The Lady Illyria
I do not own it.
Thanks to deiticlast, for being my beta-reader.The Ruins of My Kingdom to Come
Chapter 2: The Lady Illyria
“Remind me again, Arthur, why I have to come with you while you hunt? I mean, we've already established that I scare away all the game and -” Merlin demanded of the blonde-haired nobleman as he followed him along forest floor. He stepped over a the half-rotted remnants of a long-fallen tree as he spoke.
“You're coming because I'm the Prince and I told you to.” Arthur replied, interrupting his servant.
“Actually, I think it's because you're a clot-pole.” Merlin replied, smirking.
“That's not a word, Merlin.” Arthur said – not for the first time – as a sigh escaped his lips.
“Yes it is.” Merlin countered.
“What does it mean, then?” Arthur didn't know why he subjected himself to this again. They went through it every time Merlin invented words to use as insults directed at him.
“It means 'Prince Arthur'.” Merlin answered, still smirking, then suddenly, he pulled up short. For a moment, a split second, he felt...power, wash over him. Magical power. And lots of it. Someone, or something with more power than he'd ever felt was nearby. Then, just as suddenly, it passed, as if it was more an event, than a presence...it threw him off completely, though. He was just standing there, still, when Arthur turned around.
Seeing Merlin just standing there, Arthur half-shouted. “Merlin! Quit fooling around and come on!”
“I thought I heard something.” Merlin lied.
Arthur shook his head. “You're a terrible liar, Merlin.” The young warlock couldn't help but laugh inside at those words. If I was a terrible liar, I'd have been killed by your crazy father months ago, and you'd have died at least three or four times by now.
“There's nothing to hear, because unfortunately, you really do scare-” His voice trailed off when he heard two distinct voices nearby, just ahead of them in the forest. Silently, he motioned to Merlin to stay where he was, then, drawing his sword, slowly moved forward. Without stepping from behind the cover of the trees, he looked into the clearing just ahead./
The two people standing there wore perhaps the strangest clothes that he had ever seen. Well, the man's clothes, while strange, looked mostly normal. The brown coat that he wore was of a style and appearance he'd never seen, but it was recognizably a coat, of some kind. The man was tall and thin, but he carried himself with the confidence and the prepared wariness of an accomplished warrior. It was strange, though, given that he saw no weapons on the man, nor any armor.
The woman also bore no weapon, but the clothing she wore appeared to be some kind of armor. But while the best term he could give it was armor, the red, overlapping pieces appeared almost as the kind of thing one might find on an insect, rather than as a suit of armor. He couldn't imagine how the woman put it on. Or took it off for that matter. Arthur shook his head as that thought entered his mind, driving it out.
But the most noteworthy thing about the two strangers, even more so than the fact that he couldn't understand whatever it was the two of them were saying, was that the woman's hair was blue. Arthur had seen many people in Camelot and out of it, but never before had he seen anyone with blue hair.
“State your business!” Arthur said in a loud clear voice as he stepped into view. He held his sword in front of himself in a defensive, but not overly threatening manner.
The Prince of Camelot knew an aggressive move when he saw one. The woman raised one hand in a clenched fist, striding towards him. Before she got three steps in his direction, however, the man placed a hand on her arm and spoke something in what Arthur could only assume was another language. Then he turned to Arthur.
“You must forgive the Lady Illyria. She does not take to demands well. She may not speak your tongue, but she knows a demand when she hears one.” He turned to the woman and murmured something to her. Then he approached Arthur.
“That's close enough. I said, 'State. Your. Business'.”
The man drew up short. “And who might you be exactly to order us about like that?”
“I am Prince Arthur Pendragon, of Camelot. This forest is my father's land, in his kingdom.” He watched with curious interest as the man seemed to be taken aback at his identity. Almost spluttering a moment, the man took a moment to speak coherently.
“I'm sorry. Did you say Prince
Arthur of Camelot?!
“I did. Why does that seem to surprise you?”
“I...I did not realize that we had come so far as to be in the territory of Camelot.” The man replied. “We are...ah... a little lost, clearly.”
“Who are you?” Arthur asked. He lowered his sword, but did not sheath it.
“Forgive me, your highness,” Wesley replied, bowing just a little. “I am Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, scholar and the guide of the Lady Illyria, of Los Angeles. And her translator.”
“Los Angeles? I have never heard of that Kingdom.”
“I am not surprised. It is far away, to the south.”
“What brings you to Camelot?”
“Nothing brings us to Camelot specifically, but the Lady Illyria simply wished to travel, to see the world far from her home. Unfortunately, our party was set upon by bandits, the rest of the Lady's retainers other than myself killed and all our supplies taken, several days ago. We've been wandering since.”
“Neither of you carry a weapon.” Arthur noted. “Were all your guards killed in the attack?”
“I do actually carry a weapon.” Wesley replied. “If you will allow me to demonstrate.” He flicked his wrist and a sword slid out of his sleeve, and within two seconds, he was armed. He saw the look of surprise on Arthur's face. “It is not magic, your highness, merely science. The scientists of Los Angeles are quite skilled.” He let the sword re-enter the wrist device, and if vanished back into his wrist.
“Interesting.” He nodded to the blue-haired woman. “Am a correct in assuming that your Lady Illyria is capable of fighting?”
“She is. Quite well, in fact.” Wesley replied.
“I would like to ask her a few questions.”
“I can translate them for you.” Wesley replied. “But I do warn you, Illyria can be impatient. She does not like to be kept waiting, and she has little stomach for extended questioning. She can be...” He paused. “Difficult.” The self-described guide turned to Illyria and spoke to her. The noblewoman approached Wesley and they spoke for a minute, then Wesley turned back to Arthur. “Ask your questions.”
“Why did you choose to travel so far from your lands that no one here would have heard where you come from?” Arthur watched as Wesley translated, then as Illyria spoke.
“Because I wished to explore distant lands.” Wesley replied after a moment.
“The expense and risk of such a journey purely to settle your curiosity?”
Through Wesley: “I am more than capable of taking care of myself-” Illyria added something else in what sounded like yet another language to the one they had been speaking earlier. Wesley didn't translate that.
“What did she say?” Arthur demanded of the scholar.
“It would be...undiplomatic for me to translate Illyria's words. Needless to say, she does not find this interrogation amusing.” Illyria said something more. “However, she would like you to get to the point.”
Arthur scowled. “You are trespassing on the lands of my Father, the King. If I were to order you to surrender your weapons and -”
Illyria cut him off. “Were you to try anything of the sort, young Prince, I would leave you tied to that tree,” she pointed to the tree in question, “with your arms and legs broken.”
Arthur raised his sword at the threat. “So you can speak the same language as I do.”
“Yes. She can.” Wesley agreed. “But as you can see, diplomacy is not exactly Illyria's strong suit, but she does get to the nub of the problem. We're not going to surrender our weapons. We will leave your Kingdom of you insist, but I cannot believe your noble father would turn away a noblewoman in need, however...blunt, and violent she can be in her tone.” Then he spoke to Illyria in their language again.
“I don't tend to trust people who level threats like that against me.”
“And I do not like people who consider themselves superior to me, when they most definitely are not, young Prince.” Illyria replied. “If you give me no cause, I will do you no harm. I am no enemy to you.”
“Look, you highness, it has been several days since either of us have had a decent nights sleep, or a meaningful meal.” Wesley said. “We are at our wits end. I have to ask you, to please lead us to Camelot and let us speak with your father.”
Arthur knew that his father would want to meet such strangers, assess them for himself. “Aright.” He lowered, then sheathed his sword.Next Time, on Ruins of My Kingdom to Come: What exactly were Wesley and Illyria thinking during this exchange? And how will they react to King Uther? Find out, coming soon to a computer near you. Well...eventually. Soon may be an overstatement.