Octavia & Lidia were training as usual at the training arena. The two of them were among those who would be chosen for the expedition to conquer the lands across the Alps, so right now they were practicing their sword fighting skills. (This was an alternative story long before they fought each other in front of the Senators, which sealed their fate and friendship.)
"Hiaah!" Lidia swung her sword at Octavia.
"Hhmphh!" Octavia dodged it and swung hers against her. Lidia quickly backed off and countered her sword with hers.
"You're still good as usual." said Octavia.
"Yeah, right. I'm still impressed with yours." Lidia smiled. "I'm getting tired. Let's call it a day, ok?"
"You're right." and as she replied, they put down their sword. Lidia fell back onto the floor, panting. Octavia went to the side and sat at by the wall.
"I figure we're the best female swordsmen around this area now, maybe the best in the Empire too." Lidia boasted all of a sudden.
"Ha ha, there you go again." Octavia laughed it off.
"Yeah, only me and you, who else? After all, I am the best swordswoman among the Ruprom clan." she slid her sword back into her scabbard.
"Soon we'll be able to get high ranks in the army." she looked up in the sky.
"Say." Lidia got up and went close to her. "Tomorrow we're off right? So what should we do together?" she looked excited.
"Now that you mention it, I remember tomorrow the people at my housing area there. They'll be having a celebration."
"Kinda like a party to show gratitude to the gods. Juste told me about it."
"Juste? Your neighbor right?"
"It's like the usual fancy dress party isn't it?"
"Something like that. He said we could wear any dress to attend the party. He invited me of course."
"Hey, what about me?"
"Of course you're invited. I mean, I can invite who I want right?"
"Yeah!!!" she was excited.
"Errr…… you know, not too revealing dress."
"I know I know. So tomorrow when?"
"Tomorrow night, at the main town square at my place."
"Then see you there. You'll go with your best dress right? I'll be with the most bedazzled one too."
"Yeha. Ha ha." Octavia laughed. Lidia grinned back.
The next night……….
Octavia arrived at the town square where the celebration was about to take place. She was all dressed up in a simple lady's dress in red and black color, Gothic style. Complete with a headdress on her head.
"I guess this dress isn't that bad at all." she made 1 turn around to ensure she was ok in it. After all, she bought the blouse from the nearby market, while the lower dress was borrowed from one of her room mates. She had two ponytail tied side by side for that night.
"Maybe I'm still early." she looked around. Lidia was still nowhere to be seen. The area was getting lively. Lanterns were lit everywhere brightening the area. A tall tower like decoration was set near the fountain. Tables and chairs were everywhere, with food on the tables of course. Those who had come to celebrate together were all dressed up in various dressings, from the most simplest outfits to the most outrageous outfits.
"Yo, Octavia, you're here." someone called out at her. She turned to a part of the crowd and noticed Juste walking to her. He was in a simple noble-like outfit.
"Oh, you're here." she gestured.
"I'm glad you came. How do I look?"
"That outfit, you must've ordered your subordinates to patch it up for you right?" she gave a sly smile at him.
"Oii, that's not true. I mean, something like that." he looked nervous, with his finger scrubbing his face. ( He gathered up pieces of high valued materials and ordered his workers to sew them up into a noble's outfit.)
"He he he." she giggled. He rubbed his head.
"The party's going to start. Shall we?" he held his hand out to her.
"Not yet. I'm still waiting for my friend."
"Oh, I see. Then….."
"You go ahead first. We'll come up later."
"Oh, well then, see ya later." Juste went back into the crowd. Octavia looked around again and sigh. Lidia was till nowhere in sight.
"She's getting late. There was the sound of the bell ringing, signaling that the celebration was about to begin.
"Hey, Octavia!!!" she heard Lidia calling out at her.
"You're late!" she exclaimed as she turned back to look at her, and that's where she froze in shock.
"Lii…ddia? That's……?" she pointed at her dress.
"Yeah! How do I look? Bedazzled huh?" Lidia posed in front of her. She was in a priestess outfit. Totally white in color, complete with its coif covering her head ( try and imagine the same outfit worn by Esther Blanchett from Trinity Blood). She even wore a Rosario around her neck.
"Oh, my." Octavia pinched her own cheek. "Am I hallucinating or what?"
"Of course not! How do I look? Like a real priestess right?" she even held out her hands together as if she was praying.
"Stop joking around. Where did you get that outfit anyway?"
"Well, I borrowed it from Sister Freya. When I told her about the party, she said I can dress up as a priestess to make things merrier. And I'm not playing prank here"
"I say, this is not a cosplay party."
"I know. But you can wear anything right? So cosplay is not an exception. Ha ha ha." she gestured again. "So I looked great, right? The Great Priestess Lidia comes to baptize everyone here!" she boasted. "Am I a genius?!"
"Ha ha. Yeah, right."
"You don't look that bad in your dress either."
"Thanks. Though I thought it looks a little odd……"
"Because we always dress up more like guys?"
"Don't worry. We look great Let's have all the fun while we can tonight. How much time more do we have before the expedition?"
"You're right. Let's go. Juste's waiting for us."
They laughed out again, as they walked together into the crowd to celebrate.