"I will do it, but I will do it crying." -- Anon Guest
"You've had a bad day," said the Silver Dragon, currently disguised as an Elf, in an exhibition of galaxy-scale understatement. This, considering that Anthe had just been stepped on by an Ogre and thrown into a dragon-pit, only to be revived once in the Dragon's claws. She was now battling the instinct to genuflect in the Dragon's general direction and do whatever they bade her to do. The fact that she looked like an Elf had nothing at all to do with that. Kobolds just happened to have certain instinctual reactions to Dragons. It's a fact. "Are you going to be all right?"
Anthe fought her instincts to ask if the Dragon wanted her to be all right, to beg for her life, or otherwise simper and fawn. She was much more than just a kobold, now. Dragons were just another intelligent species, who, like the Elves, had taken many advantages in centuries past. They could be dealt with as any other intelligent being, racial memory or no racial memory. Nevertheless, Anthe felt compelled to be far more politer than she may usually be. "Yes, it's not been one of my favourites. That was most observant."
To any other being, those words would be sarcastic. To the Silver Dragon, they were almost obsequious praise. This amused the Dragon and that smile had Anthe fighting every compulsion to become their toady. "Indeed. We both have battles to fight, I see. Both with our natures... you see... I have taken a vow of peace and kindness. Those people above thought to capture me and turn me to their wills once I got hungry enough. Perhaps they threw you to me as a test of will."
Anthe blurted, "Have I helped you pass?" in spite of herself.
"So far, so good," murmured the Dragon. "I will do my best to refrain from commanding you... yet I am in need of assistance. I can only accept it if it is the result of your free will."
Anthe breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh good. My companions and I are the helping types. Adventurers. I'm... the rogue." She almost stopped it, but the, "Your shininess," spilled out of her like a cough.
"I'm a cleric," said the Dragon, "My names are many, but in honour of my deity, I have chosen the name Moonlight."
"That's a wonderful name to choose," Anthe bit her tongue to stop the instinctual fawning. "It took me some time, but I chose the name Chrysanthemum. Anthe for short."
"Well. Perhaps we can help each other, Anthe. I would love to help someone at last."
Anthe forced herself to think. "Even with a vow of peace, there must be allowances to defend yourself. You could change yourself back into your dragonform and toast everyone in our way. Nothing could stop you."
"It's precisely that sort of reasoning that made me seek the gods' wisdom in the first place," said Moonlight.
"Think of it this way," Anthe found it easier to use a thief's reasoning when she wasn't looking at the Dragon. "What other choices are there?"
Moonlight sighed. "Unfortunately. None. I will do it... but I will do it crying."
Just so long as they were alive to wipe their tears, Anthe didn't mind that codicil.
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