While Landon would make good on any wish of the King’s this one had him at a loss, but it had been done none the less.  Six non uniform guards were set up to walk a parameter around a four person group.  The group would be consisting of two girls and two uniformed guards, one would be him and one would be young and new to the castle but capable and trustworthy.  As soon as the two girls appeared he walked forward to introduce himself.  “My name is Landon, and I am a member of the Vesper guard.  There will be nothing to fear at the market so do not worry.”  Then he looked up.  These were not the maids they had appeared to be, but the Princess and a girl with the King’s eyes.

“I couldn’t worry with you here to protect me Landon,” giggled Auria.

Very quickly all the extra and seemingly tedious directions made sense.  “How did you talk your father into this,” Landon said as he looked from side to side warily.

“It was his idea believe it or not,” she said trying to look hurt.  “Perhaps introductions are in order,” Auria said mischievously, “Landon, have you have not met my sister?”  She watched as his mouth fell open.  “Well since mums the word about Fierya, and well everything we had to leave the walls to get anything done.”

Landon tried to say anything but the word sister kept rolling around in his head.  “Talk about an understatement, all he said was that Haddie had caused a scene.  I can’t even imagine.”

Fierya who had been watching quietly finally interrupted the two smiling individuals slightly to her right.  “Perhaps we had better get on our way before you two start calling anymore attention to the fact that we are leaving.  I for one do not want to be locked back up in there before I have to be.”  Before she had finished Fierya walked forward leaving the other two no choice but to follow in her wake.

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The first half of the morning had been spent in unnecessary necessities as far as Fierya was concerned.  She had watched impatiently as Auria carefully inspected Rowan arrows fletched with blue-gray feathers.  Fierya could tell that her sister knew what she was doing in the selection though she doubted she had much actual experience.  Walking through the weapons shop sent Fierya back in her memories to the summers when all the Umbel girls went to training with the Canna where only a select few would remain, as long as their drive held out that was.  It was not immodest of her to say she had skill with most of the hand-held weapons but her personal favorite had always been the traditional athame of the seers, which could save as easily as kill.  Her head fell forward in despair thinking that it was not very likely she would be able to find that blade here among such obviously ostentatious weaponry.  However, as the group changed their direction from the Eastern outskirts towards the center of the market Fierya noticed a young girl working bellows as women tended the forage.  She could not help the swelling of tears that caught in her eyes as she hurried forward reaching out to the nearest woman in a leather apron.

“This is a place with deep roots is it not?”

The woman with the apron turned from her work looking slightly annoyed.  “And if it is,” tension rose out of every syllable.  Then she noticed the tears silently running down the girl’s face and changed her mind softening her tone.  “What have you need for girl child?”

“You make anthame here?”

The woman looked at her outstretched hand and then back at the girl’s eyes, “I do, but what need would you have of one,” she asked quietly as she guided her towards the small collection she kept in her shop.

Without hesitating Fierya went to one with a copper-colored blade and an alabaster handle and without looking back said, “Great need.”  The words surprised her as she turned the anthame over in her hand, but they felt right, “I will be traveling and this,” she said turning to face the shopkeeper handing her the blade hilt first, “will suit me best.”

The woman accepted the girl’s coins in a shaking hand sure that the she had been right to help the child but unsure about the girl herself.  For when she had tried to see what need the girl had the woman saw nothing, but the nothing was not blankness rather it was the pressure of so many things that nothing was clear.

“The essence be merciful,” she whispered trying to regain her composure as she watched the red-headed girl walk lightly back out into the sun.

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