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Just a Skin Rash

·440 words·3 mins

"They call it the World Score."

King Thalamus did not believe his scribe. Some facts were difficult to believe, but this was little more than a conspiracy theory. Even though King Thalmus said that he would reward anyone with information about his condition, this surely couldn't count.

"What are you saying, Shela?"

"Look here." The scribe pointed to a map. "People from this region fell ill with something that resembles your sickness while mining in a recently discovered deposit, but they recovered after the whole village got together and performed a ritual celebration. They say the songs were passed down through generations for the purpose of healing the sick. If we are able to take you to their village, then perhaps they can do the same for you."

"Shela, are you saying that sitting in a circle and playing tunes will cure me? Somehow, the nausea will cease, the redness will go away, and my hair will stop falling out?"

Shela nodded. The King sighed. You're kidding me. This is a waste of my time.

"Yes, my Lord. I know how this sounds, but you have to believe me." Shela looked the King in the eye. "This is our only chance."

The King sighed. "No, Shela, it isn't. My doctors already have me—"

"Beg my pardon, my Lord, but your doctors are fools. They are treating you for a skin rash. Have you ever heard of a skin rash causing patches of skin to fall off?"

No, he hadn't. They claimed it was a "new" variety of rash, and even the King knew that was code for "We have no idea what's going on". But that didn't mean Shela was right either.

"I'm disappointed in you," the King said. "For nearly 30 years now, I've trusted you as my advisor and gone against my better judgement many times, but this is absurd. They scammed you. Let me guess, the village offered to treat me in exchange for payment?"

Shela didn't respond. That's what I thought. The king waved for the man to leave. Head hung, Shela left, leaving only the King and the Court Musician.

"'Magical music.' What was Shela thinking? I can't believe someone like him fell for something as obvious as that." The king sat back in his chair and crossed his arms. "That's ridiculous. If it were true, then someone would have discovered it years ago."

"You're quite right, my lord," the Court Musician said.

"Bah, whatever. Play me a tune, Grant. I'm quite fond of that one with the weird name."


"Yes, that one."

"As you wish."

Grant pulled out his flute and began playing.