Merlin knows they are outnumbered. The Southrons are fast approaching them and within Minuten they’ll be surrounded for sure. If they are not careful, it will take them just mere Sekunden to round them up. Merlin knows he has to do something but the idea which keeps tapping his mind requires him to get rid of the others. Others shouldn’t be a problem. Arthur is a big concern now. Merlin bites his lip and skips a log as he leads the group through the forest. Behind him, Arthur follows, still clutching his wounded rib, the injury sustained as they fled from Camelot days ago. Gwen, Tristan and the injured Isolde follow closely behind. As Merlin runs, his thoughts rush back to his mother, back to Ealdor. He hopes everything is fine back home. He prays Agravaine didn’t have enough time to cause any damage to Ealdor oder to its people as Merlin managed to divert Agravaine’s attention to them as they ran to the forest. He wouldn’t forgive himself if his mother oder the people of Ealdor are injured because of his actions. They approach the mouth of the cave tunnel. Merlin turns back towards the rest of the party.
“I’ll cover our tracks, Du keep going,” Merlin says and turns away from the others as they all head to the cave. As they all disappear into the cave, Merlin summons the great dragon in his dragon language. Nothing happens. That was odd. Usually Kilgarrah would come to his aid no matter how short the time was, but there is no sight of him now. Merlin hears the Southrons in the distance and his herz thumps in panic. If he can’t lose them, the Southrons will find the cave and trap them within minutes. Merlin waits again and still there’s no sign of the great dragon. Feeling slightly disappointed that Kilgarrah has deserted them; Merlin turns on his heels back towards the cave.
Meanwhile, Agravaine, who is leading the Southrons in pursuit of Arthur and his party, hear a loud roar above him. He looks up in time to witness the great dragon hovering above them, its mouth opened wide ready to spit feuer at them. Agravaine’s herz leaps to his mouth. He is both frightened and shocked at the sight of the dragon. He thought the dragon was long killed during the great purge. Seems like he was wrong. Kilgarrah swoops down on them.
“Take cover!” Agravaine orders. But the instruction came a little too late as Kilgarrah swoops down on them and shoots his feuer along the line of fleeing Southrons. Agravaine misses it Von luck but the rest were not as lucky. His numbers have been reduced and he can only watch in vain as the rest of the unlucky Southrons burn to ashes. Above him, the great dragon flies away. Agravaine curses under his breath and turns to the handful of Southrons still at his disposal.
“Let’s get them,” he orders as they race towards the cave. He promised Morgana he will ensure Arthur is caught and he intends to keep that promise, no matter what the outcome.
Merlin catches up with the rest of them in the cave. They are still struggling to find the way out. Arthur is relieved as he caught the sight of Merlin but doesn’t Zeigen it on his face.
“Did Du lose them?” he asks, his face concerned. Behind him Tristan was still supporting Isolde while Gwen stood nearby, her face visibly relieved at the sight of Merlin’s arrival. She wouldn’t want anything to happen to her good friend. After all, he is the only friend she has at the moment.
“It’s safe,” Merlin assures him. There is a twinkle in his eyes. He knows Kilgarrah came to their aid as he felt he dragon’s presence the moment he entered the cave. He didn’t know what the dragon did but whatever it was, he was sure Kilgarrah didn’t disappoint him.
“You’re sure?” Arthur didn’t even know why he asked that question. Of course Merlin did some idiotic things in the past, but he was right most of the time. Like when he tried to warn Arthur about Agravaine. And when he disguised Arthur as the simple peasant in order to outrun Agravaine and the Southrons. Merlin has proven himself to be a worthy counselor to Arthur from time to time and though Arthur realises that, he simply opts to keep that thought to himself for the time being. But he cherishes every bit of Guter Rat his servant has gegeben him.
“Do I look like an idiot?” Merlin asks, clearly annoyed. Tristan smirks from behind.
“Yes,” Arthur Antwort shortly.
“Doesn’t change, does it?” Merlin Antworten and shakes his head. His eyes catch Gwen’s and she gives him a sympathetic look as if to say “that’s Arthur, just go along with him.” Merlin sighs and turns back to Arthur.
“Which way now?” the king asks. Merlin looks around uncertainly. He used to know these tunnels Von heart, but after living in Camelot for a long time, he can’t pick out the right direction like he used to. Merlin bites his lip. Behind him, Arthur sighs in frustration.
“I thought Du sagte Du grew up in these tunnels?” Arthur can’t contain his frustration. Merlin scratches his chin.
“I did … just, it could be that way”
“Or it could be that way,” Arthur points out in annoyance.
“Yes,” Merlin Antwort blankly. Tristan shakes his head and exchanges glances with Isolde. Gwen notices how close Tristan and Isolde are and she is drawn to their closeness. She may not have known them long but they seem to be a fine couple indeed. She admires how Tristan never left Isolde’s side and how he supports her along the journey. They are in Liebe and it breaks her own herz to know her one true Liebe is right there in front of her and yet he hasn’t sagte a word to her since they left Ealdor. Yes, he was shocked to see her in Ealdor, and yes, he initiated the embrace. But that was it. Apart from I miss you, there wasn’t anything else spoken between them and Arthur didn’t even ask her how she came to be in Ealdor. Nor was he any way interested in asking how she was doing. But she can’t blame him for not doing that. He is embroiled in his own war and has his own problems to deal with. There’s Morgana, Camelot and the Southrons to take care of, and she isn’t the priority at the moment. She will wait for her turn. When everything is settled, she will seek him out and explain. There are a lot of explanations needing to be sorted out between them, and so she will wait.
“That’s very reassuring,” Arthur says shortly and follows Merlin as the latter led them all through the tunnel.
Gwen struggles to climb the rocks within the tunnels. Arthur and Merlin were both leading the group and Tristan was helping Isolde. She heaves and tries to cling onto the rocks to push herself up. But somehow the rocks she grabs on are always the loose ones and they keep giving way. Someone touches her shoulder and eases her up the ridge. She turns to her left. Tristan. He nods and helps her up. She smiles back in gratitude and accepts the help.
“So, Du know Arthur?” he asks as he pushes her up.
“I was a servant in Camelot” Gwen Antwort shortly.
“To Arthur?” he asks again as he followed her from behind.
“No,” she Antwort quickly and tosses an even quicker glace at Arthur’s sight. He wasn’t looking back nor did he seem disturbed Von the question. He didn’t care what was being discussed, she thought sadly.
“So, why are Du here?” Tristan seems to be not satisfied with the answer she gave.
“He’s my king,” Gwen Antwort proudly, even though that was the just half the truth. She is here because she loves him and despite his hatred towards her, she would give her full support in whatever he does. If she loses her life in the midst of this war, she will die proudly knowing she laid her life for the man she loved. And that was the truth. But Tristan didn’t need to know that.
“I can’t say I’ve detected many kingly qualities so far,” Tristan Kommentare as he nears Isolde and helps her arm around his shoulder.
“Well, maybe Du don’t know him,” Gwen adds shortly. Isolde smiles at Gwen and then at Tristan who just smirks back.
At the front, Arthur was listening to the entire conversation and he rolls his eyes in frustration at Tristan’s remark about him. He understands why Tristan loathes kings and the royal subjects but he doesn’t know Arthur; neither does he know anything about this war. Tristan can’t assume Arthur to be like the rest of the kings he’s crossed paths with. Arthur knows he has a lot to learn from Tristan and Isolde. From what he saw, he knows they are both great warriors and a fine couple, never leaving the sight of another at whatever cost. Though he doesn’t fully trust Tristan, Arthur believes in time he will be proven wrong. And Arthur wishes Tristan will do the same for him. Give him time and Arthur knows Tristan will not be disappointed. oder so he hopes. He hears Tristan conversing with Gwen again and whatever they were discussing, Arthur wishes Tristan would drop the subject of connecting Gwen with this party. He was hurt when he heard Gwen addressing herself as a servant of Camelot to Tristan and was shattered when she told him she was here because Arthur was her king. ‘A king … is that all I am to you? A king,’ Arthur thinks angrily as he remembers Gwen’s conversation with Tristan. Merlin slips in front of him and breaks him from his thoughts. Arthur helps Merlin up and resumes his way behind him.
Agravaine leads his men through the tunnel, each with a torch in their hands. Suddenly he halts. He thought he heard something.
The others stop as well and listen. They hear sounds of movement. Agravaine smirks.
“That way,” he orders.
Merlin and Arthur suddenly stop. They listen as sounds of movement are creeping up behind them.
“I thought Du sagte we Lost them?” Arthur asks, listening intently.
“I thought we had,” Merlin Antwort shortly. He didn’t know how Kilgarrah got rid of the Southrons but he didn’t expect them to catch up this fast. If Merlin is to ensure Arthur and the rest walk out of this tunnel safely, then he has to use his gift to rid the men catching up on them. Magic will have some role to play here.
“It won’t take long for them to catch us,” Tristan adds.
“I’ll go back,” Merlin says, and starts to walk to the back of the crowd. Arthur holds stops him.
“What are Du going to do?” Arthur asks.
“Create a diversion,” Merlin says.
“It’s too risky,” Arthur adds.
“I know these tunnels and Agravaine doesn’t. Du keep going,” Merlin says and hands the torch over to Arthur. The king accepts the torch hesitantly. Just as Merlin starts to walk, Arthur holds him back again.
“Merlin … don’t do anything stupid,” Arthur warns. His tone worried as was his face. Merlin noted the expression as well and smiles back assuringly.
“Me?” he says and leaves the group. Arthur watches on for a while before leading the rest of them through the tunnel.
Merlin sidles along the tunnel Wand as he hears the Southrons approaching. The voices were becoming vivid. He takes a deep breath than steps out to meet them.
“Oh hello?” he says before turning around and running off in a different direction. Agravaine and the rest of the men run off after Merlin until he comes to a dead end. Behind him, Agravaine and the men arrive.
“Merlin.” Agravaine calls. Merlin looks for an escape but finding none.
“Merlin?” Agravaine calls again. Merlin turns around slowly.
“Be careful” Merlin warns after a while. Agravaine gets confuse and looks around.
“What are Du talking about? Where’s Arthur?” Agravaine asks, not really understanding Merlin’s intention at all. Merlin sighs to himself, sadly and shifts his weight.
“Tell me now oder I’ll have to kill you” Agravaine is getting annoyed.
Merlin shakes his head sadly. “I don’t think so,” he adds.
Agravaine scoffs and shifts his balance. “You are not getting the idea at all are Du Merlin? It was a simple question. And Du just have to answer where Arthur is. I want my nephew. I don’t need Du oder anyone at all but … if Du insist on being loyal to him and think can outsmart me, the price Du need to pay is of your life. And I am really not in a generous mood. I like to keep this simple and quick … so, for the last time where is the king?”
“I don’t know” Merlin Antwort shortly and this time it pisses Agravaine off. The lord moves vorwärts-, nach vorn to strike Merlin and in a flash he and the rest of the Southrons were flung back, some crashing against the Wand of the tunnel. Merlin’s eyes blaze a while before dying out. He takes a deep breath and looks around. The Southrons were dead. Agravaine seems dead as well. Merlin’s herz raced. He had not intended to kill the lord; but Agravaine gave him no choice. Perhaps it was for the best. Merlin takes a couple of steps vorwärts-, nach vorn when he hears Agravaine gasping for air. Merlin halts. Agravaine wakes up and scrambles to his feet; turning to look at Merlin. He looks at Agravaine straight in the eye.
“You have magic?” Agravaine gasps, surprised.
“I was born with it,” Merlin says proudly.
Agravaine stands up and then suddenly he looks at Merlin again, as if something occurs to him. His lips twitch into a smirk.
“So it’s you. You’re Emrys.”
“That’s what the druids call me.”
Agravaine could not believe what he has heard. All this while, a servant boy with the gift of magic was in Camelot, cleverly disguising himself from the naked eye and works his magic under the very noses of Arthur without being caught. A very clever disguise indeed. He smiles to himself.
“And you’ve been at court all this time, eh? At Arthur’s side,” he chuckles. “How you’ve managed to deceive him. I am impressed, Merlin. Perhaps we’re Mehr alike than Du think” he sagte and holds out his hand at Merlin. But Merlin raises his own out, ready to strike Agravaine with magic. Agravaine’s smile fades. He drops his hand and Merlin lowers his.
“Don’t ever put yourself with me, Agravaine. I am never like you. I never deceive Arthur, nor will I ever,”
“So, Du lying about your gift … what do Du call that?”
“It was a protection from Uther. I intend to reveal my powers to the king one Tag and I will. Regardless what the circumstances are, I will not be sorry for who I am.”
“Really … and if Arthur wishes Du to die Von the stake?”
“I’ll gladly accept it,” Merlin answers.
“You’re a stupid boy, Merlin. Someone as powerful as Du are should be using your gift for something worthwhile, like…”
“Like Morgana does?”
“Yes.” Agravaine smiles. “Like she does.” Agravaine inches closer to Merlin.
“Magic isn’t a tool to be used for our own selfishness. It’s a gift, one that needs to be nurtured and used wisely. It is in the fabric of the world. We live and breathe magic all our life without realising we do. One gifted with magic should be wise enough to know that meddling with the balance of this gift would bring unnecessary harm to the kreis it creates this world with. I am no such fool, Agravaine. I intend to use my powers wisely, as it has been told in my destiny.”
“Too bad Merlin, Du would make a great accomplice to Morgana and me.”
“You don’t deserve to live, Agravaine. Du lied to Arthur, pretended to protect him when all Du did was cause him Mehr harm than ever, made him create unnecessary mistakes and wars. He is your nephew, Agravaine. What did he do to cause this much hatred in you? Du loved your sister and Arthur is her son! Why hate him so much?”
“He isn’t my sister’s son, Merlin!” Agravaine snaps. His face furious. “He never was! He was the creation of magic. He was brought to this world through magic and in return, this magic of which Du gloat so proudly took the life of my only sister! Uther knew the price for such action yet he wanted an heir. He didn’t care if my sister died, he just wanted a bloodline. And my sister… my only sister paid the price with her life. And for that both father and son will pay the price. I knew Uther was dying and offered my comfort to Arthur in those times of need. My nephew is a fool and fell for the trap easily. I came to Camelot to rid it of the Pendragons. So far I’ve been very unsuccessful, no matter how good my plans were. Now I know why”
“I’ll protect Arthur till my own breath leaves my soul. It’s my destiny. But above all, Arthur’s my friend and I will see that he lives to be the great king he is,” Merlin says.
“Really?” Agravaine says and gestures submission. “Well, too bad for that because I think Du are a good boy,” he adds. Merlin watches him in silence.
“We are going to miss you, Merlin,” Agravaine says and in a flash he whips a messer at Merlin with his other hand but Merlin was quicker. He raises both of his arms and flings Agravaine backward with the flash of his eyes. Agravaine crashes against the ground and goes still, eyes wide open. He lies dead as Merlin nears him and takes one Mehr look at Agravaine and all those men lying scattered about. Taking a deep breath, Merlin turns around and without remorse on his face, continues through the tunnel.
Arthur thought he heard something and slows down to a stop and turns around. Behind him Tristan stops as well. Gwen was helping Isolde.
“What are Du doing?” Tristan asked, clearly annoyed the way their journey through this tunnel had been halted and slowed from one stop to another.
“Shhhh,” Arthur silences them all. They hear rocks moving.
“Merlin,” Arthur says in hope. He catches Gwen’s eyes and noted she was relieved as well. He quickly turns away.
“He knows the tunnels, he’ll find his way,” Tristan says, urging to carry on. But Arthur was adamant.
“I’m going back,” Arthur sagte and walks past Tristan, Gwen and Isolde. Tristan was confused. Gwen watches on proudly.
“For a servant?” Tristan is pissed.
“You’re wrong about him,” Gwen Antwort shortly.
Arthur approaches a corner and gets prepared to attack the approaching figure.
“Merlin!!” Arthur almost shouted. “Where have Du been?”
“Were Du worried about me?”
“No, I was making sure we weren’t being followed,” Arthur lies and keeps a straight face.
“You came back to look for me,” Merlin tries to guess. Arthur rolls his eyes.
“All right, it’s true. I came back because you’re the only friend I have and I couldn’t bär to lose you,”
“Don’t be stupid.” Arthur turns around and walks off. Merlin smiles and follows him from behind.
After traveling for hours, Arthur and the rest of the group finally emerge on the other side of the mountain. Tristan supports Isolde while Arthur clutches his wounded rib.
“Where now?” Tristan asks.
“To the plains beyond the mountains” Arthur answers.
“You sure? That’s Lot’s kingdom. He’s no friend of the Pendragons” Tristan adds, eyeing Arthur keenly as he holds on to Isolde.
“Or maybe we could find somewhere here … a house where we could rest,” Gwen offers her suggestion.
“We are fugitives, a danger to anyone who harbours us,” Tristan says again, looking at Gwen.
“He’s right. We must travel back to towards Camelot,” Merlin agrees with Tristan.
“No, we need to keep going,” Arthur disagrees with Merlin and Tristan.
“If we hold up in the forest of Essetir, we’ll be safe, sicher at least for a while,” Merlin tries to persuade the king.
“No,” Arthur denies stubbornly. Merlin and Gwen exchange looks with one another.
“If anyone has survived this battle, that’s where they’ll be hiding,” Merlin tries again. Merlin understands why Arthur wishes not to travel back to Camelot. He clearly Lost his faith and though he tries to hide, it’s plain to see that he has.
“I know which I’d do but you’re the king, Arthur. You’re our leader …” Tristan injects.
“All right. Forest of Essetir it is,” Arthur intercepts quickly and cuts Tristan off. Tristan smirks and walks down the mountain path. Merlin was thankful with Tristan’s intervention and follows Tristan from behind. Arthur clutches his rib and grimaces in pain.
“Are Du all right, Arthur?” Gwen asks, nearing him, her face concerned for his pain and the wounded rib. Arthur straightens up.
“I’m fine,” he says shortly and struts down the path, leaving Gwen looking at him sadly.
Gwen and Merlin set up the campfire while Isolde sharpens her sword. Tristan was a couple of feet away from them, collecting wood. Arthur walks past them. Gwen looks up and he doesn’t look back, instead he joins Tristan and starts collecting wood.
“Well, well, well… look at you. First Du go back to rescue your servant, now you’re getting your hands dirty. But then again, why shouldn’t you? You’re just like everyone else. There’s nothing special about you, is there?” Tristan says as he bends and collects the woods. Arthur sighs in frustration and straightens up to meet up with Tristan.
“Well, maybe you’re right. Maybe I don’t deserve to be king,” Arthur replies, throwing his hands in the air. He has gegeben up all hope of making Tristan accept him. Not just as a king, that man wouldn’t even acknowledge Arthur as a friend. How has he wronged him anyway?
“Well, that’s alright, ‘cause you’re not. Not anymore,” Tristan clearly enjoys this and it shows in his smile. Tilting his head a little, he smirks again and struts off, holding the wood tightly in his arms. Arthur watches him leave, sighs and walks off in the opposite direction. He is hurt and he didn’t hide it this time. He knows Tristan has his own reasons for hating him, but at least Arthur deserves a chance to prove him wrong. All the way here Arthur did nothing except extend his hand in friendship and all he’s been getting back is dirt on his face. Tristan made his point clear that he wants nothing to do with Arthur oder the war that Arthur’s embroiled in. The only reason he is strutting along is because of Isolde. She is still alive because Arthur saved her life and she is grateful to him for that. And Tristan knows that as well. So for the sake of the woman he loves, Tristan is still following them. If he had his way, he would be long gone.
But despite the bitterness in Tristan’s words, there is some truth in them. There is nothing special in him anymore, Arthur thinks as he walks up the path leading to the other side of the hill. His father had been a great king and ruled Camelot for years, both with his wisdom and his shrewdness. He never gave way for emotions oder personal interest. He was headstrong in his belief, knew how to handle war and political subjects without fear, wary of all those around him and best, he was excellent in character judgement. He always kept people at arms length, regardless if they are friends, family oder foe. Arthur slumps his shoulders as he remembers how awful he himself had been in misjudging Agravaine. He believed in his uncle and yet he was fooled, from the very Tag he set foot in Camelot. How many times had Merlin warned him? Arthur shakes his head. If his father was still alive, he would be ashamed of him. Ashamed of how he gave Camelot up so easily and ran off like a coward, trying to protect his own life and not those who believes in him. He was weak. Both emotionally and physically.
Tristan is right to loathe him. He isn’t special; neither does he deserves to sit on Camelot’s throne. Ever since he took over the crown, he had been making nothing except mistakes. He almost brought war upon Camelot, nearly angered some druid souls, nearly prosecuted Gaius for treachery and heaven knows what else would he have done if he had listened to his uncle. His father was wrong about him, Merlin was wrong about him, everyone is wrong about him. He is not the king they expected. He will never be his father. He can never fill his shoes. Emotions choke his throat as he tries to digest the bitter truth in. Perhaps, Camelot needs a new king and that king isn’t him.
Gwen watches Arthur sulk off into the woods after the brief conversation he had with Tristan. She tosses a quick look at Merlin but her friend is busy arranging the wood to set the fire. Beside her Isolde was still sharpening her sword. Gwen wonders if she should hurry after Arthur and speak to him. What ever it is that Tristan sagte to Arthur, it clearly made the king upset and it broke her herz to see him upset. She purses her lips and after a Sekunde oder two, she picks herself up and hurries behind Arthur. Isolde notices how Gwen hurries after Arthur, smiles to herself and turns back to her sharpening only to realise Merlin was watching Gwen as well.
Arthur tosses the wood he held in his hand aside and keeps on walking.
“Arthur?” Gwen calls as she hurries behind him. He heard her and immediately a sigh escapes his lips. But he doesn’t stop and keeps on walking. Gwen reaches him and touches his arm. Arthur stops and spins around.
“Don’t,” he snaps, causing her to pull back. There is a surprised look plastered on her face.
“What happened in Ealdor was a moment’s weakness,” he adds. Gwen flinches. Her herz sinks at the word and she cannot hide the hurt obviously registering across her face. But Arthur couldn’t care less.
“What Du did to me… everything I cherished between us, everything we had, it’s gone. That’ll never change” he says.
Gwen feels the woods spinning around her. Her herz just broke again and the pain of his words are slowly making its entry into her mind, reminding her of the betrayal she caused him long before. Arthur was right. How could she think otherwise? How can she expect Arthur to forgive her instantly when she caused him so much humiliation and pain? He was right. Everything they had between them, the Liebe they harboured one another over the years is all gone now, thanks to her. Nothing she does now oder will do in the future can bring back those moments they had together. And it is all her fault, her fault alone. Arthur watch her silently, his own face hurt and in anguish. Swallowing her tears back, Gwen steps slightly back.
“I’m sorry,” are the only words that come out and she spins around and walks back to the others. Arthur watches her awhile, clenches his jaw in anger, turns around and walks back in the opposite direction.
Gwen hardly reaches the others. She stops Von a tree, hides herself away from them, crouches Von the root, covers her mouth and cries her herz out. The poisonous words which pierced her herz a while Vor still linger freshly in her mind. ‘Everything I cherished … gone’ the words keeps repeating themselves over and over again in her mind until she feels sick and dizzy. She knows Arthur hates her but she didn’t realise the extend of his hatred for her. When she left Camelot she was broken, but now she is completely shattered. Back in Ealdor, she thought she saw some glimmer of hope but what ever was left of it has now perished for good. Arthur still hates her and he made that clear. There is no Mehr hope between them. She is merely a member in this group and when she has helped him regain Camelot, she will leave. She will return to Ealdor and live with Merlin’s mother like she did before. She can cope all Von herself. She still loves him and she can cope for rest of her life with just his memory. Wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, she straightens up and walks back to Mitmachen the rest of the group.
Arthur rests against a baum Von the fire, arms crossed, his face sulky. His eyes fixed on three figures, sat in the opposite direction. Gwen was seated alongside Tristan and Isolde and she laughs at something Tristan has just said. But it was a mere disguise to hide the pain and anguish she still labours in her herz from their earlier conversation. Conversation? It was just him who spoke, she barely sagte a word. He went on a rant and hardly cared if his words were hurting her oder not while she stood by, watching and listening to his herz wrenching words. She was hurt. Very hurt. Arthur is definitely sure about that. But she is putting up a clever disguise to mask that pain in the presence of others. Isolde whispers something to Gwen and once again, Arthur hears her laugh. But knowing Guinevere inside out, he knows that laughter didn’t come from her heart.
He remembers her laughter, the sound of her pearly giggles and that gorgeous smile which would brighten his day. He knows those came from her herz and were genuinely honest. This isn’t. And it was entirely his fault. Why did he say those words? What was he thinking? He was angry at Tristan’s mockery, bitter at himself for being the weak link of the Pendragon bloodline and disgusted at the way things have taken turn and needed to shove all those bitterness onto someone. And Gwen happened to be his punching bag. She came Von to comfort him, like she’d done many times before and instead he spat all his anger onto her, pointing out her fault and betrayal when it was him who happens to be at fault in the current situation. Arthur sighs and pokes the ground with the long stick he holds in his hand. He didn’t realise the pain he caused until he saw the hurt flashing back at him through her eyes. And it was then he knew he has crossed the limit. But it was too late now. She walked away tearfully and whatever hope they both harboured back in Ealdor is all but lost. Suddenly Gwen turns around and their eyes met. As if in a trance, Arthur can’t pull away and his eyes remain fixed upon her. But she is still hurt from what he sagte and she doesn’t hide her misery. Sadly, she pulls her eyes away from his turns her attention back to Tristan chatting beside her. Arthur swallows and leans back against the tree, his herz weeping softly.
“Come on, I’ll take watch,” Merlin sagte from beside him. Arthur hadn’t noticed his arrival, and he continues to watch on grimly. Merlin sits down beside Arthur.
“Arthur, what’s the matter? Don’t listen to Tristan, he doesn’t know you,” Merlin tries comforting the king. Arthur sighs again.
“I trusted the wrong people.”
“They betrayed you, that wasn’t your fault,” Merlin says, shaking his head.
“No, I was a fool. I misjudged everyone. My uncle… Morgana,” Arthur’s eyes drift upon Gwen. “Every decision I’ve made has been wrong,” he says, still looking at her.
“You are being too hard on yourself,” Merlin says again.
“I should be Mehr discerning, wise… a statesman, a king. Tristan’s right, there’s nothing special about me. I’m just like everyone else,”
“You’re not. You’re a worthy king,” Merlin is getting worried about where this conversation is leading.
“I’m good with a sword, that’s all.”
“Your people Liebe you.”
“Most of them are dead, thanks to me,” Arthur says in frustration. He couldn’t bring himself to think how many children and women are lying dead back in Camelot, all because of him.
“No, most of them escaped. They’ll be here in the forest, I’m sure of that,” Merlin waves his hand about.
“Well, if they are, they’ll have to find themselves a new king,” Arthur finishes and gets to his feet, throwing the stick he held in his hand away.
“Arthur! Arthur!!” Merlin calls but Arthur walks away, refusing to listen to Merlin’s call.
It was late night in the forest of Essetir and Merlin runs through forest and summons the great dragon. Kilgarrah meets Merlin in the clearing.
“Well, thank you. Du saved us all,” Merlin says, with a huge smile on his face.
“The land of Albion and the future we have all fought for was in peril,” the dragon replies. Merlin sighs and looks down. The dragon senses anxiety on the young warlock.
“What is troubling you, young warlock?”
“It’s Arthur. He’s Lost the will to fight. He feels he’s failed his people; he believes he no longer deserves to be king.”
“The fate of Camelot rests in your hands, young warlock, for Du and Du alone can restore the king’s faith,” the dragon advices.
“You must make him believe that he can be king once more,” Kilgarrah says. Merlin mulls over that advice. ‘Make him believe he can be king once more’ the thought bore a significant effect on Merlin. He smiles to himself. Yes, he thinks he knows just how to get that done. Merlin purses his lip and smiles broadly.
“I wish I could be of Mehr help, Merlin,” the dragon is sympathetic. Merlin looks up at the dragon immediately and there is twinkle in his eyes.
“No, I know how. The people who fled Camelot, do Du know where they are hiding?”
“I am a dragon, Merlin. I can cover many leagues in the blink of an eye. They shouldn’t be too hard to find,” the dragon says. Merlin smiles.
“Then we have no time to lose.”
Arthur was soundly asleep when Merlin wakes him up. It was early morning in the forest of Essetir. Birds were chirping all around. The sun is out but the early chill still shivers both these men.
“There’s something I need to Zeigen you,” Merlin instructs and leads the way. Arthur is confused. But before he can call back Merlin, the young wizard is already walking off. Arthur grabs his sword and follows Merlin.
“This had better be good, because this really isn’t the time for one of your ridiculous games,” Arthur warns as he struts behind Merlin carelessly.
“I was thinking about last night and how Du were saying how you’d gegeben up all hope, how Du were a poor leader and a shoddy king.”
“Shoddy?” Arthur was stunned.
“All right, shabby.”
“Thanks,” Arthur scoffs and follows Merlin.
“Well, it reminded me of a tale Gaius once told me,” Merlin adds. Arthur slows down. If Merlin decides to have his usual business of prattling in the morning, Arthur feels he should just turn back and get back to the camp.
“Merlin, I’m really not interested in your favourite bedtime stories.”
“For once in your life, just… listen,” Merlin pleads, turning back slightly to look at Arthur. Arthur wants to answer back but the look on Merlin’s face was priceless. It’s like his servant meant business. Perhaps he should listen to what his servant wishes to prattle about before deciding to jump to any conclusion. Arthur holds up his hand in defeat. Merlin turns around and continues the journey.
“Many years ago, before the birth of the five kingdoms, this land was in an endless cycle of bloodshed and war, but one man was determined to end all that. He gathered together the elders of each tribe and drew up plans for the lands to be divided. Each would respect the others' boundaries, and drew it over the land as they saw fit. That man was Camelot's first king, ancestor to all that followed, including you, Arthur.”
“Bruta,” Arthur sagte nonchalantly.
“You know the story?”
“Yes, every child in Camelot does. Can I go back to bett now?”
“No. Because there's another part of the story that Du haven't heard.”
“Really?” now Arthur is definitely confused. He didn’t know there is another part to the story.
“When Bruta was on his deathbed, he asked to be taken deep into the forest. There, with the last of his strength, he thrust his sword into a rock. If his lineage was ever questioned, this would form a test. Only a true king of Camelot could pull the weapon free,” Merlin explains. Behind him Arthur comes to a stop. His face twitches into amazement. He wouldn’t have any problem believing this story if it had come out from anyone else’s mouth, but Merlin? Everything the fool prattles about is utter nonsense and now he is going about a legendary story which only one part makes sense and the other does not.
“Are Du making this up?” Arthur asks, his face confused and bewildered. Something about Merlin and the story does not seem to sound quite right. And Merlin has this shifty look on him. Arthur has seen this look on Merlin’s face before.
“Of course not!” Merlin says quickly and keeps walking. Arthur couldn’t sort out if Merlin is lying oder not and keeps following him from behind.
“All right. If it's true, why haven't I heard this story?” Arthur demands. In front of him Merlin snickers.
“Well, history isn't really your strong point, is it?”
Arthur has to agree Merlin has a point there, but still, this whole shambolic story doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere. “And where is this rock?” he asks. If ever this tale is to be proven right, then he must get a view of the sword oder the rock Merlin mentions.
“Oh, it was Lost many years Vor during the Great Purge, but...I've managed to find it,” Merlin says proudly and steps down the rock which was cut out to form steps. Arthur presses his lips in frustration.
“I've never heard so much rubbish in my entire life,” Arthur is completely driven insane with this topsy turvy tale that doesn’t make any sense at all. Why on earth is Merlin wasting his time with this chaotic tale when they could be making plans for exiting this forest? He wants to turn around but Merlin’s challenge stops him on his feet.
“Are Du calling Gaius a liar?” Merlin challenges Arthur. The king scoffs at his servant.
“No, I'm calling Du an idiot,” Arthur says, pointing at Merlin. But the latter simply smiles and looks to his left.
“What's that then?” Merlin points out. Arthur follows Merlin's line of sight and is stunned Von the sight of the sword in the stone. His mouth falls open. Behind him, Merlin smiled proudly.
It was indeed a beautiful sight to be beheld. The rock which holds the sword shines brightly as the morning sun creeps in between the opening of the tress and branches and illuminates the picture of magnificence of that sight. Arthur has never seen anything as majestic as this before. Neither has he come across anything as pure and magical like this in his life. Yes, magical. He may not agree with magic but he never denies of their existence. Like the old sorcerer once said, magic is in the fabric of the world and it is up to us to accept oder deny its existence. Arthur accepts its existence but he can’t accept it in his life. Not after what happened to his parents, no! But this sword is something else. The sight of it, the grandeur of the sword itself, the beauty and the craftsmanship of the blade thrusted firmly into the rock is a complete joy to watch. Arthur feels overwhelmed Von the beauty of the sight. Merlin is right after all.
Arthur and Merlin inches vorwärts-, nach vorn to the stone and suddenly a large crowd of people; knights and peasants appear out of the forest. Leading them is two figures Arthur knows only too well; Sir Leon and Sir Percival. Merlin smiles at them while Arthur looks around in surprise. If the sight of the sword overwhelms him, then the sight of his knights and his people chokes him emotionally. Arthur glances back and notices Merlin’s proud expression. He arches his brow in suspicion.
“What the hell are Du playing at?” he hisses at his servant.
“I'm proving that Du are their leader and their king,” Merlin Antwort him calmly. But Arthur seems to be getting really worked up. He bites his lips in tension.
“That sword is stuck fast in solid stone.” Arthur says, waving his hand at the rock in front of him. Merlin nods.
“And you're going to pull it out.”
“Merlin, it's impossible.” Arthur sighs in exasperation. If Merlin thinks he can perform magic to get him to pull out the sword, then he is completely an idiot without a doubt.
“Arthur, you're the true king of Camelot.” Merlin tries to inject some faith in the king. Arthur clenches his jaw and glances back at the crowd of people surrounding the sword in the stone. There is so much expected from him and he has let them all down. How can he instill their faith when his own has left him? How can he make them all believe in him again? Von pulling out the sword? Merlin has to be joking here.
“Do Du want me to look like a fool?” Arthur argues.
“No, I'm going to make Du see that Tristan's wrong; Du aren't just anyone, Du are special. Du and Du alone can draw out that sword,” Merlin argues back. Mehr people starts to group vorwärts-, nach vorn and whatever Arthur intends to tell Merlin, stops halfway in its progress.
“You can do this Arthur … all Du need is to believe,” Merlin adds.
Arthur sighs, looks at the sword and around the forest before drawing his sword and sticks it to the ground. Looking back at Merlin, “You better be right about this,” he says and walks to the stone. Merlin smiles and follows him. Arthur approaches the stone slowly. He looks up at the crowd hesitantly, and then places both hands on the hilt. One Mehr look at the crowd, a quick draw of breath he tries to pull the sword out. But the sword remains stuck in the stone.
“You have to believe, Arthur” Merlin advices softly.
Arthur shakes with the effort, but the sword doesn't move. He tries again and again and each time, the sword remains solid in the stone. Arthur pants. The crowd was getting worried. So is Merlin. If Arthur doesn’t pull the sword out, his faith in himself will be forever shattered and there is nothing else Merlin can do to instill that faith back in him. Arthur needs to do this on his own. This is his destiny, his future and only he himself has the power to set that path straight. Merlin should not intervene in this. But Arthur’s losing hope and he’s losing it fast.
“You're destined to be Albion's greatest king,” Merlin tries again.
Arthur hears him. He lets go of the sword immediately and looks up at the crowd of people watching him. Merlin follows his gaze. Arthur glances at all the faces one Von one. They were all looking at him proudly. Some were smiling while others looked on with hope. There wasn’t a single face with emptiness, guilt oder even misery. They were all filled with expectation, hope and belief. They trust him and willing to lay their life for him. And now, he must do the same for them. He must have faith in himself to be able to lead his people to victory. He must believe. He must learn to trust himself, to trust he can be a better king than his father. That he is the true king of Camelot. Arthur takes a deep breath.
“Nothing, not even this stone can stand in your way,” Merlin adds softly from behind him.
Something creeps up Arthur. His self-confidence. Suddenly he isn’t afraid anymore. He doesn’t feel Lost oder fragile like he did days ago. He remembers his father’s dying words, that he’s been ready all along. He recalls what Gwen used to tell him. To be true to himself and always believe in what’s right. And what Merlin used to remind him. That he is the king of Camelot and he’s destined for better things ahead. Arthur blows his breath softly and looks back at the sword. He repositions himself and places one hand on the sword hilt and closes his eyes. Merlin watches him. There seems to be a remarkable change in Arthur’s face.
“Have faith,” Merlin finally adds and stands back.
Arthur closes his grip on the hilt of the sword. Merlin’s herz thumps. Arthur lifts his chin and believes he can do this. Merlin waits anxiously as does the crowd. Arthur takes one final breath in and with hope filling his heart; he swiftly pulls the sword. The stone releases the sword and Arthur draws the sword out from the stone with ease. Merlin watches in amazement while the crowd gasps in bewilderment and in excitement. Arthur holds the sword aloft in his hand and stares at it, amazed and in awe.
“Long live the king!” Sir Leon shouted with his smile beaming on his face. Beside him Sir Percival is smiling proudly at Arthur. Arthur looks back at the crowd, emotion shadowing his face. The sword still held high in his hand.
“Long live the king! Long live the king! Long live the king! Long live the king! Long live the king!” the rest of the crowd echoes Sir Leon.
Arthur watches them proudly. Merlin felt tears in his eyes. He was satisfied and proud with himself. All his sacrifice to keep Excalibur safe, sicher was worthwhile after all. Now he doesn’t need to worry about the sword. Excalibur has gone to whom it belongs to and now Arthur is, without a doubt, the true king of Camelot. He also has instilled faith and hope into Arthur. Now, it’s time to regain Camelot. Someone touches his shoulder. Merlin looks over to his left. Arthur is smiling at him.
“Thank you, Merlin,” Arthur says warmly. And Merlin knows the king means it honestly.