Arenial- The Extraordinary Elf - Part 9 ~The Duel~
"Are you two ready to go?" Arenial asked Maddox and Legoals.
"Yes" said Maddox. Legolas nodded.
"Good, let's go."
It was just before dawn and the three travellers were just about to leave.
"Lady Arenial, Prince Legolas, Lord Maddox, wait!" A voice called to them. It was Haldir.
"Yes Haldir?" Arenial asked him.
"The Lady wishes to speak with you before you leave."
Lady Galadriel walked up to the three, followed by her husband.
"Haldir, you can leave now." Celeborn said.
"Yes, Lord." Haldir bowed and left.
"Lady Galadriel, you wished to speak with us?" Arenial asked.
"Well, actually, just you. Beg your pardon Legolas, Maddox. Come, Arenial, let's go for a walk." Arenial nodded and followed the Lady.
They walked in silence until they came to a green and Galadriel stopped.
"Arenial, I brought you here to tell you things for your ears only." Galadriel paused for a moment and then resumed.
"Arenial, you have the love of two, correct?"
"That is well, for they would do anything for you. Arenial, you are lucky to have friends like Legolas and Maddox. Keep them close, for you do not know if you will lose them. They will do anything for you, which brings me to my next point.
I fear that Randos has not given up his fight for you. He will try to stop you on your journey and make you his. Arenial, you must resist everything he does to you. He has become powerful, almost passing my power. All he needs is you and he will be complete. Resist him, Arenial, for the fate of the Elves depends on you."
"I will Galadriel."
"I knew you would, which is why I have prepared this for you."
Galadriel held up a white chain and, dangling from it, was a small red gem set in a plate of pure mithril.
"Oh, it's beautiful." Arenial said, taking the necklace nad slipping it over her head.
"It will help you, make you stronger in a time of need. I hope it will help you on your journey home."
"Thank you." Arenial said, "I will treasure it always."
"You are welcome. Come, let's get back to the others."
At last, they returned to the group and Galadriel said a few words to them.
"I hope all goes well with you on your journey home. It was a pleaseure to meet you both Arenial and Maddox."
"The pleasure was all mine, milady. It is not everyday someone gets the honour of meeting the Lady of the Golden Wood." Maddox said.
"May the favour of the Lady go with you. Namarie."(farewell)
They walked mostly in silence. Well, actually, Arenial rode Larien and the two males walked on either side of her. There was a tension in the air between Legolas and Maddox that grew stronger by the minute. It was all Arenial could do to keep from screaming.
"What is wrong with you two?" she asked at last. Her sudden outburst startled the other two. They both stared at her with a look of surprise on their faces. Arenial continued.
"You two are mad at each other, I can feel it. I want to know why. Why is there so much tension between you two?"
Both Legolas and Maddox looked at the ground shamefully. At last, Legolas spoke.
"Arenial, I must confess, I am jealous of Maddox."
"Me, why?" Maddox asked.
"Because... because you have the love of Arenial. I know I should be glad for you both, but I'm not."
"So, that's what this is all about. You're jealous of Maddox? My dear Leoglas, I still love you as a friend. We've been best friends since as long as I can remember, and we still are." Arenial stopped and dismounted Larien. She faced Legolas and continued.
"Legolas, I'll admit I loved you once before, but some things just aren't meant to be. I know that now and I've moved passed the fact that we'll never be together, and you should too. My heart belongs to Maddox now. And, will you two, please, make up? You're driving me crazy."
"Alright. Maddox, I apologize. Will you both forgive me?"
"Yes Legolas." both Arenial and Maddox said.
"Thank you." Legolas said.
Arenial breathed a sigh of releif, "That's better. Now, let's get a move on shall we?"
"Oh, how lovely, You three made up. Let's see what Lord Randos has to say about this." A voice said out of nowhere.
"Who said that?" Maddox asked, "Show yourself."
"I'm disappointed in you Maddox. You, of all people, should know the voice of Lord Randos's captain." The figure stepped out from the shadows.
"Dominion!" Maddox cried.
"Yes, it is I, Dominion, captain of Lord Randos's army, soon to be second in command."
"Ha! We'll see about that." Maddox said and drew his sword.
"You, my friend, are quite mistaken." Dominion gave a nod and the three were soon surrounded by Elves, arrows pointed at them.
"You were saying?"
"What do you want?" Legolas asked.
"Oh no, it's not what I want, it's what Lord Randos wants." his eyes rested on Arenial. "As soon as I bring this little prize back, Lord Randos will make me second in command."
"NO!" shouted Legolas.
"YES! Take her!" He ordered the Elves.
Soon, Arenial was surrounded by Elves and her hands were tied behind her back. Then, one Elf, picked her up and threw her over his shoulder.
"Legolas, Maddox, help!" she cried and stuggled in the Elf's grasp.
"You, you're coming with me." Dominion said to Maddox and Legolas. The remainder of the Elves bound them and led them on. Dominion strode up to the front.
"I'll take her," he said to the Elf who was carrying her. "We, don't want you making a fuss now do we?" he said quietly to her. He forced her mouth open and poured a mixture down her throat. It made her feel dizzy and in seconds, she was unconscious. Dominion smiled as she slumped forward and into his arms. He then picked her up and carried her.
Arenial awoke on a hard cot in the same room she had stayed in before. Her head ached as she tried to recall the events that had happened before she had lost conscious. The last thing she remembered was Dominion and his evil smerk. There was a knock on the door and a maid came in.
"The Lord Randos requests your presence."
"Umm...thank you?" she said and then thought to herself, "What does he want now?"
She stood up, walked over to the dresser and found many dresses inside. Eventhough they were beautiful, and Arenial did not want to wear one, she found they had taken her possessions so she was forced to. She tried on a green dress with silver hemming the bottom and the tips of the sleeves. The neck line went down lower than she liked.
"Wonder why?" she thought sacastically to herself.
She decided it would have to do anyway. She then brushed her hair and she was given a meal. She ate in silence and talked to no one. She was very hungry so she acceped the meal without question.
So, once again, Arenial was brought before the Lord Randos. When she entered his throne room, she saw Maddox and Legolas standing the Lord. Dominion was standing to the right of Randos.
"Ah, there she is." said Randos as Arenial strode up to the four. "There's my precious Arenial."
"Ha! Precious my foot! All you want me for is so you can rule the Elves." she spat the words at him.
"But, you could learn to love me and you are quite mistaken for you have stolen my heart."
"You'll never have my love. It belongs to Maddox."
At that, Lord Randos shot a glance at Maddox.
"Then it will grieve you all the more when he dies!"
"NO!" Arenial cried.
"Yes, he will die, along with your friend here, unless you become my queen."
"Dolle na lost! (your head is empty) You know nothing about me."
"Is that so? Guards, take them!"
"Wait!" Arenial cried. No, she wouldn't let them die because of her.
The guards halted. "Yes?" Lord Randos asked.
"Couldn't we come to an agreement?"
"Name your proposal."
Arenial thought for a moment and then came up with a solution.
"I challenge you to a duel, a fair fight. If I win, you set us free."
"And if you lose?"
"If I lose," Arenial said, "You can have me, for I am what you want, but you have to let Maddox and Legolas go."
Both Maddox and Legolas's eyes widened upon hearing this.
"NO!" cried Maddox.
"You can't!" prtested Leoglas.
"Yes, I will not see you die on my account!" Arenial said firmly."
They all looked at Randos, who was making a decision. Finally, he spoke.
"I will accept you proposal, Arenial, on one condition; you will not try to escape again."
"You have my word, if I have your's."
"You do. I will see you in an hour's time."
"Alright. But, I have one more request."
"Could you return my things? I need to prepare."
"Alright. You'll end up staying here anyway, what could it hurt? Dominion, fetch the Lady's things."
Dominion left and soon returned with Arenial's weapon's and pack.
"Thank you, Dominion." Arenial said, no expression showing in her voice.
"Anything for my future queen."
Arenial said nothing and left, Legolas and Maddox following her.
When she reached her chambers, she told Maddox and Leoglas to wait outside while she changed. When she finally opened the door for them to come in, she had on her trousers, her tunic, and her boots. Her fiery red hair was braided back and her sword was sheathed at her side.
"Arenial, why are you doing this?" Maddox asked.
"Because, I will not see you two die. It would break my heart. No, we will all live by my proposition. You two have to be strong for me."
"But, are you sure you can go through with this?" Legolas asked.
"Legolas, you know very well how well I can fight. I'm just as good as you, if not better."
"Is that so?" Legolas asked.
"Yes, it is so. I was taught be you dear friend.
There was a knock on the door and a maid came in.
"Milady, it is almost time."
Arenial nodded and the maid left. She gathered up her daggers and stuch them into hidden compartments in her boots. Hard to see but easy to reach. Then, Maddox pulled her close and held her tight. Then, he tilted her head upward and swept her into a passionate, sending shivers down her spine, kiss.
"It may be our last." he whispered into her ear.
She nodded. Then, she walked over to Legolas and embraced him. He held her as tight as he could. At last, she looked up at him and she could see tears form in is his eyes.
"Have no fear, Legolas."
"Have no fear? I may never see you again."
"Yes, but, you have all out memories of growing up together. Not even Maddox has those, and no one can take them from you. I will always be your friend, Leggy." she said, using the name he absolutly hated, a smile appearing in the corners of her mouth. Legolas allowed himself a little chuckle and he kissed her forehead.
"Alright, Arial." he said, using the name he had used for her when they were younger. (It had been hard to pronounce the "ren"
Arenial gave him a playful punch in the shoulder and glanced at the door. At last, it was time.