Morihondo stalked out, his eyes green fire. He fingered his belt; it was made of gray silk. “Gwaur firen . . . (filthy human . . . ) doesn’t know that I know.” He stopped for a moment, thinking, then began to laugh. It was a mirthless laugh, the laugh of a madman — Of a murderer.
Aurseldo stood up and strode to the door.
“Where are you going?” Legolas asked.
“To find our king.” He sneered.
“I’m coming with you,” Said Legolas, then he added, “If you’re going to avenge a servant, you have to learn to do it properly.” He grinned.
“What!? I wasn’t about to go out and kill him . . . only . . . threaten him.”
“Let’s go find Larkarusse.”
The swordsman was in the Northwest courtyard, fighting a lad with a quarterstaff. He knocked it out of the boy’s hand and told him to sit down; he would not survive his first battle. Passing by the Princes, the student stuck his tongue out when he thought his mentor wasn’t looking, He started as a long knife thudded into a tree a hair’s breadth from his head, then scurried off. Larkarusse trotted over, bowing with each step, and retrieved his blade.
“Teach the boy discipline. It’s for his own good, you know.” He added, noting the concern and amusement on Aurseldo’s face.
Legolas cut in. “Larkarusse, you are the only blademaster and the only swordsmith in Greenwood the Great. I need you to teach Aurseldo how to use a sword.”
“Lad means to take after Lord Elrond does he?” The teacher chuckled. “In all my years I never saw the lord of Rivendell even glance at a bow.”
“No sir,” Aurseldo said quietly. ” I only have some . . . work . . . I must attend to.”
“Listen to me boy. Do you see that shed over there? Go inside and there should be a row of Men’s swords in the far right corner. Find one that isn’t too long and I’ll tell you if it’s off-balance.”
After the lesson, Aurseldo skipped beside Legolas.
“It felt so odd! I never learned to use a sword before, and you only taught me how to use a bow. My parents hated me . . . so did my older brother, Arathorn.That’s why I never had lessons. The King and Queen had their heir; of what importance was I?”
Legolas left Aurseldo to talk to himself of how he felt with a sword in his hands and drifted to his own thoughts. Ever since Aurseldo had been exiled by his brother at five years of age, Legolas had taught the boy all he could of Elvish customs, history, and lifestyle. Morihondo had tried to befriend Aurseldo, until Legolas shunned him away.
“– ever held a sword, Legolas?”
The Elf returned to reality with his brother’s question.
“I have one, although I have not carried him since before the Ring was destroyed — the Battle of the Five Armies was the last. Father once said Feanor crafted him.”
Aurseldo gasped in amazement. “You mean the creator of the Silmarils? The prisons of the Light of the Trees of Valinor?” He said breathlessly.
“The same.” His brother said proudly.
Aurseldo jumped in circles — his own brother! — It was as if he owned one of the Silmarils themselves!
“What is his name?” He asked in a rush.
“Niquefenume — the Snow Dragon.” Legolas replied.
As they returned to the Palace, a company of Elves stood in a circle about a beautiful willow sapling. Velikelwen was buried here; such are the customs of Elves. When a person dies, they are cremated, then their ashes are mixed with soil in which the Tree of the Soul, the type of tree that represent’s the dead’s personality is planted. The group was singing a lament; Legolas and Aurseldo joined them:
Ai! Wanwa i fea na i Amil Marde, na ie onoone ana i Taule.
(Translation: Alas! Gone the spirit to the Mother Earth, to be as sister towards the Great Tree.)
When the song was ended, the Princes hurried to the stables for another ride.
“I know what I must do now. I’ll kill Morihondo with my bare hands if I have to!” Aurseldo snarled.
“Quiet!” Legolas snapped. “You’ll scare the horses!”
Morihondo stooped down to enter the low-ceilinged room. The fortress had not really been built to protect, more to store — or to make plans.
“Please, sit, descendant of Eol.” Arathorn said with more than a touch of sarcasm in his voice.
Morihondo ground his teeth. The King of Gondor was no fool; it would take time for him to succumb.
“Well, what do you want? I only chose this forsaken place so that we might be left alone!” The King shouted.
Not at all a fool. “Settle, Highness,” The Elf cooed softly, “I have a plan of how to bring all the Elves of the Greenwood at your feet.”
By the light of the moon could there be seen one small, candlelit window — illuminating whispers into the night.