Robinís sad smile slowly turned upwards, as he spied a dear friend ridding into the compound.
"Master MacGregor," Robin cried out, as he ran to his former teacher.
"Robin my boy," MacGregor slid off his mount. Robin ran into his warm embrace. He could feel the sadness in Robin, as he greeted him as a father would a son.
"I heard about Little John," MacGregor whispered, as Robin pushed himself away. "I immediately rode over. Is there nothing that can be done for him?"
"Nothing," Robin softly said, "Iíd give anything to save him," Robin sighed, "Even my life."
"Beware what you wish for," Robin heard a deep voice rumble before him. Suddenly he saw Olwyn standing before them.
"Olwyn!" Robin choked, "Little John is very ill."
"I know my boy, that is why I am here."
"Can you save him?" Robin asked, MacGregor remained rooted by his side. He had heard of Olwyn, but this was the first time he saw him. He was surprised on how uncomfortable he felt, standing next to his star pupils, other mentor.
"Iím sorry Robin," Olwyn said. "But I cannot."
Robinís head hung in dejection. Olwyn was his last hope, he felt MacGregorís hand patting his back in a consoling way. Suddenly he felt a finger nest under his chin, lifting it up, he felt his heart skip a beat, as he saw hope in Olwynís eyes.
"I cannot help him Robin, but I do know someone who can. Someone that heard you, and your friends prayers."
"Who?" Robin asked. Olwyn pointed up to the sky. He saw the star he stared at before, begin to twinkle brighter. Until it began to blaze so brightly, it lit up the night. Robin shielded his eyes, as a flash of light broke off the star. It landed in the center of the compound. MacGregor had to hold the reinís to his horse tightly, as the light slowly died down. Taking his hands from his eyes, Robin saw someone standing before him, that he never thought he would have seen again in his lifetime.
"How?" Robin asked, as he turned to Olwyn for an explanation.
"She insisted. I tried to talk her out of it, but she said she could never refuse to help an old friend."
Robin ran to the beautiful young woman dressed in white. Her golden hair fell gently to her waist. Her bright blue eyes smiled warmly, as Robin came up to her.
"Gweneth, why have you returned?" Robin asked her.
"I heard your cry for help Robin Hood," her voice was as lilting as a song. "You helped me to return to my mother. I felt I had to help you with your friend."
She searched the camp, as her eyes fell on Little Johns hut, she immediately walked towards it. Robin and MacGregor ran after her, Olwyn slowly followed them into Little Johnís quarters. He saw Gweneth was already kneeling next to Little Johnís bed. Marion, MacGregor and Tuck were standing next to Robin.
"Can you help him?" Robin choked, praying her answer would be yes.
"He is deathly ill," She gently lay her hands on Little Johnís forehead and chest. "I have to hurry, there is not much time."
Immediately Little John was engulfed in a golden light. Gweneth closed her eyes, concentrating on breaking the spell of death, and healing Little John. Suddenly she shivered, as she found the root of his illness.
"It is as you said Olwyn," Gweneth said, "Mortiana is behind this."
"Can you heal him?" Olwyn questioned the young woman.
Gweneth concentration grew. Robin saw Little Johnís pale face begin to turn pink. Slowly, his eyes began to open. He blinked at his friends, all laughed as he said. "Why is everyone in my tent, and why am I so hungry?"
"John! You donít know how happy we are to hear that," Robin chuckled. His happiness at seeing Little John healed, turned to concern, as he saw Gweneth stumble back. He rushed to her side, helping her up. It was MacGregor that noticed the angry look that quickly flowed across Marionís face.
"Thank you," Gweneth sighed.
"Youíve done it Gweneth! Little John is healed."
Gweneth leaned heavily on Robin for support. She now seemed as weak as Little John was. "Mortiana had placed an evil spell on him. It was a very strong spell, I did not know it would take that much out of me."
"Will you be able to return to Avalon?" Robin asked.
Gweneth sadly shook her head. "I did not realize how strong the spell was that Mortiana placed on him." Gweneth sighed she fell into Robinís arms. Little John leaped from his bed. Robin gently lay her on the huge cot.
"Will you be all right?" Robin asked her. His eyes knit in concern.
"Iíll be fine," she sighed. "But Iím afraid, I do not have the strength to return to Avalon today."
"When will you have the strength?" Marion asked. Her voice sounding harsher than she wanted.
"It will take at least three days," She returned.
"Thatís great! Then youíll be spending Christmas with us," Robin said.
Marion noticed he sounded a little to anxious for her to stay. She recalled
the last time Gweneth had visited the compound. She found Robin staying
by her side longer than she felt comfortable with.
"Yes, I guess I willÖ" Gwenethís voice echoed in a dark chamber.
Mortiana was gazing into her crystal ball. She let out a slew of curses, as she lifted it. Throwing it at the wall, it shattered into a million glass shards. Prince John had to duck, as the crystal nearly tore off his head.
"What is wrong?" he roared.
"Olwyn! He used his magic to summon Gweneth."
"Who the devil is Gweneth?" Prince John shouted.
"I can answer that, my Liege," Prince John whirled around, to see a handsome young man stepping out of the shadows.
"Sir Guy, who summoned you to my castle?"
"I did," Mortiana hissed. "I knew Olwyn was going to try something to help Robin. But I didnít know he would entrust the help of Gweneth."
"Who the hell is Gweneth!" Prince John screamed, his face turning a deep red.
"She is a healer, your highness," Sir Guy explained. "She comes from
"That is a mythical land," Prince John brushed off Sir Guys explanation.
"No sire, Avalon does exist, as well as Gweneth." Mortiana snarled, as she began to pace the room.
"How to take advantage of this?" She began to mumble.
"Last time she was here," Sir Guy said. "She said, if she did not return to Avalon by a certain time, all those that she healed, would die."
"Thatís it!" Mortiana said, with a snap of her fingers.
"Whatís it," Prince John snapped in return.
"Youíll see your highness, youíll see. Weíll be needing your help, Sir Guy," Mortiana purred.
"Iíll gladly do anything to help end the miserable life of Robin Hood." Sir Guy said, with a slap of his gloved hand to his palm.
"Good Sir Guy, I was hoping you would say that. We have three days, to destroy Robin Hood!"
"Why three days?" Prince John asked.
"What better way to crush the glimmer of hope from the people's hearts, than to end the life of their hero on the one day that the peasants most look forward to."
"I see Mortiana," Prince John chuckled. "I have to say, I love the way your wicked mind works."
"Thank you your Highness," Mortianaís eyes twinkled with the knowledge of something she was not telling Prince John.
"I live to serve you."
Prince John heard the sarcasm dripping in Mortianaís voice. He knew he couldnít trust her as far as he could throw Barkley. He would allow her to start her evil plan of killing off Robin Hood. Once it was done, he, of course, would take the credit for the death of the Sherwood Outlaw.
He didnít care how or who done the deed. As long as by Christmas Day, the thorn in his side would finally be plucked and buried six feet under!
End of Part Three
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