A Champion's Soul

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Tithe: An Unhealthy Meal

A few days passed since I first woke up. I’m not talking, to really anyone. That guy that sniffed me came back, but he had a look of defeat on his face. He did apologize profusely about that, and I guess he’s not so bad. A little creepy, but hopefully it doesn’t happen often. Honestly, I think he made up for that incident by showing me how to tuck my wings in. Now I can walk around and not smack people with them, or get them pinched in doors. Oh, his name is Miles

He’s greeted me in the morning on multiple occasions, like today as well. “Morning Tithe.”

He snuck up behind me this time. “Morning Miles.”

From what I know about him is that he’s just turned eighteen, but won’t tell me what he was doing. His scales are blue, and he’s got a more human appearance than I do. The scales only cover his forearms, hands, and legs. He’s got wings like I do, but they’re a bit smaller. While he does have horns, his hair does a good job at hiding them.

He had some armor on today, which is weird… “Tithe, are you ready to try and fly today?”

Oh… “Sure, is there anything you can tell me before we eat?”

His cheerful mood rubs off on me, it makes it hard to feel down here. “I’ve noticed that you’re trying to flap them quickly. That’s good for kicking up some wind.” He said something under his breath. “And spreading your scent.”

What was that? “Excuse me?”

He recoiled a little. “N-nothing. You want to put more force into the movement. You’re curling your wings in the wrong direction so they’re just pushing air away and not down. Try to do the opposite of that.” I hope I can figure out what the hell that means.

Now what is with the armor. “Why are you wearing that?”

He pointed to the chest piece. “Oh this? The competitions are coming up soon, the heavier I am the harder I’ll be to push out of the ring. I’m going to be progressively wearing heavier armor so I can deal with the weight.”

Interesting. “What’s the competition?”

He’s getting that proud glee about him again… “We have one every season. In the spring it’s a sumo style brawl… Wait you might not know what that means. King of the hill, no? Oh! Last man standing in the ring. Two people in one person out type of deal.”

Huh, sounds fun. “Can I try?”

He scratched his chin. “I don’t see why not. Just don’t be disappointed if you lose, the others around your age have had some training.” I guess it’s good that he’s noticed I have no idea how to fight? Actually, that might be bad thing?

Wonder when it is. “When is the competition?”

He smiled. “Next month.” Ah okay then. “Come on, we should get in there before they stop serving breakfast.” Right.

We both went in and sat down. I did notice some other people had scales in there as well, but they just felt different. Also having that leathery stuff on my wings between there ribs and arms pointed that out very clearly.

What are they? “Hey Miles, do you know what type they are?”

He answered me, I’m glad he knows I guess. “Drakes… Either they took the soul of one, or they were birthed by one. Drakes are weaker than dragons, but they’re faster than us to counter act it. Same thing with the Valkyries.”

Valk-what? “What is that?”

He paused. “Right, you wouldn’t know anything about the Norse, would you? The Norse have immortals as well, Valkyries. They work for Odin, their head god; instead of in conflict with them. Oddly enough Valkyries are always female… Not entirely sure why though?” That all went so far over my head I should feel ashamed to be part dragon.

We were still talking but I got distracted by a smell. “Do you smell that?”

Miles looked at me, confused. “uh, no?” Dammit what is that!? It smells so good. I need to find it! It was coming from outside. “Wha-? Hey wait for me!”

Outside, outside. Dammit where is that smell!? It’s so god damn good! It was coming from a barn! I ran over there. Miles was shouting at me but I didn’t care. I went inside, just horses. It’s not coming from them. Pile of hay, there. Something smells incredibly good from there. I practically dove into it to find what it was, and I did. A mouse? Why the hell does this mouse smell so good?

Miles caught up to me. “Tithe! Jeez slow down. What’s got you so riled up?”

I showed him the mouse. “Why does this thing smell so good!?”

He got that confused expression again. “Uh, I don’t know? I’m not sure what smells so good about it.” The mouse was squealing, and I felt compelled to lick it. “TITHE! WHY DID YOU DO THAT! THAT’S NASTY!” It tastes amazing!

I don’t know what came over me! I ate the mouse, swallowed it whole in fact. I could hear Miles gaging but it was so god damn good! “That, was amazing…”

Miles shouted. “TITHE! I can hear the poor thing crying in your stomach! You could’ve at least broke its neck first jesus! Do you have any idea how morbid that is!?”

I don’t really care. “Not really, but it was so~ good.”

He placed his face in hands and spoke in frustration. “Tithe, for the love of god you need to control that type of urge.” The squealing stopped. “Good, the poor things not suffering anymore. Please, if you’re going to eat rodents. Kill them before you swallow them.”

I’ll keep that in mind then. “Alright, but I can’t promise anything.”

His jaw dropped. “C-can’t promise! Tithe! You’re twisted… Never mind, come on let’s just get to the field. You should practice flying today.”

We walked out of the barn and someone met us at the doorway. “I heard shouting…” He looked at me. “Care to explain why there’s straw in your hair?” He was glaring at us.

It’s not so bad. “There was a mouse…”

He looked at me. “Why would you be in here for a mouse?”

Miles looked pale. “I ate it.”

The man’s face turned white… “Oh, I see… Okay, I don’t think anyone would be willing to make that up.”

He walked over to miles and whispered something in his ear. The man walked away and miles grabbed my hand. “I think we’ll have to hold off on flying today. I should take you to the infirmary.”

What, why? “Why do we have to go there!?” He dragged me to the infirmary, digging my heels into the dirt wasn’t enough to stop him.

I don’t want to go! “Miles! I don’t want to go there again!”

He was half laughing at this! Asshole! “Well you should’ve thought about that before you eat a mouse!”

How! “How was I supposed to know eating a mouse was bad!?”

His jaw dropped and he almost let go. I wasn’t able to wriggle free though. “WHY DID YOU THINK IT WAS OKAY TO EAT A MOUSE!?”

That, that shout scared for me for some… I kept quiet the rest of the way there. We went inside the building and I sat down.

One of the helpers came out, I was looking at the ground and Miles talked to them. “I was told to bring her here. She ate a mouse.” They took a step back, then got their composer back.

They came over to me and led me to another room. “Take your shirt off, we just need to check your stomach.”

Why? “Why are you checking my stomach?”

They answered. “There’s a chance the mouse tried eating it’s way out of your stomach. I just need to feel around to make sure there’s no pain.” Oh… I did, they pushed around several spots on my stomach. “Well, I can feel the poor thing in there… Why did you eat it?”

… “It smelled good, and tasted good.”

They let their head sink with a sigh. When they brought it back up they had a look of disappointment. “If you like the taste of mice that’s fine. Just don’t eat them raw like that, and make sure their dead to.”

Alright. “Fine.”

Miles didn’t take me try flying the rest of the day. I didn’t really feel up to it either.

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