Eason walked past a shop filled with inventions and toys that Va’il had never seen before. Eason had business in the shopping center that occupied the second district. Va’il had to keep his mind on track while all the distractions in the shops beside him made their silent appeals. There was one thing in particular that made Va’il stop and stare. It was a spinning weather vane. The amazing part about the weather vane was that it was inside a glass ball; no wind was making it turn. By all counts, it looked like something that could only be spun by hand or wind, which made it even more confusing to the uneducated child.
“The metal is coated with slipstone. You’re probably too young to realize what this is. Did you want to get one as a present for your mother, boy? It will never stop spinning, for eternity.” The shop owner, a very old bearan, smiled happily at the young patron.
“Slipstone? Oh, um, no, I have to go right now. Bye.” Va’il stopped starting at the perpetually spinning device and ran off.
Eason had gotten a ways away from the boys, but he was still quite slow compared to an energetic child. Eason walked leisurely with a cane; time didn’t seem to matter to him. That was something the trio learned very quickly, as the travel time between each place Eason went to was extremely long. The second district was smaller than the third and fourth districts, but it was still too large to casually stroll through. Rising was a very large city where one could spend many hours or even days running or walking across.
Eason turned off the street into the estate of a majestic building. The boys had to look up to see the top; The October Hotel was one of the rare multiple-story buildings. It was five stories high and almost as wide as any top noble’s mansion. Marble pillars supported the roof of the entryway.
The boys followed after Eason as the heavy doors closed behind them. The lobby of the hotel was filled with art and couches. A few patrons were admiring a painting on the left. An old swine in an expensive suit was laid out on a couch to the right. Ahead was the reception desk. Two avian women with large smiles were behind the desk. At their left and right were two guards, human men with gruff expressions that matched their black suits. To the left and right of them were the stairs leading to the second level. Eason had ascended the stairs on the right and out of the vision of the boys.
“Hello, how can I help you?” The receptionist on the left smiled as the one on the right spoke.
“Which room did that man head to?” Va’il asked.
“Oh dear, who might you be, to be asking that?” the right receptionist said.
“Well, no one. But it’s important,” Va’il replied.
“Where are your parents?” the receptionist on the right asked, ignoring Va’il’s question. Kelin replied to the woman.
“I’m quite sure my father is deciding whether he should visit this cheap establishment tonight or not.” Kelin held his head high and refused to look either woman in the eye. The two guards, upon hearing his comment, walked up to the desk.
“What seems to be the problem, Gladis?” the guard on the right said.
Without letting the receptionist respond, Kelin quickly said, “No problem. Nothing at all, apparently. I’ll let my father know how rude the staff is here if they won’t even answer simple questions.”
“And just how could a bunch of kids covered in dirt,” the man on the left said, “and so obviously from the third or fourth district, know anyone of importance here in the largest, most expensive, and most luxurious of hotels in all the second district? In fact, why am I even bothering? Leave now. I’ll even help you out.” The man on the left grabbed Kelin’s left arm.
“Doufer, son of. Kelin. Did you not recognize the son of one of your officials?” Kelin spoke with an indifferent tone, and continued looking forward as he spoke. The man let go.
“Re… red? Sir! Sorry sir!” The two men bowed in unison. Their faces turned redder than Kelin’s hair once they realized who Kelin was.
“Oh dear! So you’re that child! I should have known,” the receptionist on the right said nervously; the one on the left continued smiling. “How can we make it up to you?”
“My friend asked a question earlier. It needs to be answered. Now,” Kelin said.
“Room six on the top level. The man is visiting a patron. Shall we announce your arrival?” the receptionist on the right asked.
“No. Roof access instead, and no escort. My father has business you do not need to know of, and must especially not speak of,” Kelin said.
The staff obliged very willingly. Each of the three boys was given pin with a golden ribbon to attach to their clothes. The avian woman told the boys how to reach the room, and watched cautiously as they boys ascended the stairs.
“Just how powerful is your father, Kelin?” Va’il asked.
“He is special. We are. Anyways, the October Hotel is closer to work than home. He is here often,” Kelin replied indifferently. Va’il and Pete decided to not ask further.
The roof of the hotel was flat. The boys walked to the edge and looked over the walls that kept them from falling. From there they could see most of Rising. The king’s castle, the huge estates that littered the first district, the markets of the third district, and the small houses that made up the majority of the fourth district were all visible. The sun was directly overhead and the sky was clear. Outside the city walls, farms and roads were visible for miles around.