A/N Okay, I started this chapter about two months ago and have finally gotten to update it based on a review from SPUW Commander and so you should thank them if you are pleased with this development.
A warning to Legolas/Aragorn/Faramir fans, this chapter is mostly about Thranduil and is a demonstration of how incredibly mad he is now.
Thranduil set a quick pace as they made their way to Minas Tirith, his face set in a grim path that was usually saved for war against orcs. The elven king was beyond angry or even furious so hot the blood in his veins boiled. Just the thought of Aragorn selling his son for a few mere mortals set fire to his volatile temper and woe be he that stood in Thranduil's way now.
From his own spot, Voldaril was trying his hardest to keep his face free of all smugness and condescension as he watched his former king fume at his side. This was just the reaction he had been hoping for from Thranduil and he was delighted beyond description to see all of his plans coming to their proper ends.
Their pace grew even more fervent as the shining white gem that was Minas Tirith shimmered in the pale glow of early morning. This is it, thought the fallen elf gleefully. Ellessar will never know what hit him.
Faramir didn't bother to repress his relief at seeing Aragorn enter the camp site. The longer the man had stayed in there, the more the steward questioned his sanity when he had allowed his king to go into the lair of the enemy without backup or any knowledge of the fortress's layout. "Thank the Valar," he said, clasping the king's arm.
"What, you didn't trust me?" Aragorn asked, laughing at the relief on the younger man's face.
"Can you blame me for not?" asked Faramir. "You are my king and I've heard the stories."
Aragorn sobered at the comment. "I truly am sorry," he said. "It's just that I didn't trust anyone else with the task. After all, I, as one that has been a ranger more than sixty years, was the most qualified for the task."
Faramir sighed in frustration. "Yes, you're right about that," he said, "but that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it."
Aragorn laughed. "I would certainly hope not otherwise I'd fear that my steward no longer held me in his favor," he said directing a warm smile at his friend.
There was a slight pause in the conversation before Faramir said, "So, what did you find out, Aragorn?" he asked anxiously. "Was Legolas there? Does the prince still live?"
"He was there," said Aragorn, not wishing to elaborate, but knowing he must if they were to save Legolas. "But he is badly hurt and buried underground, we must act quickly if we are to save him, for I have a feeling that, if we wait until these orcs' master returns, we may never be able to get him out of that damned hole."
Faramir nodded morosely, grieved at the news of the elf's injured state. "Then we shall form a plan and act on it as soon as possible," he said, his resolve evident in his tone.
Aragorn nodded, a lock of fierce determination on his face. Blood would be spilled soon and they would get his friend back.
"My Lady?" Arwen looked up at the voice and smiled at the sight of her young attendant. "Some riders are approaching the city bearing the colors of Mirkwood, amongst them is King Thranduil."
Arwen's smile left her face at that. "Does he request an audience by any chance?" she asked tentatively, hoping that Thranduil would at least delay the explosion that was about to occur.
"I'm afraid he does, My Lady," said the maid looking at the queen with sympathy. Thranduil's temper was the stuff of legend even before his son's heroic part in the War of the Ring thrust him into the conscious minds of the mortal world. She would hate to be in her lady's place right now, for she would hate to take the brunt of his anger that he surely must hold due his son's capture within Gondorian borders.
Arwen sighed, apparently gathering her wits about her before she stood from her seat where she had been writing a letter to her dear brothers and left to see to the King of Eryn Lasgallen.
"Lord Thranduil?" Thranduil abruptly stopped his pacing and spun on his heal at the voice of the Evenstar. He quickly composed himself, however, not wishing to show his surprise at being met by the lady instead of her husband.
"Lady Arwen," he said curtly glancing about the room to see if Aragorn had arrived through some other entrance. Not seeing him, he turned to the she-elf. "Where is your husband?" he asked icily. "I think he owes me an explanation for this treachery."
Arwen's own temper lit at that. "How dare you?" she cried indignantly. "Ever has my husband been an ally to your people, especially Legolas! How dare you label my love so!"
"Well what would you call it then, Undomiel?" shouted Thranduil. "My son's captivity is his doing!"
"You can not put the blame for this incident on his shoulders Thranduil!" Arwen replied all thought of decorum lost at Thranduil's accusation.
"WATCH ME!" roared Thranduil, his face flushing. "Now," he said with hardly more restraint than his previous comment, "I will ask you again, where is your husband?"
Arwen's face was considerably flush itself after the argument, though her anger had been stemmed somewhat by the shock of the completeness of Thranduil's anger. "He is exactly where his heart is, looking for your son!"
This gave Thranduil pause, but the elf quickly recovered. "Yes, I'm sure his guilt has driven him from the safety and comfort of these halls to search out my son who he left to torment and perhaps death," he said.
"Thranduil Oropherion, if you insist on insulting my husband so, I swear that I will have you, king or no, thrown out of this city without remorse," said Arwen boldly, squaring her shoulder and staring down the older elf.
"I WILL LEAVE," cried Thranduil, "WHEN YOU TELL ME WHERE I MAY FIND THE RANGER!"
"So you can explode at him?" asked Arwen angrily.
"I THINK I HAVE THE RIGHT TO!"
Arwen sighed, the argument wearying her. "I give up," she said with resignation. She was just no match for the infamous arguing abilities of Thranduil. "He is in Ithilien. He's gone to meet Lord Faramir and they were going to join forces to rescue your son. That is also where the elves that have survived the massacre have taken up if you would like to see them as well."
"Ithilien?" repeated Thranduil. At Arwen's nod, he promptly turned on his heal and left the hall with out so much as a nod farewell.
Voldaril was waiting just outside the doors desperately disguising his gleeful smile under his hood in the presence of the Tower Guard. When Thranduil exited with that purposeful stride that was so often the king's gate, he quickly moved to walk at his side.
"So?" he said with false interest.
"We go to Ithilien," said Thranduil curtly, his gaze a dark as his companion's heart.
A/N Okay, this is a gift to all of you that have remained faithful to me in my long breaks between chapters. If I get ten reviews for this chapter, I'll update within a week of getting my tenth review even if it's bad.
Thank you all of you that have read this it is always appreciated.
Peace until next time,