He walked up the stairs, spear swinging by his side. It had been ridiculously easy to retrieve it for his master, he wondered why he was told to handle the job personally rather then sending on of his underlings. He would definitely have to talk to his master about that, he should be devoting his time to organising the army, not gathering tributes. He reached the top and looked out into the stony cavern beyond. He couldn't see his master and briefly contemplating leaving and returning later.
The stones on the cavern floor moved and suddenly a great body thrust its way up. It seemed like some form of sea serpent thrusting its way over the land. It towered above him baring its many teeth, each one was almost as long as his arm. His master, his greatest weapon. He bowed and held the spear above his head, letting his long silver hair shield his expression. How to word this? How should he manoeuvre the silly snake for his own purposes?
"My lord." The snake seemed to like that honorific, "I have brought the spear, as you asked. But I must beg to ready your armies to carry you to the glory you deserve, rather than spending time collecting knick knacks like this."
The serpent lowered its head until he was bathed in its warm and pungent breath and hissed, "I rule here, I will say when we are ready."
"I beg forgiveness my lord but you have not seen the men, I have." Then man said, "They are ready to follow me, I mean you into battle any day now. But the delays have caused fights among them."
"Send the fighters to see me, I will end this since you seem incapable."
"My lord that would not be wise."
"You seek to advise me now?"
"I know men my lord, better than you."
"You are wrong." The tip of the serpent's tail flicked the spear out of the man's hand and into the cavern, "I know men very well, and I know you."
The man was now very aware of the tail, behind him, blocking the only safe exit. He contemplated trying to flee but brushed the thought aside, the snake did not know, it only pretended intelligence. He simply lowered his stinging hands and watched the serpent through his hair.
"Would you like to hear what I know about you?" The serpent drew it's head back a little and laughed, "I know you are a good leader, but an arrogant one. I know you would never accept commanding beneath another. I know that you entertain delusions of ordering, or manipulating me to your ends, even ruling through me once we have won."
The man straightened, shocked. How could the snake know this? What traitors exist among his camp who were high enough to share these private thoughts.
"And I know that even now you will doubt my intelligence." The serpent hissed, "You were clumsy in your manipulations, only the thickest of humans could have missed your attempts to manipulate me. Yet you hold onto this belief that I am a beast. I am not a beast."
"You have mis..."
"Mistaken you." The serpent swung his head, "Unlikely, but you have served your purpose. You have gathered an army for me and returned with the one weapon I know of that can harm me. I do not need you any more."
"Are you dismissing me?"
"In a way."
Almost an hour later another man ascended the stairs, his steps hesitant and fearful. There was a great smear of blood on the high pillar, all that was left of his commander.
"Your rank?" Came the dreadful hiss.
"General." The new man said with a fearful squeal.
"You are now my new Marshal." The creature said with a threatening kindness to its tone, "Your predecessor made the mistake of ordering me, will you make the same mistake?"
"No." The man said, "I will not my lord."
"Good, go ready my armies for war."
I hope you like it. The story is yours to do with as you wish as long as you credit me. I would also like permission to post this story as my own deviation with your image as the thumbnail, I will credit and link back as the source of inspiration.
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