It was such a strange thing to walk again in this untouched land, in this island of nature in the darknesses of the world.
But the situation was so different!
When they first passed here, it was toward Mordor.
Perhaps not toward safety – Jyras paid to know that – but at least toward the land of their ally.
Or rather of their master.
But now… Now they were walking toward death.
Osgiliath was the former capital of the realm of Gondor, the jewel of the Mankind.
Even if it was now nothing but ruins desecrated by orcs, it was still a symbol of the power of their ennemy.
And a place of war.
They were going to fight in the greatest battle of this Age, a battle that would be recalled as the Moment of the victory of Sauron over Middle-earth.
A moment cursed by all the Free Folks.
If this Shadow passed, the historians would say ”Because of the Battle of Minas Tirith, Middle-Earth has been ruled by the Dark Lord Sauron for thousands of year, ruling by the power of fear, pain and forced loyalty. His servants were everywhere, and nobody could walk free in the whole world.”
If the Shadow passed.
This was perhaps his own last moments in a place of peace and nature.
Even if he did survived the battle, there would be no nature left, nor peace.
To think about peace brought his thought on his own land, on his City, on his beloved Bar Makan.
On his wife, and children.
Even as he walked and thought, he felt the presence of someone close to him.
He turned his head, and saw Hashar.
Hashar looked so different of the one Jyras had come to like.
He seemed all in dark thought, his eyes were almost extinguished.
Where was his former conviction? When the he forsake his will of getting out of the war?
Now, he was lieutenant, he lead them all to war, and it didn’t seemed to bother him.
”You know, Jyras…”, he begon, but couldn’t force himself to continue.
He swallowed, than took a deep breath.
”I gave your name to the Orcs. It’s because of me you were given to the Mouth of Sauron.”
Jyras kept his mouth shut for a moment, then answered.
”I’m not completely stupid, my Lieutenant. I understood it as soon as I saw your new pretty disguise. I hope you enjoy it.”
Hashar laughed without joy, a cold laugh.
”But do you know why I did this?”
Jyras shook his head.
Hashar had another joyless smile.
Then, he produced his hand, right in front of Jyras’ eyes.
”Then have a look at it.”
Jyras looked, and swallowed bruskly.
There lacked two fingers on Hashar’s hand. Two fingers.
”Someone told them I was beaten. So they asked me ‘politely’ whether I could tell them a little more about the one who did this. As you can see, I began to refuse. But do you really think anyone could resist to their strenght of persuasion?”
Jyras laughed bitterly.
”No, I don’t think so.”
Hashar smiled again, but this time he looked almost sincere in his smile.
He took Jyras’ hand.
”Then let us forgive all of what happened since our… Discussion.”
Jyras shook Hashar’s hand.
”Of course. My friend.”
At last, they arrived in the Eastern part of Osgiliath.
There, Jyras and Hashar saw all the power of Sauron’s army, and all his will of destruction and domination.
The place was already crowded with Orcs, and Wargs, and Trolls, and a few other men.
All awaiting the coming of the main part of the army.
All awaiting the coming of the one who would lead the fight against Minas Tirith.
Here they stood, waiting for the Witch-King of Angmar, Lord of the Nazgul.