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A Bad Day
Chapter information
Series

Heiress of the Nile

Book

1

Chronicle

Lost and Found

Chapter

12

Written by

Lady Lostris

Editor(s)
Beta-reader(s)

Fruipit

  • Sera giving in to Mama Odie

Minnichi

  • Sera giving in to Mama Odie
Release date

January 15, 2015

Word count

5415

Chronology
Last chapter

Fate and Trust

Next chapter

TBA

"A Bad Day" is the twelfth chapter of Heiress of the Nile.

Previously on Heiress of the Nile

Her own promise, strengthened by reluctant feelings of friendship toward Sami, prompted Seraphine to come to the Water Tribe woman's aid when she found herself in mortal danger, resulting in Seraphine killing two more Shrike soldiers after already having killed Hanbao. In order to keep her treachery below radar, Seraphine tried to sneak away with Sami before she was noticed. Sami deliberately revealed their locating, however, thinking it would force Seraphine to help the rest of the nomads fight off the Desert Dwellers. While succeeding in her intent, it also caused Seraphine's true identity to be revealed, which put a strain on the girls' relationship. While fighting Khadashi, the Desert Dwellers' leader and last woman standing, Sami removed the ointment from Seraphine's wound, revealing that Seraphine's pain while bending came from the concoction that was helping her to heal faster. After winning the fight, the two women, feeling betrayed by the other, had a shouting match, which resulted in Seraphine leaving for Thebes as she had intended to before she had fallen unconscious five days prior.

A Bad Day

With the world as its playground, the wind challenged a messenger hawk to rise up and soar on the currents, tempting the animal to flying higher and faster than it had ever done before. Resisting the urge and instead thrusting its head forward and folding its wings against its body like half-sheathed blades, the hawk stooped down. Ducking under an upwards current, the animal suddenly flared out, its wings changing profile with the air shrieking over them. The hawk shot forward, its eyes, black as obsidian, focused on the metropolis that loomed at the horizon, the destination of the letter it carried.

As its shrill, reverberating tone carried across the glassy waters of the otherwise silent lagoon, the figure that had been sleeping at the shore suddenly jolted up in alarm. Caught off guard, she immediately slipped into a defensive crawl; stretching her left leg, she leaned on her right and placed her left hand firmly on the ground for extra balance, while her right held a blue fire dagger in front of her. Her fierce amber eyes darted from the scanty bushes to the papyrus beds, searching for the source of the sound that had startled her. Her gaze fell on the surface of the lagoon that was so still and unruffled that it reflected the sky and the overflying creature like a polished bronze mirror. Looking up, she saw the lone messenger hawk soaring toward Thebes, the colorful ribbons, indicating the urgency of the message, dancing in its wake like a cloud of butterfly moths. Taking a last calming breath, Seraphine snuffed her fire and ran that hand through her messy locks, catching Arrow looking at her while chewing on some grass.

"Yah, I know boy ... I fell asleep ... and I got startled by a bird ..." Groaning in frustration, she sat up straight, the tips of feet reaching just down to the water, causing small circles to distort the perfect surface. "I guess I'm a bit more on edge about the mess I'm in than I thought." As the ripples smoothened out again, she caught her reflection in the water and winced. Gentle fingers probed her slightly swollen nose, a gift from Moki's fist earlier that morning, and enabled her to conclude with mild relief that it was at least not broken. Tracing a shallow scratch upwards on her right jaw, she rested her hands on the circles under her tired eyes. Seraphine resolutely splashed some water in her face, groaning appreciatively as the cold drops rolled over her skin, washing away some of her exhaustion. As she opened her eyes again, however, she shot back, as her gaze had not been met by the amber eyes of her own reflection, but by clear azure ones framed by the permanently tanned skin of someone of Water Tribe descent. Whirling around, verifying she truly was alone at the lagoon, Seraphine looked into the water again, though Asami's reflection was gone, leaving only a bitter aftertaste in her mind. The fuck was that?!

Arrow trotted over to his distraught-looking master and when he gently nuzzled her shoulder, she stroked the side of his head without ever breaking her intense stare at the water. After a while, Arrow whinnied and gave her a soft push with his head, startling her out of her reverie. She stood up and ran a hand along his elegant neck, softly patting him on his shoulder. "It's okay, boy, don't worry, I'm okay. I'm just ... tired, I guess." That has to be it, right? Leaning on Arrow's back, she found herself staring at the water once again until Arrow slapped her with his tail, forcing her to focus on the present again. Resolutely turning her back on the water, she berated herself. Come on, don't be so ridiculous. What the fuck is wrong with you? You didn't see Asami in the water, you are not wondering how she's doing, and you DEFINITELY don't feel guilty about how you left things. FOCUS, DAMN IT! You're Seraphine Apepi, for fuck's sake. How about you figure out a way to get out of the mess you created for yourself by killing the Desert Dwellers, huh? Also, remember how you were heading to Thebes to find the brother of that girl before you blacked out like a weakling from some blood loss? Perhaps you should focus on that again! Get your fucking shit together! Seraphine's eyes hardened and she clenched her jaw at the mental chastising. Ostentatiously not looking at the water, keeping her eyes focused on the skyline of Thebes, Seraphine whistled for her horse that had sauntered off. "Arrow, we're leaving. Now."

"=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-"

Avoiding the main gates of the Fire Nation capital, Seraphine entered the city via the lower quadrants, home to the poor and the desperate; not many guards patrolled the area, making it easy for her to sneak in. Seraphine had left Arrow to graze on a field outside the metropolis, though she was starting to regret that decision as she trudged though the dirty streets, desperately trying to convince herself that the brown substance splattered on her shoes was just mud and not something that would explain the foul odor coming from it.

Retracing her steps after finding herself in another dead end for what felt like the billionth time, Seraphine stopped at an intersection and sighed in defeat. "This was a fucking great idea, Sera," she muttered to herself while trying to figure out where she was and which road she should take. "'Go to Thebes,' you said. 'Find that brother,' you said. 'Just go to the slave market,' you said. Well, it's not like you have any fucking clue where that bloody slave market even is! Dad never let you come with him! ... And now you're lost, you don't even want to know what it is that you're smelling all the time, and you're talking about yourself in the second person. Great, just fucking great. Like my day wasn't bad enough already ..."

"You look lost, darling. Can I help you?"

Before Seraphine saw the owner of the voice, she could smell him, the aroma of sour wine and hot sweat overpowering the scent of the city. When the man staggered into her line of sight, she involuntarily cringed her nose, since he looked even worse than he smelled, which was something she had not thought possible. However, as she locked eyes with him, she was met with dark green seas of pain and sorrow. Surprised, she took the time to appraise him more thoroughly and discerned the remnants of what had once been an exquisite Earth Kingdom attire, worn by the inhabitants of the Upper Ring; the various shades of green, once luscious and vivid, were now stained and torn as a testimony to the life of the Lower Ring of Thebes. His ruggish features still held on to the aristocratic attitude he once undoubtedly wore with pride, though it was now mostly buried underneath the scars that marked a survivor of pentapox. The semi-permanent imprint on his left ring finger, where a wedding band had once nestled comfortably, left Seraphine to guess that the man had lost his family to the merciless disease. If it had been any other day –and she would have been anyone else– she might have felt sorry for him and empathized with his hardships. However, she was having a very bad day and in that moment, all she could think of was how disgusted she was that he had at least not gone to the high-end prostitutes in one of the other rings; while she definitely understood the desire to bury problems by getting under someone else, this wooly piggery was the last place where she would ever want to have sex. Despite being accustomed to life in the army and sharing her camp bed from time to time with someone, she had her standards. Seraphine was roused from her musings by the low rumbling of the man's voice, his vocal chords straining and scraping under the abuse of the bad alcohol that also heavily laced his breath. "You know, you're the most beautiful one I've found thus far."

Seraphine's brow cringed to a frown as her nerves were tested for the billionth time that day. Most beautiful one? ... Is he seriously mistaking me for a low-end hooker? Sure, I've looked better, but I do NOT look like a prostitute! FUCK HIM and FUCK THIS DAY!

"Why don't you come with me and I'll show you the way to sit on my face." Seraphine's frown instantly deepened to a scowl and she actually felt an eyebrow twitch. What is it about me that seems to attract pathetic lowlifes and perverted losers? Offended to her core, she was about to tear into him, though the croaking of an old voice beat her to it.

"Why your face? Is your nose longer than you dick?" Chocking back a laugh, Seraphine whirled around to see an elderly woman, who leaned heavily on a gnarled cane. Although she clutched her crocked back with one hand, her onyx eyes sparked with a youthful fire. Despite not having seen the woman in nearly four years, Seraphine would recognize Mama Odie anywhere with her skin like dark chocolate and more wrinkles than anyone should ever have. She used to frequently visit her with Siam, though after her death, those visits had been reduced to the rare occasions that Apepi took her along to the city, as she had always been dropped with the ancient woman, who was probably older than the city herself as far as Seraphine was concerned. To increase her amusement over the situation, Mama Odie shuffled forward, barely reaching above the offended man's stomach, and prodded him with the end of her thick walking stick. "Come on, Socrates, beat it. This one is obviously out of your league on every level. Go shame the memory of your wife with some cheap harlot down the street like you've been doing for weeks now."

For a second, it looked like Socrates was going to retaliate, as the muscles in his shoulders tensed and his dark eyes smoldered with resentment at the mention of his late wife. He refrained, however, since he knew the reputation of the woman standing before him. Mama Odie knew everyone and everything that went on in the city. She was untouchable, lest someone wanted to either suffer a social or a literal death, depending on her mood. Baring his teeth for a moment, an undignified scoff being the only outlet he gave to his anger, before he squared his shoulders and walked off.

With her arms crossed, Seraphine's amused gaze relocated from the back of the retreating man to the short woman standing next to her. "You know, this is quite unfair, really. If I said that, you would've smacked me with that wretched torture weapon of yours."

"And with good reason, as that is no language for a young lady." As Mama Odie still kept her stare on Socrates, she missed how Seraphine rolled her eyes at the statement, since the younger woman believed the elder was largely responsible for the colorful vocabulary she used. Readjusting herself to lean on her cane with both hands, Mama Odie finally looked up at Seraphine, which caused her nearly toothless smile to falter. "By Seth's tattered and festering foreskin, what the crap happened to you?! You look like something the Spirit of Chaos used to wipe his backside!"

Seraphine's entertained smile instantly fell away and her mood dropped to below freezing temperatures. Mama Odie was not helping by using her cane to push Seraphine's long hair out of the way and lift her arm to get a better look. The prodding quickly burned through the last of the warrior's nerves and she slapped the offending object away, while looming over the old woman and sneering furiously at her. "Get that fucking thing away from me before I torch it!"

Mama Odie was not fazed in the least by Seraphine's apparent anger. "Language, my dear Firefly."

Throwing up her arms in annoyance, Seraphine hissed at the elder. "And don't call me that!"

"Why not? It's the pet name your mother gave you." Mama Odie's amusement increased with each syllable that left her lips.

"Yah, in a drunken moment of craziness. She probably just did it to spite me anyway!" The heated remark earned Seraphine a hard knock on the head with the gnarled cane and Mama Odie prodded her chest with one of those sharp fingers.

"Show some respect, Firefly, or I will kick your ass." Meeting the defiant stare of the younger woman, the elder cracked another toothless smile. "Again."

Seraphine hissed violently, her eyes turning to slits, though she remained silent. As much as it pained her, she too knew better than to challenge the woman. While she believed Mama Odie to be as crazy as a hog monkey's ass, she respected the phenomenal fighting skills the elder possessed; the black woman had a way with water that defied her wildest fantasies and the one time she had dared to challenge the old wolfbat, she had woken up two days later with a splitting headache and burning muscles. "Whatever." She crossed her arms and erected herself to her full height, towering over the tiny woman, hoping, though knowing better, that it would give some power to her otherwise weak rebuttal.

Mama Odie smiled at the warrior's silent defiance. "Come on, Firefly, let's get you cleaned up."

"=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-"

With a surprising speed, the elder navigated the dirty streets until they came to an uncharacteristically clean ally that gave way to a cozy and well-kept garden courtyard. Despite her irritable mood, Seraphine smiled upon recognizing the little patch of nature among the clay buildings. Mama Odie's home was commonly referred to as the green heart of the ring, considering she grew many plants there for medicinal use; she acted like the city's witchdoctor for those desperate enough to be in her debt.

Entering the abode, Mama Odie turned to Seraphine and scratched the coated blood on her shirt, before starting to rummage through her vast collection of herbs and tossing the ones she needed into a small pot. Crushing them all together, she extracted the water from an overhanging branch in front of the window and added it to her concoction.

"Now strip. Give me that dirty top." Mama Odie held her hand out to Seraphine, who looked like she would refuse, though after a moment's hesitation, she did as she was told and shed the piece of clothing. She was not a prude, but standing there in the elder's home, her upper body only covered with her bindings, felt unnaturally uncomfortable to her.

Mama Odie apparently did not share the sense of awkwardness, as she decisively pushed Seraphine down on a chair, after having submerged the top in the herb mixture. Moving her hands in a circular motion through the air, she smiled softly at Seraphine's apparent surprise to see water seemingly appearing out of thin air and trail those dark fingers. As the young warrior opened her mouth to say something, the elder guided the now eerie-glowing water to the swollen nose and let it run down Seraphine's face, healing her wounds in its wake and causing the warrior to bite back an appreciative moan as her eyes fluttered shut.

"Who did this?"

The question pierced Seraphine's comfortable state and with great effort, she opened her eyes to see what the elder was referring to. The last clouds of relaxation vanished from her mind when she noticed Mama Odie inspecting the neat stitches on her shoulder. "Oh ... Eum ... don't remember. It was nothing anyway."

"Nothing?" The old woman placed a wrinkled hand on the area and closed her eyes in focus, giving Seraphine the unpleasant sensation of blood whirling around the healing wound. Retracting her hand and opening her eyes, the onyx beads bore down on Seraphine. "By Seth's hairy ass it's nothing. I could feel the former tear in the artery. It could've killed you if it hadn't been treated so excellently. So again, who did this?"

Shrugging, Seraphine avoided the true question and answered with as much attitude as she could muster. "I told you, I don't really remember. It was one of Hahn's retarded earthbending buddies." Conjuring a smug smile, she added, "it was quite literally the last thing he ever did, so really, it's nothing." As a definite sign of her unwillingness to discuss the matter any further, she closed her eyes again in an attempt to capture her previous relaxing state, though shot right out of her chair in an undignified anger upon being slapped in the face. "What the fuck?!"

Many people would have cowered in fear upon witnessing Seraphine's anger, though Mama Odie refused to be frightened by the cool amber stare and merely kept on pushing the matter with a threatening tone. "Don't play dumb with me, Firefly. You really think that your dad wouldn't have alerted me that his daughter got badly injured in a fight with Hahn and his two idiots over some young slave girl? I received an urgent message five days ago to be ready for you, though you never came. So that part I obviously know already. Now what I don't know is who saved your life by patching you up like that. And now that we're on the subject of things I don't know, I'd also like to know what kind of trouble you are in that you feel the need to purposely refrain from answering a simple question?"

It took all of Seraphine's self-control to keep the utter shock off her face. She knows about the Desert Dwellers! ... Nonono, no. NO. That-that's impossible. There's no WAY she can know about that. It happened this morning. It just can't be. No, just ... calm down. She doesn't know anything beyond what Dad told her. The thought helped her racing heart to slow down, though she knew it was too little, too late, since Mama Odie's sharp stare revealed that her coursing bloodstream had already betrayed her initial distress. The silence seemed to stretch forever and Seraphine found it increasingly difficult to continue to meet the elder's gaze. She was eventually released from her inner torture when the elder chuckled.

"Your father trained you well, Firefly. You look perfectly calm, completely unreadable ... on the outside." Mama Odie's smile increased as Seraphine's eyes widened ever so slightly at her casually placed emphasis. "But you know as well as I do that you can't hide the movements of your heart. Not from me anyway. The enraged coursing of your blood makes your fear nearly palpable. It's quite annoying really, coming from you. So what do you say, are you ready to cut the crap and just tell me what's going on or do you want to continue with these useless games until I force you?" Mama Odie snickered at the dirty look Seraphine tossed her, both remembering quite well how their last encounter turned out. Still smiling, she shook her head and shuffled toward the water bowl in which Seraphine's top was immersed. "Oh, Firefly. So stubborn." While the young woman silently seethed to herself, desperately searching for a way out, the elder stirred the water that had turned a light red with the congealed blood that had been soaked out of the fabric. Fishing it out with the top of her cane and holding it in front of her, she bent the remaining water and blood out of it with one fluent movement. Mama Odie tossed the now clean and dry piece of clothing to Seraphine and leaned heavily on her cane while she dressed herself. As Seraphine was done, she crossed her arms and defiantly stared at the elder, who could not help but smile at the proud stance. "You remind me of myself sometimes." The look of offended horror that crossed over Seraphine's features made Mama Odie chuckle once again. "Hey, I'll have you know that I was quite the looker in my day." She ignored the skeptical snort that escaped the young woman and continued in a surprisingly gentle tone. "But that's not what I meant. I too believed that I was better off alone, that I didn't need anyone to do me any favors. Other people were just liabilities waiting to backfire and trusting them was a sign of weakness. I was convinced that I already knew what they were going to say to me and more often than not, I believed that they couldn't help me anyway, so what was the point of letting them in? I always figured, 'my mess, my cleanup'. I was so confident that I had a handle on every situation and that I'd just wing it if I didn't. And most of the times, I was right and that worked." Mama Odie sighed wearily. "Though you know, sometimes others may actually make your life so much easier if you just let them."

Seraphine did not know what she had been expecting from Mama Odie, but she was completely sure that was not it. She just did not know what to think anymore about her ... about anything. That day was seriously not going her way and it pissed her off that she could not get a handle on it. Every time she thought she regained control, someone knocked her down with a new problem or revelation. Closing her eyes and sighing deeply, she rubbed her temples as the headache that had started throbbing threatened to become even more intense. "Why do you want to help me?" Seraphine ignored how pathetic the question sounded, but she just needed some answers and was tired of failing to come up with them on her own. When she shook her head and opened her eyes, her train of thought instantly stopped progressing as her eyes fell upon the painting that Mama Odie had unrolled and now held in her hands. It looked like a normal family portrait with a much younger-looking Mama Odie standing next to her late husband and resting a hand on the shoulder of their daughter, who was carrying their granddaughter. Seraphine would not have given it a second look if her attention had not been captured by the piercing amber eyes of the granddaughter, a trait the child had clearly inherited from her mother and grandfather. With unconcealed shock, Seraphine's gaze shifted from the painting to Mama Odie.

"She never told you, did she?" There was a sad amusement lacing the elder's tone and her smile did not reach her eyes. Dropping her gaze to the portrait, she sighed deeply. "I'm not surprised. Siam and I ... let's just say that we didn't really see eye to eye on some things and I can't blame her for that. After my daughter died, I should've kept Siam safe, but instead, I pushed her to follow in my footsteps, carry on my legacy among the Shrikes. I shattered her dreams to keep mine alive. She never forgave me for that and I was too proud to do anything about it when I had the chance. When I finally did realize what I was missing out on, it was too late. I never got to tell her how sorry I was ... am ... for the life I forced on her."

Absorbing this new information, Seraphine stared at the elder, who, for the first time she could remember, resembled a frail, old woman; she looked tired well beyond her progressed age.

"Siam was a wonderful person. She looked nothing like me, which was probably her greatest virtue." A watery smile appeared on her face. "Even after I forced her to give up on her beliefs, she could not bring herself to leave me be by myself. She knew I had no one left after my husband and daughter died, so she always took the time to visit me when she was in the city. Later, she even brought you along." Mama Odie looked back up at Seraphine. "She loved you. You know that, right?"

Seraphine stared intently into the elder's onyx's eyes. Where they used to be cold and heartless, they were now swimming with emotion, a dire need for her to understand that her granddaughter had loved her. Of course she knew how Siam felt about her, though at that moment, she refused to actually voice those words and settled the matter with one curt, barely noticeable nod.

"Good ..." Mama Odie shuffled toward one of the small windows in her home. "You know ... No matter how much she detested me and being a Shrike, she never had a bad word to say about you. She desired for you to have the life that I took from her." Staring out at the now star-dotted sky, she remained silent for a minute and when she continued, she sounded weary. "Maybe it's old age folly, maybe it's guilt ... maybe it's even the influence of the nearing summer solstice and Rairet's Festival which she loved to attend, but I've been thinking a lot about my granddaughter lately and when I see her again in the afterlife, I'd like to at least tell her that I did everything I could to save the one person she loved the most." Mama Odie put down the family portrait on the windowsill, where it instantly curled up to obscure the distant family memory from sight, and turned back to Seraphine, all traces of weariness that had previously surrounded her completely gone. "Now you know why. You also know my reputation and the influence that I still hold." The elder's onyx eyes hardened in perfect harmony with the serious tone that laced her voice. "So cut the 'tough girl' crap and tell me what's bothering you so I can help you already and we can both move on with our lives!"

Recalling every instance she had been together with Mama Odie and Siam where neither had spoken up about their family connection, Seraphine grew angry for having been kept in the dark. She never bothered to tell me and now I'm just supposed to trust her grandmother I never knew about to help me get out of this mess? I'm so SICK of this day! No, just no. Fuck this shit. Seraphine resolutely made her way toward the door without deigning to look at the old woman. "Thank you for cleaning my shirt and healing my wounds, though I don't need your help, nor your pity."

As she reached for the doorknob, Seraphine suddenly found her movements frozen in place as the sensation of boiling lava running through her veins made its way through her muscles. Gritting her teeth, she tried to move, anything at all, though found her resistance to be as futile as the last time she challenged the woman. Feeling her blood pushing upwards, lifting her off the ground, she had the sinister sensation as if there was a hook connected to her intestines. She was flung through the room like a ragdoll and slammed roughly down into her chair. The pain assaulting her body instantly disappeared, however, as soon as Mama Odie lowered her hand.

"I'm not fucking around, Firefly. I don't care who you think you are, but you are going to help me make amends with the memory of my granddaughter!" The dangerous glint in those onyx eyes left nothing to the imagination as it sternly warned Seraphine that she was not going anywhere until she had given Mama Odie what she desired. As she shifted in her chair, she immediately felt the light control the elder had over her bloodstream, a control that would tighten in an instant if she were to press further. She bared her teeth in a soundless snarl and felt her adrenaline spike as the dark eyes stared at her. Held down by a fucking fossil! RAGH! The muscle in her right arm contracted painfully when she tried to move again. You know what? Screw this! Fuck her. Fuck this day. Fuck it ALL! The rage about her trapped situation that fought to escape leaked into her voice.

"You want so desperately to help me? Fine. Fine! I killed Khadashi and her Desert Dwellers in order to save Asami, the doctor who ... saved me. I crossed a line by betraying the Shrikes and I can't take it back." A defiant look slipped over her features, as if she dared Mama Odie to have a solution. "So you think you're that influential? Then fucking fix it!"

"Fine!" Mama Odie's equally heated response and the meaning it carried completely threw Seraphine and she felt her annoyance and anger drain into utter confusion.

"What?"

"Done."

"What do you mean, 'done'?"

"Done, as in 'taken care of'. You simply say that the Desert Dwellers went rogue and that you only defended yourself. Afterwards, you came here to have your severe wounds healed. I'll testify to that and if Apepi does not believe you on your word, he can come ask me personally about it. My official fighting days for the Shrikes may be over, but Apepi knows better than to cross me."

Seraphine stared dumbstruck at the elder. It can't be that simple ... right? She thought back to the few encounters between Mama Odie and her father that she could remember and had to admit that she could not recall an instance in which the elder had actually taken an order from Apepi; usually it was even the general that bowed to the wishes and advice of the old woman. Maybe ... urch, this is seriously giving me a headache.

"Now, with that sorted out, what are you doing in the city anyway? You know your father doesn't like you wandering around."

Still baffled about how easily Mama Odie offered her a way out of her predicament, Seraphine mumbled a response. "I was looking for the slave market."

"Why? ... Oh, has this anything to do with that young slave girl?" The elder shuffled closer to Seraphine, who wearily ran a hand through her long hair and sighed. She was tired of fighting the old woman. She was just tired and wanted to get out of there.

"I hoped to find her brother." Already predicting the follow-up question, Seraphine quickly added, "I don't know why I want to free her. All I know is that she is much too young and deserves better. Especially after I already had to save her from Hahn's disgusting hands twice."

Mama Odie smiled at her, a gesture that was only met by a cold stare. Content to leave it at that, the elder turned her back to Seraphine and shuffled to the stairs leading to her bedroom. "The slave market frequented by your father is three blocks down from here if you take a right and then a left when leaving the alley. I doubt you'll find who you're looking for though. It's Rairet's Festival. The streets will be packed with people and stalls." When she was halfway up the stairs, she turned to see Seraphine standing at the door. "Oh, and Firefly ..."

Despite her desire to flee the abode as fast as she could, Seraphine stopped and, when no follow up statement came, she glanced back at the elder. She was surprised to see the somewhat pained expression on Mama Odie's face, as if she was having trouble wording whatever it was she wanted to say. Although the elder had helped her out tremendously, Seraphine was not feeling all too kindly toward the old woman and after nearly a minute of silence, she opened the door and left. Before it fell shut behind her, however, she heard one final comment of Mama Odie that made her freeze in her tracks; it was a silent whisper to remember that she would always be there for her, no matter what.

After what felt like an eternity of staring at the sturdy wood that sealed the entrance, Seraphine finally managed to silence the voices in her head that urged her to at least thank the old woman and set off toward the slave market. Even if she would not find the brother, she was adamant about finding someone to clear her head with at the festival.

Author's notes

  • Same as with "Fate and Trust", this chapter was originally intended to have been set at Rairet's Festival, but considering the amount of words it already took me to get Seraphine to cooperate and leave toward the festival —seriously, why don't my girls want to party? I have some very nice things planned for the festival!, I decided to cut the chapter "short". It was either that, or have to awkwardly break in the middle of the festival.
    • This chapter is the shortest chapter of Heiress of the Nile thus far. ARG had a Zuko moment upon editing it, having a little "where's the rest of it" voice in his head when he reached the end. I apologize for the shortness.
  • This chapter was originally called "Fire Festival, Part 1", though considering that Seraphine would not cooperate in getting to the festival, the title had to be changed.
    • The new title really doesn't need more explain than "Seraphine is having a bad day, considering all the events at the camp happened that morning and her encounter with Mama Odie was later that day."
  • In case it wasn't clear, Thebes is similar to Ba Sing Se, at least with the rings and all.
  • This chapter places Heiress of the Nile over the 100000 word mark. So thank you all for still sticking with this story, it's much appreciated!

Fun facts

  • This chapter was entirely written with pen on paper while riding various trains.
  • Writing this chapter, I decided to change the name of the festival from "Fire Festival" to "Rairet's Festival". Seemed to make more sense, since I had introduced "Rairet" as the Fire Spirit in "Colors of Fire".
  • The messenger hawk in the beginning of this chapter is the same hawk that was mentioned at the end of "Fate and Trust".
  • The initial paragraph is somewhat recycled and adapted from what I previously wrote for "Chapter 1: Convergence, Part 1" of Vortex. I guess you could say that I was lazy and plagiarized myself.
  • Mama Odie's name and appearance is inspired by the namesake character in Disney's —again with the Disney!— The Princess and the Frog. I also envision her to have the voice of Jenifer Lewis.
    • Mama Odie was—not surprisingly—not planned. She just sort of happened as I went along, as well as the "twist" of having her be Siam's grandmother. It felt like a nice way to tie back to previously introduced chapters.
  • Seliah's musings when she saw that I used the name "Socrates": "Also, why that name? Do you know, by any chance, the Greek play The Clouds by Aristophanes? He makes fun of Socrates in that piece. The main character, Strepsiades, goes to study under Socrates to learn the art of debating, but Socrates can't get him to think. Socrates then gives him a task, though when he returns, Strepsiades is just masturbating. On stage. With a big, extractable, wooden phallus. You know, in case the audience wouldn't get it." Then later, ARG also asked me why I chose that name. So eum ... I don't know, I just thought of the name and thought "why not". All I can say with absolute certainty is that I don't know what kind of play it is that Seliah reads about, but no, I did not name Socrates Socrates because of that.
  • I know there aren't wedding bands in Ancient Egypt, but whatever, creative freedom!
  • This chapter counts 5415 words.
Heiress of the Nile
Chapters
Book 1 - Lost and Found
1: Dream of a Distant Past2: Sun Rise, Sons Fall3: Colors of Fire4: Lucky Encounters5: Confrontations6: Out of Place, Part 17: Out of Place, Part 28: Royal Pain9: Friend and Foe10: Betrayal11: Fate and Trust12: A Bad Day
Characters
Hanbao

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