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|More from Taekwond1||Action/Adventure/Suspense||PG||Here||None|
|The City of Ice and Snow|
January 27, 2011
Katara is forced to face the realization that Aang is dead. Meanwhile, Azula arrives at the Northern Water Tribe with the rest of the group hot on her trail.
Book 2 Chapter 3: The City of Ice and Snow
"Where is the king?" Azula asked. The Water Tribe villagers looked at her for a moment before resuming their conversations. Azula screamed, "THE KING OF This TRIBE! WHERE IS HE?" She raised her palms, an inferno of blue flame enveloped one of the men, who crumpled to the floor with single, brief gasp of pain. "Answer me NOW, or you're next," she said to another of the villagers.
"He's at the Spirit Oasis! With the Avatar's friend! The Waterbender!" the woman squealed quickly before retreating and hiding in a corner behind a couple of ice vases.
Azula smirked. "Thank you." She turned to leave, but then turned back around, deciding she wasn't quite finished here yet. She raised herself into the air and shot a tumultuous assault of flames at the icy floor, which melted away. The hole in the ice expanded more and more until all of the townspeople in the area had all fallen in. Then Azula reformed the icy floor and left the villages in their icy tomb. Sure, they had helped her. But they did it out of fear. They would double-cross her in an instant. And for that they must be punished...
"Thank you," Katara said with a halfhearted smile.
The chief gave his thanks to the last healer as she gathered her things and walked back to the city. Turning to Katara, he said, "It's no use. I'm sorry, but every healer in the North Pole has taken a look at the Avatar, and not one of them has been able to revive him. The Spirit Water is a curious substance; oftentimes it is subjective to the wills of the Spirits themselves. If the Spirits had willed Aang to return to life, then he would be with us right now. But I'm afraid they have other plans for the young Avatar. Perhaps it is for the best..."
Katara turned away, grief-stricken. The Spirits must know that the world is in danger! How could they not allow Aang to come back to life? What could be more important than the fate of the world? Katara got up, bowed to the chief, and turned to walk away. She needed time to think.
Wiping her tears away, she opened her eyes and realized she was staring directly into the eyes of the one person who could make matters worse: Azula.
"Hello, PEASANT!" Azula hollered, pushing Katara back and threatening her with fire. "I have a score to settle with you."
"What are you doing here?" Katara cried weakly.
Azula stood over her; that familiar evil glint was in her eyes again. "Well, I was here to have a little...chat, with that man over there," she said, pointing a long, crooked finger at the chief, "but it looks like today is my lucky day." She grinned. "I've been waiting for this for a long time..."
Azula turned around, nostrils flared, to face Sokka. He had his sword raised and he was poised to attack. Behind him, Suki raised her fists and Toph and Zuko readied themselves for a bending battle.
"You four are really becoming a nuisance," she spat. "I think it's time I dealt with you before you get in the way of my plans. Again!" She raised her hands in a mock battle position, and then charged straight for Sokka.
Sokka raised his sword and swung it at Azula, who blocked it with her wrist. She punched a fistful of fire at him but Zuko intervened, pushing Sokka aside and fighting back with his own fistful of flames.
The two seemed evenly matched for a while before Azula remarked, "Well, this has been fun." With a yawn she added, "but now I think that it's time for this fight to be over." She pushed forward and the floor of ice in front of her slid backward, sending Zuko reeling.
"Oh no you don't!" Katara yelled, waving her arms and creating her own water. "You may be the most powerful Firebender in the world, but water is my element!" As Katara sent a cascade of sharp, icy water droplets toward Azula, Sokka came up behind her with his sword and Zuko and Suki attacked from her left and right.
Azula blocked the water with ease and ducked, allowing Sokka, Suki, and Zuko to smack into each other on the slippery ice. Standing back up, she decreed, "FIENDS! You cannot stop me! With the powers of the Avatar I am undefeatable!" She rose up into the air to dodge another flurry of attacks from the group. "It is said that my uncle Iroh ventured into the Spirit World after the death of his son left him too weak to continue his siege of Ba Sing Se. And it is said that during his travels there he found his destiny. If a disgrace like my uncle Iroh can find his destiny in the Spirit World, then it is certain that I will find mine as well!"
"No! We can't let her escape again!" Toph yelled. But it was too late. There was another blinding flash of light as Azula entered the Avatar State. Sokka jumped up and grabbed her leg in an attempt to stop her from entering the Spirit World.
"Sokka, what are you doing?" Katara exclaimed. She ran over to her brother and grabbed his arm. "It's too late! Just—"
Suddenly an icy chill fluttered down Sokka and Katara's spines. They felt themselves being lifted off the ground, and then in an instant they were hurtling through cold, black, icy nothingness. Katara closed her eyes and screamed, but in another moment it was all over. She opened her eyes, not knowing if she was alive or dead, and realized in one heart-stopping moment that she and her brother had followed Azula into the Spirit World...
(NOTE: Katara and Sokka were also transported to the Spirit World because Azula's Avatar abilities come from an outside source, the amulets. Therefore, by touching her, some of this external energy was transferred to them as well (the icy chill). This is why a normal person cannot accompany an Avatar into the Spirit World simply by touching them.)
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