“There is a tunnel under the northern ramparts that brings us only few paces from the entrance to the dungeons. It will be well guarded. So if we’re going to break everyone out, we must remain unobserved. We cannot let them raise the alarm.” Arthur emphasized.
“We need to take out the warning bell. That way the warriors have no means of communication.”
“I’ll need someone with me who knows the castle.”
“I’ll go.” Merlin almost too innocently piped in.
“Alright.” Arthur nodded. “Kyna will be accompanying us to the dungeons. In the meantime, Anwen will try to sneak in the citadel and find the Cup.”
“Are you mad?” Came five differently pitched voices.
“It’s a suicidal mission either way. I have to try and get the Cup. It is my responsibility as the priestess of Old Religion. Besides…I can use mirroring illusion to slip past the guards unnoticed.” Anwen explained.
“What if someone does see you?”
“The only person in there that can see me for who I really am is Morgause. Not even Morgana.”
“We have no time to argue about this. Anwen knows the danger. Let’s move.” Arthur commanded, sending everyone off to get ready.
“Gaius…” Anwen turned to the old physician. “Stay put. We got it covered.” she added in hushed tone so only Gaius could hear and understand what ‘we’ meant.
“I promise I will.”
“Good. Because if something happened to you, I do not think Merlin would ever forgive himself. Make sure you are well prepared for casualties.”
“Anwen! Time to go!” Arthur called.
“I leave Elwyn in your care. She serves me well and so it will be with you, should you need to travel quickly.” Kyna put in a comment and ran after Anwen.
“This is not going to end well, is it Gaius?” Gwen asked concerned once they were alone.
“It will do us no good if keep dwelling on it, Gwen. Best get to work and get ready for wounded.” Gaius advised although he was not certain if he could heed his own advice.
“Any advice before we split?” Gwaine asked cheekily as always when they managed to get in the tunnel.
“Don’t get killed.” Anwen smirked. “Good luck.” she added and followed after Lancelot and Merlin upstairs.
“You do realize we are coming with you?” Lancelot asked once they were alone, wandering the halls of citadel.
“I counted on it. Now come on. I can feel the Cup’s power. What about you?”
“Yes. That way.” Merlin nodded.
The guard that appeared seemingly out of nowhere and caught three companions in action was quickly dealt with as Merlin slashed him with the sword Anwen saw only few times when her grandfather led battles against magical beasts.
“Where did you get that sword?”
“What is that?”
Merlin looked at his friends with small, confident smile on his face.
“It was forged in dragon’s breath.” Was all he said before he stalked off to where the Cup was calling him to.
“What do we do now?” Lancelot asked, taking into account the guards in front of the Council Chambers.
“We keep them busy, Merlin gets rid off them. Simple.” Anwen smiled slightly, flexing her sword hand.
“Arthur is bad influence on you.” Merlin muttered.
“I think it’s the other way around sweetie.”
“Not wishing to interrupt but shall we?” Lancelot cut in, for some reason he did not like the flirtatious comment Anwen graced Merlin with.
“Right.” Merlin and Anwen whispered in unison after which Lancelot and Anwen stepped out of the shadows and engaged the soldiers in duels, sending them one by one right on the tip of Merlin’s blade, destroying them in the process.
The small skirmish was over before it started, the sluggish guards stood no chance against two skilled swordfighters and servant boy with enchanted sword. With last guard outside dispatched, they hurried inside and barricaded the doors so no more guards could get in.
“Ah…boys?” Anwen’s voice snapped two men out of their silent, gaze talk and looked sidewise to see six guards surrounding the Cup, drawing out their swords.
“It looked too easy anyway.” The blonde witch stated nonchalantly before engaging another set of guards in duel once again; well aware of the need that they should hurry because Kyna let her know that whilst she had the immortal soldiers under control but could not hold them off for much longer with trying to get Uther out of the dungeons.
The sudden yelp of pain that came from Lancelot broke Anwen’s combat concentration and she sneaked a look b over her shoulder to see Lancelot holding his right shoulder right as the alarm bell sounded.
“The Cup Merlin!” Anwen yelled, knocking out a soldier with the pommel of her sword before Merlin dispatched his last opponent and rushed to the Cup.
She heard the wood that barricaded the chamber doors snap, allowing the doors to be opened; revealing Morgause.
“Hleap on bæc!” Anwen shouted, sending Morgause flying through the air into the wall and her head made really unpleasant crack as it impacted the solid stone.
The sound of metal hitting metal let Anwen know that Merlin emptied the Cup and they could hear distant pops from the halls, meaning the spell has lost its anchor and power. That is when Morgana decided to grace them with her presence, shrieking in distress for her sister from the doorway.
“You were such a nice, innocent thing. How does one make a turn like you?” Anwen asked the witch whose powers were growing, Anwen could feel it as light tingling on her skin.
“You know nothing of what I have been through.” Morgana bit back, cradling her sister’s head.
“I could have if you just decided to write me a simple letter. I told you that almost four years ago. But that Pendragon pride just didn’t let you, did it?”
“It’s over Morgana.” Merlin muttered tiredly.
‘That was not the smartest thing to say.’ Anwen chimed in his head the same moment Morgana retorted with low intoned ‘This has just begun’ and started unleashing her instinctual bouts of magic that were powerful and unpredictable.
“Merlin, grab the Cup! We need to get out of here. If she is determined to die, I am not!” Anwen shouted, helping Lancelot get on his feet and guided him out of the rapidly collapsing chambers.
“Got it!” Merlin yelled, running out of the chambers at the last second.
“That was close.” Anwen breathed, flashing a small smile to her two companions before her eyes settled on the wound.
Lancelot stood perfectly still. First reason being the proximity of their faces to one another and second because he knew that if he moved, the effect of blood loss would kick in and was most likely to sway or even worse, pass out.
“It’s not as bad as it looks.” Anwen spoke, more to herself than to anyone else. “Ic þe þurhhæle þín licsare.” she murmured and Lancelot felt sort of warmth spread through his wound into surrounding skin as the wound closed, leaving the skin unmarred
“Thank you milady.” Lancelot said courteously and Anwen laughed softly.
“It’s Anwen, Sir Knight. Come…let us check on the others.” she added and led the way to the dungeons.