Chapter Twenty-Eight

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Using my newfound abilities, I made a bridge over the lake so we could walk to the other side rather than using the boats. Everyone watched in surprise, probably wondering when I became so experienced with my magic. The only ones who didn't seem fazed were Thom, Aengus, Eir, and Merlin.

Merlin used his magic to carry Mordred. Honestly, it would be the weirdest thing if people from my world could see us. Knights, a goddess, warriors, a wizard and King Arthur's son sleeping, lying horizontally as he floated in mid-air.

Once we reached the place where we left our steeds and the other half of our team, I made my way to Aurea immediately, burying my face in her soft mane. Like always, she smelled distinctly of apples. She neighed softly, snorting affectionately.

"I missed you too, Aurea," I murmured to her, resting my forehead against hers before pulling away and turning to everyone else.

"Now that we wield Excalibur," Arthur was saying, meeting everyone's eyes as he spoke. "We have half of what we need to defeat Morgana. What we need now is to return to Avalon, gather our forces and rescue Lucinda's mother and this kingdom." He looked over at Merlin who was looking over at me, seemingly distracted by something. "Is creating a portal a good idea now, Merlin?"

"Hmm?" Merlin's eyes moved from my face to Arthur's questioning one as he tried to reclaim his bearings. "Uh... yes." He coughed awkwardly, his cheeks darkening in color as he tried to regain his impassive expression. "It should be fine if Sibyl creates a portal with her magic. After retrieving the excess power from the stone, Sibyl's magic is now so powerful it can numb Morgana's own magic for a few seconds. By the time Morgana's magic returns, we will be in Avalon already."

"Okay." Arthur nodded once, trusting Merlin's opinion, before looking at me. "Whenever you're ready."

I turned, holding out my hand. The magic flowed so easily now like I had been doing this for years rather than little over two weeks. The trees swayed as my magic swirled like tendrils of red-gold hair, circling around each other and creating a portal to Avalon.

"Alright, then," Aengus grunted, shifting Mordred on his shoulder so he wouldn't fall. "Let's go, shall we? No offense, Arthur, but yer boy isn't exactly as light as a sprite."

Arthur laughed and nodded. And one at a time, we each stepped through the portal, ready to return home to Avalon and end this once and for all. Thom rested his hand on my head, ruffling it affectionately, his way of telling me I'd done a good job and this was all coming to an end soon.

Smiling up at him, we followed the others into the portal that led to Avalon.

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When we stepped through the portal, we ended up in the woods of Avalon, a short distance away from the castle. Aurea carried me on her back and Eir walked beside her, holding her reins as we began the short walk to Avalon's castle.

As soon as we approached, eyes went wide and guards called out to one another that we had returned. We all moved forward until we were directly in front of the castle. Guinevere, Nimue, and Reyna all stood in wait.

Once Aurea had come to a standstill, Eir helped me dismount her.

"M'lady," Reyna greeted me, looking over at Eir in stern confusion. "You have returned. And with friends no less."

I grinned at the white-haired Elf, throwing my arms around her excitedly. She stumbled back a bit in surprise, clearly caught off guard.

Pulling away, I looked up at the castle I was supposed to call my own one day, breathing in deeply.

"It's good to be somewhere other than the woods," I said. "Plus, we retrieved Excalibur. All in all, today is a good day."

Still looking surprised from the hug, Reyna cleared her throat, jewel-like eyes darting over to Eir, then over to a still sleeping Mordred before returning to me.

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