The Wisteria Market had existed ever since the year 502 AGS (After Great Split) and played an important role in the trade with other Kingdoms such as the Elven Kingdoms of Asterisk and Vinda and the Dwarven Kingdoms of Pomilia and Nanus. Most of the items acquired through the trade ended up in the Wisteria Market before being shipped over to the numerous cities Argio had under its thumb such as the second city Gremory and third city Shaka. The market was a crucial source of income for the nobles in Canpalla as well as possessing all the items they could want for their day to day lives.
Divided into four main sections, Wisteria offered a diverse selection of goods and services. Section one was for daily necessities as well as home goods and furniture. Everything from everyday needs such as packaged water, clothes, magic crystals, toilet paper, and many other items could be found in the area. The second section was dedicated to weapons, forging, and crafting. Whether it was to buy a weapon or have a skilled weaponsmith or craftsmen forge/make something, this was the place to go to.
The third section was completely dedicated to anything even remotely related to the attainment of knowledge, where a plethora of books, items, and even animals were being sold. According to some nobles, eating some animals would bring one luck and wisdom and as such a belief existed, it was sold at the market. The last section was labeled as a miscellaneous one, where just about anything not located in the last sections could be found. This section was the least organized out of the other ones but it also contained the best magic items found in Canpalla.
It was here, in the midst of the fourth section of Wisteria Market, that Koda and Vex were roaming, passing by store after store.
The group of four had arrived roughly a half hour ago and had set out to explore the Market. As the entirety of Wisteria was about 20km east to west and 30km north to south, they planned a meeting spot for the end of the day before splitting up. Aria headed north towards the first section with Julia in tow while Koda and Vex made their way over to the last section. At first what had seemed like an ordinary shopping trip had rapidly devolved into a sightseeing tour of Wisteria. Due to the vastness of the Market, mini Gates had been set up throughout that made traversing the Market much easier.
As the two young men walked down the street, passing by stores and occasional groups of nobles, Koda became lost in thought. To be frank, the white haired youth wasn't the least bit interested in shopping, but as he had promised to accompany his friends here and help them out, he had no room to say anything against it. Leaving now would seem like a really dick move and would probably earn him an hour long scolding from Julia about living up to and keeping ones promises.
"So, what are we here for then?" Koda asked as the two of them walked down the lane, dodging through numerous people carrying expensive looking items. "I assume you need me to carry things in my shadow? That IS why you brought me out here right?"
"Am I not allowed to take my friend shopping?" Vex asked innocently as his eyes shifted from store to store. Koda wasn't sure what he was searching for but he was almost certain that his childhood friend was on the lookout for something or someone. Though who would ever approach a royal, Koda hadn't the slightest idea. "I have some things to pick up and, while I will be needing you to store things in your shadow later, I just wanted to explore with you for a bit."
Koda had already sensed the lie the moment Vex had finished talking. He wasn't an idiot who would easily fall for such a cheap lie and he didn't believe that Vex thought he would easily buy it. From the beginning, Aria had acted too reserved despite being the most boisterous and tomboyish princess in existence. Vex, though usually calm, collected, and intelligent, was now being far too enthusiastic about a mere shopping trip. Even if that wasn't enough to tip him off that something was amiss, there were many other instances that gave it away.
When Aria had slipped something stealthily into Koda's pocket, he hadn't said anything because he hadn't really cared much. When Aria and Vex started acting uncharacteristically strange, he had just ignored it and attributed it to stress. However, after seeing how much Vex was gazing around the area, Koda was almost certain that something was going on that he wasn't aware of.
Still though, even with all this incriminating evidence, Koda didn't leave. Part of this was because he was immensely curious about what was going on. He wanted to know what had Aria and Vex so worried that they had to bring him along as insurance. He firmly believed that they had brought him along as a bodyguard.
The other reason that he stayed was because he trusted them. Growing up with them since he was only six years old, he had faith in the two of them and liked to believe that they knew what they were doing. If they had gotten themselves into some trouble, as someone who considered them family, then he would help even at the expense of his own life. He didn't have a hero complex but rather he simply loved his friends to the point where regarded them as his own siblings.
"Okay, so we're going shopping," Koda said as he unsheathed one of his daggers, the pitch black blade seeming to absorb the sunlight. He took a long look at the blade before once again sheathing it. "What do you want to look at first?"
"Well actually before we really start.....I have to go to the bathroom first." Vex grimaced apologetically as he held his stomach, stopping in his tracks. "I ate some oysters last night and I think my stomach has started hating me for it."
Koda laughed a little as this was something he did indeed find believable. Vex's stomach was as weak as paper, making it almost impossible for him to have spicy dishes and other types of foods without ending up on the toilet with the runs. "Want me to wait for you then? I can hang around for a bit if you'd like."
Vex shook his head as he hunched over, his legs squeezing together. He looked like he was fighting to keep it in as he turned around and bolted away. "Go ahead without me. I'll find you later so don't worry."
(("He really needs to watch what he eats")) Koda thought to himself as he watched Vex turn the corner and disappear from view. (("Poor guy. Even nearing 14 years, he still has that amazingly fragile stomach.))
Now that he was all alone, Koda found himself debating about what to do next. He couldn't leave because Vex was expecting him to stay somewhere close by, or at least close enough for the young prince to locate him. He had the choice of just staying put or simply wandering about the market until Vex returned, two simple options that both seemed a tad boring.
(("Hey Kuu. Go find Julia and make sure she's safe. Hide in her shadow like you usually do without alerting her to your presence.")) Koda sent his thoughts towards the red fox who was tucked away in the darkness of Koda's silhouette. (("I don't like being apart from her and would feel better if you were there watching her. Think you can do that buddy?"))
A low growl was the only response Koda received as a darker piece of the youths shadow tore itself off and began to rapidly move from shadow to shadow without even the tiniest noise. Some people noticed it but it would be long gone before anyone could even utter a sound.
"Now that that's off my mind, lets get back to being utterly bored." Koda smiled bitterly as he tucked his hands into his pockets and walked forward, moving down the lane at a casual speed.
The Wisteria Market was always bustling year round, though more so in the other three sections then the Miscellaneous section. The last section only had small groups wandering about every so often and didn't get nearly as much attention as the others. This wasn't a bad thing in Koda's opinion as less people meant much easier movement and less people to avoid.
He may have been sporting a new face, but limiting interactions with adult nobles was still on the top of his to-do list. Nothing angered him more then a cocky old noble who acted like everyone was far beneath him.
Even though he didn't like nobility, Koda didn't have much of a problem with younger nobles. The majority of the younger generation was still susceptible to molding and hadn't quite cemented the idea of the word "hierarchy" in their heads. In Koda's opinion, although still mostly bratty and privileged, the younger ones were far less annoying then the older ones who thought they were big sh*t.
"Peasants, commoners, nobles, royals. Aren't these just mere titles?"
A voice, a smooth tone that reminded Koda of a musical note, reached the young mans ears as he snapped back to reality. His bright green eyes shifting onto the one who had spoken, a young man with a rather odd black and white hairstyle and bright purple eyes leaning against the wall of a nearby building. He was slightly taller then Koda but he seemed to be around the same age.
"Tell me random stranger. What do you think about the system by which we are divided into?" The strange youth pushed off the wall and walked towards Koda, his smile slightly off putting.
Koda glanced around, looking left and right, just to make sure that this guy was talking to him. There wasn't anyone in the immediate vicinity so it became clear that it was him the words had been directed at. The question then became, why was this person speaking to him? And why had he even asked him, a total stranger, a question at all?
"Umm, I'm not sure I understand your question." Koda took his hands out of his pockets as the youth walked ever so closer. The odd hairstyle became more prominent the closer he got. "Are you asking what I think about royals and nobles?"
"Many people like to divide others based on wealth, status, blood, or race. In my own opinion, this is utter foolishness." The black and white haired youth stopped next to Koda, turning until he was shoulder to shoulder as he ignored the white haired youths question. "All I care about is having a decent fight. Nothing else matters as long as I can find a worthy opponent."
Koda, who had picked up an unspoken message contained in the boys dialogue, felt his hand twitch towards one of his daggers. He was starting to get a sense of danger from the boy though he couldn't sense any build up of magic so he didn't immediately pull put his weapons. "Okay, thats cool."
"You can call me Tayuya. Just out of curiosity, what type are you? Is it something strong like fire or light?" The odd youth named Tayuya smiled mischievously.
Koda opened his mouth to answer, but didn't even have time to get a word in before he was punched dead in the stomach. He remained stagnant for a split second before his entire body was rocketed across the city lane, slamming into one of the stores with loud BOOM.
"On second thought I dont wanna know." Tayuya said, electricity coursing along his arm and his eyes glowing a bright purple. "Either way the answer is the same. You're gonna fight me one way or another."
Join the discussion over on my discord and have some fun. Answering questions any time of the day........except when I'm sleeping
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