The teenager walked for a good half hour towards the northern district of the city before finally reaching the markets. He realized he hadn’t eaten in almost four hours as his stomach rumbled and decided to stop for some pancakes and meat balls that a couple was selling at their stall. The fight and the walk had whetted his appetite more than he had thought, he was surprised at how good he felt as he devoured the food and quickly ended up with no more than crumbs. He had kept walking as he was eating and he found himself in an adjacent street packed with people, tourists and locals blended into one dense crowd strolling along the stalls. Thrista immediately knew he was in the right place, he slowed down and started to wander among the stall full of food, clothes, animals and diverse objects, magical or not that were exposed along the streets.
People were moving all around him, some walking quickly as if they were in a hurry to tend to urgent matters, others took their time to observe the contents of each stall before sometimes buying two or three products, but all were conscious of the menace of the small hands that discreetly relieved careless wanderers of their money and goods. There were always a few aghast cries when someone discovered he had been robbed, soon followed by short chases that almost always ended abruptly as the small thieves got away swiftly. The presence of the guards patrolling the streets of the city had greatly helped in diminishing the rate of thefts but the criminals were smart and always found a way to outsmart them, jumping in at the right moment and leaving without a sound in a single instant. Thrista knew of their exploits and had therefore put up a magical protection around himself, warning him if anyone tried to relieve him of his things. As he calmly walked down the street he noticed a merchant selling clothes and especially shoulder bags that seemed to be of good quality, he decided to stop by to take a look.
“Good’day mister! What may I do for you?” Greeted the storekeeper as he saw the teenager approach. He was tall and thin, almost skinny, with short brown hair and a small goatee, he seemed to be in his mid-thirties. Thrista smiled to him and asked about the bags.
“Well my boy, you are in luck! I have just received two new bags of a similar type to yours this morning! Take a look, here they are!” He announced as he motioned towards his stock of shoulder bags lying on the counter in front of him. He pointed towards two which were very similar to the one Thrista had with him. One was made of the same leather but of a darker shade and the other was made of tightly weaved fabric and had a pouch that could be refold over the zip. The second one was the one that seemed to be the best choice to the teenager as he took a moment to compare both to his own.
“The lighter one huh? I also think it would be the best choice for you, it would both be more useful and suit you better I believe…” Commented the merchant as he saw Thrista’s gaze focus on the fabric bag. “Plus it has been woven with dexterity and experience, it is a high quality material!”
“How much would I owe you for it?” Asked the teenager as he took out his pouch containing the small amount of money he had taken before leaving the tavern.
“It would be twelve dimes my boy.” Replied the tall man with a smile.
Thrista had been expecting this, the merchant was selling his bags to a high price. He had to admit the quality seemed very good but a hundred and twenty coins for a bag was much more than he had planned to pay. He was about to try to negotiate when he was cut short.
“But, if you are ready to dispose of your old bag I will give it to you for only half the price!” Said the merchant as Thrista saw that the man had understood what he had been thinking. “You know, even if it is worn out it is still a good piece and I am sure I could make some profit out of it, it I as you wish…”
“I’ll take it then!” Replied Thrista with a nod after taking a moment to think about it.
The dark-haired teen wouldn’t tell if the merchant was swindling him or if it was an honest proposal but the bag was secondary after all and it didn’t matter if the man could make a huge profit out of his old one, he just wanted to close the deal and get on his way. He took out the six silver coins he owed the man and, after carefully transferring the content of his old bag in the new one, gave it to the owner of the stall and wished him a good day. He put the new bag around his shoulder and started walking again. That was when someone bumped into him. He fell backwards and it took him a few seconds to understand what had happened.
In front of him a young woman with long blonde hair and darker skin, dressed in a simple tunic hidden under a cape and a hood, was already getting up to run again. During the moment where his eyes locked with hers he felt as if he had already seen the azure blue orbs somewhere but he wasn’t to remember where. As she quickly left he heard shouts ordering her to stop and running coming in his direction. A young man with short blond hair rushed past him, running as fast as the wind, and disappeared in the crowd following the trail of the woman. Thrista thought about using emporium to cast a spell and stop the young woman that he could still see getting farther away, but he was stopped by a hand grabbing his arm as he was about to open his mouth. The mana he had started to focus in his hand dissipated immediately.
“Don’t even think about it!” Another young woman, this time with middle length jet black hair, exclaimed as she looked directly at him, her green eyes dark with anger. He did not have time to reply as she resumed her pursuit almost immediately.
As he watched the trio quickly get away he couldn’t help but scoff and let a small smile spread on his face, taken by surprise twice in the same day and each time by a gorgeous woman. He was slipping, he had to focus more… He started walking again, putting his hands in his pockets as he tried to get what had just happened out of his mind and ignoring the surprised looks the passersby game him. That’s when he finally noticed the small object he was holding in his right hand, something he didn’t remember having put in his right pocket. He took it out and looked at it closely, it was a round piece of bronze marked with an orca jumping out of the water and topped by a crown of leaves. He turned it around and noticed the portrait of a young woman, she looked strangely like… That’s when he understood, the young woman on the coin and the one he had bumped into were the same person. A memory resurfaced as he was thinking that, a young girl, much younger than the one he had bumped into, with long golden hair going all the way down to her hips and dark skin, wearing a light blue dress. He remembered her thin hands and the diadem decorated with diamonds resting on her head. He saw the man with the already graying bear and the thin but majestic crown… Her father was smiling, the hall was huge, the young girl looked at him. He couldn’t believe what he was about to say when the name he hadn’t heard in so many years came back to him. Silena.