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Kael Nacallio of Ney De Jaar was the youngest of four brothers and two sisters. She grew up in a more relaxed way than her siblings, with much less strict rules and schedules. Her brothers awakened at dawn, ate breakfast, then trained in combat all morning until lunchtime, when the family sat in the garden to eat and socialize. They all shared the same blonde hair and bright green eyes, the signifying traits of the royal family. Her sisters, Betha and Karila, wore their favorite matching emerald gowns with their curled hair piled into loose buns on top of their heads. They laughed quietly at their brothers' arguing about who did the best at fencing today while Kael, hand under chin, stared into the servant's quarters. Betha glanced at her youngest sibling and shook her head slightly in disapproval before clearing her throat.
"Kael, must you always show such interest in the servants? It's not ladylike to make so much eye contact with those kinds of people."
"Ladylike? She may as well strip her family pin and frolic around town! Everyone must know by now of her dealings with peasants," Karila quipped. She raised an eyebrow towards Kael, who slowly turned her head and sighed.
"Miss Karila, I do believe I was the addressed, not you." Her tone was aloof, but as she focused her attention on Betha, she manufactured cheerful undertones. "Dear sister, servants have life and value that most wouldn't possibly consider." She dropped her hand and rolled her eyes. "I know that we understand they were meant to serve us, but can we not pleasantly live together i-"
"Pleasantly together in the household holding hands and singing songs and sweetly asking them for lunch or dinner and baths and cleaning." The second eldest brother, Glinn, interrupted her sentence sharply. "Kael. Stop." He stood and walked over to her, putting a gentle hand on her shoulder. "This talk and behavior will get you into trouble. Not with me, not with the family, but with the servants themselves. They will find you weak, tolerable, lenient, and they will take advantage of that. Our associates will look down on us as a house of pity." He put another hand on her neck and kissed her forehead. "We do not pity." Glinn looked her coldly in the eyes before turning and walking into their home.
Kael sighed heavily and bowed her head. Taking a deep breath, she arose to find her remaining brother's gone and her sisters staring at her silently. Karila opened her mouth to speak, but Kael stood and walked into the garden before her words could be spoken aloud.
The garden has always been Kael's favorite place in the entire kingdom. It was filled with beautiful trumpet and heart-shaped flowers in different colors, as well as shrubbery shaped as animals. It was almost like a maze, different paths separated by tall hedges decorated with colorful ornaments and lights. Each section of the garden was dedicated to a family member in the household, and in the furthest corner in the west side of the garden was Kael's area. She lined her entrance with white candles and bushels of lavender to protect it from negative energy. Once she stepped inside it felt like a breath of fresh air entered her lungs, clean and sweet.
Kael sat on an ornately decorated white bench and stared into the sky. Puffy white clouds danced slowly across the blue sky, matching the swirling blue pattern on her silk dress. She was lost in watching the leisurely changes in shape the clouds embraced as they made their way.
"Miss," a servant girl quietly chirped. Kael saw Firna, a child of about her age that had thick curly hair of raven's feathers and equally dark eyes. Firna was Kael's chambermaid, they grew up together when at 6 years old Firna's mother died while employed to the care of the Nacallios. "I came out of my quarters and your sisters said that you were ill, so I brought some tea for you." Firna bowed and went to set the tea on a little table next to the entrance.
"You can come in, Firna. I won't hurt you." Kael patted the spot next to her. "I'm not ill, at least in body I'm not. I'm actually not in mind either, but my family will tell you otherwise." Kael smiled and motioned for the tea. "Come. Sit! I promise I don't have any diseases to speak of." Firna laughed softly and sat down, pouring two cups of tea. "Firna, I never noticed how graceful your hands are!"
Without hesitation, Kael reached out and grabbed Firna's hand. It was soft, not like she'd been doing housework all of her life. Certainly not like that of a servant. She turned her and over and sighed. "Firna? Can I call you a friend?"
Firna blushed, unsure of what to say, before smiling and saying yes.
"Then, can you meet me here at sunset? I have something to give you."
Once again Firna agreed, and they finished their tea while Firna wondered what could possibly be given to her. She had never gotten a gift from the Nacallios, well other than an evening or a morning of dismissal every so often. She was fascinated by the thought of a gift, especially one from Kael.
What could it be? Surely nothing fancy, either the Lady would notice it or someone would steal it for extra drink. It's probably nothing.
Firna's thoughts raced as she watched Kael calmly finish her tea while humming a song her mother used to sing to them. Firna joined in softly, looking down at her folded hands all the while. Kael leaned towards her and lifted her chin in the same fashion Glinn had when he scolded her. She lifted her eyes and saw Kael gazing at her with a big smile plastered on her face.
"If you remember the words like I do, we can sing them aloud and your mother can hear us once again," she cooed.