The Subura’s plebeians claimed the smell of Eurysaces’ freshly baked bread made the sun rise, Apollo himself eager to savour the baker’s new loaves. Indeed, Eurysaces—aware of this local legend and eager to please the deity—made a ritual of leaving one of his new loaves on his bakery’s doorstep every morning as an offering to the god. Granted, he wasn’t entirely sure Apollo took it, but it always vanished, nonetheless.
Marcus Scribonius Furius stood upon the rostra, gazing upon the crowd as they gathered before him in the Forum. His bald pate burned in the midday sun, brow tickling as sweat gathered on his face and soaked into his toga. Not that the heat is uniquely responsible for my perspiring so heavily, he thought as his nervous gaze flicked back and forth between the nefarious individuals which lurked on the periphery of the crowd.
He recognised them as street enforcers of the Hostilii clan. He bit his lip. How could he not recognise them? Their notoriety proceeded them by miles since they’d so brutally and so brazenly butchered Laelius, And the deeds since attributed to their leader, Hostilius; would they not shame even Orcus and his issue?
Felix licked his lips and rubbed his earlobe as the stranger unwrapped the gladius. Its blade gleamed even in the darkness of the alleyway, as did the bull’s head motif on the pommel.
“Do you like it?” asked Felix. His eyes widened as he tried to compensate for the gloom of the alleyway, but for nought. All he could see of the stranger—silhouetted by what light crept into the alley—was a bald head, a beard, and a cloak.