《The House of Wolves》[The House of Wolves] - Broken Mind

As soon as the chariot passed…Alder ran as fast as he could. He didn know where he was going, or even what he was really doing. He just ran to clear his head from the confusion that pestered him incessantly.

Along the way he stumbled over stray stones and crashed into members of the now dissipating crowd which had gathered to see the chariot. His torn up, rugged shoes which he had worn for the past three years squeaked as he ran, barely clinging to Alders feet.

”What is that little boy doing? ”

”Could he be a thief? Morris, where is my wallet? ”

”What an abnormal little brat. ”

”This inconsiderate little… ”

Alder heard all of these things as he worked his way frantically through the mass of people who to him were…frankly insignificant. Despite hearing what they were saying and catching glimpses of their disgusted faces, Alders mind was hardly processing any of it, he was too occupied on his own internal conflict to care about what they thought.

After all, why should he devote any attention to these people who were far too shortsighted and narrow-minded to see anything beyond peoples most basic traits and surface level impressions. There were much bigger matters he needed to resolve right now.

That being sad, Alder had no idea as to how that resolution would come about. The only thought he could muster right now was:

Why did sis lie to me? Why did she keep telling me that everything she talked about was fake? Why did she try to stop me from seeing the horses and the chariot? ”

These questions were the only thing Alder had preventing him from simply curling up into a ball. But yet, they didn drive him to find his sister. In fact…she was the last person Alder wanted to see right now. In this moment, even the thought of her made Alder feel immense loathing.

His beautiful, kind hearted, graceful sister who had done nothing but provide Alder with love and care. But now all Alder could associate with her was hatred. It was a childish hatred, one fueled by his current state of vulnerability…and in which to cope with that vulnerability he chose to pin his anguish onto his sister.

As Alder ran, he caught sight of parts of the city he never even knew existed. His whole life he had spent inside the camp area, thinking that small section could be equated to the whole of Corvachia. How narrow sighted he had been. It amazed him that he had spent eight years around the same general area, only ever wandering off a few blocks before his sister inevitably managed to find him and drag him back to their shed of a house.

There were indeed houses near the rugged place where Alder lived, but they too were rather unkempt and plain in nature…nothing at all like the chariot, the chariot which Alder couldn stop thinking about as he ran to the very ends of Corvachia.

Along the way he saw gates going past the city, and mountains, actual mountains lay in the distance with massive tunnels snaking through them. From these tunnels strange came long black streams of smoke. Among and around the bases of these mountains, there were boys and men of all ages delving into the tunels. Soot covered their faces and callouses were practically ingrained into their skin.

The sight was too scary for Alders liking, so he kept on running. But the next area he arrived at was just as dangerous. It was a massive market, far bigger than the one sis bought food from. And being exchanged around this market were all manner of things. Ranging from spices to weapons. But what perturbed Alder, were the alleyways feeding into the market. They were long and winding, but worst of all…strange noises came from these alleyways. Primarily screams. These noises were loud and jarring, and often preceded by a loud and sharp snap. Unnervingly, the people in the market, despite hearing these noises were unbothered, and acted as if nothing happened.

Alder ran away from this place too. Eventually, he found himself in a much nicer part of the city, with insurmountably tall buildings dotted across the area. Everywhere Alder looked, he was greeted with all sorts of new and astounding architecture. Mansions made of marble, towers of gold, every nook and cranny shined more than anything Alder had ever seen!

How far is me and siss home from this place? How come I never even knew that any of this existed? thought Alder to himself, once again filled with jealousy.

Alder wandered across the place for hours, admiring every little detail that went into the citys architecture. The gargantuan houses, the polished cobblestones, all of it enchanted Alder.

However, at the same time he was careful not to be seen. He didn know why he was so insistent on avoiding peoples gazes, after all he hadn cared anywhere else in the city. But here..things were different. It was hard to explain, but all Alder knew was that the people here were scary. Not scary like the sounds he had heard in the alleyway, but more so in that they just rubbed Alder the wrong way.

They had a cold, intimidating appearance to them…every one of them, like they were some sort of transcendent being walking down in their full, peculiar glory amongst the earth. Alder hated himself for running away anytime he saw a single person, but he fled all the same.

The fellows in this part of town, were exquisite. They wore lavish clothing and extravagant jewelry. Alder saw people with earrings so large he could fit his hand through them, dresses dotted with enchanting silver powders, he even saw people with peculiar animal masks.

They were so detached from what Alder knew as normal that he simply felt the urge to avoid them. Just like the chariot. It was like the abnormality whose hatred constituted so much of Corvachia…was embraced here. Alder had spent his whole life believing that he was living in a game in which the key to winning was hiding his eyes, and yet here there were people just as strange as he was.

It was jarring. It was a different sensation from seeing the chariot, because that was like the arrival of something foreign into his home. But this, these buildings and these people, unmistakably dwelled in Corvachia. All along, this place had been accessible to Alder, it had existed right before Alders very eyes…but he had ignored it.

It frustrated him to no end, so much so that Alder picked up his feet once again and kept on running. Eventually he arrived at a canal. He had seen it before, but it had never looked so pretty as it did here. On the other side of town, the water was dirty and sewage often clogged the canal. But on this side of the city, it was pristine, as if it had never even seen filth before in its life.

Alder was perplexed. How could the same canal, which ran across the whole city be so pretty here but so dirty everywhere else? In fact, it angered Alder. But that wasn why he had come to the edge of this canal, or why he stood leaning over its edge…looking into the cr