Robin and Olwyn stayed away from each other the rest of that day.
Everyone in the camp could feel the tension between the two. The next day, as they prepared to go out on a scouting party, Tuck approached Robin.
"Robin, the three of us have been talking."
Robin continued to prepare things for the trip. "What about, Tuck?" Robin asked.
"Well, we feel that you should make up with Olwyn."
Robin continued loading the wagon with supplies. Shaking his head, Tuck glanced at Marion for help. She walked up to Robin, and placing her hands on his, stopped him from what he was doing. Sighing, Robin glanced at her he could see the deep look of concern in her beautiful face.
"Robin, he needs you. You're the only one who can help him. Please talk to him. I think he'll listen to you, now."
Robin sighed again. "What about the scouting party?"
"We can manage okay without you, Robin." Little John joined in. "Go talk to Olwyn. No one can help him but you, now. He's hurt by your words. He told me so. That means that you got to him, Robin. He respects you enough for your words to hurt."
Robin looked up at his large friend. To others, Little John sometimes seemed a simpleton, but Robin knew better. John was wiser in things than any scholar Robin knew.
"Very well, but you three be careful." He warned wagging his index finger.
Marion laughed as she mounted her horse. "Robin, careful is my middle name."
"Must get funny looks when you sign things." Robin joked as he slapped the rump of her horse. "You don’t know the half of it." Marion called out as they rode away. Robin watched silently as the three rode off. Sighing, he made his way to Olwyn's tent only to find it empty. He started searching for Cindy. Robin knew where ever Cindy was, he would find Olwyn. He soon found her playing with some of the other children in the camp. Coming up to her, he asked "Cindy, do you know where Olwyn is?"
Cindy pointed off toward the river. "He went fishing."
Robin was still amazed at the wonder of hearing Cindy talk. Patting her on the head, he softly whispered "Thank you, Cindy." He jumped up as she made a lunge for his hair. He heard her giggle loudly as he made his way towards the river.
Olwyn sat sulking by the river's edge. Glancing over to where Robin had sat, he sighed, remembering the conversation they had yesterday. Olwyn shook his head. Why had Robin's words hurt so much? That had never happened before. Before, he had just one thing on his mind, becoming the most powerful sorcerer since Merlin. But Robin's look of anger and disappointment had affected him. He wasn't sure how to make things up with him, but he knew he had to try.
"He doesn't understand you like I do." A soft female voice came from behind, turning Olwyn saw a wizened woman. She was dressed totally in black, with a high collar covering her neck which accentuated her pale, white face. She looked ancient, but her eyes were young and lively.
"Who are you?" Olwyn asked as he stood up to greet her properly.
"Why I am a fellow sorcerer, like yourself."
"Really?" Olwyn enthused. Finally, someone like himself!
"Yes Olwyn, and as I have said, only I can know how you feel. Only I know what's it like to grow up with others fearing you for what you are. They can't understand the burning you have inside of you to learn as much about magic as you can. I feel the same.
"Yes! It is a burning! Sometimes, I feel like I'm on fire. I need to learn as much as I can to quench it."
"Robin Hood will never understand you like I do."
At the mention of Robin's name, Olwyn looked longingly toward the camp. In spite of the argument they had, he still felt something for the outlaw. He felt he had to do something to make up for what had happened yesterday. She was right, however. Robin never could understand what it was like to be born with magic.
Turning back to her, Olwyn asked her in earnest. "Can you help me make my magic work?"
Mortiana slowly smiled, her eyes glowing with evil intent. "Why Olwyn, that is why I am here. You are in conflict with yourself. I can help rectify that conflict. If you come with me, I can show you how to become the most powerful sorcerer in England, maybe even more powerful than Merlin."
As Mortiana talked on, Robin came over the crest of the hill. Spying Mortiana standing next to Olwyn, he quickly hid himself. Slowly, cautiously, he made his way to where Olwyn and Mortiana was standing. Settling himself behind some bushes, he listened to what they were saying.
"I don't know. I think Robin will be worried if I come with you." Olwyn said.
"Nonsense, boy. Isn't he mad at you?"
"Maybe so, but I still think he would be worried about me. I know he cares. Otherwise he wouldn't have been so angry with me."
Robin smiled to himself. So Olwyn did understand. He was finally growing up.
"Olwyn, you don't have much time left before Merlin takes you back. I could show you so much. Don't you want to complete that spell you've been working on?"
Olwyn pondered this. He did want to do that spell he had been working on, if for no other reason than to show Robin that he had changed. That decided it for Olwyn. "Okay, I'll go with you. Uh, you never told me your name." Mortiana looked coyly at the young boy and grinned. "My name is Mortiana."
"Well then, Mortiana, let's be off. I can't wait to be able to finally finish that spell."
The two walked past where Robin was hiding, making their way to a coach that was hidden near the river's banks. A servant opened the door that led into the dark coach. Olwyn went in first. Then, the servant helped Mortiana enter the coach. Slamming the door, the man jumped up, seating himself he grabbed the reins. Clucking, he urged the horses forward.
As the coach started forward, Robin ran to catch up. Jumping, he grabbed the back of the coach, pulling himself up. Holding on, he kept quiet as he listened to the two talking inside. As they made their way through Sherwood, Robin tried to come up with a plan to help Olwyn.
It was hours later when they finally approached Mortiana's cavern. Robin slipped off before he could be seen. As the coach came to a stop, the servant jumped down. Opening the door, he helped Olwyn and Mortiana out. Mortiana straightened out her black dress, then strolled toward the cave's entrance. Olwyn followed her in, hesitating only for a moment at the mouth of the cavern. The servant led the horses away, and after the coach was out of sight, Robin slowly made his way to the cavern.
In the cave Olwyn was amazed by what he saw. He walked around slowly, trying to take in all the wonders she had in her possession. Mortiana's home held more wondrous items than Merlin's! He spied her crystal ball, and walking up to it, he glanced over at her.
"Will you teach me how to work this?" he asked her, earnestly wishing to learn.
"Why of course, Olwyn. I can show you many things. But first, we have to resolve the conflict you have inside you." A small smile creased her face.
Olwyn looked up, curious. "What conflict?" he asked.
"Why the conflict of good and evil you have inside you. You are at a junction right now. You need to choose which path you want to follow."
Olwyn frowned. "I want to do white magic, like Merlin."
"Ah, but do you really, boy? That is why your magic doesn't work properly. You need to resolve this in yourself. Deep inside, you know that black magic is much stronger than white."
"Is it?" Olwyn asked stepping closer to her. He really wanted to know why he was having trouble.
"How powerful do you want to be, boy?" Mortiana gazed at him searchingly, tying to see if the boy really had the evil will to become a black sorcerer.
"I'm going to be the most powerful sorcerer since Merlin." Olwyn told her proudly. He smiled, but Mortiana only shook her head. "No! What I mean is, what are you willing to do to become a sorcerer? Would you be willing to give your heart to the dark side? Only then can you become more powerful than Merlin." She waited to see if this had any effect on the boy.
"If I do this?" he asked softly, then paused.
"Then I will become the most powerful sorcerer of all time?"
"Yes, boy. You will."
Grinning, Olwyn asked the final question. "What do I have to do?"
"You must take a life."
"What?" Olwyn paled. He was shocked. He certainly didn't expect anything like this!
"Once you make a sacrifice of blood, that dark side in you will grow. Your magic will become more powerful than ever. Isn't this what you want, boy?"
Olwyn grew quiet, color slowly returning to his face. Mortiana could see he was hesitating.
"And you will show me how to make my magic stronger?" he asked quietly.
"Of course, boy. I will guide you in your quest to become the most powerful black sorcerer that England ever had. Everyone will fear you, even the Prince of England. Isn't that what you want, boy? Power over all!"
Olwyn listened to her intensely. The boy's eyes glowed as he gazed into the crystal ball. Power! Looking up at her, he asked, "Who do I have to kill?"
Mortiana grinned in triumph. "I think that has already been decided." She pointed to her crystal ball, and as Olwyn stared into it, he could see Robin was outside of the cavern. The outlaw was slowly making his way toward the entrance of the cave. Mortiana had a cold smile on her face as she went to a drawer and pulled out a large dagger.
"Do you know how to use this boy?" she asked.
Olwyn took the dagger in his hands. Twirling it around, he nodded his head. "I know how to throw one."
"Good!" Mortiana waved her hands and most of the candles went out. A sparse few were left lit, bringing the cavern into near total darkness. "When Robin nears the cavern's entrance," Olwyn heard her say in the darkness. "I want you to call out to him. Tell him that I have left you alone, and you need his help. When he comes into the cave, use the dagger!"
"And when I kill Robin, will I become the most powerful sorcerer in England?"
"Yes, Olwyn! Even more powerful than me!"
Olwyn turned to wait for Robin, his eyes staring intently at the cave's entrance.
Mortiana had to suppress her glee. He was going to do it, she was sure of that, now. And once he had, she and Olwyn would be together at last.
Outside, Robin hesitated. He still didn't have a plan, he had no idea what he was going to do. As he entered the cavern, he realized how similar it was to Olwyn's home. There were two chambers. The first was brightly lit. The second seemed to be in darkness. As he cautiously made his way toward the second chamber, he heard Olwyn call out.
"Robin! Robin Hood. Help me please."
In the darkness, Mortiana smiled at the boy. He was doing exactly what she told him to do. With the death of Robin Hood, Olwyn would be on a road he could never escape. And she would be through with that thorn in her side, Robin Hood!
"Robin Hood, please help me. Mortiana is gone now. You have to hurry."
Robin now knew what he had to do.
Olwyn waited for what seemed like years. Then, he saw the silhouette of Robin in the entrance of the cave. He could see Robin reach his hand out into the darkness.
"Now!" Mortiana hissed.
Olwyn still hesitated. Suddenly, he lost control of his hand. He tried to fight it, but his hand drew back against his will and threw the dagger straight at Robin. "Look out, Robin!" Olwyn cried out.
Olwyn's heart skipped a beat. Time seemed to slow for him, and he watched helplessly as the dagger flew through the air. Robin wouldn't be able to see the dagger coming at him in the darkness! His heart in his throat, he saw Robin's shadow fall to the floor in a heap.
Mortiana waved her hands and candles lit all around the cave. The cavern was now awash in light, and Olwyn stared at the prone figure of Robin. Olwyn's face flushed with anger. Mortiana had made him kill Robin! He whirled around, his rage intensifying, unable to look at the body of the one man he respected in this timeframe.
"You said I had to do it!" he hissed.
Mortiana laughed. "Well, I saw some hesitation, so I helped you."
Olwyn’s anger cooled as shock set in. He had killed Robin! Running to Robin's side, he stared down at the body of his friend. Yes, he thought to himself. Robin was his friend! That was something Mortiana would never be. Glancing back at her, he saw what he almost became, something he knew he never wanted to be.
"I will never practice black magic." he angrily stated.
"But my dear boy, it's too late. You have drawn blood and taken the life of a friend. You are mine now, and you will become the most powerful black sorcerer England has ever known."
"Not if I can help it!" A quiet voice spoke from the cave's entrance.
Robin jumped up and threw a hand full of dirt into Mortiana's eyes. Shrieking
in outrage, she clawed at them, trying to clear them. Robin grabbed Olwyn's
arm, pulling him toward the entrance. "We need to go now, Olwyn!" he shouted.
End of Chapter Four