The arrow flew through the air and buried itself deep in the human’s chest. I did not feel pride at the shot; death is not something to celebrate. Instead I focussed my attention on the horse and rider in front of me. One strike and he was down and the horse was mine if I wished. I set her free; I fought best on my own two feet. As I blocked the hit of another human, the horns blew. This was the agreed signal for rest, when we would bury our dead and tend to our wounds. The man on the other side of the swords eyed me carefully, judging to see if I would honour the call or continue the fight. My honour is something I pride so I jumped away and watched him stumble with the absence of anything against his own sword. He then limped off back to his camp.

As I picked my way through the bodies, I kept my eye out for anyone I knew, but they seemed to have survived this onslaught. I was glad. The faces of my dead friends filled my dreams at night, and I woke cursing the war, the humans, even the dragons though I loved them dearly.

“Celestà!” I twisted to see Carin, one of my friends, striding towards me. “You’re not even scratched!”

“What? Let one of those slow humans touch me with a blade?” I joked. “Never.”

“Well one of those slow humans caught my ear.” He said, showing me the left side of his head. The tip of his ear was missing.

“Oh Carin, you’ll have one ear that looks like theirs! How awful.”

“Stop making fun of me,” He laughed, “They want you in the King’s tent.”

I nodded and lightly punched his shoulder before heading for his majesty’s tent. Inside, his counsel and the leader of our army were standing around sombrely. The dwarves were also there.

“Celestà, so glad you come to us unharmed.” Lothriel, our king said from his seat.

“Your majesty,” I bowed my head, and saw a small smile on his lips as I straightened.

“We have received grave news.” He continued, but was interrupted by Honrel, a dwarf with an impressive reputation for fighting.

“Argh, it’s grave alright. To the point of someone being in the grave, so to speak.” The other dwarves laughed. They did not share the elfin philosophy of death being bad no matter who was dead.

“Who?” I asked, curious as to the ceremony of the matter.

“The King of the humans.” Lothriel answered.

“And you can bet his son is being crowned as we speak.” Honrel stated, grumbling in to his beard with his gravelly voice.

“This gives us another opportunity to end this peacefully. His son’s views may be different.” Lothriel finished.

I was still confused as to why I was there, not that this was the first time I had been summoned.

“What part do I play in this?” I asked curiously.

“We want you to take a group and request and audience with the new king to discuss matters.” I frowned. Lothriel knew I hated humans. “It is very important that you do this.” He finished, giving me a look that informed me I had to do this, and there were no options.

“Very well.”

"Araanea will go with you." He signalled for me to leave and I did, Araanea following me having stood from the chair he had been lounging in.

"I can't believe it." I muttered once out of earshot.

"What? That he'd trust you with something this delicate? Me neither."

"No, that he'd stick me with someone as lazy as you." I retorted.

Araanea and I had been jesting since we'd met, and nothing had changed in those five hundred years.

Except of course the war.

The End

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