They all stood back to back, to face each side. Elladan, Elrohir and Haldir drew their swords while Legolas drew his twin long knives. Luin on the other hand stood in defensive position in front of Legolas. Her fur was standing up and her claws were out. Her head was bowed low and she was ready to pounce on anything that moved towards her or the young prince.
From the surrounding undergrowth, two more squadrons burst out on them.
As the first orc got in front of Luin, the great cat lashed with her right paw and ripped the orcs' neck with her sharp claws.
It was a tremendous battle and soon the elves and the cat were divided into two groups. The brothers in one and the young prince, Lórien march warden and the snow leopard in the other.
The odds were not good for the five friends.
The orcs drew the elves and the feline further apart, so far that each group could not see the other one. They managed to slay many of the foul beasts, but soon they slew one another took its' place. They all were covered in scratches, but nothing too serious.
Soon the two groups were so apart that the orc archers entered the scene.
Somewhere above the twin elven brothers many hunters observed the scene and prepared themselves for their attack, carefully planning each member's position and role.
The young prince danced his deadly dance with his twin white knives, back to back with the Lórien march warden and his long elven sword. Legolas never saw the archer that was aiming his black arrow on him. Luckily for him Haldir did see the black arrow aimed at him.
As the arrow was released Haldir shielded the young prince with his own body. The black arrow hit the Lothlórien warrior into abdomen and he hissed in pain. The force of the shot was so strong that it threw him back and he hit Legolas' back.
Legolas yelped as Haldir almost knocked him down and left him vulnerable for an attack, but Luin was quick enough and knocked the attacking orc on the ground with her long and strong tail by sweeping it under the foul beast legs.
"Haldir!" Legolas exclaimed when he regained his footing and killed another orc and hurried to his fallen comrade. This gave opportunity for Luin to widen the perimeter of the fight and reduce the orcs' ranks by lashing with her clawed paws. She jumped over the two elves and she hissed, growled and roared at the attackers making her as threatening as possible.
Legolas quickly assessed Haldirs' injury. He cringed when he saw the arrow embedded in Haldirs' stomach. 'The arrows are usually poisoned!' flashed in Legolas' mind. But Luin had healing supplies with her if some orc did not cut off her bags. Haldir was breathing hardly as the poison was slowly creeping through his veins.
"Luin!" the golden haired elf called.
Every orc try to fled before the great cat, before her long sharp claws and sharp fangs. She brought fear to their hearts mainly her appearance. Once her shining bluish fur was streaked with their black blood. Black blood was now trickling down her muzzle as she ripped limbs, and her claws were totally black from many slashed and torn throats. And truth to told they feared the force of the enraged leopard which was big as a horse.
The orcs backed away momentarily this gave her time to get back to the young prince and the march warden. She slowly backed away to her friends, but when she turned all that she saw was horror in Legolas' eyes. She looked down and saw Haldir holding his stomach, where an arrow shaft was pouting between his fingers.
"Luin we must take out the arrow and treat his wound!" Legolas cried and tears were slowly forming in his eyes as the warrior closed his eyes in pain.
Aye we must take the arrow out now and somehow stop the bleeding but we will treat him someplace else. The feline said and with a slash she killed an orc which crept to them.
"Haldir now I will take the arrow out. On three. Okay?" Legolas asked and Haldir slowly nodded. Firstly he tore a two pieces of cloth from his cloak. Then Legolas grasped the arrow shaft and motioned to the march warden to prepare himself.
Haldir braced himself for the coming pain.
Legolas started counting. "Er. Atta. Nelde." and he yanked the arrow out.
Haldir jerked his body and then the darkness greeted him.
Legolas then pressed one piece of his torn cloak to the wound and with the other longer one wrapped as a bandage to secure the wound.
Now quickly get him on my back! But I cannot see Elrohir or Elladan. Luin commanded and kneeled down.
Legolas somehow managed to get Haldirs' bigger body on the back of the leopard, he grabbed his twin knives and Haldirs' sword and jumped on her back.
That is when the orcs got back.
Luin quickly took off, running between the trees.
The eyes of the hunters soon rested on the separated elven twins from the other group with the great cat. Those were not doing so good. It was getting darker and darker by the minute. That is when the leader of the hunters let out a fearsome howl.
Their hunt just begun.
Elladan and Elrohir were pushed on the other side of the hilly terrain. They had lots of scrapes and starches but nothing serious. But their energy was slowly decreasing. The brothers bumped to each other's' backs.
"I do not think that we can last much more of this Elladan." Elrohir panted and slayed anther foul beast.
"But we must gwador nin." he wanted to continue but he was cut off by a fearsome howl to which even the orcs froze in place.
The Elrondions did not any time and killed all the nearby beasts.
"What was that? Wargs or wolves?" Elrohir asked.
"I know not and on the other hand I do not want to know. Let us finish these beasts and then find Legolas, Haldir and Luin." Elladan quickly said.
The twin brothers found an opening on the ranks of the orcs, they slew few more of the corrupted creatures and ran through the forest.
Suddenly out of nowhere another group of orcs jumped out of the bushes and they were cut off, not only that but the foul beast managed to get hold of Elrohir and they took him between them. Elladan was backed up to the tree behind him.
"Throw away the sword maggot or this one dies, at least die sooner." one of the orcs shouted and pressed the edge of his sword on Elrohirs' neck.
Elrohir prayed that his brother will not do it, but Elladan did not want to bring death to his younger brother and he threw his sword away.
Then one of the bigger orcs advanced to him with his jagged sword.
Suddenly all orcs in the back began to scream and fell dead to the ground. That is when the massacre of the foul beasts began. In this entire skirmish the orcs managed to injure Elrohir on his arm and leg.
All the hair on Elladans' neck rose when he realized what is going to happen next. He tried to move backward only to realize that there is a tree behind him and he has no chance to escape his fate. When he looked to the right his stormy grey eyes met hazel brown eyes of an angry looking wild creature.
The creature was hiding in the dark shadows in the gap that the orcs made in the forest and was looking on the older Elrondion. When it shifted its gaze a little bit to the right, the creature barred his long white fangs and started growling loudly.
Elladan knew what the creature saw, but he did not know what was the creature thinking. He turned his head and saw the large orc right in front of him and regretted that he threw away his sword.
In the corner of his eye he saw a black blur moving.
Elladan turned his head a bit just to see wide opened jaws of a black wolf heading to him as the wolf jumped and closed his eyes as he felt that the end is near.
Luin was running between the trees with injured Haldir and Legolas on her back. She could hear the orcs and also the warg scouts, that the foul beasts called to them to chase them, behind her.
And suddenly something whizzed past he ear. In the blink of an eye Legolas draw his bow, notched and released one of his green fledged arrows. The arrow flew true and hit one orc archer between the eyes. The young prince managed to fire more arrows in rapid succession and more foul beasts fell to the ground.
But then something happened.
The golden haired prince cried out as one black arrow pierced his shoulder. Now even more black arrows filled the air around them and Luin quickened even more if it was possible in this moment.
But before she managed to run from the range of the orc archers in the last turn when she swished with her long tail she felt a searing pain near the tip of her tail.
When the older son of Elrond opened them a second later he saw as the opened jaws of the beast missed his neck by a few centimeters and smashed to the orcs' neck, its' sharp fangs piercing the thick skin and sinking even deeper to the muscle beneath it. The wolf tackled the foul beast to the ground.
The final move of the wolf was that he tore the head from the body.
When the black wolf raised his head Elladan saw a muscular black furred wolf with white left front paw and tip of his tail.
The black haired elf wanted to move and ran away but could not. He looked at the wolf in front of him, which was now looking on something in the distance.
Elrohir has been sitting on the ground nearby holding the bleeding wound on his leg.
Both Elrondions looked the way the black wolf was looking.
It was hard to see something in the darkening forest. But a soft glow caught their eye.
Elladan squinted in the darkness just to see a bit clearer and what he saw surprised him.
There was a giant bluish feline running bearing two figures. The first figure was slumped over the feline, which Elladan recognized by the long blond hair as Haldir. The second figure was holding the first one, and was visibly smaller and younger, who was holding a bow and releasing arrow after arrow. It was Legolas.
He looked what was chasing them and saw big group of orcs and wargs. Many orcs held bows and were shooting arrows after the group.
"Legolas!" the twins yelled in unison when they saw as one of the dark arrows hit Legolas in the shoulder and the young prince cried out in pain.
The great felines' speed rose as she tried to get away from the foul beasts.
"Luin!" Elrohir yelled when he saw that one arrow was shot in the direction of the great feline hind leg.
"We have to go after them!" Elrohir cried out.
"Aye, and we will but we must treat your wounds firs before you bleed to death." Elladan quickly hushed his brother.
Out of nowhere Elen and Neenuvar approached them followed by part of the wolf pack. The horses were nervous and clanged to their masters. Elladan quickly rose and headed to his mare, Elen.
Immediately they were surrounded by the pack and the air was filled with lots of growling, whining and barking.
The older Elrondion took out some salves, bandages and water satchels, and went to tend to his brother.
Elrohir hissed when his brother rolled up the sleeve of his tunic assessing the wound on his arm.
He cleaned and bandaged all of Elrohirs' wounds as his adar taught him and also his own injuries, those which he himself could not reached, Elrohir helped him tend to them as he could while he did not aggravate his own.
The older Elrondion helped his brother get on Neenuvars' back and then mounted his own mare.
"We need to go after Legolas, Luin and Haldir!" Elrohir urged his brother again.
"And we will." Elladan said and both twins urged their horses the way the great cat with the two elves went.
Their way was immediately intercepted by the wolf pack, their horses reared and stopped, nervously shaking their heads and pawing to the forest ground.
Suddenly the wolves got quiet and more than a half of the pack then turned around and went after the orc group.
"What are we going to do, gwador nin?" the younger twin asked when their horses were forced to go the other way.
"I do not know Elrohir I do not know." Elladan sadly answered when he looked after the slowly disappearing wolves as the other part was escorting them back to direction of Rivendell.
Legolas? Are you all right, Legolas? The great cat asked with concern clearly sensible in her voice.
"Aye and no." The young prince answered and drew some air to his lungs to soothe the pain a little.
What? How aye and no?
"The good thing is that it is just a light wound the bad news is that the arrow must have been poisoned, because orcs always use poison lately on their weapons, mainly arrows." Legolas said and hissed as Luin jumped over a fallen tree and her front paws collided with the ground.
Arrow? Where have you been hit? We must find a safe place to treat your and Haldirs' wound. Luin started to panic slightly.
"We will, just do not panic Luin and keep running please." Legolas assured the feline.
I will. The great cat nodded.
After a while the bluish feline and the Mirkwood prince could not hear any sound behind them and could not smell the foul beast was long gone, but the malign feeling remained.
We can treat our wounds here. I no longer smell those beasts. The great feline said when she sniffed the air.
"Aye, but be on guard Luin those evil creatures can appear any time." Legolas said and slowly got off the great leopard when she lay down.
Luin could get Haldir down by herself, but there was a great possibility that she would aggravate his wound even further when she would grab his tunic in her mouth.
The small golden haired prince then approached the feline and rummaged through her packs. The young prince took out one canteen with water and one package with herbs from lord Elrond, and also bandages.
We cannot light the fire. The great feline said.
"I know that, Luin. It might alert more orcs or warg scouts. So I will have to chew the athelas leaves." the young prince said as he opened the carefully wrapped leaves.
The young prince took out few leaves and placed them into his mouth then he carefully started chewing them. Before he munched them into a some kind of a paste, Luin used her claves to cut the march wardens' makeshift bandages and Legolas cleaned the still oozing wound with water.
After a few minutes the young elf spit the chewed athelas plant to his hand.
When the young prince pressed the healing herbs to Haldirs' wound, the march warden moaned and stirred, like he was trying to get away from the pain but, he did not open his eyes nor woke up.
Legolas quickly took a clean cloth and covered the herb covered injury and wrapped his whole abdomen in clean bandages.
After this Legolas lowered the Lórien march warden to the ground and started assessing his injured shoulder, but he could not reach the black arrow.
"Luin please help me with this foul arrow. I cannot reach it." the small elf asked his animal companion.
The great cat stood up, from where she was keeping watch over Haldir and the young prince, and walked behind the golden haired elf.
This was the time when the young elf saw that his guardian was also injured.
"Luin you are injured!" Legolas exclaimed when he saw the black arrow sticking from the felines' tail.
'Aye and we will take care of it, but now we must take care of your injury. My tail can wait few more minutes.' The great cat said.
"Okay, so you grab the arrow and slowly pull it out. Do you understand me?" the golden haired elf asked.
'Aye I understand.' The bluish leopard nodded and grabbed the arrow shaft. She then slowly started pulling the arrow out.
After the arrow was gone Legolas was able to apply another bunch of chewed herbs and with Luins' help he wrapped his shoulder in clean bandages.
Legolas then put some more leaves to his mouth and stepped closer to the great felines' tail. He grabbed the shaft with one hand and the other placed near the place, where the arrowhead was buried in the cats' fur and flesh. Then he yanked the arrow out.
The cat yelped at the movement of the barbed arrowhead in her tail, but she let her friend finish his work on her.
When the young prince was finished he stood up, grabbed the bluish cat under the jaw and placed his forehead against her and closed his eyes. 'I know not what I would do without you.' Legolas thought.
Luin gave in to his movement and pressed her forehead against his, and her nose to his chest and breathed in his scent. He smelled to her as fresh leaves and tree sap, but also hers and bit of horses. But there was also something else something she could not recognize.
Suddenly Luins' ears twitched and she raised her head.
"What is it?" Legolas asked.
'They are coming. Quickly get Haldir on my back! We must flee!' She jumped over the fallen warrior and lowered herself to the ground.
Legolas carefully hauled Haldir on the bluish feline back, grabbed their things and swung himself on Luins' back.
The great cat took off in the nick of time, when the wargs jumped out of the underbrush followed by orcs.
And to volley of arrows started anew in second then the orcs was the felines light fur and the light glowing form of the young prince. The rain of black arrows came from both sides.
Luin tried to avoid all the arrows, but suddenly she jerked to the right as one of the arrows missed the small elfs' leg and buried itself to the felines' fur and flesh beneath it, to her left side right behind Luis' elbow, but not deep enough to hurt her lung.
Not soon after the first one another lucky arrow hit her in her left hind thigh, but despite the pain she still ran.
Somehow Luin managed to hear the stream nearby and dove into some thick bushes. The bluish snow leopard landed in a shallow stream, which she followed down the stream and she hoped that the water will cover her scent on the ground and also wash away the blood.
She actually managed to lose the orcs in the stream, but the wargs still followed her.
Luckily the stream was shallow enough for the feline to run in it. The two arrows, in her hind left and the other in her left side, burnt with each step in her wild run.
The small elven prince was also in pain from the arrow wound in his shoulder. He was holding the unconscious Lothlórien warrior tightly while he was also clinging to the felines' fur.
The water from under the felines' paws splashed in all directions and the stream was getting wider and a bit deeper.
To the young princes' shock he realized that the ground in front of them vanished somewhere and he heard the water falling somewhere in to the deep.
To Legolas' horror he realized that the cat was not slowing down and the distance between them and the edge was shortening.
"Luin!" Legolas exclaimed, but she already jumped.
'Hold on!' the feline cried out.
Luin knew that she did not have any other choice but to jump.
Legolas gripped Haldir tighter and pressed himself closer to the cats' back if it was even possible.
Luin hit the surface hard which knocked all air out of her lungs and left her stunned for a few seconds in the lake under the waterfall. When she gathered all wits she realized that she lack the weight of the young prince and the blond haired warrior on her back.
'Legolas!' She yelled when she resurfaced again.
Legolas was struggling to stay above the surface of the water with Haldir. The golden haired prince grabbed the Lórien march warden when he slipped off the felines' back when she hit the water.
Legolas felt that the wound on his shoulder reopened, but the worst part was that he had the arrow in him too long and the poison, in which the arrowhead was coated, was slowly spreading through his body.
Over the roar of the waterfall Legolas could hear Luin calling his name.
"Luin I am here!" Legolas cried out.
The feline turned and swam to him because the young prince was getting weaker as she was.
She swam around them, accessing the situation. It was hard for Legolas to get the warrior on her back so she dove under the water and scooped them on her back.
When she got them secured on her back the young prince lightly tugged on her fur and she swam down the lake because the banks were too steep and it was easier for her to swim than run.
Somewhere above group, on the bank behind the bushes, yellow eyes of the wargs were watching them and waiting for a chance to attack the feline, when she and the elves leave the water.
When Luin got to the shallow part of the now wide river her legs gave out and she collapsed. She was panting, her side stung and her thigh ached with every muscle movement around the arrow.
Also Legolas was not so well. He was still holding the unconscious warrior and saw that he was still breathing. The small elf was exhausted and was starting to shiver a bit and his eyelids were drooping. He patted the feline lightly to encourage the feline.
Suddenly she raised her head and growled, her body was tense in a second, her ears pressed against her skull, her fangs barred and her sky blue eyes narrowed into slits and she was glaring at nearby bushes.
In a queue an ugly clawed paw and a scarred snout appeared in the bush nearby.