“No one is better than anyone else.”
CJ's coming over tomorrow so that'll be fun. Hopefully there won't be another ninja incident. Anyway onto the flash fiction!
Cliff the servant boy stood in the hall while he looked outside to see the stables, warehouses and barracks burning. He tugged nervously at the fancy suit he wore while soldiers fought in the courtyard and blood spilled. He didn't own the suit, or own anything really. Cliff lived only barely a step above a slave. Maybe. The distinction was blurry considering the royalty never called him by name and he used what little money he got to buy the same amount of food a slave would get.
That day the invading army of Helrun broke through the city walls and poured through the streets, heading to the castle. Helrun's army was five times the size of the his nation's of Galli, and only a seige allowed them to last a week.
Cliff felt his full head of black hair. When his best friend and elder Raymond was sentenced to be executed he said to Cliff, “Watch how you act and maybe you'll live long enough to have all your hair fall out before you annoy a royal enough to be executed.”
When the Helrun army entered the castle the rattling of the armored feet echoed through every wall. Eventually a squad of soldiers ran across Cliff. Several of their swords dripped with blood while some didn't hadn't touched flesh yet, but could at any moment.
“I'm only going to ask this once, surrender.” The soldier at the front of the squad said in a plain voice, like a bored actor reciting a line in rehearsal. The royalty of Cliff's nation kept the people uninformed of the circumstances of the war. Though the Helrun invaded, they started the war, hoping to pillage some small villages on the outside of the large Helrun kingdom with little resistance. But Helrun, a democratic state, values its individual citizens more than Galli and went to war over the incident. The Galli covered this truth up. Helrun has a policy of assimilation with everyone they fight, giving an option for surrender for every individual. The reason only the castle barracks, instead of the whole city burned.
Cliff considered the offer without the truth. With a lie that the Helrun invaded on their own. He didn't have much time to consider the offer, as the soldiers desired to find the royalty of Galli before they escaped. Cliff remembered his life as a servant to the Galli, and his friend Raymond's execution, caused by the moderate annoyance of a royal.
“I surrender,” he replied to the squad leader. “The royals have a hidden passageway to exit the castle. You go left, right, right, left from here to get to it.” Cliff had seen the King use it for his many affairs.
In the following months Galli fell. With no heirs it became part of the Helrun nation and Cliff became the apprentice of a smith and eventually gained his own wealth, independence and family.