“You flatter me, Missus Ki’hadi.” The words were directed to Gwynthera, but his eyes drifted to Syhera, whose explanation was stuffed right into Peake’s ego, even further reason to mentally thump at his chest to demonstrate his power like an ape. His dumb smile was all he let through.
Soon enough, the three of them found themselves within the unsuccessful shop that barely yielded profit, climbing up stairs that threatened to collapse under their weight. Peake’s eyes looked here and there, at old portraits and the various imperfections of the stairwell. The apartment in question was approximately the same size of his own private cottage in which he resided. However, theirs was far cleaner. Peake’s cottage was a mess in every possible way, as he didn’t usually bother to tidy the place up. His fireplace was filled with shattered glass, target practice for the multiple empty bottles of consumed alcoholic beverages. Stains from various bodily fluids decorated floor, walls and sheets as he had never cleaned a thing in his life. Weapons, both functional and ruined, along with various pieces of a diverse array of armors that stacked up and gathered dust as they were mostly unused. Another corner was occupied by those clothes Peake and his women for hire had left behind for one reason or another, reason why his choice of attire stayed mostly the same. Buying new clothes was easier than cleaning others, especially when those disposed of clothes needed to be shoveled out of that corner. Most mornings, a whore or whores were found sleeping on that pile of clothes, and most mornings, those same whores were alive. Most mornings.
The Ki’hadi residence was quaint and warm in contrast to Peake’s cave. It had a personality despite the simplicity, and so he couldn’t offer no judgement, or at least not a severe one. Despite his cottage’s most characteristic features being the two buckets, one for water and the other for vomit and other human waste that in his drunkest nights he had accidentally mistaken more than once, he still had a room in the Andaris Manor. Dozens of servants to cook for him, clean for him, and pamper him awaited, yet discarded due to Benji Andaris’ presence within that household.
“Lovely residence.” After he was commanded, the groceries were left on the recently cleared table and his overgrown hands began extracting the multiple items purchased. Just as he had thought, the vegetables were partially stale and with defects, the bread was a bit hard, and the meat didn’t seem as anything otherworldly. Just by looking at the purchases, it could be known that the household was suffering from a low income. Gwynthera had chosen the ‘second selection’ or the ‘other market stalls’, in which not so fresh products were sold in bulk for much lower prices, as they were about to be discarded and a last coin could be made from them. Nonetheless, they were still edible, and it was a good way to save money. He didn’t say anything about it, as he was a guest that needed to respect their hosts.
However, once Syhera and the nobleman were left alone, and her words came forth with a detail he had missed, Peake felt the need to say something. Perhaps it was the tone of her voice or her choice of words, but a small needle of rage bit Peake on the back of his neck. For a moment, all he could think was that Syhera felt ashamed of him, of Peake being her fiancé even if it was all a scam. A bit of that rage and disgust manifested on his face as the curses clouded his brain. Why wouldn’t she tell her mother about it? Peake was the first heir of the Baron, the oldest grandson of his grandfather, the Duke. It was very likely that in twenty arcs Peake would be the Duke of Andaris. Was that not something to be proud of for these underprivileged low-towners? Even if it was never going to happen, a chance to marry into nobility, no matter how small it was, could at least keep their heads up high by having some hope instead of gaping at the floor in search of a stray coin. The Ki’hadi were only rich in hard bread, junk hanging from laces, and Syhera’s breast size. Take that out and they’d be nothing but thin corpses begging on a corner or selling their rears for the fishermen.
It was the small details that spoiled his mood, and Peake tried to overlook it as he had been enjoying this day so far. If he wanted stress and moodiness, he would’ve gone to work on this day or went to listen to his father. “No, I won’t tell her. It’s your problem, not mine.”
Returning his eyes onto the ingredients, now all placed on the table, Peake folded the bag as best as he could in case they wanted to save it, and afterwards went to kindle the fireplace, bringing his frown with him, hoping the heat from the fire would melt it away.