Not wanting her to get wound up on that topic, Arthur broke in. “What did you see, Morgana?” He asked, returning to the subject that had brought them to where they were.
She paled. Morgause had warned her that the bracelet had limitations, and that if the dream was strong enough, it would push past even her magical defenses, so she knew her vision to be true.“They’re coming,” she whispered. “The Knights. And—“ she faltered. “At least one of us will die before this is done.”
“Not if I have anything to do with it.” Arthur declared grimly. “Stay here, you and Gwen. Get as many supplies packed as you can, and be ready to run immediately. If you have to escape before we return, we’ll meet you in the Valley of the Fallen Kings by nightfall. Understand?”
The women nodded shakily. Morgana stood and Gwen followed suit. The princess suddenly embraced her adopted brother, hugging him hard. Arthur froze for a second, before he slowly returned the embrace.
“Be careful, Arthur. We will await your return.”
He managed a semblance of his usual cocky grin as Merlin grabbed their packs. “Aren’t I always?” He said with a wink, disappearing out the door before either woman could retort.
“Morgana?” Gwen questioned softly once they were back in her chambers. “Are you all right?”
The princess managed a wan smile, her eyes distant. “Guinevere, take the supplies and Gaius and go to the Valley. Now!”
“But I can’t leave you—“
“You must! I saw my death this morning, Gwen! One of us must escape and warn Arthur and Merlin!” She cried. “Go. Now!”
The maiden reluctantly did as she was bid, leaving Morgana alone to wait. Dressed in breeches and a shirt, as she often did for her lessons with Gaius, she strode towards the physician’s chambers, even though she knew they were empty. Her lessons had progressed favorably enough that he now trusted her to stay alone in his rooms to make potions and tinctures while he and Gwen made the rounds in town or ventured into the forest to collect herbs.
Needing to keep her hands busy, she threw herself into the familiar routine, trying to keep her mind at bay. She wasn’t sure how this was to play out, for the only vision she had seen was of her, lying cold and lifeless in Merlin’s arms—before everything went black.
“I knew we shouldn’t have come! This was just a distraction to get us away from Camelot!” Arthur snarled, urging his horse to a faster pace. Merlin was hot on his heels, livid with frustration of his own.
They had gone to the ruins where the fires were supposedly lit—only to find that if they had been, the embers had long since burned out. Whomever had lit the fires had planned well though, and only warlock and prince had escaped the ambush of the undead knights, the prince unharmed and Merlin with a shallow cut—‘his first battle wound!’, as Arthur had declared it.
They slowed abruptly in the town square. Arthur swung off of his horse, going over to check a guard lying motionless nearby.
“Is he dead?” Merlin frowned. “I can’t sense anything.”
“No. Just sleeping.” The prince answered grimly. “Come on.”
They advanced cautiously on foot, weapons at the ready. They moved stealthily into the receiving courtyard, checking bodies on the way. The only sign of life was when a horse pulling a cart came clattering into the yard. Arthur caught it by the reins and gave a murmured command to stand, to which the horse dropped his head and snorted, relaxing into its stance.