As the two heroes left Markarth, a woman in robes ran up to them them- not-so-subtly dropping a key in front of them by stopping and pulling the key out of a pocket before dropping- and then continued on running away.
Mierfa raised an eyebrow, “Friend of yours?”
“Nope,” Ayano shook his head, then went to pick up the key. There was an ID tag attached (Luckily? Intentionally?) to the Key itself, directing whomever had it to the Solitude Shrines. “I guess someone wants us to go to Solitude.”
“Should we though?” Mierfa asked.
“Might as well- we’re closer to it than Whiterun right now.”
One long carriage ride through the jungle later- the two had reached Solitude’s carriage station- at a farm not too far from the gates.
“By the way,” Mierfa began as they walked up the road to the main gate, “that guy, Ulfirc, you were in the cart with back in Helgen?”
“Eh?” Ayano took a second to remember, “yeah? What about him?”
“He killed the High King here in Solitude. Right in his own home,” she explained. “So try not to bring it up while we’re here, people might get upset with you.”
“And you’re telling me this, why?” Ayano had to ask.
“Remember how you just became Thane of Markarth?” She asked, and then continued on, “I’m the Thane of Solitude.”
“You’re the what now?” He stopped in his tracks- “Wait- where in Oblivion did this happen?”
“Years ago,” She shrugged, “Mostly my dad’s influence, really. It’s mostly an honorary title, so you can become Thane of as many holds that don’t have the position filled.”
“Markarth and Whiterun,” Ayano muttered to himself.
“But still, if someone of your Hold asks you for a job, you’re pretty much required to do it. The only reason I was hanging around down in Helgen was cause I was taking the long way back from taking the High King’s old horn to a Shrine near Whiterun as an offering from his wife.” Mierfa explained, “A bit of a string of unfortunate events, really.”
As she said this, they passed through the main gates just as the headsman’s ax fell on the poor unfortunate soul’s neck.
“Woah!” Mierfa did a double take. “I was not expecting that!”
Ayano simply rubbed at the back of his own neck in sympathy. “Yeah…me either…”
“JUSTICE HAS PREVAILED!!” An Imperial guard shouted to the air. “Justice for allowing the High King’s murderer to escape has been Delivered!”
Some of the citizens in the crowd cheered- most stared on in silence- and only a few booed.
“Some justice…” Ayano muttered. “Beheading someone is just plain murder.”
“Yeah,” Mierfa nodded agreement, “it is.”