The Beginning of the End
Disclaimer: I mostly just own Rosalie and a couple others that you don't recognize from the movies.
Chapter Thirty-Three: The Beginning of the End
"Caspian," I begged, just as I placed my first foot onto the drop off. "Please, there's nothing that can be done."
"Rosalie, they're citizens of Narnia! I can't just-" He argued, the rocks shifted behind us. It appeared as though the entire caves had just shook.
"If they sacrifice women, Caspian, then they could come out after Emily and I any second now. Please-" I screamed to him, as rocks starting falling from all over, the walls, the ceiling, underneath us. Though they were not large, it was still quite eerie. "Accept that we're too late this time!"
Stephen was beginning to get rather anxious as well.
"Sorry to interrupt, again, but they're probably already dead or almost there. They won't be able to withstand much more of that and if we don't leave then we're going to be in their situation," He yelled to the both of us; he was already leaned up close against the ledge drop-off. "I'm sorry, but we've got to go. If we leave now, then they'll never realize that there's women here."
Caspian, obviously pained, looked back. The rocks in the back were crumbling as women's screams filled the caverns. Stephen had started to slide his way up again, feeling as though he had done what he could. I looked intensely at Caspian and shook my head, there was no sense in doing something risky right now," Please," I pleaded with him, feeling another rumble in the thin sliver of ground underneath me.
He looked away at the place where the women were trapped for a long moment before turning his head back toward me and reluctantly rejoining me. He had at least come to terms with himself. His attention was already distracted on sliding up the edge as quickly as he could, but just as I turned my eyes to head up; I saw them coming through the rocks.
Just as the nymphs took form of a spirit, the Cruels did as well, but I hardly thought they could take a human form. For a spirit, they looked abnormally fierce and tangible. I watched with wide eyes, briefly, at the tattered cloths they wore and the deranged looks on their translucent faces. It appeared as though they had long, stringy and, not to mention greasy, hair that slopped in the wind behind them and lay plastered against their faces. It was hard for me to tell which of them were male and which were female, but I didn't want to spend much time pondering over it either.
Not wanting to take much more time, I released a yelp after the shock wore off which caught Caspian's attention long enough for him to look back. We edged up the drop-off as quickly as we could with all of the rubble falling and the dust flying, but managed to run until we were almost with Stephen, who was assisting Emily in climbing up the stairs.
"Who, other than King Jacob, dare disturb our home?" They hissed at a frequency so high that my ears felt as though they would burst.
I tried not to look back, but I couldn't resist once and saw that an entire army of these Cruels were gaining us quickly.
Caspian was taking nearly three steps at a time beside me.
"Caspian, they're getting closer!" I shrieked, feeling a stone hit my shoulder before falling off.
The stairs behind us seemed to be disappearing one by one under the collapsible ground. He grabbed my hand and kept on running at such a fast pace that I could hardly keep up as more clouds of dust dumped into our field of vision. All of the Cruels seemed to release another shrill sound that echoed throughout the caves and made the falling debris come down at an even heavier rate.
Finally, after much dirt and rubble falling atop of us and the grumbling of the ground, we were able to see the minuscule light at the end through the thick dirt and rock falling, with the last of the men moving out of the stairway and Stephen and Emily.
Though, light was still far away, it was still there and it was almost the only thing that assured us life existed the farther north we traveled.
The screams were now so torturously loud that both Caspian and I could hardly think of much other than reaching the end of the stairs. They were now so very close to us that I could have sworn I felt a breath down the back of my neck. All I could think of was how very loudly they were shrieking and how the women's screams back in the cave were screaming just as loudly, if not more so.
The light was now so close. It was much more than a light now, in fact, it was a very visible hole. Escape was so close that we could taste it.
I clasped Caspian's hand tight and just as I saw one of the Cruels take a dive toward us, with another tremble of the ground, we were able to throw ourselves through the opening that was just in front of us.
Stephen pulled me through as I turned to grab Caspian's hand. It seemed as though the stairs that we had just climbed were crumbling to complete destruction just as he fell through. Emily slammed the trap door shut, breathing almost as heavily as both Caspian and I were.
"What are we to do about that?" I asked, nodding over toward the shrieking Cruels mixed in with the screams of the women.
Caspian inhaled sharply," Aslan never meant for them to be disturbed, if you remember. Perhaps now they will be able to live the life he designed for them. I do not intend for anyone to ever perturb them gain. They are creatures, just as the nymphs are, that need to be isolated from society."
"And the women?" I asked between deep breaths.
Caspian looked down, as if hanging his head in shame before saying," We were too late and unprepared for them, but their existence will never be forgotten. When all of this is over, there shall be a memorial for them."
I took several seconds for the air to refill my lungs before I pulled myself to my feet. Caspian was standing next to me just before Apollo approached the both of us.
"Are you ready to address your new army?" He asked Caspian momentously as the young king inhaled deeply, still trying to replay what had just happened in his head.
There was a pause as Caspian seemed to think on his answer.
"I believe I am," He said simply. "Thank you, Apollo."
All of the men were moved into the same building that General had kept his men. There was hardly any room for much extra people; therefore, Emily, Stephen, and I crammed ourselves in the very back. I wish that there was a way for me to say that we were comfortably fitting, but the truth of the matter was just that we were not. The oxygen levels seemed to be dropping by the minute.
That situation hardly seemed to matter for long; however, because Caspian had begun speaking, awkwardly, for it appeared as though none of the men were paying attention.
"I can't stand up here and even begin to imagine what the lot of you have been through, though I doubt you remember much of it. This is the exact reason why I stand in front of you. There is a man out, ruling over what your home is, Narnia. This man's name is Jacob and he has done awful things to you and your families, even if you do not remember them."
Never had I heard him stumble over his words so much.
"I want all of you to know that I will begin deliberately working on a way to replenish all of your memories, but, in order for this to occur, you must join my army. I cannot begin my research until I am back at the castle and Jacob is out of Narnia for good. Not only are you doing this for your own good, but there are thousands of Narnians out there that need hope. You can give them that hope. Individually, we are just a single person, but together we are one driving force that could be difficult for Jacob to stop. We can go back to your old lives.
"You must assist us in regaining control over your home. I will not lead you astray as others have done to ones like you. I want to give your lives back to you."
Caspian paused and looked over the men. His mouth opened to say something else, but he appeared to be struggling with what he was to say. After glancing away briefly, he looked back to the men and said quickly," You'll need some supplies. In the next hour, they will be happy to help you into our extra supplies we've brought along. If you choose not to fight…that is acceptable as well. Thank you."
He nodded to them once more before leaving.
It seemed as though, suddenly, these men had sprung a new sort of life to them. They were speaking and had a look of worth on their faces. Without doubt, all of them seemed to have a sudden interest in what Caspian was doing. As he moved back, they all watched him, in awe, as Apollo started corralling them toward the exit. We watched as Jacob's ingenious plan was working to our advantage. I couldn't help but feel slightly guilty for using such a tactic, but we couldn't let them stay down there in suffering.
Caspian kept on walking through the back door, not even stopping to acknowledge any of us. I give Emily a look before following Caspian. By the time I reached him, he was moving quickly toward the skirts of the city.
"Caspian!" I yelled after him, sprinting to catch up.
He continued walking, oblivious to anything I was yelling at him.
Finally, I caught his arm and he looked at me, an intense look on his face," We have to get to Telmar, get Narnia back and heal those men once and for all."
I suddenly understood that the reason for his stumbling and nervousness was because of the same guilt I had felt.
It was time to move onward to Telmar.
To regain Narnia.
To finish Jacob.
And so it began.
The army lines were formed and the men that were mentally confused as to anything they were doing were trained very quickly and were receptive to everything being said to them because…well…they were similar to a sponge. All of the soldiers worked together in order to get these men to where they were able to withstand some battle.
Of course, even though they were receptive, these skills were not things that could be taught in just a matter of hours. We couldn't take the time to train an army so we pressed on Eastward.
The journey that lay ahead of us was not necessarily a difficult one, but it was a time consuming one. We traveled through thick forest, gaping ravines, long fields that seemed to never end. The closer we came to Telmar, the more dreary everything appeared to be becoming. The skies above, which had been blue before, had turned to a thick and nasty overcast. It was almost as though the weather knew what was to occur.
Several nights we traveled in the forest and made camp near a water supply, seldom to stop in the villages. Caspian and Apollo seemed to stay up for hours planning exactly what their attack was to be. There was one evening that we made an attempt to stop back in the village where Stephen's inn was. He still had an emotional attachment to the place, as anyone who had experienced what he had would. That evening came very quickly upon us and Stephen assured us that he would have a room for some us to take house in. Not only that, but some of the other families he knew would be willing to do so as well.
However, the sight that we saw as we came over the trail that led to the village was quite somber.
Though Stephen was not one to show much emotion, the look in his eyes as he looked upon the inn that was completely destroyed, laying in ashes not unlike the town out West. Caspian moved over toward the boy, though he did not know him well, he placed a hand of comfort on his shoulder. Stephen couldn't seem to look at anything other than the spot where his inn once stood. He was absolutely silent.
I started to move toward him, but Caspian gave me a look that told me to leave him be. Emily started to move toward him, but I grabbed her softly by the arm and shook my head.
"We'll set up camp here," Caspian mumbled to Apollo, who quickly went off running about to announce the news.
Just before I went to assist them, I looked back one more time to see Stephen fallen on his knees and head in his hands.
"Why would he do this?" I asked Caspian seriously later as he, Apollo, and I stood in the head tent that had been pitched just outside the destroyed town. "What business does he have with a little town like this?"
"Rosalie, he has to know of Stephen's disloyalty," Caspian said as he hung his head over the map that lay beneath him. "That's the only way that it would make sense. Unless he's turned into a fiery, hateful dictator-"
"Which is possible," I added, but Caspian glared.
"Though I'm sure he already is that mentally; he would not be that open about it," He continued, looking back down to the maps. "He wants their trust. Remember how he had you lie to them?"
I crossed my arms and released a sigh before Apollo spoke," General was probably ordered to destroy it unless Stephen could prove that he had not leaked any information. Jacob can't afford to have much of anyone against him."
I nodded absentmindedly before Caspian said, "I can understand his pain, but we haven't much time to mourn. We need to stop this from happening to others."
The thought of General ordering his men to set fire to this town made me feel absolutely sick. I couldn't help but feel even more bitterness toward Jacob, who was probably sitting in his throne with a large smirk on his face. Anger pinged down my spine, forcing my whole body to tense up.
"What do you have planned?" I asked through clenched teeth as Apollo approached Caspian, looking down at the plans.
After several moments, the king met my glance with his own look of confusion," We haven't exactly sorted it out, but there's one thought that both Apollo and I agree would be smartest."
I raised an eyebrow as I waited for an answer," And what might that be?"
Caspian gulped," We need to send someone into the castle to rendezvous with Penelope and Trina."
"That's nearly impossib-" I argued, uncrossing my arms as I moved closer to them.
Before I could even utter a complete phrase, Caspian rose a single hand in the air to silence me.
"I know that it's not very plausible, but it's nearly the only option we've got," Caspian defended, trying desperately to convince me of this, but I shook my head.
"No, Caspian. We can't risk sending anyone into that death trap," I told him adamantly before saying. "Why can't we just attack the-"
"Attack the castle?" Apollo asked incredulously as he released a very dry chuckle. "Have you forgotten, dear Rosalie that Telmar is invested with not only an enormous army, but also a dozen of giants. We can't just attack the castle. Our army may be surprising, but it is not large enough for that."
I knew that I was wrong, but I crossed my arms tighter over my chest and shot back at him," Then what do you suspect we do because we can't-"
"I'm sorry, Rosalie," Caspian interrupted, looking me straight in the eye. "But the decision has been made."
I released a sigh. Anger would have been accurate to describe how I was feeling, but I knew that the thought of us actually doing any kind of attack was very unlikely. With a look of defeat on my face, I responded," Just let me know what you want me to do."
I turned to leave the tent after several moments of silence, but before I could, Apollo's voice stopped me," Could you find Emily for us, please?"
It was as if I knew exactly what they were doing. He had just made it so incredibly obvious. It hit me like a brick wall.
Looking over my shoulder, I practically pleaded him with my eyes," Don't do that to her."
"Rosalie," Caspian said softly. "I haven't an option."
I opened my mouth once to say something else, but nothing I could say would change the situation. Without another word, I turned on my heel and exited the tent, on lookout for the servant girl.
Emily was being sent on a dangerous mission that I wasn't sure she would make it out of.
A/N: Keep on reading! I'll update soon as I can! Love you all! Drop a review! Please :D