Just then, a strong, firm hand took hold of his shoulder. Destan froze, fearing that his little adventure had come to an abrupt end. His heart pounded fiercely against his chest as he turned his head to look back at his captor.
Behind him were two young men—around thirty-years-old or so—dressed in coarse wool coats. Their dress was not fine enough for them to be royalty, but they were not dressed as normal commoners would either. From this, Destan guessed that the pair were most likely scholars, which relieved him a little. They had probably just stopped him to ask for directions or something trivial like that.
Both men appeared to have the same, soft facial features leading Destan to believe that they were related. The shorter of the two had a pleasant, open air about him, while the taller man appeared to be stern with calculating, dark-blue eyes.
His captor, the shorter man, smiled brightly and relinquished his hold on him. “Hello, young man! My, what a strapping lad you are!”
“A bit on the short side,” the taller man noted passively.
“Pay no mind to my brother. He’s quite a pessimist when it comes to most things.”
“I’m a realist, Will. Not a pessimist. The boy is clearly short. That is fact, not negativity. I’ve had to remind you of this countless times.”
The shorter man, who had been called ‘Will’, waved his hand dismissively. “Oh hush, Jacob,” he said before turning to face Destan once more. “Allow me to properly introduce myself. I am Wilhelm Grimm and this is my brother, Jacob Grimm. Collectively we are known as the Brothers Grimm!” he announced grandly, tipping his hat and taking a great bow.
Destan only blinked.
“Surely you’ve heard of us,” Wilhelm said as he looked up from his bow, his smile dimming a bit.
The prince shook his head. “I’m sorry, but I can’t say that I have, Herr Grimm.”
“Really…?” Wilhelm whined almost pathetically before quickly gaining his composure. “Then you must at least have heard of ‘Kinder und Hausmärchen’.”
“I’m sorry, but I haven’t heard of that either.”
Wilhelm’s smile disappeared completely now. “But—but we’re so popular is Kassel! How can you not know who we are?!”
Jacob sighed and patted his brother on the shoulder. “It’s alright, Will.”
“No! It’s not alright!” Wilhelm cried. “Our publisher promised that ‘Kinder und Hausmärchen’ would be distributed to all the rural areas of Rosenstaat as of one month ago! I’m going to write Herr Strauss a very strongly worded letter as soon as we’ve settled in!”
Destan cleared his throat before speaking up. “Not to be rude, meine Herren, but was there a reason you stopped me?”
“Yes, there was,” Jacob said, taking over for his brother. “We would like to ask you to recount your favourite folk tale to us—only if you’d like to, of course. You see, we’re collectors of sorts—”
“Collectors of stories, m’boy!” Wilhelm interrupted jovially.
Jacob nodded, looking a bit annoyed by his brother’s intervention. “Yes. We’re revising our stories from the perspectives of the common people, but we’d like to add to our collection as well—perhaps for a second volume. So, what do you say? Will you help us?”
– From The Prince of Prophecy Vol. I: Destined–launching this spring!
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