Here I shall attempt to answer another question that's been on my mind:

Prince Siegfried and his kingdom were born from the pages of a book. His world is made with words, ink, and paper. So what about the things that weren't written? Do they actually exist?

Chapter 6: Memoirs of a Paper Castle

They were walking through the castle one afternoon when Rue paused to look at a portrait hanging on the wall above a staircase. It showed a young boy with white hair, standing at that very staircase, his hand on the railing. The boy had a sheathed rapier hung from his belt, and a blank expression on his face.

"Whenever we pass by this staircase, you always stop to look at that portrait. Is it that interesting?" Mytho asked her, curiously.

"Not interesting, exactly…I just wonder what he's thinking."

"He's thinking of all the other things he'd rather do than stand there posing all day. It was very tiring. I see the painter forgot to add the disgruntled look on my face." Mytho smiled fondly at the memory.

But Rue looked surprised. "That's really you?"

"Of course. Why do you ask?"

"It's just…I don't remember your childhood ever being mentioned in the book."

Mytho had to think for a minute before he realized she was talking about The Prince and the Raven. "I suppose Drosselmyer must have forgotten to write about it. Maybe he didn't think it was important. Or maybe he didn't care to think of it at all."

"But you still remember it?" Now it was Rue's turn to be curious.

"Quite well. And see, there's the proof that it existed." He pointed at the portrait.

Rue remained silent, so he continued talking.

"Maybe we really didn't exist until he created us, but as far as I know, this place has always existed. It has a history that goes back farther than what he's written. There are things about me that he will never know. We're just as real as he is, now, and we always will be."

After thinking this over, Rue finally asked, "Then what about your parents? You must have had a mother and father."

"Indeed, I did. Do you recall the portrait hung in the Great Hall, above the fireplace? The man with the beard and the woman sitting next to him- they're the former king and queen, my parents."

Rue gasped. "I thought they looked like you! Where are they now?"

He stopped smiling. "They were killed by the Raven. I suppose Drosselmyer must have forgotten to write about that, too."

"…Oh. I see…"

They were both silent for a while.

Mytho decided to change the subject. "And what about you, Rue? Haven't you thought about finding your real parents?" It was a bit too late for that, but…

Rue shook her head. "I don't know them, and they don't know me. I don't see the point in meeting them now."

"They might be happy to meet you, though," he suggested gently.

For a moment her eyes looked distant, as if she were considering all the possibilities for the first time. A normal home, a loving family…

But then she shook her head and took his hand. "No. I'd rather stay here with you."

He smiled again.

They looked back at the portrait.

"I expect I'll continue aging as well, now that I'm back where I belong." He squeezed her hand. "Want to grow old together?"

Rue giggled. At his questioning glance, she explained, "I'm trying to imagine you with a beard."

"Do you want me to grow a beard?"

"I think you would look funny."

"Maybe I'll grow one if you ever need to be cheered up."

They laughed together. "That just might work."