Ic beo

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Literature Text

Since he had first shown signs of possessing magic, his mother had warned him to keep it hidden.

Merlin made sure to practice his magic in the safe confines of his house. But eventually, he had bragged to Will about being able to fell a tree faster than one could fell a tree with a simple axe. Will, unknowingly accepting the impossible challenge with the warlock, thought he would never lose. Of course Merlin had won. Will thought the glow in Merlin’s eyes was amazing, but all Merlin could feel was the burn of the light in his eyes and the prickle of his magic as the tree fell down upon Mr. Simmons’ legs.

Mother was right. I shouldn’t use magic. It only makes bad things happen.

Merlin began fearing his magic, using it sparingly, and soon not at all. But no matter how hard Merlin had tried to deny his magic, it still itched beneath his skin, an uneasy reminder of what he really was.

No, I can’t use my magic. It’s not really magic. I really don’t have magic.

Life in Ealdor was simple: as long as there was a roof over your head and food on the table, everyone was happy. But gossip in small Ealdor spread like wildfire, and Hunith grew fearful of people learning about his abilities.

Mother, I don’t use it anymore.

No, she had insisted. It will do you some good to get out of this cooped up village, to experience the real world for yourself. Camelot sounds good, doesn’t it, honey? No one will suspect you because their magic laws are so stringent. Just remember, honey, magic is banned.

The moment he had stepped within Camelot’s walls, he witnessed the execution of a person possessing magic. He had felt the prickle of his magic as the innocent’s life was taken away. He saw the glimmer of magic seep from the man and dissipate into the sky. Although he had never met any other people possessing magic, the instinct to protect another one of his kind was strong in him, but the fear of being caught was yet stronger. It was ingrained in him, as intrinsic to him as magic was to himself.

No. Magic is not who I am.

And yet, he saved Arthur, Crown Prince of Camelot, magic-hating Camelot, with nothing other than magic. He did not understand why he had saved him; he did not understand why his magic had reached out and acted on instinct, an instinct he had tried so hard to extinguish.

Then he met the dragon, who told him that his purpose is to protect Arthur so that Albion could be born and magic would once again roam freely. But the dragon betrayed him, and Merlin was tricked into letting the dragon go to roam free and destroy Camelot.

If the lying dragon is the epitome of magic, then is my magic evil, too?

Arthur had good reason to fear magic, for on a monthly basis, a sorcerer would threaten Camelot. But Merlin learned that Arthur had a good heart (even though he was still an arrogant, annoying prat) and that he was worth saving, even if it was with magic. Arthur stayed true to his word, and he stayed loyal to his people and to his friends.

But he would have me executed if he knew who I really was.

And then Freya died, and Balinor, and Will, and his magic could not save any of them.

Why do I have magic if I can’t save the ones I love?

But magic saved Arthur, only Arthur, and that was all that mattered because Arthur believed in a fair and just kingdom. He was so different from his father.

Perhaps the dragon was right.

He had the chance to tell her about everything. He had the choice to turn her from her away dangerous path. The instinct to protect another one of his kind was strong in him, but the fear of being caught was yet stronger. It was ingrained in him, as intrinsic to him as magic was to himself.

Magic is who I am. Magic is what I must tell no one.

And so, when faced with the decision of whether or not he should reveal his magic, he really had no choice.

How many people have died? How many more must die?

To have such a young life wasted; Merlin knew he would never let happen again.


It was so easy, the word softly caressing the tip his tongue.

In Old English, Ic béo means “I am.”

Title:Ic béo

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