Beryl had felt a feeling of growing dread from the moment he realized what the gathering had been about. The cat knew that not everything Oskir had told them was the truth anymore, but there was something that had always given weight to his words. His sixth sense was telling him to run, but surrounded by friends and urchins?
It took him some time to realize that he had come close to ruining their ceremony. Maddox and others had tried to tell him that praising others made the praisers feel better and accomplished as well, or something to that effect, but he hadn’t been listening.
Still, Janus had arrived to threaten his life–though only in jest. Had he heard what he had whispered to Tepic? He probably had and decided to poke fun at him.
All the same he didn’t feel he deserved the medal or the title of hero, and considered throwing it away until Avariel came to see it and he told her he what he was getting ready to do.
“No! Bad hero kitty!” He’d never seen her that upset at him before, “If you even think of taking it off today–let alone throwing it away–I’m going to have to drill it onto you!” For all he knew she meant it. What kind of a hero got threatened by the people who adored them?
Not long afterwards Chess approached him and told him that Arnoberyl cats weren’t allowed to have more medals than him, and that he was setting off to construct a Beryl Strife killing device, which was in top secret production. He must have also heard about his tiny outburst, Beryl decided after he also recieved a letter later in the day which read:
Dear Miss Strifeclaw
My congratulations upon recieving your undoubtedly well deserved decoration. Wear it proudly and savor the adoration of the masses whilst you may, Miss Strifeclaw, for it shall be fleeting.
I cannot allow heroes such as Bookworm Hienrichs, Emerson Lighthouse, or your so called Emperor to rally the masses after your militia is crushed. Do make your final necessary arangements.
Beryl read the paper several more times before he finally shook his head and threw it into his pocket forgotten. He had asked for these with his appaling display earlier. He should have just accepted the gift with pride, even if his entire being was warning him that it was going to cause him more strife. He would deal with the consequences with his head high and claws bared, not cringing in a corner or hiding behind boxes now.