It was getting rather late in the evening by the time Amadeo, Marcos, and the guards who had accompanied them reached the inner city of Nicu. The city's rogues were just beginning to come out to enjoy the pleasures that commenced along with the night. Several merchants had just closed their shops and were now scurrying to their homes as quickly as their feet could carry them. The night air was becoming chilly, bringing with it a sense of trouble. Nicu was rank with sin; this much was clear anytime of the day, but especially now, when its true colors began to show.
Amadeo's heart twisted in both pity and frustration as he watched his subjects go about their nightly rituals and revelings. As the caravan clopped through the streets, people swarmed to catch a glimpse of their King - and to throw spitballs and mudclods at him, as well. The putrid scent of manure wafted by the King's nose, and Marcos was the unfortunate recipient of the parcel. There was simply no hiding from hatred.
Amadeo remembered the exact street in which he had seen the woman whom he was now seeking. Eager to reach her apartment, he urged his stallion, Arising, forward.
The real problem, however, lay in what Amadeo would do once he reached the tenements. Surely, he couldn't walk up to the apartment and fetch the woman himself; to do so would sully his reputation and the glory of his name.
People would certainly wonder what the King wanted with a lowly prostitute. Their minds would automatically assume the worst. And who could blame them? There were likely few men who went to a prostitute's apartment with reasons other than purchase in mind. What did the King want with such an urchin? Perhaps, he would simply take several men with him and bring the woman out so he could talk to her in public. Yes, that was it. He would have Marcos and another guard or two come with him, and then he and the woman would talk where everyone could see them.
Assuming that the woman would want to talk.
It was then that Amadeo realized something very important: he hadn't taken note of where this particular woman lived. He'd assumed she was living where all the other women of her industry lived, but what if he was wrong?
His thoughts were halted the instant he looked out across the street and saw her.