Chapter 43

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Inside the armoury, Aragorn puts on his armour. Someone hands him his sword & he turns to see Legolas standing in front of him.

Legolas: "We have trusted you this far & you have not led us astray. Forgive me. I was wrong to despair."

Taking the sword, Aragorn smiles at the elf.

Aragorn: Ú-moe edamed (There is nothing to forgive), Legolas."

Looking back at Aragorn, Legolas returns the smile. Gimli enters the room, wearing armor that is far too long for him.

Gimli: "If we had time, I'd get this adjusted."

The man & elf turn to the dwarf as the armour falls to the ground. Gimli looks back up at them.

Gimli: "It's a little tight across the chest."

Aragorn & Legolas smile at Gimli, amused. The sound of a horn is suddenly heard outside. Legolas turns, a look go surprise on his face.

Legolas: "That is no orc horn!"

They rush out. All along wall, men are peering over, trying to see who the horn had come from.

Man: "Send for the king. Open the gate!"

The gates are opened & an army of elves march in. Men stare in awe. Théoden walks down the stairs & up to the Elf Captain.

Théoden: "How is this possible?"

Elf Captain: "I bring word from Elrond of Rivendell. An alliance once existed between elves & men. Long ago we fought & died together."

Aragorn, Legolas & Gimli rush down the stairs.

Elf Captain: "We come to honor that allegiance."

Aragorn: "Mae govannen (Welcome), Haldir!"

Standing before the elf, Aragorn hugs him. Haldir looks a bit surprised but returns the gesture.

Aragorn: "You are most welcome."

Legolas comes down the stairs & embraces Haldir. The army of elves turn & lower their bows & shields in unison.

Haldir: "We are proud to fight alongside men, once more."

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Standing above, Raiden, in human form, at her side, Miyuki watches as the elves begin to be positioned along the wall. It was a fortunate stroke of luck that Lord Elrond had thought to send help. The small chance of victory was now, ever so slightly, raised. Turning, she starts to head towards the stairs.

Miyuki: "Shall we join the others, Raiden?"

She only takes a few steps before she feels her heart skip a beat. She gasps as sharp pain shoots through her chest & she falls to ground clutching at it. Closing her eyes, she sees the burning eye before her.

Sauron: "So close...so close...you can't escape me...dragon master..."

Raiden: "...ki...Miyuki...Miyuki!"

Gradually, the pain fades. Miyuki slowly opens her eyes to see Raiden, holding her close, looking down at her, his silver eyes full of distress.

Raiden: "Are you alright, Miyuki?"

Miyuki nods tiredly. Closing her eyes again, she rests her head against her dragon's chest. This wasn't new. She had suffered from these bouts of pain her whole life. An effect of the constant battle of good & evil that went on inside her. However, since meeting Saruman, the pain had gotten more severe & more frequent. She had never let anyone see though, least of all Legolas. She wasn't going to be able to fight the dragon's darkness any longer.

Voice: "So it is true. The Dragon Master will fall to the dark."

Opening her eyes, she looks up to see Haldir standing over her & Raiden. His expression is unreadable. Raiden tenses, glaring at the elf with hostility, ready to attack if Haldir intended to harm his mistress. Haldir meets Raiden's glare.

Haldir: "Relax. I have no intention of harming your master."

Raiden remains as he is. Haldir turns to Miyuki.

Haldir: "I bring a gift for you, Dragon Master. A gift from the Lady of Light."

Miyuki blinks in surprise. Touching Raiden's hand, the dragon relaxes. She stands, stepping forward to face Haldir.

Miyuki: "What gift has the Lady for me? The last time we met, she said she could give me nothing."

The elf hands her a sheathed dagger. Unsheathing it, the dagger looks nothing special. Just a simple one with a black handle. Until she looks at the blade. Words are inscribed on it. Reading the words, her eyes widen. She looks sharply at Haldir.

Miyuki: "This...how did it come into Lady Galadriel's possession?"

Haldir: "I do not know. All she told me was that I was to give this to you. She said you would recognise it."

Indeed, Miyuki did recognise it. This dagger was made by her people. An ancient weapon, forged long ago for a single purpose. She never thought she would see it again much less be the one to use it. Turning the blade over in her hands, she smiles faintly.

Miyuki: "Thank you, Haldir. Your Lady's gift is most helpful. Now, if you will excuse me."

Bowing to the elf, Miyuki turns & walks towards the stairs, Raiden close behind. Haldir watches the two disappear down the stairs, wondering what meaning the dagger held to the Dragon Master.

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