Sinbad's drinking. Ja'far's temper. Daily activities the royal advisor doesn't approve of, and an assassination attempt no one was expecting. Can Ja'far survive a failed attempt of someone trying to assassinate his king?
The sun would be blistering on a day like today, but a certain royal advisor wouldn't know anything about the world beyond the palace walls. He hadn't seen the outside world in days. It wasn't unusual to go lengths of time without bothering to enjoy the outside air after all.
Who had such time?
Surely he didn't. Surely the other Generals didn't. Surely their king didn't. There was a country to be run, and he needed to get some important tasks done. However, fate was not on his side. He stepped into his king's office only to find it completely empty. The scrolls Ja'far had been carrying went tumbling to the ground as an incredulous look came over his face. He looked left and then right, but he saw no one.
"This is a joke, right?"
He stated to the empty room. It was barely noon. Sinbad had been in his office only moments ago. The king had been readily complaining about the amount of paperwork he was having to sign off on. Ja'far had only left his king alone for a moment to walk back to his own office and grab more parchments to be signed. Where could Sinbad have vanished too in such a short length of time?
Ignoring the scrolls that he'd dropped Ja'far did the most logical thing he could think of. He rushed over to Sin's desk and started to search for his lost king. He looked under the desk, around the desk, and he dared even look inside the drawers feeling foolish but determined none the less. As expected he found no trace of his king. He turned and rushed out of the room. He walked quickly down the hallway. He ignored everyone he came across during his search.
Every passing moment made Ja'far's temper rise. How was he supposed to be royal advisor if there was no king to advise? He dodged into rooms, corridors, pantries, and closets in his search for of his king. He didn't notice that he was grumbling in his native tongue under his breath as he searched for the wayward Sinbad.
He can't be drunk this early in the morning, can he?!
The horrid thought crossed Ja'far's mind. If Sin was indisposed then his entire day of carefully lain out work would be ruined! He'd planned on getting so many things accomplished, and he couldn't have Sin's approval on his finalized documents if the king was drunk.
It was when he rounded one of the palace corners that he heard the voice of his king in the upcoming banquet hall. Ja'far found himself marching through the doorway, arms crossed, and glaring daggers as he saw Sinbad, Pisti, Sharrkan, and Masrur. The group was standing around chatting like there was nothing important to be done. The chatter between Sinbad and Psiti obviously had something to do with festivities because they were looking through wine bottles, talking about food, and setting ornate cups on a pedestal table .From the looks of it Pisti had bought special ornate cups for every general. She was smiling as she showed off the ornate chalices. She was all smiles as she handed Sinbad a cup then bounced over to Sharrkan and Masrur. Psiti had given Sinbad a golden chalice with a ring of purple gemstone around it, and the king looked pleased as he stated that it would hold a large amount of alcohol.
That remark made Ja'far's eyebrow twitceh, "Ridiculous…." Ja'far grumbled under his breath and stalked into the room with murderous intent.
"Did you feel a cold…" Sinbad questioned as he broke off his chatter with his short general and began observing the room. When he turned and found Ja'far glaring at him with utter contempt Sinbad nearly jumped out of his skin, "Gah!"
Sinbad clutched at his chest to slow his racing heart, "What's the matter with you!?"
"What's the matter with me? What's the matter with you!? I told you I was coming right back to your office to get more signatures!"
"Really?" Sinbad looked truly mortified by such news, "You needed me to sign more? Where do keep all that paperwork, Ja'far?"
"In my office! The place I said I'd be going too when I left you in your office! How did you finish signing everything I gave you anyway?"
"Oh... right." Sinbad found his eyes floating up to the corner of the room as he avoided contact with his advisor.
"Don't tell me…." Ja'far groaned raising a hand to his forehead.
"I'll get it done by the end of the day. Really. Have faith in your king, Ja'far."
"Maybe if I could leave my king alone for five minutes to sign the scrolls I asked him too I'd have more faith in him! What are you even doing in here?" Ja'far's eyes went to the golden chalices which Pisti was happily filling with alcohol, "Are you really getting drunk this early in the day?"
"What?" Sinbad questioned looking down at the ornate cup hand, "Oh this? No. Remember the party we set for tonight? It's time to mark Spartos' return to the kingdom after his journey."
"He was only gone for two weeks. Do you really need to throw a party for that?"
"Well of course!" Sinbad said with a firm voice, "This is to give thanks for a safe journey and the return of-"
"Don't use stupid excuses to get drunk." The younger man chastised his king before shooting looks of disapproval at Pisti and Sharrkon, "You two shouldn't be encouraging him."
"Oh, don't be like that Ja'far. You remember, don't you? We've been planning this for months. This was a day for us to relax, remember? Everyone needs a moment to unwind, and we all made plans to be here. Plus, we've got a number of good brands of spirits this time. Why don't you join us in our early festivities? I have a special cup for you too, see? It should hold more than tea, but I know how you are." Psiti held up the golden chalice with a ring of green crystal embossed around the middle. She then explained the purple was for Sin, the red for Masrur and so on and so on.
As she spoke of fun and alcohol and the impending party Ja'far could only stare blankly at the others. Drink more than tea? How I am? Someone has to be sober enough to make sure you all make it out of that party alive. Ja'far grumbled inwardly. He found that tea was enough to sustain him in most social situations, and he also found that he was the one who made sure everyone got to their proper beds without fail after these types of parties. Lest he deal with some kind of scandal in the morning. Those were all reasons to not partake in foolhardy drinking games. Then there was the fact that spirits simply weren't a pleasurable taste to him. Sin had once told him it was acquired taste, and Ja'far was aware that he still hadn't acquired it. His eyes followed Psiti as she sat the golden cups around the banquet table like she was expecting the others to walk in and start partying. Once the cups were in place she happily poured alcohol into them Ja'far's mouth fell open as Sinbad held out his own cup. Ja'far was sure he was heading towards a long day of his king drinking if he didn't do something quick.
"No!" He reached out grabbing onto his king, "Are you serious? I have work to do, and I need you to do it!"
"Hey! Ja'far!" Sinbad protested as his drink was swiped away.
"I will not let you get inebriated at midday-"
"Inebri- It's one glass. That will hardly-"
"No! It starts with one glass and then a second. Then-"
"Ja'far. Have you no faith in your king?"
"you're lying face down on the ground passed out, and I won't be able to get any of my work-"
"done! The kingdom can't afford-:
The ranting official stopped when Sinbad shouted his name, but it was only to send a glare Sin's way, "What!?"
"You're off duty." The cocky king said with a smirk. A glint of twisted humor in his eyes. The three General's at his side saw where this conversation was heading, and they exchanged troubled looks. The king's words rattled the younger man, and Ja'far struggled to recover from the shock the words sent through him.
"W-what!?" Ja'far flinched, truly befuddled by the mere suggestion of not working.
"When's the last time you had a day off?" Sinbad asked with an accusing tone in his voice.
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"I have to say that for a royal advisor you seem to be suffering from a horrendous amount of stress."
"I'd say the right amount of stress, Sin. Unlike-"
"Right, an exorbitant amount of stress. I wouldn't be a very good king if I let you drown yourself in it without doing anything."
"I'm not drowning in stress! You will be if you don't get on top of your paperwork though!"
"Papers. They are simple papers Ja'far. There are more important things for you to experience."
"Like a party?"
"I was joking!" Ja'far nearly choked.
"I wasn't. You are officially off duty starting now."
"Sin! You ca-"
Ja'far was surprised how quickly the older man turned a stern look on him. Ever since he'd been a child he'd never appreciated Sin's stern face when it was directed at him. However, Sinbad knew the temper Ja'far could have as well. The former assassin had come a long way from his foul mouthed childhood, but his temper was one thing he still found himself unable to control. As Sinbad grew stern Ja'far got a look on his face as well. A look of complete obstinance.
It wasn't like he wasn't known for his temper. He decided that perhaps the best thing to do was to turn around and simply go back to work. He couldn't get Sin to work if his king was dead set against it, but he wasn't going to indulge his king's foolish whims. In truth Ja'far could find other duties to occupy his day if Sinbad was so inclined to take the day off and ignore the paperwork Ja'far had planned on completing with him.
Plus, Psiti did have a point. They all worked hard, and a day off was rare. He did recall the talks about this party as well. It was true the group had been planning it for months. It was to be a time of relaxation, but it had slipped Ja'far's mind. He could see the benefits to having a break, but he'd never admit that to any of the others now. He enjoyed his work, so that was what he would choose to do. If the others wanted to take the day to gallivant then so be it. He weighed his courses of action then clearing his throat he simply started to walk away.
"If you'll excuse me, Sin. I'll get back to work."
He had turned and taken a few steps before a firm hand grabbed onto his upper arm halting him. He didn't have to turn to know it was Sinbad, and it only agitated him more that Sinbad was still trying to stop him. It could have been simple. Ja'far didn't actually think Sinbad was serious about keeping him away from his work, but he knew that had been a mistake when he looked back and found Sinbad's face stern.
"I wasn't joking, Ja'far." The king said with a firm tone.
There was a moment of pause when Ja'far tried to assess what exactly was happening. He'd been thinking that Sinbad was just being his ridiculous, irresponsible self. Surely the king of Sindria wouldn't order his head advisor to simply not work over his silly refusal to approve of a frivolous party or midday drink? Surely Sinbad had simply been joking, and the argument that had just taken place was another one of their 'old married couple spats' as the other Generals had once commented. He and Sinbad had plenty of spats, but Sin had never gotten that look of stern enforcement during those spats. Usually, he didn't act so stubbornly because he knew Ja'far was right and was simply keeping the king on track with his kingly duties.
Why is Sin being so stubborn about this?
Ja'far suddenly felt Sin's hands on both of his shoulders, and he felt Sinbad turn him around and walk him back into the room. The king seemed to be mulling over his thoughts as he guided Ja'far next to the banquet hall table.
"You really want to work so much on a day like today?"
"Day like today?" Ja'far repeated. He tried to recall anything special about the day that would warrant a celebration, but he wasn't given to long to think about it. Sinbad spun him around making the younger man face him.
"Alright then, if that's what you truly want. I'll give you a job Ja'far."
"A job? I already have plenty of-"
He was cut off when Sinbad raised his hand, "As your king I order you to take this special mission. Then you will take time to prepare for the upcoming festivities. Understand? Once that is done I'll let you go back to your work as you please."
Ja'far knew he could protest, but he'd already lost the battle. Sinbad had made it an order. Albeit a ridiculous order the king was pushing his ridiculous endeavor into a somewhat official demand. If he pushed his luck then he'd surely loose this battle, but he knew it would be one hell of a fight. If this turned into a fight then he'd lose even more of his precious time, so the easiest thing to do would be to fulfil Sinbad's commands and then go back to work on his own.
"You want me to run an errand then set up for your party?" Ja'far asked just to be clear.
"Once I'm done with the preparations I can have my day back?"
Sinbad gave a firm nod, and Ja'far nodded in agreement. It seemed like the pair had come to an agreement. Sinbad wouldn't push his right hand man any further from his comfort zone, and Ja'far would entertain his king then go back to proper work.
Sinbad walked over to the table where Ja'far was surprised to see quite a few lists. The king picked up a parchment. He rolled the scroll up and then pulled a bag of gold coins from the table.
"This is the payment to a merchant in the docks. This is an important delivery. Go down there and pay the man. Have the supplies brought back here. Be quick about it Ja'far."
It felt like a ploy or a trap of some sort, but Ja'Far wouldn't turn away a job from his king. He took the scroll and gave a firm nod. Perhaps it was a delivery of medicine or some other such necessity.
"I will be back."
He turned to leave, but he saw Sinbad walk towards Pisti who was filling the king's cup with some alcoholic beverage. He found his face souring all over again, but it got worse when he saw Sinbad take the cup and start to drink.
"Don't get drunk!" Ja'far chastised them all.
"It's ok Ja'far. I'll watch him." Pisti said with a grin, "And I'll make sure there's only tea for your cup. One day you'll be old enough to drink with us."
"I can drink!"
"Sure you can, Ja'far." Sinbad added insult to injury with the halfhearted statement, but Sinbad paid little attention to his fuming advisor as he took his glass and began to consume the beverage that could turn him into a fool.
"I'll find the light stuff. Don't worry." Pisti waved at Ja'far with a childish smile not seeming to realize how angry the royal advisor was actually becoming.
Bristling with the insult Ja'far found himself stalking out of the room. He paid no attention as attendants dodged out of his way as he stormed down the hallway.
Ja'far had gone to the docks of Sindria. It had been refreshing to get outside for the first time in days. He'd been feeling better about his odd morning until he'd actually arrived at the docks. He stood dumbfounded on the docks examining the delivery Sinbad had sent him to retrieve. It was like rubbing salt in an open wound. Ja'far felt like a fool as he stood handing over Sinbad's paperwork to a wine merchant. A whole cart of specialized spirits, wine, and other exotic alcohols. They were really throwing some party by the sheer volume of alcohol he was picking up. He rolled his eyes and then started organizing the delivery of the drinks back to the palace.
He wasn't much for parties to begin with, but this one was already grating on his nerves.
Fetching the delivery wasn't a very time consuming task. Ja'far came back quickly to the palace. It was nice to see that the banquet hall was empty when he returned from his trip. Ja'far had a little bit of hope that the empty room meant everyone had gone back to work. However, that idea was short lived. He let out a growl of frustration when he witnessed just how many empty jugs of spirits were laying around the spot where he'd left Sinbad, Sharkkon, and Pisti.
"You've got to be kidding." The royal advisor groaned under his breath. Ja'far hoped everyone in the castle had come in for a midday drink because he was really hoping the four people he'd left in the room hadn't consumed that much alcohol this early in the day. Taking a moment to examine the cups sitting on the main table Ja'far took note that many of them looked used and were now empty. It seemed odd, but he didn't think on it too much. The oddest thing about the scene was that Sinbad's cup was still mostly full. Ja'far knew better than to take that as a sign his king was sober. Ja'far had to worry about how many times the cup had already been refilled while he'd been gone. He simply rolled his eyes and went about examining the room and making a mental list of preparations for the party that would be taking place later. Once he had a proper list of chores in his head he could hand this ridiculous assignment over to some of the attendants to complete. It wasn't that hard to plan and prepare for a party after all. Then he'd go back to more serious work.
Ja'far spent time walking around the table and making a mental note of where everyone would be sitting. It seemed Pisti or one of the others had taken it upon themselves to already set the basics of the table. She'd made a seat at the table for everyone. Eventually, he took note of the fact that someone had set a spot at the table for him as well. He felt his eyebrow twitch when he took note of the tea pot sitting on the table and his cup already filled with now cold tea. It was infuriating for two reasons. One it was a waste of good tea. Secondly, the most infuriating reason had been how the others so blatantly mocked his lack of interest in alcohol. Everyone knew he was a bad drunk. He usually blacked out when consuming it in semi-large quantities, but there was nothing worse than having it shoved in your face by your friends. He didn't need to be reminded that he was inferior and he couldn't hold his liquor as well as the others. There was nothing worse than feeling like he was weak in some area, and to have the others picking on him for it only made him angry. He felt like they were trying to undermine him by insinuating that he was somehow inferior to the others for the lack of his enthusiasm in the alcoholic beverage. If they were going out of their way to mock him then he'd show them up.
Ja'far reached for one of the bottles containing some exotic alcoholic beverage that the others had left on the table. If the others wanted to make such a farce out of this then he'd simply prove to them he was just as capable as any of them. He would show the others just how much he could drink, and he could start midday too just like the rest of them. In fact Ja'far reasoned he could drink some and then go back to work after proving his point.
Ja'far was once again angered when he discovered the bottle that had been left on the table was empty. He slammed the empty bottle back on the table and looked around, but the room was devoid of beverage except for the leftovers in all the cups around the room. Then there was Sinbad's cup in front of him. It was almost completely full….
Ja'far grabbed the purple lined cup from the table. He now had something to prove. He went storming into the hallway to track down his king and the others. Eventually, he found those he was looking for in Sin's office. It was kind of ironic that Sinbad had finally made it back to his office, but he wasn't working. They'd gone from drinking to snacking. It seemed the group was talking something over when Ja'far stormed in, but they abruptly stopped their discussion with his entrance. When he opened the door everyone there turned to look at him. A bit surprised by the agitated look on Ja'far's face.
"Ja'far? Are you done already?" Sinbad asked. He'd hoped he'd be able to keep his advisor occupied for longer than that. He'd wanted to keep Ja'far busy, but that plan hadn't seemed to work.
"I bet I can out drink you." The younger man said through his anger.
"What are you talking about?" Sinbad looked confused by his subordinated statement.
"Did you invite everyone in the palace for a midday drink? Yet, you insinuate that I can't handle it. You think I can't hold my alcohol? Well you're surely mistaken, and I can prove that to you."
"I didn't say anything of the sort. Don't put words in my mouth. I think your letting your temper get out of control."
"I'll take you up on your offer, Sin." Ja'far raised Sinbad's cup in front of him, "Unfortunately, you drank all the bottles in the banquet hall. This is what I had left. I'll go get some more, and I'll show everyone just how well I hold this stuff. Why don't we get started now? You're right. We should take the rest of the day off and drink it away. We should start the party now."
"Ja'far, this is ridiculous. Stop that. You don't have to prove-"
Ja'far quieted the voice of reason in his head by taking a gulp of the alcohol in Sinbad's cup. It was time to prove a point, so he didn't listen as Sinbad protested in the background. The king obviously concerned that Ja'far had decided to consume the hard liquor he'd been drinking an hour or so before.
As usual the drink burned all the way down Ja'far's throat. It was familiar sensation. Ja'far had alcohol before, but he wasn't accustomed to it. Every time he tasted it he felt the sting of the drink. Despite everyone's love of the drink it didn't taste nearly as fulfilling as tea in Ja'far's mind.
It was only after he swallowed the liquid and it burned its way down into his stomach that Ja'far had a very sudden realization. The burning left in the wake of the beverage was leaving a burning sensation in his body that was much worse then what he'd recalled from his previous encounters with alcohol. Those times were rare, but something felt off. In fact the burning was downright excruciating. The sudden onset of pain caused Ja'far to drop the cup only a second after he'd taken his first gulp of alcohol. His hands flew to his throat. It was a desperate attempt to make the pain in his body stop, but it didn't. What kind of drink is this? The though crossed his mind as he squeezed his eyes shut trying to block out the sudden agony feeling him.
When Ja'far reacted so harshly to the beverage the others were shocked. At first they'd been wanting to poke fun at the stubborn man before them, but it quickly became apparent that something was wrong. When Ja'far let the cup fall from his lips those in the room were greeted with a horrible sight, and a shocked silence filled the room.
Ja'far suddenly felt something dripping down his face. He was left to ponder if he'd spilt some of the alcohol all over himself. Ja'far raised his hands up to his mouth. He didn't notice Sinbad and the others suddenly staring at him with shocked expressions. He was too preoccupied with dealing with his own pain at the moment. Ja'far felt his body jerk, and he felt himself gagging. It was all he could do to slam his hands over his mouth as he was sure he was in the process of throwing up. He was trying to spare some part of his dignity, but he felt himself gag and liquid flowed from his mouth. He spit up into his hands covering them in what he thought was probably vomit and alcohol. Then he felt an unknown sensation as whatever he'd coughed up came in contact with his skin. The burning that had been in his throat spread to his hands. In fact it was spreading down his arms now too as the liquid he'd thrown up started to run down his arms. The pale haired man looked down at his stinging hands and arms. His eyes widened in shock when he saw what was happening. It wasn't vomit that that was covering his hands.
Blood? Wh-what is this?
He stood staring in shock at the blood mixed with some type of bubbling white foam that coated his hands. Despite what was happening the truth of the situation suddenly hit Ja'far like a ton of bricks. He suddenly realized the moisture on his face was not spilt wine from his mouth but a stream of blood mixed with the strange white, bubbling foam that was now coating his hands. His eyes only widened further as he came to understand what was happening. His internal flesh was being eaten raw by whatever poison had been in the cup. He felt like screaming, but it wasn't possible at the moment. In fact breathing was becoming a sudden chore as well. The white foam continued to bubble up from his throat and into his mouth. As it dripped from his lips and down his chin it burned his flesh as it went, but he didn't move to wipe it away. The others could easily see the external damage of whatever poison was coming from his mouth, but they could only guess at the internal damage. Likewise, Ja'far barely noticed what was happening externally. The pain that was burning inside of him far outweighed the pain on the outside. He moved his hands to clutch at the front of his robes. He suddenly realized that he couldn't breathe, and he was trying to tear at his clothes to alleviate the pain in his neck.
Ja'far felt supportive hands grabbing onto him as his legs started to give way. He felt and saw those he trusted leave behind the bantering from only moments before as a serious issue broke out among them. Despite the way they could all sometimes act he trusted all of his comrades. All he had to do was try and stay conscious as they tried to help him. He simply needed to stay alive, and it crossed Ja'far's mind that he may not. He felt someone pulling his blood covered hands away from his chest and trying to get the corrosive poison off of his hands which were blistering. He felt a cloth pressed over his mouth wiping away the blood and poison that was foaming up and out of his esophagus. He heard the others shouting at him to hold on, breath, and that help was on the way.
Despite the fact that he was going through hell one thought crossed Ja'far's mind. Someone tried to poison Sin? Someone had been in the palace, and a poison Ja'far believed to be deadly had been in the king's cup? How had anyone gotten so close? Who had done it? Which nation if any was behind it? His mind reeled with possibility, but he was pulled from his thoughts as his body lurched then he was thrown into darkness as he started to seize his eyes rolling into the back of his head.
Sinbad had grabbed ahold of his friend moments before Ja'far's legs gave out. He guided Ja'far to the floor. Sinbad's eyes widened when he saw more foaming blood pouring from his advisor's mouth. He yelled out to no one in particular.
"Go! Go get the healer and Yamraiha! Now!"
Sharrkan was off and running as Sinbad ripped off a random article of clothing to wipe the corrosive poison from Ja'far's fleash.
"Get it off of him!" He yelled as Pisti who was busy trying to clean off Jafar's hands.
"Sinbad, this is your glass." Masrur said from a few feet away.
Masrur was kneeling beside the fallen cup where the poison had come from. He had taken notice that for some reason Ja'far was using the cup Sinbad had been drinking from only an hour or so prior. It stood to reason that if that was the case the intended target had been Sinbad….
"This is the glass Pisti gave to you. Ja'far is using it for some reason."
Sinbad didn't have time to think on it for long. Ja'far started to convulse in his arms, and Sinbad looked down to find the younger man having a seizure in his arms,
"Ja'far! Don't you dare! You're not going to die on me! Do you hear me? I didn't give you permission to die."