The Adventures of Rothus, page 23 [D-815]

Camp of the Oracle, outside the crafter’s tent:

Tyler leaves me outside the crafter’s tent in a bit of a hurry. He doesn’t look panicked, but definitely has a purpose in his step. I decide the invisible barrier will probably still be here when I get back (though it would be nice if it wasn’t) and that I should follow Tyler. Definitely a good decision! He leads me directly to Lily and Evan. She is watching him walk around in a dress. Evan, the son of Mr. Smith, is walking around in a dress! I don’t even know how to think about this….

Tyler asks him the one question on everybody’s mind, “Why are you in a dress?”

Evan answers, “I’m helping Lily.” He says it with an honest smile. We’ll, I guess everybody goes crazy sooner or later. I just thought Evan had a few more years of sanity.

Lily then turns to Tyler, “You should try on some dresses, too! It will be fun.” I take this as my cue to leave before I end up in a dress.

Lily then asks me and I get ready to say no, but suddenly have a change of heart. On second thought, wearing a dress sounds like it would be fun. Lily gives me a smile that says more than I can read. She finds a dress that fits quite nicely everywhere except in the chest area.

Tyler said Evan and I are fairies, because we have glitter on us and are in dresses, but I told him, “Hey, this glitter totally accentuates the dress.” Roran laughs at us from his place by the fire. I don’t know what he thinks is so funny; the glitter really does work well, aesthetically speaking.

We compare the dresses there until Evan flexes his muscles and rips one of them. It looks torn in too many places to repair! Now no one can wear it. All that is left is from the waist down and he tries to make it look like a kilt. Seeing that, I start to think that I don’t really want to wear my dress either. It is getting itchy and makes it really hard to sneak.

Aeryn walks up to the group and asks me why I am in a dress. I explain, “In order to understand women better, men must be willing to experience the world as they do. The dress gives me insight into the nature of a woman’s life and perspective.”

“Lily put you up to it?” she says, seeing through my clever lie. I wonder if I can find a wig and make this a disguise....

By the fire, Roran begins playing some music. He practices regularly and has gotten even better since that night we left Tarenvale during Harvest Festival. This time, some bards responsible for Tyler’s education have joined Roran and they blend their notes together.

I ask Lily if she can make a wig. She thinks she can if I can find some hair. I ask for her hair. She says that she can’t cut it for this and suggests I take some of Tyler’s. He does have enough to spare for a wig, but he probably won’t give it up easily. I wait until he falls asleep by the fire and sneak up behind him. I pull my dagger out and grab a handful of his long red hair. Huh. It’s not as long as I thought it was. If I cut enough for a wig, Tyler will surely notice that it is missing. If he ever sees I have a brand new red wig he might be clever enough to figure out what happened. Okay, I can’t take his hair.

I decide that Aeryn has much longer hair and might not notice if a foot of it was removed. I wait until she wanders off to her tent, hopefully going to sleep. I wait a few minutes and then sneak over to her tent. As I am about to open the flap, Roran stops me. He asks me what I am doing trying to get into Aeryn’s tent while she is asleep. I think that he thinks that I plan on doing something really bad to her. I open my mouth to explain that I am just going to cut off some of her hair, but realize that Roran might not approve of that either. I go back to my tent and wait a while. I go back to her tent, but Roran stops me again! Does he not sleep? Whatever, I’ll just go to bed.

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