Slaves

Chapter 6

Heartbroken Maiden,

When Robin returned to Knighton hall, he found that Marian had already left to pick up what she could at the castle, if there was one thing he could give her credit for, it was for efficiency. He decided that paying Edward a visit was perhaps a bad move because it would only land him on the other side of the door, because Edward didn't want any trouble from the sheriff, and that meant staying away from Robin.

When Marian had entered the castle like she usually did, she soon sunk into the shadows and crept along the hallways looking for the sheriff. When she had reached the part of the castle that had a wooden engraved wall, she stopped herself quickly, and soon hid behind it because she had found sheriff Vaisey.

He was talking to what seemed to be a messenger, from where she didn't know but before she left she was hoping to find out. She had her back flat against the stone wall, and poked her head out far enough so she could just see the two men.

"So have you received any shipments from our gold mine in the west, I was promised a payload soon?" Vaisey asked,

"Not yet my lord, but I have been informed that a shipment of slaves has just been brought in, and my smelterer's are still ready to start work as soon as possible." The messenger replied,

"Slaves, I prefer to call them underprivileged, but good, good, its about time he brought in some men to work the mine, I knew I could count on Charles to get the job done, after all he knows what's going to happen if he fails me." Vaisey explained, "And if you happen to see Gisborne, ask him if our mutual friend has decided to join our cause due to our gracious contribution, of 500 crowns." Vaisey ordered,

"500 crowns my lord isn't that a bit steep?" The man asked,

"Nonsense this man has connections and he'll bring his friends as well…and we need to make provisions incase our not so close friend decides to land on another shore." Vaisey replied,

"You are very efficient my lord." The man praised,

"Yes well Prince John didn't just put me in charge for skills of conservation you know…now get a move on." The sheriff said,

"At once my lord." The messenger acknowledged, as he bowed slightly before he left,

Marian was right it was a plot to kill the King, and Gisborne was in the middle of it, why did he have to be a part of it, she loved him and now he was involved in treasonous activities. She leaned her head back against the stone wall, and looked up at the roof; she couldn't help a small tear that soon slid down her cheek and off her chin.

Others soon followed after the first one, and so she wasn't found in the castle weeping like a heartbroken maiden, she quickly ran down the hallway, and by the time she made it into the courtyard, she was now convulsing in sobs. She mounted her white flea-bitten charger, and galloped out of the courtyard hoping that the strong wind against her face would change the way her emotions were travelling.

And the hard riding had helped some, but she couldn't change the way she felt inside, she just wanted to hear it from his own lips; she wanted him to tell her it wasn't true. But it was true and now she had to help Robin take Gisborne down, her heart was torn apart, half of her heart was dedicated to helping the King and his country, which was the reason for becoming the night watchman, but the other half was dedicated to making Guy a better man.

When she had made it back to Knighton hall she had wiped the tears from her eyes unwilling to let her father see that she was upset, as he didn't understand the feeling his daughter had for Gisborne, not even Robin did. Fortunately her father was not there at the time, so she quickly ran up the stairs and to her room, once there she closed the door behind her with both hands, and her back to Robin.

Robin knew something was wrong so he went to comfort her, by placing his hand on her shoulder, "Marian what's wrong?" He asked, as she turned to look startledly at him,

"Robin what are you doing here?" She asked, instantly disguising her feelings,

"I came back to wait for you when you got back from the castle." Robin replied, "So what did you find out?" He asked,

"I found out that the sheriff has a mine somewhere in the west and that he is waiting for a shipment of gold, only the mine has just received a shipment of slaves to work it." She explained,

"Anything else?" Robin urged,

"And Gisborne has been sent with 500 crowns to gain the loyalty of someone who will fight against the king when he returns." She continued,

"Then he was telling the truth." Robin realized,

"Who was telling the truth?" Marian asked,

"The man we stopped in the forest today, he was carrying just less than 500 crowns that he said he got from his brother and he called it blood money." Robin explained, as he handed Marian the bag of gold coins, along with the ring,

"This is Guy's bag it has his crest on it." Marian said,

"I know."

"You mean you robbed the brother of the man who is plotting against the King?" Marian asked,

"It would appear to be that way, but he was willing to let us have all of it…do you have any idea where this mine is?" He asked,

"No they didn't say where it was they only mentioned a man's name." She answered,

"And who was it?"

"It was Charles." Marian replied,

"Charles…I don't know anyone by that name." Robin said,

"Robin we have to find that mine and out a stop to the sheriff's slave trading, it is barbaric." Marian reasoned,

"Marian I know that, I would be there in the next five minutes if I actually knew where it was." Robin explained,

"The sheriff is expecting a shipment soon, if you were to follow the cart when it returned to the mine than you would find out where it was." She advised,

"You're right I'll wait until it gets here, and in the meantime you keep an eye out for Gisborne." Robin said, as he took the money bag back and walked back towards the window,

"Wait Robin what's in the other bag?" Marian asked,

"It belongs to Gisborne too." Robin replied, before he once again slipped out the window, Marian was going to stop him but she didn't want to call out,

She then turned and directed her attention to the small velvet bag with golden strings, it wasn't long until curiosity overwhelmed her and she loosened the neck of the bag. She then tipped whatever was in it, into the palm of her hand, she soon found the lovely flower and vine crafted engagement ring.

As if Guy was there and proposing to her on his knees, she was so happy that he wanted to be there for her, and even though he wasn't there to see her answer, she took the ring and slid it onto her left ring finger. She was going to be a maiden no longer, and now she only had to change his blackened heart so he was the man of her dreams.

Robin would have been a good choice, but he lacked some of the qualities that Guy held out on a silver platter, because Guy always put her above everything. Robin on the other hand put King and country before her, and that wasn't the kind of relationship she was willing to dive into.

She wanted a man who would be there for her when the night's were lonely, she wanted a man who saw life as it was, instead of a man that saw it as a big game. She also wanted a man who wasn't afraid to be seen in public, instead of a man who had to hide behind every rock and tree to escape capture.

And even though Marian didn't know it, Guy was already the man she wanted him to be, because he had already decided to fight against the sheriff and fight for the rightful King of England. He should have recognized this problem he had earlier, but he didn't and it took a Saracen woman to tell him what was what.

Even though she wanted so badly to marry Gisborne, she couldn't deny the fact that he was plotting against the King, but she couldn't just believe that he would voluntarily do that. She knew that there were things that Guy would rather leave undone, but if he did she knew he would have put his life on the line, he was stuck in Vaisey's grip and he couldn't get out.

She was assuming that plotting against the King was another one of the things that he would rather leave undone, but like usual if he failed Gisborne would get the short end of the stick. There was only one thing that didn't make sense, if Robin had robbed the brother of a man Gisborne had paid off to fight against the King, how come he had his ring as well?

There were many things that didn't make sense now; Guy would never give a ring to a man when it was meant for her, and so it must have been stolen. She realized there was the chance that he could have been robbed, and that something bad could have befallen him, but she wasn't sure what had happened so she couldn't assume.

And while all manner of thoughts were juggled around in her head, Guy's pick was only mere inches from chipping away a lump of dirt that would reveal a rich vein of gold. He was working more feverishly than he was about an hour ago because in order for his recently completed plan to be accomplished that night, he needed to find gold.


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