Day 1: Two Women
Anyone who glanced at these two pretty young women walking by the marketplace would probably mistake them for sisters. Same height, equally young and beautiful, delicate features, they also seemed to enjoy each other's company.
However, a more attentive bystander would need just couple of seconds to notice the difference. The beautiful blonde appeared to spend lots of time in front of the mirror, doing her hair, applying meticulous makeup on her round face to make it look as aristocratic and natural as possible. Her violet stola with its ornate frill at the bottom was held on her shoulders by pearl clasps, and a purple palla was wrapped around her body in a rather elaborate manner. Every tiny detail was intended to reveal to the outer world that she was a respectable matrona, married to a wealthy citizen.
The other was bare-faced with dark brown hair tied into braids which seemed to have a life of its own. She wore a simple purple outer tunic, fastened with a belt. Her eyes were red as if she had cried a lot recently. Yet, even in her current state, with her glassy stare and expressionless face, she seemed to stir up envy in her companion.
"Stop being so gloomy, Marcella," said the blonde in a hushed voice, with a fake smile that sought to hide their conversation from others. She pretended to be interested in the weapons and armoury stacked on one of the stall's shelves. "He deserved what had happened to him! How could he leave his poor master alone in that awful tavern and just disappear! Of course, he's dead! They waited for him for three days before going back to the residence."
Marcella's eyes glared with fury.
"You can never know that for sure, mother" she pronounced the last word louder, and the merchant who was smiling back to the blonde, quickly wiped the smile off his face and returned to polishing the helmet. The body hasn't been found. He might be alive."
"You should be grateful that after all that has happened, your brother's master is so interested in you." hissed the blonde, "and don't call me 'mother' in public! I'm not that much older than you."
"But you are married to my father. That means you're my dearest mother now," replied Marcella in an angry voice, before rushing away. "Isn't it what you wanted?"
Six years ago, Marcella's stepmother was two times older than her and two times younger than Marcella's father. When Marcella is 36, she will be half the age of her father. How old is Marcella, her father, and her stepmother now?
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