Chapter 2 : Two archers in a Field
Eleniel closed one eye and pulled the hard string back, the end of an arrow between her fingers. The arrow flew at a tremendous speed when she released it and THWACK!! it hit the bullseye mark on one of the many boards in the archery field. The sound echoed through the fields as she launched another arrow. Too easy, she thought. Retrieving her arrows, she went to the stables and returned with her beautiful white horse, Flame.
Meanwhile, footsteps sounded through the corridors of the castle. The same elf who smiled at Eleniel lightly walked through the passage. I need some air, he thought to himself, maybe I should go to the balcony.
Flame gently rode her mistress through the archery field. As the horse moved quickly, Eleniel passed the target boards one by one. And one by one, she shot a bullseye without a miss. Her bow bent again and again, the string stretched again and again, and as she kept firing, the sound of the arrows hitting the boards echoed again and again through the fields.
As the elf kept walking, he kept thinking of Eleniel. Her pretty brown eyes had found a place in his heart, and he couldn't forget her long, silky hair. Just thinking of her smile made him smile again. A palace guard passed by him and asked, "Your Highness, are you feeling all right? Your cheeks are pinkish." "I'm fine, thank you," replied the elf. He raised one hand to his face and stroked one of his cheeks with his fingers. They were slightly warmer then usual. Realising that he had been blushing, his cheeks grew even redder.
THWACKK!! THWACK! Eleniel shot two bullseyes in one launch. THWACK! She shot one arrow right through a board and got a bullseye on the board behind it. She smiled. No one could stop her love for archery.
The elf climbed the stairs to the next level. Again, another guard asked, "Are you feeling alright, Your Highness? Your cheeks have a red tinge." And again, he said he was all right. But this time, he passed Aragorn. He stared at the elf prince, and asked, "Your Highness, your cheeks are red. Are you blushing?" Knowing that someone had realised what he had actually been doing, the elf blushed even more. "I'm sorry Your Highness," said Aragorn, seeing that he had disturbed the prince, "I didn't mean to pry." "No," said the elf, "it's fine, there's no need to apologize." He then continued up the stairs, leaving Aragorn puzzled.
Taking a break, Eleniel sat down on the grass for a few minutes, patting her horse, who was munching on a carrot. While her horse ate, she gazed at the sky, starting to daydream. She suddenly thought of the elf who smiled at her when she walked into the meeting. Thinking of his smile made her smile again. Flame nudged her, and she snapped out of her dreams. But the thought still remained in her head as she retrieved her arrows and shot another bullseye.
The elf had reached the top of the staircase when he passed a window. Suddenly, a familiar sound met his ears. THWACK!! He paused and listened again. THWACKK!!! It felt so right to him. All of a sudden, he had the urge to follow the sound. But he didn't know why. The pressure built up inside him. The last passage to the balcony was straight up in front of him. But instead, he found himself staring down at the stairs he just climbed. His heart seemed to tell him, 'this way, this way...' The stairs stared back at him, and the elf felt temptation building inside him. He held his breath, hoping it would ease, but instead it got stronger. Finally, he could stand no more and gave in. He hurried back down the stairs.
For the first time, Eleniel smiled even though she was concentrating hard. She still didn't have a miss. But she still kept thinking of the elf. She had felt an emotion she had never felt before, although she didn't know how to describe it.
THWACK! There was the sound again. The elf walked back the way he had come. But halfway along a corridor, he turned right and took a different route, following the sound. It had gotten louder, and now he could hear the sound of hoof beats thundering the ground. Then he came to a point where he couldn't follow the sound anymore, for he had found its source. A line of pillars lined a part of the archery field, so he hid behind one of them, watching the Eleniel fire one arrow after the other. He was amazed at her skill and love for archery.
Eleniel had no clue that there was someone watching her in awe, so she kept firing, and she hadn't missed.
All of a sudden, the elf found himself silently stepping out from behind the pillar. "You have skill with archery," he said without planning to. Then, he realised why he had the urge to follow the sound. Somehow, he knew why, and it felt right, but he just didn't know the reason. Don't worry, he told himself, I'll find out soon enough.
"You have skill with archery." Eleniel turned at the sound of the elf's voice. She jumped down from her horse. "Thank you," she said, a smile pulling at her lips. "I'm sorry," said the elf, "I should have introduced myself. I'm Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood."
"Oh, I'm sorry, Your Highness," Eleniel apologized, her cheeks blushing with embarrassment as she bowed down to Legolas. "Please," Legolas said, "You don't need to bow to me. And just call me Legolas." Eleniel stood up straight again. "I'm Eleniel, sister of Aragorn. Do you like archery?" she asked, noticing Legolas' bow in his left hand. "Yes, I love it," replied Legolas. "Me too," said Eleniel, "Are you good at it?" At these words, Legolas reached for an arrow in his sack and fired it at a board. It went straight through it and hit a bulls eye on the board behind it.
"You are!" said Eleniel, impressed at what she just saw.
To her surprise, Legolas took her left hand in his left hand and stood behind her. He then dropped his bow and reached for an arrow from his sack. Then, he took Eleniel's right hand in his right hand and pulled back the string on her bow. "On the count on three, we'll try to shoot a leaf off that tree together, okay?" he asked. "Okay," said Eleniel. She tightened her grip on her bow, Legolas' hand still over hers. She also tightened her grip on the arrow between her fingers and shut one eye. Legolas began counting, "One, two... THREE!" They let the arrow go and it hit a twig of a nearby cherry tree. A leaf floated down to the ground and landed on the grass. "Bullseye!" said Legolas.
They practiced for a few more hours before going back inside. "I'll see you tomorrow," said Eleniel to Legolas. "You too," the elf replied. On the way back to her room, Eleniel bumped into her brother. "How was archery?" asked Aragorn. "The best practice I ever had," replied Eleniel, a smile growing inside her. Aragorn frowned slightly and stared at her. "Mind if I ask why your cheeks are pink?"
"I've been practicing, of course," Eleniel said, although deep down she knew that wasn't the real reason.
"Yes, of course," Eleniel said, blushing even more. The more she blushed,the more Aragorn frowned. Just at that moment, Legolas passed by with yet another palace guard. "Your Highness, are you feeling all right? Your cheeks are red!" Aragorn cocked his head to one side, folded his arms and raised one eyebrow. With nothing left to say, Eleniel made an excuse. "I think I'll go take my shower," she said to Aragorn, her cheeks still pink as she walked off.
"Eleniel, you're my sister! Don't think I don't know you!" Aragorn shouted after her, as a big smile spreading across his face.