@szhismine : You are hopeless at this cliffhanger thing! Ha! Ha!
@Volcanic Plug : Sorry. No blood. I'm quite squeamish these days. Yerk!
@Kayo : You evil-crevil you! You really hate all my villains, do you? LOL!
@Stephanie Lou : I know why we still read fanfics! Because it's FREE!! (In my opinion, that is)
@LegolasLover2003 : BINGO! That's exactly what happens next, mellon! You are Legolas' new bodyguard? Err…good luck!
@Karina : Dior will wish he'd die, that's for sure! And you summed it up quite good about the whole Maeglin thing! Yes, girl, I used water. Hey, it's the same thing, right? Both are liquid! Luthwen is smart for a young lady. Who would want to be stuck with an ill-tempered husband later on? And THANK YOU for the constructive pointers there, mellon! Love you. I'll keep them all in mind. P/S : My mother tongue is Malay. I'm a purebred Malay girl from Malaysia.
@Kris : I know how you feel! He! He! Stupid stupid stupid stupid Dior!
@Fire Breathing Ferret : You are high on SUGAR?!! Hey, mate, you should rush yourself to a nearby hospital somewhere before the ants swarm all over you!
@MoroTheWolfGod : Tissue? No thank you. I have tons of them with me!
@Irish QT : What are you writing there? A plan to kill the writer?
@feanen : Legolas' ghost? Ha! Ha! Now you've just given me a story plot for the Halloween!
@Sorceress Of Sangolia : Okay, okay! I'm posting!
@namarie2legolas : Hawkeye's age is a mystery. Why? Because he has a secret that will be disclosed in a near future (Check out 'Time After Time' later on). Oh, and about that 'bitch' thing, yeah, he! he! I'm glad you find it funny. A picture of baby Legolas? Please send it to me after it's finished! Please, I beg you! Review section as a message board? Err…no comment. ;)
@Deana : Oh yes, he's a psycho.
@Lisseyelen aka Lady V : Yes, girl. Savvy. Oh, come here, mellon. Let me give you a hug! Thank you for defending me! (That makes me feel as if we're Legolas and Kel somehow.) And yes, Kel is going to kick some ass!
@DiamondD : Call the 'Kementerian Hal Ehwal Wanita dan Kanak-kanak' also! Baru padan dengan muka Dior! Yes, let's form a Big Sisters Club! I read 'The Silmarrillion' ages ago that I almost forgot all the facts! (I'll go read it again…and suffer.) Hmmm…dwarves as Thranduil's prisoners? I'm thinking! I'm thinking!
@bunny-luver : Dior will be very unlucky indeed. He will be in very deep sh#t!!!
@purplesmackers : Batman and robin and Batgirl? LMAO! Yes. Mirkwood palace would make a very nice Batcave!
@Leggylulu : More prequels coming up!
Thank you, thank you!!! And now, the conclusion.
"Your highness, your mind is elsewhere," Commander Linden spoke, staring down at Keldarion who lay prone on the ground, having been beaten once again in his sword training that day. Picking up the sword which had gotten thrown away in his fall, the prince sighed and accepted Linden's outstretched hand. The commander helped pull the young elf to his feet.
"I'm sorry, Linden. Let's continue," said Keldarion, checking his stance and tried to gather a full concentration.
But the commander shook his head. "Not until you're completely focused, your highness. You've fallen onto your back three times already, which is highly unusual, and that might've cost you your head. Is something bothering you?"
Keldarion lowered his sword in defeat. Linden was right. He had not been concentrating. His mind had kept straying to his little brother, wherever the brat is. "It's Legolas. Something is frightening him but I don't know what."
Linden's raised his eyebrows. "I should've known. That child has always been your first priority. You're spoiling him, my prince."
Keldarion grinned sheepishly. "I just can't help it. He's so cute and adorable! Just don't tell him I said that! He hates to be called 'cute'!"
Linden chuckled. He knew that the real reason for Keldarion's doting upon Legolas was the deep love he felt for his brother. Everyone could see that. Then the commander frowned when he realized what the prince had said, "He is frightened, your highness? What makes you say that?"
Keldarion told the head of Mirkwood warrior about the incident last evening. "He wouldn't stop shaking even when I held him in my arms and rocked him to sleep. He was too distraught to even take his dinner." Keldarion also remembered how his brother had snapped awake several times during the night with wild fear in his eyes, then the elfling would hug him tighter and sob against his neck. "Big-Worm's escape would not upset him like that. Something else did."
A gust of wind suddenly swept through the training field, causing them to stand perfectly still. Always aligned with the nature surrounding Mirkwood, Keldarion could read the message that the sighing breeze was trying to tell him. "Oh no," he muttered. "Legolas!"
As the prince took off towards the direction of the back yard stream, Commander Linden immediately fell in his steps.
Dior was losing all reason. He was not thinking clearly, led only by emotions that were dangerously out of his control. And the little elven prince had become the unlucky victim.
Legolas was growing weaker. His struggles were waning as pain and impending death overcame his terror and fear. He couldn't tell how long Dior had repeatedly dunked him underwater, and he no longer cared. He just wanted to sleep.
Then came the loudest and angriest roar he had ever heard. Keldarion.
Dior didn't know what had hit him. One minute he was pushing Legolas' head down, but then the next moment he found himself swimming for surface. He looked around and saw the Mirkwood crown prince picking up his brother's limp body off the water and relinquished the semi-conscious elfling into the care of an equally angry elven warrior.
Before Dior could say anything, Keldarion had reached back for him and yanked him out of the stream onto dry ground. When he started to rise, the prince kicked him hard at his stomach.
"Don't move!" Keldarion yelled in fury. He turned around for a moment to check on his brother, looking at the little prince all over. "You all right, brat?"
Legolas could not reply, he was crying and gasping so hard. That made Keldarion even more furious. Without a word, he snatched the sword from Linden's hand and tossed it at Dion's way before picking up his own sword from the ground.
"K…Kel…" Seeing this, Legolas became very frightened. He remembered what Dion had told him he would do. Their cousin was several hundred years older than Keldarion and obviously knew the skill of the blade. "He…he will kill you. He…had said so."
Linden hugged the elfling closer to him. "Hush, my prince. Your brother knows what he is doing."
Like Linden said, Keldarion certainly knew what he was about to do. He wanted his cousin to pay for what he had done to Legolas just now. He finally understood what had caused his brother's strange fear. Dior must have done something to his brother and threatened him not to tell.
As soon as he grasped the sword, Dior lunged. Keldarion was more than ready. He might be younger, but the prince was the better swordsman while Dior had lacked of practice. Legolas cringed and hid his face against the crook of Linden's neck as the two young elves clashed swords. The sound of steel hitting steel was eerily frightening and the little prince dared not watch.
Linden noted that Keldarion had regained his concentration, which had fled him during his training just now. The prince swung his sword gracefully with full determination, never letting his eyes off Dior. He attacked and charged in succession, forcing Dior into defensive. His cousin didn't even have the chance to charge back, so powerful Keldarion's attacks were in his blinding rage.
Dior tried to dodge Keldarion's thrust but he misjudged his step and went stumbling to the ground, the sword fell off his grip. He stared in horror at the prince's sharp pointed blade that was mere inches away from his throat.
"Keldarion! What's going on here?" The king of Mirkwood suddenly appeared. Someone had just informed him of the commotion by the stream. Keldarion looked up and saw that the altercation had attracted some curious spectators. They were staring and whispering excitedly, wondering about what had really happened.
Glancing briefly at Thranduil, Keldarion took Legolas from Linden and cradled the still sobbing elfling against his heart. He then curtly indicated Dior lying sprawled on the ground. "Ask him," Keldarion said shortly before he whirled around and headed for the palace, his handsome face grim and furious.
Dior dared to raise his head to look straight at the king, and immediately wished he hadn't. Thranduil's face was a blank mask, but his eyes were glinting dangerously and the vein in his neck was visibly throbbing. Somehow, the king had figured out the entire situation.
"Speak," Thranduil ordered softly, yet Linden and the others could detect the great wrath that the king was trying very hard to contain.
On the ground, Dior could only gulp nervously, knowing that his fate was already doomed.
Legolas was not in his chamber when Thranduil sought him there. But the king knew the exact place to look for him next. He headed for Keldarion's.
Sure enough, he found his youngest child cradled in his eldest son's arms, fast asleep from exhaustion. Keldarion was standing on the balcony, swaying gently to the lullaby he was humming as his hand lovingly stroked the back of Legolas' head that rested against his shoulder.
The prince turned at his father's approach. "I don't want to see Dior's face again, father," Keldarion said through gritted teeth, obviously still angry. "If I do, I swear I'll kill him, cousin or not!"
Legolas stirred slightly at his brother's agitated voice. Thranduil reached up to soothingly pat the little prince's back, now enveloped with fresh dry tunic. The elfling went still once again. "I know what you mean, Kel. I could barely stop myself from breaking his neck, Valar help me! I was this close from making your Uncle Maeglin childless!"
There was an uncomfortable silence for several moments before Keldarion spoke, "Does Uncle Maeglin know about this?"
Thranduil nodded. "I have no other choice but to banish them both from this realm, never to set foot in here again. If Dior was not kin, I would have gladly executed him!"
Keldarion walked back inside towards the bed and settled Legolas down among the pillows and coverlet. Legolas sighed contentedly, as if knowing he was now safe from any more threats or harm. Keldarion stared down at his brother, sadness and regret clouding his features. "Legolas just told me that Dior locked him in a closet yesterday," the prince said softly. "Big-Worm did not escape. Dior had knocked the snake out of Legolas' hand in his anger. Somehow, he blames Legolas for his doomed love with one of the Mirkwood maidens."
Thranduil was stunned. "Why didn't he tell us?"
"Why? Because Dior had warned him that he'd kill us both if Legolas did! Oh father, I can't believe someone would do such a thing to a child! And towards Legolas of all people!"
Thranduil grasped his son's shoulder and felt the tensing muscle there. "Peace, Keldarion. Dior won't set foot in Mirkwood and harm Legolas again, I swear." The king then sat down bedside his sleeping child and trailed his fingers down the elfling's downy cheek. "Never again."
The next day found Thranduil leading his youngest child by the hand towards the practice field. Keldarion and the Mirkwood warriors were already there since early morning for their daily training. Seeing them coming, the crown prince abandoned his exercise to join them as the Mirkwood king approached Linden who stood watching the warriors' progress nearby.
"Linden, my son has something to say to you."
The elven commander looked straight at Legolas, smiled, and got down to one knee. "Yes, my prince?"
"Teach me," said Legolas, a little timidly.
"Teach you what, your highness?"
"Please, teach me how to fight. I hate to be such a stupid weakling!"
Linden placed a hand on Legolas' shoulder, gazing at the prince proudly. "Your highness, not knowing how to fight doesn't mean that you are a stupid weakling. It only means that you are defenseless. So for starters, I'll be honored to teach you the skill of self-defense. Then, I'll train you to be a warrior, like I've promised."
"As good as Kel?"
"Yes, as good as your brother, and might be even better if you're a good student."
Legolas threw his arms around Linden's neck. "Thank you, Linden!
The commander chuckled as Thranduil and Keldarion laughed at the scene. "You're welcome, my prince," Linden announced, smiling widely at the elfling. He gestured for a warrior to come forward. "But first, go practice your shooting with Béregund. And make you sure you don't hit any innocent bystanders!"
The prince just giggled in response as he grabbed Béregund's hand and pulled the warrior towards the shooting field. Béregund's face was a mixture of horror and panic when he was dragged away by the manyan prince. Legolas had only started his archery lessons last week, and his aim was still too hazardous for comfort.
Linden straightened up, still gazing at Legolas' retreating form. "The woodland guard has reported that Maeglin and Dior have left the Mirkwood boundary," he said quietly.
Thranduil nodded, glancing briefly at Keldarion. The elder prince was already clenching his fists at the mere mention of his cousin's name.
"Good riddance!" Keldarion exclaimed. "I do not trust myself not to kill him if I…" He took a deep breath, trying to calm down. The fury was still brewing hot within him. Keldarion shook his head as he spoke again, "But poor Uncle Maeglin though for having such a son that gives him shame and disgrace."
Thranduil pulled Keldarion to his side, resting one arm over Keldarion's shoulder. "Maeglin is an unlucky father. But I know I'm blessed to have you and Legolas," the king said with pride. "I'm so proud of you two."
The prince gazed up at his father and smiled back. "As do I, father."
Suddenly, came Béregund's shrill cry from the shooting field. Linden was already running as he had witnessed what had just transpired. "That child had aimed for Béregund's foot….and he did not miss!" the commander told the two royalties, chuckling.
Keldarion and Thranduil looked at each other, rolled their eyes and broke into laughter. "It's a good thing that Legolas is a manyan healer," Keldarion said as they ran after Linden towards the crowd that was already forming at the field. "Or we might lose our warriors in a frightening pace!"
"Your brother and his bow," Thranduil responded, shaking his head in amusement. "Thank the Valar he still can't lift the swords yet or he might have beheaded himself!"
Legolas grinned when his family drew near. "See? I've told you I'm good with bow and arrows! I'm now the most fearsome prince in Middle Earth!"
Béregund, who was sitting on the ground and favoring the foot that Legolas had just healed back to health, smiled weakly at the prince. "Indeed you are, your highness. Indeed you are!"THE END
There goes another one! A short one but quite…err…controversial, based on the reviews I received. And I almost gave up with this series, almost, because certain reviews had made me feel so…I don't know, inept? But thanks to your support and encouragements and constructive pointers, I'm still here. I don't want to disappoint those of you who like the 'feel-good' stories that I've come out with since 'The Evil Bride', so I will keep writing until you tell me to stop or I run out of idea (Even if I drop dead suddenly, I'll try to write from the grave……Sorry. Halloween's joke. He! He! ).
(NOTE : If anyone of you feels that my stories are not good enough for your reading, I suggest that you read the wonderful fics done by my favorite authors like Thundera Tiger, M.N.Theis, Jocelyn, Ithilien, Shaan Lien and Cassia. They are great, and their creations are more in depth and very, very powerful. Don't bother complaining about the 'immature' style of my writing anymore. I could not possibly fulfill all your demands for I'm just one person, while the readers out there are more than a million. So I did it my way. Either you love it or you hate it. Read it if you like, leave it if you detest. It's as easy as that. Savvy?) ^_^
As tradition, here are the faithful reviewers in alphabetical order; Ailsa; angelbird12241; Aredhe1314; Aranel of Mirkwood; bloodkittie; bunny-luver; Cathryn64; cherryfaerie; Deana; DiamondD; ElvenEyes; feanen; Fire Breathing Ferret; Gwyn; HalandLeg4ever; I-like-chickens; Irish QT; Karina; Kayo; Kris; Layla146; Leggylulu; Legolas_gurl; LegolasLover2003; Lisseyelen aka Lady V; Lucy; MoroTheWolfGod; namarie2legolas; Nikki1; Manders1953; Menthol; miekje ; purplesmackers; RuByMoOn17; Sailor Elf; Sorceress-Of-Sangolia; Sparrow Greenleaf; Starlit Hope; Stephanie Lou; Sundiata; szhismine; twinlakesgrl; Volcanic Plug; Wilwarin
Everyone, Terima Kasih (THANK YOU )!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dear Meagan my beta, you're my savior. Thank you, girl!
As I had mentioned several times earlier, the coming fics will be 'Thranduil's Forgotten Oath' and 'Trouble In Telcontar'. When? As early as November, I hope. The rest of the series are also waiting in line.
So, see you soon!!!