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(The Fire Nation Capitol)
The entire gaang plus Kaida was found offloading Appa when a man dressed in red fine silk cloths approaches with a completely fake smile on his face and he said."Fire Lord Zuko how was your vacation, what am I saying? Of course it was good you and your friends were reunited after who knows how long."
Zuko turned and looked at him and said, "Tien, how was holding down the fort?"
"Oh it was just wonderful I have several scouts missing. Three thousand people asking me several thousands of questions pertaining to you, your sister, and when you or your sister, are getting here."Tien rambled sarcastically and continued to ramble on something about a prison riot.
While Tien rambled the group had a little side conversation.
"Wow he sure loves to complain." Sokka said.
"Like your one to judge." Toph said with a wide grin.
"No Sokka is right, as long as I have known Tien he has always loved to hear himself speak." Zuko said defending Sokka.
"Yep Kozu is right as long as he has been an adviser Tien has always love to talk." said Kaida reassuring Zuko's statement.
Just as he finished rambling Tien finally got to serious matters "Oh and your sister sent a message Fire Lord Zuko."
"A WHAT?!?!?" Zuko said in utter surprise.
"A message." said Tien like it was a normal messenger hawk update.
"Where is it?" Zuko asked with grave concern.
"I believe Fire Lady Mai has the letter on hand." Tien said as though it weren't important.
Zuko pinched the arch of his nose with his fingers and said, "Fine, where is Mai then?" Zuko asked.
"I have no Idea." said Tien in a snobby tone.
Zuko seemed to have had enough now "FINE IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING USEFUL TO REPORT THEN GO GET SOME TROOPS READY WE HAVE AN INVASION TO STOP!!!!!!!!!!" Zuko then let out a fire breath that burnt the tip of Tien's fancy hat.
All was quiet as Tien was just staring at the Fire Lord. Then he spoke "Well I never. You should appreciate my help more. You wouldn't have even known about this if I didn't send that hawk." Tien finished then stormed off. Everyone looked at Zuko.
Then Kaida spoke. "Do you two always have to end a conversation that way? Really you've done this over everything. "She starts listing it on her fingers "Taxes, Punishment of crimes, banishment's...."
"I know Kaida we do that a lot. That doesn't excuse his tone or his work ethic." Zuko said with a calmer tone than before. "Well at the very least he is less annoying than my sister."
"Shouldn't we be going to see that letter Mai has?" Toph said enjoying the theatrics that just happened "It must be important if Mai is keeping it with her."
"Yeah let's go find her and read that letter." Sokka said. Toph glared at him.
"Out loud, let's read that letter out loud." Sokka cautiously corrected himself.
"I thought so." Toph said.
Everyone laughed even the suspicious Kaida all the while thinking "Maybe these guys aren't so bad."
(The Jasmine Dragon)
A stranger with an odd cloak enters the illustrious tea shop. He is then greeted by a young beautiful girl with an enchanting smile.
"Hello welcome to The Jasmine Dragon. May I get you a seat?" she asked in a sweet tone.
"Well actually... I was looking for the owner of this lovely shop." The man said with a small blush.
"I'm so sorry Iroh isn't here right now he usually takes evening walks. He says it help invigorate the soul and replenish the body." The young girl thinks a little on the subject. "Well there must be some wisdom to that he is eighty-four year old man, yet he looks like he is in his sixties still."
"You don't seem to need that you are so young. Enjoy these years they may be the best you ever had." The stranger said
The girl blushed at this compliment. She quickly said, "You always can play Pai Sho while you're waiting."
"PAI SHO!!!!!!!!"The man said like child with a new toy . "Well it seems like no one is at any of the tables." The Waitress said sadly.
"Don't worry someone always shows up to play a game." The girl said reassuring the disappointed man.
"Well I guess I'll wait then. " He said in a melancholy tone. The man sits down and waits after several minutes had passed another stranger sits down.
"You're not from around here are you?" the stranger said in a jolly tone with a giant smile on his face.
There was something about this stranger that made the man fell overwhelmingly joyful. He was old his hair had turned a snow white. Out of curiosity the man said, "Who are you?"
The old stranger stared at him and said, "Just another lover of tea and Pai Sho."
The stranger was now even more curious. So he made a deal. "Fine, how about this we play a game of Pai Sho and the victor will know their opponents name."
The old man thought this over "Hmm . . . This sounds like an interesting offer. " He places a white lotus tile in the center of the board "I'm in."
"Then we have a deal." the stranger set a counter move using a tile shaped like a Lilly.
"So why did you come to this lovely shop?" The old man said making conversation.
The stranger said, "Well I came here to see the owner of the shop. He is out for his evening walks." he shrugs "Well now I get to have a nice competition with a new acquaintance."
"Well I'm sure you will meet him soon. But would you excuse an old man for his curiosity. What was your question for the owner?"
"I don't know if I should tell you . . . but what the hell." the man said with little hesitation."Well let's just say I am not in the loop. I was going to ask him the current events."
"How current?" the old man asked.
Several turns passed before there was any response. The man laughed nervously "The last 120 years."
The old man nearly fell out of his seat "120 years that seems like quite a lapse in attention."
The man shrugged again and said, "Let's just say I don't get out often. I mostly need to know what happened during the year of Sozin's Comet. Also it seems you have beaten me."
The old man realizes that his opponent was correct and he had completely won without even realized it "Oh it seems I have. Want to play another game?"
Just before the man could answer the smiling waitress walked up a little distracted and said, "Can I get you some tea?....Oh Iroh sir I didn't see you there. This man was looking for you... well I guess he found you."
Iroh's cheeks turned a cherry red.
And the man said with a grin "I guess I found him too. Would the owner of the shop recommend a tea to drink?"
"We will have some Ginseng tea please."Iroh said with a smile.
The girl smiled at her silly boss "Well I guess you two have a lot to talk about." she then walked away.
Iroh realized "You haven't told me your name stranger."
The man also remembered the deal he made. "Let me introduce myself." The man stood up and bowed. "My name is Kenichi a pleasure to meet you." He then sat back down in his seat.
The waitress reappeared with hot tea and several deserts in hand. She smiled and said, "Here is your tea. And I added some of my family's famous egg custard tarts."
"Thank you so much for your hospitality... um I'm sorry I didn't get your name either." Kenichi said.
"Oh, me? My name is Hope." the waitress said a little embarrassed she didn't mention it before.
"Hope . . . what a unique name." Kenichi complimented Hope.
"Like your one to judge. I never heard of the name Kenichi before." Hope said defensively.
Iroh with some tarts in his mouth looked dumbstruck at the outburst made by his employee.
Kenichi starts laughing almost uncontrollably. "I guess you're right, I really do have an odd name, for the Earth Kingdom that is."
"I haven't heard of a name like yours in the Fire Nation either. Although it is close to some old names I have heard" Iroh adds to the conversation. "It also doesn't sound like a Water Tribe name."
"Where are you from?" Hope asked.
Kenichi was getting a bit uncomfortable "I uh... It's not important where I am from the important thing is I need to know what happened during the year of Sozin's comet." he sees that Iroh and Hope weren't convinced. And he thought to himself "I can't tell them I was sent by Ran and Shaw the girl seems to not know who she is working for, I guess I have to do something drastic." then Kenichi pulled the Amulet and placed it on the Pai Sho table.
Hope looked confused at what the Kenichi just did. Not Iroh, Iroh just stared at the strange piece of jewelry. Moments passed before Iroh had spoken the words "Hope, I need you to close down the shop."
"What, Why?" the Hope asked confused.
Iroh looked straight into Hope's eyes with his own weary and said, "We are going to tell this man what happened 20 years ago."
(Fire Nation Royal Garden)
Fire Lady Mai's hands were trembling. For she had read that accursed letter sent from someone she once called friend. Just then Fire Lord Zuko and the rest of the gaang came rushing in. Lady Mai then spoke "Zuko its Lu Ten."
"What is wrong with Lu Ten?" Zuko asked.
Mai didn't speak all she did was hand him the letter.
Zuko stared at the letter. The first thing he noticed was not what was written but what it was written with. He almost choked at the question "Mai is . . . is this blood?"
The only response was surprising deep sob. That was greeted by a supportive Katara and surprisingly Toph.
Zuko, Sokka, Kaida, and Aang slowly read the letter silent agony too themselves. The letter said
Dear my most darling brother Zuzu I have decided to spend some long awaited family time with my nephew Lu Ten. Do not worry he is completely safe under my protection. And I will have him back to you by tomorrow. With loving care Azula. The rest of the letter was a highly illustrated picture of Azula smiling.
Zuko looked away from the letter and said, "I am going to kill her." The whole group was shocked by the statement.
Aang playing the usual role as goodie goodie said, "Zuko you don't really mean that."
Zuko looked at his old friend and said, "No I really do now. Azula has done vile things but for this sort of act there is no redemption." Zuko then turned to Kaida and asked one simple question "Can you help me bring her down?"
All Kaida did was nod. For she knew deep down that if it were her child she would do the same thing.
Aang could see the destruction falling before him. And for the first time in his life he could not do anything to stop it.
"So what do we need to do?" Sokka asked.
Everyone looked at him funny.
"Oh right I'm the Idea guy."Sokka finally realized. After several tedious hours Sokka had two plans mapped out. "Okay guys here is the high risk plan. We send a small group that consists of Aang, Toph, Kaida, and Zuko to infiltrate the base. Fight of an enemy that has benders of all three elements with almost unlimited forces with no back up."
"That sounds like a reckless waist of our lives." Kaida said.
"I know that is why I made the second plan. It means we have to wait longer. But the plan is to wait for Azula and her forces to come to us here like her note said. And fight her and her forces of with the Fire Nation army to backing us up."Sokka said.
"I like the plan where we all don't die at the end." said Toph.
"I also agree." said Aang.
"I'm sorry Kozu but this is the wiser move." Kaida said
Although it was fighting every fiber of his being Zuko knew that his friends were right."Fine we wait for tomorrow then my sister goes down."
(The Cave on Avatar Roku's Island)
The three of the four people Kenichi left were talking to each other about what has transpired a day ago. The girl was the first one to speak. "That creep Altair didn't need to choke me to stop me from talking. What is it is he in love with Keni or something.
"Yeah he always seems to be a bit over protective of Kenichi." The scrawny guy said.
The well-built man then spoke "You two are relativity new I forgot about that. You see Miku, Kenichi may look and act like everything is alright but..."
"But What?" Miku asked.
"But he had a troubled past." The fourth member said.
"ALTAIR!!!"the group said in unison.
"Daichi means to say Kenichi has a troubled past." Altair said comtinued
Miku moves a bit closer to the scrawny member of the group.
Seeing this Altair said, "First let me apologies for what I did a while ago." Altair bowed to Miku "I am so sorry for what I did. I promise I only did it to protect you."
"Protect me? You almost choked me to death. How is that protecting me?" said Miku angered by the ridiculous statement that was made.
"Let me explain that Kenichi is not what he seems. You see the little nickname you gave him 'Keni' is not new in fact it was a nickname given to him by someone that was very close to him."
"Who gave him that nickname?" Miku asked intrigued.
"His sister." Altair said hesitantly.
The scrawny guy asked, "Kenichi has a sister?"
"Its best you don't know about her Ryuu. This is a subject that is best left between us." Altair said.
"Why would his sister be important enough to strangle me over reminding him of an old nickname?" Miku asked.
"I don't know why it's important to him. I know this though the last General of Fire talked about his sister to him was challenged by him in a Subete no tatakai. And that was the last mistake the general ever made. It was a brutal slaughter." Altair said in a hushed tone.
Everyone's eyes widened at this.
"So the next time you feel the urge to make fun of Kenichi you might want to remember he will kill you with the right incentive. Just remember that a smile is a dangerous thing it can be warming and inviting source of comfort. It also hides some of the darkest monsters possible." That was the last comment Altair made before he disappeared from the others view.
"That can't be true Kenichi is such a laid back guy. There is no way he could."Miku said in disbelief.
"You better believe it young Miku I have been a general for several decades. I never witnessed anything crueler than that very duel. Something seemed off about Kenichi that day. He could have easily won that match but no Kenichi started by toying with the General of Fire. He did it by slowly and purposely making small mistakes that anyone could read. The general was becoming confident letting minuscule mistakes happen. Then he quickly switched to a flawless defense. At that point it looked like he was playing with the general. Slowly and painfully he used every single weakness that he faked to incapacitate the general. Then when it came time for the match to be over Kenichi didn't stop until the man was dead. His hands were covered in blood that day. No one spoke to him afterwards for that for the day either." Daichi said in horrifying detail.
"We need to watch our mouths then." Ryuu said.
(The Jasmine Dragon)
We find Kenichi standing with Iroh and Hope at the door of The Jasmine Dragon. He sets a full sack of coins. He then said, "I hope this is enough to repay you for your hospitality and wonderful tea. Oh and thank you for the stories. He then walked over to Hope and whispered in her ear "You remember what I said about these being the best years of your life? Well here is something to make them even better. Just remember happiness is most felt when one gives to those who deserves happiness even more." he then slipped a purse that was filled with what Hope could only guess was coins as well. Then he simply walked out with a wide smile on his face thinking to himself "What a wonderful world this is to have such kind people."
After Kenichi was out of sight Iroh and Hope opened the bags given to them by Kenichi. Both reviled not silver pieces, but gold pieces. Iroh said, "What a kind man."
Hope just looked at her bag. She had been tipped before but nothing like this. Then she asked Iroh. "Sir may I have some days off so I can spend some time with my family?"
Iroh looked at her and said with a laugh "Of course you can Hope I was just going to tell you I am going to pay a visit to my nephew. It's about time I go see him again. "He then hugged Hope and said, "My dear we have dark times ahead shadows are moving on the horizon. You better stay with loved ones for the next couple of weeks."
Hope realized what Iroh just said and quickly got her items. As she was leaving she said goodbye to Iroh. After a few steps she saw the old man put a sign on the door of the shop it said, "Closed until further notice." For some reason Hope started crying on her way home. She felt she would never see the old tea maker again.
- In this chapter the author really applied his opinion that a smile can be dangerous.
- This chapter is a really dark compared to the other chapters published.
- In this chapter the names of all the strangers in the cave are revealed.
- This is the first chapter Iroh has been shown.
- In this chapter Hope was brought back into the story.
- "Subete no tatakai" means "Battle of Stars" in Japanese.
- The odd cloak is a personal refence to a jacket I wear.
A Note From The Author
Hi all this is Plasmabender117 if you don't already know me. Anyways I seem to be taking awhile to publish each chapter I would like to take a moment to apologies to those who read my fanon as I am a slow writer/typer.Yes I know that typer is not a real word any of you people who love correcting text.But anyways there is good news I am getting in to subject that are really interesting me.So chapters will become more frequent. So yay for that. Also don't be shy leave a comment below.
For the collective works of the author, go here.