The soup course arrived, and Kog'Maw promptly forgot everything he'd been taught. Cho'Gath had been very careful to point out which spoon was the soup spoon, but that now seemed a bit advanced for his young ward: Kog'Maw had devoured the soup, its Demacian china bowl, part of the table, and all of his available spoons in one gulp.
Cho'Gath sighed. Dressed in a custom-fitted silk shirt with red bowtie and cummerbund, Kog'Maw chewed through the glass, his mouth wide open, soup and caustic saliva splattering everywhere. This, Cho saw, would indeed be a challenge.
"More!" Kog shouted. Cho only folded his arms and stared in disapproval. Since the command failed to produce another of the tasty glass things, Kog considered what his error may have been. He thought back to his lessons, and it came to him: "Please!"
"Well, I'm glad you're at least learning something," Cho said. He took a moment to wipe a bit of saliva off his monocle before taking up his own soup spoon. "I'm afraid that business with the soup just won't do, though. Now – what do you think you did wrong?"
The void spawn gurgled in confusion. He'd been given food. The thing you did with food was eat it. He'd eaten it. Where could there possibly be room for error? Was there something else he'd neglected to eat? He stared at his mentor expectantly, hoping that he'd understand whatever the explanation was or, failing that, that he'd get to eat more.
Cho'Gath sighed again. "Milo?" A well-dressed butler standing at the end of the table walked up to Cho's side.
"Sir?" Milo asked.
"The young master will be having another bowl of soup. And another place setting, I should think."
Milo glanced with distaste at the disaster across the table, wrought by the unspeakable manifestation of hunger that the master of the house had taken under his wing. It was not his place to judge, Milo decided, repairing swiftly to the kitchen and returning swiftly with a new bowl and spoon.
Cho'Gath held up a grizzly talon as the butler approached; Milo stopped next to Kog, aware of the danger in holding food so close to an insatiable void monster, but aware also that duty comes first. Kog eyed the soup and the equally-appealing server greedily as Cho'Gath proceeded with the lesson.
"Now then, I – I say, are you watching? – now, it's considered poor form to eat the bowl itself. Instead, one avails oneself of a spoon…" Cho paused to indicate the spoon held daintily in one of his nightmarish claws. He dipped the silverware in the subtle vegetable bisque in front of him. "…and while you'll find you eat much slower, you'll also be happy to find this leaves ample time for conversation and…"
Cho'Gath raised his attention from the bisque to find that Kog'Maw had devoured the soup, the bowl, the spoon, and Milo's arms. Milo, who came from an old and hardy line of butlers, took the loss in stride.
"Terribly sorry for the mess, sir," Milo said. Blood gushed from his mangled elbows at an alarming rate.
"Quite all right, Milo. Just send Winston in when you go clean yourself up," Cho'Gath assured. Milo bowed and took his leave, leaking blood all the while as he left.
The two void abominations sat in silence for a moment, staring each other down as Cho's soup cooled and flecks of spittle ate holes in the wall and tablecloth. A solid minute passed before Kog'Maw, having forgotten why they were quiet, offered his input:
"That's not the important thing!" Cho'Gath shouted. He bet Milo was pretty tasty, frankly, but damn it, one did not eat one's butlers! Cho'Gath had worked beastly hard to overcome the ragamuffin days of his youth in the lightless, godless Void, and he wanted to be for his young protégé the helping, correcting hand that he'd wished he'd had. Still, Kog'Maw showed little desire to learn; Cho'Gath wondered if he'd ever make a gentleman out of the youngster.
"You…you started eating before he'd even put your food on the table! You ate your soup right out of the bowl without a spoon, you ate the bowl itself again, you upset the table, you made a mess, you permanently maimed Milo, you…you…!"
Kog'Maw, who was getting rather excited at this description of all the things he'd eaten and how much fun he'd had, nodded and danced up on to the table.
"Please!" he chirped.
Cho'Gath lost his temper. He shot up out of his chair, and the table ripped in two as hellish spines and gnarled fangs erupted out of the floor. These carried Kog'Maw up to the ceiling with him, where he presently found himself impaled horribly.
"It's just…you're not making any effort," Cho said. "It would be such a shame to just devour you." Kog'Maw didn't know what disappointment was yet, but the situation wasn't totally lost on him. Maybe it was something in the tone of Cho's voice, or maybe it was the way Cho had attacked with horrible hellteeth from the earth, but Kog'Maw was pretty sure he'd upset his elder. This meant his elder might eat him. This, at least, Kog knew would be bad.
The fangs retreated into the ground, leaving a gaping hole in the carpet, floor, and builing foundation. Cho'Gath took a seat and Kog followed suit, though his wounds left him weak enough for the moment to have little choice. One set of servants came through to sweep up the table fragments while another carried a new table in; within minutes, they were ready for Winston to bring in the fish course. Winston, whose constitution was at least as strong as Milo's, did not even bat an eyelash at the bloodstains on the wall and carpet, nor at the circular maw that faced him now, dripping with the same gore. He held his chin up, placed the covered plates in front of the two diners, and lifted the metal covers to reveal the steaming shellfish underneath.
"Mussels, in the style of Bilgewater. Bon apetit," Winston announced. Kog'Maw eyed the new butler. The obvious thing to do was to vomit digestive acid all over him and slurp him on down, but Kog'Maw was beginning to suspect that Cho'Gath did not want him to do the obvious thing. Also – and this was as close as Kog would get to a breakthrough that night – he realized that these walking tasty bits, these "Milos" and "Winstons," brought other tasty bits like the crunchy glass things, and that perhaps this "Winston" would bring more tasty bits if he didn't vomit digestive acid on him.
"Please!" Kog'Maw said happily. Cho'Gath shrugged at Winston, aware that this was probably the best he'd get, and the butler bowed and left.
"Good lad! You didn't so much as nibble on him," Cho'Gath said. He meant it, too; he'd always guessed Winston was the most delicious member of his staff. He was on the plump side, with red hair that probably tasted no different but anyway looked more flavorful, and Cho had the overall the impression that he'd go well with an earthy Noxian shiraz…anyway, what was he thinking about? Oh, yes. He was proud of his ward's restraint. "Yes, good lad. Now, avail yourself of your shellfish fork – that would be this one here – and I shall demonstrate how to properly."
At the first mention of this particular piece of silverware, Kog had spotted it out of his row of forks and devoured it. The other forks clinked to the ground; Cho considered it progress that he'd only eaten one bit of silverware this time.
"One step at a time," he reminded himself, helping himself to a mussel the proper way. "One…step…at a time."