Better description: When Merlin is offered to be the manservant of a prince who's kingdom allows magic,he doesn't know whether to accept,or not due to Arthur and his destiny - and Arthur has no intention of letting Merlin go,which only grows stronger when Morgana tells of a terrible dream she has,sparking off a new turn for Camelot.
"Merlin." A thick,yet smooth voice said."Merlin." The voice said again,breaking said male out of his day dream as he stared out the large windows in Arthur's chambers.
Merlin had an expression of lost on his face as he stared at the blonde male."Hm?" He questioned,then reality came crashing down on him and he jolted slightly."O-oh!" He quickly said."I'm sorry,Arthur." He fumbled around with an apology as he looked about the room,trying to figure out why Arthur wanted his attention.
Arthur let out an exasperated sigh,before repeating what he had said moments before Merlin switched into a day dream."I said,Merlin: you need to prepare my armour for tomorrow's tournament. If you remember,I have a sword fighting tournament,and I need everything to be perfect. Honestly,Merlin,sometimes I wonder why I even keep you." He tutted,before nodding his head over at the laid out armour on a table to the side of them.
Merlin gave his infamous goofy grin as he apologized again,before going over to the metal and picking up Arthur's helmet.
Arthur coughed lightly,alerting the black haired male's attention. Merlin noticed the annoyed expression on the prince's face,causing him to be confused for a moment before it clicked in his mind."Oh,yeah." He said,almost forgetting to collect water - for a person couldn't possibly expect to make armour shiny without the aid of water.
Arthur rolled his eyes."Be sure to get it done before I come back from the council meeting with my father." Arthur explained,looking Merlin up and down with a look that said,'hopeless,utterly hopeless',before exiting his chambers and making it towards the throne room.
Merlin just smiled lightly,and waited until Arthur left before lying the armour down on the bed and making his way towards the village,where he would collect the bucket of water.
Arthur entered the throne room to see his father stood in front of the throne, addressing the kingdom's council and a few knights that were already working within the kingdom.
"Ah,my son." Uther stated as Arthur walked in,making the people turn around to nod at him in respect."We were just about to start." He explained,placing a hand on his son's shoulder as he stood besides his father.
Arthur looked at everyone in front of him with a acknowledging expression,before looking back at his father."What are we discussing,father?" He asked.
"The tournament,of course." Uther replied with a brief smile - but it wasn't friendly."And how you're going to do me proud,once again. You won last year against Knight Valiant,and we were all saying how you're going to win this year." He explained,and everyone murmured an agreement.
Arthur smiled politely at everyone,before saying: "Yes,father. I'll try my best." Earning a small smile from Uther again,and a brief pat on the back.
"Good." Uther said,almost sounding like a threat hiding in that one word,as though he really wanted to say,'Good,or else.'
"I also wish for you to greet the other knights." Uther continued."They should be arriving anytime now,and I want you to go to the sight where they will be setting up. It's only polite to greet your apponent in a fair contest." He advised.
Arthur nodded and said nothing more as his father withdrew the hand from his shoulder.
"I hope you have everything sorted out." Uther commented,rather than asked.
"Yes,Merlin will be preparing my armour right about now." Arthur replied,hoping that his manservant was. Merlin had been his manservant for a long time now,and Arthur noticed that Merlin was gradually getting better at performing his duties. But,he still remained his goofy self,which Arthur found refreshing at times - he needed Merlin in a light-hearted mood whenever he came back to his chambers in a foul one,just to cheer him up.
"Right." Uther replied,clearly unimpressed. Uther hadn't like Merlin that much,but he was grateful for the times that the male would save his sons life,although he definitely didn't show it. Uther then adressed the council and knights."Knights,you will attend tomorrow and explain to the new contestants what will happen. There are previous contestants who entered last year,so you will see familiar faces. Knights are dismissed." He explained,and the knights bowed and exited the throne room."As for the council,I would like for you to remain to discuss the food supplied to the village."
Arthur wanted to sigh outloud - this was the most boring part of a council meeting. Although,what part of a council meeting wasn't boring? Discussing the food and water supplies of the village bored Arthur,and it was even more boring without Merlin.
Merlin would usually linger near the wall as Uther talked to the council members,pulling faces every now and again,or pretend to fall asleep when Uther said something incredibly boring. And Arthur would have to contain his laughter,and try to keep a straight face and pay attention to his father.
'Well,' Arthur thought with sadness,'Time to day dream.' Although it wasn't the right thing to do. Arthur noticed that his usual princely self lowered the more he was around Merlin,and even in thought. It was strange,but Arthur never questioned it further: Merlin's goofy self could drive anyone to act abnormal.
When Uther was finished,Arthur excused himself and made his way back to his chambers,where he found no Merlin and his armour still set out on his bed. Arthur shook his head and frowned at the ignorant attitude of Merlin,before making his way over to the window and awaiting his manservant's return.
Yet,as he looked out the window,he spotted Merlin and Gwen near the water pump and one of the knights falling out of line to stop near the two. Arthur watched,intrigued,as Merlin started talking to the knight and dismissed the bucket full of water he set out to collect.
"Once again,ignoring your duties,Merlin." Arthur muttered.
The village was a buzz of excitement for the tournaments tomorrow,with plenty of banners to colour the castle walls. Street venders lined some of the huts,selling vegetables and fruit - although,this was mostly normal,but today it seemed different. The mood was high and mighty,and Merlin couldn't help but smile as he made his way towards the water pump with a bucket.
"Merlin!" A female voice shouted,making Merlin stop to see who it was. Gwen was walking towards him with a smile on her face.
"Hey,Gwen." Merlin greeted,giving her a smile as he waited until she joined his side,before making it over to the water pump and placing the bucket underneath the pipe.
"How are you today?" Gwen asked,manning the water pump,helping Merlin to obtain the water.
Merlin held the bucket steady as the water came full-force. Gwen may not look strong on the outside,but she sure gave it away when she had to chance."I'm good. A bit in trouble with Arthur,though." He admitted,though he chuckled afterwards.
"That's just Arthur,though." Gwen replied,but her eyes widened a little bit."Not that I'm saying Arthur is always mean - well,he is sometimes - but..I mean,he'll make a great king one day,I'm sure." She stumbled over her words,but went quiet in the end as Merlin looked at her with a small amount of sympathy.
"No,you're right." Merlin said."That's just Arthur." He repeated,grinning lightly,but their conversation was drawn to a close as the sound of the villagers gathering around the gates of Camelot was heard,along with the sound of hooves. Merlin picked up his full bucket of water and tried to catch a glimpse of the commotion,but the crowd blocked his view.
Merlin soon saw what the commotion was when the crowd had to part to make way for the horses,and the men riding on them. It was the contestants for tomorrow,dressed in the most mighty armour that Merlin had ever seen. They each had different emblems on the cloak of their horses,with different colours to match.
"Oh,wow." Gwen stated as she clasped her hands together,pressing them against her sternum as she surveyed the sight of the knights from other kingdoms. She looked back at Merlin with a huge grin,before looking back at the knights who were now trotting by on the horses,towards the sight where they would be setting up for tomorrow.
Merlin stared at one knight that was drawing nearer,following after the knight in front who had long since passed Gwen and Merlin. This knights emblem had a dragon - just like the Pendragon emblem - yet this one was black and was curled around a staff. Merlin seemed to be drawn to it,and he didn't realize he'd been staring at the emblem until Gwen nudged him.
"Look up." Gwen whispered,and Merlin looked up to see that the knight had stopped directly besides them,letting the other knights pass by. He had fallen out of line to guide his horse towards the two on-lookers.
Merlin and the knight stared at each other,each taking in the features of the other. The knight looked tall,even when he was sat on the horse,and had slightly long light brown hair with dark brown eyes to match. Merlin didn't know whether to feel intimidated,or confused as to why this knight had stopped in front of them,when the male started to speak.
"You're..Merlin,correct?" The knight spoke,his voice just as smooth as Arthur's,but somehow more mysterious. The other knights had gone by now and the villagers had separated and went about their day,exchanging glances at one another,wondering why that one knight was still lingering around. None of the villagers deemed brave enough to ask,so they dismissed it.
"Yeah,I am." Merlin replied,standing up straight and looking the knight in the eye."Who's asking?" He asked,and he heard Gwen shift nervously. It was no way to talk to a knight,but Merlin didn't mind: he was used to speaking casually to Arthur,and he was a prince,so he had no fear in standing up to another royal prat.
The knight smirked at Merlin's question."My name is Sir Laurence Carlisle." He introduced,but he didn't offer his hand for Merlin to shake. Instead,he dismounted his horse and stood amongst the two,which a knight would rarely do for the sake of a mere introduction.
Merlin raised an eyebrow,looking over at Gwen who remained quiet and almost shy of the newly acquainted knight."Nice to meet you,I suppose." Merlin said,sticking out his hand in front of Laurence,who meekly stared at it before continuing his talking.
"And will you be at the tournament tomorrow,Merlin?" Laurence asked,holding the reins of his horse. The horse was pure white,and looked massive from where they were stood. The horse acknowledged Merlin when the male looked at it,whinning slightly before turning it's head the other way and looking elsewhere.
Merlin looked back at Laurence,after noticing the strange glint in the horses's eyes."Yes - yes,I will be." Merlin replied."I'll be preparing Prince Arthur,since I'm his manservant." He explained,noticing the impressed look on the knight's face,making Merlin feel a tad bit proud for some odd reason.
And then Merlin realized he'd forgotten his duties,and his heart flipped."Ah!" He said,making Laurence and Gwen frown."I'm sorry,I have to go. I was meant to be cleaning Arthur's armour!" He excused himself and made it back into the castle as fast as he could,without spilling the bucket of water.
Merlin didn't know how long he'd been talking to Laurence,but Arthur's frustrated face when Merlin ran into his chambers indicated that it had been long enough.
"Where have you been?" Arthur asked,standing besides the window with his hands clasped behind his back. There was no hiding the annoyance in the blonde's tone as he waited for Merlin to reply.
Merlin set the bucket of water on the table before trying to excuse himself by stumbling out an explaination."Sorry,Arthur. I was..um.." He began,feeling even more nervous under Arthur's unyielding stare. The prince never much shown emotion.
"Talking idly to a knight?" Arthur finished for him,and Merlin nodded,before realizing what Arthur had said.
"How did you know?" Merlin asked,and almost palmed his forehead when he answered his own question."Because..you can see out onto the village,right?"
Arthur nodded."And I happened to catch you dawdling and talking to one of the knights. What,Merlin,could the knight have said so importantly to take you away from your duties that I set you?" He asked.
"He.." Merlin began,but saw the sarcastically intrigued expression on the blonde's face."Nothing important,sire." He said,looking down at the floor for a moment before mumbling an apology and taking the armour from the bed to begin cleaning them with the water.
"Right." Arthur said,before walking towards the door of his chambers."Well,I'll be mostly away,greeting the other contestants. This time,complete your duties,Merlin." He said,before disappearing.
Merlin couldn't help but grin as he worked on the armour. Even though Arthur was angry at him,he didn't do anything about it and only let Merlin off with a small telling off. That was what Merlin liked about Arthur: he may act mean,but he never seemed to punish Merlin for any mistake he made.
Arthur made his way over to the sight of the knights,accompanied by two of his own guards following closely behind. There were already tents being set up,adorned with the banners of each,individual knight's emblem of the places they traveled from.
Talking to a few knights,Arthur eventually came round to a knight who's emblem was a dragon,curled around a staff. It was an unusual emblem,and Arthur found it quite disturbing at the same time.
The knight looked up and greeted Athur."Sire - nice to make your acquaintance." He bowed slightly,which Arthur brushed off.
"Hm." Arthur simply said,before nodding over at the emblem."I've never seen that before. Which part of you from,Sir...?" He asked,frowning slightly as he didn't know the knight's name.
"Laurence Carlisle." Laurence spoke,before looking over at his emblem."I come from Paravel,west of Camelot." He replied to the question as he started to clean his sword with a cloth. Arthur picked up on this.
"Have you no manservant?" Arthur asked,unimpressed. A person of high class should have a manservant,or maidservant at least.
Laurence shook his head."No,sire." He replied,"I've yet to find one suitable." He added,putting aside his sword and standing tall."Say,you have a manservant called Merlin,correct?" Laurence asked,noting the slight shift of expression on the blonde's face at the mention of Merlin.
Arthur breathed in deeply."Yes,he is my manservant. But,what does that matter?" He asked,realizing now that this was the knight that Merlin was talking to earlier before.
"He has quite a fiery attitude,if I may say so." Laurence replied,chuckling afterwards."Doesn't quite know his place." He added.
Arthur simply stared at Laurence for a while,before letting out a quiet 'hmph'. "Merlin is my business,and I will state whether he belongs,or not. Thank you,Sir Laurence." He bluntly put,causing Laurence to smirk.
"As you wish,sire. And good luck for tomorrow." Laurence replied,watching as Arthur gave him a quick nod and carried on his way to greet the other contestants.
Merlin finally managed to prepare Arthur's armour,just in time as Arthur walked into the room and instantly sat down on his bed,letting out a long sigh.
"Arthur?" Merlin asked,setting down the helmet he was cleaning to stand near the bed."Everything alright?" He asked.
Arthur took a while to look up at Merlin,his face clearly indicating that he was tired."Just exhausted from the day,Merlin." He gave no further explaination as he ran a hand through his blonde hair and yawned.
Merlin just nodded."I will run you a bath,then. And then I'll leave you alone." He explained.
The bath was prepared a while later and Arthur instantly relaxed as he took to the water. Merlin smiled,before excusing himself and making his way towards Gaius's quarters for the remainder of the day,since Arthur didn't need his assistance anymore.