Here we see a neat technique to describe a person through the eyes and conversation of another. Likewise, we see a means to describe a change in appearance that isn't actually physical.
Natalya stared at Aksinya. Her hands reached up to touch her own face, but it felt no different than before.
Aksinya smiled, “You may speak now. The enchantment is finished.” She turned away a little, “Put away my things, demon. I did as you wished.”
Natalya stuck out her hand, “Countess, you look so different. Like an old grandmother. Your beautiful dress is now rags.”
“Look at yourself in the next dark window glass we pass. You are an ancient granny yourself. You will find you smell like one, look like one, are dressed as one, and sound like one. In time, our appearance and clothing will turn back to what it should be. That is, unless I make a second enchantment. Unfortunately, we can’t change our clothing until then.”
“You will not be able to bathe.”
Aksinya muttered under her breath, “It is simply another torment from my personal demon.”
Natalya might not have heard her, “I’m sorry, countess.”
Aksinya didn’t turn toward the demon, “Asmodeus, I did as you wished. We are ready to go.”
“You performed well, countess. Are you certain you don’t want to wait for the young, drunken Bolsheviks?”
Aksinya half turned her head and scowled.
The demon continued, “I know you are feeling that desire.”
Aksinya bit her lip then she began to pray. She had made a rosary as part of the costume of the old women they had become. She couldn’t truly touch the rosary at her fingertips, but by every appearance, she touched it. She began to pray it, and her desire decreased. Asmodeus frowned. He lifted his lips so his fangs showed clearly.
Natalya laughed, “Certainly, old women would pray. They pray continually.” She began to tick off the prayers by counting her rosary. She was completely caught up in the amazement of having something that appeared to move in her hand, but that had no real substance. Even so, the rosary reacted as though she touched it.
Aksinya took Natalya’s arm and together, both praying in almost synchronicity, they walked toward the train station. Glumly, Asmodeus followed behind them with the heavy chest on his shoulders.
We also get to see another small act of rebellion by Aksinya. We will see that her rebellion comes with repercussions. The demon is not obvious with his attacks, but we will see the results--remember they are tied directly and indirectly to her actions.