Aralorn smiled with satisfaction as she led Ithil into her stall. It had been a good ride. The two of them had accomplished much that afternoon. The silver mare was getting used to Aralorn’s voice, and soft hand. After she took off Ithil’s saddle, she spent a good amount of time grooming her, using the beautiful brushes. Before leaving, Aralorn gave her mare one last pat on the neck. Then she left the stables, with an unexpected feeling of excitement growing in her mind. Soon, her lesson with Ambar would begin.
Was it the feeling of such a powerful weapon at her side? The warm breeze gently blowing against her face? Or maybe it was the ride she had had earlier that afternoon. But shivers of some emotion would not cease to trickle down her spine. She walked swiftly to the field where her lesson took place, and found that it was almost empty. Then her eyes fell onto Ambar, and her pace slowed. His back was to her at the moment, and he obviously hadn’t noticed her, but then all of the sudden he turned around and smiled.
“Ah, you have finally come,” he said. Aralorn straightened her shoulders, and smiled back. How handsome he was. Perhaps she had not noticed it before, but the way he smiled at her…her heart pounded hard as he approached her, and another shiver ran down her spine.
“Draw your sword,” he said, doing the same. With shaky hands she drew her sword and held it in front of her. “Your hands tremble,” now a mischievous smile flashed across his face as he walked behind her.
“Yes,” Aralorn said, trying ever so hard to master her feelings. “I must be tired from my ride earlier.”
“Indeed,” Ambar answered, standing behind her. He put his hands over hers, holding the sword.
“Hold it like this,” he said, showing her the correct way. “Your hands will not need to stress as much.” Aralorn nodded, and glanced down at his hands, which were quiet bigger than hers. Then she felt his warm breathe against her shoulder. Her heart only increased in speed. How was Ambar controlling the movement of her heart, and the feelings that traveled through her head? “Remember, this weapon is here for your own good. You are the one in charge. Do not let it intimidate you.” Aralorn swallowed hard. He let go, and then faced her, picking up his sword from the ground. He suddenly shot his sword forward, toward her shoulder, and she quickly brought her own sword to the left, to shield his strike. “Good,” Ambar said, holding his position. Then he brought it down to her stomach, and she, once again, was caught by surprise, but managed to block his blow. “That one was close,” he said, “You need to be wary at all times.”
“It was the least thing I was expecting,” Aralorn confessed, bringing her sword to her side. Ambar smiled wryly.
“Yes,” he said, “But you had reason not to. I was merely seeing how quick your reflexes were.”
“And they are…?” Aralron asked.
“Needing some small adjustments. You need to know your opponent well, know when and how he will strike next. Take the time to study his movements. If you face a small orc, you will probably find that his blows are wild, unorganized, and fairly easy to block. `Tis a hard skill to learn. Think of it as riding your mare. You know what she will do next when she does a specific movement. When her muscles tense, you know without thinking that she will likely rear. It comes with experience, and practice.” Aralorn nodded slowly. “Do you understand?”
“Yes, I do,” Aralorn answered. The two of them clashed swords for a while longer, until it was time for Aralorn to leave.
“Farewell, until the next day,” Ambar said, as she walked away.
Aralorn smiled at the memory, as the sun set. She looked at her hands, and pictured Ambar’s own over them once again. She indeed had feelings for him. How deep or strong they were, she did not know. Aralorn sighed. Did he feel the same of her?
“I have someone for you to meet, Aralorn,” Gwenneth smiled as they finally reached a small river, in a quiet area where no other elves were seen.
“And who might this someone be?” Aralorn asked. Then she noticed a beautiful elf sitting on the soft grass along the river’s quiet edge.
“This is Aranel,” Gwenneth said, with light in her voice. Aranel gracefully stood, and smiled softly. She was wearing a light green dress, and her hair lay unbound across her left shoulder. Her eyes were a deep blue and held a sacred beauty in them that Aralorn had never seen before. “And you remember Aralorn, the lady from Rohan, whom I told you of?” Gwenneth said, looking at Aranel.
“Yes,” Aranel answered. “The sister of Estel. `Tis a pleasure to meet you.”
“You as well,” Aralorn smiled. The three of them sat by the river’s edge and talked for a while, and Aralorn found Aranel very kind and generous.
The following day, at her lesson with Ambar, Aralorn acted the same way toward him as the day before. Today, they spent a great amount of time in a single duel, saying a single word every now and then. Aralorn grew weary, and started to loose grip on her sword. Ambar came at her again, and Aralorn tried to block the blow but her sword slipped out of her fingers and his sword came down upon her hand, delivering a clean slice. Taken by surprise more than pain, Aralorn grabbed her hand and saw the blood trailing down from a clean cut along the top of her hand. Ambar dropped his sword as well.
“Oh, please forgive me,” he said, taking her hand and examining it.
“It’s not that bad,” Aralorn said. He tore off a piece of cloth from his light weighted shirt, and began to wrap her hand. Aralorn slowly looked up, and studied his eyes. They were a mix of light green and brown. His brow was furrowed, from what emotion, she could not tell. She sighed as he tied it off. Still holding her delicate hand, Ambar met Aralorn’s eyes, and for a long moment the two of them only stared at each other. Then he smiled and picked up his sword.
“Is it alright?” He asked. Aralorn blinked.
“Y-yes, it is.” She held her injured hand, cradling it.
“We should end now,” Ambar said. “Why don’t we skip tomorrow’s lesson, and let you take a rest.” He sheathed his sword. Aralorn sighed and bent down to pick her own sword up. When she stood, he was walking away. Aralorn was somewhat taken by surprise at this. She glanced down at her hand. The cloth over it was already stained with blood. She should go back to her room and take care of it properly.
After the evening meal that day, Aragorn was to join her for a quick ride. Their horses walked side by side along the path. Aralorn noticed that her brother had a look of regret on his face. As if he had terrible news to give her. Finally, he took a deep breath and glanced over at her. She looked back at him, and smiled trying to encourage him. He managed to give her a small one in return.
“Aralorn,” he said, furrowing his brow. “You will probably not understand this…”
“What, brother?” Aralorn asked, not liking how he ended his sentence.
“I am leaving tomorrow morning.”
hey you guys! thanks for reading, and i hope you liked it.