Duplicate!! Chapter 1
Before Dupli was ten, her memories are only that of distant, unfamiliar flashes in her mind.
The flashes never gave her any kind of information, and she had to learn nearly everything all over again…
The country that she was now in, was called Eden, and King Antonio wasn’t well off. Not only was the Kingdom of Eden the smallest country, but also the one that held the smallest army and had the least amount of gold…Eden was just about ready to fall apart, as was the King’s health.
He, being the King of a country that was hardly protected, had been poisoned since young and had only been able to conceive two children since he became an adult.
One was the Princess Regina, daughter of Royal Consort Muriel, and then finally a boy was born from the new Queen. Yet, King Antonio was already in an unhealthy situation and could only name the Princess as his heir, for the time being.
The Princess Regina was already ten, but Prince Heath was only one. For the safety and future of the royal line, Princess Regina was taken to the hidden palace two years ago, when she was eight. The hidden palace was built within the mountains, north of the capital.
Prince Heath was in a secluded part of the royal palace, already being doted on by his father and was a cute little bundle of joy…Practically the total opposite of his daughter.
The King knew of the ways of his daughter and felt that the Prince would not be safe within the same hidden Palace.
Having sent the Princess away, was for another reason, besides the safety of the royal line…It was because of her personality.
King Antonio had seen the Princess herself become one that was very nasty and seemed to take pleasure in other people’s sufferings.
Unable to further watch his loyal subordinates being bullied by his own daughter, he sent her away, in hope that she will be able to change.
What he didn’t know…Was that the Princess not only didn’t change, but became worse…
Her mother, Royal Consort Muriel, had not minded prior to her leaving the palace, but afterwards, started to think this was done on purpose and really did try to get the Princess to change as well.
Yet, whomever she had sent…
It was becoming more and more obvious that the small, tiny Prince, will be the one to take the throne away from her daughter…
The population of Eden used to go into the tens of thousands, but many people had migrated to other countries, leaving only thousands behind…The small Kingdom of Eden was sadly thought of by many, a country to become nothing…A land that will join another’s country, people who will join another’s people and only leaving behind a history in books.
Over centuries, the land that the country of Eden was on, was known as pure ground. The honoured Purity Priests had come from this Kingdom, making other countries thinking twice to have gone to war with them previously. Yet, it was also the same with other countries in the past, they too had different lands that made it hard for others to declare war. If war was declared, though, there was no complete defeat…
For countless centuries, the most virtuous and uncorrupted Kingdom, was always the Kingdom of Eden.
Sadly, no Purity Priests had been heard of for many years and it seemed the quality of the Kingdom had slowly dwindled…Now losing their ‘virtuous and uncorrupted’ status, it was yet another reason to stow away the Princess in her current state.
But this was the same too, with the other Priests and lands, with other countries…The land that used to prosper in having the best farming land, had started to become a land that became drier as the time had passed. The country known to have been ‘corrupted’ was now working well together, for the most part…The land with desert, had strangely become a land that could instead become one they could grow fruits and vegetables. Everything was noticeably changing…
Now, things had changed to each country, as they no longer seemed to have special lands, because it seemed that the opposite was happening!
Seeing the obvious decline of the Kingdom of Eden and how easily it could be taken, the other countries that had wanted to take the land for themselves ended up fighting over it. When war had come to pass between the other countries, they had made the small country of Eden their trophy for whoever wins!
There were four countries called, Sondane, Metrious, Eden and Yullahra. All of the countries possessed a certain great material, such as silk, jewellery or some type of ore. Then there were the usual general trading items, such as rice, animals and knowledge. With the changing of the lands, the change of a greater material happened as well. A certain country would have to change their silk farms to that of mining. And a mining country would have to suddenly grow silkworms…It became confusing times for every country and their Kings, bringing less war, they had tended to their own countries for a quite some time.
With the exception of Eden, the countries also possessed a large army. Most armies included archers, footman and knights, but then there were the elites that could use inner force, which doubled one’s strength and stamina. If one is able to apply their inner force, they are able to jump further and higher, which in turn, made battles more intense.
Some battles were fought differently, having elites spread out, or, they would band together to blitz an entire area, and for this reason, there could be quite a number of retreats to change strategies and save lives.
These people who are able to use inner force are also used as spies, to infiltrate other countries. And one of these ‘elites’, had been capable of poisoning the King of Eden, quite some years ago.
The spy who had poisoned the King, had come from a country that were thinking of a long-term plan about the Kingdom of Eden. Yet, another spy who had gone deeper within the palace, to try and kill the King instead, hadn’t made it back out…
The population of the other countries was far from the thousands in Eden, as the others would reach into the millions.
For ten long years, two countries had fought. They were the country of Metrious, to the west, and the country of Yullahra, to the south. They fought in one land, for a short time and then in the other. Over rivers, and through hills, making people have to run away from their homes and go elsewhere, to get away from the horrors of war, for the safety of their families.
It had been in the last year, that the armies of the two fighting countries, had come closer to the lands of Eden…And blocked the country off.
Having mountains, and then beyond that tundra and ice, to block one part of the country already to the north. Then a large sea on another side to the east, the two countries gave the country of Eden no way to venture out…If anything, their kingdom was becoming smaller and smaller, only leaving seven small towns and the capital left, that hadn’t been overrun…
They hadn’t done this in haste, as they were still unsure if they could easily go onto the pure land, while fighting a war. Since nothing had happened to them so far, they had not retreated back and slowly took in the land. Of course, with this becoming known to all, things were changing, yet again, on this planet known as Zephro…
The mountains would be the last chance of survival, for the people of Eden, yet, most of the people would prefer to accept fate and surrender to the other countries instead. Having the spies send out rumours of other countries living better than this Kingdom of Eden, really did make many of them start to think that this place they call home…Could be changed to something better. These rumours were also a part of a long-term plan that a country had thought of to weaken the Kingdom of Eden, from quite some years ago.
The sea to the east does come to an end, to show the country of Sondane, on the other side. And, out of the sea, two relatively large rivers fork out, one into the south of Sondane and the other into Eden.
It was on their way along this river, that travelled into Eden, that Dupli was found unconscious…
She had been found by Royal Consort Muriel, who had been on her way to see her daughter, Princess Regina. The river was called, ‘Water River’, named a very long time ago, back then it was to signify its purity. It was on the way to the hidden Palace, that Princess Regina resided in now.
The little girl was told, by a doctor traveling with the Royal Consort, that she was ten and that she was even poisoned…
It wasn’t anything shocking in this day, as the water had been poisoned from war, luckily there was cliff spring water in the mountains and for most people in Eden there were wells, so water wasn’t a problem. Yet, if this had been done many years ago, a catastrophe would have happened throughout the Kingdom of Eden…The pure lands becoming poisoned…
The little girl had bloodshot eyes and her hands were red. Her clothes tattered, and both of her feet were without any kind of covering. She was quite a sad sight to see, hungry and poisoned and hanging onto life by a thread.
Seeing that her hands and feet held callouses, they were positive that she was a slave, yet, was she from upstream or downstream…
It really was quite an interesting thing to have found, as the river entrance was quite a distance away and they were sure that she had been in the water for some time. The river went towards the west, from the north of Eden, branching out several times…But, if she had come from that direction, she would have travelled against the current. Yet…If she had come from the opposite direction, the river had rapids, as it slowly fell down stream to where she was now. It was…
Then the doctor stated that the girl was able to use her inner force, totally stunning them all. She was only ten!
Having her survival ability so high and her talent to use inner force, was already something the Royal Consort was quite happy about.
Upon her awakening, and able to speak, the Royal Consort and doctor were quite astonished to hear that she was unable to remember anything at all. They had thought to use her and keep her mouth shut somehow through fear, as she was just a small child after all. Yet, they felt a strange relief when this little girl had no idea where she had come from, as she already had nowhere to run too.
What was even stranger to the situation…Was that this young child, now a little less pale and eyes opened, showed an extreme likeness to their very own Princess!
It really was such an interesting find after all! Not only was she the same age and height, but the same looks! The hair colour could be changed, to see an exact replica, they were sure of it!
Then this little girl was able to use inner force as well…Giving the Royal Consort such a grand idea!
Dupli had not understood their faces, as her mind was a complete blank. One seemed bewildered and held a strange smile, and the other was stunned into silence.
Having still been in a bad situation, Dupli had fallen asleep straight after, still exhausted, but didn’t even know why she was exhausted. There were questions, yet, she had no answers to the blankness in her mind…
Her limbs were hard to move, and she desperately wanted to try and remember, but found herself falling asleep before being able to think it through.
“Her name will be Duplicate…Dupli for short. She won’t need a last name.” Said the Royal Consort.
“Your Highness?” The doctor said.
Turning away from the little girl and nodding her head, Royal Consort Muriel continued, “Save her, tell the nurse to look after her.”
“I will, Your Highness.” The doctor replied.
Upon waking once again, she had moved places and had something strange over her face. The nurse, that was now looking after her, had told her sharply that it couldn’t be removed, leaving Dupli conceding and she left it there.
Over the next couple of days of laying down, feelings started to overwhelm Dupli, and she would often cover herself in the covers of the bed or the small pillow.
Not knowing anything and no one looking familiar was scary…And so was the fact that they didn’t know her. She wanted a mother figure to run up to her, crying…Or a father or brother, or sister…
Even to look upon a familiar place or familiar object, but there was nothing!
She had asked the nurse a few times about who she was and where she was, but never got an answer. After the fourth time, the nurse had sneered at her and stated that she had no troubles hurting her in places that aren’t seen, to get her to shut up!
Scared, Dupli had no choice but to attain silence and could only question herself silently in her own mind, knowing that she had no answers…
Two months went by, when she was finally able to get out of bed, which was in the maid quarters of the small hidden palace.
All this time, maids had watched her lying there, as they went about with their work.
All up, there was about twenty maids, and they had to do all of the Princess’s laundry, cooking and cleaning. The Royal Consort Muriel didn’t stay all the time, so they had less work when the mother of the Princess wasn’t here. But, seeing a maid stay in her bed for two months, already made them mad. Having an extra hand to help, would have been nice…And what is with that face covering, was she that ugly?
Their ages deferred and most of the younger maids already disliked the new little maid, who still seemed fresh from a mother’s bosom.
Yet, it was made clear, that this young maid was picked up from the Royal Consort and her face was not to be touched.
Many maids hadn’t thought of the chance that the face would be why the Royal Consort wanted to keep the little child, instead, they thought the Royal Consort was favouring her because her face was ugly…
And the little girl got more and more worried, seeing this with her own eyes, as time went on, becoming very quiet and only saying thank you at meal time.
The maids had continued to stare and sneer, and Dupli had no idea how to handle such a thing.
What has she done wrong? Why do they look at her like that? Did they not like her?
Being a little girl, she really wanted to be pretty instead, thinking as well, that she was ugly. Was this thing on my face going to help me look prettier?
Dupli did not know what she looked like with this mask on, but it was quite crudely made and made it hard for her to see everything through the eye holes. Beyond that, it was also quite uncomfortable, but the nurse had a keen eye on her and would constantly badger her over keeping it on and threatening to hurt her if she were to do something wrong.
Dupli wasn’t happy, but still let it go…
The poison that had nearly taken her life, had slowly been dispelled from her body, leaving her to slowly be able to move her limbs properly once again.
Over this time, the maids continued to be jealous, not just because this new person did nothing, but because she seemed to have the attention of Royal Consort Muriel for some unknown reason…
Being here in a hidden palace and having no one to give them entertainment, besides themselves, the maids were quite bored, until this little one arrived. That, and with an ego of being older and wanting to ‘teach’ this little girl, they lost interest in another young maid, who they had been bullying instead.
Their tricks didn’t seem to be big enough for anyone else to get involved, or...If anyone got involved, it wasn’t to discourage them. One maid in particular, was the personal maid of the Princess, and she was the one that seemed to rally them up whenever she had come back from being with the Princess.
The maids would mostly use words to intimidate, but if they really didn’t like someone, they would set them up to get them in trouble or beat them. Three maids had gone through them doing this and they had been all innocent, but this was still entertainment…Even how they had gone…Was also entertainment.
Yet, they were in a hidden area, with only two others and then the Princess as their superior. There was minimal guards and they were bored.
To them all, even the one getting bullied prior to the little girl’s arrival, this was normal. This, was how they had lived for over a year.
With the Princess being heir to the throne, what couldn’t they get away with? Plus, they were only maids, who was going to care enough to punish them all?
The last time something big happened, the Princess ended up throwing a gathering for them, where they could eat a decent meal and drink wine merrily. The Princess herself had laughed heartily at their tricks and had made sure to invite a maid to see her once a week to speak of their bullying personally. She would also tend to get her personal maid to send over some small things that the maids could use to liven things up more.
Luckily though, Dupli was suddenly taken away from the stares and insidious thoughts…But, was it really luck?
Having been summoned, to see the head nurse, another nurse took Dupli into a close by forest, leaving Dupli scared yet again. She’d only just started to get used to the new area she had been in, now, they were leaving the whole hidden palace, to go into the hilly, dark forest, that looked really scary…
Being only ten and now not remembering anything, she found herself only able to follow the orders given to her. Her clenched hands were the only thing that showed that she was scared, but she found herself repeating a phrase inside her head.
‘The living possesses the ability to change…Flaws could be truth, absence could develop…Yet, truth could be flaws and one can develop an absence.’
Not sure why this phrase went through her head, Dupli felt it calming her. The voice behind it was like that of a celestial being and was the only thing that felt familiar to her.
But, through being calmed, she felt in imminent sense of loss, that even if she didn’t belong here…It didn’t matter where she went. She felt like where she had originally belonged…Was now gone.
Not knowing why she felt this way, it did help her accept the situation a little easier. She might feel quite alone right now, not knowing anybody, but that also felt like it was normal…Yet, why was it normal? Why did she not feel like she belonged here amongst these people…Why did she feel loss?
There were no answers to her questions and she really wanted to cry, as her innocent child like mind felt she was in the wrong place!
Since waking up to find her memories gone, it seemed Dupli became observant and stayed silent. Dupli hadn’t spoken a word back when she left the maids quarters, but had watched as the two nurses silently nodded to one another before they had left. But, even though she saw this, she had no idea what that meant…
They walked for at least an hour through the scary forest, then stopped at a run down wooden house, surrounded by trees. For at least ten minutes, Dupli had been able to remember the path, but, as time went on, she wasn’t able to remember beyond that. When she started to worry about how much darker it was and animals hiding anywhere around where they were, she had lost her concentration.
The inside was dusty and small, only giving space for a table and a sleeping area. The roof wasn’t very high and there were lined holes in the walls and roof, showing a light from the outside.
This ten-year-old child didn’t think much into it upon arrival, but after it rained, she really hated this place. She hated to get wet, it was…Like a nightmare.
When it rained while she was here, she would have nightmares about being caught in water…The water would threaten to take her life, and she would fight to hold her head up above it. Thrown around, splashing and unable to find something to hold onto, unable to see anything, unable to hear anything beyond the water…
After stepping close to the table, as ordered, the nanny went to a wooden box to the side, that was already in the small wooden house, and opened it.
Inside, there were quite a few materials that seemed to have a bit of dust on them. Dupli had no idea what they were for at all, as the nurse got two things out of it and came to sit in front of her.
Watching, as the nurse made her stand there and measured her, especially her face, Dupli wondered if she were even pretty, now that the mask had been taken off...
There was a strange material that the nurse made and put on Dupli’s skin, that made her flinch, but she held everything in and didn’t move.
She wasn’t able to smile or laugh, as this strange, goo type substance was on her face. Straight after the goo was placed on her face, she had to turn away from the nanny and kneel down.
After bringing up two more items, and putting the other two items away, the nanny pulled and moved her head like it was food or a soft toy.
Dupli let out a few yelps, being surprised at first, at the feeling of pain of the nurse moving her so harshly.
Her hair became strangely filled with goo as well and the nanny put it up into a bun when she had finished.
Then, the nanny put some cloth around her as well, making Dupli scared once again, as she was unable to see much at all.
This clothe was to prevent dust to go into the goo, not that the nanny cared if some went into it, as they didn’t move to a cleaner place. But during this time, Dupli could only stay kneeling on the floor, making her knees hurt and wanting to either stand up or sit down all the way. The nanny saw Dupli attempt to move and yelled for her stay still…Dupli was sure she had never kneeled this long in her entire life, even though she can’t remember her past.
Unable to even eat for six hours, Dupli was unhappy to only have a small amount of rice to feed her empty stomach…But didn’t say anything, as she was already sore and exhausted from kneeling for so long. To have been given food and the cloth being removed, was something that she was grateful for.
After she ate, the mask was put back on again and Dupli could sleep, while it was still on her face.
Being a ten-year-old, she fell asleep easily.
On this night it had not rained, and it was the best sleep she had, while in this wooden house.
The next morning, the strange goo had gone into a very soft but flexible material that felt a lot more comfortable to Dupli. It had also used to be thick, but now was thin and Dupli found herself really curious about it.
The nanny didn’t speak to her at all about what she was doing…Yet, she was the one with food and Dupli knew nothing of anyone else or where she was…At this moment, she felt like everything was ok, for now. This wasn’t hard…
After a day of this strange behaviour, the nurse started to teach Dupli on how to become a maid.