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My Sword Sings - Book One - 'My Sword' Series  by Agape4Gondor

"Aye," Théoden King spoke quietly, "and I believe it is the same enemy who contrived Denethor's death. You say Minas Tirith is where the danger comes from. I agree, but there are no Gondorians in Edoras."

"The assassin is from the Mark?" Théodred asked incredulously.

Théoden King scowled. "You were not invited to this meeting."

The boy lowered his head but refused to move. "Boromir is my friend."

"What reason would a Rohirrim have to kill the Steward of Gondor and his sons? Denethor worked tirelessly to strengthen relations between our countries," Indis interrupted.

"Coin," Théoden King said.

"Hired killer!" spat Éomund.

She turned to the King. "Then I know what we must do."

"I know where your thoughts lead, and mine go in that direction also. When we are back on our horses, meet with me," Théoden King stated. "We will pull a little to the side, as if contemplating the column, and then speak in private." They all agreed. "You," Théoden King turned towards Théodred, "will return to the cart with Boromir. Let no word of this pass your lips, my son. I had not wished for you to learn of such treachery. More so do I not want Boromir and Faramir frightened by such grave news."

Théodred made as if to protest, but Éomund took him by the hand and walked him to the cart. "It is best for a soldier to obey his liege lord instantly."

Théodred's face turned a deep red. "I am chastised. Forgive me."

"It is your father you should seek forgiveness from, my Lord Théodred. Have I not taught you the importance of obedience to a liege lord, never mind your king and father?"

Théodred turned, as if to return to his father. Éomund stopped him. "Leave your father for now. He knows your heart, Théodred. He will not take this to heart. It has been a hard day. He understands."

Indis walked back with them, trying to remain distant from their conversation. When they reached the fire, she sat by the children, thanking Éomund as he left to return to his King's side.

Faramir leaned his head on her shoulder. "I am tired."

"I know, little one," she used his father's term of endearment. "'Tis a long road we take. I need thee both to rest this afternoon. Please do not stay awake. Let thy bodies recover from this mishap. Wilt thou promise me thou wilt try to sleep?"

They both nodded their heads. Boromir looked at her quizzically, but kept silent.

Listöwel knew better than to ask questions. Indis was in command now, no matter what Théoden King might think. She could tell it in her friend's eyes. She had seen that look many a time during sword practice, just before Indis swung a blow that would be fatal if they were fighting for their lives.

When lunch was over, the soldiers assembled. Théoden King addressed them. "We will not let this misfortune slow our progress. The wain has been repaired. We must reach Minas Tirith so the Rod of the Steward may be passed to the rightful heir, Boromir. Gondor is weakened without a Steward. If Gondor is weak, then so is Rohan."

Erkenbrand shouted the order to mount; the column formed slowly and methodically. The likwain, with its burden of sorrow, followed.

All four waited on the side of the Great West Road, watching the company file by, led by Grimbold. "'Tis time to speak now," Théoden King stood up in his saddle. Indis brought her horse closer to his. He looked into the lady's eyes. "Do you have the stomach for this? It will be quite dangerous. Traveling at night on the road between Rohan and Gondor can be treacherous. There are gullies and hidden breaks in the land. The moon is only just begun to grow. You will have little light. You could easily lose the road."

She nodded. "I am ready."

"No one will see you, if you go quietly."

"What are you saying? Do you think them all blind?" Théodred wondered aloud.

"When evening comes, we will camp for the night," Théoden King said, stopping with a look any further outbursts from Théodred. "Boromir and Faramir will be put to bed. At mid night's time, Éomund will bring the children to the horses. Orders have already been given for provisions. I know those I trust. I used to believe I could trust them all." He suddenly lowered his head.

"Father. It is not one of our own, not one of the knights. It must be someone from outside Edoras, mayhap one of the sons of..."

"Nay, 'tis one of the nobles of Rohan, but I agree with you, my son. I do not think it is one of our knights. Yet sometimes a tongue wags and others find ways to use the tongue's tale."

"We will say that the children were frightened by the mishap, have taken ill, and that you, Indis, ride with them in the wain to comfort them. Listöwel must remain with the company. She can come and go from the cart as if she were fetching things for you and caring for you." The king saw the look on her face. "I am sorry you must lose your companion."

"As for you," he turned towards Éomund, "you will accompany them. I trust none better. You will take your second. The men will be told that you have been sent to Minas Tirith to prepare for our arrival. None with sense can believe that Gondor will not be concerned when a column of well-armed Rohirrim enter their land. I have already sent a messenger to Gondor with the news of my coming, but none know of these actions. I will send Grimbold and his second with you; his excuse will be that he has been sent ahead to scout the area."

He turned towards Indis again. "My heart misspeaks me in this endeavor; however I am most concerned for the children. I fear another attempt will be made on their lives. Better they are away from here. Orc were about; you know it as well as I do, yet I deem them gone, now that the deed has been done. I do not think anyone would consider sending a band against the might of Rohan now. It would take a large band indeed to o'ercome two éoreds of my men." He was interrupted by his son's harsh voice.

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