---["Breathe," said Small Cap when he felt his friend's skin cold as ice.
Unfamiliar groans startled the spider. He went to hide in his friend's pocket when he saw the two-legs with four eyes stirring to consciousness.
"Ugh." The thick-framed-glasses boy stirred awake and jostled the round-glasses boy back to consciousness.
The thick-framed-glasses boy tested the jarring pain he felt to his elbow and suspected he had sprained his arm upon impact.
"Where are we?" asked the round-glasses boy.
He came to a conclusion upon sight of the blue floors and patterned walls casting oily light about the strange blue semi-darkness.
The boys scrambled about the semi-darkness and found their lieutenant colonel on the ground nearby. He was holding a black-haired beauty of a boy, about their age, to his chest. They were unconscious.
"Jensen. Who is this boy?" asked the round-glasses boy.
"Wilfred, isn't he the one we found in that Juxtapositioner's lair in the South Wing," said the thick-framed-glasses boy as he scratched at his head.
"That boy." Wilfred thought with a frown.
"Colonel," he called out to his superior, shaking the man's shoulder to rouse him awake.
Leinard's eyes fluttered open. He blinked in the images of Jensen and Wilfred's faces. He went to sit up and felt Famine unconscious in his arms.
"Famine, up," he said as he shook the boy, at the same checking to make sure he hadn't been injured.
Famine groaned to life; his eyes gradually opened.
"Where are we?" His eyes blinked about the blue semi-darkness.
They went wide when he recognised the pattern walls shimmering with rainbow light and the feeling of the blue floors.
"Oh no we have to get out of—" Famine paused when he saw a creature looking like a court jester skipping towards them.
"I know." Jensen mouthed with his hand gripping the steel gun he had picked off the floor earlier.
"Screw you! I don't care if you know what's gonna happen. I'm gonna shoot!" Jensen yelled as he faced the court jester and fired rounds at it.
The court jester had anticipated the attack, obviously, and danced around the flying bullets with ease.
"You morsels won't be able to escape my lair this time," he declared.
The breaking of his last lair was due to a miscalculation of pride and trust in a hard sell that ended up a con.
He wasn't going to make the same mistake twice. He had recovered a percentage of power due to the precious meal he was gifted with. Now with the addition of three tantalising appetisers, he'd suck their minds dry to speedily fill up his own. His initial plans will be back on track.
"Firstly, to eradicate this Famine thing. How dare I was tricked into believing this dumb imbecile had a worthy brain to eat!" The demon cursed.
Of course, at that time, he had been starved of knowledgeable brains, so he hadn't been in the right frame of mind to make a sound decision.
Now was different. The tender and tasty human that Hades Lion gave him made up for his earlier troubles.
"Huh?! Who you calling a dumb imbecile you stupid git!" Famine shouted out his unintelligent insults to the demon.
"No, stop it Famine!" Leinard cried out, attempting to silence the boy from hurling further insults at the demon.
It was too late. The dumb Famine had pushed against the demon's sore spot.
"STUPID?! Blasphemy!" The demon felt his rage.
He called upon his book of knowledge to lay down the law.
"Bring it you mindless git! I'm not afraid of you!" Famine shouted.
The three knights of the Evadale Knight Order groaned and readied their weapons for retaliation.
"Blasphemy, blasphemy, blasphemy!" The demon childishly ranted as he called upon his powers within the blue book. "Come, my children, bind the lair!"
Moving silhouettes and agitated voices surrounded the patterned walls. They sparked and warped into ever-changing images of events and sceneries pulled from the humans' minds.
"Oh shit!" Wilfred panicked when he realised the power that was activated.
He felt dizzy from the rush of images and colours pressurising his senses. His ears picked up the voice of a woman that he shouldn't be hearing.
"Wilfred. You must protect your sister and look after each other." His mother's serene voice advised him of his place as he held her left hand.
His older twin sister held their mother's right hand. The three of them were the pitiful sight in black suits as they solemnly stood over their father's freshly filled grave.
"All the Smithsonian Estate will be looking upon you as the man of the house."
Wilfred shook his head and closed his eyes. He wasn't there, and neither was his mother. If that were the case, he wouldn't be holding onto her hand much longer.
"No, I'm not here!" He shouted with firm conviction and opened his eyes to another moment in time.
"What is this?" His voice cracked at the sight of a group of his middle school classmates surrounding his younger self.
They were attempting to extort money and sexual favours from him.
At a crucial moment, his sister attacked with a handful of strobe grenades and miniature bots that she had made in their uncle's lab.
"My brother's not your bitch!" She roared when she had successfully chased off the bullies. Unbeknownst of Wilfred's dampened pride.
"Why'd you do that?!" He lashed violently at his sister with an ire he had never felt before and was surprised when she laughed with a look of relief on her face.
"Finally." She patted his back.
"Finally?" Wilfred sighed and found himself in another past moment of his life, back to when he had first met the black-bearded face of his eccentric uncle, who had become their caretaker upon their mother's untimely passing.
It was the most awkward and unfilled moment of his life when he was belittled by his uncle's attendant for being a worthless boy.
"Worthless weakling, who lacks the intelligence befitting a Smithsonian Head. Your sister shows far more promise."
"My sister is better?"
Wilfred felt his strength fading and his desire for rest increasing.
"Yes, it's better to let your sister take control and lead. Why accept a responsibility you are not naturally adept? Don't you prefer reading books in solitude?"
"Aah, yes, the right to lead was Lita's, as the eldest. People follow her because she is stronger, smarter and—"]]
*"Does it matter?* You're both a family. I don't know your life with your sister, but I can tell she holds you in high esteem from these moments. Believe in your own pride and worth as a man!" I shouted.
I held my breath as I watched the round glasses boy named Wilfred writhed about the floor before me and eventually go still.
I checked his pale, soft cheeks for warmth and realised the effeminate beauty of his face.
Strands of fine brown hair flopped over his almond-shaped eyes. His hair's stylish side-swept crop accentuated his face's heart-shaped outline. His body was firm and held a balanced muscle tone. I decided to take back my first impression of him being a skinny runt like myself.
Wilfred stirred to consciousness. He breathed out a sigh of relief when he saw my face.
"Famine is it? Thank you," he said as he calmly returned to his senses and took in the real situation we were in.
The demon was enclosed in a ball of blue light with its blue book opened before it. It seemed to be in a deep trance. The rainbow shimmer of the walls had been replaced with pulsing white light.
"The light acts as a memory recall. Typically, once the juxtapositioner demon has bounded your mind to its own, it's impossible to break free from its link." Wilfred beamed a friendly smile as he rechecked his weapon and readjusted himself for action.
"Fortunately, he took you for a fool so kept you out of the loop." He chuckled.
"Well, I dunno if I should take that as luck," I grumbled.
Wilfred nodded his head and changed his expression to one of seriousness.
"Keep track of the pulsing lights. If the rhythm changes, we're in trouble."
We carefully moved about the lair, pausing here and there when the demon stirred.
Jensen was the next one we found chained up unconscious against a wall by white links of hard light.
The memory being played out on the wall he was chained to made Wilfred groan.
"I don't care of your status. Lita's mine," Jensen declared.
He held up his glinting pair of steel sais in readiness for the duel he had baited Leinard into having for the sake of the woman they both loved.
"Brats should focus on learning and respecting their elders." Leinard smirked.
He raised his katana to the challenge.
The men's weapons clashed, noisily, as they skilfully sparred. Ignoring the curses and commands to stop from the woman who had captivated their hearts.
"Colonel, Jensen! Stop this childish nonsense!" Lita shouted at the men but found it was pointless. They were fighting with their manly pride on the line.
"Are they idiots?" she asked her brother who was doing his best to keep a straight face.
"Not normally, only when you're around," Wilfred commented matter-of-factually.
The duel ended abruptly when Leinard had coolly disarmed both sais from Jensen.
Jensen was heaving for breath on the ground near Leinard's feet.
He lowered his head and punched his mixture of rage and embarrassment he felt into the linoleum.
"What've I been doing?" He glanced up and saw Leinard making a move on Lita who didn't seem to be complaining.
"Of course, he's more of a man than any of us. We're not much different in ages, but he's already a lieutenant colonel while I'm stuck with a knight rank. Damn it!" Jensen hissed with a realisation of the truth.
"Yes, that's the truth. That man is a far better suitor for Lita Smithsonian. How can you match up to someone who you'll never be able to catch up to in strength, charisma and smarts? Face the fact, you're out of your league—"]]
*"That's your wounded pride talking."* Wilfred butted in.
"I've always been jealous of your skill. I hated the fact, you were able to challenge our Colonel in that duel. I could never have done that."
I felt hope in my heart when I saw Jensen's body twitch and the light of the links weaken.
"You're worthy of my sister in my opinion!"
Abnormal shrieking rebounded off the walls as the links around Jensen's body faded. Wilfred was able to catch him before he had hit the ground.
"Wil-fred? Is that true?" Jensen said when he regained consciousness and yelped when Wilfred pinched his cheek.
"Don't get ahead of yourself," Wilfred answered.
I gained a detailed impression of Jensen when he gradually stood up and rechecked his gear.
His body was toned and showed the strength of a hardy fighter. His face was a lot manlier than first thought with sharp features, a split chin and large blue eyes. The spiky cut of his dark hair gave an impression of cockiness.
"Like War," I mumbled to myself and felt my heart ache with the need to find my brothers.
He joined our careful search for Leinard, whom we found chained up with someone unexpected.
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