"Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and test yer skills!" called out a man from his covered stall. "No skills? You'll worry more than paying your bills!"
This particular stall has already attracted a lot of interested individuals, young and old, in such a busy marketplace. Apparently, the stall is actually a parlor game stall. As Arllia walks near it, she overhears a couple leaving from the place with the woman saying, "How does he do that?" This seemed to have peaked her interest in it.
Arllia looked around the crowd in front of the stall and found herself an open space for her to see what was going on. She sees a man with a stubble wearing a black long-sleeved shirt rearranging three small tin mint containers with both of his hands on top of a table.
"Now, who wants to try next?" he said to the crowd.
"Let me do it!" said a teenage boy as he stepped in front of the table.
"Very well then," said the man. "Now, listen carefully, lad. You're going to figure out which one of these tin containers contain the mints. If you can find the mints, you win. Understand?" The boy nodded.
"Now, the mints are in this one," said the man as he picks up the middle container with his left hand and shakes it. The sound of the rattling mints could be heard. "Try and find them now!"
Saying this, he starts shuffling around the mint containers with both hands in random order at a moderate speed, which went on letting out rattling sounds. However, it is still slow enough for the teenager to see the original container where the mints were, eyeing on it the whole time of the shuffling. Finally, the man stopped. "Now, find them."
From the teenager's keen observation, the tin container that had the mints in it which was originally the middle one was now sitting as the third one. He tapped his index finger on the third container. "This one," he said confidently.
The man picked up the said container with his right hand and shook it. To everyone's surprise, there was no sound.
"Wrong!" said the man. He put the container back in its original position and picked up the first one with his left hand. He shook it and the rattling mints could be heard. "They're in here."
The teenager looked in disbelief. "Wow," he uttered. He walked towards the back of the crowd and stands in a position to watch this man's next 'victim'.
Another person stood up next. It was a middle-aged man with an aura of a war veteran from his appearance alone.
"Your reflexes cannot escape the eyes of Ernie 'Eagle Eyes' Buchanan, one of the best sharpshooters in all of Rizhiel," he boasted in a deep grave-sounding voice. The crowd seemes to be fascinated and intimidated with this man while Arllia is simply amused.
"I believe that you've heard of the rules, old timer," said the man who does not show any signs of intimidation. He picks up the first tin container where the mints were last shown with his left hand and shook them. The sound of the rattling mints can be heard again. As he places it back down, he starts shuffling the containers again in random order with both of his hands at the same speed as he had shown before the teenager earlier. Then, he was finished.
Based on Ernie's 'eagle eyes' perception, the mints are now in the container on the middle position. He points at it.
The man then picks up the container with his right hand and shakes it. Again, there was no sound. The mints were not in there.
"Sorry, old timer," he said as he places the container back in its original position. He picks up the third one with his left hand and shakes it, sounding the mints in them. The crowd was surprised once again. Ernie's jaw almost dropped. He walks away with an amused expression on his face, speechless that his so-called 'eagle eyes' have failed him.
"Now, is there anyone who wishes to try their luck?" said the man.
The people looked at each other for anyone who would respond. No one seems to be willing to step in front.
"I'd like to try," said a gentle voice. The people turned to look and see Arllia step up.
"Well, then, would our lovely lady wish to try this little challenge?" said the man.
"Yes, of course," said Arllia in a polite manner, along with a nod and a smile.
"Okay then. I think you may have heard of the rules of this challenge, so I'll just proceed," said the man. With this, he picks up the third container with his left hand and shakes it, sounding the mints in it as shown to Ernie the 'eagle eyes' man earlier. After placing it back down, he starts to shuffle the containers again in random order. Then, he stops. "Please, take your pick," said the man.
Arllia did not even fixed her eyes on the third container, but simply watched the man shuffle them around with both of his hands.
With a smile on her face, she looks at the man and answers him instead.
"There are no mints in any of those containers at all," she said. The crowd was surprised as they heard this.
"What do you mean, miss?" said the man with a confused look on his face.
"That's because the mints are..." said Arllia. She reaches her right hand out to the man's left sleeve and taps her index finger on it. "...right here."
The man suddenly gave out a laugh. Then, he unrolled his long left sleeve, revealing a hidden fourth tin container tied around his arm with a lace. "She got it, folks!"
The crowd around them applauded Arllia for discovering the trick behind this little game.
Well...I'm surprised. It took me two reads to figure this out.
He always "showed where the mints were" with his left hand and "showed where they weren't" with his right. He never really showed the contents inside, he just shook them with each respective arm.
*DRAMATIC FINGER POINT*
None of the cups have anything on them, the mints are on some kind of container in his left arm, if they're even mints in the first place.
And Flares got it right.
Maybe I should make more of this in the future.
So....you going to add the proper ending now?
There we go. Editted.
I'm using this for an upcoming plan about Arllia's story.