A Dramatic Entrance
To say Arthur was annoyed would be a massive understatement. He was beyond annoyed, he was royally pissed (if you'd mind the pun). It was not conducive for the ego of Arthur Pendragon that he, King of Camelot and one of the best knights in the land, had been kidnapped like a common, distressed damsel. He now stood in some kind of dungeon, stripped of his armor and sword, and chained to a cold stone wall. Something that Arthur really hoped was water dripped from the ceiling, soaking through the thin red tunic the King had been wearing beneath his armour, adding to Arthur's fury. It was unacceptable that he was being treated in such a way. Granted, it was not an unknown situation. Ever since he had become King and lifted the ban on magic, there had been many bandits and witch hunters storming Camelot, eager to show their distaste of being put out of business. Of course, surrounded as Arthur was by his loyal knights, and his secret weapon in the form of his Court Sorcerer slash Manservant, however, there had not been any successful attempts on his life. There had been the occasional capture, but if you asked Arthur, he allowed himself to be caught in order to locate the bandits' hideouts. It was only the memories of how he had been retrieved the previous times that was keeping Arthur calm and stopping him from unleashing the full force of his anger upon his captors. The less aggressive he acted towards them, the longer they would wait before beginning to exact their revenge upon him. It was a trick Arthur had learnt from his other kidnapping experiences. And Arthur really did not want to be unconscious for what would happen next.
"You'd best let me go." Arthur finally spoke to the only man in the room, who happened to be one of the bandits that had been responsible for his capture. He knows he has no chance of persuading them to release him, but he has grown too restless to be satisfied with silence.
"I can't imagine what's going to happen to you when I'm found. You'll be lucky if you're killed immediately." His guard smiles from his position by the door, shadows dancing across his face, thrown by the single torch he is holding. It's the only source of light in the dank room.
"Those are tough words coming from the man in chains." Arthur growled internally, once again cursing his situation. Although, it was his own fault, not that he'd ever admit it to anyone but himself. After the last string of attacks on Camelot, Arthur had felt exceptionally stifled by his increased guard, and so had snuck out of the castle and into the forest for a solo hunt. Something he hadn't done since his latest manservant had entered his employment. But as said manservant had been part of the reason Arthur bad felt stifled, bringing him along on the hunt had not been an option. Even though Arthur knew he would be receiving a large telling off when he returned. It had been due to Arthur's lack of manservant that had him distracted, not paying as much attention to his surroundings as he should have been. He hadn't heard the tell-tale sounds of a person sneaking up on him until too late, and now...
"Well, it can't be said I didn't try to warn you." Arthur spoke again, gazing at the bandit coolly.
"Your warning is greatly appreciated, your Highness." The guard rolled his eyes, voice laden with sarcasm. "And just what is it you are warning me about?"
"My manservant." Arthur looked blankly ahead as the bandit bellowed his laughter, head thrown back and hands clutching his stomach. By the time his laughter had faded out, Arthur's face had darkened in anger. It was a common reaction amongst those that kidnapped him, but Arthur couldn't help but feel rage towards whoever had the stupidity to underestimate his manservant.
"You can't be serious." The man chortled, a hand leaving his belly to wipe away a drop of moisture that had gathered in his eye during his laughing fit. "You expect me to be worried about a single man? Do you have any idea the number of mem there are upstairs? This man would be no match for them."
"So you think," Arthur growled. "I shall remind you of that when he steps over the broken bodies of your men to reach me."
"I've grown tired of your drivel," The bandit stated, standing from his stool. His formidable size towered above Arthur, who was forced to look up in order to see the man's face. "You will be silent."
"I will do no such thing." Arthur spat, his last straw broken. He could not tolerate being ordered around by anyone. (With the exception of his Manservant. And on occasion Guinevere.) "I am king of Camelot, I don't obey the likes of you" At once, Arthur realised this was a mistake to say. It seemed his guard had also reached the end of his temper, as he strode towards the chained King, arm rising to strike. Arthur cursed himself and his mouth as he closed his eyes, face automatically turning away, an unconscious attempt to soften the oncoming blow. But before the hand could fall, the confrontation was interrupted by a large rumble, small rocks falling from the ceiling as the stone room shook. At once Arthur relaxed in his bonds. Finally. Opening his eyes, it seemed the other man had been distracted by the noise, arm still raised, frozen.
"You should have heeded my warning" Arthur gloated. His comment drew the bandit's eyes to lock with the Kings, cool satisfaction meeting confusion, and was that a spark of fear? Just as the large man opens his mouth to speak, he was interrupted by another explosion, this one much closer. Then, with a loud screech of metal, the large door to Arthur's small prison crumbled in on itself, falling to the ground with a clang. Light streamed into the room, illuminating the large cloud of dust that was causing Arthur's captor to double over coughing, but Arthur himself was unaffected. He could only stare through the now clearing doorway as a figure emerged.
"Merlin." And there he stood in all his glory. Raven black hair mused by the wind, wearing one of his newer blue tunics and black breeches. Eyes glowing the brilliant gold that signified the use of his power. Of his magic. Before Arthur's own eyes, the gold faded away, transforming back into brilliant blue he was so used to. Although, the gold was certainly growing to be familiar. The now blue eyes glared into Arthur's own as Merlin stepped over the crushed remains of the door, striding towards the King.
"You great idiot!"
"Really Merlin, those are the first words you say to me? Not 'My King, I was so worried about you' 'Sire, are you alright?" Arthur rolled his eyes at Merlin's behaviour. He was always good at getting himself worked up over nothing.
"Don't you roll your eyes at me?" That was Merlin's typical 'Worked Up' tone.
"None of this would have happened if you actually listened to others" Merlin lectured. "When we get back, I'm not letting you out of my sight." It seemed Arthur's telling off would wait until they got back to the castle.
"You can't tell me what to do Merlin" Arthur reminded him. "I'm the King"
"The King who apparently can't last a day without me." Merlin spat back.
"I lasted just fine before you arrived!" Their banter was cut off by the sound of scraping metal. A sword being drawn from its scabbard. Both Arthur and Merlin turn to the previously forgotten bandit that had been guarding Arthur. The large man looked Merlin over, his sword pointed at the skinny young man.
"Who are you?" He demanded. Arthur smiled smugly at him.
"This is Merlin." He introduced. "Remember that manservant I warned you about? The warning you so stupidly ignored?" The bandit explodes with a roar, charging at the trapped King his sword falling in an arc before once again freezing. This time, his arm is frozen against his will. After some struggle, the man looks around, confused, before zeroing on Merlin, whose eyes are once again glowing gold.
"Did I forget to mention?" Arthur interjects gleefully. "Not only is he my manservant, Merlin here is also my Court Sorcerer. One of the most powerful sorcerers in the land actually" The bandits fear-filled eyes met Arthur's. Arthur drops his smile and he looks at the man seriously.
"You should have heeded my warning" With those last words, Arthur nods to Merlin, who returns the nod and suddenly, the large man is flying away. His body is propelled by Merlin's magic until he hits a wall hard, head cracking against the stone before he slides to the floor, lifeless. There is a beat.
"Well," Arthur breaks the silence. "That was certainly one of your more dramatic entrances Merlin. Now, if you wouldn't mind releasing me from these chains?" It's Merlin's turn to roll his eyes, and with a brief flash of gold, the heavy clasps around Arthur's wrists click open and the King brings his arms down to his chest, rubbing circulation back into his hands with an over the top wince. Merlin scoffs at his performance.
"You can't be in that much pain. You were here for barely an hour."
"A whole hour? You certainly are slipping Merlin" Arthur admonished mockingly.
"If you had taken me with you, you wouldn't have been captured in the first place." Merlin points out, shaking dust out of his tunic. Arthur just brushes him off.
"Details." After a quick stretch, Arthur was ready to leave.
"Let's go," he gestured to Merlin. "I could certainly do with a warm bath. My shirt is soaked." He complained.
"It's the least you deserve for being such a cabbage-head and getting yourself kidnapped." Merlin led the way out of the small prison, up a small staircase and into the fresher air. Arthur looked around at the devastation. It looked like he had been taken to a ruined tower of some kind. They now stood in some kind of dining hall, although it was hard to tell, considering it was in such a state of destruction. The floor was littered with fallen bodies, no doubt the men his guard had spoken of. It was a shame Arthur couldn't show him exactly how right he had been.
"By the way," Arthur turned back to Merlin, who stood at the hall's exit, a wall with a large hole blown in it, leading into the forest. "Leon is incredibly angry at you. You should figure out what you're going to say to him now, you won't have much time to think about it once he starts yelling at you."
"I already know what to say." Arthur followed Merlin through the opening in the wall, walking towards the two horses Merlin had brought with him. "I'll tell him it was all intentional, so that you could find their base, and wipe them out. After all," Arthur turned a cocky smile to Merlin, "it's the truth." Merlin snorted in disbelief, shaking his head in exasperation.
"Prat." he muttered fondly, mounting his horse and urging it into a trot. "Maybe next time I won't save you, and we'll see just how 'truthful that is."
"Don't be daft Merlin, you couldn't possibly resist the chance to make a dramatic entrance" Arthur mounted his steed, urging it forward with a flick of the reins and a nudge of his heels. With the ruins from his latest kidnapping behind him, and his kingdom and castle ahead, Arthur felt completely at ease. It didn't matter how many more kidnappings there were in the future, how many more bandits or mercenaries came after him, because he had the best and bravest Manservant by his side, and that was all that mattered.