Chapter 2 part 2
(Ten minutes later at the lake)
Merlin and Arthur had been sitting at the lakeside for a few minutes in silence before Merlin decided to break the silence by asking warily "So you wanted to ask me a question?" "Yes I did but I only had one, Anelya allows magic so I can talk to you about it openly without anyone who is with you thinking it is treasonous but if I talked to you about it inside the city it could have consequences. My question is, is magic evil I don't think it is but I need to know for sure?" Merlin was a little hesitant because this could mean that maybe Arthur was ready but he had to test him before Merlin would admit he had magic himself or that all five of his knights did he would not jeopardize his life or the lives of his friends for this.
"Magic is not good or evil it just is. Magic flows through everything it is the very fabric of the earth, it is in the air, the trees, the water, it is in everything around you. There are people who can use it as you know, but magic is like a sword it can be used for either great good, or great destruction. For example you use your sword to protect others while a bandit uses his to hurt others. It is the same with magic users, the druids who do have magic which is most of them or other sorcerers use their magic to heal and help others, but then there are renegade druids who have turned away from the beliefs of their people and there are other sorcerers as well who use their magic to harm they either feel they have been wronged or they have been corrupted by power. Your father says magic corrupts but it does not, power corrupts. It can be the power of a sword, or magic, or even power as king, but the taste of power can corrupt anyone. Evil is in the minds of men it does not matter who they are or what they can do. What comes to magic it is the wielder who decides whether they use it to protect or harm just as you do with your sword.
There have been people in Anelya who have used their magic for dark purposes my cousin is a prime example and they are punished for they do but it is not always death that is given just like with a person without magic who a commits a crime the punishment fits the crime. Here, you have magic and you are put to death whether or not you use it to help others your father has killed many innocent people just because they posses magic he has even killed children for it and they have never done anything wrong because of his prejudice against it. So no magic is not evil it just is."
Arthur nods still looking out at the lake and said "I have not had the same views on magic as my father for a long time they started to change when you drank that poison and I went after the Mortiouse flower to save you. It was dark, I could not see, I knew that the woman who lead me there had said that more of those giant spiders where going to finish me off but then a blue ball of light appeared I thought at first that it was going to hurt me but then, I don't know how to exactly explain it but when It came near me I could sense it was not going to hurt me, I felt the magic it had almost surround me and I felt safe I could tell it was going to help me to lead me out. It did just that. Many times since I don't know who it is that has the magic that sent it but whenever I am in trouble whenever everything seems hopeless I feel that same presence of magic again and I know I am going to be alright that everything will turn out for the better. One time I knew that I had either been poisoned or something it about three months ago when we went after that dragon egg I thought I was going to die but then I felt that same magic it chased whatever was effecting me away it healed me. Whoever is watching me if I ever meet them I would thank them. Now that I know about how Anelya excepts those with magic if someone here is using it for good and my father has sent me to get them I won't bring them to him I will get them out of the city then tell them to get to Anelya where they will be safe and if they have family in Camelot or anywhere within her borders I will let them know in secret where they are and that they are safe. I am not going to let my father hurt innocent people anymore I am going to the best I can to help them. If anyone that you or your father send here has magic I will make sure they are safe my father will never find out. Truthfully even if it turned out you had magic I wouldn't turn you in either because I know you, you would not hurt anyone unless you were protecting someone else. No, whatever my father says about magic I don't believe it and I haven't for a long time, so you can be honest with me on the subject of magic and I won't condemn you for it and it will just be between you and me. And When I am king I will do everything I can to change what my father has done it might take a while but someday the ban on magic my father has set will be lifted and no one will have to fear for their lives again just because they have magic."
Arthur was not looked at Merlin so Merlin let out a small smile Arthur had passed his first test he was ready it was time to tell him now there would be no more secrets or lies between them but there was one more test to be had.
"You have no idea how much it means to me to hear you say that. I always hoped you would because everyone out there who fears for their lives because of what they are want to not have to be afraid anymore. You said you wanted to thank the person who been helping you with their magic did you really mean that? Because if you did I know who he is but I need to that you mean what you said first." Merlin said looking at Arthur's expression out of the corner of his eye Arthur did not look at him which was good as he said "I did mean it if you know where he or she is I want to find them so I can thank them myself it would be good to know that I can at least tell them how much it means to me." Merlin smiled and quietly enough so that Arthur could not hear he muttered the same spell he had when he had been poisoned and was watching Arthur through his dreams but this time he did not let the ball of light show in his hand so that Arthur would not know right away that it was him this was his test on whether hewould truly except this was either the turning or breaking point and it all depended on Arthur.
Arthur was looking out at the lake when he felt that same magic he had told Merlin about just now surround him and he saw the same ball of light that guided him to safety all those years ago in front of him "Whoever it is, is here or they are leading me to them." Arthur paused then looked away as the light disappeared but the feel of the magic remained so Arthur knew that the person was here somewhere close by and Arthur was not afraid, he felt excited and safe as he always did when he felt that magic around him. "Merlin, he is here I know it I can still feel his magic in the clearing even though the light is gone. Merlin you said you know who it is if that is true at least tell me his name and least tell me who he is." Merlin chuckled, Arthur sounded so excited that he could barely contain it and wanted to run to whoever the magic belonged to little did Arthur know that that person was right him
"You past his tests Arthur. He did not know if you were ready but he had to know before he reviled himself to you. But the man is here in this very clearing and he already considers you a friend. You also already know him. You have been around him many times every day, he has rode out with you on every mission you have went on. He knew that you were not ready to know who was helping you yet but he knew someday you would be. He helped you in every way he could without you finding out. But now you are ready and he is ready to tell you who he is and reveal himself to you. But he want you to figure out who he is so I will give you hint he is one of your friends but it is not one of your knights or someone you grew up with. You first met him when you were using a servant carrying a target for some moving target practice and the next day you saw him again in the lower town and you said and you might remember these phrases from both of you and they will tell you who he is you said "I can take you apart with one blow." then not even knowing that one day soon you two would start to become friends and that he would treasure your friendship more than anything and would give his life for you without a second thought, he replied "I could take you apart with less." those two phrases are what started the friendship between you two and you know who he is and what you do now can either make your friendship stronger or destroy it completely the choice is yours. Can you figure out who he is from that hint." Merlin looked at Arthur watching the emotions playing across his face knowing the realization would hit him soon this was the moment that Merlin had been hoping for and dreading for almost four years.
Arthur listened to the hint and Arthur thought back to that time that he had buried in his mind because he hated who he had been back then he dug out that memory to give a face to the phrase that was given. Then the flashback and realization hit.
Arthur was walking around the lower town with a few of his father's men and one of his own knights looking around when he noticed the boy who had stood up to him the day before he thought to himself that he was going to have some fun. "Hey Merlin." the boy continued to walk away so Arthur said tauntingly "Oh don't run away." Merlin stopped then said in a hard tone "From you." Arthur rolled his eyes and said "Thank god I thought you where deaf as well as dumb." Merlin turned to face him and looked at the knight behind Arthur and said in a somewhat taunting way "Oh what are you going to do you got your daddy's men to protect you." Arthur laughs at the sheer stupidity of the boy in front of him and says "I could take you apart with one blow." Merlin just smiled and said "I could take you apart with less." then their mace war started.
Confusion then realization hit Arthur about who the man who had been using magic to keep him safe, who had protected him when he could not protect himself, the man who had done so much for him, the one man that Arthur wanted to thank more than anyone was in the clearing, he sitting right next to him. "You, it has been you all this time Merlin. But when the light appeared you where back here in Camelot miles away from where I was and you were half dead how did you even send the light to me tell me that, tell me exactly what happened in that cave, or do something to prove to me that was it was you. Then I will believe it because right now my mind is saying it is impossible so if you can prove it to me so that is no room for doubt then I can believe it. Please prove it to me and if it was not you then this is a sick joke and I want you to stop but if was you then prove it to me."
Merlin smiled know it was hard for him to believe and that Arthur really did want proof and he knew just what to do Merlin took adeep breath then began the spell again loud enough so that Arthur could hear and said "Fromum feohgiftum on fæder bearme. Fromum feohgiftum Hine on ylde eft gewunigen wilgesiþas, þonne wig cume." Merlin's eyes flashed gold and the small ball of light shown in his hand just like years before but at the same time the one that was connected to it that guided Arthur out of that tunnel floated in between them in front of their eyes. Arthur's eyes widened in wonder because he could feel the same magic he had felt all these years ago coming from the ball in front of him as well as the one in Merlin's hand but before he could say anything Merlin said
"The only way the light guided you out was because I will it too with my magic which I channeled unconsciously into this ball of light in my hand which sent my will of what I wanted to happen to the light you in front of you that you know guided you out. I may have been half dead and miles away from you but in a continuous dream I could see everything that was happening to you I saw that you were surrounded by darkness I could see that if you were left without help that you would not make it out. I had no care if lived or died I just wanted you to live so I sent this light to you to help you get out and to safety. Then you went the flower anyway I knew you would not be able to hear me but I told you to leave to get out of there and not to risk yourself for me but as usual you did not listen. Once you had the flower and started climbing following the light I sent all I kept saying was climb, follow the light and for once you listened because you knew that it was helping you. All I could think about was getting you out of that cave and getting you to safety.
Once you were out I knew you would be alright so I let spell fade but I still watched you progress just in case you needed my help again but after I saw you were right outside Camelot I stopped watching for I knew you were safe and I was losing strength quickly I could not of kept hold of the vision of you much longer anyway. I did not care that I was going to die as long as you were safe." Merlin let the ball of light fade then said "I pledged my friendship and loyalty to you a long time ago and I would gladly die for you, it stopped being about my destiny to protect you a long time ago it became the need to protect a friend to make sure that friend lived no matter the cost to myself. Our destinies are intertwined and have been since the day we were born. You destiny is to become the greatest king that this world will ever know, your destiny is to unite all the kingdoms under one banner and bring magic back to land so the land of Albion can be born. My destiny is to make sure that you get there. My magic is for you. I just never expected that we become friends.
I am not am not a sorcerer technically the correct term for I am is warlock. I was born with magic I am the only one that has ever happened to. The druids have another name for me and that name is also what I am called in the prophecy that about you and I and that name is Emrys and it says in the prophecy the I will be the most powerful sorcerer to ever walk this earth. I don't just have magic, I am magic and it is me. You are not known by your name in the prophecy you are known as the once and future king. It is said that together we will create Albion. You are of my best friend in Camelot Arthur and I would gladly trade my life for yours any day and no matter where I am I will always protect you and Camelot just as I would protect my own home. If you ever need me and I am not here all you have to do is send for me and I will find a way no matter what I have fight or do to get to your side. When our father's pass and we have to take their places Camelot will always have an ally in Anelya no treaty or anything needed and you will always have me as a friend no matter how much of a prat you can be.
Just so you know all of my knights who are here have magic as well. All of my knights have it but only the six of us that includes myself that are here are an elite force that we call the Valnerlia. It was formed by my father and I but I lead it what we did before I had to flee was we took on mission to protect our people that practically suicide and anyone else would have died taking them on and we enjoyed doing it because even as children we loved trouble because it meant that we would be able to do something to stop it. We took them head on and we always won for three reason, one all six of us were the most skilled of all of the knights with a sword, two my magic was most powerful but after me my friends were the most powerful when it came to magic, and finally all six of us have a bond with each other that was built because we grew up together, trained together, and were all friends from the time we were three years old. Even if we are scattered we know where each other are because of our friendship but that is only a small part of it the bigger part of knowing where the other is because all of our magic reacts to each other almost like our magic calls to each other, it is connected. It tells us when one of us is in danger or when one of wants the other it will call out to the other who we need. I never thought I would feel that bond with anyone again but even though you do not have magic Arthur I can sense if need my help and where you and what is going on with you no matter where you are, it helps that I have magic which strengthens it but the reason I can do that with you is because you are my best friend and my destiny and I will always be there when you need me and sometimes when you don't. Now you know everything there is no more secrets and more lies between us."
Arthur was silent for a long time before he took a breath and said "Well first off thank you for saving my arss all the time. I never thought I would have a true friend who like me for who I am not because of my title or what I could give them, and who would treat me like anyone else. But then you show up with your sharp tongue and insolence and your way of telling me off and insane loyalty and friendship. I am glad I met you that day and I am even more glad now that you are still here. I promise you I will stand by you when your cousin comes for you and we will fight him together it is my turn to return the favor and protect you for once only one of my other knights will come and that will be Sir Leon he already knows I don't agree with my father's views and he agrees with me he does not think that magic is evil for he has been saved by it a few times. So I don't think he would mind if you knew about you. So it would only be him and I coming with you and your knights but I will be the one at your side not him that way you and your knights can you magic and your swords to fight against your cousin and whoever and whatever he decides to bring with him."
Merlin smiled lopsidedly just like he always had and said "Well just don't get yourself kill prat and thank you." Arthur smiled then pulled Merlin into a headlock and rubbed his knuckles in his hair saying "Yeah well you better not get killed either Idiot because otherwise my boot will find your arss on other side." Merlin squirmed laughing letting Arthur win saying "All right Prat just let me go my hairs already a mess thank you." Arthur laughed as well letting Merlin go then Merlin called out "All right Ailya I think you can come out now." then Merlin turned to Arthur and said "I asked her to follow us just in case I had to get a message to my Knights and make a quick get away but now that is not necessary. Now we need to get back, you get sir Leon and meet me and my knights Ailya's room it is the biggest one and will make a plan. Because according to my father in the note he sent my knights where only a day ahead of my cousin so he should be here tomorrow night and I don't want him anywhere near the city because he will not hesitate to hurt anyone in his way and no one in Camelot will suffer at his hands or anyone's." Arthur nodded and they both stood up. Merlin kissed Ailya's brow and said "I guess he was ready now we have got to get back and make a plan. You heard everything so send word to the others and head back we will follow close behind ok." "Alright." Ailya said then she turned to Arthur and said "I am glad that Merlin had you all these years and I am glad that you have accepted that magic is not evil I hope that over time I can get to know you as he does." Arthur bowed and said "I would be honored to do that lady Ailya." Ailya blushed then turned and headed back towards Camelot .
Merlin turned back to Arthur and asked "I know you are use to making the battle plans because you usually know the enemy but my cousin is unpredictable to those who do not know him so I am going to need you to follow my lead on this one think you can do that?" "Well I think I know every inch of land and he does not so I might be able to help figure out the best place for the fight to take place and we can figure out how to lure him there." Arthur replied "Sounds like the start of an idea. Lets head back because we only have till a little before sundown tomorrow to be ready and in place because right after sundown he will be here." with that the two friends walked back to Camelot to start making a plan.
Merlin knew that tomorrow he would have to face his past but also knew that by doing that he could finally start a new future for himself one where his family, friends, and himself could finally be free and he knew that soon he would see his father, his people, and his home again he felt liberated just at thought and he knew that tomorrow night when he faced his cousin the one who had caused him so much pain would die and he would win.