“What’s wrong now?” Anvar demanded as he rode along beside his nephew.
“That is Thornhaven Forest,” Rander noted. “It is infested with sharp branches and plants that can slice you up as sure as a razor. People entering there are rarely heard from again. There could be any number of creatures in there just waiting to prey upon us. My vote is not to enter.”
Linvin joined the conversation. “You knew when we left, that we would be leaving Sartan. This is the border with the Unclaimed Territory. We must traverse this forest in order to continue our quest.”
“You mean your quest, don’t you?” Rander rebuffed. “This whole trip is for you to find some gem, and what have we done so far? We’ve been attacked by wolves and we’ll probably die of exposure while we look for some prize for you.”
Linvin did not want to be drawn into another argument with his cousin. “You were not forced to come on this journey, but since you have come and you agreed to follow my leadership, you will continue through the forest with us.”
Rander recalled his earlier pledge and wished he could retract the statement. Since that was not an option, he chose a different path. “Then why not go around the forest? Unless you think you will find what you are looking for within those trees, there is no reason to expose ourselves to further danger.”
“That’s absurd!” Anvar interjected. “The forest runs the length of the country. It would take months to bypass.”
“What does it matter?” Rander quibbled. “We don’t even know where we are going. What difference does it make where we get lost?”
“We are not lost,” Linvin corrected.
“You’re right,” Rander agreed. “In order to be lost you must know where you are going. We are aimless.”
“You are wrong again,” Linvin corrected. “I know that we must head north, and north means we go through that forest.”
“Just how do you know this?’ Rander said tauntingly.
“I just know,” Linvin answered.
“That’s not going to be good enough anymore!” Rander spouted. “Do you just wake up in the morning and say, I think we’ll ride north and look along the ground until a magic gem shows up? There is no plan. You don’t know what you’re doing and now you want us to follow you in there? You must think we are as big fools as you. Well, I have had enough. Come on, Bander, we’re going home.”
Rander gestured to his brother who reluctantly followed him back down the path. Linvin bit his lip hard as he watched them. After what felt like a lifetime he called out to them. “Wait! I know where we are going and how to find the Red Sapphire.”
The twins stopped and turned to face him. “We’re listening,” Rander chided.
Linvin let out a deep breath before speaking. “The staff tells me where to go.”