The forest he stood in was dark and foreign. He had never been there before. The surrounding landscape was gray and black and it seemed that there were absolutely no colors anywhere. Everything was in a muddy soup or gray nothing. Suddenly he noticed a voice, which seemed to have no source.
"See young man, this is you. If you want life to come back to you, then search for your enemy and destroy him. You don't have friends here. They couldn't help you any way. You are on your own because this is the only way for you to become yourself again." Then everything was silent again. Robin didn't hear anything. No birds were singing and the foliage didn't move; though the wind blew through it. Slowly and full of fear he began to make his way through the woods. He went without knowing, where he was going. Once his way would find its destination.
But how could he ever know what his destination was? He didn't know. He went through the forest for hours, searching for something he didn't know what it was. Soon he hardly recognized anything anymore that he passed by. There wasn't anything new to discover. His surrounding seemed to be the deepest, darkest night and everything looked similar.
Almost a half day passed by with wandering through the forest and Robin became tired if it. His mood - which hadn't been the best even from the beginning, became even worse. Robin had to look for a place to sleep. He really didn't have a big choice. So there was nothing left for him other than make himself as comfortable as possible under an old tree. The night was very cold and Robin was freezing. Except for his cape, and his other clothes he had nothing, not even his sword. He felt very uncomfortable, unprotected as he was in this big foreign forest. Fear was slowly growing in his mind, fear of what was coming up to him. But Robin was too tired to punish himself any longer with such thoughts. Soon after he fell asleep.
When he woke up the next morning, it was raining. Luckily the tree's, he was laying under, branches were big enough to protect him from the rain. Although he was hungry, he didn't want to eat anything. So he stood up, put his hood deep over his face and went on his way without destination. Around noon, it stopped raining and the gray sun appeared from behind the clouds. Suddenly he stood still. He thought he had seen something through the trees. He didn't hesitate and went towards it.
What he saw then was a castle, as he had never seen one in his life before. It was bigger than any other castle he had seen and its stones were as black as coal. But Robin couldn't see a door or something. So started to walk around the castle looking for an entrance. After going about half round, he discovered a small wooden door, which seemed to made for people of children's size. He tried to open it but it was locked. Now he had a problem.
Where usually his dagger hung on his hip was nothing now. Therefore, he had to find another possibility to get inside the walls. He went on round the castle and some meters ahead he found a huge gate. It was also locked. He went on again. But when he arrived again at the place where he had started his way round the castle, he recognized that there were no other entrances than the small door and the huge gate - both locked. So he decided to climb the walls.
His forces were high and so he had no difficulties with it. Once inside the castle he couldn't believe his own eyes. There were no guards or soldiers around. The castle was absolutely; unguarded. This wasn't that bad when seeing the fact that he was alone. At the other side of the yard, he saw a door; which seemed to lead inside. It was unlocked. Inside the castle, there also weren't any soldiers.
What kind of a castle might this have been that it didn't need any protection? And first of all which lord was stupid enough to think of himself not in danger? Finally, Robin got into a big hall. There wasn't much furniture in it. Only one chair with a table in the middle of it and some old carpets on the walls. It was only lighted by one torch and the gray sunlight, which was shining through a small window.
The castle was the same way inside as the forest outside - gray and unfriendly. After not finding anything in this part, he went upstairs. The stairs were very small and narrow. There was only enough space for one man. The upper floor of it was strange. There were no windows and no lights all around. So he had to search his way along the walls. He opened the first door he'd found and entered. And this first try was successfully. Finally, he had found a human being.
"Welcome, young man. I've been waiting for you. Why are you so late?"
Robin looked unbelieving. First he thought he had seen Olwyn but on the second look he saw that this old man with the long white beard wasn't Olwyn. "Who are you and why could expect me?"
"I am the mentor of your friend Olwyn. My name is Merlin. Together we're going to search a man you know very well."
"And who's that man?"
"It's you my friend. It's you."
"How can I find myself? I am where I stand. My spirit can't part from my body. So would you please explain what is going on here?"
"You've been through a lot of bad in your past. The death of your mother, the loss of your castle and with it the death of your father and finally the supposed death of Rachel. This exhausted your soul and your body shows the consequences. This here is not real life. You're moving in your own dreams. That's why everything is gray and colorless."
Robin needed some time to work all this out. In case he understood everything right, everything what happened right now was not reality but a dream. How could this be possible? Did he really dream such strange things?
"You want to know how you got here, don't you? You can't remember it right now but in your world you’re seriously sick and it doesn't seem that you're going to survive. So Olwyn set you into a deep sleep, which makes it possible for you to be here. You know, my times on your earth are over. That's why I can only help you within your dreams. Now we have to find out the reasons for your pain and once we will do this you can return and become well again."
Robin nodded. He didn't understand anything at all but someway he trusted in this old strange man who was the greatest of all magicians.
"Well young man, I see, you trust in me. That's good. Just let me have ended my work here and then we can go for our great search."
"Alright. Just answer me one more last question. Why do you never call me by my name?"
"I'm sorry. This must be an old habit of former times when Olwyn was still a young man and I was his teacher. I used to call him like this."
"And nowadays he calls me like this." Robin smiled for the very first time since his arrival.
Merlin smiled at him. "I know. I know. It was him who told me of you. He was worried about you. But I'm sure that we will be able to solve your problems, though this won't be easy. You are young and strong and you'll have the power to face your enemies."
About thirty minutes later Merlin finished his work and he brought Robin into another part of the castle he didn't know yet. There were many small rooms in the basement, which might have been dungeons in former times. And there was also one big room. When they entered, Robin felt uneasy, because the torches lit themselves. What he got to see then made him just more uncomfortable. There were strange old tattered tapestry carpets all over the walls and pictures with strange patterns.
At the other side of the room, there was a high desk with a huge book on it which was open. A strange glimmer of light shone over it. Robin didn't dare to enter the room before Merlin. But he didn't hesitate just one second. Powered by Merlin's 'courage' Robin entered despite his fear. He didn't knew exactly himself of who or why he was afraid. Olwyn's cave wasn't much different. The thought of Merlin being Olwyn's mentor calmed him a little bit. Merlin didn't show to say anything so Robin started.
"What are we doing now?"
Merlin didn't answer at once. He seemed to think of something. "We're going to start with the search now. From now on, everything is in your hands."
"He is so pale." Marion touched Robin's forehead. "And he has fever. Do you think he's well?"
"I don't know Marion. I just don't know. I can't do anything for him except giving him one of my herbal teas against the fever. As Olwyn said, only the almighty knows when he will finally awake."
When Tuck had said the word 'Olwyn', Marion's face darkened. "We should never have trusted this strange magician. If Robin dies, then, I swear, I'm gonna kill him with my own bare hands."
"Hey, calm down, Marion. Robin trusts in Olwyn. So we have to do the same. We don't have any other choice." Little John finally said. Marion nodded. She knew that this was the truth but she didn't like it very much.
"I hope everything will be okay in the end." Marion said after some moments.
Robin looked around the room. When he got near the book he noticed that the pages were empty. He looked at Merlin.
"What kind of a book is that that the pages are without any written letters? I don't understand."
"Young man, this is the book of your history. Everything what you do or what happens around you is written down in it. Even your deepest secrets and dreams are in it. Nothing can hide from the book of life." And really, when Robin took a closer look at it he saw that there was written that he was just looking into the book, reading what was written there.
"Now, read the book young one and don't leave any page. Every page of it is most important for you to find yourself again. Some parts might be very sad and maybe you will feel the wish not to go anymore. You must find the power inside yourself to go on."
With this said Merlin left the room and Robin was alone. He wasn't sure anymore if he really wanted to revive everything from his past another time. But if this really was the only way to find back into his life, then the hell, it should have been done. So he took the book and started reading the first page of it. There was really everything in it. It started with his birth and went on to the death of his mother when he was in the age of four. He had been reading for a while when he realized that the pictures of the tapestry carpets were changing.
Everything he read, became reality on them. They showed everything, unsparing nothing. Robin would have never thought to find really everything in this book. He dreamed the dreams of Marion together with him again, one more time he saw the dream when he lost her. She also kissed Guy of Gisborne again and he saw the attack on the village another time, met his sister again and lost her for another time. Robin stopped reading at this part. A tear was rolling down his cheek. Why had Merlin just brought this terrible memories back into his mind? He couldn't understand. But one thing he hadn't found - himself. Robin stood up and went to the door. He didn't see anything outside. Merlin wasn't around. So he went back the way he'd come form with the ancient magician before. Then, in the other room he finally found him.
"Did you read your story?"
"Yes, I did, Merlin. Just tell me what this all means."
"You'll get to know that later. Just tell me when you really wanted stopping reading more than anything else."
"Well, I don't know exactly. There were many."
"But there was only one when you really wanted to from the deepest ground of your heart, right. Which one was it?"
Robin hesitated for a moment because what he was going to say was hard for him to get it over his lips.
"Good," the old magician said. "Now I know where we have to start with our search."
"You just said it yourself, young man. Rachel's death."
Marion had fallen asleep at Robin's bed. She was wakened up uneasily when Robin suddenly made some hard movements. Frightened she stood up. She saw how her only love was laying down in fever, cold sweat running down his pale face. Alarmed she ran outside and cried for Tuck.
"Tuck, come quick! Something is wrong with Robin."
Tuck who was just turning herbals into tea let fall out everything of his hands and rushed to Marion. "What happened?" he asked breathless.
"I don't know. When I woke up he was high fevered and his whole body was trembling. I'm pretty worried now, Tuck."
Tuck took Marion at her hand and went into Robin's hut. Carefully Tuck laid his hand down on the glowing forehead of Robin.
"I'll go to get a tea that will help him....."
"NO!" a voice thundered out of nothing.
"Olwyn?" Tuck asked.
"Right! Don't do anything now. Robin has to handle with this all by himself. If you want to help him now with your ridicules medicine, you'll give him even more damage than you heal."
Intimidated by Olwyn's words, Marion and Tuck stayed away from Robin. They knew that Olwyn was serious because his voice, which used to never to rise above a whisper was loud and angry. Even though it was hard for them they had to what Olwyn had told them.
"We shouldn't have trust this old man!" Marion said angrily.
"We didn't have a choice, Marion. None of us can help Robin, can we? Olwyn is his only rescue and you know that as well as me." Marion looked ashamed to the ground.
"You're sure right. But you know what I think of all this."
"Sure, but don't forget that Robin trusts in him very much and at the moment this should be the only thing that counts."
End of Chapter Two
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