Struggle To Live - Chapter 3: Onto Mirkwood

STRUGGLE TO LIVE

Author: ZeroCool

Overall Summary: An ancient evil rises two years after War of the Ring. Legolas is cursed and is dying. The fellowship is regrouped to search for the cure before Legolas needs to choose between death and becoming the next Dark Lord.

Last Chapter's Summary: Legolas' brothers saved him and the children. Thranduil sent out letters to ask Elrond and Gandalf for help.


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Chapter 3 Onto Mirkwood


(Mirkwood, four days after the attack)

The mood of the garden was lightened by an angelic song. The traces of the monsters had disappeared all of a sudden three days ago. An unusual calmness had claimed Mirkwood.

"Legolas, we need to go back inside," Tekrir said, holding out a blanket to Legolas, who was sitting underneath a tree, singing with the whispers of the wind. He didn't want to interrupt Legolas, but it wouldn't be good if he caught a cold.

Tekrir was glad to see Legolas turn around and smile brightly at him. He reminded Tekrir of their mother a lot. Out of the four brothers, Legolas resembled her the most; yet, he had not experienced the motherly love like the older brothers had. He had her beauty, spirit, and melodic voice; it was almost like she had become a part of Legolas.

Tekrir sighed; he wasn't completely sure if Legolas' similarities with his mother were a gift or curse. It was one of the reasons that Rean hated Legolas so much. He thought of the time when Legolas, who was still very young, ran into his room during the nights, crying hard, because he thought he killed their mother. He knew it was Rean who told Legolas this false statement.

Although Tekrir knew Rean despised Legolas, he had sent a message to him, hoping that he would return home to be with Legolas, or perhaps even 'forgive' Legolas, if there was such a thing as a miracle. He was sure Legolas would be
happy to see Rean. Legolas had been trying to please the second brother every chance he got over two millennia, but all his sincerities were rejected.

The brothers walked back to the palace. The palace was quieter than before the attack. Most of the Mirkwood warriors went to guard the boundary, especially the boundary between Northern Mirkwood and Southern Mirkwood. Although Sauron was destroyed, many foul creatures still lived in the Southern part, making it hard for the elves to reunite the two places. The monsters that attacked the children and Legolas on the celebration were believed from Southern Mirkwood, since the elves were able to track their trails.


Legolas suddenly stopped in front of a painting that was hanging on the wall. It featured a golden hair female elf. She was very graceful-looking. She was as lovely as Lady Galadriel of Lothlorien, if not more beautiful.

"I am glad that I will be able to see mother soon."

Tekrir was shocked by what Legolas said. The worst part was that when he turned to Legolas, he saw not sorrow, but pure peace and happiness on his face.

He grabbed Legolas and held him tight, forcing their eyes to meet. "You are NOT going to die. Don't ever talk about dying again."

"I know it is hopeless."

Tekrir knew he needed to convince Legolas to not give up hope. He said softly, "Do you know that death would cause the grief of many? I would never forgive myself for letting you go alone that night, nor will Arail. Have you thought of what you would do to Ada? He loves you very much. All of Mirkwood would grief for you. What about Estel? Elladan, Elrohir, and Arwen? Lord Elrond treats you as his son. Your dwarf friend would surely have my head cut off with his axe for letting you die. And a lot other people. . . I am sure Rean would be sad also."

He knew he made a mistake, he shouldn't have mentioned Rean.

Legolas looked at the painting of his mother. "I know now that Rean is right. It would have been better if I had never been born. My birth caused mother's death; my death will make people grief. My life is nothing but failure."

Before Tekrir could give his argument, Legolas screamed in agony.

Tekrir caught Legolas before he hit the ground. Legolas whimpered a little before he lost into darkness to escape the pain.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


(Outside Rivendell, five days after the attack)

Arail was running toward the gate of Rivendell. He was extremely fatigued from traveling without much rest for five days and fighting the orcs on the way between Mirkwood and Rivendell. He left his horse yesterday morning
because it simply couldn't walk anymore.

"Your noisy breathing made us think you were an orc." Arail suddenly stopped when he heard a voice behind him. His right hand reached for his dagger and prepared to turn away to face whoever was after him. As soon as he did, he saw two identical elves grinning from ear to ear, pointing their arrows at him.

"ELLADAN, ELROHIR! THIS IS NO TIME FOR JOKE; I NEED TO SEE LORD ELROND NOW!"

The twins quickly covered their ears, and were astonished by Arail's endurance. He looked as though he would fall down any second; yet, he
stood tall on the ground and was able to shout out in a volume that almost broke their eardrums.

Elrohir was not pleased at being yelled at. He was the son of Elrond, the Lord of Rivendell, he couldn't help but to shoot back, "We were only playing, Arail. Your footsteps and breathing were so loud that we could hear you three miles back. You don't need to be act as though we did you wr--"

Elladan stopped his twin before he got himself into unnecessary trouble with the infamous crown prince of Mirkwood; Elrohir was oblivious at Arail's impatience, and Elladan was sure that he wouldn't stop talking until the sun went down.

He knew something must be wrong if the oldest Mirkwood prince would actually travel to Rivendell in haste.

He whistled to call three horses, "Come." And the three elves rode as fast as they could to the Rivendell; not a sound was made.

Elrohir broke the silence, at least the silence between him and his twin. *What do you think has happened in Mirkwood?* he asked Elladan through their mental link.

*I don't know, but something very terrible must has happened. The Mirkwood elves were fine on their own against the monsters near their boundaries for centuries and they had never asked for help from other elves. This sudden change worries me.*

Elrohir fell quiet for a minute, then spoke in his mind lightly, almost to himself, *It is not going to be good. I am not sure if I want to know.*

*Yes, but we will know the truth shortly*

The three elves arrived to the house of Elrond, and found the lord standing outside the door. They mounted down the horses and greeted him.

Arail said in a great distress in his tone, "We need your presence in Mirkwood right away, Lord Elrond, and Mithrandir's also. If we are correct, Mithrandir is currently at Rivendell, is he not? Legolas is hurt badly by mysterious foul creatures, he doesn't have much time."

He handed Elrond the letter Thranduil wrote. He opened it and read the message carefully. The twins observed their father's expression turn from surprise to sadness.

The half-elf turned to the twins and told them to get the wizard. The twins nodded and left the room.

Elrond turned to the prince, "Come in and rest first, Arail. I will prepare a room for you."

"No! Legolas needs the help of you and Mithrandir now. We are going to leave once Mithrandir arrives!" Arail protested, "it was why I wouldn't allow Tekrir to come instead. He is too soft to go against your decision and
would have definitely wasted more time than necessary. I will never rest until I know Legolas is safe!"

Elrond sighed. He had expected Arail to react this way all along. He would have to reason as best as he could. "I understand, but you need your rest. You will do no good for us or for Legolas if you fall during the perilous road to Mirkwood. And if Legolas knew you ever fell off your horse trying to save him, he would have to live with the guilt and sadness, which are things he can't endure in his weakened state."

Arail's expression softened a little, but his determination was not easily shaken.

"Maybe just have some food while we are waiting for Mithrandir?"

Seeing nothing could be lost just having some food while waiting, Arail agreed. Besides, his hunger had become almost unbearable because he hadn't eaten for the days. His food supply was ruined when he was fighting the orcs.

Then, he followed Elrond to the dining room.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(On the other side of Rivendell)

"Bilbo, why don't you sing us the song that you just finished yesterday?" Pippin asked enthusiastically. Frodo and Merry nodded their heads to encourage.

Sam was more than eager to hear more songs from Bilbo, "Please? That's what we are here in Rivendell for! We really want to hear more songs and stories from you."

Gandalf agreed also, "Yes, old friend. Let's hear it."

Bilbo Baggins couldn't reject but to sing his newest song that he created.

The four hobbits and the wizard sank into the melody, and applauded after the old hobbit finished.

Just then, Elladan and Elrohir arrived.

"Sorry to interrupt you, mellon nin, but Mithrandir needs to come with us now. Arail, the crown prince of Mirkwood and the oldest brother of Legolas, just arrived and he seeks your presence," Elladan said.

Frodo couldn't help but ask, "What's wrong?"

Elladan and Elrohir weren't sure if they should let the hobbits know. They decided it was the best for the innocent hobbits to not know that their friend was injured badly.

Elrohir replied, "Don't worry, Master Frodo. There is nothing to worry about. Arail just wants to see Mithrandir because they have not been together for a long time, and it was a coincidence that Arail is passing Rivendell with business of his own, so he stopped to greet Mithrandir."

Gandalf understood the hidden meaning in Elrohir's words, and thus, he told the hobbits to wait for him until he returned.

Once Gandalf arrived, he saw Arail was sleeping on the table.

Elladan and Elrohir laughed, "He will be so angry when he wakes up, Glorfindel. And I don't think he will ever want to eat the food in Rivendell again."

"He won't wake up until the day after tomorrow. He needs his sleep. Look at him, he is exhausted," Glorfindel commented, admiring at his work.

Elrond smiled to himself, then he told Glorfindel to carry Arail to one of the guest rooms.

Gandalf turned to Elrond. "Something is wrong in Mirkwood?"

Elrond replied sadly, "Foul creatures appeared in Mirkwood and injured Legolas. Thranduil said in the letter that even his best healers couldn't
figure what exactly was wrong with Legolas or how to help him. He wants us to go to Mirkwood and help."

Gandalf said thoughtfully, "It is very unlikely for Thranduil to ask for help, he has always been more independent. Legolas' injury must be very serious. And they need to figure out how and why the monsters attacked and fight
them, for sure."

Then he added, "Are you going to tell the hobbits about it?"

"No, it will be best if they don't know."

A voice suddenly cried out from the bushes, "Why? Legolas is our friend!" Then someone else hushed the first voice with a faint sound that only the elves could pick up, "Shut up, Pip". The three elves and the wizard also saw the bushes were moving.

Elladan and Elrohir walked closer, and discovered four hobbits were eavesdropping.

Sam blushed, and murmured some apologies. Frodo had his azure eyes wide open, and said, "We have a right to know Legolas' condition. We are going with you."

Merry and Pippin couldn't agree more! They gestured in such a pose that would really mislead people to think they were the bravest alive, if those people didn't notice how small those two hobbits actually were.

Gandalf looked at Elrond for approval. Surely he wasn't pleased at all, but he understood that they were just worried about Legolas.

Elrond gave his consent, which made the hobbits very happy.

Merry spoke, "What about Aragorn and Gimli? Are you going to let them know? I am sure they'll want to save Legolas and they will be a big help against the monsters also."

"Yes, Elrond. Aragorn and Gimli need to be notified, for they are the closest friends to Legolas," Gandalf supported.

"Alright, I will write to them quickly."

Then, Elrond sent his messengers out.

Although the twins wanted to help their friend also, they needed to stay and look after Rivendell while their father was gone. Besides, they needed to make sure Arail wouldn't destroy Rivendell and kill Glorfindel once he woke up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Mirkwood, six days after the attack)

Lamenting songs could be heard throughout the trees. Every living thing in Mirkwood loved their youngest prince. The loyal wood elves were willing to give up their lives for their prince, but unfortunately, there was no way to help him.

King Thranduil's worry had increased when he found that his youngest son's fever had increased again.

The day after Legolas was attacked, he could still walk around the palace and go outside to the garden. However, as the days passed, his condition became worse and worse. He could no longer get off the bed, and most of the time he was unconscious due to his fever and pain from his old wound. The wound . . . the marks around the wound had extended to his shoulder. He didn't have much time left.

Thranduil could do nothing but to stay besides Legolas' bed and to pray to Valar for his son's safety.

Legolas suddenly cried in pain and agony.

Thranduil shrieked. His eyes were covered with tears and held Legolas tightly. There was no use to call the healers. They had tried everything already, but no medicine could help Legolas. He kept murmuring soothing words to Legolas. He had never felt this useless in his life, besides the time when his queen had died.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


(Lothlorien)

Rean lied on one of the tree branches, listening to the songs of the Lothlorien elves, and wasn't aware that Lady Galadriel was standing below the tree.

His mind was wondering elsewhere. He thought of the time when his mother was alive. She was a very tender and loving mother. He remembered the time when he used to hide behind her when his father was angry at him for not
going to the archery practices. She used to sing to him in bedtime, and her songs would put him to sleep immediately.

Everything was wonderful until the 'murderer' was born and killed her. He could never understand why his father and brothers loved Legolas. That rat took away the most important person in their life and acted like an innocent. How he desired Legolas' death. Too bad that he didn't die during the War of the Ring. He knew he couldn't kill him outright because his father would certainly kill him for it. He could never stand Legolas' presence, so he volunteered to go off to discuss the alliance between Mirkwood and Lothlorien.

His thought was cut off when he heard Galadriel call him. He got down from the tree and faced her. Her eyes looked as though she knew what he was thinking.

"What is it, my lady?" Rean tried to break the tension that was between them.

Galadriel spoke slowly, handing him a letter. He immediately recognized the stamp of Mirkwood.

"This is a message from your brother, Prince Tekrir. I believe it is an emergency."

Rean thanked the Lady of the Woods and took the letter.

The letter was very brief. It said,

Dear Rean,

Please return to Mirkwood as soon as possible. Something bad has occurred and we need your presence.

May Valar be with you.

Your brother, Tekrir

Rean took a deep breath. Tekrir didn't mention what exactly was wrong, as if he was hiding something. But he still wanted to go home to make sure things were fine.

He realized Galadriel was staring at him the whole time. He looked up from the letter and explained, "I am needed in Mirkwood, though I don't know why, Lady Galadriel. I will leave as soon as you and Lord Celeborn agree with our alliance."

"The agreement has already been made, Son of Thranduil. You shall return to your home."

Rean gave his thanks and prepared to pack his belongings.

Suddenly, Galadriel spoke, "Love what you still have now, Prince Rean of Mirkwood, for you will regret later for the rest of your immortal life. Farewell."

Rean turned around and she was gone.

That was certainly a warning, Rean thought, "But what exactly is the meaning behind?" Many people who heard the Lady's predictions didn't understand them at all. Maybe something was very wrong in Mirkwood. He hurried and got
on his horse, rode as fast as he could, while the words of Galadriel kept ringing in his head.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Gondor, seven days after the attack)

Aragorn was sitting in his throne room, listening to his wife and Eowyn's suggestion. He was not sure if her idea was the best, but he couldn't think of anything better.

He wanted to go and help Legolas and the Mirkwood elves, but he couldn't risk his men's lives to attack the mysterious monsters before he had details about them.

"So my love, what have you decided?" Arwen asked.

Faramir spoke up, "My King, I agree with Queen Arwen. If the monsters are really as strong as they were said in the message, we are needed in Mirkwood. It would be the best if I travel with you."

"I have decided to go to Mirkwood alone. You are needed to be here and take care of Gondor."

Eowyn couldn't stand Aragorn's arrogance anymore, "What's wrong with leaving Gondor to us, my King? Arwen and I are as capable as you and Faramir are."

Arwen supported Eowyn, "Besides, the road to Mirkwood is dangerous, you will need someone skillful to accompany you. Faramir is the best choice."

Aragorn was about to protest, but stopped Faramir cut in, "My King, Arwen and Eowyn are loved and respected by all the people in Gondor. There is no reason to worry. Peace is spreading across our lands and there hasn't been
any threat for two years. Gondor is well-armed and the advisors can assist them in ruling the kingdom while we are gone."

He knew Faramir was right and agreed to let Faramir accompany him.

"We will leave at sun rise."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


(Outside Lonely Mountain, seven days after the attack)

"I knew that the elf could never survive without me! I knew it! I suppose he needs to be reminded that dwarfs are more superior to elves and that his head belongs to me only, not some horse monsters!"

Gimli had been grumbling about the same thing the whole time he was running. Although Legolas made Gimli accept horses during his last stay in Mirkwood, Gimli preferred to use his legs more and was more comfortable
to feel his feet touch the ground.

Once he received the letter from Legolas' brother Prince Tekrir, who knew of the friendship between the two, he quickly left. Many dwarfs in the Lonely Mountain gave their regards for Legolas, because many had grown to like
the fair elf when he came to the Mountain with Gimli one year ago. Their friendship became the bridge between elves and dwarfs, and Gimli was sure that the day of alliance between the two kinds would not be long.

Gimli couldn't help but worry for Legolas. Legolas always seemed to be strong and lethal to their enemies. He couldn't imagine what the sickly- looking elf would look like. The letter that Tekrir wrote didn't say much. All he said was that Legolas was injured by some monsters and Elrond and Gandalf were going to Mirkwood to save him.

He couldn't think about it anymore. Legolas would be alright, of course.

"Damn you, Legolas! If you die, I will make you back to life and kill you again!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


(Rivendell, eight days after the attack)

The morning light passed through the window and woke Arail. As soon as he regained full conscious, he knew something was very wrong.

He found himself on a bed, and felt as if he had slept for days.

His anger increased when he figured out what happened. The food he ate must have had drugs in it.

He ran outside the room quickly, and found that Glorfindel was standing outside.

"What is the meaning of this? How long had I been sleeping?"

Glorfindel answered calmly, "We are just trying to help. You have been sleeping for two days."

Arail had the urge to punch the older elf, but stopped when Glorfindel continued, "Lord Elrond and Mithrandir left yesterday. The horse is ready when you decide to leave. All your belongings and foods have already packed."

Arail didn't waste any time and left.

Elladan and Elrohir came out from the shadows. "How could you manage to stay so calm?"

"I wasn't calm; I just looked like I was calm," smiled Glorfindel, "It takes thousands of years to master this skill."

End of chapter 3

**********************************************************************************************
Thanks to those who gave me comments for the first two chapters: OrelindeTiwele, Nienna__Telrunya, geek_chick, and lady_megdelyn

Information on the original characters that have appeared or mentioned in this chapter so far:

Arail: Legolas' oldest brother and the crown prince of Mirkwood. He was a millennia year older than Leoglas.

Tekrir: Legolas' third oldest brother and was about 800 years older than Legolas.

Rean: Legolas' second oldest brother.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Changes that I make for the sake of my story:

Southern and Northern Mirkwood was supposedly reunited and became Greenwood after Sauron and the ring were destroyed. However, as you noticed in the story, Mirkwood is still Mirkwood!

Frodo didn't become the governor of the Shire.

Frodo, Bilbo, Elrond, Galadriel, and Gandalf didn't go to the west.

Sam wasn't married.

The books had never said how many sons Thranduil had and where his queen was. So I made up the three brothers for Legolas and I made the queen died.

Read and Review
~ZeroCool

Previous chapters:

Chapter 1: http://www.theonering.com/docs/11154.html

Chapter 2: http://www.theonering.com/docs/11167.html


If you want to read more (well... up to chapter 11 ,_,), go to:
http://www.fanfiction.net/read.php?storyid=1215278

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