A/N: I'm very sorry this took so long. The massive amount of overtime hasn't let me write in quite a while. I hope you like this update and I hope to get back on track. Thanks for your patience and thanks for sticking with me.

A/N2: A huge shout out to Aldaine. Thanks so much for your review. More on the healing soon. ;)


Chapter 21

"Incoming!" A shout went up from the soldiers, who had been left to protect the group of women and children, as the sounds of something crushing through the underbrush reached their ears.

"Archers assemble!" Colonel Rostov commanded as he left his tent. They quickly formed rows and prepared to fire when a cry went up.

"It's Merlin!" The wizard was smiling, on top of a horse he'd borrowed for the trip, until he saw the rows of archers who had not lowered their weapons.

"At ease gentlemen!" The Colonel ordered upon seeing the warlock for himself.

"Good to know you were on alert," Merlin said.

"Better to be alert than dead," Rostov responded.

"Very true. I bring good news. Malik is dead. We have won the day," the young man smiled.

"Excellent news but how exactly did you defeat the dragons?" The Colonel wondered.

"Very long story but I promise that once I take a look at the sick, I'll tell you," Merlin explained.

"Of course. Right this way. We quarantined them off. Seems as though despite being reassured they were not contagious, people wanted them away from the camp," Rostov told him as he lead them to the medical tents.

"Not everyone is comfortable with magic, especially since as I understand it, the Princess told everyone her story," the warlock nodded.

"Some view magic as being good enough to save the Queen but bad enough to keep our Princess from us, despite the fact that it wasn't really the fault of magic for the Princess's kidnapping," the Colonel said.

"Sorcery when in the wrong hands can be very dangerous, so I do not blame them," Merlin gave a slight smile as they entered the tent.

"Merlin! It is good to see you. I take it all went well?" Doctor Caldwell asked.

"As well as could be expected. How about you?" The wizard wanted to know.

"Well so far I haven't lost anyone, but the King, I fear he doesn't have much time left. His breathing has become very shallow. I called the Princess and the Queen to come as soon as they could," Caldwell explained.

"I was hoping with the death of Malik, he would get better on his own," Merlin frowned.

"I'm afraid that was not the case. We've almost lost Rafe several times. Luck would seem to be on our side as I was able to keep him alive," the doctor said.

"Well then we must work quickly. Take me to the King," the wizard instructed. Quickly the doctor led him to the sick monarch and Colonel Rostov went back to his troops.

"Has he woken up at all?" Merlin asked as they approached the sleeping King.

"No. He still comes in and out. I haven't been able to fully awake him," Caldwell said. Merlin puzzled for a few moments before beginning to speak in a strange tongue that the doctor did not understand. The King gasped as the wizard finished and he opened his eyes for a moment before lapsing into unconsciousness. The doctor quickly checked the King's breathing as Rapunzel and the Queen entered the private portion of the tent.

"He's not breathing!" Caldwell exclaimed.

To Be Continued…