In madness, the people stammered about the castle debating on what to do next. With no ruler, Camelot could fall forever. Gawain stood by his mother and watched wishing there was something he could do. He gazed over to Catrin, the servant girl he confided so much in these past few weeks, but now she could only offer a shrug.
"Mother," Gawain asked in dismay. "What will happen to Camelot now that Arthur is gone?"
Morgause sighed and put her arm around him. "I know not, Gawain."
"And what of Isobel?" he continued. "What happened to her?"
"She still has not been sighted," she answered her son, dolefully.
As Gawain thought of his cousin, he prayed for her safety. He knew there was slim chance of her ever returning. The prospect of ruling together as king and queen felt like a distant dream. Gawain knew Isobel never truly loved him in that way. Even when she kissed him, he could tell. The only thoughts that caused a greater wound were those of his father. Gawain wished he could feel the slightest bit of shock over Lot's alliance with Morgana, but alas, he did not.
The castle doors then burst open, and a grisly man wearing a blue cloak stormed in, muttering something under his breath. As he brushed down the center isle, the people rapidly shattered out of his way.
"Mother," Gawain asked nervously. "Who is that man?"
"Merlin," she gasped and then frantically waved her hands. "Everyone bow!"
The crowd appeared to not need any further insistence as they fell silent and sank to their knees. Gawain dropped behind Morgause, fearful of even looking up. The instant Merlin passed him, he halted.
"What are you doing down there, boy?" Merlin growled. "Are you not aware a king never kneels down?"
Gawain shot a brief puzzled glance at his mother. She merely nodded her head in Merlin's direction telling him to go up to the throne. Trying not to stumble from nerves, Gawain slowly approached this strange wizard standing by the throne.
Merlin slapped his hand on Gawain's shoulder, looking him directly in the eye. "You are never to bow down to anyone ever again. Do you understand me?"
"Not even to you, sir?" Gawain asked in a shivering tone.
For a moment, Merlin only starred at him, but then covered his mouth as he bellowed out laughing. Gawain, too, let out a nervous giggle. The rest of the courtroom looked at each other, unsure of how to react.
Merlin then came to a sudden stop and held up his finger. "Seriously, though, you bow to no one."
The wizard then pulled out a crown from his robes and placed it on Gawain's head. Once Merlin gave everyone a sharp look, the crowd applauded.
Even though he still found this man intimidating, Gawain turned to Merlin and asked, "Sir, where is the Princess Isobel?"
Merlin sighed as he vaguely replied, "Princess Isobel will not be returning to Camelot. Her final wish before departure was that you be named High King. She saw something in you, Gawain… the way she spoke…" He paused and turned to face Gawain with foggy eyes. "I see it too. You, my boy will indeed be the one to restore peace in Camelot and the kingdom will be more prosperous than ever under your rule. Isobel already knew it, and now so do I."
Gawain simply gazed at him, unsure of how to respond to all this. He never imagined he would be that great a king who would do vast good for the people. It was only a dream. Could this dream become reality? One thing Gawain promised himself in all sureness is he would do whatever it takes and make any sacrifices needed, for the sake of his people as their king.
A/N: Thank you all for reading this to the end! I know those last few chapters were a bit intense, at least they were for me as the author. This will most likely be the first and final tragedy I ever write. I am glad I got through this though. If you need to read something a little more light-hearted and fun then check out my next story which will be a twist on the classic fairy tale, Rapunzel. I hope to get that up soon. Thank you again for reading and reviews are greatly appreciated!