The First Attack
**Long Chapter Alert**
Disclaimer: I own nothing other than Rosalie and some of her friends, but everything you don't recognize from the movies/books belongs to C.S. Lewis.
TheLostHeroinesofOlympus- Though I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion, don't be too quick to judge Penelope. :)
Elizabeth Zara- Rosalie is not pregnant. Not yet anyways.
Chapter Thirty-Seven: The First Attack
After Emily left, there was still some time left in the night to strike up conversation with Caspian and Apollo, but it seemed as though a piece of me was missing with Emily gone. I tried to make the best of the situation; however, she always seemed to make her way into my head. I couldn't help but think of what would happen if something were to go wrong. Forcing my mind to veer away from these thoughts, I talked with Caspian and Apollo for quite some time before both Caspian and Apollo seemed ready to retire for the evening. I went along with them although my mind was not ready for sleep.
Falling asleep was absolutely atrocious and after several times of drifting in and out of sleep, I decided that it wouldn't hurt me much to take a walk. Careful not to wake Caspian, I rolled out of my sleeping mat and located the lantern at the edge of the tent. Before exiting, I grabbed my cloak and tossed it over my shoulders. Some may have thought it be foolish for me to go wandering about at night, but I hadn't much concern for that at the time being.
I hadn't much of an idea as to where I wanted to walk, but whenever I saw a fire in the small pit just outside of the camp, I knew that I wouldn't need the lantern. I placed it back on the inside of the tent before walking toward the small fire.
A dark figure was sitting beside the fire and had I not known him, I would have never recognized the man sitting and whittling away at a piece of wood.
"Evening, Stephen," I said quietly after carefully weaving my way through the camp. I took a seat beside him at the fire.
I didn't know if he was going to say anything to me for the longest time, but soon he paused his whittling to look at me," Evening."
There was a silence that hung in the air for a long time before Stephen finally spoke again.
"Do you think she's going to make it?" He looked directly at me once more. "Will Jacob kill her?"
So, he was worried about her. Naturally, I would have expected that he was, but I never thought that he would come out and ask me that question. I released a sigh as I pondered my answer.
"Emily's a smart girl, Stephen," I told him as I stared into the fire. "She'll know better than to get herself caught. Plus, I trust that Penelope and Trina will keep her safe."
"But what if something goes wrong? Did you think about that?" He shot back right after that. "Do you really trust them?"
I was taken aback by his response. Normally, he had been able to keep himself a little more composed ever since the event with throwing the knife. Seconds later, he turned his head back to his whittling, as if embarrassed.
His second question did cause me to ponder. I hadn't really ever thought much about my trust in them for I basically assumed it was strong. Penelope was my sister and I would have liked to know one hundred percent that she would be on my side, but…she could have been considered risky. Trina, I had no doubt, would rather die than not be loyal. After thinking, I knew that I couldn't dwell on it for we had already sent Emily. It had been for the best…I couldn't help but notice my second guessing thoughts creeping back into my head.
"I can't really give you a prediction, Stephen," I replied softly. "I don't know what's going to happen. You know that I wanted her to stay here just as bad as you did, but she had no interest in that. She wanted this. It was all for the best…"
Stephen shoved the knife deeper into the wood as he shoved off the next layer in the stick," Let's hope she's not caught then."
"Stephen, I-" I cut myself off because it seemed as though there was nothing he wished to speak with me about. There seemed to be a very evident wall between the two of us and though I wanted to be a comfort to him, he had no interest in that. I still wasn't convinced that I wanted to go back to sleep, so I stayed seated in front of the fire to watch it flare.
The only noise that could be heard was the crackling of the fire and the sound of Stephen's knife peeling layer by layer off the wood to form a blade. It seemed as though we sat there for hours, saying nothing. The moon seemed to hide back behind the thick cloud coverage and just as I felt the need to go back to the tent; a branch behind us cracked.
My head shot behind me to try to see just what could be the culprit, but saw nothing. I turned my head back, and it appeared as though Stephen hadn't even heard anything. I shook my head, trying to assure myself that it was merely my head playing games with me. Pushing my hands onto the ground to steady myself as I stood up, a voice spoke.
"There they are!" It was a yell and there was no way that Stephen didn't hear it that time.
He jumped to his feet and tossed the newly sharpened knife to me as he pointed his own toward the darkness, trying to pose a threat toward whatever had spotted us.
"Shut up, you fool! I wanted to surprise them, but look at what you've done now!" Another voice cried in the dark as their voices came closer.
I furrowed my brow and looked over at Stephen, who was equally confused as I was. Seconds later, a troop of mice came scurrying up to our feet. Instantly, I realized just who this was and tossed the knife back to Stephen, who was still confused.
"Reepicheep?" I exclaimed, searching for just which one could have been him.
The leader of the mice came scurrying to my feet and gave me a small bow as he did. I smiled as I stooped down to one knee to better see him. So much time had passed since I had last seen the little gray mouse that this was a very pleasant surprise. He brought me a happiness I hadn't felt in a while.
"Yes, my lady!" Reepicheep exclaimed, just as happily.
"This is Reepicheep and his army of mice," I explained to Stephen while still in awe of the troop standing at my feet. "They served in Caspian's army."
"It is so good to see you, but I'm afraid I haven't much time to speak. Miss Emily sent me to you to give you a warning," The mouse finished his phrase; his tone was rather dark.
I gulped and tried not to look at Stephen. I tried to keep my head clear of any negative possibilities that his statement could bring, but for some reason I knew this couldn't be good news.
"And what's that Reep?" I asked him, my voice starting to drop.
He hesitated as he nervously grabbed his tail," Well-"
"Out with it!" Stephen demanded, still waving his knife about. He was obviously still very anxious.
I shot him a scolding look before turning my attention back to the seemingly anxious mouse.
"Your sister's b-been brainwashed, your majesty," he stammered, avoiding to make eye contact with me.
What? That was impossible…right? Nevertheless, my heart seemed to beat out of my chest as I gulped again, trying not to think of the worst. Perhaps, there was a chance that this was not true, but before I could say a word, Reepicheep spoke.
"She turned in Emily," He finished his statement, still nervous as to how we were going to react.
My heart nearly stopped whenever he said this. I could only assume that Stephen was ready to throw that blade at me. I shook my head as I fell back onto the ground, unable to think straight. The thought of Jacob finding Emily was absolutely horrendous. Then, I realized that it wasn't a thought…apparently…it was reality. Anger and guilt were beginning to develop deep in my stomach. I clenched my jaw in an attempt to keep from screaming.
"R-Reepicheep, please tell me it's not-"
"What did they do to her?" Stephen nearly yelled, interrupting me.
Again, it seemed as though Reepicheep was being very tentative. Mentally, I could prepare for the worse…
"Well, you see, Jacob tried getting her to talk, but she refused to tell him anything. My troop and I were just outside the throne room, in one of the holes, listening in. He was very intense with his questions, but Emily gave him nothing. She actually insulted him quite a bit, which I don't believe he appreciated much," Reepicheep said meekly.
"Then what?" Stephen pushed, wanting to get all of the details.
Reepicheep shot Stephen a curious glance before looking back to me," They took her down to the dungeons and…whipped her. For nearly two hours straight…small breaks here and there, but they were absolutely relentless. Whenever they did stop, I was able to go down and see her for myself…the poor thing's back is nearly just blood and bones. He said he wanted her as close to dead as possible….and that she is."
My mind started racing with all sorts of ideas as to why Jacob wouldn't just kill her. Did he possibly remember her from his childhood and growing up in the castle? Would he really be that graceful? I figured that he would not be and then continued pondering on the thought. Stephen continued asking questions, but I paid little attention for I was now furious. It was taking all the self-control that I had to keep myself from marching to the castle at that very moment to kill my brother where he stood.
"Why would he not kill her?" I asked, probably interrupting Stephen and Reepicheep.
The gray mouse looked at me and sighed," He's going to do the same to her that he did to Penelope."
Then, I remembered that he couldn't afford a single person to be against him. Not even one. I guess it made sense that he would want to have Emily on his side, like he had done to Penelope, but a question came to my head: How had he been able to brainwash a woman? They were not the ones that the Cruels would torture. As I opened my mouth to ask Reepicheep this, it hit me that he would have no knowledge of this. He probably didn't even know of the women. I would have to wait until we were with Emily once again, if she would even know.
"How can we get to her before they do this?" Stephen asked, reading my mind.
"That's exactly why I came," Reepicheep said. "They're traveling the same path that we are currently on. Emily wouldn't allow me to help her because she wants you to cut them off. She thinks someone of importance could be leading them, which can help you."
I had to admire Emily even more. She was offered assistance on escaping, but turned it down. However, the fact that we possibly had a troop of men coming toward us made my alertness go up.
I shot up from my position on the ground and looked sternly at Stephen," Wake the soldiers. Don't tell them anything for the time being, but merely get them all up and tell them to be dressed and ready for battle," I looked over to the mouse. "Reepicheep, have you any idea how many people are escorting her?"
"I would imagine not many, my lady," Reepicheep answered respectfully. " A small troop, but still enough to take seriously, your highness."
"Wake the troops," I told Stephen firmly. "Don't tell them much, leave that for Caspian to do."
My eyes looked back at Stephen who nodded, understanding, as he bent over to pick up his knife. With one last look to me, he jogged off into the darkness and intruded into the first tent he saw.
After I was sure that Stephen was out of earshot, I asked Reepicheep," Is it really as bad as you said?"
I wanted the affirmation that I had heard him correctly.
The mouse looked away hesitantly before answering," I'm afraid that her scarring both physically and mentally is permanent. She was bleeding profusely and I'm sure that all of the places where that leather strap struck her are badly infected. Words can hardly describe the pain and her screams; it was awful, your majesty."
Anger swelled inside of me. Jacob showed no mercy just as I had thought he would do. He cared little for the servant girl even if she had tended to him even when he was a child. Questions were also swirling through my head over the loss of Penelope's mind.
"That's too bad," I replied somberly, thinking of Stephen and how much he cared for her.
The mouse started to scurry off toward the main tent in which Stephen had just entered. Before he could leave, I called after him.
He looked back at me with wide, eager eyes," Yes?"
"What about Trina?" I asked, tentatively.
He avoided my eyes," Jacob questioned her as well and she refused to say anything."
I stared at him, waiting for him to finish.
"Jacob's sentenced her to death," He said quietly and before I could ask anything else, the mouse was gone.
I gulped again, trying not to swear or scream. Jacob was making little sense at that point. Why would he allow Emily to be tortured, but not killed and then allow for Trina to be killed? It made little sense to me. Agony ran through me and tears came to my eyes as I walked back to the tent.
We had to stop him.
We had to get Emily back and save Trina before it was too late.
I sat in Caspian and Apollo's main tent, waiting for the both of them to enter. I was pondering just how we were going to go about attacking the castle. In my head, I tried thinking of just how bad of shape Telmar was in. Whenever we came back, would the people accept or reject us? What if they had actually grown to be fond of Jacob? I could hardly stand the thought of that and forced my mind to wander. I then realized that I was getting a little ahead of myself. We, first, had to take out the small troop heading out West.
Seconds later, Caspian pushed into the tent, hair disheveled and still in a lightweight tunic. He looked at me with a confusion expression on his face," Is there a reason why Stephen is running through the camp waking up all the men?"
A smile came to my lips. I forgot to mention to Stephen to wake Caspian and Apollo first…to explain what was going on. I couldn't help but laugh at the sight of Caspian, still very disorientated as to his surroundings. Through the space in the tent, I could see Apollo running around the outside of the camp, very confused. I knew it was no laughing matter, but…I couldn't suppress a chuckle.
Before I could utter a word, Reepicheep popped up from the back of the tent where he had been perched," Your majesty!"
"Reepicheep?" Caspian asked, narrowing his eyes at the mouse, looking at him as though he was some hallucination rather than real.
"Yes, your majesty. I'm afraid we haven't much time for social talk, but might I advise that you find some clothes worth fighting in?" The mouse asked, looking the king over with a rather scrutinizing look.
I chuckled again before standing up from my chair and walking over to the opposite side of the tent and grabbing the crate that held all of Caspian's armor.
"Rosalie, would you please explain what's going on? Now?" Caspian asked irritated, following me over to where the crate lay.
"Long story short," I explained quickly to Caspian, shooting a glance over to Reepicheep," Emily's been captured, but it wasn't her fault. Penelope's been brainwashed and Trina's being held in captivity, sentenced for death. Jacob is suspicious that we are up to something, but hasn't a clue that you're free from the nymphs. Whenever Jacob interrogated Emily, she wouldn't tell him anything. He beat her. She's in the dungeons, but they're taking her out to be brainwashed today-"
He seemed to catch on very quickly," They're heading our way."
"Yes," I nodded, pushing the crate into his arms. "That's why we need to be prepared."
He winced slightly at the weight of the crate being pressed into his arm. I seemed to forget that his shoulder was still tender and was quick to apologize," Caspian, I'm-"
"Don't worry about it," He smiled at me, before walking toward the exit. "And so, that really is Reepicheep?"
The mouse beamed," At your service!"
"Good to see you again!" Caspian exclaimed happily, seemingly much more awake by the minute. He then turned to me," I'm assuming that Stephen is telling the men the situation we've got here."
"No, I'm leaving that job to you!" I said back to him with a small smirk on my face.
Just as he was about to leave, he shook his head and teasingly said," Oh, thanks."
"I love you too!" I called after him, well after he had left the tent, still wearing a smile on my face.
"Is there some sort of a joke that I didn't catch?" Reepicheep asked, climbing onto the other table that lay in the middle of the tent. This was where most of Caspian's maps lay.
Still smiling, I looked at Reepicheep," Don't you worry about a thing."
I ran back over to our tent and grabbed my own armor. Emily was typically the only one who helped me into my armor, but seeing as though I didn't have her, I had to ask Caspian to assist me in tying up the back, after I had assisted him in getting the weight over his weak shoulder.
It was odd for me to think that in a matter of hours we would actually be attacking one of Jacob's own troops. It was rather exciting, but also nerve racking as well.
Time seemed to fly from there on out as men came filing out of the tents, in full armor, wondering just what was going on. Apollo was soon informed of what was happening and began making sure that everyone was armed and ready to go. The actual trail that we assumed they would be using would be a safe distance away from the camp. We began sending troops out to hide in the bushes quite early while the rest of the men were doing some last minute training.
In the back of my head, I was mourning over the mental loss of my sister, but I had no time to actually express my emotions to anyone. It seemed as though we all knew what needed to be done and that was that. We all knew that it was awful that Emily had been foiled, but we knew that we couldn't mope around and drag our feet otherwise she would be lost forever. The same went for Trina. As soon as we informed Apollo of what was going to happen, he seemed horror-stricken, but hearing that made him step into gear even more and want to fight for her.
There were also still plenty of questions that I wanted answers to such as: how did the Cruels manage to brainwash Penelope, if she was, in fact, brainwashed? Why was Jacob planning on killing Trina, if he couldn't afford to have anyone against him? Could he not have just brainwashed Trina and gotten it over with? She would have been one less person to worry about, but was it necessary to kill her? Why? I could have continued the list on for ages, but I knew that there was still plenty of tasks that needed to be accomplished.
Just after the sun had risen, I found myself sitting with my back to a tree, looking around to see where Caspian was. By that time, Caspian had already addressed the men on the impromptu attack that was to take place. He informed them little of the details for we didn't have all of the specific details and probably wouldn't until Emily was back with, assuming that everything went as planned. I could still hardly believe that I was grasping a sword in my hand waiting for the signal...just one signal...
"I just thought about something," Caspian murmured under his breath to me as he climbed behind the thick bush beside me. "The Cruels don't brainwash women. Don't they kill them?"
I nearly jumped out of my skin whenever I heard him speak. After catching my breath, I looked at him and nodded, watching the trail through the side of my eye," I've been wondering the same thing."
"Then how could Penelope-" Caspian started to ask, but before he could finish Apollo silenced the men with a loud shushing.
The sound of horses hooves could be heard off in the distance. Before Caspian and I could continue our conversation any farther, he had to move forward to where Apollo sat. He looked at me once more and whispered," Should anything happen-"
"I love you," I finished his phrase, very quietly.
He smirked," And I you."
With one last look, he crept along the bushes until he was sitting just alongside Apollo. I sat, wondering just how this was going to work. Everything seemed to have happened so quickly that it was so odd to think that we were actually sitting there preparing for our first attack on Jacob. My head was spinning and my heart beating so loudly that it seemed as though I could barely hear the horses hooves coming louder.
My eyes turned to the men hiding behind the thicker trees just down the trail from where I sat. I could see their arrows, sticking out ever so slightly, but other than that they were completely invisible. I took one deep breath as I peered around the corner to see the trail. After spotting a brown horse turning the corner, I quickly pulled my head away.
It was them.
I had noticed a woman perched atop of the horse, but hadn't a good enough look to identify her. The rest of us were to wait until the archers had fired their first round of arrows before we could intervene.
The hooves came closer by the moment. Louder and louder. They came so close to me that I could hear the soft breathing of both the person atop the horse and the horse itself breathing out heavily. I held tight the sword that was in my hand. I found that the dagger wouldn't have near as much of a use for me in this situation, but nevertheless I kept it tucked away at my waist.
Seconds later, I heard the whistle of arrows fly through the air. I closed my eyes tight, praying that it would work. Then, suddenly, a horse whinny and men cries were my cue to move out alongside the other men who had already charged the line of unsuspecting men.
As soon as I turned the corner, in the frenzy, I saw that Penelope was atop of the first horse. Her eyes were widened and I watched as she started to kick her horse to retreat. Emily was on a separate horse, just behind Penelope, and the man steering Emily's horse gave it one powerful kick just as Penelope was kicking her own horse. I noticed that the entirety of Emily's back was completely red. A chill was sent down my spine as I saw her open gashes.
Shaking my head, I realized that Penelope was escaping.
Avoiding a jab from one of Jacob's men to my side, I screamed to the archers," STOP HER! She can't get away!"
All of our men seemed to be busy , but seconds later, one of the archers turned and just as Penelope and Emily's horses were galloping off, he sent an arrow piercing through the air, jabbing Emily's horse right in the midsection. The man atop of Emily's horse kept a tight grip on her as Penelope slowed down. Just as she did, another man fired an arrow to Penelope's horse, taking it down. Normally, I would have felt great guilt in injuring horses, but I had little remorse this time. They were merely part of a bigger plan that we couldn't allow to unfold.
Out of the side of my eye, I noticed a man coming at me, swinging wildly. I had to get to Penelope quickly to apprehend her, but he was currently a threat to me. Feeling adrenaline pumping through me, I sliced at him as our blades met with a clatter. I hadn't been in a fight in quite some time, but I had been able to practice some over the last couple days.
"You 'aven't a chance!" The man jeered at me, giving me a toothless grin as he swung high and was about to blow low.
Swiftly, I stepped aside as his sword hit the ground. With this advantage, I jabbed my sword through his side and said," Is that so?"
Seconds later, I was sprinting down, between wild swords and knives being thrown about, to where Penelope had already started fighting off the archers. The man who was holding Emily, now had a grip on her around the neck. I swallowed as I approached the scene. Several of our men already had him surrounded, but he held a dagger right at her throat. Penelope was dueling one of our soldiers intensely.
"Let her go!" One of our men cried, trying not to push the man too far.
"And what's stopping me from killing 'er right now, eh?" He challenged, pulling the knife closer to her neck.
We all stood in awe, watching just what was going to happen. Seconds later, we saw the man begin to choke. It was the oddest sight I had seen in quite some time, for as he was choking, but something was coming through his throat. The sight was rather gruesome as the sword protruded from the back of his throat. The man's grip on Emily loosened as he dropped to the ground. Caspian was standing behind the man as he pulled his sword from his throat.
"Get Emily!" He commanded me as he went toward Penelope, avoiding more attacks and stabs being thrown at him, "Take her to the camp!"
I wanted to stay and be able to assist. As I grabbed Emily tenderly, I cried back to Caspian," But I-"
"We've got it covered from here, Rosalie!" He said back rather impatiently. "Please, she needs medical attention quickly!"
Emily still seemed to be very weak, as I would have expected. As I placed Emily's arm over my shoulder, I felt all of her weight sink onto me. Adjusting myself, I threw my sword into its holster and started back through the woods toward the camp. I noticed that up close, Emily was even more frail than she had looked from a distance. Her face was pale, her dress ripped so badly it could have fallen off her, her face scratched and back so deeply wounded that I hardly thought it able to be healed.
Just as I was about to speak with Emily, I heard a grunt from behind us.
Looking over my shoulder, I saw one of Jacob's men falling dead right at our heels. Thank goodness that one of our soldiers had been there, otherwise we would have been killed. Stephen appeared from behind the man's figure, looking concerned at Emily. His eyes were wide and brimming with tears, before I could say a word he exclaimed," I'm gonna kill her!" He yelled referring to Penelope. He turned to go toward her and I stopped him.
"Stephen!" I cried, turning to face him while still keeping a grasp on Emily, "You can't do that!"
"And who's going to stop me? She did this to her!" He growled back at me. "She's the one to blame! Look at what she's done to this! Look at this mess!"
I turned my eyes over the battle that was taking place in the woods. From both sides, I saw men falling to the grown. I saw blood running down their faces, arms, and, but it seemed to bother them little for they kept on fighting. Neither side was going to give up any time soon. The archers for Caspian sent arrows flying left and right at Jacob's men who were trying to retreat back down the path. I noticed that Caspian was dueling with one of Jacob's men that was standing near Penelope. He was moving rather slow, but I had to remember that he was still taking a large risk fighting with a wounded shoulder. There was no stopping him; however.
I looked to Emily, who appeared to be placing a hand onto a nearby tree. I softly released her from my shoulder as she grasped onto the tree for support," Rosalie, he doesn't understand-" She gasped to me.
I gazed at the pathetic-looking girl and before I could say anything, Stephen had cried out again," I understand that Penelope's a traitor!"
My eyes turned down to my teenage sister, who was now dueling with Apollo. Her dark hair was whipping in her face as the older man pinned her against the tree. I saw her green eyes widen with fear as he nearly disarmed her with a hard directly to her blade. For some reason, seeing her again made me flash back to her as a child. I honestly trusted that Penelope wouldn't do harm to me if she was in her right mind...for some reason, I was convinced that she really was brainwashed. Seconds later, she came fighting back at Apollo, getting rather close to his head. I knew that the real Penelope would have stopped by that point. This couldn't have been the same girl with whom I would chase around the castle as a child.
"A blind traitor!" I yelled back at him, drawing my sword. "If you think that you can lay a finger on her, then you're going to have to go through me because that's my sister. She's a victim in this, not the criminal!"
"Not even you are going to stand in my way," He muttered to me, clutching his own sword tightly as he swung at me. I held my sword tightly and watched as he swung so closely to me that our blades caught with a clatter.
"Please, you two!" Emily exclaimed with all the strength she could muster.
"Only if he promises to back off of an innocent girl!" I cried, feeling sweat dripping from my brow as he continued to pound toward me.
"She's not innocent!" Stephen roared, lifting his sword to swing high.
I stepped aside as he swung downward and quickly recovered to face me once more.
"Think of what happened, Stephen," I said, trying to get him to calm down. "Think of the pain she must've endured. You know what the Cruels do, you were there when they were first discovered. I know she's been working for both sides, but can you at least trust me that I truly believe she has no recollection of any of this? Think of me...she's my sister. She may just be the last of my real family..."
He swallowed hard as he looked at me," You really aren't upset about Emily? You don't want revenge?"
"I want to get them back for this just as badly as you do, Stephen, but you and I both know that this is not Penelope's fault. She was merely tricked by Jacob. I'm saving my vengeance for him. He's the one that did this to her, not Penelope," I explained to him, trying to cool him off a little bit. "At least give her time."
Stephen glowered at me for several seconds before he softened his gaze and released a sigh.
"Fine, but don't think that I'm not still upset with her," he growled at me. "If she so much as lays a finger on Emily again, then I will make sure to personally have her executed, even if she is your sister."
I knew he was still burning with rage. I could understand why he was so upset which was part of the reason why I chose not to get onto his case anymore. Grabbing Emily once more, I watched as Stephen ran back through the trees to reach the battle. To my surprise, it seemed as though the battle was going rather well. I had known that we would easily outnumber them, but surprise attacks could always turn bad quick. From what I could see, it appeared as though we were going to be victorious.
The victory in itself would have been enough to make me pleased, but what made me ecstatic was the fact that Emily was clinging onto my shoulder.
"Rosalie!" Emily screamed as we both sat inside one of the tents. I had been able to rip off the dressing gown rather easily and provide her with a blanket to cover the front of her as I cleansed the wounds.
I grabbed a stool and sat behind her with a bucket of water and a rag, trying to clear away the blood. The cuts were so deep that I hardly thought she would ever completely heal from this. When I started, it seemed as though the blood would never go away. As I dabbed the rag into the water, it merely became red. I don't remember how many times I had to empty out the water because it had been turned completely bloody.
Her frail hands were grasping on tightly to the front of the chair in which she was sitting backward, her back toward me. She couldn't help but cry out in pain at even the slightest touch of the rag to the delicate, broken skin.
"Emily, I have to cleanse it," I said to her softly, trying to get her to calm down as I dumped out another bucket of the bloody water.
"I know you do," She answered, trying to steady her breathing again. "It just…brings back the memories, I'm sorry. I-I really should b-be strong-ger, but-"
"Emily, don't even talk about being strong. You are one of the strongest people I have ever met," I said to her, grabbing another bucket full of water from the large bucket in the corner of the tent.
A small chuckle was released from her lips," You're too kind."
I tried to keep her talking for it seemed as though her speech was starting to be less broken. Perhaps, talking could get her focus off of the cleansing of the deep wounds. Delicately, I placed the rag onto one of the deeper cuts and spoke," You know that Stephen was worried to death about you. Not to say that we weren't, but he was definitely the most bothered."
She was silent for a moment before saying," H-he overreacted, Rosalie. A-about P-Penelope."
I paused for a moment to ponder what she had just said after dabbing the wash cloth in the water," People who are in love tend to do that, you know. He knows what's right Emily," I placed the cloth onto her back, some skin could actually be seen at that point," He was just blinded because he saw you hurt. I don't think he actually-"
"B-but he still said it," She said, stronger than I had thought she could. "He can't just prattle off like t-that."
Seeing as though this was more of a problem between her and Stephen, I closed my mouth and finally finished cleaning the excess blood from the wounds. Finally, just as I grabbed the salve to put on the wounds, I said," Perhaps you should speak with Stephen about this."
"I-I would love to see him," She said, almost whispered to me.
She shook slightly as I placed the cool medicine onto the wounds. Though I knew she would still be sensitive to the topic, we hadn't much time to waste before we had to go into the castle. Since Emily seemed to be growing confidence in her words, I tried asking her some rather deep questions.
"Emily, I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about what happened at the castle," I said tentatively, not wanting to cross any boundaries. "I know that the topic is still sensitive, but if you could-"
"D-don't worry about it, Rosalie," She whispered to me. " That's the whole reason I went in there."
She paused for a moment, as if gathering her thoughts, before continuing on.
"Reepicheep helped me so m-much that I d-don't know what I would have done without him. H-he helped me into the stables and released the horses, who killed the g-guards there. That was about as far as the good things went because soon after we were able to locate the throne room and watch whenever they evacuated. P-Penelope retreated to her usual room a-and then there was a woman that was with Jacob-"
"Wait, a woman?" I asked, furrowing my brow as I stuck my hand into the cream once more.
"Yes," Emily nodded, keeping calm as she spoke. "Her name was…Natalia, I believe. I never did get the opportunity to ask Trina about her. Trina had been kept down in the cells where you had been kept briefly. I tried going down to retrieve her, but t-that was after I ran into Penelope, who at f-first t-treated me as though I was a friend. It c-came out that Jacob had told her to recognize all of us as friends, but to t-turn u-us in t-to him. I went down to the dungeons after she gave me the key, in order to r-retrive Trina, but t-there wasn't much hope from there."
I nodded my head, understanding as I continued to rub in the medicine. I couldn't seem to remember anyone whom my brother would have been companions with that was a woman…not that he didn't know women, but the fact that one would have been in a meeting with him must have meant that he trusted her. There wasn't anyone that I had known like that…would he sink so low and choose someone out of chance? For some reason, I didn't believe that. Perhaps, Emily was still in shock from what had happened.
Allowing for several moments to pass as I covered a majority of her back, I thought it necessary to ask her another question.
"Did you hear anything of how Jacob could have managed to brainwash a woman?" I asked her, putting the last of the medicine on.
Emily shook her head," I-I'm sorry."
"What of the giants?" I asked, remembering those to be a key force in Jacob's army.
"I-I did learn of them. Reepicheep said that t-they like to stay out in the forest, in fact, that's where they're banished to unless summoned."
This interested me greatly. Jacob must not have completely trusted the giants…
There were plenty of things that I needed to think about with Caspian that Emily had retrieved for us.
On a different note, the fact that she was going to forever have those scars on her back really bothered me. I knew that Jacob had bitterness inside of him, but never did I think he would go so far as to almost murder the servant who grew up alongside us and tended to us for the majority of our lives.
The skin on her back was beginning to look a lighter shade of red instead of the deep red it had been before. Knowing that there was little more I could do or talk about for the time being, I wrapped the bandages around her back and midsection, for extra support. Before I left; however, I found one more thing to ask Emily about.
"You said that you released the horses and that they killed the guards, correct?" I asked, still somewhat amazed by this revelation.
"Y-yes," She answered, her voice becoming stronger by the minute.
"Then do you know where they could have gone-"
Not even being able to finish my sentence, I heard the whinny of a horse outside the tent. A few seconds later, plenty more horses could be heard running toward the base camp. I smiled at Emily as she turned around, pulling a new dress over her head. Her strength to be able to dress herself amazed me, as well.
"They knew where to go," I whispered, in awe of the intellect of horses. "They knew what needed to be done?"
"Of course they did," Emily responded, adjusting the dress. "They were lead by Kingslee. Your horse."
The sound of the horses came closer and closer. I gave Emily a nod, bidding her farewell before gathering the supplies and exiting the tent. To my surprise, I came face to face with Stephen just as I left.
Laughing slightly at my scare, I said," She's doing fine, in case you're wondering and I would recommend talking with her."
Stephen, who still seemed embarrassed by his earlier stunt, simply nodded his head to me and entered the tent. I sighed slightly, but a river of relief came flooding over me to know that he had come back. Looking down the line of tents, it appeared as though they were occupied once more and several men were walking around. This must have meant victory for us.
I also noticed that there was a herd of horses skipping valiantly toward the camp. At the front, I noticed my own horse, Kingslee. The brown horse almost seemed to smile whenever she caught glance of me. I dropped the supplies in response to this and watched as she came galloping toward me, ahead of her pack. I was too in awe to think of any much other than the sight of her running toward me. Just as she entered the camp and came slowing down to a halt, she stared directly at me for nearly a minute before I took a step forward and placed my hand delicately on her nose. I watched her eyes close in pleasure as I stroked her nuzzle. Seeing Kingslee reminded me that I was closer to home, reminded me that this wasn't over.
The day when Caspian and I would rule Narnia once more was growing nearer.
Author's Note: I know, I know I still have a lot to explain, but hang with me! I'm still trying to catch my breath from trying to write all that...longest chapter I've ever posted on here.
5 more reviews! We can do that :)