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Not Death Nor Life
Seana Nichole
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1000yrs after the Last Battle

Half-human and a princess, she ran away from home.
Elven and a hunter, a prince chastises her.
This is the story of how he brought her home.
This is the story of what she taught him.
How he became a warrior.
Why she now respects the earth.
And how they parted bitterly,
For she would not be his death,
And he could not be her life.

Chapter 1

" I could just go, Farlumenen, for who now could stop me? You've trained me your very self, all these my long years...."

"Darling, darling child, " he chided,

And how she hated his smile.....

" True, I have taught you to travel and to defend, nay, even to attack, but your violence is a thing of reason, not passion, and though you could go with ease, where ever could you hope to arrive?"

Silence, as usual, was his only answer. He expected no more, for though the half-elven child had a voice pure and musical, few heard it more then once a day. Argumentive was the child, and full of fight she could not hold. Her father knew this, had called Farlumenen to his court some 20 years ago to train her, and already the girl had absorbed more of the tactics and fluidity then ever her family could match or fathom.

But he taught her still, for what else was there to occupy her time? Her family’s court was closed to her, as her birth held her apart. No shame to be of the fair elven race, as Farlumenen was himself, but still it forever denied her the place of first-born and heir, for long since had her named family held themselves apart and independent of the elfish monarchy. The Dubethal's line of rule had remained pure and unbroken for three decades now, an eternity to them, the arms master knew, though it seemed but a little while to him.

And so he taught her the sword, the bow, the knifes, the dodging and running and chase of battle, when he longed to show her the water and the trees and the elfish way, but she, stubborn as her father, would have none of it, none of anything not human, not true. She accepted his knowledge nay, his presence, as she did all who had a role in the Dubethal's home, as if he were a mere servant, and an unloved one at that. He had long since lost her respect, he knew, first when he could not successfully argue for his race's philosophy in the face of her irrational bias, and then, later, when she began to outstrip even his ability in the circle. Far from convincing her she was gifted in the ring, she choose to see this as a weakness in his race, claiming it was her human origin that gave her such skill. Just the opposite was true, he knew, but his own skill was that of a teacher, not a warrior, and he had no hope of competing well enough to suit her.

Princess Illnewun watched the familiar face across from her, regret casting shadows across the handsome elf, chasing it seemed the fading light from the windows high above, the falling sun dancing past his still form to touch her own features before retreating, silently, moving along the wide empty floor of the training hall, illuminating for a moment the weapons scattered to the left, as thought to set the steel on fire, and then finally leaving them all at once, alone in the room with their thoughts, and she, with her plans.

One warning, all she would give, so when she was found gone, no foul play would be suspected. He of course dismissed it, as she knew he must, for she had long suspected him a fool, and dense besides. Why would she stir herself to speak, in this cursed voice he father flinched at, should she not mean what she said? Go she must, for this existence chafed, and whither she arrived, if at all, she cared naught any longer. Perhap to a village, far away, where she could settle as any other born not to royalty, born not to the elves. Born not at all, she wished for again.

Born not at all.

Throwing his head back and shaking vigorously, prince Legolas leap lightly from the streambed, landing far enough from his camp to freely scatter droplets of clear water about. Ah, life! Beautiful, breathtaking life! How he loved the Allundun and the song her sweet water sang! Smiling in his heart and nodding with respect to the fading sun, the young elf shook once more, sending a fresh shower of water about his feet, before stepping lightly to his fire and the warmth the happy flames dancingly promised. Dressing quickly and smoothly, and humming under his breathe, the elf contemplated once more his task. To find ones calling he knew, was no easy task, though why the process called for complete solitude in the woods, he knew not. Well, not solitude, but certainly forbidding him contact with any in his clan and race was the same thing, no matter how his guide had oh so carefully phrased it. Who else would be wondering so far abroad from any of the callings of home and hearth? Silly, really, as he knew his place already, but never would he deny himself this time alone amongst the trees and clean air! Why, already he had found wonders, lost and withered statues of old, one of which he was sure he could place as an ancient mage or wizard. Had he stumbled across the like at home, even once! Ah, life!

No real need of sleep led him then, but the novelty of laying outside of guarded land and letting his mind go tempted him overly, and he let his head lead against the bark as his eyes half closed. The moon, early rising, looked with joy upon his face, for of all the creatures in middle earth, the elves where by far the fairest, and Legolas, of noble heritage, had beauty far beyond even most of his kindred. His dark brown eyes glinted beneath thin, fine brows, crowned by proud forehead and soft, long blonde hair, now darkened by water, braids heavy and framing his almost fragile face, one wet strand clinging to his full bottom lip.

By the time he came awake again, the moon was long past full, soon to wane, and his loose white shirt and close green pants had dried upon his lithe and slender frame. Sighing, for his rest had been sweet, Legolas drew an his tunic, and almost with reluctance, awkwardly strapped on his quiver and bow, loosing the knife in its belt sheath momentarily, then sliding it home. Gifts, all, clothing and tools, but Legolas was ever and always more at home with a brush, or a whittling knife, if he must have something sharp. So much glory in the world, he wanted to realize it all, to paint mural after mural to honor the splendor that was nature.
Alas, that one must carry weapons to only travel in peace. Always before he had searched for food, and ran from predators, catching with ease any prey he chose to cook by simply out running and catching the smaller animals. His speed, he knew, as he was told oft, would serve him well as a warrior, but what could he create then, with bow and knife? Was ever art done with blood?

Shaking his head, as these arguments were old, and resolved besides, Legolas wandered towards the highest point in the ground, seeking a place to watch the sun, the merry sun, his lovely lady, rise once more.
From the end of her scarcely marked path, Illnewun watched the glare of the sun over take her fathers castle, crowning the towers and halls with red light, before turning resolutely away. Quickly, but with out haste, she followed her own path, long since mapped out, shifting occasionally the straps of her burden. A little food only, had she brought, leaving room in her small pack for rope, flint, quiver and bow. Nothing else did she need but the knife in her boot and the small hatchet on her belt, for Farlumenen had trained her well. And what he had not taught her of living alone on the trail, perhaps to avoid giving her ideas, she had taught herself, through reading and listening, and asking questions, when her voice would not carry to her fathers ears.

To live on the land with ease would be no trouble, and these paths were well traveled and guarded by those mysterious “rangers”, so she had no fear but that of starving, which meant no fear at all. Her father would send men out, of course, but none had the skill to track her, and besides, her leave taking coincided with her brother’s party and coming of age hunt. There would be few men to spare this evening, when they finally thought to look, and she would have traveled miles by then, and be half way to the road besides! From there, she would catch a ride she hoped, and lose even the best tracker when she did. Or, if luck failed her, and she in no way depended upon so fickle a thing, she would simply cross and venture further in to the Makheirnen’s forest. Branching into the territory of the Silven wood elves, the Makheirnen’s estate was wild and unwatched. It would be nigh impossible for even a tracker such as herself to follow anyone in such a dense canopy, it would surly fool her fathers men.

Careful not to trample the ground beneath her and watching close to avoid leaving prove of her passing, she gave herself up to the mindless yet aware state of journey. Illnewun had never discussed her love of walking, even running through open land, had not discussed much of anything at all really, with her family, holding this one joy close to her heart. She suspected it was to do more with her mother’s people, this wonder lust, yet she could not reject it. For all she mocked Farlumenen his prating about the woods and their majesty, she did in fact take solace in the fresh air and quiet. The trees wanted nothing from her, and would give all she chose to take, nothing more of them did she care. No songs of singing stream or whispering forest of grumbling earth did she hum as she walked, but only moved with grace along the ground, sure feet finding the swiftest path. No mystery in moving with speed and silence as her arms master insisted, only skill and practice.

And because she could not see her face, clean of the bitter sorrow it normally betrayed, she did not know she began this journey with a smile, though any passing would remark at how it changed her face so. Her eyes were of the palest blue, her lips soft and now lilting, her sharp cheekbones and smooth skin framed by soft golden hair. If left, her hair would fall to her buttocks, but she had bound it for travel, still loose about her face but caught up in a tie at the base of her shoulders. She had thought to cut it before she began out today, but found at the last that she could not bear to. No doubt many days upon the road would change her mind, and she was content to wait. All things in there proper time she knew. Had she not waited before she had skill enough in woodcraft before she left as she had longed to for years? Had she not trained first with weapons long and hard before going out alone where she may need them? Had she not waited 2 more years after readiness for her brothers birthday, knowing it an occasion big enough to draw all attention for a full day? All things in there time, but now, simply for walking. Walking and away and for forever, and finally.

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