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|Return to Ba Sing Se, Part 3|
August 15, 2013
~~Underground cave under Ba Sing Se~~
"Wait, how is this possible? You're suppose to be dead!" said Sokka. "The report clearly stated that you've been killed by the Dai Li. Even King Bumi said that it's true."
"It was all a distraction. The Dai Li wanted to assassinate me. And they nearly succeeded. They attacked my Royal Palace and ransacked the place. I knew, what I had to do. I ordered my men to set up a fire in the throne room. Then I and members of my elite Royal Earthbender Guards escaped, using a secret passage, that only I knew about. We knew, that we weren't safe in the Upper Ring, so we snook out and into the Middle one. Oh, that reminds me; Guards! Let the prisoners go. They are vital allies against the aggressors," said King Kuei.
"And in what position is Ba-Sing-Se now?" asked Hokai.
"Terrible. On one side the new government, under leadership of Long Feng wants the city to remain calm. But on the other hand, there have been countless arrests and even public executions. Literally hundreds of people are in various prisons, under the direct control of the Dai Li. The military is in disarray. All soldiers were forced to give up their weapons and are locked in their barracks. Almost all commanding officers are under arrest. Luckily, the city is calm. You can get in and out the city quite easily," replied King Kuei. "The problem is, that the Dai Li are almost completely loyal only to Long Feng and are under his control and influence. But that's also the good side. I believe, that if we manage to capture and dethrone Long Feng the Dai Li will stand down.
"We already did that once and look what happened," said Sokka. "No, I'm afraid to say this, but this time we have to get rid of him, for good. It's the only way possible.
"And what do we no now?" asked Aang. "I mean, we can't just go to the palace, knock on the door and ask if we can see Long Feng. No, We need a plan."
"Come with me," said the Earth King as he started walking towards a wall. One of his soldiers used Earthbending and made a passage in the wall. All of them went through the passage and came out a large cave. "This is my headquarters."
"IT'S HUGE!" said Sokka, thrillingly. "How many soldiers have you got?"
"About two hundred. Even though we are small in numbers, I am confident that my better trained soldiers are capable of winning the battle," said King Kuei. "But, I need some help. Is anyone of you prepared to train my soldiers further?"
"I'll do it!" Said Toph thrillingly, knowing that she'll have the opportunity to fight. She walked into the centre of the large and made her stance. Soldiers started to fight her and started losing.
"Maybe we should leave her alone," said Sokka. "Where is your map room? We need to see how the enemy troops are stationed.
"Follow me," said the Earth King. "Now, how do you plan to defeat Long Feng? We can't put him in prison, he'll just escape again.
"What if I take away his powers, like I did with Ozai?" said Aang.
"I don't think that that will help. He would still be very influential and powerful, and we'll not change a thing," said the Earth King.
"Aang!" said Katara, interrupting the Earth King. "Remember what King Bumi said? There comes a time in everyone's life when he has to choose between right and wrong, and he must forget about morals and ethics. Please Aang, you have to do this. I know it's not in your nature, but the world depends on you."
"I'm sorry, Katara. I just can't do it," said Aang slowly and quietly as he went out of the room. Hokai went behind him.
"Aang, I know it's hard on you, believe me, I do. But you have to ask yourself; is it better to end one life than to let a thousand go to waste?" said Hokai.
"Remember what Gyatso told us? All life is sacred and it's our duty to preserve it," said Aang in his defense. "I just can't do it."
"Let me tell you a story, Aang. Something I didn't mention when we met in the Fire Nation. When I wanted to board the Fire Nation transport ship, you know, the one that I stole the torpedoes from, I was almost captured by a soldier. He snook up on me. I was lucky enough to get away, but he kept following me. I almost got away, but then I saw how he wanted to shout and blowing my cover. I knew what I had to do. I was a pile of boxes on a nearby crane. I used my Airbending, so that the crates fell of the crane and right on the soldier. I knew that it was a bad thing to do, but I also knew, that it was the right thing too. Then I boarded the ship and just stopped thinking about it," said Hokai.
"I never knew... Thanks Hokai, that actually helped," said Aang. "Alright, let's go." As that was said Aang and Hokai started walking back to the map room.
"Are you ready?" Asked Aang. "Let's go kick some Dai Li butt!"
"What if we go tomorrow?" asked Toph, as she just came into the room.
"Why, is something wrong?" asked Katara.
"No, everything is all right. It's just that the soldiers need some rest. They are a little tired from all that training," said Toph.
"But you look fine!" said Sokka. "You barely broke a sweat."
"Look at that," Toph points out the room and into the centre of the cave. All of the soldiers were exhausted and were lying on the ground. "Maybe I've been a little too harsh on those guys."
"Okay, let's go to sleep. We've got a big day ahead of us," said Sokka as he went to bed.
The next day everyone was very nervous. The hour of the attack was getting closer. "Hey, are you all right?" asked Sokka.
"Me?, I'm fine... Hhhh... Well, not really. I don't think that I can do this," replied Aang.
"Listen, you've got to realize, that sometimes the choices, that look bad are actually the good ones," said Sokka. "Just follow you heart, but don't forget about the right thing to do."
The Gaang went to the cave, where the other soldiers were already waiting. Together they started to Earthbend a tunnel just wide enough to let two soldiers march shoulder to shoulder. The army moved and in a couple of hours reached the meeting point. Another large cave. "Where are we now?" asked Aang.
"We're under the Royal Palace," answered the Earth King. "Men, are you ready to retake what's ours? Let's fight for our country and honor!"
~~The Earth Kingdom Royal Palace~~
As that was said, Aang used his Earthbending to shove the earth away and threw it onto some Dai Li agents, who were walking there. The whole army rushed out of the hole in the ground and split up. The Elite Royal Earthbender Guards split into several groups and started attacking the Dai Li, who were not expecting this to happen. The Gaang and King Kuei started moving towards the throne room. As they reached the giant doors Aang had no choice but to use his Airbending and to break them. "Not again. This is the second time you broke my fancy door," said King Kuei. The Gaang was ambushed by several Dai Li agents and started fighting them. They knew, that they were the only one still keeping Long Feng safe. The Gaang took the Dai Li one by one and were almost finished.
"Stop! Or I'll kill the Earth King," said a voice from the shadows. It was Long Feng and he was holding the Earth King hostage.
"I'm sorry. He overpowered me," said the Earth King. Luckily Aang already learned the move Toph showed him, and knew what Long Feng was about to do next. Long Feng used his arm to Earthbend a rock and threw it towards the Gaang. But Aang countered the move. He used his Airbending to stop the rock where it was and then used his Earthbending techniques to hurtle the same rock towards Long Feng and Kuei. The rock missed the Earth King and hit Long Feng directly in his head, throwing him a few feet back. That was the end. The Gaang and the remaining Dai Li agents in the room looked at what happened. The agents realized, that it was over and surrendered.
"I'm a monster," said Aang as tears started to turn up.
"You did the right thing Aang. And we're all so proud of you for doing so. I know it must have been hard, but remember; by doing this, you saved countless lives," said Katara. "Now, let's go. We've still got a lot to do in Ba-Sing-Se. The Dai Li still rule supreme and we've got to stop them."
A member of the Elite Royal Earthbenders came into the room. "Tell the whole city, that Long Feng is no more. Tell them to stand up to the tyranny of the Dai Li and fight for their freedom," said the Earth King. "Come, we've still got many things to do."
The Gaang and the Earth King rushed towards the army barracks. On their way they already saw numerous members of the Dai Li being escorted into custody by Earth Kingdom soldiers and civilians, working together to get rid of a common foe.
~~Ba Sing Se barracks~~
As the Gaang reached the barracks they saw a Dai Li office. He approached them and said; "In the name of the Dai Li I have been chosen to surrender all Dai Li forces, holding the Earth Kingdom soldiers in their barracks. I assure you, that my men won't cause any trouble and will surrender as peacefully as possible."
The Earth King accepted the agent's surrender and had the honor of opening the doors of the barracks, thereby liberating the trapped soldiers. "I'VE COULDN'T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU! " Shouted the Earth King as he was carried by his freed soldiers towards the Royal Palace. He finally got his city back.
Most of the Dai Li surrendered immediately after hearing about the fall of their leader, with only minor pockets of resistance in the city left. Those were quickly abolished and even the most enthusiastic of Dai Li agents soon realized that it was all over.
The whole city cheered as they were liberated. Team Avatar was treated as honorary guests, as the liberators and friends. But even with all that cheering going on, there was still the matter of the Red Revolt and the devious Admiral Shizou.
END OF CHAPTER TWELVE
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