Someone barged past her, knocking her shoulder, and then another person came from the other direction and shoved her out their way with an arm, yelling his prices for the sticks of meat he was selling.

The air around the crowd was choking, full of people, there was no break in the walls around her. Sage regained her footing, and dodged out of the way of one person only to bump into another, who shoved her into another. There was no escape from the constant pushing and shoving, and she felt like she was drowning, she could barely see the sky above her.

Desperation welled up in her, and she started shoving back, her thin arms barely having any force behind them, but people began to move, and she found a space, then another, made a third, and pushed her way through. She had lost which way she had come in from, or which was the fastest way out, all she could do was pick a direction and step by step, make her way there, and pray that the crowd didn’t turn her around.

There was a surge of people, a current that erupted out of no where and pushed against her. She struggled against it, trying to go through it rather than with it, and was swept across half the plaza before she broke free, and fell into the stationery crowd again. Step by step.

The paved cobbles changed in size, and Sage knew that she was now on the main road. The clattering of wheels told her where the centre of the road was, and she battered her way through, the sudden edge of the crowd catching her off guard, and she almost fell out in front of a carriage.

Snatching back her cloak, she turned, and ran down the side of the road, heaving crowd on one side, speeding carriages on the other. Wavering between the two, careful to not let either of them pull her in, she fixed her eyes on the gate at the end. The huge gates that marked the entrance to the city. A hundred feet away, fifty, twenty.

Forcing herself to slow and pass through the gate at a normal pace, she was assaulted by a horses tail, before the thick walls passed overhead, and then she was free.

Space, open space all around her. The sky, the fields, and long road winding down ahead, it all spoke of volumes and volumes of simple space.

Sage let her shoulder drop all of their tension, and turned her face up to the sky. She could breathe again out here, and took in deep lungfuls of air, letting all of the tension out of her.

Never again was she going into the city. Never again.

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