It’s not as if he’s never left the temple before–sometimes the older worshippers will ask for help carrying things, and he’s old enough to run quick errands by himself–but now stepping outside feels different. An entirely new experience because of the context.
He is leaving the temple and he will not be coming back tonight or tomorrow, not even next week. He may not ever return.
It’s a thought both thrilling and frightening, making him look back at the temple even as Consalvo and Melvina lead him away. The stained glass window sparkles in the afternoon sun, as if greeting him farewell. And even the grey stone walls seem warmer and brighter, the temple putting on it’s best face before he goes.
He smiles back at it, even if that seems silly.
“Excited?” Consalvo asks, noticing his smile and matching it with a grin of his own.
If anything, that makes him even giddier, and he can’t help the laugh that escapes him, “Yes,” he says because it’s true.
He has no idea what his future may be, and he’s eager to find out.
Their first stop isn’t a foreign one to him–while the town does have a port and one of the kingdom’s four main temples, it is rather small. There is only one haberdashery in town and the worshippers have to get their uniforms from somewhere.
Gilian the seamstress spots him first, somehow through a cloud of petticoats that will no doubt be part of the mayor’s next gown.
“Aljun!” she greets, pulling pins from her mouth and climbing her way from under what will eventually be a truly massive skirt, “I just saw you two weeks ago! Have you gone through another growth spurt already?” She asks, partially teasing, partially serious, eyeing the hems of his uniform with a sharp eye.
“Not quite,” Melvina says, catching Gilian’s attention.
The seamstress startles and blushes, embarrassed at having been caught of guard, before composing herself, “Oh? How can I help you today?”
“Aljun here will be needing some new clothes,” is all the warning he gets before Melvina’s hands clamp down on both of his shoulders and guide him towards the fitting area of the shop. “In hardier fabric than the uniform, if you can. Different styles, of course,” she adds, as Gilian crowds in close with excitement.
“I’ve always wanted to dress this boy up in something besides the worshipper uniform,” Gilian confesses, before smoothing a hand over his head as if he were several years younger, “No offense meant, Aljun, it’s just that the uniform gets boring after a while. I’ve always wondered what you’d look like in something else.”
“And color!” Consalvo says, poking his head out from the shelves of fabric samples and, indeed, holding a swatch of bright purple.
Betrayed and bemused, Aljun resigns himself to being a mannequin for the rest of the afternoon.
A/N: I really thought I’d get to the ship already… oh well. Here’s a random makeover scene nobody wanted