“I cannot stay here,” he whispered as he watched the king before him sleep on the grassy knoll, pale and death like. The mist curled around his ankles and he could hear the call of Albion and it’s people on the lake shore beyond. “I cannot stay and wait for him to wake.”
A woman silently walked up behind and smiled sadly. “I already knew that, Merlin.”
“Freya,” he groaned, turning to face the dark-haired woman.
She closed the distance between them and gently stroked his cheek. “You will be okay, Merlin.”
“I won’t come back,” Merlin said and Freya gasped softly. “I don’t think I could, at least, not until Arthur wakes.”
“But what if someone needs to?” she asked. “Only you can open the way to the Isle.”
The pair glanced at the sleeping king where he lay in royal splendor, crown upon his brow, armor gleaming, Excalibur forever in his grasp, the Pendragon crest of his cloak rested on his shoulder. Merlin tried to block out the images of battle, the screams, the blood, and Mordred collapsing near the still Arthur, dead by Arthur’s hand. He gasped and opened his eyes that he didn’t even realized he closed.
“I will figure out a way,” he said, thinking aloud. “Teach others the way to get to Avalon, so I am not needed until Arthur....” Merlin paled a little looking sick. “Watch over him, yeah?”
The woman smiled comfortingly. “You didn’t even have to ask.”
He smiled a weary, sad smile before backing away from the knoll, his thick cloak and robes of state swishing around his lithe form, the mark of his station as Camelot’s Court Sorcerer. Yet that is no more, he thought bitterly. Taking one last look at his sleeping king, Merlin turned away and walked into the mist.