It was late when I got back to the market. Many of the more legitimate vendors had packed up for the day, particularly the ones who sold fresh meats and vegetables. But still nobody stopped me as I walked away from those shops, and if anything, the Goblin Market was busier.
There was somebody else working in the little shop with the big shrine in the back, sorting through costume jewelry at the counter. She looked up when I came in but didn’t say anything.
The figure was there. Of course it was. It wasn’t like a spirit would go to all the trouble of getting me back there and then let the figure disappear. I picked her up and headed for the counter.
“Do you know Mara?” the woman at the counter asked, a hint of accent in her Mandarin. Was she from Aryavarta, maybe?
“I know she’s a money spirit,” I shrugged. “That’s all I need to know, isn’t it?”
She shook her head. “She’s much more than a money spirit. She can touch virtually every part of your life, if you let her. Her oldest title is Daughter of Earth.”
I laughed uncomfortably. “Well, money’s really all I’m worried about. Dirt’s not really my thing. It’s not like I’m a farmer or anything.”
“Oh, earth is everyone’s thing,” the priestess at the counter said.
“I don’t really…” I trailed off, not wanting to offend her.
“Let me tell you a little about Mara,” she smiled, and I listened.