- An 'Aladdin' Parody -By: OtakuSailorV
A Holy Man they called him, a King's advisor, one who could tell by simply glancing at the stars what your fate was to be. Both a frightening and mysterious power that no one dared question for fear of angering the gods that looked down from the same stars that the Holy Men prophesized from.
It was quite a luxurious ability as well. The King's Advisor was allowed to lodge in the Royal Palace and was cared for as if he were a prince while also receiving a King's ransom for a paycheck. Anyone would agree that if they had to be something they would be a King's Prophet and live the easy life. After all, what was better than looking to the stars on a cloudless night and telling some odd prophecy or another?
Renkotsu agreed with this sentiment, it was definitely the easy life, if nothing else. The only thing that made him different from his comrades was that he was one of the few crooked prophets that was after more than simply the high life of a King's Court. In fact, he wasn't even a real prophet to begin with. Taking the name of a King's Advisor was all that was needed - along with maybe a prophecy or two - to get into the palace.
There was something better than the court life and the handsome check he received though, something he was consistently after at every turn.
What could be better than the high life of the court, you ask? Why, really nothing, unless you were willing to stick your neck out a bit. . .The King's Treasury, the place where all the wealth of the kingdom spilled in to, is obviously what any thief or vagrant wanderer would be after. And it just so happened that Renkotsu was indeed a thief.
The word 'thief' seemed far too petty for a master like he though, for no one suspected a Holy Man to be a crook. No, he would rather prefer people call him more of a bandit, though that still was a bit gruff. Whatever people chose to call it or his strange profession, it all boiled down to the same thing: thievery.
Renkotsu, who used the name of a holy Man and King's Advisor to win favor in the court, actually was stealing every last gold coin from the Royal Treasury and making off in the middle of the night, leaving no tracks for the guards to follow. He made out like a bandit every time.
When he reached the next village, he would sell his wares and go back out in search of new plunder. It was just too easy, like stealing candy from children.
He had not once in his travels met one liked-minded in his ways and was starting to conceive the pompous notion that no one rivaled him in brains. The bigger they are, the harder they fall, ne?
It was sunny again. Too sunny too often for Renkotsu. He hated this darned sun that shone down and burnt everything to a crisp. Why was it always so freaking bright out! It was a hundred degrees out during the day, and nearly below freezing at night. It was like the place was bipolar or something! It was just driving him nuts, he didn't know any other area he had been to so far that was like this. He would have to hurry up with his job here and get lost.
Ahead loomed a mighty golden-domed and white-walled palace, a white and gold painted wall rising around it, hiding all but the tops of the green trees from passersby. It was strange seeing that color, so vibrant and alive among a sea of sand and a wave of sweltering heat. That just made it all the more promising though, and from the news this would definitely be an easy job for the princess of the palace was looking for suitors…
Tsubaki looked over the suitors set before her with disdain. They were all prim-and-proper know-it-alls and those were the kind of people she hated most. Why did her father insist that she get married now? It wasn't like the old man was dying or anything, so why the rush? She crossed her arms over her chest in a huff, well she'd just have to go through this again until there was no one left and then she'd see what the old man did.
The first of them came up, flashing her a 'look-at-me' smile meant to win her over before climbing the steps to the puffy throne she sat on. It wasn't exactly a 'throne' but more of a collection of large pillows, and neither were the 'steps' actual steps but rather two raised parts of the jade floor.
The man in the clown suit and the flashy smile addressed her and then sprung immediately into introducing himself while she daydreamed about how she could kill him.
Under the pile of pillows she felt something writhe and move and she quickly shifted, squashing it with her weight. A muffled hiss was heard by her ears alone before the great white snake's head peeked out of the cushions and curved around her waist tightly before climbing up the rest of her body.
Tsubaki stroked the white head absently; the white snake was her constant companion, she had little fear of anything already but she knew she was invincible when she had the snake with her.
She had tried to hide him from her suitors, but the serpent refused to stay away from her for long and so she did nothing when he came up and rested by coiling himself protectively about her.
The suitor in front of her nearly jumped out of his skin at the sight of the great white serpent with pale gleaming eyes and horns atop its head. As if to make itself appear innocent, it flicked its tongue at the suitor in an inviting way.
Tsubaki tried to keep a straight face, but a smirk was dying to break free. The man was a complete wimp; just as she had thought and he had already lost his place in his grand speech about himself and was now a stuttering mass of quaking pudding.
He did finish whatever he had been saying though, his eyes now on the snake, his skin losing its color and his knees wobbling under him unsteadily. A panicky bow and he was off, walking as fast as he could out of the door.
Tsubaki sat back, rubbing her snake's head as the next suitor came up, looking a little braver than his predecessor did in face of the giant white snake, but not much.
Renkotsu's climbed the steps to the palace's entrance; looking at the large, smooth columns that held aloft the golden roof to the palace. Arabian spires lifted toward the sky, threatening to tear at the fabric of the silky clouds if they dared come too close to their golden majesty.
This would be much easier than he first thought. He could tell just by the gaudy construction of the building.
A pale man hurried by him, making him break from his smug musings. Looking back over his shoulder, he could tell from the garbs the man sported that he was a prince or some kind of important person or another. He looked incredibly jittery, making Renkotsu wonder if maybe the man had just escaped some horrible penalty. Maybe the princess was truly an over-bearing witch and not some sweet, gentle, quiet thing that was easy to intimidate. Renkotsu snorted at the thought, it was not likely at all. Princess' were silly and flirty, he knew this quite well, and the prince that had just hurried by look like the kind of man that would be afraid of his own shadow anyway.
Continuing on, he didn't give the man or the other's hurrying by him in a frenzied manner a second thought.
Well, the entertainment for the day was over. Or so Tsubaki thought as she watched the rest of her suitors turn and flee.
Carelessly she had let her pet glide across the floor and inspect them more closely. Carelessly she had not called him back, even when she saw the venomous glint in his eyes as he wound his way toward one of the fatter princes near the back of the line. Carelessly she egged him on inside her own mind, daring him, even ordering him to bite at the chubby heels of the nervous-looking man.
She sighed now as she recalled the last few moments in which the snake had let out a hiss and snapped at the fat man, toying with him. The others in front and behind him nearly jumped a mile. It only took the snake a moment to rear up to nearly half their height, and by then they had all fled in terror of the creature, fearing for their lives. She scoffed at them, such children afraid of a snake that wasn't even poisonous. None of them deserved to be her prince if they weren't brave enough to face off against her snake pet.
Idly, she stroked its scaly head as it hissed pleasantly. The approach of a tall figure catching her eye in between the columns and coming closer. Was this another of her suitors newly arriving? She couldn't tell from where she was sitting what he looked like really, or if he was anything like the others either.
Her snake slid down from his seat in her lap and made his way halfway between the man and his mistress before stopping.
Renkotsu's eyes flickered toward the snake that sat watching him with leering pale eyes. It was strange, but he had seen much strange in his travels. He passed it up without even giving it a second thought and made his way toward her Royal Highness seated so comfortably among her throne of pillows.
She did have a hard look, possibly a pain-in-the-ass spoiled brat like that princess he had conned back in- what country had that been again? Well, she had that look anyway, and it was probably the snake that had scared that flurry of princes away.
Stopping by the two steps that led up to her platform, Renkotsu went down on one knee, bowing his head before speaking. "Greetings, Princess. I am Renkotsu, a King's Adviser."
Tsubaki glared at their new 'Adviser's' back from behind one of the tall stone pillars.
He had been there for two weeks since their initial meeting. Her father had hired him immediately and now kept him constantly by his side. He proclaimed to dinner guests how 'helpful' his new adviser was and toasted his health at every turn. Renkotsu pretended to be embarrassed by all the attention, but she could see right through him. Even the kind smiles he threw at her were fake; the smiles from her suitors were more winning than what he was trying to pass off as kindness.
She wrinkled her nose at him; she despised him and all his fake trappings. And judging from the grimaces he made behind her father's back so did he.
He was no adviser, she knew he was conning her father. Not that she cared; the old man deserved it for dropping his guard and trusting such an obviously untruthful man. In fact, she applauded anyone outside of herself that pulled the wool over the old man's eyes. So maybe the bald idiot did have some redeeming qualities. She still hated him though.
Walking off haughtily, her snake joining her at her side almost instantly, melting out of the background as if he were nothing more than an apparition.
Tsubaki refused to show up for dinner, she was angry with her father for making her go through with more of those stupid suitor interviews the next morning. He had been furious when he found out that her pet had scared the others away before she got to meet them all formally. And she in turn had become furious at the proposal that he would pick her husband for her if she continued to act so childishly.
Combing her thick black locks angrily, she caught a flicker of movement in her mirror and immediately whirled. Flinging out her arm roughly, the snake that had been coiled about her body rushed forward with a loud hiss. It's eyes flashed dangerously as it landed on the ground and lunged toward the figure standing behind the curtain of flowing veils that made up one wall of her large room.
There was a blast of fire, and the veils fluttered back worriedly. Tsubaki heard her snake hiss and it slowly appeared back in front of the veils, it's eyes following Renkotsu as he walked into the room.
Tsubaki narrowed her eyes at him in disgust. What was he doing in her room? How dare he!
She snapped her fingers and her pet reluctantly came back to her side, still hissing venomously at the intruder in her room.
"What are you doing here?" she snapped at him testily. "It is forbidden for men to enter my room."
"Your father sent me, he says that I am to inform you that your dinner is growing cold and you would do best to come and eat," he said with mock grace. He was running an appraising eye over her room's decorations.
She sat back down at the chair and table set up by her mirror. "You're wasting your time trying to sweet-talk me, King's Adviser Renkotsu," she said haughtily, though she gave him a sly smirk over her shoulder.
"I have no idea what you're talking about princess," he replied, stressing the word 'princess' with the same sly smirk. "Now, if that is all, I will make my way back to the dining hall. Would you like me to escort you, princess?"
Tsubaki gave a terse 'humph' though she was giving him her most smile-like smirk. Well, he was certainly something. He was a con man, a total fake and rather good looking as well, but she was supposed to hate him. Or was she? She knew she was playing right into his hand, but then again, she had a few tricks left as well.
"I don't need you to walk me anywhere," she snorted and stalked past him.
Renkotsu shook his head when she left, the girl was absolutely infuriating, as was this whole stupid act he was putting up. He couldn't let out quite yet though, he might have won the king's trust, but he had learned nothing of the royal treasury yet.
Turning to go, he kicked lightly at the head of the great white snake that still sat in the room, watching him carefully. It's head snapped forward, trying to catch at least the heel of his boot, but it missed and was left hissing and spitting as Renkotsu left close behind Tsubaki.
Finally! After nearly a month of doing nothing but buttering up the kind and kissing his ass at every turn, Renkotsu had found out everything that he needed to know about the royal treasury. According to his calculations, he would not be able to carrying everything inside without making several trips. That would take too long, so he would simply go in and steal the valuable things and move as fast as he could, maybe steal a horse from the royal stables.
The King was a hyperactive mess, Renkotsu was glad to be rid of him finally. There was nothing more annoying than a man that couldn't make his own decisions without someone else's approval first.
And his daughter! Aside from the fact that Renkotsu was startled any woman would ever sleep with that man, he was on his last leg with that infuriating female! He smirked to himself as he thought of her. Yes, she might be exceptionally pretty, but she was also horribly vain, snobby and a royal pain-in-the-ass. She insisted upon tripping him up publicly, trying to get him to fall out of his charade by enticing him with her coy, sly attitude. He was sure she knew what he really was, but it didn't matter now.
Chuckling darkly, he walked off, heavy golden key to the vault in hand.
In the shadows slunk a ghostly white figure, but it went unnoticed by the bald adviser as he passed, crawling on its belly back to its mistress.
The doors were heavy, but Renkotsu was no ordinary man and easily shoved them aside.
Inside was not one, not two, not even three or four, but five mountains of golden coins cascading down into smaller hills. Jewels sparkled in the sides of the golden mountains, winking at him seductively. Giant rubies, huge emeralds, sapphires the size of his fist. Pearl earrings and necklaces; diamond rings and golden bracelets. Swords made of gold and silver with intricate designs inlaid with jewels of profound worth. He couldn't believe it. Of all the wealth in the world, this had to be the greatest. And yet the town outside was like any other hick town he had passed through. This was amazing!
The most intriguing thing, though, was the solitary marble pedestal with a dull golden lamp. Well, it was supposed to be gold, but the years had worn away most of it's color so that it appeared bronze instead.
Quirking an eyebrow, he figured he had a moment to investigate and headed over to it. Picking it up, he looked it over, but it looked ordinary, dull, and meaningless. It was a scrap of junk among the rest of this treasure heap. But surely they would not keep a thing of so little merit in the treasure vault if they thought it was nothing. . .
Looking a bit more closely, he found that his finger was over a thin inscription that was neatly placed on the side of the lamp. Unfortunately, he couldn't read it with all the dirt on the lamp, and hastily ran his hands over it to try and clean off the dirt.
There was a rumbling beneath his fingertips as he did so, and he started quizzically, staring at the lamp as it began to glow and vibrate more heavily.
There was a loud popping noise and then the most hideously girly stench that he had ever smelled filled the air. The room was awash in girlie sparkles; glitter and swirley pink smoke that made the smell of flowers lift even more heavily in the air.
Renkotsu coughed loudly, covering his mouth with one hand while still trying to hold on to the lamp.
A loud yawn filled the room and suddenly the smoke cleared to show a very pretty. . .something, Renkotsu's wasn't sure – sitting in midair in front of him. It wore all pink and had a dangerous looking sword on its back. It was watching Renkotsu as if still half-asleep.
Renkotsu looked the 'something' over. It was far too feminine and pretty to be a boy, but it was still built like a man, and its chest was bare, so it must be a-
Renkotsu nearly grimaced.
"Who woke me up?" The young man asked, still floating.
Renkotsu looked at the lamp; a thin wisp of frilly pink was attached to the young man's feet. Was this one of those- but it couldn't be- like it could be anything else though!
"What the hell are you?" Renkotsu asked angrily, ignoring the young man's question altogether.
"I'm a genie, and who the hell are you?" he retorted, leaning forward to get a good look at the face of the man that had summoned him and was thus his 'master.'
A genie! He had suspected as much, but weren't genies supposed to be. . .more intimidating looking? The only intimidating thing about this genie was his sword! Great, and by summoning the genie he was the new 'master' now, wasn't he?
There was a clatter outside and Renkotsu whirled to see that there was a troop of guards outside the door, led by her royal-pain-in-the-ass and her pet snake. She gave him a smug smirk. "Hello King's adviser Renkotsu, what are you doing in my father's treasure vault so late at night?"
Her eyes flickered to the feminine young man floating above the gold-bronze lamp in Renkotsu's hands. "And I see that the genie has been awoken as well," she said, not at all startled.
The genie looked at those before him quizzically. "What's going on?" he asked Renkotsu, but his 'master' wasn't paying any attention.
Renkotsu ground his teeth; the woman was an infuriating as ever. Well, there was nothing left to do now but fight. He would probably only escape with a bauble or two, but that was fine as long as he got something.
Grasping the lamp tightly, he dove toward the guards, surprising them by sending plumes of flame in every direction. The genie bumped along behind him, attached to the lamp that was still held tightly in Renkotsu's hand. He let out a yell and several curses of protest, but they fell on deaf ears.
Tsubaki kept her head, unlike the guards that had just scattered like leaves in a breeze at the sight of the fire-user.
"A magician!" They yelled, terrified as they fled. They were simple folk and did not understand even the simplicity of Renkotsu's fire throwing.
Throwing her arm forward, Tsubaki's right eye nearly glowed as her snake pet slithered forward, its great jaws open, ready to strike.
Renkotsu easily batted it aside though and took off, exchanging a smug glance with Tsubaki before rounding the corner and escaping down the hallway.
Tsubaki looked over her shoulder, watching his dark figure in the wan moonlight as he ran for the main hall and the door to freedom, the genie floating freely behind him, cursing the entire time. Her snake hissed in pain and anger, a patch of its perfect white skin had been burnt by Renkotsu's fire.
So, they had both finally met their match. She wondered as she closed the doors to the vault back if she would ever meet that man again.
I've decided that instead of a one-shot that this would be a three-part series. Well, it actually took a bit of persuasion from Skittlez-chan (ok, a lot) to get me to decide against my initial 'one-shot' idea. Thanks for both the idea and the push to get it finished, Skittlez-chan!
Well, this is my first try at strictly TsubakiRenkotsu fanfiction, so I hope it turned out all right. And next chapter shall see a focus on Ren-kun and his 'genie.' Haha, ten points to those of you who can guess who the 'genie' is.
Anyway, thanks for reading this far minna-san, and be sure to leave a review. Grin Ja'ne!