Key To The Truth

I'm so sorry (yet again) for the long time since an update I know I don't have much of an excuse so here it is!

I've had enough of my writer laziness and I aim to update frequently. I'm so sorry for not updating as these type of fan fictions normally end up left for some reason... :)

Thanks for all those who have waited, reviewed and favoured my fic, so and furthermore... enjoy :)


Then an old, rusty yet soft chuckle filled the quartz walls. The sense of amusement from the chuckle did not fall short on the group of knights. Even the queen could sense the feeling of delight from within the chuckle that followed after the words spoken.

The unexpected sound thus causing everyone standing to withdraw their weapons with a sharp scrapping of metal against sheaths.

The hasty buzzing of the several swords filling the open air caused yet another chuckle of amusement to fill the area.

Seeking the origin of the voice, Arthur slowly crept towards the centre of the cavern. Shoulders stiff and full of caution he continued to steadily turn to view his surroundings to try and locate the object of amused chuckles.

Not being able to see much from his position on the floor, Gwaine swiftly jumped up off of the floor of which he had fallen. Then turning his head over his shoulder, to look around him to locate the once sharp voice, now but a shadow echoing off every crystalline wall.

Making the source of the voice practically impossible to locate- much to Gwaine`s annoyance.

Trying to find a person to match a voice, when said voice is bouncing of every wall present in one area, can sometimes prove to be quite a challenge.

Clearly his fellow knights, Queen and King was having the same problem, seeing nothing but empty air and multiple rock formations protruding from multiple locations.

Deciding that just looking as far as his neck would allow him, he than pivoted on the spot to get a full view of the cave around them. Narrowing his eyes to seek the person in which the voice had come from.

Only to find no one.

Great.

"Who's there?" said Arthur now at the centre of the cavern facing the direction of a gap of air where someone (by the sound of it an old man) should be standing, yet isn't.

Waiting for a reply the group cautiously formed a complete circle so that at least one of them was facing each part of the cave.

After a few more seconds of silence it was clear that no reply was going to come.

Another thing Gwaine noticed was that Arthur was speedily losing his patience.

Once again shouting out, Arthur yelled out the words, "Show yourself!"

Nothing. Yet again.

Just silence lingering in the air as a response. Personally Gwaine had had enough.

Fantastic, just brilliant. We are in a cave full of what seems to be a bunch of amused laughing rocks.

All he could see was his fellow knights (and Queen) standing there swords at the ready looking at their local area of the cavern for the existence of a person. Obviously since looking around Gwaine came to the conclusion that if they were going to safe Merlin, looking around at the scenery for an imaginary person was not the answer.

Merlin could be in trouble and we are all just standing here doing nothing but imagining things.

Sheathing his sword, ignoring the questioning gazes the others were now giving him and the warning his senses were giving him, he started to once again walk back towards the entrance of the cavern.

"Gwaine, what are you-"

Only to bounce right back off again and a shimmer of silver to sliver into view as he landed flat out on his back.

"Gwaine!" Everyone seemed to shout at once, Gwen sword already sheathed swiftly running over to him and circling her right arm around his back to pick him up, "are all right?"

"I'm fine. I just need to get out this stupid place and save Merlin," Gwaine mumbled in reply standing up placing a hand to his head wincing at the slight pain.

Now back on his feet, dodging around Gwen, Gwaine once again headed towards the entrance.

Surprisingly...

He bounced back off it again. A shimmer once again signalling the cause of his rebound.

"Ow! what the hell is that? We can't get out!"

"He he... a barrier blocks the path Sir Strength," a voice of a young boy giggled throughout the cave, "the friend you search for, don't worry about him he's safe- back in that reaaaally big stone village you come from."

"Stone vill- wait, what? Where's Merlin? What do you mean his safe?"

Gwaine waited a short period of time in which he came to the conclusion he was not going to get a response.

Now losing the last of his patience Gwaine once again began to shout out questions. "Where's Merlin? What do you mean a barrier? Who are you anyway!?"

A few seconds passed with no answer, the only thing changing; the increasing frustration in the group.

Only for the frustration to interrupted by a sound Gwaine recognised as the one who spoke earlier; before the giggles of a young boy.

"Strength... the man who you refer to as Merlin, is quite safe. On the matter of trust why should we lie? We have no problem with he of who you speak. It is all of you who are stuck in this cave is it not?"

An annoyed silence fell over the group, after all the old voice was correct they were stuck. Irritating and unbelievably stuck, the only entrance and exit blocked by a silver shimmer.

I bet its magic no doubt. Can't us knights ever get a rest from magic and it messing up everything.

"Show yourself coward!"

Clearly Arthur's ran out of every slice of his fairly small patience. Not that I blame him, we keep hearing people speak but there's no one there.

Not one of the known voices replied.

"I said show yourself!"

Only for the response to be...

Nothing.

Not a single sound in reply. Not that of a giggly young boy nor that of an older other.

We all heard both of them. Now if only we could find out where they are, as its obvious their not going to let this be easy.

Those with magic never go with simple and have to make everything complicated as possible.

Behind him Leon, casting suspicious glances around the cavern leaned closer to the king beside him and whispered, " Sire, look around us there's no one here. That boy and the other that have spoken, there's no sign of them anywhere."

"Leon's right Arthur," Tristan said. "There's no sign of them anywhere"

Sighing in frustration Arthur then asked, "Anybody else spot anything?"

"No sire"

"Nope"

"Nothing"

Gwen then spoke out worriedly " There's nothing over this side either. What about that child, do you think that perhaps he could be lost?"

In response her brother with a tinge of curiosity replied, "Why would a young kid be here in a cave in the middle of the Valley of the Fallen Kings anyway?. Gwen clearly this has got to be some sort of trick the kid by the sounds of it knows what's going on."

"I agree with Elyan. Even in my smuggling days this valley was feared and avoided by most criminals." I'm guessing ironically that the criminals did not include bandits. "A child being here would be out of question."

"I guess you're right. What do you think going on here?" Gwen asked.

"Magic. That's the only way I can think of."

"I wouldn't be surprised," Arthur grumbled out loud.

"Maybe the older one is the one keeping us here?" Percival said.

"Yes I would say so although he's made it clear we have no way of escape, unless we get rid of that barrier."

"Any ideas?" Elyan asked.

Everyone falling into thought failed to see a row of faint images flash through one of the caverns crystals.

An image of a young warlock they all know so well chained in runes, eyes glassy with pain. A small river of blood, now dried down the side of his face.

Then an image of a familiar sorceress laying unconscious in a patch of forest just off of the beginning of the main path heading to Camelot. An old castle in the background.

Lastly an image of a black feathered clothed man, marking symbols of the old religion, in dark red on a circular table. A table much smaller and older than the round table present in Camelot.

"Sire I think the best thing to do is first find these people. At this moment of time it seems like there are are a pair of sorcerers in here that are hiding and using magic to trap us."

All we have to do is find them and capture them. Perhaps then the magic that is blocking our escape will be destroyed and we can go back to Camelot were hopefully we will find Merlin."

"That's a great idea and all Leon," Gwaine said, " but I don't know whether you've noticed but there's no one here. We've already looked around this cave... there is no one here."

Pondering that thought Leon replied, "They are probably hiding using their evil ways as normal. We all now that sorcerers can be tricky."

Arthur then having made a decision ordered, "They've got to be somewhere, scatter and search every inch of this place see if there is anything we have missed. There's got to be some way out. Guinevere you're with me."

Just as they began to head to their own separate places in the cave to investigate, a now familiar sound reached their ears.

"he he... if you wanted to play you could have just asked."

"There! Gwaine beside you the voice came from there!"

Once again removing his sword from its sheath ready for battle, Gwaine headed over to a small dark shadowy patch of the cave. An area which seemed to be absent of any crystals.

Creeping steadily closer, preparing himself for an attack, Gwaine wore a face of serious concentration.

Clearly his sneaking efforts were wasted because in the shadows was nothing.

That sorcerer spoke from right beside me, he has to be here somewhere.

"Arthur there's nobody here."

"That's impossible, we all clearly heard the voice from there."

"If you don't believe have a look"

Arthur walking over to look into the same spot and finding nothing said, "But that's...That's impossible and doesn't make any sense, we all heard them they are must using their magic to hide."

"he he... well yes stupid! Of course I'm using magic, I thought kings were supposed to be smart."

If he was in any other situation Gwaine would be on the floor laughing his eyes out in tears! A young sorcerer just called Arthur Pendragon stupid and by the look on the kings face he was definitely not happy about it.

If this kid wasn't a sorcerer, I would quite easily get along with this kid ,wherever he is, without a doubt.

However, he was in this situation and the speech that had just been spoken came from right behind him, he swiftly turned around sword at the ready to cut him down.

Only he only met the faces of four pale faced knights and one shocked looking Queen.

An Ice cold shiver went up his spine.

There's no one there... but that's not possible.

Gwaine couldn't grasp what he was seeing or should he say wasn't seeing- the voice that had rang through the cavern, had sang as loud and clear as day. Yet there was literally nothing there at all.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Everyone had heard so it couldn't have just been him hearing things. So there had to be someone there somewhere. However nothing in his vision could lead to the possible source of a voice.

Unless pretty rocks can talk...

Snorting at himself for that thought that maybe he had finally lost it, Percival stated, "There's no one there." Percival stated calmly like he could not make sense of what had happened.

I'm getting sick of this. There's always no one there, always silence. Why cant we just ever have a normal hunting trip?

Gwaine looked ahead hoping by some chance that someone somewhere had heard him and the next thing he would know is two sorcerers standing in front off him. Ready to be captured and questioned. Yet much to his dismay he had to say to himself the truth. There's no one there

No, wait. Its obvious someone is here. Even though I can't see them I can just feel it.

Perhaps it was his battle instinct, or more than likely his picked up skill of knowing when someone was watching him. But it was obvious they were not currently alone even though the the voices gone.

His skill of knowing when he was watched originated from his time travelling around the five kingdoms. When one owes money to many tavern owners and other people, he got used to the fact of people watching him ready to pounce. Right know that skill was full of alarm.

"Keep a look out." Arthur ordered, " search the rest of the cave."

After a few moments of deciding that standing there sword at the ready, looking at nothing wasn't working Gwaine sheathed his sword and decided to look over the area around him.

Now if I was a pair of magic users were would I hide...

Maybe there watching from within the shadows away from being easily noticeable.

Looking for spots of shadow, Gwaine looked for anything or anyone.

Much to his dismay there was hardly any large dark shadows big enough to conceal a person never mind two. Just a mass of bright coloured glowing gems on the walls.

Searching evidently not working, Gwaine started to see what his fellow friends were

Arthur and Gwen were talking quietly between them as they were looking at all the different crystals in their section of the search.

He didn't know what they were discussing, most likely Arthur's need to admit worry but it ended in Gwen calling him a ' royal idiot'.

Gwaine couldn't help but think whether she knew that she was also slightly insulting herself because she was royalty too, but decided (wisely) not to add anything to the lovers squabble.

Gwen may always seem to be constantly one of the kindest and gentlest people in the kingdoms. But he's seen her when she's angry. He would rather fight Morgana five times over. Even he knew not to get on her bad side when she's not happy.

Percival seemed to be picking up large clumps of crystals for some reason. Gwaine wondered why because unless the sorcerer was a mouse he wouldn't find anything.

Likewise it seemed Elyan was doing the same, yet at a slower pace. Clearly not holding the same strength Percival had.

Merlin had once on a training day said that 'why should he have to be forced to struggle to carry a large heavy wooden target when Percival could do it without a problem.' Only for the knights to all to laugh and Arthur to say 'come on Merlin, don't be such a girl'

Warmth spread in his heart when he remembered that bright cheerful smile his best friend of his always had on his face. Always brightening up any day. This thought reminded him that said friend was in danger so instead of being distracted he should focus.

Scanning his surroundings in greater detail he came up with the conclusion that in the entire cave there was only three patches of darkness in which someone could hide. This including the one he had previously looked into right in front of him. Looking closely at the flat slab of shadowed wall in front of him he could make out little indents.

Wait a minute.

Stepping closer to the cave wall he ran his fingers across it feeling multiple indents. Looking closer he recognised something illegible.

Symbols!

Turning around to share his new gathered information he realised that maybe in the other patches of darkness around the chamber, there could be symbols there too.

"I've found something!" Now noticing he had gathered everyone's attention he continued, "On this wall their are lots of symbols. Tristan that dark area closest to you, is there any there as well? The one close to you Elyan ans well."

"Symbols?" Tristan asked moving towards the dark shadow patch near him. Placing his fingers gently on the wall and running his hand down it, feeling dips and bumps in the rock."Yes, there are some on here too."

"Elyan?"

"Yes, there are some on here as well. They are indented into the rock. By the smooth ridges though I would say these symbols aren't natural at all."

"Since there's a pair of sorcerers here I'll take a guess that they're there by the use of magic." Arthur said, "What the symbols could be, I don't know I'm guessing those of sorcery. Tristan you've travelled to many places, any ideas as to what they could mean?"

"I would say that they are most likely to be writing of the old religion"

"Do you recognize any of the writing?" Percival asked.

"No, sorry. I recognise one or two of the symbols, but magic symbols to me, mean the same to you: trouble and danger. Even back in the smuggling days we tended to avoid magic when possible"

"I wonder what they say," Guinevere commented whilst joining her brother near his own set of symbols.

"Probably some evil spell." Arthur grumbled to himself in reply,"would be our luck."

"Sire! The symbols look!" Leon exclaimed.

Everyone know noticed what seemed to be a silver glow faintly fill the cave. The glow itself originating from the symbols on the three walls."

Watching the glowing old religion indents in front of him Gwaine watched as the lines seemed to twist and turn, change and move, almost as if alive.

After about half a minute of watching they finally stopped.

"What the hell just happened?" Arthur shouted out in question.

Gwaine replied scratching the now new writing," The symbols, they've changed. They're not all symbol-y any more."

"What?"

"Gwaine`s right Arthur," Tristan answered. "they are in English now. It seems to read as some sort of question."

"Question?"

"Yes, mine seems to be the same as Tristan's, I think its a long question. It starts as 'What am I?'" Elyan added.

"Same here," Gwaine said.

"What do they ask?" Leon asked curiously turning towards Tristan.

"Well this one starts off...

What am I?

I drive men mad

For love of me,

Easily beaten,

Never free."

"It seems to be a riddle." Gwen stated.

"That it does. I am curious however though as to why a riddle is on a wall"

"Elyan, how about the wall near you?"

"This ones written,

What am I?

It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,

Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.

It lies behind stars and under hills, And empty holes it fills.

It comes first and follows after,

Ends life, kills laughter."

"Another riddle it seems," Leon said. "Gwaine, yours?"

"Here goes...

What am I?

This thing all things devour:

Birds, Beasts, trees, flowers;

Gnaws iron, bites steel;

Grinds hard stones to meal;

Slays kings, ruins towns;

and beats high mountains down."

"They're all riddles." Arthur said blandly.

"Yep! Maybe you're not that stupid after all King Courage... hehe. You want to get out of this cave right? Maybe I'll let you out if you answer all the riddles..."


Hope it wasnt OOC and you liked it! Thanks for all the reviews, favourites and follows, I'll try to update soon :D