Chapter 26 Trail of Bread Crumbs
Arthur stood by his horse in the court yard along with Leon, Percival, and Iseldir. Iseldir had volunteered for the search of Merlin and Gwaine. Insisting Arthur have magic protection. Arthur was just about to mount his horse when Gwen walked up to him. "Arthur, are you sure you won't take any one else?"
"Yes Gwen. It's best if we go in a small group. We don't know what we're up against and a small party would be the best way to maneuver." Gwenevere nodded in understanding. Arthur could tell she still wasn't happy about it.
"Just; be careful." Arthur smiled, giving her a kiss goodbye." Arthur turned and swung into the saddle. "I love you." Gwen brightened at those words. "I love you too, with all my heart." Leon started to lead out his horse, the sound of hooves echoing off the cobblestones. Quickly followed by Percival, then Iseldir. Arthur was just about to join them before Gwen reached out to his forearm. "And Arthur. Bring them home." Taking her hand, he squeezed it gently, reassuring her "We will Gwen." Bringing back her hand, Gwen watched her husband ride off before heading back into the castle. Hoping they would all would be safe.
Arthur quickly caught up to them. Riding next to Iseldir, Arthur's mind was brought back to the conversation they were having earlier that morning. "Iseldir, what were you going to say when you said me and Merlin were linked?"
"Ah yes, I'm glad you reminded me. Well, the best I can figure out how to describe a link, would be compare it with the dragons and their lords." Arthur raised an eyebrow questioningly.
"Merlin has explained to you about the dragon lords correct?"
Arthur nodded. "He has, I don't know a lot, he was going to tell me more, but we haven't gotten around to it."
"Well, with dragons, sometimes a dragon would make a strong bond to a specific lord. They would be able to sense a strong feeling of the other. For example love, loss, revenge, or danger. Even if they were far away from the other. When you touched Merlin, you said you could feel his loss. What was it you felt last night?"
"I felt like something bad was going to happen; and it did." Arthur told him, feeling miserable.
"If you and Merlin are linked, there will be a faster way of finding Merlin."
Arthur snapped his head up at this information. "How?"
"When magic is used, it places almost like an imprint on that individual, and it can define them. Such as, one may be good in the healing arts, were as one would be better at defensive spells. Or dark magic, like Morgana has used. Take Merlin for example. He says he is horrible at healing spells, where he exceeds at protection. Protection for you and Camelot. It is different for everyone. Has Merlin used enough of his magic near you for you to know what it feels like?"
"I've seen him use magic. I'm not sure what it feels like."
"Let's try this, when Gwenevere embraces you, it feels different from when someone else does it correct?" Arthur was starting to understand now. Granted he hasn't been hugged by that many people; but when he compared Gwen's hug to his father's. Yes, yes it was different.
"What I want you to do Arthur, think back when Merlin has used his magic around you. Try and picture what you felt, what thought, what you saw that made him different from another sorcerer."
Arthur had to think. Closing his eyes, he pictured when he first saw Merlin do magic. It was when he was wounded at the battle of Camlann. Arthur couldn't help but think of how long ago that seemed. Back when he knew nothing of magic other than his father's teachings. Or what Merlin had done for him over the years when he was his manservant. Pushing those thoughts aside, Arthur pictured Merlin placing his hand towards the fire and using words of the Old Religion. Forming a dragon out of the flames. Looking back now, Arthur realized how it didn't feel threatening when he first thought it was. Searching on a different memory, Arthur saw when Merlin would use magic in Camelot. Still amazed that his clumsy once upon a time servant, could do magic. Not only could preform magic, but is the most powerful warlock the world has ever seen. Prophesied about by the druids, to serve a King. Running through these memories in his head, Arthur could now see what Merlin's magic felt like. It was powerful, it was gentle, it was good, but above all, it was pure.
Opening his eyes, Arthur smiled "I see now."
Iseldir smiled back. "Good. Now, I want you, to latch onto the feeling of Merlin's magic. Open your mind, and your heart. If you can find Merlin's magic, it will lead you to him. Like a trail of bread crumbs." Arthur nodded. Closing his eyes once more, Arthur concentrated, blocking out noise that would distract him. Focusing hard, Arthur let Merlin's imprint wash over him. A warm feeling flooded through, and indeed it did feel like Gwenevere had places her arms around him. Except it wasn't Gwen, it was Merlin. Allowing it to continue, Arthur suddenly felt a pull, as if it was leading him. Excited, Arthur pointed in the direction they need to go; kicking the horses into full gallop.
"We're coming Merlin. We're coming."