The Sheriff had decided to explore Robin’s castle because he had noticed that a few of his own Vampire henchmen that had gone near the castle in the past had gone missing. He later heard rumours from wild Vampires in the area that they were scared to go near the castle and so he naturally suspected that a Vampire hunter dwelled within it. (He also suspected that the fleeing villagers would try and hide in here too. If he knew about its reputation for being a place that Vampires were too scared to go, perhaps they would too.)
Vampire hunters always had to be dealt with in the most severe way possible, more so than other outlaws. Prince John obviously didn’t want any of them to become an example to others. Anyone who dared to fight back against the Vampires had to suffer such a heinous fate that only their death would be remembered rather than any of their exploits. The Sheriff would always make sure to deal with Vampire hunters himself and personally led this attack. The team the Sheriff had brought with him was also made up of some of his most fearsome Vampires.
Bancroft was alarmed when he saw the monsters approaching. He didn’t expect to see the Sheriff himself and the mere sight of the monster filled him with more dread than he had ever felt in his life before.
He instantly ran back to the others and gently woke them up. Much hadn’t managed to sleep anyway. When he saw his father coming in he got up right away as he knew something was wrong.
Bancroft whispered in Much’s ear that they needed to move out the back door of the castle very slowly. When Much asked about the two men in the dungeon, Bancroft told him sadly that there was nothing they could do as in order to wake them up he would have to bang on the steel door (as there was no way he could open it, Robin had the keys). Doing so would obviously alert the Vampires with their acute hearing to where they were.
Much protested saying that they owed it to the stranger who had taken them in but Bancroft told him that they didn’t have time and demanded that Much do as he said. He very nearly raised his voice in anger against Much, but fortunately for Bancroft, Much sheepishly agreed with his father. Though he didn’t feel right about it, Much had always gone with what his father had said and sadly here would be no different.
The sad truth was that Bancroft had also hoped that Robin and Will might distract the Vampires long enough for them to get away. The Vampires would search the castle and would most likely find them, and perhaps they would assume that they were the only people there, if the villagers could slip out in time, Bancroft hoped. He was absolutely ashamed of himself, but at the end of the day, he knew he had to give his friends and his family every single chance he could.
The villagers slowly crept through the castle as the Vampires approached. They made their way through the main hall, past the stairs that led to the very top of the castle and through a small corridor where the back door was.
Bancroft wanted to check to see if everything was safe. He slowly opened the door and peered through it. He could see very clearly despite the darkness, four Vampires heading in his direction. The Sheriff had made them circle the castle, and the Vampires had spotted Bancroft.
Bancroft was almost frozen with fear. He wasn’t sure if he had been spotted and slowly tried to move back, but just as he did the Vampire smiled and it quickly ran towards him.
He instantly bolted back and on cue the others followed him, but unfortunately as they ran back down the corridor they heard the sound of the Vampires coming in from the front door. Much broke down into tears. What he had feared had come true, they were now cornered with no way of escape and the Vampires were closing in on them. The only area they could flee too was the kitchen, but it was also a dead end. Still some of the villagers ran in there in a futile attempt to hide from the Sheriff.
The villagers all cowered together completely helpless as Vampires emerged from both sides towards them, blocking off access to the stair case.
All of their eyes were on the Sheriff who smiled as he approached the petrified villagers. He was surprised to see them here. He knew that they were in no way capable of killing even a single Vampire, never mind of making the castle somewhere Vampires were afraid to tread.
The Sheriff asked them who they were and how long they had been here. None of the villagers responded as they were all simply too scared to even move in the Sheriff’s presence.
The Sheriff was not happy. He screamed at them.
“It is not wise to try and keep things from me. I can be very persuasive”
He suddenly grinned, with his eyes now fixating on Much.
“Particularly towards children”
Bancroft spat at the Sheriff. His rage overcame him. He knew it wasn’t wise to provoke the Sheriff, but as soon as the monster threatened his son he couldn’t contain himself. There was a deadly silence, with even the Vampires themselves being shocked at what Bancroft had done.
The Sheriff walked slowly towards Bancroft and stared at him for a moment before pulling his heart out of his chest.
The villagers began to scream and retreat only to stop when they saw the Vampires behind them hissing and roaring.
The Sheriff who was now laughing at the villagers plight said to his fellow Vampires
“These fools are clearly not what’s been killing us. Little ants scurrying away from the fire. The true perpetrator is here somewhere, but first, it was a long walk through the forest, I’m sure you’re all famished. Lets eat!”
The Vampires lunged at the villagers and began tearing them apart. Those who had tried to hide in the kitchen were not safe either as the Vampires cornered and slaughtered them too. Arms and legs began flying through the air, blood splattered all over the floor. In the commotion Much fell to the ground and began crawling through the blood and entrails. He soon saw to his horror the lifeless face of his mother on the floor covered in blood, with her throat having been cut right out. He then heard a sobbing coming from behind him. He turned and saw his younger sister Aida covered in blood too, crying hysterically.
He hugged her and the two of them collapsed in tears amid the slaughter. Just then the screaming and the sound of breaking bones, tearing of flesh and slashing of throats stopped. The two still embracing looked around slowly and saw that everyone in the village was dead. They had all been torn to pieces. The Vampires had become crazed during the feeding, like ravenous Sharks.
The Sheriff stared down at the only two, terrified survivors. He said, with evil relish “Well, well it seems we got a little excited. We’ll have to savour these two for as long as possible.”
As the Sheriff approached them, Much and Aida clutched each other harder than ever before. Aida couldn’t stand to even look at the monster and buried her face in her brothers chest. Much didn’t look either. He hoped the Vampires might get carried away again and that it would be over quickly for he and his sister.
Just then however Much heard one of the Vampires scream. He opened his eyes and saw one of the two Vampires behind the Sheriff with an arrow in its back, fall to the ground where it crumbled to dust instantly. An arrow instantly fired at the other Vampire where it became embedded in its back, and another at the Sheriff who quickly managed to catch it and snap it in two.
The Sheriff growled, and bared his fangs at his enemy who Much could barely make out in the distance, Robin Hood.
Robin and Will had instantly been awoken when one of the Sheriff’s Vampire servants had begun to tear down the door to the dungeon.
Robin and Will then in a flash, fled through the window and out into the forest. Will ironically much like Bancroft was adamant that they leave but Robin once again simply couldn’t bring himself to follow Will’s callous advice. He told Will to wait and ran back into the castle. Will however would follow him simply because he did not want to wait out in the woods alone where there may be more Vampires lurking.
Robin had, had time to take his trusty bow, a rope and some arrows as well as his sword which he kept on him at all times any way.
The Sheriff smiled at Robin and said calmly “I see I have found what I was looking for” The Sheriff pulled his sword out. Robin unlike the hapless Miller Bancroft knew the ways of the Vampires and was fast enough to dodge the Demons blows, though sadly he was still not fast enough to strike at the Vampire as it managed to dodge his blows too.
Will watched scared from a distance at the fight. He too knew of the Sheriff’s reputation and he was scared that even Robin wouldn’t have a chance against him. He wished Robin had not bothered to try and rescue the villagers most of whom as far as he could see where either dead or as good as dead. Now from the looks of things he and Robin would soon be joining them.
Robin managed to hold his own against the Demon. The two kept striking at each other, either missing or blocking the others blows, with their fight taking them up and down the main hall of the castle. The fight seemed to go on forever until suddenly Robin managed to draw the Vampires blood with a quick slash across the chest. The Vampire suddenly stopped. It didn’t react to the pain just smiled and with a flash struck Robins sword so hard that the blade shattered completely.
Robin and Will then realised the awful truth. The Vampire had just been playing with Robin for the entire time. Robin began to panic. He had faced powerful Vampires before but never had he felt quite so helpless in the face of danger. The Sheriff quickly grabbed Robin by the throat and tossed him across the room.
Will despite his fear intervened with a cross. He hoped that he could maybe buy Robin enough time so that he would flee with him and not stupidly still try and rescue any villagers. If Robin didn’t flee this time then Will felt he would have to leave him. As much as he didn’t want to face the prospect of wandering through Sherwood forest alone he knew it was suicide to try and take on the Sheriff.
The Sheriff backed away at bit from cross but soon let out another ear piercing roar before running at Will. Just as Will turned to flee Robin threw holy water in the Sheriff’s face. He always carried a small bottle of holy water in his pouch. Holy water was a very useful deterrent against certain breeds of Vampires and luckily for Robin the Sheriff’s breed were highly vulnerable to it.
Robin had thrown the holy water right in the Vampires eye. The Sheriff screamed in agony. He hadn’t ever felt pain like this. It knocked him off his feet. He lay on the floor screaming and writhing as the holy water ate its way into his skull!
Robin wasted no time and he quickly snatched the cross from Will and ran towards the corridor. Will followed Robin without even realising where he was going as he wanted his cross, his only form of defence back.
The Vampires were in shock that anyone had managed to overpower the Sheriff. When Robin whipped his cross out the Vampires staggered back. Being weaker than the Sheriff, the sight of it caused them tremendous pain, though it would only last a short while which was enough for Robin and Will to pick Aida and Much off the ground. As he, Will and the two children prepared to turn back, Robin suddenly saw the Sheriff running towards them from the other end of the corridor.
The upper part of one half of the Sheriff’s face was completely burnt. His eye had been completely melted out of its socket and the flesh around it was still sizzling.
Robin knew it would be pointless to use the cross against him as he was already clearly in the most unimaginable pain, but his rage had managed to help him overcome it.
Robin turned to see the Vampires on the other side of him getting to their feet. He held the cross to them again, and though they flinched in pain, it did not have the same effect as they were prepared.
Robin quickly splashed what was left of the holy water in their faces. Several of the Vampires fell to floor just as the Sheriff had done in agony whilst the rest scattered in panic. Robin knowing that he would never make it to the back exit instead made his way up the stair case, with Will, Aida and Much following him in hot pursuit.
The 4 of them managed to make their way to the top of the stair case and outside to the roof of the castle, where Robin quickly shut the steel door behind him, just before the Sheriff and his Vampires could follow.
Robin knew the door wouldn’t hold them for long and sure enough the Vampires already began to tear the door down with their inhuman strength.
Robin quickly reached for the rope he had taken with him and tied it around one of the armaments on the top of the castle. Will without even thinking quickly climbed down the rope, leaving Robin, Will and Aida at the top. Robin of course, ever the man of honour, told the children to go ahead. Aida however was too scared. She had always had a phobia of heights and she wasn’t sure if there weren’t Vampires lurking below. It was completely irrational, but she obviously wasn’t thinking straight. Just then, the door to the stair case came flying off its hinges and the Vampires emerged like a swarm of locusts across the roof of the castle with the Sheriff at the front of them, his face still burning.
Robin grabbed Much and Aida and and headed for the rope. He told them both to grab on to him and he would jump down the rope. Whilst Much agreed, Aida was still too scared. Robin pleaded with her, but before he knew it the Sheriff grabbed her in his talons.
The Sheriff threw her into the horde of Vampires behind him. Robin knew there was nothing he could do now. If he didn’t move instantly then both he and the young boy would die. With regret he grabbed Much as he screamed his sisters name and jumped over the edge of the castle, sliding down the rope whilst holding a screaming and kicking Much with him.
The two joined Will at the bottom who had waited for Robin, still not wanting to face Sherwood forest on his own.
Robin turned around and began firing arrows at the Vampires who were descending, managing to pierce the Demons hearts. Unfortunately every arrow he fired at the Sheriff was blocked by the monster.
The Sheriff yelled at Robin from the top of the castle, his voice almost shaking the woods of Sherwood forest.
“You think you are some kind of hero archer! Well this is one person whose death I’ll make sure you remember the next time you try and defy us!”
The Sheriff stood to one side to reveal two Vampires holding Aida, one by her legs, the other by her arms.
Much tried to run towards the rope, but Will held him back knowing it would be useless. Robin meanwhile kept firing arrows but the Sheriff would deflect every one of them. On the Sheriff’s orders the two Vampires pulled each end of Aida they were holding until they eventually ripped her in two!
Will let go of Much. He didn’t mean too but he was in complete shock over what he had just seen. He knew full well what the Vampires were capable of yet even he couldn’t believe what he had just witnessed.
Robin pulled Much back from climbing up the rope. Much didn’t even know why he wanted to climb it as Aida was already dead. He felt he just had to be there next to her. He didn’t want even her corpse to be alone with those monsters.
Robin however managed to pull Much back and was forced to pick him up for his own safety before he quickly darted in the other direction along with Will as the Vampires began to jump from the top of the castle, with the Sheriff again leading them.
Robin carrying Much alongside Will ran through the thick woods. Robin was not as fast as the Vampires, and he was having to carry Much too, but he had one advantage over his undead pursuers. He knew the forest well.
The Sheriff was familiar with the woods, but not to the same extent as Robin who lived there, and having prepared for this moment, knew certain areas he could hide in. He just had to get to them first. He, Much and Will took cover under a nearby fallen tree. They could see the Vampires darting through the woods. Robin fired an arrow into several bushes in the distance. The Vampires instantly reacted to the noise and ran towards it.
This gave Robin and Will a chance to flee in the other direction towards a hole that Robin had dug in the ground by a large tree. Robin had spent ages during the day time digging a massive tunnel under the ground that he and Will could flee too in case the Vampires overran the castle.
The hole was covered up by leaves, twigs and dirt. Robin quickly dived into it carrying Much with him, whilst Will followed them both.
Robin and Will began placing the twigs and leaves back at the top of the hole to cover it. If a Vampire fell into it then there would still be an exit for them as at the other end of the tunnel which covered over 50 feet. The other entrance came out from behind a rock. Of course if two Vampires fell in at either end then it would be over for Robin and Will, but it was a chance they had to take, as there was no way the three of them could keep outrunning the Vampires for much longer.
The three waited in the pit anxiously. They could hear the Vampires trampling above ground. They could even smell their hideous stench from below the ground.
Robin remained ready with his arrows, hoping that it wouldn’t be the Sheriff. They waited for what seemed like an eternity until suddenly the trampling stopped. The stench still lingered as it often did, but Robin began to think that the Vampires were gone. He didn’t want to chance it however. Maybe they were just toying with them and as soon as he emerged from the hole the Vampires would jump out of the trees and surprise them?
Still Robin decided to check as if the Vampires were toying with them then it would be better to get it over with.
Robin peeked his head just from under the leaves. He couldn’t see any Vampires, though it was hard to tell in the dark. He slowly climbed out of the pit and looked around. Again he could see nothing. Clearly the Sheriff and his men had gone searching for them through the woods. It was the first bit of luck they had this dark and bloody night.
Will and Much soon came crawling out of the pit after Robin. Much was in absolute shock. He hoped he would wake up and find out that this had all been a horrible dream. He fell to his knees, and buried his head in his hands, not wanting to face reality around him.
Will spoke “Well what now Robin? We may have escaped this time, but the Sheriff will want to make you suffer after what you did. It might be better for us to kill ourselves now“.
Much suddenly looked up. Will’s words had an effect on him but not in way he hoped. “You would take the cowards way out wouldn’t you? You were the first down that rope, you didn’t try to help Aida at all.”
Will was clearly shaken by Much’s words. The fate of Aida, an innocent girl weighed heavily on even his closed off, cynical mind. It was much easier to leave the villagers when he couldn’t see what it was the Vampires were doing to them.
Nevertheless Will felt a certain sense of indignation as he was aware that the villagers had abandoned him and Robin too when the Vampires attacked the castle.
Will said, his voice quiet and calm, but still somewhat shaking “I am sorry for what those animals did to that girl. Yes I ran, but don’t pretend if it wasn’t someone you cared about in their clutches, you wouldn’t have done the same. Did you not abandon me and Robin to be torn apart by those monsters in our sleep? We found you in the corridor. Heading for the back door to the castle. Clearly when you saw the monsters you all just ran and didn’t even look back.”
Of course ironically Much had been the only person among the villagers who didn’t want to leave the both of them, but he didn’t protest as he knew Will would never believe him. Also he still felt a small measure of guilt as even though he had protested his fathers decision to leave, he still ultimately had gone along with it. He didn’t really have the moral high ground at all.
Robin was the next to speak. He didn’t even look at his two companions as he did, as he was still in some ways looking to see if there were still any Vampires around.
“We are all guilty of abandoning others to die. For whatever reason. Some of us couldn’t bare the thought of losing our loved ones, some of us couldn’t face what was really in the dark, and some of us couldn’t face the people they were preying on”
Robin then turned to face them, but as he did he suddenly noticed something moving in the trees above Will. He quickly reached for his arrows, but before he could do anything, a large grey figure swooped down and grabbed Will. It was the Vampire that had killed Jeffrey. It had waited patiently in the woods for any possible survivors and now its patience had been rewarded. Will struggled greatly, but it was pointless. Just like Jeffrey there was nothing Will could do against the inhuman strength of a Vampire. As the beast pulled him towards its fangs, Will prepared for the end, when suddenly the Vampire dropped him. As Will fell to the ground he saw the Vampire fall after him. The monster was dust before it fell to forest floor.
Will looked around and saw Robin aiming his bow at the tree tops. Robin helped his companion to the ground. Will sincerely thanked Robin for saving him, but Robin simply responded that if he wanted to thank him then he could help him. Will asked him what he wanted help with and Robin responded firmly with “To turn all of the Vampires that plague this land into dust.”
Will couldn’t believe what he had just heard and neither could Much. It sounded insane. In fact Will wondered if Robin had finally lost his mind. A boy, a coward and an archer were going take on the monsters that had ravaged all of Albion?
Will felt like laughing in Robin’s face, but he didn’t want to as he did still owe the man his life.
He said to Robin “Robin, you saved my life. So please let me save yours. There is nothing we can do to stop these monsters. How can ordinary men stand against creatures that have no morals, no desires other than to cause chaos and defy nature itself?”
Robin smiled and said back to Will as he looked the dust, all that remained of Jeffrey’s killer “If I had taken that attitude, you’d be dead right now.” He continued, “I was wrong to hide away in that castle. It solved nothing. The monsters still found us in the end. Its not just a question of it being the right thing to do, to help free our fellow citizens of Albion from these monsters, but even just for our own sake. They lurk around every corner and someone has to stand up to them.”
Will felt an overwhelming sense of despair. He knew that without Robin’s help he would be lucky to survive in the woods on his own, yet he felt that if he stayed with Robin now he would be killed in the pointless kamikaze attack Robin would launch against the Vampires.
He was damned if he did, damned if he didn’t, but Will ultimately decided to walk away. Whilst there was a good chance he wouldn’t survive on his own, he felt sure he wouldn’t survive with Robin. He walked away without even saying goodbye. He and Robin had never really had any kind of a friendship so it would have been pointless to try and pretend that he was going to miss him in any way.
As Will walked away however Much spoke. Robin’s words had had an effect on Much. He was no warrior and he certainly didn’t care about his own life anymore, but Robin’s words appealed to the anger that he felt towards the Vampires. His anger was practically all he could feel anymore. Much just like the Vampires themselves he was dead to virtually everything else. He didn’t think deep down that Robin would have a chance to bring down the Vampires, but he didn’t care. He just wanted to kill as many of them as he could.
Much said to Will “My father tried to run stranger.The monsters caught him eventually. They’ll catch you too. Your friend is right. We can’t escape them when they rule this land. Its best to fight. That way at least we can die with some dignity and not like the people from my village, huddled together like animals.”
Will almost couldn’t be bothered to respond to the idea of a silly boy telling him he could could help to overthrow the Vampires. He said sharply to Much that he was a fool, and that a boy like him would be torn to pieces in no time.
Much however aid confidently “So what? At least then it would all be over. Do you want to live cowering in the woods, constantly looking over your soldier, jumping at the smallest sound, hiding in dark, musky, stinking caves, terrified to go to sleep in case you might wake up in one of their dungeons? I’d rather it was over, in a blaze of glory than years of living like that. And even if we don’t win maybe we’ll inspire others to never give up? Isn’t it better to play even a small role in bringing down these monsters that destroyed all our lives rather than become their cattle?”
Robin chipped in and started babbling about how they couldn’t leave Albion in the state it was in to future generations, but it was Much’s words that had an effect on Will. He did think about how hard life had been for the past few months. Even within a large castle there was still a constant non stop fear of the Vampires finding him. He’d be lucky to find a similar accommodation. Now he’d have to sleep out in the woods, on his own! However if he were part of a group who were fighting the Vampires then he would have a better protection. Maybe Robin could inspire whole villages to fight back? Whilst he still wasn’t sure he realised that for now at least to stay with Robin was the better option after all, than to brave the dark woods alone.
With both of his companions on board, Robin told them that they would need to go to the village of Ekad, for there “the predator of the Vampires lived!”