”Thats what? Third one this month? ”

I sighed in exasperation as I slumped on the seat of my favorite cafe downtown before sipping the piping hot black coffee miserably, ”Fourth, Kerstin, and please, don rub it in my face anymore. ”

”While the dominions economy is thriving, your financial status is slowly but surely deteriorating, ” she said ominously while looking down at me pitifully, ”At this rate, you will run out of jobs to apply for sooner than Astrid will run out of things to say about how awful your apartment is. ”

”Please, don tell her… ”

My bespectacled and nerdy friend took a deep breath before sighing frustratedly at me, ”Fine, but you have to promise me that if this latest job venture of yours doesn last for a month, you will ask for Fridas help, okay? ”

”Fine, ” I agreed begrudgingly as she finished her coffee and prepared to leave quickly, ”What, leaving so soon? Some friends you all are. Here I am wallowing over self-pity, and all you can do is send someone to see me, and that girl wouldn even stay more than twenty minutes! ”

”Im only on my lunch break, Linnea. My boss didn even know I was going out of the conference hall, so I have to return before that git found out I snuck out to meet you here, ” she whispered nervously and looked around to check if there were no other employees from her company who are lounging around here as well.

The poor girl has worked to the bone for years in her company under her boss as the Head of Human Resources slash personal assistant of the c.e.o she called ”The Beast. ”

”Oh my tarots, we will have to return to Lycus tonight as well, ” she said absentmindedly before tapping her credit card at the tables automated payment scanner, ”Ill take care of this for now. But, really, if you go on like this, Linnea, you are going nowhere, and you know it. Better you hear it from me than Verda. ”

She then left in a hurry leaving me behind, lost in thoughts all alone.


Linnea Feodora, twenty-four years old. An orphan and a degree holder of Office Administration. Standing at five feet ten inches with a slim figure and knee-length black hair, my friends always told me I could make serious cash modeling should I wish to try it.

I am by no means ugly, though. Simple yet elegant is what best describes my facial features.

Fair skin, long, thick eyelashes, a beautiful set of catty eyes, and a long pointed nose completed with small pink lips.

The only thing I hate about my appearance is the sprinkle of freckles across the middle of my face, which made me insecure throughout my life.

I constantly get bullied because of it as well.

Its also one of the primary reasons I never got the chance to use my degree. I need to gain the self-confidence necessary for the job. That is why I always apply for positions that don require me to show my face in front of anyone, like last year, I was once a part-timer at McBee Fastfood flipping burgers or the previous job I got as a factory worker in Hyunta Motors.

My friends said I am wasting both my looks and brain doing odd jobs, but its where I thrive the most. Some of them even told me that I would never amount to anything and would never lift myself up from poverty if I allowed myself to rot in mediocrity.

But I was not always like this. Like many ordinary young girls like me, I was once a dreamer. I yearned for something more than my poor, simple life.

Something bigger than my squalid life full of loneliness and misery.

But as I got older and experienced reality, I lost the will to even dream of a better life. All my time is focused on one thing alone.


I don have anyone to rely on.

My friends have their own problems and challenges, and I can burden them with my life. I have to stand on my own two feet and the time wasted dreaming of a fairytale, a perfect fantasy, a life full of adventure like those in the storybooks our matrons at the orphanage always read to us before bedtime is time better used to working to feed myself and pay the bills.

”Ms Feodora? ”

I blinked, and my thoughts suddenly returned to earth when the human resource staff called my attention, and I immediately stood up from where I was sitting outside the convenience store chain called 11/11.

”Yes? ” I asked all smiles.

”I am sorry but all the vacant positions are filled in… ”

I blinked at her and bit my lip when I heard her say that before turning my frown upside down like I always do when things don go my way, ”Its alright, better luck next time, eh? ”

And with that, I turned my back on her to hide my watering eyes as I walked away hunched over and defeated.

Forget about keeping a job if I can even land one in the first place.

As Im making my way downtown of the Crown City of Arcadia, I realize that my luck must be so bad that I must quickly go through one misfortune after the other in one of the worlds wealthiest nations.

Our island micronation is located north of the British Isles off the coast of Scandinavian nations and just east of Iceland, our closest neighboring country.

Despite our size, we are blessed with rich natural resources that made the Dominion of Arcania well-off in our region, with only around two million mouths to feed and an economy rivaling those other micronations such as Monaco, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Singapore.

Our seas are rich with a seemingly infinite supply of oil and natural gas reserves, while the mountain range surrounding our flatlands, where most of the population lives, is overflowing with rare-earth elements and gold and silver mines. We enjoy free public services and tax-free incentives shouldered by our government.

But when I stopped in front of my dilapidated and decrepit tenement where my flat is located, I couldn help but wonder why there is such a great divide between the uptown and downtown areas of the capital city of our country.

They say that all the development has been focused only on Arcadia. The other cities on the outskirts of the island nation near the mountain ranges are rural compared to the urban landscape of the crown city.

But even here, where the seat of power of the dominion lies, inequality abounds. Those who can afford a luxurious lifestyle stay in gated communities uptown, while those who can , like me, live downtown in dingy housing settlements like these that the government made and seemingly forgotten decades ago.

Heck, its not even for free, and the rent is nowhere cheap.

Its either I pay for it or relocate to one of the rural cities where I will work twice as hard and earn half of what I will get here.

The moment I closed the door of my old flat behind me and threw my tattered shoulder bag onto the kitchen table, I immediately extracted my aging smartphone from my faded jeans pocket and dialed the phone number of the friend I knew Kerstin would call sooner or later.

Its better if I deal with her personally than allow her to build up her rage and unleash it upon me at the most inopportune time like she always does if she hears my predicament from one of our friends.

”Arguille Manor. ”

”Linnea Feodora, speaking. I would like to talk to Frida, is she home? ”

”Ah, Miss Linnea. Yes, the lady of the house is here. ”

”I would like to speak to her if she is not busy at the moment, Jacob. ”

”She is not, as a matter of fact, Miss Linnea. Oh, and before I connect you to her, I would like to inform you that I overheard her ladyship thinking out loud about you over her afternoon tea earlier. I know this goes without saying, but… ”

”I know. Thank you for the warning, Jacob. ”

”Anything for one of her ladyships treasured confidants, a moment please, Miss Linea. ”

I bit my lip as I waited in bated breath over the line for one of the scarier bunch of my friends.

The Honourable Mistress Frida. Heiress of The Right Honourable The Viscount Arguille of the Dominion of Arcania.

Though not on the upper crust of the aristocratic food chain of the dominion, they are high enough to be a member of the Queens Arcanic Court or, as my feisty friend sarcastically describes their position, the most boring level of the pecking order.

Not too low to be ignored, not too high to be glorified.

But to us, her only friends, it made her approachable, amiable, and downright helpful when we needed to hear gossip straight from the royal source.

Her father is a jolly and kind widower who never married again after his wife died when our friend was just a baby and spent the rest of his life spoiling his daughter rotten with just about everything he could do to make her life as comfortable and convenient as possible.

Viscount Arguille also never discriminated against us, his daughters commoner friends, and treated us as if we were his own daughters whenever we visited his manor and threw a feast on our way if he was not abroad as the Permanent Representative of the Dominion of Arcania to the United Nations.

Leaving behind his understandably bored daughter managing his estate and manor with the help of their loyal butler Jacob.

Though with the assistance of their old servant, my friend has so little to do and so much time on her hands, which she uses to carefully pry or observe, in her own words, her confidants lives.

”Hello, you. ”

I took a deep breath when I heard the unmistakable sultry voice of Kirsten from my phone before answering, ”Hello, you. ”

”I was actually thinking about you earlier. Kirsten sent me a chat saying you lost your fourth job last week. Whats your plan, Linnea? ”

”I would love to say that I have it all covered, but I am running out of options and my cash reserves as well. So instead of waiting on you to run out of patience as well, I am here, on my knees, asking for assistance. Help me secure a stable job. Please. ”

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