’W-what’s happening?’ Merlin knelt by the lakeside. Her reflection in the water kept changing from one person to another. It did not stop no matter how she controlled the elemental power. ‘Did it fail? Or did I miss something?’ Merlin racked her brain. She read through her experiment log for an answer to no avail.
Since then, Merlin never attended the Magic Academy. She wandered around and visited libraries and colleges to find a method to stabilize her transformation. She tried many spells recorded in books, but the best she could do was prolong the transformation for a bit longer.
’All of the books about magic available in my shop are in your arms..’ Merlin leaned over to the shop owner and said with a simper, ‘Are there collections you haven’t shown me?’ The shop owner smiled, pointed her towards the door, and yelled, ‘Don’t mess with me!’ ‘What an impolite redneck! His books must be stained with his filth!’ Merlin slurred as she walked away from the shop
As Merlin cursed the shop owner, she bumped into a passerby. Losing her balance, she tried to grab something but failed. They both fell to the ground. ‘Ouch…’ Merlin slowly straightened up and found herself holding a pair of trousers. ‘Watch your step! Give me back my trousers!’ scolded a female voice. Merlin took a closer look at the passerby. It was a girl with bright blonde hair and emerald eyes. Without hearing her voice, her figure and outfit would have made Merlin think she was a boy. That might have been the reason why no man laid eyes on her bare legs. The girl continued blaming Merlin, but still helped her up and took back her trousers. She said, ‘Be careful next time! These aren’t many people as kind as me.’ and she walked away.
’Tut! How rude!’ said Merlin. Suddenly, the sound of begging and children crying came from ahead. She tiptoed towards it and found a few men snatching wallets from people. Those who refused were served with punches and kicks and they all gave up eventually. Merlin sighed and thought, ‘What’s wrong with this city?’ She cast a spell and the wallets in the men’s hands lifted into mid-air...As soon as the men noticed it was Merlin doing the trick, they sprinted towards her angrily! She controlled the objects surrounding her with magic and threw them at the men. She said with a smile, ‘I know I’m too attractive for you guys. Beauty is the cause of sin.’ To her surprise, the men easily smashed the flying objects and threw their fists at Merlin, flicking her veil away!
She covered her face and froze the men with magic nervously. She grinned and said, ‘Keep your filthy hands off my pretty face.’ ‘I’ll find you and make you regret what you’ve done!’ threatened one of the men. Merlin did not care much, knowing her face will change soon anyway. She just wanted to leave as soon as possible. After returning the wallets, she left.
Merlin set foot in a forest alone. She looked at her reflection in the lake. Her face had turned into that of the rude girl — blonde hair and emerald eyes. She praised, ‘What a beautiful face. I wish it would stay forever.’ Afterwards, she transformed into another girl’s appearance. She sighed and put on her veil.
Suddenly, a girl’s voice yelled at Merlin, ‘There you are, you jerk!’ Merlin turned her head and saw the girl she had bumped into earlier, but this time the girl’s clothes looked tattered, her hair was messy, and she had a few scratches on her skin. Merlin guessed the men must have mistaken the girl for her and attacked the girl in revenge.’W-what are you talking about? I don’t know you.’ Merlin feigned innocence, but the girl stepped up and said, ‘Your voice sounds exactly the same. Switching your face makes no difference!’ Merlin was shocked. It was the first time she had been recognized. Tears fell from her eyes. The girl panicked, wondering what to do with Merlin…
’...You’ve had a tough past.’ The girl’s eyes turned red hearing Merlin’s story. ‘I have! No one recognized my mental gender. And now my magic has gone out of control…’ Merlin stopped crying after spilling what she had been through. She found herself getting along well with the girl. ‘Join us on our journey. What do you think?’ ‘Your journey?’ ‘Yes. A journey to realize our true selves!’ ’ In the sunlight, the girl’s smile looked even brighter in Merlin’s eyes. It was the brightness of a king. She smiled and said, ‘I’m Merlin.’ ‘Arthur. Nice to meet you.’ ‘But…’ Merlin eyed Arthur from head to toe and said in distaste, ‘Now we’re friends. Please clean up your appearance.’