“Would you mind getting off the horse too, poppet?” a snarling voice said. There in front of her was a bunch of orcs, the ones she had confronted before. They were holding Imrahil captive, as he tried to wriggle out of their grip.
“Um, it’s okay. I think I’ll stay up here,” she said, wondering if what she had said before about the orcs killing them in such a gruesome way, was going to happen.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” said a smaller but none the more uglier orc.
“No, I really think I will stay up here,” she said.
“Alright then, it’s your funeral.”
“What would happen anyway? I’m safe up on my horse.” The leader pulled out his sword and pointed it at her, leaving an inch between her and the sword. “Oh, that’s why.” She stopped, poised, as if listening. She heard, far off in the distance, a sound of galloping hoofs. That must be Largolian and the others! She thought. Soon, all the other orcs heard it too.
“You five, come with me!” the leader shouted. “I’ll deal with these fellows!” he pointed to five of the orcs, and they immediately followed. He ran off, and shouted back, “Guard the captives!”
“Now, poppet, would you like to get off the horse?” asked the smaller orc.
“Just get off the horse, Lerina. Just do what they say.” Said Imrahil, none too calmly.
“Shut up! It’s your fault they caught us anyway!” she said.
“What? My fault? I wasn’t the one leading the horse, was I? I wasn’t the one who stopped him!”
“Neither was I! He stopped himself!”
“Oh, so it’s the horse’s fault, is it? Don’t blame something else for your mistakes, Lerina!”
“Oh, don’t be ridiculous Imrahil! It was your fault! If you hadn’t let your horse wander away, you wouldn’t have been captured by orcs, which means I wouldn’t have had to rescue you, therefore you wouldn’t have asked stupid questions and I wouldn’t have blown up at you!” and so Imrahil and Lerina started to fight… again. Meanwhile the orcs looked at them, confused, and very quiet. They were getting free entertainment.
“Why, I never! How dare you talk to me like that! I am your elder, your prince! Have you ever wondered why there’s the word `prince’ in front of my name? Well, now you know!”
“Oh, don’t play dumb with me! I think I know! You have got to be the worst prince I have ever met! And you’re the only one too!”
“Not true! Largolian’s a prince, and you’ve met him!”
“I thought Perilin was joking!”
“Ah, yes. Perilin. Whatever happened to him anyway?” asked the smaller orc.
“I killed him,” was the simple reply from Lerina.
“You killed an orc? That’s not possible! You’re a woman!” cried Imrahil.
“Thank you for stating the obvious, Imrahil,” Lerina replied sarcastically. “And it’s not probable, thank you very much! I most certainly am not a woman, mind you! I am a girl.”
“What’s the difference?” the orcs and Imrahil asked in unison. The orcs had become so interested in the little rally between the two, that they were taking sides. Of course they all took Imrahil’s side, for he was the man in the argument.
“Well…” Lerina started to explain what she meant.
“I think that’s quite enough lads. Take the man. We’ll let the lady ride the horse. Put some rope on his bridle, and guard him on both sides. We don’t want little poppet `ere to give us the slip, now do we? After all this hard work of capturing a lady,” the leader had returned, as well as the other orcs. He slashed one of the other orcs’ head off, muttering, “Can’t believe you couldn’t even catch a woman! Can’t possibly be that hard!”
“She’s not a woman, boss. She just said so before,” said the smaller orc. The leader gave Lerina a queer look.
“Then what is it?”
“She’s a girl.”
At this the leader’s face relaxed. “But what’s the difference?” he asked.
“Well, she was just going to explain that…”
The leader slashed another orcs’ head off. “Shut up! I don’t care! Just get `em moving!”
“Will you stop goin’ `round, knocking ev’ryone’s `ead off? Thinking you’re the King of the world?” the smaller orc yelled.
“Shut up Snaga! You’re lucky I didn’t get you! Thank your stars!” the leader shouted back.
“Think you’re so powerful, don’t you Ugluk?” Snaga spat.
“That’s it!” Ugluk drew his sword and swung at Snaga. Snaga saw it coming and ducked out of the way. Soon, all the orcs were involved in a huge clamour, drawing their swords and swinging at each other.
“This is our chance to get away Lerina! Come on!” Imrahil whispered.
“Jump up! Just let’s get out of here!” she whispered back. Imrahil jumped up behind her, and they rode off.