This is a small one-shot fic, I came up with whence starting the book, The Arabian Nights. Now, at this point I would highly recommend the book, because it is very well written and described as well as entertaining. Other than that, I hope you enjoy this and tell me what you think in the comments below! Let's kick it!
In the town of Betil, there was once a Danuki merchant, with which carried with her the reputation of a miser and a hard negotiator. Not only would she haggle and incesantly overcharge, she even would resort to sly pickpockets and fixed gambling. Even though such rumors surrounded her, that didn't stop the pervayors of her stand in the slightest from dealing with her.
It was one day, while packing away her stand for the afternoon, the merchant spied a lone man playing chess by himself at a nearby fountain. Fancying herself to be at an advantage, the Danuki walked over to the man and made an offer, "If you beat me at a game, I will give you any one of my merchandise, free of charge. However, if you lose, you shall have to buy it for twice the value."
The man, who seemed to look about in his good years of thirty, made a slight smile and joyously welcomed her, "My guest, I can most assuredly entertain your wager. Please do sit!"
She smirked, but was put off by his happy nature and sat where he presented. Choosing the white, she started the game; being black, the man followed second. Not long after they had started, the man had lost six of his pawns, while the merchant had lost only her two rooks and one bishop. At this point, the man shifted in his seat and asked who it is the merchant was.
To which she replied, "I am but just a merchant here, selling my catch better than any fisherman, and collecting more gold than the greediest of dragons." She ended her sentence in stealing his bishop with the speed of her knight.
The man rubbed his chin and said, "Even though such things seem great, why have you no one person to share it with?"
The merchant grimaced and drew the attention back to the game, "Make haste, I while I am good spirits and will continue our deal."
At that the man only smiled and looked to the board, his hand on his rook and said, "For such many treasures in life, but the best is having someone to experience it with." Upon ending his sentence, he drew his rook up to the top corner of herside of the board and effectively trapped her king under the watchful gazes of his two rooks and his last remaining bishop. Checkmate.
The Danuki, seeing that she lost, stood up with dismay and gestured him to her stand. "You have won, so please pick the item to which you are to recieve as your winnings, as was the deal we made."
Putting away the black and white pieces into a small wooden container and folding up the board, the man stood and said, "There is nothing in that stand that I so desire right now, could I trouble you to carry such favor whence I do find something of value to me?"
Reluctantly, she agreed and the man went along his way.
It was not two days later when she found the man once again at the fountain playing chess by himself. The merchant had a sudden idea and approached the man once again, "Since we have yet to settle your reward, I issue you a challenge."
Once again the man was very kind and offered the Danuki a seat to discuss the challenge. Patting down her robe, she sat and placed her hands on her lap, "Good sir, before I can fully issue the challenge, I am intrigued as to who you are, please do tell me who is the man who managed to best me."
Smiling and unfolding his arms, he extended his hand, "I am a simple prodigy, born with the gift of great insight and thirst for knowledge. I spend my days here playing by myself and helping the fine tailor on the way down from here."
The merchant readily shakes his hand and nods, "I see, so you are very proficient in this game?"
The prodigy nods, "I have been playing it all of my life, actually."
"So it was fair to say that I was at quite a disadvantage during our previous match?" She licked her lips slyly and placed her hands together.
The man furrowed his brow, "Ah, I see your point. I take it you would like to resettle the matter?"
The Danuki made a soft sigh and nodded, "Yes, I propose a best two-out-of-three to settle the matter."
The prodigy leaned forward, "And I assume you will be picking the game?"
She nodded, "Will that be any problem?"
He smiled and folded his arms once again, "I have no problem playing along with such a wonderful and desireable company."
The Danuki disguises her blush with a faking giggle and thought, how could such a man be spouting such words to her? Her thoughts wandered about this man, studying him more closely. A small set of bi-focals hung in his robe pocket and his over all appearnce was that of what he said, a simple genius.
No matter, the merchant thought, I can ensare this prodigy with ease. "I wouldn't be too quick to judge my intentions. The stakes of this bet are very high."
The prodigy leaned forward, intrigued as the merchant went on, "If you win two of the three games, not only would you recieve the previously promised product, but also be able to get one favor or wish from me. However, if you lose two of the three games, you shall be indebted to me until such time as I see fit to dismiss you. In essence, you'll be mine."
Indeed the stakes were high for the prodigy, to which he spent a long while pondering. The merchant held her face in a curled grin, almost like that of the most mischevious Cheshire.
The man stood up suddenly and beamed with happiness, "Why, I will most greatly take your bet, malady. But, to each who wins, must uphold their end of the bargin."
The minxy Danuki stood up and shook the man's hand, "Then let us begin now, since we are already here and the town is quite in a bustle."
She pointed down to her stand and beckoned him to follow. Turning behind the stand, she picks out a stack of papers from below, a tower almost that of three feet high. "These are my past years profit forms to be turned into the creditors at the capital. We shall split them evenly and compete to finish our assigned stack and who ever completes first, shall win the game and recieve one point."
The prodigy rolled up the sleeves of his shirt and took his portion of the stack, "Then let us begin, malady."
Yet another soft blush struck the merchant as she too took her stack. How could such a man be so kind with such high stakes? Lost in thought for only a moment, the Danuki remembered her subverssion and hastily went about filling out each sheet. The prodigy, who was now writing in hard, audible scribbles, had been given a much larger stack than the merchant, to which worked in her favor. And that it did.
The merchant set her quill aside after two hours and was completed with her work, the prodigy on the other hand was still to be halfway finished. Seeing he lost, the man stood up and humbly accepted defeat.
"It is now a tie between us, milady. Seeing as I have lost, shall I choose the next game?"
The Danuki stood up, basking in her glory of victory, "Yes it is the custom of the loser to pick the next game."
She stressed the term loser, but was only greeted with a happy smile from the man. How could such a man retain being so....happy? She tisked and awaited the man's challenge.
The prodigy places his hands on the stand and turns back towards the fountain, which atop it sat a large arrangement of roses. "The last game I propose is simple. Upon the fountain that I sit at everyday, is a large bouquet of roses on its top, tended to every few days by the gardners of the city. Which ever one of us counts all the roses correctly wins the game. There is no time limit or restraint, just one guess."
The merchant walked towards the fountain, followed by the man, and looked at the bouquet of roses. "But how will we know the real number of roses? Surely you don't plan to trap me in this game and already know the answer?"
The prodigy smiled and pointed to a man on the far side of the fountain, "He is a gardner who takes care of the fountain. He knows how many there are. I have not counted as of yet."
She turned to the man with her hands on her hips, "This is quite easy and the stakes are very high for you. Are you sure you wouldn't want to pick another game?"
The man sat down and looked in the waters of the fountain, "I am happy with what I have chosen." He smiled back up at here and gestures her to the fountain, "With all dear courtesy, please go first."
The merchant eyed the man and walks beside the fountain, sweeping her gaze along the flower cove and counting each one, as the man sat idle and patient. Finally, after half of an hour, the merchant returned to the man and stood before him, "I count 128 roses. That is how many there are."
The man stood up and said, "Then I claim there are 129 roses."
She looks at the man with suspicsion, "Just one number higher?"
He nods and strides with her to the gardner. Upon asking the gardner how many roses there were in the assortment, he replied saying that there were 129 roses in the rose bouquet.
Hearing her defeat, she turned to the prodigy just in time to see his hand place a rose in between her hair and ear. "One must always know when to use such beautiful things sparingly."
She gently feels the rose in her hair, blushing but now also upset. "You cheated! You took one from the bush and intentionally made me think there was 128! You cheated!"
The prodigy placed his hands on her shoulders and smiled joyously once more, "Ah but weren't you the one who gave me more papers and slips to do than yourself before?"
The merchant drooped her ears, she had been found out. "Even more so," continued the prodigy, " I did not specify to only the roses above the fountain, now did I?"
She blushes and looks down, how could she have not seen such an obvious ruse? Sulking, she turns back to her stand and begins packing up, as the prodigy is soon behind her.
"Ma'am, I do believe I have found something of value in your stand. May I have it?"
She gives a hissing sigh, "Take what it is you want. I lost, so take the item you desire and leave me." As she turned back to the man, she was startled to see him so close to her face, to which he cupped her chin in his hand.
"You were not in the stand yesterday, you see? If there is one thing in this world that I want, it is someone to be with. For many times I though it could've been anyone, but you have changed that utterly."
The merchant, stuck in the man's gaze, stood like stone as he pointed where the rose still laid, "You really are a beautiful woman, an even smarter and shrude business woman, but you are every bit as lovely as I say you are."
"With that being said," the prodigy said as he brought her chin up and embraced her lips with his own and kissed her. In no way could the Danuki deny it, she had fallen for the prodigy who bested her.
Breaking from their grasps, the prodigy spoke in hushed tones as he hugged his arms around the merchant, " I call upon the favor and that of which you owe me. Please, for none shall go back on their word, please will you be mine?"
No greater way could the Danuki answer than by giving the prodigy another, longer and deeper kiss before night begun to fall on Betil.
And There you have it folks, a good spankin new story for those like me who love the girls that don't get to share in the lime light. I hope you enjoyed it and please, as each avid reader would say, please try and read Arabian Nights. Tis a very good read. Til next time!