A country where power, wealth and lineage are the foundation of the social hierarchy, otherwise known as the food chain. The strong prey on the weak and vulnerable, the wealthy nobles and elites enjoy looking down on and mocking the “worthless” commoners. In this world a person’s worth is decided at birth. A child born into a noble house would be fed from a silver spoon, have their every need catered too and grow up without knowing any struggles. On the other hand, a commoner child would become an apprentice at the age of seven and spend the rest of their life working to support themselves and their family. This was normal, never in the history of the country had a commoner possessed more skill or strength than a noble or elite… until now that is.
Noel and Molly were a young couple living a normal life on the outskirts of the first city. Only recently married the young couple worked everyday to make a living, even still they were happy. Noel was a contracted handyman; he worked on building sites, as a carpenter and other odd-jobs around the town. Since they were married, Molly only worked half-days (in the morning) in the town bakery. Both of their jobs were demanding and laborious but they wouldn’t have it any other way. They had everything they needed; a great group of friends, their cosy one-bedroomed flat above the bakery and most importantly each other.
While walking his usual route home, Noel was stopped at the piercing sound of a scream. Only a few feet away, building scaffolding collapsed and debris threatened to fall on a small child directly below. Without even thinking, Noel ran to shield the child from the falling metal, glass and stone. It was a few minutes before Noel emerged from the layers of debris with the child safe in his arms. He couldn’t believe he was still alive, not only that there wasn’t a scratch to be found anywhere on his body.
A crowd had gathered before the stunned Noel, he really could not believe he was still alive despite the amount of debris that fell on top of him, he should have been crushed by the weight of the material. This was more than just luck, it was almost a miracle. The gathered townspeople began to cheer and hailed Noel as a brave Hero. One act of kindness was all it took to turn their small world upside-down.
News of a common man possessing unnatural strength quickly spread throughout the country. Noel was in danger as his strength surpassed that of any noble or elite. Even though all he wanted was to live his life comfortably with Molly, there was no way the nobles would allow that, especially not ‘The Hero’. No one, especially a lowly commoner should possess more strength than the Hero. The petty nobles were disgusted at Noel’s existence and so he needed to be erased.
Knowing it wouldn’t be long before the noble soldiers and Hero arrive, Noel and Molly fled across the border to the Free State where they hoped they would be safe. The young couple had no choice but to live quietly in hiding, praying the Hero and soldiers would no longer pursue them. Noel had no desire to be a Hero, he was happy living the life he had.
Even after they fled the country the noble faction continued to chase after Noel. The nobles were determined to use Noel and Molly as sacrificial pawns to reassert their authority over the commoners. They were the perfect pieces to use as examples of what happens when a commoner tries to challenge the social hierarchy, the foundation of the country.
More than the nobles, the Hero was hell-bent on hunting Noel, simply because he threatened his position as the ‘peoples saviour’. The Hero was born into the upper-echelon, he inherited the title through nepotism instead of for talent or ability. There were many others far more capable and qualified for the title, but since they were below him in the food chain, there was nothing they could do, they would never have the chance to show their skills.
After learning about Noel’s selfless actions and how the people hailed him, the Hero became enraged. The quiet snickers followed him everywhere in the city and eventually pushed him over the edge. To prove he was the one and only Hero, he chased after Noel and Molly.
After leaving behind their comfortable lives, Noel and Molly faced many hardships. In the beginning they had nowhere to go and were their own. They never knew how cruel the nobles could be until they found themselves in their line of fire; all for saving a child. Noel felt so guilty for disturbing Molly’s life. She shouldn’t have had to leave her home because her husband was a wanted man. He wondered how one selfless act led to them being fugitives on the run. Noel and Molly didn’t understand why they needed to run and hide when they had done nothing wrong.
10 years later
After several years of travelling, Noel and Molly finally settled down in a small village at the edge of a magnificent forest. The village was well known for its carpentry which suited Noel perfectly; after all Noel had plenty of experience working with his hands. Ten years after first leaving their home, Noel and Molly were once again living simple lives in the village deep in the countryside, far away from their homeland. After living quietly for a number of years, Noel and Molly wanted to believe the Hero had given up pursuing them. They lived happily in a small cottage with their six-year-old twins Dylan and Ingrid and four-year-old Wendy.
They let their guard down.
While Noel was away from the village hunting, the Hero’s party raids the village and finds Molly and the children in the cottage. The Hero orders his men to kidnap Molly and the children. The deranged Hero leaves a message for Noel; if he ever wanted to see his family again Noel would have to return to his homeland to “duel” the Hero. If he failed to return within a fortnight, his daughters would be sold off, Molly would be forced to become a nobles concubine and his son would be brainwashed to become the Hero’s pawn.
That evening, Noel returned to find the letter pinned to the door of the cottage. After ten years, Noel couldn’t believe the “Hero” was still chasing him, a simple commoner trying to live a normal life with his family. The moment Molly and himself left their homeland they were no longer a threat to the noble faction or the Hero. Why couldn’t they just let them live in peace? Noel was amazed that they were so petty and obsessed with social hierarchy they crossed the border into another country to kidnap his wife and children.
Noel was left with no other choice; if he wanted to get his family back and protect their future, he would need to put the fear of god into the upper-echelon who believe they are untouchable. Noel would stop at nothing to get his family back and so he had no choice but to show them his true strength.
MWA HA HA! Another cliffhanger ending.