Title: The North Wind (2)
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: The Valley of Lights was a mythical place, home to Gods and magic. Arthur Pendragon vowed he'd find the glacier of the North Wind, and bring proof of its existence back to his village.
Warnings: Mentions of injury.
Word Count: 500
Prompt: #292: Sleigh Ride
Author's Notes: Part 1.
Arthur stood still.
His heartbeat was pounding against his ribcage, it echoed in his ears. The hairs on his arms stood up and he trembled. He’d reached the end of the road. All the stories said this river was an entrance, a mirror that could show you the other side. Arthur almost expected the waters to part.
Thousands of brilliant dots scattered like jewels across the night sky. Arthur could see them reflected on the surface. Fallen diamonds. Arthur didn't dare to move lest he disturb the serenity of the moment. The fox waited by his side. His noble, loyal companion.
However, the stillness was broken by a howl.
In a blink a green fog engulfed them shrouding the world in its haze. Confused, Arthur moved forward, but the mist followed and collided with the calm current of the river and drifted up to the heavens. White beams shooting up.
Arthur stared, amazed by the spectacle he was witnessing. Magic unfolding right before his eyes.
Overhead the sky was burning with a rainbow of lights, red, violet, green. A lump of stars twinkled together: Canis major.
“We did it,” Arthur whispered. His fox wagged its tail. A gust of wind blew over the cups of trees and chilled Arthur.
Behind him, someone asked, “Who are you?” Arthur spun around so fast he almost got whiplash.
A man with an expression of fury was watching Arthur with intent eyes, blue like the glaciers. Icy but burning with the intensity of the warmest fire. His hair was coal-black and his skin pale, the colour of milk. His clothes shone with ice crystals, a fur-trimmed cape hung from his shoulders. Arthur felt pinpricks, a shiver ran through him.
“I asked you, who are you?” He repeated more demanding this time. “And why are you here?”
Arthur opened his mouth, but only air came out. He fortified himself and gathered his wits. “My name’s Arthur Pendragon from Ealdor. I’ve come to find the Valley of Lights.”
The man’s eyebrows shoot up. “Congratulations. You've made it," he said with contempt. Arthur frowned, "But your journey ends here, it's time to turn around." He gestured behind him with a hand, a flurry of snow painting the way.
Arthur felt irritation flooding him. He’d traveled mountains of ice and snow and lived on just one meal for weeks. He shouldn't be dismissed so easily. “Says who?”
“I say it.”
“And who might you be?” Arthur challenged.
“I’m a Guardian. I protect this Kingdom of ice you dared to disturb,” he said. Arthur shut his mouth quite fast.
Guardian. A Guardian. An ancient being born from darkness and light in the depths of the universe.
Arthur took a step back, his eyes widened. He was a—
A shooting pain on his side distracted him before he could formulate another word. He pressed his hand against it. Hard. His breathing quickened, the strain he'd been putting himself through was finally catching up with him. The pain sharpened and struck him again, Arthur doubled over clutching his stomach.
“Are you injured?” The Guardian asked. He put a hand on Arthur's shoulder. He was cold, Arthur hadn't seen him move.
Arthur shook his head. But the pain became more pressing,
The Guardian sighed. “You’re lying,” he said. “Come on." The Guardian aided Arthur in standing, throwing one of Arthur's arms around his neck. "Just this once I will help you, but you need to be gone by morning.”
Arthur nodded leaning his weight against him, too stunned to say anything. The fox jumped to follow too.
“Don't you have a sleigh?” Arthur asked noticing they were walking.
“I save it for special occasions,” he deadpaned.
He wasn't what Arthur was expecting.