Well, it's been ages since this was updated but...here's little something I've managed to write down to not to leave this discontinued further to all of you lovely people who've marked this into favorites or are following it in hopes of updates...As I still want to finish this. And will.
Precisely at the early hours of sunrise Arthur and his company were ready to depart from the outpost, naturally consisting of his knights, but upon sitting on the back of the new horse Accius had purchased from one of the locals in wait of them Artemisia discovered also the Bishop's secretary, Horton, to be accompanying them. No doubt due to a command of the Holy man, but the man in question didn't look all that pleased of his commission of having to follow these Sarmatian knights and their leader to dangers yet unimaginable…Since Artemisia could tell from all of the arrived men's exteriors that this journey to the North side of the Hadrian Wall would prove to be an excursion far from pleasant…For even if they wouldn't come across many Pikts or other natives inhabiting those lands by thousands or see a single glimpse of the murderous Saxons, they were headed to mere wilderness. Having to face the harsh conditions of the wild that was on the brink of winter, with no chance of enjoying any form of commodities such as coming upon any inns or other taverns to rest in. The only sign of any civilization being the Honorius estate, which was still too far away for anyone of the company to even cast a longing thought for. Just like Artemisia, who already before they had even set out was feeling herself more than discontent about journeying across the unknown territories in difficult terrain on horseback for days without stopping for a proper rest…But fortunately for her not only Arthur was considerate enough of her state after learning her to be actually coming along to their mission, and all of the knights refrained from too fast-paced riding all for her comfort, and took it into consideration her to need moments of rest during their journey…Despite of their urgency of arriving to the Honorius estate before the Saxons would get there first. So although Artemisia was partly relieved for not having to cope with the total strains of the journey, she still couldn't stop herself from regretting to be imposing herself onto these men, who were enough aggravated by their given orders as they were.
For three days Arthur's company had ridden across the wild with nothing but a few short stops, their steeds flying over the vast moorland and indeed coming upon nothing out of the ordinary except for the absolute desertedness that all of them had known to expect after leaving the safety of the Roman territory. All of them still finding themselves being on the constant edge precisely because of this, the fact that although they had not yet come in contact with any Woads or other enemies still didn't signify them to be safe by a long shot. For this reason Arthur having not to order his men to push on without much delay, as every one of his knights were more than eager to continue their journey and reach their destination rather than putting themselves in danger of getting waylaid by any possible foe by dawdling. Although as had been said, Artemisia's presence came with its own challenges, and quite frankly none of the men saw any reason of her to have been dragged away from the safety of the outpost to here in middle of nowhere and close to certain death.
Galahad tried the edge of his blade before balanced his old, inherited weapon in his hand, testing whether it still remained a proper extend of his arm, and proven indeed so the young knight smiled down at the engravings on the blade and handle before his eyes looked past the fireplace and all the way to the other side of the small meadow they'd made temporary camp at about an hour past. Light supper cooking in the scarce flames Dagonet had been able to spring to life out of the moist twigs the men had gathered, while everyone and not only the pregnant woman were getting their much yearned moment of rest. Speaking of the girl Galahad's attention shifting fully on Artemisia and he found his eyebrows wrinkling yet again as he eyed at the girl in pity upon seeing her settle herself on the ground laboriously once again after pacing about in discomfort, all the while either holding her enormous midriff or her back as waddled about the meadow in search for a relief to her affliction, not either finding it during the moments when she finally got to sit down instead of bouncing about on her lover's horse in the rapid pace they'd insisted on since that morning. When Galahad now spend a moment to take in her inconvenience the soon to be born child undoubtedly brought her like so many times before since leaving the outpost, him still not coming in terms with the reasons that had driven the young Legionnaire to take her along with him to this journey, nor was able to imagine them. Himself regarding such rashness and downright stupidity mere insanity that endangered both his lover's as well as their child's health and possibly even lives taken the all manner of dangers that surrounded them, and yet again puzzled by this fact Galahad decided to point out these wonders to the young man once he then saw Accius walk over to the fire to claim his and Artemisia's share of the cooking rabbit. But one question written all over Galahad's face as he measured the runaway Legionnaire who didn't seem to share his concerns over the expecting girl even to the tiniest degree, this baffling the knight beyond anything when the young man was supposed to value her wellbeing beyond anything.
"Was it truly all that wise to bring her along?"
Galahad could tell the young man's mood to swoop down the moment that inquiry had left his lips in such a sceptical manner, Accius clearly not appreciating his critical delivery and therefore all Galahad got in return was a somewhat hard stare back. Accius not at first saying anything in response as straightened from his hunched position, in turn sizing up the Sarmatian knight sitting but a feet away from him, and whose eyes that were far too worried for his good then flickered to Artemisia's direction. Accius making his lack of deference over this pagan's words clear by raising his chin before glancing down at his sword remarkably, to also elucidate that should the man's unwanted savor in Artemisia's affairs not cease, him to be more than prepared to use it once Galahad continued. His voice even graver from before, outraged even.
"She would be in great peril even without the child she is carrying. Your child. She should've stayed behind at the outpost."
"The safest she is when she's with me. My sword will keep her safe", Accius answered curtly, definitely not in the mood of submitting himself into an argument over a matter that was none of this knight's business, but still he insisted on getting his own inane point across for his chagrin. Causing the young Legionnaire to indeed withhold an urge to draw out his blade to silence Galahad's nagging remarks that were of no importance nor significance to him.
"And yet I must argue that the pace of the travel ails not either her or the child. She needs rest, as close as she is the delivery, and journeying across the wilderness in constant fear of being attacked by Pikts does little to ease her state", Galahad continued, unfazed by the severe looks given by the young man, which were starting to border closer and closer to actual scowls. Him in fact now receiving one as Accius faced Galahad fully, his head tilting just slightly as a warning before his eyebrows rose sternly, the young man staring down at the Sarmatian knight the least beseeched to think the better of Artemisia's delicate situation simply because he requested that of him with his disapproval.
"And I suggest that when and if the time ever comes for you to have one of your own, till then you shall withhold your concerns over other men's women and focus solely in what should be the centre of your attention…This mission and how will you survive it to perhaps ever attain such."
With that said the young man wasted not any more of his time in trying to prove Galahad him to be throwing away his by daring to tell him how to care for his woman, questioning his consideration, since he had taken Artemisia with him precisely for the sake of protecting her. Him to have rather brought her along that left her behind all alone, unguarded at that outpost, where she could be easily prayed on by any man that would've come across her there and in their moment of torrid weakness looked past the to many inescapable stymie that was the unborn child…Since it wasn't for nothing that Artemisia had once caught his eye as well upon first meeting her with his elder brother in Rome, any even a bit of similar effect of her looks on other men being enough to put her in favor of far more many individuals such as this aggravating knight that couldn't stop stealing glances at her whenever he could…And that if anything vexed Accius. For Artemisia was his, and no one else's, least of all to be shared even in a sultry thought. That much was obvious by the very baby that grew inside her, and for the Sarmatian man, this mere a slave, to think himself to have any right to have a word over either of their wellbeing…Well he definitely didn't. Any more than lusting over her so openly.
Galahad, who naturally had no such intentions to his knowledge, was left to stare after the ired Legionnaire as he swiftly marched away from the fire and closed the distance between himself and Artemisia. Galahad deterring an urge to raise actually surprised eyebrows when he in fact saw him smile down at the girl rather gently before taking a seat by her. Still not convinced Galahad watching the pair to share the small portion fetched by the young man, his sword falling on the ground as he observed Accius' arm to drape around Artemisia's shoulders, before with a sweet smile and a slight sigh she leaned into his touch. Utterly trusting, content and considerably more relaxed now that the only man she seemed to put her faith in amongst this group was with her, where Galahad couldn't stop himself from this time around quirking distasteful eyebrows. Remembering well what had transpired back at the outpost on the eve of their departure, that made that very arm that enveloped the girl so adoringly but deceptive, since not too many nights ago it had been busy embracing a totally different woman besides the one currently expecting his child simply for the sake of momentary, unrestrained lust.
"She's fine. Enough easy on the eyes I suppose to please a man...But a mere child."
Taken aback by Gawain's unexpected remark Galahad's gaze now shot up to look to his right, to indeed see his fellow knight standing not too far from him, eyeing at him before his curious, knowing irises briefly returned back to the couple some distance away as Galahad simply tilted his head at his appraising notions.
"Not child enough for him", he mused back, not quite being able to tell did he see Artemisia quite so childlike as Gawain seemed to regard her, although it was as clear as day to him as to all her to be young. Very much so.
"Still, you could do better."
"I have every intention of doing so…Since it's not like she in particular is pleasing my eye all that much you seem to suppose. I've barely even spoken to her", Galahad replied dismissively, truthful.
"Then why are you busying yourself in catching a glance of her whenever that guard dog of a Legionnaire gives you a chance for it? Galahad, there are plenty of women in whose charms to lose yourself, so waste not your thoughts on a girl like her…Especially one who comes with a price of two, and thus a charge no person wants for themselves...Mistakes of another man."
"Three", Galahad laughed, motioning towards unquestionably possessive Accius with the tip of his weapon and caused Gawain to smirk at him. "Even if I dared to have any thoughts about gaining even a fraction of her affection, he would be sure to be there to share them…But you're right Gawain. She's just a girl."
"And very taken one. Keep that in mind before you wake one night impaled by Roman steel."
Galahad decided not to say anything to that but just sent another incredulous smile to his comrade's way, releasing a concurring sigh before fell back into his own musings. The following command of Arthur for them to prepare to continue their journey however snapping him out of them, and upon finishing his own swiftly consumed portion of the meat he stood and went over to his horse to reattach the saddle. Him then considering that perhaps Gawain had been right about saying him to be possibly too absorbed into his worries about the girl as he once more found himself gazing to her way, watching how with great difficulty she settled herself onto the saddle of her lover's steed, while it was obvious how uncomfortable it was for her. Galahad acknowledging it was not his place to advice the young man how to care for the two in his charge, but it was true that although he hadn't known Artemisia more than a few days, and knowing in this case meant simple traveling in the same company without all that many words exchanged, Galahad had discovered to very quickly having ever growing concerns over the girl in her delicate state. Which wasn't at all aided by her lover's what Galahad perceived as greatly unheeding attitude to that very fact, this outlook only amplified by that despite of already traveling with a girl he had gotten pregnant he was carelessly throwing himself on other women, where Artemisia and the child inevitably waiting for its time to be born would've needed all of his attention. So seeing how fragile and downright frightened deep within the girl seemed to Galahad, how she recoiled at almost every glance given to her by his brothers in arms and the slightest rustle from the surrounding wild, appearing so vulnerable and helpless while sitting mostly apart from the others with no one but the young man accompanying her, the knight came to wonder who wouldn't want to concern themselves with a lass so helpless like that who wouldn't make it on her own out here without anyone paying heed to her?
In less than a few minutes they were ready to push on, continuing their journey as quickly as the outer accompany allowed them, and after hours of long and exhausting ride they came upon a grand forest. Finding no way around it having to risk entering the woods, despite of the evident threat of all kinds of enemies lurking within it, Arthur being the most disinclined to lead his entourage into a possible and highly probable deadly pitfalls that laid in wait there. But having no choice he urged his men to follow, obediently and also aware of them lacking any passage around the forest the knights and the two other wayfarers dared themselves to follow the murky paths of the woods. Daylight diminishing by every passing moment they spent scouring the forested avenues long since forgotten to find the one to lead them across the woodland, all of their senses swiftly becoming heightened by the feeling of not being alone in those woods. Although there was no evidence of it more than the hairs on their skin that kept prickling the deeper they ventured, each of them sensing something bad to be in store for them due to the decision to enter the forest, that something were it but their overactive imagination that prowled them in the dark putting them on high alert of anything suspicious...And after some time of calm riding through the tree trunks and overgrown vegetation their gut feeling was proven to be more than a fancy created by the bustling mind, the inauspicious inkling turning into an actual foreboding rustle in the dead of night. Audible even in the tumult of the slight storm that had broken out and was currently ravaging the treetops above them, but their focus shifting from the swaying canopy of leaves swerving in the wind they began to search their surroundings with even more careful of an eye. Slowing the trot of their horses as the feel of the eyes of the invisible observers grew by each pace made along the forest trail, eventually after withstanding the unnerving sensation for a few hours Arthur finally stopping his horse as cast his eyes to the nearby thickets. Tristan voicing out the thought rising from the back of Arthur's mind as he tried to decide whether there was actual threat keeping watch of their journey across the woods or he was simply imagining so.
"Woads. They're tracking us."
Arthur frowned at this revelation as his eyes roamed about in the vivid shadows that made everything seem like moving, not pinpointing anything that would've signalled them not being alone. Therefore giving in him wilfully turning towards his knight who seemed to see what he and the rest of the entourage had been only able to sense till that point...Which was given, taken that as a people Pikts lived their lives in the wild, their homes residing in forests like this which made them practically part of nature itself and therefore very skillful in following them while becoming one with the surroundings trees and moving across the terrain silently like ghosts...Nearly undetected. His knights were after all also too experienced by years of battles and familiar with their ways to be completely caught unawares, especially after knowingly entering Woad territory. "Where?"
Artemisia's gaze flickered about the forest uneasily upon hearing Tristan's response, her fingers curling around the edge of the saddle as Accius brought his arms closer to her, to perhaps soothe the nervousness radiating from the girl, but was too busy himself searching every tree and bush for any possible pagan hiding there in watch of them. Unsheathing his sword slowly as in not to cause the screech of metal to alert their trackers of being discovered, the rest of Arthur's knights gathering around their Commander into a group. After made aware of the reason for their continuous restlessness ever since entering this forest all men now spending a moment in perusing their vicinity, neither seeing a single glimpse of the said Woads, and how could've they? This was Pikt land, and there was no doubt about them to have perfected the art of blending in with the scenery until they would decide to show themselves to their quarry, none of the knights knowing whether or not they would've stood in fact right beside them while using the cover of twilight as their most prominent ally to mask themselves from the skittish travellers. After a while of simply waiting for the first Woad to perhaps appear from the surrounding wild Arthur making the decision of pushing on, as the first lightning stroke as a prelude to the incoming deluge him encouraging his horse forward, with ever growing disinclination without knowing the whereabouts of the enemy his knights and Accius following. The young Legionnaire making a point of remaining surrounded by the Sarmatian knights and sticking right behind Arthur, in case of any surprise attack of the pagans. For he was not going to throw his life away here, as his fundamental reason of joining this entourage being gaining protection from these men who despite of being of lowliest heritage and therefore just slaves, they were also warriors. Warriors bathed in the blood of numerous Pikts and other enemies of Rome, and because of this hardened by battle. Which made them dangerous, and the safest bet for Accius to reach his uncle's estate unharmed.
Even the horses seemed to notice something to be amiss as the animals grew more and more unsettled by the minute, soon making it difficult for the men to curb them forward, and reason for that was revealed when just as Arthur was about to ride between two sturdy oaks a trap was set off. Ropes that had been carefully buried into the soil getting strained by the misstep of the jittery steed, number of them now crisscrossing from one tree to another and blocking their passage further along the path, which immediately caused the entourage to double back at the instant realization of to have been set up. Arrows starting to dart across the air as the Woads finally made themselves known, shooting at them from their hiding and forcing Arthur and his companions to retreat after the short moment of confusion had caused the men to gather back together to find the archers currently firing at them. More ropes appearing between the other nearby trees, which took out any other possible exits out of this unexpected ambush aside for the road they had just taken to get here, and having no other choice Arthur led his horse to that same path. Accius digging his heels to his horse's sides to swiftly follow after him as the Roman Commander led the others along the same route, despite of the expected the arrows continuing to fly the whole time it took for the knights to escape the trap and ride after Arthur once he abandoned the trail and chose a new route through the woods to shake off the Pikt archers stationed in the trees. However not long after similar trap blocked their path, Arthur's horse rearing to its hind legs for fright as the ropes shot out of the soil. Lancelot and Bors telling their following comrades to turn back around, just as new set of arrows cut through the air. Miraculously missing them, and perhaps they were to thank this darkness that made it hard for the Woads as well to find their target...Even this had been proven to be an apparent beforehand planned attack against them, taken the traps and volitionally stationed archers that had now successfully driven them into a momentary disarray to take them out.
Despite of their efforts to elude the Woads they ended up riding but haphazardly along every trail they came upon in hopes of finding a way out of this snare, but every nook of the woods seemed to be now crawling with the enemy, and their carefully prepared booby traps kept on cutting the group's escape short. Them barely avoiding to be ensnared by the sharpened spikes of wood that sprung from the leaf covered ground to stop their advancement and the continuous volleys of arrows until Arthur finally pinpointed a yet untried route amongst the bushes. Ordering his men to follow, as now all of them could distinctly see the shadowy figures of Pikts concealed by the nearby thornbushes, and by this time ignoring the arrows whizzing past their heads the knights and the Legionnaire drove their horses into a quick gallop to trail Arthur. Only to be met with a great number of Woads stepping out of the cover of the forest and instead of another trap forced them to come to an instant halt by swiftly surrounding them. Riddling the trail and all of their flanks with their own warriors, and as Galahad and his brothers turned around in hopes of retreating again, they only saw more Pikts to have emerged from the bushes and to be now standing in their way. Spears in hand beginning to thrust them at their horses, to corner them further closer to each other to render them defenceless, Artemisia staring at the painted pagans in utmost terror, but was denied further lulling into her fear as Accius swatted a couple of the spears away and broke free of the Woads' siege of them. Kicking his horse with a commanding utterance and the animal leaped past the swarming Pikts with a scared neigh, toppling enough of them over for the rest of the entourage to follow, but even the knights were able to flee they soon discovered to have been driven to the exact same spot as where they had left. The same traps blocking their path to anywhere in the forest, and instead of letting them go or remaining in hiding the Woads had followed close behind them, more of them awaiting at the other side of the traps so that the group of nine were now completely cornered, with no means of escape. Now the rest of the knights also bearing their weapons as saw the Pikt archers to finally drop down from their lookout spots and level their bows at them, approaching, prepared to fire. Accius letting out a curse as Artemisia's frightened yelp alerted him of the danger ahead and with a bitter regret of to have lost his shield back at Germania he turned his horse around, to shelter the frantic girl from the incoming arrows, but just as the entourage prepared for quick death abrupt sound of a lonely horn echoing through the vast woodland caused the Woads to halt. Arthur and his men following in this time around confusion as instead of slaughtering them here and there as had been their clear intent they simply stood there, their weapons remaining positioned at them without however striking
"What are you fighting for?" Gawain called out, scowling at the Pikts that still lingered at the trees in wait of piercing the skulls of him and his comrades with their arrows. Accius leering at the pagans in distaste and spat to the ground, twirling his weapon before thrust it forward to point at the closest archer, due to his hatred oblivious to the actual weight of his daunting should these Woads have not demonstrated such temperance as they just had.
"Fight, you curs!"
Another clang of the horn sounded in the forest, for the following bemusement and the eventual shock of the travellers furthering the Pikts' hesitation to kill them, until the archers were the first to drop their weapons. Close behind the spears keeping them from moving getting withdrawn and slowly the Woads started to disappear, Galahad allowing his own sword to drop against his thigh as in utter bafflement that was shared by his brothers he watched the Woads to retreat, slipping back to the shadows from which they had emerged and vanish amongst the trees. Soon only one of the archers who seemed to be the commander of this faction of Pikts remaining, until also he stepped back into the thickets after exchanging a long, tense stare with Arthur. The Roman Commander not helping but thinking there to have been something about that man just now when their gazes had met, which made him consider that perhaps this had not been indeed a mere trap set for the allies of Rome...But of something completely else and less unremarkable as he perhaps should've perceived this attack. One last look around their surroundings telling each and every Pikt to have made a swift retreat, disappearing into thin air.
"Inish", Dagonet spat, his jumpy eyes also scouring the treetops and other spots the Woads had just occupied before glanced at his comrades, Artemisia to have not been able to agree more to what he said next as the abrupt ambush had left her in a rather frantic state, in the eerie light of the just risen moon the pagan warriors to have looked indeed like demons while hunting them in the dark of this forest they never should've entered. "Devil ghosts."
"They were mere pagans, nothing more. Ghosts don't exist but in overanxious minds of fools who know not the difference between an apparition of one's fears and a mere cut-throat barbarian", Accius remarked, not receiving nor as much as acknowledging the sharp glances he was given by the Sarmatian knights as shoved his sword back to its scabbard. Pressing his head against Artemisia's as felt her hand to grasp his forearm that had moved back from sheathing his blade, his lips lingering soothingly at her hairline as Galahad's focus shifted from the two and mainly from the arrogant Legionnaire back to the forest.
"Why would they not attack?" he questioned, the same question swirling in all of their minds, and none of them had the answer, except for Arthur who then arrived to the only suitable conclusion after a moment of thought. His mien turning even more serious at the puzzling mystery of what he said next, although he'd come to realize the probable reason for the Woads letting them go it still not explaining itself any further, the purpose behind such reason remaining unknown to him as well.
"Merlin doesn't want us dead."
They all spared a moment to dwell on that thought, none however understanding it any more than Arthur did, but as for Accius, he didn't even care. Simply wanting to get out that wretched place as quickly as possible, making his desires known for others by then ending the ensued silence with a new neigh of his horse as he pulled the steed's reins tightly. Turning the animal around to go around the traps that had been close to become their downfall, the young man's manner of acting as if he was the leader of this troupe instead of Arthur, which the knights could only assumed to come natural for him due to his commonplace Roman upbringing centering around mainly self-awareness in all of its forms in addition to his natural born conceit, causing the others to level squints at him as followed him begin to make a trail of his own past the traps.
"Let us go. We have to get out of this blasted forest, so let's leave it to the ghosts and find a way out before midnight."
"He's one cocky little bastard, isn't he?" Bors observed as measured the Legionnaire who was riding in front of him a stone's throw away. Causing the burly man to scoff at his gall to conduct himself like a grand general of Rome while on saddle and siding Arthur, who out of all of them was the only one worthy of such prestige and stature, unlike pathetic deserter fuckers like this young man in their company. The very look on his stuck up face telling of an lineage that undoubtedly was one of the most revered in Rome, which gave Bors everything he needed to hate the very sight of him...And the fact how the young man had the gall to perceive him and his fellow knights as lowly as worms, even he himself had brought ultimate shame to his ancestry by fleeing the army without discharge. Devilish smirk then rising to Bors' lips as he tipped a jeering head to Dagonet's direction, nodding towards the Legionnaire before released a low gale of laughter.
"Sure has sucked too much of his mother's tit to make him such a pompous shit of a Roman, hasn't he?"
"You do know Bors that Romans do not actually bring up their own children? They have number of slaves to do it for them aside all the other things for which they keep themselves surrounded with an army of servants", Lancelot cut in, answering for Dagonet who'd done as little as looked over at Accius with a slightly tense stare. Bors' smile only widening for a moment as he slapped his knee in concur, now openly beckoning at Accius, which Artemisia happened to notice upon letting her eyes wander, lastly her glancing back at the knights riding behind her and Accius' horse.
"Well that sure explains it. Because if he had, he would've received a number of good slaps too to beat such high and mighty airs out of him! Although that arrogant mouth of his must've been nurtured by plenty of women despite of his age hardly justifying him as a man, he's after all a true Roman!"
Galahad shifted his gaze from his subtly chuckling comrades to Artemisia whom he noticed to gasp at the sound of Bors' crude remarks, which perhaps but in every way true as he himself had laid witness back at the outpost only unsettled the girl who most likely believed the Legionnaire to have eyes only for her and her alone. Her seemingly however not dwelling on the made insinuations, and Galahad watched her to turn her own attention back to the scenery ahead. The agreed on slower ride for the entourage to gain a moment of rest after finally exiting the forest at the death of night and galloping as far from it as they'd found necessary despite of being spared by those Woads who'd attacked them allowing her to have a chance to look around the land of Britannia with a more careful eye, and quickly Artemisia found herself captivated by the lavish green that gave an impression of an enchanting, fertile land regardless of the dangers it kept buried under its beauty. After calming down since yesterday's surprise attack and gaining a break from worrying over whatever would happen next, Artemisia thinking not much of anything as she then scoured the wilderness around them. Her explorations however coming to an end by the reproving voice of Accius who brought her back from the rapture she'd fallen into. Her watching the Legionnaire to let go of the reins with his left hand to set it upon the bandages wrapped around her own left forearm.
"You should've said to have been hurt by those mongrels."
Artemisia glanced down at the now covered wound which the lucky scrape of one of the Woad spears had made at some point of their struggle during the ambush, her shaking her head dismissively as smiled at the young man's concern. Placing her fingers on his scarred knuckles, before trailed the lines of the numerous healed cuts caused by the slices of enemy swords from some battles she knew nothing of. "I didn't even realize it myself before we were out of the forest...I was too scared to notice."
Accius sighed as next moved his arm to envelope Artemisia into a loose embrace, however the uncomfortable position her large midsection swiftly rendered him in causing his hand to settle onto the bulge of her stomach, and for the first time realizing how large it actually was the young man looked down at Artemisia's belly. With some reserve as others would've noticed, and it wasn't long when with a suddenly much more unnerved look given down at his future offspring still dwelling in its mother's womb Artemisia was disappointed to notice how he almost immediately slid his palm away after feeling the slight movement of the child that had woken from its slumber some time before, kicking and shifting against her so distinctly again that it had briefly turned the girl's thoughts back to the dawning time of childbirth. Artemisia's gaze dropping from the sky to take in the road visible between the steed's twitching ears at the retreat of Accius' hand, but her disenchanted expression was cast away by surprise as she and Accius then saw Galahad's horse to push forward from the corners of their eyes. Galahad siding his horse with the Legionnaire's as looked down at Artemisia, glancing at her wound, among others to have laid witness of the young man to have hastily bound a cut she had apparently received during the attack while on horseback.
"How's your arm?"
"It's fine, as well as she. No need to worry over her", Accius was quick to respond, his arm resuming its tighter grip around the pregnant girl, who met Galahad's eyes after casting a quelling look up to the Legionnaire at the sound of his flaring temper. Accius trying to chase the knight away with his hard stare, but wasn't successful as it was Artemisia herself who encouraged Galahad to linger a moment longer before riding ahead of them with his comrade Gawain, to have a private conversation of their own.
"It's not serious. Just a flesh wound, which shall heal in a manner of days", Artemisia replied, offering the young knight a smile despite of Accius' clear disinclination to grant him even a proper response. Galahad nodding while once more looking down at the bandage covered ulcer, which he knew for a fact to have not been cleaned. Him lastly but casting a remarkable look up to the young man until shared one more look with Artemisia.
"Be sure to properly tend it once we stop. To leave it untended might become perilous for you if it develops an infection."
Artemisia sent him off with another smile, where Accius simply hold back an urge to glare at the man. It had been distinct to him the knight to have referred his words to him despite of addressing Artemisia, and not only that but the insolence of him to have actually reprimanded him in the guise of that mere prompt, again. For this reason once Galahad was out of earshot Artemisia hearing him scoff in irritation, or as she was yet to fathom, slight anger.
"Why does he keep bothering you?"
"He's not bothering me", Artemisia argued, confused by Accius' yet another display of such distrust to this particular knight who'd been nothing but thoughtful of her. Without her realizing it the problem lying precisely in that, as Accius couldn't stand even a single compassionate look of Galahad's cast to Artemisia's way, as rather swiftly he'd come to view it as personal insult made at his way of caring for this woman in his care, which this slave had no business in appraising. Without actually hearing what Artemisia said Accius simply staring at Galahad's back, determined to remind the man of his notably lowlier class that should've been more derived to the manner he was addressing him.
"Be as it may, I won't let him keep on fawning over you. I need you to tell me immediately if he ever acts beyond his right or causes you discomfort. Understood?"
Accius then raised Artemisia's chin so that she was looking at him, his horse stopping for the time it took for the two of them to exchange a stare, and what Bors and Dagonet then overheard him say to the girl caused the former knight's previous claims made about the Legionnaire only to be further proven for the amusement of the man. Despite of the softness of Accius' irises as they hold Artemisia's, her seeing certain type of hardness on his mien as well when he now looked upon her, searching her face in a way that made it clear to whom she belonged.
"You are mine, Artemisia. Mine to look at and mine to adore, and mine alone. Remember that."
Artemisia sighed, but after a moment of thought came to see Accius to be only worried about her and knew he hadn't meant his last words as a claim of actual ownership as if she were his personal slave. Ignoring the jab of quilt however lurching her heart at the sound of them her then giving him a nod before smiled at him, after receiving a fleeting kiss from him leaning her head against his neck as Accius flipped the reins. Sweeping her hand over his guiding the horse forward, settling it on his wrist.
Disclaimer = I don't own King Arthur, nor the person/character nor this movie. I only own my original characters featured in this fic and all the added bits to the existing script.