Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Five: Bequest BackupMature

“My husband!” River says, equally as loud.                                                                  

“And what’s all this then, eh? Julius? Quiqui? Betsy? I thought I told you I was in no fit state for this non..sense…” says a soft voice, as its strangely familiar owner, wearing Ming dynasty orange and purple with a kitsune-style sleeping mask over green, squinting eyes emerges from the door behind the painting. “Oh, I know them- they’re with me!” 

“But sir! I thought you were resting! We wanted to stop these people from causing a scene!” 

‘And you have, you have, but really now… look at me.” Long, squarish hands fly up and down in slow motion, making use of breathing room and hand signs to describe his bulging waist, concealed by a bluish belt tied at the side in a decorative knot, to accommodate his girth. He shivers, then looks around wildly once before collapsing against the doorframe. 

“…idiot. Shouldn’t have… left the Zero Environment… too far along… for this kind of…reckless stupidity.” he chides himself, his voice thready as he touches his forehead and sighs. “Is anyone going to help me? I’m afraid I need a nap.” 

An octopoid flutters up to him through the air, all thoughts of Jack and River gone as more staff members of various races and heights cut a swath through the lingering crowds. 

“Sir?”

The End

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