"Two thou-" Derek's jaw dropped. Literally dropped, hanging open at the thought of so much time and effort put into making a single outfit. He had only attended the minimum amount of school which was required of him, and was no genius when it came to mathematics, so he only had a vague idea of how many days it would take to put that much time into a single outfit. It was a lot. The clothes were magical though, which meant this was actually a trip worth taking. Would have been any less worth their time, had the clothing been normal fabric, thrown together? As long as they were getting paid, it didn't really matter what it was they were guarding. Now he knew what it was, he felt a little unsettled. Before he could imagine there was nothing here for a bandit to covet, now he knew the truth, he wondered how many others would know about it. Why did he have to open his mouth and ask questions?
All this talk of clothing had him thinking about his own appearance, and paying more attention to that of the lady Fiori. He did not think he was overly shabby, he would have passed inspection. But it was hot and humid, and his clothes were appropriately disheveled with that in mind. It would take magical clothing to stay pristine through travel. There was the expected amount of dust on his clothes, which came from travel. He would not have paid any mind to his appearance, being comfortable with himself under normal circumstances. Now he was comparing his own appearance to that of the lady, who looked as though she could have just stepped out of her… Did ladies have dressing chambers? Somewhere large and fancy, where multiple maids or servants worked to dress them? He thought he had read something, somewhere, along those lines. A silly concept but..
His mind was wondering again. He was normally more focused than this. Or, a little more focused. It was just so hot. Her words were interesting, and she was clearly passionate about her work. The idea that fashion needed to be adapted to meet the individual characteristics of each of the many races was something which should have been obvious, yet was not something Derek had ever thought about himself. Now the idea stuck with him. He was never going to look at a piece of cloth the same way again! This journey could be the first of many for people like him, as a new trade route opened up to bring goods back and forth, and it all started here and now. One shipment of clothing, magical, delicate, and most likely costing more than Derek would make in the next five years, could bring about a surge in trade which would change lives. It was incredible.
She was interested in what had brought them here? He huffed out a breath, and wondered where he should even begin. They had been all over in the last four years, and while Onnen was new to Derek, they had been here for some time now.
"Well miss," he began, buying himself a little time to put his thoughts in order, "we came to Onnen on an airship, hired on as extra security." The airship captain had been worried about a lot of things. His cargo was not exactly legitimate, and he had been scared of anyone paying too much attention to what he was carrying. He thought dozens of mercenaries might help dissuade people from being too curious. It had been an uneventful journey, though the airship captain had spent a lot of time trying to keep them all away from the hold of the airship. There had been some strange noises coming from in there, but the work was work, and they were being paid to stand around looking mean and not-too-bored.
"That took us to Igbo. We were going to head back, but then we were hired to guard a house in the city." While the city was beautiful, and the work was standard enough, there was something unsettling about being under such a great weight of water. Derek had struggled to sleep for the weeks they had spent guarding the manor of a trader, while he gathered together his shipment. Again, there was nothing much to say about that particular job. He had stood around with a spear, again looking mean, and had tried not to think about how he had no idea how to swim, and how knowing to swim would not help him if the area he was in had flooded.
"From there we traveled through Sahel to Cameroon, guarding a caravan, sort of like this one, miss." He became quiet as he thought about that journey, through the dark undergrowth of a forest which was on a scale he had struggled to comprehend. There had been the need to fight, there, multiple times. He didn't like thinking about it, there in the gloom, the humidity more oppressive than here, but without the option to remove armor because it was never safe to do so. They had slept in their armor. There had been bandits, jaguar-people, who had hounded them for the second half of the journey. It wasn't until they were approaching Cameroon that the attacks had finally stopped. Most of them had new scars, and bad memories.
"The captain said we needed to get to Namiba next, something big is happening out that way. If we are traveling, we might as well be working." Derek shrugged, glanced over at the lady Fiori, and then back down at the ground, at a sudden loss for words.