In the Bright of the Forest

In the beautiful but torn lands of Eversong forest, Celebrin meditates, breathing in deeply, clearing her mind of all distractions, blocking out the sounds of training below the tower. Her hair shines a bright gold, the tips turning slightly reddish, soft to the touch. Her face is soft, her skin a healthy pink, her body well taken care of. She wears a modest white robe, made of a rough fabric that doesn’t fit her terribly well; her tiny body is lost in the flowing garment. She has been meditating for most of the morning, her mind a little hazy with the effort.

As most elves, she understands the need to have control over the magic she wields, not the other way around; to be a pure and holy servant of the light, she would need to make sure she, especially, was able to control her lust for magic. For years she had trained to be a holy priestess, but the calling of Blood Knight was too strong for her to know. She knew the one who guided her wanted her to follow the path, and she would all too eagerly follow. Anything for the light.

Today was a very special day for young Celebrin. The light would reveal one of its servants to her, the one who guided her for so many years, and she was determined to look as holy and pure as possible, both mentally and physically. She flutters her glowing green eyes open, smiling as she stands and walks to the window, her long robe reaching past her feet, long enough to trip her. She sighs happily, closing her eyes and feeling the warmth of the sun on her face, her entire body feeling relaxed and at peace.

She quickly runs to her trunk and pulls out her shiny mail armour, scuffing out a few of the fingerprint marks, smiling proudly as she looked at the golden chest, legs, boots and gloves. Placing them to the side, she pulls off her robe, neatly folding it on the bed. With anticipation of her position of Blood Knight she had begun training with weights, though the armour was still heavy and uncomfortable, her body barely able to hold her tiny sword and shield. She quickly pulls on the heavy pieces over her under clothing, smiling widely in the mirror, revealing her tiny, white teeth.

She walks with a skip in her steps, trying to keep her mind connected to the one who guided her. Walking from Farstrider Square, humming one of her hymns, she looks around eagerly. Perhaps a glowing embodiment of the light, she thinks to herself, or something small, like a little woodland creature. She nearly giggles at the idea of a tiny little perfect being, with a tiny little holy robe similar to hers.

Suddenly she senses something, like a small buzzing. Looking around, she narrows her eyes curiously at the tree and bush a few yards from the road. She catches a tiny glimpse of red and green, and tilts her head to the side, moving in closer to investigate.

” Welcome… been a while,” a deep, rough voice spoke, the colours in the bushes shifting slightly.

Celebrin started at the sound of the voice, backing up a few paces and drawing her sword, “I know how to use this!” she cries, still trying to figure out who it was speaking to her.

“Put down de blade. Come ‘ere.”

Celebrin winces a little, obliging by stepping forward, but not lowering the blade, narrowing her eyes angrily, too confused and frightened to speak.

“Do ju not recognize me? No?” he speaks, and she could see more movement in the bush, “do ju at least recognize de voice? De light dat has evah guided ju?”

Celebrin tries to look through the bushes, failing to see any more than the green and red. Sighing, she walks around the bush, gasping a little more and backing up again as she catches eyes with a large forest troll.

Eng rolls his eyes over Celebrin’s body slowly, coldly observing her as her ears twitch as she begins to stammer, “you’re obviously an impostor…” she pauses, looking a little closer, her face soon matching his coldness, then erupting in rage, holding her weapon out in front of her.

Eng lifts his hands, looking at his palms briefly, before tilting his head and giving Celebrin a disturbing grin. “Dese hands spared ju. Evah since, jour life has been mine. I, jour god.”

Celebrin laughs coldly, her body shaking in rage, her arm unsteady, “you’re lying, and you’ll be brought to justice by the light I wield! I don’t know how you found me again, but you’ll regret ever seekin’ me out!”

Eng smiles insincerely, gesturing with two fingers for her to approach, “ju sought me. Ju ‘ave sought me evah since dat day. De voice in jour ‘ead… guidin’ ju back ta me.”

Celebrin narrows her eyes, quickly losing any bit of cool she once had in her, stuttering often, “You’re a vile liar!” she cries, lunging the blade at the air, “don’t talk like you know me! You’re vile and terrible and… and… and… a liar!”

Eng angles his face downwards, smirking at Celebrin fiendishly, “did ju miss de feel o’ my ‘ands as well? Ju ‘ave done well undah my guidance. Look… a Blood Knight. I knew it would fit’chu well, just as I spoke de words for ju ta take up de callin’…”

Celebrin narrows her eyes further, to the point they’re completely closed, her breathing rapid and shallow, her arm still slashing at the air, “It’s not true! The light guided me, not some vile creature!” she sobs, trying to convince herself more than him, her anger and hate clear in her voice, though her words come out stutters.

” I am jour light. It is too late for regrets… ju accepted me inta jour body long ago. Now… come,” he gestures with his hand, his palm facing upwards, two of his fingers languidly gesturing for her to approach.

Celebrin shakes her head frantically, accidentally dropping her sword. She stoops to the ground to pick it up, falling to her knees sobbing, blindly grabbing for the handle.

Eng narrows his eyes, glaring, and then leaning on his knees, rising up and walking towards her, staring down from his imposing height. Celebrin gulps, leaning back and trying to back away, leaving the sword behind and trying to shield herself from him. He reaches his large, green hand out, trying to clasp it around Celebrin’s neck. She whimpers, kicking her way backwards on the ground, turning over onto her hands and knees and trying to crawl away, attempting to keep the shield over the back of her neck and head.

Eng snarls and kicks at Celebrin’s side, easily flipping her over onto her back. The elven girl cries, fully sobbing and staring up at him pitifully, raising her fist as though to hit him away. He swats at her fist and lunges downwards, clasping Celebrin’s neck tightly in his thick, green fingers, yanking her up and dangling her before him.

“Jour life is mine! Embrace jour callin’!”

Celebrin yelps, her feet struggling to find ground, still shaking her head, “Stop.”

Eng slaps her across the face roughly, “I’ve come a long way ta retrieve what I left ‘ere long ago! I’ve little patience for dis, aftah all de time I invested in ju! Many years o’ tender guidance!”

She chokes out the word “tender,” her eyes still clenched shut as he tightens his grip on her neck, growling angrily at her, “remembah dis?! Remembah what my ‘ands feel like?! I know ju do! I ‘ave given ju so much! All I ask is for ju ta listen! Ju were always so well at listenin’!” Whimpering again, she lays her soft, pink hands on his, attempting to nod but failing to be able to, opening her wet eyes.

The rage in his eyes flickers slightly as he notices her acquiescence and loosens his grip, “I hate ju… ju deserved ta die all dose years ago. But I gave ju my mercy. Gave ju my guidance, so dat ju might be somet’ing more… can ju not t’ank me?”

She sobs loudly, choosing not to answer, causing him to clench his free fist, slugging her in the stomach savagely before releasing her and letting her drop to the ground, “jour lord is merciful. But I ‘ave my limits. Ju were my sworn enemy. A vile creature. I offah ju ascension! What do ju offah in return?”

Celebrin turns to her side, clutching her stomach in pain, “go… way… please…” she sobs, looking him in the eye. Eng glares angrily, snarling again and kicking Celebrin’s back, “What?!” Celebrin yelps loudly, as she shuts her eyes again and continues to sob.

He crouches down, leaning over her, speaking lowly, “I even brought ju gifts… gifts! Dis is ‘ow ju treat me? Lookit what’chu make me do, my child…” She continues clutching her stomach, curled up into fetal position, trying not to look at him.

Grabbing her chin in his hand, wrenching her head towards him, he makes her look at his tusked-face, “What ‘appened to my child dat laid awake at night… murmuring ‘er prayers o’ love for de light? Dis is ‘ow ju react when de light is not ‘ow ju expect?” he growls, and in return she narrows her eyes angrily, though clearly having learned her lesson about speaking, physically biting her tongue.

His large, rough, calloused, hand moves from her chin down to her thin, soft neck, wrapping around it, but not squeezing, murmuring to her on the brink of rage. “Tell me ju accept my guidance again. Tell me ju love me again.” The elf narrows her eyes more, speaking through clenches teeth after scanning the area and not seeing any guards, “I accept. I love the light.”

Eng smiles insincerely, but only slightly, flexing his hand on her throat, “Jour light’s name is Eng. Say it again… say it propah.” Celebrin winces, “… Eng.” He narrows his eyes, glaring, “Say it all. Do not screw around.” “I..” she pauses, clenching her teeth tighter, “I love the… light… Eng…”

Eng leans in close to Celebrin’s ear, clenching his hand about her neck a little, “I love ju Eng… say it. Ju ‘ave loved me for so long. Say it.” Celebrin sobs again, most of her anger replaced with sorrow and self pity, “I love… you Eng.” He loosens his hand, murmuring softly, “Again.”

Celebrin cries, relieved at the fact she can breath properly again, this time speaking with as little emotion as possible, “I love you Eng.”

He nods coldly, patting her cheek and reaching back towards the bushes, pulling out some satchels, tossing them atop her pained body. “Gifts. Gifts for my fait’ful.” She winces as she moves to hug the gifts, shame plain on her face.

The large troll stands, looking down, watching her carefully, “I ‘ave been by jour side many years, since our first embrace. ‘ave I evah led ju astray?” “I… don’t know,” she speaks hesitantly, her voice quivering. He glares slightly as he listens, “answer honestly. Before ju came ‘ere taday. Did ju evah feel I failed ju… evah even doubt me? Do not let jour prejudices blind ju.” “Prejudice!” Celebrin whimpers, preparing for another blow.

Eng, not failing, slugs Celebrin in the face with his fist. She cries out sharply, her hand clasping her face as she looks up at him in terror, her lower lip quivering violently. He sighs as he watches her before slugging her jaw again. Again she yelps, raising herself up and spitting out the words, “Fine! No! But you lied!” Moving quickly, the back of his large green hand cracks across her delicate face, “about what?!” Sobbing louder, her face screaming with hot pain, she sputters out “who you are!” her jaw making a tiny cracking noise as she speaks.

He raises his hands up, parallel to his face, “I am jour light! I am Eng! De one who guides ju t’rough darkness, despair an’ uncertainty!” “You are my…!” Celebrin began to shout, quickly shutting up, still bracing herself for another blow.

Roughly he grabs the front of Celebrin’s mail tunic, the quickness of his movement startling the swollen elf, pulling her up and wrapping an arm about her, pressing her to his chest. Speaking softly near her ear, his hand brushes the hair from her reddened face, “I am jour light. Eng.” She sobs uncontrollably for a few seconds, trying to spot her sword, failing to and just continuing with her girly tears. “Dere dere. No more. Promise me ju wont make me ‘it ju again taday? Okay? I did not come ‘ere taday wantin’ ta do dat,” he spoke, almost kindly, shushing her sobs.

She gulps her sobs in, nodding her head against her chest, trying to raise her hand to her jaw. Softly, he lays her back on the grass on her feet, brushing his calloused thumb across her soft cheek, “Heal jourself my child. I directed ju to dose powahs. Use dem,” he smiles, speaking almost fatherly. Celebrin whimpers, shaking her head, “Pain’ll only make us…” she pauses, “stronger.”

Eng brushes a bit of blood from Celebrin’s lips, “I ‘ave great plans for ju. Do not disappoint me, my child.” She growls softly, her bruises quickly beginning to form on her face, “I won’t.” He brushes his hand through her hair, “Let us go on as we always ‘ave. My strong ‘ands upon ju… guidin’ ju ta greatness.” She narrows her eyes again, defiant, but nodding. He leans down, placing his ear near Celebrin’s mouth, “Once more.”

” I… IloveyouEng.”

He smiles and turns his face to Celebrin’s, his long nose brushing against hers as he grins, “Good. I’ve ‘ad jour love for so many years… I would be woe ta give it up now.” She sobs once more, sniffling and trying to appear strong, trying to stand straight and wincing at the pain in her back and stomach. “Come wit’ me. Taday our journey, ‘and in ‘and, begins. Like so long ago it began in spirit.” She grimaces, looking longingly at her blade, “I need that.” Eng leans down and picks it up, holding the blade out to her, handle facing her, a smile on his face, “Dere ju go.”

Celebrin watches him suspiciously, quickly grabbing the sword and putting it at her side. ” I know ju are disturbed. But I know in de end, ju shall search jour soul an’ realize I was right all along. Dat my appearance does not change a t’ing.” She frowns, whispering, “It does,” before looking straight at him, the defiance and anger dissipated. He clasps her face in his hand, “Why do ju wish me ta beat’chu? Why did’ju say dat?”

Celebrin’s eyes floods with tears again, her lower lip quivering as she stares back at him.

He moves his face closer to his, his expression unchanging, “Why did’ju? I am tryin’ ta be nice ta ju… why did’ju say dat?” She whimpers, trying to shy away, “Because…” she stutters, “Because you…” she sighs, lowering her eyes, “I’m sorry.”

He presses his cheek to Celebrin’s, his tusk poking against her ear, “Say it again…” he murmurs to her. “I’m… sorry,” she whispers, her voice cracking slightly. Eng whispers back softly, “Not dat, my child.”

She sighs disheartened, whimpering, “I love you… Eng.”

The large troll took her into his arms, hugging her to him tightly, “I know ju do. Ju shall remembah it again soon enough. Let’s get ta work.” Celebrin sighs, tightening her hand around her sword as they began their journey.

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