Zuko and Katara training
A Different Kind of War
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The War of the Lotuses: Tears of Blood

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Children of Heroes

The Assignment

Des walked to Lu Ming's war tent with great enthusiasm, it had been so long since he'd been given an assignment like this. For the last ten years Des has had nothing to do but command the dwindling armies of the Black Lotus, but never actually fight. Now Des was going to get to be part of the action. Everything was ready, all that needed to happen now was for Lu Ming to send him on his way. When he entered the tent he bowed to Lu Ming, who sat at the end of a long table with a map of the region spread across it. He also nodded to Lian, one of the Black Lotuses most powerful waterbenders, and the only Bloodbender, and Gao, whom Des thought of as both the complete opposite and replacement of his dead friend Nero, unlike his old friend Gao had absolutely no empathy for his enemies, let his emotions run wild, and was through and through completely insane. Yet he was still one hell of a firebender.

"Welcome Des." Lu ming said. "I assume you're here to be sent on your assignment."

"Yes Lu Ming." Des answered respectfully. Lu Ming may have been well over 100 years old but he was one of the most powerful benders on the planet. When you spoke to him you spoke with respect, or you'd die.

"Are you sure you don't want to take anybody with you?" Lu Ming asked.

"Actually I have changed my mind." Des said with a slight grin.

"Excellent, how many assassins are you taking?" Lu Ming asked.

"One." Des answered.

"ONE!?" Lian busted out. "No offense Des but even you will need more than one comrade for a mission like this."

"If the fool wants to die let him." Gao said coldly, "No skin off our backs."

Des smiled as he said, "In moments this one could become a legion." Suddenly multiple armored figures burst into the tent and surrounded the other three with pikes and swords. Lu Ming never took his eyes off Des as the earthbender chuckled to himself.

"What is the meaning of this treachery?" the century old airbender asked.

Des said nothing as he waved his hand causing the armored ones to crumble to pieces, leaving nothing but a pile of rubble and sand. "Lee I told not to abuse your gift."

"Sorry master, I couldn't resist." a young man probably 23 said while coming into the tent.

"This is my apprentice, Lee Chun." Des introduced him as he bowed.


"Well that went well." Katara said

"Oh yeah that recon went marvelously." Toph said with her ever sarcastic tone.

"Not every source we get is accurate." Zuko explained "Sometimes we get dead ends."

Zuko, Toph and Katara were on their way back from a recon mission. Their source had told them of a Black Lotus Base in the area.

"Maybe we should've run the info across with your mother Zuko." Toph said As they neared their camp.

"You know how much danger she puts herself in to get even the tiniest bit of information to us?" Zuko almost yelled at Toph. "I'm not going to needlessly put her at risk."

"Zuko, Toph was just giving a suggestion." Katara said trying to keep the peace, "And Toph you know we have no way of reaching Ursa anyway."

"Yeah, yeah." Toph said before stopping. "You've got to be kidding me."

Suddenly multiple armored soldiers burst from the bushes and attacked. As several surrounded Katara and Zuko, the two quickly went back to back and easily defeated any that approached. Zuko drew his dao swords and cut them to pieces as Katara did the same with her water whips. But the soldiers just put themselves back together and came again.

"What's going on?" Katara yelled as she cut another down.

As one attacked Toph, she used her seismic sense to anticipate its movements and dodged its strikes. When she saw an opening she punched the soldier in the chest. Her fist went straight through the soldier as it crumbled to pieces.

"They're made of earth!" Toph yelled as she rushed towards Zuko and Katara. With a mighty stomp on the ground the earth soldiers sunk deep into the ground.

"What was that about?" Zuko asked sheathing his swords.

"Well color me impressed." a voice said from behind them.

Flirting with the Enemy

The group turned to see Des standing with a younger man, both were smiling.

"Wow, no one has ever figured out my soldier's weakness that quickly before." The young man said.

"I told you not to underestimate them Lee." Des chided.

Before Lee could respond Toph kicked a rock in the air before pushing it towards them. Lee moved forward and punched through the boulder. Lee then created a fissure that traveled along the ground towards Toph. She sidestepped at the last minute, dodging the earth pillar that shot out of the ground. Toph grinned with contempt as Lee blundered forward, she slid her foot forward, wrapping Lee's feet in rock. As she slid her foot back, Lee sunk into the ground. Toph turned to Des who was fighting both Zuko and Katara.

As she took a step forward a voice behind her said, "My, my pretty lady aren't we impatient." Toph swung as she turned around, but Lee ducked under her arm, hooked his leg between hers and shoved her to the ground.

Meanwhile, Zuko and Katara's attacks were having little to no effect on Des, covered as he was by his sand armor. As Des kept punching for the two they made sure not to even let Des graze them. Kaine and his Masked Ones had told how Des could utterly destroy a person's skeleton just by touching them. Zuko launched his most powerful fireblasts while Katara threw shards of ice at him. Des would let the ice shards bounce off his sand armor while he had to block Zuko's blasts. As they fought the clouds overhead had begun to crackle with thunder and lightening. Katara and Zuko each gave each other a sly grin. While Zuko stuck his hand in the air, Katara bended the water out of numerous trees and the air. She then used the torrent she gathered and drenched Des with it. The assassin tried to fight against it but the amount of water was too great. Des was swept up in the wave. Katara then froze the water around his body. Only his head, hands, and feet weren't encased in ice. Just then lightening struck at Zuko who redirected it towards Des. He watched as the bolt broke through the ice and drilled into his chest. Des was flung across the field and crashed through several trees. The only reason he survived was the sand armor over his chest. With Des unconscious Zuko and Katara turned to see Toph and Lee still fighting each other.

Toph kicked up a pillar of rock to block a boulder thrown by Lee. She then pushed the pillar at Lee, who punched through it. While Lee pulled up a pillar Toph kicked the ground causing three pillars to shoot out of the ground and hit Lee in the pack, slamming him into the pillar he pulled up. Toph rushed forward and punched the pillar Lee had pulled up, sending it flying into the cliff wall.

"Well that was fun." Toph said as Katara and Zuko approached.

"Let's go before more show up." Zuko said. With that the three went back to their camp.

Meanwhile, Lee crawled out of the rubble around him. "I think I'm in love." he muttered to himself as Des struggled to stand.

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Wanted chapters
Book One: Black Fire
Targeted - Duel at the Tea House - Reunion - Rematch - Pursuit - Trials of the Black Lotus - Tracking the Assassin - Final Encounter Part One: Rebirthing - Final Encounter Part Two: Truths
Book Two: Red Water
Thanks for the Memories - The new Assassin - Breaking Barriers - The Masked Ones - The North Pole - A Change of Plans - Gathering the Army - The War of the Lotuses: Dying Moon - The War of the Lotuses: Warrior of the Moon - The War of the Lotuses: Tears of Blood
Book Three: White Earth
A Different Kind of War - Children of Heroes - Return of the Dragon - Hostage - Recon Trouble - New Duties - Lineage Part One: The Apple Doesn't Fall Far - Lineage Part Two: From The Tree - Lies - Forbidden Love - Captured - Betrayals
Book Four: Heavy Air
Punishment - Vendetta - Origins Part 1: The Lady of Death - Origins Part 2: The Orphaned Contract - Rescue - Sacrifice - The Pain of Learning, Part 1: Night - The Pain of Learning, Part 2: Day - Blind Ambition - The Airbending Slicer - Prepare - Payback - The Master and Apprentice - Decisions - The Enemy of My Enemy - End Game - Epilogue: All is Well
v - e - d