Story for the Day: The Chocolatier - Part 2

Your best customers are often your first, if you are a fortunate enough to understand excellent service and quality goods, and when you first customer is Rautu, you can be very sure that accommodation and understanding of his wants will keep you in business for life. 

The plangent rapture of the doorbell ushered the proprietor of the chocolatier back into his shoppe, and a mountainous shadow followed, appearing on the threshold just as the door was about to close.
It entered, drifting slowly into the gallery, the brontide of expectation preceding it, the ground trembling with every step. It approached the counter and slowly unfurled: it rose and straightened and stepped into the light, revealing the Den Asaan, whose Finger of Judgment was already extended, pointing at the proprietor, his eyes raging in tranquil fury, his mouth rapt in a fervent scowl. He was about to announce himself and make his demands, but the proprietor of the shoppe stepped forward, and with a polite bow and pleasant smile, he chimed, “Ah, Den Asaan. We’ve been expecting you.”
                He was a little man, spry and slender, glabrous and immaculate, eager and ingratiating without being overscrupulous, his felt hat and bowknot affording a pleasantness and affability that his features would otherwise have been entirely without. He gave his smiling obeisance, which made Rautu suspicious, and drew the giant’s attention to a nearby display, pageanting a fine collection of dark chocolates.
                “My friend Adazh told me you should be here the moment we opened, and we took great care to have these prepared for you,” said the proprietor, motioning toward the display case. “Would you do us the honour of trying a few? We are very anxious to have your opinion.”
                The staff fluttered toward the counter and form a line, their hands out and faces smiling, each member holding a different chocolate on a gloved palm.
                Rautu quickly surveyed the collection. “This is what you sell here?”
                “Yes, Den Asaan,” said the proprietor, inclining his head.
                “Where are your other chocolates?”
                “Which ones, Den Asaan?”
                “Your other chocolates,” Rautu’s voice rumbled.
                “Oh, we don’t sell that here, Den Asaan,” said the proprietor, his smile fading momentarily. “White chocolate is not really chocolate, I’m sure you know. It is a candy, made from cocoa butter and sugar, but for something to be classified as chocolate, it must have cocoa powder in it. I understand that making white chocolate is a very—“ he searched for the proper word, “--Marridonian practice, and it is all well and good not to waste the cocoa butter, but we use no by products here. All of our chocolates are at least fifty percent cocoa powder, and we use no additives to enhance flavour. What you see is exactly what you get here.”
                Rautu decided was going to like this shoppe, and all his weapons of tyranny and judgment were thus put away. He approached the first staff member and was invited to try the chocolate resting in her open hand.
                “Hazelnut cream, Den Asaan,” said the proprietor, with an anxious laugh. “The shell is made from seventy-percent—“
                Here was a fervent look.
                “Ha ha, yes,” the proprietor hemmed. “I will say nothing as you try it. Please, Den Asaan.”
                The first chocolate was tried and ruminated over, and after a thorough evaluation, Rautu decided, “The shell is acceptable.”
                “Please, Den Asaan. Try this one,” the proprietor announced, motioning eagerly toward the next member of staff. “A dark butter cream I think you might enjoy.”
                The next chocolate was sampled, and the next, everything from cream to caramel being appreciated and tried, each being given its due consideration, each piece deliciated over as respected labour of artistic integrity, Rautu savouring each one, noting the splendid tones, the intimations and essences, regaling in the tastes and textures, his mind in a foray of exultation, though he spoke none of his raptures aloud. All that deserved his praise and notice were marked with a devoted, “This is acceptable,” and the rest were given a careless and indifferent, “Hmph,” which was recommendation enough to pass by anyone else’s standards.
                He reached the last of the samples, but a moment after putting it in his mouth, he turned to the proprietor and grunted, “There is poison in this one.”
                “Oh, Den Asaan,” the proprietor cried, tugging on his tie, “I believe that is quite impossible. Which one is that one?”
                “The apple cream, sir,” said the staff member.
                Here was a heavy sigh. “I see what you mean, Den Asaan. Ha ha, yes. You don’t like fruits in your chocolate. Yes, I see. Ha ha.”
                The proprietor wiped his brow and tried to look unconcerned, but with a frantic wave of his hand, screened from the giant by a member of staff, every chocolate in the display containing fruit was whisked away.
                “Will you honour me, Den Asaan,” the proprietor continued, “by telling me which chocolates you liked best?”
                Rautu chose three out of the great number he had tried, a dark chocolate with ganache, one with rose petals, which were not a fruit and therefore not insufferable, and one solid, and he was promptly offered those three at a discounted price.
                “Ten percent for all those in the Forces,” said the proprietor, bobbing on his toes. “We know how important the men and women who protect this kingdom are. And of course, another ten percent for you, Den Asaan, because all the best customers should have regular discounts.”
                 A sizeable portion of chocolate was purchased, and once all the boxes had been stacked into his arms, with a few more free samples sprinkled throughout the pile, he marched back to the keep, intending to show part of his conquest to his mate and the rest of the party while intending to secret the rest away in his private hoard, and met with the rest of the royal party at the front gate, who were just returned from their visit to the Lucentian beauty merchant, Alasdair with his various serums and creams weighing down his arms, the others with their small boxes of beauty items, and Rautu with his mountain of chocolate.