Albion's Coin

Chapter 4 Unfolding: Part 2

Turning back to the pool, Arthur saw Merlin save him from Lady Helen's knife. Uther made him his personal servant. Arthur and Freya saw each time Merlin saved Arthur's life and his father's. When Arthur thought Merlin was being lazy, it was because he was up all night trying to making a spell work. When Merlin was supposedly at the tavern, he was making sure Arthur would be safe. Arthur felt disgusted with himself. Everything Merlin did was for him and Camelot; and Arthur had known none of it. He cringed every time a goblet was thrown at his friend.

Arthur realized how lonely Merlin must have been. Not being able to tell anyone about his magic. Or how heavily his destiny weighed on him sometimes. Arthur was glad that Merlin at least had Gaius to confide in. When Arthur saw himself get bit by the Questing Beast, he didn't know how distraught Merlin was. Merlin went to Kilgharrah, saying he would do anything to save Arthur. Tears started to form, threatening to fall. What did he do to deserve such a loyal friend? Merlin went the Isle of the Blessed bargaining for his own life. The cup of life was granted to Merlin, carefully taking it to Camelot, Merlin got Arthur to drink from it. Instead of Merlin's life claimed, it was unexpectedly his mother's. Arthur watch Merlin go again to Kilgharrah, angrily accusing him of sending to 'murder' his own mother. After a few moments of intense argument, Merlin spoke in a strong voice that chilled Arthur. "I will never free you." Kilgharrah raised his head to breath fire at the warlock. Merlin threw up a shield, protecting himself from the flames. "You won't see me again" Merlin promised. Kilgharrah used his fire again, but Merlin managed to escape the flames. Arthur let out a breath he didn't realize he was holding.

Merlin went to say goodbye to Arthur. "Stop him you idiot!" Arthur scolded as his friend left the room. Arthur briefly wondered where Gaius went, and why he didn't stop him. Merlin returned to the Isle again, Nimueh was chanting loudly by the time Merlin got to the steps. Arthur watched as Merlin saw Gaius, he was slumped against the stone table, unmoving. "Have you killed him?" Merlin asked, his voice thick with emotion. "It was his wish" Nimueh said, unfazed. What Arthur saw next, was a side of Merlin he had never seen before. Secretly glad he was only watching, and not there personally. "I begged my life for Arthur's, not my mother's, not Gaius's!" Merlin yelled furiously. "The Old Religion does not care who lives and who dies. Only that the balance of the world is restored" Nimueh yelled back at him. "To save a life a life must be taken Gaius knew this," she responded more calmly.

"It is not the Old Religion that has done this, it is you" Merlin declared.

"Come now, we are too valuable to be enemies" Nimueh said.

"No I said nothing with you!" Merlin replied, getting angry again.

"With my help, Arthur will become king" Nimueh spoke sweetly.

"I will make Arthur king" Merlin shot back. "And you will never see that day." Merlin quickly shot a spell at Nimueh, which she easily deflected. "Your childish tricks are useless against me Merlin. I am a High Priestess of the Old Religion." While she was saying this, Nimueh conjured a fire ball, which sparkled and cracked against her hand. Throwing the ball at Merlin, she said a word and her eyes turned gold. Merlin quickly jumped out of the way. "You too are a creature of the Old Religion, you should join me."

"You think I would join forces with a selfish and cruel magic. Never!" This point proved to Arthur that Merlin would never become like Morgana. "So be it" Nimueh said coolly. She launched another fireball at Merlin. Being too slow, it struck Merlin, making him fly backwards. Hitting the ground hard, Arthur heard Merlin grunt in pain, it twisted his heart. Merlin's shirt was still smoking when Nimueh approached him. Arthur wanted to run her through with Excalibur right there. He knew it would only strike water. "Pity," she said standing triumphal over him. "Together we could have ruled the world." With that, she turned and walked back to the stone table, where Gaius still was. 'Get up Merlin! get up Merlin! get up! Get up!" Arthur pleaded. Relief flooded him when Merlin did. There was a look of cold fury on his face. "You should not have killed my friend." Nimueh turned back to Merlin. Thrusting his hand towards the sky, Merlin summoned dark storm clouds. They swirled around and lightning cracked. Saying nothing, the lightning responded to Merlin's silent command striking Nimueh; killing her where she stood.

Arthur was amazed. Just how much power did Merlin have? "You need not to fear Merlin, Arthur" Freya told him. He shook his head. "I don't. I know he will never become Morgana. She was full of hate and would not return back to the way she once was."

"Merlin is very powerful" Freya said, answering Arthur's previous thought. Claiming what Gaius had told Arthur when Merlin finally revealed his magic. "Amongst the Druids he is known as Emrys."

"Emrys?" Arthur asked.

"It means immortal. Whether Merlin will be, or the name that is unknown" Freya told him. Arthur didn't want to imagine being immortal. Merlin already had a great destiny, that Arthur saw, and still is seeing. To be immortal as well, Arthur thought that was a cruel fate, and wished for his friend that he wouldn't be.

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