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Summary Edit

"Homecoming" takes place after Last Sacrifice and tells the story of Rose and Dimitri as they travel back to Russia to visit his family--and encounter some unexpected obstacles while they're there.

The short story, titled Vampire Academy #6.5, is published along with 13 other short stories by various authors in a book called Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction, compiled and edited by Carrie Ryan.

Plot Edit

In Homecoming, Rose and Dimitri travel back to his hometown of Baia, Russia to see his family for the first time since being restored from a strigoi. He voices his worries about seeing them again due to his transgressions as a strigoi, but Rose reassures him that his family won't concern themselves with his past and will only be happy to see him again.

When they get there there is a Homecoming party until the local Alchemist, Henry, comes in and says that more and more people are getting killed by a strigoi called the Blood King. The Blood King is an old Strigoi who has become a legend around the area, causing many delusional humans to believe that they can kill him and become the next big-shot vampire hunter. Yeva makes a prediction where she says, "Only someone who has walked the road of death can kill the Blood King," prompting Dimitri's younger sister Viktoria to comment that Dimitri has walked the road of death and returned, referencing to his time as a strigoi. Dimitri agrees to go after the Blood, only accepting Mark's request to join him. Rose immediately starts to protest that she go too, only for Dimitri to respond affectionately that "[He] figured it was a given".

Mark, Dimitri, and Rose consult the maps and surveys Henry has brought to plan out a course of action on the cavernous mountains. After Henry comments that the area is small and he can't figure out why no one can track him in the caves during the day, Rose realizes that the caverns are all connected underground, allowing him to move around during the day. They make the trip to the mountain, scale the cliff face, and then plan to wait in an open area until nightfall in an attempt to draw the Blood King out into the open.

As they wait, the three converse until Dimitri hears a noise behind a rock pile. He signals to Rose and Mark to keep talking while he sneaks around to check it out. A few minutes later, Mark and Rose hear a 'yelp' and run to see what Dimitri found. A young human from the local village, Ivan Grigorovitch, scaled the mountain in an attempt to find and kill the Blood King. Dimitri tells him to leave, but Ivan adamantly states that he can aid them in the fight. Rose tells him they have it under control, and Mark and Dimitri both tell him again to leave. They watch as he makes his way back down the mountain, and then resume to wait and talk until the sun goes down.

As they wait in the darkness for the Blood King, they begin to believe he is bidding his time until they all hear an earsplitting scream. Ivan never really left, and becomes a prisoner of the Blood King in the caves, forcing the trio to enter and search for the strigoi and Ivan just as the Blood King wanted.

"And likely a trap set by the Blood King," added Mark, just as another scream sounded. "He wants us but is too smart to come out and get us."
They come to a fork in the path, but with Mark's shadow kissed abilities he is able to sense the strigoi and lead them down the right one. As they walk in a line with Rose in the back, she is attacked but quickly acts and manages to escape the Blood King's next strike. He manages to grab her sleeve but before he can grab her, Dimitri and Mark have begun to fight him distracting him from Rose. Rose goes to jump in the battle, but changes her mind and goes to help Ivan after hearing him moaning from another tunnel.

Rose helps Ivan back to the cave where the fight is and sets him down against the wall so that she can join the fight, but instead ends up trying to stop Ivan when he tries to attack the strigoi with his wooden stake. Ivan's attack didn't injure the strigoi, but distracted him so that Dimitri could knock him down and Mark could stake him.

After finding out that Ivan hadn't left because a group of his friends had dropped him off for the weekend, they made the two hour drive to bring him home seeing as he was injured and beaten from the Blood King. Rose notes comically that the three of them are relieved when they reach his hometown, as Ivan spent the whole ride talking about how he defeated the blood king and that they should team up again the future.

"The entire time, Ivan kept going on and on about how he'd saved Dimitri and Mark in the nick of time and how they would've met certain death if not for him."
When they arrive home, Rose quickly states how she'd rather be in a car with Ivan again than listen to Yeva's smug comments on her accuracy. Rose is quick to talk back and try to disprove Yeva, when she mentions that her next prophecy is very interesting. She sarcastically responds that it is probably a journey of some sort, and could be anything from Dimitri and herself flying home or Olena going to the grocery store. Yeva responds that she sees a wedding, and Dimitri's sisters are nod excitedly. Rose quickly retaliates that it could be anyone in town, or Karolina since she was "...getting serious with [her] boyfriend" but Dimitri's family has already began to excitedly talk about a wedding between Rose and Dimitri.

Dimitri questions if she believes in fate to which she responds that she does— but not in Yeva's crazy, vague predictions. Dimitri says they don't sound that crazy to him, and Rose says that he's as crazy as Yeva. He kisses the top of her head and tells her "I had a feeling you'd say that."

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