Pride? What kind of useless thing was that?
Pride was something that would only serve to get someone like Darius killed in a place like this.
The blond man and his friends were still stumped by Darius’s cowardice, which was astonishing even compared to the usual commoner’s attitude.
Darius did not hesitate; now was his only chance to leave with his life. He immediately took his chance and bolted out of the mall, not looking back once. The nobles he’d left behind watched, surprised by this peasant’s amazing speed.
Even though he had made it out of the store, Darius ran far after he had left the vicinity. He continued running for about ten minutes, drawing looks from several passersby. Although Darius looked odd to them, they didn’t pay him much attention. To them, he was just another village idiot who wasn’t worth being graced with their gaze. Darius knew this well but didn’t care. Darius’s simple clothing and demeanor revealed his identity, making him the scorn of most who laid eyes upon him.
I’ll see what they think of me once I become a Spiritsmith.
Eventually, Darius felt he had gained enough distance from the mall. Panting, he gradually slowed and scanned around to determine where he was.
He was inundated in the barrage of sights that he hadn’t noticed while running for his life.
The sharply dressed young man from earlier had been following Darius for a while, but now his smile seemed tired and unpleasant. In all his life, he had never been ignored by the likes of Darius. Clearly, the hick had no clue who he was. For a while, the young man was annoyed by this, but as he stared at the dumbstruck Darius, his face contorted into a cheeky grin.
I wonder what backwater village they pulled him out of? Either way, the less he knows, the better. If he really is as ignorant as he looks, it’ll be even easier to get him to do what I need. In fact, he’s perfect!
He made up his mind to approach Darius once more. He carefully made himself look kind and trustworthy.
As the young man stood there for a moment, Darius had been lost in an almost trance-like state. He was standing on a street corner, next to a statue of a knight adorned in shining armor and brandishing a large claymore.
Darius had never been more captivated. This city was a world so beautiful and intriguing. he couldn’t even imagine that all he had actually seen were the outer limits of the city, which, as amazing as they were, paled in comparison to the inner rings. Few nobles appeared here, much less fraternized with the common people. And yet…
“Ahem.” the young man attempted to capture Darius’s attention by coughing. Darius was immediately brought back to reality.
Darius groaned. Not this guy again; can’t I just catch a break?
Darius found himself standing once more in front of the sharply dressed young man who had bothered him when he had first left the bus. The young man scrutinized Darius carefully. The intense gaze and queer grin discomforted Darius. Darius returned the man’s gaze. He found the young man’s clothes odd yet clearly of high quality. Then, Darius noticed a sharp rapier slung on the man’s waist. Instinctively, he backed a few steps, never saying a word.
Realizing that he wouldn’t receive a response, the young noble, Lionel, said, “Please do allow me to introduce myself, I am Pr-” Lionel abruptly stopped mid-way as an uninterested Darius completely ignored him and walked off.
Lionel stood there, dumbstruck, his smirk wiped off his naturally smug face.
“Who the hell does he think he is?” Lionel muttered darkly, before calming himself and chasing, or more precisely, striding after Darius. Lionel never ran.
Darius had his own reasons for walking away. The first being that not all of the matron’s advice had fallen on deaf ears. Come to think of it, that may have been the reason for her ridiculously long rants: she would say so much that one couldn’t help but pay attention to some of it. Even if you ignored her, her words would burrow their way into your memory, reinforced over time as when even the matron herself ran out of topics, she would simply repeat herself, just with different words. As far as she was concerned, she could never stress a point enough.
As Darius thought of her, he faintly smiled and realized that he did have one good memory from that place, her. Although she was strict, she was incredibly kind, particularly to Darius. The notion warmed his heart as he walked through the maze of steel and concrete.
At the moment, the matron’s incessant ranting had clearly paid off. Yet, even apart from that, Darius had simply disliked Lionel. Something about the man had seemed off from the start, and Darius supposed his caution stemmed from the sword strung to Lionel’s waist. Darius, naturally timid and shy as he was, left instead of taking a chance. He didn’t want any trouble. Darius knew of the city’s dangers.
As he walked on, he couldn’t help but marvel at the sights. Each building in itself was an architectural masterpiece.
Darius’s stride was long and steady. He walked quickly, and Lionel had a difficult time catching up. Usually, the noble had an entourage and bodyguards who would do this sort of thing for him, but this was something he knew he had to do himself. Lionel supposed he could have walked faster to catch up, but he was slightly curious about where Darius was heading.
At this time, multitudes of people traversed the wide streets. As Lionel walked by, these people cleared a path for him with completely reverence in their eyes.
Darius experienced something similar, but for a completely different reason. As the citizens of Sahid passed him, their faces displayed looks of utter disdain. Although themselves not noble, they still thought themselves far above this simpleton, so they naturally avoided him with their noses turned up.
Darius, however, had completely ignored this. After all his time at the orphanage, such trivialities no longer phased him. The sun was setting, and he busily gazed at the plethora of bright lights as the buildings lit the encroaching darkness, displaying the true beauty of Sahin. The deeper he went into the city, the more beautiful it became. As Darius looked at the night sky above him, he noticed several lights and displays. There were odd cars flying over the city with a few blimps as well, all illuminated with yellow and blue streaks.
Small drones whizzed in the air, flying to unknown destinations while clutching several packages. Darius could see large statues armed with sabers and axes at each street corner.
Several odd markings covered each statue, and he wondered what they did.
Darius finally realized that he actually had no idea where he was going and had been aimlessly wandering for the last two hours. After some musing, he decided it was too late to approach the Spiritsmith guild, and he would do it the next day, or rather, later in the day as it was already past midnight. Either way, he still needed to learn where the guild was.
He approached a lady who, in his eyes, seemed trustworthy and asked for directions. After eyeing him, the lady blurted them out. Darius easily committed them to memory and walked on.
He had always had a sharp mind and was always skilled at memorizing things, yet such talents had not shined due to his particular circumstances. Darius hoped that the key to a change in his fortunes lay within Sahid.