Kail-Perwa despaired all day. She had come so close to losing her second trial, and now she was to face a third. Failure to pass this last trial would result in a grave punishment. Perhaps ever her death.
She thought of all of her options. Was there was a priest could protect her from the spirits? A potion that would let her stay awake forever? But the more she thought, the less realistic each idea became.
So afraid was Kail-Perwa, she did not fall asleep until well until the night.
She awoke into a dream once more. Again, she was greeted by a land of endless water and sky of endless water and a sky of endless white. But this time, the warrior in gold stood before her in all his glory. In his hands was a mighty black sword, so large that Kail-Perwa could never hope to lift it.
"You have passed two trials," said the warrior in gold, his voice as proud and strong as his bearing. "But you have yet to pass mine. Do you accept my judgment, descendant?"
Kail-Perwa nodded quickly, just once. She knew it would be useless to object.
"You have proven to be clever twice through your actions," continued the warrior in gold as he slung his mighty sword across his shoulders. "But how clever are your words? This will be your last trial, Kail-Perwa. Convince me that you are more clever than all living and all dead."
For the first time in her life, Kail-Perwa did not know what to say. What words could she weave to convince this spirit of such cleverness?
"To go forward, sometimes you must look back," the woman in red had told her.
"Seek what is true, not what is obvious," the grandfather in blue had said.
Kail-Perwa closed her eyes and thought. She had overcome two trials to prove herself more clever than any other. But was that truly the purpose of her hardships? Using all of her cleverness, using all of her wit, she thought about what she had learned and what she must do.
When next her eyes opened, Kail-Perwa knew she had found the truth.
"I can't," she told the warrior in gold, her hands trembling slightly. "I can't convince you that I'm more clever than all living and all dead."
"Oh?" asked the warrior in gold, his voice even. "And why is that?"
"Because I'm not," answered Kail-Perwa. "If I was truly so clever, I would never make such a boast. There are many I have never met, and many I will never meet. And to condemn them to be less clever than I is foolishness."
"I see," said the warrior in gold, his face revealing nothing. "And is this all you have to say?"
Kail-Perwa bowed deeply, her head hung in shame. "I know now that such boasts are an insult our family's good name. I apologize."
And with this, the warrior's face broke into a grin. His armor transformed into noble robes, his face growing a long, full beard. And that was when Kail-Perwa realized that the spirit before her was none other than General Haron-Banar, the most honored of her ancestors.
"You have humbled yourself before me, despite risk of punishment," said General Haro-Banar. "And for that, I will forgive your transgressions. Live modestly, my descendant, for there are none so clever as those who realize their own limitations."
"Thank you, General Haro-Banar," said Kail-Perwa, her heart filled with gratitude. "That is a lesson I shall never forget."
And so Kail-Perwa finally awoke to the wisdom of her ancestors, and all was well.
|Clever Kail-Perwa and the Great Boast|
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