Deana You're back as the 1st reviewer!
Acacia59601 Bikini mud wrestling? Hmmm. Now I can't help picturing something interesting in my mind. Something very dirty.
Milisa Yep. You and your big mouth. LOL! But you need not worry anymore. That was the last cliffie in this story, I promise you.
Seylin I can't read Latin either. But I can read Arabic, though not very fluent.
Leralonde I was drooling while writing those wet-Leggy scene. He he he..
Bessie1 You just returned from oversea? Where have you been?
MCross All will be well, I guarantee you. IBM in KL? Oh, I know that building! The blue one in color, right?
KeluinLossehilin If you mean Orli's pics so, yes, I've received them. As usual, he's gorgeous! Thanks!
Sailor Elf : Put down your bazooka, mate. You won't need it. Not after this chapter.
Legosgurl Happy Valentine's Day to you too!
And now, the showdown of the two manyans continues.
Err…did I tell you that this is the finale?
"STAY AWAY FROM HIM!" yelling in fury, Legolas unsteadily leaped to his feet and charged at Galdor.
The dark manyan spun and quickly bent down to retrieve the lance that Keldarion had dropped. He raised the weapon high to stab through Keldarion's belly, but Legolas came running at him in full tilt, tackling him around the waist.
The two manyans went down in a tangle of arms and legs. Amid grunts and growls, they grappled about for the lance. Biting down an oath, Legolas freed one hand and stabbed two fingers into Galdor's left eye.
Galdor hollered. He pulled back to frantically rub his smarting eyeball. Legolas brought his knees to his chest and kicked hard, sending Galdor sprawling. Rolling over, Legolas hastily reached out and snatched the lance. He jumped to his feet, stood above Galdor, and jerked down the lance.
Legolas watched in increasing dismay when the tip of the lance simply bounced off Galdor's chest, causing no harm at all to the dark manyan. He stabbed down again but Galdor caught the lance and held it a tight grip, grinning wickedly at the prince.
"No blade can cut me, boy. But this blade can kill you!"
Galdor swiped his leg, catching Legolas behind the knees. The prince fell, but he quickly jumped and twisted away when Galdor also rose, swinging the deadly tip of the lance towards his head. Unfortunately for Legolas, he was not moving fast enough. The blade sliced down his torso, leaving a long trail of bleeding cut starting from his left shoulder down to his belly, almost reaching his navel.
Crying out in anguish, the prince stumbled to his knees. Sneering menacingly, Galdor swung the lance again to make the next cutting blow.
"Legolas, catch!" Keldarion suddenly cried out, throwing his brother his sword.
Legolas instantly looked up. Ignoring his pain, he reached out, caught the blade in mid-air and raised it to block Galdor's powerful thrust, just in time before the lance could jab into his throat. The force of the two clashing blades reverberated down Legolas' tired arms, causing him to drop back to his haunches. Galdor pressed on and lashed out a kick that hit the prince across the face.
Legolas flung backwards, still clutching his sword. Galdor rushed over and stabbed down the lance. Groaning miserably, Legolas quickly rolled out of harm's way. Somehow, he managed to get back onto his feet, albeit unsteadily. His clothes ripped and bloodied, the manyan prince glared at Galdor through a tunnel-like vision. He felt like he was about to pass out, so he vigorously shook himself awake.
"You can't beat me, boy." Grinning, Galdor's eyes skimmed Legolas' pitiful state, up and down. "I give you one more chance. Admit defeat now and die a quick death."
Legolas was so very much in pain that the proposal sounded like a big relief, a great temptation. He was so tired all he could think of was sleep. Weakening, he almost dropped his sword, offered his neck to Galdor and waited for the fatal blow. But then, he thought of his brother and father. He also thought of his home, his people and the forest of Mirkwood.
What would become of them if I let Galdor kill me?
Legolas' silver eyes glinted as his anger slowly replaced his exhaustion. "Never, Galdor," he spat. "If you want me dead, you have to fight for it."
Galdor's grin disappeared. "As you wish."
His face grim, the dark manyan swiped his arm, sending bolts of powerful wave towards Legolas. Like before, the wave merely passed the prince by, but he was clutching his brother's heavy sword. The strong energy carried off the steel blade. And Legolas—still gripping the sword—was thrown away too.
Legolas was airborne for several moments before he landed against something hard and cold, knocking the breath of him. Pain jabbed all over his body. His head swam. Someone was frantically crying out to him, warning him of a coming danger.
Kel's voice, he thought dizzily. But what danger?
With much difficulty, he slowly raised his head, blinking the haze out of his vision. He found himself sprawled facedown atop a still mound. He squinted.
It was a carcass of a horse, one of the guards' horses, most probably.
Hmm, he thought. Its fur's so soft but cold. Pure white. Very beautiful. Too bad it's dead. Who killed it?
"LEGOLAS!" Keldarion was yelling again.
Legolas moaned. He really wanted his brother to shut his trap and just let him sleep. To his exasperation, though, everybody else began shouting too, telling him to get up, telling him that Galdor was coming to spear his guts…
That perked him up. His eyes flew open—he didn't even realize he had closed them—and saw the dark manyan saunter lazily towards him.
Alarmed, Legolas forced himself to rise, but he couldn't seem to tell his legs to cooperate. His hands grappled about, searching for Keldarion's sword. The blade lay ten feet away, completely out of his reach. He was trapped, death his only escape.
The malicious sneer that Legolas hated so much was back on Galdor's face as the dark manyan stood before him. Still holding the lance, Galdor chuckled. "You are such a worthy opponent, boy. A pity that I have to kill you."
"Why?" The prince croaked, leaning further against the horse's side with his face turned away. He couldn't stand to look at his adversary anymore.
Galdor leaned closer. "You know why. There can only be one of us. I hate to share this universe with another manyan like you."
"I know that…but why?" Legolas urged Galdor to talk. A plan had come to him, his last resort to destroy Galdor, once and for all. He placed his palms against the flesh of the carcass, using his entire energy to draw out the icy death of the horse into his own body.
It was a very tricky technique, the one that he had learnt by accident the previous summer when he had been forced by a group of rebelling humans to heal a dead man back to life. Of course, the man stayed dead. Legolas was a healer, not God. In fact, the attempt had nearly cost him his life when the dead man's mortality had tried to drag him under—like what the carcass was doing to him now.
"Why?" Unaware to what Legolas was really doing, Galdor knelt near the fallen prince. "Like, why is there only one moon and one sun? Well, the answer is simple. I fancy being the mightiest of all, to be peerless. It's the grandest feeling, believe me. You should try it."
"Tried it. Hated it," Legolas gasped. He was very white now, death already filling his system.
Keldarion, who watched the exchange from several yards away, realized in horror what was truly happening. His eyes wide, he sent panicked glances towards his father and Gandalf.
The white shall feel death…
"By the Valar…" Thranduil was equally stricken when he finally understood the meaning of the prophecy.
Gandalf squeezed the king's shoulder, his eyes never straying from the two manyans. "Yet, only the white shall live, my lord," the wizard whispered into the king's ear, giving Thranduil the much needed hope.
Galdor was frowning when Legolas refused to meet his eyes. "Look at me when I'm talking to you, boy!"
The lance at the ready in one hand, the dark manyan jerked at the prince's torn sleeve and rolled him over. To everyone's surprise, Legolas twisted and shot upward with a yell, grabbing at Galdor's throat in a choking hold. Screaming in agony, Galdor struggled like mad. He desperately clawed at his neck as he felt the powerful channel of icy death that Legolas was pushing into his body.
"Now you look at me when I'm talking to you!" Legolas growled, tightening his grip. His eyes flashed like burning silver, his sodden hair flew about his head in the sudden wind. "There can be only one manyan, Galdor. And that manyan is a healer, not a killer. Go back to your dark world. You are not welcome here."
Grimacing, Galdor made the attempt to stab Legolas with his lance. As if receiving new energy, the prince freed one hand and knocked at the blade, sending it skittering away. Jerking and hollering and kicking, Galdor tried hard to release himself. But Legolas wouldn't let him go. He held on, waiting until all sign of death had left his own body, transferred entirely into Galdor's.
Then, the inevitable happened. Something exploded at the back of Galdor's neck, spraying blood and broken pieces of something shiny all over Legolas. Those shiny particles were once the stone of manya. With the healing stone destroyed, so was Galdor's power.
The prince let go. He rolled into a ball and covered his head when the dark manyanbegan to disintegrate right in front of him, one body part after another. Galdor screamed and screamed until his voice faded into nothingness. Shortly after, there was silence—long and peaceful stillness that was so eerie it was unnerving.
Keldarion stared. There was no sign of Galdor. On the ground, where the dark manyanhad been, was a pile of dark ashes. It took the wind no time to blow at the ashes and scattered them away.
Galdor was completely gone. And Legolas was still on the ground, whimpering and trembling hard.
"Ai, Legolas…" Stumbling to his feet, Keldarion limped towards his brother. Dropping to the ground, he pulled the younger elf into his arms, squeezed him tight, and rocked him gently. "It's over. He's gone. You've made it, Legolas. It's finally over."
Legolas couldn't speak. Tears were streaming down his face, but he gave out no sound except for the pitiful whimpering.
Thranduil, with Gandalf's assistance, came running then. The king gathered both his sons into his embrace, kissing their heads repeatedly. As Gandalf stared at the remains of the dark ashes, Commander Linden was busily issuing orders to the guards. The people walked closer to surround the royal family.
Someone gave Keldarion a dry cloak. "Prince Legolas needs this, your highness."
Keldarion nodded and took the cloak. With his father's help, he wrapped the warm fabric around his younger brother. Legolas didn't respond. He had succumbed into a shock, his eyes gazing straight ahead.
"We need to treat his wound," Gandalf then said after he saw the long cut down Legolas' torso. "It's still bleeding pretty badly."
"I bleed?" Legolas spoke all of a sudden, nearly causing Keldarion to drop him. "You mean I'll live?"
Relieved, Keldarion chuckled. "Why? Are you having second thoughts about being alive?"
His brother managed a weak smile. "No. I love being alive. Besides, we still have that chess game to finish, remember?"
The others laughed at that, glad that the manyan prince was acting his old self again. But then, Legolas' eyes started to droop, his voice growing fainter. "I…I'm tired…Can I…sleep now?"
"Go ahead, my son," Thranduil softly said, brushing the hair out of Legolas' face. "Go to sleep."
And Legolas did just that.
Legolas slept for many hours. When he woke up, night had already fallen. And the first words that came out of his mouth were, "I'm hungry."
Sitting next to the bed, Keldarion jerked upright from his light doze and bent over his brother. "What did you just say?"
"I'm hungry," Legolas repeated. "I haven't eaten anything all day."
Keldarion kept staring. And then a big smile slowly broke across his face. "You're hungry."
Scowling as he struggled with the heavy covers, the younger prince rose to a sitting position. "What? Is there an echo in here?"
"You're hungry!" With an exuberant cry, Keldarion yanked his brother into his arms and squeezed. "That's the sweetest thing I've ever heard from you!"
"Hey!" Legolas protested, pushing away in slight alarm. "What's the matter with you, Kel? Hurt your head or something?"
Keldarion laughed. He planted a kiss smack on his brother's forehead. "I'm fine, brat. Just fine. Galdor didn't hurt me that much. It was you I was worried about. When you stayed unconscious for a long time, we all thought you'll never wake up again."
"Yes, well, take it easy, will you? Look at this. It still hurts." Wincing, Legolas pointed at the swath of bandage wrapped across his torso over his still throbbing wound.
Keldarion had the grace to look apologetic. "Oops. Sorry."
Just then, the door flew open and Thranduil rushed inside. "Keldarion! What's happening…?"
The king came to a halt. His face instantly brightened when he saw his younger son sitting up in the bed. "Legolas!" he enthused with joy, coming forward to hug the manyan prince. "You've awakened."
Legolas returned his father's embrace. "Yes, father. I've had enough sleep already."
"He's hungry," Keldarion stated, still grinning.
"Oh, good." Thranduil gathered Legolas close against his side. "Kel, go tell the servants to bring your brother some food."
As Keldarion went out the door, the king turned back to his younger son. "You frightened us all. Don't do that again."
The prince grimaced. "Aw, father. What an old story. You know I can't promise you anything."
"Please try. For me. I nearly died out there, watching that dark manyan trying his very best to break your neck. Humor me here, will you? Say that you'll try to avoid such danger again."
Legolas stared hard at his father for several long moments. He finally sighed. "Fine. I'll try."
"Yes, father. I promise," said Legolas. "But I still can't guarantee you that I won't get into any troubles after this."
Thranduil rolled his eyes heavenwards. "Whatever, my son. But thank you, nonetheless."
Keldarion returned a while later, accompanied by Gandalf. The wizard smiled at the manyan prince. "You're back with us, I see."
"Yes. It feels good to be back," Legolas responded, grinning widely. Then he frowned. "Say, is everyone all right? I saw Galdor hurt the three of you in the courtyard."
"We'll be black and blue for the whole day but otherwise we are completely fine. Don't worry." Keldarion replied, pouring a glass of water for his brother. "Here."
Legolas took it gratefully. When he finished drinking, he winked at Keldarion. "Looks like our roles have switched back into place."
They all groaned at that. Thranduil playfully cuffed the back of Legolas' head. "Imp."
Chuckling, Legolas turned to the wizard. "Everything is well now, Gandalf?"
Clutching his staff—thank the Valar that thing was not broken in the altercation with Galdor—Gandalf nodded. "Yes, your highness. Everything is well. Galdor is no more."
"Where did he go? Is he dead?"
Shrugging slightly, the wizard answered, "He is not dead, not really. He is also not alive anymore. Let's just say that you would never find him in the Hall of Mandos or Valinor. He has simply…err…evaporated. He is completely powerless and won't cause us any troubles again."
"That's right, Legolas. After this, the troubles will only come from you," Keldarion said with a laugh.
Legolas glared. "Very funny."
A servant entered then, bearing a tray of nourishments for the manyan prince. She placed it on the bedside table and left as quietly as she came in.
Legolas stared incredulously when his father settled the tray across his lap. "What's this?"
"Porridge," came Thranduil's short reply.
Legolas looked disgusted. "I know it's porridge but why?"
"Why not? It's the best food for the invalid."
"I'm not an invalid." Insulted, Legolas folded his arms across his chest. "I just beat a powerful monster, mind you."
"Oh, sure. You want food fit for a warrior, is that it? The 'fire-breathing' mushroom soup, for instance?" his brother teased.
Legolas opened his mouth to retort, but their father quickly intervened before a full argument could take place. "Legolas, eat."
No one could refuse that tone of voice issued by the king. Grumbling under his breath about overbearing fathers and older brothers in general, Legolas ate. To his surprise, though, his hand that held the spoon was a bit unsteady that it trembled. He was still a lot weaker than he thought.
Keldarion saw this, took the spoon from Legolas' grip, and started feeding his brother. Seeing that his youngest son was in best care, Thranduil nudged Gandalf and they both walked out of the room.
After Legolas had cleaned off his bowl, Keldarion suggested they finished their game of chess. The younger prince agreed with an enthusiastic grin. "Sure, Kel. Be prepared to lose."
"No way, brat. I only have three more moves to take your blasted king."
Keldarion brought out the board and settled it on the bed. Legolas stared at the pieces, and found that his brother had been right. His black king was about to face his doom. He didn't panic, though. His eyes twinkled merrily when a plan began to develop in his cunning mind.
"Check mate! You lose!" Keldarion gaily announced a while later, rubbing his hands gleefully.
"Oh. Are you sure?" Legolas acted indifferently.
"Of course, I'm sure. My queen is standing there right in front of your king."
"Really?" Legolas smiled crookedly. "Then be prepared for my next move."
"Next move?" Keldarion snorted. "There's no more next move for you, pal! You lose. Your king is already…Hey! What the blazes are you doing?"
"My king is kissing your queen! See?" Grinning, Legolas pressed his king's face against his brother's queen. "Now, your king is in trouble. His wife has been taken, and he has to sell his kingdom to pay her huge ransom. His soldiers and knights will run away and the…"
With a roar, Keldarion leaped and tackled his brother. Grunting and swearing, the two brothers wrestled all over the bed, kicking the chess pieces out of the way.
In the royal study, hearing the loud thumps and wild laughter coming from above stairs, Thranduil glanced ruefully at Gandalf. "See what I have to put up with?"
The grey wizard only laughed in response.
There it goes! It's finished, finally. I'm still drunk from those bloody oranges but will return to normal by next week. Right now, I'm finishing a chibi-Leggy fic. God knows how that would turn out!
I hope you enjoy 'There Can Be Only One' as much as I enjoyed writing them. It was fun putting Leggy through all that angst and making him all wet (Ooo…I just love him dripping wet, don't you? LOL!)
THANK YOU so much for all the support and wonderful reviews, guys! I love them all. And as tradition, here's the faithful reviewers in alphabetical order : acacia59601; astalder27; Aurehen; Beginning-end-314; bessie1; BitterLee; Brazgirl; Ceyxa; Cierah; Coolio02; Deana; Delano; Dur En Thurin Naur; Ellemire; Jamie; Jedi Gollum; Joee1; jubisaurus; Kalayna; kel; KeluinLossehelin; Kuriei137; Legolas' Garden Light; Legolas Greenleaf; legosgurl; leralonde; linwe; Manwathiel; MCross; Miekje; milisa; mogcat; moonshine44; MoroTheWolfGod; mystic23; nclowe; Nessa Ar-Feiniel; Nessa Thranduiliel; pavement; Rutu; Sailor Elf; Sesshyangel; Seylin; snow; szhismine; Tania NZ; tbiris; Trista; YamiTai (No one is left out, I hope?)
COMING ATTRACTIONS : A chibi-Legolas called…er…I don't know what to call it yet but it have children of Elrond as co-stars. Next, the post-LOTR called 'The Tomb In The Desert', the one where Thranduil's sons gonna get in trouble (saying it in sing-song voice). There're also 'Tiny Angry Creatures' and 'Task of a Prince'. We'll see what comes out first.
READING INTEREST : Right now, I'm reading a book written by Diana Gabaldon entitled 'Outlander'. The only word I can use to describe this book is 'breathtaking!' Both the hero and heroin are lovely and strong and funny. I alternately cry and laugh while reading it. You love pain and angst and humor? Go find this book and read it. You won't be disappointed.
Until next time my fellow readers! See ya!