Naston was amazing.
It wasn't even a fraction of the size of Faerein's Capitol City, but the simplicity of the place astounded Monstroth. He always had liked a simple and straight-forward place and this was the best he could ask for.
On street ran through the entire city, branching off to separate streets that contained the residences of the people living here. On that street, however, were many vendors and people that roamed around joyfully. From restaurants to jewelers, there were many places that Monstroth wished to visit. He got strange looks from the people on the main street, but it was something he got used to after passing the patrolling guards that surrounded and scouted the area. Despite being part of Tav, Naston was surprisingly independent of the Capitol City.
"The people here don't follow the noble system that Tav enforces," the Sovereign explained when Monstroth asked him about the city, "It's mainly due to high tensions that still remain from the Great War."
"Great War? Why would the war against the Lizards make them rebel?"
The bald man snorted at that. "You know surprisingly little for a royal offspring, boy." He pointed at a statue that was just ahead. It was of a man in a robe holding both hands up in victory. Below his foot - which was raised to stand on something - was a mass of spikes with a gaping mouth of teeth. It was about the size of the man's torso.
"That," the Sovereign explained, "is Domic Burnrei, brother of Tormac Icerei and one of the Herost. He was the first of the two brothers to fight and defeat a Great Lizard and even remove it's head. He was renown as a hero and continued to return to his hometown here to bring back more heads. Very foolish, if you ask me."
Monstroth excused himself when a man bumped into him. He received a wide-eyed apology before the man continued on his way. "Why was he foolish for this accomplishment?"
The Sovereign shook his head in irritation. "Because he was making his brother and the city that represented his brother jealous. That jealousy grew as time went on and eventually caused the cities to grow tense to each other." The bald man spat on the ground, earning a curse from a man he nearly hit. "That pride and bragging of Burnrei caused a civil war in time."
Monstroth stopped to buy an odd red fruit that the woman called an 'apple' before continuing on. "Why was Faerein not informed of this war? I have heard of all the wars that we have on record. Never was there a civil war in Tav."
"That's because it only lasted a few days and the nobles of the Capitol City slaughtered hundreds to make an example of them. No one would even want to remember the night they burned Naston. Only Domic Burnrei's statue survived the burning of this place."
Passing the statue, Monstroth did notice burn marks on the stone. "Does this country use Flame more than anything?"
The Sovereign nodded. "Flame is common here. More common than Mineral is in your country, actually. People tend to stick to that Mystic. Remember that some train their other Mystics, boy. I don't need you growing careless again."
Monstroth cringed slightly in embarrassment. He had to get over his fear of battle. That thrill he felt was amazing, but it hadn't been long lasting. Was there someway he could lose himself in that feeling? Maybe that's how Rhazin fought seriously all the time.
'Rhazin,' Monstroth thought, 'Please be safe.'
"My lord, may I interest you in a hat?"
Monstroth stopped on impulse, looking at the woman at the stand. Lord? "What makes you think I am a Lord, lady vendor?" Monstroth asked as formally as he could. The Sovereign rolled his eyes visibly.
The woman had darker skin that most of the others walking the streets, but didn't look like any daughter of Faerein. Still, she bowed deeply and smiled as if she had just got here with Monstroth. "My mother is a daughter of Faerein, my lord," she explained, "So I can recognize the ruling family when I see them." She looked around, bringing Monstroth's attention back to the people who stared as they passed. "And so can many others."
"Bah, it's this boy's massive body that gives him away!" The Sovereign turned and threw his hands up, yelling for the people to keep moving. He really was unpleasant at times. "Now, boy, you can do whatever you want for today. I need to make a visit and get us a ship. That man can't be kept waiting."
By 'man' Monstroth knew his master meant Leader, whom they were going to rescue. Monstroth didn't know how he felt about that. A Sovereign was captive and his master thought they could take on whatever group that had done the deed. Monstroth was already scared to fight for his life, moving into danger seemed like a bad idea.
But, he was the apprentice. Nothing more.
"So, my lord. Buy a hat?"
Monstroth pulled himself out of his head and focused on the vendor. He hadn't noticed, but she was actually quite pretty. Sands, why did he notice that just now? "Um, sure... If you think you have one that will fit me, lady vendor."
The woman laughed. "Please, that title isn't very fun for me. Can you call me Naetia?" Monstroth nodded and waiting as Naetia moved to search through her carts storage area. Though she had the dark skin and tall - compared to other women not of the Frae bloodline - body, Naetia's hair was pitch black. Usually, the children of Faerein were born with lighter shades of hair, like Monstroth's own silver hair.
Eventually, Naetia had found a wide-brimmed straw hat and handed it over. To Monstroth's surprise, it fit perfectly. It made him feel a little chilly from the detachment from the sun, but he did not tell her that. "How much am I to pay you, lady Naetia?"