“It’s a crazy story,” I concluded. “It almost sounds fictional.”
“From where did you hear this story anyway?” Miak asked.
“Here and there. There are always some people in each place I’ve been that know about this story, but those places are quite far away from one another. I don’t know where King Midas’ land was anymore, but I don’t know how the story traveled that far either.”
“Indeed, the whole story involving King Midas is bizarre,” Miak agreed. “Okay, we’re done here.” He stood up then, taking the bucket of milk with him. “Hold on a second, I’ll go wash my hands. The merchant is coming today, I think.”
“You’ll be selling your jewelry to him later on?”
“I will, unless you are interested in buying.” He sent me a wink, to which I chuckled.
“No, I have no use of jewelry.”
“If you don’t mind, then, come with me.”
We went back into the house, and Miak disappeared into the washroom for a minute. When he came out again, he let out a relieved sigh. “Clean hands are the best,” he said. “It always feels like I’ll make my jewelry dirty if I don’t wash my hands before touching it.”
“Even if your hands aren’t exactly dirty?” I asked.
“Can I see?”
Miak said, “Of course. Come this way, please.” He gestured towards a closed door, and turned the knob. I entered the room with him. Right there on the table was a ruby necklace, neatly laid for inspection. All around the room, gems of all sorts hung as delicate forms of art. I found myself turning around and around to see the displays that hung all over the room. Meanwhile, Miak sat on a chair at the table, meddling with a sapphire bracelet.
With my eyes fixated on the glittering jewelry, I failed to notice that I wasn’t backing against a wall. My hand brushed a curtain at a corner of the room, opening it in the process.
There stood a standing diamond statue, a face I had never forgotten.