Nachtni was seen as the center, the definitive place to be for anything seen as unsavory or crooked. Its citizens, much like the entire city itself, were often considered lowly and deemed fit to live only amongst their own seedy kind. In truth, it was a place full of turmoil, deceit, and individuals who cut deals faster than they cut rope. The noble house of the de Saville family was no exception to the rules of Nachtni. Though the family was of a lesser descent, that stigma didn't stop them from trying to make a larger name for themselves. If that meant striking up trades with shady fellows or dealing with known backstabbers, then so be it. Despite being the oldest of the children, Tristan hadn't much cared for the way his father had done business with others. The de Saville family owned a large chunk of land even with their lesser background, but Vincent de Saville was determined to own more of Nachtni... All of it, if he could. That sort of ambition required close friends and closer enemies. And that was the way of city of the Night Goddess. A way Tristan had lived for all his life. He didn't always mind it, but there were some things he didn't enjoy. In that very moment, the thing he would have rather avoided was the monthly slave auction. There wasn't any reason for it to be monthly, but the nobles of Nachtni ran their slaves into the ground more often than not, requiring more as time went by. The de Savilles had surprisingly few slaves, but as their son grew older and closer to the Chosen age, Vincent had decided Tristan would get his own personal slave. Tristan heard the old driver smack the aging horse, spurring the animal into a faster trot. The carriage lurched, and Tristan's younger sister stomped her foot in irritation. For being only eleven years old, she already had a penchant for voicing her opinion, wanted or not. "Mother, can't we just get a new horse? This old one is too fat and he doesn't go very fast." "Now, now, Vivienne. I'm sure we'll find a strong horse at the auction today," Evelyn said smoothly, reaching to stroke her daughter's sleek, dark hair. "Tristan, your old beast has run its course. Perhaps we might find something for you as well?" Tristan flicked his head to the side to see his mother giving him a critical eye. Her oldest son had a habit of returning biting remarks to her, though his father said he was developing a businessman's tongue. Tristan didn't believe either of those things, but to keep his mother happy, he only replied, "Yes, Mother." He watched her beam, though the action held hints of being nothing more than a fake expression. He turned back to the shuddering window as their driver pulled up to the outskirts of the town center. The area was wide and circular, made so it would hold numerous amounts of people and equipment for any event. The showing stage was already set and there were buyers lined up left and right. No slaves had been put on display yet, but it was only a matter of time before some showed up. Tristan's family exited their carriage, though he thought about asking to stay inside away from the chilly breezes. It wasn't a fine day for any sort of event, but the auction would go on. It rarely stopped for anything. Tristan's other sibling, the lovely Octavia, was fixing a few loose strands in her braid, as if she expected to be inspected by anyone else. Tristan only tightened the scarf around his neck. It was a ratty piece of dark fabric, and Evelyn had tried several times to get rid of it, but if Tristan was going to hold onto one thing from his innocence, it was that. "Welcome, citizens of Nachtni!" The announcer was the same man as always: a lanky snake of a human being who delighted in dealing with human lives on a daily basis. "As your humble leader of this auction, I thank you for your patience. One of our... goods might have damaged themselves on the trip, but I assure you that whoever purchases him will pay a discounted amount!" Tristan saw his father roll his eyes, and he knew that the head of the de Saville family wouldn't even glance at that slave. Vincent only purchased the strongest looking slaves, and he never settled for anything less. "Girls, why don't we take a look at some of the horses? I'm sure you'll both find something fine to suit you." Evelyn carted the two girls away, because at least she had the sense to spare her daughters from the auction. It was never pretty.