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Arthur wasn't entirely sure what he was supposed to be looking at.

Because what it looked like, and what it actually was, were two different things, surely.

Except they really weren't, and he knew that. Logically, he knew that.

Six Months Ago

"It's… it's been a year, sire."

As if Arthur didn't know that.

"He's only a servant. There's no use in wasting more-"

"Shut up," Arthur seethed, swinging his eyes to the speaker; one of many nameless nobles he dealt with on a daily basis that meant nothing to him. "Just shut up."


"I said shut up!"

The man reared back and Arthur nodded, then turned back to the map on the table. So many areas crossed out, so many crannies and nooks and plains and wide fields searched. There was nothing. No hint of a struggle, or a trail, or anything.

Merlin was gone.