She stood proud almost unworldly with the sword belt on her hips.  The sun warmed her profile in golden fire that licked her face.  Landon stood awed on his feet torn between throwing himself at her feet and just throwing himself at her, but the vision was rudely jerked from his sight as Auria entered the picture.

“Where has everyone gotten to, I” she stopped mid sentence and swallowed.  The Essence be merciful this girl was more than she had ever had to deal with.  “That isn’t a scabbard,” Auria said calmly trying to not get angry.  She turned to the young guard who seemed confused and on the verge of hysteria.  “Is it?  I mean I don’t even think that would cover the blade itself.”  There that was as much of an attempt at not hurting Fierya’s feeling as she was willing to give, did she not realize what she was doing.

“No, dear girl, that is a belt, built for function and just a little show,” the brawny man in the leather apron said as his eyes glinted in the light.  He noticed as Auria turned an unfavorable eye his way and stopped.

“You are here to get a scabbard, not something like that.”  Against her better judgment Auria had allowed some of her contempt to leak out, but the look it left across Fierya’s face made her cringe inside.

“What do I care what I am supposed to get,” Fierya said bitterly.

Auria could stand it no longer, “Because you are under the banner of the King what would he think, what would anyone think who saw you this way.”

“I know not, and care less.”

The words sounded like she ground them out rather than having spoken them which startled the man, but he still moved forward.  “Miss the belt was made with the purest of intent,” he said as he glanced at the girl who had just made him a very nice offer on some one of a kind work, “but you had better not be angering the King, child,” he said to the girl with red hair.

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It was gorgeous and finely wrought made from some of the softest leather she had ever felt.  The sheath was rich orange that blushed crimson at the edges with a design worked in crush velvet to match the butter yellow of the interior.  She would have found it beautiful if it hadn’t been forced upon her.  Fierya walked with her head down sulking over the life she hadn’t asked for, the education she didn’t really want, and the rules made by men in power as they finally made their way to the next stall.

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