36. Are You Certain
"It is his idea," Legolas said quietly. "He fears I should fade if I try to remain until he too steps beyond the circles of the world. He worries not of his own welfare, only that I follow the Call before that."
"He is brave," Thranduil allowed, "and a good friend."
"You should tell him that sometime."
"I already have," Thranduil answered, raising his hand in a farewell that was immediately returned.
"I wish you would come with us," Legolas stated wistfully.
"Who would remain to lead those who trickle out of forests and glens that are all but abandoned by the Eldar now, were I to take Ship?" Thranduil shook his head. "My place is here, beneath my trees."
"I will miss you."
"And I you, my son. May the Belain guide your way to the Straight Road and beyond. Give my love to your mother."
"Will you come someday?"
Thranduil drew his son into his arm for one last embrace, then backed away quickly. "Twilight comes. You must cast off."
"Farewell, my son."
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