The same cold fire glitters in his eyes. Ambition and determination ripple across his whole posture and expression. He still has the calm face, the satisfied, small smile. The familiar smell of smoke and wine wafts my way by a breeze. A scent that reminds me of a claustrophobic room, dimly lit, where incense and tobacco burns.
Mordred bends down and offers a pale hand. I don’t take it. He straightens up, fixing his suit.
“Still too proud?” Mordred asks.
His smile is still serene. My nerves tingle, afraid of the meaning of his good mood. He should be devastated to lose King Uther and his place as Maven.
“You shouldn’t be,” he continues. “Camelot reduced you to nothing. They trampled over you and now you’re just dung at the bottom of people’s shoes. Everyone’s already starting to forget you.”
“I’m working,” I reply coldly. “Leave me alone.”
I turn back to the dirt, pulling out the crushed buttercups. Mordred leans down again, this time crouching on the grass, facing me. I’m surprised that he’d risk getting his suit dirty. Tensing, I prepare for what he’s planning.
“Is this what you want to do?” he asks. “Pull weeds for the rest of your life?”
I shake my head, sighing with agitation as I scan for more weeds, but it’s hard to pay attention.
“What if you could get out of Camelot and use magic again?” he asks. “I could help you.”
It takes a moment for his words to sink in. I cock my brow at him, angered by his suggestion. “You want to use me, Mordred? I’m not that desperate.”
“I wouldn’t be using you,” he says. “You’d do everything of your own will. You can turn your back on the people who imprisoned you and made you a slave. The people who wanted you dead. If you join me, you’d be free to use any powerful magic you wanted at any time. We are aiming to create a world where magic users are respected, just like the old days, just as you always wanted.”
I finally turn to Mordred so that he can see the disgust on my face. “I’m not a vain psychopath, Mordred. I don’t want magic through the means you people want it. I won’t take part in the murder of Camelot members and citizens who fight against your ideals. This is where you and I differ.”
Mordred snorts and shakes his head at me. “Surely you’re aware that casualties are an inevitable part of every change. The Pendragons and knights have killed more people than any other ruler in history. You hold your chin up proud, weeding the grounds that are soaked in innocent blood.”
“That’s the past,” I say. “Right now we have peace and that peace should be protected.”
“I didn’t know you were such a comfort-loving dullard,” Mordred says. He pushes himself up and stands. “Let me know if you change your mind, Le Fay. Enjoy your work.” He smirks at me before walking away.
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