Vatralav jerked back to a cry of anguish. It had been a female human to make the sound, so he knew it immediately to be Eve. When he faced her once more, he found a fox - it was one of the wooded areas creatures, but with the woods so close Vatralav was not surprised to find one here. 

He felt himself smack the creature with his paw. It flew a ways away, leaving Eve's arm bleeding. Vatralav felt like clawing the creature to pieces, but did not. He understood her - Vatralav had found her sex out when her scent caught his nose - reasoning behind the attack, so he had not unsheathed his claws in the strike. 

Still, with a hit from the King of the Plains, any creature would be out or possible dead. This fox was neither, making her one of the more experienced of the foxes. It mattered not. She now knew her place.

Another cry, this one of a male human, sounded, causing Vatralav to turn and find a tigress approaching him. He felt as if the fox would not attack again, so he left her crouching where forest met plains and pounced between the humans and the tigress. Foxes would not listen to him, due to them belonging to the forest kingdom, but tigers were his cousins. 

"Stop this," a monotone voice called from his collar when he growled, "these people are no longer dangerous!"

The tigress looked to the metallic shaps on the ground, then to the fox, then to Vatralav. It was obvious what she thought. He was on their side. 

She growled back at him after a moment, saying 'Why are they here, if not to kill?' Vatralav wondered how he could answer that. Surely this tigress would not believe his truth? And what of the fox? Vatralav saw out of the corner of his eye as she circled him and the Tigress.

"John, what does it want?" Eve asked in a scared voice.

"Take this collar off me, Eve," the voice replied alongside Vatralav's growl. He needed for them to see him as King, not some pet of humans. She complied, removing the collar with her uninjured arm. Once it was removed, she moved to join the other two men.

A smaller growl escaped the fox, 'Humans are bad...' is what she meant. He could only faintly tell, as he was unused to dealing with foxes. The anger and fear in her tone made it easier though. She had probably had some bad experience with humans. At least her scent had went from malicious to cautious. 

The tigress on the other hand... She smelled of pending violence. 

'I speak as King of the Plains,' Vatralav roared at the two smaller creatures, 'and I say these humans are not any threat on you! If you wish to proceed-' Vatralav crouched slightly, ready to pounce either beast '-then you will have to face me.' 

Now, he would wait to see their answer and act accordingly.

The End

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