TL's Note: Could you leave a comment just to say hi if you're still reading this? I'd love to talk to you guys. As usual, next upload in 24 hours. (Cavsier is now Calve Hill, I did not realise this name had been mentioned before from previous chapter)
Calve Hill lived in the northwestern region of Osgiliath, far from the palace.
Osgiliath City was filled with gigantic buildings, and the streets were crowded with exquisitely-dressed people. The place was spacious and clean despite the recent snow, teeming with life as everyone seemed to walk with an air of prosperous carefree-ness.
The occasional patrol soldiers on horses could be seen, clad in shiny metal armour and bright halberds. They sat high on their horses with puffed chests and stern faces. Around the streets were typical Byzantine style shop lots with cone-shaped roofs at least two to three stories tall, giving the city a prospering impression.
However, Shaar was not as impressed as before, nor did he have the mood to gawk at these buildings. Next to him was a solemn Ruhr who wanted to console him but did not know what to say, ending up only making a little small talk.
The eastern side of the city was forbidden palace grounds and the church headquarters. Similarly, the aristocratic families lived in the area too and many people liked to flock to these neighbourhoods. It was unfortunate that the property prices had only gone up and most people could not afford a house even after a year of being a hardworking sellsword. The northwestern corner of the city now filled with wealthy families who were not as well-off as the aristocrats but still lived much better than the peasants in the southside.
“Since this is your first time to Osgiliath, you must go to the arena. The tournament will begin in a few days, the sudden influx of warriors from out of town has been keeping our guards busy.”
Osgiliath was huge. Tatara and Soythe rode their horses with the group and had a row of escort guards trailing behind, for they had joined Ruhr’s group too. They walked many alleys and crossroads, passing through the bustling city for two hours before finally arriving at a quieter street. The streets were still wide but fewer people walked them and tall trees were planted on both sides. Although it was winter, the lush trees added life to this ancient but majestic city. This place was just filled with courtyards, and it was obvious that only the rich lived here. There were not many walking peddlers either, just the occasional horse carriage. Everything was quiet and peaceful.
“We’re here.” The fat man pulled on his reins and pointed at the alley ahead. “I won’t be travelling any further. You just need to turn left here and you’ll see Calve Hill's quarters. Uh, I don’t want to enter that man’s house for sure so I’ll be waiting with my men here.”
Shaar massaged his fist, glaring unhappily at the fat man, who smiled bitterly and said, “Calve Hill is a man with a strange temper, he only said he wanted to meet you, not me.”
“Fine.” Shaar sighed. “Turn left in front? What does his house gate look like? I don’t want to get to the wrong place.”
“Don’t worry, after you turn left at this turning, there is only one house on Tea Alley at the back. You’ll only see one door. The emperor gifted him the entire Tea Alley many years ago.”
After Shaar rode his horse through the turning, just as the fat man said, he only saw tall courtyard walls on both sides of Tea Alley built with giant green-white stone blocks stacked neatly on each other. At the base of the wall were stout bushes also trimmed well, leading down the flat path. It was obvious that the place was well-kept. At the end of the alley was a not-too-tall entrance that radiated solemn tranquility. He looked at this famous advisor’s door as he approached to see that the top was wrapped in a layer of barbed wire but other than that, there was nothing opulent about this. Just surprisingly clean and neat without a speech of dush. Shaar had gotten off his horse, about to knock on the door when the huge door was pushed slightly ajar. A young servant in linen walked out and regarded Shaar with a cold expression.
Shaar was about to introduce himself, “I am---” but the young servant interrupted him mildly, “Come in, follow me. Don’t touch anything, watch your words.” He ignored Shaar, turned around and entered.
Shaar glared at him, then suppressed his anger as he strode inside where the servant turned to take one look at him, furrowing his brows when he saw the soil on Shaar’s shoes. He pointed at a soft rug on the ground and said, “Clean your shoes. Master likes things clean.”
Holding back his rage, Shaar kicked his shoes on the rug. The servant seemed to be mildly satisfied, for he turned around without a word and so Shaar followed him with an angry huff. The courtyard was huge but very quiet, no particularly tall trees other than potted plants in the corner. It seemed quite empty but the floor was very clean, without even a single petal or leaf on the ground. The servant led Shaar through a small door on the side which led to a circular flower garden filled with many blooming flowers. Naturally, the hillbilly did not know what kinds they were but he was astonished to find so many flowers blooming in winter when everything withered.
A small path of green stone tiles wound through the garden and hillbilly’s mood was inevitably lifted by the fragrant flowers as he walked past them. There was even a small man-made lake inside about only 110 steps wide, he could see fishes swimming within and the occasional fish leaping gently out of the surface, revealing a strange red tail.
This hillbilly naturally did not know how to appreciate such fishes, merely thinking about how it would taste if he roasted the fish. The courtyards they passed through were all clean and quiet, though he saw the occasional neatly dressed servant with water jugs and silk towels wiping the walls. However, these people did not react at all when he walked past. He walked past many neat buildings until he arrived at a two-story round building at the end of the path. It had a large build-up area and green tapestries were hung on the walls.
The courtyard was empty except for a pencil-straight tree in the corner covered in yellow flowers, making it look like a large yellow umbrella.