286 A Haven for Hidden Things
*Eldovian Era 1714, 19th day of the 1st month*
Three days in, and 1500 gold richer - minus 40 gold for about five good quality outfits and a new set of throwing knives - and Aegin had come to understand a little more about Rene.
First, he'd come to know Bosca as the equivalent of a Count or a Baron in Eldovia. His official title was 'Reishin Irons' which essentially meant that he was the one who managed the southern sector of the city. There were 5 sectors in Rene and each had it's own Reishin that managed it. One for each of the cardinal points, and the final one working directly under the Shin of the City. Or the Lord. The Lord of Rene, as Aegin came to understand it, rarely showed his face in public. He kept to his home in the palace in the centre of the city, directing it's running like a puppet master.
Aegin didn't feel much dedication or respect towards him other than that it was where his gold came from.
From what he could tell, Bosca spent every day in a steady cycle that was quite predictable. In the morning the security team that he was in charge of reported to him regarding anything that had happened during the night. He then met with his Administrators and Treasurer regarding any immediate or ongoing issue. This usually took until the midday meal and was essentially the time that Aegin spent sleeping seeing as there was little to nothing for him to do.
After midday, Bosca made his way through his sector, a different part every day. At first, Aegin had assumed that he did it in order to connect with the people he was taking care of. But by the third day, it had become clear that the regular folk were terrified too approach. Like the Masters Aegin had previously served, this didn't seem to phase Reishin Irons.
Finally, as the sun left it's zenith and began to descend, Bosca turned from his regular duties to those which, anywhere else, were not strictly legal. Aegin had not been allowed in to see the ledgers, so he was not completely sure on the amount or types of underground businesses that Bosca ran besides the fighting ring, but he was willing to bet his pay that it was not a small pool.
Rene was not like the Eldovian Cities where Law enforcement was done by the Knights, or like the Southern Cities whose guard patrols were seemingly the same from city to city, at least within countries. In Rene, the city seemed to run solely based on a diet of necessity and fear. Aegin had to admit that he was somewhat disappointed, he'd been expecting more from the mysterious Westerners whose Tribal ways had always intrigued him. There did not seem to be many Tribes that existed in Rene.
There were plenty of Westerners though. Westerners with their dark skin, and the mixed-bloods who held a lighter from the Eldovian and Southern Continents.
When Bosca retired in the late hours of the night, Aegin returned to his own room with his pay for the day, then, not taking any chances, pretended to sleep for the night before vanishing into the darkness. He'd taken to running an hour or so outside of the city. About halfway between the coast and the massive mountain range than spanned north to south as far as the eye could see. There, there was a small but thin forest of tree with long, thin and pale trunks that soared for the skin. He took the route he'd memorized, then, upon getting to the marked tree, removed the old, browning ferns and branches that covered his hiding spot. He opened the trap door he'd constructed with the intricate key he'd bought, then unlocked it and dumped his coin down into the box before locking it tight once more.
With a self-satisfied smile, he covered it back over, then ran back towards the city. After what he'd seen the past three days, no way was he putting his gold in the hands of Bosca Irons, or any banks in Rene. They were all owned by the Shin, and he preferred to keep his earned money his own rather than handing it right back.
Aegin arrived back in the city in the early hours of the morning, after a short contemplation, he decided to risk hunting and get a meal. He hadn't heard a peep about the Priestess, so surely she was either gone or keeping to herself.
He found his prey without much trouble. About seven figures in an alleyway. Five of them were tall young men who seemed to be doing their best to intimidate the two remaining figures. One a short boy of mixed-blood who appeared no more than fourteen, and one a hulking Westerner with skin so dark he was almost like the night itself.
"Hand it over Tigin, you're a big boy, you'll get more," threatened the leader of the five.
The giant frowned, hesitating as he looked at the boy beside him. Aegin sniffed the air. Oh, not a boy. It was a young woman with cropped hair and a...well, not so endowed chest, easy mistake to make if one wasn't like Aegin couldn't scent the difference.
"Your little brother will be fine, nothing to worry about," said the leader with a grin.
Like those boys. They clearly had no idea. To be fair, she pulled off the disguise far better than Ebony ever had.
Aegin frowned at the thought. She wasn't Ebony, and he was going to let her get robbed so that he could drop in on his meal later on. The past three days had seen him stay in the shadows thanks to the fact that he hadn't needed to feed. He wasn't about to announce his diet here when he had such a good thing going.
"We could just take him off your hands, he's a little scrawny, but I'm sure he'll get a good price. We'll cut you 10%," said another.
The big guy's frown deepened, and he squared his shoulders, "You don't touch Rima".
"Come on big guy, rid yourself of a burden and have enough to go around for at least a month. Slaves are always the best-"
The guy suddenly paused mid-sentence, a light breeze flitting over the group as the guy frowned then slowly reached up and clutched at his throat as a thin line of blood appeared. He opened his mouth gasping for air but finding none. He coughed, blood dripping both from his mouth and through his fingertips as he collapsed.
The four looked at their leader in shock, then at the big guy and his 'brother'. They looked just as shocked.