For a moment, while everyone seemed to look at her after she had spoken, Lotye wasn’t sure what would happen next. Maybe her contribution wasn’t wanted or even needed. She had simply spoken up in a circle of people who all, or at least two of them, were of much higher social rank than her. Not knowing when to speak and when to keep silent actually was a problem she had had before, but never with people standing that high above her. But she could not simply do nothing with her freedom and fate at stake. She had to something, even if it just meant opening her mouth and giving her opinion, unwanted or not. For this long moment, she awaited a harsh reply.
But things worked out differently. Instead of being reprimanded, her idea was immediately seized and Thimble soon brought even more bandboxes than Lotye had already seen today. The other turn of events was the sudden departure of Aeto Arrowwise. Normally a lawyer could not disappear quickly enough for Lotye, all of them being money-grubbing, if sometimes very able and clever, bastards in her eyes. This time though, she felt more as if she was losing an ally on unknown territory. Even though she hadn’t known Aeto for much longer than the three men she was left with now, she had not been as intimidated by her presence as by theirs. Great, now I’m crying after a poodle. I really should pull myself together. A reassuring squeeze and the lawyer was gone and Lotye was on her own. First order of this new episode was to take a look at the content of the boxes.
The new mask she chose suited her. Following the Lord Magus’ advice, she picked one with lace. It was a dainty half-mask, covering only her face upwards of her cheeks and her nose. The whole mask was kept in a similar tone of blue as her bodice with a few white lines curved around her left eye like a garland of flowers. To complete the ensemble, there was a kind of blue lace veil hanging from the sides of the mask. All in all it was both subtle and not too swanky and at the same time elegant.
Lotye didn’t have much to carry as they went down to the dock. In fact, except for her papers, her lawyers card and her medallion, she only had what she wore on her body and even those clothes didn’t exactly belong to her. Being dependent on other people like this, especially if those people were rich and powerful enough not having to care about a single one of her problems, wasn’t really to her liking, but she wouldn’t complain. At least some badly needed new clothes were in it for me. Not that complaining would have achieved much, anyway.
The prospect of going back to where all her bad luck had started wasn’t very promising to her, but she had to agree that it was their best chance to follow the lead of her memory. If there was much of a lead left. Lotye wondered what Lord Nightwise was talking about “testing her recollection”, but there was neither time, nor place to think about it all too long. She would soon find out, anyway. The Prince himself held out his hand for her. Lotye was nearly flattered.
“Thanks”, she said, but didn’t take his hand. I guess he doesn’t know that I was jumping from boat to boat just a day ago, she thought as she made the big step forward on her own. Nevertheless, she was very happy to have chosen britches over a gown in this moment. That way, she was better prepared not just for making big steps and jumping, but also for running after, or from, someone, just in case. She took a seat on the other side of the boat and watched as the scenery began to drift by. From a position that low over the water, Sesus seemed even bigger, the great buildings even greater and the festival even more spectacular.