RP:A Simple Plea
Synopsis: An awkward reunion of sorts that ends with a solemn promise.
Characters: Trent, Meri
Location: Cenril-Kelay Bridge
Date: October 16th, 2016
Meri has made an effort not to see Trent since their expedition to Xalious, a marked effort though this avoidance is something that does not bring Meri much pleasure. Of course she does presume that at some point their paths will cross, they always seem to. It seems that today will be that day, for there Meri is standing on the side of the bridge. Today she is not drawing as she has been caught doing here many times in the past, her sketchbook is tucked safely away out of sight. No, she just stands there with both hands gripping the railing that seeks to protect any travelers from any freak accidents and staring off into the chasm. Probably a brief break from her own aimless wandering.
Trent strolled eastward along that long and broken road with both hands tucked inside the pockets of his faded black jacket; Quiet, reserved, deep in thought. His head were bowed, hood resting atop a messy pile of unkempt blonde, his features almost concealed from view. He glanced up, briefly, to make sure his aim would not miss that bridge connecting the landmasses of Cenril and Kelay, noting now a stranger rested upon the side of the walkway. As he drew closer, his tired heavy eyes honed in with recognition, his footsteps coming to halt a few feet away from the woman he had come to know. The wind whipped past the pair and the tail end of his coat began to flutter; A moment of silence broken then with a simple greeting. "It's been a while."
Meri grows rather tense in the shoulders when she hears that familiar voice, her hands gripping the ledge of the railing just a bit tighter. It is only after Meri takes in a breath and exhales it slowly that Meri turns to greet Trent. The smile that curves across her red lips is a slightly forced one, chalk full of nervousness that the tattooed woman just cannot seem to mask no matter how hard she tries. "Hello Trent. It has been awhile, yes it has. Work and all, it keeps a girl busy, you know?" A beat. "How are you?"
Trent stares at Meri quietly for some time as he tried to gauge her mood. He could see something was quite off- The hesitation. The forced, nervous smile. Indeed. Something didn't sit right. "Tired." he said, with one shoulder bouncing. "So very, very tired." He looked it. His own demeanor was aged. Lethargic. Exhausted. "I have done nothing but research for these weeks... months.. and still, nothing to show for it. I am starting to think that it is all in vain." He swallowed hard, his eyes narrowed a little as he observed the woman closely. "And you? Are you well? You seem... uneasy." he took an educated guess.
Meri tried to assume a casual lean against the railing that she was just gripping, crossing her arms over her chest to try and feed into this casual stance. It did not seem as thought Trent would be falling for it, but she would keep the act going regardless. "Oh no, I am quite well. If you think I am uneasy that is probably only because your mind is playing tricks on you because you are so tired." The woman's blue eyes traverse Trent's form in an analytical fashion, red lips pursed together with thought for only a split second. "Please tell me that you are not tired because you are spending all of your time chasing and researching answers that you probably should just leave alone?"
Trent felt a twinge of annoyance grace the back of his mind as Meri feigned her state of emotion. This however would only be temporary, as her next words seemed to catch him off guard. Metal parted from leather; That strange tainted hand was free from the pocket it had been housed in, the cool steel gaze of its owner examining every inch of that shiny surface. "I need to know. Something... someone has done this to me. Twice now, I have woken upon that field. Twice now I had no recollection of what happened prior." Those talon-like digits began to curl in upon themselveves as Trent's gaze locked with Meri's. "The visions. The tower. The strange creature that revealed the unholy nature of these markings. Do you not think it's worth knowing why? You of all people, I would think..." His brow furrowed, "should understand the need to reclaim what was once lost. These happenings... they will not stop. This... thing..." he returned focus to his hand, "..Will not let me. What am I to do, Meri? How can you suggest that I should leave it alone?" Trent palmed the side his face with his unadorned hand, his eyes lifting to observe the sky above.
Meri equally felt that twinge of annoyance, though her reasoning was for very different reasons. However, despite her uneasiness it seems that she has no issue with speaking her mind freely to Trent. "And what about what I told you the last time we met? That if you kept seeking answers that some how, some way, I don't know how...but you will try and kill me? What about the message that things -things- gave me when we finally visited that place within the mountains? You do not care about their warnings? You would rather have your answers?" Meri furrows her brows together just a fraction. "To some extent I do understand wanting answers, wanting to know, wanting to remember....But I have also learned that some answers are locked away from a damn reason."
Trent looked surprised. Almost like a sense of realization came over him- that he now understood where the woman's hesitation and uneasiness originated. "I..." he started. "I would never hurt you. Never. It's absurd. You are the one person who has been there most. To think that I could ever harm you in any capacity.. it's... it's just not possible." He sighed, shoulders slumping in defeat. "I suppose it does not matter in any sense. I have pored over every tome in that damned library and there are no references to such star patterns or constellations. They simply do not exist. So, for your peace of mind, the trail... is dead."
Meri does not seem to be very put at ease with the assurances that Trent gives her, made evident by a shake of her head. "If you truly believed that the trail was dead then you would not be standing before me in the tired and lethargic state that you are in....I bet you that tomorrow you will return to the libraries to examine one more passage that will turn into one more book...that will turn into another sleepless night pawing over writings that you have probably examined a thousand times over with the hope that maybe you missed something." The woman frowns, letting her gaze travel from Trent's face down to her boots, shaking her head. "And while I know that you yourself would never cause me any harm, as I would venture to say that you are far fonder of me than you should be...that does not mean that thing...." She points to the gauntleted hand without even needing to look, her gaze remains on her boots. "Will somehow not be the cause of it. And then you will be left wrought with guilt."
Trent lifted his hand and gazed upon it with a silent condemnation. Meri was right. Everything that she said was right. Even though that infernal appendage had seemed to warm up to the tattooed woman, there was no telling when it would turn upon her. It had made advances before. Still, he felt he could control it. He could save her; yet, he knew deep down... she was right. "I... suppose." he barely admitted, returning his attention over to her. "If it makes you feel better I will not return to Xalious. I will forsake my quest to find answers there. I do feel as though something has been missed, but it is beyond my comprehension. If the last two months have been fruitless, then I see no reason that anything new will arise. If something were to turn up later down the road, I can not promise that I won't be curious. THat i won't look into it. But for now, I will keep away from that Library."
Meri bites down on her bottom lip, causing some of her lipstick to smudge and successfully staining the tips of her two front teeth. Trent's words caused nothing but doubt in the woman's mind, yet at the same time she also felt horribly guilty. It was not like her to just abandon those who were close to her, even if in this particular instance she was not unfounded in her abandonment. "If you promise me that you will not chase the answers anymore...you should leave them alone. They are better left alone." Yet in the back of her mind she knew that it would not be long before she ventured into the library and would find Trent there. "I cannot blame you for being curious, but leave them alone Trent...."
Trent had been broken down and conquered as he mulled over Meri's request. He wanted so badly to know the answers to the many questions that had come about. Who was he? Where did he come from? Why was he stuck with a sentient piece of metal? So many questions that needed answers. And yet, no matter how far along he traversed down this path, the answers would turn into more and more questions. With the duo's last run in with those strange beings, it is obvious that Meri had been spooked deep down. She was genuinely worried for the future of their safety. As much as he hated to abandon his need for an answer- he hated the idea of losing his friend even more. "Fine." he finally stated after a few moments of silence. "I will pursue it no further. I will focus on the here and now. On re-establishing some sort of life." He placed both hands upon the railing and looked over the edge of the bridge. "I promise that I will leave it alone."
Meri would like to say that she believed Trent....but she did not. Still, it would be very unfair of her to at least not give Trent the benefit of the doubt given their history. He has never lied to her before and she had no reason to think he was lying now -- it was just a nagging feeling. Perhaps because she had been spooked. All the woman can muster is a smile in Trent's direction, but she otherwise seems to be at a loss of things to say to the man, probably too caught up in her own mind and stewing inwardly over their present conversation and the the last encounter they had. Silence falls over them.
Trent gazed deep into the chasm below, that awkward silence hanging heavy over the pair like it were some sort of dreary funeral service. Much like the woman to his right, he too were stuck inwardly reflecting upon everything that had been said. Had he made the right choice? Were her fears well founded? Time would soon tell. Turning then to face Meri, Trent offered a bit of a smile. "It is good to see you again, at least. I'm glad that you are... well." He wasn't exactly sure what to say, but felt that something a bit more pleasant was fitting.
00:21:46Meri lets her hands fall to her side attempting to relax as she and Trent continue their conversation. Emphasis on attempting, it was challenging to really push the conversation to the far into the back of her mind....but she was doing her best. "It is good to see you too. Though I wish I could say that I thought you were doing well. You just look exhausted. When was the last time you really got a full night's sleep, Trent? Or a proper meal?" Not that the woman has much room to talk about proper meals -- her idea of a proper meal was something that came from a tavern. Yes, a tavern. Not even a halfway decent sit down restaurant.
Trent had to actually think about his answer. When was the last time? "I am... not certain. I had been so focused on research that I mostly slept in very short intervals. I've managed to eat when necessary, I suppose. Although, not as much, nor as often as I probably should." A light chuckle escaped. "The accommodations in Xalious were less than pleasant. A mere cot most nights. Uncomfortable thing. It would be good to finally get home." Both hands were once more slipped into his jacket pockets as he returned with questions of his own. "And you? Have you been looking after yourself? I never did inquire as to where you have been staying as of late. I recall that before you... suffered a similar fate as I had, you were rooming in that castle in Gualon. Did you manage to find a room there, again?"
Meri answers with a shake of her head, shifting about where she stands...This is not a signal that she was uncomfortable with the present conversation, she was merely shifting the weight from one leg to the other. "No, I am not staying at the castle in Gualon. I highly doubt that I will be returning there. I have not encountered...whomever...told me that I could reside there so I have not received any amount of permission to stay there again. I feel as though making sure I am still a welcome guest would be proper, given that my absence was a prolonged one. For all I know whatever room I had there has been given away. I have just been inhabiting inns in whatever location I am closest too at the time. Private rooms are much better than cots, I can assure you. I am sure your own bed will be a welcome change."
Trent knew all too well that feeling of not having a permanent residence. In fact, the first time the pair had met, she were the one to help him find the inn in Cenril. "I see. That is a shame, really/" he stated with a hint of concern. While some inns had fairly nice rooms, the cost alone from bouncing around really did add up over time. "Well... perhaps..." he began, his eyes lingering southward. "..instead of just throwing away gold at temporary rooms... perhaps you would like to stay at my home? Near the Gardens, on Foundling." He shrugged a little as he turned his gaze upon her. "It's only myself. There are two empty rooms, a living space, kitchen area and bathing quarters. I still have a couple of payments to make, but the building is as good as mine." A pleasant smile. "After everything you've done, it's the least I could do."
Meri considers the offer that Trent lays before her but does not immediately answer. "Well...." After everything that they have discussed today, Meri did not want to jump to commit to an answer quite yet. "I do need to head out to Rynvale, actually. Quite shortly, actually...But..." Her gaze travels westward over the bridge, as though mentally following the path to Gualon. "Let me think about your offer. I am sure it is a standing offer. Besides, the least I could do would be to drop by your new home and see how it looks. What is the point of having a home if you are never have any company over? Perhaps after I return from Rynvale?"
Trent nods in turn, his smile earnest and pleased with her answer. "That is fair enough. I suppose I should probably set out. Make sure the place is still standing, or at least clean. It's been a bit. I wish you the best in your venture to Rynvale in back. May your travels keep you safe." He turned then, his path heading back off of the bridge and to the south toward Gualon. He would pause momentarily to glance over his shoulder, one hand lifted in a slight wave. "Good night, Meri.." he offered and continued his journey home.