Once in the land of Akaviri, there was a clever woman named Kail-Perwa. She was known to spin words the way a spider spins its web, alluring and beautiful. But this clever tongue came with a boastful mouth.
"Living or dead, there are none in Akavir who can match my wit!" Kail-Perwa proclaimed one day.
Though her parents tried to silence her, Kail-Perwa would not take back her words. She repeated them one, twice, thrice. And on that third time, her words were so sure and loud that they echoed all the way into the afterlife.
"There are none so clever as I!"
Though all of Kail-Perwa's ancestors were displeased with her words, one spirit particular took great offense. It was the spirit of General Haro-Banar, a man who had won many great victories with his cleverness. The general had always been modest about his accomplishments, and was displeased that his descendant did not follow his example.
"Kail-Perwa claims to be more clever than all, living and dead," the general proclaimed. "I shall travel to the world of the living and see if these boastful words hold any truth."
General Haro-Banar was well-honored by the living, and so his spirit was strong enough to leave the afterlife and venture into the mortal realm. He did so now, changing his ghostly appearance into that of a warrior dressed in golden armor. Swift as the wind, he traveled to Kail-Perwa's village and sought her out.
The general found Kail-Perwa in the edge of the village, collecting herbs for her house. Fot a moment he hesitated, for the general knew his descendant to be as dutiful as she was clever. And so he resolved to give her one last chance to renounce her boastful ways and live modestly.
"I seek Kail-Perwa," said General Haro-Banar, making his presence known. "Be you her?
Kail-Perwa looked up and nodded, wiping the dirt from the palm of her hands. "Yes, I am she."
"It is said that you claim to be more clever than any living or any dead. Be this true?"
Kail-Perwa stood to her full height and gave the general a confident smile. "Yes, it is true. There is none so clever as I."
"That is quite the claim to make," replied the general, his voice growing cold. "After all, how can you prove yourself against the dead?"
Kail-Perwa shrugged. "Should any of the dead take offense from my words, let them prove themselves to me! After all, cannot spirits visit the land of the living?"
"Very well," said the general with a solemn nod. "For the next three nights, you will be visited by the cleverest of your ancestors. Prove yourself to them, and your boast will become truth."
Suddenly, Kail-Perwa was afraid. How could this stranger make such a claim?
"Who are you?" she asked, her voice trembling.
"I am he who will meet you on the third night," said General Haro-Banar, his voice mighty, his gaze unflinching. "I am he who will acknowledge you as the cleverest of all, should you prove yourself so. And I am he who will punish you, should your boasts be but clever lies."
And with that, he was gone.
|Clever Kail-Perwa and the Great Boast|
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