Chapter 8

Julian chuckled lightly to himself, seated upon the ground as Rosaline seemed to play with her sword, a rusty piece appearing like it had been dug up from a time long ago. She twirled it about in her fingers and stabbing, slashing at invisible enemies.

"How old is that thing?"

"Hum?" Rosaline paused, the blade appearing to go limp in her hand as she let it fall to her side.

"That--your sword."

She shrugged, "Not sure. Been in the family for a while, I think." Rosaline strolled over, seating herself beside him and handing him the weapon. "Not very pretty, is she?"

Julian laughed, taking it in its grasp, running his finger down the edge of the blade. "What about your family? You mentioned your brother once or twice."

She lowered her eyes, pretending to be occupied with something on her hands. "Eh--I'd rather not talk about it," she muttered.

"Did they die?"

"Do you understand anything of 'rather not talk about it'?" inquired Rosaline cross as she gave him a dark glare.


She let a heavy pause come between them, thoughtfully staring away. "Yes." she whispered. "Yes, they did die."

"I'm sorry." Julian said, feeling awkward. Unsure, he tentatively put his hand over hers.

Appearing to shake herself, she looked back to him with a mild, sad smile. He could almost make out a rim of silver tears around her eyes, but in a blink, they were gone. "It's alright, I was a long time ago. Long story..." Rosaline muttered. Shifting, she went on, "What about you? Have any family?"

Julian sighed, "Long story."

Rosaline laughed lightly. For a moment, they were caught staring at each other in a way. She broke eyes with him, standing hastily and clearing her throat. "So, we should be moving out. I know we are heading to Finn, but...where after? What is the end result of this quest?"

Who says you are coming afterwards, thought Julian grimly. As much as he enjoyed her company the past days, and liked her as a person--and partially thought her, though not the most beautiful maiden he had run across, a bit pretty--he was skeptical of taking her with him very far. It would be a dangerous road where she could hinder him; no place for an orphaned milkmaid with an old family sword.

A dangerous road....but where did it lead?

"I do not know," Julian rose from the ground as well. "I do not know, Rosaline."


The End

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