He was pacing back and forth, raging. His anger almost swallowed him. He was so close. So close! And now he was losing. He could lose it all! And because of what?!
The air around him was freezing despite the spring weather outside and yet it was shimmering like during the hottest day in the summer.
When his hooded servant entered the chamber with head lower than normally, he thought he will tear him apart. That he will torture him, not giving him the chance to endure it.
“Master, you called for me.”
“What the hell is happening?! How do you explain that we lost the land we won so hard a couple months ago??!”
The servant lowered his head like a scolded child even more now. But then he opened the door again and threw one of the Captains inside. The Captain fell to his knees, trembling from the fear. He could only guess what was upon him.
“His six units of troops ran away when the enemy appeared on the horizon with a new leader. ” Said the closest servant of the Master. The disdain in his strange voice was apparent.
He looked at the filth in front of him – trembling, nearly pissing himself just from the glacial look he gave him – with a disgust.
“Six units…” He sighed. That was half of the army he released for the morning attack. And he knew well that his strength was only in numbers, not in warriors. These creatures were idiots, not really thinking at all. So, if the half of the army ran away, it was more than obvious that the second half which should join them after the first attack, escaped as well.
How he was supposed to win this fucked up war when he had to work with such minds??
“Who is the new leader?” He asked then.
The hooded servant kicked the Captain on the floor and interpreted the question. The Captain was shaking even more now.
“Eresiel`s Lord, Deteghor.”
He turned away with a small gesture. The servant understood immediately. He grabbed the Captain and left. He had to punish him anyway and he won`t waste the Master`s time for it.
His eyes in the color of honey were glowing wildly.
The Lord of Eresiel…Very brave to call himself like that when Eresiel was not even in his hands. But is he really worthy of fear? Are his deeds really so big that his army is scared of that elf?
So, it means he has to find someone even better and even scarier.
But it will take some time…
Meanwhile, he must find someone who will show those silly elves that Deteghor is definitely not a lord of Eresiel.
The scent of the early spring hit his nostrils and he inhaled deeply. Closing his eyes, he let himself be led by the power he felt within. His steps were confident despite it. The power was flickering in front of his eyelids like a colorful firework. His fingertips were tickling. He inhaled once again, opening his eyes slowly. The trees were turning green, the grass was rising, strong and young.
The soft light coming out from his hands were mesmerizing. Thranduil couldn`t believe it. But here he was standing, in the middle of the forest, waking him up to live and giving him long missing health.
The Elvenking had no idea why and where he gained so much power. He had no idea when he learned how to use it. But he felt being in control. It was the first time since he had moved to the Greenwood he felt like this.
Now the forest wasn`t controlling him anymore, it wasn`t disturbing him and giving him orders what he should do.
No. It was him whom the forest tilted his crowns. Him, Thranduil Oropherion.
The forest around him was full of life. It was back. It took two years to this complete change but it was worth it. Gone was the grey ash, gone were the corpses of trees and bushes. The birds were twittering above his head. The animals weren`t scared of him anymore. They came forward like they wanted to see with their own eyes the new master of their home.
And then he spotted it.
The power stopped flowing through his body and the happiness died as well. The sudden feeling of happiness, the feeling he hadn`t felt for so long time was just an excuse from the real word, it was just a vivid imagination….
The very well-known pain and anxiety broke him.
Just a mere sight of the white roses in front of him brought him at his knees again.
He could remember all the times he used to see them.
On the bedside table in their chambers…
In her hair when she was playing with Legolas…
In her hands, her eyes full of love and happiness when he surprised her with such gift…
All around her body when she was laying there, on the pedestal, dead…
Thranduil caught one of the roses, hurting his palm but he completely ignored the pain and the blood running down thanks to the thorns.
He was getting so good at shutting it away, locking it far away in his mind. He was so good at establishing the rules of not speaking about her, of not mentioning her. He was so good at changing his heart into a cold stone…
And just a couple white roses she used to love broke all the long-time efforts he has made.
Suddenly, he rose his head and let the flower fall. The blood colored the blossom.
The Elvenking stood up and inhaled the fresh air again. He remembered his oath and it made him feel lighter again…
He helped to renew the forest for his people, now he is free to go now.
To follow his beloved wife.
Idril left the prince`s chambers carefully enough to not wake him again. He cried until he fell asleep exhausted.
Like every other night.
There was a merely one day or two since his mother passed away when he didn`t cry. Idril was sure that Legolas might be able to overcome it. But if only there was his father for him to help him with it. He needed love. And Idril`s and Graven`s love wasn`t enough. They`ve already given up all the chances to convince the King to care more about his son.
Idril moved back to the Halls completely because of the King`s son. She even had no time for healing at all. She only held herself on track reading Eleniel`s medical journals…and from time to time Thranduil`s letters she kept secretly in her closet, perfectly hidden from anyone. So passionate, so loving he used to be. But now? No love remained inside the heart of the Elvenking. He even refused to help his friends and allies on the front line. He refused Daeron who saved his life many times…He had have killed all the advisors except Graven. He held everyone responsible for Eleniel except himself.
He should be responsible for his own son.
Idril always felt sad and angry at the same time thinking about such things. But what she could do? There was nothing she wouldn`t try already. She even let him yelled at her, he almost banished her again once. No one was in the position to criticize the Elvenking. And he made it very clear when he executed his closest advisors and imprisoned those, who dared to say something against it.
The elves of the Woodland Realm feared him.
And now with all the miracles he was suddenly capable of with the upcoming spring… The King managed to help the forest that it reborn even faster than it normally would. Instead of gratitude and happiness that he was truly The One, they feared him even more.
Idril sighed and rubbed her temple. She headed to the King`s office but when she saw that there was no guard standing there, she knew he was not inside. Thus, she turned on her heels and headed to the King`s chambers.
As soon as she walked into the Royal wing of the Halls, she noticed the emptiness. Just the guards on every possible corner, at every possible door. No servants. No elves. No laugh as it used to be. The King shut himself out.
Idril was lucky. She was one of the few people the King was speaking to.
At least from time to time when he wasn`t yelling at her.
“The King left just a few minutes ago.”
The guard at the front door informed her. Idril swallowed the anger and just left as well.
The darkness in the room was swallowing him. The King was standing there silently without a move. He managed to close the door behind him but he wasn`t able to move forward. To go closer. He just couldn`t. He has tried several times already but he just ended up right here, behind the door, not really coming in.
Thranduil`s eyes were glued to the bed. From the heavy blankets, only a small, blond head was visible. He knew that if he would go closer to the bed he will see his face.
Legolas was sleeping soundly. It was the only chance he wouldn`t look at him back with his big, green, pleading eyes full of pain, confusion, and regret. And one-sided love.
But he loved his son. Of course, he did.
How could he not?
Everyone told him, that facing the death of the one with who he bonded with will be hard, destroying even. But who warned him about facing his own child when he was so alike with his mother? No one.
It was like looking straight into her face and see the disappointment Thranduil knew she would feel right now. He was a disappointing father, he knew that. But Legolas was strong elfling, he knew that too. He was a Sindar, a royal blood after all. He will endure it here, without parents. He has Idril and Graven who will take care of him.
Thranduil exhaled and left the son`s chamber.
Lady Vanya entered the terrace and stopped next to her guest. Following the elleth`s gaze, she smiled at the sight of the small girl playing with other elflings.
“She resembles her father.” Lady Vanya spoke softly. The elleth smiled.
“I know. She is just like him – so kind and loving, so adventurous.”
“I am glad that you two made it to Locien. Valars had to stand by your side at those days. It`s such an awful season…”
“I cannot thank you more, Lady Vanya. You have saved us.”
The brown eyes melted with a gratitude. Lady Vanya smiled.
“But of course, child. You are still one of us.”
“I don`t know how I will ever repay your kindness.”
Lady Vanya looked at her again, narrowing her eyes. She remembered the letter her husband, Lord Daeron, has sent her just a day ago.
“Well, there is maybe one thing, you could do for me.”
“And that is?”
“Claim your legacy.”
The elleth shook her head.
“I am not strong enough to do it. There is no point.”
“There is someone who might help you if you`ll be able to convince him.”
Thranduil was staring out from the balcony. The cheerful, beautiful spring day was so lovely that it was killing him. Everything and everyone felt happy. Except him. He cannot do this any longer.
He is fading.
The feeling of emptiness was at its peak. There was no more joy for him in his immortal life.
Damn the immortality.
Is it a gift in such circumstances?
Or a curse?
A sudden knock broke his depressive thoughts. The Captain of the Guards stepped inside and bowed deeply, not really looking at his face.
“My King, please forgive me that I am interrupting, but there is a guest who you might want to see yourself in the Throne Room.”