The Battle and the Lion
Author's Note: Obviously, I don't own anything. Narnia=property of C.S. Lewis.
Chapter Twenty-Four: The Battle and the Lion
Quickly, I jumped off of Kingslee and sprinted as hard as I could to catch up with Caspian. There may have been a battle going on, but there was no way that I was going to allow him to walk away from me after saying that. If something were to happen to him, then I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing that I never apologized to him.
"Caspian!" I yelled as I ran as fast as I could to catch up with him," Caspian!"
He didn't turn around to see me, but merely kept on walking, determined on his own mindset.
I could see that from the battle in the distance, It appeared that the plan to collapse the ground from under the Telmarines had already happened and that many men had fallen into the trap, but there were still plenty of others in combat versus the Narnians. The How appeared to still be standing, but it was damaged greatly, probably because of the large slingshots that looked as though they could have thrown a rock the size of a castle.
Still, I continued running until I was close enough to grab his arm. I clasped my hand tightly around his heavily armored forearm, forcing him to at least slow," Please, Rosalie, I already-" he tried to argue.
"No," I commanded him, once more looking straight at him," I cannot let you leave me without my telling you that I was just as wrong as you were, if not more. I was atrocious and for that….I am sorry."
Before he could answer, another rock was slung back and sent barreling through the air, crumbling another section of the How. It was the interruption of what seemed to be the perfect moment for re-mending, but we both knew what we had to do. As if on cue, we both drew our weapons once more and charged forward.
"Later?" he asked, looking at me sideways.
"Later," I confirmed, setting my eyes on the battle ahead.
I had never been in battle before and the closest I had been in was a duel, which didn't hardly count for much. As we got closer to the sharp swords and steady shields, my heart felt as though it was going to explode and I could hardly determine if it was because of nerves or excitement, but eventually decided that it was a good combination of the both.
"You are sure that you are ready for this sort of combat?" Caspian called to me as we continued to inch our way closer.
I glanced at him sideways," You know I'm a horrible shot with a bow, so I guess this is what's left."
He chuckled and shook his head, knowing that trying to convince me to sit out was unreasonable," Very true, but a bow is safer."
"I don't think that word is very applicable to my life, don't you think?" I countered, teasing him slightly.
"Touché, Rosalie," he said with a good-humored roll of his eyes.
Then, with smiles planted on both of our faces, we entered the battle. It seemed to come up like a brick wall for before I knew it, I was forcing my blade into a Telmarine trying to climb his way out of the hole. Soon, I realized that I had lost place of Caspian and was alone, taking wild swings at Telmarines from all around me. Adrenaline began pumping throughout my veins and it was hard to keep track of everything going on around me. Being in a battle was basically like dueling more than one person at once and having to dodge all of their shots. It was one of the most strenuous things I had ever experienced and I could soon feel drops of sweat spilling from my pores. The more I fought, the less I was able to draw similarities between dueling and this.
Here and there, I found that some of the men's swipes would catch my arm or leg and gently slice the armor on the outer layers of my clothes, but there was too much going on elsewhere to hardly pay attention to such minor defects. I still had to be wary of the arm that Jacob had deeply wounded for the blood had clotted, but it was sticky, sore, and still stinging slightly. If the wound on my hand was badly infected, then that one would most definitely be infected.
After fighting my way through several different conflicts, some of which were too close for my liking, I made my way back toward the How to see if I could find anyone who would have any knowledge of battle plans because it appeared that we were still falling short in many areas. Trying my best, I sprinted back toward the columns where the duel between Peter and Miraz had taken place.
Once I arrived there, I noticed that Peter and Edmund were nearby fighting hard, but it was most definitely not an appropriate time for me to go spitting questions out at them. I hardly had time to think before more Telmarines were charging toward me once more. The continuous process of dueling time and time again was rather grueling, but I found out that if even one step was out of place…then I would be gone.
I fended for myself best as I could before I realized that I was nearly surrounded by them and could hardly defend myself alone any longer. My eyes glanced out to see that an entire swarm of Telmarines were lining up in war formation farther out in the fields and they looked strong. If not, stronger than the ones that we were still currently fighting. Though my hope was diminishing, I had to force myself to keep it strong.
Finally, I was able to make an out for myself by stabbing one of the larger men that stood behind me. Swiftly, I was able to push the shield of the falling man upwards against the jaw of the other. I was actually slightly impressed with that move and wished that I could have repeated it, but I knew that I'd probably never remember how to do that again if my life depended on it.
Finding that I had just made an out for myself, I continued running backward to where Peter was calling a retreat.
"Peter!" I cried from where I stood and began running toward him," Peter!"
His head shot over to me as I came running toward him. He smiled slightly, but the smile did not last for long because another large boulder was sent spiraling through the air, its impact with the How was atrocious. Though the army had followed his instructions to retreat back to the How, it hardly mattered now for the impact had caused the rock to fall into the entrance of the How, making it impossible to enter. The old rock structure slowly crumbled similar to the way my heart felt.
My breathing slowed as I watched the huge boulders block the entrance. I swallowed hard before looking back at the fresh army approaching our, already weakened forces.
That was when it hit me.
"Penelope," I whispered at first, but then found myself searching in Peter's eyes for some sort of answer as I screamed," Penelope! My sister is still in there!"
His eyes appeared forlorn and saddened as he looked at the boulders. I knew that he wanted to tell me something and wanted to provide me with comfort, but all he could do was re-draw his weapon," We've got to go back and fight."
He started to turn his back once more, but I couldn't re-draw my sword," Peter!" I yelled again.
Quickly, he turned back around before pushing on and yelled," There's nothing we can do!"
I know that he didn't mean for his tone to sound so harsh, but it most definitely did. The last of my family had just died…and he was running off to fight the rest of the Telmarines off. I shouldn't have expected that there was anything he could do, but I had at least hoped he would try and show some sympathy. But then again…had I not decided long ago that he was willing to do anything for his people?
Slowly, I forced myself to turn from the sight. I forced myself to hold back the tears for I knew that I could not shut down on the Narnians. I knew that Peter was right, but the stray tear could not stay contained in my eye.
Edmund, however, had noticed my pain and just as we were turning to re-enter the battle once more, he said to me," Look up."
Confused, I searched his face for some sort of explanation, but he pointed to the top layer of the archery on the How. I forced my eyes upward and searched the faces of every one of the archerers trying to keep their balance atop of the layer that seemed to falling apart right under their feet. I watched as most of them scurried down and began entering the battle alongside us and the last one…was a little shorter than the others. I noticed a long, dark brown pony tail coming down the side of her body and immediately, a sigh of relief came over me.
"Thank you," I whispered to Edmund, knowing that my sister may have been placing herself in danger (and I was furious with her for disobeying me the first time) once more, but at least she was alive and still had a chance at survival.
He returned with a crooked smile and we soon turned to return to the battle once again. Susan soon joined us as we pushed forward," Your little sister has quite the shot."
I looked at the Queen," Unfortunately, as you can see, she can't seem to stay out of the action. Or do as she's told, for that matter."
"Hmm," Susan mumbled to herself as we walked," Sounds like someone else we know," she flashed a small smile at me before walking ahead of us.
With a smile on my face, I said to her, trying to change the subject," You think we've any chance at this, honestly?"
The smile faded on her face as she now wore a more serious expression," Our only hope is Lucy. This whole time we have basically been stalling and as you can see, our time is just about up. Aslan has to intervene."
I nodded and then she kept on walking forward, grabbing her bow as she did. Peter and Caspian were much farther up ahead, already in battle once more with the stray men who had survived the first round. I was hardly able to pay any attention to them for much longer because I was met early by a large group of men from the first round as well. Eagles flew over head, carrying dwarfs with arrows to go and lessen some of the Telmarines numbers, but they were destroyed soon by the boulders being tossed through the air at them. Edmund stayed close by my side and we fought together against the men.
On Edmund's side, he appeared to be struggling with one of the men who was particularly bulky. Had I been dueling the man, I probably would have fallen quickly and Edmund appeared to be holding up as best he could, but he most definitely needed some assistance. Just as I was stepping forward to assist, an arrow pierced right through the man's jaw.
Shocked both Edmund and I looked to right to see just who made the shot.
"Penelope?" I asked, wanting to yell at her for disobeying me, but also wanting to praise her for such precise aim.
She came closer, looking at us as if we were crazy before pulling another arrow out," What?"
"You-I told you not to-" I stuttered, unable to get passed the fact that my sister had just shot a man through the jaw.
"Watch out!" she commanded as she stepped to the side and shot another arrow right into a soldier charging toward us," Seriously, Rosalie, if all you want to do is talk and stare at me, I wouldn't recommend," she pulled out another arrow and quickly shot," being out here."
Shaking my head, still in disbelief, I shot a look at the equally shocked Edmund before returning my attention to the battle at hand. The army approaching was practically on us and many centaurs and other creatures had attempted to breach their front lines, but their shields defending them were much too strong. We came to the edge of where the ground had collapsed and noticed that there were still some soldiers down in the gaping hole in the ground.
As my eyes scanned the crowd, I noticed that Caspian had somehow ended up down there and Glozelle stood above him, spear raised high over his head. I gasped and began trying to think of anything that I could do, but before I could I heard Penelope pulling out another arrow. I stopped her before she could fire," Wait, Penelope."
I didn't know what was stopping me, but it was almost as though there was a grumbling in the ground…something was telling me not to allow her to send that arrow through the air. She looked at me as though I was crazy and started to argue, but before she could say anymore a tree root burst through the ground and pulled Glozelle away.
I shot a look over to Edmund, who looked just as puzzled as I," What-"
He looked straight back at me as tree roots started bursting out of the ground, left and right and rushing toward the Telmarine lines. In awe, I stood watching as the trees around us literally came to life and began walking around, crushing Telmarine men. Boulders were being thrown at them, but hardly anything could stop them from pressing forward.
I realized that Aslan had saved my life and I also realized that we had basically planned our whole battle plan around him, but the idea that he had actual...helped...and was saving us...was mind blowing.
As we charged them, trees and all, the Telmarines started retreating back toward the river bridge. I looked up every so often to peer into the tall branches of the trees that had come to life. Of course, as children we had always pretended that trees could walk and talk, but this was a real-life walking, talking, fighting trees on our side. Nevertheless, that didn't mean we were totally out of the woods yet. We ran hard and fast to try and catch up with them, but it wasn't until we almost were at the river bridge that we caught up with the army who had, strangely enough, stopped at the edge of the bridge.
At the other side of the bridge, I saw Lucy. She was standing alone, but the only thing in her hand appeared to be a small dagger. I found it odd that she thought that by standing there alone. It surprised me that Peter or Edmund or Susan didn't do something to try and coax her off the bridge…but then again…what could they do? Was this some sort of a plan that I did not know of?
For a couple of moments, the Telmarines stood there, just as shocked as the rest of us.
Then suddenly, a lion appeared by her side.
A lion that could be no other than Aslan himself.
I felt a shudder run through my body at the sight of the majestic creature and all of the Telmarines seemed to share this awestruck. From the mouth of the lion, came one of the most powerful roars I had ever heard. I felt as though the land would shake beneath my feet and I could hear the sounds of rushing waters from upstream.
The Telmarines were growing tired of standing around. I heard from the front, a cry to make them move forward and then suddenly the men charged forward over the bridge, but they were not able to beat the water for it was most definitely alive. I could not believe my eyes for the water had turned in to some sort of a man that was taller than any creature I had seen before. He stood tall and as he rose high above the ground, he picked up the piece of the bridge that the Telmarines had entered onto.
Horses and men stood atop of the bridge that seemed to be floating in the man of water's hands. They were frantically calling and scurrying about, but soon the man came crashing down and took out the bridge and many men with him. The Telmarines were destroyed once and for all. Some of them lingered, but soon they were surrounded and forced to drop all weapons.
Still in shock, slowly Edmund, Penelope, and I made our way toward the lion and Lucy, where they stood on the shore as the Narnians continued to surround the Telmarines and strip them of their weapons. I slowly tucked my sword into its sheath, as did Edmund, and Penelope put her bow back into its place. We soon met up with the equally amazed, Susan, Peter, and Caspian.
"Just what was that?" Susan asked Peter just as we entered into the conversation.
Peter shook his head in disbelief," I think it's best that we not question Aslan on this one."
As we migrated closer to Aslan, I felt Penelope tug at my arm. They continued walking and I thought that it might have been best that they have some time to speak with Aslan alone.
Penelope and I stepped aside briefly," Yes?"
"I hope you're not too mad at me," she said quietly walking toward the river.
I recollected on everything that had happened and let out a sigh," How could I stay mad at you for that? Really…had you listened to me…you might not be here to tell the story."
She looked at me with wide eyes," You really mean that?"
I nodded and placed a hand on her shoulder," Why, of course I do. It's a little silly for me to think that I can just control you…you are growing up pretty fast, you know."
She rolled her eyes," Ughh, you sound like mom-" she cut herself off at the mention of mother and looked at me wide eyed before shooting her eyes away, obviously the thought of mother hurting her.
"It's fine," I assured her, but I saw a tear fall from her eye as she collapsed into my arms," Shh, Penelope."
She continued sobbing and I ran my hand up and down her back, trying to provide a source of comfort for her. She cried until it seemed her eyes could produce no tears and I stood there just as a comfort to her," I'm such a baby," she muttered as she finally backed away, wiping away a tear," I don't think I'm as grown up as you give me credit for."
A small laugh escaped my lips," No, I am sure that the little sister I knew before all of this would have never dared shoot an arrow through a man's jaw to save someone."
She shook her head," That was-"
"Amazing," I finished for her," That takes a lot of courage and bravery. Plus, when did you ever get so skilled with a bow?"
She smiled and then chuckled through the tear," Well, when you were gone, you didn't think that I just sat around and did nothing, did you? I took up a liking for archery."
"That's great," I told her, then my voice grew softer," And I'm sorry I couldn't be there to help you learn."
"That's fine," she said, her voice rather chipper, surprisingly," I don't think we will ever have to worry about anything with them again. At least...I hope not, father is...," she looked at me, searching for the right word.
"You won't be worrying of him any more," I assured her, the image of our dead father flashing back to my head and even though I claimed that he was no longer my father...I couldn't help but mourn for the loss of the man he used to be.
With a tear building in my eye at the memory of all of our good times with father, I opened my mouth to say something else to my sister, but someone else had joined the conversation.
"Rosalie?" a voice asked from behind me, I looked to see Peter," Aslan requests to see you. Sorry, if I am interrupting anything."
"Oh, no!" Penelope chipped in, stepping away from me, trying to hide the sadness in her voice as well," You're interrupting nothing, nothing at all!"
I smiled at her before turning my gaze to Peter, also trying to hide my tears," Thank you."
He looked at me hard, knowing that something was not right before reluctantly turning away to speak with some of the other Narnians. I looked down at Penelope one last time," Are you alright for now?"
She nodded and without another word turned away.
I made my way upstream a little ways, where the lion stood, waiting for me. No other creature compared to the looks of this gallant being. Suddenly, I felt the nerves of coming near him disappear the closer I got and found this rather odd. My faith in this lion had been no more than the smallest of faiths, but as I stood in front of him...how could I not believe in this beast?
"Welcome Rosalie," the lion's voice greeted me, the sound of his voice sounded so mighty and strong.
"T-thank you," I stuttered, hardly able to muster words to speak to him.
There was a silence for a moment as I stood awkwardly beside the lion who appeared to be looking out over the river before finally turning his gaze to me," Come, child, and walk with me."
Slowly, the lion changed direction and began walking upstream. I followed closely, my heart feeling as though it was beating out of my chest as we walked in silence.
"Rosalie, you know that I have been very impressed with you ever since you were a young child?" he told me, almost like a father would tell a daughter.
I looked at him with a raised eyebrow, finding his statement somewhat surprising. Still, I kept silent for I felt like there was more that he had to say.
"I was impressed at the fact that you were so bold and brave to stand up for whatever and whoever you loved. Even at such a young age, you were always very protective of your younger sister and of Caspian, your closest companion. I was always very impressed with that and even as you grew up, many a time you would sacrifice yourself for someone else. This is a hard trait to come across," the lion continued speaking as we walked farther upstream.
Still, I found that it would have been awkward for me to make a comment so I continued to listen.
"And even though you have a tendency to be reckless and at times, stubborn, I have always made sure that no harm ever came to you, but this was not the reasoning for my requesting your presence. Perhaps, I am rambling," he explained to me, looking up at me ever so briefly.
"I do not mind," I said with a smile and looked into the face of the peaceful lion and asked,"But why have you requested that I come here?"
"I want to inform you of something that might be of great importance to you," he said to me, as I continued to look him over.
"And what might that be?" I asked, as we slowly continued walking.
"I know that you have found a liking in the Pevensie children and from what I can see, they have almost become like a family to you," he told me and I nodded in agreement.
"This would be accurate," I said before he continued.
"Which is what makes this even more difficult," he said with a sigh.
I furrowed my brows and studied the lion," What is it that you wish to tell me?"
"You've read about the Pevensies ever since you were a child and have always dreamed of being able to go on adventures with them and you have been able to live that dream now, do you realize this?" he asked me, looking directly at me.
The lions warm eyes seemed to melt my own. I thought about all that I had been through with the Pevensies and I had always dreamt of going on an adventure like them. I hadn't really thought much of it, but it would have been accurate to say that I received my childhood dream.
"Yes," I said quietly, still not fully understanding.
He sighed once more, fighting with himself over the correct choice of words," I am sending the Pevensies home, Rosalie."
His words hit me hard. I hadn't really realized that the Pevensies had a home other than Narnia. They just fit in so well…I couldn't imagine a Narnia without at least one of them in it. Then, I pictured Peter…oh not Peter. Even though my heart was beginning to make amends with Caspian, that didn't mean that I had forgotten about Peter. In fact, I most definitely still had feelings for him tucked away in my heart. He couldn't just leave…but surely…they would come back.
Surely...Aslan was leading up to something else.
I nodded my head, trying to make it seem like I understood," Temporarily?"
He looked back at me again," For the younger two, yes. However, Susan and Peter have learned all that they can learn from Narnia."
My heart stopped.
"What do you mean?" I asked, my voice raising, trying to fight back tears," This is their home."
He shook his head," Their home is a place much more dangerous than here, Rosalie. Narnia has only been a place for them to learn lessons that can help them prepare for their battles on Earth, where they are from."
I couldn't help the tears falling once more from my eyes. They burst out hard and fast; I couldn't stop them. The thought of losing all four of the Pevensies…was awful and I didn't understand why they had to go. Perhaps, the younger two would come back, but the thought of never seeing Peter or Susan again was painful.
"I wanted you and Caspian to learn from their example and leadership, Rosalie," he told me, still trying to be a comfort to me," Please, try and understand what they have to go back to and why they must."
I couldn't look at him. This creature that had saved my life and had probably helped me in ways that I didn't even know, wanted to take away these people who had done nothing but good things to Narnia. He was just going to leave the role of King to Caspian, who hadn't a clue of what he was to do?
"Think of Caspian's transition to being a king of Narnia, child. Would it not be much harder for him to regain his place as king with four other rulers who also expect their roles to be resumed? He has learned all that there is to learn from the Kings and Queens of Old, as have you," he told me, still just as calm as ever.
I crossed my arms, trying to be more understanding, but still not fully understanding the ways of Aslan," They will be devastated."
He nodded," Yes, but they will soon understand."
There was another pause and my eyes traveled back downstream where I could see the Pevensies, helping to gather everyone into an orderly manner once more. I looked from Susan, whose pain would have been great whether she stayed in Narnia or not. It was because of me that she would never be with the man she dreamed of being with. Yet, I predicted, that she would still be tender hearted enough to forgive and go on. Then I looked to Peter, strong and gallant. He was such a strong shelter and comfort for almost anyone to look up to. He was loyal too, which was what made him such a great leader.
Was this what Aslan wanted me to do? To pick out the traits that made them who they were?
Was this what he had planned all along?
"Is that really why you brought them here?" I asked the lion, trying to sort out all of my feelings," As an example for us to follow?"
"Mostly," the lion replied," Narnia was in need of help and there was no way that Caspian and you could handle that on your own, but mostly because it would allow both you and Caspian to meet the Kings and Queens that kept Narnia peaceful for so many years as well as strengthen the knowledge that you two have of yourselves. Hopefully, by placing yourself in a relationship with the King, you have learned what has made him such a hero and Caspian, by placing himself with the Queen, has learned what makes a successful Queen. You are right in saying that I wanted you to see an example, but do not think that was the only reason."
"You are right in saying that I have placed myself in a relationship with the King, for I have learned much about Peter. He was a stronghold for me and I could never thank him enough for being there for me when I had shut out everyone else," I told the lion, the words seemingly pouring out of my heart," It just will be hard to see him go."
He nodded his head once more, understanding," I understand the feelings you developed for the High King and I understand Caspian's as well. I regret that it has to come down to this, but the truth of the matter is that the Pevensies cannot stay here forever."
This was not a transition that I would be able to accept overnight, in fact, I figured that it would take me quite some time to get used to this. All I could seem to do was shake my head in disbelief as tears flooded from my eyes.
"I know that you have gone through much pain with the loss of your family, but I hope that you realize what you have helped to build now, Rosalie," the lion comforted once more," I hope that you can see the brighter Narnia that is arising from the shadows."
Of course, I could. I would eventually be able to move on, but the hard part was yet to come.
Author's Note: *wipes away sweat* That was the longest chapter I believe I have ever written and I can't believe that there is only one chapter left...AAHHHH, it won't be nearly as long as this one...promise. I am kind of like in awe that this turned out to be so massive...anyways, new poll on my profile. Check it out!
Oh and...a review would make my day :) Thanks guys, you're the best!