Orlosian capital of Orlos, a kingdom surrounded by fertile plains and plateaus and the main route for all commerce in the continent. Thousands of people live in this fortified town but they are not equal.
The royal decree of the first king Allumbre Ragnam, all those under the protection of the kingdom will follow it as the pillars of the society and will be divided into three classes. Those that are essential for the kingdom to flourish but will never have great talent or great contributions to the same will be known as commoners, they have their value and they will be great in numbers since not everyone will be born with talent.
Those that have great talent and use it for the good of the kingdom will be receive the title of nobility, this title is not permanent and can be revoke in case the owner don’t contribute as much for the best of the kingdom, this title will be shared with those the noble declare as family, the share of the title will come with its responsibilities. The noble family will then receive rewards equal to the contributions made. Nobles will be divided into six ranks of nobility from the lower to the highest: Baron , Viscount, Earl, Marquess, Duke and Archduke.
Last and most important the third class of citizen in the Kingdom is the Royal Family. The Royal Family will always be the noble house that achieved such greatness that deserves to be the ones that will guide this Kingdom to greatness. The royals are the only title that can be inherited by blood and will not be taken away unless an Archduke family does more than the previous Royal that accomplished to earn the title.
Those were the pillars of the kingdom and with it the Orlosian Kingdom prosper, all the citizens tried to prosper, tried to show the best they can to the kingdom, many talents were born and made great contributions but the number of “common” people were immeasurable, slowly this policy created many noble families and an stable royalty at the cost of a large number of commoners.
Initially all were considered important to build this kingdom without care an abyss was created between the classes, the royalty was always at the top and all its wishes were respected, the nobles would carry their titles through blood and not much significant contributions and the commoners many times were treated like lessers. Suffering from the abuses of those of “higher classes”.
Generations passed since the first king rule, Orlos now is one of the greatest kingdoms in all Arbooria. The fertile lands and the flourish of commerce created one of the most prosperous kingdoms to rise. However everything has a dark side, the noble families now don’t work for the good of the kingdom, they work only to fulfill their pride and ego. Always trying to increase their rank and dreaming of becoming the new Royal Family.
This desire to reach the highest place in society created many conflicts between the Nobles and Royals. Slowly the poison of conflict and greed were weakening the pillars that supported the Kingdom.
The Felnatus Family was one of the few Archduke families, Arcadio Felnatus was the name of the first headmaster of the family that rose through many ranks until being graced with the rank closest to the Royal Family. Through sixty years of its history the Felnatus members were crucial to the development of Orlos, the achievements that each member offered were immeasurable. This created a high expectation of each member, making the title of archduke being heavier than a solid iron crown.
The current headmaster of the family is the Grand Grandson of Arcadio, his name is Mellorus, a man known for his high intellect and cold blood when necessary. Father of four he put all his honor and pride into his children, always boasting how amazing they are and how Orlos will be a better place to live thanks to them, but one thing he will never say in public.
The existence of the fifth daughter.
Somewhere inside the Felnatus Mansion, in a dark corridor that is rarely used, a girl using a simple beige dress, an white ragged and covered in dirt apron, a simple maid hat that would cover and hide most of her dark colored hair, in her knees she is slowly cleaning the floor with a bucket of water at her side and a big piece of cloth that normally is white but its already full of black smudge marks.
Focused on the task she cleaned the entire corridor without being interrupted, the silence that fills the air could be maddening to anyone else, but she was smiling. A voice without any emotion calls for a name at the end of the corridor.
“Manila I hope you finished your task.” - The rough voice comes from a woman in her fifties, using a well kept dark green maid dress, silver framed round glasses and a golden brooch that she proudly shows near her heart.
“Yes Miss Amarilla, the place is all clean.” - In a quietly and smooth voice Manilla answers without looking the woman in the eyes.
“So…what did you learn after all that? -Says Miss Amarilla with cold eyes aiming at the girl.
“That I should never put Luccio in a bad spot when we are having guests.”
Yesterday there was a friendly competition between two friendly noble families, the Felnatus and the Wrightgams. A game of Fencing was being prepared but the Wrightgams only had three heirs while the Felnatus had the full team prepared, facing this problem Luccio Felnatus the oldest son of Mellorus called for Manila as she was a simple servant of the Mansion.
“Manila, come here quickly!” - Said him with an arrogant and teasing voice.
“The Wrightgams here need one more person to their team so we can have an official friendly match of fencing, so you will take the spot.”
“As you wish my lord.” - She bows with elegance making a fair impression to those present.
The rules for this game are simple, each team will face each other one fighter at time, the winner will be decided by the fighter that hit the opponent three times with the blunt point of the Epee, the loser will give a chance to the next fighter in his team, while the winner will have an endurance test fighting in row. The winning team will be determined when the other side has no more fighters to replace.
The order of the duelists from the Wrightgam side will be Arthur the oldest son of Duke Matheus Wrightgam, Lucille the middle daughter, Benjamin the youngest son and Manila the maid. The Felnatus side order will be Athros the youngest son, Amiliath the third daughter, Atillo the middle son and Luccio the Oldest.
With the supervision of Gianni Elorth, one of the swordsmanship instructors of the Felnatus family, Matheus and Athros get their equipment ready and position themselves for the first match. The first duel was quick with the victory of Matheus, tired, the second match took more time but again the victory went to the Wrightgam team. Atillo defeated the tired Matheus and Lucille, but got defeated by Benjamin in a close match.
Two versus one it’s all what Luccio wanted, the tired Benjamin was not a match against him and now as he planned Manila would be easy to defeat.
Tired from the previous duels, Benjamin could not stop Luccio. All he needs to do is defeat Manila and earn all the glory for himself in the name of the family.
Crossing their epees before starting, looking each other in the eye and Luccio speaks in a whispering voice with a scornful smile.
“You know what you need to do GUIDELESS, you better not disappoint me.”
No answer came from her, the referee then lifted his arms and quickly lowered it. The duel begins.
The previously scornful smile slowly changed into an angry and anxious face, all his efforts to hit her were in vain as Manila skillfully dodged or parried any attempt, not even a single drop of sweat was on her concentrated face.
“YOU! YOU ARE A SHAME TO THIS HOUSE! HOW DARE YOU…GO AGAINST…YOUR BETTERS!!!!”
He shouted with all his might, losing his temper as usual and the little breath that he could have at the moment after getting hit in the chest for the second time.
Muffle laughter could be heard from the spectators from the Wrightham family, that was the limit, with an increasing bloodlust in his eyes Luccio imbued his weapon with a fiery aura.
“Luccio! You are breaking the rules of conduct for this duel! Stop it right now!” - Shouted Arthur.
Blinded by his foolish rage he didn’t care about the duel anymore, he just wanted to punish this servant for disobeying and going against his wishes.
A loud sound of the epee’s classing was followed by an unsettling silence, one of the weapons sent flying into the air and landed on the ground broken. The silence was broken by moans of pain, holding his hand while curled like a newborn baby, Luccio was on the ground in tears while being watched by an unfazed Manilla.
The referee soars his right hand to the sky and declares that the house of Wrightham has won the duel. Joyful cheers and screams could be heard from afar, the Wrightham team members gathered around Manila and showered her with praises.
“Lord Mellorus is summoning you Manila.” - Said the old maid that was overseeing her task.
“You better Hurry up.”
Standing up and doing a polite bow to the maid, she went to the main office of the mansion where the headmaster normally stays when he is working.
Walking fast through the corridors of the luxurious mansion she arrives at two big wooden doors ornamented with golden figures that represent the house of Felnatus. Gentle knocking the door using the golden door knocker she speaks in a suave voice.
“Milord, it’s me Manila, can I enter?”
“Come in.” - A somber voice calls from inside.
The office was always intimidating to her, it was a big room with a center office desk made with the finest mahogany adorned with marble and gold, above the desk two statuettes. The golden one represents Kylasys the god of creation and the Silver one represents Raianna the goddess of the stars. Behind the desk is an enormous window that shows the entire property to be observed, the walls are covered in many landscaping paintings and shelves that hold a vast number of books that would make even the most experienced scholar envious.
Behind the desk there is a man dressed in a black suit made of smooth combed fur, his face well shaved and his black hair short and well kept, his brown eyes could pierce a stone wall with one single stare and now he was focused on the girl that just entered the office.
She bows in respect to the patriarch.
“How many times have we been in this situation Manila?” - He said with a stern voice.
“Nine times since the start of this year milord.”
“And you counted all the times…Why did you again bring shame to our family?”
“With all the respect Milord, Lord Luccio made me the 4th member of the Wrightham Team, if by any circumstance i let him win, i would see as the Felnatus family would have no consideration to the tradition of fairness and honor that a friendly duel requires.”
A staggering silence after her answer and the deep glare that Mellorus was giving to Manila would break the will of anyone, except for her. He then sighs in a disappointing tone and speaks.
“Winning the duel the way you did brought shame to Luccio and this made the heir of this family look weak.”
“Milord, again with all respect I have for this family, I saved the honor of our house. Lord Luccio attacked me with magic imbued in his epee, if I was defeated and hurt because of that those that were spectating would consider him a dishonorable man.” -Without showing any sign to back off her word she continues.
“His defeat to me saved his face, the spectators forgot about this incident and were just stunned by my win. The lords and ladies of the Wrightgam family even wanted me to visit them to know more about me, I have refused using my work as an excuse.”
Another long silent pause before the headmaster starts to speak again with a clear and dry tone.
“You will be confined in your chambers for one month and will only receive two meals per day. Use this time to reflect on your acts, you are dismissed.”
She bows towards the patriarch and leaves without any protest, when closing the door she could hear Mellorus voice.
“Call Luccio here immediately.”
At her chambers she sighed in relief, this time the punishment was not serious. It was not the first time she was unfairly punished, but for her the confinement was the best punishment, she could just focus on reading the many books she “stole” from the family library. One month of pure peace, no need to address anyone or serve anyone, but deep into her heart she knows that Luccio will do something planned for her when the punishment ends.