It was late evening and the sun was settling over the suburbs of London casting its long shadows along the ground in grotesque shapes as if they were the ghosts of creatures of ages past come to taunt those still living. A small carriage made its way through the streets drawn by an impressive team of Cleveland Bay's intent on making its way threw the old city. At present the owner of the carriage was outlining the travel planes that she and her companions would be adhering to on the first leg of their journey.
"...and after we board the ship tomorrow the journey will take approximately three days to arrive in Rome where we will be staying for two week. Mrs. Williams and Ann will be traveling as far as Rome, giving ample and sufficient time for Ann to finish the garments I've requested as well as see the sights. Ann will then travel back the England with Williams while Chi and I make our way to Egypt. The steamer we shale take from Rome stopping for only a few hours in Crete and then travel on to El Iskandarya, otherwise known as Alexandria. From there we shall travel up the Nile to" Bulma was interrupted by the coachmen announcing their arrival to the hotel as the carriage came to a halt. Bulma made a quick mental note to finish her narrative of the process in which their trip would be undertaken as soon as they were settled in their room before disembarking from the carriage.
The first thing Bulma did after arriving at their rooms was to summon a hotel attendant and hand him a list of things to be procured before they set out the next morning by ship. The young man assured Bulma that she would have her things in ample time to pack them before they departed the next morning and walked away a little puzzled as to what a woman of her status would want with the items on the list. Suddenly he paused, face flushed. Maybe it was better not to think about it. The attendant shoved the list into his pocket and hurried on his way.
An hour later a maid was clearing a table that had served as a dining room as Mrs. Williams unpacked Bulma's clothes and put them away. Bulma couldn't understand why on earth she would go through the hassle just to repack them in the morning but didn't question the old maid. Everyone needs something to do after all.
At the moment Ann was arranging her sewing, chatting away with Chi who was looking through the sketches of attire Ann was to make for Bulma. Having nothing to do at the moment Bulma joined the two young women by the fire and opened a book on Egyptian Hieroglyphics in an attempt to better acquaint her self with the ancient language. She was pulled from her study by an inquiry from her left. "Pardon, what was that Miss Kuro"
"Oh pleas call me Chi and I was asking why all your new clothes to be so plain? They're all so drab" commented Chi as she shuffled through several sketches depicting the dresses to be made.
"I am not a frivolous creature Miss Kuro, excuse me, Chi. I am, as you can see, quite plain in complexion and figure. Extravagant apparel would make me look absurd. You on the other hand would look quite fetching in such garments." Bulma observed the faint blush that graced her companion's cheeks with pleasure.
"Oh Bulma, you are not so plain as you think! True you are quite pail, but a few days in the warm Egyptian sun will remedy that quickly. With your hair styled different and a few frills you would be absolutely breathtaking! You have such beautiful eyes and pleasing features. Oh pleas, we'll be in Rome for two week, mightn't I design you a few dresses? Nothing extravagant, just tastefully feminine."
Bulma looked at Chi's face and noted for the first time how it expressed her excitement. Her eyes truly were a window to her soul.
Chi, interpreting the prolonged silence as consent, started consulting with Ann as to which styles would complement Bulma's features best.
"More like conspiring" thought Bulma as she watched her housemaid and new friend whispering back and forth. Suddenly she had a horrifying vision of being arrayed in bows and feathers, the experience nearly making her ill. "You will refrain from an over excess of embellishments, such as lace, bows, and especially plumes from deceased birds wont you"
"Of cores" Chi was almost indignant at the thought. "The dresses I design will be the absolute picture of taste."
"Then I will trust your judgment in this matter. You seem sensible enough. Now I think it would be best if we all retired for the night, as tomorrow will be busy for the most part and we all need our rest. Williams I think the buttons on this dress would appreciate a second set of hands." Mrs. Williams hastened to assist in the undoing of the numerous buttons in an attempt to stave off another button catastrophe.
Chi retired to her room after helping Ann store her sewing things. As dressed herself in a warm night gown she felt a mixture of excitement and disbelief at the prospects of their actually setting out on the marrow for the land of the Pharaoh's. In the next room over Bulma to was experiencing similar feelings. Who knew what tomorrow would bring?