Chapter 5 - Debates and Judgements
"I can hear you." next to her Caspian stops walking and turns around looking for the two Narnians that were hiding from them.
"I just think should wait for the Kings and Queens." Trufflehunter and Nikabrik come out from behind two trees showing themselves to him. She chuckled. They had not been quiet at all. She had known they were there the entire time but had chosen not to say anything. Caspian rolls his eyes before continuing on and she shrugs her shoulders at them. "Fine go then! See if the others will be as understanding!"
"Or maybe I'll come with you. I want to see you try to explain things to the minotaurs." Nikabrik starts to follow but Caspian stops yet again. She sighed. It had been a long time since she had seen her people and now they would not recognize her due to her appearance. It had to be this way. Just for a little while longer. She couldn't bring herself to tell Caspian yet so it could wait for the right moment.
"Minotaurs? They're real?" She keeps going at a slow pace as the others slow their pace down.
"Not only that but they are huge and very bad tempered." She calls over her shoulder at the prince. She could just imagine the look on his face. She kept going but stopped for a moment, hearing something behind them.
"What about centaurs? Do they still exist?"
"Well the centaurs will probably fight on your side. But there is no telling what the others will do." Trufflehunter tells him.
"What about Aslan? And the guardians?" He asked and she stopped dead in her tracks. She could feel the badgers stare boring a hole into the back of her head.
"How do you know so much about us?" Nikabrik asks, his tone defensive and she knew what he was thinking. Caspian is a prince, a Telmarine prince so how would he know anything about Narnians.
"Wait! Your father told you stories about Narnia?" Trufflehunter’s tone was light and cheerful. Caspian had basically told that badger that her people were famous.
"No. My Professor...Listen, I am sorry, but these are not the kinds of questions you should be asking." Caspian moves forward passed them looking upset and he stops next to her when she gently grabs his upper arm. Behind them Trufflehunter begins smelling the air.
"What is it?" Nikabrik asks urgently worry seeping into his tone.
"Them?" The dwarf asks pointing at them. She looks up just in time to see eight soldiers coming through the foliage towards them with cross bows.
"No! Them! Run!" She says pushing Caspian forward and waiting for Nikabrik and Trufflehunter to pass her before following their lead.
Arrows were flying past them as they ran from the enemy. Trees and the soldier’s terrible aim were their only hope at getting out of this. Her goal as they ran was to stay between Caspian and the arrows even if that meant taking an arrow in the back. Pain erupted in her cheek as an arrow tore through the flesh. It wasn't deep but it still stung. The men were yelling at each other to shoot her but she just laughed and continued to dodge the arrows. Another jolt of pain was sent up her forearm as an arrow bit her left arm. A startled cry sounded from beside her and she stopped quickly looking to see Trufflehunter with an arrow in his backside. She went to his side and he handed her the horn.
"Take it! Go!" He said holding it up. Caspian was at her side then and she snatched it up, handing it to the Prince. "It's more important than I am." Caspian quickly attached the horn to his belt as she broke the arrow sticking out of Trufflehunter. She looked up and her eyes widened at how close the soldiers were getting. They were all lined up ready to shoot both of them, when an unknown assailant began taking down the Telmarines. Caspian moved around her and took the badger over his shoulder and continued to run. When he got to Nikabrik he set Trufflehunter down and told the dwarf to get him out of here.
"Go with them." he says to her drawing his sword.
"No! I'm staying with you." she says leaning over and pulling the long dagger out of her boot. Thanks to Trufflehunter and Nikabrik she had a weapon but no sword. He looked at her and just shook his head. They took a few steps forward to watch as the soldiers fell one after the other. The last one had decided to drop his crossbow and take out his sword and was now slashing at the ground like a maniac. He like his comrades fell to this invisible force. Said force was now coming at them and she took a couple steps closer to Caspian. Only she had to jump out of the way as Caspian fell to the ground an…over sized mouse on his chest.
“Choose your last words carefully Telmarine!” She could barely contain her laughter. She knew who this was; red feather around the ear, tiny sword and all. It was Reepicheep, chief of the mice of Narnia.
“You are a mouse!” Caspian stutters craning his neck just enough to see his opponent,
“I was hoping for something a little more original.” Reep rolls his eyes, not surprise by the words that had spilled from the Princes lips. “Pick up your sword.”
“Uh...No, thanks.” She could barely contain it any longer. The fact that the Prince had been knocked over by her friend just astounded her. Then again Reep always bested her as well.
“Pick it up! I will not fight an unarmed man!” Reep says sternly, getting impatient.
“Which is why I might live longer if I choose not to cross blades with you noble mouse.”
“I said I would not fight an unarmed man. I didn't say I would let you live.”
“Reepicheep! Stay your blade!” Trufflehunter couldn’t have had any better timing. She still contained her laughter as the two Narnians conversed.
“Trufflehunter? I trust you have a very good reason for this untimely interruption.” Reep says expecting a different answer than the one he was about to receive.
“He doesn't. Go ahead.” Nikabrik’s monotone caused her to lose it. She fell to the ground, bursting into a fit of contagious giggles. She was laughing so hard that she missed that last part of the conversation and the next thing she knows is Caspian standing over her with his hand outstretched for her to take. Still dealing with the little giggles that would erupt from her lips she accepted the help up and groaned. Her stomach her hurt.
“Had a little too much laughter?” he asks raising an eyebrow at her. She just glares at him and he chuckles. But his chuckle fades as he catches sight of her cheek. “You’re hurt.” He flat out states and runs a thumb under the cut, wiping away the blood that was sliding down her tanned skin.
“It’s only a small cut.” She’s says battling away his hand. “It’ll scab over in a bit.” He gave her a look before following her lead and walking after the Narnians. Her people.
“Liar! Telmarine! Kill him! Liar! Murderer!” They were standing on the Dancing Lawn surrounded by Telmarines. Being in the position she was actually frightened her. All the Narnians were yelling at them for the crimes of the Prince’s people. She stood close to his side, almost cowering away from them. Trufflhunter saw this and gave her a sad look, understanding that it was hurting her deep inside to have all the Narnians yelling at her. She had long been a guardian of Narnia and now here she was standing before her people remembering all the fighting she had done to help save them. It hadn’t been enough. She hadn’t been able to save her people and it broke her heart to see them this way.
‘This is your entire fault. You’re the reason they are yelling at you and your Prince now. None of this would have happened had you fought harder, had you saved them. Daughter of Peace? Pft, more like Daughter of Failure.’
“All this horn proves is that they have stolen yet another thing from us!” Nikabrik yells out, stepping forward and pointing at them.
“I didn't steal anything!” Caspian defends.
“Didn't steal anything? Shall we list the things the Telmarines have taken?” A bear yells out in disbelief.
“Our homes! Our lands! Our freedom! Our villages! Our lives! You stole Narnia!”
‘Now do you see what you failure brought to these people. The pain and suffering you’ve caused them. I should end your suffering right now. Kill myself and you along with me.’
‘Please don’t, Kas!’ She begged. She couldn’t afford that and when she woke up she knew she would just kill Kasmira again and she too would die. She hated this curse as much as her sister did but there was nothing to be done. They would never be able to break it because as much as Kas claimed to hate it she would hate it even more if either one of them broke the curse.
“You would hold me accountable for the crimes of my people.” Caspian stated. He was confused and hurt that they would think that of him but why wouldn’t they. His people had nearly made the Narnians go extinct.
“Accountable and punishable.” Her ears perked up and saw the dwarf coming towards Caspian and let go of her fear of the people and took her place in front of Caspian. She was saving Narnia. She had helped raised a boy to become a greater king than those that had sat on the throne before him. And now here he stood, before the Narnians. This was how she was going to make it up to her people.
“Ha! That's rich coming from you dwarf. Or have you forgotten that it was your people who fought alongside the white witch?” Reep says also coming forward to chastise the dwarf.
“And I'd gladly do it again if it would rid us of the barbarians.” If glares could kill that dwarf would have dropped dead. Not all of the Telmarines were terrible. The leaders were just power hungry and under the boot of another man.
“Then it's lucky that it is not in you power to bring her back. Or are you suggesting that this boy go against Aslan and the guardians now? Some of you may have forgotten but we badgers remember well; Narnia was never right unless a son of Adam was King.” She gave the badger a thoughtful look and he gave her a nod in response. He had always been on her side even when she had explained to him that she had failed the Narnians.
“He's a Telmarine! Why would we want him as our King?” Nikabrik yelled in protest. Most of the Narnians were nodding their heads in agreement and she couldn’t take it anymore. Since the meeting had started she finally found her voice. Surprisingly it came out loud, strong and clear above all the other voices in the clearing.
“Let the boy speak! He can help you, in ways that no one else can!” She yelled, only to shrink back when every pair of eyes locked onto her. She avoided their stares and looked to Caspian, urging him to speak to get the attention off of her.
“Beyond these woods I am a prince. The Telmarine throne is rightfully mine! Help me claim it, and I can bring peace between us.” Her sigh of relief did not go unnoticed by him before he had spoken, and she knew that. She only hoped he wouldn’t ask her about it after this was all over and threw.
“It is true. The time is right. I watch the skies for they are mine to watch as it is yours to remember, Drisana. Tarva, the lord of victory and Alambil, the lady of peace, have come together in the high heavens. And now here, a son of Adam has come forth to offer us back our freedom.” Glenstorm, a centaur she knew stepped forward and spoke, supporting Caspian.
“Two days ago, I didn't believe in the existence of talking animals or dwarves or centaurs. Yet here you are, in strength and numbers that we Telmarines could never have imagined. Whether this horn is magic or not, it brought us together. And together we can take back what is ours!” Caspian’s voice was coming out confident and she caught a glimpse of the man he knew she would become in the coming years when he was King.
“If you will lead us, then my sons and I offer you our swords.” Glenstorm pulled his long blade out of its sheath, holding it out to Caspian.
“And we offer you our lives unreservedly." Reep says to him as well and she smiles a little at the mouse.
“Miraz's army will not be far behind us sire.” Trufflehunter reminds them and she sighs. He was right. They would be there much sooner than they could imagine.
“If we are to be ready for them, we need to hurry to find soldiers and weapons. I am sure they will be here soon.” Caspian says to the Narnians. That was all it took for the Narnians to disperse and go their own ways for the night. They would plan in the morning.
“I'm proud of you.” She says to him rubbing his upper arm, a fond smile on her face.
“Thanks. That was a little scary.” The Prince replies, the adrenaline pumping through his veins showing in his eyes. She couldn’t agree more.
“Come on, let's go find a place to sleep.” She chuckled, grabbing his hand and pulling him along to find a place to sleep for the night.