Preparations

Prompt 34: Castle

Dave stood at the corner that Balthazar had asked him to meet him at the day before. He wore his best pants and shirt with a coat over it all. Winter was just around the corner and Fall was growing colder by the second. So, rubbing his hands together, Dave looked around, still waiting for Balthazar. Practice the day before had gone smoothly (to his and everyone's surprise) and at the very end, when they were packing up the Encantus and Balthazar was getting all wrapped up in layers of leather and black material the older man had turned to him.

"Oh yes, I forgot to ask, what are you doing tomorrow morning?"

"Nothing. I was going to sleep late."

"Don't. Meet me at this address at eight," Balthazar handed Dave a scrap of paper. "I need to get some stuff done and I need you and Veronica to accompany me." And, waving, Balthazar took off. So here he was, standing at the address the little paper had said (in almost unintelligible scribbles), and almost freezing. No really, his fingers were already numb because of the cold.

Suddenly a car parked a few feet from him, honked loudly, making David jump. He turned to see a Mercedes parking there, with both Balthazar and Veronica inside. The latter seemed excited while the first was, well, a little annoyed at his apprentice for being so spaced out. "Come on Dave, we'll be late!" cried the older man, while Dave quickly hurried to the car and opened the back door. "They won't wait forever you know?"

"Good morning to you too Balthazar," murmured Dave, a little annoyed at his master's hurry. "Where are we going anyway?" he asked, marveling at the warmth of the car's interior and rubbing his hands together.

"You put on some formal clothes. Good," Balthazar said, looking through the rear view mirror. "Are you wearing your pointy shoes?"

"Yeah…?"

"Good here we go!" said Balthazar happily (which scared Dave) and sped through a red light. He started going faster, and faster, and faster, and while Veronica stifled several laughs and Dave screamed, Balthazar drove through a wall. Yes, through a wall and into another street where he slammed on the brakes, making them screech, to halt the car completely. Balthazar turned to Veronica, who was as scared as David was, and he took her hand, kissing it gently. "See? I told you it would work."

"What. The Hell. Was That!" screamed Dave, stuck to the back seat and panting for air as if just coming out of water. Balthazar turned to him, and chuckled.

"Are you alright there Dave? We don't have to change your pants don't we?"

"Not funny. Why is it that every time you do something crazy I'm the one who ends up taking therapy?"

"Your fine, don't worry. Now let's get moving."

"Where are we anyway? And what did you do to get us through that wall?"

"All in good time, Dave. All in good time."

Dave turned to Veronica, who turned to him and smiled. "Really Veronica? And you're aiding him?"

"Only because he wanted it to be a surprise. Now be calm. He knows what he's doing," said Veronica in her soft voice, turning to look forward at the new city while Balthazar let out a laugh.

"Listen to her. I do know what I'm doing."

"Even when a little crazy?"

"Yes, even then." And the car moved down the empty street. They were quiet for a while and David looked around the small town they had driven into. There were lots of stone buildings, like one of those old Medieval towns that he'd seen in his history books. Too bad he wasn't as good in that subject, but he did remember the pictures. Long lines of stone streets, small houses that created long-labyrinth like streets, a water hole with a bucket hanging over it, several sheep and their keepers… This was the green country and it wasn't America.

"Er, Balthazar?"

"Yes Dave?"

"Where are we?" They entered a dirty road, leaving the town or any other sign of civilization. Balthazar stuck his hand out of the vehicle and onto the hood of the car, the magic waving a thin sheet around them, making Veronica looked around herself as the car changed. David frowned. "Are we in a humvee?"

"No. We are in a hummer. Relax we are almost there." They kept driving on the dirt road, the large vehicle moving through the green lands in silence. Besides small talk with Veronica, only the sound of her humming some unknown songs from time to time were there to entertain. Balthazar seemed content with driving and didn't seem to want to talk. They started talking about Tesla coils and how they worked, gradually moving the conversation up to communications devices.

"Like my cell phone. Remember when I told you they work with satellites instead of cables or antennas? The communication is clearer this way."

"So no matter were you are, you can communicate right?"

"Yes. And you can customize your cell phone to have the ringtone of your preference," said David, pulling out his own cell and handing it over to Veronica, who studied the little LG phone curiously. He showed the woman his ringtones and she dropped the devise, yelping and making Dave dive after the phone.

"I am a bit confused. Is it not better to cast a telepathy spell?" she asked softly and then looked up at Balthazar. "Well it was only a suggestion. Not that I wish him to take that lesson now."

"Wait, did he say something you by telepathy?" asked Dave, looking up at Veronica in total awe.

"We're here!" said Balthazar, changing the quickly subject and halting the car. Dave looked out the window and frowned. "Come on!" said Balthazar, excited, and they exit the car. Veronica looked around herself, wearing her usual long dress and the gold necklace Balthazar had given her, placing her hand over her lips.

"Balthazar, this is…"

"Yes it is," he said, moving to the large ruins, now covered with weeds, birds flying around the trees that had grown over the centuries, and walking right under the apparently broken down arch that was just in front of them. "Welcome Dave, to Merlin's castle."

Dave froze in place, right next to the Hummer, and stared at the two other sorcerers, looking around the broken down place. "You've got to be kidding me!"

"What?" asked Balthazar, amusement becoming confusion as Veronica turned to Dave.

"This is Merlin's Castle? Then how come it's covered by a jungle?"

"Well, no one has bothered to take care of the property, but with a bit of encouragement I think we can have it clean in no time."

"We? We can have it clean? What do you mean?"

"David?" Asked Veronica, walking towards the Prime Merlinian with a little smile. "We want to get married here," she said softly, making the younger man's eyes widen. "And, probably, in a couple years, come live here too."

There was a moment of silence, in which both Balthazar and Veronica stared at the younger man. "What?" asked David, waving his arms around as if he were angry, making Veronica take a small step back.

"Told you he'd freak out." Balthazar walked to his companions and took a deep breath. David started babbling, and his hands moving along with his body. Veronica tried to calm him down while Balthazar just murmured something about Dave pulling a David Stutler. "Really David, calm down. It's not that nasty a bit of news. Someday we will have to part ways."

"But I just met you! Two weeks ago! And you are my master and I am the Prime Merlinian who needs training and can't seem to get-anything-right-not-even-once…"

"That's not true. You got that vacuum spell on the first try."

"Right. Yeah, I did." Balthazar patted his shoulder and then pulled him closer, leaning him against the large arch they'd been standing under.

"Listen Dave. We are what we are. But we are also separate beings. What I mean is, I'll be marrying Veronica soon and you have your studies to continue. We will continue training and when you graduate with flying colors, because I just know you will, then we can become, I don't know, something like peers. Besides you'll be able to drop by any time you want, right Veronica?"

"Of course! I wouldn't want you two loosing contact with each other. You are like father and son," she said happily, walking ahead of them and crossing the arch. "And I do believe David would like to train in the birthplace of Merlin's Circle." She disappeared into the ancient building while Dave and Balthazar followed, the former gasping in surprise as the latter smiled and nodded.

"Awesome!" Dave sing-sang as he usually did when excited, and hurried after Veronica, slipping on one of the steps. Balthazar caught him and put him back on his feet. "Thanks."

"Don't mention it. Oh, and be careful. It's slippery."

So here it is, the next installment. I'll be updating twice a week, so keep your eyes open! Thanks for reading!