Episode 14: A Day at the Market
The morning sun bathed the marketplace in light. Already in these early hours people gathered here to begin the usual bartering. Trades, bargains and special offers were made all the time. My shop? Full of people browsing the suits and dresses I had made. The past few days have been busy to say the least. Many have been very interesting as well. Not long ago a captured general of the Lightbringers was brought to the royal guard. Surely the war would be over before we knew it!
As the day went by and the customers were mostly interested in having lunch I walked outside the shop. A pair of merchants had stopped right in front and began conversing, while I arranged a vest on a wooden stand. “I heard a rumor about the court wizard. They say he died in the high seas battling the Lightbringers”, said one of the merchants. “I’ve heard about it, they say the ship they were in was torn to pieces. I guess even mages with that kind of power can fail sometimes. I wonder what the king will do…”, said the other as they grabbed their belongings and moved on. I was in shock. Poor Kaiden had been travelling with that mage, Balthazar. Guilt overcame me, as I thought I might have sent the boy to his death. In the end he knew the risks. As I thought about all this another thing came to mind. The robes I have been working on for so long were done, but now I had no one to give them to. In a manner of minutes the entire marketplace was abuzz with the news. One of the royal guard approached and I felt the need to ask, “Good sir, do you know what happened?”. The guard seemed every bit as shocked as I, but he confirmed it, “The rumors are true. At least the part about their ship. Scryers reported to the king that they could no longer see Balthazar and his troupe. There could be other reasons why they couldn’t see him, but many agree that it is only a matter of time until the Lightbringers come to attack”.
The guard’s statement was unsettling. Here I had hoped that the war would not reach Lyre. In my despair I barely heard someone call out my name, and then again, “Gallian! It is so good to see you again!”, I finally recognized the voice, it was Kaiden. “My boy! How is it possible? By now the court seers thought everyone in your group dead!”, I was pleasantly surprised. “Miriam and I were able to escape the battle. We can’t be sure about the others but we thought we should inform the royal guard”, Kaiden looked determined. “Lady Miriam, what about you? How do you fare?”, she is very young, surely this has taken a toll on her. “Gallian, we were not properly introduced last time we saw each other. I am Miriam and hail from Clearwater. Thank you for your concern, I think I’ll be fine for now, but I do need some rest”, she responded. For such a young lady she was pretty tough. She must’ve had a good upbringing. I told her to go into the shop and that I would prepare an area so that they could stay and rest. I would weave a pair of temporary beds for these two. While I showed Miriam my shop I caught a glimpse of Kaiden speaking to one of the guards, when he returned he told me he reported the news that Balthazar and Ilyana might still be alive. He has learned much is such a short time from that mage. It is no surprise though, Balthazar was chosen by the king to be the court mage.