There was a line to get into the city even though the guards rarely checked any of the goods entering in or out of the city. It was likely the time that those who lived outside the city came inward to trade whatever goods they owned to squeeze out just enough money to keep on subsisting.
I didn’t have time to wait in line. The slow pace of the line angered me. If I didn’t find my way into the city soon, Darryl’s blood would be on my hands. I shoved my way through the crowded line, pushing the people in front of me out of my way.
“Hey,” said a wealthy-looking merchant. “You can’t just barge your way through the line.”
His robes were bright purple which was an expensive and elusive color to acquire from what I learned from my master. He’d always talked about getting his hands on a true purple robe. When the opportunity for him to get his hands on some purple fabric he took it. Or more accurately, the old man wearing it gave it to him. It always confused me why the old man did this. Surely my master had enough money to pay for it and winter was coming. It never hurts to have some extra money to make it through the snow season.
I ignored the wealthy merchant. I did not have time for him even if he was right. Humans were always fixated with order when it benefited them even if it brought harm to others.
“Hey! I’m talking to you!” the merchant shouted. I glanced back to see that the merchant’s face had turned bright red. I could see his veins on his face bulging.
I still didn’t have time for the man so continued pushing forward. Most people seemed rightfully annoyed at me plowing my way through the line as if they were no more than dirt but they didn’t bring it up. I was large and this intimidated most people.
I made my way to the front of the line and waited while the guards thoroughly searched a cart in front of me. The villager had covered his cart in burlap to hide whatever goods he had underneath. The guard reached in with his hand and pulled out some strange fruit I’d never seen before. It was a pale yellow color and had spikes jutting out of it on the top and bottom of the fruit.
I watched as the guard’s nose wrinkled. The smell of the fruit was disgusting and pungent. It permeated throughout the air, not letting anyone in the area escape the disgusting smell. I could hear the lady behind me trying to hold back the contents in her stomach. She was unsuccessful.
“Since last winter Glark fruit has been outlawed within the city. The city guard sent out many messengers to make this fact known, yet you’re here trying to sneak some in with a scented burlap sack. Gerald take this man to the dungeon.”
“NO! This is a misunderstanding! I’ll leave at once. You’ll never see me again!” pleaded the poor looking farmer as the guard Gerald dragged the unfortunate farmer out of sight. The farmer pulled at the Earth beneath him, trying to cling onto his unraveling life.
I walked towards the guards with Darryl still in my hand.
“What’s your business in the city?” asked the guards who glanced at Darryl who I was carrying.”
“My friend here is dying. I need to enter the city to make sure he lives.” I responded.
“How do I know he’s your friend?” the guard asked snidely. “You’re a big fellow. It looks to me like you might have had a hand in this poor folks’ situation.”
“I must get through. I need to help my friend.” I stated bluntly.
I swear I saw the guard briefly smirk but it was gone in a fraction of a second. His helmet covered most of his face so I had trouble discerning what he was thinking. All I could go off of was the sound of his voice and that wasn’t very friendly.
“I see that your friend needs help. I’ll let you through on one condition.”
“And what’s that?” I responded in an annoyed tone. I was getting frustrated. It wouldn’t do me any good to get angry and punch the guard so I thought of happy things to calm me down. Witches, weasels, and tiny books came to mind.
“I’ll accompany you to the healer so I can make sure that man gets the proper care he needs.” the guard responded while pointing at Darryl.
“That works with me,” I stated. At this point, I’d agree to almost anything to get Darryl fixed up by a healer. I could tell he was nearing death. If I didn’t do something soon, he’d surely die.
“Edward, take this man to Synthia. Say he’s a customer.” the snide guard said to one of his buddies.
“Will do, boss,” Edward replied. His voice indicated that he was young and his simple steel armor which lacked any embellishments confirmed he hadn’t been working with the city guard for long.
“If you’ll follow me,” Edward said while making a hand motion to follow him.
The stone streets were nicely polished. They sparkled as if a jeweler was hired to mop the streets. I’d always enjoyed looking at the clean stone. No one liked bad hygiene, certainly not an upstanding golem like myself.
Very few people walked along the streets. Many of the shops lining the street were empty, yet the expensive goods and well-polished shop windows suggested otherwise. I wondered where they got their business and who they were selling to in order to keep their shops running.
Edward stopped outside a nice looking building carved out of stone. It was a two-story building with little windows that showed very little of what was going on inside. It had old wooden doors that had been well oiled and maintained. The varnish was a dark color that attempted to hide the door’s age unsuccessfully.