The good thing about being a crow was that you blended in anywhere.
Of course, Viana was a particularly regal-looking crow, as these things went. Her feathers gleamed with health, glossy and neat on her elegant frame. Their oiled sheen caught the sun in iridescent slicks of purple, blue, and green, the scorching vivid sun of the southern lands coaxing out their brightest colors. The trained eye might also notice the small, neat, blue-green bands of color in her feathers, tucked amongst the black near her shoulders, but even those almost never drew notice save from the keenest ornithologists. Crows were common as dirt, as at home in the grimy, bustling city as in the woodlands, and so they were quite useful for going unseen. It was in this guise that she gazed upon the half-ruined city of Attirac, bored out of her little feathered skull.
The baking adobe rooftop perch Viana had selected was becoming uncomfortable, even in the cooling heat of sunset, and she was just contemplating her next stop when the pale woman materialized on the roof immediately adjacent.
Viana kaarked softly to herself in surprise, all her attention now eagerly focused on the deceptively slight figure. She cocked her head to the side in a jerky movement, shifting to focus one of her side-set eyes square on the figure. It crossed her mind that perhaps she'd just imagined it. Maybe she'd been inattentive, and the woman had been there all along, and just abruptly stood and disturbed a cloud of dust--but then it happened again. One moment she was there, the next she seemed to dissolve. A loud thud brought Viana's neck snapping around to one of the food sellers' stalls down below and well out of jumping distance away, where the ice-white woman was perched as neat as a bird.
This. This was something very new, and very interesting.
Quick as thought, Viana darted to the pie shack, her wings carrying her far faster than any bird ought to be able to fly. Her little grey claws gripped the edge of the shack's roof as she considered the woman, who had used such an impressive--and noticeable--power for something as simple as acquiring the food sold in this humble shack.
It wasn't only the other customers who were distracted by this sudden display. The owner of the shack was staring, as well, looking poleaxed and frozen in the middle of an interaction with an annoyed customer. The smell of the pies wafted up, that uniquely heady aroma of cooked flesh; her crow's stomach would have screamed for it even if her human body hadn't. And this strange new human seemed to want them very much.
Taking advantage of her inconspicuousness and the baker's distraction, Viana fluttered to the ground and then half strutted, half hopped into the shop. She kept to the wall and flapped up onto one of the crates that served as a counter at the last moment, wings folded on her back as she marched along the row of hot pies, considering them curiously. With a quick downward stab, she plunged her beak into the most appealing of them and began feasting, bright, beady little eyes on the baker all the while.
He didn't realize she was there until he had snapped out of his trance enough to reach for the customer's order, and at that point she had already consumed a good third of the fragrant treat. With a last darting motion, Viana speared an especially hefty chunk of meat, taking with it a broken smear of potato and a nugget of barley, all of it swimming in a rich sauce of cumin, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, and coriander. She effortlessly dodged the man's clumsy swipes and flew out of the shop with the food dangling from her beak, as a few people in the crowd laughed quietly. A low canvas awning over a nearby stall provided her next perch, and she settled in to watch, intelligent eyes staring at the strange woman who'd first caught her attention.