“HEY look, it’s that damn Spirit again!” An elderly man spoke out loudly amongst the crowd. Two women who stood beside to him, whispered with each other. “Goodness. Who does she thinks she is? Walking around as if she owns the...
“HEY look, it’s that damn Spirit again!” An elderly man spoke out loudly amongst the crowd. Two women who stood beside to him, whispered with each other.
“Goodness. Who does she thinks she is? Walking around as if she owns the bloody place? Shouldn’t there be any guards around to make sure she doesn’t attack anyone? From what I’ve heard, they’d taken her in and made her a member of the Knights of Luyas, out of sympathy.” The woman said scornfully, before she sighed.
“Lord Ranfel is truly a generous man! Only a man like him would have the heart to welcome such a low-life Spirit into his family.” Commented the other woman, with gleeful eyes at the thought of their Lordship.
Despite hearing the harsh words directed at her, the young female Knight kept strolling down confidently on the busy streets of the small busy town, like nothing matters.
Mika was a young female Spirit Knight who had recently turned seventeen. She had a slender and fit figure due to years of Knight’s Training. A mid-length Scarlet hair that reached just above her shoulders, two unusually pointed ears shaped like the elves, pale brown skin with naturally rosy cheeks, and a pair of Emerald and thoughtful eyes.
She did not possessed a beautiful nor elegantly looking face. Rather, her face showed maturity at her age, intelligence, courage, sensitivity, and bravery.
While her face was not something that would make men turned their heads twice to look at —beside the fact that she was the one and only living Spirit in the Human World — it was a face that’s certainly hard to forget.
Mika gazed upon at the street, ignoring the harsh whispers belonged to the townspeople as she continuously to pass by them and made through her final destination.
Few of the Knights had given her a sharp glare earlier. Mika couldn’t blame them. After all, being the only Spirit who had been forced to live on the surface of Fulaina was more than enough torture and a painful life as it is.
It certainly did not helped the fact she was a female, hence, was forced to live a less than blessing life compare to if she was born as a male Spirit.
Being a Spirit made her a target of resentment by everyone with very few exceptions who had come to see her as the ‘light’ to their narrowed-minded community due to the long bitter history between Mankind and the Spirits, a decade ago.
The only thing that Mika ultimately grateful for, was that she was under the protection of the House of Heartlets ― the House that governed the Kingdom of Luyas. Hence, the tortures that she had to endure was more acceptable.
God knew what might happened to her had she been left alone to fend for herself when she was found at the front gate of the Kingdom of Luyas’ Castle, eight years ago.
From what she’d been told by the servants, Mika was found unconscious by one of the Knights one morning at the front gates of the Kingdom’s Castle, at the age of twelve.
It was only after she had being brought to meet with the current Lord of Luyas, Lord Ranfel Heartlets XII for questioning, only then they had discovered that she remembered nothing from her past with the exception of her name, age and of course, her status as a Spirit.
After a long day of completing her daily morning errands, the Spirit Knight finally arrived at her destination. She stopped in front of the two heavy gates and lifted her hand in the air to the guards guarding the doors, asking them to open them.
When the doors opened, Mika entered.
The Kingdom of Luyas, known for its extremely powerful military located at the East of Fulaina, spanning an entire Eastern continent. It’s an absolute monarchy military kingdom led by the current Lord, Lord Ranfel Heartlets the XII.
Inside the castle, was the ‘Academy of The Knights’, located on the opposite building where Lord Ranfel and his family residence.
It was a place where the Knights of Luyas undergo their daily trainings in order to graduate and become a full-fled Knight. Once the Knights have graduated from the Academy, they would then be assigned to a respective Brigade based accordingly to their skill levels and achievements.
Mika entered the Training Hall and scanned the place. She saw Knights were roaming around the area. Some of them were still in the middle of training with the Senior Knights, while others were just talking or taking a break from the training.
Just as she was about to move and find a spot to rest her aching legs, all the sudden, a loud feminine voice called out her name from the opposite side amongst the hectic crowd.
Turning her head around, Mika immediately met with a young, tall, attractively beautiful, extremely pale skin brunette with a figure to-die-for. She had her dark Mocha hair tied up in a high ponytail.
A pair of chocolate brown eyes stared back at Mika with a wide smile. The young woman approached.
Meanwhile, Mika returned the smile and lowered her head in a polite bow.
“Good afternoon, Lady Luna. How are you doing today?”
Luna snorted loudly. She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms on her chest.
“Distasteful and awful. It was truly a miracle I somehow managed to get out from that hell-hole known as the Study Chamber, really.” Luna then, flickered the latter on her arm, causing the young Spirit to winch aloud at the pain.
“And you! Have I or have I not told you many times before to stop speaking formality with me? You are also a member of the Heartlets family, Mika. Hence, you do not need to speak formally with me even when we are outside of the castle. Is that understood?”
Mika blinked her eyes a couple of times, before she sighed.
“As you wish. Luna.”
No matter how many times Luna had kept on insisting for her not to use formality with her outside of the castle, it’s hard to do it without the constant glare from the other Knights or townspeople.
“That’s more like it!” Luna cheered. “Now then, what is it that I was going to tell you...” Tapping one finger to her jaw to try remembering what she wanted to tell her dear childhood friend.
“Oh, yes! I remember it now. Listen to this, Mika. Apparently-” Before she could get to the juicy part of the gossip, an obnoxious cough interrupted their little chat by a group of Knights.
Luna rolled her eyes in disguised at the group while Mika maintained a calm façade.
“My oh my. What a delightful sight to see the ever so beautiful Lady Luna here of all the places. Isn’t that right, fellows?”
The leader of the said Knights — a tall, good looking man with a pair of olive eyes and black, greased black hair that was pulled to the side, winked at Luna.
“I swear each time I lay my eyes on you, you’ve grown more beautiful, Milady.”
Luna rolled her eyes again with utter disguise at his attempt of flirting.
“Get lost, Cad.”
“Why, Milady. You wound me.” Cad smirked widely and winked at her again before setting his eyes on the young Spirit who stood quietly beside Luna.
“Ah, if it isn’t the ever most eye-sore Spirit named Mika. Or was it Mina?” Shaking his head in pity, Cad let out a dramatic sigh gazed down arrogantly at her. “Well whatever your name are, nobody cares. Want to know why? Because you don’t belong here and nor do we ever want you here. So why don’t you just pack up and move out to where the rest of your family is. Oh, but wait! You can’t. You don’t even know where they are."
Cad laughed mockingly and obnoxiously at his cruel insults toward Mika who remained silence and calm.
The laughters soon increased when a few of the crown joined in with them. Few of them had even applauded.
Luna, who was standing beside Mika, fumed. She gritted her teeth and strictly told them to stop.
“Good day to you too, gentlemen.” Mika said flatly after the laughters had finally subsided.
Despite their mean and cruel treatments toward her, Mika knew she had no other choice but to endure it. The best way for her to deal with everything they had done or said was to never give in or take their words to heart.
While Mika had been less affected by their taunts, Luna however, was boiling with anger by their awfully rudeness and insults toward her best friend.
Luna gritted her teeth and tightened her fists. She had half of her mind to give them a beating that would last for a lifetime.
How dare they insult Mika like that! Right in front of ME, nonetheless! Do they really think they can get away with it so easily? Just who do they think that they are?
Taking a long deep breath, Luna exhaled and then shouted, “Listen up, you imbeciles!”
“Huh?” Cad looked surprisingly at her.
Tightening her fists, Luna pointed at her best friend. “Just what have she ever done to you to deserve this? I will not tolerate any more of your horrid insults toward her! For your information, Mika is also a member of the Heartlets’ Family. Don’t you dare think you can get away with this after speaking so crudely to her without getting any punishment!”
Cad snorted loudly. “Oh, I’m scared! What do you’re planning to do? Tell Daddy about this? Please. You of all people know that Lord Ranfel doesn’t gives a damn about her. He’s just using her for his own benefits.”
“You’d better watch your mouth!” Luna hissed.
“But it’s true, isn’t it?” Cad sneered. “The only reason why Lord Ranfel even bothered with this Spirit in the first place was because he sees her as his prized toy — to keep his enemies away!”
“That’s enough coming from you, Cad Remus!”
“In case you still haven’t noticed, Lady Luna, that Spirit you’d called your friend,is the only member of the disgraced Spirit who got left behind in Fulaina. I bet you they’d forgotten to take her with them when they all got wiped out from the surfaced of Fulaina!”
Cad’s obnoxious laughter was even louder this time and was soon joined by the rest of the crowd.
Mika, already used and numbed by their endless cruelty, closed her eyes, took a deep breath and count from one to ten in her head. It was sort of like a spell, a therapy that worked well for her most of the time.
On the other hand, Luna who had been gritting her teeth at their mockeries, finally exploded.
That does it!
“I’ll crush every single bones of you damn bastards!”
All eyes were immediately on Luna as she greeted them with gritted teeth and fists that were ready to pound them straight to Hell and back, when pair of strong hands firmly held on her wrists before she could land a hit on one of the Knights.
“Milady,” Mika whispered quietly near her ears. “I understood how greatly upset you are toward these Knights. However, please remember your duties and position as the ‘Lady of Luyas’ comes first and above all. Furthermore, should words reached to your father’s ears about how you had illegally attacked one of your superiors, he won’t let you off the hook so easily this time around. At least, not when Guy isn’t here to bail you out.”
At the mentioned of her father, Luna forced herself to calm down. Her cheeks turned pinkish from anger and embarrassment. With her teeth still gritted, Luna gave the Knights the best sharp glare she could mustered.
Cad and his Knights did not feel threatened at the slightest at the young Lady’s threat to beat them up. In fact, they sneered at them and continuously laughed obnoxiously.
Once they were satisfied and bored, with nothing else to keep them amuse, only then they left the girls alone with their thoughts.
Luna snapped her arms from Mika’s grip and tapped her left foot rapidly on the ground in pure frustration.
“Why the hell did you stop me there for, Mika? Those bastards deserved once-of-a-lifetime beatings after mocking you!” Luna hissed at her best friend.
Mika looked at her adoptive sister wearily before shaking her head. True, she was grateful to have Luna as a friend and very few people who dared to stand up for her. Nevertheless, Mika would never allowed her dear friend to be in trouble especially with her father, because of her.
“They’re not worth it.” Mika spoke after a while. “I’d suggest you save that ‘once-of-a-lifetime’ beating of yours for some other time, all right? Thanks anyway for sticking up for me, though.”
Luna groaned for the final time and let out a heavy sigh. She then took a long deep breath and exhaled.
“Fine. But it’s not just me, you know. Even the Commandant and Guy have had enough of their ill-treatments and crude attitudes toward you. And you, Mika!You should NOT let those people pushed you around like that! Honestly, you should stand up for yourself more and not let them step all over your head!”
Mika simply shook her head, still with a weary smile. Her friend meant well, she knew it and had no doubt at all about it.
“Indeed. But even so, if I were to stand up and speak for myself,in the end, it will always be my fault one way or another. You know I can’t win against anyone here, Luna. The chances of winning is next to zero. But you know what? I’m actually fine with it.”
Luna raised a perfectly eyebrow, hands on her hips at the end of her sentences. Mika rolled her eyes and lifted her hands in the air, surrendered.
“Okay. Well, I’m not fine with it. but I can at least live with it. As long as I know I have you, Guy and the Commandant to watch over my back, I don’t care what anyone else says or thinks about me.”
Luna sighed again at the stubbornness of her dear friend.
“Also,” Mika turned to look at her, one hand reached out and brushed the strained of hairs on her forehead. “I know I said this plenty of times before, but I truly appreciate what the three of you have done for me all these years. Thank you, Luna. Thank you for taking such a good care of me.”
A smile slowly formed on Luna’s mouth, before she wrapped her hands around the Spirit’s arm and pulled her into a hug.
“You’re very welcome, dearest.” They giggled and hugged each other for a minute before Luna eventually released her from her iron grip.
Together, the two young women made their way to the Castle, all the while chattering the latest gossips that Luna heard earlier in the day and had then been dying to tell her friend all about it before they were interrupted by the Knights.
SPIRITS was known by Mankind as the most dangerous and feared species. They had been the Predator and had preyed on humans. For the longest time ever since the start of the Great War, they had been Mankind’s sworn enemy.
So, when the news travelled around about one of the Spirits had ended up becoming as a Knight who protected humanity, it’d became the biggest joke in the entire Kingdom — especially for Lord Ranfel, who in turned became the ‘butt joke’ in the World Leaders’ Meetings with an exception of the two Most influential men in the Board who didn’t shared the same joke as the rest.
The two Board members knew for a fact that the only reason Mika was being adopted into the Heartlet’s family in the first place was due to her remarkable ability to speak fluently in the human language; something that had greatly caught everyone’s attentions and interest.
Lord Ranfel, the doctors, and Fulaina’s best scholars had found her to be extremely amusing and at the same time, mysterious little girl. Their deeply rooted curiosity on the young Spirit had convinced Lord Ranfel to adopt her, and then placed her under the watchful eyes of an excellent and trust-worthy Commandant of his army; Grants Rogue.
Commandant Grants Rogue was the Commander of the ‘New Light Brigade’. He was tall, fit and well-build with tanned-skin, perfectly combed silky dark brown hair that reached down to his shoulders, and hazel eyes that were tired from working constantly, and a bit of stubble.
Though he was a man in early thirties, Grants still looked rather young and charming. Many young women in Luyas and the neighbouring lands worshipped him for his tall, dark, and cool attitudes.
Mika was no exception. She admired and respected the man because he was a man who would never judged a book by its cover. She also looked up to him as a fatherly figure.
Grants Rogue had once told her that a Spirit had killed his beloved grandfather, a man whom he had greatly cherish very dearly, and whom had also been a Commandant himself way back then, during the Great War.
While Grants had admitted that he still held on a personal grudge and hatred toward the Spirits for killing his beloved Grandfather, he had never and not even once purposely unleashed that rage on Mika.
Instead, Grants chose to treat her fairly in the same way as he would treat others: be fair yet firm based on their personality, actions and performances.
So far, he was highly amused and impressed with all of her performances. As for her personality, Grants was greatly pleased to know that she had a very pleasant personality, and a wonderful comrade and contributor to the Brigade.
Having just returned from doing one of the evening errands of the day, ten minutes ago, as soon as she finished with her duties, Mika had asked for a permission from her superior officer for a short rest in her own private quarter for a short while.
Here she was, ten minutes later, in a cramped private chamber in the dungeon, between the kitchen and the servants quarters. Her chamber was so small, it taken a lot of space when they’d brought in a large-size wooden cupboard for her and put it at the corner of the room, against the wall.
Other things that Mika had in the room include an old single bed and a small worn out coffee table. True, it wasn’t an ideal place to rest, but it was a room nevertheless. Her little Heaven, as Mika would often referred to it.
Mika sighed loudly as she buried her face deepened into the pillow. What loads of work she had to do today! Beside her Knightly duty, she was required to run some errands for the Heartlets’ family: paying the bills, buying the groceries items, picking up delivery items, along the way, delivering items, and so on.
Usually Mika could easily finished her chores within an hour or so. However earlier today, she had an important Brigade meeting to attend. She had not expected the meeting to be dragged on for so long!
Thus, her schedules had all been interrupted and got messed up that she had to rush and be quick to do her errands within short amount of time.
Mika did not mind though. She had often told herself that this life — the life that was given to her by Lord Ranfel, though might be harsh as it may be with the constant glares and rude insults from the people, it was better of being here rather than having to live in the streets without any guarantees of being safe and protected.
Just in the matter of time. Mika often reminded herself to just hold on and continued to do her absolute best to make the people like her enough to tolerate her presence.
At least until Lord Ranfel decided that he had enough of her and forced her to leave the castle. Or worse, kicked her out of the Kingdom.
The thought of leaving Luyas scared her to death. Thinking about it ripped her heart apart. But Mika knew when the time has come for her to leave, she had to leave this place regardless to who knows where.
Just then, a few loud and disturbing knocks on her door woken her up. Instantly, Mika was up on her feet and was heading toward the door. Halfway there, the door suddenly opened with a great force.
A messenger Knight was standing at the entrance, looking at her irritatedly. Without waiting, he spoke with a monotone and uninterested voice.
“Commandant Grants wishes to see you in his office immediately.”
“Thank you.” Mika nodded politely.
The messenger shrugged and left as fast as his feet could carried him, not even bothered to shut the door. From a fair distance Mika heard him clearly muttered under his breath about wasting time to come here just to deliver the message.
Mika sighed. At least this time he didn’t use force or barged into her room like last time and simply stated it was an emergency and that she shouldn’t be too sensitive about it.
People have always been talking ills behind her back and openly rejected her so much that Mika felt numbed to their words and simply just nodded her head. Some even went as far as humiliating her in public such as throwing stones at her.
Whenever that happens, none of the nearby Knights were willing to lift a finger to help her.
Luna and her older brother Guy, who was a Captain of his own Brigade, would do whatever they could to protect her whenever they were out in public. However, even they have their own limitations on how much protections they could give her.
Even though Mika was adopted into the Heartlet’s family, Lord Ranfel had placed her living quarter separately from the rest of the other knights, which was on the ground floor, between the kitchen, and the servants’ quarters.
Once, Mika had heard from the servants the reason why she was being kept there, was because Lord Ranfel did not want the ‘Knightly Spirit’ to stain his castle’s floors no more than he would dropped on his knees in front of the servants in his castle.
It didn’t take her long to arrive in front of the Commandant’s Office. Mika found herself staring at the golden plate with the name ‘Rogue Grants’ on the door.
Taking a deep breath, she gave the door a couple of light knocks.
“Enter,” A deep male voice from the other side of the door commanded.
Mika quickly entered and shut the door behind her. She was immediately greeted by the small smile on her Commandant’s stern face who then ushered her to take the empty seat in front of him. Her eyes quickly recognised the figure sitting beside the empty seat.
“Ah, Mika. Just the person I’m expecting to see. Have a seat.”
Mutely, Mika nodded and took a seat beside Luna who grinned back at her. Her eyes fell upon the lovely lady with honey blonde hair stood behind the Commandant.
With hands held in front of her, as she posed in a graceful and dignified manners, she was the one and only Claire Boyce — the reserved and stoic Vice-Commandant of their brigade.
Unlike her superior who valued Mika as a valuable comrade of their Brigade, Claire viewed her a pest and to a certain point, a threat to them all. But she was more subtle in her ways of treating the young Spirit, of course.
As the Second-in-Command, Claire was constantly reminded to always watched over her words and actions as not to affect the reputation of the Brigade or even her Commanding Officer.
“Have you rested?” asked Grants, breaking the long silence.
Mika nodded. “Yes, Sir. I’ve rested.”
“Good. Let’s cut the chase, shall we? The reason why I called you two here is because I have an important assignment for the both of you. A mission. Our brief for today is-”
“Excuse me, Sir? If I may interrupt you for a moment?” Luna spoke up while lifting her hand. “Mika is still recovering her strengths from completing her last errands just a while ago. While this meeting is truly a short noticed, is it really wise to let her be on this mission despite her lack of recovering?”
Mika’s eyes grew widened at the sudden mentioned of her name. Even Claire looked taken back at the question addressed to the Commandant.
Grants stared deeply at Luna. Deep frown began to form between his eyebrows. He spoke in a silkily low tone.
“To speak out without my consent and to tell me what to do. Are you judging my decision, Lady Luna? Not to mention, it is especially rude to interrupt someone while they are speaking.”
“I-I apologize, Sir! Please continue...”
“To answer your question, yes.I am well aware that Mika is currently recovering from her last errands. Which is why, this mission starts early tomorrow morning. In fact, it will only take you both a couple of hours to complete it. Half a day, latest.”
Grants put down a golden thick scroll neatly on the table in front of them. He looked sharply from Mika to Luna, and then back and forth.
“Luna,” he pointed a finger at her. “I’m appointing you as the Captain for this mission. Listen carefully.” He proceeded in showing them the routes on the map for the mission.
“Your official duty is to deliver this scroll to the Lord of Andania in a small town located at the North-East of Luyas, Andania. Luna, I’m sure you’ve been there, am I correct?”
“Yes, Sir.” Luna nodded.
“While you are familiar with the routes, Mika here isn’t. Hence, I expect you to show her what’s necessarily so that she knows her way there in case she needs to go there for errands and such.”
“Understood. Is that all, Sir?”
"As I was saying earlier, your official duty is to deliver this scroll to Lord Andania. However, while you are there, I want you to collect the swords that I’d ordered from the Gold Blacksmith at the market there. There should be a total of two hundreds swords for which I have already paid for in advanced. All you have to do is to collect the swords and bring them back here. You two are to bring a horse wagon in order to carry the swords. Is that understood?”
“Yes, sir!” The two Knights rose from their seats and saluted.
Grants firmly nodded his head. He lend against the chair and was about to dismiss them when he remembered something.
“Girls. Before I forget, since this is obviously your first mission outside of Luyas, I’ve ordered two Senior Knights to accompany you and to supervise the two of you.” Grants looked at Luna, who looked hurt at the lack of trust.
“Rest assure, Lady Luna. It’s not because I don’t have faith in your abilities as a leader. But in order to make sure the mission goes smoothly, as well as for your safety, your father has personally requested there will be Senior Knights to accompany you for this mission.”
“F-Father did?” Luna blinked her eyes a few times. Her father, wasn’t the nicest parent a child could ever asked for. He was cold most of the time toward his children. The fact that he had personally asked for an added escorts to her team had greatly surprised her.
“Yes.” Grants nodded his head, understandingly. “This is also a good time for the two of you to learn from the more experienced Knights on how you can lead your team more efficiently. Remember to heed their words for they have more experiences on the fields. Their advises may eventually be helpful for you in the future.”
The two young Knights saluted again and firmly nodded their heads.
Decided that would be all, Grants dismissed his subordinates.
“Get a good nights sleep. Miss Claire and I will be expecting you two first thing tomorrow at dawn in front of the Castle’s gates for a last briefing. You are dismissed.”
Closing the door slowly, the two excitedly young Knights walked back to their quarters, with a wide smile graced on their faces.
At long last! They finally officially became True Knights!
WHEN dawn approached them early in the morning, the newly appointed Captain and her Brigade were already waiting in front of Luyas’ main gates an hour early before the departure time.
Luna was in cloud nine and felt rather anxious about the mission this morning. She could not believe her Lady Luck that for the first time in her whole life as a Knight, the Commandant had finally entrusted and given her the position of becoming a Captain!
She couldn’t even sleep a wink last night. Her mind filled with today’s agenda. The time has finally come for her to prove to everyone that she too could hold the great responsibilities as a Captain.
Luna was determined to make zero mistakes in the mission and would do whatever it takes to make the mission a complete success.
It didn’t take them long to wait for the Commandant and his Vice-Commandant to arrive at the meeting spot. They exchanged formal greetings with each other before they quickly get into the final briefing of the mission.
“Remember these words well, Captain Luna: do not ever let your guards down no matter situations you are in. You must NEVER let your guards down. Work together as a team and keep each other safe and sound. I wish everyone all the very best of luck.”
“We shall expecting your return at twelve o’clock sharp, Captain Luna. Do not loiter around and be sure to come back home in time,” informed Claire sternly.
“Understood, Ma’am. I won’t let you down, Commander!”
With a final salute to their superiors, Luna ordered her Brigade to move out and heading toward their destination.
Grants watched his assigned team depart from the Kingdom’s gates with a a tense and worrisome look on his face, that went noticed by his Second-in-Command.
“Is something the matter, Commandant?”
“...No.” He shook his head. “There’s nothing more that I could have done to stop them from leaving despite having a real bad feeling about this.. After all, this order came directly from Lord Ranfel himself.”
Grants let out a long sigh and looked up as the sun began to rise.
Please be safe, everyone.