Arthur ran ahead and spotted a bone yard with the latest plots marked in the new grave fashion. Crosses. “Why are we here? Am I to be buried here? Am to be tormented by you some more about my own death?”
“Don’t be morbid.” Merlin pointed out a road beyond the bone yard that led to grand buildings of massive dark stones. “We are going to that manor estate.”
Arthur smiled. “It must be one of the grandest of villas that Rome left behind!”
Merlin played with his beard. “It may contain a monster, maybe a werewolf! Only monsters are brave enough to seize such goods to live in such splendor. Beware.”
Arthur ignored him. “I like how I live when I’m visiting the rich. I finally feel as though I were soon to be the King.”
Merlin nodded. “Aye, a king is only a king at the expense of the rich.” A raven flew down and tried to take off with Merlin’s red feather cap. There was a scream from the cap. Merlin angrily poked his finger in the air and the raven flew off.
Arthur stared. “Your hat is alive.”
At the tall gate flanked by old Roman style pillars, six bonded servants hurried down to intercept them. “Blessed be. Why are you here?” an elderly but robust manservant asked, eyeing Merlin’s grand robe in awe. “Where are you and your child from?”
“Blessed be. I’m a wizard. He is a not my child. He will soon be the King to rule his grandfather Vortigern’s lands of Gwynedd, Dyfed and Powys. All three, he will be so mighty.” He gave the boy a dubious glare.
Arthur clenched his jaw and tried to appear manly. He wished he at least had a fine set of pant legs and diadem to look the part, as the servants fell to their faces.
“Get up!” Merlin said to them all. “We require hospitality, not your close view of pebbles and ants. This is Prince Arthur.”