I apologize for any confusion replacing Chapter 3 may cause, but Nic simply did not like how the story was headed. There have also been a few minor changes to the previous chapters as well. I haven't changed any of the characters though! Please review and tell me what you think of the new Chapter 3! (^o^)

In the palace of King Jonathon, in the land Temare

Duke Dremid of Maou looked over the end of his desk at the two youths before him. He wasn't quite sure what to make of them. They could be no more than eight or nine years of age., he thought. They were identical. Pale and small, their messy black hair cut to their thin shoulders and piercing black eyes that seemed to absorb the light that hit them instead of reflecting it bored into Dremid's own without even the slightest quaver of uncertainty that most boys their age had.

He twitched, uneasy. Their gaze was disconcerting – they appeared to not have irises, if they did, they were black as pitch.

"You said you wished to find work here?" Dremid adjusted his glasses as her peered at them. "Did it not cross your mind that you could find much easier work outside the palace? Does your family know that you came here?"

The one on the left tensed, his upper lip inching up to show his teeth, eyes narrowing into a vicious expression filled with cold loathing."We have no family, your Grace. They're dead. And we came here because there are things we must do."

"Things to to?" Dremid queried, a slight quiver entering his voice. He was frightened, though he refused to show it. "And what things might those that you must do be?"

So swift he almost missed it, the Duke saw the brother on the right spin and slap his twin on the back of the head. His eyes were filled with anger as his lip curled in distaste. Locking eyes, he gave a curt nod to his twin before stepping forward, towards the Duke to croon softly words that were of no recognizable language. It was like the purring of a cat and the the quiet rustling of the undisturbed forest leaves.

The world seemed to go fuzzy to Dremid's eyes. The boy – his voice was hypnotic. Such power and beauty that he could feel himself leaning forward to make sure he caught every sound.

His brother crept forward and joined him in the soft melody of what must have been a song, eyes staring calmly and coldly into his own.

The duke's eyes glazed over as he he bent over to sign their papers. "Yes... yes everything looks to be in order... Nyx and Jinx Alinari, you will be appointed stable boys... there is a room for you in the loft and the head hostler will teach you what you need to know... Now be on your way." Dremid waved his hand hazily through the air, a clear dismissal.

Elated, the two boys – Nyx and Jinx – bowed.

"Thank you, your Grace."

And with that, they were gone.

. . . . . .

"That man was annoying," Jinx whispered in my ear, rolling her eyes in disdain. "Does your family know that you came here?" she mimicked in an almost perfect imitation of the Duke's nasally voice. "He was treating us like children!"

I sighed, "Jinx, we are children to them – we aren't even seven yet."

"So? We will be turning seven soon, and that does not mean we're on the same level as their human children! It is simply insulting!"

I spun around, grasping the collar of her tunic and pinned her to the wall angrily. "You will not speak like that again within these walls – or outside of them," I snarled, my upper lip curling to reveal my fangs. "We are not at home, Jinx, you have to realize that. Our very survival depends on our secrecy, alright? And what was that in the Duke's office? You almost lost it back there! If I hadn't stopped you-!" I released her and stepped back, hissing angrily. "Just – don't do it again," averting my gaze I strode forward in the direction of the stables.

"I promise... Nyx."

I glanced back at her, she had an apologetic smile on her face. "I-I suppose I have to get my act together – sorry. I really am."

Stopping to allow her to catch up to me I ruffled her hair playfully, "Don't worry about it, everything turned out fine - this time."


The rest of the way we walked in silence

When we reached the stables, I wandered around, examining the place curiously. Stretching out my mind to touch those of the caged animals kept in the stables and in the fields, I found that there were over a hundred horses here, as well as numerous dogs and cats.

I shuddered.

I hate dogs.

Jogging up to the nearest field, I leaned on the rails watching the yearlings frolic and race with each other. Next to felines, horses were my favourite animals, they were so full of grace and power – I had always thought fondly of them.

"Hey, you there, by the fence!"

Out of the corner of my eye I could see a young man striding towards me, a frown of his face.

As he stopped beside me I could see that his clothes were fine, he was wealthy and carried an air of being accustomed to being obeyed. "What are you doing here? This is no place for children! Go home to your mother."

I twitched. What was with all these humans and their need to provoke me?

"And is that your brother over there on the fence? What household are you from? I'll be reporting this!"

I turned to stare him in the eye, fighting to keep my expression pleasant. "I apologize, but obviously you are not aware that I work here – as does my brother." I tilted my head, keeping a smile on my face as I continued, "It only makes sense that you were not aware of this, since my brother and I were only appointed as stable boys this morning. Now if you would excuse me, I must gather my brother and we will finish looking over the area." With a bow I turned and strode over to were Jinx was lazing on the fence.

"We should go introduce ourselves to the guy in charge of the stables, huh?" I ruffled her hair playfully, "Come on."

Jinx turned her gaze upward to catch my gaze, a large grin on her face. "This will be fun, huh?"

I allowed a small grin, poking her forehead. "Yeah. It will be fun."

Okay, so how was it? Sorry again for the confusion, but Nic totally has the next few chapters plotted out in her head, so be ready for more! Thanks for reading! (^w^)