Labyrinth Fan Fiction ❯ Dark Crystals ❯ Friends reunited ( Chapter 11 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter Eleven: Friends Reunited

Chantal pat the horse's face and smiled. "Pretty." she said. As she waited for the Goblin King, she saw that the horses, two in fact, were packed lightly; a small water flask, a larger pouch perhaps containing food portions and other last minute provisions. She wondered what will happen once they reached Ke'l.

"I'd rather have a night's rest and leave in the morning," a voice startled her. The reply was close to answering her next thoughts. She spun around.

"Stop doing that!" she snapped.

"I'm sorry." Jareth said sincerely. "Bad habit, like I said,"

"Yeah, I know." Chantal sighed. He placed the unconscious girl onto one of the horse that Shmendrick had taken out of the stables; a dark stallion, as black as midnight. Jareth made sure she remained atop of the horse and wasn't going to fall over the moment he turned around. Her head rested upon the stallion's. Her face buried in the mane.

"They're really tame." Chantal remarked and the Goblin King nodded.

"It's normally a day's ride from here," he started, no intention of changing the subjects. "Even so, we'll be moving as though we are pressed for time. I'm not taking any more chances." He placed a foot in the stirrup and swung his other leg over the saddle. He reached behind his back and placed the dark hood over his head, covering his spiky blonde hair. If Stephanie was awake
she would have made a crack at Jareth's neglect for his hair.

Chantal nodded and got on her own transportation; a brown mare. The Goblin King was listening to Shmendrick describing the provisions that were packed on the horses. "Ready?" he asked, turning around in his seat.

"Almost," Chantal said, settling in her own seat. She took another moment to get comfortable; it was clear she was not used to riding horses. Serek perched himself upon her shoulder, wrapping his tail around her neck. "'Tay." she said at last. Her hood remained on her back, she wanted to feel the remaining sun on her skin now that the teasing thunder and lightning had subsided. She grabbed hold of the leather reins.

Jareth clicked his tongue and his horse began to move forward. Chantal coaxed hers to move and to follow close behind. The horse stayed where she was and refused to move. Jareth smirked. He turned around.

"Aníée!" he said, sounding more like a comical scolding. The mare beneath Chantal trotted next to him.
"Thanks." she said with a laugh. He nodded with a low chuckle.

The horses trotted at a moderate pace. Earlier, they had rushed through a secret passageway beneath the castle, completely bypassing the Labyrinth. Chantal had closed her eyes as they ran through the oubliette like tunnels; if they were going to crash she did not want to see it. Racing along, they had no time to really speak; being unable to hear over the horses' hooves; but now they
rode in silence. They were able to absorb the scenery around them; it was quite different compared to the usual structure of the Labyrinth.

They had entered a forest with a main pathway. The sunset was a couple of hours away. Before long, the riders took a small break. Chantal was not used to riding and for so long, and the Goblin King, who had been riding uncomfortably, was content for the break. The frequent coughing was proof of how hard the ride was for him. His shoulder continued to throb and his chest burned with every breath he took. As they had a small meal of bread, meat and water, Jareth gave a bit of history of the part of the realm they were resting in. Apparently one of the Great wars had taken place in the area and lasted for a long time.

"Several months, if I remember correctly. Not as long as the other wars I've seen, which had been years." Jareth said, slowly breaking another piece of his small loaf. He explained that it was when he was younger and his father was the King. A wave of nostalgia came over him and he was silent.

"Where is your father now?" Chantal asked softly.

The Goblin King turned to her, awaken from his reverie. "He passed away."

"I'm sorry." Chantal said. "In the war?" she asked a moment later.

"No. He overcame the enemy forces and was victorious." Jareth stood up, brushing the crumbs of his meal away. "He died several years later." he said. It was more like a hundred or so years later.

"Ah." Chantal nodded. She wanted to ask more questions about the realm, the history of it and how Jareth did become King, but Jareth suggested resuming their journey, perhaps not wanting to answer anymore questions.

The sun had finally set but the sky remained clear and withheld the remaining sunlight's rays. He coughed lightly and stretched in his seat, soon they would have to race off again. They were close to reaching their destination; two hours at most.

At one point, Stephanie had woken. They held their breath expecting the worse. What she had mumbled made them relax. Jareth wasn't sure what "that girl" had mumbled about, something about a "bahs pass" before she passed out again. He wasn't sure what that was. Curiosity had gotten the best of him; he asked Chantal, who giggled.

"It's a mode of transportation back home. Like a carriage but for a bunch of people and we have to pay in order to get around." she explained.

"I see." Jareth mused. The girl in front of him remained silent, her head bouncing with the soft trotting. He coughed suddenly again and fought the fit building in his chest.

"Are you okay?" Chantal asked alarmed.

He nodded as he cleared his throat. "Yes. I'll be better once we reach Ke'l. The Trilds, the goblins, have helped but I think I have more damage that they can handle." he had not mean for her to worry by this statement but failed. "I'm fine, really. I've been in worse conditions."

"Okay then." Chantal replied slowly. They rode on, silent once again, waiting for Jareth to remember the path and for him to settle his coughing fits before getting the horses to run. A large raven had been following them since they had first made rest, it made no noise other than the batting of its wings overhead.

"Soon we are going to urge them to move quickly again." He said as they moved around tight paths.

"Okay." Chantal said. "So, who are we going to see? You weren't really specific."

"An old mentor of mine." the Goblin King replied, he coaxed his horse to take a sharp right. He ducked under low branches, a hand over Stephanie's closed eyes. "He was well known in my father's court as a great advisor." he trailed. "But as time passed, he wanted to travel, explore the realm again in its changes. He 'retired' a long time ago from my own services. I didn't want to keep him confined to my castle, if I did need his guidance I would have to find him. It's as simple as that." He smiled. "Fortunately, he decided to stay in Ke'l for a while."

"Yeah, lucky for us." Chantal agreed.

"He might have a theory or explanation to what has happened. We can sort through theories and ideas there." he finished. He nodded mostly to himself.

The sky darkened a bit and Jareth suggested that they should resume to quickly beat the darkness. The horses moved rapidly, they snorted as they ran, their breath unseen, even in the cool air.

Chantal could see faint light, it came from the dim glow of fires and torches. It wasn't long before the familiar crackling sound of a large fire was heard. Faint voices talked amongst each other as they neared to what looked like a small village. It was fairly populated. From where she sat, Chantal could barely make out the solid structure of the buildings; they were sparse and cleverly camouflaged in thick foliage; some of the dwellings were actually tree houses.

The Goblin King and the girl were stopped as they arrived at a gate like opening. A burning torch was held up to have a better view of their faces. The guard asked something Chantal couldn't understand, she concluded that it was in Jareth's tongue. He replied in the same soft silky spoken language. She only understood "Jareth" when he answered. The horses began to move again and the
guards lightly bowed and stepped aside to let them pass into the village.

Even in the oncoming darkness, the leaves gleamed a bright green. Her attention wandered to the curious inhabitants who glanced up from their early evening routines; a few disregarded them but others let their curiosity take over. A few murmurs passed amongst them, some pointed to Chantal's clothes. As Chantal neared a curiously twisted tree shaped hut, she turned around to get a better look at the villagers. She almost gasped aloud and fell off her horse.

Pointed ears. Elves.

She felt giddy and fought the urge to quickly get down from her horse and tug on their ears to make sure they were real. Her hazel eyes glittered. Their skin were slightly tanned and their frames were slender and delicate. Every eye shone in a deep shade of either purple or fuchsia. Their hair, in varying styles were either silver or a pale bluish grey.

"Elves," she whispered still in disbelief. She didn't think she was going to see any of these beautiful beings up close. How she wished she could take some sort of proof or memory back home with her. Shame Stephanie was missing out at that moment.

"Lanei'ns." Jareth said. "They are a certain race of Elvin sprytes."

"Amazing!" Chantal replied. She giggled at a few little children sprytes that were ushered into their homes. She then wondered why they had stopped in front of the odd shaped cabin and was about to ask this to Jareth but a soft-spoken voice stopped her question on her lips.

"E min'ai Ja'reth imm ano." a tall male spryte appeared from a hut across from them. His silver hair was long and pulled back from his face, it reached past the center of his back and was tied with a decorative band with a symbol.

"Taa'mo he'ané hito." Jareth replied as he pushed back his hood to reveal his mane of wild hair. Chantal wondered if they spoke in the same language; the King's tongue or if it belonged to the Lanei'ns. It flowed over the tongue smoothly like liquid; it all sounded like a soft sigh or a whisper especially at the H's.

A few villagers did a few quick bows as they passed the two beings on horses; three if they counted the unconscious shadow. A silent spryte came over and helped Stephanie down from the horse and he disappeared with her into the twisted cabin. Jareth had already gotten down once Stephanie was safely inside. Chantal noticed a shorthaired female was waiting for her to dismount the horse, holding out her hands for the reins. Chantal lightly stretched, getting some feeling flowing into her legs again.

"We've come to seek council with Kolbl." Jareth said finally in English as the two beings held a grip at their wrists in a greeting.

"About the events that took place today?" the Lanei'n asked in perfect English; save for a faint accent.

"Yes. And about the girl that lies in there." Jareth pointed to the right with his thumb.

"I see." the spryte nodded. "Kolbl will be here shortly. Please sit down, rest and have some refreshments." he gestured for them to enter the cabin. The spryte turned to Chantal. "Welcome to Ke'l. I am Teh're. he smiled.

"Chantal." the girl replied.

"Well met." Teh're said, his purple eyes smiled. He had handed the reins of Jareth's horse to the one that had taken Chantal's away.

"Teh're has been my friend since childhood." Jareth explained. Chantal smiled.

Teh're had now noticed a few miniscule battle injuries; scratches upon hands, arms and faces. He turned to Jareth. "Had a battle did you?" he smirked.

"Indeed. And an interesting one at that." Jareth wanted to get things moving. "I'm not only here to seek council, but I need a few medicinal items that I've run out; and some immediately." he shifted uncomfortably to show emphasis.

"What about the Trilds?"

"They did what they possibly could."

"Well, while we're waiting for Kolbl to arrive, I might as well look at your more serious injuries." He stood in the doorway of the twisted hut, the one they had brought Stephanie in. The doorway was made of a thick, chestnut brown cloth; he pulled it back to let Jareth and Chantal pass through.

The hut was fairly large. There was a cot in one corner partly hidden by curtained doorway; which was currently occupied. The main room consisted of a table, a few wooden chairs and shelves that went around the room were filled with odd tubes, vials and containers of unknown herbs and elements; used perhaps more than medical purposes. The room was lit by a small fireplace.

Teh're placed a small cauldron filled with water to hang above the fire. He gestured for them to have a seat. Jareth slowly eased himself onto a chair, his good arm resting upon the table; the evening's ride made his aches cry out in fiery pain.

Chantal sipped at her water she had recently asked for. The water was cool, pure and fresh, it could have came from a spring. She let her gaze wander to a few inhabitants that passed the window. The spryte continued in the odd but intriguing language and Jareth replied, once pointing to Stephanie. She wondered if all knew how to speak English. She asked this aloud and Teh're replied that they knew several languages from their own realm, mostly to speak with merchants, but English or any languages from the mortal realm was rare to them.

"Well it was rare, now it is used more frequent. I speak all of your languages fluently because I travel there more often than the rest of my realm." Jareth explained.

Teh're's eyes had traveled to Chantal's clothes. "What strange clothing. You're not a mortal from here, true?" he mused.

"No, I'm not." Chantal replied, looking down at her running shoes. She scrunched up her toes inside.

"They've come from the mortal realm. The same as the ones who've made the wishes."

"Usually they stay in the Labyrinth and not wandering about, especially so far away." Teh're chuckled.

Jareth mocked his laugh. "This time is different; they weren't given powers and bent on destroying half my kingdom."

"Ah, I see." Teh're said. He turned around for a moment and quickly grabbed an object from across the room. "Now, let us have a look." said Teh're as he returned from observing the water that was had slowly come to a boil.

"I've a few deep wounds which had already been dressed," the Goblin King said as he removed his jacket and shirt. "I'm positive I've a few cracked ribs and my shoulder is dislocated; she helped to set it back but I need a final pull to place it." He gestured to Chantal.

"She did rather well." Teh're said as he inspected Jareth's shoulder. Chantal smiled shyly. Jareth winced as he was examined. "You've three broken ribs from my inspection," he finally said, finishing looking Jareth over. "Whenever you're ready, I can replace your shoulder."

"Now would be fine." Jareth said and Teh're nodded. He pushed on a section of Jareth's shoulder and pulled his arm in an odd angle, it was followed by a series of bone cracking and popping sounds. A cry escaped from the Goblin King. Teh're proceeded to pour water from the hot cauldron into a small water basin and started to take a few objects from a nearby shelf, he then placed them on the table, next to the cloth bandages he recently brought down. In a ceramic-like mortar, he placed a few herbs he had taken from a clear bottle and started to crush them with a pestle. Once satisfied, he emptied the contents into the water and slowly stirred until it had dissolved. Wringing out the cloth he had set in the water, he placed it on Jareth's shoulder. A small wince and finally a small relieved sigh escaped from Jareth. The herbs that Teh're had mixed into the steaming water worked like a compress.

"Better?" Teh're asked.

"Much." The Goblin King sighed, he closed his eyes.

"You have a wound that has opened." Teh're informed, pressing a cloth against Jareth's back, he removed it to see that blood had seeped out from the bandages and had nearly soaked the cloth he held. Jareth frowned for more than one reason.

Teh're was now searching amongst the shelves, bringing a vial to inspect it, seemed unsatisfied and returned it to its original place. He continued to dig around, crossing the room to look on another shelf. "Ha!" he finally said as he jumped down from a chair he used to climb and neared the table with a round vial in his hand, half filled with thick amber liquid.

A groan escaped from the Goblin King.

Teh're laughed out loud. He placed the vial onto the table as he stood before Jareth. Chantal gave a confused look. "How old are you Jareth?" he continued to laugh as he uncorked the vial.

"It does not matter!" came the grumbled answer. "Canít you use something else?"

"No." Teh're laughed and turned to Chantal--at that moment she was confused by the Kingís reaction and wondered just how old he really was. "This here is Folaien roots. It has an odd odor but it works rather well." He let Chantal take a small sniff. The aroma was strong like incense, there was Earth, mixed with fruit and something that would taste bitter if it were made to eat. It was quite strange indeed. She frowned a little and held back a sneeze. "When Jareth was a child," Teh're continued to explain. "he never liked the smell and from his reaction he still cannot stand it." he chuckled and Chantal joined the spryte.

"Yes, well...put the rancid stuff already!" Jareth snapped, making a face. Chantal giggled.

A few moments passed before wounds were dressed again, soothing ointment placed on bruises and smaller cuts. Jareth was given some painkillers in forms of reddish herbs mixed into a cup of hot tea. The tea and herbs soothed their aches even for a little bit.

'His coughing had stopped,' Chantal thought. 'That was good.' She nodded.

All three of them waited for the Elder to arrive; Jareth was explaining to Chantal that Kolbl was an Elder--one of several--a wise being, belonging to a sect and they governed order and monitored the realm's activities; although Jareth was the rightful ruler, he still had his help through advisors and such.

"Besides, he's the only Elder that is the nearest right now." Jareth smirked.

"So what has been going on over there?" Teh're asked, returning a fresh lot of water to boil over the fire and then taking a seat on the opposite side of the table.

"I'd rather explain when Kolbl arrives so I'd not repeat myself, old friend."

Teh're nodded and blew on his own cup of the hot beverage, absent of the healing herbs. "Then how about telling me how you came across these girls? Something you won't mind repeating."

"Well, it certainly wasn't by a wish being granted." Jareth started. "Lost crystals from what I've determined,"

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I couldn't decide on the chapter title. Either "Friends Reunited" or "A Meeting With Old Friends", I'm not really happy with the title right now. Did I get Teh're's medical tools right?? I can't remember which is which and the dictionaries I've went through are not very helpful. Let me know. Also I'm not good at describing Elvin villages but I tried a few random references and mixed into
what I had in mind. I know it's not much but it will get better once the saga continues...I think. -lol-
Gods, I've got to get myself a Beta©reader. ^_^;