Chapter 1: The Begining
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.
Chapter 2: Greetings
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"How do I know that what your telling me is true?" Gaius asks. We were all seated around one of his work tables. I had just finished explaining what had happened in Dragolia to Gaius, who is now questioning me like I'm some imposter.
"Why would I fabricate such a story? If you are so inclined not to believe me then I can show you my royal seal." I replied in turn, grabbing my seal from around my neck and holding it out for him to examine. He takes the seal and reaches to grab his glasses from one of the tables to examine the ring that is hanging from a leather cord. The ring itself was in Dragolias colors of blue and silver with the Ambrosias family crest etched in at the fore of a phoenix and a dragon facing each other. On the inside of the ring was a small stamp to confirm its genuine.
"Well, I suppose I should say thank you. My sister was right to send you hear, even though Camelot has magic banned. But, while I agree with Hunith, I think it would be best you bring your case to King Uther, just don't mention you have magic. For now though feel free to rest in the spare chamber in the back." Gaius states calmly, arching a brow when he notices our shocked faces. "I take it Hunith didn't tell you I'm your uncle? Figures, she was always a very secretive person, even with your father. Drives me and him both mad." He chuckles out.
"So, family huh? I guess that makes sense since you were the first person she thought of to send me to. As for telling Uther, well, I will have to think that one through. For now, let us rest as it has been a long journey." I said and started to make my way to the indicated chambers with Lancelot in tow before Gaius could reply. We both fell asleep after taking off our armor and boots.
In the morning we both freshened ourselves up as we forgot to the night previous, getting ready for the day ahead. We walked out of the chamber to see Gaius setting the table for breakfast. It wasn't much, but it would due. We both sat down and dug in.
"To keep up pretense till you make up your mind, you can help me distribute drafts for my regular patents." Gaius stated and I nodded my consent watching as he placed a bucket of water precariously on the table, it wobbled and promptly fell over. Instinctively my eyes flashed gold and the bucket froze, then reversed itself to sit steadily on the table. I looked back to Gaius to see him scrutinizing me with that arched brow that makes feel as if I am but a small child.
"Did you incant a spell in your mind?" He asks. I look at him with an amused look before replying.
"No, I was born with my magic. That was just basic instinct for me. I do not need spells, though they do make things easier." I explained finishing the meal and stood to go wash my bowl. I noticed the look of surprise from the corner of my eye. I chuckled slightly, thinking of the many times that I helped the servants with some of there chores, doing them by hand as they would instead of using my magic. Many of the nobles always inquired as to why I would place myself in such a low station, when I am the crowned prince. I would always say the same thing to anyone that would ask. 'A king without his people isn't a king at all'. but for Gaius I will explain a bit more.
"I can see why you would be surprised that I would do my own dishes, I am a prince after all. I just think that it is wrong for me to think myself better than everyone else simply because I have a title. A king without his people isn't a king at all for without your people your title is meaningless. I spent a lot of my time helping my people in any way I can, learning how they go about there daily lives so when I become king I will know what would be best for them. I put myself in there shoes so to speak." I explained with a small smirk.
"I must say, that is very wise." He said gently then picked up two vials and promptly handed them over to me. "This is hollyhock and feverfew for Lady Percival, and this is for Sir Olwin. He is blind as a weevil so warn him not to take it all at once." He finished pointing each out and giving me directions to each room. I nodded and proceeded with the directions after telling Lancelot to meet me in the lower town to look the city over a bit later.
I found Lady Percivals chambers fairly quickly, but I had to stop and ask for directions to get to Sir Olwins chambers. He had downed the entire vial before the warning not to drink all of it at once left my mouth. From there I proceeded to make my way to the lower town to meet up with Lancelot. I took my time in getting there due to myself looking around and feeling homesick for the bustling of my own people. I was so lost in thought of my own kingdom that I barely noticed when I came upon the training grounds, and my head shot up at the sound of jeering voices and shouted taunts. I looked over to see the blond haired knight I saw before on the balcony with King Uther when that man was executed. He was throwing knives at a shield a servant was holding, the servant running back and forth.
"Faster! Run faster! This is supposed to be moving target practice. At the rate your going a child could keep up with you." The blond haired knight jeered. The servant put on a burst of speed that only ended with him tripping, with how tired he obviously is, and the shield flew from his grip and rolled right to me. I put my foot on the shield just as the servant came to pick it up. The poor man looked up at me fearfully. Most likely due to the fact that I am wearing cloths that, though plain, are clearly made for nobility. I wore black slacks and a blue tunic with a red neckerchief around my neck to hide my royal seal. I gave the servant boy a small smile and turned to the blond knight.
"Come on, that's enough. You have had your fun my friend." I stated in a firm but kind voice. The blond knight looked upon me with one of shock. I take it the prat has never had some one tell him what to do.
"Do I know you?" He questioned and made his way to me. I chuckled as I clearly saw where he was going with this. I always win at a game of wits.
"I thought it would be obvious that you don't, though your hair color would explain a bit as to why you would be so dense." I replied with a smirk. He looked taken aback at that but quickly recovered.
"Do you know how to walk on your knees?" He asked with masked irritation and my smirk widened as this was my intended affect.
"Sorry Sir Knight, I do not roll that way. Though it makes sense that you would with how fair you are." I outright grinned as I watched his face redden as he understood what I implied.
"I could take you apart with one blow." He nearly shouted in his anger, and I merely chuckled at his expense.
"And I could take you apart with less than that." I replied, the prince in me rearing it head at the challenge presented. The man across from me looked me up and down and comprehension flashed in his eyes before they hardened.
"Like you could." He snorted. "You look as scrawny a female. I doubt you could even throw a punch." His posture and eyes held challenge and my eyes hardened at the taunt. People always underestimated me because of my slim frame, and it irritated me to high heaven. I, however, kept my smile in place and slowly took a step toward him, looking him straight in the eye. I could tell this unnerved him a bit. I looked him up and down as he did to me, sizing him up. He was clad in full armor with a red cloak with the Pendragon crest (a gold dragon) in the middle of it.
"If appearances are everything to you, Sir Knight, then you still have a lot to learn. No matter if your opponent is big, small, or even a female, underestimating them will give them way to your weakness. Which would be your downfall." I said in a stern voice and turned to leave, but stopped suddenly, and I turned around again to state, " My name is Merlin, by the way.", then proceeded to walk in the direction of Lancelot, leaving a gapping knight behind me.
Chapter 3: Camelots Accommodations
I found Lancelot fairly close to the training field, along with a whole bunch of other people that were gapping at me as if I'm ten kinds of stupid. I suppose I would seem that way to everyone in this kingdom, since they do not know that I am a prince myself.
"We have barely been in Camelot for twenty four hours, and already you have gotten on Prince Arthurs bad side. I swear you have a magnet on your forehead that screams trouble." Lance teased with a smirk, then chuckled at the flabbergasted look on my face.
"That's Uthers son?! Dear goddess this kingdom is doomed!" I exclaimed, then laughed out right with Lance joining me. We then proceeded tour the city. It was quite beautiful, with the bustling of the people and the huge white castle glistening in the background, with the forest surrounding everything. The only thing that put me off was the undercurrent of fear and hatred emanating from everything. It almost made me sick. The people here are not happy, they are suffering in silence, afraid of there sovereign and angry because of it. It amazes me that some royals think its best to govern with an iron fist. to instill fear into there people to make them abide by the laws they set. It makes me absolutely sick.
"Come on Lance, I think we have seen quite enough. And I have made my decision on whether to tell Uther or not. Let us go meet with Gaius and I will explain then." I stated solemnly and we both started heading towards the physicians chambers. Lancelot gave me a curious look as I heaved a sigh, and I just shook my head to let him know that it's nothing major. When we got to the chambers, Gaius was working on some concoction. I cleared my throat and he jumped a little and turned his head quickly toward the door where Lancelot and I are standing. I walked further in and shut the door.
"I thought about it and I think you are right that I should inform Uther of my being in his kingdom. I am a royal and it would be hard to act like I wasn't. Uther and my father do have a history though, and I think it would be necessary to lie about my gifts, including that I would inherit the dragonlord powers upon my fathers death. I am not sure if he would accept that or not." I state hesitantly. I was overly nervous about this, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that Uther doesn't know anything of how a dragonlord comes to be.
"Well you could just say that since the dragons are a dying breed that the dragonlord gift would die with your father. Uther doesn't know much when it comes to things like that. He hates magic so much that he just keeps to the basics of magical knowledge. Just enough so he could kill one. As for your Mother and sister just say that they are not magic users. I am also sure that telling him that you are my nephew would work in your favor as well." Gaius replied and I sighed in relief.
"That's good, very good. Do you think you could set up a meeting with him for me?" I asked.
"Yes, as a matter of fact, I can. I was heading that way anyway to deliver a sleeping draft for the Lady Morgana, poor girl suffers from nightmares." He approved shaking his head at the last thing he said. It was as if there was more to it than just nightmares, but I let it go as it's none of my business.
"Sounds like a plan, I am going to take a look and your vast expanse of books while you are away. I find that reading is good for the brain. Expands your knowledge, and knowledge is power." Merlin philosophies making Gaius and Lancelot smile. They both leave then, Gaius to do that delivery and to speak with the king, and Lancelot off to find a place to train for a bit. I look through all of Gaius' books leisurely until I come across an old tattered book that is hidden amongst a bunch of other science books that speak of the importance of the four elements. It was medium in size and it was in a dialect that I could understand quite well, as it is in my native tongue. I open the book and am surprised by what I find there.
"Gaius, you naughty man. What are you doing with something such as this?" I murmur quietly, amazed. It is an ancient book of prophecy. It explains everything from the prophecies of old, to defensive and offensive magic, to healing magic. Everything you would ever need to know stuffed into one grimoire. I marveled as I watched the words on the page change continuously, so much knowledge in one single book that looks to most as nothing of great value. This book was power and power in the wrong hands is deadly. I slipped the book into an inside pocket of my cloak, then grabbed a book that speaks of basic healing. I knew Gaius would notice its absence, but I could not help myself. This one book could contain knowledge of why I was born using magic upon my first breath, while everyone else came into there magic later in life.
"Merlin." An ancient sounding voice called out and I looked around thinking someone was in the room with me.
"Merlin." It said again, only this time I figured it was only in my head. I shook the ominous feeling off and proceeded to read the basic healing book of Gaius'.
I jumped as Gaius threw the door open. "Good news. Uther will see you in the throne room in the morning so you have plenty of time to get your story straight. He is also setting up some guest chambers for you and Lancelot that you can sleep in tonight. I made it quite clear that you are my nephew, so that worked in our favor." Gaius announced with a grin. I grinned back and replied. "Thank you so much Uncle Gaius, you are a life saver."
Gaius just nodded bashfully and got to work on some tinctures for the next day and I got back to reading. Lancelot arrived not long after that and I announced the news to him. We both gathered our stuff together to be ready for the room exchange. We sat back down to wait, and I opened my mouth to mention to Gaius that I have his book so he doesn't have a heart attack looking for it, but I hesitated a little. I decided to tell him anyway.
I reached into my cloak and grabbed the book. "Gaius, I was searching for a book earlier when you both were gone, and I found a peculiar book that I would like to study if you don't mind." I told him and handed the book to him. He had a confused look on his face as he looked at it. He opened it up and his eyes widened in shock.
"Merlin, I realize why you would ask me, due to it being in my chambers, but this is not my book. In fact I have only seen this book once before in my life. It belonged to a high priest by the name of Gurgalan. He was a pagan king that ruled in the time that Albion was first born. He was the most powerful king and magic user of that time. I first saw it way before the purge when the high priestess Nimueh came to court to be Igraines and Uthers court sorceress. Where did you find this?" Gaius explained and asked. I was a little shocked myself, I had thought it was his.
I walked over to the bookshelf I found it on and pointed to the subtle space between two of his science books. "Well, best keep it hidden then. Don't want someone to happen across it. Follow me to you new chambers and I will show you a place you can hide it during your stay in Camelot." Gaius says, and proceeds to walk us to our rooms.
Lance and I have rooms side by side, which is a good thing considering that he is the only one I can count on in this city. Gaius may be my uncle, but he is still the physician to the monster king, and has been for many years. The rooms are lavish, comfortable, and fit for a prince such as myself. Lancelot grinned at me and immediately went into his chambers to refresh himself. Gaius goes over to the wardrobe in the corner and opens it, fiddling with something on the inside. "Come here boy. There is a little latch on the back of the wardrobe, you would never notice it if you didn't know it was there. All you do is push it in and the back will open up to a small compartment that you can store you items in." He explained while motioning with his hand where the latch is and then demonstrating. It opened with a soft click. It was a long and narrow space, and inside there is a sword. I grab the sword and then drop it when the shock of someone else's magic imbued in the sword.
"Well, Camelot has more magic than I ever though it would before my arrival." I state as Gaius just look at me with a knowing but flabbergasted look. It is as if he knows something I don't.
"It is not surprising, Camelot was made from magic. This very castle was built by a sorcerer by the name of Cornelius Sigan, and a few others of his like. So it makes sense that there would be magic artifacts inside the castle, hidden away." Gaius heaves a heavy sigh. "I know my being here is difficult to understand since I am your sisters older brother, but I was asked to be here by your grandfather, Emerson Ambrosias. Uther was always very unstable with his emotions. He always felt them more deeply than most, so you grandfather asked for me to come here after it was made apparent that Hunith would become the next Queen. He felt that Uther would do something drastic in his ruling and he was right." The man looked as if he had aged 20 years in a blink of an eye. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be asked to come here and be forced to watch his kin die. Immediately I feel sick with guilt of my previous thoughts of him. Here he is helping me, and I am just returning it with scorn.
"I am truly sorry. I cant even imagine what that must have been like for you when the purge came about. It must have been hard." I voice my sympathies to him and he give a sad smile.
"It's in the past now, but please know that I will always be here for you should you need me. You are my nephew, my kin, and I have a lot of time and mistakes to make up for." He replies.
"Oh Gaius, we are all human. We all make mistakes, it is owning up to those mistakes and learning from them that is what matters most. If you never made a mistake then you would never learn." I advise. "Now I would like to freshen up a bit and get some rest before I have to see Uther in the morn. I will see you tomorrow, may the goddess watch over your dreams."
He nods and walks out of the room, leaving me with my thoughts. I waved a servant down and asked for some hot water for bathing to be brought to me along with some diner from the kitchens. The man bows and hurries along to get it done. In no time at all I am bathed and ready for bed.
"Merlin" I the old sounding voice in my head again as I lay my head on my pillow. I sit up again and look around, but see nothing.
"Come to me Merlin." The voice demands. I get up and slip on my boots and follow the voice that is now continuous getting louder and louder the closer I get. I keep going deeper and deeper under the castle. I come across some guards playing dice in a corridor with a set of stairs going down at the end of the hall. With a flash of gold, the dice fly through an open door right across from the guards. Like idiots they chase them and I hurry behind them and down the stairs that open up into a giant cavern. I hear the voice say my name again and chuckle.
"You interrupted my rest, show yourself now and stop wasting my time." I demand. Then a gigantic golden dragon lands in front of me on a huge stalagmite. I do not waver though, I am not frightened. In my own kingdom dragons are a natural thing. They take over the skies as they should, to see one chained up with his scales pale from years of not seeing the light of day angers me.
"How did such a magnificent creature such as yourself come to be in the caves under Camelot? You should not be chained and caged like some common animal. You should be free to roam the skies." I ask with the anger of it lacing my tone. The dragon looks to be surprised, but recovers quickly.
"How small you are for such a great destiny. Though I have to say, you are not what I expected. Balinor has taught you well, young warlock." He finally speaks and my heart clenches at the mention of my father.
"Destiny you say? What do you know of my destiny?" I ask and feel goose bumps crawl across my skin in anticipation. I have always been different from everyone. Different from both common people cause I am a prince and from magical people cause my magic is different. I have always been an outcast though I have many friends. I have met no one that truly knows what it is like to be alone in every decision you make. I have always known that I was born for a greater purpose then just to lead a kingdom. My magic has alerted me to such many times when the druids would bow to me in a way that is more then just showing respect to there prince. They treat me like a god, which is rather disconcerting.
"Your gift was given to you for a reason." The dragon states.
"I figured that much out already." I snorted out. The dragon continues, ignoring my comment.
"Arthur is the once and future king who will unite Albion."
"Right." I drawl.
"But he faces many threats from friend and foe alike." The great dragon continues.
"I really don't see what this has to do with me." I comment, a little exasperated.
"It has everything to do with you! Without you Arthur will never succeed. Without you, there will be no Albion." The dragon shouts out with an evil looking grin. I really should get his name, instead of calling him 'the dragon', but am to flabbergasted to ask.
"No. Just no. You have got to have this wrong. There is no way in hell that the Arthur I met today is the once and future king. No, your wrong, there has to be another Arthur." I state in denial.
"There is no right or wrong. Only what is and what isn't" The dragon states.
"Okay first what is you name? I cannot just call you 'The dragon'. I know to many dragons to call you that." I ask. He looks slightly surprised but answers. "Its Kilgharrah."
"Thank-you Kilgharrah. Now second, I am still adamant that you are wrong. Cause the Arthur I met is an idiot prat, and if anyone wants to kill him they can go ahead! In fact, I'll even give them a hand!" I state. Kilgharrah laughs loudly at that comment.
"None of us can choose our destiny, Merlin, and none of us can escape it." He chuckles out and flies away. A scowl makes its way upon my face. Stupid overgrown lizard thinks he knows everything. We will just see how this destiny of mine panes out. We may not be able to escape our destiny, but we can always go about it in our own way. We still have a choice in how we live our lives. I go back the way I came and slip into my chambers and lay down after slipping my boots off, and I am asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.
I wake up the next morning and get ready for the day. I splash my face with cold water and get dressed in my black trousers and blue tunic. I leave my neckerchief off so everyone can see my royal seal. I then slip my armor into place. It is trimmed with a royal blue, and has a phoenix on the chest plate and a dragon on the back. On the shoulder pieces it has my seal of both a phoenix and a dragon. The armor itself is made out of a sliver metal that can only be found in Dragolia. It is very light and made in a way that it does not hinder your movement. I slip on my sword belt and sword, then slip a dagger in my boot and on the other side of my sword. And at last I grab from my back my crown. I thought I would not be able to wear it for a long while. It is rather simple compared to what other princes wear. It is made of the same silver metal of my armor. It has blue benitoite gemstones embedded all around it, complimenting the intricate designs that were carefully carved into the metal. At the front it has a large azurite gem with celtic knots surrounding it on all sides. I comb my hair and place it on my head. I look into the mirror on the wall near the wardrobe. I look like the prince I am, yet I feel as if I am dishonoring my people. They are suffering and here I am in another kingdom playing dress up to meet the demon king. I heave a heavy sigh as I hear a knock at the door.
"Come in!" I called, and a servant walks in with a plate of food. The man has simple attire as most servants do. He is attired in faded brown slacks and red tunic.
He gaps a little at me before bowing. "The king asked for me to bring breakfast to you sire, and has ordered me to help you with anything you will need this morning. Your meeting with him is in an hour." He announces with all the boring formality that makes my skin crawl.
"There is no need to bow or use my title. Please, just call me Merlin. It is my birth name after all. What is your name?" I ask. The man looks utterly flabbergasted at my request and stubbles over his words a little as he answers my question. "M-my n-name is Morris, sire. I-I mean M-Merlin." He seams a little shaken and I can understand why. Most nobles and royal revel in there titles and power and take it for granted.
"Well, Morris, thank you for breakfast. The life of a servant is a busy one, so I will kindly dismiss you. I am sure you have other duties to attend to?" I said kindly.
"T-thank you Merlin. You are most kind. I am the manservant to Prince Arthur, and he always give me a very long list of duties. I will take my leave now to attend to him." Morris gives a small smile, and I give one back in sympathy. I look at the plate of food and notice it's pilled high with meats, cheeses and bread. I grab one of my extra handkerchiefs and fill it with half the food on the plate. He is about to leave when I call him back. "Morris! Wait!" He turns back around. "Yes sire?" He asks and I have to ignore the use of my title. I hand him the food. "This is way to much for myself to eat alone. Please, take this so it does not go to waste." I insisted. Morris looks up at me wide eyed and mouth gapping. "Thank you! I did not have time for my own breakfast this morn. You are most generous!" He exclaims and bows to me more deeply then before and leaves.
I quickly eat, then head next door to get Lancelot. I knock on the door, then walk in. Lance is just finishing up with his own breakfast.
"Ready for the day Lance? We have about twenty minutes to get to the throne room." I announce.
"Just about, can you believe the amount of food they serve to the nobles here? I had to give half my plate to the servant that delivered it. This kingdom must have some fat nobles." He says with a look of amazement on his face.
"Careful Lance, someone might take offence." I laughed out, "But I know what you mean. I had a plate pilled so high with food that I am amazed Morris managed to get it to me without spilling. I too gave half the food away. I am but one person, not an army." I agreed.
We both left in search of the throne room. We were almost late due to having to ask for direction. We both paused at the throne doors to take a deep breath to calm our nerves. With that I nodded to the guards. They opened the big double doors and we stepped inside.
Chapter 4: Camelots Royals
Camelots throne room is quite impressive. It is not as big as Dragolias, but the décor is more lavish. There are red and gold banners with the Pendragon crest on it everywhere you looked and the council is on one side of the room while there are knights on the other side. In the middle are three thrones. On the left is a beautiful raven haired woman wearing a royal purple dress that has a gold and purple belt around her waist, with a small circlet on her head. My eyes linger on her for a moment longer than necessary. In the middle is King Uther looking regal in his attire of chain mail and a red cloak with the kings crown on his head. And on the left is Prince Arthur. He is wearing his full armor, that is a plain steel, red cloak on his shoulders and a smaller crown similar to my own atop his head. My gaze lingers on him a moment longer taking in his flabbergasted look of surprise he had let slip for a moment. I give a small smirk as my eyes turn to Uther once more and I nod my head in respect.
"King Uther, thank you for this audience. I am Prince Merlin and this is my second in command, Sir Lancelot." I formally greet and introduce Lance and I.
"Yes, my court physician has informed me of you and set up this meeting. You are his nephew?" He asks stiffly.
"Yes, your highness, he is my mothers older brother. I apologize for the abruptness of this meeting, but Dragolia has been taken over. Lord Kellan had gathered an army of dark sorcerers and mercenaries and attacked in the late evening. My knights and I were in the training arena when the warning bells went off. I had rushed to the throne room to speak with my father, only to find Kellan with a sword to his neck. I had challenged him myself, but the coward only laughed and disappeared to hid behind his son, James, and his army. I wanted to fight along side my knights and my people, but my father ordered one of my knights to knock me out. When I had awoken, it was just my mother, my sister, and my two most trusted knights. My mother, Hunith, had told me to come here to stay with my Uncle Gaius. She informed me that Kellan is to much of a coward to wage war on a kingdom that is allied with half of Albion. I had hope that you would allow for myself to recuperate here and try to gather allies of my own. I would be more than willing to sign a peace treaty with you when I do get my kingdom back. I am the crowned prince, and I do not have much hope for my father, Balinor, who stayed behind to fight. So when I do get take back my kingdom I will become king." I explained, only lying a little to hid my magic. Every ones faces were ones of shock and sympathy. Uther had a look of sympathy on his face as well, but there was a gleam in his eye at the mention of my becoming king and putting together a peace treaty between the kingdoms. Arthur and the lady had blank looks.
"I would be more than willing to help you, but first I had heard that Dragolia lets magic roam free, and the your father is a dragon lord. Is this true?" Uther asked sternly.
"Yes, your highness, both are true. Magic is free in Dragolia, but what Kellan has done has showed me the error of that. I cannot allow for something like that to happen again. As for my father being a dragonlord, well, it is not something that is put to use. All the dragons are dead except for the one you have beneath your castle. The dragon lord ability has died out and will be no more upon my fathers death." I said stoically, keeping my face completely blank of emotion as I have this entire meeting. Uther has this mad gleam in eyes that makes me sick.
"Magic is not to be trusted. It corrupts and blackens the heart. This is just another example of how it's evil and can turn the best of people into a monster. I will help you destroy this bane to the world Prince Merlin. In the meantime, I will provide you with an extra set of clothing as I am sure most of your belonging were left behind. You are welcome to stay here for as long as you feel is necessary, and when you are ready to claim Dragolia again I will help. Court dismissed!" Uther bellowed happily.
"You are most gracious King Uther. This alliance will bring much to your kingdom and mine. Together we will be a force even the gods will fear." I thanked and bowed my head before leaving the room with Lancelot in tow. I felt sick to my stomach with what transpired, but this alliance will benefit my kingdom. It will also make getting around Camelot a lot easier. At the moment though, I think I would like to train a bit. First I stop by my chambers to put my crown away. Then I head to the training grounds that I saw Arthur and his knights picking on a servant. Lancelot has already went in that direction, but I catch up to him fairly quickly and we make our way to the training ground.
We arrive at the training grounds to see Arthur dueling with a knight with dirt blond curly hair. We walk around to the side with the weapons and a bench and stand there to watch. I look at Lance and give a smirk. "Do you want to show them what real sword work looks like Lance? I see flaws everywhere in this duel that it is a wonder they can fight at all." Lancelot smirks back and replies, "I think we should, we wouldn't want them to get hurt because of there own incompetence. I think it is time for a lesson." I smirk wider and move closer to the middle of the field. I turn and face him, "What are you waiting for then, come get me." I taunt.