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Lost and Found
April 23, 2012
Previously on Heiress of the Nile
A day in the Fire Nation. Lostris was training in secrecy, but found herself having trouble with a certain firebending move, causing Taita to feel guilty toward her and her parents like he has failed them all. She managed to cheer him up and they returned to the palace where Lord Naja was watching their approach. The Grand Vizier uttered thoughts of treason and regicide at the address of the young princess and took the necessary measures to ensure that his secret was safe. In the evening, Tanus and Meren were training their swordsmanship together under the encouragement and cheers of the soldiers of the Red Tiger division, and Lostris and Taita had an argument after Lostris lost her composure in a meeting of the Phoenix Council and proposed to go to war.
Kun got a bow for his eighteenth birthday, a gift that ended up saving his life as it took him out of Palm Spring when the Shrikes, under leadership of the siblings Tegan and Seraphine, attacked the village to either enslave or murder the people during their training session. A confrontation with Seraphine at the burned-down village taught him that part of his family might still be alive, however, it was certain that his father perished at the hands of the warrior princess. Seraphine spared his life, but Kun swore revenge for the murder and captivity of his family members.
. . . making the sign to avert evil with their left hand to no avail. The sphere expanded into a tornado, picking up every self-proclaimed bird, challenging it to fly. Tayla was flung free from her captor and suspended in midair like the rest of them. Lostris slowly rose to her feet. Tears flowed down from her eyes, glowing brightly with rage and pain as she lifted her head.
Gasping for air, Lostris jolted up, throwing the blankets off her sweat-covered body. After rapidly checking the room to reassure herself it was indeed just that same dream again, she closed her eyes in an attempt to revive the images. A blur of colors flooded her mind. She felt a particular likeness for the red. Red. Ruby red, just like the Fire Nation, just like her family. Green. The Earth Kingdom province of Gebel Nagara. They danced around each other, swirling and twirling, on the verge of merging, but then broke again at the last moment to be replaced by an all-consuming black. Black. Black as night, black as coal, black as the tail feathers of a shrike. The darkness swarmed every corner of her being, drowning each shred of beauty it could find. Unstoppable as it was, the shadow marched on to her very core. When it threatened to succumb her, a bright light pierced the darkness, shattering it like a stone would a mirror. White. White of nothing. A power, good or bad? If only she knew; if only she could see past it. Lostris focused, heeding Taita's words to demystify the dream. Taita . . . his effigy formed amidst the confusion. Her world of black and white suddenly strangely audible. You did well by taking it off before uttering words of warfare. Lostris's eyes shot open, the echoing sounds of previous events draining the images of old. It did not take long for her to find the Crown Princess headpiece, its metallic flames gleaming in the rising morning sun peering through the shutters. The harsh words of the previous evening still buzzing through her mind, the princess slowly pushed her royal legacy out of the single sunbeam, rendering it dark and dull in the shadow.
"You are not yet ready to shine again."
Turning her back to the artifact, Lostris got up and sauntered to her balcony, lazily tying a silk sleeping robe over her nightgown. The wind greeted her, dancing playfully with her hair and carrying the scent of the cool possibility of a relaxing, mind-cleansing swim in the Nile. As she breathed in the invitation, Lostris leaned over the balcony rim, darting a glance over it in search for possible guards below. The garden was bustling with animal life, but it lacked any human presence. A mischievous smile stretched out over her face and ignited the sparks of adventure in her eyes. Instantly, she dropped to all fours and crawled to the far corner, where the branches of a cherry tree had a cozy get-together with the stone tablets of the balcony rim. As cautious as a stalking armadillo lion, the princess peered shiftily over the edge, while her fingers rumbled a soft tune on the already-warm sandstone. Still unable to detect any guards, Lostris hoisted herself on the rim, balancing like a drunkard at dawn. With the elegance of a fledgling taking flight for the first time, the princess flapped her arms and jumped forward. Landing roughly against the stem, the girl slid down, scraping arms and legs on the rough bark. She miscalculated the distance left to the ground and fell flat on her back in the shrubbery. Lostris moaned painfully as she flapped over on her belly and strained herself in effort to push herself on all fours again.
Its soft emerald discs never missing a duck, swirl, or twirl, a stray bearded cat lazily basking in the waking morning sun eyed the strange creature stalking through the garden. Meowing softly as if to ask for attention, the animal ran down the vertical wall, elegantly jumped on the ground, and swiftly crossed the grassy field, climbing the tree Lostris was hiding behind.
"Pfuh, show off," the princess said, amused, while she carefully removed a splinter out of her hand.
An orchestra of badgerfrogs, heron ibises, and a rare nightingale swan beckoned and greeted her as she pushed aside the last barrier of plants that obscured the Nile from sight. No matter how often she came to this small piece of heavenly paradise on earth, its marvelous wonders never ceased to amaze her. Although still faint, the sun beams made it seem like the turtle ducks were swimming in a pool of pure gold. Unable to suppress a joyous giggle, Lostris dived in, the cool water caressing her body, leaving a trail of goose bumps on her otherwise smooth skin. Swimming with her eyes open, the world below the surface opened up to her and confided in her its secrets. A school of cat anchovies encircled her, welcoming her to their watery domain, but then quickly dispersed to avoid the curious hands of the land walker. Breaking through the surface again, she gasped for air; flipping her hair back, the princess showered a family of turtle ducks with drops of water, momentarily transformed to glittering diamonds in the rays of sunlight before turning back into gold upon rejoining the river. Lostris quickly apologized to the dismayed quacking family, and then briefly listened intently for any possible guards. Reassured of their absence, she dropped backwards, and surrendered to the rule of the currents that swayed her through her paradise.
The river had brought her to a small wooden cabin, well-hidden from prying eyes by the reed-beds. The old, moist rope strained and squeaked under Lostris's weight as she pulled herself out of the water. With a shriek, the girl pushed open the door and entered the cozy little room stacked to the brim with fishing equipment and other curiosa only worth as much as the accompanying memory. Although slightly weathered, the cabin had stood firm for nearly twenty years, challenging the elements to give it all they had.
"Seems like you withstood that storm a few days back like a charm." Lostris patted the doorpost. "I knew you would. After all, you were built by my parents and Taita."
In more of a habit than a conscious action, Lostris's fingers trailed to the carving next to the door of a man offering three papyrus plants to a woman, a sign of the love Prince Memnon had felt for his later queen, and then to the message carved underneath it. Djet neheh. Until eternity of eternity. Further down, two more papyrus plants were depicted, each flower head stretching out to a new branch of Tamose's family. One blooming flower expressed his joy for his newborn daughter, Lostris Kenna Tamose, and the other contained a little prayer to the spirits, asking them to bless his unborn child with health and wellbeing. Later, he had carefully applied the name of his second daughter, Tayla Merykara Tamose. Lostris's gaze and fingers moved away from the messages to the lines and dates engraved in the wood on the other doorpost. Each line sported a name and a date, indicating Lostris and Tayla's growth over the years. After her mother's premature crossing to the Spirit World, Taita had kept Lostris's line going.
Her hand lingering on Tayla's line as if it wanted to reach throughout history, Lostris moved away from the memory wall to grab a woven basket and a large fishing pole; she headed out into the sun again and cast her line. Basking in the tranquility of the lagoon, listening to the nature around her living and breathing, waking up to enjoy the new day, Lostris felt like the world was passing her by, hour by hour, day by day. Assessing the sun's position in the sky, she was surprised to learn it had only been a short twenty minutes that she had been out of it. Releasing all the caught fish except for the two largest specimens of haddock haring, Lostris closed the basket and jumped into the river. Sporting the box on her head, she waded back to shore, already mentally having cooked the fish which would be part of the delicious "apology" breakfast she was going to cook for Taita.
The princess ran with the light tread of a fox antelope calf in its first spring, swiftly making it back to the palace grounds. Dashing through the plants separating her secret paradise from view, she was suddenly halted by something that had never been there before. Flung backwards, the fish-filled basket sprung open, sprawling its content on the ground. Without looking up, Lostris scrambled around; she located and recollected one fish, then the other, and eventually a piece of white linen cloth. As though struck by lightning, Lostris realized the cloth never belonged to her, and it was only then that her surroundings began to dawn on her: The scurry of hastened footsteps, a flash of milky white buttocks contrasting heavily against the bronze skin of the torso, and then a loud splash as the buttocks covered themselves up in the dark green waters of the Mother Nile. Spurred on by a mixture of surprise and curiosity, Lostris's gaze traveled up the man's body to meet a pair of eyes staring back at her. They were the exact image of the water: Beautiful dark green, but rippled by turmoil, shocked by the sudden unexpected intrusion. Slowly, the brief fragments she had witnessed started to connect with each other, and she felt her cheeks burn up with embarrassment, silently cursing her foolishness to leave the palace with only her sleeping robe to cover her body.
"I-I-I am so sorry, Princess." The burning shame accompanying the man's words was almost tangible, and if he was not standing in water, Lostris was sure it would have burned him alive. "I didn't realize anyone else was here, let alone your Royal Highness, otherwise I would never have –"
Lostris never heard the rest of his apology. Not consciously wanting but at the same time unable not to, her gaze traveled over the athletic, well-trained body of the young man standing in the middle of her paradise. Somehow, that suited him, like he belonged. Suddenly realizing her own thoughts and actions, she became flustered by the sight of the naked man between the lilies –the plants, nor the dark water, quite covering all. She quickly turned on her heels, intensely staring at the palm tree in front of her, willing her blush to go away. Deprived of the distracting image, her mind finally grasped the situation where her secret paradise was no longer secret; it had been discovered; it had been fouled.
Enhanced by the surprised shock he had given her, flashes of anger, of fear, of dismay, battled for supremacy and the right to rule the tones of her voice when she spoke again. "What are you doing here? How did you find me? Were you following me?"
"Of course not, Princess." She could hear the desperate need of the man for her to believe him, "I didn't follow you. I would never. I just love coming to this place before my shift. It's so beautiful and quiet here: The perfect getaway from busy palace life."
Angered by the confession that this was not the first time he had had the audacity to intrude upon her heaven, she turned around, set on giving him a piece of her mind, but quickly reconsidered when the wind played up, shifting the position of the lilies, revealing the man in his full glory. Staring up at a single bird flying overhead, determined not to look down again, she lashed out at him. "This is my spot. This is the only place I can be on my own. Alone. Just me, no one else. And then you have to come here and ruin everything! Can't you people ever leave me alone? Just a few minutes a day. A few lousy minutes of privacy, is that too much to ask? I just need to have a little iddy bit of a life, okay? Just a little tiny tiny tiny life! Is that okay with you?" Lowering her eyes in reflex to confront the person she was yelling at, Lostris rapidly covered her eyes, as the morning sun had decided to bask the man's naked body in sunlight, transforming the thin layer of water wrapped around him to a brilliant diamond skin. Even in that brief flash, she could see his muscles trained to perfection. "And could you please cover yourself up? Ever heard of clothes?"
Hearing the splashing of water, Lostris could vividly imagine the man repositioning himself and use a lily-leaf to cover up some parts – some smooth, well formed, and – Lostris's mental picture was shattered by the man's voice. "I'm sorry, Your Highness, but er. . . . You're still holding my chiton."
Lostris suddenly became aware of the piece of cloth she held clenched in her fist, the bleached white linen contrasting against her own tanned skin. Feeling the embarrassment marching over her face again, she scurried to the rim of the water, unable to dart a look in his direction – or on the path she was walking. Tripping over a protruding rock, Lostris plunged forward. Expecting to fall into the cold embrace of the Nile, she was surprised to find herself landing in the warm embrace of two strong arms.
"Are you okay, my Princess?"
"I-I am fine, thank you." More a whisper than an actual sound, Lostris found herself drowning in the two pools of dark-green water on his face, intrigued by the twinkle of mystery that played around in them. Minutes seemed to pass, and – becoming intensely aware of her stare – she broke their connection and looked down. "Oh, spirits!" Gasping in embarrassment, she snapped her head back up; a sharp pain spread over the top of her head as she made contact with his chin. Cradling her throbbing head, she bent over in pain, her vision directed towards the Nile once again. What startled her in the first place still proudly stared back, instantly removing the pain out of her mind. Squirming in her haste to get out of his embrace and as far away from his everything as possible, she accidentally slapped her rescuer across the face, making a soft grunt of discomfort escape his lips. Too embarrassed, her body refused to turn back to ensure he was all right. "I'm sorry! I have to go." Almost flying through the river, Lostris dashed out of her paradise. As quick as she had vanished, she retraced her steps, tossed the chiton in the air, and grabbed her fish basket. Before the clothing item had swiveled to the ground, the princess was disappearing through the thicket again and racing over the palace garden.
The Night of His Life
The evening sun gave the white tents of the Shrikes's nest an orange glow, making them seem warm and inviting. Drunken men lurched about everywhere, enjoying the festivities with several amphorae of wine bought with part of the profits of the day's slave sale. A boorish burp was accompanied by encouraging cheers and bellowing laughter; money spilled over the gambling tables where the drunk feasted of the wasted; a harlot, offering her services to the few still capable of using their manhood, entered a tent with a foolishly-grinning soldier, the damp of her previous visitor still fresh on her clothing. Some thirty meters outside the circle of decadence, twelve people were tied up to poles, guarded by two unfortunate souls on sentry duty. Heavily leaning on their spears, the two bored soldiers jumped up as a higher-ranking officer and his posy of baboonish friends stumbled along their way in a drunken stupor.
"Captain Hahn." One of the sentries saluted.
"We've come to inspect the sales ware for the slave market in Thebes, to see to it that we are selling quality goods," Hahn said while signaling his men to proceed, but before the four men could take a step, the two guards crossed spears, blocking the only path of entry to the slave quarters.
"I'm sorry, Captain. We're under strict orders not to let anyone near the slaves." The taller of the two erected himself to his full length, hoping to radiate some authority over the officer.
Briefly stumbling backwards on his unstable legs, Hahn swayed forward again, the vile stench of alcohol on his breath sickening the sentry. "That wasn't just a request, soldier. I think you are forgetting who you're talking to. As captain, I order you to move aside." The two sentries shuffled about uneasily but still stood their ground against the officer. As he blinked stupidly a few times, Hahn looked surprised at the ongoing resistance to comply. "Did you not understand the meaning of that order?"
"I-I am sorry, Captain Hahn." The soldier became more confident with every syllable he uttered. "On Commandant Seraphine's authority, we have orders not to let anyone through this evening. That includes you, sir. The slave girls are to remain unvisited by all."
"Oh, orders from Commandant Seraphine. I see, you clearly haven't heard the latest news then." Hahn took a few steps back, his grin making the guards tighten their grip around their spears. "That's okay; I prefer to do this the old fashion way anyway." Before the sentries completely understood what Hahn meant, they found themselves tied and gagged on the ground. Breaking the nose of the taller guard by deliberately stepping on his face, Hahn and his men proceeded toward the slaves. "Now let's see what merchandise we have, shall we?" His dry laugh was drowned out by the perverted chuckles of his friends as they swarmed to the tied-up females. Like a bloodhound wolf locating a piece of fresh meat, Hahn walked up to a young girl, her childish face framed by two black pigtails, now frozen in terror upon the arrival of the intoxicated man. Her high-pitched scream pierced the air for just a moment before being muffled by his greedy hand.
"Hush . . . hush my little one," the captain spluttered, an inch from her face, "you must be very quiet now. That Kun person you're calling for will not be able to save you here, anyway." The girl's nostrils flared wide open, taking in sharp breaths; the scent of the sour wine emanating from Hahn's mouth made her ill to her stomach. The sun disappeared behind a hill, condemning the soldier's action to darkness, not worthy of the light, but Hahn didn't need the light as he already held his victim in a tight grasp. His wet lips nuzzled her ear before moving on to her neck. The kisses he gave burned her skin; his hand trailing down her side, briefly lingering on her still boyish chest. As it proceeded its descent, the girl started to squirm more vividly; tears of terror, of anger, of helplessness flowing over her ash-colored cheeks, but they only seemed to spur on her attacker. Panting heavily, he pressed himself close to her. "Don't resist, my darling, it won't hurt – much." His hand stopped on her warm, flat belly, as he felt his excitement grow against his hand. Leaning in, he whispered hoarsely in her ear, his free hand untangling the leather strap that held up his loincloth. "Don't worry; I'm a professional at this." He gently stroked the side of her face; the girl trembled in disgust at every touch, every stroke, every kiss of his swollen lips.
With Hahn's senses lulled by his own arousal, the leather strap around his neck caught him completely off guard. Guided by the pressure of the noose tightening around his throat, he was forced backwards, away from the girl. With an anger-fueled grunt, the strap was twisted around, slowly choking the life out of him. A sharp pain emanating from a hard knee thrust into his kidney brought him back from the brim of unconsciousness; wanting to cry out, Hahn felt his vocal chords crushed by the leather. Pulled further backwards, he was tossed over a shoulder, and roughly smacked on the round, his drunken state protecting him from any serious injuries. Gasping for air, he suddenly became aware of the chaos around him and the sound of his friends' drunken screams as they were roughly removed off their victims as well. The terrified sobbing of Hahn's prey was drowned out by his own roaring cry of pain when the leather strap, used as a whip, stung his loins.
"Does that hurt?" The makeshift whip slashed back and forth through the air, whistling like the wings of a turtle duck in full flight. As the captain rolled over into a ball to protect his bare loins, the cured hide of a bull crocopotamus left a purple welt across his back. The pain was so intense that the man's entire body convulsed, and the air hissed out of his lungs, rendering him unable to scream. "You sick man!" Seraphine lifted the lash and then meticulously laid another ridged welt exactly parallel to the first, almost touching it, but not quite. This time Hahn was able to fill his lungs and let out a hoarse bellow. Seraphine ignored his struggles and outraged roars, and worked on assiduously, laying on the strokes as though she was weaving a carpet, each lash emphasizing her words. "If I ever catch you or your buddies near these girls again, I'll rip off your testicles and serve them to you as a last meal! Do I make myself clear?" Accepting Hahn's whimpers as confirmation, Seraphine threw the belt on his back, now latticed with fiery welts though completely intact with not a spilled drop of blood. "Now cover up, and get the hell out of here before I make you the laughingstock of every eunuch."
Leaving Hahn with his face in the dirt, his breath snorting in his throat, each exhalation raising a puff of dust, the female warrior turned to his young victim to assess the inflicted damage. She pulled back the head of the girl while she created a small fire in her hand to provide light. The slim neck was covered with red patches where his mouth had sucked itself on her smooth young skin like a leech, and the outline of blue fingerprints was already showing on her frail frame. Upon witnessing the grateful look of the young girl for her rescuer, a flicker of anger passed over Seraphine's eyes; clenching her teeth, the flames in her hand grew. With a roar of frustration, Seraphine hurled the fireball toward Hahn, showering him with dirt as the fire made contact to the sand before him. "Have you any idea how much you just cost us?! You foul, perverted, boarcupine pig! Go hump a cactus next time, but keep your greedy paws off our merchandise!"
Drunkenly pushing himself to his wobbly legs, Hahn covered up his sore back and bare loins, grinning at the enraged commandant. "Is that how you talk to your future husband?"
Baffled, not sure whether to yell, or the laugh in his face, Seraphine slowly but threateningly walked over to him. "Excuse me? That's no way to talk to my what?"
"Your future husband." Hahn casually replied while strapping on the belt that nearly choked him. "And don't worry about this, darling, I like it rough from time to time."
Clenching her fist, dissipating the flames that spontaneously erupted in them, the surrounding fires swayed along with Seraphine's deep breaths as she resisted the urge to assault the Shrikes Captain again. Her voice trembled with forced calmness when she spoke just inches from his face. "You disgust me. Not now, not ever will I be your wife. So I don't know what you told yourself, but you can forget it. You're not even worthy enough to feel the cold metal of my sai in your belly." Her self-restrained stretched to its limits, she exhaled, forcing her hands away from her weapons, and turned away.
"Your father agreed to a marriage arrangement between you and me this morning. I'm looking forward to our wedding night, when I can start taming that wild mountain cat inside of you. Or we can start now." Hahn smacked Seraphine's behind as she passed by him.
With the reflexes of a chameleon cheetah, she reached behind her, snatching Hahn's retracting hand and twisting his wrist to breaking point between his shoulder blades. With a startled cry, Hahn fell to his knees where Seraphine held him easily. "Touch me again, and I'll break you, piece by piece. So before you dip into your shallow pool of wit, let me paint us a picture and save us both the trouble of having to listen to it. Here's the rest of your evening: You are going to slink back off to your buddies and head to the main camp where you'll laugh this off and thank the spirits that I haven't killed you all. Then you'll get even more wasted, go to bed, and make nice with yourself, but don't think of me, because even your fantasy version of me, isn't interested." She twisted his arm more viciously, until the captain yelled with pain and fell flat on his face. Knocking him out with a kick to the back of the head, Seraphine released her hold, and turned to her own squadron captain. "Get these perverts out of here, Tacq, before I reconsider letting them live." Tacq saluted as Seraphine passed him by and bellowed his orders to the rest of the men, personally dragging the unconscious Hahn back to the main campfires.
Seraphine's expression hardened and darkened with every step she took toward the main tent of the general, ready to release the full extent of her anger about the marriage arrangement.
Beer, Broad, and Bed
A crocopotamus pricked its ears when roaring laughter reached it from the cheerfully-lit eastern bank of the Nile. Blowing steam out of its nostrils, the animal submerged, leaving only dark swirls behind. On shore, the streets were lit by several candles, perched high above in lantern cases. A group of soldiers huddled together on the terrace of a local café, their uniforms revealing that they were from the Red Tiger regiment, the Crown Princess's personal guard. A joyous mood was draped over the soldiers as they gleefully clinked their mugs together. Suddenly a soldier bearing the markings of a second captain stood up and raised his glass. "Tonight, I propose a toast to celebrate our beloved leader." Meren placed his left hand on Tanus's shoulder, who suspiciously glanced up at his friend. "Cause this morning, our Captain finally had the courage to show the princess how he feels, and by the spirits did he show." Tanus's outburst of protest was drowned out by the roaring laughter of his soldiers. The suggestive nods and the lewd remarks of suggestive "advice" embarrassed the captain, who silently thanked the spirits that most of his men were already past the point that they would still remember this evening in the morning. Under loud applause, Hui and Lieutenant Kratas stood up and started a reenactment of Tanus's encounter with the princess.
"Oh Captain, you are so strong," Hui squealed in a high voice, gladly falling into Kratas's stretched out arms. "You're so muscular, so smooth," he mimicked, exaggeratedly looking down, "and so big."
The soldiers burst out in laughter, while Tanus angrily glared at his best friend and took him into a headlock. "That is the last time I tell you anything. How could you shame the Princess like that, like I haven't done that enough already!"
"I'm sorry, I'll try to keep things covered up next time." Meren managed to squeeze out, more choking on his own laughter than on Tanus's hold. Astes showered the opposing soldier with beer as he burst out laughing, high-fiving a red-faced Meren. Not paying attention to Tanus and Meren, the other soldiers started to whistle and clap encouragingly as Kratas swooped the pretend-to-be-Lostris off "her" feet.
"You have seen nothing yet, Princess." He said seductively, knocking over some pints while laying "Princess" Hui on the table. "Let me show you my sword."
Some of the soldiers howled at the supposed antics of their captain. Tanus, however, knocked over his chair in his haste to get around the table. Grabbing Kratas by his broad shoulders, he pulled him off Hui with a mighty heave. "That's totally not what happened!"
Much to Tanus's surprise but to the delight of his soldiers, Hui wrapped his legs around Tanus's waist and pulled him closer to the table so he could wrap his hands around his neck. "Then please, dear Captain, show us what did happen."
"I swooped her up like this when she tripped." Tanus took Hui into his arms and easily lifted him off the table. "Then our eyes crossed, our gazes locked onto each other. I leaned in." Every soldier fell silent in tangible anticipation of the true version of the story, slowly leaning forward as not to miss a single syllable coming from their Captain's mouth. Tanus bended forward, keeping Hui suspended parallel to the ground, while speaking in a low, seductive voice. "I kept her real close. And you know what I said?" Hui nodded ever so softly that he did not, totally forgetting that he was supposed to make a mockery out of the event. "I stroked the hair out of her eyes, gently caressing the frame of her face, and then I said to her . . . you are all idiots, you know that?" Tanus let Hui drop on the floor as he shouted out. "You really think that I would tell the true story for your dirty ears to hear?"
As Tanus walked back to his chair, Meren was the first to burst out in laughter over what had happened. Quickly, the ripple of joy spread over the table of buzzed soldiers, and soon a storm of laughter could be heard bellowing out of every throat, reaching its crescendo when Hui popped his head over the table rim. "Aww, Captain, that was harsh! Don't you love me anymore?"
While turning around, keep walking backwards, Tanus winked and threw the soldier a blow-kiss. Unable to see where he was going, however, he accidentally bumped into the waitress who had come with a full amphora of fresh beer for the men. With the reflexes of a trained soldier, Tanus managed to catch the woman and the amphora midair.
"My, my, Captain," the waitress intoned. "Catching a girl one time is an accident, but two times on the same day is starting to look like a pattern. You certainly do work fast, don't you? And you're not even naked – yet." The woman winked seductively at the blushing soldier, who could not pull her back on her feet fast enough. Hastily making awkward apologies to the girl before heading for his seat again under the roaring amusement of his regiment, Tanus nearly tumbled forward when Kratas amusingly slapped him on the shoulder with one of his platypus bear paws.
"You see that, men? That's how you do it!" Chuckling loudly, he took the can of beer from the waitress and started to serve the men.
Sagging on his chair, Tanus accepted the pint given to him by Meren and immediately downed it to the bottom. He wiped some of the foam off his mouth and eyed an overly cheerful Meren. "You do know I'm going to get you for this, right?"
"Of course I do, my friend, but not tonight." Meren said as he gleefully pulled the waitress on his lap and bestowed her with a kiss. "Tonight we party! Not all of us can be such monogamist bastards. If we were, humanity would extinct. So, unlike you, I fully accept my responsibility to keep the human species alive." Meren playfully punched his friend against the shoulder before reverting his attention back to his conquest of the evening.
Coming up for air, the waitress plowed her fingers through Tanus's dark hair. "Don't be sad, my handsome Captain, you could've had me." She bestowed a kiss on her index finger and pressed it against his lips. "Maybe we can save the world together another time."
Tanus gently took the girl's fingers and pressed a kiss on the back of her hand. "I thank you for the offer, but I must decline. Have fun you two, but keep it safe. Saving humanity doesn't start with having a little Meren running around." Laughing at the girl's slightly-embarrassed posture contrasting with Meren's "shut up"-look, Tanus stood up and wedged himself between Astes and Kratas, leaving the two temporarily "heroes of mankind" to save the world.
Lurking in the shadows, a man smiled to himself and walked away.
- The author of this story is an idiot as the publishing of this chapter was delayed a month because she misunderstood one of her editors.
- Let me once again thank Wilbur Smith for letting me use the names Kratas, Hui, and Astes.
- The title is chosen because in each part there is a character that is somehow lucky in an encounter. It all just depends on how you look at it. Note, however, that this doesn't mean that every character was lucky.
- Thank you, , for providing me with some Egyptian translations. And sorry for annoying you with some other historical inconsistencies.
- I never liked Hahn in Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I surely don't like him in my version.
- That same bloody dream again! When are you going to figure out what it means, girl? Come on, Lostris, stay focused, think. You've been getting that dream ever since you were sixteen. It's a bright white light... Come on!
- There is a reference to one of the author's favorite Disney movies in this chapter. And then there are some more references to other great Disney movies — of course there are.
- Lostris has excellent balance — just not on a rim. You should let her stand on one leg, she can do that for hours.
- Good wine in Ancient Egypt was extremely expensive, so the regular people either drank beer or sour wine.
- A chiton is a form of clothing.
- A eunuch is someone who was castrated... completely — sorry boys, I bet some things must hurt now.
- Seraphine has an eye for merchandise. But she does also care, she just rarely shows that weak side.
- Chameleons are slow animals. though they can catch their prey in about thirty thousandths of a second with their tongue, hence me combining that animal with a cheetah for when referring to fast reflexes, as the cheetah is commonly known as the fastest animal on land.
- This tongue reflex is faster than humans can follow with their eyes.
- Brooke Davis, my favorite One Tree Hill character, meet Seraphine Apepi, my favorite Heiress of the Nile character. She borrowed a quote from you because I find you both so awesome.
- A bull crocopotamus is a male crocopotamus, which is a hybrid between a crocodile and a hippopotamus. Both animals are common in the Nile delta, and both animals are dangerous. You don't want to mess with this animal.
- Meren is a ladies man. Thus far, he's still the only one of his kind, so the world is still safe.
- This chapter counts 5495 words.
|Heiress of the Nile|
|Book 1 - Lost and Found|
|• • • • • • • • • • •|
|• Intef • • Kun • • • • • Seraphine • • •|
• • •
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