Chapter 9: Robin Hood.


"Oh no…" Karolina breathed. "The sheriff of Nottingham!"

Karolina's POV:

The Sheriff of Nottingham is here! Just our luck! I inwardly groaned. The Sheriff's guards stood by the doors of the tavern, preventing our escape.

"Move not a muscle, or thou wilt face our wrath!" growled the sheriff in his deep, gruff voice.

I cursed lightly under my breath. At this rate, leaving now would be suicide.

Bart shifted. I leaned in closer to him and the others. "Patient thou must be. We hath to bide our time, and leave when appropriate."

They gave an imperceptible nod. The Sheriff of Nottingham first collected tax from the tavern owners, then started to walk around the tavern, collecting taxes from the customers! I cursed mentally, although my facial expression remained calm, and my features, smooth. Externally, I showed no emotion, however, internally, I was slightly panicking. I soon realised that this was clouding my judgement and thinking. So I forced my tumultuous mind to calm down, and started looking at things in a logical, rational manner. 'If we pay the Sheriff the tax, we wilt be free to exit this tavern.'

The actions of the outlaw, one of Robin Hood's men, distracted me from my musings. He had reached inside his robe, my vampiric eyesight seeing that he had rested his hand onto a knife, ready to unsheathe it once it came to his turn to pay the tax. However, we were going to pay the tax before him…

The Sheriff stood in front of me, demanding the tax. I reached into my purse and took out a single golden pound and dropped it into the chest. The Sheriff moved on and stopped in front of Bart. Not good…

I stepped forth. "Pardon my intrusion, Sheriff, but my siblings they art. I wilt pay for them instead." I reached back into my purse, and withdrew five more gold pounds, and dropped them into the chest. The Sheriff eyed my purse, and snatched it right from my hands, pouring its contents into the chest, shillings, pennies, pounds and all! I was shocked. The gall of him! He dares…?! I was furious! I snatched my purse back and cried, "How darest thou! Daylight robbery, this ist! Daylight robbery, I say!" With a swift jerk of my hand, the back of my hand connected with the chest, and I sent it flying from his hands and it crashed onto the floor, spilling gold pounds everywhere. There was a mad rush to grab the pounds, mostly by the customers of the tavern. The Sheriff stared agape at his hands that once held the chest. I stood defiantly in front of him.

"Thy status I care little about, Sheriff. One dost not simply steal my money." I told him, a hint of venom in my voice: a warning. Apparently, he does not get the picture. For his face slowly turned a deep, ugly blend of purple and red. "Seize her!" he cried. The guards started running towards me. Big mistake. I ushered my friends to the doors, whispering, "The second my first hit lands home, thee must run! Alright? Run and doth not stop for anything or anyone! Head for Sherwood forest, and I shalt join thee in due course." They nodded their understanding.

The guards rushed at me, and I stood ready. I ducked the sword that swung at my head and retaliated with a back-handed blow to the head of the first guard. He crumbled to the floor.

The tavern doors swung freely on its hinges. My friends had made it out, and so had the outlaw. I refocused upon my task. I disarmed the second guard with a swift twist of his arm, and jabbed a nerve point, rendering him unconscious. I then ducked an incoming, badly placed punch, and turned on my heel, executing a back-kick that sent the guard to the opposite wall. I then nimbly dodged the onslaught of arrows and used a stray arrow, throwing it back at the guards and the Sheriff. The arrow struck with impeccable accuracy at the wooden pillar, just a centimetre above the Sheriff's head. The coward of a man whimpered at the close shave. Wimp…The guards became distracted, their first priority being the Sheriff. Hah…their mistake…amateurs.

I seized that opportunity to dash from the tavern, becoming a mere blur to the human eyes, before halting at the edge of Sherwood Forest. Here, I took precaution. As Robin Hood has his men posted to various areas throughout Sherwood Forest, and they could be spying on me even as I started to enter the Forest. I knew that it was impossible for me to run from the tavern in the middle of Nottingham to the edge of Sherwood Forest without being exhausted. So I made a show of panting heavily as I trudged through the forest.

As I went further and deeper into Sherwood Forest, I was aware of the many pairs of eyes watching me from the treetops. I also acted, calling out the names of my "siblings", concerned for them, although I know that they are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. The men hidden amongst the trees, I knew, were watching me with rapt attention.

I knew, too, that they were leaving their posts to follow me throughout my hike through Sherwood. Finally, when I could no longer search for my "siblings", I collapsed to the ground out of "utter exhaustion". As I "slipped into unconsciousness", I was well aware of the outlaws emerging out of their hiding places to gather around my prone form. The one in the lead was a bearded, green clad man who radiated with authority and had a bow and arrows slung over his shoulder. Before I "passed out", I saw that he was assessing me with a calculating look on his face. Then, I willed myself to "slip into oblivion".

I was well aware of the murmurings that rang throughout Robin Hood's merry band of outlaws. I heard Robin Hood say."Alright, lads. Hold thy horses. 'Tis not often for visitors to grace us with their presence. Who is she?"

Another voice was heard, "Milord, at the tavern she was, with her family. Angered the Sheriff she did, and a fighter she ist!" Ah…that outlaw at the tavern…

Robin Hood hummed, "Hmm…the Sheriff must be hunting her even as we speak. To our hideout we wilt take her, and provide her refuge we wilt, until she ist reunited with her family."

I felt strong arms reach underneath my legs and back, and lifted me up from the ground. I "fell limp" in the person's arm. I then felt them carry me off somewhere.

I was not sure of where we were, but I was settled down onto a comfortable bed, and fed some water. I then heard murmurings as the men went about their daily routine. After what I felt had been an hour, I slowly "woke up".

I made a show of moaning and groaning, as I slowly sat up. A large, strong hand restrained me, resting on my shoulder. I looked up to see warm, hazel eyes staring at me.

"Good evening, milady. To have the chance of gaining thy acquaintance, 'tis my greatest pleasure. Will Stutely, I am. How art thou feeling?"

I decided to put on a show. I blinked and stammered, "Ko-Koraline Paige…Where…am I? Who art thou meant to be?"

He smiled warmly, "At ease, milady. At Robin Hood's hideout thou art. Fear not, for we wilt not harm thou."

I nodded slowly, the sat up with a gasp, "My siblings! Oh, how fearful they must be! Lost in these strange woods, at the mercy of the forest! I hath to find them! I hath to ensure their safety! My decision ist not thine to make!"

I hopped off the bed and ran outside.

I immediately bumped into a person's chest. That person would have fallen due to the impact, whilst a vampire never falls. However, I still have a façade to uphold, so I pretended to fall as that person did. I looked up to see the Master of Thievery himself, the King of the Outlaws, Robin Hood.

He stood up, patted himself, and stretched out his hand to me. "Art thou hurt, Milady? My deepest apologies, my fair maiden, to startle thou wast not my intention."

I refused to take his hand. "I would prefer to stand upon my own two good feet, good sir!" I huffed and stood up as quickly as I had 'fallen'.

"Ah…quite the feisty one, eh?" Robin laughed, his Merry Men laughing along with him.

I looked around me, and all the famous and well-known men of Robin's were present. Little John, Will Scarlet, Allan a Dale and many more. Even Maid Marian was there!

"My siblings need my help. And by God, if thou stop me, I wilt-"

"Thy Siblings? No one hast entered the forest before thou didst, Milady."

I paled, "W-what?"

I quickly ran towards the exit, as fast as humanly possible, and made my way out of the forest, Robin and his men hot on my trail.

"Wait, Milady! 'Tis too dangerous!"

Unheeding of their warnings, I plunged forwards, only to slam into a chest that this time, did not topple down.

"Woah! Karolina?"

Someone grasped my shoulders. It was very familiar, and I recognized that voice.

"Roy? Dick? Wally? You came!"

Alright, Im sorry for not updating for a year, now, but this year was very important, I had a National exam to study for which would determine my future, which is now over. So…Yay!^^ Anyways, here's the next chapter. I'm open to ideas regarding the next chapter!^^