanted, a tired expression on his face, Navia strode forward and yanked the bowl of fruit from his hands. “Good night,” was all she said as she spun on her heel and stalked off to her chambers with her prize in tow.




    The next morning came at a snail’s pace. Navia had sat in bed for much of the remainder of the night, munching on Yousef’s fruit while flipping through the pages of Théadan’s journal. She had done poorly with learning to read Mes’Mo’Tanian, Théadan had been a better student when learning Khluri, and she was suffering for it. It was still a comfort to look through the pages however, to see his handwriting and know he had filled the book with his thoughts. She had eventually dozed off holding the book and it was late in the morning when Navia rose again to dress. She had just finished bathing when a servant entered to state the Queen had requested her presence at a late breakfast, and so Navia had accepted and dressed for it. She had always liked Kazim’s wife and when Yousef had married, Haide had seamlessly fit in with them and the three had gotten along well while their husbands ran the country.

    Like Kazim, Ruvi enjoyed splendor and beauty and liked meals to be nearly formal events. She also appreciated fashion and they would often discuss it, so Navia chose a dress she thought would make for good conversation, but also lead her into a topic she wanted to discuss with the Queen about dressing in Mandira. The dress was actually three parts, a dark red skirt that went from navel to toes, with gold detailing especially at the bottom hem, a dark red bodice that stopped a few inches below the breast, exposing a wide band of midriff, and an elaborate, beading and embroidered piece that almost acted like a jacket, but was short-sleeved and reached almost down to the bottom of the skirt. It was sheer, soft and see-through, clasping just below the chest and showing skin without being overt. Gold khussas completed the look, one she was proud to show off to the Queen.

    She was just about to walk into Ruvi’s favored dining hall when Sai came running down the hall, stopping her with a breathless call of her name. “What’s wrong?” Navia asked immediately while worriedly pushing a lock of her loose hair over her shoulder. She was not used to seeing her youngest brother acting so urgently.

    “I was down in the dungeons, working on the leaks and talking to Théadan,” he explained once he stopped to stand before her, “And Yousef came in to take him. They’re meeting Kazim in the throne room. I peeked in there to make sure you were there too, and then came to find you when you weren't present.”

    Suddenly the breakfast made much more sense and Navia’s expression darkened, “Did Yousef say anything to you?”

    “He had no idea I was there,” Sai answered proudly.
     
  17. Laster

    Laster A Mischievous Fox Member

    Messages:
    400
    Local Time:
    10:32 PM
    "What are your winters like?" It was another question from Sai. Théadan had a tough time sleeping last night between his sore arms and the wet floor. His wrists were beginning to chaff after two days in the manacles. He was not feeling his best, still Sai had come by under the pretense of working on the leak in the dungeons, only to further talk to him, passing him some fruit and flat bread through the window, which Théadan had taken with his thanks. It had not taken long before Sai was asking him more questions, seemingly having an inexhaustible supply of them, and so Théadan Rúl had done his best to answer each and every one Sai asked of him. "And your summers? Spring and Autumns too?" Came his voice from beyond the wall. He was working on fixing the wall, but taking the opportunity to learn from him at the same time. "How does snow feel in your hand, and how does it look blanketing the land? What in your opinion are the biggest differences between Mes'Mo'Tan and Khlurios?"

    Théadan shook his head incredulous someone could ask so many questions, but waited patiently until Sai finished before trying his best to answer them all. "The winters are freezing, depending on how far north you've been I don't know if you have a true understanding of cold until you've experienced the bite of the Mes'Mo'Tan wind on a late winters night." Since arriving in Khlurios Théadan's body had not known cold, even now sitting in the cell the heat could be stifling, which was probably just as well as if the water in his cell was ice cold, that would have made things so much worse. "Our summers are warm but nowhere near as warm as it is here currently. Spring is pretty for all the flowers, and Autumn a little sad as the colour drains from the world." Despite the number of questions he had been inundated with, it was nice to think of his former home, recalling it's own unique kind of beauty. "Snow begins to sting if held too long, but it's like staring into a million tiny diamonds, it sparkles. The Khluri would love it I'm sure." He grinned at that thought, knowing all too well how much he Khluri loved all that glitters. "As for the biggest difference? Colour. Khlurios is far more vibrant."

    There was the sound of some scratching away from the other cell, Sai was checking something out about the walls, but he could tell he was listening to every word. He seemed to have the capacity to both listen and work at the same time. "If Mes'Mo'Tan winters are so cold, how do you stay warm?" He questioned curiously. "If buildings aren't made right winds can cut through them or develop leaks. Terrible for retaining heat."

    Théadan heard the sound of the dungeon door opening from up the staircase. He had heard it a number of times now, and knew it meant someone was coming to speak to him, and after the last time Sai was down here, he knew it was probably best if no one knew they were still talking. "Sai."

    "This dungeon has problems keeping water out." Sainan continued not hearing him, apparently deliberating with himself. "If Mes'Mo'Tanian building were like our own, much of the heat would escape in the same manner all this water gets in-"

    "Sai! listen!" Théadan called over to him with a good deal more urgency to get him to be quiet as the door at the bottom of the steps opened, and a moment later the sounds of the guards approaching Théadan's cell filled the dungeon. When the doors opened, the two guards entered flanking either side of the door before allowing Yousef to enter. There was a look on his face Théadan couldn't quite place, he had not been expecting this visit after how the last one unfolded. "Come to have that conversation?" Théadan asked, only for Yousef to shake his head. There was a reluctance too him that was making Théadan wary, all the more so with the guards standing either side of him. "Then why are you here?"

    Yousef took a breath. "Prince Théadan Rúl, you are to come with me. The King waits in the throne room." He gestured to the guards who stepped forward to grasp Théadan's chain and pull him towards the door.

    "What are we to discuss?" Théadan asked. Things felt off. Navia had not mentioned anything like this to him, what's more Yousef was still avoiding speaking to him as much as possible, refusing to answer his question. With the harsh tug on the chain from the guard, Théadan's concerns grew enough to be more urgent for some sort of explanation. "Yousef?" Still nothing. For the first time Théadan tugged hard back on the chains, pulling the guard back who was leading him out of the cell in an effort to get answers. "Yousef!"

    The second guard gave him a rough shove from behind, pushing him out the cell door as the two combined made sure any resistance from Théadan was fruitless. "Don't resist, it only makes things worse." Yousef said coldly as he led the way up the stairs. They left the dungeon behind, and Théadan found himself growing anxious with every step. It was the way Yousef was acting. He had refused to speak to him as much as possible, but now he was going out of his way to even avoid eye contact. If what was to happen to him was anything good, he doubted this would be the treatment he would be getting. The guards continued to pull and push him in the direction of the throne room, until he was once more passing through the ornate doors and being led before an audience with King Kazim, sitting in his throne, dressed in his gilded golds, and the red shawl, with so much wealth being exuded just from his choice in clothes..

    Marek was stood a couple steps down from Kazim's throne, waiting for Théadan to be brought before the King. The guards stopped him a few metres before the steps of the throne, then forced him to kneel with a pair of heavy hands. "Prince Théadan Rúl." "Marek announced, the use of title making it all so official. "You have fought a war against the Khluri people, killing thousands, destroying homes and tearing families apart with one monstrous act after another. Yet you have come into Khluri lands seeking to escape the retribution of both your country and ours." That was how he was choosing to interpret it, or was that just a show for what gathered nobility there was. Théadan could see them in seats surrounding the hall. Navia was missing though, and that made it all the worse. "Our King is the only one who may decide your fate."

    This was a judgement. That's what they were doing, with the nobility on witness, they had spoken to him, asked what they could of him, and tried their hardest to keep Navia away. They were to judge him here, and decide what to do with him. Just a little looking around revealed one of the guards whose axe did not fit in with the spears and swords of the other guards, dread filled him as he suspected what it was for. Sai had been in the cell with him, he would likely go speak to Navia. But Théadan needed to buy time first. "Do I not get a chance to speak?" He asked, suddenly feeling desperate and in need of any excuse to draw this out. "A prince of a country who warred against you I maybe, but I am still a prince!"
     
  18. Nepenthe

    Nepenthe And yet she blooms. Administrator

    Messages:
    502
    Local Time:
    4:32 PM
    Despite Sai’s pride that he had managed to keep Yousef oblivious of his presence, dread filled Navia and they had rushed to the throne room together. While they went, Sainan had described Yousef’s tone toward Théadan with her and they agreed something was wrong, that the alarming rush Navia felt to be at Théadan’s side was not unwarranted. The guards outside the throne room door only cemented it for her, for the instant they saw her enter the grand foyer, their spears cross protectively before the door and they told her she was not welcome. Sainan was denied access was well, but they both spun to try another route at the same time, wordlessly knowing they would try to enter the throne room through Kazim’s study instead. Luckily that had not been considered and the siblings rushed into the space and to the door leading out to the throne room. Sainan motioned for Navia to remain silent with a finger to his lips, but she silently made no promises, knowing she would do whatever it took to keep Théadan safe.

    The door was opened a crack, just enough for them to peek through. Everyone’s focus in the other room was on Théadan though, and they were behind Kazim’s throne, so no one paid any mind to the door opening slightly. They peeked through together and Navia bit back a gasp of alarm when her eyes landed on Théadan on his knees in the center of the throne room, flanked by guards and another standing nearby with a large axe in hand.

    “Kazim wouldn’t have him killed,” Navia hissed incredulously at Sai, her expression full of her disbelief that her family would be so cruel.

    “And risk getting blood on his perfect white floors? Not a chance,” Sai shrugged, though it definitely did seem like that was his cousin’s intention, “Don’t go out there just yet, Navia. Wait and see what’s going on.”

    Before Navia could protest, Kazim’s voice boomed through the room, “This barbarian thinks himself worthy of my audience because of a title given to him by our greatest enemy! He thinks himself worthy of speaking to me!” Kazim stood from the throne and thundered down its steps to address the nobility he had demanded be present, “Before you is one of the three masterminds behind our country’s ruin! He claims to have remorse for it, but have we seen it? He insists he brought our Sitvati home to us, but he is the one who caused her suffering in the first place! He uses his title as a prince, but states he has severed ties with his family. This man has come to Khlurios with nothing as his own but a horse and the clothes on his back! Clearly he is seeking power here because he cannot at home and has poisoned our Duchess’s mind in the process!” Kazim paused to look back at Théadan with a derisive expression, “No Mes’Mo’Tanian is welcome here, especially one with as much Khluri blood on his hands as you.” He gave his fingers of one hand a snap and the executioner stepped forward.

    “Navia, wait—“ Sai hissed when Navia tried to pull the door open and expose them, “Let Yousef take care of it. He knows you love him.”

    “He doesn’t care,” Navia answered and shoved past Sai to step into the throne room, “I have to help him.”

    “Let this be a show of our strength to those around us,” Kazim went on, oblivious to those behind him, “Let the world know Khlurios will show no mercy to those who have wronged us so savagely. Let them all bear witness to our might as we rebuild!”

    Yousef saw her before she could reach Théadan, but Navia was quicker, skirting just enough around his lunging grasp for her to stumble in front of Kazim and place herself between him and Théadan. “No,” Navia said loudly, making sure all gathered in the room would hear her before she squared her shoulders and glared up at her boasting cousin, “No, Kazim.”

    The slap was loud and instant, an action that occurred in haste, on impulse. It sent her thick black hair rioting around her and Navia was unprepared for it, causing her to take a couple unbalanced steps backward, the back of her leg bumping into Théadan’s shoulder. She recovered quickly however, her defiant expression turning furious as her hand rose to gingerly touch her cheek, “What—“

    “You have betrayed us enough!” Kazim yelled at her, his own features irate and his need to show power before his nobility egging him on, “You bring this murderer into our home, demand he is to be welcomed with open arms, and continue to defend him when his own brother made you a widow! And he has you so twisted in the head, you would defy me in front of our nobility!” He turned and addressed a remorseful Yousef, making a grab for Navia’s arm at the same time, “I’m giving you this courtesy because she is my flesh and blood. Remove her before I change my mind and her head is rolling on the floor after his.”

    “You will do no such thing, Yousef,” Navia barked as she dodged Kazim's grab at her, “My place is by Théadan’s side, no matter what Kazim thinks.”

    “It is unnatural and offensive!” Kazim protested anyway, giving Navia his opinion despite her lack of interest in it. Deciding to try another tactic, he glared over her shoulder at the man she was protecting, “Tell me, Avezana. If you had not delivered our Sitvati as a gift to your father like the slave you had forced her to be, could you live happy lives together in your palace? Would your family welcome her with open arms and forgive any of her sins against your country? Would any of it be allowable in Mes’Mo’Tan?”

    “We are not in Mes’Mo’Tan!” Yousef protested, having stepped forward to try to drag Navia away before she wound up dead as well. She fought it, but he managed to get ahold of her wrist and pull hard. She ended up stumbling into him, but with Kazim’s focus on pelting Théadan with demanding questions, she looked up at her brother imploringly, knowing if anyone could help, it was him. She had angered Kazim too greatly for him to listen to her. He would go against anything she said just to spite her. But Yousef was his confidant, his favorite cousin since childhood, and someone who had been trained to be most loyal and trustworthy to the king. She was asking her brother to go against that training, to be loyal to her instead. But Navia knew Yousef was the key to it all. It was he whom could save Théadan. “Please, Yousef. Please.”
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  19. Laster

    Laster A Mischievous Fox Member

    Messages:
    400
    Local Time:
    10:32 PM
    Théadan could see now Kazim never had any intention of speaking to him, instead using his advisors to try and gather information, for this King Théadan supposed he was going to be made some sort of example of. Kazim was using his authority and power to suggest he was not worthy of speaking to him, though apparently he was still worthy enough to be judged the Khluri King. That he went further to call him one of the masterminds behind his country's ruin, made Théadan want to scoff. That had mostly been Argyle, Théadan knew how to fight a war, but at no point would he have considered himself a mastermind of it. More importantly however was how Kazim was completely disregarding what Théadan had said, looking for proof of his remorse yet having never given him a chance to show it. They assumed he wanted power, and Navia was a part of that.

    His fingers clicked, and Théadan saw the executioner step forward. He had every intent of making himself not seem violent, but if he really was about to die, Théadan was going to fight against it and do anything to keep it from happening. There was far too much to live for now to simply accept death. But before Kazim could give the order, Navia was pushing forward having arrived just in time, giving Théadan some hope, though he was still wary of the guards either side of him, and that axe looming nearby. She put herself between Kazim and him, standing tall before her king and outright refusing to let him go through with this. The slap that came just a moment later caught them both by surprise. It had Navia stumbling back, bumping against him. Up until that moment Théadan could understand Kazim's reasons, but striking his cousin for refusing him had Théadan thinking back to his own family, and the harsh way they had treated him.

    There was plenty of condemnation for Navia from Kazim, for defying him, for taking Théadan's side, he even leveled a threat towards her, stating for Yousef to remove her. This was such a bizarre sight for Théadan to see, there was so much turmoil, and all of it created by his being there. It was nothing like how he imagined Navia's return to go, but Navia stood strong in her defense of him, resilient and uncompromising, refusing to give in. When Navia did not balk, Kazim asked questions of him even drawing Yousef into this while he tried to remove Navia from his side, leaving Navia little option but to plead with her brother to listen and to help.

    Théadan had asked for the opportunity to speak. He had been seeking any chance to prove that he was not the violent man his past suggested he was. That he did feel guilt, that he was remorseful, and he did above all love Navia and simply wished to be with her. He now had the King asking questions of him, and while he couldn't cover all the ground he wanted to cover, he at least had the opportunity now to raise some doubt. "My family would never have welcomed Navia, our relationship wasn't allowed, and I bear scars as proof of that." Théadan spoke up, loud enough for his voice to carry through the room. "Navia would have been treated by my family as little more than a pet, to be used and toyed with at their pleasure." That was the truth of his family, and what would have happened to Navia had they not fled. "You hate me and my people, for the crimes we committed against Khlurios, had the roles been reversed, I'm sure Mes'Mo'Tan would execute those who committed the crimes without a second thought." He agreed, in Mes'Mo'Tan they would not think twice about it, no matter who begged for their life.

    "But you are not Mes'Mo'Tanian. You do not want to be anything like my people - savage, bloodthirsty." That was how he had been repeatedly described, and so it struck Théadan as odd that for a nation that hated his people so and everything they were, that they seemed so eager to enact 'justice' in the same manner as it would be in Mes'Mo'Tan. "So don't be like us, be better. Right now you're not acting like the Khluri Navia has so much pride in, you're acting like the Mes'Mo'Tanians I am so ashamed of." Théadan bared his open palms before Kazim, showing the scars and how little he had on him. "I have come unarmed, I have returned Navia to your home. I have not threatened or fought anyone since arriving in Mandira. I have offered to try and do what I can to make amends." He only asked for the opportunity to prove it, and allowing that opportunity had yet to be offered to him. "You question whether I have remorse asking for any evidence, yet you have had me locked in a cell these passed two days. How am I supposed to prove it to you all as I have Navia, without a chance?"

    Marek stepped forward from where his position, moving to be just a couple steps away from the King as he let his voice fill the room even as his words were meant for the Kings ears. "To be given such a chance is far too great a risk for Khlurios." In his mind it was completely unnecessary, there was nothing to be gained from letting the Mes'Mo'Tanian Prince live. The matter was already threatening to create a family feud within the royal family itself. He was dangerous and needed to be swiftly removed before he could create any more problems for them. "My King, there can be only one outcome." His eyes briefly glanced over to the executioners axe before pointing a finger towards the Prince needing to discredit him and help back his King in front of all the gathered nobility. "The avezana knows his life is at an end, he will say anything to save himself."
     

Share This Page