Lydia Schaffen and Rumpelstiltskin


{s35}Lydia Schaffen and Rumpelstiltskin {/} {np}This is a story about Lydia Schaffen that has been handed down throughout the Kingdom.
Furthermore, while there are places that Lydia Schaffen has never been to according to historical records, there are stories about what happened when she visited their village.
These stories contain absurd things such as dragons appearing, a strange demon which is different from the demon we know laying a wager with Lydia Schaffen.
{np}In spite of that, the villagers from the region believe the story beyond doubt, and they embrace the pride that this story about Lydia Schaffen brings, having originated from their hometown.
{np}Compared to Ruklys, who likely died early on during the Civil War, or Flurry, who rarely left the tower she built, Lydia Schaffen definitely went on a greater number of adventures around the world, making her the most suitable as the protagonist of a story.
This is one of those stories.
{np}It is not known how true the story really is. Perhaps it was just as absurd in the past as it would definitely be absurd in the present. Still, the fact that it is still told today means the story agrees with the nature of Lydia Schaffen.{np}One day Lydia Schaffen left a certain village alone and walked around at night.
Lydia Schaffen saw a traveler sitting wearily at the roadside on a woodland road.
Out of curiosity, she decided to approach him.
'Why are you sitting here in the forest in the middle of the night?'
The traveler was hesitant to answer at first, but after being asked multiple times he finally opened his mouth.
The reason was apparently this:
{np}The traveler had met a demon named Rumpelstiltskin when passing through the forest several days ago.
Then he was lured into playing a game with the demon.
{np}The reward for winning the game was significant, but the game with the demon was not easy. In the end, the traveler lost to Rumpelstiltskin.
The traveler kept sighing as he waited for Rumpelstiltskin to come back.
After hearing the traveler's story, Lydia Schaffen decided to confront the demon. She promised to the traveler that she'll help him with all her might. Some time passed, and Rumpelstiltskin appeared.{np}Lydia offered Rumpelstiltskin to let the traveler go and play a game with her in exchange.
For better or for worse, Rumpelstiltskin was well aware of Lydia Schaffen's reputation, and the fact that she requested a game with him excited him into accepting her request.
{np}In the past, Rumpelstiltskin was quite famous for challenging his opponents to use their best skill and then defeating them.
But, he changed the rules of his game a bit every time.
Lydia Schaffen asked: 'I understand that you want to challenge my archery skill, so what are we going to do?'
{np}'Of course, a game to see who is better with a bow would not be that interesting. Therefore, let's play a game where you fire an arrow at a target, and then I will try to catch and ride the arrow before it reaches the target,' said Rumpelstiltskin.
Lydia replied, questioning the proposal: 'Ride an arrow?'
'That is correct,' averred Rumpelstiltskin.
{np}Upon answering, Rumpelstiltskin started to shrink his body.
Once he had reduced himself to the size of a child's fist, Rumpelstiltskin spoke: 'Well, this size will allow me to ride your arrow, right?'
Lydia Schaffen thought for a bit,
'There is a problem with that, though. If you touch the arrow and cause it to fall to the ground without it ever hitting the target, then wouldn't that still be a loss for me regardless of whether you rode the arrow or not?'
Rumpelstiltskin answered her with these words.
{np}'Then how about this. I win if I can ride your arrow until it reaches the target.'
'And if your arrow falls to the ground,' he continued, 'then we both lose.'
Rumpelstiltskin added, 'The game shall have three rounds, best two out of three.'
{np}After Rumpelstiltskin's seemingly honest answer, Lydia Schaffen replied, 'Alright, one more thing: I'm going to shoot at any target, in any direction. I'll tell you what the target is each round. This way, you won't be able to get used to it for rounds two and three. Are you okay with this?
'Alright, let's do that,' agreed Rumpelstiltskin.
After also agreeing upon terms of defeat, the game between two people, err, one person and one demon began.
{np}Lydia Schaffen weighed her arrow, then called out the first target:
'The tallest brown tree over there!'
With those words, she released the arrow and it sliced through the air at a frightful speed
{np}Rumpelstiltskin moved nimbly to chase the flying arrow, and after he got on, the arrow impaled the tree. As the arrow continued to oscillate, he danced to the rhythm of the oscillation and sang an unknown tune.
Lydia Schaffen again gauged her arrows, then she called:
'All of the cones on that pine tree on my front-left side!'
Upon calling the target, Lydia Schaffen unleashed her godlike archery skills. {np}Her arrows poured faster than heavy rain during a hot summer day, as if hundreds, or even thousands of arrows were fired at the same time in the same direction.
{np}Rumpelstiltskin couldn't take it as calmly this round. Faster than the human eye could distinguish, Rumpelstiltskin landed on each arrow one by one and transferred to another as the barrage cut through the air. In the end, he was able to get onto the last arrow before it reached the last pine cone.
Rumpelstiltskin spoke to Lydia Schaffen while trying to catch his breath.
{np}'So there, I managed to sit on every single arrow before the last arrow reached the target. I win.'
Lydia Schaffen replied,
' Certainly, I can't deny the fact you sat on every arrow before the last one reached its target.'
{np}Rumpelstiltskin gave a wicked grin after hearing Lydia Schaffen's words and said,
'Meaning, I won this game. Now, as for the penalty we agreed on...'
Before Rumpelstiltskin could finish, Lydia Schaffen shook her head and spoke,
'Don't tell me that because you won two rounds, you won't play the final round? It's not acceptable, we clearly promised to play three rounds anyway, didn't we?'
{np}'The game doesn't end before the third round, so I think it's pointless to talk about penalties before the game has actually ended...'
{np}Recognizing that he has already won two rounds and had no reason to refuse a third, as well as the fact the game was certainly not over yet, Rumpelstiltskin had no choice but to abide by Lydia Schaffen's words.
And so the final round began, Lydia Schaffen gauged her last arrow, and called out as she pulled the bowstring back:
'My target is... the moon in the sky!'
Rumpelstiltskin side-saddled the arrow as soon as it left the bowstring, and not before long, he realized what he heard.{np}And, as he rode the arrow towards the moon, Rumpelstiltskin also realized the fact that the game couldn't end until he reached it.
As time passed, the power of the arrow subsided and it began falling towards the ground. However, after a time the arrow that Rumpelstiltskin rode on stopped still, floating in the sky.
{np}Just as Rumpelstiltskin, grinding his teeth, was about to open his mouth, Lydia Schaffen said,
'For the game to end, you need to ride the arrow until it arrives at its target. The game cannot end before then. If you manage to touched the moon and come back, then I will definitely accept the penalty.'
Having said so, Lydia Schaffen began walking away as Rumpelstiltskin watched, grinding his teeth once again, unable to change the course of the game.{np}According to the anecdote, Rumpelstiltskin has not reached the moon yet, and is still flying there using the magic in his body.
One can only guess if he will manage to return before his demonic life span ends.{np}Nevertheless, as we know, Lydia Schaffen has passed away long ago. So while the demon did not lose the game, he has lost his chance to win the game forever.
Still, the one matter left that we, as the current generation, are curious about is what the agreed penalty between Lydia Schaffen and Rumpelstiltskin was.
Of course, we could ask a particular person, err, demon, that may or may not still be alive. However, as we do not know when he will return, it will be hard to settle this lingering matter for quite some time.


The challenges faced by Lydia Schaffen and her solutions. Readable.


Weight: 1
Silver: 1