Lycaon and Mya stepped apart, "How are you here? I just sent word to Kyvon two days ago." Mya grinned, "You know a single messenger travels faster than an army, and we're faster than anybody." Lycaon nodded, "True. Very true. What's the word from Kimar?" Mya grinned, "Oh not much, dad's coming." Lycaon's eyes widened, "What?" "Kyvon too, and they're bringing EVERYBODY." Lycaon looked stunned to say the least, "Oh."
Then he turned to his assembled troops, "GET A MOVE ON!" He roared. "I WANT MINING AND CONSTRUCTION DETAILS READY AND WORKING IMMEDIATELY! IF THOSE SLAVES ARE SORTED GET THEM WORKING TOO! THE KING HIMSELF IS COMING AND WE HAVEN'T EVEN BEGUN CONSTRUCTION OF A FORT! IF YOU'RE NOT WORKING, YOU HAD BETTER BE DEAD, DYING, OR GETTING READY FOR YOUR NEXT SHIFT! MOVE! MOVE!! MOVE!!!"
The assembled Kimarehto scrambled away from their bellowing and steadily growing leader and immediately began breaking off into work details, fear quickening their movements. Mya laughed, "Are you scared 'Caon?" Lycaon snorted derisively at her as he shrank back to normal size, "No. I wasn't expecting Kyvon to come in person, and I certainly wasn't expecting Dad." Mya smiled craftily, "They thought you'd be pleased." Lycaon snorted, "I'm sure. Nothing like having your entire family breathing down the back of your neck while you're coordinating a massive campaign."
Mya turned to Azula, Xex and Ty Lee, "Tell me about these three. Xex I know, these other two I don't, and that one is wearing Gristle's pelt which I find very unusual given how repulsive Gristle is. There is no way he caught a girl as pretty as that, and there is certainly no way you would have let him keep her." Azula couldn't tell if she should smile at being called pretty by someone as beautiful as Lady Mya, or scowl at the insinuation she was some mere thing that could be kept.
Lycaon sighed, "Mya, this is Princess Azula. Her brother rules these lands, but he betrayed his people to take the throne and now she wants him deposed. She is wearing Gristle's pelt because she killed him this very night, and you're right, she was my prisoner before Gristle ever laid eyes on her. He did however catch the other one, whose name I haven't learned yet. Unfortunately for him he did it without clearance, so odds are good that I would have killed him anyway, but Azula took offense to Gristle's abduction of the girl, so she killed him."
Mya looked at Lycaon, "Just like that? Just spur of a moment killed Gristle?" Lycaon nodded, "burned his top half to ash and knocked his head off. I was impressed." "And she did this how?" "She's a fire sorceress, one of the best or so she claims. Apparently this land is crawling with them." "Has the draining begun yet?" "No, I was going to do that tomorrow at dusk. We just had our first conquest tonight. We're still sorting captives."
"Ah. Will Azula, was it? Be subject to our draining?" Lycaon stiffened, "No." Mya smiled craftily at him, "Oh, are you sure?" She moved too fast for Azula or Ty Lee to see and was suddenly behind Azula, her face next to Azula's and hands on her shoulders. "The first outsider to ever kill one of our warriors and you're not going to let me have a taste? 'Caon..." Lycaon's fists clenched and his fur stood on end as Azula felt a very long tongue slide from her shoulder up her neck to her ear and shivered, "Enough!" Lycaon snarled. He stepped forward and pulled Azula away from Mya, "You will have your taste sister, but I will do the draining personally."
Azula's brain ground to a halt, Sister? Then Mya said something Azula didn't catch which earned a snort from Lycaon and prompted him to pick Azula up and carry her into his low metal shelter before yanking the ledge that covered the door shut.
"Lycaon?" Azula asked quietly as Lycaon set her down gently and sat down next to her with a snarl, "What's going on?" Lycaon rumbled and then spat a plume of fire toward the edge of the shelter. Azula winced as dim light flooded the small dark chamber. When she opened her eyes, she saw that Lycaon had done away with his bone armor and wings. He was now bare-chested, which made Azula's heart speed up a little. Whether with fear or excitement she couldn't tell. Lycaon sighed through his nose and stared intently at the fire.
Azula wondered if she should ask again, or if that would provoke him. Suddenly he spoke, "My sister wishes to taste your blood." Azula's heart skipped a beat, "What?" "My sister Mya, wants to taste your blood, so that she may acquire your fire sorcery." Azula blinked, "What? Did, did you just say you can steal my bending?" Lycaon shook his head, still staring intently into the fire, "I will not rob you of your power, I will drink a little of your blood and then I will be able to conjure and control fire as you do."
Azula edged away from him a little, "And um, why are you, um, half naked?" Lycaon turned to her a puzzled look on his face, "Why am I what?" Azula blushed, "Your armor. I can convince myself that fur is pants, but you are definitely bare-chested right now." Lycaon looked down at himself, then back at her, "This makes you uncomfortable?" Azula blushed, "Um, maybe. In the Fire Nation people tend to wear shirts."
Lycaon sniffed, "You don't SMELL uncomfortable." Azula's eyes widened and she blushed even more furiously as Lycaon continued, "You smell like you're-" "Okay stop!" Azula said quickly, "Spirits of darkness don't you people have any sense of propriety?" Lycaon tilted his head to the side, "Of what?" Azula exhaled through her nose, "Guess that's a no." Then she steeled herself, "You can't have your way with me! I don't care how powerful you are, I forbid it!"
Lycaon looked at her like she had lost her mind then she could see understanding dawn on him as a smile crept across his face and then exploded into laughter. Azula's expression became one of horror as the laugh seemed to confirm her worst fears. Then suddenly she felt her head hit the ground and a pair of large powerful hands pressing down on her shoulders as Lycaon's crimson eyes met hers, "Azula do you really think you could even begin to stop me from doing whatever I pleased to you?"
Azula's heart hammered in terror. She was too scared to even cry. Then suddenly Lycaon sat up and pulled her close to his chest. Azula blinked, "What? What are you doing?" Lycaon's voice was sad, "I would never do that to you little one." Azula breathed a sigh of relief, then she realized she could hear Lycaon's pulse. She chuckled, "Your heart's going almost as fast as mine." "Does that surprise you?" Azula smiled, "No. Not really."
"Does this?" Suddenly Azula felt a sharp pain in her shoulder. She cried out in shock as Lycaon pulled her closer and shushed her, "Easy Azula. Easy. It'll be alright. I promise." Azula felt a curious warmth spreading from the spot in her shoulder, which had quickly faded away to a dull soreness. Lycaon rocked back and forth murmuring assurances that didn't work as the warmth continued to spread across Azula's body.
Her skin crawled as the warmth spread across her body and she felt her heart synchronize with Lycaon's. Her eyes widened as the warmth spread up her neck and then she gasped as one by one, her senses were sharpened to a point so sharp as to be overwhelming. She could smell the earth, the sharp odor of the burning fire in the corner, the unwashed scent of the fur coat Lycaon had given her, the musky odor that hung around Lycaon. The dim light became as bright as a clear summer day's high noon and her hearing sharpened to where she could hear not only Lycaon's pulse and her own, but the breathing of Xex and Ty Lee and Mya outside, the distant chatter of the camp, all muffled by the metal of the shelter, but still perfectly audible.
She shuddered as she felt her teeth grow slightly and her hair thicken and lengthen. She felt her muscles grow strong and lithe as though years of exercise were passing in mere minutes. She shivered as she felt sweat roll down her back. Then she gasped as Lycaon withdrew the twin needles he had stuck into her shoulder and she felt the tiny pinpricks seal shut immediately.
She looked up at him shaking, "What did you do to me?" He tilted his head back and blew out a plume of blue flames before looking her in the eyes, "I made you a Kimarehto," then he kissed her and her mind exploded into a million happy little bubbles and she fainted as the exhaustion of the transformation finally overcame her.
Lycaon stepped out of the shelter and Ty Lee's heart skipped a beat, where was Azula? "Where's Azula?" She asked, terrified of what the answer might be. Lycaon held up a hand, "She's resting. She'll be fine. Mya?" He tilted his head to the side, "Go ahead, I know you're dying to." "FINALLY!" Mya said excitedly before leaping to land on Lycaon's back and sinking her teeth into the base of his exposed neck. Ty Lee stepped back in shock and Xex gave a small grunt of approval as Lycaon merely rolled his eyes and looked bored, having not even staggered as his sister leapt onto him.
Ty Lee looked at him, "What is she doing?!" Xex looked at her, "Well Lord Lycaon just sampled Azula's blood to gain her sorcery, now he is sharing with Mya because she is his sister. He will probably also share with King Kyvon and their father Lord Iath when they arrive." Ty Lee looked at the siblings in horror, "He did that to Azula?" Xex shrugged, "I am sure he would have been gentler with her due to her fragility, but yes." "And they're going to do that to the fire benders you captured tomorrow?"
Xex nodded, "Yes. That will ensure that your nation's army has no unnecessary advantages. We can already breathe fire, but we cannot manipulate it. After tomorrow, we will all be able to as well as any of your nation's fire sorcerers. Lord Lycaon and the rest of the royal family though, will be as always, a cut above as they will be using power identical to Azula's, which she claims is among the very best to be had." Ty Lee's eyes widened in horror as Mya leapt off Lycaon's back and bent a building sized plume of Azula's fire into the sky. If these things could steal bending, how would anyone be able to stop them?