The Undying Lands - (part 17)

Ariengil peered over the boulder and saw a single orc lying down. He was badly injured, but was still able to shoot at the girls. One hit would be fatal. There was one place on the orc's body that was weaker than the rest for it had no armour in that place- the shoulder. If Ariengil could hit him there, he would be disabled and could shoot no more arrows; but they only way to get a perfect shot would be to move from the rock.
`I have to make myself in view if I want to kill him. Will you cover me?' whispered Ariengil.
`You cannot go out. It is too dangerous.'
`There is no other choice. Ready? On three. 1...2...3!' Ariengil dived out from the rock and rolled, protecting her bow. She knelt up, drew the string of her bow with an arrow on it and shot. The hit was deadly. The orc was flung backwards and dropped his bow. At once, Ariengil ran forward, drew her sword and stabbed straight through the orc. As she had never killed before, she did not realise how hard it would be for the sword to go through. In that moment, Ariengil decided she needed to practise if she wanted to protect herself in future.
Looking at the sword, Ariengil suddenly felt sick. The blood dripped down the sword and a drop fell to her hand. She wiped her sword on the grass then sniffed the blood on her hand. It smelt terrible. Ariengil swayed then fell backwards, but Nárfin was expecting this and caught her friend.
`Did you see that? I... I killed him.' Ariengil was in shock. Looking once more at the body, she was violently sick. Nárfin took a bottle out of her back and offered it to her friend. Ariengil accepted gratefully and took a gulp. It was delicious- creamy and soothing. She soon cheered up although the sight of the body would not leave her mind.
As Nárfin looked up, she saw a rider approaching. Not knowing whether it was a friend or foe, she pushed Ariengil into a bush and followed. The rider slowed down and stopped. Ariengil sighed in relief. It was Orudruin; he looked in disgust first of all at the dead man, then at the dead orc.
`Ariengil, are you there?' shouted Orudruin.
`Yes Orudruin, we are,' she replied as she stepped out of the bush.
`What happened here? Are you all right? Are you injured? I was so worried when I saw that man fall. Would you like a drink or anything?'
`She is fine, in fact, she killed the orc,' interrupted Nárfin.
`Oh, hello Nárfin. Are you sure you are fine Ariengil? Seriously?'
`Yes I am, thank you Orudruin. Absolutely fine.'
`Oh, OK,' he said thankfully. Nárfin sighed, rolled her eyes and stifled a giggle as Ariengil raised her eyes to the heavens. Luckily, Orudruin didn't see, he was too busy calling the horses that had run away.
The three elves mounted and looked around, finally taking in where they were- the middle of nowhere. `Do you have any idea which way to go Orudruin?' asked Ariengil. `We need to leave soon and bid you goodbye.'
`I am coming with you,' said Orudruin stubbornly.
`Why? Oh, don't bother answering,' sighed Nárfin, for she knew Orudruin only wanted to be in Ariengil's company.
After a while, they decided to continue the way they were going, by the river. Orudruin had sent an army in that direction a few days before and was pretty sure that the girls' friends had been in the army.
After a few leagues, the three reached a forest. Stepping in, Ariengil felt a wave of danger, violence and fear sweep over her. She stepped back with a gasp, only to tread on Silmewesta's hoof. The horse reared and neighed loudly.
A cry was heard in the distance- and orc's ghastly screech. They had been heard. The sound of bushes and undergrowth being trampled on and pushed over was heard.
The orc's were approaching...
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