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42.06% The Tiger Within / Chapter 294: Listen Part 1

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Chapter 294: Listen Part 1

Three guards stood together in the courtyard, speaking quietly to one another. Oslo and Race both acknowledged them with a bow. Kyera smiled radiantly at them trying to seem more confident than she was. The third member being Lazren, who had gone on ahead when Kyera ended up doing battle with the Advisor earlier.

"Race, can you check the perimeter for me? Oslo check the roof then meet us inside the lady's maid chamber please." Kyera requested before leading the Prince inside. At first he was a bit surprised, he wasn't use to plans being made and orders given before he had a chance to take in the situation. They didn't even properly introduce themselves, and there were no ranks used.

"Lady Kyera is that… are our cultures so different?" he asked suddenly at a bit of a loss. He didn't want to sound rude but curiosity got the better of him and he couldn't take back the words he spoke.

To his surprise, his nervousness was met by a chuckle like silver bells dancing in the wind. "Yes. My people focus more on trust than formality. Race and Oslo may just be guards to your people, and a dime a dozen but to us, they are soldiers. Warriors and more fierce than those who fight on the battlefield because their duty relies on a split second decision. They do not wake knowing they are going to war, they have confrontation thrust on them and they must react. One wrong mood could result in their Charges death." Kyera explained as she took a seat at the table. She smiled patiently as Clovis mulled this over. It didn't quite click.

"Then why not use the titles they have earned?" He asked honestly curious. Kyera just sighed.

"Do you Enjoy being called Fourth Prince or do you prefer Clovis? Would you like it if Raina called you Fourth Prince instead of Daddy?" Lazren pointed out, hoping to help him understand by drawing on his personal feelings. Kyera flashed him a smile, catching his mindset.

"She relies on you for everything, and you love her thus you expect her to call you father. You and I rely on the guards for safety and trust, thus we should call them by their names. Now I'm not suggesting you learn every warrior and guard's name. I am saying you should know your guard. The ones closest to you." She explains as Oslo and Race entered the room together. The pair nodded and took seats across from Kyera. Clovis realized the chair they left open was on her right. He took it.

"The Lady tells us you know about shifters now. You know we are in your guard?" Oslo started carefully. He was obviously a bit uncertain about broaching this topic. Kyera smiled and leaned back letting them do this at their own pace. It was time he faced his people.

"Yes, Kyera told me there are a few in my guard. I am going to assume you and Race here are both Shifters?" Clovis asked being as respectful as he knew how without being pretentious. All three guard's nodded.

"I'm a Snake, Oslo here is a bear, and Lazren, Laz is a wolf." Race offered, his sapphire eyes like jewels frozen in ice, and staring deep into his heart. Clovis couldn't help but shiver a bit as he took in what he was being told.

"Don't take this the wrong way but how does…" He barely got that far before Race stood up and stepped back a few feet and blurred. For the second time in the day he watched as a person morphed into something else. Race's body didn't have the shadows to hide him as his body elongated and bent till a snake lay coiled before them. His black scales and midnight blue underbelly plates about the size of Clovis's hand. A human sized snake with a hooded neck and those same blue eyes stared back at him.

Then the process happened in reverse and Race stood in human form behind his chair. "Us snakes are perhaps the most… misunderstood of our kind. We are not tiny little creatures when we change, our body simply becomes more bendable and sheathed in a single layer of scale. I can shrink down a bit if I so choose but normally, it is more effort than it's worth." Race explained as he sat back down, having got the 'how does that work' question so many times in the past he didn't even really want to let him finish it.

"Oh, I see." He replied and in all honesty the Fourth Prince did see. That snake was surely quite frightening compared to some of the shifters he had met. Kyera certainly looked dangerous, but she had the added benefit of looking cuddly.

"Don't worry sir, Oslo and I have been loyal to you for quite a while. Just because we have second forms doesn't mean we don't intend to protect you to the best of our ability." Race added realizing he might have seemed a touch more threatening than he had intended.

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