So far, it had been a great day. Waking up refreshed and with a full Sol pool. An excellent breakfast, even by Jien's standards, followed by her armour being cleaned and polished. Yeah, today was a good day.
She had already known the Grand Demon's Duel took place at a collesium outside the city, but had expected the nobles to just ride out in carriages and domes. When a crier announced the by the Emporer's decree, all people not directly related to him must make their way there under their own power, she had been ecstatic.
A quick march to the Middle district gates, and a longer one through the Lower District and Slums had seated her near the front gates, watching with glee as sweaty, already tired nobles trooped through the gate, sweat staining their precious silks. 'Under their own power' had included no slaves or servants carrying either fans or waterjugs alongside them. Most, had, of course, forgotten to even think of those. Not to mention sandcloaks. She had hers tightly wrapped aroumd her, the heavy, but ventilated material snuggling up against and into the cracks of her armour, keeping the blowing sand out.
And these fools had forgotten the first rule of the desert. Sand got everywhere. Everywhere. Even into your privates. It stung. It rubbed you raw. Oh, and it got into your mouth. More than one dandied up priss had been spitting it out as they staggered past.
Now, there were a few smart ones. Some fire cultos had been walking past, draining the heat from their bodies. A few water types had surrounded themselves with mist, though one guy had a screen of water that had quickly turned to mud. She had cheerfully waved to him as it had collapsed, caking him and his silk robes in filth. He had flipped her off in return.
Or at least, the golden city version of flipping off, which had involved him pointedly sticking him large, pointy nose in the air and walking away. He made it five steps before a burst of sand got in there too.
Some of the weaker one's had turned back, pouting and crying at the emporer's cruelty as they tromped back home defeated. Not that the old man gave a fuck. He had been the first out of the city, carried on a massive palaquin with most of his harem onboard and two cultos straining to keep the portable dome up. It had been a strangely majestic sight, an ancient cultivator, the picture of stoicism, eyes straight ahead and face in a regal frown. A red robe adorned his frame, and atop his head rested a circlet of pink sunlight. Majestic, indeed.
Until she had noticed something bobbing between his feet, hidden from the masses by the waist high lace curtain. Looking closer had revealed a head, giving the old man, well, head. He had seen her, and broken into a gap toothed grin while waving at her. Well, the skinn
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