Friday, April 18, 2014

Friends and Enemies // Chapter Twenty Seven // A Battle Won and A Question Asked



Willow was silently praying as she stared glassily out of the four story window of the castle in the city of Gossgath. The door at the end of the massive hallway was thrown open and Ganymede, looking exhausted, rushed in. "You're needed with the archers," he informed her, panting. "The prince says that he hates to ask, but very few of our men are trained only as archers, and we need more in the foot-soldiers area than the archer area."
   "Of course," she answered instantly, already grabbing her quiver and bow, which lay against a window seat, as she hurried after Ganymede.
   He was right. The battle was about to start, and every fighter looked tired, with bags under their eyes and outfits wrinkly and hair mussed. Right outside the wall, several lines of orcs were preparing to charge and ram the wall, and others were chomping at the bit {not literally} to tear at the Gossgathian fighters.
   Ganymede pointed to the wall, where the tower she had been in last night and early that morning stood. "The prince requested that you be there. We believe that it is the safest."
   Willow nodded. "I'm on my way," she assured him, walking quickly to the tower door and letting herself in. Then after hurrying up the winding steps, she took her place at the top of the tower. It stretched at least ten feet about the top of the wall, where the other archers were awaiting orders from their leaders. She knew the orders, but waited just the same.
   The enemy blew their horns as their signal to charge.
   "Oh Author, have mercy," Willow whispered, whipping out an arrow and setting it the her string.
   A tremendous crash rocked the wall, and the horrible shouts of the evil orcs added to the confusion. The archers were taking aim and firing, and finding that they had aimed well, but their enemies drew back to ram the wall again.
   In her mind's eye, Willow was back in Helms-Deep, waiting for the armies of Saruman. She shook off the memory and aimed for an orc.

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   "The battle is won!" cried Emmeth, beside himself with excitement. The battle had ended earlier that day, at about noon. The enemy had not broken through the wall, and they had driven them away. Now, all of the leaders were gathered in the dining room of the castle, and were celebrating their success. Willow had retreated to a corner of the long table, away from most of the people.
   "I propose a toast! To the Author!" the prince called over the din.
   "To the Author!" echoed the group, toasting each other and sipping their apple cider {Tashra's traditional celebratory drink}.
   Willow raised her glass as well, but a nagging sensation had been itching to come to her mind, and she finally could ignore it no more. Slipping out into the hallway, she hurried down two twisting passageways before she came to one that she knew she would not be disturbed.
   And then her thought ran wild. Why had they given up so easily? The battle was fairly simple, and the planning strategy on their enemy's part was very lacking. They were clever enough to send a Shadow Knight on a giant crow, but not clever enough to break down the gate? she pondered. She had also been disturbed by the message that the Shadow had given her. And not just to anyone, directly to me. Why me? What did that phrase mean anyway?
   "The Dark Lord shall fall no more. The Dark Lord shall fall no more. The Dark Lord shall fall no more," Willow muttered out loud as if on repeat to herself as she paced the plush rugs. "What in the world is that supposed to mean? Concentrate, self!"
   "Books, that's what I need," she concluded, chewing on her right thumbnail without thinking.
   A ray of sunshine from the dawn flitted through the heavy drapes to her right and reflected off of the golden ring she wore on her right ring finger. The elven etchings lit up in the sun, than faded as a cloud passed over the dawning sun.
   She gazed at her hand and sighed. "Lots and lots of books."
   Footsteps sounded behind her and Teclemith poked his head around the corner. "I thought I saw you go this way," he commented as she glanced at him. "Why are you not celebrating with us?" he inquired.
   "You know that phrase that the Shadow Knight used?" Willow asked softly.
    "I didn't hear it," he replied.
   Taking a breath, and slowly letting it out, she whispered it so low Teclemith had to strain to hear. "The Dark Lord shall rise again."
   "What in the world does that mean?" he wondered.
   "I don't know, but I definitely need to find out," she replied. "Say, do you guys have, like, a really big library somewhere on this planet?"
   Teclemith thought for a moment. "There is one. The Great Library. It is about a two days ride from Essgarothe, in the province of Tionia, lies the Library. It is kept by an old adviser who no longer serves in the Council of the King."
   "Fascinating. Can you give me directions?" inquired Willow.
   "I am sure that you could get someone to take you there. The province is mostly small villages and rural farms," Teclemith suggested.
   "Thanks, Teclemith." Willow sighed and glanced out the window.
   "Now, I am sure that we are missing a rather boisterous party. Shall we rejoin it?" he asked.
   "Of course," she answered with a smile.


I know this is kinda short, but it works :)
I'm really excited for the next few chapters, because the Trick is coming up, and the library one before that!
On to announcements - D posted chapter 21 of TWF. Ammelia should be posting chapter 6 of Without Cause this Monday.
Quick update on mah bracez - I'm going to an oral surgeon today to discuss two of my poor toofies getting removed to make room for the other toofies :( 
Any questions are welcome :)

Be a friend, not an enemy,

~Willow

9 comments:

  1. Ooo, this was really good! I can't wait for more chapters!

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    1. Thank you, I can't wait either ;)

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  2. The Trick...now I am curious. :-) I can't wait for next weeks chapter!!!

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    1. Yeah, the Trick is going to be really fun! Thanks, Mary :)

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  3. Wow! That was really good, Willow! I can't wait for the next chapter. (Even though I say that every week, it's true!) Ooooh! The Trick! Sounds exciting! I have a random question: do you know the ending for Friends and Enemies, or are you just kinda making it up as you go along? Thanks so much!

    -Hope

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    1. Thank you! And yeah, I am kind of making it up as I go along. I know several plot points I'm going to make {think lots of painful are-you-a-friend-or-enemy decisions} but quite a bit of it I am making up as I plod along ;)

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    2. Cool! I can't wait for the next chapter! (I won't be waiting long! Friday's tomorrow!) Thanks for answering my question!

      -Hope

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  4. BTW, I hope your braces are going fine. I have braces and they didn't hurt except like on the first couple days. After that, you get used to it:) I had to have a tooth pulled also, but they numbed my mouth so I couldn't feel anything:)

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    1. That's awesome, I'm glad the toof pulling didn't hurt {yes, I spelled "tooth" like "toof" on purpose (; }

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