Thank you for continuing to the next chapter! I wrote the next chapter on paper, so it will take some time to type up. I'll have it soon! Be sure to review.
Later that same night, an attendant knocked on Legolas' door. "Master Legolas, your father requests you present."
Legolas falls onto the edge of his bed clumsily, wearing nothing but his trousers. "Not now," he hurriedly spoke. "Send him my regards. I will see him at first light tomorrow."
Legolas relaxed as he heard the attendant leave. His head spun, dizzy with exhaustion, he was sure.
He had just returned from a successful patrol. Only minor injuries were sustained by four of his party, a record low anymore. Of course, he was among the four. An orchoth [host of orcs] had attacked a group of young elves, new to the patrols. Legolas had instinctively protected them, only to suffer a slight cut from the blade of the monster. The injury itself was minor, but his father was not pleased to see the wound.
"And when did this happen?" Thranduil asked coldly as soon as Legolas entered the room.
The elf knew exactly what his father meant. "Only in the last two hours of patrol. It is minor—"
"Does that make it acceptable?" Thranduil raised an eyebrow. "Any injury is abominable, Legolas. How often must we go over this? You were to return unharmed—"
"That is growing more difficult, Ada [father]." Legolas tried to suppress his anger. "Spiders now crawl throughout the greenwood, greenwood being now a loose term; most the forest is brown. Brown with decay. It is good that I return with so few injuries to count, and that one fell upon me I am glad, for many more could have fallen upon the elves under my watch had I not sustained this one." He looked at his father with a calm stance, not betraying the weariness that filled him from days fighting the monsters of the forest. His eyes, however, held fire.
"And would you sacrifice the future King of Mirkwood for the sake of a single elf? That would spell certain doom for the kingdom."
Legolas paled with fury. "Yes, I would." His eyes were daggers.
Thranduil met his gaze coolly. "You, my son, have much to learn of your role as king."
"Make me not a king, then!"
Thranduil stood. "You are my sole heir, no matter how much you despise it."
Legolas had heard enough. "My report is this: Orcs roam along the southern border, and spiders continue to congregate the nearby forest. Now I take my leave. Good evening to you, adar [father]." With that, Legolas left the room, ignoring his father's calls.
The hall fell to silence. Thranduil's head dropped wearily into his hand.
Legolas passed through the halls of Mirkwood in a rage. He could feel his temperature rising. It was a blessing when he finally reached his room.
Immediately he closed the door and fell into a chair. How could his father disregard another eleven life? The immortals were young, even younger than he. How could he have left them to die?
Of course, your faulty aim almost failed them. The thought was unbidden, but he couldn't push it aside.
After the initial yrch [orc] attack, Legolas had fired arrows at the approaching party. They had originally been at the southern border but had followed the elves north, toward the palace. Legolas' aim had been true... or rather, it should have been. It had seemed true. He had aimed as he always did, but the arrows had only slowed the orcs. He had aimed to kill.
With a sigh, he realized he would have to tell his father of the north-bound orcs. His temper was now under control, though he felt that his face was still flushed. He stood and went to his water pitcher. Cupping his hand he poured the water into his palm, sipping at the cool liquid. Then he dumped some water into a basin to wash his face.
With a start the realized just how hot his face had grown. He quickly splashed more water on his face, bending further as he did so. Bile rose in his throat, and his head snapped upward. His face stared back at him, a reflection in the mirror. His eyes were wide, his face ruddy, as if Strider had embarrassed him. And the bile...
He held tight to his vanity, not realizing he did so out of necessity. As he panted, he heard the knock at the door.
"Master Legolas, your father requests you present."
His father. Certainly he wanted to set things right between them, but he couldn't let anyone see him in this state. Especially not his father.
"Send him my regards. I will see him at first light tomorrow." Legolas tried to go to the door but failed miserably, collapsing next to his bed.
Legolas heard the elf walk away. Leaning against his bed, he tried to stand, but fell into a sitting position one the edge of his mattress.
He gasped for air. Panting considerably, he leaned across his bed, vomiting as he lay perpendicular on his bed. Now shaking, he turned, lying on his right shoulder, almost on his stomach. Trembling, he focused on breathing—only to vomit again onto his sheets and floor.
Legolas' heart raced with fear. Unknown to him, his eyes closed, and he fell into a sickly and feverish stupor.
He did not go to his father at dawn.