• Closed • Two birds

Elyna and Levina scour the Docks - what could possibly go wrong?

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Elyna
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6th Trial of Ashan in the arc 716
So far Ashan had been a disaster. First, she had attempted to end a hopeless courtship and failed. She still wasn’t sure how the meeting with Vaughn had gone so wrong and it was frustrating. Her mind kept returning to the house, the younger son and his family. She scowled into the morning light. Waves lapped against the dock, the general hustle and bustle of the day was underway and the smell of fish was in everything. There was no escaping it. Dressed in her standard clothes of breeches, a shirt and a long leather coat, Elyna was perched on a set of stone steps overlooking the bay. Her legs dangled beneath her, swinging in the breeze.

She scanned the workers and the guards, more importantly the guards. That had been the second piece of bad news. She’d heard stories of a corrupt guard, and so she watched, and she waited. The Skyrider had taken up residency on her stoop several hours before and her eyes were growing tired. She lifted a knee and set her chin against it, wondering what the time was.

Two birds, one stone. Perhaps Levinia would object to her choice of meeting place, but she doubted her friend would voice it too strongly, she hoped. She paused in her watching to scan the swelling crowds for a distinctive head of white hair and smiled to herself. Not that Levinia could be seen in most crowds with her diminutive stature. They had arranged to meet today, to catch up, explore the market place because Elyna had a rare day off. Maybe the choice of location would cause her friend suspicion, maybe Levina would see straight through her attempt to work and spend time with good company, all at once. Elyna pulled her bottom lip in, chewing it. She hoped her friend wouldn’t be too cross and tell her off for working on a rest day, again.

Her mind had wandered. The Skyrider sat up with a sigh, stretching her arms above her head. Aching shoulders gave a satisfying click. She hadn’t spotted anything, not yet.
word count: 369
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Levinia
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Levinia had not heard from Elyna in a while, ever since the other young woman had increased her training. So when she did receive a message to meet she was more than happy to do so. Elyna’s choice of meeting places, however, made her dubious of her friend’s intentions. Still, she wanted to see what the brunette was up to and if that meant a hike to the docks then by all means that was what she would do.

Biscuit was sunning himself by the window and was intently looking down at the street traffic. “Is it a particularly busy day, Biscuit?” She asked but the cat did not answer his focus was intent on something. Instead, she moved over to the window and glanced down to find her own answer. It was busy and if she knew the docks well enough, she knew it would be best to wear breeches.

Her hair, she placed in a tight braid less the white wisps call too much attention. She could not help this, unless she dyed her hair but that would damage her hair too much and the dye was not good for a person’s body. Levinia had treated many women that dyed their hair and fell ill because of the dyes and she would not go through that. White hair was what the gods had given her and that’s what she would wear. She did it cover it, however, in a bandana to hide most of the brightness though it was not difficult to note the color.

Walking to the docks wasn’t an easy thing to do. She was short and used that to her advantage as she meandered through the crowds as lithe as a pickpocket. Someone did grab her ass at some point but that went with the territory and that person disappeared in the crowd before she could admonish them.

By the time she made it to the meeting point Levinia’s cheeks were red with annoyance as she scanned the area for her friend. Hopefully, Elyna would spot her because at the moment she had no idea where the other woman was. “Always hiding that one.” Levinia muttered under her breath and tried to get used to the fish smell. She knew it would be all over her when she got home and although Biscuit would love the smell she would not.
word count: 409
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Elyna
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It was the bandanna she spotted first; then the wisps of escape white hair. With a genuine smile, Elyna swung down from her perch and joined the crowd, moving through diagonally until she could catch up with Levinia. But her friend moved fast it it took a few attempts to lunge after her, before she finally managed to tap her fingers on the woman's shoulder, "Levi!" she called out. She stumbled over the leg in her way, apologized to the man she'd walked into and spun to face her companion.

Her friend didn't look pleased and Elyna's smile only grew, "thank you for joining me, did you have anything to eat this morning, there is a bakery just around the corner..." she gestured to one of the side streets before her friend could get a word in. Hopefully, her enthusiasm would allay any suspicions. Levinia look flushed, or perhaps irritated was a better word.

"Isn't it a beautiful day?" She prompted hopefully. The sun was cresting the horizon and sparkled on the water. Ship masts and ropes creaked in the drifting wind. Diversion was probably best, lure her friend into being less miffed, then maybe explain her alternative motive for choosing the docks. The Skyrider pushed her hands into her pockets.
word count: 224
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Levinia
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Bad moods were just not Levinia’s forte and she couldn’t stay angry as her eyes cast themselves upon her friend’s pretty face. Levinia sighed and then laughed especially since Skyriders were supposed to be less clumsy. “It's good to see you, Ely.” She hugged the other woman, squeezing her with delight for a few moments before releasing her and looking out towards the bakery. Levinia wrinkled her nose, her stomach didn’t feel like eating. At the moment it felt sore from the stench of fish. “I’m alright, I’ll join you if you’re hungry but I’m not at the moment.”

She looked up at the sky, shielding her hand from the sun before nodding and agreeing with Elyna, “Yes, quite a lovely day, perhaps too lovely for the docks.” Levinia lowered her hand and shook her head, “Oh, Ely, why did you pick this place to meet?” She placed her hands on her hips and tossed her long white braid behind her shoulder. Blue eyes inspected her friend’s face as she tried to read it.

Finally, Levinia sighed, standing akimbo as she put on her most sensible of faces, “What have you gotten yourself into, Miss Skyrider? I know you, you have something up your sleeve.” She suddenly gave a jump and a clap of her hands. “An adventure!” Levinia giggled with excitement, “And you’ve invited me? Yes, please!!” She laughed then covered her mouth, her face flushing in embarrassment, “Oh sorry, I’m drawing too much attention.” The white haired girl lowered her voice, “So what is it? What is so important that we meet here?”

Levinia suddenly caught herself. Wait. She was supposed to be the sensible one and she paused. “This isn’t dangerous is it?” Once again her fists hit her hips, and Levinia found herself concerned, “You’re not in trouble are you, Ely? Not again!”
word count: 329
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Elyna welcomed the hug, wrapping her arms around her friend until their embrace broke, “and you, as always.” Maybe it was Levinia’s hair, or something from deeper within, but she was a bright spot on even the dullest days. In her worst, darkest moments of despair Elyna had been forced to acknowledge that she couldn’t have gotten through without a friend. A good friend. She wondered, not for the first time if Levinia knew the extent to which her friendship had helped heal a broken heart? A life line back to the world.

She couldn’t help but grin as she led the way towards the bakery, “well, the docks are busy so we’ll have plenty to watch. And we can see what cargo’s are coming in and so what might be a good price in the market tomorrow,” they were tenuous reasons and she knew it. Levinia saw through her answers quickly enough and she struggled not to laugh at her friends excitement. She was also relieved that Levinia wasn’t going to scold her for working; she too was caught up with the ‘mission’ minor as it were. Then the sheet of sensibility fell over the wide-eyed features and Elyna lifted her gaze to the sky, “of course I’m not in trouble,” she frowned “and I’m not in trouble all that often,” she defended herself.
“I just…” she glanced around them before setting off, directing Levinia to the side of the bakery, stepping off the main street to speak to her in a quiet tone.

“I heard that there might be a guard taking bribes…I just want to watch and little. See if anything looks interesting. It won’t be dangerous,” she crossed her fingers hopefully behind her back. She should never have said that and cursed them, the Skyrider flinched; “what I mean, is that we’ll just be spending a day down here, wandering, watching…I havn’t seen you in so long, and you’ve got good eyes Levi, you might see something I don’t- but if you wanted to go somewhere else we can? We could go to the market? Or Warricks’ Watch for a quieter day?”

Elynd didn’t want to force her friend into anything she didn’t want to do. It was supposed to be their day together after all. She had very few friendships left and she intended to cherish the ones she had. However, she suspected her blue-eyed friend’s curiosity would win out.
word count: 433
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Levinia
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Levinia was shocked at the revelation. A guard taking bribes was a serious offense, but why would Elyna be investigating that? Surely there were more experienced and qualified people to do that? Then it struck her. Of course Ely would want to get involved and be the first to crack the case. Levinia could understand her friend’s eagerness to learn and to prove herself. Being a novice herself, she would have tried all she could to stretch those mental muscles and to over reach and achieve and grow.

“No.” Levinia gave in and tugged at her snow white braid. “I’ll do this with you.” The smell of the bakery quickly quashed the awful smell of the fish; and now it filled her senses and sent her mouth watering. She took in a deep breath of the smell of fresh bread and sweets and her stomach rumbled.

“You’ll have to buy a pastry though!” The small white haired woman laughed, her blue eyes lighting up with mirth. “I mean I can’t investigate on an empty stomach now can I?” She tugged at Elyna’s hand and made her way inside the bakery which was filled with customers. Apparently it was a very good bakery and the smell was so much stronger inside. It was also warm as the ovens heated up the area. Baskets of breads were displayed behind a round faced woman who was busy taking orders.

Levinia queued up and bounced on her feet. “You can tell me later when we’re alone, but for now, I think I’ll have something with honey in it. Yes, sticky and sweet.” She turned and smiled at her friend, “What would you like?”
word count: 294
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Elyna
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Elyna was relieved when her friend agreed and allowed herself to be pulled forward into the bakery. It was the warmth from the ovens that hit her first and then the overwhelming sweetness of fresh bread. Her stomach rolled then tightened, hungry. She also realised then how could she’d been, sat overlooking the dock for half the night and shivered as the heat washed over her. She stole her hand back and wrung her fingers together, trying to loosen them up, “I think I can treat us to some honey rolls?” She questioned her friend and settled in at the back of the line.

“I think they’re simple enough and still sweet for that tooth of yours,” she smiled again and rolled her shoulders. Feeling, in the contrasting bakery, the chill that had settled into her spine. She shuddered, the last thing she wanted to do, was catch a cold or something.

They waited for a few moments, shuffling forward in the fast moving queue before Elyna placed their order and added a hot sweet tea for herself and a drink of Levinia if she wanted. The buns passed over she collected the flagon and they wove back through the crowd and out into the street. The smell of mint and honey in her tea was a welcome aroma and she inhaled it before taking a tentative sip. She wanted to be warm, inside and out before going back to work.

“Thank you for doing this with me,” she glanced at her friend, “how is work? How’s business going?” Bun in one hand, flagon in the other she alternated between the sweet sticky bread and the hot drink. Remembering her manners though and not speaking with her mouthful.
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Levinia
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With the honey cake and a rich dark tea with no sugar, Levinia munched happily outside next to Ely. She watched the foot traffic and a couple of onlookers that were more attracted to the pair of pretty girls than to anything they were eating. Levinia kept a weary eye out as she listened to Ely, then swallowed and responded, "Business is growing, I'm getting new patients and happily keeping the ones that I have made." She moved a strand of white hair from her field of vision and was careful to avoid getting honey on it.

It didn't take her long to devour the delicious pastry and she washed it down with the warm tea. "Thanks for the treat." Levinia faced her friend and then unlady like began to lick her fingers free from the sticky honey. She did not even blush at her transgression and if her mother was around she would have admonished her daughter quickly. The woman was no where around and Levinia did not care who saw her doing that. "Of course if you want to send me some work my way, I'll give you a commission for it? Or, I dunno, supply you with some meds, my Well Woman tea is really good for that special time." She giggled at the discomfort every woman seemed to suffer but her tea was one of he best since it was a recipe passed down from doctor to doctor in her family.

Finally, she wiped what was left on her breeches, she would have to wash them later for sure, but at least her hands weren't sticky anymore. "Okay, so tell me what's going on?" Levinia turned to Ely and spoke in a hushed tone. For all anyone knew they were two young women discussing men or the latest fashions. "Who are we going to spy on and from where? And are we going to take notes? No.." Levinia adjusted the bandana on her head, "...that would only call attention to ourselves."
word count: 348
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Elyna
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If Levina noticed that they received more than their fair share of curious looks, Elyna was either completely oblivious or ignored them completely, she nodded glad to hear that her friend was doing well. She worried for the healer, particularly that if anything truly went wrong that her friend wouldn’t ask for assistance. There was a stubborn streak of pride and a spine of steal behind the pretty face and pixie-like appearance.

“A treat in exchange for company? You are forever welcome,” she grinned and finished her own, forcing what was left into her mouth in one go. Left with a sticky hand she frowned and eventually wiped her fingers on her leather jerkin. It was easier to clean than wool or linen anyway and already covered in various stains and scratches.

“Commission me?” Elyna’s grin turned wicked, “you’re suggesting I ‘find’ you folk with bruises and the occasional broken bone? Levinia,” she teased, pretending to be shocked “I can’t just attack strangers to keep you in business; there are rules.”

Jesting aside she turned to survey the docks once more, “him,” she said slowly, “I don’t like him,” she nodded her head towards a man walking quickly along the boards. He wasn’t wearing a hood but the long collar of his coat was pulled up to his ears and he was hunched, gaze darting from person to person as he made his way. Elyna tilted her head, “no notes,” she murmured and set off, strolling in the same direction as the furtive stranger traveled.

“If this doesn’t work out,” she chattered to her friend, “then there’s nowhere in particular, just anything that seems out of place…” she forced her tone into a lightness. Just two young women, talking and walking. She took a sip of hot tea, reminding herself to return the flagon once finished. She paused and looked over the water as the man looked back suddenly, scouring the crowd behind him.

The Skyrider didn’t know what had caused the feeling of unease, but something had caught her attention.

“Can you still see him?” She took another slow sip, “it’s such a beautiful day…”
word count: 375
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Levinia
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Levinia laughed at Elyna's response and shook her head, "That's not what I'm saying." She let the fit of giggles pass before taking a deep breath, "I meant if any of your fellow Skyriders get hurt. You know, that's fine..." Levinia patted her shoulder and followed her field of vision. She tried to spot the man that she was talking about and found him. He did seem all sorts of shady and she wondered briefly how he intended to maintain secrecy when walking around looking quite guilty.

"Hmmm." Levinia nodded, "I don't like him either." She turned her eyes back on her friend and wondered if perhaps they were being a bit too obvious by standing there staring at the man. So the young little healer smiled and through grit teeth offered, "Let us pretend we're talking about um...boots! Yes, the latest style which neither of us can afford." She looked down at her own worn and dirty pair and frowned, "Well I can't take these dancing." Levinia laughed and drew her eyes up.

"What?" She said, her voice rising slightly in panic. "Did we loose him already?" Levinia tried hard not too look as if she was looking and it was pretty comical. She pretended she to be enjoying the sunshine and spotted the shady character. "Oh I found him." Levinia motioned with her head and eyes, "Over there, can you see him?" This was a lot harder than she thought it would be and a sudden bubble of panic welled up in her chest. What if they get caught? What if the man attacked them? What if they were walking right into a trap?
word count: 292
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