Title: Bargain Bin
Summary: A trip to Silturn—can Pratty match oni women in wit, strength, and sheer determination? You know damn well she can.
Silturn was a lively place. It was every bit like Pratty imagined and then some—Rasho was actually very good at describing things when he felt like it and certainly did his best to do justice to his own kingdom. Pratty was already in love with the world before she set foot in it. Now she was plotting ways to get Rasho to let her stay for much longer. She hummed happily while skipping over the red rocky ground. It was humid, but that didn't bother her any after living by the ocean all her life. The heat was a little stifling, but after a long soak in the miracle-working Oni Hot Springs she had decided to shed her long sleeved undershirt and black leggings, leaving her just in her zip up red dress and leather armor. Freshly bathed and feeling alive, now all she needed to do was get up the mountain and find Rasho to let him know she was actually here.
She giggled sheepishly and tried to think optimistically—that he wouldn't fly off the handle when she told him about the accident with the rookie summoner and the crazed beast and the spell that went a bit wrong. It was a hopeless endeavor. Rasho flipped out over everything. That was just the way he was and Pratty had the strongest feeling that he greatly enjoyed being dramatic. He had been around for a long time, so he certainly deserved to act as he pleased. Still, her eardrums were going to take a beating in the immediate future.
It would be worth it too.
Pratty never let her smile drop as she headed upward on a well worn path. Posts with varying decorations dotted the land every few feet. Feathers of all different colors, tufts of thick fur, and even some bones topped the wooden poles. She took her time admiring every last one of them, growing more excited by the second. If this was just the road up, just what with the kingdom around the peak look like? She picked up the pace, but it still took her at least half an hour to make it to the top. The view at the peak made her eyes sparkle in glee.
Rasho had to let her stay awhile. He had to.
A huge stretch of city stood before her. White, brown, and red buildings carved out of looming rocks peppered the mountain. Stalls with brightly colored wares lined the dirt streets that wove between the stone structures. Dozens upon dozens of people of varying shapes and sizes milled about, faces excited and anxious. There was a roar of noise, of many people speaking at once and trying to speak over one another. Pratty took two steps through the mammoth gates and stopped the woman rushing closest to her.
"What's going on?" she asked.
Rosy pink hair whipped her in the face when the oni turned and ruby eyes stared at her in disbelief. Pratty peripherally noticed the pair of axes crossed at the small of her back, the pale grey sharply contrasting against her exposed dusky skin. She took a moment to envy the woman's well-proportioned body before waiting patiently for a reply.
"It's a sale!" the oni told her. "Everyone is here. There're beaded necklaces and quality weapons, clothing, everything. Where have you been?"
Pratty had perked immediately at the word 'sale' and her feminine instincts were squealing.
"Wystern," she answered absently. "A sale?"
The woman's brows furrowed in recognition. "Wystern?"
"A sale?" Pratty pressed.
She was suitably distracted.
"Ooh, you. Come on!" she growled.
An iron grip latched onto her wrist and dragged her straight into the heart of the crowd. There were more oni woman near the carts who had taken various creative liberties with their armor. The grey skinned beast manning the shop looked right at home in the midst of well-built bodies wrestling and bartering over swords and pauldrons or beads and hair pieces. A determined smile took the Craftlord's face at the sight. It was a sale!
"Back again, Madani?" the shopkeeper purred.
"Lecher!" the rosy haired oni barked. "The robe right there!"
Madani turned to Pratty with a frightening expression that she had only ever seen on her mother or Sanary while clothes shopping.
"You're adorable," she said bluntly. "Now come here!"
Together with her apparent new friend, Pratty dove into the chaos to banter, scream, and barter with the best of them.
"That's mine!" she shouted, pouncing on the vanishing fabric.
"Get another one, human wench!" the other snarled.
"This one isn't even your color!"
"It's not yours either!"
"What did you say?"
It escalated into an elbow to the cheek on one end and a booted foot to the gut on the other. Pratty jerked to the side and sent the other off-balance, hopping to right herself, but didn't let her get that far before head-butting her and taking the dress for herself.
"Don't rip the merchandise!" Madani called over the din.
"Do I look like an amateur?" Pratty retorted.
"You don't have the chest to pull that off!" the downed woman cut in.
"You don't have the legs." Pratty sharply replied.
"You wanna go!?"
"Bring it on!"
The following brawl, in the minds of the guards strolling at the street corners, was one of the most intense they'd had erupt at the annual market since the king's own mother battled a farmer's wife over the last scythe up for grabs in the weapons booth. In the end, when the hair—a startlingly mesmerizing mix of blue and silver-grey—started flying and the biting began, it was decided that interference might be needed before the woman drew the weapons at their hips. Attempts to pull them apart failed spectacularly. In the end, the king himself came down to investigate when he heard an alarmingly loud snap and crash.
The scene he walked in on was thus: his knight straddling the waist of the daughter of one of his guards, fists balled in her cobalt hair and elbows pressed tightly into her neck while said guard's daughter writhed and attempted to knee the navy eyed Craftlord in the back. Both had fierce snarls and were growling low in their throats like rabid hounds, neither willing to let up and neither seeming to acknowledge the animated mass around them that had parted almost absently for their leader.
"What the hell is going on here?" he demanded.
Pratty leapt up immediately and skipped over. "Rasho!"
He sputtered at the cheerful greeting. "What are you doing here?"
"It's a sale!" she enthused.
The oni she had been wrestling with stood and dusted herself off. Then she picked up the dress that had fluttered to drape over the empty cart that had fallen in their struggle. Pratty adopted a look of utmost consternation, but Rasho's hand clamped down hard on her shoulder before she could take a step to restart their battle.
"You don't have the chest for that." he told her, yanking her away.
The other looked smug. Pratty looked offended. Madani offered up the pile in her left arm that she had been holding for the younger woman.
In the end, Rasho ended up paying for everything.