A Rude Awakening
A Rude Awakening:
a short story by Kairns
It was a clear and crisp autumn day. Squirrels were running everywhere, looking for acorns to store up for the upcoming winter. The moon could even be seen in the sky....
And finally, I was out. Out and able to walk the streets of Koguryo alone, without the pesky scrutiny of that old tutor. I could do anything that I wanted! The first order of business would be to secure some fancy new rings. I needed to be able to show off - what was the point in being around everyone if I didn't look good?
I wandered down to the ring shop, opened the door, and saw the shopkeeper busy with two mages: a man and a woman. "Yes," the shopkeeper said. "I'm sure that I can find the best engagement ring available for you right away. Let me go get my amber-crafter...would amethyst be a suitable color?"
"Hey, shopkeeper. Before you go, why don't you give me a couple of those black rings," I demanded.
"Just a moment," he assured me. "These other people were here first, young one."
"It'll only take a second. I think you should help me now."
The shopkeeper sighed. In retrospect, I probably didn't convince him, but he was probably just too tired to continue arguing with me. It'd probably be simpler to sell me the rings and get me out the door.
"Listen, I don't have any money. Just take these acorns - don't worry, they're gold," I said, slipping him some normal acorns. I figured since he was so pressured to help out the couple before me, he wouldn't notice.
Fast-forward a little bit. I'm talking to Maso, and he's telling me that I need to sacrifice ten golden acorns to him to learn how to become vicious like the wolf.
I spent a good two hours going around picking flowers and then selling them back to druids in an attempt to make money. Finally, with my earnings I ventured to the butcher's shop.
"I'd like 10 gold acorns," I asked, tired from picking flowers. We executed the transaction.
I made it back to Maso, only to discover that the acorns weren't gold! I demanded that the butcher let me exchange them, and she told me this.
"Earlier, Mr. Suhl from the ring shop came in and sold them to me. I guess I didn't check carefully enough - he said they were gold. I'm sorry, better luck next time," she reasoned.
Ugh. I was out of luck. What a waste of my two hours. Some good came out of it, though: I realized that it was unscrupulous to cheat people out of what they worked for, and ever since then, I'd like to believe that I've been an honorable citizen of these kingdoms.