The Traveler

Connor Richardson

A village that sat all by itself in a remote location deep in a forest was famous for its people and for what they produced.  The people of this village were known for miles for their kindness and generosity.  They were also known for their hard work and what they used that work to create.  The people created beautiful fabrics, ceramics, and other goods that were highly valued to the people of their time.  These products were so highly valued that people from other villages would make even a week's walk to just see the beautiful creations, some not being able to afford to purchase such goods.  The people in the village knew this and showed their generosity and appreciation by giving these travelers a place to stay and a keepsake to take back with them.       

One villager, Kirk, was particularly famous for his craft and generosity.  He was known by people in villages at every corner of the empire.  Kirk was a master hunter and fisher.  He supplied the village with nearly all of its food for no charge.  He killed and caught more than enough food for himself to live off of even after giving so much away.  He would even give travelers a month's worth of food as they passed through the village.  Women and their fathers were especially fond of him because he was viewed as an extremely worthy candidate for marriage.  Father's like the travelers who came to marvel at the villages creations, came from all over the empire to ask him to marry their daughters. 

"Kirk, we have traveled many days by foot and beg of you to accept my daughters hand in marriage," they would beg Kirk.  Kirk got these requests all day.  It even became such a problem that he was not able to leave his house without demands of marriage, which got in the way of his ability to supply the city with food.  The villagers even took notice and demanded that only one person ask Kirk each day. 

"I'm sure your daughter is beautiful and any man would be lucky to marry her, but I am not interested I have too much work to do to get married right now.  Please take enough food for your travels back as a token of my appreciation," Kirk would reply to every request.  This was said so many times that it became second nature and Kirk would answer without even thinking. 

Kirk never told anyone the real reason he denied some of the most beautiful women in the empire.  He had fallen in love with one of the women from the village, Cindy.  Cindy and Kirk had been friends ever since they could remember.  Cindy was the most beautiful girl Kirk had ever seen.  Cindy was the best potter in the village.  Even though Kirk loved her and wanted to ask for her hand in marriage he couldn't because he was worried she would not feel the same.  He was not willing to risk their friendship just yet.  Her beauty and pottery was one of the main reason travelers came to the village.  The news of Cindy brought one individual in particular to the village, Rovert.

Rovert was an especially awful person.  He was not a good looking man, nor did he have particularly good hygiene.  This resulted in him being somewhat repulsive to men and women alike.  The problem was not just in his outward appearance either.  He was the kind of person who was willing to step on anyone to get what he wanted.  There was even a legend that he sold his own mother into slavery just to pay a new pair of shoes.  No one actually knows if this true, of course, but after meeting him anyone could believe it.  Rovert was a constant traveler because after two days in any one place the people of that village forced him to leave.  When hearing of the villagers and Cindy in particular, Rovert immediately left for the village.

Meanwhile in the village Kirk was trying his best to keep his mind off of Cindy.  He had been avoiding her for a few days waiting for his chance to tell her how he really felt.  While walking back to his house from fishing one day, Kirk saw Cindy walking his way but it was too late he could not avoid her this time.

"Where have you been the last few days, Kirk? I feel like you have been trying to not see me" Cindy asked jokingly.

"Uh hey Cindy," Kirk answered awkwardly, "You know that's not true."

"I have to go though; it was good to see you!" He yelled as he hurriedly walked away.

Kirk knew he would not be able to avoid Cindy forever in such a small village.  He had to think of a good way to show her how he felt.  He spent the whole night thinking of the perfect way to profess his love.

Rovert was well on his way to the village when he came to a forest that looked rather dark and spooky.  He had to decide whether he wanted to walk around the forest, which would be safer, or go through the forest and save some time.  Knowing full well that he was by far scarier looking than anything he would find in that forest he thought he would be fine, and if his face wouldn't scare them aware his smell definitely would. So, he proceeded through the forest. While walking through the forest he stepped on a pile of animal feces.  He did not notice however, because his own body odor covered up the smell of the feces.  He did notice a voice, however.

"Rovert!" the voice yelled.
 Startled, Rovert looked all around but could not see anyone, so he continued walking.

"Rovert!" the voice yelled for a second time, "look down here."
Rovert, again startled, look down at his shoe to see a dung beetle looking back at him.

"You can talk? No, you can't talk, you're just a beetle!" exclaimed Rovert to the dung beetle.

"I am a human stuck in a dung beetles body, and my name is Nalyd!" explained Nalyd a little annoyed for having to explain his story so often.

"It was a long time ago when this happened to me.  The gods were looking to appoint a new deity and it came down to me and my friend Mit.  Mit was the clear favorite for the job with his dashing good looks and irresistible charm, and I couldn't stand it.  I was more known for bending the truth in fact many of the people around me stopped believing anything I said.  Lying is an addiction, trust me.  Anyways, I knew I wasn't going to get the job so I did what I do best and I made up a lie.  I started a rumor that Mit had been seducing all the others wives and that someone like this would not make a good deity.  This was of course a very believable story because no one could deny Mit's devilish good looks.  They eventually found out I was lying and sentenced me to life as a dung beetle so 'I could play with what I was full of,' they said to me," explained Nalyd.
"That is a very interesting story," Rovert known for his ability to lie as well, "but what does it have to do with me?"

"I've been keeping tabs on you and I'm very impressed by your work," said Nalyd, referring to Rovert's past of lying, stealing, and cheating everyone he knew.  "I also know that you are going to the village because you are interested in Cindy. Let's be honest, though, you stand no chance of getting Cindy with that face."

"You think I do not know this already? I have yet to meet a girl who can look at me for more than ten seconds," replied Rovert angrily. Nalyd noticed the anger in his voice, "Relax, I am here to help you.  Although they turned me into a dung beetle, they could not take away all my powers.  I will make you look as good as my old friend Mit and Cindy will not be able to resist you." 

"Will you be able to fix the smell?" Rovert asked with hope in his voice.

"My god no, I would need the strength of 10 gods to get rid of that.  I do think I can make it so Cindy can bare it, however.  To be honest though, if I'm making you look like Mit it will not matter how you smell, trust me," Nalyd reassured Rovert.

"Why are you going to help me? Someone you have never met," Rovert asked Nalyd.

"Because I believe crooks should stick together," answered Nalyd with a sly grin on his face. 

Now even though Rovert was able to trick other people he was pretty stupid himself.  Of course Nalyd had a trick up his sleeve; he would never do anything out of the goodness of his heart because first of all there was no goodness in his heart.  Every move Nalyd ever makes is for his benefit.  What Rovert did not know was that Nalyd could be changed back into divine being, but this could only happen in one way.  If Nalyd could pinch a human while in the middle of a kiss, the human would take Nalyd's place as the dung beetle and Nalyd would use the human's body as his divine body.  So this situation could not have worked out better for Nalyd, he was going to become divine again and he would be as good looking as Mit. 
"There is just one problem.  There is a man named Kirk who lives in the same village as Cindy.  He is beautiful on the inside and on the outside, he is practically the perfect man.  Cindy is falling in love with him. So here is what you are going to do," Nalyd continued to enlighten Rovert of his plan as they walked to the village.

"I've got it!" yelled Kirk to no one in particular.  He had finally decided how he was going to Cindy how he felt about her.  He was going to do what he did best.  He was going to kill the best animal he could find cook it and have dinner with Cindy.  As he walked outside to begin his hunt he ran into a traveler.

"Hello, can I help you?" asked Kirk to the man. The traveler was Rovert but Nalyd had worked his magic and changed his appearance.
Rovert did not answer at first because no one had ever gotten close enough because of the smell he was not sure how to respond.  After a moment Rovert responded, "Hello, my name is Rovert, I am a traveler.  I have come here to see the beautiful creations of this village.  Where are you going with that bow and arrow?"

"I am going to find the best animal to kill and cook to tell a woman that I love her," Kirk beamed with pride.

"You're not going to kill just any animal are you?" questioned Rovert.

"What do you mean?" answered Kirk with a puzzled look.

"If you are going to tell a woman you love her you must hunt the sacred bunny of the Bebefahrt Forest.  If you do this the woman you love will truly not be able to deny you then," said Rovert.  This was all part of Nalyd and Rovert's plan because they knew the Bebefahrt Forest was a week's travel away.  This would give them time to seduce Cindy.

"Thank you!" exclaimed Kirk, "take all the food you need as a gift of my appreciation." With that Kirk set of to the Bebefahrt Forest. 

The next day Rovert found Cindy at her pottery shop.  Cindy looked up and became immediately intoxicated with Rovert's Mit like good looks.  Rovert had to push literally every girl in the village out of the way to get to Cindy. 

"Hi," said Rovert.

"Hi," replied Cindy shyly.  It is not proper for a woman to speak of her feelings towards a man in public but Cindy seemed to have lost all control of herself due to Rovert's appearance.  "I like you," Cindy thought out loud and became embarrassed at once.  Nalyd who was in Rovert's pocket heard this and instantly became filled with anger, remembering how easy it was for Mit with girls too. 

"Would you like to eat with me tonight since you are a traveler?" asked Cindy, embarrassed again for the public display of affection.

"I would like that very much," answered Rovert excitedly.

While walking to the Bebefahrt Forest, Kirk heard a voice.

"Kirk, go back you have been tricked!"

Kirk looked around and saw no one around him and so who replied," Who are you? And what are you talking about?"

"Kirk, we are your ancestors and the traveler has tricked you.  He plans to steal Cindy from you.  Go back to the village now!"
Kirk turned back towards the village and hurried back.  He arrived back at the village just in time.  Rovert and Cindy were just about to kiss and Kirk entered Cindy's house. 

"You tricked me!" yelled Kirk, "Now you must pay."  As Kirk said this he drew out his sword and crouched into a stance ready to fight.  Seeing this Rovert became immediately terrified.  Rovert was extremely weak and an awful fighter.  When it came to fighting Rovert was less useful than the worst woman warrior. 

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!" cried Rovert, "please do not hurt me!"

Since Kirk was such a good and generous person he decided he would not hurt Rovert but demanded that he leave the village forever.  All of a sudden a voice was heard by all in the room.

"We are Kirk's ancestor and although he shown you great mercy and forgiveness, we will not be so kind.  Rovert you will spend the rest of your days has a dung beetle.  Nalyd we know you are the one responsible for this and you will spend the rest of your days as dung beetle with no chance to return as a divine being and all your powers have been taken away."  And as the ancestors said, it was done.  

As for Kirk and Cindy, Kirk forgave Cindy.  He told her how he felt and she felt the same way.  They got married the next day.  Finally, fathers stopped traveling to ask Kirk to marry their daughters.