Left, right, left, and straight! Finally!
Lenia was concerned she would lose her way, but thankfully she was capable of remembering everything her master had told her despite it only being once. She was amazed she didn’t get lost and thanked her master for so ably creating her. Lenia didn’t want to fail the very first mission her master had given her after all.
Climbing the ladder leading out of the sewers beneath the city was a chore. She couldn’t understand why her master had to live in such a disgusting place even though he had explained it to her properly.
I suppose I just can’t understand someone of his magnificence. Oh.. Maybe I am the one lacking and my master’s home in the sewer serves some grand purpose! Although I really hope we can find somewhere more suitable to live soon…
As Lenia pushed open the sewer entrance leading to a secluded alley in a corner of the slums, she vowed to do whatever she could in order to ensure that her creator lived a life deserving of his grandeur. She pictured herself and her master in magnificent palaces, with wonderful tasting food and other grand luxuries on display. The thought sent a shiver of excitement down her spine as she imagined it.
Ugh! Brought back to reality by this rat-infested alley. And look at my clothes!? I look like a pauper. Hmm, I didn’t realize how bad it was earlier. I wonder why?
Fortunately, there didn’t appear to be anyone around to see her exit the sewers.
That’s a relief! Don’t want to fail right at the beginning. It would most likely be suspicious to see a young woman like me exiting from the sewers.
Taking a step forward, she stumbled on a cobblestone and ripped part of the leather sole of her right pump. A pump was a type of light low-cut turn-shoe which was tight and didn’t require lace or fastening to keep it on the foot. It was popular among the peasantry of the world and was simple and made mostly of leather and fabric.
She wore a simple linen garment underneath an outer garment made of a thin wool. Her clothes were what she acquired from a brothel house and weren’t exactly the height of fashion. The republic was known for its fashion sense and style and she would surely stick out in the light of day like a sore thumb. Even more so because of her exquisite and unnatural beauty and charm.
There was no way to hide, even under such haggard clothing, her long, silky, luscious golden hair and soul stirring sapphire eyes. No matter what she wore, her pure and unwavering gaze along with her shapely and well formed body would send anyone in a daze.
Lenia didn’t see it that way however and sighed. As she looked at what she considered to be horrid and wretched attire she was yet again reminded of her current sorry state.
It didn’t seem to bother master much… but I just can’t accept this.
With an even deeper sigh, Lenia continued on her way through the side streets to the main road which ran throughout the city connecting the various districts. It was quite uncomfortable walking with a broken pump on the ill-maintained cobblestone streets and the distance from the slums to the central trade district was not short. She would have to wander through the slums for a few miles before she could cross the bridge over the southern arm of the Andor river. The bridge was the only way to reach the trade district and the bridge itself spanned quite the distance extending at least a mile or more in length.
Walking through the slums was an unpleasant experience. Many eyes were on her from the moment she set foot in the wretched place. Eyes filled with murderous and envious intent. Most people wore little more than rags and smelled of urine and feces. She would have undoubtedly gotten lost without ever finding her way if her master hadn’t explained to her the way to go and given her a basic map drawn on cloth. Navigating the slums was like navigating a maze and even though she had her master’s instructions, she still almost got lost a time or two.
While it did take some time, she had successfully navigated her way out of that piss hole and towards the more vibrant parts of the city. There had been one too many lustful gazes on her for her liking but no one had the courage to approach her. The aura of a Knight she emitted from her body unconsciously kept them at a distance. This beautiful and young vibrant woman was strangely giving off an aura of power which showed the disparity in level between them.
Killing one of those miscreants would impede my mission and be a waste of time. I must hurry out of this place.
Crossing the bridge constructed of an unknown material was quite the momentous occasion for her and she was in awe of its size and the view of the river from atop it. River boats easily as large as ocean bound vessels sailed beneath the bridge which showcased the immensity of it. How long must it have taken to build such an immense and towering structure? Of course with magic, such things were not quite as difficult as Lenia thought it might be. There was a toll to cross the bridge, most likely put in place to keep the poor living in the slums from wandering into the wealthier areas of the city.
She received many strange looks from the guards patrolling the bridge checkpoint, but having the funds to pay the toll with a little extra added in kept them from asking too many questions. Her master had instructed her on how to act and exactly what she would need to do so she wasn’t surprised by any of this. She paid the excessive toll fee plus the bribe and continued on her way. She completely ignored the looks of lust sent her way but felt inwardly disgusted by them. They didn’t even seem to care that she looked like a filthy beggar due to her haggard clothing and somewhat dirty appearance. Or perhaps this only increased their lustful intent towards her.
The trade district of the city was immensely different from the slums that she had come from. Not only was it filled with citizens in a variety of bright clothing, but there were also many market stalls that lined the streets on all sides. There were quite a few large buildings and warehouses destined to be used for trade as well as storage. Lenia was shocked at the huge contrast. It was like she had stepped into a whole other world.
This district is truly incredible and lively. So vibrant! Look at all the beautiful clothing and jewelry! So many rich and luxurious people!
It seemed to her that one could find anything here amongst the many market buildings and stalls so long as one had enough coin. Despite Lenia’s desire to return to her master as quickly as possible, she got caught up in all of the new sights and smells of the city. Everything was still a new experience for her even though she did possess some basic knowledge of the world at birth.
Now that she found herself in a more civilized part of the city, she decided to put the bracelet on that she had kept hidden while traveling through the slums. She caressed the smooth metal and rubbed her fingers on the gems while smiling happily. For reasons she couldn’t fully understand she found herself greatly attracted to the beautiful jewelry.
It doesn’t really go with my clothing though…
Lenia was quite the beauty and her mismatch of clothing along with the bracelet she wore made her stick out like a sore thumb. She wasn’t aware just how much she stuck out and continued on her way, ignorant of some of the eyes that followed her. The fact that that she was carrying a sack filled with an assortment of things which she had looted the previous night didn’t help either. It wasn’t as if the knick-knacks she had stood out, it was just the fact that such a beautiful woman was carrying them along with the strangeness of the shoddy clothing she was wearing.
I need to find a peddler of some kind who will purchase these items from me. I would ask, but I’m embarrassed of my current state. Argh! I am jealous of their finery!
“Excuse me young lady, may I be of assistance?” A young man called out to Lenia from a few feet away.
He was a young and handsome man wearing a strange hat with a plume feather sticking out. He wore a luxurious tunic adorned with many colors and a light cloak over his shoulder which was embroidered in some unfamiliar design.
He appears to be wealthy, but I don’t like the look in his eyes. I would rather not answer, but he might be of use to me.
“Perhaps you could assist me. I am looking for a peddler to sell these items to.”
There were some citizens who stopped to stare and gossip when seeing this wealthy man speak to the exotically beautiful woman. They were surprised at how clean she was even though she looked like a slum dweller.
I’m beginning to think it was a mistake for me to come above ground, it doesn’t seem as if I can escape being noticed. Did my master miscalculate by sending me into the city? No, he would never.
She decided to ignore the bystanders and approached the wealthy looking man. The young man gave her his most innocent smile, but she could tell it was tinged with falsity.
I should be careful around this man.
“Ah, I can certainly help you with that if you wish. I could even escort you to someone I know who will give you the best price. A lady such as yourself should not be walking these streets unaccompanied.”
The man’s eyes glanced at the bracelet on her wrist while he spoke.
“By the way, that bracelet on your wrist is quite lovely, you should be able to fetch a high price for it. Where did you obtain such an extravagant piece of jewelry?”
Lenia reflexively covered the bracelet with her hand and gave the man a cautious look. She also looked around the street to see if anyone else was looking at her but most had already continued on their way. She realized she had made a mistake wearing the bracelet out in public. She admonished herself for her stupidity.
I should play along for now.
“Truthfully, this bracelet was given to me by an admirer and is not for sale. He made me promise to wear it. I couldn’t refuse his kindness.”
The wealthy looking man still had that fake smile on his face. She wondered if he thought it made him look charming but to Lenia it just creeped her out.
He chuckled suddenly, “Ah, of course, of course! A beautiful lady such as yourself would have many admirers. It is just that an acquaintance of mine had a similar bracelet. The resemblance is uncanny really, but I must be mistaken! Please, allow me to escort you, it will be much safer with me accompanying you.”
The man bowed with an extravagant gesture and waited patiently for Lenia’s response. His demeanor seemed to suggest that he could not imagine her refusing his company.
This man thinks an awful lot of himself. Does he think any woman will just fall at his feet?
“What is your name good sir?”
I’m only asking so I know who I am to avoid!
“How boorish of me! I haven’t even introduced myself. My apologies. I am Don Jesef Di Caramillo!”
He introduced himself with a bit of flair.