It happened not too long after Merlin adopted her and she realized, she didn't have 'father' figure, nor her mother even cared to 'settle down' on a single man, so she asked Merlin (when she hadn't had her power to see through people's heart and she didn't know yet that Merlin had married with Tristan once) "mommy, why don't you get married with someone? You don't feel lonely?".
Merlin smiled fondly, sincerely to her and patted her head "no, because I already have you".
She had given honest answer with sincere smile to her, how could she not believe her?
Speaking of 'father' figure, Gwen listed the men on Seven Deadly Sins.
King. Scratch. He was too damned dedicated to big sister Diane. Not that she was mind about it, instead Gwen hoped, prayed even, that someday big sister Diane would realize his feeling and King's feeling would be returned by Diane.
Gowther. Scratch. He was the least of Seven Deadly Sins members that she could understand. Although after Gwen got her power, she could see Gowther's past and Gwen didn't think Gowther could move on or want to move on from his love to Nadja Liones that ended tragically (Merlin had made sure she couldn't spill it out to anyone, so Gowther's secret was safe with her).
Ban. Scratch. He was so madly in love with the fairy princess Elaine. It alone enough to make her teared up when he knew what happened to Ban and Elaine. She hoped someday Ban would be happy and he could find his happiness too.
When what was left were only Meliodas and Escanor, Gwen was kinda troubled to choose. Escanor was a good man and she knew (heck, wasn't it too obvious? Everyone in Seven Deadly Sins, except Merlin because they didn't know what was going through the beautiful Sorceress' mind and heart, knew it) of the fact Escanor was in love with Merlin. Not that she was mind about it, now just if the pride man had more faith and confident towards himself...
Meliodas was different case. Gwen knew Merlin and Meliodas had known each other for a long time to the point they were just like siblings, a family. Just like how Merlin knew Meliodas better than anyone in Seven Deadly Sins, Meliodas knew Merlin better than anyone in Seven Deadly Sins, even better than Escanor she would dare to say. As a daughter, although they weren't related by blood, Gwen only hoped Merlin's happiness. She didn't think Merlin had ever had a feeling to Meliodas romantically, she meant, she only recognized it as platonic one.
Speaking of which... she never saw Meliodas had taken any interest on certain woman? (at least Gwen knew to whom her adopted mother, Merlin had taken interest to whom).
Oh, boy. Not like it was her business. She just wondered why, because of Seven Deadly Sins members, except her mother who could close her mind and heart with magic spell to prevent Gwen see through her, Meliodas was the same. Only when Merlin and Meliodas loosened their guard like when they were shocked in their meeting with Tristan, she could see through them (hence, that's the reason of why she could know that Merlin and Tristan had married once) but the one who made her really curious was Meliodas, she never could see his past except his Sin (on Danafor). Gwen only could see his emotions, like when he was enjoying it as he had tried to force Ban to eat his masterpiece meat-pie (she forgot to where that meat-pie had gone?). Even with her magic power, Gwen couldn't see through into his heart unless Meliodas let her but she thought it was unnecessary because as long as she had known Meliodas, he never lied to her and that was one of reasons why she loved him, just like a father.
Who know that she would get the answer when she met with people who would be her most trusted allies?
While her adopted mother was an independent woman who enjoy her freedom, Meliodas was different case. He lost the woman he loved and he had to witness it with his own eyes. Knowing it happened to her beloved 'daddy', Gwen felt it was her heart who was pierced into pieces after witnessed the tragedy from her fellow brothers' heart, which they were installed as her guardians after she was kidnapped, again. This time was more dangerous even, because she was barely sold in the auction.
Guinevere cried even when Tristan had gone "he hates me?!".
Gelda tried to soothe her "princess, it's not true".
She didn't believe it "but he said he hates Royalty and Aristocrats!? I am Royalty, so it means he hates me too?!".
"then he hates me too", Isolde sat beside her with sad smile "after all, my mother was Aristocrat".
Isolde still wasn't sure how her life had changed. What she knew, her mother was Aristocrat from the Northern Ireland who eloped with her father. Although they lived their life poorly, they were happy. At least, until the storm hit their ship and she was sold to the Lord and the Lady. Then everything changed after Tristan took her and gave back her freedom. Like what he had said, Tristan didn't touch her or do something weird to her, he even oh-so-kindly treated her wounds, gave her new clothes and gave her privacy when she wanted to take a bath or change her clothes.
"...look, I don't what happened to him, that make him hate Royalty and Aristocrats, but I think what's important is, it doesn't change who is he, what he has done for us and what do we feel to him", Isolde patted Guinevere's head and wiped her tears "so please, don't cry anymore, princess".
"you're so kind and strong, big sister Isolde... I hope I can be more like you...", Guinevere sniffed and swiftly wiped her tears. She had seen Isolde's heart and she wondered how could Isolde keep strong, even after what she had been going through. Looking up, Guinevere smiled sheepishly "or should I call you Aunt? Because godmother wanted to adopt you as her little sister, not as my sister".
Isolde tapped her chin thoughtfully. When Tristan showed the picture of two women who had so much resemblance with her, Merlin Belialuin and Isolde Belialuin, Isolde didn't too surprised when Merlin told her that Merlin would take her as her little sister. Of course, Isolde was really happy instead. From now on, Isolde would learn everything from Merlin, along with Guinevere and Arthur, before Isolde could decide what kind of occupation that she wanted to have "hm... but we're only different 8 years, right? Not to mention you are a princess and I am only an orphan that adopted by your godmother as a sister. It's fine to just call me Isolde, princess".
"no calling me princess?!", Guinevere puffed her cheeks "since you've become godmother's little sister, so you are my family too?! It's only fair if you also call me by my name. Just call me Guinevere or Gwen?! If there's someone who dare to scold you just because you're not calling me princess, just tell me so I can scold them back?!".
"as you wish, princess", Isolde chuckled to the spirited girl's antics "Gwen will do, then".
"one thing for sure, girls", Gelda lifted her finger pointedly "a man who dare to make a woman cry like Tristan is a jerk".
Guinevere tapped her tiny fist on her palm and innocently stated "oh, I see. He is a jerk".
Isolde nodded her head, didn't even try to deny it but still try to defend him "um, probably?".
Guinevere and Gelda only exchanged blank expression. With how Guinevere behave on the Castle, no wonder people in the Castle wanted to adore her. So, it was an understatement, that the Castle of the Camelot Kingdom was in chaos when the princess was kidnapped.
When Tristan woke up, he found Meliodas wasn't in his house but he found himself was covered by the blanket. Having bad hangover, Tristan groaned "argh, I'm such a jerk".
"yes, you are", Merlin said nonchalantly as she put the an empty glass, a jug of fresh water and a plate of apple on the table "you have made your older sister, my adopted daughter bawling and my little sister moping. Looks like you have earned an ability to make women cry like your father, huh? Well, at least your mother is the only woman that your father will never hurt or make her cry".
"of course, we promised we would make him pay it if he dared to hurt her, make her cry or ever give up on her, right?", Tristan chuckled bitterly, that was promise they had made when Meliodas committed suicide after one of Elizabeth's reincarnations died again and Meliodas had been too tired to face her death, and it happened before Tristan married with Merlin not too long after Isolde's and Irina's death "what are you doing here?".
"do you seriously think I don't know about your habit to drink?", Merlin waved a bottle of Bernia Ale in her hand before throwing the bottle into the trash-bag, snapping her fingers to make all of scattered empty bottles on the floor coming into the trash-bag "you indeed have knocked back an entire distillery, huh?".
"like you haven't? It's not like you still have any responsibility upon me. Not again after we divorced. Why should you waste your time here?".
"just think I'm doing a favor for my little sister. It's unlike I can abandon you and your family. I have considered you all as my family, after all", Merlin sat on the edge of the bed, pointing to Tristan's chest "and let me check on it".
Tristan stiffened and cleared his throat, rubbing his still-pounding head "what? No. Why should you? I feel exactly fine".
"just take your clothes off and let me check", Merlin sternly ordered, lifting her Aldan "or you would prefer it if I use my diagnosis spells?".
"no for both. Thank you very much for your concern, but it's unneeded".
"stop being stubborn like a kid. If it were really nothing, why would you so persist to refuse?".
"I just have had enough of my share for your experiments, okay!? don't start to act like my mother or my sister or my wife again!?".
"then I just have to force you".
"wha— no, wait?! Stop it?!".
When Isolde and Gelda came in, they saw Merlin grabbed Tristan's collar while Tristan grabbed both Merlin's wrist. Quickly covering Isolde's eyes, Gelda narrowed her eyes "...at least make sure you lock the door next time. Sorry for interruption. Just do continue".
Merlin quickly caught Gelda's shoulders when the Vampire turned her back against them and ready to bring Isolde away with her "you misunderstand".
"she's right. Don't make it sounded like we will do something lewd?!", Tristan protested and once he was alone with Merlin again, he demanded "what's gotten into you, actually?".
"do you think I don't know?", Merlin lifted her dainty fingers to inspect the long scar on his chest, right above his heart "this, your artificial heart has started to acting strange after your encounter with Isolde. Though this Isolde is the third reincarnation of my sister, this is the very first time you're really having real interaction with her, right? What if it will affect your artificial heart?".
Tristan said nothing and rubbed his eyebrows "look, I promise I will go to see you to check about it, in case I feel this is not working well. Have I ever lied to you?".
Merlin sighed, not too sure he would keep his words "...fine".
"yo, old man. What are you doing here?", Tristan waved his hand, this was the third time he met with Meliodas here on the black market "if it's about birthday gift from you, I have sent it to her already".
Yep, the Galadriel Mirror was actually birthday gift for Guinevere's 7th birthday from Meliodas.
Meliodas grinned broadly "just want to refill my supplies like usual?! Why don't you come to my tavern sometimes?".
"probably later", Tristan smirked, he was sure he would end up drinking with him again. Only, this time he needed to go somewhere "be careful, people might have mistaken you as a kid and kidnapped you instead".
Meliodas pulled his earlobe "not funny at all".
Later after the dusk, Tristan thought it was not bad at all, to go check on his father's tavern "but still, I wonder why did he give this tavern name 'The Boar Hat'?".
Next second, Tristan could feel someone, or rather several people have followed him. Turning his head, he called after talking with some of his acquaintances in front of the tavern "who? don't just hide and show yourself".
"it's just us", Gelda walked forward, pointing behind with her chin "with them".
"Merlin", Tristan rolled his eyes and recognized the people behind Gelda and Merlin as Holy Knights on Castle of Camelot Kingdom "what do you want? Still want to force me to do it?".
One of Holy Knights raised his eyebrow "um, Lady Merlin, who is he? Do you know him?".
One of Tristan's friends slung his hand over his shoulder and whistled "oi, oi, who are these hot chicks, Tristan? One of them is your woman?".
Merlin smirked, thinking how her comrades would react about this "he is my ex-husband".
Instead, Tristan scowled "the blonde one is my Aunt and the raven-haired one is my ex-wife".
Gelda blinked, this was news for her "oh, I see".
The Holy Knights shouted in disbelief "WHAT?!".
Merlin lifted her hand "don't worry. I fully know his ability. He is a Warlock and trust me, he is the only Magician who can match me".
Tristan rolled his eyes "just tell me what do you want?".
"princess Guinevere is kidnapped".
Tristan dropped his bag that he slung over his shoulder and lunged forward, ignoring Gelda's protest. Cornered Merlin in between his arms on the wall, Tristan glared down to her "I told you before, it's too dangerous for her to live in the Castle as the princess but you keep bringing her and look what happened now? So what? do you come for me now, only because you need my help?".
"we can argue as much as you want about it later, but to find and save her is our top priority now. Last time I checked, you are the one who gave the offer and told me to not doubt to come to you when I need someone's help the most?", Merlin calmly crossed her arms "with or without you were asking, I would come to you for help because of all people in this world, I trust you".
"I should admit it's annoying, how you never failed to get under my skin", Tristan stepped backward and lifted his hood, covering half of his mouth with dark cloth "let's go. We have to find her quickly and don't stop me when I'm gonna get rid of those bastards who dare to kidnap her".
Merlin smirked, as expected "don't worry. I will assist you with pleasure".
One of Holy Knights whispered "speaking of terrible couple".
Gelda shook her head "indeed".
"Merlin, you can track me, right?".
"yes, of course".
When suddenly Tristan disappeared using his teleport, Merlin lifted her Aldan "my, my, he's always in a rush".
One of Holy Knights shrieked "at least he can wait for us or tell us about where to go?!".
Gelda wondered "would it be okay to let him act alone?".
"probably, as long as he hasn't lost control... but it's better to catch up with him before he even thinks to create the massacre there".
Guinevere remembered that she was just playing hide-and-seek with Isolde and Arthur, then someone had come from behind her, covered her mouth and nose with something that smell sweet before she had fallen asleep. When she woke up, she found herself was locked within this bird-cage, both her wrist were chained. Looking down to the shackles on her neck, both her wrist and ankle, she felt something from these shackles that prevent her from using her magic. Logically, she was in real danger but it was odd, she was feeling calm. Could it be because she knew that she was not alone here?
"it's alright, papa will come to save you soon".
Looking to the side, Guinevere asked the little girl around her age that she recognized as ghost "who is your papa? Do I know him?".
Blonde-haired girl with golden eyes that resembled with Merlin and Isolde only smiled "of course you are, Aunt".
Yes, it was odd but somehow, she thought someone would come to her. Although people in the auction home clapped their hands and started to bargain their highest offer, she didn't feel scared at all. When one of guests had gotten their hands on her as the buyer who offering the highest price, ignoring the bargainer who mockingly scoffed to her about how high she could be sold due to her unique eyes and smiled wickedly, Guinevere only looked up and blinked her eyes.
"he's coming", standing up, Guinevere gripped the iron bar of the cage "if you still want to live, better to leave this place immediately".
"now, now, it's really not good to ask my prey running away from me, princess".
Suddenly, the candlelight was blacked out and as the exchange, blue fire lit up the and lightened this place. Guinevere could hear people screaming in fright as they saw gigantic Raven and Fenrir stood tall on the doors, they realized they had lost their way to run away from this place.
"oh, there you are?", saluted, Tristan found Guinevere within the hird-cage "well, well, well, because this will be gruesome, just close your eyes, princess. Don't open your eyes till I tell you, okay?".
Guinevere nodded her head and closed her eyes, covering her face with both her hand. She just knew, although she closed her eyes now, some people (mercenaries) lunged into Tristan. Those two gigantic creatures didn't budge, only stood tall on the doors to scare people and prevent them to run away. She just could feel it, how this place was stained by red colors, like how she could hear people screaming in fear.
Guinevere wondered why, why could she still not able to think bad of Tristan at all, even after what just happened in this place? What she could feel from Tristan was only hatred and sorrow, like sorrowful blood-thirst beast.
"those psycho, they turned you into the bird in the cage, huh?", slashing the iron bars, Tristan carefully wrapped clean and dry cloak around Guinevere before he picked her "are you injured? If you're scared, needn't to open your eyes now".
Like she had predicted, she saw red, red and red staining all over this place, including those people who were tied neatly (from their clothes, Guinevere recognized them as Aristocrats or nobles) "...you didn't kill them all, did you?".
"unlike me, you have mother's golden heart, eh?", Tristan smiled reassuringly "no, I just killed those who attacked me like those mercenary. Don't worry. Let's go home".
Looking up, she found Gelda and Merlin running to them as they met with them on the hallway "Gelda, godmother?!".
"I'm glad you're safe", Merlin quickly carried her on her arms and kissed her forehead "let's go home. Arthur and Isolde really worried sick about you".
Gelda should admit, she felt glad that Guinevere was safe. Offering fond smile, Gelda tucked her bangs behind her ear "you're surprisingly quiet and calm for someone who just got kidnapped".
"this is not the first time I got kidnapped, besides I believe godmother will find me, so be it", Guinevere pointed Tristan "though I don't expect this man to appear after screaming that he hates the Royalty and Aristocrats, yet he still came to save me".
"yeah, I apologize for that. Look...", cupped her cheek, Tristan looked sincerely guilty "I don't hate you at all. Instead, I love you like a sister, a daughter, a family. Maybe it's because you reminded me of my daughter, but when I knew you were kidnapped, I totally lost control. Sorry, if I scared you back then".
"I'm not scared at all", Guinevere shook her head, pointing him "of you, that's it".
Tristan chuckled "you're such a tough and brave little girl, huh?".
As a Vampire, blood was necessity and Gelda covered her nose "this smell... you killed them all?".
"not all of them", Tristan explained the situation, totally ignoring the collective of staring dagger that directing to him from the horrified Holy Knights "Merlin, why don't you and your comrades just bring the princess back to the Castle? I and Gelda can take care of this mess. I will send those who still alive to the Castle right away, so you can interrogate and throw them to the jail. Sounds fine?".
"sounds good", Merlin looked like just remember something, she asked Gelda to carry Guinevere for a second. Ignoring Tristan's blood-stained body and clothes, Merlin hugged him "thank you so much for saving my daughter".
Now, he could feel and hear the annoying whispers and stares from the Holy Knights. Tristan awkwardly tried to break the hug "uh, Mer... you'll get dirty too...".
"pay it no mind", Merlin whispered near his ear after that "I haven't answered you. The reason of why I want you to be her guardians... not to mention she's related by blood with you, I also hope your wounds will heal, with protecting her as her guardian".
"godmother, my turn?!", Guinevere wriggled out of Gelda's hands, running to Tristan after Gelda had put her down on the floor. Looking up, she reached her hands "I want you to come with me. I need to find out what happened in my family. For that, I need the force of my own and I need to be strong, strong enough to protect my family, my people and my Kingdom", after Tristan froze and dropped one knee in front of her, she took his hands, holding Tristan's hands "I know how hurt it must have been for you, but just give us a chance and let us prove to you that you're wrong, because I believe people can change and time will heal".
Merlin scoffed with cunning smile "now, I wonder who is the older one here?".
"I must admit she's really older than me from how wise she is", throwing disdainful glare to Merlin, Tristan scratched his head "argh, fine, fine... you and your godmother win, Your Highness".
Guinevere's face lit up "it means...!?".
Crossing one arm in front of his chest and dropped one knee, Tristan bowed his head and deep down in his heart, he was so proud of his sister. Lifting his face, he smiled fondly "you have my loyalty from now on, Your Highness".
"thank you?!", Guinevere ignored what people said about blood on his body. Just like Merlin, she went to give bear hug for Tristan and she whispered "I can't wait to meet you in the Castle, brother~".
Tristan's eyes widened as he realized what he had gotten into "she knew who I am already!?".
When Tristan came home, he didn't expect that his father would be on his room "TRISTAN?!".
Tristan face-palmed "crap, I have no idea you're still here, old man?".
Looking at him head to toe, Meliodas inspected him "forget it. What happened to you? the bloods on your clothes—".
"don't worry. This is not my blood. My job, that's all", Tristan dropped his bag to the chair "don't you think you're overreacting?".
"well, I can't help it", Meliodas shrugged and tugged his cloak "how do you expect me to react when I saw my son came home with his body covered in bloods?! Take off your clothes and clean up yourself before I check if you truly haven't got injured at all or not?!".
After he had done what his father demanded, Tristan realized to where his father's eyes landing.
Although his eyes lingered all over various scars on his body like burns, cuts, slashes, stabs, but his eyes focused on one particular scar that had pierced his son's heart, Meliodas rubbed his chin and stared to the bulging on his son's back. It was not the hunchback, not at all, because it was an artificial heart that was planted on Tristan's body after his heart stopped beating.
When Tristan dropped his body, lying on his bed tiredly, Meliodas squeezed his hand and asked "there's nothing wrong with your body?".
Covering his eyes with his forearms, he had to admit, he had no power to say that he was okay because he was damn too tired after using too much magic power when saving his sister. Heck, he couldn't let Meliodas know and risk the chance of his father activated assault mode to chase after those psycho who dare to kidnap his daughter "...my artificial heart that Merlin made for me is working greatly, if that's what you want to know. Don't worry, I'm just tired".
Lifting his forearm from his eyes, Tristan saw how concerned he was and he chuckled bitterly "...once more time, you're overreacting, old man".
"I can't help it", Meliodas smacked his forearm "I might have lost you, if not because of your wives. I react normally, as normal as father would do when they barely lost their son".
"dad, check it yourself", wrapping his hand on his wrist, Tristan brought his father's hand to his chest to check on his heartbeat "see? It's still beating. It's okay, I'm still alive".
"yeah, you are...", Meliodas sighed in relief before narrowing his eyes "look, Tristan. I'm sorry, I—".
"don't apologize, I'm tired of listen to your apologizes", Tristan cuts him off and convinced "for who-knows you've apologized, just don't. Whatever bad things have been happened to our family, it's not yours or mother's fault. The blames solely belong to those suck and shitty grandparents of us, not you or mom".
"heh, you've got guts, brat", Meliodas patted his head and tucked him in the blanket "sleep, I'll stay for tonight. I'll leave tomorrow morning".
Just for this time, Tristan thankfully let him because it felt warm and comforting.