Fierya hated to admit it but the speed at which Auria ordered all the necessary things for them both amazed her, which meant it had taken very little time to make it back to the front of the market.  However, it seemed that there was one last stop to make before this little trip was over, but no one was taking the first step to get there.  Landon and Auria were whispering quickly and quietly much to Fierya’s enjoyment it looked like Auria was on the loosing end of the discussion, but before she could guess why, Landon started talking to the other guard.

“Since you covered for me when I got caught up at the back of the market,” here he paused while Chrestop smiled widely, “let me return the favor.  The ladies would like to look in at the jewelers before we return and the four of us will be a tight squeeze why don’t you relax here and then when we all go back neither of us will feel cheated.”

Chrestop agreed and went quickly away from the group which now headed toward a small shop with windows filled with interesting and ornate items.  Once inside the shop the cramped feeling dissolved away leaving behind an open room filled with glass display cases which caused the space to seem as if it was floating.  Immediately a small bejeweled woman rushed out form behind the counter.  “Your highness, what are you doing here,” the woman asked in hushed tones.  “We, we did not know, we were given no message.”

Auria raised her hand to quiet the now frantic woman before speaking, “No notice was sent ahead of me Shreeann you need not worry.  I came quietly in order to not be noticed.”  Here Auria paused to give the small woman time to realize that there were others in the room.  “We,” she gestured to Fierya, “have need of a few things.”

“Of course you do, forgive my thoughtlessness your highness, I’ll bring Edwin out.”

“Is that what you two were arguing about?  What to do when she recognized Auria.  Well why are we flirting with such danger, according to the window this is nothing more than a pretty bits and bobs stand.”

“Fierya, we are here to find your focus.”  Auria said from across the room already peering into a display case.

“What here could possibly help me focus, Auria?”

Landon tried to smother his laugh and failed.  “No, Fierya it will become a focus not give you focus.”  He turned towards the other girl and sighed loudly, “Auria get over here you can search later.”  She looked back reluctantly at the counter but walked over to the small group anyway.  “This is my focus,” Landon said as he held his hand out, “It is a stone that for some reason, which I do not understand, amplifies my abilities.  It is also a sign of my power and rank.”

Auria smiled an apology as she too held out her hand to Fierya.  Fierya while confused was still able to register how finally crafted these items were.  The stone on Landon’s hand was a swirl of greens and browns and had a heavy and solid look to it, but Auria’s stone was delicate and looked almost like trapped smoke.  “They are very different from each other.”  She reached out to touch Auria’s ring fascinated by the design which appeared to be in constant motion.  Auria jerked back as Fierya touched the ring and shouted in surprise, “No you mustn’t!” But she already had Auria in hand.  Fierya looked up to see them both exchange worried glances.  “I wasn’t going to hurt the ring I just wanted to look at the design better,” Fierya said in hurt tones as she released Auria’s hand.

“You touched it?”  The question fell from Landon’s mouth like lead.  “Fierya can you touch mine?”

Auria was wringing her hands and looked terrified but Fierya ignored her and took up Landon’s hand turning the ring this way and that in the light.  “Is that your family crest on the side?  Auria had no such markings on her’s.” Fierya finally asked as she let go of his hand.

“No it is a mark of my rank.”

That was all that could be said as Shreeann returned with Edwin, a broad-shouldered bespectacled man.  “Auria what a pleasant surprise for us both I think.  I hope you don’t mind but I caught word from a rather important bird that you might be in need of something worthy of a ball.”  With a flourish he procured a small box which when opened sparkled in the light.

“They’re gorgeous Edwin I’ll be sure to wear them thank you.”  With those words Auria ran forward and hugged both man and woman who helped her put on the new earrings.

“Landon I trust all is well even if they are confusing,” Edwin said looking at Fierya.  Landon turned a shade of red that was very unbecoming as he tried to avoid the non-question, “Why yes things could not be better Edwin, yourself.”

“Interested at the moment quite interested,” was the man’s only response.

It was at that moment that Fierya decided that she was tired of this and of this man way of turning all comments in to barbed questions.  “I am uninterested in buying a trinket to use when I have a talisman of my own.”  The words had the desired effect as every one of them stopped what they were doing; however, they all then turned to face her.  At first she was as shocked as the others not knowing where she would have gotten that idea, and then she felt the warmth at her breast and relaxed.

Edwin regained his composure first and gesturing grandly at the rude girl and spoke, “My I see this talisman?  You see a beloved piece of jewelry is far from the talisman which you shall require if you are to be among these two.”  He smiled wanly as Fierya reached around her neck pulling on a long gold chain.

Fierya was as curious as every one else as in all the confusion of her first days here she had neglected to examine the necklace like she had first intended.  The chain ended below the breast in a pendent.  The pendent was shaped like a teardrop and was the color of a sunset with a woven knot carved into the center.  Fierya was lost in her emotions, a gift like this was irreplaceable and priceless and without meaning to immediately wondered at how her mother could have possessed something such as this, but only said “It was passed down to me from my mother and foster-mother.”  Auria inhaled sharply when she saw it sure of its import, but not of its meaning.

“I…I’m, I am so sorry miss I had no idea,” Edwin stumbled as he tried to think.  “Of course that is a talisman I would never dream of suggesting otherwise, however it is not in a setting perhaps we can have one made for you by the ball.  I shall call on your father Auria and seek his advice on this, I think, and you shall finally have a use for the setting I made for you years ago if I understand what is to take place at this ball.”  He smiled and winked trying to lighten the mood which had fallen on them all.  “I do have a small ring with a fire ruby in it, as I assume that you may want to keep this one as a pendent, in wearing the ring you can still appear to keep to the traditions of the day.”  Edwin eyes were wide as he took up a bit of leather to fold the stone in before taking the necklace Fierya offered him at arm’s length.

Fierya did not understand the attention now being placed on an object which she knew nothing about, but she changed her mind immediately about the man.  “I would like that very much.”

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