Royal Palace Gardens
Chapter 2
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Avatar: The Rise and Fall of Fire Lord Ozai



Written by

Dai-Kon Hal

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The second chapter of The Rise and Fall of Fire Lord Ozai.


Ozai had started in his official Firebending training. Iroh had become distant since he got married and became more involved in the war effort. Ozai still cared for Iroh, but much of it had turned to jealousy because of their father's favoritism towards Iroh, which had become far more obvious to Ozai. He was talking to Ursa; she had grown to continue to match his height, and had developed slightly. Ozai himself had changed little besides growing, and his face becoming slightly more angular. They had become minor friends, not close, but he was still comfortable about saying certain things to her.
"It's not fair." Ozai said angrily. "I've got way more potential than Iroh does, and Father treats me as if I was the dirt on Iroh's shoes!"
"Ozai," Ursa said to try and comfort him. "It's not Lieutenant Iroh's fault."
"According to Mother," Ozai said, deciding to change the subject. "You and I are to be married when I turn 25."
"Yes." Ursa replied. "It's going to be kind of weird don't you think?"
"Huh?" Ozai said, he was staring at her chest during her answer. "Oh, oh yeah!"
Ursa realized what he was doing and asked, "What were you looking at just now?"
Ozai was flustered and embarrassed. All he could get out was, "Um... You're... Uh..."
Ursa slapped him across the face. Ozai almost attacked her. How dare she? How dare she strike a prince? How dare she strike one of the Fire Princes? But he thought better of it. He deserved to be slapped. Especially since they weren't even married yet. At that moment, a messenger came.
"Prince Ozai." The messenger said. "Your mother is sick."
All Ozai could say was, "What?"
"She is dying." The messenger replied.
Ozai kicked him in the stomach.
Ozai was furious; one of the only people who were always there for him was leaving! "If I find out that this is some kind of joke . . ." Ozai said, in a soft, cold voice.
All the messenger could say through the pain was, "I swear . . . I . . . Swear . . ."
"Good for you." Ozai said semi-sarcastically.
Ozai ran off as Ursa looked on, horrified.

As Ozai ran, he kept calling out, "Mom? Mom!"
Ozai found her with Azulon and Iroh. Azulon appeared indifferent. As if he didn't care that his wife was dying. He would not be so cold! Never! Iroh appeared to have concern. At least he cared for her, and so did he!
"Ozai." Illah said weakly.
"Yes Mom?" Ozai could hardly get the words out. He knew what was coming, and he didn't want it to come; he did not want his mother's last words to come.
"I'm sorry that I don't get to see you grow up." Illah said with a sad smile on her face.
Illah's eyes closed, and her chest stopped moving.
"Mom? Mom? MOM!" Ozai screamed as tears fell down from her face.

Later that day, the messenger was still breathing hard from the kick. Ozai walked up to him and grabbed him by the shirt.
"Pray that you never have to give me bad news again." Ozai said in the same soft voice he had talked to the messenger with before.
He then pushed the messenger down. Iroh ran up. He noticed side burns beginning to grow along his cheek line.
"Brother!" Iroh demanded. "What are you doing?"
"Leave me alone." Ozai said. He did not want one of Iroh's stupid proverbs, or one of his philosophical questions, he had always hated those.
"Wait!" Iroh demanded again. "I know you would prefer the training I'm getting to what you're getting."

"Yes." Ozai said; his eyes narrowing.
"So, how about I teach you what I've learned?" Iroh suggested.

"Fine." Ozai said. He was about to have what he wanted since he was eight. "Are you going to tell Father?"
"Not if you don't want me to." Iroh said. His kind smile, his mom's smile, on his face.
Good! The last thing Ozai needed was to have word spread that he was being tutored by "The Great Lieutenant Iroh".

Author's Notes

The death of Ozai's mother setting up the beginning of his darker nature is a reference to Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, where Anakin kills an entire clan of Tusken Raiders for the murder of his mother, which leads to his fall to the Dark Side.


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