After his thoughts have done all that they can for him, Tybalt makes his way down the hillside to the port town below. He purchases foodstuffs to make a hot meal, as well as some Calabrese-style tea, which bears the export mark of an Avoirdupois plantation. Carefully stashing a dagger in one of his boots, the mink heads for the palace's dungeon, where Yrina is being kept.
The guardsmen take note of young Tybalt as he enters, but afford him the respect of a foreign noble personage. Beyond their watchpoint, Yrina herself is unmoving in her cell: bound, gagged, and blindfolded.
Tybalt stops for a moment, letting his eyes adjust to the sudden dimness of the prison cell. Granted, he never expected these places to be the height of modern comfort, yet somehow this is more... harsh... then he had envisioned. He sets his tray down on a nearby table, carefully making just enough noise that the fox knows he is here. "I've brought you something," he murmurs. "I thought you might be hungry?"
Yrina shifts her head up to 'look' at where she hears the mink to be. The look on her face is almost entirely blank, with neither a hint of scowl nor smile. A few long, awkward seconds pass, and then her nose twitches at the scent of food, followed by a very reluctant nod.
Tybalt nods to himself, breathing a very quiet sign of relief. Step one done... now if only everything else will go as smoothly. Stepping up to the cell door, he winces for a moment... in his effort to prevent this from becoming a production, he neglected to ask for the key. Still, nothing a little chanting cant fix...
The door pops open with nary a sound. Yrina's ears seem to perk when it does, though. She shows no other sign of being too alarmed or on alert, though.
In what he hopes is a calm and collected manner, Tybalt picks up the tray again, bringing it inside the cell before closing the door behind him... and locking it anew with a few more whispered words. Nothing showy, nothing fancy, even while his heart beats an interesting staccato inside his chest. Tybalt, he thinks, you are SUCH a fool for doing this... "If you dont mind, miss, I'm going to do something about your hands, and then attend to that blindfold? I don't want to touch you if you'd rather not be touched, however..."
Another few seconds pass. Her ears definitely react to the sound of his Tybalt's voice, but her face remains near-expressionless. She does nod again, however, and shifts into a less-slouched position.
Tybalts lips twitch, trying not to let the hysterical nature of the situation get to him... instead, he takes refuge in babble, in between coaxing the manacles to unlatch. "I hope you don't mind me intruding like this, but I thought that you might like a bit of a snack; I know I generally like something light around this time. Not TOO heavy, really, because then it gets hard to sleep, but I brought some tea - chamomile - if you're partial to such things? I thought wine perhaps a bit unadvisible; it's been a long day for us all."
Yrina flexes her wrists once her manacles are free, but other than that, she makes no undue (or improper) attempts to do anything with her free hands. She nods once more at Tybalt's hesitant explanation, and again acquiesces to what he might do next.
Biting at his lower lips, Tybalt does the only thing that he can think of to do, as fleeing like a child isn't an option. Reminding himself that Yrina is more to be pitied then to be feared, he reaches behind her, respectfully loosening the knots of the gag, then the blindfold, but allowing her to actually remove them herself. "I... ah... should I perhaps pour the tea, then? Or are you hungry enough to be able to handle a bit of dinner?"
Miss Jakoba first takes off the blindfold, and then opens and closes her jaw a few times, as if testing the joint itself before daring to speak. "...thank you," she says, eventually, her voice just barely loud enough to be both audible and polite. There is marked resentment in her voice, but nothing so scathing as to indicate that she has any desire to offend. At least, not just yet...
Glancing only briefly at her, Tybalt scootches off to one side of the cell's interior, busying himself with domestic concerns. Hot water is poured into a teapot, cold water into a glass, dinner is portioned out onto plates; a bite for the mink, a more healthy portion for the vixen. "I'm... I'm really not much good at this," he says finally as a means of breaking the silence. "I mean, I'm not here to get you to talk or anything. It's just, you know, dinner. If you'd prefer me to be quiet, that's okay - I know the others say I talk too much, especially when I'm nervous. It's kind of awkward, ya know?"
"You needn't worry about me, lad," she says, with a smooth and even voice. When she's not being haughty and threatening, her tone is almost... soothing. "And you needn't sit on such ceremony, either. The company is welcome." Despite this, though, her eyes are more on the food and plates than they are on Tybalt.
Oh, I'm never one to stand on ceremony, unless the situation truely requires it. Being overly polite, though... now THAT I can do." Grinning a grin that almost feels honest, Tybalt leans against the corner of the cell, casually being the first to taste everything that he brought... pouring tea for himself, taking a small bite of meat, and a taste of the dessert. He hopes he's being subtle, but he also knows he's rather new at this. "I'm really sorry all this had to happen," he mumbles abashedly. "Are you okay? Ugh... stupid question. Are you hurt? Are they treating you well?" His ears flush red upon hearing the questions coming out of his mouth... Lord Nik would have a fit if he heard.
Yrina starts to eat, first, taking a few bites here and there, before responding. "I am as well as can be expected," she replies, with almost no hesitation in her response. She then takes a swig of water, and continues to eat.
Once again trying to be casual, Tybalt just nods. "Oh," he says simply. "That's... good. I think. Isn't it?" Eyes narrowing in concentration for only a heartbeat, he runs his thoughts through a quick prayer to the Light; with any luck, the rules haven't changed, and it's still not blasphemy to heal a Jakoba.
There's an immediate visible effect on Miss Jakoba; she looks a great deal less haggard and roughed-up. In response to the question, though, she merely says, "It is better than death." She then continues to eat.
"Yeeeeees," the mink manages to get out. "I... ugh. I need to apoligise for earlier. For everything. I don't..." He suddenly sits up straighter, looking fully at Yrina for the first time since this odd conversation began. "I don't regret protecting my friends, but I'm very sorry that you had to get hurt in the course of it all. And... I'm sorry that I harbored a great deal of ill will towards you immediately after. It wasn't right of me." He lets out a soft sigh, then chuckles. "I'm sure it's all sounding like just so many words, and foolish ones at that..."
The vixen takes another hearty swallow, and points her snout back at at the mink. "You did what you must," she replies, meeting Tybalt's gaze for the first time since removing her blindfold. "Just as I did what I must, in Mother's name."
"I... suppose," the mink muses, crossing his ankles as he settles his weight a bit more comfortably against the walls. "It's what she would have wanted, then? I can't say I've ever had the pleasure of meeting you mother before... well... whatever happened."
"What Mother wants is for her to know," Yrina answers. "I myself have not spoken with her for several years, now, but when last we did, I swore that I would give my all to see that she was on the throne of Asternal, and that she would have her revenge."
"It sounds lonely," is the mink's only reply. "For a while, I didn't know who my parents were... and even now, I don't get to see them nearly as much as I'd like. Just living one's own life can take so much effort, sometimes."
"You strike me as a child who would strive to honor his parents just the same," Yrina says. She doesn't sound like she's trying to convince anyone of anything; she's just stating it as if it's fact.
Tybalt actually grins at that, a bit of a chortle escaping his lips. "Easier said then done," he giggles, thinking of the standards both his biological and foster family have set before him. "But true... and yet, not the whole truth. Is it wrong to want to do things - for people, for places, for me - and have the honoring one's parents thing be a happy side benefit? There's so much out there in the world, you know? You've probably seen more then I... there's so much to see, learn, and do!"
"Honoring one's parents is not a side anything," she replies. That last word is stressed, but she sounds surprisingly unangry. "Duty is duty, and cannot be ascribed to something so simple as something to be done... casually."
"Perhaps it's just my inexperience talking," the mink counters, but calmly. "I know my parents love me, and I know they want me to be happy, to grow, and to seek out my own path. I'll never be able to repay my debt to them, but then, they don't want me to try. They trust me to do what is right, but don't ask for anything. Then again," he trails off, "My upbringing was rather... unconventional. I mean, my mom wasn't a princess; that sounds like an impressive way to live."
"Mother is an impressive person," is Yrina's clipped reply. Taking the tea, now, she drinks down a few long sips, apparently with little regard to scaling her lips and tongue. "This is delicious," she says, with a flatness that isn't quite deadpan, but nonetheless lacking any 'real' emotion.
Tybalt wilts a little at that, but rallies bravely with another mustelish smile. "Wendell is rather less impressive," he admits in a conspiratorial tone, "But in all the good ways. Mother and Father, though... sometimes, we're so much alike it's scary, and other times, we're totally apart in our methods of thinking. I sometimes wonder what would have happened, had things turned out differently."
"Mother believes that some magicks can cause the past to change," Yrina says. "I do not share her optimism, there. Though, to her credit, she focuses on rectifying the past by instead aiming for the future."
"I think I have to agree with her there," Tybalt muses. "I don't like to think that all that has been accomplished thus far can be thrown away so that people can start over differently. We learn from experiences, good and bad, you know? I wouldn't want to waste that." He pauses for a moment, finally pouring himself a cup of tea and taking a sip. "I suppose if there are specific occurences that were too difficult to bear... one might want to change them?" His tone shifts, becoming rather more gentle, tactful, perhaps realising that we might be treading on dangerous ground.
"Regret is for the weak. Strength comes from accepting hardship and striving on in spite of it. That is where Mother's resolve truly shines." She takes another long sip from the teacup, and sets it down, looking back into Tybalt's eyes.
"Do you love her?" The words escape Tybalts muzzle before he can recall them, and he quickly looks first horrified, then aghast. "Oh sweet Helloise. You don't have to answer that, I'm sorry..."
Yrina seems unfazed by the question, all the same. "Love. Honor. Respect. They are all the same, in that regard. What I do, I do for her, because she needs me. And I do so both willingly and cheerfully."
Glancing down into the 'depths' of his teacup, Tybalt can only nod in an abstracted manner. "I think it's a pity that you two have been so long apart, then. I mean, you all seems so... close, yet you claim it's been years since you've met with her? Do you write, at least? Talk just to talk? I mean, distance shouldn't matter to one with your powers... I don't know... it just seems a little bit sad, that's all."
It is," Yrina replies, and for once, she actually does sound rather sad at the prospect. "And no. Since ascending to Asternal's throne, she has been... off limts. With her newfound... demeanor, I cannot risk exposing my location, lest she stop the greater plan."
Tybalt looks a bit puzzed at that... "But I thought you said you were helping her get what she wants? Or is she truely not herself?"
"I know not who or what she is, precisely. Suffice it to say that, if she were to seek me out, I would answer her summons gladly. As it is, I know only that the convergence is coming, and that Mother has dreamed of getting revenge on this world for so, so long."
I'm not going to say I can agree with that," is Tybalt's hesitant reply, "But that the same time, I don't agree with someone being compelled to change against their will. That's not really important right now, though... I.... I can't guarentee it, but I might see your mother before you do. Is there any message I can deliver, other then that you'd like to see her? I'm sure she'd love to see you... she seems lonely as well, in that castle. There really isn't anyone she can talk to."
There's a long pause as Yrina considers the question. "You may tell her -- if you wish, of course -- that I did my best, and that I have no regrets." There is another pause, and then she looks AT you more than THROUGH you. "Thank you, by the way, for dinner."
"Oh! It was nothing, really... I mean, it was.... er... the least..." once again, Tybalt lets his words trail off, just grinning lopsidedly at Yrina. "Tybalt de Mercueur, the eloquent," he quips.
Yrina smiles, and it looks to be legitimate. "That name has been on my mind for several years, now," she says. "It is good to put a face with a name. If we both live to see the morrow, then I shall surely recall you as an opponent with honor. Should the tide turn at a later date, I promise that your mercy shall be repayed... Mother willing."
Tybalt smiles back, a real one, not a wry one, though it's perhaps just a little sad. "Thank you, miss," he murmurs. "That really does mean a lot to me - and, though regrets may be for the weak, you'll have to forgive me for hoping that things could someday be different. We disagree on a good many things, but I respect you and your family a great deal. With luck, tomorrow will dawn bright and sunny, and we can decide what paths to forge from there. Is there anything else I can get you? Perhaps I could ask the guards for an extra blanket, a pillow...? I... er..." He glances at the manacles, not even bothering to hide the awkward regret in his expression.
With something of a chuckle (that's not entirely UN-sinister), Yrina says, "Perhaps the dinner was already more than enough. The sentiment is appreciated, though... and noted. But sooner or later, guardsmen loyal to the Governess shall surely come to check on me, and I shan't like to implicate you in abetting my escape."
Tybalt nods, suddenly all seriousness. "I understand. Will you attempt to escape, then? I would be forced to make an attempt to stop you, which I really do NOT want to do. I do not wish to re-bind you, either... but I think we both have to admit the necessity behind that. I really am sorry..."
"No. Honor dictates that I, as the defeated foe, must accept fate for what the victory has in store for me," Yrina replies. "In a moment of desparation, however, I cannot guarantee that the temptation would not be there, and so I fear it is in your best interests to re-bind me, young lord."
Nodding, Tybalt bends down to pick up the discarded wrappings... the cloth of the blindfold, the gag. Folding them into neat squares, he places them into his belt pouch, removing fresh cloth from the same. "Please, miss, just Tybalt. If you'll recall, I try not to stand on ceremony unless I can't avoid it." His tone is light, but still an undertone of regret colors it. They both know this is what they have to do, though neither wants it. "If you might be so kind as to hold your hands out, please?"
Miss Jakoba holds out her hands agreeingly, apparently content to let him do as she has stated he must. "Some things can never be avoided, Tybalt," she says, and her tone is ambiguous enough that it's hard to tell if she means it as a warning, or as a bit of advice from personal experience.
"And yet, miss, avoid them we strive to do, for in the experience we find who we truely are." Gently, yet ensuring their security, Tybalt fastens the manacles, reapplies the blindfold. "Thank you for your company, miss - I enjoyed it very, very much. You're a credit to your family name, and I mean that with no irony whatsoever."
"I have every confidence of that, Tybalt," she says, and then dips her head forward, jaws agape so that he might redo the gag for her. Not much for excessive words, Miss Jakoba seems.
Accepting the invitation with as much grace as possible, Tybaly quickly does just that... striving for balance between comfort and security, he quickly finds why so many people abandon the former in favor of the latter, at least when it comes to prisoners. Eventually, though, things are arranged to his satisfaction... it's a simple matter to gather up the remains of dinner, let himself out, and lock the cell behind him. "Good night, miss," he whispers simply, before heading outside to let the guards know that all is well.
The guardsmen give the cell a quick check and, seeming satisfied, allow Tybalt on his way. There hear no further signs of distress or ruckus from the prison as he exits it.
Sighing heavily, Tybalt takes a deeper breath in and out, staring up at the night sky. Miles to go before we sleep, perhaps, but he thinks he made a first step. "Helloise," he whispers, his soft footsteps carrying him back to his borrowed rooms, "Help me to one day truely forgive her, to understand her. Things would be so much better that way."