I was in the training arena when the warning bells went off. I immediately stopped what I was doing and bolted to the throne room with my knights close behind me. My thoughts were in a whirl of activity, racing to figure out the issue and the resolution as the crowned prince should. When I arrived to the great double doors with my family crest, a phoenix and a dragon facing each other, I gasped as I saw the guards slumped up against the wall. I pushed through the doors and my heart tore at what I saw within. My father, the king, was on his knees and in front of him was none other than Lord Kellan with his sword held against my fathers neck. I was frozen in shock, but that shock quickly turned to anger as it set in that he was going to kill the king.
"You will drop your sword if you know what's good for you." I growled at him.
He merely glanced my way and replied, "This is what is good for me and everyone else, Prince Merlin. Your family is scum that should be eradicated. You have all this power yet you don't use it for the good of the kingdom. You let it waist away in your veins, and I intend to fix this wrong. Now step aside and let me do what needs to be done. "
"You want me to step aside as you kill my father? You are crazier than I thought Kellan. I will never do that. You will put down your sword or face me." I said in a deadly calm voice, that masked the fury that was boiling my blood. My magic was screaming to be let lose on the threat. I narrowed my eyes as he turned to face me with his sword still raised. I slipped easily into a fighting stance, prepared to fight till the death. Kellan let out an evil chuckle and smirked my way.
"Even if you manage to defeat me you will not win. I have an army of sorcerers and mercenaries taking orders from my son. There are almost here and you wont have the time to gather your forces. You will lose, and once my son or myself is on the throne we will hunt down all of your family and friends and execute them along side anyone who stays loyal to you. I will win and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, young prince. After all you are but a child, and your father is nothing but a coward." He laughed manically and, with a shouted spell, was gone.
I Looked to my father and asked, "What are your orders father?"
He released a heavy sigh and replied in his kingly voice, "We must evacuate the city and gather the troops. This is going to be a bloody war and I need you to get your mother and sister out of the kingdom."
"I will not leave father. I need to be by your side, fighting for the good of the kingdom." I shot back defiantly.
"No you must go. You are the heir to the throne Merlin. Me and the people will need to know you're safe so if we lose, you will still be there to get the kingdom back. You are the most important person in the kingdom right now and I need to know you will be safe." Balinor insisted sternly.
"I'm sorry father but I simply cannot leave when the kingdom needs me most. Have someone else get Mother and Ethayon to safety." I stated defiantly back. Father stared at me for a moment before nodding his head. I thought he was agreeing with my statement but then thought differently when I felt a sharp pain in the back of my head. I lifted my hand to the spot and my fingers came back red with blood. I quickly glanced back and saw my knights behind me. I had forgotten they were there. I heard them faintly say sorry as I slipped into unconsciousness.
I awoke surrounded by trees and the smell of burning wood. I was confused as to where I was for a moment till I remembered all that had happened. I bolted upright drawing my sword, only to see my mother, my sister, and two of my knights, Sirs William and Lancelot.
"What happened?" I questioned groggily, trying to ignore the pain in the back of my head.
" The kingdom has fallen to the hands of Lord Kellan. We had to get you, your sister, and mother to safety. And since you refused to go your father ordered me to knock you out." William replied automatically to his prince, if just a little hesitatingly.
I wanted to scream with every fiber of my being and race back to show Kellan exactly who the child is, but there was this pang in my magic that told me that I am on the path I am destined to be on. That I am going in the direction the fates have set for me. I sighed heavily and sat down beside the fire at that thought, and put my head in my hands. I couldn't believe that this has happened. Kellan was like an uncle to me, he taught me how to control my magic, read me stories of my ancestors, taught me basic sword play, and helped me with my princely duties when they got to be to much. I was closer to him than anyone else was, and I considered his son to be the brother I never had. I should have seen this coming. I should have noticed something was wrong. Yet here I am sitting by a fire, safe, while my people suffer. I thought bitterly, and my stomach churns as my mind conjures up all the things Kellan will do to my people, my friend, my family. I let out a shaky breath and my eyes prick with the tears that I refused to let go. Its then I remembered what my father had said to me and my head shoots back up and spins for a moment.
"Did father make it out? Is he-" I asked with panic gripping my heart.
"He is safe, but we will not see him anytime soon. He felt it necessary to stay away from you as he is the one Kellan is after." Lancelot replied this time cutting me off before I could finish. I felt my heart drop, but I nodded in understanding.
"I also feel it would be necessary for me to depart from you. Kellan wants me dead just as much as he does father. He wants to execute everyone that is close to the royal family." I said sadly.
" I believe that would be best as well, son. Me and Ethayon will go to my childhood home in Ealdor. You will go to Camelot to stay with Gaius. He is the court physician and you will act as an apprentice to him during your stay. He is the only one in Camelot that can be trusted." My mother explained.
I nodded my head absentmindedly, but then exclaimed, " Isn't magic banned on pain of death in Camelot?!"
" Yes, which is precisely why I chose Camelot. Kellan would never think to look for you there. After all who would ever expect to find a magical prince in a kingdom that outlaws it. Gaius will also be able to continue teaching you to control your magic as it grows." My mother explained. And I had to say, it was quite brilliant. Then again, she isn't Queen for nothing.
"Huh, that is actually quite brilliant. So its settled. Sir William, you will go with my mother and sister to protect them. Sir Lancelot, you will come with me to Camelot." I stated. I gave my mother and sister a hug and went to turn in for the night.
When we woke up the following morning we packed up camp, said our farewells, and went our separate ways.
"I never did say thank you." Lancelot said as we arrived at the gates of Camelot.
"There is no need Lancelot. It is my duty to help my people as much as I can. You are no exception to that despite the fact you are not from my kingdom. You were within Dragolias borders when your family got attacked by those bandits. Therefore it was my responsibility to help you." I replied knowing that's what he's thinking of.
"You clothed me, fed me, helped me to become a knight. Not very many royals would go to that length for a mere peasant." Lancelot replied back with admiration.
"I think all royals should treat there subjects as I do. A king is necessary in a kingdom to keep the peace between the people. If there was no ruler then the kingdom would go into chaos and fall to pieces. A king serves his people, not the other way around." I stated nodding at the guards posted at the front gate as I passed them. They shot me a bewildered look at our armor that points us out as knights. Lancelot fell silent and was looking around as I was. There were marketing stalls along the sides of the street, people bustling about, guards and knights every which way you turned. We came upon the courtyard and noticed everyone was gathering around. We pushed our way to the front and saw a man kneeling with his head on a chopping block. I looked upward and saw King Uther standing on the balcony, with a blond haired knight, of the big white castle. We both listened as he started to speak.
"Let this serve as a lesson to all. This man, Thomas James Collins, is found guilty of conspiring to use enchantments and magic. And pursuant to the laws of Camelot I, Uther Pendragon, have decreed that such practices are banned on penalty of death. I pride myself to be a fair and just king, but for the crime of sorcery there is only one sentence I can pass." He stated with his hand raised. He then lowered it as he finished talking and the ax the executioner held came down upon the head of an innocent, and I heard his cries and screams in my head as it was done, making me wince. King Uther then began speaking once more. "When I came to this land it was mired in chaos, and with the peoples help magic was driven from the realm. So I declare a festival to celebrate 20 years since the great dragon was captured and Camelot freed from the evil of sorcery. Let the celebrations begin!"
There was a sudden high pitched scream come from the crowd just as Uther began turning away. Everyone turned towards the sound and saw an elderly woman in black robes come forth.
"There is but one evil in this land and it is not magic! It is YOU!", The woman yelled to Uther, "With your hatred and ignorance! You took my SON! And I promise that before these celebrations are over, you will share my tears. An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. A son for a son." She was openly sobbing now and my heart wrenched at the pain she must be feeling.
"Seize her!" King Uther shouted to the guards. The woman gripped her necklace and started chanting, then she was gone. I looked toward Lancelot to see the same disgusted look upon his face, that is on mine. I feel sick to my stomach at the thought of what just happened. I couldn't believe that someone could be so cruel. My thoughts immediately went to the people left behind in my own kingdom, and wondered if Kellan would be as cruel as this man, if not more so. Panic and pain grips my heart in a tight hold, making me feel like I can't breath.
"Come on Merlin, Lets find the court physicians room." Lancelot suggested, giving my shoulder a reassuring squeeze. I gulped in some air and nodded my head in agreement. We had to ask a guard for directions along the way, but otherwise we had no issues. I find it funny that no one is questioning two knights of another kingdom but let it go. When we got to the proper door, I knocked and waited for an answer. When there wasn't one I opened the door and called out a "Hello?" and stepped in with Lancelot behind me. I looked around and saw a bunch of books everywhere along with vials of various things. There were bookshelves every which way you turn.
"Hello? Gaius?" I called again. I herd a grunt and turned to the sound. An old man, I am assuming is Gaius, was on a second story platform putting books away. I cleared my throat loudly to get his attention. He jumped a little, stumbling back and fell through the railing. He shouted mindlessly in panic. And with a flash of gold I slowed down time quickly looking around for something to cushion his fall. I spot a cot and with another flash of gold it was underneath him with time speeding up again. He fell on the cot, but got up as quickly as he could, and spun around to look at us.
"What did you just do?" He questioned harshly with a raised eyebrow that some how made me feel utterly small. Never the less I squared my shoulders and put on my 'prince face' as my sister would call it, and raised an eyebrow of my own.
"I saved your life. I am Prince Merlin, and this is Sir Lancelot. My mother said you could help us." I replied back with all the authority my station gives me lacing my voice.