263B: Acrobat turned Food Taster

A boy meets a mentor one day. They begin a journey together, leading to the emperor’s palace. On the way, they stop in a small village. The villagers feed them, but due to a rude remark the boy makes, they are placed in prison for seven days with no food, with the quote “Water you may have, though it be slightly brackish.”

Eventually, they are released and reach the palace, where the boy becomes an acrobat. In the palace, the boy meets the chef one day, who is crying that he cannot taste all the food. The boy willingly becomes the taster, though he discovers in dismay that he is gradually becoming too large to serve as an acrobat.

He and the mentor eventually aid the emperor with a problem, and it’s here my memory breaks up. Many thanks for the assistance.

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