"As I recall Ashelia, this was your idea to begin with. The moment the man mentioned this 'Chalice of Incarna' you took the job and rushed home to pack your bags, shouting something about 'the find of a lifetime'." For someone supposedly too dignified to use them the old king was surprisingly adept at working air quotes into his speech. "Need I also remind you that there is a very good chance this is a fake? Your employer is doubtful enough of it's authenticity that he isn't even sending one of his own servants to verify it. What does that tell you?"
"Stuff a stocking in it Vendrick. If it is real it really will be the find of a lifetime!" Ashe countered, with a gleam in her eye. "No-one has found another one of Incarna's artifacts in the last hundred years. If it's the real deal, history will be one step closer to solving the Riddle of Iskander!" Her excitement was cut short however, for just as she was about to exit the alleyway Ashe had to jump back to avoid getting swept up in a sudden mob of people rushing past. She watched slack-jawed as the mob swept up some poor girl standing in the middle of the street and shanghaied her into a dance routine.
"Do you see that? See what I mean?" Ashe exclaimed, whirling to face Vendrick with one arm pointing accusingly at the retreating crowd. "These people are insane!"
"Excuse me, dear? Is everything alright?" The voice came from a concerned looking housewife leaning out of a second-story window just above.
"Oh! Um, yes, everything's fine! My apologies!" She replied nervously, bowing at the waist before continuing on out of the alley in a hurry. Vendrick, for his part, simply pinched the bridge of his ghostly nose between his thumb and forefinger, shaking his head in amusement.
"Ashelia, you must pay more attention to your surroundings. Did you forget again that I am invisible to most mortals?"
"Stockings. Stuff them." After coming to a stop in front of a certain shop, a quick glance at the scribbled upon paper brought a furrow to the girl's brow. "Vendrick, we're in the right place aren't we?"
He leaned over her shoulder. "Inasmuch as this poor excuse for a map is concerned, yes. This appears to be the correct building."
"Then why does the sign read 'Madame Laurel's Fine Taxidermy, send your treasured friends to get stuffed...'" Ashe could feel her face burning bright red as the realization hit her. "Oh."
"It appears your friend at the tavern was perhaps a bit upset that you didn't respond appropriately to his subtle hints that you provide a, ah, 'suitable service' for his 'big tip'."
Flush with embarrassment, Ashe pulled her hood even further forward and sat dejectedly on a nearby bench, pulling her knees up against her chest. "I hate this town."
The ghost king patted her comfortingly on the shoulder. "Worry not. The people in this region are very friendly on the whole. It shan't be too hard to find proper directions."
"I should hope so. Almost anything would be better than this." Crumpling up the offending scrap of paper, Ashe flung it angrily into the street to be trampled by a horse. Knowing her luck however, it was no surprise when the wind took hold and saved it at the last second, causing it to fly and hit some passerby in the face.
Ashe sighed. "Fantastic."
Last edited by Kamsa on 12th July 2015, 2:00 am; edited 2 times in total