‘Here it is!’ he said suddenly, looking up at Will excitedly. ‘Willow Caius Avaric the First,’ he recited, his eyes darting expertly across the pages. ‘Warrior of the Eternal Ash. Progenitor, Queen Marigalot Avaric the First, siblings Carmen, Karn’el, Nabila -,’ he was cut off when Andrel reached back and snatched the book away, murmuring ‘dasanhari’ under his breath. He turned the compact book and observed the title, before twisting his head and speaking.
‘The Blue Blood Legacy’? Are you serious? You think that’s appropriate?’
Arlamus pushed his spectacles further up his nose. ‘I thought it would be beneficial. After all, Prince Willow might remember something.’
Will’s insides twisted uncomfortably, it wasn’t hearing the names that hurt the most. It was hearing the names and feeling nothing for them, not even a twinge of sorrow or recognition for those supposed to be most loved by him. Andrel saw this look, and rolling his eyes, shoved Arlamus in the ribs, sending him onto the floor with a painful thump.
Moments later, Arlamus’ head popped back up, his eyes narrowed angrily, Andrel only smirking with satisfaction.
‘You’ll get used to him, sadly,’ he said as Arlamus stood, recovering from an assault that had been more cruelty than play.
‘Must you be so unpleasant, brother?’ asked Arlamus, enunciating haughtily.
‘Yes, I must,’ he retorted, mimicking his tone. ‘I really, really must.’
Tayna rolled her eyes at them both, looking at Will and Anala. ‘Sorry about them.’ Will smiled back, never witnessing such a ridiculous conversation.
‘This is exactly why I did not wish physical association with you,’ said Arlamus. ‘I prefer individualism,’
‘Yeah, well I take it as an insult that you didn’t want our mother’s – and my, for that matter – dashing looks.’
It was then that Will noticed how similar Andrel and Arlamus looked. Despite their polar personalities, there were distinct similarities, they were the same build, and when Andrel eventually stood to face his brother on the opposite side of the sofa, the same height. Both had the same dusting of freckles and equally green eyes, both camouflaged by Arlamus’ choice to colour his blonde hair black and wear glasses.