20 People: 1 Book

[11.15.01] » by Lee Perrault

Long ago, there was a magical book that was rumored to hold all the arcane knowledge needed to bring peace to the world. The ruler of the lands announced that the adventurer who returned the book would embody the idea of a hero. 20 different adventurers, from 20 different walks of life, set out to a remote temple to retrieve the book, and forever establish their profession as the one that brought peace to the world.

The Mage was the first to arrive. "Naturally, only one as intelligent as I, and gifted in magics most powerful, should represent heroism. I shall use the knowledge of this book to bring peace unto the world."

The Cleric, however, protested his remarks, "But where would the world be without faith, healing, and compassion? Your magics may be powerful, but they only cause destruction! One such as I, that sustains life, is a better candidate than you, my --"

The Sage hastily interrupted him, "If that is the case, my friend of the cloth, what about I, a master of both your respective teachings? That must mean I embody the two qualities of a hero, whilst you both only embody one. Therefore I am superior to you both, and should be the representative of peace."

The Mage and the Cleric both shouted, "But you are not devoted as we! You are unfocused and care only for the power associated with our abilities, not their teachings!" The three continued to argue when the Bard strolled in, lyre in tow.

"One such as I, " he said, "that spreads songs throughout the lands who entertains the masses and makes the world a more fun-loving place should be the representative of peace. I am the one most worthy of the book."

The Dancer spun the Bard around and said, "You thinking singing inspires people? There's nothing like watching a group of people memorized by fluid movements and sexy looks. If anyone is worthy of representing peace, I am."

The Teen Idol cornered the Dancer. "Don't talk about sexy looks without mentioning me, baby. You can't make thousands of girls scream with one smile, one bat of the eyelash. Someone that everyone can love should represent peace, and that of course would be me." He gave her a quick pat on the butt as he reached for the book.

The Jester promptly hit the three of them in the face with pies. "Well, all I see is a singing sot, a stripper with a sword, and someone who can only attract underage girls.. I don't even care about taking the book, but to say you all are more worthy than I am is ridiculous."

The Bard and the Dancer continued to argue the differences between song and dance, and the Jester pantsed the Teen Idol, reducing him to tears.

The Warrior scoffed at the childish behavior around him. As he neared the book, he said, "Honor. Honor is what drives us to be heroes. And no one here possesses more honor than I. One who lives and dies by his blade; one who fights the good fight."

"Honor?" replied the Fighter, "You talk about honor when you use clumsy weapons to fuel you strikes, and hide behind a false skin? Honor is sustained by one whose only weapon is his body, whose only defense is his abilities. I represent honor, not you my cowardly friend."

"Well if that's the case," the Dragoon declared, "one like myself who fights without weapons like you, my dear Fighter, and one who fights because of the honor associated in battle, like you my dear Warrior, would be the perfect choice. I am superior to you both, so step aside!"

Incredibly insulted, the Warrior and Fighter rushed the Dragoon, and the three scuffled until they all passed out from exhaustion.

Followed by a group of happy slimes, the Tamer approached the book and said, "If I can control the vile creatures that roam our lands, then we have nothing to fear. So naturally, I fit the ideals of a hero since no creatures would dare become violent after I meet them." One of her slimes nuzzled up against her leg.

"But what if your tamed beasts resist?" protested the Shepherd, "What if they change their minds and decide you are still the enemy? What will you do then? My calling represents peace in its truest form: a simple life, with simple pleasures. I am a better candidate than you are!"

One of the Tamer's slimes promptly ate a sheep, and the shepherd decked the Tamer. She then ran home crying because she made someone bleed.

The Godhand and the Summoner were involved in a large-scale debate over who controlled the most powerful abilities. Their heated discussion suddenly ended when they disappeared in a flash of magical energy. Poof.

The Paladin and the Ranger were too busy watching the Warrior/Fighter/Dragoon fight, and the Mage/Cleric/Sage debate. They were torn between which sides to join since they both were a byproduct of class incest. They became very depressed.

"Arr! People be too busy to notice!" whispered the gruff Pirate, "I shall be ye world's greatest hero!"

"I think not, mine counterpart! Your pillaging days are over!" cried the Mariner as she swung down from some unforeseen rigging and slammed into the pirate. "The hero shall be the noble seaman, not you, vile scum!"

"D'arr! We drink to find ye winner!!" shouted the Pirate. He and the Mariner were soon too drunk to care about the book any longer.

The Hero found himself the only adventurer left standing. "Well naturally, I guess I should take the book since I am CALLED a Hero. This was too easy."

18 voices shouted in unison, "THAT'S NOT FAIR!" and rushed the hero.

All this time the humble thief was silently watching the other 19 adventures bicker and squabble over the book. Their overblown egos had blinded them to his presence, and he calmly rose from his hiding spot, took the book, and left the temple, completely unnoticed. He thought to himself, "The true hero is usually the one you least expect, and more often than not, the one you only notice when it's too late. Even better, besides bringing peace to the world, this book should provide enough wealth for me to live a few hundred years. Wonderful."

The End

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