9.343.Simpler Times

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 343
“Simpler Times”

“I love bloodnanas,” Asul-Zenza gushed.
“So do I,” Verde-Nenda said. “In fact,” he reached down and bit off the top of Asul-Zenza’s bloodnana. “I love yours best!”
“How could you, Verde-Nenda,” Anil-Kosha said playfully. “Eating your son’s food! I bet if all we had was that bloodnana, you’d eat it by yourself!”
“Nah. I’d let Asul-Zenza eat some and then eat the rest. Like I said before, no bloodnana is as good as a bloodnana my son ate from first!” He cackled.
Asul-Zenza started to chuckle, and Anil-Kosha soon followed suit.

***

Asul-Zenza looped around in the sky, hoping to warm his wings. Even inside his house it had been bitterly cold, and the chill in his wings had spread to his bones.
“People might say I’m a young Vampire, but I certainly feel old sometimes,” he sighed.
‘For someone of another species, sixty-five would be old,’ he reminded himself. ‘So I suppose it’s not all strange that I feel this way…’
His thoughts about his childhood gradually started to shift towards La-Iin. ‘She’s still a child. And she has a video game, a CD player, there’s a radio in that house, or there at least used to be, and she has a lot of dresses…
‘Mit-Sun has certainly gotten her a lot. I wonder how she would have felt growing up in simpler times like mine…’
An idea that wormed its way into his head began to turn into somewhat of a plan as he continued to fly. Thinking on all the things La-Iin had, he couldn’t help but want to see if she could still be pleased by a simple time or a simple event.
‘I’ve gotten to see La-Iin so much this year too,’ he thought. ‘I probably won’t be able to get to see her on Christmas or any day like that. So maybe instead of just thinking about it, I should go over and see her today. …but with all the times I’ve been able to see her, I doubt Mit-Sun would want me over.’
Their last interaction had been positive enough that he wondered if she’d be okay with him coming over anyway, but he didn’t want to impose and risk her anger.
‘I want to do this,’ he thought. ‘And it could be that if I don’t do it now, I won’t get another chance.’
Now completely convinced, he picked up speed and started to fly towards Bledger.

“Nothing to do today, huh?”
“Mm-hm. I’m bored.”
“A stark comparison from the mad carol-writing girl you were yesterday.”
“Today I have no ideas,” she sighed. “I just want to listen to Usl-Thaehey music. They said she did a collaboration with Sulaet-Defka, but I haven’t been able to sneak on the computer to find out when it’s coming out or listen to it. I don’t really like Sulaet-Defka’s music, but I’m willing to give anything a chance if Usl-Thaehey’s singing for it.”
“So what if she sang a song that was completely cutesy and goody-goody? You’d even give that a chance if you knew the lyrics beforehand or something like that?”
La-Iin shuddered. “That will never happen. ….I hope.”
“Anything else interesting to talk about aside from this desire to hear Usl-Thaehey’s music? Is this by any chance because of all the carol-writing you did yesterday?”
“No and maybe.”
“Nothing much happen with Fer-Shi? I see she didn’t come over today.”
“She said she had someplace to go with her Dami,” La-Iin hissed. “And we didn’t do anything at the recess area aside from what we normally do. Though I cut her head off.”
“I’m supposing this was in a fantasy scenario and not in real life. Nothing happened with San-Kyung, huh?”
“No, he just talked with Dosa-Mina all day like he normally does.”
“So no awesome fights with ‘rival-boy’ either.”
“No.”
“Talk to Ai-Reia?”
“Uh-uh. She didn’t talk to anyone today. She just looked upset the whole class.”
“Plans for Sale-Dessu?”
“I was gonna play in his backyard, but I decided against it.”
“Take Choungetsu on a walk?”
“I don’t really want to today. Lately he keeps stopping everywhere to go to the bathroom…” She sighed. “I’m just bored.”
“I suppose it happens sometimes.”
La-Iin was starting to feel depressed. ‘I should have all sorts of things to do. It’s not fair.’ She looked up at the sky, hoping to see her father flying toward her, or at the very least something interesting falling towards the neighborhood. But all she could see was clear blue sky, flecked by a few clouds.
She hugged her knees and rested her head on them. She glanced back up and was startled to see that something was flying toward her house.
“Dami?” She stood up to try and get a better look, but she still couldn’t make out the shape of whatever was flying towards her.
“Do you see Asul-Zenza?”
“I think so,” she said. She spread her wings and started to fly towards the shape.
“What are you going to do if that’s not him?”
“Fly back,” she said. But as she closed in on the shape, she knew she wouldn’t have to plan for that situation.
“La-Iin?” Asul-Zenza said, flying backwards in surprise. La-Iin flew into him.
“DAMI!”
“H-hello!”
“Hello, Asul-Zenza. This is a short break between visits.”
“Well, that’s because this is a secret, spur-of-the-moment visit,” he said. “We’ll have to be very quick and make it back before you’re missed. But all of a sudden, there was something I really wanted to do with you.”
“Well, you certainly weren’t lying about spur-of-the-moment, then.”
“Nope! Come on, let’s go now! And don’t worry, in the event that we do get caught, I’ll take the fall. Though I have an excuse to use for such a situation,” he said with a giggle, before flying off, holding La-Iin tight to his chest.
La-Iin wanted to complain that she could fly on her own, but as Asul-Zenza picked up speed being held by him brought back fond memories of times they had spent together earlier in the year. She also noticed that he was flying much higher than she ever had.
La-Iin had no idea where Asul-Zenza planned on stopping. But he flew quickly and eagerly, so she wondered how exciting the thing he wanted to do with her was.
‘Maybe it has to do with bloodsucking,’ she thought.
She couldn’t tell from looking down what was the area they were flying over, but she did know looking down was making her dizzy, so she decided against it and opted to let Asul-Zenza surprise her.
“Where are we? Are we still in Bledger?”
“Of course we’re still in Bledger,” Asul-Zenza assured. “We’re not even all that far from your neighborhood.” He started to land. La-Iin held tight to him.
“Make sure you don’t lose Bes-Isa!”
“I’ll scream if you’re about to lose me!”
Asul-Zenza landed and let La-Iin down. She brought Bes-Isa close to her and hugged her tight.
“Where is this place?” La-Iin asked. “I’ve never been here.”
“It’s a small place that’s off the map and close to your home,” he said. “I found it while soaring over Bledger and decided I wanted to take you here. It looks like it’s close enough that you could walk Choungetsu here.”
“Hm…”
“Is all you wanted to do show her this area, or do you have something else in mind?”
“As a matter of fact, I did have something else in mind.” He beckoned to La-Iin and started to walk across the area.
“The ground’s really hard here,” she said.
“I like the noise our feet make against it,” Asul-Zenza replied. “Ah, there it is.”
Asul-Zenza ran ahead. La-Iin propelled herself forward with her wings and ran to join him.
“A food stand, how nice,” Bes-Isa sighed.
“I’m sorry, Bes-Isa. Maybe someday I’ll do something for you to make up for it.”
“Well, it IS my birthday day after tomorrow…”
Asul-Zenza gave an uncertain smile. “Well, if I can sneak here or barter with Mit-Sun, I’ll gladly do something about that. But for now…”
The man at the food stand sighed, flexing his wings and flicking away parts of his sand-shield that dropped into his eyes. He glanced up when he noticed Asul-Zenza.
“Yo. Welcome to the Blood Fruit stand.”
“Blood fruit!?” La-Iin exclaimed.
“Yes, blood fruit. I loved blood fruit as a boy, and I wanted to share some with you.”
“I’ve got most every type of blood fruit known to the world,” he said. “So pick anythin’. Not likely I don’t have it.”
La-Iin started to shake.
“Do you know what you want?” He asked.
“No!”
“…should a Vampire that young really be eatin’ blood fruits? She a Dualbreed?”
“Yes, she is,” he said.
“Ah, gotcha.”
“What difference does that make?”
The man gave a curious glance in La-Iin’s direction. “Just pick soon. Hardly ever get anyone comin’ by anymore, but it’s a waste of my time if you just stand here.”
“Alright,” he said, then whispered to La-Iin, “if you can’t decide, could I recommend a bloodnana?”
“Bloodnana!” She screamed. The man flinched, then retrieved a bloodnana.
“Two, please,” Asul-Zenza said. The man scoffed. “Coulda told me that before I reached down, but nooooo…”
He handed the two their bloodnanas, and Asul-Zenza handed him vuyong. “Have a nice day, you two.”
La-Iin opened the bloodnana, tucked Bes-Isa into her dress, and bit into it. Blood trailed down both her chin and the bloodnana. She squealed with delight.
“I love bloodnanas so much,” Asul-Zenza sighed. He bit into his own. “Blood is delicious all on its own, but the way it flavors other foods, it’s wonderful.”
“Thank you, Dami!” La-Iin squealed.
“YOU, saying thank you!? The apocalypse must be incoming!” Bes-Isa’s muted protest went unheard by both La-Iin and Asul-Zenza.
The two walked around the area, eating their bloodnanas. When La-Iin finished hers, Asul-Zenza gave her a bite of his. He chuckled to himself.
‘Why did I worry at all? This is the girl who’s just happy to see me. And why wouldn’t my daughter enjoy a simple bloodnana outing?’
Watching her now, Asul-Zenza again felt grateful that she was a part of his life.

—–
Asul-Zenza flew La-Iin back to her house most of the way. Once they were close, La-Iin opted to fly the rest of the way so Asul-Zenza wouldn’t be caught.
“See you soon, Dami,” she said.
“I can’t wait to figure out how soon,” he had said. “See you.”
She continued on until she reached the sidewalk, then she walked to her house, wiping a stray stain of blood from the bloodnana off her cheek. When she opened the door, Mit-Sun was standing nearby, her eyes wide. Choungetsu, who was sitting next to her feet, stood up and started to wag his tail.
“Where were you?” She asked. ‘She doesn’t sound angry, for once.’
“I went on a walk with Bes-Isa.”
Mit-Sun sighed. “Sheesh, tell me next time….and you could at least take Choungetsu with you.”
‘It’s our secret, Dami,’ she thought to herself. She smiled as she ran past Mit-Sun and into the kitchen.

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