Aragorn sighed with relief.
It was good to be at home with no one to hunt him down, and no one to torture him.
Elrond watched his foster son as he came nearer; he noticed the way that he sighed, and he felt concerned about the man who stood in front of him. He wished that he could help him, but he could do nothing as he was held by both councils of his kingdom and Mirkwood.
He heard what had happened; rumors had been sent back and forth in the elven kingdoms.
Elrond approached him, clasped his hands on the man’s shoulders, making the man look him in the eyes.
Elrond could always tell if the man was lying to him, and if he was hurt or angry; the eyes were the mirrors of the man’s heart.
“How are you faring, Aragorn?” Elrond asked, concern lay in his face.
“Sore but relieved, my Lord Elrond.” Aragorn replied, and then he moved away from the lord as remembered the hell he gone through in the last three month…
3 Months earlier…
Thorongil left Gondor to head back to Imladris. He knew that his time was well spent in Gondor, helping Ecthelion in the mission that the king gave him, and now his time to leave had approached.
He left Gondor riding on his horse, and then a group of men surrounded him, giving him no room to escape.
“Do not move!” one of the men warned him, and the other added, “You are arrested, Thorongil, or should I call you Strider from the North?” the men spit at him, and looked at him with disgust..
“What did I do for you to arrest me?” Aragorn asked, and felt like a mouse cornered by a cat.
“Leading an innocent family to their death, luckily there was one survivor.” The other said, with a smile upon his face, “And while this man is recovering, we will guard you as we see fit.”
And with that, Aragorn was shoved from his horse, and fell hard upon the ground. His body ached, and then the darkness engulfed him.
Later, as he woke from the unconsciousness, his back hurt though his head was throbbing. He was dragged upon the ground and one of his legs was tied to the saddle.
Aragorn hoped that he would survive until he reached Minas Tirith of Gondor.
The dragging stopped, and Aragorn lay motionless on the stone ground; the pain was unbearable as his back bled, and he was certain that his head was bleeding too from the rocks on the ground.
Aragorn sighed with relief when they stopped, and hoped that they would let him go. He hoped he would survive so he could defend himself against the horrible accusation that was set upon his name.
Aragorn watched like a hawk as another man got a long thick whip from his saddle, and smirked at him.
Then Strider flinched with horror as the sound of the whip was harsh against the blank air, as if it was ripping it. Aragorn’s eyes opened widely as he realized that soon the whip would meet a part of his body. His heart raced like it never had before.