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Friday, February 2, 2024

F³ Preceding Reputation 50

             The young woman let out a low whistle as she leaned in to look at the figure. “She is gorgeous. The level of detail is amazing. Was this 3d printed? The work is so intricate, down to the embroidery on her dress. I can’t imagine carving—” she stopped as she touched it. “Wait, this isn’t plastic. It’s real jade!”

            I nodded.

            “How? Wait.” She looked at me. “Tortoises. You bought a ton of jade tortoises. Grandpa told me the story how the jade tortoises, the black tortoise, was used to stop the Chinese firebird here in Belport! He used to tell that story, a lot, how a guy bought a bunch of them so the fire department could use the tortoise on their engines to put out fires in the city. That’s you?”

            I nodded.

            She touched the figurine, gently. “Is this magic?”

            “That’s kind of what I need your grandpa for. I think, I’m not certain, though, that this is a real woman, turned into a jade statue.”

            Her eyes went wide with horror. “She’s alive? You’re not messing with me, are you? Grandpa told a lot of wild stories. I thought they were just to fool tourists into buying stuff.”

            “I’m sure some of that’s the case, but with me it was always more than that. Is there anyway we can contact your grandpa?”

            She shook her head. “Like I said, he won’t even do a cordless phone, much less a mobile. But I really did listen to everything he talked about. If some of it is real . . .” She trailed off, her eyes back on the figurine.

            “Well, I guess we can try it out. Here’s what I know.”

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