42nd Trial, Ymiden, Arc 718
Citizen's Market, Outer Perimeter
Citizen's Market, Outer Perimeter
He didn't remember the sale. Not after a season or two passed. There was no foreboding tingle that burrowed into his mind for arcs after; no fright or shock that scarred it in like depth. It wasn't as if the face was familiar, or afterwards people gasped and whispered about who it was that graced his stall.
If Evan remembered the man at all, it was that there was little to remember. If he remembered anymore, connected what few dots his recollection may have shaken loose, he might have realized that was very much the point.
"How much fer these?"
He turned to the voice, finishing up with a buyer for a quite lovely and recently sharpened short sword (one careful owner), and immediately looked down. The man was short and Evan supposed he might have been slim, if the masses of hair vomited out from his head didn't spoil the idea. He seemed more like a monkey that had learned to talk and walk and almost shave, then given up on the idea. He was holding up a pair of braces and the weapons merchant had to frown for a trill before he remembered what they were.
Just a trill, though. Even prided himself on know all of his goods. How best were you supposed to flog 'em, after all?
"Ah... yeah, couple of arm sheaths for throwing knives." His tone wasn't quite the patter he used with Mister Short Sword, but it was amenable enough. The little man was turning over the sheaths in small, hard hands. He rolled back his shirt and tried one on experimentally. "Yeah, like that. First strap goes around the wrist, other one-"
The man held up his forearm and Evan nodded, a little deflated at being cut off in mid-explanation. The length of woven leather and cord was snugly attached to the underside of the man's forearm, covering maybe two-thirds of it. Not to be outdone, he rummaged around for an example the man could slide into the harness, just so he'd know how to-
Then he turned back, and the man already had a blade in there. Resting in its new sheath as he twisted and flexed his arm, moving it up and down, judging how solid the weapon stayed. Evan was left a bystander in his own stall, grimacing gently while Know-It-All did just fine without him, thank you very much. After a moment the man made a satisfied little "hmm" sound and withdrew the knife. It vanished as if by magic into the folds under his coat, and Evan didn't evne think to ask why he was walking around with a throwing blade hidden on her person.
First Rule of Selling in the Oh'Pee, he reminded himself, fixing a genial smile on his face as the man turned back to him. Don't ask questions. Don't inquire. Just do your business and let them on their way.
"Give yeh three gold nels for 'em."
"Three?! More like three for each!"
The little man smiled, as if enjoying how Even betrayed his own less-than-noble lineage when his accept snapped back into place. The lanky arms merchant flicked a glance to his side and hurumphed, deep in his throat. Then he crossed his arms, like a barrier against the march of barbarism.
"Five. That's quality leather, sir, I think you'll agree."
"Scuffed in places, too. Three an' a half."
The little sod even spat on his hand, or made the noise to indicate as such. When Evan shook it - one pump, up and down, just like everyone in this city seemed to do - he didn't feel any moisture. The gold was produced from a purse that looked... healthy, if not excessive, and Evan wondered just how much more he could have got from him. But before he got the chance to up-sell, the man tossed him a quick salute and a half-smile, so fast it was barely visible under the beard, and then he'd turned into the crowd beyond the stall-
-which swallowed him like a pike would a minnow. Evan's jaw dropped and in the space of a blink, the diminutive little figure was broken up and hidden in his eyes, vanishing into the swarm of humanity. Evan sighed to himself and shook his head. A sale was nice, but repeat customers? They were the real motherlode.
"Um, sir? Vendor? Could I trouble you for a moment?"
A woman? Oh, splendid...
"Yes, madam!" He said, spinning on the balls of his feet and facing a fresh sale with a winning smile that could eclipse the suns. "Pleasure to assist you!"