The next twelve days, while the gods of Olympus attended that far-off banquet, time passed slowly for Legolas and Menelya.
Each day the Olympian Maia, Alesia, came to Menelya and asked her the same question, ‘what are you doing in the Realms of Olympia?’
And each day, Menelya would give her question no answer, but continued to plead help from her.
Ciryatan quickly went to the ship’s galley to get a bottle of wine and some cooked lamb meat and bread and honey for Legolas and was about to leave when Patroclus entered and eyed the food on the tray Ciryatan held.
“Since when do you eat more meals than I?” Patroclus asked, an edge to his voice.
“The tray is not for me, great warrior, Ciryatan answered, bowing his head a bit, giving the man some honor, “it’s for the prisoner, the Elf. He has had no food or drink since he was brought here.”
“That horse stealer? What makes you think we will give him any yet? Does Achilles know you are treating him this fine?”
Just then Achilles walked into the galley, also, and looked very weary. “What’s going on?” he asked looking one to the other, then he spotted the tray of food Ciryatan held. “Is that for me? Did I ask you to bring me anything?”
Ciryatan began to feel nervous. “Master, the Elf you have locked up, he is hungry and…”
“Ahhhh! The Elf!” Achilles exclaimed, “I forgot about him! Horse thief! Where’s he at?”
“In a cabin well guarded,” Patroclus said, “shall I get you a spear or sword?”
Ciryatan’s heart raced. Would Achilles kill Legolas with no trial? “Please, master,” the Telerin pleaded, “he is no horse thief. Let him explain…”
Achilles frowned deeply Ciryatan. “You have spoken with him? You know his language?”
“He speaks Westron…which we know some of…”
“What is he doing here? Where is he from?” Achilles asked, “I thought you and your sister were the only Elves this far east?”
“He is a visitor…from Western Middle-earth. I don’t know his purpose here but I do know he is not a horse thief.”
“Show me where he is and I will decide that for myself!” Achilles stormed, and picked up a razor-sharp butcher knife off the counter. “Lead the way!” This day the Elf will eat and drink or he will join his dead relatives!
Legolas heard several voices outside his cabin door, then it opened and in walked Ciryatan carrying a tray of food and wine, and behind him two Achaeans…and one held a butcher knife in his hand. Legolas wondered, were they going to feed him or kill him!
Ciryatan set the tray on a shelf and gave Legolas a look of pity, then turned to look at Achilles and Patroclus…and was confused to see the looks on their faces…for the two men looked upon the face of Legolas like they were seeing an apparition!
Patroclus said, “Amazing…” he said in Achaean.
“More than amazing,” answered Achilles, in Achaean, his gaze riveted to the face of Legolas. He walked up closer. “You are an Elf for sure…” he said to Legolas in Westron, “but I see the face of Paris before me!”
Ciryatan gasped! Could it be? he did not know what Paris, son of Priam, looked like but if his master thought it so, then it must be!
Legolas breathed deep and heavy. He figured by now he knew who this long-haired Achaean was that stood before him…it was Achilles himself…and a deadly butcher knife in his hand!
Achilles’ eyes narrowed to almost slits as he stepped even closer to Legolas…
But legolas stood firm and though his spirit was quaking deep inside, he stared the famous warrior down.
Achilles touched the tip of the knife to Legolas’ throat. “You show no fear, Elf, but I know you are scared. Only fools have no fear. What are you doing here, dressed as an Achaean, and daring to steal my horse?”
“I saw true beauty in that steed,” Legolas said as calmly as he could, feeling the tip of the knife pinching the skin of his throat. “I only wished to feel the beast under my hand, that is all.”
“That beast would have trampled any other but me if they dared put a hand upon him…how did you manage that?”
“I spoke to it in Elvish. All of that race understands the language. It is a gift to them and to us.”
“Interesting…I didn’t know that. and your business here in the Argives camp?”
Legolas hesitated. What to say? “I came with a friend. We have an errand. It is unfortunate we have come when a war rages on. We thought it would be safer to dress as the soldiers here. We meant no harm. We have no interest in your war.”
Achilles drew the blade away just enough as to clear the skin…and a trickle of blood oozed out of the small cut down Legolas’ neck. Achilles then asked, his blade still but a hair away from the jugular. “And what friend do you speak of? Where is he?”
“Not a he…a she. A lady. I don’t know what has happen to her and I’m worried.”
“And the errand you speak of?”
Again Legolas hesitated…if he told the truth, he might put Ciryatan in jeopardy? “Sir, I cannot speak of the errand, but I assure you, it has no bearing on this war whatsoever. i swear it. It’s a personal errand long overdue.”
Ciryatan’s heart leapt! Could it be? Was Legolas the answer to his long-ago prayers? Had he and his friend come to rescue him and his sister Larien?
Achilles pondered several moments looking deeply into the eyes of Legolas and slowly lowered his knife…and he looked like he was perhaps forming a devious plan in his dark mind. “You will live,” he finally said to Legolas, “I might have a good use for you.” Then he turned to Ciryatan and said, “Be careful of what you and this Elf stranger hatch up between you…” then he looked gack to Legolas and said, “I see you do have a purpose and be it this war or not, I foresee you as an enemy.” And then he turned and strode toward the door, and Patroclus followed.
Ciryatan gave Legolas a little smile but then quickly followed the two men out of the cabin and the guards locked the door once more.
Legolas breathed a deep sigh of relief and his hands began to tremble. “That man has ice in his veins!” he cried, “Menelya! Where are you?”
Only on the day before the gods were to stride back home did Alesia give Menelya some small hope of help. “I’ve told you everyday I cannot help you,” she said to Menelya, “but tomorrow I will do you one favor that might in the end provide you with some help. I will let the god Apollo know hera has you a captive here…and that you are a beautiful and virtuous Maia. If he finds any pleasure in you or whatever quest you are so bound to keep a secret…he might try to persuade Hera by one way or another to free you. That is all I am willing to do for you.”
Menelya was surprised but thankful. “But will Hera and Athena be angry at you for telling Apollo about me?” she asked, suddenly feeling concerned for the Maia.
“They might give me a tongue-lashing,” Alesia said, “but both of them gods love intrigue. You are no real threat to them or any of the gods here…just a new toy to play with. they will find it a new game to play with Apollo.”
Menelya didn’t like the thought of being a ‘toy’ for the Olympians to play with! But if she could possibly win the god Apollo to her side? She felt desperate! “All right,” she told Alesia, “tell him, and thank you!”
The Olympian Maia left.
Menelya suddenly felt a coldness sweep through her…and she hoped she had not made a decision she would later regret?