Chapter 1

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491BC: Athens

"This is a melon."

"Yes, yes, buy?"

Gaiana stared down at the round hot plump object. She shook it next to her ear, "it whooshes."

"Whooshing is good."

Gaiana's emerald colored eyes furrowed. Despite her anger, she wasn't taken seriously due to her miniature frame and short cut red-brown hair. "I want to sample it."

"Sample it?" The merchant's eyebrow rose. He seriously questioned why he even bothered to try his hand at fruit sales in the first place.

"Yes, just a small bite," she said casually.

The merchant groaned, "no, you either buy it, or leave it. Stop wasting my time."

He waved his hand at her like she was a fly in his way. Gaiana's fluffy eyebrows furrowed at him. Even the light freckles across her cheeks seemed offended, "you're the one selling us rotten fruit, the least you can do is let me sample it."

Gaiana spoke high enough to be heard by the people around her. Several heads turned her way as they heard the words 'selling rotten fruit', at the marketplace.

"Oiy," the much older man said, "I'm trying to do business here. If you don't like my business, then go."

"No," Gaiana growled with a smile, "how dare you sell rotten fruit and expect equal price for it. I demand I sample these for the well being of my city!"

"Listen girl," the man put a hand at his dagger for her to see, "if you don't quit your tramp yammering mouth I swear I'll-"

"You'll do what now?" Another voice from behind said.

The merchant stared behind to see a woman staring down at him. Her arms were crossed, with a half smile and furrowed grey-colored eyes that showed she was suspicious of him. She was towering above him, a full head over him despite him being twice the woman's age. The red-haired woman had leather warrior wears and sword that showed she was a far more formidable warrior than he could ever be.

She had tied back fiery hair, like she was trying to emulate Athenian class despite being born a foreigner. The merchant pointed at Gaiana, "this wench is trying to drive away my business."

The guard woman stared at Gaiana, Gaiana put on a half smile and said, "hi Mimoza."

"Hi Gaiana," Mimoza replied.

The merchant blinked at the guard, and then at Gaiana. "Do all foreigners know each other?"

"Of course," Gaiana and Mimoza said in unison.

Gaiana, despite being fifteen, had the fury of a grown warrior. She was well known by the guards of the city, causing mischief by trying to enforce laws she had no authority to carry out. It was like she was a self-proclaimed public servant, doing her best to catch scammers at the market for the sake of the city.

If only she weren't so naive.

Gaiana pointed at the melons, "he's selling the citizens of Athens rotten fruit. Like his produce, he's going to corrupt our people and spread deadly disease across the populace until the gods strike us down for our negligence of not stopping it in time."

"Bah," the merchant waved her off, "mad girl. A tramp. Take her away, chop her tongue off if you have to."

Mimoza rolled her eyes, she took a melon and shook it at her ear. "These melons are bad, and you can get in serious trouble for trying to sell these."

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