The other side of the coin

Dear Aelise,

It appears that I have managed to stumble into the richer part of the city. It is separate from the other neighbourhoods. It is quite clear from the fact that there is a house-wide gap encircling this particular area. The guards patrol discretely here, in squads of two to four while in the other districts they would usually march in groups of ten through the centre of the street. The houses here rise above higher than those I have seen on coming in, and there are no washing lines hung from rooftop to rooftop. The men and women are better dressed than the rags of the general populace. Some guards stared at me, and I stared back. But they did not stop to question me, although one asked me where I wanted to go. I replied that I knew exactly where I was going.

That was that. Surprising. Perhaps the Atium saves up its thuggish guards for the seedy districts. The guards I encountered in the district were clean shaven, polite, and their armour shone. I’m not sure if that is a good thing. I have learnt that the guards to keep away from are those who have battered armour, slouch in the shadow of doorways and have a bit of stubble. Not all these guards are bad people, but they are unfortunately the ones I do not want to be around with when I happen to accidentally cause some perceived crime. They tend to catch those they chase.

Anyway, I paused when I reached the square of the district, where some event with hounds is being held. I saw a number of fine breeds around, but I was stopped by a beautiful woman at the gate. Her face was clear of any blemish, limbs supple, and dressed in sapphire blue silk that only just avoided touching the ground when she moved. She looked to be the one in charge of this affair, and she paused when she caught sight of me. I think she was about to ask me something, kindly perhaps. But then I was already gone, moving quickly away. These places are not mine to be. I don’t think they ever will.


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