Moving through the crowded streets was rather like swimming along a river. There was a flow to it, even if it did abruptly change directions or come to a complete stop, and if you could stick to it you'd be just fine. It was when you suddenly hit a rock, or in this case a lost tourist with their eyes on the scenery and not the road, that things got dicey. Keeping an eye out for such lost ones was paramount, ewhich made it quite difficult to consult the guide on upcoming events. Markus discovered that the hard way when he nearly tripped over a Halfling gawking at a scantily clad foxgirl from his decisively indecent perspective, and he quickly decided it was time to step to the side, up onto a raised step and away from the cobblestones, to fully read his list.
For starters there was the play the next evening. That might be interesting, he'd always had a liking for viewing stage pieces. Something to think about, at any rate. Then there was the speed dating event the following day, which he truthfully had no interest in. How could anyone, he wondered, have any faith in it working? It would be impossible to fully know and connect with someone after only a brief meeting. Kryssa would pout when he told her about that, but that was just something he'd deal with later. And after that was... "Oh!"
he said aloud as he read the entry for the Tournament. A chance to test himself going toe to toe with what would hopefully be some of the nation's best combatants. Now THAT was an event he could get behind. When was the last time he'd really felt challenged to the degree this promised?
Almost on cue, out of the corner of his eye Markus caught a flash of white moving around through the nearby crowd. Further inspection showed that it belonged to a young lady of his own age, and that it was her hair. "Right,"
he said to himself, "It was those times, wasn't it?
Minerva Fairchild. A young noblewoman the same age as himself who, like the rest of her family, made a business of hunting down magical criminals. They'd encountered one another on two occasions, both times crossing paths in pursuit of a shared target. The first had been a notorious wizard who had murdered a family in the Corvis family's province, thus setting Markus on his tail. They'd flatly told one another to stay out of the way, but when neither budged they simply continued working. Alas, the Fairchild woman had won that day; by the time he'd discovered the wizard's hideout she'd already had the man restrained. The second time had been chasing a thief wielding a mystical artifact. That time, they'd decided to openly make a competition out of it; Markus had managed to get the artifact from the thief's hands, but Minerva once again had the arrest to her name at the day's conclusion. It had been scathing on its own, and her attitude in the wake of both incidents hadn't helped.
But what was she doing here, during the festival? He wondered as he kept an eye on her movements through the crowd.