Elenya feared what was beyond the dark tunnel. The Prince led her down the dark tunnel. There was no smell like that of Legolas’s dungeon, but it was a dungeon for she saw bars. The Prince revealed a small ball of light in his hand. Then she saw them. She gripped at the bars tears streaming down her face. There within each cell lay an elf whether it be a man, woman, or child. There was one in each. They seemed to be in a deep slumber of haunting dreams for every few times they cried out in pain.
“No!” she said crying. “What have you done to them?”
“They are the ones who have been throughout my kingdom invaders. Some passers bye. Some from Lorien, Rivendell, Mirkwood every location of inhabitant elves.”
“What are you doing to them?”
“Their lives are slowly draining away caught in a nightmare full sleep.”
Emilie remembered a story she once read about when the elves were first born, stars were the first things they ever saw, and starlight remained in their eyes ever. They were best known for their starlight. It was a part of them. It was starlight, which made them the fairest and wisest race known to all.
Elenya’s heart wept as she looked at the figure of a small child a girl not more than twelve years old. Her life span was weakening. Their endless lives were being drained away because the Prince was stealing their life force from. He was stealing their minds, their wills, and the starlight from their eyes. They were all dying!
“No!” Elenya gasped tears streaming down her cheeks, as she saw the many around her. “Are they all like this? WHY?
How could you do such a thing?”
“They serve my purpose for now.”
“But you are an elf yourself. Why?! Let them go,” she said gripping the bars.
“Nay melamin. You can do nothing about it. How do you propose to stop me since your will is weaker.”
Uncontrollable tears hid her face. She attempted in vain to arouse the sleeping child, but failed. He gripped her shoulders softly.
“Yield to me, and I will spare them. Choose Legolas’s death.”
“How can you say that?” she said turning through tears. “I love him more than my life. I would follow him to death. I would die for him if I could. He would die for me. I have bound myself to Legolas freely in my spirit. We are linked together in spirit already. I cannot forsake him.”
“Elenya look at me,” she did so. “Now look at them,” she looked at the sleeping form of the dying child. “His life for theirs. Would you give his life for your kin?”
“They are not my kin though I love them dearly,” she said nearly revealing her secret only shared by Aragorn and Legolas.
“You are of their kind. Would you let them die?”
“Of course I wouldn’t! But I would not come to you willingly if I had a thousand years to live. Legolas’s death would not change that. And I cannot choose his death,” she said burying her face in her hands.
“Elenya, I am ready to strike. Perhaps my attempts next will change your mind.”
Without saying a word, he took her out of the dungeon and led her into the palace and up the stone stairs. He kept going ever upward until they had reached the highest tower. He went to the window upon the west and motioned for her to look out.
She nearly choked. A force more massive than that of Helm’s Deep lay just beyond the city. He caught her.
“Yes, I am ready to strike. You shall soon see.”
“Legolas’s death,” he demanded cruelly.
“You know I cant do that. I do not want him to die.”
“Then you shall ride into battle with me tomorrow at a safe distance. And if you do not choose his death, you shall become my bride.” He gave an arrogant grin and led her out of the tower.
Valmarias rode on thinking to himself. He felt confused about the Princess. He was nothing but a simple ranger. He was not worthy of her though he was too arrogant. She had wanted to kiss him last night, but he hesitated. Why? He rode faster through the woods as the rain began to pour. He was well out of Rivendell now riding through the realm of Dunland near Isengard. He stopped momentarily when he saw what remained of its power. Suddenly, he spied two figures in the distant. He instantly knew who they were and drew his sword. They called to him.
“Captain, we have known of your coming. And we are here to retrieve you,” Finarel said raising his bow.
“Tell the Prince my services for him are over,” Valmarias said sharply.
“You have something that does not belong to you, Captain,” Yanarel said. “We have been asked to take it back.”
“She is well away from me by now and I shall never tell you where she is.”
“Then you shall feel the justice of the Prince when his whip cracks against your back until you do reveal.”
Finarel released his arrow as it sank deeply into Valmarias’s thigh. He cursed and took it in his hand. He tightened his grip on the horse and his feet sank into its flanks. But before the horse could work up a trot, an arrow flew into its chest. The horse fell to the ground in death. Yaneral and Finarel walked to the young Captain’s side. He took out his sword and tried to stand with the arrow in his thigh.
“Surrender, Valmarias,” Finarel ordered.
“Then you are a fool,” Yaneral said.
Without warning, a cruel foot aimed at his jaw knocking the wind out of him. The hilt of a sword came down upon Valmarias’s head knocking him to the ground unconscious.
“It has been too long much too long,” Areniel said pacing in the courtyard.
“I am sure he is simply detained, Areniel,” Elrohir assured her.
“No, I do not believe it. Valmarias is very good at taking care of himself. And he does not break a promise. It has been five days. My father also would have sent a message to me swiftly scolding me for disobedience. I must go find him.”
“No Areniel, your place is here. I do not want you to leave.”
“I am sorry, Uncle but I can not leave him out there. He could be hurt.”
“And you could get hurt.”
“I can take care of myself.”
“I have never seen you this worried about him before. Why? What do you think you can accomplish?”
“He saved my life. I believe I can do the same for him as well.”