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As pure oud enters my nose, my choice between three bottles of sake is settled. I go with love. I am to read cards for a series of questions, but as the strong perfume in the incense I burn dictates: 'you're now stoned,' I think of narratives that feature Fools always at the mercy of Cupid choosing the woman for them. This is only fair, as Fools are not exactly known for discernment. But what of the Empresses of the world in such stories, the ones worthy of more than a Fool's kiss, a kiss that never even comes, alas, as Fools are better at stumbling in the hem of their dresses than reaching their lips? Some Fools decide imperially, 'I'll have her now,' thinking they're cleverer than the Devil himself, but when fate rules, what of such decisions? The oud penetrates my body even deeper and I find myself telling a never ending story...

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