In two hours, Nik and the group quickly freshened up before eating a hearty brunch as they continued chatting. With the Fire Nation's victory, it didn't actually matter if people of other regions visited the capital, especially the Water Tribe for they had already submitted to the fire nation way before it actually won the hundred years war. Of course, that did not prevent the judgemental gazes of others being directed towards them.
At this time, Karna and Katara actually felt fortunate that Toph couldn't see. Even though they immediately chided themselves internally after having such thoughts, it was the truth. Toph was way too rough and if someone actually glared at her, the water bender duo reckoned that Toph might just spike their eyes out of spite.
The arrival of Azula, Mai and Ty-Lee took the group by surprise. By now, they already knew Nik's situation and his requirement for ten women. Since, until now, Nina wasn't even touched, the group, except for Toph, eyed Ty-Lee in a serious manner before June pointed out the strangeness of the situation where Azula had asked both Nik and Sokka to follow her, finally inducing Katara to confront Sokka about the situation.
Katara almost screamed in shock as she felt his mind buzz. She immediately glared at her own brother before speaking.
"If there is a chance that dad is alive then I want to follow, too!"
Katara immediately looked towards Nik with a fierce expression. But before Nik could respond, Sokka tried to intervene, he didn't want her hopes to get high only for them to get crushed, but he was shot down with an unusual look of disgust and hatred flashing past her expression.
"Don't you dare stop me, Sokka! He isn't only your father!
Or do you think that low of me that I don't even have the right to look for him?"
With that, Sokka was finally silenced as the group looked at the tensed environment with a serious expression, even Toph.
Just at this moment, a drunkard, who obviously got drunk, remarked at how uncouth those from other nations were only for an earthen pillar to send him flying with blood spurting through his mouth.
Since Azula and Mai had their faces covered, the surrounding people were immediately riled up only for Ty-Lee to step forward and use her own reputation to curb the outrage while Azula inched closer to Toph and whispering a praise that came as a surprise to all of them.
"Don't mention it, dollface."
Toph shrugged while Azula became even more amused.
"You ARE blind, right?"
Toph grinned towards Azula and pointed towards her own face.
"If Nik actually still is interested in you after looking at the angel Incarnate my beauty is, then, of course, you are a dollface."
"How do you know you are beautiful?"
Ty-Lee also stepped in with curious eyes.
"Ah, you are the new one, aren't you? When you get to my age, you'll notice things that should be otherwise oblivious to normal blind people."
"I am older than you."
Ty-Lee chortled with amus.e.m.e.nt within her heart growing stronger.
"My point proven."
Toph shrugged and actually spanked Ty-Lee accurately before shooting a look towards Nik while placing her thumb up.
"Toph was a really pleasant girl, unlike you guys painted her."
Ty-Lee pouted as she pointed out the fact to Azula and Mai. Meanwhile, Katara and Sokka sat on the seat in front of Nik, beside Ty-Lee.
"I just said to be careful of her."
Azula shrugged and didn't refute the claim but Mai had a troubled expression.
"I don't know... she still feels dangerous... remind me of someone..."
As she whispered, the eyes of the group trailed onto Nik, who shrugged in response.
"Don't look at me. Toph is a pleasant girl and absolutely wild in bed."
"Too much details!"
Ty-Lee groaned while Nik nodded and chortled happily.
"I know! So? Enticed enough?"
He looked Ty-Lee in the eye as she averted her eyes anxiously. While she was somewhat shameless, it hadn't reached the level of Nik's shamelessness.
"Can we not talk about it?" Katara groaned a response before looking towards Azula with a hesitant expression.
"You might already be informed about my father, right?
So? Do you know"
"He's alive, alright."
Azula cut Katara short. Immediately, a gratified expression touched Katara's face as tears threatened to spill out of her eyes. Since she was pretty much still angry at Sokka, she immediately jumped into Nik's arms while nuzzling her face into his chest.
Of course, Nik didn't care for Sokka's ugly expression and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her tighter without any words. Meanwhile, Ty-Lee observed Mai's and Azula's expression and finding not a single change within their expression, she finally exclaimed internally.
Nik was telling the truth! Azula and Mai really were sharing a single man! While it may have been understandable if they shared Zuko, because Azula was mentally unhealthy and Mai had a stupid crush on the boy, she wouldn't have even dared to entertain the thought of the duo actually sharing a man, not only amongst themselves, but seven other ravishing women.
This finally ignited the last spark of curiosity within Ty-Lee.
Seeing that Azula's expression was still impassive, Sokka couldn't help divert his attention from Katara's and Nik's nauseating moment to Azula.
"But... you may not like what you see."
Azula completed Sokka's statement as Katara immediately looked up and frowned.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that with Uncle Iroh taking the battlefront, the Fire Lord finally had the most crucial resource within his grasp.
He finally eradicated the opposition to his throne and also captured the Terrorist Group."
Hearing her, Sokka suddenly felt a bad feeling within his heart as he clenched his jaws and soldiered up.
"What... happened to him?"
"Describing the process may not be the best idea."
Nik suddenly spoke up. He was acutely aware that Azula wasn't the type to take pity on others and surely, she would describe the torture his father-in-law Fire Lord inflicted upon his other father-in-law Katara's father.
Azula narrowed her eyes and licked her lips, making Mai and Ty-Lee sigh while Nik ran his hand against Katara's back to soothe her anxiousness.
"So? That's why we are moving towards the Palace?"
Nik looked towards Azula, who nodded impassively.
"Yeah... although, I did consider the situation and got the man out of the prison to get cleaned up..."
Katara immediately spoke up. The two didn't like each other so Katara actually never expected any kind of consideration from Azula.
"Don't mention it... there should be a difference between actions and words..."
Ty-Lee finally felt she had seen everything! She never could have known that the presence of a single man could impact Azula this much!
"What's with the woah?" Azula glared at Ty-Lee before snorting. "Get in a room with him and then we'll see."
Katara immediately grew crimson at her words while Ty-Lee was struck speechless. Meanwhile, Sokka was finally forced to eat his own medicine as he thought back at how he and Nina acted in front of the group.
The only one who winked towards Ty-Lee with Katara in his arms and Mai and Azula flanking him was Nik The Shameless one.
As the group reached the royal palace, the guards did not stop the caravan. They still remembered how Azula stripped the previous guard of his clothes and skin before executing him for his audacity to stand in her way.
With a precedent already set, the guards faltered to the side and saluted while Azula suddenly smiled mischievously.
"I might have forgotten to mention this... but one of the Four Beastmasters has arrived as the representative of the Water Tribe to collect the Water tribe prisoners for a price.
She winked followed by a charming grin while Nik simply shrugged. He wasn't the least bit affected by the presence of a beastmaster. Of course, being cautious was the bread and butter of any world traveler, so he wouldn't dare underestimate an already defeated enemy.
Soon, the carriage entered the left wing under Azula's command where she got out of the carriage while making a gesture to keep on moving.
As the group finally crossed the corridor that led to Azula's chambers, Azula suddenly stopped and looked back. She opened her mouth for a moment before she turned her back towards the group once again.
Even she knew that no matter how much she tried to comfort, the impact would still be way harsher.