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Nature Red in Tooth and Claw

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You poked your dinner with a knife, biting it off with your sharpened teeth. Beltucadros sat across from you at the table as he ate the food you had offered and drank your booze. He stared at you, watching you eat so fervently.

 

"I haven't eaten like this in years." You commented, letting your animalistic tendencies show. The sharpened teeth, claws and snake-like tongue. Horns were growing from points on your face.

 

"Six hundred ta be exact." Cadros responded.

 

"Six hundred years. . ." You pushed your chair back with your feet. "What did I do to deserve such an honored visit from Lord Belatucadros?" You asked, putting your hands behind your head. Cadros smirked, finally being able to address his reason for being there.

 

"Six hundred years and I've never seen ya livelier than now. I wonder why that is. . . have ya heard that one of our favorite gods is back?" Cadros watched you carefully as you took a sip out of his glass.

 

"Thorn. The whole reason I've reclaimed my powers is him." You smiled, fiddling a spoon with your claws.

 

"Also the reason ya lost 'em in the first place, I remind you." Cadros leaned forward, bigger than you.

 

"Trust me. . . I remember. . . Six hundred years. . ." You breathed. "Six hundred years of barely eating. Six hundred years of sickness." You stood up. "Six hundred years of being bedridden." Your face became reptilian as your horns curved around. "Six hundred years of having a weak body and no magic! I remember, Belatucadros! Trust me, I remember." You seethed, fire flying off your tongue. The serpents curled around the legs of the chair and table.

 

"And yet ye went back to him." Cadros said, standing up. You both stared at each other from across the table, your face returning back to its normal way.

 

"Power over pride. I prefer to be able to roast whoever questions me alive. That'd be easier than being weak and answering to why I never claimed my power back." You stood up straight, biting a good chunk of chicken and swallowing.

 

"He's always been taken by ye." Cadros mentioned, eyes looking you over. "Especially with your strengths restored. Although, your vices are still in place." He took a drink.

 

"There's no virtues for a lady of monsters. My vices keep me in place." You sat back down in your chair, taking a deep breath. "And he's taken by anything that's walking and has genitals." You laughed.

 

"True." Cadros nodded. "You're different, though. . . Something about ye, but I can't place my finger on it." He tapped his chin with his finger, pretending to think it over even though he was not.

 

"So, why are you really here?" You asked, tilting your head.

 

"Are you planning on helping him in this war?" Cadros asked.

 

"I didn't help in the last war, so why would I help in this one?" You returned with a question, cracking your knuckles. You stared at him hard, not wanting to flinch.

 

"I don't want to kill you. I prefer you to other creatures." Cadros admitted, sitting back down.

 

"Then don't kill me."

 

"I wouldn't, but I have to keep my enemies in check." Cadros swirled his drink.

 

"I'm not an enemy." You growled.

 

"Are you Thorn's enemy?" Cadros asked. You were silent for a moment, flexing your fingers.

 

"No. . ." You answered quietly.

 

"Then who's side are you on?" Cadros gripped his glass tightly, starting to lose his cool.

 

"That's for me to decide and you to find out."