I'm Arthur. The rightful king and heir. But only if I can prove it. If I can't, then my kingdom will be torn apart, and I’ll lose everything - my crown, my friends, and the woman I love.
To make matters worse, Dindrane has a prophecy of her own we need to stop from coming true.
We need to stop them both, before it’s too late.
The Rightful King is book two in the Fate Of The Crown Duology and follows Arthur and Dindrane. This is a non-bully academy romance based on Arthurian legends.
"Ah, I was told you would be here."
I freeze in my tracks and turn away from my horse to find Merlin standing in front of me in his normal attire. No one looking at him would ever guess he's a powerful sorcerer. Something about the lack of full-length beard and formal robes. He just dresses and acts like any other courtier of Father's.
"I didn't realise you'd come to Grimm," I return.
Merlin chuckles. "I go where I'm needed. You know that, Arthur."
"Too much time away from Camelot has made me forget."
His smile only grows broader, as if I'm amusing him greatly. "You always did have the sense of humour your Father lacked."
I raise an eyebrow, but don't say anything. Merlin doesn't seek people out for no reason. If he's here, then there's something he wants me to know. Which can only mean one thing.
I set down my grooming brush. I pat my horse on the side. "I'll be back to finish the job once I'm done," I promise him, then make my way out of his stall and into the main stable where Merlin waits for me. "What have you learned?" I ask the sorcerer.
"Isn't that a better question to ask you, young Prince? You're the one who has been studying here."
I resist the urge to roll my eyes. This is one of the reasons I've been glad to be at the academy and not at home. Merlin can be infuriating, but he's only the top of the pile when it comes to weird and wonderful at court. Every time I think I find the strangest thing, someone else will take me by surprise.
"You haven't come here to ask me that," I point out. "A letter would have sufficed if you wanted to check on my education."
"Then why is your Father here."
"He probably wanted to check I hadn't killed Gwen to get out of our betrothal or something."
Merlin snorts, then pushes away from the side of the stable to come towards me. "I doubt he thought that. Everyone at court already knows how you and Lady Guinevere feels about one another. You're not particularly subtle about your lack of attraction to one another."
"We're friends," I protest.
"I didn't say you weren't. Merely that you aren't physically compatible." He pauses to let that sink in. "Why don't you walk with me?"
"Why are you pretending like I have a choice?" I ask, raising an eyebrow.
Merlin chuckles. "Because you do, Your Highness. Your choice is to walk with me and discover what I've come here for, or to walk away and find it out yourself."
Why can't he just tell me what the problem is instead of putting on the same song and dance as he does every other time? I understand that he wants me to work for my station in life, but there's a difference between doing that, and making life unnecessarily harder.
"Where did you have in mind to walk to?" I ask through gritted teeth.
As expected, Merlin is unphased by my annoyance. I'm not sure what I'd have to do to get him to react any differently. I suspect that's a good thing in someone as powerful as him. He could be dangerous if he ever decides Camelot isn't worth his time. Which is probably why he's tolerated despite his quirks.
"I've heard the forest is delightful at this time of night."
"That's not what I'd say," I mutter under my breath.
"Delight is in the eye of the beholder, Arthur. If you do not see it, then it is because you aren't looking in the right place," Merlin says.
I make the way to the exit of the stables, with Merlin falling into step beside me. "I'm not sure I follow. If the forest is full of shadows and predators, how is it delightful?"
"I very much doubt the grounds of the academy are home to much of anything that could be a threat to you."
"Perhaps not. But complacency only breeds danger."
"Spoken like your Father's son," he observes.