It was a day like any other in the bustling merchant’s sub-level of Coryn, Caviem the merchant was unpacking his wares at his usual spot by the Birch Root Entrance. Times were lean, the merchant was eager for and indeed very needy of his next big break.  Caviem anxiously scanned his surroundings searching for a lead.  With eerie convenience, a fly came zooming through the entrance carrying a peculiar wooden crate.  The fly collided with Caviem, and his cargo crashed to the ground.

“Hey fly, what’s the rush and what do we have here?”, Caviem asked quizically as he examined the crate.

“Iz food bought from bee for sale to merchant. You merchant?”

Caviem probed the box with his antennae, instantly recognizing it as the expensive and much desired Terchi termite fungus. Hostile relations between Coryn and the Termite Union made this a rare delicacy in these parts and he could get quite the return if  dealt with  properly. It would take all of his skill at bartering and  a little deception…perhaps a lot of deception. Desperate times called for desperate measures after all and he doubted that this garbage grubbing fly would have any idea of it’s value.

“Oh my!”, Caviem exclaimed

“What is it? Iz food bad? Did I stay in sun too long?”

Caviem worked fast as the gears in his mind made some traction with a brilliant idea. He began to grab a sheet of woven web fabric and began to wrap the box frantically, scrambling desperately as though he could not wrap it fast enough.  He made such a spectacle about it, it would seem that his life depended on it.

“Have you ever heard of the Zombie fungus?”, the merchant inquired his voice shaking with fear. Being the great actor that he was he even managed to cause his brow to sweat and he squinted in concentration making it visibly obvious that he was trying to seal the crate airtight.

“If this thing launches spores, we’re all dead!”

“That can’t be! That is only myth that ants tell larva about to scare them to sleep. Zombie fungus is not real, just story.” the fly stammered, starting to sweat a little himself now.

Caviem sensed that he was making some headway in his web of deception and continued the ruse. He finished sealing the crate and started slapping bio-hazard markers all over it.

“You said you got this from a bee? This must be a plot by the Hive to destroy Coryn. Sending a fly in to do their dirty work is just type of deception they specialize in!” The merchant was shouting by this point, and pointing accusedly toward the unexpecting fly. “ I must tell the Queen at once!”

He grabbed the box and started  for the entrance to the next sub-level at top speed. Caviem could hear the fly complaining to himself as he was headed away from the scene.

“Should never have believed Kronus, need to get away before I get blamed for problem.”

The fly turned and zipped out of Coryn at top speed, making every effort to distance himself from the whole thing. As soon as he was gone, Caviem swaggered back to his table and started to unwrap his latest acquisition. Grinning widely and humming a tune to himself, he started separating the Terchi fungus into smaller containers for sale. He popped a piece into his watering mouth letting an indulgent moan escape just as a pair of ants came in from the outside.

“Hey, welcome back to Coryn! I just got a shipment of fresh Terchi fungus. It is absolutely delectable.” , offering each a small sample. The happy consumers grabbed their honeydew pouches and each bought some after tasting the exquisite delicacy. This was just the big break Caviem was waiting for.   Sometimes fortune just hits you when you least expect it, this time it was literal.