“Oy, Legolas!” Ladicilion yelled. The young prince was now 600 years old (about 16), and the adopted son of King Legolas.
“What?” Legolas called back. He was in the stable, getting ready to go for a ride.
“Aneth wants you,” Ladicilion said, panting. He had sprinted all the way from his mother’s room to catch her husband.
“Alright. Wait a minute.”
Legolas dismounted and told his horse to stay. He then followed Ladicilion back up to the palace. He thought it amazing that his foster-son was almost an adult. Plus, Ladicilion looked so much like his mother. All except for his green eyes. They were a painful reminder that Ladicilion was Sabros’ son, and also the heir to Maddas. That had been a big concern between Legolas and Moriwen. They had wondered if Sabros would come back and try and claim his son, to have an heir to the throne. But, they had worried needlessly because Ladicilion had been THEIR son for 600 years, and nothing had happened.
“You wanted to talk to me, Moriwen?” Legolas asked, entering his and his wife’s chambers.
“Yes. I was wondering if you would mind going down to Meliah’s home during your ride? To check on her,” Moriwen added.
There was no reason to state why. Lady Meliah was one of Moriwen’s best friends in Mirkwood and she was to have her baby in a few months. It was the king’s duty to see to such things, or Moriwen would be more than happy to go check on her herself. Plus, the Queen of Mirkwood had many things to do to prepare for an upcoming ball to celebrate the New Year.
Legolas smiled and nodded.
“Of course I shall. Ladicilion, you want to come with me?” Legolas offered.
“No thank you. I was going to go down to the armory for sword practice. I’m already ten minutes late. Excuse me,” Ladicilion said, running past Legolas.
“Maybe he’ll go for a ride with you later,” Moriwen offered with a smile.
She had been trying to mend Ladicilion and Legolas’s relationship ever since they told her son that Legolas wasn’t his father. He had believed that until only a hundred years ago. Ever since then, he was always a little stand-off-ish about Legolas. He didn’t know that his father was the King of the Moriquendi, or Legolas’s older brother. He didn’t even have a name for his father, for Moriwen refused to give it to him. She didn’t want her son to know that he spawned from someone so evil.
It hurt Legolas, the way Ladicilion seemed to avoid him. It was even more painful when he called him `Legolas’ instead of `Ada’ like he used to.
Legolas grimly rode through the forest to Meliah’s home about two leagues away from the palace. He was thinking about children when he heard a noise in the bushes beside him. He stopped his horse and the rustling sound ceased. He dismounted and walked over to the side of the trail, where he had thought the sound was coming from. He heard a twig crack a few feet away from him.
There wasn’t any answer. Legolas stepped off the trail and started walking through the forest. He heard someone gasp behind him, and he turned around. Huddled against a tree sat a girl that looked to be about 400 (13). She had blonde hair and dark brown eyes. She was wearing a dress that at one time could have been a beautiful gown, but was now reduced to rags. Legolas assumed she was human.
“Hello, there. Who are you?” Legolas asked, extending his hand to help her up. She knocked his hand away and pressed further up against the tree.
“What’s your name?” He asked.
The girl tilted her face up so that her mouth was no longer covered by her knees.
“Arien,” she answered in a small timid voice.
“Where are you from, Arien?”
The girl looked at Legolas’s feet and muttered something.
“Maddas,” she whispered.
“What are you doing in Mirkwood?”
“I ran away.”
Legolas made a movement to sit down beside her and she didn’t shrink away, so he did.
“Why did you run away?”
Arien didn’t say anything. Legolas slipped his arms around her shoulder when he saw that she was shaking.
“Why don’t you come with me? I live in a palace, you’ll like it there,” Legolas coaxed.
Arien shook her head.
“Do you not trust me?”
Arien looked up at Legolas and smiled. Perhaps she could trust THIS elf after all. She nodded her head. Legolas stood up and helped her to her feet. He walked her over to where his horse stood and helped her mount. He kicked his steed into a trot and they reached the palace within a few minutes.
“Go get my wife,” Legolas ordered a guard as he rode past. He didn’t even bother taking his stallion back to the stables, but asked a young elf to do it for him. He led Arien into the palace and was met by Moriwen. She smiled when she saw Arien.
“Legolas, may I ask who this is?” She asked with a comforting smile.
“My name is Arien, milady,” Arien said with a curtsey. This elven-maiden had brown eyes, and Arien was taught to respect any Moriquendi, but ONLY Moriquendi.
“And my name is Moriwen. This is my husband Legolas. We are the King and Queen of Mirkwood,” Moriwen said, returning the curtsey.
“Moriwen? That name sounds familiar. I think I heard my father say that name once,” Arien muttered.
“Arien is from Maddas,” Legolas told his wife, putting emphasis on the last word.
“Then I doubt that you have heard my name.”
Sabros had forbidden anyone from mentioning his ex-wife. He had ordered that all memory of her was to be erased.
“What are you doing in Mirkwood, Arien?” Moriwen asked.
“I- I- I ran away from home,” she answered timidly.
“Because…I hate my dad,” Arien said with contempt.
Moriwen and Legolas exchanged glances. They were both thinking the same thing. Did he…mistreat her?
“Why? What did he do to you?” Moriwen asked.
Arien looked up at Legolas with sad eyes.
“He didn’t love me,” she said simply. The hatred in her voice was like poison to the two elves ears.
“What makes you say that? Surely your father loves you,” Legolas told the child.
“He told me he didn’t. He said that he only loves his son, though I have never seen any other child in the palace.”
Moriwen’s eyes widened as she realized who she was talking to. The brown eyes, the blonde hair. It was obvious. She was staring at the face of Sabros’ second child.