The first story I decided to upload to FanFiction! How exciting!
I apologize that the first chapter is a bit heavy with the exposition. I promise the action (and the romance) will pick up in later chapters.
I slightly modified the plot of SatBK in order to work with my story. If the revised storyline does not make sense now, then please hold on because I promise it will be explained further in later chapters :)
Chapter One: When One Story Ends …
"Hey! Cut that out!"
Sonic felt his cheeks heat up as he glanced quickly between the three figures before him, each one kneeling and bowing their head. He rushed his hand through his quills and shot a confused look towards Caliburn. Meanwhile, said sword was attempting to muffle a chuckle as the three knights rose to their feet.
"So, this is indeed the real King Arthur once again …?" The black-and-red knight, who looked uncannily similar to Shadow the Hedgehog, spoke first. There appeared to be a slight hesitation in his question, though his eyes fixed themselves steadily on the blue hedgehog in front of him. The two other knights, one with the appearances of Blaze the Cat and the other of Knuckles the Echidna, also stared intently at Sonic, almost as if asking the same question as their peer.
Sonic raised an eyebrow at the question, all the previous awkward feelings escaping him. 'Once again'? Though before he had the opportunity to ask for clarification, Caliburn responded –
"I am afraid that this is not the Arthur you are thinking of, Sir Lancelot. The hedgehog you see in front of you is not of our world, and is only related to the one you think of in terms of appearances – and in their mutual possession of my approval." Caliburn smiled at the last addition to his answer, however the faces of all three knights seemed to become … sad? … for a brief moment before they regained their composure.
Sonic could no longer contain his confusion as a puzzled expression took over his face. He looked between the sword to his left, to the knights in front of him, and even to the Lady of the Lake (who looked an awful lot like Amy Rose), Nimue, who had been silent thus far.
"What are you guys going on about?" Sonic finally verbalized after a brief moment of silence. His ear twitched as he crossed his arms.
This time, Nimue stepped forward in order to look Sonic head-on. "Sir Sonic, as you have seemed to notice during your time in Camelot, every individual here bears a resemblance to a person from your home world. You are no exception to this, and in fact the original King Arthur – the one who formed the Knights of the Round Table and brought peace to the kingdom – was a hedgehog who looked just like you!"
A gentle smile formed on Nimue's face, though Sonic merely scrunched his nose in response. He guess it made sense that there would be a version of him somewhere in this world …
"But, what happened to him then?" Sonic asked. This question earned him a mixture of reactions. Caliburn and Nimue immediately lost their cheerful expressions and a pang of worry seemed to emerge in the latter's face. The Blaze-look-alike, Sir Percival, and the Knuckles-look-alike, Sir Gawain, looked visibly tense, whereas the expression on Sir Lancelot's face remained mostly unreadable as the visor of his armor covered his eyes.
"Now is that not the million ring question!" Gawain growled out. Percival shot a scolding glance in his direction before interrupting.
"Hold your tongue, Gawain!" The cat softened her gaze as she looked towards the confused hedgehog in front of her. "Nobody seems to know quite what happened to the king. One day he went to go retrieve the sacred sword of Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake, though he never returned …"
"That means I was the last to see him," Nimue added quietly, she had a small sliver of a smile on her face though her voice was quiet and reflective. "I thought the sword would do him well, help him lead the kingdom towards justice and peace. It was only a few days later though that the Black Knight – the shadowy figure you saw ruling our kingdom – appeared and claimed himself to be King Arthur. It was said that he was bewitched by the scabbard of Excalibur that I had given him, which is what transformed him into such an evil tyrant …."
Nimue stared towards the distance now at nothing in particular. A gleam of guilt formed in her eyes and Sonic was tempted to reach a hand out to comfort her, but she lifted her own hand in order to keep him away.
"It is quite alright," she spoke once more, turning her head to face Sonic again.
"At first, none of us believed that such a power-hungry and strange-looking figure could truly be the same King Arthur we had known and adored," Percival added. "However, this new Arthur appeared to have all the memories of the old Arthur, so it was hard for us to dispute his identity …"
"And the Royal Wizard Merlin even vouched for the new Arthur. He was the one who told us that the scabbard's magic was what had changed the king," Gawain continued, though his voice trailed off near the end. Everybody seemed to be placing the final dots of the past together – well, everybody expect for Sonic, who was still attempting to follow along with what was happening.
Though, even Sonic eventually came to the same realization that everybody else had reached.
"Then it was Merlin who was responsible for the king's disappearance. He removed the king just so he could replace Arthur with his own illusion." It was Lancelot who finally spoke the idea that drifted in everyone's mind. The knight kept a stoic expression as he spoke, though Sonic detected a hidden anger under his tone.
"I never trusted that magical freak!" Gawain pounded his fist into his hand. His shouting earning an unamused grunt from Lancelot.
Percival sighed. "But Merlin has long since passed away, and the secrets of the king's whereabouts may have died with him …"
"Or maybe not!" Gawain stomped forward, and for a split second Sonic believed that the angry echidna was coming for him and braced himself, though Gawain only shoved past Sonic to face the person sitting behind him.
"I bet Merlin would have passed all his secrets to his beloved little granddaughter!" All eyes locked onto Merlina, who had been forgotten as she sat silently with her flower the entire conversation. Gawain stomped forwards until his shadow casted over her, his nostrils flaring with each breath he took in. Merlina stared up at him in terror and quickly tossed her flower to the ground.
"N-No! No no!" she called frantically, pushing herself backwards and attempting to crabwalk away from the red knight. "I do not know anything of the king's whereabouts! Nor do I believe my grandfather did either! The old king's disappearance happened on its own terms, my grandfather merely took advantage of the unfortunate situation with his illusion –"
"Likely story!" Gawain huffed out before grabbing Merlina by her sleeve and yanking her to her feet. By this point, both Lancelot and Percival had begun to walk past Sonic in order to surround the girl while Nimue and Caliburn watched with horror plastered on their faces.
Just as Gawain drew his arm back to take a swing at the young wizard, however, another hand shot up and grabbed onto his wrist, successfully holding him back.
"Wow, cool down, hothead!" Gawain snapped his head to face the blue hedgehog grabbing onto his arm, though Gawain only tightened his grip on Merlina's sleeve.
"Look, I get it," Sonic said as he used his free hand to wave away whatever comment Gawain was about to hurl at him. "You're angry and rightfully so. It's awful what happened to your guy's buddy Arthur. But, this won't solve anything. If Merlina says that she doesn't know where Arthur is, then I say you should believe her."
Flames were still burning in Gawain's eyes, though he did begin to loosen his grip on the girl's sleeve. Lancelot, however, scowled at the blue hedgehog, and though his visor was down, Sonic could feel Lancelot's crimson eyes piercing him.
"If I may, Your Majesty" – Sonic snorted at the title, which Lancelot clearly used with a hint of bitterness in his tone – "This girl has been lying to us all along. It would be foolish to begin trusting her word now."
Sonic opened his mouth to respond, but then tears began to bubble down Merlina's cheeks, drawing both of the hedgehogs' attention. Her voice was fragile and revealed the fear she was feeling as she spoke.
"I beg you, dear knight. I know that what my grandfather and I did was wrong – I understand the pains I have caused now … But, please I beg you to understand that I did only what I thought would help the kingdom … Do not forget that King Arthur was my friend too before he disappeared …"
With her last few words, Gawain dropped his grip on her sleeve completely and Merlina reached forward to touch Lancelot's hand. Lancelot yanked his palm away and turned his back towards the wizard, his face returned to its stoic state.
"Merlina is on our side now," Sonic's eyes fixed on Lancelot as he spoke, although the knight refused to make eye contact. "Scaring her isn't going to fix anything, but giving her a second chance might."
"I agree with Sir Sonic." Nimue stepped closer, smiling as Merlina stood up and brushed the dirt off her robe. "Violence is not the answer. We must trust that we will find the original King Arthur in time, and that Merlina will be willing to help us find him in any way she can."
Merlina made eye contact with Nimue and the two exchanged a silent conversation of 'thank you' and 'you are welcome'. Sonic also smiled at the exchange happening in front of him. Lancelot, however, remained silent and took several steps away from the scene behind him. Percival and Gawain both eyed Lancelot worriedly before joining suit and following him away from Merlina.
"Hm-hmph!" the sword floating next to Sonic sounded loudly, gaining everybody's attention. "Before another duel nearly breaks out, is it not proper that we begin preparing for the celebration back at the village? We have a new king after all!"
"Now hold up a second! I haven't agreed to this whole king thing yet!"