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The Last Journey; Chapter 13: Discussions in the Dark

July 1st, 2006 (11:17 pm)

current mood: tired

Story Info

Title: The Last Journey
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings
Era: Fourth Age of the Sun
Genre: AU, Action/Adventure
Rating: M / FRM
Main characters: Aragorn, Celeborn, Elladan, Elrohir, Elrond, Éomer, Erestor, Faramir, Gandalf, Gimli, Glorfindel, Haldir, Legolas, Meriadoc, Nazgûl, Pippin, Thranduil (, OCs).
Pairings: Legolas/OMC (brief Aragorn/Arwen, Éowyn/Faramir)
Summary: After many peaceful years that have followed the war against Sauron, everything changes. Evil returns, striking without warning, and it is stronger than ever before. It is time for the final fight, but who shall achieve victory?
Work in Process.
Warnings: Characters’ death (major, OC), violence, torture, slash, mild sexual content (het and slash), plenty of evil, etc.

~ ~ ~

Chapter 13: Discussions in the Dark

Eryn Lasgalen

A great dark horse neighed, informing his rider that they had company. The man clad in a black cloak didn’t move from his place as Shannai stepped into a small clearing. The Elf walked slowly to stand near the man, keeping his distance – a show of both fear and respect.

The moon was shining bright, but the trees circling the clearing threw their shadows over all who stood in the open, leaving them in darkness.

No Elf – Shannai being no exception – feared the dark, but being enclosed in darkness with this man made even Shannai glance around nervously. Thaíly always had that feel of terror around him. Maybe he had born with it, or simply developed such a thing to keep the intruders away from him. Shannai didn’t know, and actually he didn’t even wish to ask. Most likely the answer would not be to his liking, anyway.

“He is alive.”

Shannai jumped as the deep, raspy voice filled the night air. After collecting his wits again, Shannai merely snorted. Of course Thaíly knew. He knew everything. Or that kind of appearance the man gave of himself. “King Aragorn took him to Imladris to be taken care of.”

“Strider,” Thaíly corrected.

“He is Strider no longer, but think as you like.”

“You want me to go and look after Legolas.” It was a statement, not a question.

Shannai shrugged. “Yes. I don’t want anything to happen to him – after all he has been through. I would sleep my nights much more peacefully if I would know you are watching him – as you should.” There was a slight edge in Shannai’s voice.

“You wonder where I was during the attack? Why I wasn’t here to protect your Prince?”

Shannai stared at the man, for once thinking he was going to get some answers out of him. It proved to be a false hope.

“Where I was and what I did is none of your business, Elf.” Shannai’s shoulders slumped. “But worry not: I shall go to Imladris and make sure Legolas will be fine. After all, I was going to go after him anyway,” Thaíly said, rising from the place he had been sitting, dropping the hood of the cloak to his shoulders.

As the hood was removed, his features were revealed to Shannai, for the first time during their discussion. Not that Shannai would have wished to see the man’s face: he had faced him enough times to remember it.

Seeing Shannai’s reaction, Thaíly smiled, revealing his sharp, long eye-tooth. There were no wrinkles upon his pale face, and it could be easily seen that he had Elven blood in his veins. His eyes were dark as a starless night when the moon doesn’t shine, hair dark brown and slightly wavy, just reaching his shoulders. His body reminded the watcher more about a structure of well-build Men, but he had the agility of Elves. After all, he was half-blooded. Another one of his parents had been a Man, another an Elf. Only few knew his story further than that, Legolas being one of them.

When Thaíly had been but a child, a bat-like creature had bitten him, which were called vampires. When his parent noticed that the child was affected by this bite – beginning to change into something else – they abandoned him to the wild, not being able to kill him themselves. When Thaíly grew up, he learned how to take care of himself, slowly discovering his new abilities that made him be a monster among other Men. He lived like Rangers, wandering the lands alone, never befriending anyone.

Slowly, he became a killer. Perfect assassin, with one fault: he held allegiance to no one, not to man, not to money. No mercy he gave to any, for no mercy was given to him. ‘Blood-sucker’ he was called, even if he didn’t need to drink blood to survive.

That how he met Legolas and befriended the young Prince of Mirkwood was a great secret, and only few knew that tale. But many knew that the only one that had Thaíly’s allegiance was Legolas. Those who knew something about vampires said that Legolas’ blood was sacred to Thaíly: anyone who would harm Legolas and make him bleed, would pay with both his life and soul.

Shannai had never truly understood how Legolas was able to trust his life to the hands of this monster, but right now he had no alternative. Thaíly was the best choice to send to look after Legolas. The only choice…

Sighing, Shannai took a step back. “Don’t do anything stupid: I’m sure you will know what to do without scaring half of the Middle-earth out of its wits.”

Thaíly grimaced in return, as if Shannai would have just ruined some good plan of his. “Worry not, little Elf. If it is up to me, your Prince will return home in one peace.”

“And alive, I hope.”

“Don’t ask too much from men like me,” Thaíly laughed, his low voice making him sound like even more menacing. He walked to his horse, sliding his hand across the strong flanks. “What say you, Morisûl, shall we go? We have a long way to travel.”

The horse shook his head, pawing with his leg.

Smiling, Thaíly returned to the place he had been sitting, and took few packs from the ground, binding them across his horse’s back. Then he jumped lightly to Morisûl’s back, and encouraged the horse forward, leaving Shannai to stand alone in the shadows.

After Thaíly had ridden some miles, he realised he was being followed. Slowing down, he finally stopped his own steed, waiting for the arrival to catch him up.

Only a moment later a white horse galloped to Morisûl’s side, neighing happily. Morisûl welcomed the other one, and Thaíly patted Arod’s neck. “You decided to join us? Come on then, let’s go to see your master.”

Arod whinnied, lowering his head and touching Morisûl’s shoulder as if asking for permission to come. Morisûl snorted, tossing his tail, and touched Arod’s long grey nose with his own dark dun one.

“If you two are ready, we could keep going, or else we shall still be here as the next leaves fall. And then Legolas would have to survive without us.”

Hearing his rider’s name called, Arod tossed his head to a side, dancing aside restlessly, and then stopped again, neighing softly. Without further words, the horses shot forward, soon disappearing to the dark forest, the sounds of their hooves soon fading into the night.

to be continued…

Story Info