Thoughts flashed through Ariengil’s mind- Harma was dead, Nieninque was captured, possibly injured, Nimtheryn was captured and she, herself, was in trouble. There seemed to be only one hope- Eala- and he was not necessarily completely trustworthy.
Seconds later, Ariengil heard a shout of anguish and anger. It was Tarma. He stormed out of the dungeons and stopped directly outside Ariengil’s hiding place. He looked around, fuming and breathing heavily.
`Where,’ he breathed, `is she?’ The shout echoed down the long corridor, the harsh voice resounding in Ariengil’s ears. `Eala!’ Shouted Tarma as he strode off again.
Just before Ariengil lost sight of Tarma, he stopped and swivelled on the spot, looking back at the dungeons. Eala stepped out, through the metal gate and looked questioningly and Tarma.
`Where is the girl? What have you done with her?’ fumed Tarma, his hand edging towards his sword.
`I took her to the dungeons as you told me to, Tarma,’ replied Eala calmly.
`My name is Bruminor, or Lord. You will call me that,’ shouted Tarma. `Now, explain to me why the girl is not in the dungeons if you took her there.’
Eala let a puzzled expression cross his face. Ariengil smiled inwardly- this elf was a good actor. He too, although very slowly, was letting his hand drift towards his sword.
`I am confused, Lord, as to why you think it is my fault that she is not there. Surely it is the guard’s fault,’ smirked the tall elf.
`The guard,’ Tarma began, `is dead- it was his fault we lost the girl previously. You were in charge of her this time. Now you, too, will pay for your faults with your life.’ With a sudden change of mind, Tarma pulled his hand away from his sword and grabbed his dagger instead.
With perfect precision, he threw the blade at Eala’s neck. Ariengil gasped and shut her eyes, waiting for confirmation that the strike had struck. Instead, she heard a clang of metal on metal and she opened her eyes again.
Tarma’s dagger was lying on the floor, and Eala’s sword was in his hand, in a ready position for a fight. The look on Tarma’s face was of fury- his blow had missed and he now had to combat the taller elf.
The two took one look at each other and then ran towards each other quickly. Their swords struck between them and a sharp crash of metal scraping was sounded. Tarma issued a cry, but Eala remained constantly silent.
Every strike gave out a crash or a scrape, as Tarma shouted and Ariengil winced. The fight was vicious and frightening, Ariengil praying the whole time for it to end with Tarma’s death.
Ariengil looked away in fright at one point, when Tarma pushed Eala against the wall with his sword against Eala’s throat. `Slacking, are we, my friend,’ snarled Tarma.
`I may have once been your friend, Tarma, but now I am not. You are corrupted- how could you possibly kill me? I have always been there for you, but now I will not be. Do you really have the heart to do this, Tarma?’
`Do not call me that name, that was the past. I will forever be called Lord from now on,’ laughed Tarma.
`No you will not. You will remain Tarma, for you are not mighty enough to be a Lord,’ shouted Eala as he pushed Tarma violently away from him.
The shouts echoed again and again through the corridor as Ariengil sobbed in her hiding place. Ariengil suddenly looked up as she heard a cry- Tarma had struck Eala.
With a cruel laugh, Tarma ran off, shouting, `Now you will be the one to die,’ and wiping the blood from his sword on to his cloak.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.