Title: Reflections of Different Path

Author: Riniko22

Notes: The Characters and Places within this story are not mine. I do not own them, nor am I making any money off them. So sad, very tragic story of a penniless author that fell into the spring of drowned … penniless author, oh the cruel irony.

The characters in this story will likely not react the same as in cannon (written or video), so don't flame me about this. Some will have grown up with different influences on them leading them to react in different ways.

Sorry, for the long wait between this update and the last one. I have had so many ideas in my head that have needed to get out and school work that has required all my energy that there had been little time for anything else in my head.

Chapter 9:

Essence turned toward Lu Fa with a questioning look on her face as she said, "I know that we will be going to the market ward, but I really don't know where we should go when we get there. All the times that Grandmother sent me, I knew where to go because she told me what she wanted and where to go. I don't know where I should go to shop for clothes Lu Fa; I don't even remember ever shopping for them before now."

"Don't worry so much Essence," Lu Fa said while pulling her along, "I know exactly where we should go. I have gone with my mother and sisters many times to look at what they have and all we really have to do is find a few outfits that are like what I gave you in your size that look good on you. That and find you some new panties and night-clothes now that you are not a runt anymore," she said giggling and taking off at a sprint before her friend could complain about the runt comment.

When Essence finally caught her friend, they were in the market ward and she had completely forgotten the reason that she had been chasing her in the first place from all the fun they had had dodging around people along the way.

"OK, you're the expert, I bow to your superior experience and will follow your lead. Now, where do we go first?" Essence said to Lu Fa while the two were catching their breath from the run.

Lu Fa screwed up her brow in thought for a second before answering her friend's question. "I think we should go look at some dresses and pant suits before we buy the underwear you need. That's the way my sisters usually do it, they say that they don't know what would go best underneath until they find want looks best outside."

"What's that mean? What difference does what I have on underneath have when it is covered by what's on top," Essence answered with a confused look on her face.

"It makes a big difference Essence. You don't want to be wearing something dark under a light colored dress or blouse or everyone will be laughing at seeing your panties or bra though the material. Sometimes you can be such a boy about things," Lu Fa teased her while giving her the look that said she was an idiot, before losing herself and breaking down into a giggle fit before Essence realized that she was just kidding her and joined in with her friend.

When they both got over their laugh, Lu Fa confided in her that she did not understand the reason herself at first until her older sisters had bought her some bright underwear before buying her a new pair of white pants and top. It was only on the way back home that she realized what they meant when she heard the other kids laughing about her panties showing up so well in the sunlight. She had been so embarrassed that she had not gone anywhere else for a week after she had ran home in tears.

Essence listened to her friend talk about her embarrassing experience and thought back about what she had been wearing in the past, afraid that she had been giving some one a laugh at her expense without even realizing it. She began to understand that picking the right clothes was going to be more of a job than she had a first thought. She wished she could remember more of her past, she couldn't believe that she had never thought about this in the past and wondered again about her family. Did she have a mother and siblings or was she all alone now that her father was gone. Turning to Lu Fa, she grabbed the other girl in a tight hug and said, "I am really glad that I have you with me. I don't know what I would have done if that had been me. I want you to tell me everything that you think I should know. Now, let's get the lessons going before my stomach starts to complain about lunch."

With that, the two girls were off checking out the shops that Essence had never been into before and both having a great time. Essence enjoyed being the student to her friend and listened to everything that Lu Fa taught her as if it was the first time that she had ever been told how to be a proper girl. When the shop owners overheard the two girls talking and figured out that Essence did not know some things that they thought every girl her age should know they joined into the teaching lessons. By the time that the two girls had finished shopping, Essence was exhausted from focusing so intently on everything that she had been told by the other women. A plus side to the whole experience was that she ended up with much more clothes than she had originally intended to buy for less than she thought it should have. She realized that the shop owners had so enjoyed teaching her that they had all given her big discounts or just given her some items for free saying that that she was a friend and they did not feel right charging her full price. In fact, a few of them invited her to be sure to come back soon that they had some items coming in that would be perfect for her.

Essence was so happy about what she had feared would be a boring few hours that she did not complain when she noticed that they had walked into Lu Fa favorite ramen shop for lunch. When she looked over at her friend, she could just catch the grin on the edge of Lu Fa mouth at having tricked her into ramen again. When she reviewed the last few minutes in her mind, she realized something else that was funny. It was that she had brought the two of them to the ramen shop herself, having been going on habit.

"I'm going to get you for this Lu Fa, you knew I was not paying attention to where we where going and you just let me walk right on in didn't you?" Essence said with her best serious face.

"I don't know what you're talking about Essence. I was just following along behind you when you lead us here, I just assumed that you changed your mind," Lu Fa said with the sparkle of laugher in her eyes.

"Sure you did, just for that you will be the one buying ice-cream," Essence countered, watching her friend pale from the knowledge of what that would cost her. To be safe she would have to cut her planned order down to just two bowls from her usual three.

By the time, that the two girls got back from their shopping it was much later than they had planned to be out and both girls were stuffed and tired from the day's adventures. It did not take much effort on Comb's part to get the two to cut the fashion show of their purchases short with Lu Fa spending the night sleeping over with Essence in her bed.

"I still want to hear how your day went tomorrow and see everything that the two of you purchased together. I'm impressed that you were able to get so much on what little you two spent. Now, get into bed you two, before you drop right here and I have to carry you into your room myself," Comb said before shooing the two into bed and cutting the lights out on them.

Author Notes:

Wow, that was a break between chapters. I don't plan on taking this long on the next one and will be updating a chapter on one of my others soon too. Hope you enjoyed the read.