Its almost midnight and the lights have long been put out in almost every home in the city. The view of dark windows and drawn curtains is one thats seen in almost every street.

Theres a soothing quiet enveloping the streets, accompanied by the bright rays of moonlight pouring down from the cloudless sky and the calming sounds of nature in the background, forming a picturesque scene.

This state of tranquility doesn last long though, the silence is first disrupted by the sound of hooves colliding with the dirt, soon the warm yellow glow of a torch is cast on the street, the silhouette of a man on a horse outlined in the shadows.

He races down the street on his horse, with knitted brows and sweat lining his temples, his eyes leaving the path ahead of him only to glance at the rolled up paper attached to his waist. He rides off quickly and the street descends back into the tranquility it once had but the message on his waist is bound to caus his housee unrest on both the streets and in his destination.

…..

On the other side of the city, the streets are still buzzing with life. Carriages are seen rushing through the streets all heading to one destination, a large brightly lit mansion in the distance.

In a wide hall within the mansion, the final destination for the passengers of the incoming carriages, a party is being held. The hall is bright, illuminated by dazzling chandeliers and garnished with delicate decorations, teeming with people adorned in expensive clothes and glistening ornaments and filled with the sound of music and the aroma of exquisite food.

In a dark corner of the hall, hidden amongst the shadows Natalia stands fumbling with the strings of her apron.

Her hands are clammy and the strings of her apron keep slipping out of her slightly shaking fingers, her heart is pounding furiously in her chest like shes been scurrying around the hall like the other maids even though she hasn left this spot.

The hall is cool yet her forehead is dotted with beads of sweat, her dress is a little big on her and keeps sliding off her shoulder, her fiery red hair is in a poor excuse of a bun and the little wisps of her keep getting stuck to her face.

Shes a mess and everyone around her is too busy to notice or care.

The hall is gradually getting filled up by the people constantly pouring in and is soon dominated by different sounds. The shuffling of feet, the clinking of glasses, the sound of laughter; both fake and real and the joint murmur of voices speaking at the same time.

The hall is filled with nobles either standing or sitting while chatting amongst themselves and servants like her running around serving the nobles, balancing trays and manouvering carts trying not to make a mistake, trying their best to stay alive.

Theres a tacit understanding amongst the servants so much so that even when they bump into each other or step on one anothers feet no one seems to mind, they just move on without sparing the other person a glance the complete opposite of a normal day.

In this hustle and bustle, Natalia is the only one whos totally out of sync with the others, hoping to be forgotten in the little corner shes tucked away in. If anyone from her hometown saw her right now, Natalia is sure she won be able to live it down.

The reputation she spent almost ten years building would disappear into thin air in an instant. Back in her hometown, everyone knows her as Tali and the Tali they know doesn have moments when she struggles with the strings of an apron or moments when she hides in a corner and hopes no one will notice her.

If this had happened two weeks ago, Natalia mightve cared but things are different now. For one, she isn in her hometown anymore and the chances of her running into someone she knows is practically impossible.

Theres also the fact that the person hiding in this dark corner struggling to tie a bow isn the Tali everyone from her hometown knows. The person hiding in this corner is Natalia, who very much wants to stay alive and whos starting to regret accepting this job.

She left the little town she grew up in for a bigger city and was lucky enough to get a job working as a maid in the house of a noble family two weeks ago, how it happened though still manages to baffle her each time she remembers it.

After leaving her home town, Natalia moved to a city called Velar and stayed there for almost three months without finding a single job. She was running out of money, didn know what to do and had no one who could help her. Needless to say, Natalia whod left town with big dreams was extremely frustrated.

On one particular day, shed been in a terrible mood after failing to pass yet another job interview, someone ran into her on her way back to the inn and made the cinnamon bread roll shed spent three copper coins on, to fall into a puddle of water.

He– a thin man with short black hair–then proceeded to step on the puddle of water and her cinnamon bread roll splashing her clothes with dirty water before continuing on his merry way without stopping to acknowledge the damage hed just caused.

Now Natalia isn a very tolerant person thats exactly why shes been trying to restrain herself ever since she moved to Velar, because her little town and a big city are worlds apart and she couldn afford to make a mistake. She tried her best to hold back and be careful with her words and actions and shed been doing a good job… at least until that little incident.

To cut the story short, Natalia found out the man who bumped into her had just stolen a good amount of money from someone and had run into her while getting away. Of course she found all this out after giving the man a good beating and collecting both her compensation and the money he stole.

Now you might be thinking she was going to return the money, but the bright smile on Natalias face when she turned to leave was a dead giveaway that she wasn .

Sadly, as she was leaving she ran into the person whos money got stolen, a middle aged woman with greying hair and sharp black eyes accompanied by two patrol guards. No matter how much it pained her inside Natalia had to return the stolen money to its rightful owner…after all she couldn make a run for it with the guards there.

The middle aged lady whos name she later learnt is Mariam turned out to be the head maid of a noble family in the city and offered Natalia a job as thanks for her help

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