Too Much To Ask For

Chapter 27

Author's Note: Something's not right with the Witch dying so easily…also I changed the spelling of Emmis to Emmys

Chapter 27

The High King followed Emmys through the dark coniferous forest, his mount standing out like a beacon in the shadows. They crested a hill, and looked down on the Witch's camp. The gray tents were being treated like stones in a stream, the Witch's army parted around them as they encircled a black pavilion.

When he galloped into the Witch's camp, High King Peter found the two armies facing off once more. At least, the Witch's army was gathering around the black pavilion and his army was gathering around them, cutting off escape. He rode through his army, King Edmund on one side, Emmys on the other, and they parted like water to let him through. Finally, he stopped at the front of his ranks, facing the ragged remains of opposition.

"We saw her dragged into there," Emmys told him in a low voice.

"You have one chance to surrender," the High King announced over the gray and black army. "Your leader is dead. You have nowhere to go," he reminded them, and he was every inch the High King.

Some of the creatures had begun to shift uneasily when a clear, sharp voice rang out from the pavilion. "Hold the lines!" the voice ordered, and High King realized it was male. It was not Evelyn.

The terrible forces shifted as one, and then a pathway opened from the pavilion to the front, where the Kings waited. A man strode through the pathway, and it was left open behind him. He stopped before the Kings, at the edges of his lines. He faced them, his white skin stark against his black shirt, black pants, black boots, and black armor. His white hair was windswept sideways in a style that would have driven any English girl crazy. And his eyes; they were a green-gray with the darkness of evil in them. He wore a sword on his hip, in a black leather sheath, and it had black metal making the hilt.

"And you are?" King Edmund asked, eyeing the man with cool interest.

"My name is Jado, and I am the Prince of the Wild Lands. Ah, that is, the King, now that the Queen is dead," he replied, and High King Peter instantly hated his voice. It was a snake's voice, sly and hinting at deceit. "I can see that this name means nothing to you. Well, let me tell you. I am the son of Nixis, named in honor of her mother the White Witch. I am the soon to be husband of the new Queen," he added, meeting the High King's eyes evenly.

"Nixis had a son. Why does this not surprise me?" King Edmund asked.

"I am more curious as to how you are going to marry the Queen when there isn't one," High King Peter told the so called Prince.

"Oh, but you are wrong. Your Majesty, the High King of Narnia would like to speak with you," he called, and the flaps of the pavilion stirred once more. A woman stepped from the pavilion, and made her silent way through the army until she stood beside the Prince. She wore a long white gown with an ice blue cloak over it. A gray and onyx tiara sat on her washed out (1) blonde hair, which was pulled into a ponytail. Her skin was pale and colorless, and her lips were tinged blue. She kept her head down, and for a moment, the High King didn't recognize her.

Then he did. "Evelyn?" he asked, shocked. She looked up, and he felt pain shoot through his heart. It was her. She was their Queen. He would have to destroy her after all.

She held his gaze, and he saw the gold flare in the blue. He flinched, and then he understood. She was being coerced into this. The understanding must have been clear to her, because she dropped her eyes to the ground beneath her.

Then the Prince grabbed her chin and forced her to look up. "I called you. You answer me," he growled at her. She didn't reply, instead, she let her shoulders sag in resignation.

"Unhand her," the High King ordered. His voice was low and calm and steady, and overall it was dangerous sounding. The Prince looked up at him, and then he actually had the audacity to burst out laughing. Then he choked on his laugh. He found the High King's sword touching his nose, and he realized he had never seen the blonde move.

"I said Unhand her," the same blonde said.

"She is my Queen. I can do what I like with her," the Prince snarled, stepping back from the blade. Then he found he couldn't. Not without slicing his own neck on a knife.

"You are only the prince. I am the Queen," Evelyn reminded him, her knife pressed against the back of his throat.

"Your Majesty, you are making a mistake," the prince tried to work his way out, but Evelyn would not have it.

"No, Jado, you are by thinking that I will stand by and let you do this to me. You are by thinking that I would choose you over him. You are by thinking I want to be the Queen of the Wild Lands," she hissed, and the black and gray troops shifted again. Things were not going in their favor.

Jado was suddenly free from both blades, and he drew his own sword. No one was surprised to see the jet black steel. He attacked Evelyn, who was instantly shielded by the High King, who caught the black sword on his own. Jado drew back, and Evelyn placed one hand on the High King's shoulder from behind.

The red and gold army drew back, but kept around the black and gray one. They knew their High King needed room, and they didn't want any of the enemy to escape. King Edmund and Emmys, too, drew back, the High King's unicorn going with them.

"What can he offer you that I cannot? You could rule your own kingdom, instead of just being a lady. You could be the most beautiful in the world, instead of average. You could be the center of attention, instead of a shadow. You could have your own coat of arms and pennant and signet, instead of having someone else's. You could buy anything you wanted, instead of having to ask for things. You could be powerful, instead of just an adviser. What can he offer you?" Jado asked.

Evelyn met the Prince's eyes over the High King's shoulder, and stared evenly at him. Warmth was spreading back into her body from her hand, and she nearly cried for it. She couldn't believe Jado would think these things would convince her. She wasn't tempted by any of these things. Especially when she could feel the blood still oozing down her back. "Love," she said, and she flung her knife.

It embedded itself in Jado's throat, and he fell with a choked off snarl.

Then the army was fleeing again, and Edmund was leading the force after them to pin them against the edge of the ravine. But the High King hardly noticed, as he was too focused on Evelyn.

The girl was sinking to her knees, and he went with her. His sword fell into the grass beside him, and he held her shaking body. "Evelyn. Evelyn, look at me. I'm here, Evelyn, I'm here," he told her, and she looked up.

"Peter," she said, trying to focus on his eyes.

"It's me, Evelyn," he assured her.

"I'm so tired," she replied, and he realized this weakness was a combination of exhaustion and relief. And judging by the look in her eyes, hunger and pain played parts as well. He pulled his helmet off and kissed her forehead, and she leaned into him.

Then a howl could be heard from the ravine, and her head went up. "My wolves," she gasped, staggering to her feet. "They weren't supposed to get caught in the ravine," she explained, and the High King vaulted back onto his mount after he picked up his sword and helm. Emmys pulled Evelyn onto her back, and they raced through the trees.

"Edmund! Wait!" the High King ordered. The dark haired King turned in his saddle and gestured to the ravine before him. The two rode straight to the edge and looked down. The pack of wolves was gathered at one end, around a body on the muddy snow.

"Get the Animals out. Aslan may forgive them, but the others were never his," the High King ordered his troops. "Make it quick! The river is melting!" he shouted, noticing it instantly. The Animals understood that, and they moved closer to the cliffs and further from the ice.

"Perhaps I should save you the trouble of who I will forgive," a deep, rumbling, wild voice came from behind them. The Kings and Evelyn turned, and all around them, their troops were bowing. The Kings threw themselves from their mounts and knelt with their sword tips in the grass.

Evelyn moved slower, but she, too, knelt before the Great Lion himself. Aslan merely blinked, and then he said, "Rise, Kings of Narnia. You did well today." The Kings stood, sheathing their swords. Then Aslan turned loving eyes on his treasured Evelyn. "Rise, Princess of Narnia," he commanded, and she looked up. He nodded and she stood with the High King's help. Aslan stepped forward and breathed on her, and the pain in her back was gone.

"Thank you, my liege," she sighed gratefully, and she stood with more ease and less tension.

"Do think any of this was your fault, my gold one. There are laws, some that you know of, that govern all our destinies. Yours was changed when you ended up in the wrong place after I called you to Narnia. When I called you, it was to be Peter's champion. Then you were destined to be destroyed once the Witch got her hands on you. If my High King did not destroy you, the Witch's hold would have from the inside. But now, the Witch is dead, and her hold on you is gone," the Great Lion said.

'Oh, Aslan, I wish I could hug you,' she thought.

And the Lion rumbled a chuckle. "It is alright, my gold one. You may," he told her, and she wrapped her arms around his neck, burying her face in his mane. He gave off warmth like no other, and she sighed happily. When she stepped back, he nudged her with his Great head and she rested her hand in his mane.

"Those whose loyalty lay with you are the ones I shall forgive," he told her. Immediately, the Wolves were back on the cliff top. They all bowed to the Great Lion, thanking him for his forgiveness, and then gathered beside Evelyn. A few Minotaurs and most of the Ravens were forgiven, as well as some of the random Animals. A pair of Hyenas, a mangy Bobcat, and a Polar Bear joined the Wolves.

Then Aslan strode to the edge of the cliff and the Kings followed. Evelyn stood beside the Great Lion as he looked down into the ravine. Then he said, "You might want to cover your ears." When they did, he drew a breath and roared. Instantly, the river unfroze, and crashed down on the Witch's followers. They were swept away by the sudden raging water, and Evelyn saw Dargrim's body in the water. She closed her eyes for a second, and then she turned away. Exhaustion was over taking her, and she realized she had not eaten in three days.

Even Aslan could not give her the strength to keep going, and she sank into the grass. The Great Lion turned to her as she went down, and he nosed her back gently. She felt him hook his claws into the cloak and drag it from her body, and then all she felt was Peter's rage. She knew he was looking at the blood that had seeped through the gown, and she reached a hand out to him.

He took it, and knelt behind her. She felt his fingers trace the scars, pain shot through them. "Do not touch them," she hissed through clenched teeth. Then she felt Aslan's breath on her back, and the stickiness on her back was gone.

The High King saw the blood disappear and he wondered if the Great Lion had removed the blood or the scars themselves. "Even I cannot remove scars given by the Deep Magic," the Lion murmured for the High King and Evelyn's ears alone. Evelyn nodded and the High King squeezed her hand.

"Come on. Let us return to Queen Lucy," Aslan suggested, and Evelyn found herself being lifted into Orieus's arms. The General held her as the High King vaulted onto his unicorn, and then she was passed to him. He held her to him, and they rode back to their camp.

Some of the fauns and centaurs searched the pavilion, and brought their findings back so the Kings could look at them. Among the findings were Evelyn's weapons and clothes. Moon had remained hidden in Evelyn's dress the whole time.

Author's Note: (1) Evelyn's hair was losing color, not that it had been washed, though it was.

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