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|The Jasmine Dragon|
January 28, 2011
Aang and Katara struggle to defend themselves without their bending, while the gang back in the mortal world arrives at Iroh's tea shop on their way to finding Ursa.
Book 2 Chapter 7: The Jasmine Dragon
"About time you showed up, Avatar. And look, you brought your friend. The little Water Tribe brat who chained me to that grate during my Agni Kai." Azula stepped toward them with a disconcerting gait reminiscent of an old, drunken man. "I came here to find my destiny you see. But these old fools tell me I am not to find it here," she spat, casting a dirty glance toward the old man beside Katara.
"Now, you see, that has made me rather angry," she continued. She ambled forward a couple more steps and then stopped, her posture horribly bent and her head tilted to one side like a dog trying to understand human speech. She meandered her way left and right as she worked her way forward. "And when I'm angry, I have a rather bad tendency to...destroy things."
Aang gasped as he realized what was about to happen. He dropped to the floor and grappled around for his staff but it was no use; in an instant Azula was upon him. She kicked him squarely in the jaw and he flew backwards. Without his bending he was powerless to stop her. And with her bending powers coming from the Elemental Amulets, she was able to use her Avatar abilities in both the Spirit World and in the mortal world.
Katara flicked open her water pouch and thrust her hands in front of her. "What?" she cried. "I can't bend!"
"Just run!" Aang yelled, scrambling to his feet and rushing over to her. But it was no use. In another moment Azula had caught up to them. With a horrible cackle of glee she sliced her long, wicked fingernails through the air and a whip of air sent Aang and Katara reeling. In another second Azula had propelled herself forward with Airbending and was looming over them once again.
"Oh, I'm going to have fun with you two," she screamed with delight as she raised both of her arms over her head...
As Appa's six paws touched the ground simultaneously he let out a formidable groan and rolled onto his side, thrusting his riders violently from the saddle and onto the ground next to him. The giant bison was asleep in an instant. All of this flying had left the beast exhausted, as evident by his melodramatic snoring.
The group walked up to the teashop and in the vibrant light of the setting sun they saw a plump old man with grey hair folded into a topknot peaceably wiping down the tables.
"Hello, Uncle," Zuko said. The man turned around and his face instantly lit up. He put down his cloth and shuffled slowly up to his nephew.
"Zuko, my nephew. It has been too long." They embraced. "But I suppose you are not here to have tea, today?"
"No, I'm sorry Uncle. The world is in danger, and we need your help."
Iroh put up his hand to silence his nephew. "It's okay. I already know. You need to find your mother. I'm sorry that Iwas never able to tell you where she has been. The Order of the White Lotus is very strict about this kind of thing, you know?" he added with a wink. "Now, come. I assume you have brought your bison?"
"Yes, let's go!" Zuko said at once.
"In a moment," Iroh interjected. "I'll be right back." He retreated into the back room of his tea shop and was gone for several minutes. He returned with a steaming cup of tea. Seeing the confused expression on Sokka's face he added, "Ginseng tea. It is my favorite." And with that he led the way outside to where a snoozing Appa would not be happy to wake up again so soon...
Katara came to with a start. She sat up quickly and glanced around. For a moment she was confused about where she was but then it all began slowly coming back to her. She was in the Spirit World with Aang, and they had traveled to the Eternal Palace to look for her mom and the Airbenders. But they had found it destroyed, and then Azula attacked them. After that it all went fuzzy...
"Are you all right?" asked a calm female voice from behind Katara.
As she turned around, she realized why the voice sounded so familiar. "Hi, Mom," she said.
The woman smiled. "Hello, Katara."
Katara fans rejoice!
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