The Imposter King by Eli Hinze
AHSAN IGNORED THE EYES GLUED TO HIS BACK AS HE ENTERED town. The wealthy often attracted the gazes of those less fortunate, with their crimson-dyed robes and pleated tunics edged with beads, but he had tried to dress as plainly as possible. Yet somehow the crowds milling through the square and bazaar could pick him out, sights following him with curious intensity. No one had looked at him like this during his travels back to Sippar, and none of them could’ve known what lived within him. So, what drew their attention now? A band of men pressed into the square, some with sheathed swords slung over one shoulder, others with spears in hand. Fangs and shriveled, preserved eyes jangled from their necklaces as they traipsed through the crowds, not stopping to consider the people around them. Most bristled at monster hunters, but still everyone inclined their heads as the men passed through. Though a raucous lot, they got the job done— with ruthless, oftentimes cruel efficiency. A cold chill passed through Ahsan.