(1312-06-03) Dumplings
Summary: Soleil bumps into Symon outside of a street vendor and recommends the dumplings.
RL Date: 2020-06-03
Related: None.
soleil symon 

Market Promenade — Marsilikos
Two massive promenades, separated by a narrow row of alternating planters and plinths supporting marble statues from all over the known world, make up a marketplace that extends in a narrow space far to the north of the grand plaza to the south. Each walkway is two two-meter marble slabs wide, one gleaming white, the other greyish-blue, and they alternate to and fro in coloration all the way down each promenade, their intersections marked with a series of equal-armed crosses in shimmering black stone. While there is plenty of space for vendors to set up ad-hoc establishments to hawk their wares, to each side of the double promenade are stoa of fluted marble, holding up a terra-cotta tiled roof over a shady, cool walkway, punctuated here and there with doorways and windows open to a long series of indoor shops, each marked with a hanging sign outside the door.

Every twenty meters or so, five stairs lift the level of the promenade as the marketplace works its way uphill, to a smaller plaza at the northern end where all the most exclusive and expensive shops are established. This smaller plaza also has an obelisk of red granite in the middle; it's shorter, and more slender, but when the change in elevation is taken into account, its tip is at the exact same height as the massive obelisk in the town square to the south.

It is a spring day. The weather is warm and clear.


It is a cool, clear day in late spring, just the sort of day when it is a pleasure to be on the market promenade, before it becomes stiflingly hot to be around the other bodies who move between stalls and up toward the indoor shops. Symon looks delighted to be among the browsers, leaning over one stall and then craning his neck to peer at another. After eyeing some textiles, he crosses the promenade to a stall selling dumplings and skewers of meat and vegetables cooked over a small grill.

With a small plateful of dumplings that she has just purchased from the vender, Soleil turns and almost bumps into Symon. "Ah! My lord!" she says with delight and a bright smile. "You should try the dumplings. They're absolutely fantastic. Cooked to perfection. And the sauce they're putting on them! Mmm!"

"Oh, hello," Symon says warmly. "It's you again from the, um, Coquelicot. The dream reader. I'll certainly take your advice if they're as good as you say. How m…many should I get?" He doesn't wait for an answer, gesturing to the stall keeper. "Oh, I'll have some, too, the same as she got, thank you. Oh, and p-put one of the chicken skewers on if you p-please." The tall keeper goes about preparing the order and Symon turns back to Soleil. "How are you today? Do you like this w…weather? I think it could be a b-bit w…warmer."

"Yes! Just the small order is plenty for me, but he'll load you up with food if you're not careful," Soleil says brightly, then looks up at the sky and breathes deeply. "It'll probably get warmer," she points out lightly. "It's so pleasantly sunny today. I love the sunshine." And certainly she looks radiant in the sun with her golden hair and her pale gold dress patterned with little blue diamonds in an elegant sort of way.

"Oh, that's all right," Symon says. "I'm a fan of abundance." He nods at her weather predictions. "Oh yes," he says. "It always does, here. I like that about the city. W…what's your favorite season?"

"I do like summer quite a lot," Soleil admits with a thoughtful smile as she nibbles on dumplings with relish. "I was thinking of throwing a party for the Shortest Night," she notes with a laugh. "Since we're at the other side of the year, essentially. Warm, short nights with long days full of sunshine."

"Of course you do," Symon agrees, nodding. "You w…wear gold, after all. And w…wasn't your name something about the sun? Sorry if I let it slip my m…mind." He receives his prepared order from the stall with a thanks, paying the price from his own purse since he doesn't seem to travel with a guard. "Oh you m…must throw the p-party," he says. "I'll absolutely come."

"Yes, I'm Soleil," she replies with a laugh, clearly not too worried about him forgetting her name. "Any excuse to have a party, if you ask me. It's good to have something to enjoy and celebrate, though. People just have slightly fewer hours of darkness to get their lovemaking done."

"Of course," Symon says, nodding at the name, though he takes a moment to stuff a dumpling in his mouth. Once it's dealt with, he says, "You're right, they are good," before moving to the more pressing matter. "I quite agree. B-but of course it is a m…mistake to dismiss the p-pleasures of daytime lovemaking. Though I know m…many courtesans are b-by nature late risers."

"Mmm, if you can find a quiet spot in some gardens, there is really nothing more luxurious than lying in the sun with your lover, watching the clouds with post-coital glow," Soleil muses a little dreamily, taking a deep breath and letting it out in a very contented sigh. She nibbles another dumpling. "I told you they were delicious! I think it's the sauce, but I'm not entirely convinced."

"Oh, I quite agree," Symon says enthusiastically. "Of course, in a city in summer, finding such a space not already claimed w…with other couples doing the same…that is a challenge." He tries the chicken, too.

"Yes, the gardens of family estates can be awkwardly crowded, and while it's almost expected in the salon's gardens, well… how is the chicken?" Soleil wonders curiously, looking quite interested.

"At Longest Night in Elua, you p-practically have to b…barricade yourself in a room to have any hope…" He nods over the chicken. "Oh, excellent. I'll b-be coming b-back to this stand, I'm sure."

"Hah, yes. And you accidently open a random door, and someone shouts at you: THIS IS OUR CLOSET FIND YOUR OWN," Soleil agrees as she continues to nibble dumplings until they are gone. Then again, she is pretty tiny. That many dumplings is probably perfect.

"That's w…why M-Marsilikos is a little b-better," Symon opines. "Although to b-be honest, in recent years I've somewhat fallen off of such exploits."

"I mean, if you're looking for such exploits, I'm told I'm pretty good at that sort of thing," Soleil teases with a twinkle in her blue-violet eyes, cleaning her fingers off daintily with a handkerchief now that she is done eating.

Symon smiles and shakes his head. "I'm quite sure you are," he says. "B-but I'm not in need. And I'm sure there are m…many p-people w-with a great interest in your v…v…various talents."

"That's probably true, yes, but you know, there's nothing that can't be fixed by finagling my schedule a little," Soleil replies with an easy shrug. "Anyway, want to take a walk? See what the shops have on offer? Now that we're full of delicious things, that is."

"Oh, b-but of course," Symon agrees, going to return the plate and the skewer to the stall. "P-please," he says, gesturing up the street toward more stalls and indoor shops.

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