Loyalties

"I ask you all. Who are we to give our loyalty to a pig such as the one who rules our land. He is a tyrant, you all agree and yet you do nothing." The herald spoke the words from atop a broken down stage in the center of the courtyard of Castle Sendiaf. He wore dull brown robes, and he had almost no hair on his head. Part of his face was burned and a short sword hung at his side. His words were projected from the stage to all ends of the enclosed courtyard. "I deny his power, he is not my leader and god will punish him for this crime."

"And who would you have as king? You?" A random peasant in the crowd asked. A few people murmured in agreement but the majority stayed silent.

"At least I would be a better King then John." The Herald replied back. "But no, I speak of another."

"Hood!" Someone shouted in the crowd.

"Yes!" The Herald cried in agreement. "He should be the one to lead us.

"Why?" A man in a dark green cloak asked from the back near the gate. His hood was pulled low so his features wouldn't show.

"Because he saved us. He saved all of us." The Herald replied. "Without him none of us would still be English."

"Did you see him save us?" Someone else shouted, a man with a short beard and frizzled dark brown hair near the front of the crowd. When the Herald didn't answer he continued. "So you would choose someone who you have never seen before, who has only been rumored to have been the true reason why we are all still alive. Just like it is rumors that say our king is foul." The man turned to speak to the crowd. "If you listen to this man he will kill everyone who sides with him. His words are lies, I know this with my own eyes."

"How so?" The man in the dark green cloak asked.

"I was there." The man replied. "Robin Longstride is a coward. He ran from the battle, leaving the king to be killed. Only the heroics of the king's guard prevented him from dying. Robin was only gifted such a great tale because our king was gracious, Robin had remained loyal until that day and he had abused his fame to form a rebellion. He-"

"He is true!" The Herald shouted, cutting off the bearded man. "You speak lies!" The bearded man raised two fingers in the air and made a circular motion with them. "If what you say is true then let God strike me de-"
The Herald's voice was cut off suddenly as three arrows suddenly embedded themselves into his body. He struggled for breath as he tried to keep his balance before falling forward onto his side, falling dead on the wooden stage.

"And so God has spoken." The bearded man said as he walked up the stairs of the stage and onto it, walking towards the dead herald. He kicked the body over onto its back before looking back at the ground. "Does anyone else question Heaven's will?" No one spoke. The man in the dark green cloth moved to the gate and left, two of his companions followed him.

Outside the man in the cloak walked away from the castle. He was angry, so angry, ahead were the king's guards transporting the taxes to the royal treasury. Six of them stood guarding the wagon, four horses were hitched to the wagon, and each of them was tied to a part of the wooden fence that was beside them.

"His name is Sevian Levian." One of the cloaked man's companion said. His voice was deep and he pulled back his hood to reveal a shaved head, and a rugged beard. His right hand had hold of an object that was hidden beneath his cloak.

"Do we take them?" The other companion asked, her voice was sharp and she too pulled her head back revealing dark black hair and a hardened young face. Her green eyes looked directly at the guards.

"Let's do this quickly. John, pull!" The dark cloaked man pulled back the side of his cloak to reveal a short bow in his hand left hand and his quiver hanging from his belt.

The male companion, John reached into his cloak with his left hand and pulled free a piece of paper with a drawing and some writing on it. The guards finally took notice of them and one of them called out to them. John and the cloaked man ignored him, instead John tossed the paper up into the air and the cloaked man quickly knocked an arrow, aimed and after a moment to line the shot up, released.

The arrow flew from the bow, piercing the paper and hitting the guard square in the chest, the force of the hit knocked him onto his back. The other guards reacted instinctively, swords began to be drawn and spears were hefted. John pulled out his weapon from his cloak, a large two handed hammer. He grinned as the guards eyed the weapon with confused and terrified expressions.

Another guard went down from an arrow to the head. The female companion drew her sword, and as the guard looked at her with doubt she ran him through. Three guards remained; one guard broke and ran, an arrow found his neck as he tried to escape. John's hammer took out the legs of another guard and then his skull and the female finished off the last soldier with a quick slash across his chest.

"Robin." John called out. Robin approached; he pulled the hood of his cloak back, revealing a rough looking beard, only a few days grown. His pale blue azuaran eyes shifted to John. "He's still alive." He motioned to the first guard with the piece of paper pinned against his chest. It had a drawing of a face on it. He was breathing heavily and there were tears in his eyes.

"Good." Robin simply said. He walked up to the man, and knelt down in front of him. "I've got a message for Sevian. Tell him God has spoken. His time is coming." Robin didn't wait for an answer, he stood up and turned on his heel and began walking towards his two companions. "John, Alina." Robin's two companions fell into line behind him.

All three of them mounted three of the four horses, and Robin started them off at a steady trot.

"Sir." Robin barely heard the voice. It was horse and barely audible. Robin paused and glanced back. "Why do you fight?" the guard asked. "Why do you fight against our land? Why do you fight Kin-"

"I fight against the traitor." Robin said cutting off the guard. "I fight for England, not for John. That is where my loyalties lie. As should yours."

Robin turned away from the guard and slapped the reins on his horse, his companions doing the same and together they broke into a gallop. Robin cut the spare horse free so it wouldn't slow them and together, the three companions headed towards the safety of the forest, the coin they had stolen, lay in the wagon that trailed them. By the time the dead guards were discovered, Robin was gone, and his message was delivered.