It had been a busy day.

The last of the ladies who attended today's class made it outside the entrance, their light and mirthful conversations buoying Naberius' good mood that had befell him earlier that day. He talked easily with them, weaving expertly in and out of their chatter, but casual like an old friend—which he supposes that he now was. Since his moving to his aunt's dance shop a while ago now, Naberius had harmonized himself seamlessly into the ladies' dynamic. Though, granted, Naberius fit into any dynamic flung his way—big or small as they may come—and his friendships blossomed as effortlessly as a rose does in spring. The women here trusted him, and for that he was thankful; many know him now as an expert teacher, not the charismatic child noble from months yonder. In a way, he had led all those who met him astray, the way many were led astray with those long, graceful, beguiling movements he taught his students.

Naberius' smile faltered in a lazier line, but no less happy. His students, who were paired merrily and chatted away about newfound techniques, moved away toward their residences. The sun was low in the horizon, the pink dusk welcoming a quiet evening. The last trimmings of the Marketplace buckled down as their customers sidled into seedier shops around them—the brothel and the gambling house just down the street. His own customers thankfully returned to their cozy homes, there awaiting the open arms of their wealthy parents who so graciously pay tuition.

Naberius softly chuckles in remembrance—the distraught father who had not been able to afford his daughter's education. Naberius had surreptitiously increased the hourly rate ever since his aunt died. He had not thought it would had conflicted with some of the customers, not until that father had come to accost him. With his serpentine tongue, Naberius had narrowly escaped a serious altercation and promised the other man a discount going forth. After all, his daughter had won a competition against a rivaling dance ship the previous winter. It would have been a shame to had seen her go.

The soft brush of feathers against dusty ground struck him out of his reminiscence, his familiar padding outside her den underneath the shop. Naberius did not brighten his smile and only nodded at her direction, too weary for anything more involved. "Madam Ra." Naberius had to acknowledge her, however, because the peacock did not like being ignored. Ra returned a happy quiver of her canopy tail, an undulating nod of her own. She did not want conversation either it, it seemed.

Code by Dusk