Not Anymore

Arthur twisted around in his saddle. “Emrys, do you want Hengist’s men to find us? With you braying like a donkey, the entire Pictish army will hear you.”

Emrys buried his face against Lila’s shoulder. “I’m sorry, sire, it’s just – Lady Lila – she said -”

Lila flinched at Emrys touching her. He must have sensed it, for he eased his arm from around her and gripped the sides of the saddle. He was still hiccuping with laugher.

“Is that what your people think of sorcerors? That we are like priests?”

So many of Lila’s books were proving wrong. “Well -”

Emrys leaned in again. “Who told you my childhood name, the one only my mother calls me?”

“What?” Lila asked.

“You called me Merlin. Not even the King knows that name.”

“In the future,” Lila said, “everyone knows it’s your name. In fact, few people know Emrys as your name. I suppose it’s not a secret forever, then.”

“Is there great magic, in your time,” Emrys asked, “that you study the old mages?”

“No,” Lila said, “there’s no magic. Not anymore.”

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