Chapter Three

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Thom pulled into a hotel after driving for six hours straight. He finally decided that he needed rest if we were going to continue. Merlin, just as Thom had said, was looking a lot better after a good rest. I had thought he was handsome while he was sick, but now that he was better, he was otherworldly.

"Sibyl," he called out. "Come."

He turned and began walking before I could even respond. I grumbled a little and, looking back at the hotel once, trotted behind him.

"My name's not Sibyl, by the way," I grumbled. "It's Lucinda."

"In the prophecies you are known as Sibyl, therefore I will call you Sibyl."

He said this without any emotion, like always, not even turning around to look at me. I glared at his back, sticking my tongue out at it.

We had been walking for a good minute, when Merlin suddenly stopped and turned abruptly to face me. Like always, his eyes were two bottomless pools of nothing as he stared at me. I wondered how someone could be so cold. Was he like this with Nimue, too?

He held out his hand, his eyes silently beckoning me to take it. When I did, the world around us faded away. Where there was once a busy street and hotels and shops, there was now only trees, grass and flowers.

"Where are we?" I asked in wonder, taking in my surroundings with wide eyes.

"It's a forest somewhere deep in this world," was his answer.

"If you're well enough to portal us here, could you portal us to Camelot?"

Merlin's lips tightened in a thin line. "I'm well enough to transport us in this world, but Camelot is a lot further away, I'd need a lot of magic to do that. Sadly, this world you grew up in doesn't have a lot of magic, Sibyl."

I nodded once. What he was saying was true. There was magic in this world—magic in the small things, things no one paid attention to—but finding that magic was rare. Finding that kind of magic was almost impossible. Perhaps, that's why I've always felt out of place. Because I had so much magic in a world that had so little.

"Are you ready for your first lesson?"

I met Merlin's eyes fiercely and nodded vehemently. Today was the first day of training and I wasn't planning on disappointing. I would become stronger. I would save my mother and show her that her protecting me hadn't been in vain.

"The very first thing I want you to do is manifest your power," Merlin began, holding his hand out in front of him and closing his eyes. In no time at all a great ball of blue light shone in his hands, from that blue light a bolt of lightning struck up and into the sky.

All I could do was watch in wonder. He had once performed a greater feat of magic in front of me when he saved me from the men who took my mother, but I was in so much shock I hadn't been able to appreciate it.

The blue light dispersed from his hands. "Now it's your turn. Hold out your hands."

I did as I was told, cupping my hands together and holding them out, wondering if I could really do what he just did.

"Magic," Merlin was saying, "is controlled by our emotions. What we feel determines what our magic will produce. For instance, anger will turn our magic into something powerfully destructive. Happiness will turn our magic into something light, something that can make others smile. I want you to try to think of something that makes you happy. Close your eyes and think of anything—a memory or a dream—that made you happy."

I closed my eyes and the first memory that came to mind was my fifth birthday. We were in France, staying in a villa. Mom and Thom had taken me to a beautiful hillside filled with flowers and I remember Mom saying that hillside reminded her a lot of Avalon. Thom had pulled out a pouch of some golden dust and tossed it into the sky, golden butterflies had fluttered around us. I remember feeling so happy, then as I stood between my mother and Thom, watching the butterflies flit around.

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