Robins shivered in pain, as the Richard in the past; was almost finished reading the scroll. As he raised his hand, a dagger clutched in it, he fell over, his body draping on Robin, someone had hit him from behind. As he slid to the floor, the pain in Robin's chest stopped.
Martyn moved to stop the intruder, but he was met by a long sword. The man twisted the sword in his gut, pulling it out as Martyn collapsed on the floor.
"I'm sorry brother," Gregory sadly said. He now focused his attention on Richard, who was rising from the floor. Gregory fought relentlessly with his older brother. The blow he had dealt slowed Richard's reflexes. If not for this, Gregory knew he would not be able to defeat the more skilled Richard. The tide of the fight almost flowed in Richard's favor, as he pulled a dagger from a concealed place. Holding the dagger aloft, he positioned himself for the lunge, when he suddenly tripped over the body of Martyn.
Taking advantage of this, Gregory dealt the fatal blow to his brother. Richard clutched his chest, a large bleeding hole was left by his brothers sword. His eyes were wide open in alarm, for he knew he was dying, "Why?" He gasped, as he stumbled back a few steps. "Why did you do this Gregory? I was trying to help our family. Help to make England stronger."
Gregory gazed sadly down at his dying older brother. "No, Richard. You only did this to help yourself. The only one who would have come out of this room alive would have been you. You knew this from the beginning. You've lied to everyone to get what you wanted. You wanted Matthew dead, so that you could lay claim to Locksley Castle, but I’m sorry to say it's over my brother. Your plans to live forever end here and now."
Richard clutched his chest, his hand covered in blood as he bellowed out in anger. "I was going to live forever!" The dying man tried to fight it to the very end, but the blow Gregory dealt was true. In seconds, Richard fell over Martyn’s body.
Gregory's head hung low, realizing that he had just killed his two brothers. Clutching his own wound, he turned his attention to Robin. Slowly, he took the medallion off, and untied him from the altar. Robin tried to get up, but it was no use. In the present world he was still bound. "Go now, brother," Gregory gasped out to Matthew, "I will follow later. I have something that needs to be finished." With this said, Robin found himself back in the present.
Marion saw by the look in Robin's eyes, that he was back. She searched into Tuck’s eyes, to see if something of her dear friend was left. Was he there, was there something left of Tuck that could help Robin? Did what she say sway Martyn to help her?
Richard/John continued to read from the scroll. Robin again felt the pressure in his chest begin to grow. The present had finally caught up with the past. Gazing at Marion through clenched eyes, he saw a glimmer of hope.
As Richard/John read on, Robin turned to Martyn/Tuck, praying that he would listen to him. "He's been lying to you Martyn!" He gasped as the pain intensified. "Lying after all these years." The medallion seemed to glow with a life of it own. "He doesn't want to help the clan. He only wants to help himself."
"Quiet!" Richard/John hissed. Smiling evilly, he leaned down, whispering for Robin's ears alone, "In a moment, it'll all be over, and I shall live…forever."
Martyn/Tuck studied his brother's face. Looking deeper within, it finally dawned on him, after all these years, all these centuries, his brother had lied to him. A deep rage welled up inside him, overflowing into the present. He stared at Robin as he squirmed in pain on the altar, the medallion glowing an evil red. He looked so much like his beloved brother Matthew. He saw the agony he was in, the same as Matthew endured all those centuries ago. Martyn knew there was only one thing he could do to save his younger brother. He decided to leave Tuck's body.
Martyn flew out of Tuck, and into Little John, forcing Richard to leave the blonde giant. He pulled him away from the trio, holding him in a corner of the room. Little John and Tuck shook their heads, their eyes knitted in complete befuddlement. Marion let out a sigh of relief, her friends were finally in control of their bodies.
The pain in Robins chest began to die away. Robin brought his head up, to see the two spirits fighting. He heard Martyn yell out, "Hurry! You must leave now. I cannot hold him back for very long!"
Robin turned to Little John, "Quickly Little John! Untie these ropes."
"Right, Robin." With the help of Tuck, John quickly released Robin. Jumping off the altar, Robin ran out the door.
The others just stood there dazed. Robin popped his head back through the door. "Well, are you coming or staying?" He nonchalantly asked them.
Looking at each other, they ran through the door, almost getting caught in the doorway as they tried to exit at the same time. The four companions flew up the stairs, and to the main hallway. Making their way to the exit door, reaching the main doorway, they found it still would not open.
"Oh, no," cried Marion. "We forgot this castle won't let Robin leave."
Robin started backing away. "You three go." He urged his friends, "They can't harm me if the three of you aren't here!"
Marion began to voice a strong protest, when suddenly a column of mist formed in front of the door. The others quickly backed away from the ice-cold mist, but Marion found herself hesitating.
"Robin," she said. "This is the same presence I felt on the stair case."
Robin was staring at what Marion perceived to be mist, but in his eyes, he could see a familiar man smiling at him. "Yes Marion, this is Gregory. I think he was trying to warn us from the beginning." Gregory passed a hand in front of the door, to Marion the mist glowed brighter. She heard a click, and all breathed a sigh of relief, as the doors slowly creaked open.
"Go, Robert of Locksley." Gregory wailed, a sound of the wind rushing through the hallways was all that Robins companions heard.
"Thank you, Gregory," Robin gratefully replied.
As they headed for the door, he heard his ancestral brother say, "Take the scroll and medallion to the wizard, he will know what to do with it."
Looking back, Robin spun around, taking on a fighting stance, as he saw Richard storming towards him, with Martyn in close pursuit.
Gregory flew over to stop him. "Go now, brother." Gregory shouted out as he grasped one of Richards arms, "We will keep Richard here."
"But you'll be trapped here Forever," Robin protested, "You'll never be able to rest." He hesitated leaving his ancestors in this position.
"He is our brother - our responsibility. We have accepted this. Right Martyn?"
Martyn smiled widely, gripping his older brother tightly by the other arm, "Yes, Gregory." The two smaller men held the larger at bay.
Richard let out a bellow that was heard by Marion and the others, they felt the hatred and rage pouring out of Richard.
"Please Robert, keep the name of Locksley alive," Martyn joyfully added, "Make us proud."
"I will," Robin promised, as he crossed the threshold. The doors slamming shut behind him. He could hear an agonized cry echoing in the old castle, he knew this was Richard. He was so near to achieving what he waited three hundred years for, Robin said a silent prayer for Martyn and Gregory. Their eternal lives would be spent with a crazed spirit. Wearily reaching up, he took off the cursed medallion that he still wore. Asking Little John for the scroll he still held in his hands, Robin wrapped the medallion around it.
"You know of course, it would have never worked," Tuck said.
"What wouldn't work?" Robin asked.
"The spell Richard was trying to cast."
"You mean you knew everything that was going on?" Robin was startled to find this out.
"I'm afraid so." Tuck looked sheepishly at Marion, "I'm sorry for the way I acted Marion, but I couldn't control myself."
"Me neither," Little John added.
"We understand," Robin patted both men in a forgiving manner on the shoulder, "But what did you mean about the spell Tuck?"
"Well, even if the spell were cast Robin, Richard would never have been able to leave this castle. His spirit is bound to it. Little John could have left but Richard's spirit would have to stay."
"So," Robin chuckled, "Little John here would have been immortal, but Richard would have had to spend eternity in the castle."
Little John swallowed hard, "I don’t think I would have liked to live
"Why is that my friend?" Robin asked his closest friend.
A broad grin encompassed his gentle face, "Then all that I love would have died around me. Not much reason for living after that."
"Little John, you are the kindest man I know." Robin softly said. The gentle giant blushed at his praise. "You know Tuck, in a way Richard is immortal, he does live forever, in that castle. As a spirit anyway."
As Tuck was about to reply to this, they heard the sounds of Richards cries of agony ringing through the ancient castle. Yes Richard never realized, he did get his wish, he spirit would live on in Locksley Castle. The four travelers slowly turned away. Wearily, they made there way to the barn, where they silently saddled their horses and led them out into the morning sunlight. The sun had just risen, it looked to be the start of a beautiful day.
"I can't believe it’s morning already." Little John marveled.
"Yes, time flies, when you're having fun," Robin chuckled.
The others were too tired to even groan at this joke. As they mounted their steeds, Marion said, "You know Robin, next time you decide to visit your family, I think I'll pass."
Robin pulled on the reins. Leaning on the pommel of his saddle, a half grin parted his lips, "You know what Marion?" He laughed, "Me too." Spurring his horse on, Robin led the way to leave the ancient grounds of Locksley Castle. They quickly rode back to Sherwood Forest, heading as fast as they could to Olwyn, for he had a fantastic tale to tell him. His tutor at first would not believe him, but when he saw the scroll and Medallion, well, Olwyn was again reassured of why Robin Hood was called the chosen one.
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