7. His Name's Sake
His Name's Sake ("...for his name's sake.")
The murmur that went through the crowd seemed not to touch Faramir. He looked at the glove that lay where it had been flung at his feet, and he looked up at the man who had flung it. Swallowing all natural reaction, he turned to walk away.
"Are all Gondorians cowards?" called the man.
"I cannot accept your challenge, even if I would," said Faramir, looking back at him, and the Haradrim lord felt a flush of satisfaction at detecting the slight unsteadiness in the Steward of Gondor's tone. "I am an ambassador."
"Step down for a moment, then, if you are not afraid," challenged the lord. "Do not hide behind your post! Fight me as man to man, not Gondor to Harad."
Faramir shook his head. "I will not sully my lord the King by engaging in a petty fight."
"Proper little sycophant, eh," said the lord of the South.
Faramir did not move anything but his eyes, which he raised to gaze piercingly into those of his challenger. And whatever the man could say, he could not say that there was fear in the Steward's eyes.
"I am not so," said Faramir, slowly and with a forced calm. "I do not always agree with my King; but I yet hold his name honorable. Do not ask me to do anything unworthy of it, for even as a man, I am still a representative of Gondor and her King, and will strive to keep its legacy pure."
The Haradrim lord stared back at Faramir, but the urge for battle was gone out of him. "Ah, be so perfectly loyal then! Such ways disgust me."
"I will remain so," said Faramir, but something resembling a twinkle came into his deep eyes. "It may not be an easy road, but I made my choice long ago, and we of Gondor at least do not break our word, nor do we balk at difficult tasks."
And with a bow, he turned and departed the presence of the lords of Harad.
A/N: At some point in Gondor's relations with Harad, I imagine Faramir, naturally diplomatic, would be sent as an ambassador.
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