The Unprotected

Chapter 1

“You won’t beat me this time, Joban!” Rion exclaimed as he ducked and avoided his twin brother’s wooden sword.

“Is that so, little brother of mine?” Joban questioned, side stepping a blow from Rion. Rion fell forward and his wooden sword slid out of his reach.

“And the mighty Joban wins again, making him King of the forest.”

Rion grinned, “How about… King of the dung pile?” He kicked Joban’s foot and in a split second, Joban was lying next to Rion on the ground. For a while, the boys just stared at the blue sky and the rolling white clouds, listening to the usual farm sounds. Joban eventually turned his head so he was looking in to Rion’s black eyes.

“You’re damn lucky my face didn’t touch any dung, but I’ll beat you any way.” He jumped on to Rion’s chest and pinned him down.

“That’s not fair!” moaned Rion, squirming vigorously, “You’re no bigger than I am, it’s just 3 minutes age difference and you can still beat me every time!” Rion’s expression changed suddenly, “But…” he smirked “I can hurt you worse than any blow to the body, almost.”

Quickly, he pulled his arm from Joban’s grip and elbowed him in the forbidden area. Joban cried out and rolled over, right in to the pile of dung.

Rion quickly jumped to his feet, scooped his wooden sword off the ground and ran back to the house. He knew if he stayed in the paddock for much longer, then Joban would recover and wrestle him to the ground again. As Rion jogged past the cornfield, he decided to hide for a while. With ease, he jumped the small fence and wondered in to the field.

Glancing behind him every now and then, he thought he should go back. But something was calling him, summoning him, telling him to go deeper in to the cornfield.

Distantly, he heard Joban calling him, yelling sarcastically for him to come back and spar until the death. Rion laughed softly, parting the plants with his sword. He loved his brother, more then any other sixteen year old twin would. Joban and Rion were, in fact identical twins. They both owned jet-black hair, slender straight noses, and beautiful black eyes that shone handsomely when ever anything exciting happened. Rion however, chose to have his hair slightly longer than Joban’s. Rion’s hair covered his ears and most of his right eye. The boys’ clothing was quite similar, worn and dirty, as they lived on a farm and had various jobs to do. They didn’t mind as they weren’t in to fashion and such. Joban wore his hair a little shorter and also owned a small scar on his left cheek from his careless ways while hunting in the mysterious forest, which was also known as the Foron forest. The forest was named after a strange, dark character named Foron who disappeared when he had retreated into the forest nearly 200 years ago. He never returned.

Rion came to the end of the field and scratched his head. He felt he needed to find something. Looking at his surroundings, he found nothing peculiar or different. He looked past the fence, under rocks, in the grass. But he didn’t find what he was looking for. Faintly, he heard Joban calling again. “Rion, hurry back for lunch. Mum’s waiting… Rion?” Rion quickly looked around again and turned to saunter back through the cornfield.

When Rion reached the fence where he started, he spied Joban sitting under a tree. The tree was old and had many carvings in its bark of ancient runes and symbols. Rion, when he was younger, often climbed that tree and sat in its thick branches, tracing the carvings with his fingers, wanting to know what they meant. As he stared, admiring the tree, he happened to glance at a branch that was swaying in the wind. Something shone between the leaves, reflecting the light in to Rion’s eyes. Rion cried out and doubled over, dropping his wooden sword. Joban looked up and saw Rion; he hurried over to see what was wrong with his brother.

“Rion? What’s wrong? Where have you been?” Rion rubbed his eyes and looked at the tree again. “Something shone in the branches of that tree you were sitting under. The tree I used to climb, I’m going to fetch it. I think it was what I was looking for…”

He climbed over the fence in an awkward fashion, and blinked several times. Stumbling toward the tree, squinting, he stopped. “Joban, can you please climb up and get it? I can’t see very well, and I think it will take a while before I can see properly again.”

Joban ruffled Rion’s hair. “Okay, Rion. I will since you’re my favourite brother,” he laughed “Well, my only brother.”

Joban hauled himself up on to the first branch of the tree, then the second. He disappeared in to the leaves for a moment, and then jumped down to the ground. Rion rubbed his eyes and blinked a few more times.

“Finally,” Rion said, relieved to see properly again. Joban handed Rion a heavy metal object, which was about as big as two coins.

“What do you think it is?” Joban asked, peering over Rion’s shoulder.

“I don’t know. Maybe we should go ask Mum.”

“Yeah,” Joban agreed. He picked up his fake weapon and ran, “Beat you back, Rion!”

Rion grinned and hung the object around his neck. With this, he felt he had power. With this, he felt nothing could stop him. He ran after his brother, slowly over taking him. Rion cheered as he crashed through the back door, before Joban.