Whispers of Fire Ch14 Ficbit – Definitely a Trap

The conqueror of seven Dungeons stalked across the plaza like a lion, Merhdad a pale ghost in his wake. “Here you are, Princess. Delivered as promised.”

Coming with a horde of people and their hoard of… whatever, is not what you promised! Kougyoku fumed. But silently. Face. Diplomatic manners. She’d asked, he’d declined to answer – if she pushed it now, she’d look like the one without power.

Handsome and better at court games? Not fair.

Tall and confident, Sinbad clapped her prisoner on the shoulder like one of Kouha’s commanders seeing off a new recruit. “So! Good luck.”

“Thanks.” The blond’s voice was dry as a steppe summer as Sinbad sauntered off toward the ambassadors. “I’m going to need it.”

You’re going to need more than luck! Stepping forward, just far enough away from her people to make it clear she was in charge, Kougyoku stood straight as Father would. “Merhdad the smuggler. You are charged with smuggling, piracy, and murder in Kou waters. The penalty is death!” Her hand lifted to her hairpin; not too fast, smooth, make it elegant. “Choose your weapon.”

“As you wish!” Smiling, Merhdad reached into his cloak-

Eh? What? He’s wearing his Metal Vessel, I can see it!

-And pulled out a scroll.

“First, we need to define terms!”

30 thoughts on “Whispers of Fire Ch14 Ficbit – Definitely a Trap

  1. …Ever read Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett? How they were utterly illiterate, and terribly afraid of words, contracts, and especially Lawyers. Their swords even glowed blue in the presence of said lawyers.

    Here’s why they were right.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Well, to be fair, you never let Aladdin talk either… or Sinbad.

        Ja’far is probably much safer (relatively speaking) when he’s talking.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. HAHAHA oh my god alibaba pulling out a scroll as kougyoku tries to reach for her hairpin. he’s about to put her off balance and Then Some.

    thank you for the ficbit!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, I’m trying to get back up to 3k words a day, six days a week, with time left over for outlining/editing/researching. Goal is to have the quartet finished by the end of the year, with a language-chart to distinguish the dialects of the townsfolk (or other highly educated characters), farmers, and bandits.

        And hopefully get to the point where I have enough time left over from wannabe writing to continue fanfic.



  3. /-And pulled out a scroll.

    “First, we need to define terms!”/
    -Every DM in existence-
    “Rules lawyer alert!”

    I imagine Kougyoku is going to become very confused and out of depth over the course of this conversation. Because it’s pretty doubtful that Kou has ever been in the position where somebody could pull whatever Alibaba is about to do without the option of simply resorting to violence/magic when things don’t go their way.

    Meanwhile the Reim ambassador is likely getting semi-traumatic flashbacks as he watches the 20 chariot pileup unfold while realizing that yes, this boy is who he thinks he is.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. And the beauty of it is, Kougyoku’s doing this to show off the glorious Kou Empire, now in front of most of the significant nation-states in the region, so she has to pretend that their opinions matter.

        Wildcard here is Judar: As soon as he realizes that attacking Alibaba (for example, out of sheer frustration) would be proof that the Empire isn’t to be trusted, he might well conclude that the most likely way to force Sinbad into the fun-to-Judar of warfare would be to provoke Kougyoku into making that attack.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, everyone’s got plans, it seems like. Pretty much the carwreck part of a Gambit Pileup.

        But Judar’s the one who loves chaos, so I’m expecting him to reach the ‘f**k it, flip the table’ stage of response quicker than most.


        Liked by 1 person

      3. /But don’t forget Alibaba has something he wants: an out for Kougyoku rather than marrying Abhmad…./
        Of course he’ll want to ensure that HE isn’t the alternative to Kougyoku marrying Abhmad. He’s made his opinion on marriage contracts rather plain.
        /He’s going to flip a lot more than a table./
        Well of course. Just flipping the table would be boring. He’d want to do something a bit more over the top.

        To quote a line from a Girl Genius fic:
        /You’re a Heterodyne, kid. Your family never played the game. They kicked over the table, set fire to the board, turned everyone into chess pieces, then played hand-grenade croquet./

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Pretty much the carwreck part of a Gambit Pileup.

        Tangential, I can’t say I like that change to the trope name. It’s somehow less descriptive of what’s going on.

        …or maybe I’m just too old, because I see a pile of card-throwing Cajuns, not colliding schemes.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Alibaba plan? Alibaba Plan!
    Somehow I think it’s going to take charts and graphs and timelines for everyone there to figure out precisely *what* happened.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Even better! Alibaba is playing the magician’s right hand. The one everybody is watching so they can anticipate the trick. As much as a trap/ambush as this is… it’s primarily a distraction. And while all eyes are on him…Aladdin is the one working the real magic while nobody is looking.

    It’s one thing when your magic says “No. I’m not helping with this fight.” But now I’m trying to picture the Kou reaction to their djinn pointing out that essentially the Kou Empire is owned by Al-Thamen. If they’re able to manipulate you into doing everything they want, then your not actually in charge. *sheepish shrug*

    Liked by 1 person

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