Bete and Lefiya had slowly walked up next to Marlet and what remained of her group with Bete only giving a side glance towards the Renard and Lefiya shrinking away from the gaze of Ranger. "There is nobody by the name of Laurelei among us. We have not crossed your border either, we are leaving." Marlet stated in a huff, still angry at the way Aphrodite had treated her Renard friend. She didn't even want to think about the Dwarf's corpse not to far from them who's betrayal still stung.
"What do you weaklings want!" Bete was growing more and more irritable, he and Lefiya had traveled far to get to Marlet and now some nobody border post captain wanted to prevent them from leaving. Safe to say that Bete was about to show these uppity elves the looked the same as everyone on the inside.
Barely able to tolerate the attitude of Bete only due to years of being by the border, the captain pointed at Ranger and spoke as though his words were gospel, "that Elf right there is Lady Laurelei Emar-Vlei and she will be returning to the Capital with us!"
Marlet took a quick look at Ranger who seemed to be alert but had not drawn her weapon. "Care to explain why he's calling you by that name?" Marlet was curious as this might shed some light on the mystery that is her elven companion.
"I was once called by that name" Ranger had a reminiscent look on her face but it faded as soon as it appeared, "that was, until I was disowned from my family and banished from the forest." At this point Ranger was eyeing the captain the same way a cat would a mouse. "I distinctly remember the instruction being, 'You may never step foot in our forest again or suffer the consequences'. Are these the consequences you spoke of?"
"Wait, wait, wait!?!" Marlet was left aghast at what she heard, what could have been so bad that the arrogant elves would banish one of their own?
"The Kin-slayer didn't speak about her heroic deeds? I find that hard to believe" the captain snorted in derision. Back when Ranger was still Laurelei Emar-Vlei she was had adamantly stated that her deed had been heroic in nature and she would have gone through with the same actions should similar circumstances occurred.
"I saw you probably kill a few elves that were chasing us? What's the problem?" Marlet was extremely confused at this point looking between the captain and Lefiya who upon hearing the title Ranger had as well as her crime, very subtly moved so that Bete and Marlet would be between them.
"Stay out of this girl! You know nothing of our politics and consequences of breaking our laws." A random soldier had shouted from within the small company, their irritation ever growing due to this girl's ignorance.
A low growl escaped from Bete as he eyed the direction the soldier's voice had come from. He had remained quiet for 2 reasons:
1. This was directed at on of Marlet's companions he knew nothing about.
2. These weaklings could do nothing to him and whoever he decided to protect.
For the time being, Bete would let Marlet lead the dialogue and only take action when needed, he was hot-headed… not stupid.
Lefiya on the other hand had a general understanding of elven law, enough to understand the severity of the accusations these soldiers seemed to throw at Marlet's companion.
"Do not resist, by decree of his Royal Highness, you Laurelei Emar-Vlei are to be brought before the rulers of these forests so as to stand trial once again for disregard of the banishment placed upon you." The captain had a arrogant smirk on his face and a condescending tone to his voice.
The guards made to surround the 4 of them but seemed to reconsider when Bete looked them all in the eye one by one, gently giving Marlet a nudge so that she can continue with what she wanted to do.
"You will not arrest my companion, someone I owe my life to. We will however hear these allegations from the King himself and get to the bottom of whatever this nonsense is." Marlet spoke in a tone of finality, this was only reiterated when Bete gave a low growl again when it seemed the Captain wanted to protest.
Fuming at the audacity of the little girl before him the Captain could only agree through gritted teeth. "Fine. An armed escort towards the Palace."
The remaining guards formed up around the group as though they were escorting prisoners, and waited for their captain to start walking.
Lefiya was nervous to say the least, being escorted by guards due to how dangerous you are was one thing, being escorted and being associated with a kin-slayer was quiet the other. Lefiya could feel the stares of the surrounding elves they passed as they were walking through the elven capital and whilst the younger generation looked with merely curiosity it was the older generation who's gazes stung her heart. That silent look of contempt she would see flicker through their faces, the more 'old fashioned' elves had a look of outright disgust they didn't even try to hide and Lefiya could understand them all.
Regardless of what they might have done, to any elf being escorted like some common criminal was to bring shame to themselves. They were the better race, the superiors of others and it had been so long before the gods descended and granted their blessings to certain individuals.
The records state that travellers would come from far to marvel at the beauty of their city, or gleam some information from their wisdom due to their naturally long lifespans.
To be called 'kin-slayer' was considered the ultimate crime within the elven borders, nobody cared if you killed 100 other elves outside the forest because once you leave, you take the responsibility of accepting whatever actions the lesser races do unto you, be that swindle, rob or murder. After all, why leave paradise and be exposed to the sins of the lesser beings?
"Tch" Bete clicked his tongue next to her in annoyance while looking at the older elves, "weaklings only get to live so high and mighty because we do the hard jobs." Was all the Werewolf said before he returned to his skulking posture and glaring daggers at whomever was brave enough to look him in the eyes.
The group had approached a set perimeter around the castle where another set of guards had taken over the roles of the previous lot and guided them within the castle. Castle was a relatively loose term though, calling a massive building seemingly carved out of the base of a massive tree that seemed to reach for the heavens in tandem with the growth pattern of said trunk was truly a sight to see for anybody lucky enough to witness this marvel of co-habitation the High Elves had achieved.
The moment Marlet entered though a slight tremor went through the entire tree starting from the moment of her contact and reaching the deepest root as well as tallest leaf. Only the most over-zealous of the High-Elves who preferred to walk within its halls barefoot so as to be more in tune with nature, or so they say, had felt this phenomenon and became both excited and nervous.
The group had entered a massive opening that allowed plenty of natural light to enter but kept everything but sunlight out and were guided to stand before the royalty of the elven people.
"I see you have returned, my wife was too lenient with your banishment due to your relationship with our daughter. However, before the royal court and the family of the one who's life you ended, you shall be executed for your crimes. The fate of your accomplices shall also be decided upon for allaying with you."
Ranger kept a neutral look on her face that revealed nothing, Mizu was slightly nervous and was twiddling with her tail. Marlet had a look of anger on her face and a heat rising from her stomach into her throat, ready to shout. Lefiya was stressing so much that she had forgotten completely about the letter of introduction Riveria had given her to pass onto her parents and Bete only narrowed his eyes and let out a low, guttural growl.
"It seems you had found your missing member with that sharp nose you bragged about! I'm so happy for you." The voice of a woman cut through some of the tension as everyone looked at the person in question.
Bete and Lefiya recognised the Elf as the one who had informed them of Marlet's whereabouts, Marlet however recognised her as the Elf that had also bid on her and lost.
Sorry for the late upload and slightly shorter chapter, I wanted events to flow a little whilst also speeding up their return to Orario without them just poofing to the entrance gates.
I am going to add a little more backstory to Ranger that hopefully fleshes out her character a little in a satisfactory way but I'm also not going to drag this out.
Thank you for all the lovely comments, I appreciate each one and yes, I do read them.
Lastly, once back in Orario do you want a time skip to cannon or further with the pre-cannon? I am enjoying writing my own story in a way and only borrowing characters whilst changing the time line. I am aware of it, I know. Think of it as a AU, like every other fanfic here. If I stray too far from what makes sense from the show I will change it but so far I feel I have kept things relatively in line with how things could have happened or would happen.
Have a lovely day and upcoming weekend amazing readers, I'll try and release more chapters more quickly