First and foremost thankyou to EVERYONE who reviewed!! :D as always I really do love you all *in a totally-non-sexual-high-5-way (high5)*
Second. Thankyou to everyone who reviewed and left me ideas for tests, again, if you have any plz review it or PM me!!
Third *and last*, this chappie is dedicated to Anya for inspiration of the idea *though I must admit I did alter it a bit, all credit must go to Anya otherwise I wouldnt have thought of it :D*
Chapter Five – Arthur's First Test
Arthur rode at ease. He rode with the swiftness that came from years of being in the saddle. Arthur rode with a purpose and in haste. A second wasted would mean a second more that Merlin was in pain. A second wasted could mean Merlin's death.
And Arthur was not going to let Merlin die.
He swore violently at himself for letting this happen; all because he wanted the glory of killing a unicorn, all because he wanted the attention and praise of his father.
He sighed, and now his people were suffering for it. No food. No water. He had potentially destroyed Camelot, all hopes of one day ruling the kingdom, effectively gone. Unless he found Anhora, and that he was determined to do.
He came out of his thoughts when his horse slowed, then stopped. Arthur realised he was further into the forest than he thought and it was now too dense for his horse to pick its way through. He dismounted, tethered it lightly to a nearby tree and patted it affectionately on the neck before going on alone.
Eventually he came to a clearing. "Anhora!" His voice rang through the air hollowly. This was totally pointless. He didn't even know if Anhora was in the forest still, and if he was who was to say he would help or even show himself? But there was no other choice. He needed to save Merlin. "Anhora!" he tried again.
But something felt wrong, Arthur felt like there was someone watching him. Suddenly, almost out of nowhere, a boy, that looked no older than fourteen, stepped out from the trees.
He stared at Arthur for a second, before seeming to make up his mind and run. Arthur sprinted after him and didn't take long to catch him. He grabbed his arm and the boy yelped, then fell to the ground sobbing.
"Please, d-don't. I don't me-ean any h-h-harm...I swear, please," he hiccupped.
Arthur let the boy's arm go and he cradled it tenderly.
"What's your name?" he asked gently, coming to the conclusion that the boy meant no harm. "I'm not going to hurt you," he said after the boy made no response.
"You alr-ready did," the boy cried.
Arthur apologised, "I didn't know your arm was hurt, I'm sorry." He held out a welcoming hand. "Can I look at your it?"
The boy looked at him suspiciously then seemed to conclude that Arthur really was sorry and held out his arm.
There was a large cut running down from his elbow, almost to his wrist and it was bleeding profusely. Arthur took a knife from his belt and the boy flinched.
"Whoa, calm down."
After calming the boy he cut a length of fabric from his undershirt and wrapped it firmly around the boy's arm. "There, that should help."
"Thank you," came the quiet reply.
"What's your name?" Arthur asked again.
"...My name is Hawk."
"I'm Arthur," he greeted enthusiastically. "Now, what were you doing? And how did you hurt your arm?"
"I was...um...taking a walk?" he suggested, with some false hope.
Arthur looked Hawk up and down. He noticed his clothes were dirty, but not as much as a peasant's. Then he noticed stripe of dirty yellow cloth around the boy's shin.
Cloth around the shin meant outlaws, he knew. But yellow...yellow was something so much worse than common outlaws and gangs. Yellow was organised crime and conspiracies and assassinations. Yellow was Olaf's people. Olaf was one of the main men who was hell-bent on killing Uther and destroying Camelot, not particularly because of Uther's views on magic, like most people, but because they believed the world would generally be a better place without him. For a reason as pathetic as that they stole, raped and murdered. They were nutters.
"You work for Olaf," Arthur accused, jabbing a finger at the boy.
The boy's hopeful expression was instantly dashed and he became scared.
"No, please! Let me explain! I was running away, I tried to escape. I never wanted to be like them!"
Arthur peered at him, "What happened then...and I'll have the truth this time, thanks."
Hawk took a deep breath. "They came to my village a couple of months ago. They killed anyone who refused to obey, and took the rest as prisoners. I was hiding in a barn on the other side of out village. My friend, Lilly, she knew where I was and tried to hide with me but she led them straight to us. They didn't see me and I had nowhere to go so I watched. Th-they...attacked her and I was too scared, too much of a coward," a single tear raced down his cheek. "I didn't even try to help her...I just...watched..." He drew breath to continue but Arthur held up a hand to stop him. It was obvious what he had witnessed and he took pity on the boy.
"Just tell me," he said, "why are you part of his gang?"
Hawk wiped the tear from his face and his eyes hardened. "I was going to kill them. I went to Olaf, saying how it was my dream to rid the world of King Uther and that I wanted to join them. Then I waited out my time until I was trusted enough and until I found the men who...There were three of them and they all...you know, before they killed her." Suddenly he lashed out and kicked at the ground. "I didn't even stop them when they killed her!" He fell to his knees, "Then I saw them, two brothers and their friend. Jason, Dan and Henry. So last night I waited until just after midnight and I went into Henry's tent and...I killed him. Simple and silent. Just how I had planned for so long. But it didn't make me feel any better, almost worse. I was completely horrified. I had become just as bad as them. I killed a living, breathing human being.
"But there was something that made me think, 'I started this so now I have to finish it'. So I went to Jason's tent but he must have heard me, or have some sixth sense because as soon as I was close enough to kill him he rolled over and grabbed me. He yelled and the whole camp woke up...Long story short: I managed to escape. I've been wandering the forest for a few days now."
"And this is the truth?" Though small, Arthur still had his doubts.
Arthur breathed deeply, trying to clear his head. He could not leave Hawk alone in the forest, he would have to make sure he was safe. At the same time, though, there was no way he was putting Merlin's needs on hold.
"You up for a walk, Hawk?"
The boy eyed him quizzically. "I guess...?"
"Good." Arthur clapped his hands together smoothly, problem solved, he thought. "I'll explain on the way."
Arthur began walking straight ahead then turned, "Well come on then."
Gwen dipped the rag in a bucket of cold water and placed it on Merlin's forehead, again. Gaius was attemoting to massage out his tensed limbs, knowing that when he woke up they would hurt like hell if he kept them tense all the time. But it did not seem to be working. It went straight through Gwen's heart every time he whimpered. The sound was so heart wrenching and deep, she began to wonder if there was something more than the poison in his body. Maybe it was affecting his mind? She supposed they would know if...when Arthur got back.
"Gwen," the Physician's voice interrupted her thoughts. "I don't suppose you could go find some more water from...somewhere? I need to make Merlin something to ease the tension in his muscles and I would rather use fresh water. In the state he is in, it's not safe to give him anything else."
"Of course." She gave Merlin another glance, then left with a bucket.
When she was out in the courtyard she sensed something was...different. There was a different mood in the air. She noticed people talking excitedly between themselves, others simply were...happy. But the thing she noticed most was that everyone was in possession of a water-filled bucket.
She raced to the nearest pump, placed her bucket underneath, pumped and smiled. The sound of water rushing down filled her ears and the sight of clean, sparkling water filled her eyes. And thoughts of pride filled her head.
Arthur must have done something right.
so, as last time, so soz for the long update but this one is longer than the last. PLEASE REVIEW!!!!!!! and again, any ideas for Arthur TELL ME!!!! :D
luv u all