Gingaopu. Picking it up was a reminder that he would likely never get a chance to bite into one again. Vidvan prepared himself to appreciate it to his fullest extent.
In texture and shape it was like a tangerine, but beyond that there was no comparing it to anything. There was a savory quality that usually only came in meat, combined with a faint sweetness that reminded Vidvan of a pie. A meat pie. Yet so much better.
“What do you think?”
“I could see someone building up a wealthy empire simply to have more ready access to this.”
His Master laughed again. “That goes a little far, but we appear to share a similar taste! I am glad you enjoy it, Vidvan.”
“It would be a crime to eat something after this.”
“Until the taste fades! You understand it well!”
Only after this exchange did Vidvan realize the room had froze around them. He had missed the point when they were not alone, that other people had watched in abject wonder that their Master had shared his gingaopu.
He straightened his robes and returned to work.
Vidvan’s master had a fondness for a particular fruit named gingaopu. It came up from the way south, from an archipelago where it was only known to grow. Because of that, it was very expensive all the way up here. His Master did not get it often.
It was one of the things everyone knew about. Vidvan knew he wasn’t the only curious one. But no one else touched that fruit. It arrived one day and would be consumed the next. There was no time to savor it. It could go bad and that would be his Master’s personal expense gone to nothing.
“You have never had gingaopu before, have you Vidvan?”
His Master’s voice was warm, but it wasn’t really a question. He would know that Vidvan had never even touched it before. If he had, that was stealing it from his Master’s own mouth. He would never do that.
“No, master. Though I have read about how it is gathered. Fascinating.”
“Well worth the trouble. At least, my coin says as much.” His Master laughed. He reached to his plate, where there was a single slice of it left. He held it out to Vidvan. “Here, try it.”
“Are you… well, it is an honor. My most gracious thanks.”