The Greatest Warrior
By Virginia Cavazos
Chapter Five
The Mongolians have arrived!
Part Nineteen

As the Master sat down, Cho and Big Johns trainer left the ring. Robin and Big John were now left alone in the center ring. Leaning towards Marion, The Master asked her, "Would you like to make a bet on the fight?"

Keeping her eyes on the fighters Marion quickly returned, "What kind of bet?"

Robin was moving around, avoiding the staff that Big John was trying to use, trying, Robin thought. He seemed to be having a hard time with it. Several times, he almost hit himself on the head with it. His eyes were wide in fear; he kept looking back at his master. His trainer was constantly yelling at him, giving him instructions on how to defeat Robin.

"Just some side bets." the master said. "Like who will have the first hit?"

Marion followed Big Johns movements. She could plainly see he really didn’t know how to use a quarterstaff properly. She thought that Robin should be able to easily defeat this fighter.

"You have a bet," Marion agreed. "Ten gold pieces that King Richard will score the first hit."

"Done!" The Master agreed.

The Master settled down to enjoy the fight. The crowds noise was too loud to carry on a conversation anyway. As Robin circled, Big John grimaced, as he tried to control the large staff.

"Please?" the young man pleaded to Robin. "I don’t want to do this. But if I don’t, my master will have me killed."

Robin began to feel sorry for Big John. He could see he was frightened out of his wits.

Robin warmly smiled at the young man "We can pretend to fight." Robin softly told the small man. "Don’t worry, I promise I won’t hurt you. "

Big John smiled back at Robin. "Okay!" he agreed.

Robin came into the little man, Big John pulled the quarterstaff over. Robin jumped in the air, avoiding the sweeping staff. Landing in front of the man, Robin brought his hand back and brought it across Big Johns face, but Robin had pulled back on the hit, it only gently grazed him.

Marion shouted out over the roar of the crowds. "You owe me!"

The Master slyly smiled. "Double or nothing?" she shouted back.

Marion nodded her approval. Marion was confident now, clearly the

young man was overmatched, Robin could easily defeat him. Big John fell to the ground as Robin hit him, Robin stood triumphantly over the young man.

"Now I pretend to be unconscious. Then the fight will be over." The small

man whispered from the ground.

Robin agreed, he began to claim the victory. He threw his hands in the air and walked around in a circle. The crowd let out a resounding boo, the fight was over to soon to suit them. There were roars of anger, the Lords were told that this would have been the fight of the day. As Robin’s back was turned to Big John, the small man suddenly sprung up. Leaping into the air Big John tried to hit Robin in the back with his quarterstaff. Little John jumped up from his chair pointing at Robin he shouted.

"Behind you Robin!"

At that moment, Robin was looking at Little John. As he saw him pointing at him, he quickly spun around, to find a quarterstaff coming at him. Robin tried to lean to the side, to avoid the blow. He was quick, but not quick enough. Big John managed to graze him on the side of the head. Clutching his head, Robin stumbled back dazed. Marion and Little John were both standing now. The crowds were chanting for King Richard to fight back.

"I believe you owe me," The Master informed Marion.

Marion ignored her, she was to concerned for Robin. The small man had tricked him, now he began to circle Robin. Using the staff like a pro that he was, he started hitting Robin in areas where it would do the most harm. Slapping Robin in the back of the knees, his legs buckled, bringing him down to the ground. Robin had to use Cho’s training, blocking the pain out from the blows. As he fell to the ground, Robin curled up into a ball. He then rolled toward where the little man was standing. Big John tried to use the quarterstaff to keep Robin away, but Robin was to quick. With the momentum of the roll, Robin was able to knock the staff out of Big Johns hands. Robin immediately opened up, when he saw the staff fly off to the side.

Lying flat on the ground, Robin reached his hands up, to grab at the miniature man. For that was what he was, he was no young innocent boy. He used that to lull his competitors into a false confidence. Then when they trusted him, he would come in for the kill. Robin found that he was holding onto a kicking and screaming terror.

Robin tried to stand up with the man in arms. Squirming and twisting in his hold, he bit into the fleshy part of one of Robin’s hands. Unfortunately, it was the one that the Master had injured previously. Robin, yelling out it pain, dropped the agitated little man.

Big John scrambled for his quarterstaff, greedily clutching it from the ground, he turned to face Robin, but his advantage was gone now. Robin now thought of him as a serious competitor. The small man would now use his quarterstaff to try to kill Robin.

Robin was more than ready for the attack. After what he had endured in his room earlier with Cho, defending himself against a quarterstaff was almost effortless. The small man brought the staff ahead of him, twirling it in a circle. Every so often bringing it ahead of him, trying to catch Robin's legs, or arms, but Robin would deftly avoid any move made against him. It was not long before Big John was starting to tire, as he had to use the large quarterstaff longer than he was used to. It was because he was tiring, that he made a mistake. A mistake that Robin took full advantage of.

One of his hands slipped as he brought the staff forward, trying to knock Robin’s head off. Noticing the slip, Robin brought his leg over and made a hard kick on the quarterstaff. It flew out of the little mans hands. Robin ran up to the

Man, and bringing his fist back he tried to end the fight with a punch to the face. Big John scrambled towards Robin, lunging at him, Big John grabbed one of Robin’s legs. He sunk his teeth into Robin’s calf. Robin roared out in pain, as the small man attacked his leg. While fighting, they had worked themselves close to where Cho and Alan stood. Cho was furious at the little mans deception. He yelled out to Robin, "He is tiring King Richard, you are stronger than he!"

He may be tiring, Robin thought, but that didn't make his teeth any less sharper. Robin stooped down to pull Big John off, but he was too quick. He released Robin. Running behind him, he jumped up onto Robin’s back. His small hands locking around Robin’s neck. He started gnawing into Robin’s shoulder. Now Robin, was getting angry! The bites were well placed, the pain was intense. Unknown to Robin, Big John was using the bites as a distraction. The small man had a small dagger hidden in his boot. Releasing one hand, the man made for the dagger. As he pulled it out, a cry of forewarning was heard.

"King Richard, he has a knife!" Alan yelled out to Robin.

Hearing Alan’s warning, Robin grabbed Big John's remaining hand, holding onto it tight. Robin then fell back, using as much force as he could as he landed on his back, with Big John still attached. The small man groaned out as Robin landed hard on him. The knife flew out of Big Johns hand with the blow. Robin then leaped up to a standing position, still holding onto the small mans hands - he braced himself. Jumping up high into a back flip, Big Johns feet flew into the air. As Robin neared the peak of his flip, he began to release the small man. Big John flew up into the air. He cried out in fright as Robin flicked him higher. As Robin landed, he waited for Big John to set down.

The small man came tumbling down, landing flat on his back. Robin walked up to the dazed man. Reaching down he grabbed his shirt. Pulling him up, Robin brought his hand back. Making a tight fist, he hit the man full in the face. Releasing him with the blow, the small man flew in the ring. He stopped when he reached the outer circle, landing at the feet of his trainer. Checking his man, the trainer signaled the end of the fight. The crowds gave out a thunderous ovation. Cho and Alan ran to the center of the ring, the fight was over.

"If you’ll excuse me, I have to announce King Richard as the victor," The Master told Little John. Standing up, she slowly walked towards the center of the arena. Little John scooted over to The Masters seat, he whispered into Marion’s ear.

"Marion do you think she heard me warn Robin?" He was worried that he might have given Robin away.

"I don’t think she heard you over the crowd," Marion replied. "I know I didn't."

"I hope so," Little John said. He tried to keep a smile on his face as the Master glanced back at him while she walked towards Robin. Little John returned her smile, waving to her. Marion also waved to her.

"Let's just hope she wasn’t paying attention then," she said through a clenched smile.

"The winner!" The Master shouted to the crowd. They were worked up into a frenzy now. Robin’s fights have all proven to be unique. A style that no one had seen before. They wanted to see more of the handsome fighter.

Taking Robin’s injured hand the Master brought it up, and moved in a small circle. Robin was now starting to draw a following. The Master devoured the admiration that the crowd gave out. She milked the crowd more as they chanted.

"King Richard, King Richard!"

When she absorbed enough, she brought Robin’s hand down. Not releasing it, she started to take him towards Marion and Little John. Cho and Alan quickly followed her. When she reached Little John and Marion she released Robin’s hand, Robin had no idea what she was up to. Cho and Alan came up to his side. Standing in-between Marion and Little John, The Master hushed the crowd.

"Lords and Barons I have an announcement to make."

Little John froze where he sat. Maybe she did hear him shout out Robin’s name? He searched around to see if there was a quick escape for them. To his fear, he found there wasn’t.

"There is something I want to tell you all."

Marion also froze. Maybe they could fight their way out? She wondered.

"I wish to inform you all that..." Marion and Little John waited for it.

"This year England will finally win the tournament. We will win it with this fighter…KING RICHARD!" she screamed, as she pointed to Robin.

The crowd went insane. They chanted his name to a thunderous roar. The Master sat down on her chair. She made a lot of money with this fight, and with the Mongolians arriving tomorrow; she anticipated making a lot more. As she sat on her throne, she beamed at Robin. With him fighting for her, she was going to be the most powerful woman in England.

Robin was starting to feel uneasy with all the applause. He was grateful being this close to Marion and Little John, but he couldn’t even acknowledge they were there. He had to keep his subservient pose in front of the Master. Turning to Cho, he shouted to be heard above the crowds. He told Cho he wanted to leave, but Cho refused, he wanted to stay - he needed to stay. The words spoke by the Master was what he had desired to hear since he started the tournaments in England.

Ever since he was able to convince his people to start the tournaments with this foreign country, he waited and searched for his Greatest Warrior. Unfortunately, this would have been the last time for his people to attend the tournaments. The Mongolians were tired of always winning. They said there was no competition in this country. That this would have been the last tournament. Now it was different, with King Richard Cho would bring honor back to the games; and honor to his families name. The honor of having the Greatest Warrior would be his greatest achievement.

Cho could not have been any happier. When he had enough, he made the decision to leave. As they walked down the corridors, the cheers could still be heard echoing in the hallways.

"That was great King Richard!" Alan praised Robin as they walked on.

"Thanks for the warning," Robin gave Alan a warm smile of thanks. Alan just blushed. "Just looking out for my warrior," he chuckled.

Robin didn’t return the laugh, he walked in the corridors in silence. His thoughts now were only of escape. The fight was just a memory to him now. He had to come up with a plan to help him breakout of this prison. He knew there had to be changes made first. There was a constant guard by him now, The Master saw to that. Caligula and Nero were always by his side.

Coming to Robin’s room, Cho pushed the door open. Robin entered first, rushing to his window, he needed some fresh air. The arenas smell was still on him. As he was sitting down, he noticed at the corner of his eye that Cho was unlocking his small chest. He rummaged inside, searching for something. Alan entered the room slamming the door behind him.

"So Cho, you ready for your people to arrive tomorrow?"

Cho just grunted as he kept rummaging in his mysterious chest. His body stiffened as he found what he had been looking for.

"Come here King Richard," he ordered Robin. Locking the chest, Cho stood up, he patiently waited for Robin.

Robin immediately obeyed, standing up he walked to where Cho was waiting for him. Cho held a small bundle in his hands. As Robin stood in front of him, Cho pushed the bundle into Robin’s arms.

"Tomorrow when my people come, I want you to wear this."

Robin opened the small bundle. Inside he found an outfit similar to the one he now wore. It was the same soft leather, but the leather was a bright scarlet red. As a baffled look ran across his face, Cho took the leather shirt. Unfurling it, he held it in front of Robin.

"This is what a true Kenosi warrior wears. You are my Warrior. I want my people to see this."

He handed it to Robin, the look of respect was there again. Alan came up to look at the outfit. He felt the smoothness of the special leather.

"I’ve never seen this before Cho," Alan remarked.

"No one has in this country," Cho stated. He placed both his hands on Robin’s shoulders. This time Robin saw pride in Cho’s eyes. "Until now there was no one here who deserved wear them."

Robin was almost touched. In Cho’s eyes now he was his Greatest Warrior…almost! He was still a slave to him, his property. Even the pride and respect he saw in his eyes could never change that. Robin bowed his head as a thank you. Taking his hands down, Cho returned the bow. It was the highest form of respect given to a fighter and warrior by his trainer.

Cho expected Robin to be thankful, but Robin just nonchalantly threw the outfit on the bed and went back to his window. Cho carefully watched him as Nero sat by his side. He gazed longingly out the window, waiting for Cho to leave so he could get some rest. He was still very sore from the workout Cho gave him earlier. Cho had taken the room across the hall from Robin. He waited a few minutes, as he continued to stare at Robin. With a grunt of dissatisfaction, he grabbed his chest.

"You sleep now," he ordered Robin. "Rest for tomorrow."

Clutching the chest under his arms, Cho pushed Alan out the room. Going to the candle, he blew it out, plunging the room into total darkness; he curtly left the room. Robin remained by the window, in the darkness. Thinking, trying to formulate some way for his friends to help him escape. Nero moaned out, placing his head in Robin’s lap. Robin smiled down at him. He started stroking his large head again. He stayed like that by the window for some time. In the dark, the moonlight was gently falling on his face. That at least was the one comfort he felt as he looked out his window. The moon, the sun was always the same where ever he was. No matter how dire things were, these things always remained the same.

End of Part Nineteen

Part 17 / Part 18 / Part 19 / Part 20

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