There was a restlessness in these streets. He could feel the anxiety. It permeated every stone feature, every hardened face. And as the sun crept closer to the horizon, as shadows were cast farther and wider, this tension only grew.
He could hear them. He could feel them.
Tucked away in one of those foreboding shadows, the Serpent of the Red Sun lay waiting. Watching. Listening. He'd been in the city for only a short time, but already he'd come to understand a great many things. First was the obvious - after Soleimon had been killed during the Empire's invasion, it had been only a matter of time before things descended into chaos. Those stewards of the god-emperor Gerra had done what they could to quell the fires of rebellion, but even they proved powerless to fill the void which the tyrant's absence left. Supposed tyrant, some would say. And even now, Nymeasha - daughter of the former king and apparent ward of the emperor - returned to rule and still the unrest. Her presence here, her very existence, was an anomaly to Laru'Dahl. Her actions against the emperor had warranted nothing less than her execution, and yet here she remained - and ruled.
The lord's ways were certainly not his ways, and mysterious to no end.
Nevertheless, who was he to question one such as He? And yea, even one such as her, daughter of royal descent.
He was but a simple tradesman.
But in spite of these many efforts, there were still many who held no regard for the rule of law. They saw fit to do as they choose, especially under the cover of night. And night was soon upon the city, with naught but torchlight to show the way. Clouds from the sea had come to hide the stars, and even Lessat's light was powerless to peek through. Darkness gripped tightly, and none of faint heart would be found in the streets. And Laru'Dahl, that stalker of the shadows, soon found himself in the quiet unknown near a gathering of trifling minds.
"...you believe what Allarahn wants us to do. It's a complete waste of time," one of them whispered.
"...I 'ear she's got dirt on'em," said another.
"Listen, all I know is..."
There was a clanging in the distance.
A stiff quiet took the air.
The nights in this city could be perilous as of late, even for their kind, and one could never be too certain what it was they heard stirring around dark corners.
"shh, shh... all I know is, Allarahn's payin' good to have her back in his hands. I don't know about you, but..." the third voice trailed off, and though Laru'Dahl could not see, he thought it was likely he was making some kind of gesture implying fortune. Then, a shifting of feet, "word has it the bar over there's a bit of a hideout."
They whispered a few uncertain words, and then he heard them begin to move, taking a casual pace. They came into view as they entered into the street, and he watched as they crossed, casting sharp looks over their shoulders as they went. They saw him not, and entered into the bar just there. The torchlight was dim, but his eyes were keen. Beneath their robes, they were armed.