Teaching a Young Pup New Tricks
The day was gentle on the plains - the Su’une warmed softly, and the summer rain caressed the skin like a cozy embrace. The grass grew tall this time of year, and on an otherwise empty plain largely devoid of grazing life for the time being, it saw no reason not to. For the life that did exist, the grass provided some nice hiding spots to stay out of sight from any prying eyes. One such little creature was, in fact, little Ossurman, who had crawled away from his mother-father while they rested under a mango tree. The little boy was an adventurous soul, and did not shy away from the mud caking his hands and knees as he wormed his way through the grass, eager to explore the world.
The little boy crawled for almost an hour without pause, the divine nutrients in his daily meals strengthening him beyond what a normal human baby should be capable of. He crawled over stone and under tree, until he finally reached an opening in the grass, one where he could spy down into a deep ravine, which, too, was slowly growing together again thanks to the newly erected Clan Pillar.
“Goo,” he said into the deep.
“‘Goo’ indeed, little one,” said a voice from behind as Ossurman was picked up by his waist. Though he struggled, there wasn’t much the baby could do against this adversary. Cradling him in her arms, Koine looked down at the baby as she tickled his belly, inciting some quiet squirming. She had come to this part of the land to find potential sites of future development, but she instead found something much more interesting. A baby wandering around without any clear parental supervision was one thing, but Koine could sense that this one was of a direct divine line. Koine was always aware that there were other divine entities, but this was the first time she had actual proof of it. “I don’t suppose you could tell me where your parents are, now could you?” Koine asked Ossurman, using the tone of voice for babies.
Whether or not he could answer, it was a rhetorical question. The little Ossurman was clearly too young to speak. The only course of action she had was to locate his parental figures and ask for compensation. Koine was no tracker, but the trail of a baby wasn’t too hard to spot and she began following it back to its source. While doing so, Koine held up a hand and began flipping a gold coin over her fingers for Ossurman’s amusement. The baby eyed the gold with saucer-like eyes, chubby hands waving at them clumsily in bumbling attempts to catch them. Slimy spit bubbled at his lips and he unleashed another, “Gooh!” It was unclear if he was answering Koine’s question or not.
The trip was a long one, but Koine did her best to keep Ossurman occupied, from telling a story to trying to teach him basic arithmetic. Eventually, Koine made her way to a mango tree where there was a being with more than the standard amount of arms resting underneath it. Judging from the godly aura radiating from it, Koine believed she had found the divine parent irresponsible enough to let their offspring wander off into the middle of nowhere. “Hello there,” Koine greeted it. “I believe this child is yours.”
The many-armed god stirred to life, blinking in a sleepy daze. “Wuh..?” Then they sat up, revealing their large, swollen belly. A groggy hand scratched their hair at the roots and their eyes suddenly flared up in realisation. They rocketed to their feet, albeit their balance was somewhat off, and summoned forth a myriad of sabres. ”My son! You thieving fiend! Unhand him at once and deliver him here, or your body shall be split into a thousand parts and sown across the land like bloody grain!”
Koine’s eyes widened in mild surprise for a second at their sudden aggression, then sighed in disappointment. She waved her hand across, transforming the sabres into gold and silver coins. “That’s not a nice example to be showing to your child, now is it?” Koine asked, smiling. “How about we have a nice calm discussion, like how this child was about to fall down a ravine?” Holding Ossurman up to eye level, Koine added, “Do make sure to keep an eye on him next time. I traveled more than an hour to get here.”
”HMPH!” A pair of arms shot out to snatch the child from Koine’s arms. ”Don’t you tell me how to raise my boy. I happen to be the expert on raising children. I am, after all, Chakravarti, the parent of parents! And this child, as you so crudely referred to my son, is none other than the Ossurman vur Chakravarti, first of his name and emperor of these lands. You owe him and me some respect, you, you…” The many armed god seemed to briefly allow their eyes to affix to the rings of silver and jewelrious stones about her figure, and their face visibly lost its animosity bit by bit as the eyes caught more and more signs of wealth in and about Koine’s form. In a completely different tone, they said softly, ”Well, he~llo, o muse of exotics - what brings you here to these distant parts?”
Koine continued to smile, her business face fully on. “I’m glad you asked, Chakravarti,” she said. “I am currently searching for profitable business ventures, scouring the lands for optimal trade routes and potential customers. I have not found much success in this task, which is to be expected for a ruined world such as this. However, I believe you and Emperor Ossurman are quite the find. I see profit in both our futures, and my eyes don’t lie when it comes to good business.”
“My terms are very simple,” Koine continued. “There is a race of draconic humanoids whom I call the Loong. Should they come to these lands, I expect them to receive safe passage and first priority in trade agreements. In return, you will receive profitable wares, ranging from basic necessities to luxury goods not found anywhere else. Do we have a deal?”
The many-armed god pursed their lips. ”O-ho~! A lady of quality; a woman of wealth! What deals; what proposals!” They cast aloft two hands and cupped one thoughtfully under their chin. ”Your offer is most enticing, silver-ringed one, but I cannot simply avoid making a counteroffer - one that is worth much, much more than both mortal affairs and profitable goods.” They smiled and reached out a hand. ”Are you interested?”
“Of course I am,” Koine agreed. “That is Business 101, and I’d be disappointed if you didn’t.” She then held up a hand before adding, “But before I take your hand, I simply must hear this offer of yours. If you can truly offer what you promise, then I don’t wish to miss it.”
”Why, of course!” The many-armed god did a pirouette, kicking out a leg with surprising agility in spite of their pregnancy. They knelt down with the risen knee dodging the curvature of their belly and sent five arms out like the rays of the sun, two hugging Ossurman to their chest and the last extending forward with an inviting open palm. ”Oh, most beautiful and affluent lady from distant lands - would you do me, Chakravarti vur Chakravarti, the honour of becoming my wife?”
Koine gingerly placed her fingers on Chakravarti’s and answered, “I’m honored you would ask this of me, and perhaps under different circumstances I would have accepted. However, this offer would restrict my actions too much to realize my plans for the future. I do apologize, for I must decline your proposal.” With that said, Koine let her fingertips slide away from theirs, her smile turning apologetic.
The many-armed god recoiled as though struck by an arrow to the chest. They feigned a violent cough and keeled over onto all sixes, breathing as though choked. ”Alas, what directness! I am wounded! Second proposal in a row, no less!” They rolled onto their back and two hands lifted Ossurman up over their face. ”Am I losing my touch, o son of mine? Have I grown fat and ugly with pregnancy?”
Koine chuckled as she knelt down near Chakravarti. “I do hope this won’t affect our business relationship,” she said. “Speaking of which, as for my previous offer, are you ready to discuss it or shall I return at a later time?”
”Leave me alone,” wept the god and rubbed away tears with four hands. ”Can you not see I am in mourning? That I am heartbroken? Alas, nothing can dyke this deluge in my spirit; what remedy can cure this wound to the soul?” A fist pierced the sky. ”Fate, how cruel must you be?!”
Koine knelt in place for a few more seconds, staring at Chakravarti, then decided there was nothing more to gain by staying here. Standing back up, Koine said, “Then I bid you farewell, Chakravarti and Emperor Ossurman.” Then she began to wander off, intending to continue surveying the land as her original goal.
Oss is out adventuring on his baby own when he runs (or crawls) into Koine. Koine wonders just how a baby got this far away on its own. She thus takes him back to where he came from, finding a sleeping Chak under a tree. She wakes them up and tells them to take better care of their kid, at which point Chak flips out and goes full Karen on her. They continue until they see how richly Koine is dressed, at which point they grow a lot softer on the insults and instead start flirting. Koine offers them a deal: Chak lets Loong settle Chak’s clay and Koine will give free stuff. Chak offers instead their hands in marriage. When Koine declines, Chak is heartbroken, and the fate of the deal seems to be null and void. Well, at least the free stuff is.