The Betrayal

The Broken Oath Part 1

Death Bringer drew his coils tighter around him, his thin tongue flickering out of his mouth to taste the air. It was just before dawn and the sky was still a dark azure. He lifted his head as the breeze carried the scent of a meer. He recognized that scent. It was Comet, the daughter of Star. Star who was once one of Bringer’s closest friends. Star who was now standing in his way, preventing him from gaining power over the entire desert.

The tip of his tail twitched with impatience. He glanced towards the heart of the sage bush that he waited under. There was a pile of gray flecked rainbird feathers by the trunk. He had transported them there the night before. His plan was lining up, all the steps falling into place. Now, all he had to do was wait.

He hunkered down again and let out a low hiss of annoyance. He hoped that Comet would arrive soon. Being a reptile had its disadvantages, he would have to bask when the sun rose to make up for the body heat that he had lost overnight.

In the beginning, he had agreed to an oath with the other Firstbloods. The oath promised that no species would harm one another. At first the oath kept the peace, but not anymore. Bringer was determined to do what was best for himself and his species. And if the oath had to be broken to do that, then so be it. He would make his descendants the most feared and respected of the desert. No longer would they be looked down upon for having scales instead of fur or feathers and slithering instead of running or flying. He would win greatness for himself, for his descendants. No matter the cost.

His muscles tensed as the grass rustled and a tawny shape stepped into the dim light. His dark slitted eyes blazed with intensity as the meer’s brindled pelt flitted into sight. The meer sniffed and padded forward. Bringer drew his head back as his coils tightened. This was it. Once he did this the oath would be broken. There would be no undoing. No second chances. Either his plan unfolded as he anticipated, or it would fail. After he did this, those would be the only two options.

His eyes narrowed and all doubt evaporated as Comet passed close to the bush. In less than a heartbeat Bringer lunged forward. His jaws unhooked, his fangs reaching, his neck stretched. His fangs pierced Comet on the inside of her haunch, where the skin was slack and the fur dark. That way if her family inspected her, they would not easily find evidence of the bite. Comet flinched away a moment too late. Bringer was already drawing back, the damage done.

Comet’s eyes were wide with horror as Bringer loomed out of the shadows, regarding her with cold eyes. She collapsed onto her flank, her sides heaving as her body struggled to fight the venom. The sun was peeking over the horizon and Bringer’s ebony hood glinted in the morning light. Comet’s jaws worked as she tried to speak. “Why?” She rasped. “Why Bringer?”

He didn’t answer as he watched the life seep out of her in a matter of moments. He tilted his head to the side as her flanks stilled and the brightness faded from her gaze. Once he was sure that she was gone, he slithered to her body and tightened his many coils around her neck. He squeezed until he heard a satisfying crack. When that was finished, he laid her body in a way to cover the tracks that he had left in the sand. Then with a flick of his tail he scattered the rainbird feathers about the area.

With one last glance he took in his work. A spark of pride warmed his scales. There was no going back now.

Then he turned and made a gradual escape. The first part of his plan was complete. Now, all he had to do was allow the other Firstbloods to take care of the rest. After that, the desert would be his.

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