The fabrics displayed on the wooden counter of the market stand were marvelous. The rich colors seemed to be the only bright ones in darkness that shrouded this day. Rain had been pouring down ever since the sun had first managed to peer its rays through the thick layer of clouds. It had been ticking against the windows of the castle as soon as the inhabitants woke up. And now it was damping the cloths of all the people in the city.
Taking her hands off the clothing in front of her Mirajane adjusted the kerchief that covered her upper body in an attempt to protect her from the never ending flow of falling water. Being made of thick wool it succeeded fairly decent in its job. She shifted the kerchief again and then turned her attention back to the stand in front of her.
Normally she wouldn’t go out in this dreadful weather. She would let Roland, the head of staff in her household, take care of the shopping and only direct it from above. But this was a special occasion. In three days her husband would be coming home. He had been away from about four weeks now and to celebrate his return there would be a great banquet. For that she needed a new dress. The blue one she was wearing right now was nice, but plain. Too plain. It was solemnly for this reason that she had come to the city today.
“My lady,” a suffocated laugh came from her right. Mirajane casted a glance to the little girl next to her. The blond locks of the girl, which normally stood all spiky, seemed to be glued to her head and water dripped from her nose. Even though her miserable appearance she was wearing a broad smile which she quickly tried to hide behind her hand when she noticed Mirajane was looking to her.
“Is something the matter Penny?” Mirajane questioned her maid though she couldn’t help that a small smile swept over her lips too. Penny was still so naïve. The girl had been under Mirajane’s care since she had turned eight, the proper age to start schooling. Now she was eleven and still her ways were so childish. Next years she was going to get married, like all woman of status, like she had done, but she still had a long way to go before she was a proper lady.
Penny bowed her head slightly in respect, but again stifled a laugh. “Look to that man. What in the name of God is he wearing? Ow!” She looked up when Mirajane hit her on her head.
“Don’t speak the name of God so careless.”
“Yes, my lady.”
“And don’t stare. It is not proper.”
“Yes, my lady.”
The two turned back to the materials in front of them, but Mirajane couldn’t help casting a glance backwards to see the young man that had caused Penny to utter the name of God. How much she scolded Penny, sometimes she was just the same: curious, adventurous and she had to admit the boy looked weird. She shook her head slightly and turned away from the young man to focus on her duties. It would be no use to get all worked up about it. It was probably nothing anyway and even if it was it had nothing to do with her.
Then there was a tap on her shoulder. Instinctively she backed away a bit before looking up with surprised eyes. She stared into the face of the strange young man. Even Penny was taken aback by the sudden approach and the rude interference. This was unheard of. A normal man who tapped a noble woman on her shoulder and asked her a casual question? Quickly Mirajane regained her composure. Maybe he was a foreigner and he didn’t know how things rolled here.
“Well I cannot speak about a specific place, but I am quite sure you can find some fine inns in this city if you take your time looking around.” She said with a small nod. Politeness was the key. “As for our current location; you are in the city of Glasgow.”
She looked the young man over as he stood there shivering in the rain. Although he must from about her age with his strange clothes and confused look he reminded her of a little kid. Suddenly her motherly instincts took over and she loosened her kerchief and took it off. This revealed a long blond braid that rested on her back. With a swing she laid the kerchief around the boy’s shoulders. “Here, this will keep you dry or…” A small smile crept over her lips, “perhaps a little less wet.”