“You’ve arrived,” a voice whispered in Skyler’s ear. It belonged to a handsome middle-aged man with a phantom-like appearance, an ethereal visage that seemed surreal.

Tall and slender, he bore a fragility reminiscent of the Merlin memory from the trial, but he appeared slightly older than the memory from that time.

“Who are you?” Skyler inquired, though he already had a hunch and sought confirmation.

“I am the one you seek,” The spirit in the form of old man responded.

“You mean you’re Merlin himself?” Skyler furrowed his brow. “Are you still alive?”

The spectral figure before him was evidently a product of some mysterious magic that eluded Skyler’s understanding.

This form of magic brought to mind enchanted paintings, yet it far surpassed them in technological advancement.

While enchanted paintings could endure for millennia, they were susceptible to destruction, relocation, or concealment. The method of preserving memories within this secret room, activated only by specific means, presented no such issues.

Furthermore, Skyler hadn’t forgotten that during Merlin’s trial, this self-proclaimed memory phantom demonstrated spellcasting prowess far beyond what enchanted paintings could achieve.

“If you’re referring to Merlin as a wizard with a physical body, he is indeed deceased,” Merlin gazed into Skyler’s eyes and explained, “Strictly speaking, I am Merlin’s memory, yet I am also Merlin. In the past, I utilized special magic to leave a memory within this secret room. How much time has passed since then?”

“Approximately… nearly a thousand years,” Skyler replied.

Merlin fell silent upon hearing the words. Known for his calm and wisdom, he remained quiet. After a considerable pause, he spoke with emotion, “A thousand years…”

Merlin observed Skyler with satisfaction and nodded approvingly. “Your aptitude is commendable. The latent chaotic power in your bloodline has been awakened, your spiritual power in the divine consciousness is remarkable, and your body exudes robust vitality. It seems you’ve had quite a few adventures.”

Skyler nodded humbly, choosing not to elaborate.

Merlin dismissed the topic with a casual wave of his hand. “Since fate has led you to me, you are now Merlin’s descendant. This could be advantageous for you, but it could also bring challenges. Be mentally prepared.” Before Skyler could inquire further, Merlin turned and headed toward a small wooden door. “Follow me; I will entrust all my legacies to you.”

Following Merlin through the wooden door, Skyler found himself in a modest secret room.

Adorning the stone wall were three items:

A worn, brown magic book devoid of any inscriptions on its cover

A plain ring made of dark black wood

A forearm-length staff engraved with mysterious Guruni runes

At its tip, the staff sported a horizontal grip adorned with a deep purple bead.

“These three magical artifacts have been my companions for many years, and they were among the most potent magical items of their time. Now, they are all yours. Take them,” Merlin’s voice, though not loud, carried a particularly alluring tone to Skyler’s ears.

Suddenly, a barrage of thoughts flooded Skyler’s mind—urgency to enhance his strength, a yearning for potent magic, and more.

Amidst the mental chaos, his hand instinctively reached for the magic book, emanating an irresistible allure. Merlin observed his actions impassively, revealing no expression.

As his hand approached the book’s cover, Skyler felt an uncontrollable surge of magic power infiltrating his mind. A sharp pain shot through his eyebrows, his entire body seemingly struck by lightning.

His hands recoiled involuntarily, causing him to lose balance and sit on the ground. When he looked up again, a profound guard filled his eyes, and his wand reappeared in his hand. “Are you truly Merlin?”

Merlin’s gaze fluctuated, offering no response to the question. Instead, he inquired, “Why do you ask?”

Skyler, still catching his breath, took two steps back. If not for the sudden pain, he would have already seized the magic book. At that moment, a singular thought dominated his mind: something must be amiss, and there was likely a catch. Despite considering himself strong-willed, he sensed the potential for his mind to be easily manipulated.

“I don’t believe in free lunches.” Skyler sneered, his tone now tinged with diminished respect.

A slight smile curved Merlin’s lips as he spoke slowly, “I didn’t deceive you; they are indeed immensely powerful magical artifacts. I merely heightened your emotions a bit.”

Pursing his lips, Skyler gained a deeper understanding of Merlin’s prowess.

This so-called memory’s ability to cast spells mirrors the humanoid phantom encountered in the final stage of Merlin’s test.

The fact that even a millennium-old memory can proficiently perform silent and wandless spells suggests the formidable magical prowess Merlin possessed a thousand years ago.

Merlin grinned, “Remember, I, too, was a Slytherin student. Just like you, I harbored ambitions and a thirst for formidable power…” His expression turned serious, “However, the significance embedded in these three artifacts is not something everyone can shoulder. I must forewarn you—inheriting my artifacts demands a corresponding awareness. Upon inheriting these magical weapons, you will inevitably become entwined and burdened with the fate of a thousand years ago… Now, make your decision!”

A thousand years ago… during the Dark Middle Ages when the four founders lived—a period marked by the dominance of potent dark wizards and malevolent creatures. Skyler, a true Slytherin, possessed desires and ambitions, yet he remained grounded and rational.

He could discern the situation and prioritize self-preservation. Although he felt a twinge of greed for the clearly extraordinary magical instruments, he already had enough on his plate and preferred not to stir up additional troubles.

“I forfeit,” declared Skyler, his eyes unwavering and resolute.

Merlin nodded approvingly, the first hint of satisfaction gracing his face as he remarked, “Regrettably, I deceived you this time. You had no real choice.” Before Skyler could grasp the implications, his eyes widened as the three magical artifacts ascended into the air, making their way into his awaiting arms.

Merlin’s smile dwindled as he explained, “Had you succumbed to my temptation moments ago, I wouldn’t have given them to you; had you chosen to reject them outright, I wouldn’t have given them to you either. You possess the initial qualifications to wield them, showcasing an ability to safeguard yourself and avoid falling into perilous situations. You have a promising future awaits based on your judgements of situations around so far.”

Merlin gazed into the distance, letting out a sigh, “Moreover, I don’t have more time to wait. Existing for a millennium, I’ve finally awaited your arrival. The magic power dissipated over the ages is no longer sufficient for my sustenance. I understand you harbor many doubts, so allow me to unravel them for you.”

With these words, Merlin’s phantom transformed into a vibrant light and entered Skyler’s consciousness. Dizziness overcame Skyler, inundating him with memories that were not his own.

A grand tableau unfolded—a spectacular war scene. Behind Merlin, countless human wizards and knights, each emanating formidable magical energies, stood ready for battle.

On the opposing side stood a bewitching witch adorned in a jet-black, form-fitting robe that accentuated her graceful silhouette. Adorned with a pure black rose, she commanded legions of skeleton warriors, a three-headed six-armed half-snake man, and a lava monster engulfed in green flames.

As the two factions collided, Skyler, a mere spectator within this memory, could sense the earth-shattering impact.

Merlin, wielding a staff, lifted it high while reciting an ancient spell. A magic book levitated in the air, flipping to a specific page without any visible force. From its pages, clusters of white fireballs imbued with a holy aura surged forth, violently crashing into the opposing forces. Each volley incinerated ten or more skeletons into ashes.

Devoid of any flying apparatus, the alluring witch ascended into the air, emitting a piercing roar. In an instant, she transformed into a colossal dark dragon exuding a tyrannical aura.

Skyler swiftly identified her—Morgan Le Fay, Merlin’s lifelong nemesis!

Morgan Le Fay was the sole Animagus known to morph into a magical creature—the dark dragon.

Professor McGonagall had emphasized in class that Animagi typically transformed into mundane creatures like cats, dogs, birds, or mice.

Attempting a magical creature could lead to unforeseen calamities. Even Dumbledore, surpassing others in skill, had forsaken Animagus magic because his patronus was the Phoenix.

Merlin’s voice echoed, “Morgan, by incarnating as a dragon, you defy a taboo—your soul will be damned, cursed, and eternally tormented!”

Even in her draconic form, Morgan comprehended Merlin’s words. Emitting a long, deafening scream, she swiftly advanced towards Merlin, generating powerful winds that twisted and disrupted the formation of human warriors in her wake.

As she neared Merlin, she unleashed a torrent of violent black flames, each flicker exuding a cursed breath, creating a terrifying cursed flame.

Merlin caressed the ring adorning her hand, and Skyler, the onlooker, suddenly grasped the ring’s name—The Ring of Guardian.

A vibrant illusion of a palace materialized around Merlin, shielding her from the onslaught of the black flames. The flames crackled against the magical barrier but couldn’t breach it. Merlin pointed at the magic book suspended in the air, shouting, “Desperatio ad Oblivionem! “

The magic book autonomously flipped to a specific page without any breeze, projecting an intricate magic circle. A profound black hole manifested above the battlefield as the magic circle materialized.

Emitting an intense suction force, the black hole distorted the space visibly, compelling both sides to cease their combat and tactically withdraw from the affected area.

The dragon form of Morgan roared defiantly, beating her wings in a desperate struggle against the magical circle’s suction. Aware that the magic circle possessed formidable sealing capabilities, she understood its Achilles’ heel—exorbitant magical energy consumption.

Even with Merlin’s advanced magical prowess, sustaining the spell for an extended duration was an arduous task. Morgan needed only to endure until Merlin’s magical reservoir was depleted, ensuring her triumph.

As anticipated, a few minutes later, Merlin’s countenance paled, and she involuntarily expelled a substantial spurt of blood, staining her pristine white robes a gruesome shade of blood-red.

Raising his staff, Merlin bellowed, “Rod of Destiny, grant me strength!”

The dim bead affixed to the wand emitted a crimson radiance, propelling Merlin’s magical power to an astonishing level. Skyler discerned that this wasn’t genuine magical power growth; rather, Merlin employed herself as a vessel, tapping into the magical energy stored within the wand.

This tactic carried an immense risk, as a single misstep could lead to the rupture of his physical form under the strain of external magic.

Indeed, after a mere five seconds, Merlin’s hands started to char to blackened scars. A pervasive decay emanated from the staff’s grasp, spreading along the arm. As it progressed, muscles and skin succumbed to putrefaction.

After harnessing the power of the staff, Merlin unleashed the might of the magic circle once more.

Morgan, unable to resist the circle’s suction, resorted to an unexpected tactic—one that defied all expectations.

The dragon manifestation of Morgan emitted a poignant cry, enveloped in an eerie dark-green flame.

Beneath the relentless burning, scales and skin cracked, using the colossal dragon form to withstand the magic circle’s force. Amidst this resistance, a diminutive black dragon burst forth from the larger dragon’s body, morphing into a swift black streak that soared away.

It was akin to a golden cicada shedding its exoskeleton!

The memory abruptly concluded. While the outcome of the conflict remained unclear, the astute Skyler could deduce several key points:

Firstly, the magic book functioned as a magical tool, not merely reading material. It documented ancient magic, accessible when paired with a specific incantation.

Secondly, the ring’s appellation was the Ring of Guardian. A mere stroke on its surface erected a protective barrier resembling a palace.

Thirdly, the wand was dubbed the Rod of Destiny. Its bead possessed a function akin to an Elder Wand, temporarily augmenting the wielder’s magical power. However, the stability of this enhancement was inferior to the Elder Wand, introducing considerable risk for the user.

Fourth, Merlin’s reference to the cause and effect from thousands of years ago pertains to the undead Morganna.

In this brief recollection, Skyler distinctly heard Merlin’s explanation of Morganna practicing Animagus magic in the forbidden realm. By transforming into a dark, magical creature, Morganna knowingly incurred the consequences—a cursed soul incapable of true annihilation or death.

This implies that Morganna may very well be alive in the present day.

This revelation poses a considerable challenge. With Voldemort already wreaking havoc in the British magical world, Morganna, a witch from the Middle Ages, likely wields ancient magic of even greater potency. The extent of her capabilities could exacerbate the existing turmoil.

What remains unclear is Morganna’s connection to the Shadow Dragon. Skyler harbors suspicions of a correlation between the two entities.

The alignment of the name “Shadow Dragon” with Morganna’s abilities appears too coincidental. Moreover, given that the Shafiq family descends from the bloodline of Morganna’s, Meredith’s abduction by the Shadow Dragon might be intricately linked to the undead Morganna.

In the recounted memory, although Morganna is not deceased, she likely suffered significant injuries.

This may elucidate why Morganna’s influence seems to vanish in subsequent historical accounts, leaving behind no further exploits.

Perhaps, in order to recover from her severe injuries, Morganna had to enter a prolonged slumber. While her soul might be truly immortal, her physical body seemingly couldn’t endure the passage of thousands of years.

A chilling realization dawned on Skyler—Morganna needed a new physical vessel. Trelawney’s divination flashed through his mind, and he connected the dots. The two coffins on the altar likely contained Morganna and Meredith.

Recalling the inscription on the coffin—soul magic—sent shivers down Skyler’s spine. The horrifying truth unfolded before him: Morganna sought to reconstruct her body, and the most straightforward method involved seizing a fitting vessel for her soul.

The Shafiq family’s descendants, sharing the same bloodline as Morganna, presented an ideal choice. Skyler realized his earlier misconception—the Shadow Dragon abducted Meredith not merely for her blood power but as a vessel for Morganna’s resurrection.

[The Book of Merlin has been obtained!]

[The Ring of Guardian has been obtained!]

[The Rod of Destiny has been obtained!]

Fully equipped with the magical properties of Merlin’s doesn’t make Skyler’s heart any lighter after realizing the true objective behind the Shadow Dragon organization.

Skyler’s head is a mess right now… Every second was spent thinking about how he should approach the problem toward the re-surging forces of the Dark Middle Ages.

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Published On: February 9, 2024

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