Anno Regis 1650, Florician Era, Early Winter, "The stories had little or no meaning for me then; but the mere spelling of the strange words was sufficient to amuse a little child who could do almost nothing to amuse herself; and although I do not recall a single circumstance connected with the reading of the stories, yet I cannot help thinking that I made a great effort to remember the words, with the intention of having my teacher explain them when she returned."There was no one but Penelope, who was standing across the room and pouring tea in tea cups on the breakfast table.
"Oh did you now?" Erica, who was too busy to listen to her, pretended to be interested. Poor old Penelope, she had too many stories to tell for anyone to stomach.
She had been ten minutes early for breakfast and was enjoying the silence with only her book, when Penelope entered and found herself another companion to unfold her wondrous chronicles. But nothing could Erica do about it, after all she owed it to the old lady. Besides of having tales to last for a lifetime, she was good at keeping silent, well at least in Erica's case.
She knew her secret.
"Penelope I want tea with-"
"One spoon of sugar. I know that Mistress" Erica smiled at her; sometimes you have to forget some things to see the goodness in people.
"Oh Good morning dear" Queen Felicia took a seat on one side of the table. "Good morning Mother. Did you sleep well?" Erica asked and helped herself with tea. "I certainly did, thank you" she said and beamed at her daughter. Within fifteen minutes, everybody had joined the table but the room was silent. "Father is late" said Prince Aiden. "I heard that honey was investigating about the Red Knight since yesterday" said the Queen and Erica almost chocked on her tea. She and Penelope exchanged looks of horror.
Oh Damn. "Red Knight?" she asked. "Well, aren't you familiar with it?" asked the Prince while raising his eyebrows.
"People say he is the fighter of justice nowadays and goes around the principalities like the wind. All sorts of whispers have been circulated by idle or malicious gossip. But nobody has actually seen him, at least nobody alive" Erica simply nodded while munching bread sticks.
"Must be a very barbaric young man" said the Queen and a new wrinkle on the queen's forehead deepened.
"A very barbaric man indeed, but with a keen sense of justice when his selfish interests are not involved, and I must say only a few of such calibre exist in this day and time." came a voice warm and confident, from the door. "What took you so long honey?" the queen got up and went over to him and the king's one arm tightened around her in a light hug. King Raymond Westleigh walked gallantly across the room, pulled the chair and gentlemanly made the queen settle on the table while he took a seat on the other side.
"They were a great number of revenue regulations, laws on civil matters such as mortgage, bankruptcy, rights of way, companies, and laws governing the procedure of courts, all of which I had to adhere to. But all these weren't that occupied me, these are what I always do but something else kept you all waiting today." replied the King.
"It was the Knight wasn't it?" asked the Prince. "It sure was, my son" the King sipped his tea absentmindedly.
"But even after looking into it for a week, I couldn't find anything. Clever lad, I tell you" Erica let out a breath she didn't realise she was holding.
"I have called the son of Harold, heard that he's an intelligent one" said the King.
"For what?" Erica asked. The king looked at her with amusement.
"Well, for finding the Knight of course" answered the King and laughed warmly.
After that nobody really talked, only Aiden broke the silence every now and then, stating how courageously he saved the day with the King laughing proudly in response. Oh! How much she envied her brother. How he was a man and well she wasn't. But could anyone change that? No! No matter how much she wanted to, she couldn't. She would always have to play the damsel-in-distress and like a good Princess always look after her family, that would change afterwards to her husband and after that her children. Responsibilities would never end. If she wanted to do something about her cruel fate, now was her only chance.
She would do something. Or perhaps she already had.
Galloping through the woods, the Knight chased the men in black. They all reeked of demonic aura so much that she felt she was standing next to one. It totally disgusted her but she couldn't help it.
If only they realised that. Not that she was complaining, that made her job easier. The Knight was wearing a red cloak covering her chestnut hair and a mask covering her neck and her mouth so only her eyes were visible.
The poor fellows didn't know that death was chasing them. She crossed the short distance within seconds and that's when one of them realised but too late. She drew her sword as if a flash of lightning itself and her sword found flesh.
The rider went down.
The other two started screaming but well in this part of the forest nobody could really help you. She almost felt sorry for their foolishness and was down in a fraction of a second and stabbed the horse with the back of her sword, the horse was paralysed. Finally dawning on him what was happening, the third one stopped screaming and kicked his horse to escape but Gods help the sleeping man. All there was left was a mere blood stain on her sword and a hidden grin on her face. But as if celebration wasn't welcome for long, she heard footsteps.
Who could be in this part of the woods? And she stared as a tall, sleek man came out and big sword appeared at the belt of her new company. His lips turned into a smirk as he said, "Hide and seek is over, Robin Hood"