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|Unrest At the Throne|
"I appreciate your concern, but I have the situation completely under control," assured Firelord Luzan from his throne behind a wall of flames. He saw noticed that he failed to convince his troubled daughter and instructed a guard to cease the fire. "Zola, my daughter, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Overthrowing me is not even possible. I have the support of the people. Go. Both of you need some rest."
In the courtyard, Brek was making considerable progress in his Firebending training. After holding a fire circle steady for ten minutes, hitting eleven targets with fire blasts, redirecting heat from a teacup to the air, blocking a few fireballs, and successfully performing a fire bomb, Master Huang decided the Avatar was ready to move on.
"Brek, where does Firebending come from?"
"The Sun, Master."
"No! I didn't ask for the origins of fire. Where does firebending come from."
"I suppose it comes from the bender."
"It comes from inside of us. We can release fire into the world through our fists and feet...and also, our breath!"
Brek was shocked at what Huang was suggesting. "How could one possibly-"
Huang spun and flames burst from his mouth, covering the floral mural on the floor with fire. Brek attempted to mimic his master but failed with each endeavor.
"No! No! No!" Huang paused. "You must master this if you are to defeat them!"
Brek halted. "Defeat who?" he inquired.
"Look, Brek, a war is coming. A civil war within this very nation. Within this very palace. Some on our side, some on theirs."
"How will I know who is loyal to whom?"
"I'm working on that. You can only trust whomever can answer the following riddle correctly: Who lies in Roku's Tomb?"
"But isn't that obvious I-"
"I must be elsewhere, Avatar. We're done with our training for today. You may return to your room."
Without questioning his master, Brek bowed and left the courtyard, puzzled over the riddle. After a short walk of pondering, he arrived in his room. Exhausted from the day, he plunked down on his massive, soft bed. He must have fallen asleep, for it was dark when he heard knocking. Gradually, he got up and opened the door to see two guards.
"The Firelord would like to see you, Avatar. Please come with us."
Brek followed them down a long corridor before recalling what Huang had told him. "Who lies in Roku's tomb?" he asked without knowing the answer himself.
The guards looked at each other and one simply responded, "Well, Roku does of course."
Brek had no reason to believe otherwise until, after a few seconds, the answer came to him. Roku wasn't buried! His tomb was empty!
Suddenly, Brek blasted fire in the face of one guard, and pinned the other to the ground with Earthbending.
"He knows!" the immobile guard exclaimed.
Brek sprinted down the rest of the corridor to the Firelord's Chamber. "Luzan! Zelda! Kaeta! Berani!" he screamed frantically has he opened the door.
His face turned white as chills ran down his back when he saw his friends and the royal family on their knees with Kimma and a few guards standing behind them.
"Why, hello, Avatar! It seems fate has brought us together a fourth time," said Kimma as her eyes gleamed with insanity.
Four? Only three times, but she's crazy, Brek quickly thought to himself. "What are you doing here?"
The voice of Zhouray responded. "We're restoring the honor of my nation, what else? For a new era begins at tomorrow's dawn." At that, four guards rushed to Brek, handcuffed him, and threw him on his knees.
Kimma ran up to the prince and embraced him with a kiss. "The Queen is dead," she said into his ear so everyone could hear.
Zola let out a hysterical cry as she began sobbing. She collapsed on the floor and guard brought her back up to her knees.
"Excellent work," he walked closer to Luzan, who glanced up at his son in fear. "Look at you, weak! Pathetic! Fragile! Useless!" continued Zhouray. The prince made a fist and prepared to strike his father down. He held his fist up a few seconds.
Noticing that Zhouray was struggling, Kimma cut in. "Do it!" she barked. Anger grew on her face as her boyfriend continued to hesitate. Finally, she lost control and drew water from a vase, froze it into a spear, and thrust it into the Firelord with one, swift motion.
"No!" Zola created a blazing arc that scorched two nearby guards.She shot a fire blast from her feet directly at Kimma, who dove out of the way.
Seeing his opportunity to act, Brek let loose a stunning flame from his mouth into his captors. This freed him, at least momentarily.
Kimma rose from the ground, breathing heavily.
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