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Lu Ten, Ursa II, and Sora sat inside of a warehouse while they waited for Tengu to arrive. Although Ursa and Sora were hopeful, Lu Ten wasn't holding his breath. Their reaction to what Lu Ten said about Tengu and their fathers brought a rather large argument. Eventually the three children just waited in silence.
"If Tengu doesn't show up in another hour, I'm leaving," Lu Ten announced.
"He'll be here." Sora tried to reassured, "He always comes."
"Yeah when he was trying to get on your father's good side," Lu Ten muttered.
"I still don't know why you would give any credence to what that monster said. I mean are you stupid or really that gullible?" Ursa said.
This brought about another argument between the twins. As the argument dragged on, Sora tried to calm the siblings down before one of them declared an Agni Kai. When the two ignored her she tried to grab Lu Ten's arm to get their attention. Surprised by the unexpected contact Lu Ten lashed out with his arm and struck Sora across the face. Lu Ten and Ursa immediately stopped fighting as Sora turned tearful eyes to them. With a sob the young girl turned and ran out of the warehouse.
"Great job, idiot," Ursa said as she shot her brother a cold look before she chased after Sora, leaving Lu Ten alone. The prince stood there alone for a minute before he grabbed his head and screamed in anger before he also chased after them. When he found them they were sitting on a bench. Ursa was holding Sora close and letting her cry into her shoulder. As Lu Ten approached Ursa shot him the nastiest glare he'd seen in his life.
'If looks could kill.' Lu Ten thought as he gulped. With slow, measured steps Lu Ten moved to the bench and sat down next to Sora.
"Sora I'm... I'm sorry I hit you." He started, "I'm just having a hard time right now. I've never been good with handling stress. I always got to lash out at something."
"It's not just that." Sora sobbed into Ursa's shoulder, "It's both of you, arguing over something so stupid."
"I'm really sorry you had to see that," Lu Ten said placing his hand on her back, "Can you forgive me?"
"Apologize to each other," Sora said lifting her head. The twins shot each other a quick glance before Ursa said.
"Sorry for calling you a gullible idiot."
"Sorry for being one," Lu Ten apologized. The siblings hugged each other and Sora before they got up from the bench. "Let's go find Tengu." Lu Ten said, right before they heard a loud roar a few blocks away.
"Was that Spyro?" Sora asked.
"Then that means..." Ursa began.
"Dad's here," Lu Ten finished. With that the children rushed off in the direction the roar came from. When they reached the spot all that was left were two sets of footprints and giant claw imprints from Spyro. The children looked in the air and saw the golden dragon flying off in the distance, with Zuko on the back and Tengu held by his claws.
"What the?" Ursa uttered confused by the sight.
"I think the situation got a lot messier," Lu Ten said as he raced off after the dragon.
Tengu stood chained in a cell while he awaited his trial. It had been a few hours since Fire Lord Zuko had brought him into the camp. The Fire Lord hadn't believed his claims that Gin was the traitor. All he cared about was the fact that his children weren't with him.
'Always knew my past would come back to haunt me.' Tengu thought as Aang came into view. "Master Aang." Tengu said as the Avatar entered his cell.
"Where is my daughter, Tengu?" Aang asked getting right to the point. The former assassin simply shrugged his chained shoulders.
"Probably at the town I was captured at," Tengu said before adding, "Or in a Black Lotus base..." Aang growled as he punched Tengu across his face.
"So you were working with the Black Lotus," Aang said grabbing Tengu by his scalp.
"No, I'm not," Tengu said looking straight into Aang's eyes, "I was just stating a possibility. Another one is that they are on their way here."
"Don't you dare lie to me," Aang threatened.
"You know I don't lie," Tengu said calmly.
Aang backed away from Tengu and said, "You'd better hope that the kids show up before your trial." With that treat hanging in the air, Aang left the prison tent.
Whispers in the Dark
One week after Nikki was recruited and two days after Des and Lee returned
Nikki was sleeping in her new room at the Black Lotus base, dreaming of her new life. Most of it was filled with blood and other horrors that were making her start to regret her decision. Eventually her dreams showed an image of a man who was running from her. Assuming she was the person the man was running from she gave chase. The man ran to a wall and quickly scaled it with ease. Nikki was surprised when she scaled it with equal ease. 'It's a dream remember.' She told her self as the followed her prey across several rooftops. Eventually the man was cornered between her and the edge of a high drop.
"Nowhere left to run." Nikki found herself saying as she prepared to attack.
"Whose running Nikki?" The man said turning around, revealing himself to be her father Nero. "I was leading you away."
"From what?" Nikki asked, prompting Nero to point behind her. She turned around and saw a mass of bodies, assassins and other soldiers, each one dead. Most were mutilated beyond recognition. Then she saw several figures standing among the bodies, one was kneeling before the others, as if begging for their life.
"Run," Nero whispered in her ear, forcing her awake. She sat up in her bed gasping for air while she wiped the seat from her brow. At that moment, there was a knock at her door.
"It's Lian. I need you to come with me." Lian's voice called from the other side. Nikki quickly got dressed in her new clothes and opened the door. Lian led Nikki to an open arena similar to the one she was in when she was first brought here.
"We're going to see what you can do." Lian explained as they approached two assassins. One was a giant of a man with a large X across his face. The other was a lean young man who seemed distracted. "These two are Des and Lee Chun." Lian introduced.
"And who is this?" Des asked looking at Nikki while Lee held his hand out.
"This is Nikki," Lian said stepping aside, "Nero's daughter."
"Really?" Des said greatly interested, "Well then I expect great things from you. Now then how good are you at fighting?"
"I learned everything I know from my mother," Nikki said, "And she has extensive experience in fighting."
"Interesting," Des said before gesturing at Lee, "Show us please." He then moved over to Lee and whispered, "No earthbending"
Nikki sighed as she got into the ring. 'If you insist on this life, then I shall keep you safe.' Nero's voice whispered in her head. Lee opened the sparring session with a spinning kick that Nikki barely ducked under. Throughout the match, Lee attacked and Nikki barely avoided him while Nero's voice guided her movements. She remained relatively untouched while all of her attacks also missed Lee.
"All right, that's enough," Lian said after three minutes. "Not bad, Nikki. Your form could use some work but..." Nero's voice canceled out Lian's.
Duck and kick behind you with your left foot. Nikki did as she was told and ducked under a wide punch by Des and caught him in the chest with her left foot. She turned around to see a very surprised Des, who gave her a nod of acceptance.
"Very good, Nikki," he said with a smile. Nikki suddenly felt rather proud of herself as the other assassins, who'd gathered while she was sparring, started applauding her. As she looked around she noticed a hooded woman staring at her with somewhat sad eyes.
A week after Tengu's capture
Tengu is awakened by Gin barging into his cell. Chuckling to himself.
"Well, well, how the mighty have fallen," Gin taunted as he opened the cell doors. "I've been instructed to escort you to your trial." Tengu remained silent as he glared at the traitor. "I assure you this is all just a formality. With those blasted children gone you're as good as dead." Tengu was given a week before his trial for two reasons, one to allow some time for the children to show up and prove his innocence and to gather the people who'd make up his jury of peers. "Although to be honest I'm surprised you haven't tried to rat me out."
"No point when no one would believe me," Tengu muttered as Gin led him out. "But I have a feeling that your gonna get yours soon."
"Not before you die though," Gin said with a smile.
As Tengu entered the area where the trial would be held he looked through the crowd. He found no friends. He found Katara giving him a hostile glare. Although it seemed to be mixed with a sense of doubt. Fire Lady Mai shot him with a look that could easily kill a man, although he suspected that the Fire Lady always looked like that. Toph stood alone, her expression unreadable. Sokka and the Masked Ones were absent due to their campaign in the Earth Kingdom. Without a word Tengu took his place before The Fire Lord and Aang, who would be his judges.
"Do you have an opening statement?" Zuko asked bluntly.
"None," Tengu replied, getting the trial under way.
The section "Whispers in the Dark" was named after and inspired by Skillet's hit song by the same name
This is the second chapter in which events are separated by about a week in chapter the first was Forbidden Love
For the collective works of the author, go here.