There's a song I wrote this chapter to. It's very melancholy and fit well. If you want to look it up and listen as you read it's called 'Light at the end of the tunnel' by Kerry Muzzey. It's an instrumental and adds a lot of emotion to this chapter.
Thranduil grit his teeth in pain, both hands gripping the shaft of the spear. It had caught him in the shoulder, piercing the armor just under his arm. Holding his breath he shut his eyes and steeled himself for a moment before wrenching the weapon out. Hissing a breath through his teeth, he tossed it angrily to the side and took a moment to regain his composure.
Legolas, who was still cradling his father with a horrified expression, watched as the older elf pulled out the spear. The squeal of the wood on the elven kings armor caused him to wince visibly. But with a quick assessment he realized that it looked worse than it was.
The spear had barely penetrated the well-made armor and the only reason it had at all was because it hit a vulnerable spot. Thankfully the injury it caused did not appear fatal in any way either. Swallowing the sickness that had grown within him at the prospect of losing his father, the prince was almost giddy with relief.
Breathing hard, Thranduil grimaced as his son helped him to his feet. Forcing the pain off his face, he took up Orcrist once more. He could not afford to succumb to pain or injury; not here, not now.
Nodding to Legolas who was staring at him in concern he spoke, voice as commanding and strong as ever. "I am fine."
Expression unchanging, the prince did not answer but only returned the nod. He knew his father was certainly not fine. But either way, this war had to be fought.
Both elves delved into the battle again, coming to the aide of the allies who had come to theirs not minutes earlier. Legolas had been too worried for his father to notice the small group of soldiers come to their defense, two elves and three men.
But the battle got no easier. The enemy's ranks seemed infinite as theirs were quickly diminishing. Man, elf and dwarf alike fell to the impossible number of orcs and wargs that flooded the side of the mountain.
Despite favoring his left arm, Thranduils right arm was by no means hampered. Orcrist fell just as lethal as before, cutting down enemy after enemy. But his movements were slow, his steps not as graceful. Legolas himself was doing no better, countless wounds stung and ached, his shoulder painful. But like his father, he pressed on, as did the injured soldiers around them.
A sudden roar echoed through the air, seeming to shake the very ground beneath their feet. With a quick slash of a knife, Legolas cut down the orc who had been startled by the noise before glancing up himself. Squinting across the battlefield he could make out the massive shape of something moving across the mountain and into the fray. It appeared to be an animal, perhaps a bear. If it was friend or foe he did not know.
As he was about to turn his gaze back to the fight, something else caught his attention. Eagles circled the battlefield, perhaps 20, perhaps more, each of them diving down and wreaking havoc on any evil creature it caught in its talons.
Hope suddenly filling him, the elf prince found his second wind and a new strength to fight with. Perhaps this battle was not so hopeless.
"Come together!" His fathers booming voice suddenly brought his eyes back to the battle field. Glancing at the king, the prince suddenly realized what he was doing.
"To me!" Again Thranduil yelled as the small force grew and pressed forward. With the eagles above them and the massive bear tearing across the battlefield to their right, the line of soldiers made their way across the mountain. Like a wave, ruthless and unstoppable with renewed hope and vigor they left a bloody trail of bodies in their wake.
But as large as this force seemed now, it was small next to the armies that had rode into battle to begin with. Dwarves stood shoulder to hip with elves and men alike as their blades all fell on the common enemy. And it was seen that their small force was enough as the enemy started turning away to flee.
The roar of battle quickly petered out into the far away howls and yells of the enemy as they ran until a somber silence came over the battle field.
Now that the threat was gone, Thranduil allowed himself a moment to take a breath. Expression icy in order to hide the sorrow that swelled within him, he surveyed the carnage that lay at his feet.
Swallowing, his gaze fell on the faces of his kin, bloodied and lifeless and a sudden sorrow washed over him. He suddenly felt like a knife had slipped into his heart. Forcing his hand to stay at his side rather than grip his chest he continued his somber walk.
He had vowed never to see his kin into a war like this again, ever since his father had lead their army into battle and he himself had to lead a fraction of their numbers out. He remembered leading that small army back home, forcing himself to be strong after just losing his father…after losing so many of his kin. This day was no different and no less painful.
So much death….and pain….and loss….and for what? What would have happened had the elves not ridden out today?
His mind then shifted to Thorin, his nephews…Surely they would have all been killed had the elves not ridden out. As their army would have been, the dwarves of the Iron Mountains and the men of Lake Town alike. And after they had finished there they probably would have travelled down to the camps on the edge of the lake and decimated the woman and children as well.
Icy expression breaking, Thranduils brows drew together. He had done the right thing today, as hard as it was to stomach. For those who had fallen….were less than those who would have died had he not.
And with that somber conclusion, the elven king made his way across the field towards his son.
As soon as it was obvious that the battle had been won, Legolas was on the move. Of the 1800 free people who had stood against the evil this day not 600, perhaps 700 still lived.
Moving across the battle field, the elven prince's eyes search for the faces of his friends and allies. Gaze moving across both those still standing and those on the ground, the pain of the loss soon grew in his heart. Tauriel….she was gone.
This re-realization caused him to pause, a clear look of pain passing over his face. He had pushed the event from his mind in order to survive the battle, but now…
Taking a shaky breath, he forced his feet to keep moving. She did not save his life to have him slip into sorrow. He would continue on…for her. But then there was Fili….and Kili… he had to break the news. A horrific thought then occurred to him. What if they had fallen as well?
With a new and panicked goal, the prince set off across the battle field in search of the dwarves. Painful minutes passed as Legolas searched the faces around him. Pain, death….it was all he saw. The expressions of horror and pain on those of the dead were mimicked in the faces of those still living. There truly was no horror to match that of a war.
As the prince's gaze passed over the faces of his kin, he could tell those who had seen it before. The expressions were hard, cold and emotionless. It was the same face his father wore across the field. It was not because of heartlessness that brought this cold detachment, but because of too much heart. To see war like this, again and again, it hurt.
The longer Legolas searched, the more the fear grew in his heart. They couldn't have…been killed….
A sudden movement on the side of the mountain drew his gaze, and as his sharp eyes fell on the three figures his chest swelled in relief. They were alive.
My deepest apologies for the amount of time it took for me to write this, wow. I don't even really have that great of an excuse either. I guess I just didn't really know HOW I was going to end it? I still kinda don't, but at least I have more of an idea now than I did a couple days ago.
You can thank the person who left me a plate of lembas bread and honey cakes along with a note which I can only image said to get my ass in gear and write the damn thing, because that was what got me to write the damn thing. That person being aronoiiel. I am easily guilt tripped into doing stuff. Remember that if I take as long writing the next chapter.
btw, the next chapter will probably be the last. I'm running out of steam and the story was never ACTUALLY meant to go this far. It was only kinda supposed to go to when Legolas got rescued but my imagination took the idea of the rest and ran with it without my say so. Oh well, I hope it doesn't show in my writing.
Anyway, I hope this is ok. I know it's short. But there's not much story left to tell.
Again, feel free to poke me or yell at me through private messaging if I take to long again. It does help.