The girls choose from among many things to eat roasted chestnuts and cinnamonbread for breakfast. They ate sitting on a bench while watching a man breath fire and a woman making her pet wolfs howl in a way that made it sound like music.
Lysenea watched eyes wide with excitement as she wondered where she could get wolfs like those. Rylla smiled and gave both people a few cooper coins as they moved on.
As they moved around in the streets a hundred different smells and sights met their noses and eyes. The smells of sweet or strong spices from Rekosh the sandy land of a traveling people with their many coloured clothes sunbrowned skin and beads of glass in their hair. Or The almost intoxicating fruity smells of wines from Lesha where the forest grew dark and full of animals that seemed supernatural to most. Where the elegant and fair people lived in cities in the treetops bound together by bridges of sparkling silver thread. It was said that they grew their fruits by the light of the stars and that was why it tasted better, than any other wines. When anyone from out of Lesha tried to grow fruit for wine in moonlight, it failed though.
And the sights…there were so many wonderful things to look at, Here a girl sold mirrors made of gold inlaid with sparkling diamonds. There a man sold never-withering flowers to put in your hair. They even smelled like roses or a hundred other kinds of flowers.
There was a woman dressed all in purple silk with veils and all. She cried out in a voice gentle as spring rain, about the miniature dragons with eyes like gems she sold. They never grew any bigger, than the palm of a child’s hand.
In one place, two people riding enormous cats smacked at each other with blunted swords in a parody of a fight between knights.
“Those are the people of Bekara…they are so much like cats…they even sharpen their teeth…look,” Rylla said pointing towards the two as the woman gracefully dropped down from her giant black cat and slowly with dangerous ease walked over to where a the man lay on the ground. She was smiling slightly, which clearly showed of her pointed teeth. The man had fallen of his own orange yellow-eyed cat.
The black haired silver-eyed woman held the tip of her sword to his throat. “You are dead brother,” she proclaimed in a dark voice, making the little crowd around them cheer, before she laughed, pulling the red haired man with the golden eyes up by the hand.
“They look more like their cats, than they look alike,” Lysenea commented head tilted and eyes sparkling with confusion.
“Well we do not look very much alike either and I am as sure that we are kin, as I am sure prince Orias has red hair,” Rylla said laughing lightly.
“It is true that my hair is red, and that she is your sister. Besides, in Bekara you do not have to be bound by blood to be brothers or sisters. In their underground cities, everyone is family…a very beautiful way of thinking actually,” a boy suddenly said.
Startled Lysenea spun around to face the speaker and came face to face with the prince of Dusiren.
His hair really was red…red as autumn leafs. And his eyes were blue as the morning sky on a clear winter day. He had a kind yet proud look to him as he there wrapped in a forest green cloak to keep the chill of early autumn off him.
Lysenea quickly removed her gaze and curtseyed.
“Good day your Grace,” she said a bit shyly. He laughed a little and put a hand on her head. “It’s okay to look at me I won’t eat you,” he said before walking on to give Rylla a hug, placing his slender hands on her hips but soon thinking better of it and putting them on her shoulders instead.
“Hello,” Rylla said her voice almost no louder, than a whisper and her cheeks flaring blood red.
“Well I just…I just saw you around and wanted to greet you I should actually be going….the advisors are waiting for me. Also thank you for singing with me last night,” he said before turning his heel and walking in the direction of the castle.
“Boring old advisor,” Rylla mumbled running a hand through her hair. “Yes yes yes, boring old moles, now come on, I want to have my fortune told,” Lysenea said grabbing her stunned sister’s hand and pulling her with her to a tent.
Why was Rylla with the prince yesterday though? Lysenea was almost completely sure there had not been a feast. If there had either she or her parents would have been brought up to pour wine or serve food.
She did not ask her sister, what had happened though, some things she deserved to keep private. Instead, she pulled Rylla into the sweet smelling tent filled with purple and blue smoke. On a thick carpet in the middle of the tent sat a woman staring into a misty crystalball her magenta eyes clouded with thought. As she broke contact with the orb, she looked up at Lysenea and smiled knowingly.
“I knew you would both come,” she said voice flavoured with the accents of Rekosh.
She rose from the floor the beads in her hair clicking softly against each other, and grabbed the two sisters, before pulling them onto the carpet to sit.
“You are here for a reading of the spirit realm I presume?” she asked head tilted, eyes drilling holes into their skulls as if she was trying to figure out everything that was hidden behind their eyes.
Rylla sent Lysenea a sceptic gaze. “Are you sure this is a good idea Lys? I mean it always end up bad in the stories,” she said blinking owlishly and coughing at the smoke.
“You read too much sister of mine, now let us just have a bit of fun please,” Lysenea said laughing at her sister fear.
“Yes we wish to know our futures,” she said trying to uphold the serious mask and not laugh.
“The spirit world is no laughing matter child,” she whispered hoarsely before yelling something in Rekoshi to someone in the bag of the tent.
Soon a skinny short girl with hair all the way to her ankles hurried to them carrying a bag made of leather.
She silently handed the woman the bag before staring Lysenea dead in the eye.
“I shall be here when your evening turns red. Come for me then and I shall lead you to those who will be your sisters,” with those words she turned around and went deeper into the tent, her blood patchwork cloak whispering against the ground.
“That is my daughter, Sanya,” the woman told the confused siblings as she emptied the bag onto the ground revealing animal bones.
“I shall be starting with you little snow queen,” she said staring at Rylla who quickly broke eye contact and stared at the bones in equal parts wonder and horror.
The fortuneteller breathed in the purple and blue steam and said a few words in a high sing song voice. Suddenly her eyes went glassy and her hands started moving the bones around as if guided by invisible beings.
When it stopped, she fell forward and breathed heavily.
Then she got up and looked at the bones lost in thought once more. “Oh fair lady, my poor poor child. I am so deeply sorry. Your evening shall be redder, than anyone else’s . The light you carry shall be blown out just as it has been lit. You will lose so much. Yet you shall also gain. Gain sisters by the hundreds. You shall not be able to see, for a veil will cover your eyes,” she said.
“What is the meaning of these words?” Rylla asked blank eyed her cheeks pale and bloodless.
“Oh come on Rylla, we all know it’s just for show. Besides, the veil covering your eyes might mean you get married,” Lysenea tried to cheer up her very confused sister. The woman said nothing about the correct or falseness of her statement though.
“Now grey child, the turn has come to you,” she said instead and caught Lysenea’s eyes.
Lysenea stared back at her, determined to not break eye contact. She needed to prove herself to this woman, though did not know why.
The woman’s lips curled upwards slightly forming a smirk, before she once again breathed deeply of the smoke in the tent and her mind seemed to wonder to the spirit world.
When she came back, she looked at the bones chocked.
“You are going to end so many songs child,” she whispered. “So many candle flames will be blown out by your breath. Your quest shall be fuelled by the want for vengeance, though the road there shall not be an easy one. Now children you must go. When the evening turns red Sanya shall be waiting for you here,” she said waving them out of the tent.