Rebecca paced back and forth before the Elite Elven Royal Guard, in mere moments they would march out onto a battlefield where some of them would never leave. “Men, I am not going to lie to you… This battle will not be pretty. Some of us will die…”
“Permission to speak M’lady!” a brave young man no more than a mere recruit asked from the ranks.
“Jefferson, I have told you before not to call me ‘M’lady.’ Would you call a male commander such? I may be a princess, but not here. Here I am your Commander, you may call me this or ma’am, is that understood?” she said rolling her eyes, the young Warrior nodded and blushed. Rebecca sighed. “Permission granted, what is it you wanted to share with us Jefferson?”
“Just that it’s a good day to die ma’am!”
“Is it? I do not think it is Jefferson. I would prefer that no one were to die here today, and that includes the goblins we are about to face. There is no need for this War, and if your King could only see this we would not be here. Does any one else wish to die today?” she asked the assembled men. When no one answered she smiled and said, “Good now let us hope we can keep it that way. If you can help it try not to kill the goblins. Just like we elves, they have no wish to die here today. Are you ready men?” A resonating cheer went up from the fifty some odd Elite Warriors. Only a few of the younger men had expressions of eagerness splashed across their faces; the more seasoned Warriors wore determination in their expressions and not much else.
A great battle ensued that day as both sides fought bravely. Neither gave the other any ground, and each side took its share of casualties. And the battle raged for another three weeks, until a temporary cease to the fighting was called. The reason? The Elven Princess Rebecca was gravely injured, and it was feared that she would die.
The Elven King Willow called the pause and the Goblin King Harr agreed to it. Respect must be paid to the dead and both sides were exhausted…
“Will she live?” King Willow asked the Head Surgeon matter of factly about his Great-Great-Great-Great Granddaughter’s condition. They were standing just outside of the Medical Tent that had been hastily erected a week earlier due to the increase of fallen warriors.
“I don’t know your Highness… the sword pierced her right through the chest. To tell you the truth, your Majesty, we’re not even sure what’s keeping her alive as we speak. Technically she should have died hours ago…” the tired Elf sighed and tried to massage the stiffness out of the back of his neck. He had not left the Princess’s side since she was brought to him by two of her senior officers, Kevin and Pine Gardena. It took all the ingenuity he could wrestle up to merely slow the bleeding down, who knew how much longer she could hold out. “She’s lost so much blood already…”
“Inform me when she’s gone.” Willow said, rather emotionless.
“Don’t you mean if she goes Your Majesty?” the surgeon asked, confused.
“Yes, is that not what I said? Inform me if she goes.” Willow corrected. He turned and walked off to his own tent.
“That elf’s more concerned with his damned war than our princess…” he said to himself as he went to check on his patient. The new Medical tent consisted mainly of four large partitions, one for the mildly injured, one for the seriously injured, one for the dying and of course one for the dead. Rebecca however had her own separate section, which should have been the staff sleeping quarters, but not many of the Surgeons or their nurses could manage sleep anyway. “How’s she doing Melanie?”
“The bleeding has stopped and she’s still unconscious. I don’t know how long the magick will hold this time though…” the woman said. She sighed, and then something out of the corner of her eye made her scream.
“Please good lady, we are here to help.” Standing at a freshly cut opening in the tent wall were three cloaked goblins.
The Surgeon quickly closed and secured the other tent flap, “King Willow will be most displeased to hear that you’ve come,” he said in a hushed tone.
“When a friend falls it is my duty to see that she lives… it was by my blade that she fell,” the lead goblin said, removing his hood. “Besides she’s been calling me for the last four hours.” He smiled wearily. “We need to be alone with the Princess for this to work. If you would consent to leave us please…” Melanie looked as if she wanted to object, but the Surgeon pushed her out the flap before him, shaking his head. “Rebecca… what have I done?” the goblin asked her unconscious form as he looked her wound over. “Grith we need to move her on to a clean bed before the Elven magick gives out… Bir get me the cleaning solution and the wraps… I’m here now Rebecca you can stop calling…” he said worriedly. The dull throbbing that had been disrupting his thoughts for the past four hours slowly subsided. The other goblins hurried to do as they were instructed.
“Mogi we can move her here,” Grith said after a moment. She set up a spare cot on the floor with fresh sheets.
“Good let’s see to it, help me here…” he asked. He slid his hands under Rebecca’s shoulders and Grith took hold of the Princess’ feet, together, the two of them moved her on to the waiting cot. But just before they put her down Mogi turned his head toward his other companion. “Bir do you have the wraps ready?”
“I have them here,” he had poured some of the cleaning solution he had brought with him on to one of the wide strips of cloth and placed it on the waiting cot right where Rebecca’s open wound would lie, “It’s ready Mogi…”
“Nice and gentle now Grith…” They placed her gently on the cot, “Bir start the cleaning, before the magick fades, hurry now…” Bir quickly but gently swabbed the deep wound on Rebecca’s chest.
“She’s lucky you struck so high Mogi, a couple of inches to the left you would have pierced her heart, we’ll be lucky if you didn’t pierce her lung. I don’t see how you couldn’t have though, it’s clean through to the other side…” Bir said as he cleaned, the solution fizzed gently as it touched blood.
“I feel bad enough just clean and wrap her up.” Mogi snarled.
“Uh………..” Rebecca moaned as she started to wake up.
“Mogi! She is waking!” Grith called out noticing Rebecca’s eyes fluttering.
“Thank the Gods!” Mogi said his voice filling with relief. “Rebecca? Can you hear me girl?” he asked as he sat beside her.
“What happened?” she managed weakly as she tried to sit up. Grith quickly propped a few pillows behind her to help support her back.
“What do you remember?” Mogi asked gently.
“Rain… I remember the rain, and a battle… The War? What is happening? Where am I? How long have I been out?” she said as if she caught her second wind.
“Calm down Rebecca, there are only three beings who know we are here.” Mogi put his hand on her uninjured left shoulder to calm her. “We are in a medical tent on the Elven side of the battlefield. Not much has happened since you fell, my king and that of the elves has called a temporary cease to the fighting. Everyone waits to hear of your condition. I am so sorry my friend, I…” Mogi started to apologize.
“I will have none of that Mogi, what happened out there was not intentional. We were in the heat of battle; I would have expected no less of you. And I probably would have killed you if you had not struck first. Now how long have I been out?”
“A little over thirty-six hours, we had to wait for nightfall before we could cross the divide. Your surgeons did a great deal to help you stop bleeding. Bir? Do you have that potion ready?”
“Potion? Mogi you know how I feel about …”
“You’ll drink it or so help me child, I’ll put you out of your misery myself. The potion will help with the pain and it will help you get your strength back faster. Bir?”
“Coming Mogi, careful it’s a little bitter your highness…” the goblin said as he handed Mogi the slightly smoking silver goblet. “You should drink it all, and I’ll be back tomorrow night with more. Mogi I promised Harr that I would inform him when the Princess was awake…”
“Yes of course, off with you then. Grith would you inform the Head Surgeon that the Princess will live…”
“Of course Mogi,” Grith said as she stood and threw her cloak around her shoulders. She quickly left the room to find the Surgeon.
Mogi made certain that she had swallowed the contents of the goblet completely before he spoke again. “Rebecca I can’t stay much longer, in fact I must leave now, but my king asked me to give this too you if you lived. It’s a peace treaty of sorts; you must promise me you will try to get Willow to see reason…” Mogi handed her a slightly bloodstained roll of parchment tied with a red ribbon.
“I will try Mogi,” she told him, wincing at the aftertaste of the healing potion. As terrible as it tasted she couldn’t feel her right shoulder throb any longer, “I cannot promise that he will listen but I give you my word that I will try. Goodbye my friend and thank you for heeding my call.”
“It was my pleasure Rebecca as always.” He kissed her hand, bowed and left through the hidden entrance that the trio of goblins had made the day before.