“Okay, so you’ve got to be strong! Confident! Bold!” Ferrabobanot told Zerelth. “You’ve got to make them think you’re the most threatening dragon ever.”
Zerelth sighed in a dragony way. The thief with the long name had been going in this manner for some time now. “Why would I want that? I don’t want to threaten the people into submission. Those types of leaders are never truly successful.”
“No, no, of course not. See, here’s the plan. The two kingdoms are right about to go to war, right?” Bob paused for a second before answering his own question. “Yes, so we arrange a meeting between the two leaders. They start to fight as most arrogant, self-important people do. Then you step in and try to make peace.”
“But if they are arrogant and self-important, why would they defer to me?”
Bob pointed at Zerelth animatedly. “Exactly, my dear dragon friend!”
“I wouldn’t go that far,” Zerelth muttered darkly, and wondered why he hadn't just eaten the presumptuous little human.
Ferrabobanot held his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “Alright, alright, my dear dragon acquaintance.” He jumped up and began pacing the length of the cave. “Anyway, that’s why you have to be confident. Present yourself as superior. They’re fighting, squabbling, right? Then you come and you’re like, ‘I’m the great, almighty Zerelth, come to claim my rightful throne. Who are you puny frauds?’,” Bob said dramatically.
“That’s not how I sound.”
Bob dropped his hand, which he had fisted and raised for emphasis. “Are you going to let me finish or not?”
The dragon blinked at him, but didn’t say anything.
“So then they’re all, ‘Oh, no! It’s a dragon! I thought they were all dead!’,” Bob continued in a high pitched wail. He shot a look at Zerelth. “No offense.”
Zerelth didn’t respond.
“And you say, ‘Bow before your rightful master, you insignificant creatures! You think to start a war? Bah, there will be no war. I am taking control of both of your kingdoms and we will all live in peace!’ Then the common onlookers will exclaim, “Oh, yes! Peace! Thank you almighty Zerelth! Please, rule us, you amazing dragon!’ and you’ll take charge. Sound good?” Bob finished.
The dragon was still silent. The quiet stretched on for so long that it became awkward.
“Oh, I am allowed to speak now?” Zerelth asked snidely.
Bob rolled his eyes. “Yes. You’re very difficult for a dragon. But what do you think?”
“It sounds highly idealistic,” the dragon answered.
Bob slumped in disappointment. “Oh, come on. Be supportive! Let’s give it a shot; what’ll it hurt?”
“Well, if it fails, I will be humiliated, dismissed and right back where I started. The people will fight, the land will be destroyed and nothing will have been solved.” His tail swished across the stone floor in agitation. "Not to mention my species' existence discovered."
Ferrabobanot looked at him pleadingly. “Please, Zerelth. Trust me.”
“I met you two days ago. Why would I trust you?”
“Because I am inherently trustworthy?” Bob suggested.
“Bah. You are no such thing. Do you recall that I caught you trying to sneak up on me?” Zerelth reminded him.
Bob tried to look innocent. “It wasn’t on purpose! I mean, I came across you and I was trying to sneak away, I didn’t want to wake you...”
"And yesterday, when you were searching my entire cave?"
"I was searching for the exit... I, ah, needed some fresh air."
Zerelth looked at him skeptically and blinked, wondering why he had ever allowed this Ferrabobanot to disturb his peace.