Complications

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"Think about it, Matt, what if this is true?" What if there's a plan behind it all? What if they took me away from my parents and now they want to take power through me? "

In Matilda's room, under the warm light of candles from the human world, Ferry was whispering his worries. Finn was snoring lightly in his corner, and Matilda was looking at him with her deep eyes, a small furrow appearing between her thick eyebrows.

"I don't think so, Ferry," she whispered. "Why would they do that? Why would they pretend all this time? "

"Maybe they need me. Or, rather, they need the Spear of Justice that can only be activated by me... "

Matilda didn't answer, and the furrow on her forehead deepened.

"And where is this enemy?" he continued. "Did you see them? Has anyone seen them? All I saw were happy people, living their lives in peace and quiet and honoring their leaders. Waiting for the Lost Prince to return... "

"They are Hollowers, Ferry. They are shapeshifters. They can take any shape they like. Who says innkeepers or crystal sellers or marketers aren't really Hollowers? "

"What about my parents? The people of Akna behave as if they are still alive. They respect and honor them. And toast in their honor... "

"That's to see that it was just a play. A tall tale told and retold for the amusement of people. You can't believe it's true... "

Ferry shook his head. "I don't know, Matt... Isn't there a grain of truth in any story? What if that's all I am to them, Matt? A weapon... A tool for Amalghams to have rights in Akna? To get to rule over it? " Ferry whispered bitterly.

Matilda shook her head. "Ferry, we've known your guardians for our entire lives. They wouldn't do that to us. They wouldn't lie to us. Sage wouldn't lie to me," she said with a short hesitation.

Upon hearing Sage's name, which she said so affectionately, Ferry felt his whole body tense.

"What does Sage mean to you, Matt?" he couldn't help but ask.

"Sage is part of the family, Ferry," she said without looking at him this time.

"What do you mean family? Like a father? You have the best father in the world... A brother? You already have one, " he said, pointing to Finn, and his whisper turned into a voice, sharper than the frozen mountain.

"Ferry, you're going to wake Finn," Matilda said, looking at him this time. But her eyes shot arrows.

Ferry felt the soft light in the room become suffocating. He stood up.

"I have to go," he said shortly.

Matilda stared at him. "So fast?"

"I must rest. I have a hard training coming. With real weapons... "

He wasn't lying. Raghnall had informed him of the next training, and Ferry already felt that he could finally show what he had learned. And yet, he really wanted to be able to stay with her for at least one more minute... But she had ruined everything when she mentioned Sage's name. A usual. Sage appeared between them when he expected the least and ruined everything without even being present.

Matilda got up and away from the friendly fire and stepped closer to him. "I'd like you to stay," she said softly. "But if you have to go..."

"I have to go," Ferry repeated and went out without looking back, barely refraining from slamming the door behind him.

***

At the next training session, Ferry was surprised to find that almost everyone he knew was present. His guards, led by Thyme, Leomh, and his acolytes, Matilda... They were all there. But Ferry was most surprised to find Lord Stephan, wrapped in his huge cape like a storm cloud, leaning on his gnarled staff and talking something with Thyme.

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