Silence, the deafening silence. My heart grew heavy as I knew something was more wrong then ever. I suddenly felt even more urgency to go. This time, I knew I was close, and that I could make a difference. My heart raced, my lungs screamed, and my legs felt like lead. But I put my head down, and dug into the earth to press myself further then I had ever pushed myself before. My adrenalin raced as I sprinted down the tunnel, and I suddenly made a quick turn left. There was an opening, which I went down. I slowed myself to a jog as the ground began to be covered in sand. And torches light the tunnel, growing more and brighter as I went. The sand felt good on my feet after walking on the stone floor. I slowed to a walk, as I thought I heard voices. Yes, there were voices! Excitedly, I jogged again, but then slowed to a walk immediately. My heart sank, and I grew very cautious. It was a different language… that of which I learned long ago. I crouched, and crept along the wall, peeking around corners and remaining silent. Below me, it was dark, and a stench filled my nose. It was that of death, decay and blood. I lay on my stomach, and looked down. There were dungeons and they were filled. Tears filled my eyes as I realized that this was the torture dungeons, and Gervaise’s army was the captives! I grew choked, but took deep breaths. Only I could save them… if even I could. I looked among everyone, but I could not find Gervaise. I would have to find him later. I crept back around the corner, and pulled up my hood. Then, I stood to full height, and took a deep breath. Slowly, and surely I strode out into the open. With a loud, booming voice, I shouted for all to hear,
“Ic Gwenllian, cwen gelendan, ac anwealda ofer eow. Hnitan ænig an man eft, ac eow gieldan! Eow cræft faran, ac Anonian eorcanstan lytlian eow ac eower ge-leafful!” (I am the Lady Gwenllian, Queen of this land, and ruler over you. Strike any of them again, and you shall pay! You will be forced out, and the jewel of the Anonian will diminish you and your faithful (followers)! Surrender now, or face wrath!)
It all grew silient, and all eyes were cast upon me. I gulped for air, but stayed where I was.
“Alecgan nu, andwlita hatheart!”
The beasts below trembled, and the weapons fell from their hands. They either ran for fear, or fell on their faces before me. I had done it… it worked! I was more surprised then the beaten soldiers below. I scrambled down the narrow, rocky path, and stood with the others. The beasts pressed against the wall like wounded animals, and I felt pride swell my chest. I strode down, and looked at each of the poor, helpless, beaten soldiers.
“Alysan man hrædlice! Reccan man benn, ac don man na furþur bealo!” (Release them immediately! Care to their wounds, and do them no further harm!)
I shouted, making it clear I meant business. They nodded, and unchained the soldiers, and brought them out of the cells. They also provided blankets, and hot food! I was clearly amazed they obeyed me, but I was also quiet pleased with myself. But I desperately looked for Gervaise, hoping he was still alive.
Gervaise opened his eyes when he heard a faint voice. It was in a different language, but its sweet voice seemed like an angle. Somehow, he knew someone had come to rescue them. He closed his eyes, and then opened them as he heard the door to his cell open. Panic hit him as he saw the beasts come for him. They carefully drug him out and laid him on a blanket. A few moments later, he smelled hot food under his nose. Opening his eyes, he saw that he was being offered food! He was afraid it would be poison… but to die quick was better then suffering. With the help of a beast, he slurped the soup. Much to his surprise, it was delicious! It soothed his soar throat, and somewhat clenched his hunger. After finishing the bowl, he painful lay out on the blanket, and closed his eyes for rest.
Skimming the many bodies of wounded soldiers, I felt sick. How did they survive? I talked to many of them, comforting them and reassuring them that they would make it home alive. But my mission was to find Gervaise. Then, I found him. He was as bad as I could have imagined. He was asleep, and I was glad for that. But he looked to have been beaten worse than anyone. Tears filled my eyes, and I looked at a beast near by.
“Begietan self freoþian hrædlice!”( Get him cared for immediately!)
The beast nodded, and sprinted off. Soon, three of the beast sat around him, dressing and wrapping the wounds. He awoke during it, and the pained look in his face made me cry. He did not know it was me yet (for I had still not taken down my hood) and I waited till he was taken care of the best possible at the moment. I knelt beside him, and touched his face gently.
“Lihtan, Gervaise, ic her. Ic gelustfullice awa her.”( It is alright, Gervaise, I am here. I will always be here)
I whispered into his ear. His eyes fluttered, and opened. I smiled, and he recognized me (I had let my hood fall from my head).
“Gwenllian.” He said, his voice hoarse.
“Shhh, it will be ok.” I soothed. “It will all be ok.”
It would take even longer to tell what happened after that. But I shall briefly explain. We stayed there (at the caves) until most of the people were well. After that, we traveled back through the caves. Gervaise had to be carried, for he was the most brutally beaten, and couldn’t walk. I had offered him the jewel, but he refused. He said it was best to leave it be. What happened to the beasts, no one truly knows. But that was the last time any one had ever heard of them. Once off the mountain, horses were brought, so we rode the rest of the way, much to everyone’s relief. Gervaise allowed me my freedom (I pretty much had it already, though) and I sent a messenger out to announce our arrival and to prepare for the wounded (which was pretty much everyone but myself). Soon, they were all situated either in the palace or the hospital. I was worried about Gervaise; he seemed to get no better. Infection had set in, and he slept most of the day. I didn’t know what else to do, but pray and hope he would mend. I had all the best doctors in the kingdom to come, but they said it was hopeless. Yet I knew it was not, I held hope. And he did get better. After a year, he was recovered, yet still sore. Often we would ride together, out in the soft grassy meadows. And as our horses grazed, we would lie in the tall grass near the river, laughing together. Those days were the best I had seen all my life, and I was happy. Not only did I find out more about him, but about myself. But the time came when Gervaise had to take his armies home. I knew it would come, but I wished it not so. Yet, I let him go. He kissed me, and rode off into the sunset with his army. The days following were dark, dreary and nothing could lighten my spirit. But on that same day, a year later, I stood on my balcony. As I looked out in the crisp morning at the all to familiar housetops, I saw a figure ride up over the hill. My hopes rose, and I rode out to meet the newcomer. The sun sparkled on his face, and I knew his smile instantly.
“Gervaise, you have returned!” I shouted, and dismounted. He did as well, and we ran to each other, and embrace.
“Did you doubt me?” He asked. I grinned, tears of joy streaming down my now bright face.
We were married a month later, and he became the new king, and we have reined until this very day. I shall hope you are encouraged with this story, for it is completely true. And one day, I hope you shall rein better then did I, and I cannot wait until that day. This was my story, my history, and my memory. Now I have shared it, and it shall be yours to pass down to your children so the legend of Gwenllian and Gervaise carries on forever.