Under the Moon and Stars
In spite of everything, the horses had a good long rest all the way up until midday, so our speed after that was great. They started at a good speed and did not slow down until we reached our goal.
And so we arrived at the imperial capital in no time.
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While we had reached our goal, we had not yet gone through the gates. This was the imperial capital after all, and security was tight. Other carriages joined the traffic from side roads. We were now moving slowly in a very long line.
“Will we even get through by the end of the day?”
“Hmm…I am not sure…”
We sat in the driver’s seat next to Mister and stared up ahead. The sun was casting long, long shadows.
I climbed up onto the tarp and looked behind the wagon. The driver, who Mister called Moosh, was looking at us with a bored expression. The line continued on behind him. There were Adventurers on foot and carriages. They would definitely be staying out here during the night as well. Night shift buddies.
“We will have to camp out here then.”
“Even if we did get in, the inns will probably be full… After all, there is the Imperial Sword Tournament.”
“I see…damn, that’s not good…”
Would there be an inn for us…?
“Daniela. What should we do? There may not be any inns open.”
“That would be awful…”
I called from the top of the wagon. Daniela turned around and looked at me. Indeed. We had only just heard about this tournament and hadn’t thought about it too much. We had never lacked for an inn to stay at before, but we may have to sleep outside this time. I didn’t want to do that. We didn’t come all this way to the capital just to sleep in the streets.
“Well, there is a post town, so it shouldn’t come to that.”
“Hmmm… But if everyone in this line stays there…”
I scanned the procession once again. Hmm. There were a lot of people. The tournament was to be in three weeks. But we were surely the late-comers.
Well, there may at least be a very low-quality inn we could stay at. It wouldn’t be bad as long as they had a bar.
I told Daniela this and she agreed. It would be annoying that we had to be more careful in regard to security, but it was better than staying on the streets. We would probably wake up in prison after being robbed blind.
“But, well…the gates will close when the sun goes down. We’ll have to camp out here then.”
“Oh, the gates are closing?”
I thought maybe a place as big as this city would be open twenty-four-seven.
“They usually are open at all times. But you know, there is the tournament.”
A lot of dangerous folks had gathered from across the land. Mister said this in a whisper. I whispered back that we would be sleeping outside amongst them… We had to hope that nothing would happen.
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When the red sun had sunk completely, the west gate closed with the sounds of creaking wood. A guard came out on horseback and shouted to us that we would be received on the following morning.
Well, there was nothing to do then. Those who were in the line gave up and started to prepare to camp for the night. Though, people did not want to give up their positions, and the tents were all made in or as close to the lines as possible.
As we did not want to move either, we pitched the tent right in front of the wagon. One of Mister’s tents, that is. As we had used our own tent up until now, we had not seen this tent until its debut.
Ours had been made of two triangles, a pole and large rectangle cloth to go on top.
But this tent had one large pole in the center with a circular cloth that spread out from it. It was like a cone…like a mountain that I child might draw. As the pole was long and the cloth large, it was very spacious inside.