Chapter 22

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Legolas: "...sorry...I um..."

The elf stands guiltily on the ground, facing Miyuki. From what he had witnessed, it was very clear that the Dragon Master & her dragon wanted some time alone. He should have listened to Aragorn. He shouldn't have stayed.

Miyuki: "Sorry for what? There's nothing you have to apologise for."

Legolas is surprised. He thought she'd be angry. Secretly watching a lady bathe was hardly gentlemanly behaviour. Everything must have shown on his face as he glimpses a small smile on Miyuki's face.

Miyuki: "I thought elves were excellent at hiding their emotions? You were only concerned, right? I am at fault for leaving without a word."

Walking through the shallow the water to the bank, she is about to climb out but stops. She glances at Legolas, amused.

Miyuki: "Am I that fascinating, Your Highness? Not that I mind."

The elf turns away quickly. He hears the splash of water as she climbs onto the bank. The rustle of clothes as she dresses. The image Miyuki in the moonlight flashes across his mind & he shakes his head to clear it, telling himself not to think about it.

Miyuki: "I was going to come back & ask you something but perhaps its better this way."

Turning back slowly, he sees Miyuki finishing tying her hair ribbon. She picks up her sword & faces him.

Miyuki: "Let's have a match, Prince."


Legolas: "A match?"

Legolas stares at Miyuki, not quite sure he heard right. He would understand if she was angry at him but she had just said she wasn't. Or maybe she was & just wasn't showing it. Was this her way of indirectly punishing him?

Miyuki: "I am not angry at you, Prince. All I am asking is for a match of skill. You may use all your weapons if you choose."

Even if the elf was confused, he had wanted to face Miyuki ever since he saw her practicing in Rivendell. If he turned down her offer now, he might never get another chance. None of them knew what lay ahead of them or whether they would live to see the end. Thinking back to the duel on the mountain, Legolas readies his bow. Miyuki smiles & slides her katana into her obi.

Miyuki: "The skill & speed of elves are known to me. Do not hold back."

Legolas nods, releasing two arrows at lightning speed. But Miyuki is no longer there. Sensing movement behind him, the elf turns, shooting a third arrow as he leaps away. Miyuki draws her sword, cutting the arrow down at the near impossible to avoid range. The two of them pause, watching each other. A smile of excitement spreads across Legolas' face.

Miyuki: "Ranged attacks. A wise choice, Prince. Close combat is my specialty."

Legolas: "Just call me, Legolas. You are just as fast as I expected. That was too near a miss for my liking. Just try not to break my arrows."

Preparing another arrow, Legolas shoots. Once more Miyuki vanishes from his sight. As he had thought when he first saw her, she moved faster than the elven eye could see.

Miyuki: "You are wide open, Legolas."

She appears in front of him, closer than he expected. Throwing aside his bow, he draws his knives, parrying her sword with one & attempting to attack her with the other. She springs back to avoid the blade with Legolas following, taking his chance to press the attack. Finding the rhythm, Miyuki slips into the same technique he had witnessed before. Only, this was the true 'Dance of the Longsword'. Dodging & parrying before switching to a dancing attack, it was mesmerising to watch, only making it more difficult for him to avoid her attacks. Eventually, Miyuki disarms Legolas, bringing her sword to his throat.

Miyuki: "My victory."

Legolas: "Not quite."

Miyuki feels the elf's second knife at her back. A deadlock. In the years past she had fought off the occasional trespasser into her forest but no one had been able to push her this far before. Then again, she had never fought any elves. With this duel, she knew she could entrust him with the task. A task no one else could do.

Legolas: "You said you wanted something from me. I do not think it was only a duel was it?"

He withdraws his knife as he says this. Lowering her sword, Miyuki sheathes it. Then, reaching into her blouse, she reveals a clear crystal with black mist swirling in its depths. It is attached to a chain. Removing it from her neck, Miyuki takes Legolas' hand placing the crystal into it.

Miyuki: "I want to entrust you with my life. When this crystal turns black, please, kill me."

I apologize for the long absence. I have been extremely busy with my final undergraduate year work for the past months. Just submitted my dissertation yesterday so that monster piece of writing is finally done. Phew! I still have one more essay to work on though so there will be no updates for another week or so. Took a break today so I posted up a chapter. Hope you all enjoy!


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