The next morning came in bright colors and the fairgrounds was louder than it was the previous day as the whole grounds was decorated to be exactly like a tourney should be in the days of old. Tari felt better but she didn’t speak about Hugo after that. She stood with Elessar and Legolas in the group of competitors waiting for them to open the tourney for all competitors.
“As we have done for the last eight years, we would like Tari Lightfeather to come up and blow the horn opening the tournament. Tari, please?” asked Hugo, who looked so much like Elrond it was shocking for Legolas and Elessar. Tari walked up the stage but didn’t accept the horn that they usually would have blown.
“I have my own horn,” Tari spoke coldly towards Hugo, as she put to her lips the Horn of Gondor and blew it with one full breath. The sound that the horn did resounded deep within everyone’s chests even Legolas and Elessar felt the sound. Tari smiled towards everyone but ignored Hugo’s eyes completely. Tari walked down the steps and joined Elessar and Legolas.
Hugo went on to inform them all about when the events would be held and for those people who are competing in those events should get ready as they will begin very shortly.
Tari and Elessar stood at where the list for the sword tourney would be listed and found who they were up against. Tari heard several chuckles about Tari wouldn’t get past the first round. She turned to see the man who she betted with chuckling about it and saying he’ll get a nice 500 acres of land from her which he can pick from and he’ll push her right out of her own home cause he’ll claim the land in which the house was on.
Tari wanted so much to bash her fist into his face that Elessar held her back. “He’ll be choking on those words when you go past the first round, Tari. I promise you that.”
“Yeah, and last year’s champion is going down in the first round,” smirked Tari, as they walked towards the arena for the sword event was to be held first.
“Who’s he?” asked Elessar, as he noticed that he was in the first round along with Tari but against someone else.
“If you look over there, the man with the chain mail armor, that’s him. That is Terrius, he’s the high ranking swordsman in this tourney, Elessar,” spoke Tari, pointing out Terrius to Elessar. Terrius was a tall, blond haired male with chain mail armor on his arms and around his chest. He was also holding a sword in front of him.
A young lad raced past yelling, “The sword event is about to begin! Will Tari Lightfeather and Terrius Runner please enter the arena and prepare to duel!”
“That’s my chance and I just hope I don’t fail you or myself,” said Tari, as she hurried towards the entrance of arena.
Elessar told her that she just do her best and remember her training as he watched as she walked into the arena where the crowd cheered loudly for her. He watched as Tari withdrew her sword from her scabbard and placed it down in front of her holding the hilt.
Hugo walked up to the platform and spoke, “This is the first round competition with the swords. Disarmament only, no serious wounds, disobey and you forfeit your match to your opponent. Begin when you are ready.”
Terrius gave Tari a smirk as he lifted his sword up. “You are going down, sweetheart.”
Tari smirked back and raised her sword in one complete swing to be even with her face, “Let’s dance!”
Terrius was like uh what did you say and then was shocked as Tari lunged at him fast and furious as the next thing he knew he was disarmed of his sword and her sword was at his throat. She didn’t even give him a chance to fight as she went to work on disarming him before he could get one swing in.
“Duel is over. Tari Lightfeather wins!” yelled Hugo, as the horns sounded off the end of the match. “Congratulations, Tari.”
Tari smiled but not towards Hugo but she had turned away from him to look towards two figures standing by the gate. Hugo watched as Tari sheathed her sword, which she did that without looking at the sheath as the sword went in.
Hugo was now watching Tari fully as she went out of the gate and quickly hugged the tall, brown haired, speckled with gray man before turning to the other man, who was by far very fair in face and he looked very familiar as did the man. ‘I think I will go and meet these two and see who they really are before the white and the gray get here.’
He had no chance in meeting them at all that day even though he spoke the man’s name several times as he ended up winning his duels as did Tari till the semi-finals came. They stopped and allowed the Dagger competition to commence. Tari shocked everyone there, by turning her back on her dueling partner before they began. But as soon as Hugo said begin; Tari was swift with removing her dueling partners’ daggers from their hands and her daggers at their throat. Legolas made more of a show than Tari did but he never lost one match. She and Legolas were heading for the semi-finals in Daggers. Archery was postponed till the next day as Daggers and Swords took a bit longer than normal.
“Since it is getting too close to nightfall, we shall continue the semi-finals tomorrow along with Archery will be held right after the Daggers and the Swords have finished. May you all have a good night sleep, for the competitors a dinner is held tonight in the Hall, come like you are.” said Hugo, for he knew that Tari would bring her two newfound friends to the dinner.
“We shall not be eating in the Hall tonight. I dare not get myself hung over by the wine that is used within the Hall. It is more potent than what I am usually used to,” Tari whispered, as they walked back to the tent.
The gent who wagered with her came up to her. “I guess I was wrong about you this year, Tari. I didn’t think you would have learned how to duel with a sword so well. I can take the horse to your barn now or wait till the end of the tourney to do so.”
“Wait till the end so I can take her home when we leave, if that is all right with you?” asked Tari.
“Fine by me.” he said as he walked away from her.
Tari watched as he left the immediate area, they headed towards their tent when Tari turned around and headed for the barn. Legolas and Aragorn followed her into the barn.
“Tari, do you think Hugo will try to come see us?” asked Legolas, as he poured grain into the manger.
“He probably will think I’ll be at the dinner tonight and bring both of you. Cause I would rather not see him except when I need to like during the tourney. Remember he’s killing my family by not believing that both of you are the real Legolas and the real Aragorn the second. That is something I can’t forgive. He knows you that I know. I saw his reaction when he read off Elessar’s name and he almost said Aragorn a few times after that. It would have been hilarious for him to say it!” Tari laughed, as she hauled the wheelbarrow out to the pile where all manure was placed.
“Maybe we should just make an appearance and then leave stating we need a good night rest for tomorrow?” asked Aragorn, looking at her as he helped spread the pile of manure from the wheelbarrow in a leveled pile.
“No, they’ll then want us to stay and we won’t get out of there till the moon starts to set for the night,” spoke Tari, as she turned on the hose. She stood there with the hose rinsing out the wheelbarrow when Legolas whispered something in elven.
Tari turned around and saw in the distance but still far from being seen clearly. “It’s Saul. He’s here. Come, we must hurry!”
Tari rushed to finish the cleaning of the wheelbarrow when she heard a voice coming from the direction in which Saul was coming from. Tari grabbed the hose tightly and prayed it was not him. She turned around to see it was one of her friends – the one who alerted her of Saul heading her way before the tournament began.
“Hi Tari, I saw Saul and he’s here. I think you better hide in the woods tonight.” she said.
“I think I will do the one thing I thought I wouldn’t do…we’re heading for the dining hall.” said Tari, as she looked at her friend and then to Legolas.
“No, that’s where he’s heading. He knows you will go there if he is spotted here. I think you need to go into the woods,” she stated calmly.
“No, I think things have to come to pass. If he wants to meet me, then he will but I will have the upper hand in this meeting. He will not be getting any money from me now or ever.” said Tari, as she hurried off leaving Legolas and Aragorn standing there with her friend.
“Do you know what she is planning?” asked her friend, turning to look at them.
“Not one idea,” said Aragorn, as he hauled the wheel barrow to the side of the barn and entered the barn itself.
Several minutes later, Tari was inside the barn. Saul was there. His demeanor was of an arrogant young man who got whatever he wanted.
“Sister, I just need twenty thousand dollars and I’ll be out of your hair….” spoke Saul.
“But for how long, Saul, as I recalled over two years ago, you asked for that same amount and you got it. I told you that would have to last for over four months! Here it is two and a half years later! You are asking for the same amount!” snapped Tari.
“But our father always gave me enough money to have fun with?” whined Saul.
“You and money never seem to stick together for long!” snapped Tari.
“But things out here cost a lot more than they did back then, Tari. Why can’t I just have access to our bank account and….” said Saul.
“And have it drained within two months! Never! You don’t have the right to even have the money! You aren’t even my true brother!” screamed Tari.
“Now, please calm down sister. I do have a right to the money. I am adopted by your parents.”
“Not anymore! You recall when the will was read! You were thrown out of the will. Your true last name of Smith returned to you and the name of Gondor returned to me. You had been given only fifty thousand dollars and nothing more may be given to you unless the other heir gives money to you. I have closed my bank to you. You are not getting any more money from me. I will do one thing right now. You leave me totally alone from this day forward and I will not give the police this book.” said Tari, as she held up a small book.
“What’s that?” asked Saul.
“Let me read a page for you to refresh your memory. March 10, 1994 Dear Diary, I have decided to do it. I hate them all. I’m going to kill them tonight. I will put large amount of poison within tonight’s dinner and I’ll only nibble on it so no one will think that I am the one who killed my entire family. The Police will not even know it was me. This, dear brother, is your diary where you admitted to killing my parents and poisoning me.” said Tari, as she held it up.
“Where did you find that, !@#$%!?” screamed Saul, as he lunged for the book. “Give that back to me!”
“Fine, I got what I wanted out of it.” said Tari.
“I sent copies of the book to my friends and to the police, if anything happens to me like say someone like me dies and the death looked natural to open the package up and read what’s within it. You, Saul shall be convicted for my death along with my parents who you killed.” said Tari.
“You want to know the truth about the reason they died?”
“Yes, I want to know why they died.”
“I killed them because they grounded me. I swore I would kill them and I did. I would have succeeded in killing you as well if you didn’t fight for your life when you did. But you will die now.” Saul lunged right at Tari’s throat but only to find a sword pointed in his chest.
“You will do no such thing to my daughter!” snapped a voice.
“Arden, you’re dead! They said you were dead!” screamed Saul, as he took couple of steps back away from Tari.
“As you can see, I am very much alive.” snarled Arden, still pointing the sword at Saul’s chest. “On your knees now or you will be forced down!”
Saul did as he was told as the Sheriff came from the barn with a grin on his face. “Saul Smith you are now under arrest for the murder of Arden and Teltarma Gondor and also the attempted murder of Tiffany Gondor.”
The sheriff went on with the Miranda rights to Saul as he handcuffed him and hauled him away, taking with him the black diary of Saul Smith which held the revelations of his crime.
Tari looked relieved and yet surprised by Aragorn’s declaration. “Why did you call me…daughter to my adopted brother, Estel?”
“Because it was the only way since I looked so much like your father…he would believe that I am Arden and back away from you which he did.” spoke Aragorn, looking at her.
“Which was the best thing because Saul would have killed you, Tari!” said her friend, as she left the barn.
“I doubt he really would have.” Tari said gently. Tari watched as her friend shook her head and vanished into the crowd. Tari closed up the barn door and started to head for their tent with them behind her. She sat on the edge of her bed pulling off her boots when she glanced up at them. “What?”
“Saul could have slain you tonight.” said Elessar, as he looked at her.
“But he didn’t. I doubt he really would have tried it. I had my dagger in my sleeve and if there was any danger, it would have come out and I would have stabbed it deep into his chest.” Tari stated, as the dagger emerged from her sleeve.
“Tari, he could have easily yanked it away from your hand and stabbed you with it. Now, that is one thing that could have happened if you did that. My way was better. He’s in the dungeons and await execution of his crime by the King.” spoke Elessar.
Tari chuckled, “That’s one thing we do not have here.”
“What?” Elessar and Legolas said at the same time.
“We do not have a King. This world is run by the people for the people. There is a few countries where there are Kings and Queens but the majority of the people are run by commonwealths or dictators. He will be judged by the people and if found guilty, he will be sentenced to death by lethal injection or life in prison. Death by lethal injection could take years before they follow through with the court order. I just hope that they will not take years for justice to fall on Saul’s head.” spoke Tari.
“But life in the dungeons will be fitting for him as he gets to think about why he’s there. He may not want to live after a few years in the dungeons.” Elessar stated calmly.
“Well, one can only hope, Aragorn. He may not even last one year in prison,” Tari said, as she started to climb into the cot to get a good night sleep.
Aragorn glanced over at Legolas to see him climbing into his cot and drifting off to his dream trance. He sat there looking at them as they ‘slumbered’ before he too followed suit.
TBC. . .