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Madan lifted his head and glared defiantly at the King, but said nothing. Such would have been a punishable offense, and he was not interested in loosing anything else today. His title, his property and his prestige had been wiped out in one instant by the King. He would leave with his pride.

King Thranduil mentally shook his head as he saw the elf’s eyes darken in foolish pride. “For your treachery you are ordered to leave these woods immediately, upon penalty of death. The other realms will be informed of the cause for your exile. Do not expect a warm welcome from them. Though communications have been strained between the woods, they do not wish such plotters amongst them, any more than I wish them here.” The King’s face was lined with grief and stress, for this was the harshest punishment he could dole out without actually ordering someone killed. Still, the threat of that was there… and in times past had been enforced. “Have you anything to say for yourself?” The king asked Madan, half expecting some sort of speech about the injustice of the accusations, which would be ridiculous, considering all of the quite reliable evidence they had mounted against him.

Madan had a certain kind of intellect, and so he knew there was no way out, but he was not going to give the king the satisfaction of seeing him beg, plead or lie. He narrowed his eyes and willed his voice not to come out as a growl. “Not a word.”

Thranduil sighed and shook his head, closing his eyes for an instant. “Take him away,” he instructed the guard with a quick motion of his hand. The guard bowed his head shortly, another moving to take his place as two more appeared in the door to accompany him and the prisoner beyond the realm. A message runner had already been dispatched, and the riders would be well on their way to the respective realms, with notes of warning. Madan was without resources, and likely without anywhere to go except the Undying Lands… if they would have him. Of course, he could always go live with the humans, giving elves a bad name. Humans already seemed to think there was something odd about elves…

“There was nothing else to be done, Father,” a soft voice behind him said reassuringly when Thranduil began to doubt his decision for a moment. Just for a moment.

Thranduil smiled and turned to his only son. “I know. It does not make it easier.”

“No,” Legolas agreed, seeing and sharing the deep weariness Thranduil felt. “Shall I dispatch them for you?”

“Thank you, son,” Thranduil nodded his agreement, more than ready to wash his hands of the entire matter. “This business tires me.”

“He was evil, Father,” another voice murmured gently. The two males turned, both smiling slightly in their affection for the she-elf despite the events occurring around them.

“He is still evil, Leherim. But he will be away from Mirkwood.” Away from the royal family he had plotted against.

“And all other elven realms of Middle-Earth, if he values his depraved life,” Legolas added, his eyes narrowing in anger at the door the elf had entered and been escorted out of the hall through. After a moment he shook his golden head and bowed slightly, leaving to dispatch the group that would clean out the elf’s rather ostentatious home, distributing the items to the poor elves and humans who had slaved for the wicked elf, helping them start anew.

Thranduil’s eyes were shadowed as he looked after his son. “Some do not value such as highly as others,” he whispered, before smiling slightly at his daughter, laying a hand on her shoulder as they walked to the hall. He sent silent thanks to Eru that he still had his dear children, and they had grown to value life as highly as he did, and that they had just as hard a time with punishments such as this one as any other elf would, their opinions not skewed by a life of luxury and the power that came with the titles they all wore.
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