"Dahhhh!" the voice rang loud and clear throughout the woods. That was definitely her mistake, and hers alone. The new gash on her arm she would pay for later, but as of the moment, adrenaline covered it well enough. She had been caught off guard, the one time of course she was off guard. She flung the chains around, trapping the sword and forcing its owner to let it go. From there, in the midst of her rage, she wrapped the long chain around the soldier's neck and pulled fiercely in the opposite direction of each side.
The soldier died a few moments later, but not without leaving his mark. As her adrenaline came to pass, the wound is almost intolerable. The cut was deep and could risk becoming infected, but she was out here alone, her second mistake. Anyone from her clan would recognize her as the leader of their guardians, but she was far from home at this point. The nearest civilization she could inference was Camelot, based upon the uniform the soldier wore. He fought well enough, but her skill proved better. Give him a few days out here, and no one may ever know how he died. Yes, she was that inconspicuous, partly due to her weapon of choice. If the battle was not fought with chains, it was fought with a scythe, however chains proved themselves not only for transportation out in the wilderness but also of reliability and the common sight of them.
She reaches a nearby stream, only hoping no one had been around to hear her cry of pain. Some things were just unavoidable to voice for her, no matter how strong she was physically and emotionally. She washes out her arm, or tries to. Her attempt so far is unsuccessful. Out of fear that she will lose too much blood, she tears a piece of her cloak with ease and wraps it tightly, guided by her opposite hand and mouth and once more avoiding pain. The tighter the better, she always thought. This wouldn't be the first time she's had to do this.
Not only is she affected by her new wound, but also she is affected by her appearance. Her redish hair, brown in the mixture, hangs down to her waistline, dripping with sweat. Her purple cloak is dampened by her workout in certain areas, but it still served its purpose. The girl keeps the hood down, no longer fearing if anyone saw her. As much as she hated to admit to it, she needed help. She fills her canteen with the stream water, for the last amount came to pass almost too fast. With a civilization so close by she could see the walls gave her hope that she may not need to drink it all.
She makes sure she has lost nothing from the battle, especially checking her neck where a silver chain hangs down to the top of her chest, a crescent moon charm with its purple filling and silver outline still remains intact. It proves who she is and her current rank in her clan. The cloak's second purpose was not harmed in any way. Satisfied with the result of the battle, not so much the result to her though, she finds the strength in her to stand. Thinking it could always be worse (at least she wasn't limping), she presses on, hoping Camelot will accept her need of assistance. Her clan hadn't done anything to Camelot, thus she found no reason why they would not accept her presence.
The parts of town she finds better than what she's known most of her life. Yet, she wonders how she survived an attack form a solider who has come from a place such as this. Thinking herself to be skilled rather than lucky, she begins to hold her arm. Perhaps she's tied that cloth too tight. She knows how serious the wound could get, and her ever vigilant mind catches sight of the apothecary. A man comes out in a hurry, hitting her weakened arm by accident she already knows, but is still slightly angry over it. This did not affect her need for a disinfectant, and her attention would not astray from her new found goal.
"Anything that disinfects a battle wound," she said, leaning on the table before the man running the place to give her wounded arm a spot to just lay limp. Whether the man knows it or not, she is at his mercy. Her attractive moonlit eyes meet the dark pools of the apothecary's. She's always thought of her eyes as a curse, for they are not easily forgotten by her enemies. They were nearly unnaturally light blue like the view of a sky on a foggy day, and still the light they brought with them made the coloring undoubtedly one of a kind.
"I'm sorry, but that can be quite complicated," the apothecary informs her. This just makes her irritated. "What type of wound is it?"
"A sword wound, I just need something to help with the healing process. This should do more than cover it," she said, trying not to be upset with the man as he is only helping her, which was what she wanted before coming here. She digs into her cloak and flings a pouch of coins onto the table. Anything to get rid of this pain...
"So sorry I'm late Sir," a man's voice rings from the doorway as he walks in. "I got caught up. I see I've interrupted something." Her eyes meet the visitor's darker blue eyes, and he recognizes her expression.
"You're injured," he said, an eyebrow lifting. He turns to the apothecary. "Well don't just stand there, help her!"
"I've failed to see what wound she has acquired, thus I cannot treat her until I know the stage of the wound or even where it is," the other replies.
"Well it's obviously on her arm," the man before her said, seeing the pouch of money on the table. He swipes it away quickly. "Come with me."
"Hey! That's mine," the apothecary said angry with the customer.
"For what, sitting around and asking questions as she is riling in pain?" the customer asks, ushering the girl out of the shop and returning her money to her as they came out. He was no longer a customer.
He brings her to the front of a castle, and she follows, more than confused to why she is here. If her knowledge was accurate as she hoped, this was the residence of Uther Pendragon and his son Arthur. She says nothing, not fearing to offend him but in fear if he knows who she is. They enter a chamber where he seemed to be living.
"Sit down," he instructs her quickly, rushing to his table she notices rather fast for a man his age. He is elderly, but he appears to be in well enough shape to be working for the royal family. It is only now that she analyzes his features closer. His hair is fairly straight and almost covered with white, as she clearly sees through her eyes he had blond hair at one time. his brown attire came from his neck to his feet, and she saw that around his hands there was a brown undershirt that provided a glove-like look to them.
"Why do you help me?" she asks quite daringly according to her standards.
"I'm a physician," he explains. "and that man who runs the apothecary can be quite rude. I'm helping you because you are in pain. Now take off that cloak." She does as she is asked to and sets the cloak aside, and the man now sees the exact spot her wound is. He places his hand on the cloth she wrapped.
"May I?" he asked. Such a gentlemen she thinks now and she only nods. He unwraps it and he raises his eyebrows again.
"Why, you just got this but maybe an hour or so ago!" he gasps. He pulls out a bottle and puts the substance inside onto his finger where he spreads it on the wound. She cringes but never moves, and begins to wonder when he will notice she also has chains on her person. The pain she feels now comes to a breaking point for her, but she doesn't cry out. Instead, she lets a tear fall from her eye, not something that she lets happen often.
He puts a proper bandage on the wound after clearing out some blood.
"There, now it won't fester," he said, sounding a bit proud of himself. "What brings you to Camelot?"
"This," she said, holding up her arm for about a second. There was the pain again. He finds the tear that escaped her system and wipes it from her face.
"I'm sorry if that hurt," he apologized. "Fresh wounds tend to be that way."
"I've been through worse," she responded. "But, never treated so quickly or precise before." He smiled at her flattery towards him. "I'm dead serious."
"I work for the Pendragons, so I must be pretty good at what I do," the man said. "If I may ask a name of you?"
"Call me Ax," she replied.
"Odd name," the man commented.
"Nickname I suppose," she said. "And your name?"
"Gaius," he told her. "I'm a physician for everyone in this castle and outside when I see them." Ax knew he was talking about her.
"Well, I thank you very much Gaius for your help," Ax said, getting up off the table.
"That moon," he said, making her stop to listen to what he had to say. "It clearly means something otherwise I don't see why it would be placed upon such an expensive chain, which I also see you have another type of chain on you as well." Ax put her cloak back around her to cover her weapon.
"The crescent shows others who I am," Ax explained. "My clan would know without a doubt who I am and what I can do just by a glance to my neck." Gaius nodded.
"I see," was all he said. Ax sighed, trying to calm down.
"It's my turn to apologize," she said. "I'm just annoyed by the fact I was hit in the first place."
"It's alright," he told her. "I'd suggest you stay. I'll accompany you and we can see King Uther. You seem to be of no threat to Camelot, and I would like to check on that tomorrow." Ax bowed her head to him.
"Thank you," she said, and he walked her down to King Uther's court.
ch2 Uther Pendragon
"Sire, if you'll excuse my interruption," Gaius announced his presence, seeing the king at the table, knights around him; they were discussing something important.
"Anytime Gaius," Uther replied. "Has something urgent happened?"
"That depends on your definition of urgent, Sire," the physician inquired, lifting his head up after bowing respectfully.
"One of our knights has not returned to us, is it more urgent than that?" the king asked.
"To my judgement they are about the same. There's a girl here, about Arthur's age, who has suffered a wound by a sword. I have just treated her for it. I came to ask your permission if she could stay for a few days so I can check the wound's progress," Gaius explained.
"Is she here now?" Uther asked.
"Bring her out," Uther commanded.
"I'm right here," Ax commented, walking in the doorway. She didn't like being handled by any of these men, especially after she had just killed one of their knights. Only because he almost killed her. Ax bowed before the king and rose to meet his gaze.
"A sword wound?" he asked, looking back to his own men.
"That is correct," Ax confirmed.
"From who?" he asked.
"I didn't ask for his name, Sire. He would have killed me," Ax bought up, causing a few knights to smirk at her point.
"What did he look like?" Uther then asked.
"Seemed like an average man," Ax lied. "Fine clothing and a sword strapped to his belt. I thought he was an adventurer until he came at me."
"Did you upset him?" The king asked.
"I wouldn't see how unless he finds the color purple that irritating," Ax told him, glancing at her cloak. She wasn't necessarily lying, she just wasn't giving him the full truth.
"You have no weapon on you," Uther said sternly. "How did you beat him?"
"I apologize for my language, but I beg to differ...Sire," Ax said, revealing her chains, one eyebrow lifting. "It was his own weapon that caused his demise. Mine merely wrapped around the sword and as he pulled, I let go while the sword's end faced him. Probably looks like he killed himself."
"It appears he left his mark," Uther said, seeing her arm, for Ax hadn't put the cloak back down. "Alright then, because my physician wants you to stay, you shall. You, Gwen." He pointed to a lady with a yellow dress and dark toned skin, and she turned to him, towels in her hand.
"Prepare a room for our new guest," he commanded.
"Right away Sire," the maid replied, walking away in the next blink of Ax's eye.
"Thank you," Gaius said, and he returned Ax to his chambers, and the knights wen about a search they would be too late to get their wanted outcome for. Ax felt slightly guilty about lying to the king, but it was the only way to save herself. Lately, she felt out of it, like she lacked focus, which wasn't good at all.
She'd been out in those woods for a purpose and one purpose only, to pass through. Her clan will be expecting her return in a day or so and she will be late. That wouldn't make her elders happy at all, especially as the leader of the assassins that protect the Shadows clan.
"Are you alright?" Gaius asked, shredding her thoughts. "You seem distracted."
"I'm fine, just thinking," Ax replied.
"I'm hoping to get to know you better, Ax," Gaius said. "Perhaps you can tell me the name of your clan. I've been many places."
"The Shadows," Ax told him, feeling as though she were obligated to. He had probably saved her life.
"Well, you're far form home, maybe a day's walk or two," Gaius mentioned.
"I was sent to get rid of someone," Ax informed the physician truthfully. "Our customer paid us big to do so. I was sent out to complete the task, and then to pick up a few sharpening tools on the way back."
"Was the adventurer your target?" Gaius asked as he stared at a mixture over a flame.
"No," Ax said, sighing. "He was an unfortunate soul who underestimated my ability to kill."
"If you're a trained assassin," Gaius began. "How it is that a simple adventurer could harm you in such a way?" He looked up from his work to hear her reply to that.
"I've been...off focus lately, and I haven't any clue as to why. Maybe I'm just overtired," Ax explained. "And I wasn't working with my specialty weapon either. If that were the case, he'd be food for the animals already sliced up for them." The physician's eyebrows lifted. She was trained to talk like an assassin as well it seemed.
"Forgive me," Ax said suddenly. "I fear my language isn't safe for me around here. I'm not that into my job, it's just been my duty since I was young, to kill things I mean. I was so good at hunting, my family put me into professional training. I have a heart though." Gaius smiled.
"I can see you do, but you may want to be careful about what you say, especially in Uther's presence," he told her.
"Gaius!" a frustrated voice came followed by the slamming of the wooden door. "Why do I have to save his ass again?" The boy was most likely a servant, for he dressed like one with his brown jacket and blue undershirt. The red bandana gave him a sense of style though...
"Who's that?" the boy asked.
"Merlin," Gaius began, a little angry. "You know why you have to save him. I'm sorry he's a royal pain in your ass right now but you have to change that! By the way, this is Ax, an assassin I found with a battle wound."
"An assassin, just what I need," the boy said. "Hi, my name is Merlin and don't forget my face because I may ask your assistance one day..."
"Stop it," Gaius scolded.
"But he's a royal prat and I hate him!" Merlin exclaimed.
"Keep your voice down!" Gaius replied in a harsh tone. In the boy's anger, a bucket flew across the room by complete accident, hitting the wall. Ax saw that color in his eyes, and she at once why Gaius said for him to 'keep his voice down'.
"Merlin," Gaius said, grabbing the boy by the arm and dragging him across the room. "Get in your room. I'll talk with you later!" The man shut the door to the boy's room and leaned against the doorway.
"I apologize for him, he can get frustrated as Prince Arthur's servant. They don't get along well," Gaius told her.
"It's okay, but I do wish to know how many people know the boy has magic," Ax whispered. Gaius's eyes widened. This wasn't good, not one bit, not at all, it was horrible now, no it was dreadful, why did Merlin have to be so careless...
"My friend, who is also my second in command of the Shadows, also possesses magic," Ax went on in her whisper. Okay, so maybe it wasn't so bad. She saw the physician's face lighten up in relief.
"He is so careless with it, it's a wonder how it's even still a secret," he said. Ax smiled.
"He just needs to calm down. Whenever my friend was in a heat, she'd use it accidentally, almost like a reflex or instinct, but after she cooled herself, it would disappear and we would move on. My crew of assassins knows she has magic, but we don't think our lord does. She too, must be careful with it," Ax informed him.
"Why are you telling me this?" Gaius asked. Ax was going to reply at once, but it took her a moment to gather her words.
"I don't know," Ax admitted. "Just so you don't think I'll tell anyone about it, I guess. You are in charge of him, no doubt so you know about him. I'm not teaching you how to raise him, but I would tell him everything is alright. He's just upset, and what I always tell my friend: 'Magic is a beautiful thing, so stop using it in the most unattractive way'."
"Your clan resents magic as well?" Gaius asked.
"Not the entire clan, but the boss does," Ax said. "Says it's cheating to become an assassin that way, but she's never used her magic for such a purpose."
"Your room is ready," a servant girl said at the door after knocking. Ax was shown to her room.
Later that night, Gaius checked on her wound, replacing the bandage and giving her something for the pain. Then, he was left with only one more thing; dealing with Merlin. He knocked on the boy's door.
"Merlin," Gaius said. "I know you're awake." He tried the door after he got no answer, finding it was locked.
"Don't make me open this door, Merlin," he said. He heard a quick hex and the door unlatched. Gaius entered the room, seeing the young warlock curled into a ball on his bed. "About what happened today..."
"My behavior was intolerable and I failed at the secrecy of having magic and my entrance towards the lady was unacceptable, I know already," he said.
"That wasn't what I was going to say," Gaius told him, keeping a calm voice. He came and sat on the bed next to him. "What has Arthur done to make you so upset?"
"The morning was rough, so Arthur's already mad and by the time I get ready to become target practice for him, he just whacks at me like he doesn't even care anymore, then his armor needs polishing again, like it does after every day, and when I warn him about the king wanting him in the court, he completely ignores me. I almost got stuck in the stalls again, but Gwen helped me out of it this time. So, after I thought things couldn't get any worse, after Uther gets done talking with Arthur, he's fuming and says it's my fault, and I don't even know what he's talking about at this point because he's talking at like, the speed of an arrow. So, I'm just looking at him now, saying I completely missed what he just said, so he calls me an idiot and then hits me with the nearest object. That just happened to be a candlestick," Merlin said, but he didn't sound like he was mad when he finished up.
"You're just upset," Gaius said. "It looks like Arthur spread the morning anger to you."
"He's just so ignorant and selfish," the young warlock said, digging his face into the pillow.
"Well, you'll be happy to hear that Ax has a friend with magic like you do, and although it's not the same, she uses it only for good. Ax won't tell anyone about the episode we had this afternoon," Gaius said, placing a hand on the backside of Merlin's shoulder where the boy jerked his body and let out an 'ah' noise. Gaius knew what this was.
"He hit you in the back of your shoulder?" he asked his dogsbody. Merlin nodded. "Sit up." Merlin did as told and took off his shirt. He knew the drill.
"Arthur really was mad today," Gaius added. "He only whacked you three times in the same spot?"
"Once," Merlin said, making Gaius's eyebrows come higher. "Sometimes I wonder why I have this gift. It's just temptation for me to use in public, which I have given into already for foolish reasons."
"Magic is a beautiful thing, Merlin," Gaius said, recalling Ax's words. "So stop trying to use it in the most unattractive way." Merlin smiled as Gaius wrapped his wound.
"It's not even bleeding," Merlin said.
"Tomorrow when Arthur uses you for a target again, when you fall, you won't feel the black and blue mark on your back shoot up your body in pain. I suggest you carry something with you to stop the pain if you do feel it. I'll whip something up tomorrow," Gaius told him.
"Thanks Gaius," Merlin said, giving him a hug. Gaius returned his favor and held him more on the middle of his back.
"Bright and early," he reminded Merlin before exiting the room.
"Right," Merlin replied and Gaius shut the magician's door to retire himself this evening.
ch3 I'm late
"How is it?" Gaius asked Ax the next morning after he'd made his rounds.
"Feels better, don't know if it looks the part," Ax informed him as he unwrapped the bandage.
"Looks way better than yesterday. You don't sleep on your side I see," he analyzed.
"I hope you know I'm now a day behind myself," Ax said. "I'm supposed to be back to the clan by tomorrow."
"That's not going to happen," Gaius said. "This may look better, but that adventurer got you deep. Lucky it didn't hit anything or do much damage, but you are staying. It still risks infection."
"Then we'd better hope my friends don't come looking for me," Ax said. "After all, I am their leader."
"They must have the curtesy to come and ask for you," Gaius said assuringly.
"Well, not if Shi's in charge," Ax sighed in somewhat annoyance.
"You have a Sidhe in your class?" Gaius gasped.
"No, he's not a Sidhe. His name is Shi, but he's just a regular guy. We all call him Shiek though, his nickname," Ax explained. "A Sidhe I don't think would make a good assassin, especially if our boss hates magic."
"I was going to say," Gaius said.
"Xion should take over, she is my second in command, but I don't know," Ax rambled. Ax was was left in her room as Gaius finished inspecting and re-bandaging her wound. She looked out the window at the city of Camelot. The city was peaceful and look like it was prospering well. Uther must be a good king.
(Friends come looking for her after she doesn't return on time- show worry in ch4-POV of the Shadow clan. Ch5- Gryphon problem is addressed to the knights and Ax overhears. Later, Merlin tells Gaius. Ax wants to help, but Gaius tells her to wait at least one more day. End of ch5 her friends find Camelot and plan to enter in the morning. Ch6- friends ambush the castle and make it to king's court without killing anyone (Shiek almost does) and ask about their friend Ax. End of ch6- friends at Gaius's chamber door, seeing Ax safe. Ch7- want to bring her back but she wants to help Camelot. Xion introduces herself to Merlin, and they witness each other's powers. Gaius explains what happened with Ax's help and by the end of ch7 the assassins agree to help Camelot. Ch8- Arthur refuses the help so he goes out with knights on his own. However, too many Gryphons and the Shadow assassins "drop in" to help. Xion and Merlin kill the final Gryphon with their magic entwined. End of ch8- celebration for the destruction of Gryphons.)
Think of an ending!
Axia (Ax)- leader of the clan called the Shadows. long Redish brown hair, moonlight eyes. Weapon of choice- scythe but otherwise chains. Purple cloak and moon charm, showing she is the leader. "Magic is a beautiful thing, so stop using it in the most unattractive way."
Xion- long black hair and pale green eyes. Weapon of choice- staff otherwise Bec de Corbin (crow's beak). Dark green cloak and moon charm, showing she is second in command. Has magic but rarely uses it. Only in emergencies. Girl
Shi- medium length Blond hair and brown eyes. Weapon of choice- (one-handed sword) Arming sword otherwise needles. Dark blue cloak and moon charm. Has to work on knowing surroundings and can be reckless at times b/c of it. Boy. Nickname: Shiek.
Laurence- short Brown hair and blue eyes. Weapon of choice- throwing knives otherwise spear (swordstaff). Red cloak and moon charm. Good spy despite bright colors and catches people at long distances the best. Boy
Summanus- longer (but shorter than Sat's) black hair and brown eyes. Weapon of choice- regular bow and arrow otherwise crossbows. Black cloak and moon charm. Master at blending in with the darkness and mostly trained to handle night fighting. Best analyses skill of anyone in the guardians. Sometimes moves a bit too quickly for his liking. Boy. Nickname: Nights.
Faustus- shorter Light brown hair and green eyes. Weapon of choice- two handed sword otherwise Arming sword (one handed) for adventure purposes. Sprays his one handed sword with venom sometimes, but warns people when it is, thus always has another one handed sword (making 3 swords total-2 Arming) to practice with and to duel. Orange cloak and moon charm. Needs to learn patience still. Boy
Saturnina- long blond hair, brown eyes. Weapon of choice- morning star (spiked mace) otherwise dagger, preferred Misericorde (mercygiver). Yellow cloak and moon charm. Thinks of the positive and can treat few wounds, but not severe ones with right materials. Nickname: Sat.