Yik was difficult to rouse in the morning, having eaten more than his fair share the night before. He yawned and stretched as Vortran drank a second cup of coffee. The real stuff seemed far more effective, and the plan seemed a lot more feasible after a good meal and rest. Saha was waiting for both of them outside and straightened their respective outfits.

“For the record I feel sleezy playing into this.” Vortran muttered, loosening the scarf just a little. She didn’t care for anything being wrapped around her neck.

“It is for the greater good, my friend.” Yik said. Vortran started to question the “friend” part of his statement, but realised he was getting into character.

“Let’s get this business done with.” She did her best to muster a pleasant expression and partially succeeded.

“Alright, we’re walking, follow my lead and we’ll be feasting good news this evening.” Saha moved at a quick pace, making it difficult for Vortran to keep up.

“Can we go a little slower? I’m a trip hazard here.” Vortran asked after a few minutes of dodging knees. Saha slowed down just enough.

“My apologies, I didn’t even think about that. We should make conversation anyways, it’ll look more natural.” She spoke just loud enough to be heard, but not attract attention.

“I can’t think of anything I want to talk about right now.” Vortran said.

“I would like more sweets with dinner tonight.” Yik said at the same time.

“You’ve had enough sweets for a lifetime, Yikikik. It’s like you haven’t eaten in forever.” Saha said, still moving forward.

“I do not eat as well when I am not working. There is nothing to spare for sweets.”

“All you’d have to do is give up on this foolish revenge plot of yours and come home, dear brother.”

Yik frowned but didn’t respond to this, and Saha started guiding them toward the edge of the crowds. Business was booming at the moment and she peered around for a moment before spotting a lone young man leaning against a fence and staring into a pen full of glowing creatures. Their shape was constantly changing and Vortran could see they were taking on traits of whoever was nearby as they galloped around the pen. As they approached the creatures grew long tails and sharp teeth sprouted out of their mouths. The man turned as they approached and smiled a little.

“Hello, Miss Saha, how are you? And Master Yikikik, I haven’t seen you in ages.”

“Hello Matthers, I see you’re doing alright.”

“I’ve been better, but I got half a compliment the other day from my father. If I can round up a good sale maybe he’ll give me the other half.” He cast a casual glance at Vortran, “And I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure of meeting.”

“Vortran, s’pleasure.” Vortran held out a clawed hand to shake and Matther’s shook it firmly, without comment.

“Half a compliment, though?” Saha asked, leaning against the fence next to him.

“Landed a couple to buy some critter my brother got, but they wouldn’t pay until delivery. Stubborn old cheapskates. Of course my father blames me for that. They offered a nice price though… Ah well. How are your wheelings and dealings?”

“Mmm… I’m doing well enough for myself. In fact, I’ve got so much on my plate I’m having to hand off some when I can. Usually the bits I don’t care for anyway.” She glanced at Vortran and Yik. Yik was focusing on the creatures in the pen and Vortran was pretending to.

“Anything you can toss my way? I could use that other half-compliment.”

“Mmm…” She looked at the others more pointedly, “Tell you what, let’s discuss that over brunch.”

“That sounds like a deal to me.”


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