Between the Pages

In a magical world, Between the Pages, lives Sebastian and his twin Edmond. That is, until Edmond decides to work against the Queen and disappears to join the Queens brother, and setting a curse over the country. Concerned for his brother (and the world), Sebastian sets of to search after him. But he needs help.

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Cordelia eyed Sebastian. “How old are you? 16? 17? Not old enough to have finished any study that would provide you enough training in the handling of weapons. Moreover, even if you were in your intern period at the Hero Academy, which I know you’re not, as I take a great deal of pride in knowing my heroes, or a dueller or blacksmith, you would still only have one or two years knowledge. There is simply no way you can beat him.”

Lina’s insides were screaming. The one question she hadn’t dared to ask him, the one that had been burning on her mind. It had just been uttered in the worst possible way. Because after the defeating of monsters, after nights under the stars and after the reuniting of twins. What would the next step be?

“I know how to handle a sword.” Sebastian said, even flashed a half smile. How can he be so calm, when everything is about to fall apart?

Cordelia smiled. “But is it enough? You have your mind set on this plan of yours. But my brother has set his mind on another plan entirely, and, how much I hate to say it,” her voice filled with bitterness. “It is already working.”

Her voice dropped and her face was set in a painful grimace. “My people are dying.

Sebastian didn’t flinch, but Lina was more than sure that his heart was beating just as fast as hers.

“I refuse to let you go. You are young and you are brave, but I cannot see any more death caused by him.

Somewhere there was the sound a sword quickly scraping the floor to be heard, the only sign that there were guards present.

“Especially not two kids who wish for an adventure. There are lives at stake!”

“Quest.” Lina murmured, without realising until it was too late.

Cordelia’s eyebrows furrowed. “Excuse me?” Lina gaped at her, searching desperately for words, without exposing herself too much. Sebastian glanced at her and saved her.

“She said Quest, to correct your misinterpretation of the word adventure.”

He was still turned to Lina and she couldn’t help but smile, her shoulders slumping slightly. The Queen tilted her head and looked at the two of them, a thin eyebrow almost reaching her hairline.

“You see,” he explained , turning towards the Queen, “an adventure is with an, to the adventurers, unknown outcome. A Quest, however, is a trip with a clear motivation.”

The Queen smiled. “That is beautifully expressed.” Her expression changed again and Sebastian’s smile vanished. “However, I must then remain to call your trip an adventure.  No one knows the outcome, and I will most certainly not sit around to find out how two young, self-proclaimed heroes lost their lives to a goal they did not reach.

Sebastian’s fists were clenched, and his breathing grew sharper. “Then what will you do?”

Lina would have felt sorry for the Queen, hadn’t she been so confused. Cordelia still had the two of them in sharp lock with her gaze.  “You must understand that these are plans that I have not yet fully decided on.” She took a deep breath and played with an ornamented golden ring on her left hand. “Thus far the only reasonable thing seems to be… to evacuate.”

This time Sebastian did give a reaction. His eyebrows furrowed and his body seemed to loosen slightly. He hesitated slightly before he asked again. “What do you mean: Evacuate? Where to?”

“It wouldn’t be forever, not even for a long period,” Cordelia explained soothingly. “But we know for a fact that the curse is limited to Between the Pages, but not the Nameless City. Outside however, we could stay there for a short while. Wait until the curse is over. My brother only wants me in despair, when he has succeeded in that he will eventually stop.”

Eventually?” Sebastian’s voice went higher and filled the hall with echoes. “How can you know that he will eventually stop?”

Cordelia’s eyes narrowed. “We have our differences, that is true, and we never shared a family bond. Yet I know my brother.”

Sebastian had lost his words and Lina concentrated very hard on the tiles again; although it was very difficult to think “what nice tiles!” when Sebastian was almost having a breakdown beside her.

Cordelia looked her fingers play with the ring, and spoke again, her voice shaking. “It is hard, I know. But I refuse to risk the life of more people.”

A great silence filled the place, occupying every corner and niche.

Sebastian stared at the Queen who was avidly avoiding his glare. When once more spoke, his voice was full of bitterness and the soft accent that Lina held so dear almost gone.

“The people will never go with this. You can’t make them.”

Cordelia sat straight up and fixated on a point above their heads.

“The announcement will be made tomorrow. You are right; it will take time to convince them for the best. However, just before your arrival I had gotten a notice of another one fallen ill. The third person this week, and we still do not have a cure. By time, they will be willing to go. Be assured, no one will be left behind.”

Sebastian, however, did not seem assured whatsoever. In the contradictory, ever since Cordelia had told about the plan, he seemed to be filled with a deadly silence. For the first time in a while, Lina snuck a glance at him. He stood as if poised for a fight that would never come.

“Was there more you wanted to say?” She couldn’t bear the gaze of Sebastian, and so turned to Lina instead. She gulped, and tried her best to seem somewhat normal. Beside her Sebastian took a deep breath and closed his eyes, trying to work everything he had just heard through his brain. Then he stormed out. 

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