Of the Ardarians - kapitola 2

Napsal Morell Sunweaver (») 22. 7. 2020 v kategorii Povídky v angličtině, přečteno: 201×

“Don’t fear me, I do not intend to harm you.”
Thranduil didn’t trust him, although it seemed more truth, when he saw elf having broken hand in bandages and some sort of mechanism. Just a proof that he truly broke it.
“I can break more of your bones, if that’s what you want.”
“No. I just want you to trust me. I’m Dardanal.”
“Well, you started with that pretty wrong.” Said Thranduil.
Dardalan smiled and pointed at his broken hand: “Didn’t start the best yourself.”
“What do you want?”
“I want you to return with me, you need our care, Your sickness can still be very problematic.”
“I’m fine.” Thranduil didn’t like the elf somehow. “Leave me alone.”
“Don’t be silly, you’re confused, I’ll explain what I can but…”
Sharp tip of scythe on his neck silenced him.
“He told you to leave him alone, didn’t he?”
The pale elf was standing behind him.
Dardanal slowly turned on him, but remained silent. Thranduil got fascinated, how they pierced each other with their gazing eyes.
“Is your situation not bad enough already?” Dardanal asked.
Only now, watching both elves Thranduil saw that clothes of pale elf were worn and full of holes. It used to be noble and maybe ritual set of robes, but now it was faded and had too many signs of age and long wearing.
“Put it down,” said Dardanal calmly. “Not even you are allowed to execute me here like this.”
Without a word tip of the blade lowered and let Dardanal little space to move, but scythe was still very close to his neck. Dardanal played with something in his palm and then spoke in his language to pale elf. He seemed to be explaining something. Pale elf by sound of his words was not impressed. Thranduil could only guess why he hid his face in palm of his hand speaking something, which could only be curses. Using all strength he had left, Thranduil silently slipped away from sight of arguing elves…

The king wanted to get away from the Valley of the dead so he aimed for nearest hill. His body was slowly giving up, whatever was wrong with him. Maybe running away was not so great idea after all. Those elves might want to keep him alive? No, he won’t be part of any trade. It will wear off. Soon he stopped and leaned against the tree, when he saw a figure, someone was standing next to the small waterfall. Thranduil became curious and came closer. The stranger turned and walked to him. The king found stranger beautiful. Was it girl that he was longing for since he loose her?
He said few gentle words, then collapsed…


Thranduil felt weird, but he could tell that he felt better. The same room again. Of course. His body was refusing to co-operate, missing all the strength as if it were no longer his. The more reason to figure his way out of here.
This time it took several minutes before Thranduil managed to lift himself to sit. He was thirsty. But  forgot about that when he couldn’t lift up his right hand. There was manacle on on his hand, with short chain and other one was locked on the bed. They chained him to the bed to prevent another escape.
“Perfect,” he said silently and pulled with his hand. The chain was hard.
He turned at the sound, blonde elf was coming in with plate in his hands. He came in, put the plate on the table and grabbed a glass with water from it.
“I was afraid that you will never wake up. Are you thirsty?”
Thranduil was shocked. The elf was beautiful, brown eyes, straight blonde hair not much different from his own, but appeared very young, maybe barely adult. He appeared innocent to the king. When their eyes met, Thranduil got lost and just stared at the elf a while.
“That water…”
“Oh, right,” elf woke up too from their gazing and offered glass to Thranduil.
He was clever enough to keep holding it. Thranduil would surely drop it. Cold, but pure water tasted good and didn’t make the king sick at all.
“How do you feel?”
Thranduil wondered for few seconds if this is some sort of trick or an innocent elf send to him for some reason.
“Tired.” He admitted. “Where… where am I? And who are you?”
“Ah, true. My name. I’m Elaron, from house Ashbell. You?”
“Thranduil, fro royal house of Startree.”
“Glad to meet you,” Elaron smiled. “And you have nothing to fear. This is just House of healing.”
Thranduil pulled with his chained hand and made irritated face.
“You ran away, broke a hand of very influential Far-seer and almost died.” Elaron shrugged his shoulders. “You are considered dangerous now.”
The king made very irritated sound. “I’ll get very dangerous if I’ll remain chained here.”
Elaron lifted his hands and stepped back. “Don’t harm me. Easy, easy… You’re the only danger around here, really.”
“How dare you! You kidnap me and then hope to tame me?!” Thranduil got angry. “I swear, if you won’t set me free, then…” Elaron closed the door from outside... “you’re going to regret it! Big time! Do you hear me?! You’ll pay!”
Thranduil after few moments of angry breathing began to hear conversation going on just behind the doors. However he didn’t understand a word. Still it sounded like Elaron is talking with someone. And then came silence. They probably left. Once Thranduil became more sure of it, he started to examine manacle on his hand and began to try to get out of it. Despite being quite thin it was holding him too well. He couldn’t slip his hand through it.
The time was slowly passing, Thranduil was alone and each few moments looked around in growing uncertainty. Maybe he shouldn’t have yelled at the young elf. It was getting really disturbing to be alone. He got out of bed in stupid attempt to move it but his chained hand disallowed him to make single step from the bed and the bed was holding on place too well. There was no way he could move the bed and he was not able at all to get out of chains. In the end he just sat on the bed and waited. But for what? What can happen now? Oh yeah, they will tame him in the end. He will bend in time, if he won’t escape and he now had no way of escaping.
Time was getting longer and more boring, when Elaron finally returned.
“Are you calm now?”
“What do you want to do with me?”
“What? No, you’re not a prisoner here.” Elaron carefully came to him and grabbed his free hand. “You’re scared.” He seemed concern.
Thranduil looked amazed into his blown eyes, so beautiful. Soon they were gazing into each other’s soul again. It took another long moment before Thranduil realized hand holding his own. And that touch was so comforting for him. The king looked aside, red coming to his face. Feeling, he didn’t know for millennia…
“Don’t fear, everything will be alright. Please, can you trust me?”
“I… don’t know.”
“Don’t worry, when I’m around, you’re safe. Okay?”
Thranduil nodded. “I’ll… I’ll try.”
“I’ll find my father, he has keys of that manacles. But only if you promise that you won’t run away and won’t beat anyone.”
“Elaron, you can’t expect me to...”
“That’s his condition. He won’t change his mind.”
Thranduil hesitated and just looked nowhere.
“I’ll be with you as long as you need and now you need me a lot.” Said Elaron. “But I need you to trust me, please.”
“Alright. For now.”
Elaron smiled and that made Thranduil felt better.
“I’ll be right back…”

It didn’t took that long, when Elaron came back again with some cloths.
“You need to dress up, it is raining outside.”
“What? I can leave?”
“Ah, no, no. I just wanted to take you for a walk and food.” Elaron got little uneasy. “Please, don’t be angry at me.”
Thranduil hesitated a little, but the elf appeared uneasy and Thranduil didn’t like it. “Alright. But only for you.”
Elaron smiled a little, put clothes on the bed and after few seconds got a key from his pocket. Thranduil was surprised. Elaron didn’t remove mancle from his hand but unlocked the one on the bed.
“Now dress.” With that Elaron turned to the door and waited.
Thranduil got back to his senses after a moment. “Wait, that manacle…”
“Is not going down. Please… I can’t wait here all day.”
The king shacked his head in disbelief, but then took on the robe. Elaron took the free manacle and put it on his own hand. Then he led Thranduil outside. The king decided to leave it without any comment. Outside there were two guards waiting and followed them.
“Why I’m not surprised…” Thranduil whispered to himself.

The soup felt somehow weird in his stomach and tasted nothing like he knew. From his place in eating room Thranduil could see rain outside. The evening was coming.
“Where are we?” Asked Thranduil suddenly.
“I’ve told you, House of healing.”
“No, I mean… Where are we? I didn’t recognize a single plant or tree in the forest. And I do not recognize the style of buildings in this… town. How far can we be from Mirkwood?” Thranduil looked at Elaron, who seemed bit confused. “Elaron? Is something wrong?”
“No, but… The city is Heragel, it is main town here on this part of the world. Most elves are scattered in small villages among vast and deep forests.” Elaron said somehow uneasy.
“Elaron, how did I get here? If I wasn’t kidnapped, then how did this all happened to me?”
“I wish I knew, Thranduil. But I do not.”
“Are there other elves like me?”
“No, none I know about.”
Thranduil thought for a moment and reminded pale elf. “And Ardarians? Are here any?”
“Ardarians? I did hear that somewhere… I don’t know... are you Ardarian?”
“I can call myself that… I guess so.” Thranduil turned silent and was eating his meal. It didn’t taste well, but he was hungry.
It was better to feel his stomach filled with food. But what now? A black haired elf got Thranduil’s attention. It was the same elf whose hand he broke. But… his eyes, back then brown, were now pure white. Ha was blind… but how could blind elf move around so fine? He walked around every chair in his way as if he could see. In this warrior dress and milk-eyed he looked even scarier to Thranduil. And he was coming to him and sat at the same table, his gaze locked at Thranduil.
“Don’t fear him.” Whispered Elaron. “He can sense your fear.”
“Uhm…” Thranduil hesitated and looked at Elaron. “Dardanal, is it you?”
“He can’t understand you.” young elf smiled. “But yes, it is him.”
Dardanal for some reason smiled. Maybe he did understand after all? He started to speak with Elaron. Thranduil soon became annoyed and pulled with his chained hand.
“What is it?” Elaron asked.
“Can I go to the window? Your friend is freaking me out. I won’t run away. I promise.”
“I can’t just let you…”
“You wanted me to trust you, but I want you to trust me as well.”
Elaron hesitated, said something in another language, then unlocked manacle on his hand.
Dardanal apparently protested and Elaron didn’t stay behind. Thranduil sighted and went to the window. Window was from the ceiling to the floor and filled entire wall. The king had clear sight on the park in front of the house as well as some more houses and forest, despite heavy rain. Somehow he could feel the fresh air from outside, the room must had good ventilation. Here, by the windows he could smell it much better, almost as if there was no glass in front of him. Where is this city? How far from the sea? From his home? He turned at Elaron and other elf. Both were observing him, but were speaking together, letting him to have space. Elaron was probably correct. There was nothing to fear here. Well… at least for now. And Elaron… So beautiful elf… Looking at that elf was messing with Thranduil’s head. It was getting harder to get that elf out of his thoughts. Thranduil was confused by the fact that he actually desired that young elf. How was that even possible?
That was something he didn’t expect at all. This place was so strange and distant. And yet there was his elf… Thranduil turned to the window and looked outside. The Sun was slowly reaching the horizon, where was clear sky and light was getting through. Only the sunlight felt somehow familiar and yet distant. Nothing here was like Middle-earth… maybe not even Arda. It took some time for Thranduil to get through that idea. It was making him dizzy. He hid face in his hand. Ringing of chain got him back to present. Manacles made his thoughts even dizzier.
In the reflection of the window he saw the blind Dardanal. The king turned, he was standing right next to him. By waving his head he clearly told Thranduil to follow him. With a sight Thranduil nodded and followed him. Elaron joined them and grabbed the free manacle, but did not lock it around his hand. Thranduil checked the guards, they were following too. Of course.
“He’s taking you to your room. Healer insisted that you stay here for three days before we can take you home.”
Elaron smiled but Thranduil was not sure. They were going somewhere else. This time however it was much nicer room, window, fresh air, bed, and behind the door was nice bathroom.
“Ehm… I don’t know what to say.” Thranduil hesitated.
“Just stay here and don’t freak out when the healer comes to check you. She won’t harm you…”
Thranduil nodded and with bow Elaron left the room. Dardanal gave Thranduil look that reminded him of Elrond when he found, that the twins colored his hair red. The point was clear to Thranduil. Don’t do anything stupid or you have problem with me. Then Dardanal made a gest: “give me that.” He was looking at his hands. The king carefully offered him hand with manacles and elf grabbed it and hid it in his pocked, not even needing a key. But he didn’t let go of Thranduil’s hand. He put a triangual something, cold metal triangle on his palm and covered it with his own.
“You’re going to need this. Have it with you any time you speak with elves. It’s a translator. Very disrespectful among elves to use translator instead of your own language talent, but it is tolerated for newcomers to have them for some time.”
“Newcomers? You mean… am I not alone who came here like this?”
Dardanal took a moment to think about the answer. Then made unsure move. “Not really like you. Elves come and leave various ways. But I don’t know anyone who got here the way you did.”
“And that is how?”
Dardanal hesitated. “I’ll tell you later. Now get some sleep if you can…” With that he left.
“Wait!”
It was no use. Dardanal was gone. Thranduil sighted and went to the bathroom. It took short time to figure out the system of water in shower, but cold water was peasant and he needed it. Only strange thing was that he found short red line on his belly, like from a cut, itching under water like hell. It felt better sitting on the bed clean and in new clothes, although still some sort of night dress. The sky outside was turning clean and beautiful black, filled with stars. What?. Two moons? And the star constellations were strange as well. He couldn’t recognize any and he knew them well. Like all eldar he loved Varda’s stars and knew them by memory. But these were placed different. Still, gazing at the stars was strangely beautiful and finally something that was familiar and good.
For the first time from that ugly wake up Thranduil felt that there is hope and not everything can be that bad. There were the stars… and Elaron… he must solve that out. It was unbelievable that he was attracted to that child. No. He turned his attention to the stars again… this is somehow a good night…

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