The Two Towers: Kyshri's Story - The quest to destroy the One Ring told through the eyes of a runaway elf (part nine of thirteen)

Recap of Tale 8 . . .

[Begging does not . . . become you,] he noted with a frown.

I could see him slipping away and grew angry. [Haldir . . .] I warned, taking his face in my hands. [Haldir, do not dare leave me as they did!]

He smiled sadly. [As if there is anything . . . either of us . . . can do. Remember . . . Remember that you are . . . my dindae.]

I watched his eyes fall slowly shut and snarled, pulling his head nearer to me so that there was no way he could misunderstand me. [Haldir! Do not dare leave me as they did! Do not dare! Do not! Haldir! Haldir!]

Tale 9

And then, abruptly, all my anger drained away. I stopped and stared, mouth slightly open, and began to tremble as my eyes clouded with tears that I no longer bothered to hold.

[Haldir . . .] I whispered sorrowfully, touching my forehead to his. [Haldir, forgive me. I could do nothing . . . nothing . . .]

Someone touched my shoulder lightly and without even looking to see who it was I flung my own arm back viciously, knocking theirs away. [Leave me.] When no one moved, I snapped louder, [Leave me!]

I was obeyed this time. All except for my three friends. I looked up at them wearily. [I . . . I must return to Lothlorien. Lord Celeborn must hear it from me, even if Lady Galadriel has already told him.] I took a breath. [I will be abandoning this journey temporarily, though I do not know how long I will be gone.]

Legolas cautiously knelt beside me and grasped my far shoulder, resting his forehead against my temple. [Go, but do not hurry back.] He kissed my cheek and released me. Aragorn and Gimli nodded.

[Thank you. But I must ask a favor of you.]

[You have but to name it,] was Legolas' gentle reply.

[While I was unconscious, I thought I heard Rilloc greeting Pikmon. Is that the truth?]

[It is.]

[Then Sulaine must be here. The favor I ask is to explain why I cannot speak with him and thank him for his aid. I did not request or expect it, considering how frail Veikai currently is.]

[It is done.]

[I thank you once more.] I gathered Haldir's limp frame in my arms and picked him up, then headed for Rilloc's perch. It was dawn and she was tired, but she agreed to carry me to Lorien.

[Fly to the northeast,] I instructed, though she almost certainly knew the way herself, [and across Hithaeglir. Lothlorien is not quite due north of Fangorn.]

Rilloc pushed off from the earth and took to the sky. I heard a frantic whinny from the fortress and shouts of Men, but paid it no mind. I spent the day's journey cradling Haldir's body, my own body numb and uncaring.

It was dusk when Rilloc reached Lorien and settled gratefully on the ground. Sentries surrounded us, but did not question me as I knew they had planned to. I quickly picked Rumil and Orophin from the group. I did not need to speak to cause them to rush forward, obviously frightened but still hopeful.

I bowed my head and shook it sadly, tears falling from my closed eyes. They dropped their weapons and reached up, their own eyes glittering with tears, and I carefully passed Haldir's body to them. They bore him away in silence and the others made a path for them.

Rilloc lowered her head and I slid to the earth. I pet her neck. [Thank you very much.] To the sentries, I said, [I must speak to Lord Celeborn immediately. This Eagle needs to be nourished and bedded down. May I ask such a favor of someone?]

[I will do it.]

I looked over at the speaker, relieved. [Firdon. Thank you.]

Rilloc chirped softly. I shook my head. [No. Rest here as long as you wish, but I will not ask more of you than I have already these past days. When you feel you are well, you may return home. I will find another way back.]

Firdon stepped forward and I hugged him. [Thank you.]

He stroked my hair. [Do not thank me. I will be greatly honored to care for this Eagle.]

I pulled away politely and bowed. [I must see Lord Celeborn.]

~*~

He paced restlessly. He had not been able to calm down since the night before. He had been up since the still-dark hours of the morning, wandering around Lorien with no explanation for it.

Well, there was one possible explanation. This had happened once prior, though he disliked thinking of the cause. Malyr had been one of his closest friends and the memories hurt as few other things did. But if this feeling stayed true to its reason . . .

He shook his head violently. No, he would not think such thoughts. Neither Haldir nor Kyshri was capable of dying; it seemed that no matter how close to it they came, they always escaped it. Why would this time be any different? It was simply another battle for them to win.

But in the middle of his pacing he paused and lifted his head. He could hear a lone voice approaching, singing a song he almost did not recognize until he heard more of it. Then he realized it was the song Haldir had made up for Kyshri when she was still mourning her parents' deaths. It sounded extremely melancholy, almost tragic, but the words were hopeful.

Win dain a lotica
En vai tu ri
Si lo ta
Fin dein a loluca
En dragu a sei lain
Vi fa-ru le shutai am
En riga-lint

Win chent a lotica
En vai tu ri
Si lo ta
Fin dein a loluca
Si natigura neuver
Floreria for chesti
Si entina

Here Galadriel, who had been sitting quietly, began to sing as well, adding her voice to the one outside. But as the verse ended, she fell silent once more, leaving the other voice to complete the song as the one singing it opened the doors and entered the chamber.

lalala lalala lalala
Fontina Blu Cent
Des Cravi esca letisimo
lalala lalala lalala
De quantian
La Finder eve

Win dain a lotica
En vai tu ri
Si lo ta
Fin dein a loluca
En dragu a sei lain
Vi fa-ru le shutai am
En riga-lint

It was Kyshri, dressed in what appeared to be a suit of heavy armor. As she knelt before them she concluded the song, her voice cracking and faltering on the last words.

He looked at her. She seemed unhurt, but her expression was one of severe pain. [. . . Kyshri?]

She rose, meeting his eyes slowly. [My lord, Haldir Erynestel . . . is dead.]

He froze and looked over at Galadriel. Her head was turned away from him; had she known of this previously? Well she must have. But why did she not . . .? Why was this kept from him until now?

~*~

I stared back at him, fresh tears running over my cheeks. He reached back for his chair to sit, but missed and landed on the floor. However, he appeared too shocked to notice or care and I did not bother to offer assistance. He would not accept it anyway, because that was how he was.

He pulled himself absently into his chair and slouched across it, his elbow braced on the arm and his hand covering his face. He took a deep, shuddering breath. [. . . Do Rumil and Orophin know?]

[Yes, my lord.]

He remained in that position for a while before looking at me again, his eyes glassy with unshed tears. [Why are you still here?] he demanded, angry with me for my now unwelcome presence. [Go!]

I did not feel like snapping in return that he was not the only one forced to suffer this way. I was too exhausted and drowned in grief to want to argue. I would prefer a place to curl up and die. So I bowed and exited.

~*~

[That was unnecessary,] Galadriel informed him later that night as he laid on the balcony, staring up at the stars.

[What was?] he asked, his voice thick with tears.

[Chasing her off as you did. The girl was only doing what she knew she must and did not cause you this grief because she enjoyed it.]

[You knew,] he accused.

[I did. Yet I felt it might be better if you heard it from her. Had I known that you were going to brush her off so thoughtlessly I perhaps might have chosen to do otherwise.]

[I did not ask her to stay.]

[Nor did you ask her to leave. Your dismissal of her was uncalled for and certainly unfeeling. She was very close to Haldir yet you offered her no comfort for her own grief. She has already seen her parents dead and sent on and now she will see another . . . She is still a child, Celeborn, yet she accepts these happenings with the grace and wisdom of an adult. Will you not let her be the child that her fate has been lax in allowing?]

The elf lord rose. Indeed, he had been far too harsh with Kyshri. She had done what she felt was correct and it had been; the fault was his. [And what is it you wish me to do? Kyshri does not forgive easily.]

[Find her and remain with her,] was the answer. [She desperately needs your company. Do not let her force you away.]

Celeborn left and made his way through Lorien, no set path in mind. As he was not as close to Kyshri as Haldir had been, he did not know where she might have gone. He decided to check the house first; it seemed the most logical place to begin the search.

Unfortunately, the house was dark and empty. Other than armor piled in the sitting room, there was no sign Kyshri had been there. He paused a moment in his friend's bedchamber and whispered a prayer before leaving.

He was sure she would not seek comfort with anyone, for it was not her way. She seemed to prefer solitary mourning. He searched every garden and thicket that would be accessible to her, but she was not there. Truly, it seemed she was no longer in Lorien.

Frustrated, he passed beyond the city's gates and out into the woods. Where could the girl have gone? Not far, for he was sure she would remain at least until the funeral had been concluded, but if she had borrowed a horse, distance was not necessarily a problem.

He looked around the forest. A chill breeze rustled the falling leaves and a pile already on the ground shook, causing the wind to catch several and brush them across the path. He turned to reenter Lorien and had just taken a step when it struck him that he had never seen a pile of leaves move like that. He found the pile again in the dark and brushed at it. A shoulder was revealed to him, the fabric covering it torn. He quickly pushed more leaves away and found Kyshri curled in a ball, asleep and shivering, her cheeks red from crying.

[Kyshri,] he called softly, giving her a gentle shake, not wishing to startle her. [Kyshri, wake.]

She obeyed, her eyes fluttering open slowly. She looked up at him wearily, not moving. [Is there something you need, my lord?]

[Only to be sure you are well.]

She sat up and frowned, as though believing he lied. [You did not care before. Why such sudden concern?]

He sighed and lowered his head. He hoped she was not planning on being too difficult. [I was shocked and saddened. I did not think before I spoke and I did not mean to be so cruel. Forgive me.]


If anyone was wondering at how I suddenly got very good at writing songs and/or poetry (after looking back at Tale 8's incantation . . .), I have to be honest and say I didn't. The song is borrowed from the movie Escaflowne. I'm not sure what language it is, because it doesn't look like the Japanese I'm used to seeing, but if anyone can help me with that, I'd be delighted to learn.


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