Just at the other end was the minstrel she was looking for. She was being approached by another minstrel and they tried a duet together as Beldon and the Lady approached.
She waited until the two minstrels had finished their conversation before approaching the young one with the brilliant red hair.
"Greetings, good minstrel. I trust the day has treated you well. I have sensed your presence here in this place." The sapphire clad woman gave a gentle, graceful wave of her pale hand, indicating the surroundings where they found themselves.
"I have come to hear your song. Would you sing for me, young one? I would hear the song that dwells in your heart. One that is real to you and dear to you, if you would."
She stood with Beldon and listened intently to the beautiful song the young minstrel sang, hearing each note and feeling along with her, the emotion of the song. Her long, glowing white hair seemed to move along with the tune, as though dancing to the beat.
When the song was ended the tall glowing woman reached into her sleeve once again, taking out yet another sapphire gemstone. It was roughly the size of the Lady's hand and perfect in every way. The moment she removed it from her sleeve it caught the sun's rays and reflected it back out, dazzling the onlookers with it's brilliance. Holding it in the palm of her hand she offered it to the minstrel.
"Thank you for the gift of your beautiful song. Please accept my gift of gratitude in return. I would be most honoured if you would consider, also, a proposal. I and my friends depart in the morning on a journey. They have agreed to help me search for my younger sister who was stolen from our home. We are seven, including myself. I would invite you to join us in our quest and give us comfort with your song. Should you choose to join us you would be well compensated for your company."
With that, she glanced over at Beldon who stood next to her. She had not yet discussed compensation with the others who would journey with her.
She planned on mentioning that at supper tonight. She hoped that Beldon wouldn't think himself and the others as being cheated in any way. She would have to explain it on the way back to the Inn.
"Please, don't decide immediately," she spoke again to the minstrel. "We will be leaving at dawn's first light. If you should choose to join you may meet us there. If you have need of a mount I will share mine with you until we can purchase one for you."
With that she turned to Beldon and indicated that she was ready to return to the Inn. She explained to him on the way that she intended to assure the others of generous compensation for their company on the journey and asked that he not mention it until she could herself. As they passed through the ally, the gentle woman hardly glanced at the three stone men standing in the way. She simply wove around them and made her way back to the Inn.
On the way she stopped at a tent that caught her attention. It was filled with feathers, nests and other bird related items. She was immediately approached by the shop keeper.
"How can I help you both?" The woman was small with short blue hair, glowing gold eyes and a big, happy smile.
The Lady looked at her. "You have among your possessions a feather from the tail of a phoenix that has been cross bred with a peacock."
The little woman looked quite surprised at the specific request. Most people, magicians and non magicians, had no idea that such a creature existed. She wondered how it was that this strange ethereal woman should know of it's existence, let alone that she had one in her possession.
"Why yes, I do. How do you know this?"
She smiled warmly at the shop keeper, "I felt it's presence. Will this compensate you for it's worth to you?" Again she handed out a large sapphire stone.
The shop keeper looked at it and marveled at it. "This is no ordinary sapphire! This stone is imbued with great power! What is the nature and source of this magic?"
The Lady pushed some of her long white hair out of her face and smiled again. "It is formed of the Sapphire Moon. It will give you peace within. The rightful keeper of this gemstone will know perfect peace and tranquility no matter what events take place around or within. It will not give you wealth unless you sell it. If you do, the power will seep out of it the moment it is owned by another. The gift is for you alone."
The gift was accepted and the feather was placed in her hair, where it promptly disappeared until Tizzy could pick it out for her. She also purchased from the little shop keeper a small egg. It was hard and solid yet clear. It looked like a diamond with something inside it. Inside the egg was the fetus of a rare bird called the ginxo. The fetus had died quite naturally in it's egg.
The others were already there when they arrived, save Tizzy, who hadn't yet returned. She and Beldon joined them at the table and she greeted each present individually. As she sat waiting for Tizzy's return the Lady reached to the back of her head, under the hair and removed an amount of her Living Hair. Despite it's continued movement, she quietly and efficiently wove it intricately into itself. The pattern, when finished, looked something like a vine intertwined with itself; there were even little tufts that resemble leaves.
When the hair was woven she reached again into her sleeve and took out a small, flat, rounded sapphire. She placed it over both ends of the woven hair and closed her hands over it for a moment. The room was briefly filled with a strong, sweet scent, which was gone as quickly as it had arrived. When she let go of the sapphire it had been fused to the hair. It was as though the ends of the hair had grown into and along the gemstone, rooting itself firmly and permanently to it. The pendant was placed back into her sleeve, where the egg was also kept.