Thousand Gods, Thousand Graves
Shao has many memories of Kun tasking him to get various armloads of scrolls from time to time when he was stumped with a nasty puzzle, particularly one posed by Kun’s friend and rival Jido Liumin. The Riddle of the Six Crickets was an instance of particular note. At Kun’s behest, Shao crawled through the deepest layers of the library trying to find the correct ancient treatise. After many, many hours and pounds of dust, dead bugs and fits of coughing, Shao emerged with the papers to find that Kun was already asleep. Apparently, Minh had solved the riddle herself with a hairpin well before dinner. The answer wasn’t in the books, but by folding the paper and piercing the pictograms, the answer was visible.
Minh laughed at Shao’s bedraggled appearance when he finally showed up. She gave Shao a bowl of soup and a piece of (now stale) pastry from the minor celebration Kun had ordered upon her discovering the solution.
“My dad is only so smart,” she said before heading off to her dorm. “He thinks the answers are only to be found in books.”