Chapter Twenty-Five

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Thom paced back and forth anxiously as the only knight suitable enough to give a proper diagnosis on Lucinda's condition leaned over the girl in question, checking the wound Morgana had just made. It was silent, only the howling of the wind and the crunching of Thom's feet on the frozen grass as he paced. Tristan--the knight providing the diagnosis--took in Lucinda's wound, all the while watching as her lips gained a faint blue tint and her breathing grew ragged.

Eir was sitting on her knees with her mistress' head in her lap, her eyes watching the knight very sharply. Those eyes watched every single move, took in every emotion. They missed nothing. Arthur was kneeling on down beside Tristan, watching the man, his gaze slipping off to Lucinda's face--pained even in unconsciousness--once in a while.

Aengus was leaning against a tree, unnaturally still. He was afraid that if he moved, he would lose it. If he moved, he would go into a murderous rage and storm over to Merlin, grab the wizard by his shirt and demand for him to open a portal that led directly to Morgana.

And the wizard in question didn't look like he was willing to take demands at the moment.

He was like a possessed man, eyes wild and unseeing as she stared at Lucinda's form. His hand curled into fists and then uncurled again and again. Arthur couldn't help but be the slightest bit surprised because he had never seen Merlin show emotion like this before. Not even when Nimue had had her own brush with death...

"Well, Tristan?" asked Merlin, his voice sharp.

Tristan sighed, lips pursed together as he spoke.

"There's nothing I can do. At least not like this. I can't stitch up the wound and stop the bleeding because there seems to be residual traces of magic lodged in the wound itself. As she is, even if I were to stitch her up, the magic would just pop the stitches right back open again."

There was silence.

Swallowing hard, Merlin muttered, "Let me see."

He held his hand out above Lucinda's body, trying very hard not to hear the wheezing she made each time she breathed in. A light--electric blue--hovered above Lucy's wound. His eyes narrowed as he concentrated on something the others couldn't see, scowling every now and again before finally letting his hands drop.

Blowing out a sigh he said, "The ice that pierced Sibyl's skin was cursed. The curse was made to kill its victim immediately, but because of Sibyl's immense power, it's eating away at her slowly. Her magic is what is keeping her alive now, but soon her magic will deteriorate and then..." he trailed off, a feeling of dread settling into his chest, before shaking his head and continuing numbly. "The only one who can erase the curse is the caster of the curse itself.

"There is another way," Merlin said just as everyone was wallowing in hopelessness.

"And it is?" Thom inquired, his pacing never ceasing.

"If there was someone who loved Sibyl--romantically," he clarified as everyone perked up at the idea, "then she could be saved."

"You mean true loves kiss?" came Thom's stunned voice. "I thought that was a fairytale."

"'Tis no fairytale, my friend," Arthur said, looking over at Thom from where he was kneeling. "It's saved many a-villager from the clutches of evil."

"But Lucinda hasn't had a chance to fall in love yet," Eir spoke up, her eyes never leaving Lucy's face, her brows furrowing as her mistress' breaths stuttered before she went back to wheezing again.

"True love's kiss doesn't work that way," Merlin explained, running his fingers through his shoulder-length, sandy colored hair. "Lucinda doesn't have to love the person who kisses her for it to work. All that matters is that the person who is doing the kissing truly loves her. Not lust. Not the blossoming of love, but true love. Pure love. Then, the curse can be broken..." his voice grew quieter and quieter until he finally stopped talking altogether, a weird expression crossing over his face.

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