Iselora dreamed she was floating. She did not know where she was or why she was just floating there; she did not care. She felt calm, not a trace of fear, just acceptance. Her body was not in pain and was actually comfortable for the first time in a long time. Suddenly there was a sound coming from Iselora’s right. Iselora ignored whatever it was, she was content in being comfortable. The noise however was continuously getting louder and more annoying causing a headache to creep into Iselora’s brain. As Iselora tried to tell the voice to go away, bubbles came out of her mouth. Iselora tried again, feeling a sharp pain in her chest as she tried to breathe. It finally clicked, Iselora was drowning and she was going to die if she did not try and find air. Iselora began to work her body in trying to find the surface. No matter which direction she turned, everything was the same. Her lungs screamed for air. “I am really going to die” Iselora thought to herself before a pair of hands raced towards her. The hands were not human. They were black and covered in shadows with jagged nails pointing out of the slim fingers. Before Iselora could flee from them she was grabbed and dragged to the surface. Iselora’s body was racked with coughing and vomiting up the water she had taken in. Iselora lay in the fetal position as something was draped over her naked body and hands rubbed her back, encouraging her to continue coughing.
When Iselora’s body ceased its expulsion of fluids she decided to look up at who had rescued her. Her eyes were having a hard time focusing clearly. There were four people in the room. Svila and three men. Svila and a burly man were hovered over Iselora. Her view of the other two were partially blocked by the obscenely large man in front of her. From what she could see, one man was squat and fat. He was old, with a large nose and circular glasses. His ears came to a long pointed shape. Iselora thought he was funny looking, but could not see to whom he was talking to. Iselora turned her attention to the two directly in front of her. She looked towards Svila first. Svila had tears streaming down her face, terror and worry laced her features. Iselora attempted to sit up to apologize to Svila, but a coughing fit shook her body. The man that accompanied Svila turned his head as the unknown man spoke. Iselora tried to hear what was said but the ringing in her ears prevented her from doing so. The man nodded towards whoever had spoken and proceeded to gather Iselora in his arms. There was little effort in his movement to stand. Iselora’s previous exhaustion had started to creep back into her body, her head rested against the stone chest soaking his shirt with her dripping hair. She tried to catch a glimpse of the other man but all she was able to see was the back of his head as he turned to address the fat troll again. The man carrying her walked out of the bathroom swiftly. Iselora apologized in a raspy voice. Her throat burned with each syllable. The man simply hugged her tighter in response. His presence was a comfort to Iselora. He had a musky smell but it seemed to fit him. Through the subsiding ringing, Iselora heard Svila raising her voice towards the two men still inhabiting the bathroom.
“I told you that she would have been too weak to travel through teleportation. You should have seen her, it was a miracle she did not die during transport. You should have let me take her from them when I had the chance. Instead you had me perched in a tree like a pigeon. Now look at her, her body is too weak to even be left alone. You should have been more considerate with your betrothed.” Svila chastised, lacing each word with venom. There was a moment of silence as the man carrying Iselora gently laid her on the bed and turned towards the closet. One of the men spoke up, Iselora assumed that it was the troll due to the unattractiveness the sound carried. “Before we continue with the betrothal, we must remove the seal. Your Majesty, you are the only one capable of performing such a task.” Another moment of silence followed. By this time the man who had carried Iselora had returned with a comfortable looking sleeping gown. Too exhausted for modesty, Iselora allowed the stranger to help her get dressed and into bed. The man began to walk away for Iselora to sleep but she caught his hand. He turned to meet her gaze in surprise. Iselora did not want to be left alone. He looked down at her hand, turning his to fit hers more comfortably. His hands enveloped Iselora’s completely in their massive size. The man knelt beside the bed and stayed there well beyond the point where Iselora fell asleep. The last thing Iselora saw before sleep took over was the emergence of the three from the bathroom. The one man Iselora had not been able to see came out first, but through hazy sight the only thing she could make out was that he was tall, lean, and had something powerful about him.