Midnight in Ba Sing Se

I would have to keep my guard up

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Battle of Fate and Destiny





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In a time, long ago. War raged across Patria, concerning all elements. Flamma, the Benders of Fire wanted power. Flamma was strong; the other Elements were crumbling. The fate of Patria was linked to the destiny of one...


Zosime informed me that a surprise visit from Zena the Wanderer, to the Flamma Shrine at Four Corners, would be the perfect opportunity to assassinate the Flamma leader's daughter. Eliminating Zena from the war would be an amazing strike against Flamma.

I was relieved; this was the perfect mission to satisfy my recent hunger for revenge. I was to set out for Four Corners the next day.


The plan was perfect. It was an irresistible present for the assassin. Zena had been more than willing to help. I would accompany her to The Shrines, undercover of course, and help plan the night that the assassin would be captured.

I often wondered what the assassin would be like. He had been killing Flamma for six years he had to be reaching the end of his prime. By now he had to be at least thirty. He was probably rippling with muscle, and as big as a bear.

My sister had to remind me that the assassin could be a woman, I always pretended to take heed to her words, but I knew the possibility that the assassin was a woman was impractical. It would take lifetimes for a woman to learn such deadly techniques. No, he couldn't possibly be a woman.

Now nineteen, I had been to every corner of Patria, from the rocky shorelines in Terra to the sandy beaches of Unda. Traveling led my thoughts back to the assassin.

He had to be a swift traveler, knowing the fastest routes to every Elementum territory. I frequently had Flamma soldiers patrolling all the Elementum territories. And not just any soldiers, expert trackers that can hear a twig snap a half-mile away. I also had skilled archers, which could pin a fly to the wall without killing it.

I took a deep breath; I couldn't let thoughts of the assassin override my own thoughts. Zena said that obsession is bad for the soul. Now was not the time for this rippling bear of an assassin to take over my mind.


I did a lot of traveling; I usually followed the main roads to the other territories. Dressed like a normal merchant with my bow strung across my back. Flamma usually let Elementums keep their business to themselves, but with an occasional devoted Flamma soldier, I stuck with a believable story of traveling to visit a family member.

I stayed at mostly the same inns, never camping on my own. My strategy was to blend with people. Solitude arouses rumors, rumors lead to gossip, and gossip leads to soldiers trudging into your camp with questions. Besides I liked the other Elements, their stunningly different personalities and features.

Terra lived to the west. They had forested mountain ranges and rocky cliff shorelines. They were born for this type of life with their sturdy appearances, brown hair, green eyes, and short brawny build.

Ventus lived in the East. Hills and grasslands covered the nation. They have hair color varying from snow blonde to charcoal black and gray eyes. Ventus always were the peaceful ones. Their land was quickly overcome by Flamma at the beginning of the war. They had great hope that the Noble Elementums would save them. They surrendered before you could say, Unda. Now many of the Flamma weapons had been made in Ventus by the inhabitants.

Flamma to the north, have stunning amber eyes, and black hair. Volcanoes and rocks were the landscape with forest dotting the land. I rarely traveled to Flamma, the homeland was the most heavily guarded of the four territories.

Most of the Flamma people that I had met were against the war anyway. I talked with them about other Elements planning attacks, just to give them hope.

In conclusion you could say I have a good reputation in all of the Elementum Territories. You could also say I'm a people person, despite my past, or even maybe because of it, I never really liked isolation.

Tonight I would stay in, Pagatim, a small village near The Shrines. Tomorrow I would set out for Kutu.

The Shrines were a neutral zone for all of the Elements. The Shrines were where the Noble Elementums founded the Elementum Territories. No military bodies could be within the boundaries of The Shrines. Many Elementums came to pay tribute to the shrines of the Noble Elementums. The most common time to pay homage was under a full moon. In three days time the full moon would start, Zena could come any of the seven full moon nights, and I would be there waiting, patiently, like a cobra ready to strike.


I traveled from Fort Defensor to Fort Solus where I met Zena. We were traveling with the royal caravan to the township of Beor. After a good night's rest and a day to recuperate we would visit the Flamma Shrine on the fourth night of the full moon.

Traveling to The Shrines is not a trip taken lightly. The Noble Elementums were respected for creating the civilization. A shrine was built for each of the Noble Elementums. Each element had a shrine in their territory. The Shrines were revered as a sacred place. When Zena told me she wanted to carry out the plan inside The Shrines, I was shocked at her dismissal of the sacredness of the shrines. I asked why inside The Shrines, and if the Noble Elementums would accept this treatment to their holy shrines.

"My dear brother, we are going to rid Flamma of an assassin that may or may not be targeting you next, and you question the loyalty of me to the Noble Elementums? I assure you Noble Elementum of Flamma will thank us with blessings for this act of devotion," she responded. I wanted to protest more, but she was older and she was my last chance to capturing this assassin before I would have to answer to my father. So I walked in silence

I was sore, very sore. I had stood watch every night since Fort Solus. Camping was the only option on the long stretch from Fort Solus to Beor. I couldn't sleep very well knowing my men were awake trying to keep me safe. Right now it didn't feel good, but in the long run I knew that the Noble Elementums would reward me for my faithful service.

Luckily, this was the last night of that nonsense. Tonight the royal caravan would march into Beor and sleep in the finest room of the Zinder Inn. I could already picture the soft feather pillows and the silk clothes that were strictly used when Zena visited The Shrines.

I looked up; in the distance were glowing lanterns. I smiled, no more rocks in my back, or sleepless nights keeping watch over the camp. Tonight I would sleep in comfort, and peace.

As we marched into the village, most of the people had already turned in for the night, but there were still stragglers. Most turned, when they saw us coming, and stared. It was more than a stare, like a deep loathing. A type of loathing that made my skin crawl.

I would have to keep my guard up if we were to capture the assassin. I knew he would have to be here waiting for all Zena's guards to leave her. Yes, waiting and watching, but I would be here too, listening, patiently.

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