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Badass! Merlin Part 2
We’re going back to the beginning...
TW: Blood, almost-basically-torture? (But not on any of the good guys)
Part 1
Arthur wakes with a headache.
His first thought is to curse Merlin out for letting him drink so much wine the previous night. His second thought is to curse Merlin out for letting him sleep in, because he can definitely feel the sunlight on his eyelids. His third thought... is to curse Merlin out for letting him fall asleep in a chair?
He groans as he opens his eyes, blearily looking around the room as his sight comes into focus. He hears a few vague murmurs of relief, but can’t make out the actual words or place the voices. He slowly blinks the sleep from his eyes, registering the slight nausea rolling in his stomach as he attempts to shift. He freezes when he realises he can’t move far, eyes flying open properly and looking down only to see his wrists bound tightly to the chair he sits in. He lets out a harsh breath as he pulls, but his brain starts actually noticing the voices yelling at him before he does himself any proper damage:
“...Sire!! Sire! Arthur!”
His head jolts up, but he quickly shuts his eyes and groans again, sagging in his chair as the pounding in his head grows significantly worse. He takes a few deep breaths as he forces his mind to tune into the conversation happening around him:
“What did you do to him?”
Leon. That sounds like Leon.
“Nothing too bad, he’ll recover soon enough, though your concern is touching, really.”
A bastard. That, sounds like a bastard.
The King takes a deep breath, willing himself to ignore the now thankfully dimming pain in his head as he opens his eyes and looks up. He casts a quick, tactical eye over the room, discovering himself to be sat at the Round Table, his most trusted advisors and knights spread out evenly around him. The table is normally sat at by upwards of twenty-five people, so there’s a spare chair or two in between each person. Arthur makes a mental note of who is present: Gaius, Gwen, Morgana, his knights... his gaze pauses momentarily on the youngest of the group, taking in the paleness of Mordred’s skin and the deep breaths that he seems to struggle to draw, before he moves on. 
(and because everyone loves a visual aid)
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His angry, though calm eyes find their presumed captor, a man ten years or so his senior, dressed in robes that are badly made, but badly made with exquisite fabrics. He’s well groomed, smug, but tired looking, and Arthur has to stop himself from raising an eyebrow at the lack of armour or weaponry. A sorcerer then, going by the fact that he was on his own, and had somehow managed to capture the best fighters Arthur had ever had the pleasure of knowing. Including Morgana and Gwen, and even Gaius, who Arthur always got the distinct impression could get scrappy if needed. 
There is someone missing, but Arthur does his best not to draw attention to his worry, exchanging a short look with Leon next to him: “Merlin?” in the King’s eyes, Leon’s response: “I’ve no clue. Hopefully he’ll figure it out and get help.” is in the twitch of his mouth and slight, miniscule shrug of his shoulder. Arthur blinks before turning his attention once more to the captor:
“What do you want with us?”
Their captor raises a condescending eyebrow and smirks:
“I worried that I’d overdone it. You’ve been asleep for quite some time.”
Arthur frowns slightly, glancing to a window and taking stock of the sun’s position in the sky; an hour after noon, give or take a quarter candle mark. He doesn’t remember anything past Merlin puttering around in his chambers the previous night:
“You didn’t answer my question.”
The man’s smirk somehow grows and he begins to slowly pace around the table, stroking his hand on the back of each chair as he goes, stopping behind Mordred and landing a heavy hand on the younger man’s shoulder. He jerks in place, as though the touch wasn’t a surprise, as though it hurt. He hisses slightly through his teeth, and Arthur’s jaw clenches as he glares at the sorcerer. The King can also see Morgana, sat to Mordred’s left, begin to look increasingly worried as she glances down to something Arthur can’t see in the knight’s lap:
“No, I suppose I didn’t. What I want from you, from all of you, is for you to simply... watch.-”
With that, he waves his hand in a flourish, mutters a few words, and points to a shimmering light hovering above the centre if the table, slowly growing larger:
“-It’s time for you all to understand some previously hidden, dark truths.-”
The image sharpens out and Arthur’s frown deepens significantly when it focuses on a horse, one of Arthur’s favoured war horses, being ridden out of the city gates by a very familiar figure:
“-He doesn’t know he’s being watched, not yet. I wonder what it is he’ll reveal.”
He glances to Mordred significantly, but the meaning is lost on Arthur, who is focusing only on Merlin’s frankly expert riding. Since when has he...? Arthur’s confusion grows as the moment Merlin is hidden from the city by the forest, he stands in the stirrups, hovering slightly above the saddle as he urges the horse to speed up into a powerful gallop. Everyone looks surprised at that, all having been unaware of Merlin’s skill on the back of a horse, but he controls her well, guiding her down narrow paths and over fallen logs without a quiver in his apparently strong legs or a drop of sweat on his brow. The trust between the servant and the creature is rather incredible, and Arthur makes a mental note to, if this was in fact all real, to gift Merlin his own horse when this is over.
After a few minutes of quiet astoundment, Arthur allows his gaze to once more sweep the room, and he sees everyone focused on the sorcerous window at the centre of the table. He figures it must be visible from all angles, though if he concentrates and squints, he can see through to the other side. He focuses on the sorcerer once more:
“What have you done to him? Where’s he going?”
The sorcerer sports a faux look of surprise as he waves his hand, and the window moves a metre or so upwards, so that everyone can once again see each other naturally:
“Done to him? Why nothing, of course. Though I may or may not have led him to believe that his precious King had been captured in the night and taken away some godforsaken fort to be tortured and likely killed. He’s, unsurprisingly, rather protective over you.”
He says it with a smirk, but Gwaine is the one to answer him; Arthur can see the mix of genuine curiosity, and fiery anger on his face, plain as day:
“Then why is he alone?”
Everyone looks to the sorcerer, waiting on his answer, even Mordred, who seems to be having more and more trouble staying awake:
“Well, as far as the rest of the castle is concerned, The King and his closest and most trusted advisors have been in a very important meeting since dawn, and are not to be disturbed under any circumstances. Of course Merlin was not told this, and likely wouldn’t have believed it even if he was told, and so is on his way to rescue his... damsel.”
Arthur needs nothing more than the lack of even a smirk from Gwaine at the sorcerer’s referral to The King as a damsel, to know that the knight is truly worried about Merlin. Gaius and Lancelot glance to each other, worried, before Lance’s gaze lands back on Mordred, situated between him and Morgana. Arthur does notice this, and does pay it attention this time, especially when Lancelot’s eyes widen and he looks to Morgana in unconcealed worry. Arthur is not the only one to notice and the sorcerer raises an eyebrow, gesturing at them with a very punch-able air of smug authority:
“The... servant’s journey will take him an hour at least, if you’ve something to say Sir Lancelot, I suggest now be the time.”
Arthur glances up at the window again, as does everyone else, just to see Merlin still riding through the woods, a vicious frown marring his features that Arthur is quite sure he’s never seen before. He makes the quick decision that Mordred’s apparent ill health takes precedence right now, and interrupts any question Sir Lancelot may have asked:
“What’s wrong with him??”
The sorcerer smirks once again, and Arthur notices Morgana out of the corner of his eye gearing up to verbally flay the man, likely to death, and he shoots her a look before focusing back on their captor. He waves a hand once again, and Mordred’s chair rises into the air briefly. Arthur frowns at the metal cuffs on the knight’s wrists, glancing down at the plain old rope he’s tied in before looking to Leon on his left, and Percival on his right, both also in rope. Mordred drops to the floor harshly, and he quietly groans, growing even paler as the man produces a key from his pocket. He holds it between gloved fingers momentarily before tossing it onto the table; it skids a few feet before coming to a stop right in the centre of the stone:
“Cold iron. It does horrors to people like us and I’m normally not a fan of using it, not even on my enemies, but I couldn’t have him doing anything sneaky now, could I?”
Arthur frowns, though mostly at Lancelot, Morgana, and Gaius’ sharp breaths than at the man’s words. He glances to Mordred, frowning in confusion as the younger man looks up to him blearily before dropping his head to his chest again, almost as if in shame. The King clenches his jaw briefly, gulping at the implication, before compartmentalising and deciding that that is an issue to deal with later:
“It’s killing him, take them off, tie him up like the rest of us, he won’t try anything, I swear it.”
Arthur allows himself to marvel briefly at his own unwavering trust in his knight, in both that he meant no harm, M-word or not, and that he would keep to Arthur’s promise. Unfortunately, the sorcerer doesn’t have the same faith, and he lets out a low, demeaning chuckle:
“Hmm. I think not. He’s still got a day or so left in him, and by then I think you’ll have bigger issues.”
He ignores the rest of the glares and angry questions sent his way, and lowers the window watching Merlin once again. Everyone soon focuses back in on the servant, and though the novelty of his being able to ride well wears off fairly promptly, their concentration never waivers as he makes his way through the forest, seeming to know exactly where he is going.
~
Merlin rides for another hour or so, slowing down to an easy canter semi-regularly to allow his horse a breather; he really does know what he’s doing, Arthur can give him that. Every time The King begins to worry that Merlin is pushing her too far, he gives her a rest, speeding up only when the horse is comfortably able to. 
Everyone’s gaze, shaded slightly by mistrust nearer the beginning (though that fades quickly, and is soon replaced with worry), dances over to Mordred every once in a while, but though he seems sickly and tired, he doesn’t get worse, at least not yet. Which is a relief.
When Merlin’s frown deepens and he slows right down to a walk, the sorcerer claps his hands, breaking the silence for the first time in an hour:
“It looks like things are about to get interesting, so pay attention!”
Arthur scowls briefly at him, becoming more and more desperate to punch the smirk off his face as time goes on. He quickly looks back to the window to see Merlin dismounting, leading the horse off the path where he ties her to a tree. The frown doesn’t drop from the servant’s face as he runs his hands around the inside of his jacket. He glances away through the trees as he pulls something from a pocket, shaking it out as he looks down before slipping it onto his hand. 
At further inspection, they, including the sorcerer, who looks just as interested as the others, can all see that “it” is a series of articulated, half circle metal plates that cover the bottom half of his fingers. Ridged metal plates also overlap on his knuckles, and a larger plate covers the back of his hand; the whole thing looks to be held together with miniscule links and thin leather straps around his fingers and palm. Arthur frowns in confusion, but it’s Elyan who reacts first, wide-eyed:
“He said those were for a friend!”
Everyone looks to him in surprise, but the sorcerer just raises an expectant eyebrow as Elyan looks slowly around the circle before focusing on Arthur:
“He commissioned those from me a few months ago, told me they were for a friend in the lower whose safety he was worried for. I thought it was an odd weapon but didn’t question it, helped him design them, made them, and wouldn’t let him pay. He never brought them up again so I forgot about it.”
Percival shrugs his shoulders with a look of odd respect:
“I guess they weren’t for a friend.”
Leon responds just as Merlin walks away from the horse, sneaking through the underbrush as he flexes his weaponised hand:
“Obviously, but why lie? We get attacked on the road enough for Merlin to justifiably want a weapon. Why not just tell you they were for him?”
Gwen pipes up, and everyone ignores the look of glee on the sorcerer’s face. Everyone bar Morgana, who swaps between glaring at him in fury and looking to Mordred, evidently concerned:
“Well he’s always been a bit secretive. Maybe he was... embarrassed?”
Elyan frowns and shakes his head:
“No way, it’s a brilliant idea and I told him as much, I’d never made anything like it before. Why would he be embarrassed to have what is an objectively impressive piece of kit?”
They all look confused, but Gwaine interrupts the next round of discussion with a loud:
“Hush, look. What the hell is he doing?”
He nods at the image of Merlin, crouching down just this side of the treeline with his eyes closed in concentration and his brows furrowed. Gaius takes in an audible gasp, and Arthur glances to him briefly, confused to see the Physician’s wide-eyed stare and generally twitchy demeanour. If he’d bothered to look, Arthur would’ve noticed Lancelot, Morgana, and Mordred (to a certain extent) in the same boat, but he quickly focuses back on Merlin with Percival’s whispered:
“What the fuck is he doing, he’s going to get himself killed!”
Everyone stares with bated breath as Merlin stands, carefully extricating himself from the surrounding foliage with a seemingly practiced ease and walking out into a clearing. An almost crumbled fort rises in front of him, but he turns left, approaching softly, but not slowly, the back of a heavily armed and armoured bandit. Arthur begins to hold his breath, but it’s Gwen, shaking her head with terrified eyes who quietly speaks, as if to herself:
“No, no, Merlin don’t be stu-”
She cuts herself off with a loud yelp when Merlin, quick as lightening, wraps one of his arms around the criminal’s throat and twists. The sorcerer lets out a victorious yell and claps his hands, grinning wildly as Merlin carefully lowers the bandit’s body to the floor, glancing behind him to make sure no one somehow noticed the silent kill:
“I wasn’t expecting that, but it’s certainly still entertaining!”
Arthur lets out his held breath, slumping back in his seat as he, and everyone else, stares with wide eyes. It’s Merlin’s mildly annoyed, but wholly unbothered expression that everyone focuses on, and Gwaine’s quiet “Fucking hell... since when has he...?” is the only utterance heard, though his voice quickly trails off as Merlin begins easily dragging the corpse to a gap in the bushes.
The King isn’t with it enough to even pretend he isn’t shocked, but just about manages to ignore the sorcerer’s gleeful staring. Merlin just killed that man, without hesitation, without even trying. There’s no time to dwell on it however, Merlin quickly finishes his task. He doesn’t look exactly pleased, more resigned, but he makes his way to the foot of the fort’s wall, skirting around the edge for a minute or so before he comes to a tunnel entrance.
He slips inside, sticking close to the wall, after one last quick look around, and the knights keep staring on in confusion at the thoughtful, though almost bored looking expression on his face. Leon, sporting a soft, cautious frown, is the first to be able to form a coherent sentence:
“How often do you reckon he does stuff like this?”
Arthur breaks himself out of his stupor, planning on fixing Gaius with a challenging expression and asking how often Merlin actually goes to the tavern, but he’s interrupted by the mutterings of the group’s source of confusion:
“I'm too underpaid for this shit.”
Arthur recoils slightly in shock, not at the sentiment expressed (though he does make yet another mental note—he’s making a lot of those today—this time to give Merlin a raise. He absent-mindedly wonders how much assassins and bodyguards get paid nowadays.), more at the-
“I’ve known him about six years, been through hell with him, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard him curse before”
... Gwaine’s point exactly.
There are a few hums of agreement, though they quickly die down when Merlin reaches the top of the stairs, approaching a door with an air of familiarity that dissipates when it refuses to budge. He huffs, but quickly moves back, the deep scowl not leaving his face as he rams the door without hesitation. The whole situation seems to be a mild annoyance, rather than a true worry, and that baffles the group, who’ve all seen Merlin outwardly panic at a late flower delivery before. Apparently, a kidnapped and potentially tortured King is less serious than insufficient May Day decorations.
After some fiddling, he manages to open the door and carefully climbs through what appears to be a storage room with ease, swiping a finger through a thick layer of dust—hidden away behind some stacked furniture, presumably so no one would see it—with a thoughtful hum and an even deeper frown. He makes it to the other side, listening at the closed door for barely a minute before stepping quietly out into the corridor. He reaches into his jacket, pulling out a short but well-made dagger and holding it in a confident, unbothered grip.
Everyone recoils slightly; a metal gauntlet is one thing, but a blade?? He holds it low, prepared but not overly worried as he makes his way down the corridor. Once again he sticks close to the wall, his steps silent in a way he never bothers to try when walking about in the castle (or on hunts, Arthur bitterly thinks). He passes a wide corridor on the right, barely giving it a glance as he keeps going straight, and that catches Gwen’s curiosity:
“How does he know where he’s going? He’s not checking any of the side doors.”
Everyone shrugs their shoulders, bar Mordred, who’s breathing has become a tad more ragged. Lancelot, Morgana, and Arthur spare him concerned glances, but quickly focus back on the scene in front of them when Merlin presses himself to the wall behind a door. He appears to listen, and the gang thinks they might just about be able to make out voices; their suspicions are confirmed when their little window seems to move partially through the door, and they see three men walking in the opposite direction. It turns back to Merlin just in time to see him take a deep breath and slowly reach for the doorknob.
A loud screech from the door’s ancient hinges echoes down the corridor, and where the knights, Gaius, Gwen, and Morgana all start and widen their eyes in worry, Merlin just huffs out an annoyed sigh before throwing the door open and sprinting down the corridor. The servant ducks just in time for a crossbow bolt to miss his head, but no one has time to even gasp before he drops to the floor, the speed of his sprint giving him the momentum to slide along the floor between one of the bandit’s legs. The move had obviously caught them all off-guard, and the bandit swings his sword far too high; Merlin is already back on his feet before he can correct himself, turning around and landing a fatal blow with his dagger directly into the man’s spine.
Perhaps the move shouldn’t shock the gang as much as it does; Merlin is a fully-fledged physician at this point, he knows exactly where a fatal blow should land, but the ease and speed with which he does it speaks to a certain level of practice. Before they have time to even process the first kill, Merlin pulls the dagger from the neck and swings it around, jamming it in between the knuckles of an oncoming fist. It sinks deep and the bandit lets out a blood-curling shriek in time with Gwen’s yelp, Lancelot’s hiss of empathetic pain, and Percival’s low groan of slightly squeamish horror. The others just stare in slight disgust (and a lot of shock) as Merlin swings his other fist up, using his metal knuckles for the first time and taking the bandit out with a single blow. The gang thinks the bandit should probably be grateful for that.
They all widen their eyes as they spot the third attacker before Merlin does, grabbing a crossbow bolt from his pouch and swinging back. They each yell their own warnings despite knowing Merlin wouldn’t hear them, but relax slightly when they see the realisation in his eyes just before he twists to the side and steps back. The bolt still cuts deep, but it’s better than if it had been jammed into his back, and Merlin quickly shakes the injury off, if he even notices it, and yanks the bandit around to cave the front of his skull in against the wall.
He crumples to the floor, blood spurting from his nose and mouth as the corridor once more sinks into a frigid silence. The others just stare, ice cold and shocked, unsure how to react. At Merlin’s deep sigh of annoyance and bout of glaring at the bodies, Arthur risks a glance down, quickly realising that... none of them are moving, not even to breathe.
Morgana is the first to break the silence as the servant steps over the bloody men, huffing again at the cut on his arm but otherwise ignoring it as he carries on down the corridor:
“He just... killed those men.”
Leon nods, not able to rip his eyes from the scene in front of him, even though it quite boring-ly consists of Merlin walking own a hall (with a scowl that could curdle milk, a dripping shoulder and a dripping knife and a dripping metal glove) :
“I always knew he had some sort of hidden... ruthlessness, but this... I didn’t think it was this.”
Gwen nods, momentarily forgetting the violence as she hums in agreement:
“Hmm. I know what you mean, the things he does sometimes... the things I’ve heard him say to people when he thinks no one else is there... I didn’t think he’d be able to make good on his threats.”
Everyone looks to Gwen at that, not even attempting to hide their shock. The sorcerer seems to blend into the shadows a little, stepping away from the table and settling a curious eye on the serving girl as Elyan spits out:
“What threats?!”
Gwen is taken aback at his tone, and sets an admonishing gaze on her younger brother:
“Not to me of course. He... there was a...-”
She glances at Leon, and then Arthur, and the apology is in her eyes, though not her words:
“-A few months ago there was a knight who... took a fancy to me. It was sweet at first, but then he got... demanding, and overbearing. I could barely go an hour without him trying to convince me I owed him a hello kiss or a goodbye hug or a dinner date. I was planning on seeing the Steward, to see if I could get assigned more... out of the way chores, at least for a little while, I can’t be with Lady Morgana at all hours of the day.-”
Morgana nods, an annoyed frown on her face. She’d clearly known about the knight:
“-Well, I was on my way to speak to him and I walked passed the armoury. The knight was young, barely out of his squire-hood, so even after training Merlin was bigger than him, much taller too. He had him against the wall, I didn’t hear every word because I didn’t want to get to close, didn’t want Merlin to know I’d seen, but... well... the poor boy looked terrified. And... Merlin had a dagger to his gut.-”
An audible gasp goes around the room from all bar Morgana, who nods to herself, pleased, and is evidently making a mental reminder to give Merlin some sort of thank you gift:
“-It took me aback, but I... left them to it. Since then, said knight has practically bolted every time I entered the same space as him. I always just thought it was an act, I thought Merlin was... you know, putting it on a bit to scare him into leaving me alone, but apparently...-”
She trails off as everyone looks to their laps, deep in thought, but as she goes to nod in Merlin’s general direction, she gasps and exclaims:
“-Look!!”
Everyone’s gaze whips back up to the window, seeming to remember all of a sudden that it is showing real time. Currently, he’s crouched behind a door, his eyes closed and his ears pressed to the wood. The sorcerer steps in to be part of the group once more, another wild grin on his face as he conspiratorially whispers:
“I wonder what he’ll... hear.”
He gives Mordred another pointed look at that, and the young knight lifts his pale, sweaty face enough to glare at him, muttering a slurred something that sounds suspiciously like “fuck you”. Arthur doesn’t question it at this point, but he does become increasingly worried for his knight’s health, both independently, and because of Morgana, Lancelot, and Gaius’ worried looks. (Arthur has long since, somehow quietly, accepted that the three of them had known about whatever M-word related thing was going on with Mordred.)
Merlin stands to the side of the door and the gang watch as he sighs and peaks through the window, ever so quickly. It’s barely a second, and when he pulls back, gone is the scowl, replaced with a steely look of resigned determination. He takes a few deep breaths, cracking his neck to the side and shaking out his hands as he takes one last lungful before ripping the door open.
The gang’s viewing window whizzes past his head and everything blurs for a moment before it rights itself. When it turns around and focuses again, two men are already dead, bloody gashes across their necks, and a third is sprawled on the floor with a humiliated flush across his cheeks. Another falls next to him just a moment later, though this one is definitely dead, blood pouring from his nose and leaking from his eyes and ears. Merlin sinks the dagger directly into another attacker’s heart before adjusting his grip and ripping it out, turning around and flinging it into the eye of the no longer sprawled man in one fluid motion. He... well, he sprawls again, but Merlin turns around to face the rest of the bandits before he’s even hit the ground.
Everyone stares on with open mouths, unable to tear their eyes away from the bloody scene. A glance to Gaius and Lancelot’s faces tells Arthur that Merlin’s... skills, truly are a well kept secret. The King speaks softly as the men circle Merlin, and he wonders if he should find it odd, how unworried he now is:
“Five men. Five men in five seconds, and he doesn’t even look bothered.”
They quickly count seven more attackers, but their realisation that Merlin is no longer armed sends them into yet another panicked spiral. At least four of those five men had been caught completely off guard by Merlin’s varying attacks, but now the servant stands unarmed against an angry and prepared mob. Arthur risks another glance at Mordred, who seems barely able to hold his head up, Morgana, who switches between looking worried for Mordred and viciously supportive of Merlin, Lancelot, who is in much the same boat as Morgana minus the vicious part with a lot more panic, and Gaius, who seems an odd mix of resigned, shocked, and fearful. Arthur notices once more that he doesn’t seem worried for Merlin’s safety.
When he looks back a second later, Merlin has a small smirk on his face, his stance loose and relaxed as he slowly pulls his hand from under his jacket, bringing another dagger from the back of his belt. The only one who has time to react before Merlin pounces is the sorcerer, who slowly nods with a sort of shocked respect, a small, impressed smile playing on his face.
The servant goes for the biggest man first, an unexpected move, though that’s probably the point. He’s fast, faster that they’ve ever seen him move before, and he dodges a clumsy, rushed axe-swing, bringing the dagger up under the attacker’s arm to puncture a whole deep in his chest, a rib or two below his heart. He falls quickly with a wheezed groan and Merlin quickly kicks the axe away from his clenching hands; his head perks up and he raises his arm again, but he’s too late. He spins around only to have his wrist be snapped back again by a strong punch; the dagger goes flying and he hisses harshly through his teeth. Everyone flinches—there’s no way that didn’t break—but Merlin doesn’t seem to pay it any attention, ignoring the rapidly growing purple bruise on his wrist in favour of whipping his other hand up, sidestepping another punch as he lands his fist once, twice, into the bandit’s throat. The edges of the metal slice the man’s skin slightly but it’s the crushed throat that is the real problem, and he quickly collapses under the weight of a sudden lack of oxygen.
Despite his continuing show of competence, Morgana still whispers a furious warning when she notices the bandit approaching Merlin’s back. He kicks out behind him instead of turning, successfully altering the path of a swung sword as his foot finds it’s target: the man’s knee. It cracks back with a sickening snap and an even more sickening yowl, but the man gets a lucky swing in, cutting the back of Merlin’s leg before the servant growls in annoyance and spins around. His metal fist smashes against his temple and he crumples, Merlin snagging the sword from his hand before he can fall all the way.
He adjusts his grip on the sword, his grimace at the pain in his wrist barely noticeable as he quickly dispatches two more men with the sword before dropping it. The penultimate man’s arm is broken with professional swiftness, and he’s pushed back before Merlin lands three well placed punches into the last man’s weak spots. Merlin takes his weapon and turns it against him before finally stopping, and taking a deep breath.
He doesn’t pay any attention to his surroundings quite yet, not even the unnerving silence of so many bodies not breathing distracts him from his goal.
The blood-spattered servant turns to the cowering, broken man as he backs himself against the wall, limp arm dragging uselessly on the floor. Merlin’s pace is purposeful, single-minded, and after a quick glance around the circle, the pale King becomes aware that he is likely not the only one with a nauseous dread rolling around in his stomach. They watch Merlin casually lift a hand, wiping blood from his cheek with a sleeve and looking at it briefly with a grimace before he comes to stand in front of the whimpering bandit. The scowl doesn’t leave the servant’s face as he pulls yet another dagger from the inside of his jacket and crouches down, moving his left foot forward to be pressed over the wrist of the broken arm.
The bandit whimpers and attempts to pull away, but only once before he bears his teeth in pain and groans at the jostling of his arm. He stills ever further, freezing completely when Merlin lifts the dagger and presses it to the stubbled skin of his throat, the back of his head pressed into the stone wall behind him. His eyes, wide and blood shot and desperately fearful, fix on Merlin’s annoyed face:
“Who- who the fuck are you??”
Arthur shuffles in his chair uncomfortably, but finds himself unable to tear his eyes away from he scene playing out in front of him. Everyone else is the same, bar Gaius, who seems... surprised of course, though more mournful than anything else, Mordred, who’s wheezing breaths are the only thing cracking through the otherwise silent hall, and the sorcerer, who has his ravenous smile fixed once more on Arthur.
Merlin’s tight, fake smile seems... real, all of a sudden; up until this point, Arthur had been at least semi-convinced that none of this was actually happening, that it was all some sick hallucination. But that smile, that stretch of Merlin’s lips in such a perverse, tired way... it matches the bags below his eyes, it matches his sunken-in cheeks and pale skin and resigned eyes. It matches much more than the goofy smiles he always seems to be wearing.
Arthur zones out for the rest of the conversation, his eyes still fixed on Merlin’s tense, bloody form, but his mind twisting and turning, wondering when Merlin had gotten so tired, when Merlin had learnt how to throw a punch, how to land a blade, how to snap a neck. Wondering why Merlin had learnt such things. 
Once upon a time—and it feels like it must’ve been years ago now, despite the fact that it was an issue not even several hours ago—Arthur had been jealous of the fact that Lancelot and Merlin were so close, but the horror and heartbreak in equal measure on the knight’s face tells Arthur that perhaps the two of them don’t know each other quite as well as the King had first thought. Or as well as Lancelot had first thought, by the looks of things.
He focuses back in when Gwen gives another loud yelp and Elyan, unfazeable Elyan, gasps. His mouth drops open and his eyes go wide as he sees Merlin stand up, completely ignoring the body now slumping to the floor, as he wipes the blade off on the inside of his jacket and pops it back into its pocket. 
Merlin had... he doesn’t think about it. He doesn’t want to think about it. The man was unarmed, likely asking for mercy, telling Merlin whatever he wanted to know, and Merlin had... No. He’s not thinking about it.
Arthur’s heart cracks a little when he sees the look on Merlin’s face. The servant moves to stand in the middle of the room, wearing an expression that speaks of grief and regret, but mostly just... resignation. Arthur wonders once more, like Leon had earlier, just how often Merlin does stuff like this. How often he has to. The tired man lets out a deep breath before clearing his face of all emotion and methodically picking through the bodies, collecting his daggers and wiping the blood off on their victim’s clothing, briefly checking for anything of interest in their pockets. When he finds nothing, he wanders cautiously over to the empty dungeons, and finding only one unlocked, enters, slowly.
When nothing happens, he picks up the lone piece of parchment on the floor, though the gang’s little viewing window focuses on Merlin’s confused frown, as opposed to whatever is on the sheet in his hands. He only has time to peruse it briefly before the sorcerer steps rather deliberately back into Arthur’s line of sight:
“Lets see how much he can figure out, hmm?”
He clicks his fingers, eyes flashing sluggishly gold barely a moment before Merlin’s head whips up, immediately making direct eye contact with The King. Arthur lets out a breath, but when Lancelot mutters Merlin’s name, the sorcerer snaps his fingers again, summoning a small, glowing blue light:
“Don’t you worry, this is what he’s seeing.”
They all glance at the light, seeming to deflate with both annoyance and relief at that fact that Merlin still doesn’t know they can see him. None of them analyse that relief too much as Merlin turns in a circle, eyes fixed on them, or... on the light. His face quickly morphs from surprise to simple curiosity, and Arthur wonders when Merlin had stopped being so scared of magic. The servant always seems so... skittish, nervous, frightful, whenever it gets bought up, and now he just looks... inquisitive. There’s no fear. He suddenly nods, the curiosity melting off of his face as small, deprecating smile makes a brief appearance:
“Ah. So you, whoever you are, have been watching me?-”
They see Merlin nod and they figure that the sorcerer must be making the light move somehow:
“-The whole time?-”
The light nods again, and Arthur risks a glimpse at the sorcerer, who is looking more and more tired as he waves his hand in time with the nods. The King takes note of the growing paleness of his face and offers a silent prayer to any God that might be listening that the sorcerer over works himself and passes out:
“-You have Arthur, and a few select members of his council, back in the Round Table Room?-”
The light nods yet again, and Arthur once more moves his focus from Merlin, this time to the other people sat around the table. Gwen looks to be in shock, and Arthur purses his lips slightly in worry at her wide eyes and shivering shoulders before moving his gaze to the physician. Gaius seems surprised still, but much more in his element now, analysing the magical window, and Merlin’s reactions and movements with a scholarly mask. Next, his gaze moves to Morgana, Morgana who is ignoring Merlin entirely, instead glaring at the sorcerer with a viciousness Arthur had only ever, very briefly, seen directed at Uther before; he knows the two of them had had their differences, but he momentarily wonders how she could hate the former King just as much as the man in front of them. Just a second later, her entire face softens and her shoulders lose their tension as she glances to Mordred; she bites her lip, a habit Arthur knows she  subconsciously performs only when she is incredibly nervous. Arthur follows her gaze, gulping in worry when he sees Mordred’s worsened state. 
M-word... magic, he forces himself to think, magic be damned. Mordred is dying, and Merlin, whatever he’s doing, needs to hurry the hell up.
He frowns for a few more moments before glancing around to the rest of the circle, making eye contact with each of his knights in turn and managing to convey without a word that now is the time to start thinking seriously about escaping.
The next time he looks towards Merlin’s window, he sees the servant stalking quickly back down the corridor he’d come through, tucking the paper into his pocket as he mutters the tail end of a dark promise:
“...I’ve got a hell of a lot more where that came from.”
~
Merlin reaches his horse quickly, running into no more trouble at all. He unties her with quick, practiced hands before grabbing a handful of things from the small travel bag she was wearing and mounting the saddle, the annoyed frown back on his face. He gently nudges her into a slow walk, not even picking up the reins and trusting her to know the way back; instead, he unwinds a set of bandages before wrapping his broken wrist, grimacing. 
Arthur marvels at his tolerance, taking note of he fact that the servant hadn’t even taken anything for the pain before he’d begun winding extremely tight strips of fabric around the broken limb. He lets out a few grunts of pain, though they seem to be more of annoyance at the inconvenience that at the actual pain of a broken bone. Next, he quickly wipes down the gash on his upper arm made from the arrow, haphazardly covering it with a thin layer of bandages and then the ripped sleeves of his tunic and jacket. If it weren’t for... well, everything, Arthur would be amused by the disapproving tut that Gaius gives under his breath.
Once he’s finished treating himself, or putting off proper treatment, Merlin does encourage the horse to speed up a little, but only a little. The frown doesn’t leave his face, but once everyone around the table comes to the same conclusion—that it would take him at least two hours to make the return journey—they look away from the window and look to each other instead.
The room sinks into an inky silence as the sun slowly lowers from the sky; maybe half an hour passes before anyone says anything, and it’s Gwaine, because of course it is. He looks a little sad, but Arthur understands that. He himself had never been particularly close with the man, no matter how much The King was secretly fond of the childish knight, but he knows that Gwaine considers Merlin his closest friend. Arthur would wager that he’s not the only one who can see through the cheerful façade, but he’s also not the only one to think to not mention it:
“Well... that was really... something.”
Percival lets out an almost humourless breath of laughter as he nods, but it’s Gwen, no longer as shaky and with a thoughtful frown on her face, who speaks next, her eyes on the table and her words coming slowly, as though she’s still considering them:
“Is it... bad? That I feel safer?-”
She looks up and lets out a deep breath, glancing at everyone in turn as she opens and closes her mouth a few times before continuing:
“-What I mean is... is that before I thought it was... sweet, and it made me feel just a little bit happier, when I knew Merlin was looking out for me, even though I knew that ultimately he couldn’t actually do anything to... protect me. But now...”
Her voice trails off, and whilst Elyan looks a little put off, Leon nods in understanding:
“We’re knights. We can do our best to protect you, but we’re not always here and we might not always understand, but Merlin... Merlin has much more opportunity to be there for you, to know what you need. To protect you.”
The group nods along, though the sorcerer is looking a little irate; likely he’s angry that this great revelation isn’t causing some sort of argument or sparking declarations of betrayal. He quickly smirks when he remembers that he has one more trick up his sleeve, though before he can step forward and gloat about some great secret, Arthur opens his mouth again, speaking softly:
“Something tells me he’s been protecting all of us. For a while. In... in more ways than one.”
He throws a glance Mordred’s way, but doesn’t let it linger too long, and no one, sorcerer included thankfully, catches it. Their captor stays back, watching them bicker in a manner that he feels is far too friendly for another hour or so as he concocts some sort of plan to force the servant to reveal his secret. Watch him continue to serve the Pendragon tyrant when he orders his execution.
It’s Lancelot, who has remained mysteriously quiet and extra fidgety throughout the entire day, that clears his throat and nods to the transparent window, where Merlin can be seen holding his jacket closed over his chest as he hands the horse’s reins over to a teenaged stable boy, a tired, but sweet smile on his face. The stablehand is obviously a little confused at the appearance of The King’s manservant from outside the city at such an odd hour—just as darkness descends—but he’s not curious enough, or perhaps brave enough, depending on whether he’d spied the dried blood on Merlin’s hands before he’d tucked them into his sleeves, to ask. Merlin quickly turns to the castle steps, taking them two at a time and somehow managing to make his harried, rushed steps seem casual and easy.
His face remains harsh and angry, though that disappears entirely every time he passes someone in the corridors. The castle is mostly empty: knights and off-the-clock guards have gone their separate ways from the citadel, servants are either seeing to their masters and mistresses or eating their own evening meals in the lower dining chambers, and the courtiers are... doing whatever it is they do when they’re not loitering around trying to catch the eye and ear of The King. Merlin still smiles cheerfully at every guard he does pass, receiving a returning grin from most of them, and a respectful nod at the least from the others.  Thankfully, the only servant he passes is George, who stops him with a soft hand on his shoulder and a raised eyebrow at the bloody rip on the sleeve of his jacket from the arrow wound. Merlin rolls his eyes at the unhidden concern, but his voice comes out softly:
“I’m fine, tripped is all, you know what I’m like.”
George hums, unconvinced but accepting, nodding in understanding and murmuring, almost to himself:
“Tripped, of course.-”
He lets Merlin go and the injured servant shoots him a tired smile, one that seems infinitely more real than the ones he’d sent to the guards, before nodding goodnight and continuing his journey. He halts and looks behind him however when George softly calls his name:
“-Merlin, if you require any... assistance, don’t hesitate to ask. Whether on your more... unorthodox chores, or simply so you can catch up on some sleep, you’ll call for me, won’t you?”
Everyone, bar Gwen of course, is abruptly reminded of the observational skills required to be an effective servant, and they wonder how many of the commoners who serve their drinks and turn down their beds and stoke their fires have seen blood on the manservant's hands. Merlin lets loose another tired smile and gives the other servant a short nod, though the others get the impression it’s more a nod of acknowledgement than acceptance.
Without waiting another second, George turns away and continues on his way, leaving Merlin to fall back into his harsh pace towards the Round Table Room, face back to being annoyed. It’s a jarring switch from one to the other, and though both seemed real, this tense, ready-for-a-fight demeanour is far more unsettling. Especially on their Merlin.
They stare in suspense when he finally stops outside of the door as he flexes the broken wrist with a grimace, his other, still metal-wrapped hand running quickly over is torso like it had all those hours ago, checking and re-checking for his weapons. The sorcerer smirks and steps forward as Merlin shuts his eyes tightly, taking deeper and deeper breaths, interrupting the gang’s baffled staring with quick, but quiet words
“He won’t be able to see, hear, or touch you. I wonder what he’ll-”
His question is interrupted as the window dissipates into nothing but smoke and the door bursts inwards, bouncing off the wall as Merlin practically falls into the room, a wild look on his flushed face:
“Arthur?!”
His eyes rapidly dart around the room, and as quickly as the panic had appeared, it’s gone again; in it’s place is the tense, calm, angry persona of before. Or, Arthur thinks, the truth under the persona. The servant shuts the door calmly before turning back to the sorcerer, and the look on his face, an expression that promises swift repercussions if told something it doesn’t want to hear, sends chills down everyone’s spine:
“Where are they?”
Considering how tired and lethargic the sorcerer seems, and what they had all just seen Merlin do, Arthur thinks the older man should be far more fearful than he is. Perhaps he is. Perhaps he’s just as good of an actor as Merlin is. The servant makes slow progress towards the table, casually unfolding the sheet of paper as the sorcerer responds, and everyone else strains their heads to be able to see the interaction properly:
“They’re hidden. I’ll tell you where, if you do something for me, Merlin. And if you don’t, I might tell your precious King your precious secret.”
Merlin breaks out his scarily good impression of Gaius in an act of... confidence, Arthur supposes. The King wonders if he’s the only one who sees the way his hand clenches slightly around the parchment:
“And what secret would that be?”
Arthur’s gaze is temporarily dragged back to the sickly knight opposite him as he shuffle sin his seat, pulling slightly towards Merlin as his head drops to his chest and he mutters:
“No... Em... no.”
His voice is so quiet Arthur barely hears it, but Morgana shoots him a look as she softly tells Mordred to calm down before looking tensely at the sorcerer as he waves his hands about vaguely:
“You really think I didn’t know?”
Gaius and Lancelot take in quiet gasps and Morgana mumbles a curse as Mordred struggles a little more, but Arthur pushes the M-word to the back of his mind as he re-concentrates on Merlin’s now blank face. Along with the M-word, he pushes away the guilt and fear (for Merlin’s safety, nothing else).
Merlin, after he unfreezes, nods slightly and continues on his journey towards the table, coming to stand between Lancelot and Gaius where he drops the paper onto the table. His steps are soft, quiet, and Arthur is once again reminded of how loudly the servant normally moves around the castle, how he can always hear his distinctive gait trailing behind him. He runs his hands along the back of an empty chair first, and then along the back of Lancelot’s chair as the knight struggles. He can feel Merlin’s fingertips brushing against his hair, but no matter how much the knight strains against his bonds and pushes his head back, Merlin doesn’t seem to notice.
His hand quickly jumps to the next chair, this one empty, and Lancelot harrumphs in annoyance as he twists in his seat to be able to see what’s going on next to him. They all stare in suspense as Merlin creeps closer and closer to the sorcerer, half curious about what he would do, and half panicking that the sorcerer was just waiting for him to get within reach.
Just before Merlin’s floating hand reaches the back of Mordred’s chair, his entire demeanour changes, like a spark suddenly lit up in his soul. His non-metal-covered hand quickly forms a fist as Merlin steps forward, swinging up harshly and catching the sorcerer on the cheek. He’s sprawled on the floor and groaning before anyone can even react to Merlin’s sudden anger. Or suddenly unhidden anger:
“I don’t like being lied to,-”
His voice is chilling, a quiet growl that doesn’t fit their Merlin at all, but fits this Merlin like a well tailored glove. The sorcerer scrambles back with half of his face cradled in his hand, the uncovered half split into a furious snarl. He quickly stands, but takes a step back when Merlin doesn’t stop his quick approach, not having time to even raise his hand in defence before Merlin is swiftly kicking him in the stomach:
“-I don’t like being manipulated,-”
The sorcerer goes flying with an abrupt yelp, sliding across the stone floors and barely lifting himself to dry heave from the blooming agony in his abdomen before Merlin is back again, dragging him to his feet by his collar. No one can tear their eyes away as their friend slams their captor into the wall. Arthur once again marvels at Merlin’s obvious skill; the punch, the kick, even the assault against the stone wall, had all been placed carefully and competently to avoid any severe damage:
“-and I sure as shit don’t like being threatened.-”
His voice is even lower, even quieter, but it echoes in the large chamber, and Elyan and Gwen are straining to be able to look behind them. The metal punch comes quickly, but it’s Merlin’s next words that shock everyone even more:
“-So. I’m going to ask one more time before I start breaking things. Where. Is. The King?”
The threat is... serious, and they all dread to think what Merlin would do if the sorcerer refuses:
“You’re... just a... servant. Who the... the fuck do you think-”
Fuck.
Merlin’s huff interrupts his insulting question, and he turns back towards the table, quickly shoving one of the empty chairs out of the way so he has room to move. The sorcerer is pinned face down on the table, his trembling legs just about brushing against Gwen’s skirts as Merlin pulls his arm back and pulls.
Gwen, Percival, and Gwaine—even from the other side of the table—all let out quiet yelps and look away on instinct, but their reactions, and everyone else’s gasps, are immediately drowned out by the sorcerer’s screaming. Merlin seems entirely unperturbed by the man’s pain, but does grimace and flinch his head away at the noise, as if the only thing that was bothering him was the shrill sound, and it was no more annoying than a fly buzzing around his head.
Elyan’s eyes are fixed on the clearly disformed bones beneath the sorcerer’s clothes:
“I can see it... sticking out. Fucking hell I think I’m going to-”
The knight turns away quickly, tightly clenching his teeth together as he gags; Morgana and Leon stare with a disgusted frowns, but everyone else has wide eyes and open mouths in their shock. Merlin waits until the screaming lowers to pathetic sounding whimpers before he speaks again, his face lowered to the side of the man’s bruised face and his voice floating through the room in that same chilling tone as before:
“I just dislocated your shoulder. That means that the only thing holding your arm to your body is muscle, tendons, flesh, skin, that kind of stuff. Soft stuff. Soft stuff that will start ripping if I pull.-”
Elyan’s clamped jaw somehow gets even tighter and Gwen lets out a high pitched squeal as the whimpers morph into an echoing screech. Arthur can do nothing but stare, grimacing briefly at the sound and a phantom pain in his own shoulder as Merlin glares at the back of the sorcerer’s head with a resigned venom:
“-Which is, as I think you’ve already figured out, more painful than the original dislocation. So. One more time. Where is The King?”
The screeching doesn’t really stop, and Gwaine mutters, though barely anyone hears him over the nameless enemy’s bawling:
“Not to be faint of heart but I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.”
Gaius, ever the physician, glances to the knight next to him, and is unsurprised by the sweaty brow and haggard pallor; he prepares himself to potentially have to deal with a concussion in case the knight faints and smacks his head off of the table. He has a feeling it’s less to do with the screeching and popping bones and blood, and more to do with the fact that Merlin is the cause of it all.
The noise only dies down when Merlin rolls his eyes and loosens his grip slightly. Apparently the servant knows what he’s doing, because even with the weight on his back lessened, the sorcerer makes no moves to try and escape, just presses his red face into the cold stone and whimpers:
“Hi-hidden, in... in the castle... please, I.... with magic. Please?!”
Gwen hums quietly to herself as she forces her gaze to stay on the throne as opposed to the man on the table next to her. The angle of Merlin’s head, the way he’s leaning over the sorcerer, if she concentrates... she can feel her fellow servant’s breath on her wrist, in the space between the end of her sleeve and the binding ropes. Mordred has passed out at this point, either that or he’s too exhausted to be able to even hold his head up, but everyone else’s gaze is focused on Merlin’s confused face. There is no regret, no remorse, just confusion, as if he’d misplaced his scarf and nothing more:
“In the castle? Why would you...? A problem for another time.-”
He pause sonly for a moment as he thinks, but the questioning expression on his face quickly morphs to a cruel sort of coldness as he looks back down to the quaking man:
“-You’re clearly not very strong, otherwise you would’ve fought back by now, which means you aren’t nearly powerful enough to be able to tether any sort of spell to an outside energy source... which means the spell is tied to you and your life source instead... which means...-”
Even Arthur pales at that, both at yet another implication that Merlin is somehow heavily knowledgeable on magic, and at the fact that... he knows what’s coming. He’s seen it before. Arthur isn’t sure he can watch, and when he sees Percival and Lancelot look away out of the corner of his eye, he knows they feel the same. The sorcerer begs, his voice is scratchy and rasping and desperate, but it doesn’t deter Merlin, just pulls a quiet apology from his lips as he forces his arms around his throat. The sight of a man fighting for his life, especially against Merlin, was something only Arthur and Morgana can bear to look at as, one by one, everyone turns away. To see someone struggle so furiously against an inevitable death, even if they deserve it, is not something to take lightly.
A crack echoes around the room, and everything goes briefly silent before a soft thump shortly follows.
They all turn back to see Merlin stood over the crumpled body of their captor, his hands on his hips and a forlorn look on his face. After a moment or two of quiet, a moment or two of waiting for Merlin to see them sat there staring, the servant sighs and bends over, hoisting the corpse onto his shoulder easily; Gwen gasps and leans back in her chair to stop a limp hand from smacking her in the shoulder as Merlin turns around. He walks purposefully to a dusty storage cupboard to the side of the room, struggling momentarily with something the gang can’t see before he gets the door open, allowing the sorcerer to slide off of his shoulder and fall to the floor before he locks the door again. 
He suddenly loses all of the tension in his body, leaning his forehead against the cool wood:
“Gods above, look what this bloody Kingdom has turned me into.-”
At the brokenness in his voice, Arthur’s mind is ripped from wondering what exactly Merlin had planned for the body; this man in front of them is not the same scarily professional killer from the last few hours, and is certainly not the cheerful man they’re used to. 
He feels guilty, and he’s not quite sure why just yet. When Merlin finally turns, leaning his whole weight on the door with tears in his eyes and a quiver in his bottom lip, The King thinks he might understand:
“-sixteen more people for destiny. I used to be a damn farmer.-”
Yes, he thinks. He understands.
Merlin clears his throat, blinks the tears from his eyes, wipes a hand over his face, and stands straight, clicking his knuckles briefly before nodding to himself and walking purposefully once more to the door. Lancelot frowns in confusion, his voice:
“Why can’t he see us yet? He should be able to-”
Merlin’s muttering interrupts him, and Arthur’s guilt comes back tenfold:
“-Time to find the prat and be yelled at for taking too long, I suppose.”
The King lets out a deep breath and slumps in his seat. How many times had this happened? How many times had Merlin gotten injured, put himself in unimaginable danger, forced his own morals and peace to take second place to Arthur’s safety? And how many of those times had Arthur yelled at him unknowingly?
As he opens the door, a shimmer of gold mist flows up from around them. It’s like a cover has been lifted form their eyes as they realise that everything else had seemed... muted, dull, until suddenly, it wasn’t anymore. Merlin’s got one foot in the corridor, but Arthur knows, he knows Merlin will hear it when he says his name:
“Merlin?”
The servant freezes where he stands, but Arthur can pinpoint he exact moment the truth comes crashing through his mind, simply from the twitch in his hand and the drop in his shoulders. He steps backwards into the room, quietly shutting the door before slowly swivelling on the spot. Arthur recoils at the mask Merlin had immediately put up; before he’d even turned around he had his face plastered in his normal look of naïve bewilderment. Only now can Arthur see the darkness in his eyes:
“I... don’t suppose you lot were tied up in a cellar somewhere and only appeared in this room... say... less than twenty seconds ago?”
Arthur shakes his head mutely, and is vaguely aware of the others doing the same, but the only thing he’s paying attention to is the way Merlin sighs, resigned and tired, as he leans back against the door with a hand over his face, attempting to rub away what The King is sure is a rather nasty headache.
A hidden ruthlessness indeed.
~
The End of Part 2!!
At LONG last!!! I’m so sorry it took this long lads, and I also apologise for any mistakes/typos, it’s so late and I’m so tired😅
Part 4 of Control should be next, then I’ll come back and finish this off, let know know what you think lads!!! I love y’all!!!!! :D
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vintagegeekculture · a day ago
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Boris Vallejo
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littlejitterbugss · 14 hours ago
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You know what’s just never sat right with me?
Gwaine never got to learn that Merlin had magic.
Ever since his introduction into the show Gwaine showed that he was one of, if not the most loyal friend to Merlin. He stood by Merlin’s side, protected him, and even took him on several journeys sometimes not even knowing why. Just because “you’re my only friend.”
And on their last journey to the crystal cave Merlin doesn’t even tell him. He just lets Gwaine leave without telling his best friend who he really is. And that’s the last time they ever see each other. And I hate it.
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hgg999 · a day ago
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I think that kilgharrah didn't deceived merlin till one point in s5, he knew that arthur going to his death because merlin didn't make the right decision, What if kilgharrah did all this so its lead in the end to guinevere On the thrones after losing hope in Arthur, because when guinevere was the queen the land of Albion united, and Then he felt sorry for Arthur's death because it broke Merlin, so he lied to Merlin again by saying that Arthur would come back. But why he would when the purpose had already achieved. So merlin really protect arthur for so many years after losing almost all his friends for his sake, but arthur is just dead and Merlin still waiting for nothing.
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BBC Merlin but Arthur Pendragon gets to wear more jewelry past s1 like Emperor Peter in The Great
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Like look at that. Tell me Arthur wouldnt love wearing that
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hanguangjunisms · a day ago
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kpopthuriana my beloved
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artofhitjim · 4 months ago
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The green knight was very good you guys
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haveamagicalday · 4 months ago
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The enchanted belt my mother made that protects me from all harm stays ON during sex
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aqua-regia009 · 7 months ago
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Elaine (1874) - Toby Edward Rosenthal (1848-1917)
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broke: picking one specific time period for an adaptation of arthurian legend that inevitably results in certain parts of the legend making no sense
woke: an adaptation where the characters regularly acknowledge that there is no set time period
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emrys-merlin · 5 months ago
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Why do the writers always delete the scenes with character development and great dynamics?
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Merlin and Gwaine discussing about Gaius and Gwaine's father? Not important! Gwaine is only a comic relief now.
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Merlin and Arthur discussing about Morgana? Who cares! Arthur and Morgana are not brother and sister after all. They didn't grow up together. Arthur doesn’t care about that evil witch. He never cared.
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Mordred expressing hesitation to Morgana about joining her too soon before giving Arthur a second chance? Nah. Mordred is super evil now. End of story.
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Arthur gave Merlin Ygraine's sigil AND shows how much Arthur still thinks about his mother and cares for Merlin? How Arthur accepting him in his family? Fuck this scene. Arthur is a prince and Merlin just a stupid servant! We can't elevate this stupid servant.
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Merlin doesn’t intend to join everyone seated at the round table, but Arthur calls him over to sit at his side? Delete this shit! Arthur and Merlin are not equal. They are not two sides of the same coin.
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....this is clearly not important.
Thank you, writers!
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maryluis · 11 months ago
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A real good time for you to come back, Arthur 👌✨😂🙈🙈🙈
🎅 Merry Christmas guys!!! 🎄✨ Stay home, stay safe! 🎁
 Avalon’s postal service are the worst, 1500 years of delay...
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