A Daughter of the King - Chapter Ten

Mandy looked around in delight as they entered the "room". It was outside and had trees lining all around it. There were tables set up all around with a large space in the middle. It was lit up brightly with candles and lamps in the trees. All the elves of Lothlorien were there, singing or dancing. Some stood, laughing and talking. Mandy glanced about and saw Tethcelebel in the center of the dancing. She was dressed in a light silver dress that was gathered at her shoulders. Her long, blond hair was down and floated about her. Her eyes danced as merrily as her feet. She whirled and twirled as elves sang. Mandy looked on in wonder as she danced. There was no effort in her movements. It was as if she wasn't trying but was just doing it out of happiness.

*******************
"Well, well, well. If it isn't my big brother, come to Lorien. Did you just come because you knew I would be here, or for another reason?" Elwen-Lothnar teased him, coming up.

"Elwen! What are you doing here?" Legolas asked, shocked to find her in Lorien.

"I am here visiting Celebel. What are you doing here?" she returned, glancing at Mandy.

"I brought a friend to meet Grandmother." he answered, a little hesitantly.

"My name is Mandy." Mandy introduced herself.

"I am Elwen. You already know my big brother." Elwen smiled.

"You didn't tell me you had a sister, Legolas." Mandy teased, glancing from his face to Elwen's.

"He doesn't like to admit it, ever since I beat him at sword play." Elwen winked.

"Ah. I understand." Mandy laughed.

"You did not beat me, Sister!" Legolas growled, not at all amused at her teasing.

"See? I told you. He doesn't want to admit that his little sister beat him." Elwen rolled her eyes at Mandy, "But I did beat you, Brother. Or would you like me to call Celebel, who was there, and confirm it?"

"No. You needn't do that, Elwen." Legolas snapped, "I am sure Mandy believes you."

Mandy shook her head, laughing.

"Come, Mandy. Galadriel and Celeborn wish to talk to you." Legolas guided her towards them, "Good day, Sister."

"Good day, Brother. Mandy, if he is troubling you, hit him or come get me." Elwen thought for a moment, "On second thought, hit him anyway." She went off laughing merrily, going to find her cousin.

*************
Legolas brought her over to a large table where Galadriel and Celeborn stood.

"How are you, Child?" Galadriel asked, knowing the answer.

"I'm rested, M'lady. Tethcelebel is so...she is really nice. Thank you for sending her." Mandy answered.

"You're distracted." Celeborn said seriously, but eyes sparkling, "Legolas. Take her to dance or sing." He ordered his nephew, smiling.

"Alright. Mandy?" Legolas pulled her towards the center.

"I don't know...I can't dance." Mandy protested weakly.

*****************
Soon, they were among the dancers. Mandy started following what the others were doing but was soon caught up in the dance. She felt such joy and happiness flowing through her. It caught her up into her own dance. She forgot about the others and danced, joyfully praising Eru. Legolas watched her out of the corner of his eye as he danced alongside. Mandy slowed as she heard a voice rise above the others singing. It was beautiful and haunting. Tethcelebel sang, her voice swelling loud. All the elves stopped and listened.

********
"The calling of the birds, the laughter of the trees, Eru looks down and smiles as they lift up their praises to Him. Rivers throw themselves merrily down the rocks in joyful triumph, the ocean beats in a playful game with the land...all this Eru created. He smiles and laughs as He looks down upon His creations. We dance and sing for Him, joining with all other creation, our praises like music to His ears. Thunder roars as it chases lightning across the sky, all in worship to Him. All other creation lifts their voices in one loud song of praise. The rain chuckles as it falls, the snow smiles silently. The trees spread their branches, reaching for heaven. The wind cannot be silenced as it flies through the leaves, praising Eru for its speed. The stars shine, hoping to help give others a glimpse of their Creator, the Son greatest of all. Eru glances down at the creation He made, smiling over it as they all lift up their voices in a joyful song of tribute." she sang.


*************
"Wow, listen to her." Mandy gasped, "her voice is so..."

"I know." Legolas answered, "She's had that gift ever since we were infants chasing each other around."

Tethcelebel stopped and smiled. A horn blew.

"What's that for?" Mandy asked, startled.

"It's the signal for the feast to start. Come on." Legolas pulled her up to the table where Galadriel was. She smiled at them.

"May the stars ever shine on you, Legolas son of Thrandruil, and may the Valar always protect our people." Celeborn turned to Mandy, "Mandy, all I can say is may the Valar protect you." Legolas bowed slightly and sat down.

"Hanta le." Mandy sat down also.

Celeborn made a signal and the food began to get served. Mandy was a little nervous, but suddenly Tethcelebel appeared next to her.

"Eat, Mandy! My guess is that you've never had this kind of food before." she teased her.

Mandy laughed and started eating. The food was of something she'd never tasted before. It had no one taste, but tasted of many different kinds. The drink seemed to put more strength into her. Towards the end of the feast, she was getting tired.

"Legolas, I am going to go to bed. I'm tired." she told him quietly.

"I understand. Do you wish me to escort you back?" Legolas offered.

"No, you stay here. You're having fun. I know my way back." she smiled her thanks.

*************
She whispered goodnight to Galadriel and Celeborn. She waved to Tethcelebel and Elwen, and started back up the path towards the tree with her floor on it. It was dark and she shone out in her white dress. Suddenly, she felt herself being grabbed around the waist. She tried to scream, but he put his hand over her mouth. He pulled her back into the forest. She struggled, trying to get loose.

"Dina, Mandy! (Silence, Mandy)" someone whispered in her ear. Instantly she went still. He loosened his hold on her.

"Man ne lle? (Who are you?)" she asked softly.

"Didn't I ask you that?" he teased.

She looked at him confused because his face was hidden in a hood. He pulled it down.

"Orophin..." she gasped in relief, then got angry, "What are you trying to do? Give me a heart attack?!" She glared at him.

"Sorry..." he laughed. Mandy soon was laughing too.

"Next time, I'll take up Legolas's offer to escort me back." she laughed.

"Well, since he is not here, may I do the honors?" Orophin offered his arm.

"I'd be delighted, Good Sir." she took it. They walked back up the path. She noticed his sword.

"That's a nice sword." she said.

"Hanta le. Do you wish to learn how to use one?" he asked her.

"Well, that was sudden." she smiled, "I think I would like to learn..."

"How about tonight?"

"What?" she gasped in surprise.

"Why not? No time like the present." he answered.

"Okay." she agreed, "Let me change into something I can get dirty in."

"That probably would be best." he chuckled softly.


************
She went up the stairs swiftly. "Now, where is that riding outfit?" she rummaged around the wardrobe, "Ah! Here it is!" She pulled off the dress and leaf circlet. She put on the shirt and tight pants of the riding outfit. She found some soft leather boots and put them on also. Finally, she pulled her hair out of her face by braiding it all the way down. Someone had replaced Legolas's cloak with a smaller one. She came back down stairs with her cloak on.


************
"Are you ready?" Orophin asked.

"Yes, but I don't have a sword." she told him.

"That's okay. I got a light weight one for you." he led her into a clearing, "Now, have you ever fought with a sword before?"

"No, I haven't." Mandy answered.

"Okay, here. Strap it on." Orophin handed her the sword in its sheath and took off his cloak.

She took it, surprised to feel it so light and strapped it around her waist. She threw her cloak on top of his.

"This is how you draw it. Yes that's it. Try to block my stroke."
Orophin brought his sword down slowly. She parried it easily.

"Good." Orophin encouraged, bringing his sword down in a different way.

She parried that one also. This went on for a little while. It was as if she could see the blows before they actually hit.

"I feel like Spiderman." she thought, blocking another blow.

Orophin saw that it wasn't hard for her, so he picked up his speed. Still, she blocked them.

"She has a natural skill..." he thought, watching her, "Let's see if she can fence." Out loud, he said, "Let's see if you can fight, not just block."

"Alright." she gulped a little.


***********
He smiled and stepped to the right. Mandy moved to the left. He started fighting. She parried and fought back. Suddenly, he moved around her. She whirled around and blocked the blow. His eyes widened a bit, then narrowed. He moved swifter, causing her to lose her balance. He raised his sword. On reflex, she brought her leg up and did a low kick. He felt his feet go out from under him and saw Mandy up with sword ready.

He chuckled slightly, thinking, "She's never fought before? Hard to believe. Let's see how she fights against an Elf."


****************
He brought his own leg behind her knees. She started to fall and heard his sword coming up. She fell limply, rolling forward and coming up on one knee, sword clanging against his. Her eyes were wide and she was panting slightly. He grinned as he twisted his sword back around. She ducked back as the sword swiped near her. She twisted around as he came at her. He brought his sword towards her. An automatic reflex, she dodged swiftly to the side of him.

"This is getting freaky." she thought, "I can actually see the blows before they come at me."

Orophin looked grim as he fought. They went back and forth. Suddenly, he knocked her off her feet, at the same time disarming her.

"Uh..." she groaned, landing on her back. She lay there, unmoving. Orophin came up.

"Are you alrigh..." he started to say when she brought her leg up behind his knees hard. She went with the momentum, rolling over, and jumping up. She had no sword, but stood there tense. Orophin landed with a thud.

"She doesn't give up." he thought wryly, "Alright then." He leaped up and faced her. She met his gaze. "Listen. I am between you and your sword. Try to get it." he instructed her.

She nodded. He came running at her. She waited until he was almost upon her, then swerved out of the way. She raced towards her sword only to suddenly feel him behind her, tripping her up. She fell, the breath knocked out of her, with a sword against her neck.

"I believe I won." he stated the fact. She looked up at him and nodded.

"Ala, lle uy. (Yes, you did)"* she answered, "but I'll beat you someday."

He sheathed his sword and helped her up. "You have never fought before?" he asked.

"Not this way." she smiled, "I didn't know what I was doing."

"Could have fooled me." he laughed, rubbing his neck.


****************
They walked towards the tree where she was living. She glanced at the Marchwarden.

"He's young." she thought absentmindedly.

"M'lady?" Orophin's voice brought her out of her daydreams.

"Yes?" she blushed.

"We are here." he answered, concealing his smile.

"Oh. Thank you for teaching me and everything." she smiled warmly at him, "I'll beat you sometime. That's a promise." She climbed up the tree, laughing quietly. His eyes followed her up, and finally he turned away. "She is different from any elfwen I have ever known. She teases, laughs, and is not afraid to fight with me." he thought, running his hand through his hair. He then realized he still had her cloak. He smiled, knowing it gave him a reason to see her again.

***Author's Note****
ok, hey everyone! just thought i'd tell you, i know next to nothing about describing sword fighting, so if it seems choppy or something, that's why. and i did make the song up myself this time anyways...i hope you enjoy!
celebel

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