I look upon the field of slaughter that surrounds me. The mists hide much but I can still hear the screams and moans in the distance. It won't be long before his men and the old fool make it here. To the centre of the butchery.
He gasps trying to take more air in. My spear pinning him to the tree through a lung. He won't bleed out too fast until its removed, then the end will be quick. It's the least I can do for him. A glorious death in battle against the rebels.
The bards will clean it up. Never trust a bard. They will lie and speak of how he stood strong and mighty against the dark and twisted monster that he once called brother. Defeated only with trickery and evil magics. They will make sure everyone will remember him for the legend he was. Not the monster he became.
As I stand there looking down at him. Thoughts begin to rush through my mind. He cannot speak with his lungs filling. I kneel beside him and take the helm from his head so I can see him properly once more. I tenderly stroke the hair from his face and look him in the eye. My magic flows through me as I enter his mind. Not to steal his secrets, but to show him mine.
I bring images of the destruction and pain his war brings to the people, the people we promised to protect. The widows and orphans crying in the ruins as he brings his "justice" to his enemies. His hunger for war twisting the dreams of our youth into ashes on the wind. Images of Gwenhwyfar's disgust as she witnessed her father kneeling in submission to us, the peace treaty with our kingdom being struck and the understanding in her eyes at seeing the man she would marry. Memories of Gwen and I growing closer whilst he was bringing "law and order" to another of our enemies. Flickers of our debates in the Arts of magic. Her hunger for knowledge burning within her eyes. Her skin flushing with the pleasure of learning each other's secrets in the Arts. I show him the memory of the messenger bringing news of his death in the field. The mourning of his people and the demands of his lords for me to take his place to maintain our strength. The happiness in her eyes as she married the man she loves who had become king to keep the peace. Our hunger as our lips meet, my hands running through her wild and untamable hair. The joy at holding our son Melehan, the pride in her beautiful eyes as she watches us. The pain at news of his return and discovery of the lies to fracture the kingdom, two kings is one too many. The agony of finding Melehan with his throat cut and Gwen, beautiful Gwen, her eyes destroyed by an assassin's blade, all at one of his loyalists hands. The hate at hearing him cry "Death to the usurper!" at his trial. All in his name! The image of me shattering the assassins mind and ripping the knowledge of who sent him from the remains. I show him the most damning piece of all, the assassins memory of the tent with his king, the true king giving him instructions to kill the betrayer, the usurper, and the old mage standing behind the king.
He whimpers as my agony and hate rushes into his mind. I pull away, I don't blame him. I don't. I blame those who blindly followed the legend of the Golden King, Bearer of the Sword of Kings, Rightful and Just Ruler of the Kingdoms of Briton. Hate however, that's different.
"I hate you so much you know. You tainted everything you touched with your jealousy. And the old fool, you listened to him over me! Why? We were so close to making our dream come true, and then you spoiled it!" I throw my helm to one side in anger and let my magic lash out and destroy a boulder on the edge of the mists. Thunder rumbles across the field as I struggle to bring it back under my control.
I run my hand through my hair as I shake with the emotions churning within me, then I hear Gwen's whisper on the wind. "Emrys is coming, I cannot hold him off much longer."
I snarl as I move over the man I once called brother. "He'll try and save you even now. But know this, he cannot. And the dream we built together will shatter without us. One day it might be restored, but not today. But do not worry too much, your name will resound throughout these lands for years untold. No king will dare to bear your name for fear of failing to live up to your legacy, false though it is. I get my revenge brother, We get our revenge!" I sigh as my rage passes. "Why did you do it? Was it so hard to be my friend? All I wanted was for us to show the world what we dreamt of. Peace, justice, plenty for all. A golden age for man. We showed them that mundane and magical could work together in harmony, without fear and pain. You were king as we agreed. Why did you listen to him? Why?"
I sit next to him, resting shoulder to shoulder as we did as children. "I know the price of my actions brother. Don't worry about that. Revenge doesn't come free, never free. Where no king will take your name, no man shall take mine for fear of the stain I've left upon it. Hated and reviled for all time. Gwens taken another name already. Morgana. A beautiful name but still bound to mine. Morgana the Fay, for her beauty and knowledge of the Arts rivals that of the Sidhe themselves." I chuckle with that. "I wonder what I'll do now. I've been a king so maybe I should become something smaller, making things calms me and Gwen, sorry Morgana says I should do something which makes me happy. Maybe I'll become a potter…"
I stand and flick a finger at the spear. The shaft shattering at the pulse of magic leaving the blade untouched. He manages to cry out with the pain and fear. I walk into the mists and let my magic move me back to her arms. The tears finally come as she holds me close. She has no eyes but she can still see into my heart and the pain at his betrayal.
"Goodbye Arthur. Maybe things will be better if we meet again in another life."