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Chapter 22-Guess Who Came To Dinner!Edit
The Night Of The Churaians Battle With The KroobiesEdit
Eon leapt from the wall and shadow traveled, teleporting several blocks away as Visumbra put on an extra burst of speed, her already near invisible speed closing even the instant distance in seconds. Eon panted heavily, damn she was fast. "But not fast enough," Eon thought with a grin, quickly disappearing into the shadows inside a house and flying away across the city through the dark, jumping from one patch of shadow to another faster than even the fastest Vampiri could run.
Visumbra growled as the assassin disappeared. She ran a hand through her long dark hair angrily, she had been so close! She had managed to spot the shadowy assassin coming over the wall of the royal palace and given chase, but now Eon was gone and she was no closer to figuring out who the Shade was.
She sighed angrily as she willed her pulse to slow back down. The speed bursts were useful, but supercharging her pulse was dangerous. If she were cut or bruised, the increased pulse would drastically increase the bleeding, and the pressure wasn't healthy either. Her stomach rumbled and she placed a hand over it as she remembered the other effect of accelerating her blood stream, intense hunger.
She smiled slightly, "Another time Eon."
Half an hour laterEdit
Visumbra walked into the dining hall, her far beyond human nose nearly twitching as she was drawn in by the smell of food. Not just food, she thought, a veritable feast! To her immense surprise she found Lu Ten, Lu Cee, Prince Iroh, Azula, Ty Lee and even old King Azulon all sitting around a low table stuffing their faces as though consumed by ravenous hunger. Lu Cee noticed the Vampiri ambassador first, "Hi Vis!" Without waiting for a response she tore off a massive chunk of meat from a lamb shank.
Lu Ten looked up from the massive rack of ribs he was busily demolishing, "Hi sweety!" He looked at the immense rack of ribs in his hands guiltily, "Sorry, we were having a midnight snack." Azula cheerfully chugged wine straight from a bottle as Iroh laughed around a mouthful of roast duck, quite obviously soused, "Midnight munshies run in the family." Azulon beckoned for Visumbra to sit, "Come! Join us if you can stomach our manners!"
Visumbra raised an eyebrow with a slight smile and then sat down, hefted a piece of meat and tore a five inch chunk out of it, before grinning around the massive mouthful, "Your manners? You've never seen a hungry Vampiri eat!" Lu Ten stared, "I love you so much!" Everyone at the table burst out laughing, Azulon even thumping the edge of the table as he howled with laughter.
Visumbra smiled and laughed too, the warmth of the roaring fireplace and the laughter of good friends taking her back to winters in Etake Vale. It was something she had missed dearly since coming to Seandun, where all meals were quiet, reserved and well-mannered. It was a far cry from the boisterous feasts of Etake Vale, this felt wonderfully nostalgic. There was something slightly off though, but as she found she couldn't put her finger on it, she decided not to let it disturb her meal.
Time seemed to dissolve in the company of the boisterous royals, who seemed to have become entirely different people from their usual calm and dignified selves. What she would later guess to be roughly halfway through the meal, a very distressed looking guard came in and was immediately turned away by Azulon on the grounds that it could wait until morning. The guard had looked like he wanted to argue, but he had then nodded, accepting his king's decision turned around, left and not come back.
Sometime later Lu Cee simply laid back patting her tummy, "That was gooood." Then she yawned loudly, "Daddy, I'm sleepy." Iroh smiled and rose, slightly unsteady but walking alright, "Come along sweety, let's get you to sleep. It's past your bedtime." Lu Cee rolled to her feet and they departed. Maybe half an hour later, as his section of the large round table grew clear of everything but dirty dishes, Azulon rose yawning, "Well, this was fun, but I think it's time for me to turn in."
Azula laughed as something ran across her mind, it probably would have been side splitting funny if she hadn't been too drunk to voice it, instead only getting out an unintelligible mumble. She had grown steadily funnier as the night wore on, but now she was so inebriated she could hardly speak. Ty Lee gently tugged the bottle from her friends hand and downed the rest of it before lifting Azula to her unsteady feet, "Now look what you've done Azula, you're going to have a terrible head ache tomorrow."
Visumbra smiled feeling rather tipsy herself as Azula mumbled something at Ty Lee. Ty Lee had always been able to hold her liquor extremely well, often out drinking even big men easily. Only Chit-Sang had ever been able to match her, and he was a giant. Azula nearly fell over as Ty Lee led her towards the door but Ty Lee caught her and helped her along. Visumbra couldn't hear what Azula said, but whatever it was Ty Lee's head lurched back slightly in surprise before a weary smile spread across her face. Ty Lee stooped and simply picked Azula up before carrying her off, "Come on silly, let's get you to bed before you embarrass yourself."
Visumbra smiled tiredly as she leaned her head on Lu Ten's shoulder, "This was nice, we should do this more often." Lu Ten smiled and she realized he had nodded off. She chuckled slightly and then followed suit.
The Next DayEdit
Visumbra woke up to sunlight streaming in through a crack in the curtains of one of the dining halls immense windows and Lu Ten's snores. The table had been cleared while they slept and a pitcher of orange juice had been set before them along with some breakfast by some thoughtful servant. Visumbra's nose twitched and she frowned as something in the back of her mind struggled to cut through the fog of drowsiness. Out of reflex she began identifying the smells in the room, orange juice, bacon, eggs, toast, wood, Lu Ten, thick wool curtains, stone, plaster, cement...something else...
She suddenly sat bolt upright wide-eyed as she recognized the scent that had her subconscious on high alert: Eon. She hurriedly began sniffing more vigorously, locking in on the scent. Lu Ten woke up as she jerked out from beneath his arm, "Wuzgoinon?" "Eon was here," she said crisply. Lu Ten sat bolt upright, "Eon?" She nodded, "Yes now please be quiet I'm trying to concentrate." Lu Ten hurriedly closed his mouth as Visumbra tried to pinpoint when the Shade had been there. After a few moments she shook her head, "It's no good, I can't tell when he was here."
She sighed, "The scent's too weak to track now, I just know he was here." She sniffed again, "On the upside, now I'll be able to remember that scent." Lu Ten poured a glass of orange juice, "Well, at least we're okay." Visumbra accepted the juice and nodded, "He must not have been here for us." Azula came in suddenly and sat down, looking terrible. She put her head in her hands, "Ugh hangover..." She groaned slightly and looked at them, "Did you two sleep in here?"
An almost equally grumpy voice said from behind them, "You should know your limits before you drink past them." "Oh be quiet," Azula snapped as her grandfather sat down, looking to be in as foul a humor as Azula. He hadn't been quite as drunk as her, but he'd still been quite inebriated. Ty Lee sat down next to Azula, trying very hard not to smile as she poured them some orange juice.
Iroh walked in without warning and patted Lu Ten on the shoulder, "Good morning Lu Ten." Azulon glared at him out the corner of his eye, "What's so good about it?" Visumbra suddenly rushed to the curtains and threw them open as Mai, Ozai, Ursa, and several servants came in. The royals all flinched and protested the sudden brightness as Visumbra searched the room intently.
"What are you doing?" Azula demanded angrily. "Close those back," Azulon ordered irritably. Visumbra kept searching the room intently as servants closed the curtains, "Eon's here."