Where the Storybook Meets Reality
Author's Note: As you know…everything belongs to C.S. Lewis :)
Chapter Six: Where the Storybook Meets Reality
"Where are we going?" I whispered in Caspian's ear as we followed the group of centaur through the woods. I was pulling Kingslee along behind us.
"I think they," he motioned to the dwarf and badger he had come with to clarify," have the Old Narnians gathered so I can speak to them. This is where I have to convince them to join me," he whispered back and I noticed up in the distance a large gathering of even more creatures," Did Cornelius tell you everything?"
I flashed a smile at him and nodded my head," You could say that."
He laughed and then answered," Well, good, that leaves less explaining for me."
I rolled my eyes as we continued down the ragged forest path to where the creatures were gathered. I would like to say that it seemed to be a happy meeting, but the creatures were all outraged. They looked to be a savage lot of beings. We continued walking until we were almost in the middle of the circle that they had formed and their yells If they were mad before, they were infuriated now at the sight of Caspian.
I ground tied Kingslee away from the crowd before walking into the mass of creatures, close to the center. I felt fur brush by my foot and looked down.
"You might want to stand back, miss," Reepicheep told me as Caspian walked to the center of the crowd.
I nodded and stood back by the talking badger. He patted a large rock beside him and invited me to take a seat.
"I don't think we have formally met," he told me, his voice very soft and wise," I am Trufflehunter."
He stuck out his paw and I shook it," Nice to meet you. I am Rosalie."
He smiled at me and before he could say another word the crowd of ravenous animals was in an uproar, screaming all sorts of threats.
"He's a thief!"
"He's a monster!"
"Why should we listen to him?"
All of these things were being shouted at once and then the dwarf that had traveled with Trufflehunter(who told me the dwarf's name was Nikabrik) and Caspian when Reepicheep and I met up with him.
"Let's add yet one more thing to the list of things the Telmarines have stolen from us!" he said boldly as he stepped forward," Go on, tell them some of the things they've taken!"
He didn't just say him, he said them. Was he including me in this as well?
"I have taken nothing!" Caspian hissed at the dwarf," The horn was given to me."
So that was what they were angered by…the horn. I guess it would have been considered property of the Narnians.
The crowd replied to Caspian with:
They once again went into an uproar.
Caspian looked horrified as he was being charged by all of the mythical beings, but after listening to all of them he looked at each of them with pleading eyes. I wished that I could have done something, but I knew that the last thing we needed was my mouth running. As painful as it was, I sat by and watched the violent scene.
"Would you really hold me accountable for the sins of our ancestors?" he challenged them.
"Accountable and punishable!" the dwarf spat back; he really didn't mess around with this business, I noted.
Reepicheep then decided to come into the mix, drawing his sword he fought for Caspian," How ironic! Were your people not the ones who fought alongside the White Witch?" he fought back.
The dwarf smiled and pushed away Reepicheep's blade," I'd do it again to get rid of these barbarians!"
His gaze went from Caspian to mine. Trufflehunter got up to say a few words as well," Us badgers remember things quite well. You all may have forgotten, but is it not true that Narnia has never been right unless it was ruled by a Son of Adam?"
"But he's a Telmarine," he spat right back," Why would we even consider having him as King?"
"I can help you!" Caspian finally spoke up," Listen to me, I am a Prince beyond these woods! The throne is rightfully mine! If you trust me, I can bring peace among you all and we can live in harmony with one another!"
When he spoke they were silent. They listened…for once.
One of the centaurs stepped forward and spoke of his star gazing. The stars had told him this was going to happen and he encouraged all of the creatures to trust Caspian. He, for one, believed that peace was possible. I liked listening to that centaur speak for his voice was very deep and soothing. It still amazed me when every one of these creatures opened their mouth.
A squirrel above my head began jumping about," Can we really bring peace? Really?"
"The Telmarines do not believe that you all exist! Just two days ago, I didn't even know that you were anything more than storybook characters that my nanny and professor would read to me before bed every night.
" Look at you! Your numbers are plentiful, something that none of us Telmarines would be expecting! They neglect to believe that you even exist! Together, we can defeat them!" he told them all and I saw something that I had never seen before in Caspian.
Bravery. Not only bravery, but boldness as well. If I were a Narnian, seeing someone with such an excitement to fight would have caused me to trust him.
"If you will lead us, then my sons and I will follow!" the centaur announced, drawing his sword and many others followed his lead.
Before long the whole crowd was not jeering, but cheering on their new leader.
The same centaur who had devoted his pack to serving us soon informed us of a place where we could easily house all of the supplies and soldiers. He claimed that there was a place called Aslan's How that he could lead us to if we would trust him. Caspian, Narnia still being rather foreign to him, asked my opinion of it. I knew no more than he did, but I reminded him that this centaur was a native of the land.
We found it would be best to follow the centaur to Aslan's How, since there was no other shelter we could thought of to house such a large number of people and weapons.
It took a little over a day and a half to reach Aslan's How, but when we arrived, it was not a disappointment. It was like many underground tunnels were woven into one large burrow and we thanked the centaur greatly for leading us here. It didn't take long for everyone to become settled in to the large, spacious accommodations.
The first night of our arrival there, Caspian, Reepicheep, and I did some exploring through one of the tunnels with markings of children walking passed a lamp post. There were more markings of them and there appeared to be four children; we concluded that these were the Pevensie children, the Old Kings and Queens of Narnia.
As we traveled deeper into the tunnel, with torches lit we came across what appeared to be the Stone Table. The table was cracked right down the middle from where Aslan had come back to life from the clutches of the sinister White Witch. I couldn't help but be amazed by the sight of this broken table. Those stories of Aslan…perhaps they were true after all.
In order to survive, Caspian plotted an attack on enemy grounds in order to obtain supplies, for we had none. He sent out a scout team to see where the closest camp of Telmarine soldiers was and they came back several hours later with news of them down by the river. Perhaps a group of thirty of them.
Desperate for supplies, Caspian led a group of men out to steal from them and gain all the weapons, food, and other things we could possibly need. I longed to go with him, but Caspian told me that in order to protect me from having to possibly face my father; I needed to stay and watch the How with the female centaurs. I sulked, but had to listen for I knew he was right. I couldn't handle a meeting with my father that soon.
Eventually, Caspian and I finally found time to talk about everything that had happened while we were out scouting around with a squad of minotaur and centaurs. It was early in the morning and we had stepped away from the group for a moment.
"What made you decide to leave?" he asked me as we walked behind all the rest of the soldiers.
Finding time to talk was apparently too good to be true.
I was cut off by the sound of a twig snapping to the right of the path. I shot Caspian a glance, concerned, and he placed a finger over his lips. I watched his hand slide down to his sword and he quietly drew it. He looked around the large tree that stood between us and the source of the noise.
Immediately, I watched him fly into battle and let out a cry. I heard the sound of swords clashing. Alarmed, I ran around to see what was going on. A boy, about the same age as Caspian and I, was clashing swords with Caspian. He had light brown hair and blue eyes from what I could tell.
I watched intensely. Both of them were equally matched for each other and all the while my mind was racing to figure out just who this stranger was. They went back and forth for quite some time, but soon the stranger knocked Caspian's sword right out of his hand. I saw Caspian fall backwards and slowly drew my own sword out.
As Caspian raced back to retrieve his sword, the stranger darted right after him. Surely, he would not attack an unarmed opponent. Was he trying to kill Caspian?
Not wanting to chance it, I drew my sword and right as the stranger's blade almost met Caspian's skin; it met my blade.
"You can stop right there," I warned the stranger, meeting his eyes.
He kept his blade locked at mine before picking it up, allowing me to get into position. A smile crept onto his face and I shook my head in disbelief. Arrogance was being emitted from him-who did he think he was? Just because I was a girl did not mean that I was weak. He held his sword dull as I swung towards him; he wasn't even trying.
"Come now, is your pride too large for you to consider fighting me, boy?" I taunted him as I circled with my blade pressed toward him.
He kept his blade pointed toward me, a little higher and stronger this time," I find it hardly appropriate that you call me boy, when I am much older than you, young lady."
He took a hard jab at me with his sword and I defended myself.
"Young lady?" I asked, appalled," I am not a young lady!"
He actually chuckled when I swung and met his sword. He exchanged many attacks back and forth before Caspian appeared again. Just when he had arrived we found ourselves at a clash, both of us struggling to break away from the collision.
"Rosalie," Caspian said from behind me," Careful."
"I've got it covered, Caspian," I assured him as I struggled; he was overpowering me.
Smiling the stranger boy met my eyes with his blue eyes," How are you holding up there, Rosalie?"
I sneered at him.
Sweat was dripping from my forehead and my wrists were screaming in pain. They couldn't handle all the pressure being put on them. Frankly, my whole body couldn't stand it. He was much stronger than I was and soon I saw my blade slipping out of my grasp. He brought down his sword to force mine out of my hand and as he did, his blade sliced the skin on my forearm.
I let out a loud yelp before I fell down to my knees. He kept his sword right at my eyelevel. I noticed the writing on his sword and gasped. The main words I could pull out of it were:
High King of Narnia
"No, don't!" a small voice from behind us yelled," Please, don't hurt her!"
My eyes shot up to see a little girl with auburn hair on the top of the ridge. Her face wore a look of unadulterated shock. Soon, behind her ran up an older girl with long, dark hair along with a boy who appeared to be just a little older than the youngest who seemed to have an interest in saving me.
"Peter!" the older girl yelled as well.
I turned my head to Caspian. He still had a look of confusion on his face.
Peter put his sword away," You didn't actually think I would do anything to her?"
"You gave us a scare," the older girl replied as she walked down the ridge with the other boy and young girl.
Peter smirked and offered me a hand to help me up, but I shrugged it off and picked my sword up off the ground. As I stood up he motioned to where he had injured me," My apologies."
I narrowed my eyes at him and held my hand over the injury. It still stung. Bad. I was just in too much shock to actually notice it.
"Caspian," I whispered to him as I stood up beside him," His sword says that he is the High King of Narnia."
"What?" he asked me, clearly astonished, but before our conversation could go any farther…
"You are Prince Caspian?" Peter asked, a harsh tone to his voice.
Was it possible High King Peter was that young? The stories mother told us about him had to have been over one thousand years old.
"Yes," Caspian replied," And you?"
"High King Peter and I believe that you called us," he informed us as he took a step closer to Caspian. The way he announced his title made me want to be sick.
"How is this possible?" I asked, bewildered," You-you are thousands of years old? And yet, you are not."
"That doesn't matter," Peter assured me," All that does matter is that we are here to help. Unless, you don't want us here."
"No! You will be of much help to the war effort," Caspian said quickly.
" You're free to go." I said at just the same time. I wasn't the biggest fan of High King Peter. Even if he was the "High King"; I never was a big fan. He was always rude and stuck on himself in all the stories.
Peter shot me a nasty look as well as Caspian. Wasn't it better that I be honest to them?
"Despite what my companion says," Caspian told Peter, still giving me a harsh glance," We welcome you with open arms."
"Good to hear," Peter said to Caspian, though his voice didn't sound very enthusiastic.
I rolled my eyes as the rest of the troops, if that's what you wanted to call the mythical creatures, came along to surround us. I noticed Reepicheep coming along through the grass.
He climbed up onto a rock and gave a little bow," We have anxiously been awaiting your arrival. Each and every one of our hearts are at your service."
Peter smiled at the little mouse. A genuine smile. The first time I couldn't detect any sarcasm in it. What a relief, he wasn't a total joy kill.
"Good to hear!" The King told the mouse.
The girls, who I assumed to be Queen Susan and Queen Lucy, were laughing at the mouse. It reminded me of my first reaction to the mouse as well and for the first time since they had arrived; I let a smile appear on my face as Reepicheep drew his sword on them.
"Who dares insult me?" he called out pointing his sword around.
"Sorry," the younger, Queen Lucy, admitted meekly.
He let out a sigh of relief and put his blade away," Oh, excuse me your majesty. Although, I do believe there are more appropriate words to describe me. Brave…courageous…audacious," he rambled off.
"Don't let him fool you," I said, laughing as the little guy scampered off to talk with Peter and Caspian.
"Hey! I heard that!" The mouse protested from up ahead.
"I'm only joking Reepicheep," I assured him, but he was already jabbering away with the High King.
I turned my glance over to Queen Susan, Queen Lucy, and King Edmund. Looking at them was so unreal, they were story book characters…not real humans. At least, that's what I had told myself for my whole life. Until that moment.
Queen Lucy was just as I had pictured her with her auburn hair and bright blue eyes. She looked very joyous and the title of "valiant" seemed fitting so far. She had stood up for her to her older brother about saving me.
King Edmund had thick dark hair and was almost as tall as I was. He had dark eyes, but there was something about him that wasn't so dark. I knew of his mistakes just like the stories proclaimed, but he looked to be nice enough. I assumed that I would learn more of him later.
Then there was Queen Susan. She was always my favorite character. I never really knew why I favored her so much, but I think it was because she was the oldest and got much more action than Lucy did in the battles. I was always up for acting out a battle in a war when I was younger. The stories always made her out to be very serious and too logical, but I saw passed that.
She had beautiful dark hair and porcelain skin. Her eyes were a bright blue, just like her older brother's and younger sister's. She was gorgeous and I couldn't help but feel a tiny amount of jealousy standing next to her.
I thought that it was probably rather uncomfortable having me stare at them for such an extended moment, but I shook my head out of my gaze and finally spoke as we began walking along," Please, excuse me. It is just that this is all very hard for me to grasp. Just days ago, you all were just story book characters to me."
Queen Susan was the first to respond and chuckled," That is quite alright. I don't think it bothers us at all."
A/N: So, originally, I had Chapter Seven and Chapter Six as one chapter, but after I got done typing it I realized it was like 16 Word pages long so I needed to break it up which means two chapters for you all!