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 A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]

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Kanoei
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Position: Chief of the Northern Water Tribe
Nation: Water Tribes

PostSubject: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:43 pm

"So, as you can see, the trade standards with the Earth Kingdom have improved since last year. Thankfully, we've been able to maintain the import and export of good since the war concluded and we're recovering nicely, I feel."

The Minister of Commerce had all manner of graphs and tables laid out before Kano in grand style. Since the war had concluded, Kano had turned the war room into a briefing room for all matters and affairs of state. It was a good change of arrangement except for the fact that on the average day, upwards of six ministers and other officers took the opportunity to sequester him in the place and talk his head off about every minor thing they could conjure. He couldn't blame them. They were excited about the prosperity the North had managed to build up despite the recent hardships. However, he was bored out of his mind and going stir crazy from being cooped up all day...

"Now, if you examine this chart, number seven-five-nine..."

"Minister!" Kano found himself on his feet suddenly and all the collected officers were looking at him in surprise. He hadn't intended that outburst, but now he saw an opportunity to excuse himself and, if only just this once, he was going to take it. "I... er... I have other duties to perform at the moment, I'm afraid."

The lie was fairly transparent, but he didn't really care. The fact of the matter was that he appointed these ministers so that they could take a bit of the burden off of him. It was no use if they put it right back onto him once they had it. He backed slowly toward the door, nodding to each minister in turn as he spoke.

"All this seems to be well in hand." he said. "So... yeah. Well done, minister!" he hit the door frame backward. Looking around quickly at the door, he edged sideways, looking back at the minister. "Er... Keep it up!"

And with that, he darted out of the room.

The journey back to his quarters was mercifully quiet. He felt like he could breath finally and savored that free air filling his chest. It was unreal how stuffy a room full of number-crunchers could get. He was almost to his door when a voice from behind him made his heart stop.

"Ah!" it said. "Chief Kanoei! I've been meaning to speak to you!"

It had to be him! Kano thought wildly. Without missing a beat, he pretended not to hear the man and darted into his room, closing the door behind him and throwing his back against it.

"Dear spirits!" he groaned as the cultural minister called down the hall toward him still. "This is cruel and unusual punishment, even for you!"

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Hun-Hun
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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:30 pm




"Ack! Mom! Can you make this thing any tighter?!"

"Nonsense!" Lihua tutted, smacking her eldest daughter's hand away. "You're so dainty my little lemur, you can fit this!"

"Well yea but -wheeze- the sash -cough- so....tight....!"

"Oh stop exaggerting Hun," Kipa giggled from behind, "You act like you've never worn a dress a day in your life." Hun-Hun choked on a cough and glared up at he younger sister. It had been nearly four years since she'd seen the little runt and since then the girl had shot up over her a good five inches. Technically her sister was still short compared with girls from around the world, a feat they likely attributed to their water tribe heritage. Their mother, like majority of all airbending women, was tall.

Kipa and Hun-Hun didn't know what in the world provoked the spirits to give them the short end of the stick.

Hun-Hun's bottom lip jutted out and she pulled a face. She stopped hersef from retorting about her little sister being forced to wear the thing because she realized that Kipa wasn't even an airbender.
"Isn't this some form of child abuse or something?!"She squeaked.

Lihua chuckled and put her hands on Hun-Hun's shoulders. Spinning her gently, the flowing sleeves of the orange and gold Ao Dai fanned out around her. "My dear, you very well know that you are no longer a child. You're eighteen now; nomad tradition proves you to be an adult. " Her kind grey eyes smiled at both of her children, "Both of you are."

Hun-Hun picked at the golden-trimmed collar fastenings and winced. "Still doesn't mean I have to like it." Kipa smiled genuinely and rolled her eyes, moving to shrug off her own custom made blue dress.

"And you gotta admit Hun-bunny, that gold really does look great with your arrows."

All three women eyed eachother and beamed.

ooOOoo


"So soon?? But you just arrived!"
"Anokki. Don't even start."
"Absolutely not, I forbid it. You've only been back one day and already you're leaving."
"Daaad! I'm only going out into town!"

Anokki hooked his hands under his daughter's arms and lifted her into the air. Flushed with embarrassment, Hun-Hun flailed her legs around and turned red in the face. Really, it was embarrassing that she was so tiny that he could still do that.

"Dad put me down!"
"Not until you tell me you're coming back!" He was so dramatic.
"I'm....only....going....to...town!" She was suddenly pulled into a tight embrace and the wind came rushing out of her lungs. A strong hand stroked through her dark hair tentatively, her legs instinctively wrapped around his torso.
"I know. I know. You know your old man can't help it. I've missed my little girl; with everything finally over I'm just glad to have you home." He set her down on the ground and smiled at her, his good eye shining brightly in the sun.

Hun-Hun returned the gesture ten-fold; knowing that if he didn't have that eyepatch, their expressions would be just the same.

"Yanno princess if you were to head down that street, turn that bend and trek to the heart of the city...why...I bet you could see the palace from there!"

The airbender blushed, "What!"
Anokki and Lihua burst into laughter and gave her identical nods. Wordlessly, Hun-Hun pulled a face and snapped open her glider. With a gust of wind that had more force than needed, (she just loved showing off her mastery now), Hun-Hun shot into the air and took off toward the blue palace.

Not even stopping to think as to why she was even heading there.
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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:11 pm

Kano tapped the floor with his heel and brought up a small ice block to stop the door swinging open as Minister Kipar continued to knock on the door in that way that he always did, lightly but incessantly. Kano really didn't know what the man thought that accomplished. Did he really think he was being less annoying while he rapped endlessly on the door so long as it was a dainty rap?

Regardless, the ice doorstop would keep the man at bay. He was good at his job, but the man had brought the sensibilities of the Earth Kingdom court with him when Kano's grandfather hired him. Kano was starting to understand why all those Earth Kingdom officials were in such a bad mood all the time. If Kipar was any indication, they didn't get a moment's quiet.

Kano walked across the room, stripping off the flowing coat he'd been wearing during the meeting. It was a fine sort of thing, but years of wearing very little fur had built up a tolerance to cold in Kano and wearing something that warm was like sitting in a sauna after awhile. It was just too damn hot! He tossed the robe on the bed and headed out onto the terrace, surveying the city from his high perch. The day was bright and cheerful, a good day indeed. It was a moment before he realized what, exactly, that uncommonly large and oddly colored bird was...

"Ha!" he chuckled, leaning on the railing of the terrace as he watched Hun fly. She was headed in his direction, but he knew not why. Still. If she meant to pay him a visit, he wasn't about to turn her away. Anything to put Kipar's ongoing attempts to intrude upon his moment of peace out of his mind.

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:47 am

"Ease, soldiers!" Kano chuckled, entering the courtyard. The guards took one look around at him and then obeyed immediately.

Escaping Kipar hadn't been easy. Kano's little icy doorstop had given out when Kipar called guards to bust open the door. Through the crack in the doors, he'd heard the minister expressing his fear that some ill event had befallen Kano and he feared for his safety. Kano, meanwhile, wasted no time in escaping the man by jumping over the rail on the terrace down to the terrace below, which belonged to his grandfather, Hakano, who'd been rather surprised when his grandson walked through his room from his terrace, tipping a hello to him as though this was perfectly ordinary. Sitting at his desk, he watched Kano walk out into the hall and make his escape.

"Well, that was unusual..." he'd mumbled to himself once the door had closed behind Kano.

Down through the palace and out into the grounds, eventually to the very courtyard in which he now stood Kano went. He hadn't planned to catch Hun there, but he was happy of the accident nonetheless. As the guards stood down, he put on a pearly grin.

"That was some fancy flying, Sparrow." he said, throwing his arms out in a wide, friendly gesture. "You've gotten much better!"

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:44 pm


She breathed a sigh of relief and threw the guards a smirk bordering on haughty. "Hey, I'm an airbender! We're all about peace so...if you'll just excuuuuuse me." She slipped from under the spear blockade and walked over to her old friend. Bringing a hand up to massage her neck rather dramatically, Hun-Hun grinned up at him and put her hands on her hips.

"Much better? Did you see me? I nearly broke the sound barrier and all you can say is much better? Pfft. Stuck up waterbenders, I tell you." Of course, Hun-Hun was indeed exaggerating, but it wasn't as if she hadn't attempted to do it once.....or thrice. Someday she would, like Master YoonAh......She dug the horned toe of her cobalt-blue nomad shoe deep into the snow and kicked it up, humming at the little explosion of dust.

"So what's new around here?" Hun-Hun asked, punching Kanoei lightly in his shoulder. "I've been gone for forever and come back to this gigantic blue palace and nobody's telling me what in Koh's name has gone on around here. Mind catching me up?" She narrowed her eyes in the direction of the stiff-necked palace guards and whispered, quite loudly....

"Ya know, without the Chief's cronies breathing down our backs?"
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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:12 am

Kano smiled slightly as she paced around. The guards had that stiff look on their faces that Kano knew meant they took exception to what they'd just been called. He decided to spare them further presence in this conversation and excused them with a wave of his hand. They nodded and made off. Once they'd vanished around the corner, he turned his attention to Hun.

"I don't know how much you've heard since you've been back, but let's just say those guards are my cronies." he said as he turned. "In that I was made chief just before the war started. I'm not sure how much of the news reached you during your training, but the Fire Nation's been defeated. We're currently rebuilding."

He folded his arms as he said that last bit. Rebuilding was something of an understatement. Not for nothing were the ministers pleased with themselves. The Northern Water Tribe had been almost completely restored since the war had come to an end and thanks to the resources of the alliance, so had their sister tribe to the south. They'd recovered... and then some. Now with the attention on cultural and economic development in peace time, everyone had high hopes for the future. His desire to have a few moments' peace for himself every now and then notwithstanding, Kano had placed himself in the middle of all of this and had led the charge in the reconstruction, even joining the construction teams and using his bending to expedite the process along with many other northern waterbenders.

"I haven't had much time to speak to your family recently." he admitted finally, deciding that he'd rather not make this a discussion of state business like everything else in his life recently. "How have they been?"

The opulence of the clothing Hun had on hadn't been lost on Kano. He'd almost asked about them first, but he figured that if it was important, she'd tell him of her own accord...

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:51 pm






She whistled sharply. "Whoo! So you're the one calling all of the shots around this place now? Why does that not surprise me at all? You always were an over achiever." Hun-Hun picked at her cerulean blue sleeve and smirked up at him. "We've.....heard word of the North crowning a new ruler, the news just never specified who it was exactly. Congratulations Wolf-boy!"

Hun-Hun folded her arms and smiled. Despite the fact that the temples were pretty much....secluded away from the rest of the world, news flooded in and out of their airways faster then ostrich-horses and dragonhawks. While the other nations relied on beasts of burden and traveled across lands for communication, the nomads literally had mail-carriers transport messages by way of their rapid-fire airways. It was a service exclusive to the Air Nomads, and one of the critical leverages of their invisible hands in the war. Aside from her own dark hand missions, she'd had the task of delivering a few of these "messages"; some missions went by smoothly....

Others, the outcome had to be more or less improvised.

Hun-Hun rubbed the back of her neck and bristled, shooing the memories away before they even had the chance to germinate.

"They've been fine." She replied smoothly. Her lips quirked into a slight frown when a thought occurred to her, but she brushed it off. "My brother and father have finally returned home, have been for about six months to recover from their injuries. Other than, everyone's okay." Hun-Hun flicked a random snowflake and studied Kanoei from the corner of her eyes. If he wanted to know anything more than that he'd have to talk to her family in person, as far as she was concerned she wasn't here to play messenger, he should have known better.


"So let me get this straight," Hun-Hun said, clapping her hands together. She walked in front of him and lifted her chin up, planting her feet firmly in the snow. "You've been the chief...for what.....all of two years?" She asked, waving two of her fingers in the air. "And.......you haven't exploited your Kingship yet??"
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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:11 pm

"Exploited?" Kano laughed, his eyebrows shooting up. "Why would I exploit it? I may have a few more responsibilities than I used to, but I'm still the same person. I had my fun without exploiting a power position and I can have my fun now just the same."

Kano looked his old friend up and down quickly. She'd changed. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but there was a distinct difference in her. She was far more serious than she used to be. And, so far, she hadn't once tried to use him like a jungle gym. It was... a little disconcerting.

"Why are you asking that, anyway?" he asked her, deciding that his curiosity in this regard couldn't simply be ignored. She was either playing with him (and he hoped that was the case), or she'd grown so far apart from him that she actually thought he might somehow abuse power given to him in good faith by his entire nation.

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:57 pm




"Because!" She interjected, slapping her hands together again and creating a small spiraling sphere of air. "Mother woke me up at the crack of dawn and I've been up all day, I'm starving! She glared at him half-heartedly as the sphere continued to grow in considerable. Without warning, Hun-Hun hopped onto the sphere and buzzed around him, her dark hair slicing through air like jet-black razor blades.

"And since you have the hospitality of a polar-bear dog," She snarked, before grinning, "I'll just have to tear this place up looking for the kitchens. Like the good ol' days! See ya!" Hun-Hun balanced on her hands and rotated her waist and legs, kicking up a wave of snow littered air before taking off down a random hall into the palace on her air scooter. 'I really don't know where I'm going....and I don't care!'

She zoomed through empty corridors first, them steadily filling with people as she came closer to what she only guessed was the throne room. Her eyes settled on tapestries and weapons hemmed onto the walls like prized war trophies, which, they most likely were. Circling around the ornate throne, Hun-Hun disbanded her air scooter briefly and fluttered into the seat.

Straightening her posture, the airbender pursed her lips and crossed one leg over a knee. "To the courts and people of the North, we give you......Your Elegant Highness..the Chieftainess Hun-Hun!" Hun-Hun cupped her hands over her mouth and let out an echoed whoop!....before blushing with embarrassment.

"Y-You know, assuming that I'm...uh....the only successor of course."

'Nice one Hun.'

"Ahem! You, you and you! Bring me my royal palanquin, a plate of dragonchicken, and my scrolls. I wish to recline to the gardens before heading out for the Dance of Streets festival!" She hopped down from the throne and gave a mock bow before the empty seat, then clambered into it once again.

"And as for all who oppose me, banished! Banished I say! Guards! Take these hellions to the dungeons!"

BOOM!

"INTRUDER!"

"I'm innocent?!" Hun-Hun squeaked. One of the palace guards flung a spear in her direction and, with the grace of a summer wind Hun-Hun flipped backward over the throne and took off on an air scooter. The guards, though pathetically far behind, were hot on her trail.

"Spirits! All I wanted was something to eat!"
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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:15 pm

"I-I'm known for my hospitality..." Kano said as she sped away, stung.

It wasn't an easy thing, following the path of an airbender's particular brand of carnage. It tended to be a path that was a little more on the subtle side of things. He found his way to the throne room, where his grandfather was bending water around the shaft of a spear that appeared to be too thoroughly embedded in the throne to be removed by force of elbow grease. The moment he saw Kano, Hakano jerked his thumb toward one of the other halls leading off the throne room. It was faint, but he could hear yelling.

"She likes to make a splash, that girl." his grandfather mused, shaking his head as he managed to bend the weapon out of its anchor. There were a number of panting guards gathered around him who all hopped up when Kano looked like he was making ready to give chase.

"H-how do you mean to stop her?" asked one of the guards as he started walking away toward the stairs nearby that led downward.

"I don't." Kano said as he went. "I know where she's headed. I'll just wait for her there. She'll find her way there eventually."

"B-but the palace!" said a very flustered junior protocol minister. "It will be damaged by that girl's rampage!"

Kano stopped in his tracks and turned on his heel to look back at them.

"It's a building made of ice and we have more than a few waterbenders here in the north." he said simply. "I think we'll manage to repair the damage somehow. More to the point, that girl is a personal friend of mine and I don't intend to run her down like a dog."

"Well i-in that case..." said another of the guards. "A-aren't you afraid she's going to get hurt?"

"Sparrow?" Kano snorted. "Hurt by a palace guard? I have every confidence in my corps of bodyguards, but it's obvious you haven't a clue what it takes to catch an airbender. You'll run yourselves to death before you get within spitting distance of her."

He said this last bit with a chuckle as he descended the stairs into the kitchens. He figured he might as well get the cooks to work on a meal befitting a full-fledged airbender. It wasn't every day that he got to welcome one of his oldest friends home...

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:25 pm






It was painfully obvious.

These buffoons hadn't the slightest clue how to fight against an airbender.
Much less a master one.


Hun-Hun clasped her hands behind her back as the group closed in on her. If she recalled correctly, the "battalion" that chased her around minutes ago had been a fifteen man count. Now, scanning the number of spears and blades pointing in her direction, there remained only six.

Snort. Six?

"By order you will cease and desist this instance!" A growl escaped one of the guards as he took a menacing step forward and, once again, Hun-Hun found herself offering her hands up in cease-fire. Though the twinkle in her...kind eyes?...was quite unnerving.

But the guards would never admit that.

"I'd love to do that," She replied, smiling childishly, " However it's impossible for me to do so."

The spear's tip was pressed against her throat. "Oh really?" A guard quipped, "Then we'll have to bring you in the hard way." His countenance firm, the frontal guard motioned for the rest of his cronies to come in closer; the moment they did, her features darkened.
"You'll do no such thing." Hun-Hun slammed her palms toward the palace floor and shot up into the air. The blast was strong enough to send her flying, while the residual momentum literally tossed her assailants in the opposite direction. As she landed, her feet barely touched the ground before they were swept away on another air scooter.

"NO ONE comes in between a woman and her dragonchicken! See ya suckers!"


ooOOoo

Creeeeeak.

Perfect.

Hun-Hun took a tentative step inside of the kitchens and slipped through the large double doors. As she suspected, the spacious room was congested with seas of blues and whites. Cooks and servants tripped and stumbled over eachother in a frenzy and did not take noticed of her. The airbender stood there for a moment a bit entranced by the fluidity and hectic craziness of their routine. Silently, she thanked every spirit and the tailors back at the Western Air Temple for tailoring her clothing water tribe style.

"Alright Hun, time to do what you do best......nose, lead the way to the delicious cured meats!"
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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:47 pm

The bustling crowd of cooks and servants parted as Kano waved his hand at them. It was funny how his innocuous hand gestures used to be just that. Now they were treated as a commandment from the spirits. He could move armies with the wave of his hand... and he had. He was happy it was just parting a crowd of people who were just going about their work as always.

"'Bout time you showed up." he said as he was revealed to Hun where he sat at the table in the middle of the kitchens. The whole surface of the table was covered in dishes. He'd had them whip up just about everything. He was already attacking a leg of lamb-squall. "I didn't know what kind of stuff you like to eat these days, so I had them cook up some of your old favorites, some meat, some veggies. I think there's a savory fruit something-or-other around here too... Ah, well. You'll find what you like."

With a lazy tap of his foot, he bent the ice of the floor and sent a shudder down the length of the table that pushed back the chair at the opposite end. It sat there waiting for her to plant her bony rump.

"Right!" he said, looking around at the servants and cooks. "Thanks for the help. Mind if I have some time with my friend here alone? It's a long time no see situation, ya know?"

"Understood, Chief Kanoei." the head cook bowed, leading his staff out. Within moments, Hun and Kano had the room to themselves... and their meal, of course.

"Please." he said, gesturing her toward the chair. "Join me."

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:05 pm


"So you managed to beat me here. Big deal, you know the layout of this joint, I don't."

Hun-Hun pointed her nose in the air and glided over toward the seat. 'Show off.' She thought, rolling her eyes, 'I should toss him off a cliff just for a good laugh.' She plopped into the chair unceremoniously and sucked a plate of dragonchicken over to her. Raising it to her lips, she breathed in the spicy aroma before tucking it into her face.

"Manners and etiquette be damned," She quipped to herself, "Feels like I haven't eaten in a dog's age!" Passage of time and the threat of indigestion paid her no mind while she, quite literally, inhaled it and moved onto the lentil soups and seal-jerky char siu bao. Hun-Hun barely registered the seasonings before moving on for water and a steaming cup of ginseng.

She belched and blushed. "Sorry." Hun-Hun pulled a thin piece of flint from her sleeve and, covering her mouth, began to pick at her ivories meticulously. "I won't even ask how you managed to get all of this together, so...just gonna say thanks. You have no idea how hungry I am. And I still think I'll have room for my birthday dinner tonight. -belch!- Sorry! Again." Hun-Hun averted her eyes and looked around the room, picking at her sleeve again before settling her eyes on him.

Her eyes were slightly narrowed. "Alright Kanoei, what've you got going on now? Please tell me you dont plan to sit here and eat breakfast in silence. Cuz that's just boring. So what's up?"
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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:22 pm

"The price of steel." Kano mused shrugging. "Honestly, there's nothing 'up'. We haven't seen each other in over two years and before I can ask you any questions, you tear the palace apart and incapacitate how many guards?"

He waited for her to answer this little bit of rhetoric before continuing because he just knew she was going to answer it.

"Suffice it to say, you've had your fun." he said. "Now I'm pondering where, exactly, to start. How does one rekindle a friendship after so long and so many changes... in both of us. Come now, you airbenders are supposed to know the human heart. So where do we start, eh?"

All that sort of drizzled out. He felt like he didn't know her half as well as he once thought. She was far more wild and willful and shameless, particularly, than he remembered. In all honesty, he couldn't tell if it was her who had changed or him at this point. But he knew it was one of them. It just didn't... seem right, somehow.

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:44 pm






"Do you really want to know the answer to that one?" She raised a single delicate eyebrow, "Or are you just being a bull? No matter." She leaned forward on the table with both elbows and swished her cup of tea idly. For a lingering moment she studied him; the sharp curve of his jaw, the harshness of his eyes opening up to an overall tiredness. She blinked and tapped her lips,'Hit you more than it should have, hit us all more than it should have.'

"You could say that we know a way to the heart," Hun-Hun evaded casually, choosing to ignore his sarcastic remark. Two can play this game, baby. She traced over her fingers over the cup's rim carefully, amused by its fragility. "And that's true. But did you honestly expect we'd stay the same after all that's happened?"

Hun-Hun snapped her eyes up and dared him. "We were practically toddlers when we were friends Kanoei; and then at opposite ends of the world before either of us were 10 years old. We haven't had a true moment until about two years ago, and even then it was all screwed up by a scandal with that old harpy's damned Shadows." The last few words were brazen in her mouth and she spat them out venomously. A few memories flitted through her line of vision and she took in a breath to hide her disgust. Even though the major world powers were allies now, there were some who still danced around one another like bristled dragons.

She and a few "earth kingdom dogs" being a few of them.

"That being said, after that the world went to hell. You had your business with leading part of the powerhouse for the war and,.....I had mine. That's all there is to it." Her fingers found a random riceball and she rolled it around in her hands lazily.

"I came back here to be with my family, to celebrate, and to hang out with an old friend of mine. If you have time that is."
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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:57 pm

"If I don't have it, I can make it." Kano said flatly. "The question is do you want to bother? By your own words, we're not so close as we were once upon a fairy tale time... Of course, you didn't say it quite that way, but you can't blame a scholar for giving a statement his own flair. When it come down to it, do you want to spend time with me, or with the boy you once knew? He's gone. And he's not coming back."

He dropped his utensils on his plate and dabbed his face with his napkin, dropping it too on the plate before leaning back in his seat and staring down the table at her.

"You know, up until this moment, I couldn't figure out what had changed." he said, smiling wryly. "But it was me all the time. I used to know when I was being a fool. Nowadays, it seems I've become numb to it. How... incredibly... unbelievably foolish I must have been to be sitting here trying to find the girl I knew in you when even the boy I was is nowhere to be found." he snorted at the ridiculousness of it all. "Time. It seems it changes everything. Most especially those things we thought unchangeable, eh?

"So what do you say, old friend?" he leaned forward. "Do we make our friendship anew... or do we leave it in the past? Because it's clear that if we carry on like we're just the same old people we always were, nothing good will come of it... The choice is yours."

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:37 pm






"I wouldn't have come all the way back here if I thought it was a waste of time, Kanoei." That came out like a whip's lash, with more snap than she'd meant for it to. Regardless Hun-Hun did not see the need, nor would she, lessen the blow behind what she said. There was a time where she'd trip over her own words and flounder to cover up her brevity.....

Not anymore.

Hun-Hun twirled the riceball in between her hands with a small spiral of air and snorted. "I don't give a damn what you are, or how you heard it. You read too much into things and turn it into something it's not. So you can cut out all of that melodrama about people changing and you being a butthole about it, save your whining for the therapist because that ain't me." Soundlessly, she rose out of her chair and pushed it in. After pocketing a few riceballs in her sleeves, Hun-Hun ghosted over the iced floors along the table and stopped by the entrance. Breathing heavily, she tilted her head in Kanoei's direction and gave him a challenging smile.

"Why are you still standing there looking angry Jerk Prince? Get off your mood and show me around here! Tell me what I've missed, do something!"
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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:23 pm

Kano sat back as she rose from her seat and headed for the door. He was surprised by her, in short. She was nothing like he remembered her. Her humor had become cold and vengeful, striking him rather than playing at him. He felt truly stung by her rather heartless cadence. It seemed to him that she aimed to hurt him. And melodramatic? If she doubted that they'd changed and that change threatened to destroy any hope of friendship between the two of them, she only had to look at the way they were in that moment. When she made her request, if that was what you could call it, he rose slowly and turned to face her.

"Actually." he said. "I think I've put off my duties rather long enough. If you happen to run across a man named Kipar about the palace, I'm sure he'd be more than happy to show you every dark corner of the palace and its grounds. I hope you enjoy your stay in the Blue Palace, Hun-Hun. I'll see to it you're no longer bothered by the palace guard."

He turned and left through a side door onto the staircase which had brought him down from the throne room not long before, disappointment coursing through his veins. Half way up, he stopped, his foot poised on the next step. He found himself wondering how it could be so... wrong. This wasn't supposed to be this way. It just wasn't. What had happened?

He looked over his shoulder slightly...

"All good things..." he muttered. And then he turned and ascended, deciding that it was high time he put aside those things he'd for so long been holding onto that were in no way any longer holding onto him...

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:13 am






Control. Control. Peace. Tranquility. Control.

Hun-Hun narrowed her eyes at the closed doors and clenched her fingers. "On second thought, forget I even came here." Turning the opposite direction, she stalked over to a random window and kicked her legs over it. Once she was outside, HunHun reached her glider and snapped it open. Frowning, she looked away from the ornate palace and took off into the sky.

ooOOoo

"Stupid Kanoei and his stupid, pompous, stuffy-pants smart aleck-!" A scroll sailed across the room and hit the wall. It split in half from the brunt force of her conjured winds and she threw another. And another, and another and another until nearly half of the library's scrolls were sliced to pieces. "And I'm such an.....argh!"

"Well, I'm really glad those are Yaozu and Panya's practice scrolls....but they are going to be really pissed at you for tearing up their homework sheets."

"Shut up Mikka."

"Whoa, whoa hey!" Mikka replied, strolling over and putting a comforting hand on her shoulder. Instead of pulling away from him as she normally did, the airbender surprised the warrior when she fell into his embrace. For a while the two of them just stood there together, in complete silence as she clung to her older brother for dear life.

Mikka grimaced. "Come on Bun-Bun, it's late and you've been traveling for weeks to get here." He picked his tiny sister up and, like a child, she buried her head in the crook of his neck and he left their family's library. The waterbender paced down the halls of their home and stopped when he reached his sister's old room. Entering he sat down on her bed and picked up her stuffed sky bison. Normally, he would have chided Hun-Hun for still playing with the darned thing but he new better.

A girl like her should not have been forced so brutally out of her innocence.

"MeiMei..."He whispered and she hiccuped, " Wúlùn huài tā xiànzài sìhū, shēnghuó gèng jiāng hǎo chéngwéi." He rubbed circles around her back and hugged her tightly when she shivered, Pursing his lips, he added, "If he is a real friend...he will not fault you for what you have done. We fight all of the time and make up like nothing happened MeiMei, Kanoei'll forgive you just the same. Nín bù xūyào shēngqì.......HunHun.......yīqiè jiāng shì hǎo."

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:49 am

The following morning dawned bright. Kano, however, was to be found in his office off of the throne hall, leaning back in his seat with his eyes closed. He had barely gotten any sleep and, as it was, he had one hell of a headache.

The door opened...

"Good morning, Chief Kanoei." came the familiar voice of his grandfather, no doubt there for the week's briefing on foreign affairs. It had been the primary duty of his office since the foreign affairs minister had been jailed for leaking information to the Novai Loyalists toward the end of the war.

Kano couldn't summon a response.

"You do not look well." his grandfather said a few moments later, this time from somewhere not two feet away. Kano's eyes snapped open. Hakano was leaning over the edge of his desk, one hand supporting him against his cane, the other supporting a stack of paperwork.

"I don't know how I look." Kano said, his voice defeated. "But I can guarantee I feel worse."

"I see." his grandfather nodded slowly. "And what is behind it?"

"I have a headache." Kano said simply. "And I couldn't sleep."

"Neither of which are roots, both of which spring always from something deeper and more painful." Hakano said in that way only he could, as though this were the most obvious thing in the world. "Perhaps you should look for the cause."

He placed the paperwork down on the desk and took a seat across from Kano, peering at him. The man was magical, that was what it was. It had to be. Kano found himself all too willing suddenly to lay bare this hurt and see what his elder had to say about it when not a moment before, he refused even to think about it.

"For the first time in years, I saw one of my oldest and dearest friends." he said, staring into the cold hearth of the fireplace as he spoke. "And I couldn't see anything of that friend in her anymore. It was like... she was a totally different person."

"The girl who was tearing the palace apart yesterday." Hakano nodded slowly. "I asked your mother about her. She says that girl left to the Air Temples over ten years ago. You can't expect her to be the same after all this time."

"It's more than that." Kano said, shaking his head with a sigh. "She was totally different. Cruel where she never was before. She took no joy in anything, just did whatever occurred to her without thought. That is not the person I knew."

"Truth is the first casualty of war..."

Kano looked around at his grandfather in surprise. He didn't know what he'd expected the man to say, but it wasn't that. His response to it came before he had time to think.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" he said incredulously.

"It means that time isn't the only thing that has changed the people of this world since she was taken from you." Hakano said simply. "War effects even the innocent in ways you could not possibly imagine. I wouldn't be too quick to judge her for her new ways, Noei. Do not forget what you did when the blood wore on you too deeply. Perhaps she has something to say but fears what you would say in return. It is not such an unfamiliar story, is it?"

Kano leaned back in his seat once more as he ran through this thought with every fiber of his mind. As always... the Wise Wolf had given him something to think about...

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:41 pm







"That'll be six copper pieces little lady."

"Thank you."

She stood on her toes to reach her wrapped prize and carted it into her satchel. Offering the shopkeeper a brief smile, the airbender slipped through the crowded store and out into the winding streets of north town. She ignored everyone while making her way toward the thickened gates leading out of the city. Though plenty of things had changed around the north, she'd always managed to navigate her way in its shadow. That much seemed to stay the same.

What are you LOOKING at? She wanted to snap. Her cat-like eyes bore into a random man's round ones and twinkled when he looked away. So what if she was walking around without a parka on, exiting a butcher shop and strutting toward the outskirts as if it was an everyday thing. 'These people eat the heart of their kill in honor of their spirit after a hunt, if anything none of them can talk. Tch.' Shrugging her shoulders, she opened her glider and soared over the exit of the city, crashing low to the tundra before darting upward...nearly breaking the sound barrier.

ooOOoo

"Glad you were finally able to meet me out here, have the meat?"
Blink. "How's your arm?"

Mikka glanced down at his arm and flexed his fingers, bending his arm at the elbow a few times before smiling. "It's getting there. The healer was able to remove most of the flint, said I should be able to get some serious waterbending done in two to three weeks."
"You're an idiot you know that?"
Snort. "Maybe. But I did what I felt was right, like you." He traipsed out into the blistering tundra and beckoned for his sister to follow him. Almost immediately she did, and the siblings continued until the wall was several yards behind them. Without warning, Mikka brought his fingers to his mouth and let out a fierce, ear splitting whistle. There was a distant howl, and speck of black and white limped toward them out of the blazing snow.

Hun-Hun stiffened, "No. Not like me." She pulled the wrapped raw meat from her satchel and handed one half to her brother. "Is that....is that Pamo?!" The speck, which by now had grown in considerable size and stopped a foot away from them, flopped down on the snow and sniffed the air earnestly. Pamo twitched his pointed white ears and blew air from his black muzzle, grinning at the siblings happily.

"Pamo!" Hun-Hun flung her package and glider at the snow and dove on the dire polar-wolf. The both of them rolled around in the loose tundra, before Pamo enveloped the airbender in his massive fore-paws. They continued their playful banter for a few minutes until the elder bender cleared his throat, extending a chunk of meat towards the beast.

Naturally, the polar-wolf abandoned his long time playmate in a heartbeat.

Hun-Hun staggered to her feet and brushed the snow from her clothes. "Pamo you good for nothing bear dog." She grumbled, before ruffling his ridiculously warm fur. "Wait....Mik....where's Koma?"

Her brother tightened his lip and met her eyes, "Gone."
She knew a double-meaning when she heard one. "....Oh."
Mikka continued, not looking at her, "When Koma died, Pamo lost a part of himself. Its not so much the case now because he's happy again. It took a lot of work, but that's what happens when you come to terms and let go."

Hun-Hun bristled, "I can't. I'm not going back there."
Mikka dropped the meat, "Hun you-"
"NO!"
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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:33 pm

Kano walked past the edge of the city, Captain Klargith and two of his more trusted guards in tow. His lengthy coat flapped about as he went. He hadn't intended to bring them along, but the Minister of War had insisted upon it. There had been a generalized threat against most of the alliance leaders since the end of the war. Remnant loyalists from the Fire Nation were still causing trouble. The Tiger General had been the subject of an assassination attempt not long ago. It wasn't a surprise that the attempt failed. And it wasn't likely that Kano would be the target of such an attempt, but the Minister still insisted upon it whenever he knew Kano meant to go outside the limits of the city, as was the case today.

Kano had spent several hours contemplating what his grandfather said. The morning's business had passed without gaining his full attention for so much as a moment. He was too preoccupied with all this. When finally he decided that he'd like to have a chat with Hun, he'd made his way to the grandmaster of gossip herself -- his mother. Luckily, she'd been with Hun's mother, Lihua at the time. Unluckily, he hadn't stepped one foot outside the door of Hun's house when the Minister of War, the Captain, and a few other officers had waylaid him. They'd intended to talk a bit of business about increasing the city's defenses (a suggestion Kano shook his head to. They didn't need to be spending more resources improving what were already the strongest defenses north of Ba Sing Se.) but when they heard he was headed for the outskirts, the Minister did what he did best -- be a mother hen and cluck.

In any case, Kano walked through the narrow pass leading out onto the eastern tundra as he had so many times before, Klargith and his guards right behind. He found himself standing a good distance from where Hun stood with an individual that Kano recognized as her brother Mikka. A sharp whistle sounded and in the distance, a howling followed. Moments later, the distant figure of a huge beast appeared as a speck. The guards stepped forward, one of them attempting to draw his sword. Kano reached out and grabbed the hilt of the guardsman's weapon, giving him a pointed look and a shake of the head.

"Captain, would you mind if I asked you to wait here?" he said, straightening his wardrobe and pulling his coat tighter around himself, keeping his eyes on Hun, Mikka, and the bear-dog now playing with them. This would be difficult enough without an armed escort listening in.

"As you command, my lord." Captain Klargith said without hesitation. "Would you like your saber?"

Kano looked around at him as he offered one of the twin sabers Nakkoa had gifted Kano what seemed an age ago. It was the one Kano had entrusted to the Captain for safe-keeping and his personal use. Its partner, the one Kano usually carried, sat in its rack in his room back at the palace. He hadn't anticipated any need for it and still didn't. He shook his head.

"It won't be necessary." he said.

And with that, he walked toward Mikka and Hun, the wind carrying about his coattails. He walked within a dozen or so yards of the trio and stopped. He'd intended to announce himself, but as he stood there looking at them, he found he couldn't summon anything to say that seemed worth saying...

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:10 pm




Pamo's ears shot forward and he leapt on all fours. A guttural growl resonated from the barrel of his cavernous chest and echoed out of his bared jaws. He narrowed his sharp maroon eyes and snapped his teeth, fur standing on end like a pissed off porcupine. The polar-wolf stood to his full height, took four threatening steps forward until he reached both siblings and snarled past them. Mikka and Hun-Hun grabbed handfuls of Pamo's thick mane and dug their feet into the snow. Patting his head earnestly, Mikka fixed him with a stern glare.

"Pamo, asu!" He snapped. The beast stiffened and relented, posture hissing of obvious distrust. Hun-Hun ducked her head under her arm and finally looked to see whatever it was he was growling at. Only to mentally slap herself.
'A break. Can I ever catch one? Its all I ask.'

"Chief Kanoei." She heard her brother murmur, just imagining his stupid curt bow. There was a shuffle and she felt Pamo lean against her, trembling angrily. Did he sense her anxiety.
When she looked up again she found her brother watching her with a blank expression. At least it looked blank. The sun blocked out most of his features and at this point her brain felt so numb she didn't know what to think at the moment. The only thing she could supply was a nod, and even then it was quite odd and jerky.

Mikka turned his eyes away from his sister and faced Kanoei, spotting the two figures farther away from them. "Hun-Hun, Kanoei's here."
".........,".
Mikka dropped his hold on Pamo and faced her fully. "Hun, come on. I doubt he's going to strangle you for blowing up his palace."
She stooped to pick up her glider and quietly opened it. "....I can't do this Mikka."
"What.....what are you doing??"
"Leavin'."

He paced over to his sister and gently took the staff out of her vice grip. "Look at me. No, no look at me in my eyes. Somewhere down the line, you're going to have to stop running Hun-Hun, and you know this. You don't have to kowtow, you don't have to give him a long epic ballad. Just....for right now, just say 'Hi'. One tiny step against the demons."

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:28 pm

"I came to say I'm sorry."

Kano stood there firmly, looking at Mikka and Hun-Hun as they spoke in hushed tones. He didn't know what they were talking about and in that moment, he didn't really care, but his feelings had finally coalesced enough within him for him to be able to put them to words. That was really the only thing he was concerning himself with. As he stood there, that coat flapping around his legs in that way which normally made him feel so inexplicably powerful, he felt like a tiny creature without the will to fight the world anymore.

"I don't, er... expect forgiveness or anything." he continued, looking down. "I just feel I owed you more than I gave yesterday. Hm." he cleared his throat. "I'm... I'm sorry. That's, um... That's it."

He looked around uncomfortably for a moment, then turned, nodding, managing to mumble a goodbye to Hun and an acknowledgement to Mikka before beginning to walk back toward his escorts. He didn't know what it was he was planning on doing on his way there, but he knew he hadn't accomplished whatever it was. And all he could feel about it was awful...

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PostSubject: Re: A King's Procrastination... [Hun-Hun]   Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:56 pm





'Yoona-sama...what does that have to do with anything?
'Everything, and nothing at all!'
'.....That's not helping!'
'Say there are four lyrekeets on a branch under the moon. A pair of horned tigerowls swoop down and attack them, how many are left?'
'What...in the....'
How many are left?'
'None?'
'No.'
'Three?'
'Incorrect.'
'Two!'
'Now you're just guessing. Use your ingenuity Hun-Hun. You're sharp as a whip; there are four lyrekeets being attacked by a duo of tigerowls. How many are left?'
'...............One.'
-Smile. 'Now, let me tell you why you're correct. Instintively you're first answer was none. That is an airbender's answer. We have a nasty habit of believing in the circle of life and accepting life and death for what they are. In this case we would believe that all four would be killed by the tigerowls, or flee the scene almost immediately...that is not correct.'

'Al...alright?'

'Three is an earthbender's answer. Earthbenders have a tendency to wait for their opponent to strike before they do. It's a time attested tactic that leads to less casualties on their side of the war. One would die, three would flee and live to fight another stubborn day. . Two...is a waterbender's answer. Immediately the entire group would strike, but a waterbender will not leave a fallen comrade behind. While this keeps up the morale of troops in battle, it is as foolish as an airbender's belief and results in more casualties during a battle.'

'........And one is the right answer....because...that's...'
'A firebender's response. Firebenders in general are trained to think only of themselves and exploit/obliterate weakness. The minute the tigerowls approach, that lyrekeet will sacrifice his comrades for his own safety. No, the lesson here is not to use others as a means to your end. What I'm saying is-'

'I'm supposed to do whatever it takes to rectify a disaster and threat. Or to snuff it out before it starts?'
Master Yoona's grin resembled that of a dragon before her own dinner, 'Exactly pupil Hun-Hun. Very good.'



"WAIT!" She flung her staff to the ground, much to Pamo and Mikka's scare, and raced after Kanoei's retreating figure. Without thinking, Hun-Hun propelled her body forward with a jet propulsion of air and sailed across the snow. Loose flakes burst from the ground when she flung at him, arms and legs flailing like a beached unagi.

"I'm sorry!" She screamed before wrapping her everything around him. What was she saying?? "I'msorryI'msorryI'msorryI'msorryI'msorry! I didn't mean na do it and I shud'na did it but I had to and stuff!"
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