The Lady Natalya is a skilled and well trained lady-in-waiting. Unfortunately, she was taught to be too deferential for her position. I didn't expect you to get this unless you are very familiar with aristocracy. We will see how this plays out in the future. This is a revelation that shows the depth of the research in the writing, but that is largely unimportant right now. This will become a clearer revelation in the future. What I want the reader to see is the care and patience of Aksinya. The reader may only see this in retrospect to these incidents.
Aksinya and Natalya ate a light supper in Aksinya’s bedroom. Natalya would not sit, and in spite of Aksinya’s protests, ate hers in the bathroom. Aksinya did convince her to leave the door open so they could converse. They dressed for travel. Asmodeus brought a wardrobe out of the magnificent chest so Aksinya could choose the clothing for Natalya to adjust.
Aksinya gave a flitting smile, “Why don’t you find my small trunk, and we shall transfer the clothing I wish the Lady Natalya to work on. That will make it much more convenient for us all.”
Asmodeus stared suspiciously at her for a moment, but brought out the trunk and Aksinya’s sewing case but not the jewelry box. After he left, Aksinya, with Natalya’s help, chose from among Aksinya’s mother’s gowns. They packed some into the trunk and put one in the sewing case.
When the glass panes in Aksinya’s window turned completely dark, a rap came on the door, “It is I, Asmodeus.”
Aksinya waited a moment before she replied, “You may enter.”
The demon came in and glanced around, “You are both ready?”
Aksinya nodded and Lady Natalya parroted her. Aksinya pointed at the packed trunk and her sewing case. Asmodeus held the trunk under his arm and carried the sewing case.
The demon gestured with the case, “Very well, follow me.”
Aksinya stood and Natalya placed the long mink coat over her shoulders. She tied the clasp at Aksinya’s throat. Then Natalya pulled the heavy woolen cloak Aksinya had given her over her own shoulders. She closed her eyes and buried her nose in the collar for just a moment, then she tied the clasp.
Asmodeus led them out the back door of the inn. There he placed the trunk and the sewing case into his great chest and lifted it onto his shoulders. He headed into the darkness. Natalya gave a gasp each time she saw something come in or out of the amazing chest. And though Aksinya had seen it happen so many times, she was a little surprised herself at it.
The Lady Natalya whispered, “It is like Koschei’s chest. Does he also keep your soul in it for you, countess?”
Aksinya glanced at Natalya, “I am simply mortal, and not at all like Koschei.”
Natalya followed Aksinya into the frozen darkness. In spite of Natalya’s reference to Koschei, Aksinya believed the Lady Natalya saw the demon as a handsome courtier and certainly not as he really appeared. At least she thought her lady-in-waiting did. Aksinya controlled herself from taking a peek at his current appearance.
The important part here is the sewing chest and the clothing. Aksinya is making her own plans to protect herself and Natalya. You don't know what she is up to, but you might guess.