Although the city continues to grow, it has never faced a darker year.
The city's current ruling noble family, The Capulets, had taken power when
they personally led a revolt on the old ruling family, The Montagues.
Only with the help of his guardian, young Romeo de Montague, barely old
enough to speak, fled his family estate, and survived what was called
the Montague Massacre.
Without an eligible heir, The Montagues lost their place as Neo Verona's ruling family to The Capulets.
And ever since, Neo Verona has been plagued with misfortune.
It has been 15 years since the Montague Massacre.
The blade came dangerously close to Romeo's heart.
Had he not brought his sword up by reflex, Benvolio would have killed him.
Directly below the house, in one of the larger circular rooms lit by torches and adorned with weapons, Benvolio sparred with Romeo under the watchful eye of Lancelot.
Despite the flimsy facade the Montague heir lived in, underneath the
floorboards was a series of tunnels that lead from the sewers of Neo
Verona, to the castle catacombs, to the river outside the city.
When Benvolio crossed swords with Romeo, he never pulled a blow, never slowed down, and always tried to kill him.
Romeo almost lost a finger once, thinking Benvolio would back off when he lost his shortsword in a 'lesson'.
This time, Romeo was sure his brutal treatment was from him crashing the Capulet's "Son Hunt".
Romeo parried another stab at his heart.
"Benvolio, I'm still not sorry," As his parry whipped into a slash at Ben's cheek.
Benvolio growled, blocking the shortsword with ease and keeping the blades locked together.
With Romeo's sword up, the old swordsman stepping into Romeo's open defenses and kicked him, hard, in the chest.
Romeo fell to his back, and immediately rolled to the side, rising off the dirty stone floor as he did.
With considerable distance between the two of them, Romeo spoke again.
"I thought Montagues were sworn to protected the people, why are you angry i saved a man's life?"
Benvolio sheathed his longsword and roared.
"Dont you realize why Lord Capulet is after you? Thick-headed boy, if you had been overtaken by the guards, you would have delivered Neo Verona's last hope into Capulet hands!"
Benvolio closed the distance between Romeo with a sudden sprint.
Romeo brought his the shortsword up, but Ben firmly locked Romeo's wrist with his left hand, and with his right he lifted Romeo by the throat.
"You are the only proof that Lord Capulet killed you family, your entire House! If you had half a brain you'd see you are the biggest threat to him! Dont gamble your life, and the lives of the city, all on your damned heroism!"
Romeo tried to take in air, but Ben's hand was cutting off his lungs.
Lancelot had his arms folded firmly, worried Ben was taking it too far, but did nothing.
As a last resort, Romeo brought his legs up, and kicked as hard as he could into Benvolio's chest.
His grip on Romeo's wrist and neck slipped as he fell backwards, stumbling.
Romeo kept his defenses up, but Benvolio raised a hand.
"Enough sparring for today, your swordsmanship is improving." He said, getting back to his feet.
"But you still have work to do." If Benvolio was still mad, he hid it well.
His face was clear of expression.
Taking one of the torches from the wall, Benvolio walked into one of the dark tunnels
"Romeo, train with Lancelot. And Lancelot, you give him any more of these... Vigilante Ideas... and there'll be hell to pay."