The Silvan

nimruzir

Chapter 049

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Author's notes:

We are all on the way to 700 reviews! Wow, seems like just days ago I was jigging around after 500. Thank you - so much!

A longer chapter here, and some set up scenes for what is to come. I hope you enjoy it.

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Lara: Legolas and Glorfindel - yes - glad that you love them! There's lots more to come. Rinion, you say? Well yes, stuck up, definitely - but there is more to him than meets the eye. Gracias, amiga, por no fallarme nunca, me encantan tus commentarios.

Noph: Yes, he did step into the light, and his words were well noted, believe me. Glad you liked Glorfindel! Rinion? He is being obtuse - more of him to come.

Cold Outside: alas I cannot comment, not for a couple more chapters!

Rita Orca: ditto, no comments for a couple of chapters I'm afraid!

Guest 1345: Elladan has brewed something that may or may not work - I will reveal the contents in a few chapters time!

Ninde: me alegro que te gustara - prepara los kleenex anda!

Earthdragon: ah, I would love to comment on your review, but I can't! Give me a couple more chapters and we can discuss that comment you made…

Alindo: I would love to comment on your review, but I can't. Thank you for dropping by - so nice to meet you.

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Chapter forty-nine: Wild Flowers

Commander General Celegon sat behind his desk in an office just off the main courtyard, not far from the Halls of Healing.

Since the attack on Prince Handir's escort, there had been no time to rest; even today he had gone without the midday meal for work was incessant, and after the morning's regrettable events, he dare not leave his office lest some other, unforeseen business rear its ugly head.

Extra patrols had been drawn up and sent off, which meant more warriors returning from their turns of duty, indeed the city barracks were teaming, and Nestaron's healers were hard-pushed to keep up with the constant flow of wounded. Scouts too, rode in almost every hour with their reports, reports Celegon would then use to discuss the Greenwood's strategy and deploy her warriors.

To this end, General Huron stood at a sprawling table upon which maps were spread, and coloured stones scattered here and there, yet there was nothing random about their position. He talked quietly with three Captains, who listened carefully, their eyes trained on Huron's expressive hands as he pointed here and there.

Celegon approached them with the latest report in his hand, grabbing a fistful of black stones and then slamming them down close to the South-eastern border, promptly bringing their discussion to a close.

"Damn them!" he hissed.

Huron observed the area and the other stones around it.

"There are still many but we are reducing their numbers, my Lord," said the General.

"I want to know why, why this sudden influx - why have they come down from the mountains now? Precisely now? What drives them?"

The captains shook their heads for they had nothing to say. The enemy's movements were strange indeed, but the only event that could remotely warrant their increased activities was the arrival of Prince Handir, and while a member of the Royal Family, surely did not warrant such concern amongst the orcs - he was not a warrior, not a commander. The Greenwood's military leaders were at a loss.

Huron blew out a breath, dismissed his captains, and then turned to Celegon, his experienced eyes searching those of his commander, wondering perhaps, if what he had to say should wait. But before he could open his mouth and try his luck, Celegon turned to a side table and poured two glasses of wine.

"Here, join me," he said, handing one to Huron, who accepted it with a grateful nod.

"Out with it, Huron."

The General smiled, not bothering to ask how he knew, for the Commander was a most excellent judge of character.

"There is much dissent amongst the warriors, Celegon. The Silvans no longer keep their peace, no longer shrink from an argument, from a misplaced insult. They are answering back and the situation is deteriorating."

"Are there so many of our Sindarin warriors that are playing this absurd game of politics? A game they now nothing about?"

"There are enough, although they are the minority, their voices are far-reaching - sons of lords…" he finished poignantly.

"Of course they are," said Celegon ironically. "Do you have names for me today, Huron?" and in spite of his skepticism, Huron surprised him.

"Yes - today I have names for you, Commander, the names I should have given you years ago," he said and then turned to face the windows overlooking the main courtyard and sipping his drink. He was peeved, with himself, angry that he had misjudged a situation that should have been broached centuries ago.

"It is not easy sometimes, to live in a multi-cultural society such as ours, but when the few manipulate otherwise noble pride in one's origins, it turns rancid, toxic," came the commander's voice, now at his side.

"And yet I am a General, Celegon. I am responsible in some way for what is happening now."

"You, and I, even the King," said Celegon and then glanced at his general. "The Silvans never spoke up because they feared the consequences of riling those powerful enough to hurt them." He laughed but there was no amusement in it. "They have been so worried that they would lose their place in our military, lose the opportunity to rise through the ranks - that's all they worried about! It was never about money or power for them but their right to serve, on equal terms and we have all let those arrogant bastards weave their nets of veiled threats and absurd talk of Sindarin pride - words spoon-fed to them by their bigot fathers and classist mothers. I am sick, Huron. Sick of it all!"

He had begun calmly, but by the time Celegon had finished, he had been shouting, his face red with anger and disappointment at himself.

Huron looked into his glass, unsure as yet, of what to say, for Celegon, he was sure, had not finished.

"I am Commander General of the Greenwood, you are my General, my second. Go further down the line Huron and every single one of us is Sindarin - only our Captains are mixed - and even then, tis but a handful that are Silvan and yet they outnumber us three to one - what is wrong with us, Huron? How have we let this happen? How have I failed in this…"

"You are in a position in which it is necessary to delegate, just as I am obliged to delegate. It is the Captains and Lieutenants that hold them back, Celegon, not us. Our error was to not sit down and analyse the statistics."

"It is little consolation, Huron," said Celegon, much calmer now.

After a some moments in which both elves simply stood, pensive as they drank, Huron broke the silence.

"Tirion has arrived."

"I know. He comes for Lainion…"

"Is it true then? Is he leaving us?"

"Nestaron says it is so, that there is nothing they can do for him," confirmed Celegon.

"He will be well-mourned, for Lainion the Avari is respected."

"On his own merits, yes," said Celegon. But it is more than that. He is not Silvan, nor is he Sindarin - he is Avarin - his people are outside this Silvan-Sindarin feud. He will be sorely missed by them all, his passing will be painful - and shared."

"Aye, that it will," said Huron sorrowfully. "They say he took an arrow to the liver, shielding the Prince."

"That is what they say, but we still do not have the full story. The Silvan was there too. There is a tale to be had, one the Sindar will undoubtedly twist to their own gain," sneered Celegon.

"My Lord," said Huron with a frown. "I believe, we are both in agreement on one thing…"

"Speak," said Celegon, his heavy gaze anchored on his General.

"This has gone on too long. We must find a way to pull our warriors together, let the politicians play their power games. We must no longer tolerate this arrogance, this schism amongst those that are obliged to fight side by side."

Celegon's eyes narrowed and his forehead smoothed out.

"Yes - I would undo that which I have left to fester - redeem myself if I can and there is only one way to do that - only one elf that can do that…"

"The Silvan…" ventured Huron.

"Yes, the Silvan."

"You rode with him to Imladris," said Huron. "What is so special about this warrior that he is on the lips of every Silvan and Sinda? He is hated and loved and all shades in between."

"Yes," said Celegon carefully. "But those that hate him are cooling off - something is changing, and after this morning with that fool Norion, that is becoming clearer. Galadan told me what he said, Huron. The boy shows much potential, more than his brother ever did."

"And what of Norion?" asked Huron.

"He will stand military trial. He was training for lieutenant you know."

Huron snorted. "There is no chance of that now."

"Indeed," said Celegon. "The same happened to Silor you know, on the way to Elrond. He despised the boy and then stuck his boot knee deep in shit. It was Silor's fault that things went as badly as they did -he will never make the rank, in spite of his father."

"So, if the Silvan is the key, what do we do now?"

"Muster our commanders, Huron."

"Which ones?" he asked with a frown.

"All of them. Every Captain, except those in the field. I want them here the day after tomorrow."

"Yes, my Lord. May I - may ask what you intend to do?"

"I will undo the damage, re educate them, root out those who do not wish to change and send them down the ranks if I have to - lords and all. Are you with me?"

Huron registered the words and tempered his rising excitement.

"I am with you my Lord - all the way."

Celegon smiled and saluted with his cup. "To the Greenwood and her military - may we be what we once were - fierce, brave, skilled and loyal, united against the common enemy, behind our king and our people - All of them!"

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Legolas sat in a hard, wooden chair beside Dimaethor's bed. He was still in the clothes he had been lent by the healers, although his arm had just been freed of the confines of his sling. It was not completely healed but the bones had knitted, and when time permitted, he would need to build the muscle up to its optimum form before he rode into the field once more. But that did not concern him now; his mind was solely on the warrior upon the bed beside him, the one that had believed in him from the start, that had encouraged him, set him upon his chosen path - and with all it, Legolas had gained a friend, a deep bond that even should Dimaethor die, would never be shattered, never be forgotten.

On the other side of the bed, Nestaron and Elladan busied themselves grinding herbs, their eyes checking their patient every few moments, and just behind him, Glorfindel talked quietly with Mithrandir. He was unsure as to where Melven, or Glamohtar, and Dorhinen had vanished to, but he did not doubt they would be near.

"Legolas. Go and bathe, change and eat - and then come back if you must," said Elladan softly as he worked.

"No," came the flat reply and Elladan's eyes lingered on him a while. He startled though, when Nestaron huffed.

Elladan abruptly dropped the wooden bowl he held, its clatter drawing the attention of all those in the room, except for Dimaethor.

"What is your problem, Nestaron?" asked Elladan in irritation. "I respect you as a healer, but I despise your prejudice - it is unbecoming a scholar, and not to mention insulting to one that has done nothing to earn your disdain."

Nestaron stared back at Elladan in shock, as if nobody had ever dared speak to him in that tone.

"Prejudice?" he asked in stilted outrage.

"You do not realise, do you?" said Elladan with a frown. "You are not aware of what it is you do. You are so used to judging others without thinking - tell me, who is it that feeds you this nonsense? Where did you get the idea that Legolas erred on the battle field?"

"He left Lainion to die, Elrondion."

"Are you deaf, healer?" said Elladan, his tone rising along with his mounting ire. "I told you I was there, Glorfindel, Mithrandir were there, we saw what happened. Do you doubt our word? Do you presume the gift of foresight? Where does this orc shit come from!"

Nestaron's eyes were wide, he was shocked and for the first time, there was no come back from the elder Sinda. Instead he clenched his jaw and turned back to his pestle and mortar, jabbing at its contents with more vigour than was strictly necessary.

Glorfindel approached Legolas, his eyes lingering on the healer who would not remove his eyes from the paste in his bowl.

"Legolas. I and Mithrandir go to the king. We would report to him."

"Glorfindel," said Legolas hurriedly, "don't tell him about my - mission. It is something I must deal with myself."

"Alright, he said, glancing for a moment at Mithrandir. "I will make sure the wizard holds his tongue," he said with a wry smile. "I will be back soon. I will not say rest for I know you will not, but at least allow someone to bring you something to eat."

"I cannot, Glorfindel. My stomach is clenched shut."

Glorfindel said no more, simply touching Legolas' forearm with his fingers, before leaving together with the wizard, bound for the king's chamber and a long-awaited reunion with the son of the one that had been his heart brother.

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Rumour had spread, and the healing halls were now surrounded by elves - Silvan, Sindarin, Avarin warriors and civilians, even children sat with their mothers, all waiting for news on Lieutenant Lainion, the Avarin warrior that stood upon the threshold of Mandos, in service to his land and king. Their feuds were forgotten for now, together in this one thing, their shared grief at the passing of a great warrior.

They sat and they talked quietly, respectfully, and when a group of four Avarin civilians walked solemnly past them, their heads bowed and their clothing dark, the soft words ground to silence. This was Lainion's family - his father, his aunt, his sister, the famed Spirit Singer.

Hands reached out to softly brush their robes as they passed, knowing what awaited them, the terrible trance they would now have to face. They would not leave, and should the Spirit Singer lift her voice in song, they would create a descant so sweet, so beautiful that even the Valar would shed tears.

Inside, Nestaron stood with Elladan, who had once more administered his strange concoction, even though it had had no effect, and beside the bed, knelt Legolas. Part of his hair had pulled from his tail but he could not care less. He would not move and Elladan had not the heart to make him. Melven was with him though, and Elladan new he would ensure Legolas' safety; he was a member of the Company now, Glamohtar, and although Elladan still had his doubts, he could clearly see the changes that had come about in the once mediocre, arrogant Noldo.

A flurry of activity heralded the arrival of visitors, and all eyes turned to the entrance, where four black-clad elves stood. The were tall and dark - their skin the colour of autumn leaves and their hair darker than a moonless night yet their eyes, just like Lainion's, were a brilliant blue. It was a strange sight to see the Avari away from the forrest, but to see four together, was nothing if not exotic.

Legolas' eyes were drawn to a female elf with the most singular face he had ever seen. She was beautiful yet it was not a soft, vulnerable beauty but a strong, handsome one; well-proportioned features, full lips and a skin so soft he wanted to reach out and touch it. It was her eyes though that sparkled with unshed grief, eyes so expressive he was momentarily mesmerised, and then Nestaron spoke and the spell was broken.

The four Avari had fixed their slanted eyes on the elf upon the bed. One covered her mouth with a shaking hand and broke into tears as she stumbled to the bedside and sat upon it, cupping the dying elf's cheek with her palm, while the other three assembled around her.

Legolas' heart clenched so tightly it hurt. He should not be here for this, he realised, and so he slowly rose from his knees until he stood full height.

The elder Avari, a stern looking man, caught Legolas' tired eyes and spoke.

"You are the Silvan?" he asked quietly, flatly.

"Yes, I am Legolas," he answered. It was almost a whisper for his voice had failed him.

The Avari simply nodded and then turned back to the one Legolas knew was his son - this was Lainion's father.

With eyes downcast, Legolas left the room in search of air, for he could not breathe and his chest hurt, and as he walked through the doorway and into the courtyard, he pulled up abruptly for there, before him, was a sea of elves, a blanket of multi-coloured hair. There were Sindar, Silvan and Avari here from all possible walks of life; warriors, civilians and children sat in shared grief and Legolas' eyes filled with tears, tears for the love he felt from them.

Walking slowly towards them, he folded his legs beneath him, and dared to sit in their midst, under the horrified stares of Melven and Dorhinen who had followed him to the door but it was too late, and as they watched him sink to the ground, their eyes shifted suspiciously to the elves around him.

Some reached out to touch him lightly on the shoulder, the thigh, others reached for his hair and he sat there, quietly, his hands sitting in his lap, his eyes closed. There was no danger here, they realised, for those that touched him, stared at him, were not only Silvan but Sindar - mostly warriors and yet here they sat, welcoming him into their midst for the first time.

A small child wiggled his way past his mother, a bunch of wilted wild flowers in his hand. Perhaps he had meant to gift them to the dying warrior or his family but his small, chubby hand reached out and placed the flowers before Legolas' face, his bright grey eyes looking on in trepidation, but also in awe.

Legolas reached out and slowly took the sorry looking flowers, turning to fully face the child, who slowly began to smile.

"Thank you," whispered Legolas, watching as the child smiled wider, and then giggled as he reached up to touch a twisted, Avarin braid.

Legolas smiled indulgently at him, and then, with his other, bandaged hand, he brushed his fingers over the drooping blossoms, watching as they suddenly stood taller, brighter, and the child gasped and then giggled - yet not so his mother, for she sat in stunned silence, as did the others that had been watching the exchange.

They said nothing, but their knowing glances were enough to read their thoughts. There was puzzlement too, but above all there was satisfaction, a hum of renewed strength. Under different circumstances there would have been joy too but not today, for Lainion was leaving for the undying lands, and they would accompany him in his passage.

As for Legolas, he smiled through his grief, for he felt a closeness to them,for the first time he was not rejected but welcomed, and the Sindarin side of him that he had rejected for so long, suddenly seemed to flare into life and then take its place beside his Silvan self, at peace for the first time.

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As the evening darkened and candles were lit, Mithrandir and Glorfindel walked into the king's office.

Thranduil turned from the window to face Glorfindel, his eyes lighting up in genuine joy, joy that did not quite reach his mouth, for his smile was sparing.

"Lord Glorfindel, you are most welcome in my realm," said the king with a respectful nod.

Glorfindel bowed from the waist, and then smiled too, the face of his beloved brother popping into his head. Pushing him away with a playful, mental snort, he approached the king and grasped his forearms in salute.

"I am glad to be back, my King - it has been too long."

"And most timely, I say," said Thranduil, moving to the wizard.

"Mithrandir," he said, his eyebrow arching and a wry smile playing on his lips.

"Well," said Mithrandir, seemingly affronted, "I assume I am welcome in your realm too, my Lord," he said sarcastically.

"So long as you behave yourself and do not meddle too much - then yes, of course you are welcome, Mithrandir," he said, his eyes twinkling in mirth.

"You know my son Prince Rinion," he began, waiting for the greetings to end, before nodding at Aradan, who they both already knew.

Formalities over with, Glorfiindel sat where Thranduil instructed him and the four lords and one wizard settled themselves, reaching for the glasses of wine that Aradan passed around.

"How is Lainion, Glorfindel?" asked the king in concern.

"He is dying, Thranduil, and even though Elrond's son strives to find something that will help him, there can no longer be any doubt - he will sleep with Mandos this night."

"Handir will be devastated," said the king quietly.

"And Legolas - they are close."

The king seemed surprised at that.

"Thranduil, we must talk. There is much to discuss and, it seems, little time - the situation seems to be deteriorating even as we speak…"

"Commander Celegon and General Huron have spent the better part of the afternoon with me, Glorfindel. There will be a meeting the day after tomorrow, an important one - you are welcome to join them, of course. They will deal with it Glorfindel," he said, his eyes lingering on the Gondolindrim lord.

"Are you sure, Thranduil? Your warriors are throwing stones…."

"I know," said Thranduil, holding up his hand to stop any further discussion. "I am aware of it, Glorfindel. Commander Celegon has requested the presence of Lord Legolas for that meeting and I have agreed to it - my people will see to it."

Glorfindel was not appeased, and he said as much. "If your warriors are that far gone, I dread to think what that meeting will be like, not to mention your council meeting, which I assume you will be holding" he said carefully, his eyes slipping to Aradan, who met his eyes squarely.

"There is an important meeting called for next week, a meeting in which I will introduce Legolas to the council. They wish to meet him, of course, before any political decisions are made with respect to his position here," he said his tone neutral.

Mithrandir spoke for the first time then. "May I join you, Thranduil? Lend council if you would here it?"

Thranduil considered for a while before answering. "I will consent, Mithrandir, but tell me first, what your intentions are. What is your interest in this meeting?"

The wizard smiled then, for the answer was easy, "I am concerned only with the will of those that command me," he smiled.

"What have the Valar to do with our council meeting, Mithrandir?" asked Rinion from his seat, his tone confident and clearly mistrusting.

"Oh they have a healthy interest in everything that goes on, my Prince."

"Do they? Who would have said, for we lose warriors with every patrol turn," he said sarcastically.

"I will not discuss the ways of the Valar with you my Prince. Suffice it to say I am where I need to be."

Thranduil allowed himself a snort of laughter, before sitting forward in his chair. "And thus you have said nothing at all, my friend. Come, tell us, what is your interest in this council meeting, and yours Glorfindel?"

Sitting back in his chair and drinking from his wine, Glorfindel ordered his thoughts before speaking.

"You have been informed of the events that transpired before Prince Handir arrived in Imladris, of course, I know Commander Celegon gave you a full report of that," he began, waiting should the king have any doubts - he did.

"Lainion extracted him," said the king sadly.

"Yes, they arrived two days before the rest of the escort."

"Celegon was somewhat - sparing when speaking of my youngest son. Why would that be, Glorfindel. Don't get me wrong for he spoke highly of the boy, saying only that he fought skillfully, and that he fell back from the party of injured warriors in order to protect them. He was generous in his words of praise but there are gaps in his report I knew he was purposefully trying to cover - why would that be?" asked the shrewd king.

It was Mithrandir that spoke then, and Glorfindel cast him a warning glance before the wizard could speak. Of course Thranduil saw it.

"Thranduil," began Mithrandir. "It seems that he is a listener, as you call them…"

"I have heard that yes," said the king expectantly.

"Well, let us just say that his skill is considerable, for he sensed the presence of two groups, not one, he predicted the ambush with sufficient forewarning to avoid that catastrophe."

Thranduil scowled, as did Rinion, who now spoke for the first time.

"Then why did they not avoid it?" he asked.

"Because their lieutenant would not listen, instead accusing Legolas of insubordination. Valuable moments were lost in the squabbling…"

Thranduil sat back but Rinion spoke again.

"Why would the lieutenant - Silor - if I am not mistaken, accuse him of insubordination, Mithrandir? Something else must have happened."

"It seems," said Glorfindel with the slightest of smiles, "that this, Silor, managed to crash into a mighty warrior by the name of Ram en Ondo- he ended up fuming and on his backside, claiming he had been flung to the ground.

"Fool," said Rinion, surprising his father who had obviously thought he would argue the point. "I never trusted that one - and he is, or was, a trainee lieutenant. I do not think he has much chance of earning that rank now."

"Be that as it may," continued Mithrandir, their quest to deliver the wounded was a harsh one, and Legolas proved his metal, my friend - not even the Sindarin warriors refute this."

"Well, there is that," said the king somewhat ironically. "You are hiding something from me, Glorfindel…" he said matter-of-factly, and Glorfindel was not surprised.

"Yes. There are things left unsaid, that Legolas himself will explain to you once things settle, things we have both witnessed and will speak of, when the time comes."

"Why not just tell us now, Lord Glorfindel," asked Rinion, his icy stare locked a little too boldly on him.

"As I have said," he spoke slowly, "it is not for me to tell," was all he said, and Rinion held his peace, albeit he scowled.

"Lord Glorfindel," said Aradan, "tell us then how their training went, I believe you oversaw this yourself."

"I did," said Glorfindel with the ghost of a smile. "Your warriors credit this land, Thranduil, especially your son," he said as he sipped on his wine.

Thranduil resisted the smile that tugged at his lips for this lord would surely know how much he yearned for information on his son. It was hard to come by, yet with Rinion there, he would not want to dwell on that point lest his son use the opportunity to discredit him.

"Go on…" he said.

"I have a written report for you of course," he said, "but suffice it to say I have recommended him for the rank of lieutenant, and that he begin training - as a Captain."

"What?!" scoffed Rinion, "you cannot be serious, Lord Glorfindel!"

"Surely you jest," said Thranduil, his brow drawn tightly together. Aradan, however, sat back in his chair, his brows close to his hairline.

"I do not jest - 'tis neither the time nor the place for that, my Lord. I am serious, this is my opinion, you esteem it or not."

Silence settled over them as Glorfindel's words sunk in for some, and simply bounced off the surface of another - Rinion.

"This Silvan is seven hundred and forty-four years old, has been a warrior for scarcely a year - and he is to train as a captain?" This is madness," he spat as he stood and strode to the window.

Thranduil's face remained as blank as it had been before Rinion's outburst, but that did not reflect the king's emotions at all, indeed when he reacted to his son's words, Glorfindel and Mithrandir were left in admiration of the Greenwood's monarch.

Standing himself, the king addressed his son without turning to face him.

"Prince Rinion, you will return here - now," he said softly, and soon enough, Rinion stood before him, seething in pent up anger he had not even begun to vent.

"How old are you, child?"

Rinion's nostrils flared as he answered. "One thousand four hundred and twenty seven," he said.

"And what is your rank?"

"Lieutenant."

"And what do you think our guests are thinking now - answer with the truth, Prince," he said, the glint of a warning in Thranduil's light blue eyes.

"They are thinking I am jealous, of course. They are thinking that I am twice his age and am still a lieutenant, after eight hundred years as a warrior of this realm. They compare me with him and find me wanting."

Thranduil smiled and then drank from his wine before asking his fourth question.

"And are they right?"

"No," he said, his voice steady and compelling. "I admit I find that embarrassing, and I doubt the veracity of it, but should it be true, it is embarrassment, not jealousy - I do not wish to be him," said Rinion, and Thranduil knew he spoke the truth and so he smiled and nodded, before turning back to their guests and sitting, motioning for Rinion to do likewise.

"Now, where were we," asked Thranduil. "Ah yes, your evaluation, Glorfindel. Please continue."

"My evaluation is sound, yet it is necessary for your own commanders verify it. This meeting you mention between your Commander General and his captains - that will be a pivotal moment, and I am afraid that Legolas must face that himself.

"Yes, there is merit in that but he will be alone in a hive of bees, Glorfindel. They will shred him to pieces if we let them…."

"Will they?" asked Glorfindel, who then turned to Mithrandir. "What say you, Ainur? Will Legolas be pushed aside, his claims ignored, relegated to a status of lowly Silvan warrior?"

Mithrndir's blue eyes sparkled in mischief before sitting forward and capturing the kings eyes with his own, the heavy stare looking on at the king almost in pity.

"Shred him to pieces you say?" he asked the king, his smile widening. "Oh no, I do not think so at all, my Lord. Indeed I believe your commanders - are in for a mighty shock!" he said, and then threw his head back and laughed.

Glorfndel joined him, and then turned to the king, still chuckling. "Thranduil, you have much still to learn of your son," he said, and then chuckled again.

The king simply smiled at their antics, puzzled though he was, but Rinion - the Crown Prince of the Greenwood, was not amused.

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