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September 9, 2013
~~ The Courtyard on the central mountain~~
Sokka and Aang were in the Courtyard, starting to train more complex Airbender moves. "Now put your arms together and then start waving them in circles." Aang demonstrated and easily created an Air shield. Sokka tried as Aang told and showed him, and soon made a wavy shield. "Okay, now I'm going to throw this rock at you. Gently!" said Aang. He gently threw a rock at Sokka's shield, immediately destroying it.
"Oh, COME ON!" said Sokka. "This is like the tenth time I tried this and it didn't work.
"Just try again," said Aang. "You know, what they say. Eleventh time's the charm."
"Who says that?" asked Sokka.
"Just do the move," said Aang, trying to avoid the awkward conversation. Sokka did as he was told and Aang threw the rock at Sokka's shield. The rock started orbiting around the centre of the shield, before being thrown uncontrollably.
"Oh no. What did I do?" asked Sokka.
"I don't know but it sounded like you hit something," replied Aang.
"Hey, you rotten kids! Stop playing around. You just broke my new Vase," said an Old man, a member of the Air Nomad Club.
"Sokka, I think that it would be best if we go practice somewhere else," said Aang.
"I think you're right. I don't like the look on that man's face," said Sokka, as they started running away.
"Aang, Sokka, wait up!" yelled Katara, as she followed them. "Look what I just got. A note from Zuko."
"Well, what does it say?" asked Aang.
"I don't know, I haven't read it yet," replied Katara. "Come, let's go to our house and meet with the others." The Gaang quickly started running towards their House. "Toph, Hokai...Where are you?" shouted Katara.
"Wait a second," said Toph as she came down stairs. "What is it? I was just sleeping."
"Where is Hokai?" asked Aang.
"Wait a minute," replied Toph, as she used her Earthbending to form a hole in the ceiling, making Hokai fall down with all of his notes and books."
"Why did you have to do that!" Hokai shouted. "I heard you, I just had to finish something here!"
"We got a letter from Zuko," said Katara. "We wanted to wait, so that everyone would be present, when we would read it."
"Fine then, open it and read it," said Hokai, still hurting from his fall.
"Dear Friends. I would like to congratulate you on you victory in Ba Sing Se. It is a shame, that the only news, that I bring to you is bad. But it is also urgent. Last week Azula got out of Prison."
"Wait, WHAT!" Shouted Sokka. "She was locked up for crying out loud."
"Shhh... Let Katara finish reading the letter," Aang replied.
"She didn't do it alone. She was assisted by Isho. He's given him the orders to free Azula, so she could be the new leader of the Red Revolt. He knows that Azula has the skills to mount a large revolt against me, and the will to fight. As expected she readied her troops for an invasion. But it wasn't against me or the Fire Nation. It was against the Water Tribe. My intelligence reports say that a massive armada of over two hundred Red Revolt Cruisers is headed towards the Northern Water Tribe. I have sent some of my naval and aerial forces against her new fleet, but to no avail. The fleet is so well armed, that all of my ships and airships, that opposed her were wiped out in a matter of minutes. I've already sent the remainder of my airship fleet to the Northern Water Tribe to assist the defences, but it's not going to be enough. I've decided that I should personally intervene in the Defence of the Water Tribe Capital, so I've decided that we should meet in Ba Sing Se in a week. I've already sent a letter to the Earth King and he decided to help me. I will see you in Ba Sing Se in a week.
"Well, that was depressing," said Sokka. "We finally think that we got everything under control and then this happens."
"I guess that we have to pack our stuff," said Aang. "I'm going to saddle Appa while you pack the rest of our supplies."
"Don't forget that The Northern Water Tribe is far north and that it is Winter," said Katara. "We mustn't forget to bring warm clothes."
The Gaang packed their things and boarded Appa. Aang gave the command and the giant flying bison started flying, once more, towards Ba Sing Se. "How much time do we have left?" asked Katara.
"The letter was sent four days ago, so we only have three more left," replied Sokka.
"That's okay, last time we needed only a day to get from Ba Sing Se to the Eastern Air Temple. If we take it easy we can get to the city in two days," said Aang. "Sokka and I will take the first shift, and then Katara and Hokai."
The Gaang did as Aang said and in a day and a half they arrived to the outer wall of Ba Sing Se. They didn't have to go further than the agricultural district of the city to realize that the entire city is preparing for a monstrous battle.
They saw numerous Rigid Airships, some of them holding the emblem of the Fire Nation, but most of them in the service of the Earth Kingdom. Then, out of a flash a flare appeared in front of them. They looked down and saw the Earth King and another figure standing beside him, both standing on the most decorated Airship. Aang steered Appa down, towards the two men.
As they arrived the Earth King said: "Greetings Team Avatar. It's an honor. This is Quai Li. The Fire Nation ambassador in Ba Sing Se.
~~ The Agricultural district of Ba Sing Se~~
"It's an honor to finally have the privilege of meeting the Avatar," said the Ambassador.
"What's going on here?" asked Sokka.
"Well, after the defeat of the Fire Nation we wanted some payment of the damage done. I and Quai Li agreed that a part of the damage done would be paid off if the Fire Nation builds these airships for us. The Fire Nation economy wouldn't be destroyed and the nation wouldn't be in a such large debt... Wait!" The Earth King said. "Might I ask what's with your hair?!"
"It's an Airbender thing," Sokka said, embarrassed.
"Well, the Fire Lord will arrive tomorrow," said King Kuei. "All of the airships that will participate in the battle are ready. I've also ordered that the Earthbending-powered tanks would support the battle. We are loading them right as we speak into the airships."
"The tanks won't contribute to anything," Sokka replied. "All of the land in and around the Water Tribe is ice. So the tanks will be useless."
"Then I'm afraid that I can't provide you with nothing more that air support," replied King Kuei.
"I assure you, that the Fire Nation will do anything possible to support the invasion," said Ambassador Quai Li. "But we have no ships that we could spare. All of them are patrolling around the Fire Nation. We only have a few airships left. The others were destroyed, during the battle with Ozai."
"That's all right. Any help that you can provide is more than enough," said Katara.
"Now, let's get some rest. We've got a big day ahead of us," said Aang. The King ordered his men to show them to their personal quarters, where they started to prepare for the upcoming battle.
END OF CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE
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