Hi everybody! Here is chapter 8. I do not own TUC. Enjoy.
Rylan sat on the edge of his new bed, looking around at the small room that he would be staying in. Torrance had been given care of him, and so Rylan was at Torrance's cave.
His room wasn't very big, but it was nice and private. The bed was actually cut into the wall, something that Rylan found kind of cool. The only real piece of furniture was a small table made of stone. Someone had placed a dried bunch of flowers on it. Rylan decided that he liked the room.
Just then, there was a knock on the door. Rylan stood up. "Come in," he called.
The door opened to reveal a frail woman holding a pile of cloth. She stepped into the room and looked around.
Rylan was slightly freaked out. "Um, who are you?" he asked after a minute.
The woman looked at him. "I am Nerissa," she said simply. "Torrance's wife. Queen Luxa's cousin. One-time heir to the throne. Seer. The person who is delivering your bedding to you."
"Oh," said Rylan, taking the sheets that she handed him. "Thank you." What she had said registered just then, and he frowned. "Hang on; you were the heir to the throne?"
Nerissa nodded. "For a few months I was even Queen while my cousin was missing."
"Your cousin?" Rylan was extremely confused.
"Yes," said Nerissa, taking a seat on the bed. "Queen Luxa."
Rylan frowned. "But, Queen Luxa is gone. She died, that's what they told us in history class." Somewhere in the back of Rylan's mind though, something was stirring. A memory, maybe.
His father. He's angry about something. His mother. She is crying. "But when, Kolton, when? When will Queen Luxa return and take her rightful place?" she asks his father. His father is pacing the room. "I do not know, Alexandra. Hopefully soon. Stellovet has already begun to counter everything that Luxa worked for. Did you hear how she ordered Vikus executed? She is denying it, of course, but we all know it was her."
Nerissa looked at him curiously. "What is it?"
Rylan tried to cover it up. "N-nothing.
Nerissa smiled knowingly. "It may be nothing. It may be something. Just remember, here in the jungle, we stick together. There is always someone willing to listen if you want to talk." She stood up. "Late meal will be ready soon." She turned and left the room, leaving Rylan's thoughts in turmoil.
The next morning, Judith was shaken awake by her mother. "What is it, mom?" she asked sleepily.
Her mother turned to the dresser and started pulling out clothes. "Torrance is waiting for you outside. He wants you to give a tour of the camp to that refugee you found yesterday."
Judith scowled, but got out of bed. "Why me?"
Luxa shrugged. "I have no idea."
Judith sighed. "Okay. Tell him I'll be there in a minute."
Her mother started to leave, and then stuck her head back through the door. "Oh, and Judith?"
"I need you to keep an eye on the twins today. Henry is over at your aunts', but the twins don't have anywhere to go until after mid-meal."
Judith frowned, but reluctantly agreed.
Luxa smiled. "Thank you, honey."
Judith finished getting dressed, yawning widely as she did so. She then strapped on her sword and exited the room. She walked quickly through the cave, snagging a plum fruit off of the table as she did so. Pushing aside the thick vines that served as a door, she stepped out into the morning jungle.
"Ah, Judith!" Torrance was waiting for her. "I hope that you slept well?"
Judith shrugged. "Well enough." Looking past him, she saw that Rylan was also there, waiting along with Truce.
Truce spotted her and smiled. "Good morning, Judith."
"Hey, Truce," she said, walking over to him. "Good morning, Rylan."
Rylan nodded, but didn't say anything.
Judith looked around. "Truce, where's Hero?"
Truce looked around as well. "I'm not sure," he said.
"Why do you two talk that way?" asked Rylan suddenly.
"What do you mean?" asked Judith, who was now scanning the trees for her errant sister.
"You keep joining words," said Rylan, "Why do you do that?"
Truce was kneeling down, examining a footprint. "I think it's because our dad's an Overlander."
Rylan was stunned. "An Overlander? But—"
Before he could finish there was a loud whoop and out of the sky tumbled Hero. She hit the ground in a roll before popping up and perfectly catching a sword that fell out of the sky after her. She was still for a second, and then sprang into action, leaping forward towards Rylan.
"Hero!" Torrance shouted.
A flier swooped out of the sky, coming to a halt next to Truce.
Judith was laughing hysterically. Truce was smiling, and Hero had dropped her sword she was laughing so hard.
Judith saw Rylan open his eyes, staring at Hero, who was curled into a ball on the ground shaking so hard that she could hardly breathe.
"What is going on?" he squeaked.
Truce grinned. "This is my twin sister, Hero." He nudged Hero with his foot. "She wanted to see if you had any guts." He looked down. "What's the verdict, sis?"
Hero sat up, still giggling. "Wimp!" she gasped, and collapsed again.
Rylan flushed, looking towards Torrance.
Torrance was shaking his head, but amused at Hero's antics. "Very funny, Hero. I have to leave now. Judith, you are in charge. Try to stay out of trouble." He turned to leave.
Rylan looked as if he wanted to say something, but remained silent.
Torrance walked away.
Once he was gone, Judith turned to Hero, who had now calmed down a bit.
"Alright guys. Hero, as awesome as that was, don't do it again, okay?"
Hero shrugged. "Sure. Whatever."
Judith nodded. "Truce? Rate that, please."
Truce thought for a moment. "8.6 out of 10."
Hero pumped a fist into the air. "Yes! New personal record!"
"Don't forget to write it down," Judith warned. "Okay." She turned to the flier, Hero's bond. "Hi, Echo."
"Hello, Judith." Echo purred. "I am guessing that Hero must remain grounded for the rest of the day?"
Judith smiled sheepishly. "Yeah. Sorry."
"Awww." Hero pouted.
"It is alright," Echo told her. "I will see you tomorrow. Fly you high."
Echo flew off, and Judith turned back to the others. "So. What do you want to do today?"
"I think we're supposed to show him around," said Truce, gesturing towards Rylan.
Judith shrugged. "Okay." She turned to Rylan. "After you."
Question time! Which twin do you like better? Hero or Truce? Thanks for reading! -Queen