18. Front

“Is everything alright?” the psychopomp asked.

Merlin howled.

“It’s not fair!” he cried out. “It’s just not fair!”

“It never is, my lord,” the psychopomp replied.

Merlin dabbed at his non-existent tears.

“Hey,” Merlin called out to the psychopomp. “Would you mind if I did the honours?”

“All the ritual preparations are complete,” she replied. “You can send her off.”

“Thanks!” Merlin shouted with a wave, then cast an invulnerability spell on the body before setting the floating pyre ablaze and shoving it into the great lake.

“I’ll be on my way then!” Merlin called out to the psychopomp.

She bowed deeply at the enchanter, holding her low pose for some time before gently rising again.

“Good day, my lord!” she responded before packing her tools one-by-one.

Merlin kept on walking towards his horse, then mounted it. The stallion took off like the wind, leaving nothing but a long trail of dust behind. He hung the infinite sack from the horn of his saddle and then hopped into the opening of the sack. As he fell, he brought his arms together and sealed the opening of the sack above him.

Lady Viviane watched as the sky above her cinched up tightly, Lady Viviane watched as the sky above her cinch up tightly, leaving behind only a beautiful ceiling of complex stonework and painting. The stone walls around them were covered in large portraits, and lined with beautiful windows filled with alabaster rock sliced so thinly that they let light through them.

Merlin fell backwards into Lady Viviane’s head, sending it flying off like a pinball.

“Oof!” she cried out. “Hey, watch it!”

“Sorry,” Merlin apologized. “What do you think? This is my home on my hip. I call it the glass fortress.”

Lady Viviane spun about. They were in a huge stone nave. The ceiling was completely painted with angels and saints, and held up by beautifully ornate columns. Between the columns, large bookshelves and antique artifacts lined them. At the end of the nave sat a main altar lit brightly by beams shining through large stained glass windows, and in the middle of the nave sat a wide dining table that could seat about fifty people. It was covered from end-to-end with ripe fruits, full cups, fresh bread, and fattened roasts.

“It’s, actually not bad,” she replied. “It’s very roomy in here.”

She turned to look around, and was surprised to find that she was about to move about on her own.

“How am I floating?” she asked, spinning slowly in mid-air.

“Everything floats down here,” Merlin answered as he lifted his hand, which was promptly filled with a wine glass that floated from the dining table towards him.

Lady Viviane floated about, wobbling around uneasily as she bobbed up and down in the air.

“This is… weird—” she began before dry-heaving.

“Don’t zip around like that you’ll get motion-sickness,” he warned as he pulled a bottle of wine towards him. “Just, try not to run… I mean… fly into anything at high velocity. It’s a great distance between you and me if I’m outside the sack and you’re in here, so it’ll be a bit hard to hear one another. I’ll teach you a simple telepathy spell to speak to me while I’m gone.”

“Got it,” she replied as she floated in place. “Are… are we moving?”

“Yes, the horse that this sack is attached to is riding for Camelot,” Merlin replied as he uncorked the bottle and poured himself a glass of wine. “First things first, I must warn King Arthur of the great danger that has befallen Logres. War with the rebel-kings, it appears, is imminent.”

“We’re going to Camelot?” Lady Viviane asked, furrowing her eyebrows.

“I know you were just there but hear me out,” he said, swirling the glass of red wine. “Once I deliver the news, and some other errands I need—I repeat, need—to get done first, then we can go do what you want to do.”

“And what do I want to do?” she asked.

“Get your body back,” Merlin said with a raised eyebrow as he took a sip. “No?”

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