Merlin shows up at this point, because that sort of thing is bound to happen. Ignoring everyone else, he walks up to Mark, who is overseeing the finishing touches being put on the tomb.
“The great battle shall be here,” Merlin announces.
“I beg your pardon?” asks Mark.
“The great battle, the greatest between two knights that shall ever happen, will happen here. And neither shall slay the other!” cries Merlin.
“I see,” says Mark.
Merlin pulls out a pen which writes in gold, and inscribes upon the door of the tomb two names: LAUNCELOT DE LAKE and TRISTRAM. “Those are the knights who shall fight here,” he says to Mark.
“Well aren’t you an interesting fellow,” says Mark. “I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m Mark, the King of Cornwall; charmed I’m sure. And you are?”
“I shall tell you not!” cries Merlin. “But when Sir Tristram runs off with his lady, that is when you will learn my name, and many other terrible things besides.”
“I don’t know a Tristram,” mutters Mark, but Merlin has already moved on.
“You!” he cries to Balin, who has been standing by his horse nonchalantly watching the tomb getting erected. “You have done terrible things! Colombe is dead because of you!”
“You mean because I didn’t act fast enough to stop her from suiciding, right?” asks Balin. “Right?”
“You know what I mean,” says Merlin.
“I swear I didn’t kill her!” shouts Balin, way louder than necessary. “She stabbed herself! I couldn’t stop her! Quit accusing me everyone stop it!”
“Because of Colombe’s death,” intones Merlin, “you shall strike a stroke most dolorous that ever man struck. It will ruin the most admirable man in Britain –”
“You mean Arthur?” asks Balin. “He means Arthur, everyone.”
Merlin rolls his eyes. “Through that stroke not one, not two, but three whole nations shall fall into an economic recession that shall last a generation, and the strikee of your dolorous stroke shall not recover for many years.”
Merlin then spins on his heel and starts to walk away from Balin.
“I’m going to do my best to make you a liar,” says Balin to Merlin’s back. It’s the best comeback he can think of. Lame, Balin. Lame.
Merlin dignifies Balin’s insult by vanishing in a puff of smoke, because Merlin has better things to do than take crap from the Idiot Knight.
“We should really be going,” says Balan.
“I didn’t kill her,” says Balin.
“I know,” says Balan.
“Before you gentlemen depart, might I know your names? I’m Mark, the king of Cornwall; charmed I’m sure,” says Mark. Mark watched Merlin and Balin’s exchange with interest.
Peter has, at last, finally managed to convince Balin that he’s a wanted criminal who shouldn’t be giving out his real name. “I’m… some guy,” says Balin.
“Yes?” says Mark.
“Um, okay, look,” says Balan. “You see how he’s got two swords? Just call him Mister Two-Swords.”
“One sword I pulled from a chastity belt,” says Balin, holding it up.
“I’m sure you did,” says Mark.
He holds up his other sword. “And this is the sword that killed Colombe. She killed herself,” says Balin.
“Of course,” says Mark. “I just remembered I’m expected in Camelot for dinner, so I’ve got to take my leave of you.”
“Bye Mark!” says Balin.
“Cheerio.” Mark rides off.
Balin and Balan ride off in the other direction, towards King Rience, and then Merlin starts messing with them again. First he steps out from behind a tree, disguised as a completely different old man.
“Where are you going?” Disguised Merlin asks.
“Who wants to know?” asks Balin.
“I’m not telling you my name,” says Disguised Merlin.
“Well, maybe you’re a jerk,” says Balan. “Honest people tell people their names!”
“Yeah!” says Balin.
“Weren’t you talking to Mark just now?” asks Merlin.
“I fail to see your point,” says Balin.
Merlin sighs. “Well, regardless. I know you’re coming this way to find King Rience, but unless you do as I say you won’t find him.”
Balin’s face lights up. “Oh! Oh! I know this! I know you! There’s only one guy who orders people around and says weird stuff like that! You must be Merlin! It’s Merlin! Hello, Merlin!”
“Who?” asks Balan.
“Merlin is Arthur’s advisor,” says Balin. “Merlin must be here to help us get in good graces with Arthur again!”
Merlin slaps his forehead. “Okay, listen, you pull this off, it’ll work out great, but you’ve got to be on your toes, c’mon.”
“Don’t worry… Merlin,” says Balin. “I’m your man, Merlin! You’re Merlin!”