The Circumstances of Colourful Threads

Text to Speech:

After lunch, Finn and Rory ask us if there's somewhere we want to go to.

“Well, we still need to buy potatoes,” Rowan answers, “it's the original reason we were travelling to the capital this early in the year.”

“Come to think of it, when does the year start here?” I ask.

“It started the day before I found you in Wind Equinox Temple. The new year begins with the preparations for the next pilgrimage.”

Wind Equinox Temple? Until now, I have only been to Aevita's Temple… Is that the proper name of the temple?

I see something appearing in my vision. I think Mittens is explaining something for me. It's a word in the Amaugan script. There's sub-word translations added to the word. So Aevita's name is still part of the temple name, but the words also mean Wind Equinox Temple. I guess that information was in the dictionary from earlier.

“So let's go out then,” Finn states, “I know Aster can probably make the large ornate hatchments for the both of you, but you should have them made by one of the tailor's or blacksmith's guilds.”

“If there are no special requirements, it's usual for each member of our family to frequent different guilds compared to other family members for such jobs,” Rory adds, “this is to prevent one guild from feeling favoured. In your case, what type of guild should make yours?”

“Hmm,” Rowan thinks, “I guess a tailor's guild for me and a blacksmith's guild for Aster.”

“I see, let me think… Finn's requests usually go to the Weaving Loom, while mine go to Fine Needle. Our parents send their requests to the Cloth Shears. Theoretically, that only leaves the Colourful Threads, as the only tailor's guild we don't regularly send orders to.

As for Aster… I think only the Ruby Mint is a suitable one, since you're planning on making something very intricate.”

“But Colourful Threads…” Finn interjects.

“I know… Let's drop by the guilds before going shopping.”

We use the secret tunnel to get to the city.

“The guilds have rather simple names,” I state.

“Yes, not everyone is literate,” Rory answers, “the guild names should be easily expressible in a simple image.”

“Really?” Rowan asks.

“As father said, Dewick is very special. In other villages, only members of the elder's house learn to read and write.”

Rory leads us to a building. The sign in the front says ‘Colourful Threads’, as just as he said, they have a big logo with six different coloured lines going into a big ball to match their name.

We enter the building. One of the clerks notices us and hurries upstairs. We go to the reception.

“Hello,” the other clerk at the desk greets Rory, “we've already called for Igor.”

“I know it's unexpected,” Rory, “but I'm here to meet Lilian this time.”

The clerk that left upstairs returns with another person in fine clothes. He answers, “please show them to the conference room.” He immediately turns around and runs up the stairs again.

Another clerk greets us and directs us to said conference room. It's just as King Cian said, all people in here are Felinefolks… it seems only Dewick has a more diverse population. I'd have expected the capital to be more diverse… Back to the room, there's a big table in the room with higher sofas around it. Sweets and drinks are on the table.

“WAKE UP!” I can faintly hear the fine-dressed clerk yell in the distance.

“So, Rowan, what do you think of the current state of this guild?”

“Hmm…” Rowan thinks for a bit, “the person who they initially got to meet you, I guess he's been sent from the castle. But you said, the family shouldn't favour any of the guilds, so there's something special going on. Since it's so empty here at this time, I guess they're not doing that well… But if that's the case, I don't know why they get so much help…”

“You're better at this than you think you are,” Rory praises Rowan, “financially they're doing fine, I guess. They sell fabrics to the other guilds. This makes up almost all of their profit. But other than that, they rarely take requests.”

“So the other guilds want to absorb Colourful Threads,” I state my deduction, “but if any of the other guilds were to take over it, it would break the balance between the remaining guilds.”

“That is the situation,” Rory confirms.

“You said they rarely take requests, is there any reason why?” Rowan asks.

“The craftspeople of the guild are very particular about the commissions they take. They can afford it.”

“But if those people are making a living, why is the guild doing so bad?”

“Turns out it doesn't. In fact, after Igor ran the numbers, it seems they even do better than the other guilds. Colourful Threads just don't have someone to manage the books properly. Now, they just hire Igor permanently as deputy master of the guild.”

“Isn't that too much intervention?”

“They tried to hire suitable candidates. But all of them walked out of the door quite soon. It seems only deputy master Igor can properly handle guild master Lilian.”

I notice Cyril eyeing the cookies on the table.

“Just this one,” I pick up a cookie and give it to Cyril. Cyril excitedly eats it while I pat it.

The door to the room opens, and Igor, the fine-dressed clerk from earlier, leads in an exhausted looking woman. She's pale and has bags under her eyes. Another clerk enters the room but stands next to the door.

“This is the guild master of Coloured Threads, Lilian,“ Igor introduces the woman to us, “I'm the deputy master, Igor. I'm pleased to meet you.”

“I'm sure you know this is a confidential matter guild master Lilian,” Rory addresses her, “these are Rowan and Aster from Dewick. As someone that works for the castle, I'm sure Igor recognizes the purpose of our visit.”

“I'm not sure if we can provide what you seek of us,” Igor answers.

“I'm sure the prince of the kingdom has a good reason to wake this sleeping beauty,” Lilian answers, “especially when you stress the confidentiality of this conversation.”

“Let me explain the details: in short, Rowan will be welcomed into our family as the second prince. Aster will be, too, as Rowan's fiancé. We want to commission a hatchment for the conferring ceremony. As for the reason, why I think you might be interested in this commission, let's have Aster explain the details they have in mind.”

“In short, we want to have a more ornate version of the hatchment to display,” I answer, “the official one will still be the simple version. But for the ornate version, leaving some artistic freedom might work out.”

I didn't realize this was what Rory what going for, until he asked me to explain our plans.

“I understand, I do know of certain craftspeople that would be interested in such a commission,” Lilian answers calmly, “would you elaborate on the simple version that's going to be the base or the style you prefer?”

I glance at Rowan. What style do you prefer? He shakes his head. I take out my personal terminal and display the design: On the left, a copper cat on a blue background; and on the right, a single blue drop on a green background with the pattern of a single leaf. The guild master opens here eyes wide, she then turns to the other clerk: “Would you send for Iris? Tell her, we got a commission that is as if it was made for her talent.”

“It might be better if I were to get her,” Igor answers instead, “please excuse me.” He stands up, bows and leaves the room. I wonder what got her so excited… I look at the schematics again. These aren't the basic schematics I made, this is one of the results that came from an art generator I used in my free time. The drop of water and the leaf have a pseudo-holographic look to them. Can they make something like that with just simple tailoring?

“WAKE UP!” I can hear Igor yell from afar. I guess this Iris just as exhausted as Lilian. A few minutes later, Igor leads another woman into the room. She looks… not exhausted.

“A commission, that's as if it was made for me?” she asks expressionlessly.

“Look at that sample,” the guild master answers.

Not minding our presence, the person whom I assume is Iris look at the schematics. She looks at it from different angles, then mumbles “understood,” and leaves the room again.

“I'm sorry for my little sister,” the guild master addresses us.

“Emotionless mind…” Rory answers, “I've heard of it, but I've never seen it.”

“I have to admit, that's normal in this guild. Anyway, she has accepted the commission. I assume she's start work on it right away. I shall have to it sent to the castle after it's done. Igor please take care of the formalities.”

She stands up, ready to leave.

“I'm just asking to be safe…” I start my question.

“There's no need to leave specifications on paper,” Lilian answers, “she already has the image in her mind. I have to assist her, else she makes it in the wrong size.”

With that, she leaves the room.

“I don't get why so many people walked out of here,“ I state, “sure, it's not easy working with emotionless people, but you get used to how they act.”

“It's rare to see them grow up,” Rory answers, “they are usually shunned, sent away on their own, or made to disappear in some other way. People think they're unpredictable.”

“While what you state is true,” Igor says, “there's truth in what his Grace Aster said. Most people don't try to understand them, and aren't patient enough. While we call them emotionless, they panic when they feel other people getting enraged. What people call unpredictable is just them acting to protect themselves, because they feel they are in danger. It can also happen they mistake excitement for rage.”

He called me his Grace Aster…

“So if the right people handle them, they are no danger?”

“That is correct. This guild tries to take in more people, but…”

“We should look for more people that are patient enough. I believe this guild should have enough leeway for hiring. Keep up the good work, Igor.”

“As you wish.“

“Since, we're done here, let's go to the Ruby Mint.” 

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