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Pet Name: Krill
Oh, why hello there, would you like to see a card trick? I'd show you something even more snazzy, but I don't give free shows. I'm Penaeus the Great, master magician of Maraqua! You're more than welcome to buy tickets if you-
What? What did you call me? Krill? Oh, no, you must have the wrong Ruki.
I do know of him, though. Let's just say he was an old friend of mine. Quite the devious one, that guy. He was a red Ruki, hopping from town to town, a deck of cards his only companion. He seemed quite friendly, always wearing a great big smile as he gathered up local residents to join him in card games. He'd invite many unwitting betters to his games, and all would leave quite swindled. Blackjack, Neopoker, it didn't matter. He could rig any game, and steal off with the hard-earned neopoints of his victims. He never lost; between you and me, he was a cheater, through and through.
Well, he couldn't get away with it forever. During one of Krill's excursions, a certain Skeith named King Skarl of Meridell found himself intrigued by the news of betting going on in town. Skarl was certainly a betting man, himself, and he never lost either. That was mostly because his subjects were too terrified to even think of beating him.
"I never lose," Krill announced gleefully in the town square. He'd set up a number of tables, each with its own game going on. He'd just finished his own game of poker against two quite-wealthy Draiks and come out on top.
"Ehhh, you got lucky," one Draik spat. "I'll beat you next time!" he said, pushing his neopoints across the table and walking off with his friend in a sulk.
Krill laughed. this was the third game tonight.
"Come back next time with more neopoints!" he chuckled, hearing the Draiks grumble as they stomped away. "Now, who's the next challenger?"
"I will play!" came a burly voice. Everyone in the town square looked up. Those in his way backed away and bowed.
"What a pleasure it is to be in your presence, your Majesty," people called out compliments.
"Yes, yes," the King said impatiently, hurrying to take a seat across from the Ruki.
Krill was shuffling cards, and wasn't really paying attention to the person across from him. "Ah, good, another vict- I mean player. What shall we play?" he asked playfully.
"You, Ruki!" the king spat. Krill looked up. "Do you KNOW to whom you speak??" he demanded.
"Ahh...." The Ruki looked him up and down but didn't seem to recognize him. "I'm afraid not, sir, who might you be?"
"I AM KING SKARL, RULER OF ALL MERIDELL!" he bellowed, thoroughly enraged that someone did not know him.
Krill dropped the cards and raised his hands in a gesture of surrender. "Whoa, alright! Please excuse me, your highness, the low light tonight makes your marvelous face hard to discern," he said slyly.
"Bah," the King grumbled. "Well, if you don't know me, then you don't know what a master I am at card games," he giggled. "Name your game!"
"Hmm," Krill answered, appearing to think it over. "How about Cheat?" he suggested. "Ah, but we would need more players, would anyone else like to join?"
The town was silent. No one dared play against Skarl.
"We will play Cheat with two players!" the king answered, growing impatient. Truth be told, since he was always let to win, he wasn't quite sure how the game worked. Krill realized this, and smiled.
"Of course, of course," he said. He dealt the cards out, splitting the deck evenly between them. "Now, how much will you wager?"
"I never lose!" the King cried. "I will wager however much you want."
"Hm, alright, how about your castle?"
"My castle?!" the King practically screamed. Krill only nodded.
Calming down, Skarl reclaimed his seat and folded his hands together. "Very well, and you?"
"Well that castle is worth every neopoint to my name, so I suppose I will have to match that..." Krill said, feigning despair. The King smiled.
"Splendid! Let's play."
The first round, any card could be played. Skarl claimed to put down an Ace, so too did Krill.
"Two twos!" King Skarl declared, placing two cards face down on the pile. Krill observed the face-down cards, thinking. He was telling the truth.
"Four threes," Krill said, placing down four cards.
"CHEATER!" the king yelled.
Krill flipped the cards he was placing over and showed them to him. "No Sir, four threes indeed."
The king grumbled as he took eight cards into his hands. The game went on for quite some time, since they each had half the deck. And each time, Krill always told the truth, and yet was always able to point out when the King was cheating. He knew the backs of each card in such intricate detail, every little ripple and bend that made them unique to their number and suit. He couldn't be fooled.
After many plays, Krill was finally down to his last card.
"LIAR LIAR!" the king cried, enraged. He grabbed the card from the Ruki's hand and looked it over. It was a seven of clubs, plain as day. Angrily he threw his sizable hand of cards to the ground and stomped on them.
"Looks like I win. Tell me, how's the castle patio in the summer?" Krill laughed, gathering up his cards. Since the game had started, the citizens of Meridell had all stood around and watched in anticipation. Now some backed away, fearing what would happen next. The Ruki's taunting was the last straw.
"No one beats me, no one! You cheated, I don't care what you say!"
"You accused me of cheating and each time you were wrong. I did not cheat," Krill answered slyly. And this time, he truly hadn't. The King hadn't a clue how a 52-card deck worked and he had simply taken advantage of that.
"Lies!" King Skarl had had enough. "Guards, I want him locked up! He will learn not to dupe his King from the coldest, dankest cell in the dungeon!"
"What?!" Krill dropped his cards and looked wholly surprised. He hadn't expected an outcome like this. The two armored Draiks accompanying the King instantly moved towards him, spears drawn. He tried to run but they easily caught up.
"Let me go!" he demanded.
"Take him to the castle and lock him up!"
And so that was the last anyone saw of Krill. The next day the King decided to visit him in his cell, just to give him a good taunting as he sat behind bars. Laughing, he made his way to the dungeons, to the very deepest and coldest of cells in the very back.
"How is the little cheat-cheater doing today?" he laughed, peering into the cell. To his surprise, it was empty!
"WHAT?!" he demanded. There were no holes in the floor, no holes in the ceiling, the wall, or the bars. The door was locked and the cell was empty and there was no explanation for anything. The only thing the grumpy old King could see was a single, face-up card lying on the cell floor. It was a joker, of all things. Furious, he sent out every servant and guard he had out into the kingdom of Meridell to hunt that Ruki down...
And they never found him. I haven't been to the surface in quite some time, but I'm sure they're still looking. No one knows how he escaped, it's a thing of legends now.
But like the greatest of magic tricks, perhaps it is best to not know. It's more fun that way, more mysterious.
That's all I know about Krill, but like I said before, my name is Penaeus and I'm a magician.
Still want to see a card trick?
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