The Diffident Hero - Chapter 14, pt. 4

They passed the road in silence, all intently searching for any clue, Rich’s muttered directions their only indication that they were still on the right trail at all. Before long they found the buildings sitting closer together around them, and of lesser quality.

The streets were dirty, and the buildings dirtier, made of cheaper materials. Shadows lurked around many of the streets, mostly the smaller, darker ones. Most of the buildings were dark, too, but a raucous din and firelight marked several inns and taverns. Weariness urged Brandon to seek one of these out. The lurking shadows and a subtle sourness to his stomach warned him against it.