The capitol drew ever closer as the road climbed the hill, with glimpses of the city visible through rises and turns. The towers of the castle stood apart from the squat, angular buildings of the commoners. Stephania sucked in her breath, taking in the scene. Already on her journey she had already seen more people than she thought had ever existed, but to imagine that many again, living in the same place...
She was traveling with a group merchants going to the city for the festivities, and so far, they had gotten her to buy a new pickaxe, a woven bead necklace, a pressed lily "unlike any other in the world," and whatever was getting dangled in her face this time.
"Freshest apples this side of Slenvin! Just three coppers, and this one can be yours."
She was convinced it was the same apple he had been trying to pawn off for the last couple days. "No, I'm really not-"
"What about salt beef for your travels? It lasts forever!"
"I've had quite enough of salted meat, thank you very much."
"Well, if you're not hungry, I have fine dresses for a lovely lady as yourself in the back of the cart, if you'd like to try one on..."
"I have brought my own."
"Ah, but was yours made by the fine tailors of the East? I think not!"
"Listen, I do not have much money with me, and I would rather spend it when we reach the city."
"I'm sure we can work something out, there's sure something in your pack you'd be willing to part with, if you're looking for some extra spending money."
"Not likely," she said, waving her hand dismissively. "So are you going to go to the festival?"
"Oh, no, we're just here on business. We can't celebrate when there's money to be made! What about you? Are you going to be feasting while the rest of us freeze on the streets, scratching for a couple coins?"
"Well, the king did say anyone was invited, and being that I am no merchant..."
"I see. In that case, do try to enjoy your stay, hobnobbing with the leaders of our fine country. Oh, and speaking of which, watch yourself out there. The merchant's voice dropped an octave. "I heard there may be some...underhanded dealings going on? Rival factions, unrest in the families, something out of us commoners' control. An ill wind, if you will."
"I have heard of such things," she said, unconsciously reaching for the axe at her belt, making sure it was still in place. "I doubt any would have quarrel with a simple lady of the woods, would they?"
The merchant shrugged. "These days, you never know! Enjoy the party, just stay out of anyone's way, that's all I have to say." With that, the merchant sidled to the rear of his cart and hopped aboard, barely breaking stride. Stephania eyed him cautiously, then moved around the nearest wagon, getting out of his line of sight.
Last edited by Davidizer13
on Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.