Whispers of Fire Ch8 bit – Heatstroke

It was impossible. It was crazy. It was Alibaba, for Solomon’s sake, the guy was no way anything like the Sinbad stories-

But what if it is? “A Magic Tool nobody else he’s let try can use,” Cassim said out loud. “Like the ones we’re looking for; only someone with Sinbad’s permission can use them.”

“You think he’s been dealing with Sindria from the start?” Zainab’s eyes narrowed, considering that from every angle. “Huh. Could be. They trade everywhere; the Oasis Cities would be on the list.”

“Maybe,” Cassim muttered. “Or-” He snapped his own jaw shut, almost biting his lip.

“Boss?” Hassan ventured.

“…It’s crazy,” Cassim breathed.

“We’re talking about Alibaba.” The one-eyed thief grinned at him. “Crazy just comes along with him.”

It was still crazy. But- “Magic Tools let anybody use them. That’s what the stories all say. That’s what we’ve seen, with the Fogblades,” Cassim said firmly. “So what kind of magic doesn’t?”

Zainab snorted. “Like we haven’t heard that right out of the… Sinbad stories….” She stared at him, eyes wide as nightfall.

“The traders who’ve come from Qishan say there used to be a Dungeon there.” Cassim shook his head; it couldn’t be possible. “And he’s a prince.”

Hassan traded a glance with Zainab, then reached out to pat his boss on the shoulder. “Boss, you need to get out of the sun. You heard the Sinbad stories too. Alibaba, take on a dragon? No way.”

Yeah. Right. What had he been thinking?

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30 thoughts on “Whispers of Fire Ch8 bit – Heatstroke

  1. *Bursts out laughing*
    Wait, was that outloud?

    Oooh Cassim, Denial ain’t gonna be a good friend when Hard Reality decides its had enough of being ignored. Cue L.E.O. Malleting.
    Yeah, say hello to all those pretty stars. I’ll watch.

    From a safe distance.

    With sunglasses.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. >Yeah. Right. What had he been thinking?>
    Complete and utter craziness.
    Which is why considering it’s Alibaba he ought to consider it as a legitimate possibility.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. There wasn’t a /dragon/ but there was a bunch of slime monsters that evolved to be more effective at their job, a bunch of traps and riddles. And an island whale after he got the tool. Watching reality bitch slap him will be fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes Cassim, it is indeed crazy. Alibaba totally agrees with you. He *fervently* agrees with you. He has tried explaining this to people, but so far it hasn’t worked. Maybe you would like to try?

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Yeah. Right. What had he been thinking?

    That you know Alibaba is crazy and a Metal Vessel is the only magic tool that only one person can use?

    And I feel compelled to point that princes or other royalty or nobility aren’t the only ones who can conquer a dungeon.

    Or does Sinbad not include the fact that he, the peasant nobody from Hicksville Paverti, conquered not one dungeon but seven while making time to kick many a royal or noble behind, starting with he of the too many and silly names? And all before and during the time that he founded the Kingdom of Sindria because he had acquired a lot of people following him around and they needed somewhere to live?

    Or are you one of those people (because Sinbad’s usual term of idiot might be a bit harsh in this moment) who believes the proganga put forth by said nobles that Sinbad has to be from some kind of noble line from some ancient lost kingdom because it is the only thing that makes sense with their worldview?

    Sinbad keeps trying to squash that nonsense but it repeats more times than raw vegetables . . .

    Or because he is a king now, you are ignoring that he wasn’t always a king? Kinda of like how you like to ignore that Alibaba might be the son of King Rashid but still spent the first nine years of his life in the slums of Balbadd, just like you?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ignoring. Cassim’s real good at ignoring. *Rueful G*

      Hopefully Alibaba and the Fog Troupe will have enough cluebats, eventually!

      And yeah. I could so see all the rest of the kings saying Sinbad had to be a royal, it’s the only thing that makes sense!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ignoring. Cassim’s real good at ignoring.

        Figures.

        . . . enough cluebats, eventually!

        Well, it does take time to wear out a shell of denial. Especially since Cassim’s has been smeared with industrial strength clue repellent . . .

        I don’t think his evil magic tool is responsible for creating this attitude and stubborness but it probably isn’t helping the task of getting reality pounded into his skull.

        Of course, it doesn’t help that even the senior members of his gang also think the very idea of Alibaba being a Dungeon Capturer to be ridiculous.

        Ja’far could inform them that nothing is too ridiculous once you start involving Dungeons, Djinn, and certain idiots. Especially idiots who have had it up to here with something and have decided they are stopping and fixing this nonsense right now.

        Alibaba’s ambitions might be smaller than Sinbad’s (the kingdom of Balbadd versus the entire world) but otherwise . . .

        Liked by 1 person

      2. *G* It’s canon that both Hassan and Zainab remember Alibaba as the snot-nosed kid who looked after Cassim’s sister while they were robbing people. Him, capture a Dungeon? Come on!

        But yes. The rukh seems to have ideas about Kings and the ridiculous, doesn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, great big hot blowing flapping thing with teeth and claws and fire breathe and teeth does tend to command your attention and capture your imagination. Dragon just sounds impressive. Slime monster, not so much.

        Like

  6. Thought the Third: I’m kinda of surprised that even with the clear physical resemblence that Alibaba even believed his father’s story without Anis able to confirm it? Yes, he didn’t at first but still . . .

    That might be another thing that undermines his confidence on the idea of being Rashid’s heir – maybe part of Alibaba doesn’t believe he is actually Rashid’s son. Because I’m almost positive someone in the palace would have said that to him. That he was just a street rat who happens to look a little like Rashid and when the king gets tired of this nonsense, he will be back on the streets where he belongs.

    Yeah, people at palace say they remember his mother the palace maid. And maybe Anis mentioned that she worked at the palace and learned stuff like how to read and write there. But these people work for the King so they might be lying.

    Because we know Alibaba is very good at telling himself he is worthless with only the slight shred of evidence or anything that could conceivable be considered evidence.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I think with both Jahan and Sinbad confirming that yes, he’s too much like Rashid for it to be a coincidence, he might eventually get it.

        Good.

        Through it is probably also a good thing that both Jahan and Sinbad are as stubborn as Alibaba because getting Alibaba to believe something good about himself takes a lot of persistence.

        So it is also good thing that Morgiana and Aladdin are very stubborn too since that isn’t the only thing they knew to get pounded into his skull.

        Poor clue-bats. Between Cassim, Alibaba, Sinbad, and the Rens (just to name a few), they are going to be so worn out by the end of this story . . .

        But still. Given he’s not at all like Rashid’s known sons… yeah.

        Yeah.

        And very likely would not occur to the especially stuck up and spoiled nobles (of which Balbadd seems to have no shortage of) that is how little said sons are like said father would be a good indicator that maybe they are the ones who aren’t Rashid’s sons. Likely because their mother is one of them and Anis was not.

        Like

      2. I’d believe Sabhmad is his – he does have a backbone, under all the anxiety. Abhmad, though….

        Just too dissimiliar in looks, temperament, etc . . . and since we believe in Balbadd that martial fidelity and being legitimate is not a big deal added in with the fact that it was likely that Rashid didn’t marry his noble wife because he loved her . . . not out of the realm of possibility.

        Like

  7. I don’t know whether I’m more or less annoyed that Cassim almost figured it out… and then flubbed it on the last step. (And over ‘Dragon’ of all things. C’mon, did you not remember Island Whale and Desert Hyacinth both coming up?)

    Because seriously, Cassim’s bad habits press /several/ of my buttons. He ignores the practically point-blank suffering of others no matter what to indulge in his own trauma; his almost nihilistic desire to set the world on fire, even when that’s just /further hurting himself and the people trying to fix things/; his refusal to think of the consequences as long as it gets him closer to his goal of hurting people…

    *Flails arms and gesticulates wildly*

    I have a particular frustration with characters who seem to not only observe and process that other people are suffering – often horrifically – but also to understand empathy /and then refuse to apply it out of stubbornness, callousness, or arrogance!/

    I also have a particular frustration with characters who can be point blank presented with all the facts of a situation showing how it really is, and refuse to even recognize that the opposing argument has some validity while the character stubbornly and blindly clings to their hatred and repeats all the reasons /they were just shown were false/ for why their hatred is Right!

    I’m practically incoherent with annoyance in my desire to punch Cassim in the head.

    Good job.

    Liked by 3 people

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