A/N: YAYAYAY! Made it to 100 reviews! Thank you everyone for reviewing! It means a lot! Also, who put me in the Right Turn (stories that take an odd path) community? Should I take that as a compliment? I will but was just wondering... At least it won't be forgotten... Al-ways look on the briiigggght side of life! *whistles* I love Monty Python. :)

Anyway, life has being getting in the way lately. I'm not going to go on about updating and maybe things might change. Like Murphy's Law or something. I remember another author on FanFiction saying that in their A/N as well (it's what gave me my inspiration - copying more like it. I just hope their theory works) – so all credit to them (unfortunately, can't remember their pen name. Will have to look into it…).

By the way, you don't have to bother reading the Previously paragraphs… Those are just repeating what happened at the end of the last chapter for those who need a reminder because of my atrocious updating skills.

I tried to make this chapter more, lighthearted because I've been really mean to these characters lately. But don't worry. There will be whump at the end of this chapter. You are really going to want me to update once you finish reading it. So I will, plus, I know exactly what to write now, so it should be sooner. It's just finding the time to do it, is what I struggle with most. :D

Also, can you spot The Chaser's War on Everything quote? It's not exactly the same but along the lines of it. If you don't know what this TV show is, you should. It's Australian so I'll give a brief summary. These guys go around pranking people (no actors – all real) like pretending to be police officers and etc. It's hilarious!

Warning: There is a red-haired people analogy. I really didn't intend to hurt anyone – offend I mean. I do hurt people (*cough* Merlin *cough*). And it's came from Merlin's mouth – Colin (actor of Merlin) too actually. Colin said in this Video Diaries thing that he didn't like gingers (as a dark joke I assume). But that isn't what sparked my thoughts. I don't know what did but I can say is that I didn't do it because of that reason. I only thought of that Video Diaries thing now (and that 'now' occurred after I wrote the analogy). Oh, and did I mention there's Merlin whump at the end – is that a good warning? Well, that's enough of my rambling. Please read and review!

Chapter Nine: More Pain for the Warlock

Previously, on The Repercussions of Being Ransomed…

The servant rubbed his hands together. "Okay, let's get these robes on." He walked a little closer to where the bodies lay. "It's freezing."

Merlin stopped moving and placed a hand on his hip. His lips were pursed; a puzzled expression had crossed his features. "Don't you think it's a bit strange that this part of the cavern is so much colder than any other section?" He spoke with unsure narrowed eyes. "I don't think I really want to know what's on the other side of this wall. There's just something about it…" He bit his bottom lip.

Arthur hands up in surrender. He shook his head and laughed.

"All right. We're not going to smash the dead-end down… At least not right now. If our other plans fail we're coming back here."

The prince's expression then turned serious. His eyes were now wide with somber sincerity.

"And, God help me—" the man exhaled, "—if you don't want to come, I'll drag you with me the whole way and then smash the wall down myself. Regardless of what you think or do. Is that understood?" He held his hands in front of himself with a fake smile residing on his face.

"Fine then." grumbled Merlin. Oh, no. Arthur wasn't just any old prat. He was a pompous one. And a damn good one at that.



"How do I look?" asked Merlin. He spread his arms to his sides like an eagle's wings in flight. The dark fabric soared with the movement. His hands were hidden within the lengthy sleeves of his newly acquired robes.

"Like a dwarf who just went swimming with his clothes on."

Both, Arthur and Merlin had stripped the two unconscious Areltorians of their clothing - apart from their undergarments of course - and put the bleak outfits on. They'd chosen men who had a similar body shape to themselves so the wear wouldn't be too tight, loose, long or short. Well, sort of.

Thin black tunics went underneath heavy dark robes. Thankfully, the men didn't have to change pants as the attire was long and hid their legs nicely. But, Merlin's, a little too well.

"Well, come on. Don't just stand there like a dandelion." Arthur turned from his friend and gestured him to follow. Merlin stumbled after the prince.

The men briskly walked down the cold passage they had originally come through. "Not that way." The warlock put an arm on Arthur's shoulder to cease his movement. "We need to turn left here."

The prince shrugged the hand off him and begrudgingly went down the suggested route. He mumbled quietly to himself, "M-magic … Guiding us … Merlin's m—… His… magic … The idiot is guiding me… with his… his, magic."

"It's not all bad you know." stated Merlin. He'd been listening carefully to Arthur's consistent muttering.

"What?" asked the prince surprised he turned his head slightly to the man.

"Magic. It's not all bad." repeated the warlock.

The prince turned his eyes back to the front of himself. "Well, it seems so. Or you wouldn't have saved my life back there. Unless…"

"—Arthur, magic. Magic can be used as a force for good. Magic just is. It's neither good nor bad. It can be used as a shield and a weapon. The wielder of it decides how they wish to use it."

"Well, there aren't very many good sorcerers then, are there?" His eyes stayed glued in front of himself.

"Or maybe your father's hate for magic has pushed all that away from the kingdom."

The prince stayed silent. The men continued walking, Arthur a little ahead of his manservant. Their black robes gliding behind themselves like capes.

"Some people are born with red hair; they have no choice in it. They are sometimes even judged upon it before meeting others. And there are not as many of them out there as there are," Merlin paused, "—brunettes, blondes and so forth.

"Sometimes they even dye their hair to fit in. But they have to keep dying it to stay hidden. The dye comes at a price as well. It isn't cheap. Also, as they age, their hair will begin to turn grey and get weaker, thinner—"

"Merlin. Where the hell are you going with this?"

"Look, the point is, Arthur—" the servant sighed, "I don't have any choice in possessing magic. And I just want you to know, to know that it's not all evil."

"Perhaps." said Arthur quietly.

The warlock hesitated. "I'm sorry. I should have told you. I'll leave Camelot." Merlin didn't want to desert his home but if that was what the prince wanted, then, he would do it.

"Merlin, I won't—" Arthur was cut off as a tough-looking Areltorian with ordinary brown hair and eyes walked in front of them.

Won't? Won't what? Merlin had always tried to imagine how the conversation of his magic would go with the prince. Would he be exiled, executed, hidden, revealed to all? Damn that Areltorian.

The man had a large and bulky build. His voice was deep and husky – many of the round ones had voices like these, come to think of it. "Special authority is required for being in this area."

Special authority... They can't be serious? Arthur hesitated. "Haven't you heard? This place is collapsing."

"Indeed, I have heard, but that gives you no excuse to come down this path."

"Well, how else are we going to get out?" Was this the right route? He hoped so or the Areltorian would know something was up. "We need to go through this way so we're not crushed by stone." said Arthur boldly. He tried his best to sound honestly legitimate.

"True, you are."

Really? So, this was the right way after all. Good thing I trusted Merlin. Even though, what he did was…displeasing.

"I'll let you pass just this once, but first, I'll need to see your identification."

Identification, what the hell is this place?

"Come on. Hand it here."

Okay, so I should have the identification on me. The prince began searching every inch of his robes.

The Areltorian sighed. "Your left inner-pocket."

"Right," Arthur put on a fake smile before reaching inside his robes. He felt his fingertips touch something smooth and flimsy. The man pulled out some slightly crumpled, cream-coloured parchment.

The Areltorian snatched it from his hands; he read aloud from the paper. "Leofrick, second son of Richard of Estléwick," The man then continued reading silently.

After he'd finished, the man folded the paper and handed it back to Arthur. His expression held doubt. "I've never seen you around here before. I'm good friends with Richard; didn't expect this to be what his son looked like."

Arthur sighed inwardly with relief. He also wondered why this particular Areltorian who he'd pretended to be was named with the likes of a noble.

"And you?" The man looked over to Merlin. "What's your name?"

The warlock stumbled forward next to Arthur. He reached into his left pocket but before he could pull out the parchment, the man stopped him with words. "No, I want you to tell me your name."

"Mer—" The warlock cut himself off before it was too late. If Ryrren had known his name, then there was a high chance he'd told others before he'd died.

"What was that?" asked the Areltorian. He tried hard not to show his glee in exposing the imposter. The man had never seen these guys before and they seemed pretty clueless to how things worked. This wasn't the first time people had tried to infiltrate them. Though, he still needed proof – just to make sure.

"Uh,—" The warlock finished his name with the end of the first thing that came to his mind. Dragon. "—Mergon. Mergon, first son of, uh, Kilgharrah of um… Northumbria." Why does the Great Dragon always influence my made up names?

"Identification." He held out a meaty hand.

"I'm not showing you anything until you show me yours." stated Merlin confidently. He knew he would be found out if he gave the slip of paper to this man. He was already suspicious.

"Excuse me?"

"I said, I want you to show me your identification first." Hopefully Merlin could stall until he thought of something else.

The man looked sheepish, "Oh... Right." He then sighed, "If you really must insist." The Areltorian pulled out his special society's identity and handed it roughly to Merlin.

"Hmm… I'm sorry." The warlock pretended to read over the information before looking up into the man's menacing brown eyes. Though, he did not let those dark irises cause him to cower.


"It seems that I outrank you." The warlock looked back down to the parchment with a raised brow. He shook his head slightly while biting his lower lip.

Arthur resisted the urge to slap a hand to his forehead. Merlin's acting skills were atrocious. He could hardly believe that this Areltorian was falling for it.

"What?" The man repeated himself. It looked like someone had just smacked him across the face.

"Let us go, and we'll let you go." Merlin gave the man his identification back and put his "own" away.

"Could you tell me what this is all about?"

"I'm sorry but that's classified." The servant ran a hand horizontally through the air on the word, classified. "Come on, Leofrick." He began walking and Arthur followed quickly leaving the gaping Areltorian. Merlin refrained from the urge to taunt the prince about his "name".

"And that is how a warlock does it, Arthur." muttered the servant with a slight smirk. He felt like a new warlock. The prince would probably push all that smugness out of him soon enough, though.

"Wait!" a furious shout sounded from behind. The men turned around to see another Areltorian standing there next to the gawking one. "I know you! You're the Prince of Camelot and… and why…" The man's eyes glowed with the sudden intensity of a maniac. "Why, if it isn't his servant, Merlin." he snarled loudly. The man pressed his tone harshly on the warlock's name.

As Arthur and Merlin heard this, they simultaneously turned their faces to one another, sharing the same unsure look. This lasted for less than a second. Both were soon sprinting forward.

Unfortunately, after a few strides, they felt themselves stop moving instantly. The sensation would be that of standing in an icy lake on a winter's day, and then finding your legs frozen in it the next morning.

They were as still as statues; immobile in a running position. The men could still breathe, blink, and use their five senses, but that was all. They could not move any part of their body or talk. No matter how hard they tried.

The new Areltorian casually walked up to the boys'; the other following closely behind.

"Good thing I came when I did. These are the men who were meant to be questioned and then ransomed but managed to escape before we could do so."

Merlin figured that this must have been one of the men who had helped Althadrel capture them in the first place. The ones who had been apart of the ambush.

"Uh, Lucas, I'll alert the guards and get some assistance…" The large Areltorian ran off past the men and into the distance. He was soon out of sight.

A bitter voice startled the warlock. "You killed my brother, Merlin." The newly-appeared Areltorian whispered into the servant's ear as he smirked. Merlin hadn't even noticed him move there. The man circled his frozen figure.

Arthur would be sure to goad the warlock on his unintentional killing skills later. That would be if they survived this round.

The man's features held a superior gleam as he gazed into Merlin's nervous eyes. This Areltorian was slim and around Ryrren's young age. He had cold hazel irises; along with cropped brunette curls. "And do you know what I do to people who kill my friends?" Lucas paused before his voice hardened, "I make sure they pay."

The man's eyes flashed gold and the servant found himself unfrozen. The warlock dropped to his knees in shock. His legs had already forgotten how to support his weight. Merlin slowly began to stand back up.

Not even a few seconds after he'd managed to rise from the ground, he saw a large shape come upon him – it whammed right into his stomach. Merlin flew backwards; his head smacked hard against the surface of rock before he slid down the wall. The breath was knocked from him and a bright light burned beneath his scrunched eyelids.

Realisation dawned on the warlock. That man had just punched him. Hard. It would have had to be amplified with the force of a powerful gift. No ordinary man could possess that amount of strength in his fist. The Areltorian's eyes also played a part in his final conclusion of the ownership of a certain skill. They'd just returned to their usual hazel colour. The molten gold that was shining in his irises moments before showed that Lucas had, in fact, used magic.

Just as Merlin began to regain his composure, the man roughly grabbed the neckline of his black robes. He ruthlessly dragged the reluctant warlock up the wall before smashing a clenched hand into his nose. A thin stream of blood trickled from the man's left nasal passage as he was severely beaten.

Powerful blows were thrown multiple times at the servant. Each held unmistakable rage; every hit intended to bring as much pain as possible. The warlock whimpered while fighting to hold back tears.

Where was he? Please, Arthur. Please... Please forgive me.

Was it so bad just to give Merlin some joy of feeling well again? Let him feel cocky just for a little bit? At least we're back on the whumping track people!

You may have noticed the hair dye thing and are thinking, there's no such thing as hair dye back then… But I did some research and apparently, there was. But most likely, it wasn't as good of a quality as today's is. If there really was no such thing as hair dye back then, then I'm sorry but I'm not changing it (I'm stubborn, you see). I like my analogy. I just needed something that wasn't a sword because everybody uses that one. And since its Merlin we're talking about here, I'm sure he's allowed to get away with saying things like that without it seeming OOC and being somewhat funny.

Did you catch the quotes? It's from the APEC security episode so you can go and check it out on YouTube if you wish. It's damn good and my second favourite TV show (can you guess my favourite?) but got canceled because the pranks became out of hand, like, dressing as Osama bin Laden and managing to get through Australia's 'toughest' security while being 10 meters away from the president's hotel just using a Canadian flag and some other methods. But it's returning later this year apparently – it got cut off in 2009.

Review please! :D