Chapter threeee! The action starts in this chapter, leading up to a series of unfortunate events :) Hope you enjoy!
The separate training had been going on for four weeks now, and it was agitating Fili and Kili to no describable end. They worked better together - every dwarf in the Blue Mountains knew this fact but their stubborn uncle refused to accept that as a fact.
Kili rested his head against his palm as he listened to Balin ramble, thoughts swirling in his mind, though his eyes were fixed on the paper so it looked as though he was listening. He had a headache from sitting inside, and all he wanted to do was bolt across a field like a madman and scream. No phrase would suffice the description of how bored he was at this very moment.
"So they used to write the ancient runes on the walls for us dwarves who are studying history now, and that is generally how we are able to study and how I can explain everything to you at this very moment."
"Mmm, interesting." Kili mumbled.
"And we are able to read them from the few people that survived the battle and were able to teach, or write diaries that to this day sit dusty in our cupboards. Now I've taught you these runes before..."
"So what is this one?" Balin asked, sliding a piece of paper across the table. Kili stared at it blankly, and Balin sighed. "Are you alright lad?"
"Do you think Fili is okay?" Balin just sighed deeply.
"He'll be fine, laddie."
"But he's stuck with my uncle who can be so pressurising!"
"Is something else on your mind?"
"Not really. Thorin gave me so many chores and I haven't done any."
"You can go when you tell me these three runes." Balin told him, and Kili sat up from his slumped position and glanced at the page wearily.
"That's EA...thats Y and that's..." Kili stared at it, no emotion on his countenance showing that he understood what he was looking at.
"That's R. Take these. Learn this laddie, you need to know them." Balin warned.
"Thanks." Kili mumbled, and with that he swung the door open, a creak sounding in his ears, and he left the house. The dwarf made it back to his own home and slowly pushed open the door, before stepping inside. He hated being home alone - it felt dangerous, especially recently. He pulled out a duster and started on the chores.
"Fili, focus." Thorin ordered to his pacing nephew as he struggled with understanding the point of tracking, and noted how Fili constantly ran his hands through his hair, looking ready to tear it out at any moment.
"How?!" He asked exasperated. "I'm trying uncle, honestly I am, but I can't do it!" Thorin sighed and put two hands on his nephews shoulders.
"Fili, look at me." he ordered, but not unkindly. Fili raised his eyes to look into his uncle's. "Tracking, is much more than just aimlessly wandering around unable to focus. It's about what you can hear, and feel, not just what you see." Thorin removed his hands from his nephews shoulders. "Close your eyes. Take deep breaths." Fili obeyed, and his head stopped swimming for a moment, and he could sense Thorin moving away. He weaved in and out of some trees, and placed his dagger on the ground, before swiftly making his way back to his now calm nephew. "Okay, find the dagger." Fili opened his eyes and glanced at the ground.
"Well, I heard you move this way." he entered an area of deeper mud and smiled. "Your footprints lead through here..." He looked around thoughtfully when he got to the end of the footprints. "So you either went this way or East...I feel like you went East. I heard you shift this way." Fili went where his gut told him, and he yelled in triumph as he picked up his dagger off of the ground.
Thorin clapped with a smile. "Well done Fili! See, tracking is not just about what you can see." Thorin told him. "I think you may be finally improving. Lets go and tell your brother of your success. Maybe he would like to see it the next time we go." Fili squealed in excitement.
"Thank you uncle!" He exclaimed, meaning every syllable sincerely as he followed Thorin through the forest to where he knew his brother and Dwalin would be training.
Kili grabbed his bow and headed to the training fields on the outskirts of the forest. He knew Dwalin would bring him a sword, as he didn't actually own one himself. Thorin told him and Fili that when they turned fifteen they had to pick their main weapon of choice, and when Kili had picked a bow he knew Thorin was secretly disappointed and constantly tried to sway him from his decision, and wished his youngest nephew would be more like Fili who picked dual swords. That didn't mean his uncle wasn't impressed with Kili's skills with a bow - he could shoot better than any dwarf in the Blue Mountains, and even some elves, but Thorin bought him a dagger for his birthday last year, just for another attempt. Kili had been saddened at the sight of the small box that Thorin handed him but the moment that he laid eyes on the dagger inside, he had been amazed at its beauty and every little intricate detail and he had eagerly agreed to the new training and was soon just as skilled with a throwing and wielding a dagger as he was with a bow. He knew he needed to use a sword better though, and that's why every afternoon he was training with Dwalin and sometimes Gloin. It was harder though, as his mind constantly flicked to his older brother somewhere in the wood with his uncle, and his worry was annoying for whoever was trying to teach him. This he knew that but he generally couldn't help it. He was pulled from his thoughts when he made it to the training grounds, and he couldn't see Dwalin or Gloin, causing a frown to break out onto his countenance. He thought he was late.
"Dwalin?" he called, and got no answer. He sighed and knocked an arrow, aiming for a target that he had set up yesterday on a rowan tree in the distance. Maybe whoever was training him had been held up. This was a good way to waste time. He shot two arrows and they hit their mark, right in the centre, and he beamed in triumph, although he was used to the success. Kili shot another one but this time heard a crash in the woods and he jumped out of his skin, his bow flying in the wrong direction to aim the wrong way. His arrow whizzed completely where he didn't want it to go, and the young dwarf growled in annoyance.
"Mahal why." he muttered under his breath before dropping his bow and making his way into the woods and looking around, unable to see the arrow that he had lost. He pushed his foot around a pile of leaves which was a completely pointless exercise, but he felt the need to try. He cursed at the effort that this was taking, but had a much bigger reason to curse when he looked up and could have sworn that his heart fell out of his chest.
"Looking for this?" The most ugly looking orc Kili had ever seen in his life, asked with a creepy smile on his face. He choked on his own spit as the orc held out his arrow. "Are you a mute?" The orc teased and Kili sucked in a breath.
"No..." He murmured.
"Ah, he speaks!" The orc yelled up a hand victoriously, before kneeling down next to the young dwarf, who just happened to be completely weaponless, aside his favourite dagger that Thorin had bought him for his birthday, but he was too terrified to reach into his boot and grab it, or even move. "Why are you so afraid to speak to me? You've never met me before. I have definitely met you though. Once. I'd heard about you, the young raven prince. You reminded me of someone I once knew." What's that supposed to mean?! The orc looked around thoughtfully. Kili took that moment to kick the orc in the back of the leg, but only succeeded in making it stumble, much to his dismay. It snickered and turned around.
"What do you want?" Kili finally asked, finding his voice and raising his chin. The orc smiled and put the tip of his finger under Kili's chin.
"I want many things, little one." Kili took that moment to observe him. He had a huge scar on his face, an ugly red colour and it travelled from his forehead and ventured down the side of his face, under his eye and ended under his lip. His face was littered with other marks, and he wore a black eyepatch that had definitely had its better days, and he didn't seem to have any company.
"Yaznug!" A voice behind him growled and he turned around to look at Gloin who drew his sword threateningly, knowing that killing this orc would be avengence. Kili sighed in relief, but worry still swirled in his gut for his friend. The orc snickered and yelled out a command in black speech, and around forty orcs all came flooding out of the trees, Kili only being able to looked on in shock.
"Kili! Do you have a weapon?!" Gloin yelled over the fighting.
"Aye!" He called back, pulling his favourite dagger from his boot. He used it to stab an orc that lunged at him, and was rather satisfied - his first kill! He twisted around to see Gloin fighting four orcs, and he ran over to help, but was held back by a group of five orcs to himself. He stabbed one in the shoulder, and looked around for the giant orc who was nowhere to be seen. The same orc that had haunted his nightmares. He was drawn out of his daze by a smack to the back of his neck, and he heard Gloin yell his name. He cursed at the size of his small weapon - a sword would be better in this situation - but he still managed to snap the neck of a creature with bare hands, before punching one to make its nose bleed the vile black orcish blood and while it was distracted stab him. He then turned and head-butted another one, something he had never tried before and raised his eyebrows when he saw that it had worked.
Gloin growled at the vicious enemies that he was fighting, and looked over desperately to see how Kili was doing, and was proud to see that the lad was coping pretty well considering he only had a dagger. He tried to get to him but there seemed to be more and more orcs flooding in through the trees, and he yelled out loud in khuzdul, as he smashed his axe into the hip of an orc.
"Kili run!" he yelled over to the young dwarf.
"I'm not leaving you!"
"I said go, obey my orders! Now!" He ordered loudly, and grumbled as his distraction got him a blow in the side of a neck, and he already knew that it was bleeding heavily. Where is Dwalin?! The warrior was supposed to be training Kili today, Gloin had just been passing by, and he wished that his friend was here to help them right now. He had to get Kili out of there though, this he knew, for Thorin would never forgive him if something happened to his nephew, and he would never forgive himself. He watched Kili contemplate his orders for a moment, and smiled as something clicked in the young dwarf's brain and he darted away. His smile transformed into a growl of annoyance in less than a second when Kili was stopped dead in his tracks, and Gloin got so distracted at surveying his options that an arrow ended up imbedded in his arm, and the next thing he felt was the edge of a hammer smashing into his skull and he fell to the ground with a cry.
Kili bolted for the path in the woods, the thought that he could find Fili and Thorin somewhere as they were tracking and would be able to help, giving him all of the energy that he needed to move his legs. Fast. However, he skidded to a halt as the same giant orc that had spoken to him earlier stepped out from behind a tree, pausing his run and he looked behind its shoulder, desperate to get assistance to help Gloin. The orc wore a wicked smile that looked much to casual for this situation, making Kili feel even worse - if that was even possible. Worry, anger and desperation weren't the best emotions to be feeling all at once - especially when meanwhile you are panting breathlessly! It was all too sudden and overwhelming. He gulped.
"Come now." The orc teased. "I'm not that scary, am I?" Kili turned the other way but the orc was so much bigger and faster than he, and was at his side in an instant and easily clamped a hand over the brunette's exposed mouth. Kili squirmed in his grip and looked up with wide eyes as another orc raised an axe high above his body, and brought it down onto the prince's head, and the last thing Kili saw was Gloin crumble to the ground before darkness engulfed him.
Fili practically skipped through the forest as he pictured his younger brothers happy face when he relayed the news that they would be training together once again. His contented grin turned to a confuzzled frown when he saw something worryingly familiar imbedded in some thick muck on the ground.
"Isn't this Kili's arrow?" Fili asked. Thorin wandered over and picked up the arrow off of the ground, observing it closely. He saw a crimson stain of wet blood and his breath caught in his throat for a moment, but he breathed deeply to stay calm and not scare his nephew. He tried to block out the terrible scenarios of what seeing a fresh and dark blood stain on the back of your kins arrow could possibly lead to.
"Aye. Maybe he lost it." the exiled king muttered, trying to ignore the bad feeling that was swirling around in his gut, but that was truly impossible when he turned the corner of the forest path and gasped, clamping two hands over his mouth. Fili hastily ran over to stand a his uncle's side and gasped too at the horrifying sight. Dead bodies of orcs completely littered the ground, and he couldn't see any trace of Dwalin or Kili where they would usually be training at this moment. Thorin scanned the dead bodies with practised eyes and then he saw it. His friend lying motionless on the ground. His brain immediately jumped to conclusions, forcing him to picture the worst possible outcomes. Fili eyes grew frantic and he immediately started to scream his brothers name. The lad had been involved in something capable enough to take down someone as strong as Master Gloin. The blonde heir's heart pounded rapidly in his chest, getting more and more quick with every step that he took and every second that ticked by, none containing the miraculous discovery of his brother with a huge grin on his face, bragging about how he had slaughtered his first orc before Fili himself had ever had the chance to. He watched in terror as Thorin ran towards his fallen friend and collapsed to his knees beside the body. Fili's bones numbed and he carried on screaming, though his body was unable to move.
Thorin checked Gloin over, jostling his injuries as he shook the warrior's shoulders who stubbornly refused to awaken. Thorin then altered to tapping his cheek lightly and gently called his name, but his friend was just as unresponsive as he had been when Thorin first found him. His mind flicked to Kili and he looked around for the lad who seemingly wasn't anywhere among the bodies and dread filled Thorin's heart once again. His youngest nephew, the one who could brighten any room he entered, the one who would never hurt anyone, was missing.
Dun dun duuunnn! Now the fun starts :) What do you think so far? Reviews, follows and favs are always appreciated!