The Greatest Warrior
By Virginia Cavazos
Chapter Eight
Betrayal, and unrequited love
Chapter Thirty

As Marion entered The Masters room, she found Jean there waiting for her. His heart skipped a beat as the others rushed into the room.

"Did Robin ween?" Jean asked in a hushed voice. Marion ran to Jean laughing and hugging him.

"I guess that answers that question," Jean laughed.

"Now all we have to do is wait for Robin." Little John sadly said.

*** *** ***

The Master led Cho through the corridors, making their way towards Robinís room. As they walked on two guards came up from behind, taking Robin from Cho and Alanís arms. Cho refused to release Robin, The Master yelled back at Cho.

"No time to argue. I want you ahead, incase your people are waiting for us." Cho reluctantly released Robin. He ran on ahead, making sure the way was clear. Reaching the door to Robinís room first, he opened it. Caligula and Nero ran in, Cho followed them. The Master quickly pulled the door shut, locking it. Cho realized that he was locked in, he banged at the door.

Alan looked sadly at his sister, as she locked the door. From the look in her eyes, he knew what she was up to. The Master coldly smiled back at Alan. One of the guards heartlessly hit Alan from behind, he fell face forward, dazed on the floor.

"Quickly, we must hurry. There is little time." The Master rushed the guards down the hallways. To weak to resist, Robin was carried down the corridors. Before following the guards, The Master threw the key to Robinís room on the floor next to Alan.

As Robin was rushed down the corridors, he could feel his strength slowly returning. Glancing around his surroundings, he noticed that they were heading towards the courtyards - not the Masters quarters. With renewed strength he began to fight back, squirming in the guards grip. Feeling Robinís strength returning, the guards clutched him harder. A cool night breeze gently blew on Robinís face, as they walked out into the open courtyard. This seemed to invigorate Robin. He dug his heels down, stopping his personal escort. Two guards came up from behind. Clutching Robinís legs, they lifted him off the ground. He jerked at the hands that gripped him as they carried him the rest of the way.

He was placed back on the ground, once they reached their destination. Robin now stood in front of Lu Chang. The Master was standing by his side.

"What's going on here!" Robin cried out in anger.

"Muzzle it!" Lu Chang hissed.

The Masters guards held Robin steady, as two Mongolians came out of the darkness to follow Lu Chang's commands. Robin tried to yank out of the guards grips, but he was still to weak from the previous battle. A gag was shoved into his mouth. A leather strap used to tie it in place. Grabbing Robinís hands, they were tied in front of him. Strapping a leather belt across Robinís waist, they attached Robinís hands to the belt. Lu Chang waited for them to finish before he approached Robin. When the Mongolians were finished binding him, the Masters guards released him. With a wave of her hand, they headed back into the monastery. The Two Mongolians now held Robin in place.

Lu Chang stepped up to Robin, he smiled malevolently at Robin. His gaze roved up and down Robinís body, his eyes looked possessively at him.

"So this is the great Robin Hood." Lu Chang stepped closer to Robin. Robin stood his ground, standing up to Lu Chang. "I would not have thought it was so great, until I saw it fight today."

The Master stepped up to Lu Chang, she whispered to him. "I brought him to you as promised Lu Chang. You now have the best fighter and a legend." As Lu Chang slowly nodded, he placed his finger under Robinís chin. Lu Chang had a sharp metal nail attached to his finger. He pushed the nail into Robinís chin, pushing Robinís head up. Robin struggled with the ropes on his hands. Lu Chang dug his metal nail into Robinís chin, drawing blood. As the blood dripped down Robinís chin, he stopped struggling. Lu Chang called back to the Master.

"I hunger to get my hands on it. It is my warrior now."

Lu Chang maintained the pressure of his nail under Robinís chin. Robin stared fearlessly back at him. Lu Chang hissed at Robin, drawing his hand back he backhanded Robin with such a force he fell to the ground.

"I will drive out that look of defiance my Warrior," Lu Chang yelled at Robin.

"Yes Lu Chang," The Master tried to hurry them. "Of course you will, now we really donít have time for this. We must leave immediately, before Ian finds out that Robin Hood is missing. And remember, you promised me that you would take me back with you, to your home land."

Robin shook his head trying to clear it, he felt hands roughly grabbing him, lifting him off the ground. He was startled by what The Master said. Seeing the hate in his eyes, she tried to explain herself.

"No matter how much money I could make with you, it would always be Ian's money. I will always be a peasant in the eyes of the aristocracy here. But in Lu Chang's land, I was promised I could be a Queen."

Lu Chang eyes were on fire. "You do not have to explain anything to it. It is now my slave, MY Greatest Warrior. And when I return to my homeland with it, they will look upon ME as the Master of the Greatest Warrior. Not my father."

Lu Chang ordered his men to put Robin in the wagon. A lone wagon sat in the courtyard. The other Mongolians already left. Lu Chang remained behind, to wait for Robin. As Robin was dragged away, Lu Chang walked up to The Master.

"Here is my thanks for giving me the Greatest Warrior." Lu Chang leaned into the master. She felt a cold sting in her gut, looking down she could see a dagger protruding from her stomach. As Robin was dragged into the wagon, he glanced back to see the Master falling on the ground in front of Lu Chang.

Lu Chang placed his hands together, bowing before the Master.

"GoodbyeÖmy queen of nothing!"

The Master groaned in pain, her stomach felt like it was on fire. She could hear Lu Chang roar with laughter as he headed towards the wagon. Entering the wagon, he ordered his men to leave, and that he would ride in the wagon with Robin. He wanted to make sure to become aquatinted with his new slave. He knew there was a lot of work ahead to retrain it his way.

As the wagon made its way out of the courtyard, a hooded figure walked out from the shadows, a saddled horse behind him. Mounting the horse Ralph quietly followed Lu Chang.

*** *** ***

Alan shook his head to try to clear it. He faintly heard Cho screaming for Alan to open the door, he spied the key lying on the ground in front of him. Clutching at it, he used the wall to pull himself up. Making his way to the door, he unlocked it. Cho threw the door open as he heard the lock click. His head jerked around looking for his warrior.

"The Master took him that way." Alan pointed in the direction the Master fled with Robin.

"Caligula, Nero, find King Richard!" Cho ordered his dogs. Caligula led the way down the corridor; Cho immediately followed after. Nero lingered behind with Alan. Not realizing Nero remained behind, Cho ran to catch up with The Master. Whimpering, Nero nudged Alan.

"I know," Alan petted Nero on his large head. "You want to get Robin, let's get his friends first."

Alan ran to the Masters quarters to tell the others of The Masters treachery, Nero ran alongside him.

As Alan pushed the door open to The Masters quarters, he was immediately grabbed and pulled into the room. Nero bit down at an arm that clutched Alan.
"Oww!" Little John roared as Nero clamped down.

"Hold it guys. It's not Ralph, its Alan," Marion frantically screamed.

Little John and Kemal released Alan, he promptly fell to the ground. Once Alan realized who grabbed him, he ordered Nero to release Little John. Kemal reached down and pulled Alan up.

"We have to hurry, The Master has Robin," Alan blurted out.

"We know that Alan," Little John said. "Weíre waiting for him."

"No, you don't understand. She's not coming here, she took him somewhere else. She had something else planned. I was supposed to go with him, but a guard knock me out." Alan rubbed his head where the guard hit him.

"Where do you think she took him?" Marion asked, she felt her heart skip a beat. Robin was so close to his freedom.

"I donít know, but he will." Alan pointed to Nero. "Nero, go find Robin." Alan ordered the large dog. Nero ran out of the room, with Alan close behind. Marion, Little John, and Kemal quickly pursue them. Taking Jeans hand, Tuck tried to follow as fast as they could.

*** *** ***

Cho ran out into the empty courtyard. He spied The Master lying on the ground in the middle of the courtyard. Running up to her, he looked down at her with disgust. She was lying on her back, gazing up into the sky. Clutching her stomach, her hand was red with her own blood.

"He promised I would be a Queen," she whispered to Cho.

"You should have asked me about Lu Chang. I know that boy better than anyone. He was only after my Warrior, you were no better to him than his slaves."

Tears flowed down The Master face. "When you kill him Cho. Make sure you use this." The Master pulled out a small dagger, she handed it to Cho. "That way I know I had a part in his death."

The Master started coughing. There was some blood at the side of her mouth. Cho just shook his head, there was no sympathy for her in his heard. Placing the dagger in his boot, he ran towards the stables. Taking a horse, he ordered Caligula to find Robin. Caligula began to sniff the groundÖonce he caught the scent of the wagon, he took off. Cho quickly followed him.

The Masters head rolled to the side. She called out to Cho, "Get him for me."

She closed her eyes. A weakness encroaching upon her. Her thoughts now of revenge, but her body was unwilling to accomplish what she craved.

"Tsk, tsk." She heard out of the silent night. "You were always the greedy one werenít you." Opening her eyes, The Master looked up, to see Ian standing over her.

"My father told me long ago. Never trust the Mongolians. I guess I should have given you that same advice." Ian slowly circled The Master.

"Well, well, looks like Iím going to have to find someone else to run things around here. Hmm, perhaps someone that wonít give me any back talk?"

Ian looked to the side, "Think you can do that for meÖCurtis?"

Curtis slunk out of the shadows. He grinned down at the Master. Laughing soundlessly, he nodded his head.

The Master laid her head back on the cold dirt, Ian began to laugh out loud. It cut into her like a knife.

"Sorry Master, but the games must go on," Ian sung.

"Not if we can help it!" Marion and the others were running out of the monastery. Little John ran to The Master, Marion halted just in front of Ian.

"When we find Robin, weíre going to come back here and destroy this little set up you have here." Marion poked Ian hard in the chest. Ian's head threw back as he laughed viciously. It was a laugh that actually scared Marion.

"You think you can stop me? Not even my beloved father was able to do that. If not here, then Iíll go somewhere else. After all, Prince John is my cousin." Ian sniffed at Marion. He strode back into the monastery. Curtis slinked after him.

"Marion, She's hurt bad," Little John cried out.

Marion kneeled next to the Master. Little John gently held her in his arms. Alan looked sadly down at his sister.

"Sorry Little John." The Master sighed, she stroked Little Johns hand. "If it means anything, I really did love you. Lu Chang said he would make me a Queen in his homeland." Her sadness was thick in her voice.

Little John sighed, "I think you loved something else moreÖPower."

The Master laughed, even though she knew it would hurt her. "You are smarter than you look. I think that's why I fell in love with you." The Master clutched at Little Johns hand. "You must hurry. Lu Chang has Robin, Cho and David are following him."

"David?" Marion cried out.

"Ralph!" Kemal hissed! Kemal never did like Ralph. Now he knew why. "He must be after Robin!" Kemal finished.

Marion quickly stood up. "We have to go after them."

Nero was standing near the large monastery doors, running in circles, he was barking, and glancing at Alan.

"He can lead us," Alan pointed out to him.

"Well let's not dally here any longer." Marion stressed. "The longer we wait, the more time Lu Chang has with Robin."

Marion ran towards the stables, Kemal and Alan followed her. Little John hesitated. "I canít leave you like this." Little John tightly held onto The Master. For the first time in her life, she felt love given back to her. She patted Little Johns hand.

"Go help your friend Little John. When you meet up with Lu Chang. Make sure you tell him I said hello!" Winking at Little John, she then started pushing him away. Little John stood up, he was still hesitating. He hated to leave someone to die alone, but Robin needed his help. With the Masters blessing, Little John left her. Kemal waited in the stables with a horse for him. Mounting it, they rode out of the stables. Tuck and Jean were just entering the courtyard.

"Tuck, you and Jean take the carriage. We'll try to leave a trail for you to follow,í Marion cried out.

"Donít worry about us," Tuck returned. "Find Robin!"

Marion nodded, pulling back on her reins, she urged her horse after Nero. He was already half way down the road.

End of Part 30

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