The constant chatter did not bother him, not anymore. He had grown used to it by now, tuning it out as he made his way past the fruit stalls selling their products in the warmth of the day, trading and dealing with numerous customers all eager to purchase the freshest ones from the top.
Marethyu didn’t spare a glace for them, simply strolling onward, his steps sound and determined, his eyes nailed to the alleyway just a couple of blocks before him. The ripple of conversation around him fell silent, the easy atmosphere which surrounded the passage scaring away everyone who listened to their instincts. There were men posted next to the crumbling build brick wall, glaring at any trespasser foolish enough to wander too close to the far end of the street, their eyes turning to him for a moment before silently nodding and letting him pass.
He was a familiar figure here, despite them knowing nothing about him.
The part of the golden city offered to the human residents paled in comparison to the main metropolis. Houses here were worn and in need of a paint, the paving falling apart from the edges. As he walked past the old, stony buildings, Marethyu couldn’t help but catch glimpses of the miserable life bustling around him, his blue eyes trailing after the hoard of children running away from him. They hid in the collapsing house on his left, several dusty faces glaring at him from the shadows.
It caused his stomach to lurch uncomfortably. To see the difference between the gorgeous main streets, and the true nature of the living conditions of the people who helped build it, it sickened him.
It reminded him of his own world.
Marethyu’s steps grew faster, his pace picking up as he strolled deeper into the slums. He did not slow down once, kept his speed fast while lifting up his right hand. His fingers slipped inside of the pocked easily, pulling out a small leather pouch, the opening of it sealed tight with a silk string. Without missing a beat, he yanked at the strand, the content of the bag sliding into his open palm.
Little by little, he let the golden coins drop, making sure to leave them in a steady measure. He left some by the broken temple, then marched back and spilled couple pieces near the safe-house where the children he had seen earlier had ran into.
It did take him a whole day, but by the end of it, as he leaned against the dirty wall and listened to the surprised gasps coming from every direction, he knew it was worth it.
These were, after all, his people.