Monday, February 11, 2013

Part 13

When we returned to the apartments, Caleb approached Jo with a tight jaw. He had been all smiles with me, but now I saw how worried he was. The two of them talked for a moment in low voices. I could not hear them, but I could only guess that they were discussing our appointment later in the day with the king's advisor.
     I stepped forward. "If I'm to be involved in something, I would like to be informed of what's going on."
     "Lena, I don't think you should be involved in this," Caleb said, turning to me. "There's just too much that can go wrong."
     "Aren't I more of an asset than a hindrance? Isn't that why you brought me here in the first place?"
     Although I'd been talking to Caleb, Jo responded, "Well, we were planning to train you a bit first, and to educate you in the complexities of the problem we're facing, so you wouldn't be completely helpless. You might have a silver tongue, but you can't talk your way out of everything if you don't know what's going on." He sighed. "And now you've gone and given a false name to the  king's advisor. Well, we can't go back now. Go with Caleb and get your story straight before you meet with the advisor."
      I nodded and turned away. Before Caleb and I were out of the room, Jo added, "And tonight I want you to start your training. Caleb will be your tutor for the politics of the situation. Dom will be in charge of physical training. And Arthur will be your third teacher. You will find you need some skills from now on that you've never had use for before. You will need to know how to hide in a crowd, how to follow someone without being seen, how to slip a poison in a man's drink without his ever noticing. Arthur will teach you these. I don't want you out on your own before all three of your teachers deem you adequate in these skills. We can't risk having you in the city when every listening ear belongs to the head of a spy."

Friday, February 8, 2013

Part 12

After our respite, Caleb and I continued on through the city. We were going to go straight to the open market to purchase fabrics, but decided to duck into a bakery for some bread in case we were still being watched. 
The bread was deliciously warm and crunchy, and I took bites of it from a paper bag as Caleb and I once again joined the throng of people headed towards the market. 
Apparently, market-day was a pretty big deal here. It was every saturday, and some vendors even traveled for two whole days to sell their wares here. 

It was incredible. My jaw dropped as soon as I entered the market. The colors, the smells. Although my stomach was full of bread, I couldn't help but crave the pastries nearest to me. 

Caleb laughed as I immediately handed over two coins for a large cranberry-filled bread-thing. 

"Careful, Lena", he said with a smile, "There's a lot more to see".