The Children of Eris
Themis, the capital of the Holy Empire, was a lively, bustling place with people from all over the world.
There were humans, elves, dwarves, beast people, lizard people and other races David couldn’t recognise lining the market, all talking and trading happily with one another.
With a population of one million people, the city was not only the most populated in the empire, but its largest as well.
According to Mímir’s reports, the city watch was fifteen thousand members strong and, normally, there were twenty thousand Holy Legion soldiers stationed at Themis as well, but they had marched to Black Port.
Themis was far grander of a city than what Mímir had described.
Unlike the other cities in the empire, Themis was divided into three ringed districts: the Outer, the largest on the city’s edge, the Inner, the second largest, and finally, situated in the dead centre of the capital, was the Jewelled.
David was amazed at how beautiful and well maintained the Outer Ring District was.
The walls were made of flawless white stone with gold trimmings along the battlements and towers, the streets were well maintained and looked after, with carriages and wagons easily passing along the cobbles without any accidents or rocking. There were barracks at every major gate and the rest were lining the Jewelled District where the emperor’s palace was.
For the first time since he had arrived in this new world, David had taken the entire day off to relax. He’d lied to his generals and said that he was going to gather intel on the capital personally.
To prove that he wasn’t lying to them, David made sure to survey the city’s defences, the city’s layout and the size of its military.
Themis seems like a great place to live, David thought as his eyes wandered. I hope we don’t ruin it and its people’s lives too much when we conquer it.
The only reason David could comfortably walk around the city was because of how he was dressed.
Mímir’s Raven that usually accompanied David on his ventures away from Castle Kelsey was busy on another assignment, so David had come in a disguise.
He was wearing a brown cloak with its hood up and a full-face mask that only showed his eyes.
While David judged that it was only his eye colour that would make him stand out, he had decided to hide as much of his appearance because of what Jorōgumo had told him.
If there were others that sensed his arrival in this world, then that meant other people could identify David at a glance just like she had.
David didn’t know if his disguise would stop someone from doing that, but he hoped it’d be somewhat effective.
I haven’t been stopped by anyone yet to ask me about why I look like this, so that’s something, David thought.
After walking around without a break for a few hours, David bought some chicken skewers from a nearby vendor, sat down by a bench next to a water fountain, and took off his mask, keeping his head low.
David had considered hiding in an alleyway somewhere to eat, but then he could’ve been targeted by thieves or criminals. If that happened, then he might have to kill them and that would be the same mistake Mania and Mimir had made.
If I have my mask off and someone sees my face, then they could figure out my real identity, David thought.
His mind went blank and, slowly, the whole world around him became grey.
That’s not what I should be worried about, David closed his eyes. Why do I care more about being spotted than what I’ve done or what I still have to do?
If everything went according to his plans, David would have destroyed the peaceful Holy Empire in just a few hundred days.
His empire would rise in its place and it would be a cold, cruel and vicious place.
It had to be, or Eris could punish him for it.
A deep disgust grew deep within his soul.
What would mum and dad think if I said that to them?
Kara would despise me.
Hailey would never forgive me.
David grimaced. I’m doing this for them…He shook his head and sighed. Why am I still worrying about this now?
It’s far too late to turn back.
With a heavy heart, David stood up, mask and skewers in hand, but, because of how low his hood was, he didn’t notice the woman in front of him. He bumped into her and dropped everything in his hands.
“Hey, watch-” the woman started to say until she spotted everything David had dropped.
When the woman stopped talking, David assumed the worst, grabbed his mask and ran.
If she’s recognised me, then I have to get out of here!
With great speed, David fled deeper into the market, weaving his way through the crowds and trying to find an alleyway to hide himself. Despite his great speed, the woman was able to keep track of him and pursued him.
I’ll lose her and then teleport back to the Keep.
He dove into a narrow alleyway and then went down lots of back streets until he reached a dead end with only one way out: the way he’d come.
Before David summoned his portal, his pursuer caught up.
“Why did you run away?” She asked, panting heavily. She leant against her spear and sighed, flashing him a small smile.
“Because you were chasing me,” David whispered, not sure of what he should do next.
If he teleported now and didn’t kill her, then he’d be screwed.
If he did kill her, then David would have killed a human for the first time with his own hands since he’d arrived in this new world.
What do I-?
The woman held up a small coin pouch and shook it a few times. “You dropped something else when you bumped into me.”
“O-oh,” David whispered. He patted his sides and realised that that was his pouch.
“Here.” The woman threw the coin purse to David who fumbled catching it.
As he went to thank her, his stomach rumbled loudly which made her giggle.
“Want to get something to eat? My treat.”