Three days had passed since Kalarae's meeting with the thief, and she found herself as bored as ever. The flowers that had been run over had returned to their original states, and the gardeners had completed their work for the night. The young princess held her needlework in her lap; hands idle as she stared out the window. A slight movement in the distance caught her eye. Two figures were surreptitiously creeping towards her window. They needn't have bothered with the secrecy, she thought blandly to herself, as she saw them dodge behind obstacles. The guard didn't bother entering the gardens. She watched as the older of the two hid himself and sent the other one forward. She recognized him as the one who had attempted to enter the castle by his gait, a thief in training, she supposed, with the man in hiding as his trainer. They were quite good, she supposed. If she weren't aware of every movement in her vicinity, she would have missed them. She wondered vacantly why he was given bad instructions, a good thief would be aware of the guard's routes, perhaps it was some bizarre training technique that she disturbed. The thief had reached her window by now, so she stood up and stared down at him. She wondered what he must think at the sight of a noble. She was aware that those of 'pure' blood did not normally associate, or help, those of 'lesser blood.' And she was obviously a noble. Her hair had been done, a phenomenon that never ceased to amaze her, as none other than her tutors saw her, or at least none other were supposed to. An embroidered dress and corset cinched her slender waist, the cost of which could most likely provide shelter for a homeless family for many months. Her dark blue eyes focused on the boy below her, and she stepped back in surprise. Now in the light, she could clearly see his face, and the gold eyes that stared back at her. She shook her head lightly. It is just a coincidence.
Daemon idly wondered how she could move in all those layers of clothes, though her finery was proof that she was truly a noble. He was not sure why she had helped him. She hadn't appeared surprised, though, by his arrival, the thief noted. Though something about him startled her. Oh well, them 'ladies' are always scared of something. Those ladies. Damn grammar.
"Good day," Kalarae greeted politely. "Next time you run through the flower beds," she waved her hand at the gardens surrounding them. "Try not to leave such obvious trails. I am not sure if the gardeners noticed, but it is always a possibility, and for a thief, I wouldn't think it prudent to leave evidence of your being here."
It took Daemon a moment to figure out what she had said, and upon concluding she meant, 'don't walk on the flowers,' he merely said, "ok."
The princess took a moment to adjust to the use of common language, something she had never experienced before, and found it as confusing as her own vocabulary was to the thief. She spoke again, hoping he understood what she was saying. "As much as I am intrigued by your arrival, I assume it has much to do with the presence of your master, who is currently hiding in the trees behind you. May I inquire as to why he is concealed?"
The boy replied with a literate, "um," as Treyen walked from the grove of trees and brambles.
The master thief bowed low to the figure gracing the window. "I am amazed by your observations, milady. I apologize for the crudeness of my words, for I am but a mere peasant, who graces your sight."
She tapped her fingers lightly on the sill, betraying her slight annoyance with his flattery. "Ah yes, a mere peasant. A merchant extraordinaire, I presume?"
Treyen's lips quirked slightly, showing his amusement at her bland humor. "The best in the land."
A full smile graced the princess's face, something that rarely happened and both thieves felt compelled to smile back.
"I would invite you in, but I find it rather hard as I lack a door that you can get to, and the widow is hideously small for you to squeeze through. I believe it is to prevent thieves. As it is, I am curious as to your motivation for visiting me. A great trader visiting a mere lady? It intrigues me."
Daemon spoke up, practically begging. "Can you talk normally? Please?"
Kalarae cocked her head to the side and looked at him thoughtfully. "The way I speak is normal to me, but I will attempt to imitate your speech."
The young thief looked relieved, and hastily said "thank you" when Treyen kicked him lightly in the ankle.
"As to why we are here, milady, I was curious as to why you helped my young compatriot. It is rare for a privileged lady such as yourself to lend aid to one who follows our profession, or to anyone who finds themselves with less money than your esteemed self has."
Kalarae chuckled lightly. "There are few who cross this stretch of land. I was bored perhaps. I am aware of the cruelty of those of my class, and I attempt to be kinder. I must admit, however, that 'my esteemed self' is hardly the qualification for wealthy, if so, no one would escape the prejudices of the nobles, including themselves." She waved off their confusion, without clarifying her statements. "I would ask a favor."
The quick change of topics disgruntled Treyen. He shifted feet nervously and watched her warily. "What is your request?"
"I wish to leave these grounds for a bit. I wish to go with you, just for tonight, and see what the world is like beyond these walls."
Daemon gaped at her. "You've never left the castle?"
Kalarae blinked. "I have never left my rooms. Do you agree to my request?"
Treyen warred with himself, knowing the punishment for kidnapping a noble, which is what would be assumed if they were caught, and pity for the young girl. His compassionate side won out. "Only for tonight though, mind you."
The princess gave a slight smile. "Thank you. Give me one moment and I will be out." The thief nodded, assuming she would leave somehow through her door. Instead, a moment later, a young maid appeared at the window. It took the thieves a moment to realize that the servant was really a disguised noble. She had taken her hair down and tied it in a loose bun at the back of her neck. A simple uniform adorned her body, where she had gotten it remained unanswered. Without saying a word Kalarae stepped onto the chair, and out the window.
Her body had looked slim in the corset, but without the layers of fabric concealing her, the young girl looked dangerously thin.
Daemon stared a second before bursting out, "Do you ever eat!"
The princess looked down at herself before shrugging. "Rarely."
"Milady, I realize it is fashion for women to be slender, but is it not detrimental to your health?"
The look that the small girl sent Treyen made him want to berate himself for foolishness.
"I am sure that my malnutrition is a factor in my small height." She gestured towards Daemon who towered above her, though similar in age. "I am thin because the Lady Ariet deems it a suitable punishment."
"You never leave your rooms," Daemon exclaimed. "What trouble can you get into!" The passionate boy was loud in his accusations, and Kalarae sent him a look warning of danger.
"If I forget something in my lessons of course," she replied nonchalantly. "A mistake gives me a day of hunger. I fear that I am not the most capable lady at needlepoint. We must leave, however, before we attract the attention of the guards. As dense as they are, they do notice people shouting after awhile."
The princess followed the two thieves towards the city, marveling in every step.