Ch 30: Vengeance, Campfires, and Exposition
While he was running from the voracious butterflies when he tripped off the cliff and face planted in front of the group. Silver instantly recognized him the moment he got up and formed his sword, frostbite, in his hands; he let on a long slash against Lestat who could only roll backwards to get out of the way “What did I do to you?” Lestat whined, his accent dropping for a second. Silver continued attacking Lestat without answering, stabbing at him several times with Lestat managing to weave in and out. One stab did connect create a gash across Lestat’s left arm, ice like crystals forming over the wound and spreading underneath his skin; they would freeze the cells and muscles causing his entire left arm to die, for lack of a better word.
Suddenly crippled in one arm, Lestat let loose a burst of energy from one palm but it was weaker than usual missing the other arm to help it, weak enough for Silver to put up an ice shield to deflect it. He smashed through his own barrier so the flying ice buffeted Lestat and Silver moved in for a killing stab “Rose Protection,” Rose yelled and threw a black rose in between the two and a massive black rose enveloped Lestat and sealed up so Frostbite hit it instead of the helpless incubus. Ice from Frostbite spread all over the rose until it shattered and Lestat was vulnerable again. Silver tried to attack again but Rose blocked him with her katana, she didn’t block earlier since he was stabbing and she had a very specific policy about not getting frozen from the inside out.
“Don’t protect this monster,” Silver yelled at Rose and moved to attack her but was caught in a choke hold by Izazu from behind who was using his chain which usually acted as a tail. “Don’t interfere!” Silver screamed and blasted them both away from himself with an ice burst that acted like a sudden dome expanding and dissolving within seconds. This caused the whole team to get in on the fight since the rest went after Silver when he blew Rose and Izazu away. Michael used Leviathan one Silver to knock Frostbite out of his hands, Diamond used her water abilities and generated hot water to keep Silver from using ice since she melted it mostly before it even was ready, and Vincent rushed in to take Silver out up close. Silver’s rage reached a boiling point, no pun intended, and he combined his abilities with dragoon’s to create red ice spikes to repel everyone “He killed her!” Silver screamed “Lestat! My name is Nile and you killed my mother, Prepare to die!” A pike made of red ice formed over his clenched fist and he launched a hook at Lestat’s stomach, Vincent grabbed his arm and pulled him back; Silver formed a spike and stabbed at Vincent’s heart only to have it shatter against something hidden underneath the demon’s cloak, Vincent saw his expression and knocked him out with a monstrous left hook to Silver’s stomach.
Vincent let down the Ice Draconian on the floor and saw that Lestat had already escaped “What was that about?” He asked Rose.
Rose just shrugged and rubbed her arm “I don’t know,” she admitted, looking as if she felt Lestat’s pain as she rubbed the corresponding arm, “I mean, I don’t think he would do anything that bad.” During all the time she knew Lestat, he hadn’t done anything to inspire such hatred. She thought and couldn’t recall when he had killed someone, maybe which was due to incompetence, but she wanted to believe he just didn’t want to. After a mental pause, Rose set off to find Lestat without saying anything to the rest of the group.
Izazu saw her leaving “Rose,” he said aloud and went off after her, lest something happen to her while she was wandering around on her own. He didn’t know where she intended to go but he was determined to catch up with her, swearing off cookies (for at least a week or two) if he couldn’t.
Rose finally found Lestat sitting in a section of the garden with his frozen arm, torn off, laying a few feet away as if he had thrown it in fear of the ice spreading even further. He had used his own energy to cauterize the wound while the frozen arm resembled a piece of rotten fruit. “You idiot,” Rose forced herself to say in a plain fashion, “I could have healed that.” She came out of hiding and sat down next to Lestat on his right side, she didn’t know if she could heal it but she could have at least tried if he hadn’t torn it off.
Lestat was visibly pained at the revelation of Catherine’s fate after he left “I know,” he said, having dropped the French accent and let his normal accent roll with his words, “but I deserved that.” He put his remaining hand over Rose’s, touched by the fact she had come after him.
“No you didn’t!” Rose, stubborn as ever, piped up “He shouldn’t have frozen off your arm anyway!” She had mocked him and physically assaulted him several times before, including kicking him in the soft spot when she knocked a pencil off of his desk, but he was the closest thing she had to family since her mother had left and she wouldn’t stand for anyone else hurting him; As far as she was concerned, Lestat was a moron but he was her moron goddamn it.
Lestat looked to her, he had pain in his eyes but also had a small smile, that soon faded as he began to speak, “Rose, a long time ago I went to the human world after just becoming a full incubus.” he started but was cut off by Rose.
“But you were in my class, you spent that time working on a nutrition poster!” she objected, knowing her memories didn’t deceive her and that it wasn’t what she would call ‘a long time ago’.
“That was a remedial class for me,” Lestat reminded her and Rose nodded in understanding. “When I went to the human world, I was without a job so I joined a ship crew so I could hopefully seduce women in port towns. But, my ship had left me at port without any money and I had made it to the country side before finding anyone willing to take me in.” He looked down and removed his hand from hers but she grabbed it and brought it back to a resting position where it previously was. “Her name was Catherine, and she had a son named Nile,” he continued and Rose was about to say something in an understanding manner but he cut her off, “Catherine took me in and I promised to repay her greatly once I started getting money. Over the time I stayed with her, I grew to love her and treated Nile like I would a son. But, I never had any real skills besides seduction so I relied on gambling with what little money I could scrounge together in order to provide and that’s when it all fell apart; I grew deeper in debt as my luck got worse so I gambled more hoping to get the money back which led to more debt and then I left, looking for work so I could pay off the bills I had accumulated but I was caught up in several naval battles and didn’t get back until seven years later and found the cottage abandoned.” He sighed “If only I hadn’t been so stupid,” he was cut off by Rose.
“You have to tell him that!” Rose inserted “You have to apologize to him!”
Lestat shook his head “Nothing I could do could ever be an apology for what I put him through, Rosie.” He stood up and broke the contact “Don’t hurt him Rosie; do that much for me.” With that, he left before Rose could follow.
Izazu watched on at the whole conversation from the shadows, slightly down stricken, but came out after Lestat had left “Hey Rose,” he called to her, putting on a convincing smile with a happy tone ,” you alright?” He hopped down beside her where Lestat had been a few seconds ago.
Rose blushed slightly “Yeah,” she said and managed a chuckle, “now let’s get back to the group before they think we were doing something.” She stood up along with Izazu.
“Like what?” Izazu asked, cocking his head and feigning innocence, “like, eating cookies?” this elicited a chuckle from Rose
“Yes, ‘cookies’,” she chuckled; she scooped Izazu’s hand up in her own and dragged him back to the others.
When he woke up, Silver struggled against Vincent “Get out of my way, I have to kill him! I’ll destroy you too!” He yelled as Vincent held him back. Diamond pointed for Vincent to get out of the way but he ignored her and even the retaliatory blow to the head from her.
Vincent struggled to keep Silver down “No,” he shouted to both Silver and Diamond before taking a breath and demanding an answer from Silver, “did she love you? Did your mother love you?!”
“Get up,” He exclaimed, enraged that Vincent would imply that she didn’t love him. He swung a punch at Vincent who blocked it and followed up with another question while keeping Silver pinned in a submission pose with Silver on his back
“Would she want you to die for her vengeance?” Vincent asked him, mainting the submission hold on the enraged Ice Draconian. Silver thrashed against Vincent’s hold on him and tried to kick but to no avail
“…….,” Silver didn’t have any response for that but continued to struggle anyway, “shut up!” He tried to reform frostbite but Vincent stomped down on his hand, hard enough for an audible ‘crunch’ before the sword could materialize.
“She wouldn’t!” Vincent shouted down Silver “She was sick with rage when she told you to kill him.” His shouting changed to more of a compassioned bid “Silver, your mother wouldn’t want this for you, just.give.up!” Silver slumped in silence, not dead but broken, his purpose for so long had unraveled in the span of that statement; he stopped resisting Vincent, who in turn got off of him. A cold sweat swept over Silver as he realized the truth behind Vincent’s words and he broke down.
When Rose and Izazu came back, the group proceeded on with Silver in tow. After walking for the better part of a day, the group crossed through the circle to pride where they decided to make a camp on a grassy ledge overlooking the vast desert that was the majority of Pride. They happened to split off on their own and made fires from furniture they had found in the castle. “Funny how that works,” Izazu commented as he sat near Rose, he looked out as they had just happened to split into the groups, “I mean, wouldn’t it have made more sense just to build one fire instead of separate ones?” Rose looked over to him and raised an eyebrow, without him noticing as he began to get deeper. “And why did we break off into twos, why not threes or build our own fires?”
“Neither Michael or I have ever been camping,” Rose reminded him with a laugh and nodded, looking towards the fire. She assumed Michael had never been camping since he had such a hard time sleeping outside from any of the other times they had stopped to rest. She sat there, staring into the fire and breathing in and out, her breathing resembled the light on a computer in sleep mode: slowly inhaling and letting it out with one breath.
“Regardless, it raises the question of destiny and free will,” Izazu continued, “did some force dictate where we sat?” He seriously pondered it as he watched the fire dance “If so, then do we have any control over our lives or are all of our actions pre determi-!” He was cut off by Rose kissing him on the cheek in order to get him off that topic, since it was rather boring for the listener. Izazu blushed furiously and fell over like a rag doll that had been sitting up and was pushed over.
Rose chuckled a bit at his response, she had a light blush but not as much as Izazu who looked like every last drop of blood in his body had rushed to his face. She noticed Izazu was embarrassed, whether it was from the kiss or the fact it was from her she didn’t know. Rose wasn’t normally a very empathetic person, but she changed the subject in an attempt to relieve Izazu of his embarrassment. “So,” she started off, “how did you wind up in hell in the first place?” She wasn’t good at not getting to the point, so she decided to say it straight out so there wouldn’t be room for confusion.
Izazu straightened himself and his normal complexion returned, though his cheek that she kissed still felt warm. “Well, I was lazy, never doing what I supposed to and doing a half assed job on what I did do,” he told her, reviewing his life quickly, “just never did anything of great importance, you know?” He looked to Rose and asked her, “what about you?”
“I was born here,” she chuckled.
“Why did you come with us then,” Izazu clarified his question with a slight laugh.
“To look for my mom, she supposedly saved him after he was attacked by Trish,” she told him, all or most of it from her own inferences, “so I figured if I stick around him long enough, I’ll eventually find her. What about you, why did you join up with the group?”
“Well I was trapped in sloth and then they came along, I helped them by dropping a beam on that toad demon,” Izazu told her and yawned. “Then I went along with them to find a way out of hell.”
“You killed Toad?” Rose asked with a surprised expression.
Izazu paused, like a deer in the headlights, wondering if he had done something wrong or if that toad was Rose’s friend and finally said, “…. Yes?” His voice tone made it sound like a question as if to gauge Rose’s reaction.
Rose managed to hold her expression from a second before she burst out laughing and said in between the laughs, “nice.” She wiped the tears from her eyes, not knowing if she was laughing at Izazu or…. Yeah she was laughing at him. She calmed down and smiled to Izazu “So, having any luck with that whole ‘out of hell’ thing?
Izazu looked at her and smiled, he formulated his answer as he exhaled and said, “It’s getting better all the time.” He looked back to the fire but his gaze drifted on its own back to Rose, who noticed, so he decided to break the silence. “So what about you, any luck with your mom finding?
Rose shook her head with a slight sad look “Nope, but I can’t complain.” She chuckled, a smile came to her face again “Who knows, maybe we just need to put Michael in more peril,” she chuckled and so did Izazu.
Vincent scotched up to Diamond who was staring into the fire, she was thinking of the that day’s events and what would probably happen tomorrow until he spoke that is, “Diamond?” He lightly poked her shoulder and got a not so light punch in the chest.
Diamond didn’t even look at him to punch him, she knew where she could hit the hardest without causing any real damage; she had seen the golden circle he had implanted in his chest, above his heart more or less, and she had learned that it could take a lot of physical abuse from all the times she was mad at him. She heard Vincent getting up from the ground but didn’t bother to look at him “what do you want,” she asked sharply, oh the impertinence of wanting to ask her a question.
Vincent poked his fingers together as he tried to formulate his words, having gotten used to being punched in the chest by Diamond though that didn’t make it any better. “I was wondering if we could, you know…. Talk.”
“We are,” Diamond said very plainly, taking a drink of water from her canteen, she stared at the fire as though she was bored of the conversation.
“I mean about us.”
“No,” Diamond said bluntly while still looking at the fire.
“Give me a second chance,” he said, putting his hand on the ground.
“You got it, and blew it, along with your third and fourth chances,” she said, still without looking at Vincent.
“I can change, I won’t stand you up!” Vincent was ready to swear on it but Diamond stopped him short.
She finally looked at Vincent, and there was a hurt in her eyes. “No you won’t, you can’t.” He tried to protest but she stopped him again “Vincent, you have some goal bigger than me or any other person in your life; and until you accomplish that goal or give up on it, no one will be able to get close enough to you for any kind of relationship.” She was walking away towards Michael and Silver’s fire when Vincent grabbed her wrist; she bent down and picked up a large piece of wood from the fire.
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