Disclaimer: I own nothing! (except my oc characters...)

Me: Well! Here it is! My first AU!

Arthur: Why? Why must you do this? Your are going to drive yourself insane with all the work you're putting on yourself and then I will suffer for it!

Merlin: *glares* You mean we will suffer right?

Arthur: *rolls eyes* Yeah yeah yeah! You too… *walks away fro the screen*

Merlin: *mutters* Thank you sooo much for that… *follows*

Me: In any case. For the comic version of the story, I will post a link on the next chapter! Hopefully I can draw as fast as I write!

Me: *blinks* Uhm… Enjoy!


The air was frigid and still as the midnight frost dusted itself upon the forest. The silver flicker of the moon's rays, peeking behind the clouds, shone upon the land as a flock of birds fled into the horizon, hoping to escape the horrible beast. Dark tendrils emanated from the few trees its claws touched, leaving scorched and deadened marks upon the once healthy bark. The grass on the floor became brown as its paws stepped upon it. Behind the bushes, you could almost see the gleam of sickening, yellowed fangs protruding from its snout as its saliva sizzled and dripped to the ground.

A few paces behind it, the sound of metal scraping against metal could be heard as a group dodged branches and vines, always keeping the beast in sight. The group was composed of five warriors. Heading the group was a slender woman with chestnut hair, dressed comfortably for running and holding a long strip of chain; at its tips were two identical short blades, intricately decorated. Tendrils of vines ran thinly from its silvery tips and finished in a thick connection of weaves and leaves. Her eyes were set upon her target, not realizing how far ahead it was. The second in the group followed right behind her. He was a tall, muscular man, his armor shining in the moonlight as he held his blade aloft. He turned his head towards the rest, his golden bangs fluttering in the air.

"Come on!" He screamed "It's getting away!" The others immediately sped up, not wanting to slow down their superiors. But even more importantly, they couldn't fail in their hunt. They remained in the chase for a few more minutes until they arrived at a great clearing. The woman stopped suddenly and extended her hand to signal the others to do so as well.

"Halt!" She exclaimed as the others quickly stopped in their tracks. They could see the dark tendrils of the beast's wake quickly making their way deeper into the forest and away from the party.

The blond warrior stepped forward and placed a hand upon her shoulder. "What is it? It's getting away!" He exclaimed, worried that they were going to fail.

But the woman simply turned to look at the others. "Do you not see where that thing has led us to?" Seeing their confusion, the woman simply stretched a hand and pointed at the distance, "Camelot's kingdom starts beyond that grove of trees." At this, everyone's eyes widened in shock. They did not realize how far they had traveled since they began the hunt.

The blond one stepped closer and asked, "Are you sure?"

The woman nodded in reply, "Absolutely." As she stated this, she began to gather her chain, smiling silently that the blond warrior was sheathing his sword. "We will need to seek council with their king to continue with the hunt."

A small mutter amongst the warriors rose before one stepped forward. "But ma'am," he interjected, "the beast might get too far away by the time we get the king's consent."

The woman gave a deep sigh as she stared at the sky. "Our king made it clear that we are not to risk angering any kingdom the beast takes us to." As she said this, she allowed herself a small smile. "Besides… The beast will remain within Camelot's borders until it finds what it seeks. After all, this is where our prince resides, the same prince who almost defeated it those many years ago." Everyone smiled cheerfully as the thought of their lost prince returned to their minds.

The woman stood before them and looked upon them with pride. "This is where we will make our final stand," she exclaimed. "Our kingdom has suffered long enough by the claws of the wretched beast! And it is time to bring our prince back to his rightful place beside his father and his kingdom!"

The sound of cheering filled the air as they thought of their prince finally returning to them. Once they subsided they began to set up camp, leaving the blond warrior and the woman alone with their thoughts. They sat beside one another; the woman gave out a big sigh and leaned towards the blond warrior.

"I can't believe it," he whispered softly as he felt her lean into him, clearly tired from the day's hunt. "After so many years, we're finally going to see our prince once again."

He felt her nodding in reply, "Yes. We were lucky to have found the prince's keeper, and even more so to have her inform us that our prince has set out to live inside of Camelot." After this, they remained huddled together for a few minutes. They looked upon the others, knowing they were going to need help any minute. Standing up, the blond warrior offered a hand to the woman, who took it gladly.

As they began to set up their padding near the fire, the blond warrior heard the woman exclaim softly, "Six years…I can't believe it's been six years since the attack… I wonder if he suffered much hardship, or if he kept himself fed. You know how skinny he always was."

The blond warrior couldn't help the smile that appeared on his face at the woman's concern. She always had a soft side for their prince, acting almost maternally for the motherless. When they both sat back down, he placed a comforting hand on her shoulders, shielding her from the biting cold of the evening.

"Oh, I'm sure that our prince has kept himself safe and healthy. He wouldn't dare not to. Not if there was ever a chance of us returning for him." He explained as he faced her, his blue eyes mirroring her hazel gold. Leaning forward, he placed a brief kiss upon her lips. "He knows not to cross you, love." He gave her a playful smile, and she huddle closer. "Besides, he was always tougher than he looked, you know that."

"Yes…" she said, reminiscing of the great fight all those years ago. How the prince amassed a small contingency of warriors and almost put a stop to the overtaking of his kingdom. Not wanting to dwell in those dark memories, she turned the conversation to a happier time.

"Do you remember how he was always in the lower towns?" she asked and by the smirk that appeared on his face she knew he was remembering it too. "He was always sneaking small bits of his allowance and giving it to those who most needed it. The prince thought that he was being so sneaky, but the king knew what he was doing almost as soon as he started. I remember he would always give the prince a look of adoration and awe at dinnertime. The prince was so confused." The two shared a brief bout of laugher, remembering a better time, not noticing the others were smiling at their story as well.

As they calmed themselves, the blond warrior straightened himself and extended his hand forward, muttering a few ancient words. His eyes shone golden as a small swirl of wind appeared in front of them. Soon, the air disappeared leaving behind a medium size crate. The others immediately went to secure the crate, for they knew what was inside was extremely valuable.

"The people loved him," the blond warrior stated. "And the people will continue to love him once he returns to his kingdom." At this, both warrior and woman leaned back to rest on the ground, willing the sun to come quickly.

"A new dawn approaches our kingdom. The news of our lord's safety is proof of it," he murmured, leaning in to kiss her deeply.

She leaned on top of his chest and closed her eyes. She dreamt of a brilliant future and hope growing back into the kingdom. She dreamt of darkness and blood and tears and sickness. But all that was erased by a lone figure in the distance, holding a hand towards her with a familiar gentle smile, and she knew that he would return to them and end the darkness.

Me: Reviews are welcome! :D