The streets of the city were paved with smoothed-out cobblestones. What had once been round and bulbous rocks were now ground down so that they were smooth and even. A wagon might have rolled across them without disturbing the goods or people inside too much. Again Cerys admired the workmanship; whatever craftsmen this city had been built by, they had certainly put a lot of effort into everything in this place. She was almost tempted to wonder whether other parts of the barony were as nicely made. This city was on the outskirts of the barony, so perhaps the other cities were even nicer than this one.
What did that mean for the Barony of Carawick, with their walls of wood and streets that were usually no more than dirt? She was curious and eager to find out more about this place.
It turned out that there were two taverns in the village, as well as a separate inn. When the party tried to pull out their other papers, Himeko reminded them that it would not be wise to stand in the city streets while they were trying to figure out where they should go.
“It would be like being a tourist in another country,” she told them. “If you look like you’re confused, you are more prone to being taken advantage of.”
Although nobody wanted to end up in the wrong tavern, she made sense. They popped into the nearest tavern and sat down to at least have some drinks and get off their feet while they looked over what they were supposed to do.
“What do James’s instructions say?” Cerys asked as her brother shuffled through the papers.
“It just says to go to the village tavern. It doesn’t say that there is more than one,” he said.
“Is one of the taverns newer?” Himeko suggested.
“I guess we could wait here for a little while,” Cerys told her friends. “James mentioned the our guide should be meeting us in the tavern, and this just might be the one he’s in. Let’s relax and look around to see if we can find him. If not, we can go to the other tavern and take a look.”
The barmaid took a few minutes to get to them. It was already deep into lunch-time, and the place was very busy. She did her best to convince them to order the tavern-master’s special brew of ale, but after enough insistence, she accepted that they were going to be having tea. They would have all ordered water if they had been able to get away with it, but she did not seem very interested and bringing them anything plain.