Belladonna was rather surprised when she was informed that her special dish had usurped the crowd favorite to bag second place. She expected Beira's to come higher than hers, and so wasn't surprised when Beira took the first position. After their prizes had been handed to them, Belladonna gave Beira a quick hug, in the way of congratulations. The blonde woman was clearly happy to have been the winner, and Belladonna was happy for her."Congrats, Beira. I should likewise love to have a taste of your food, somewhere along the line."
Speaking of food, all the cooking and rich aromas had made Belladonna quite hungry, and she saw a means by which she could solve the present issue very close by: an eating contest. Now, Belladonna was no glutton, and she didn't often think of herself as having a very massive appetite, but this was a way to get some free food, which hopefully, had been well cooked."Look! There's an eating contest! What better way to sate one's appetite after all the cooking and stuff?"
With that, she took Beira by the hand and led her towards the venue of the contest, provided the Utgardian felt like it. They arrived right on time, for the judges were just announcing that interested contestants could step forward. Belladonna did so, and was directed to a long table, on which were placed five plates of delicious looking food. The rules were simple: finish the food in the five plates. Whoever finished first, or ate more than the others would be the champion. Glancing around, she noticed that there were four other participants, besides Beira and herself."Begin!"
one of the judges yelled.
And so it started. The food was actually nice, and Belladonna had high hopes of at least making it to the last plate. Before long, the first plate was done, and she pushed it aside to reach for another plate. However, one of the judges pointed, and she noticed that somehow, the plate she had just cleared was still full of food."What on earth...?!"
Somehow, the judges didn't seem to suspect anything foul was afoot, and they continued presiding over the event like nothing happened. Belladonna scowled at the plate, then came to a conclusion. Somebody was cheating. At this moment, a powerful urge to outsmart whoever this was took over Belladonna, and she decided that fair play was out of this game."Cheating, are we? I can also play this game."
Quietly, furtively, Belladonna began to release a very dilute version of her Mal Aria airborne toxin, which, being too weak to be seen visibly, soon enveloped the eating table. The participants, except Beira, who Belladonna did not suspect of any underhand tactics, began to feel nauseous and lose their appetites. Belladonna finished the second plate, then placed the empty plate beneath a full one. There was no way the food would be replacing itself, seeing as another plate was on it.
She began on the next plate, then while a contestant at the far end of the table groaned loudly, and pushed his plate away, Belladonna used the distraction to quickly cast an eroding spell, the Touch of Decay, on another full plate. As its contents turned to ashes, she quickly drew it and slid it beneath the full plate, beneath which she had stashed the first empty plate. Then she attacked the food.
By now, people were roaring and cheering in disbelief, because only Belladonna and Beira seemed to be the only ones intent on seeing this to the end. Finishing the next plate, which was atop the other two, she turned them all upside down. With the plates firmly set against the table, it would be too obvious if any one of them sprouted food again. It would be clear that something was afoot.
With an exultant cry, Belladonna stood, a hand still firmly pressed on the turned over plates. The others had, at the very best, only gone through a plate and a half. Belladonna had finished three. Well, actually finished three, had one replaced, and turned one to ash. So, officially, it was three.
Receiving her prize from the judges, she waited for Beira, before leaving with a satisfied smile on her face. There were still other activities to enjoy, and the day was still young. Best to enjoy each good moment as it came.