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Tala-Title13
Agni Kai
Chapter information
Series

The Journey of Tala

Book

1

Chronicle

Sand and Steel

Chapter

13

Written by

Kuir

Editor(s)

Kuir, Decca03

Release date

November 3, 2012

Chronology
Last chapter

Chapter 12: Queries

Next chapter

Chapter 14: The Night of Puppets

Centuries ago, the world changed with the Hundred Year War. The Air Nomads were wiped out, leaving only the Avatar, Aang. The Fire Nation brought war for a hundred years until Aang defeated the Fire Lord. He and the new Fire Lord helped create a new nation centered around Republic City, a metropolis of both technology and culture. Aang and his successor, Korra kept balance in the world while also aiding the new Republic City. Peace has come to the world again. But peace is an illusion the new Avatar cannot afford. With Korra's inevitable passing, the new Avatar has cycled into the Earth Kingdom born into a girl named Tala.

Chapter 13: Agni Kai

The crisp air bit into the skin as he rolled the scroll tightly. He looked to the Palace of Old Omashu. He extended his arm out, a Raven-Eagle landed. He placed the scroll into a special pack on its back with a black and gold ribbon, whistled a specific tune and let the large bird of prey fly.

A general of the Earth Kingdom inquired, "You really think they'll go for it?"

"They have no choice. With the safety of the people on the line. They must accept."

The Challenge

Urri and his house sat down at a long table eating breakfast. With them were members of the Air Nomads, the Nobles, leaders of the Lotus and the Water Tribe and Avatar Tala. She was in a good mood and had spent the last couple of days enjoying the palace with Kulek.

The entire city's mood had lightened since the capture of Prince Kuir and it had a profound impact on the enemy. Their attacks were more reserved and less bold. The council was unsure whether this was the army's fear of reprisals against their prince or the army not following the Black Dragon's command, and whether one scenario or another was best.

In the days that sparked intensely, families didn't know if their sons or fathers would return. Now at least, few to no lives were lost and most of the casualties were wounds instead.

Winter was still in full swing. Snow storms were a daily occurrence though the city was protected from the worst. Kids played again because they were happy as their parents smiled.

This light and happy mood was reflected in breakfast where Hava joked with Kulek about Bison Polo. Tala, Esas and Kilidi listened intently, laughing when they heard about what the foul was.

The good time was interrupted by a messenger. He approached with a raven-eagle, a fierce and deadly bird of prey. On its back was a cylindrical capsule, tied to it was a black and gold ribbon, flowing in the air.

The Raven Eagle bowed upon seeing Tala, she reached over slowly and opened the capsule. In it was a scroll, as she removed it, the bird landed on the table and began eating Esas' breakfast, much to the twin's chagrin and his brother's laughter.

Tala read through the scroll slowly. There was little in writing but much in meaning. The table looked at her expectantly, she cleared her throat and recited the letter.

"To The Great Avatar,

It has been too long since we last met. As sad as it is that we are on different sides in this conflict, at least we are sure of our principles. As I have taken command of the siege of this great city, I must reflect on purpose.

I have no ill will to Omashu, or its people. And despite its rebellion to the Earth King, I believe there can be reconciliation. To expedite this, I have, with reluctance, chosen to give a response to the capture of Crown-Prince Kuir of the Earth Kingdom.

I challenge you to an Agni Kai on the Winter Solstice in two days for the fate of the city. To the winner is chosen how the future goes. Should you win, I will withdraw the siege. Should I win, you will release Prince Kuir and surrender the city without any loss of life. I leave this choice to you. If you shall accept, I shall meet you on the hull of the Empyrean, I'm sure you're familiar with the ship.

Sincerely, Rishu: The Black Dragon, Grand Marshal, and Founder of the Sky Dragons."


Silence remained for a time. Tala spoke, "I have to accept."

The silence ended as protests came from every direction of the table. From Hava and Suun to Urri and Kuel, and everyone in between opposed this. "Its a trap!" "You can't do this!" "He's desperate!"

Tala stood up and challenged their consensus, "We have no choice. If we don't answer this challenge, we won't ever have a chance like this again. No one else will be hurt and it can be over."

Hava responded, "Tala, don't you see what he is trying to do? He wants to force you into a fight that gives him the edge. Not to mention, look at the day he challenged you. He wants this on the solstice to deprive you of the counseling you can seek."

"If I sought the counsel of a predecessor, wouldn't I have to find a temple? The closest is a day's ride and in enemy territory. I need to take the chance to protect this city."

"And what if he has no intention of honoring this? This could all be a simple trap." Suun pressed this.

"An Agni Kai would not be insulted so by such a powerful leader of the Fire Nation." She knew that a person like Rishu would honor this cultural event.

"Tala, he just wants to curb our victory. He needs to undo the damage of Kuir's capture and targeting you will do that." Urri spoke calmly.

"I know." Tala paused, "But I can't ignore or hide from this. If I answer it, I have a chance to end the siege, which is vital to the entire war. If I refuse, that message will reverberate throughout the world that I hid from the challenge. I have no choice."

Hava spoke, "Tala, you do have a choice, you are free to choose for yourself."

"Free? The Avatar is never free. We always answer to someone or something, be it a person or a destiny. We are the most powerful servants in the world."


It was not long before the entire city knew about the challenge. There were some who supported it, as it could end the siege; but most opposed it, that it was foolish. Tala nonetheless intended to follow through and accept the challenge.

Kulek walked through the street market, overhearing the commotion and discussion. Some feared that this man was making a trap, some were certain that the Avatar would trounce the Grand Marshal.

Kulek had to agree with most that it was the dumbest thing to handle this by a duel with the man who orchestrated the war. And worse, there was nothing he could do to convince her otherwise. She was set on facing him, alone. Kulek was still uneducated on the reasoning for fighting on the solstice. Hava had stated some reasons, but Tala ad shown no ability to connect with the Spirit World thus far, how could a solstice change that?

Facing a Dragon

The time had come. Tala breathed slowly as she finished readying her bracers. She tied up her hair, as she always did. She went to the corner and picked up a cylindrical staff. Unlike most airbending gliders, Tala preferred the model that the Mechanist made for Avatar Aang after his original was destroyed. She liked the strength it had compared to the fragile staffs nomads used. Tala's fabric wings were green with a black staff, making her glider unique amongst airbenders.

She left her quarters to head to the highest place to fly from for the Empyrean. That meant going to the Air Nomads' summit in the palace. She wasn't looking forward to hearing their protest as she went off to face Rishu.

She was surprised to find Hava standing alone waiting for her. She spoke, "And here I thought, I would be held down against my will." She spoke with light humor, there was nothing funny about what she was going to do.

"I decided it would be easier if one voice tried to talk to you reasonably." But he then stepped sideways and beckoned to someone else. Off to the side of Tala, came another man.

He was an Air Nomad, he wore pants and boots traditional to his people but instead had a sash of orange and yellow going over his right shoulder. The left side of his chest and his whole left arm was black as coal.

It was instantly obvious who he was by the scar. Simi Rohan was the scout heading to Republic City when he witnessed the opening salvo of the war as the Fire Nation attacked the United Forces airfields. They tried to cut him off and failed to until a white flame hit him and his bison on the left side. By miracle, they escaped and survived the trek back to Omashu. The healers have spent months healing the two. Only recently was Simi strong enough to talk again, now he was strong enough to stand and walk.

"Tala, don't go out there. If the Black Dragon is the man you're facing and the same one who did this." He lifted his black-scarred arm, "That is nothing a child should face."

"I'm not a child, and it is this or hide. We can't hide forever. If the Avatar won't face him, who will?" She continued on past them.

The blackened hand grabbed her shoulder and stopped her. She looked back and his face held a different demeanor than before, "I can't stop you if you decide to fight him, but I can warn you." He looked again at his scarred flesh, knowing it would never heal, "Do not let these flames hit, I never knew of a flame so horrid and I paid the price for my ignorance. Keep him at a distance and use agility. I don't know if even a firebender can dissipate a blast from him with how strong they are."

She nodded, as he released his hold on her, "Good luck, Avatar."

"Thank you."


She reached the highest point in the palace, it stood over much of the city, only one skyscraper in New Omashu exceeded it. She looked west and saw the Empyrean stand out. It was alone and within the defenses of the city, it hovered much lower than the other airships, so much so that Tala was looking down to it.

She hit the staff to the floor with a sharp motion, the springs inside activated, unfolding green wings. A pair of wide ones in the front and a pair of narrow tail wings at the bottom. She threw the glider forward, it spun up & around and back to her where she now had momentum to fly.

She airbended a current to elevate over the skies once again. She looked down as she reached closer to the airship. Three men stood atop the hull. Two stood next to each other by the tail while another stood at the nose by himself, implying she was to go there.

She reached the spot and dropped ten feet kneeling as she landed. She spun the staff tapping it against the hull, collapsing the green fabric back into the black wooden staff. The soldier beside her stood still. Across the ship was the Black Dragon. He wore the same cloak as Lira did on the Solar Eclipse, or rather the same style, as he was taller than his wife. He was still talking to his lieutenant, a handsome young man with a sheathed Jian in hand. His lean physique pressed against his outfit.

He looked her way as he spoke to his master. He smiled at her, Tala blushed as she saw his striking amber eyes. Finally, Rishu turned around to face her. He removed the ceremonial cloak of nobles. He did not wear a uniform or armor but instead sets of clothing. His shirt seemed to be the same style worn under the royal armor but in black with gold lining; it hung above his knees in the front where it separated at the middle; but it went below his knees in the back where it ended at a point. He wore knee-high boots and loose pants that tucked in. As the shirt was short-sleeved, the rest of his arms were covered in tight black wraps that encompassed his palms, wrists and elbow.

He looked the picture of a warrior. Tala thought he would attack when he lifted his hand, instead he spoke, "Welcome, Avatar Tala. You look well, indeed, armor suits you as well as a dragon-silk dress."

She nodded curtly.

"I think we should talk before we go after each others' throats." Rishu had again adopted that voice that awed or disturbed those around him. His black eyes did nothing to minimize its effect, but compounded it. Had Tala not encountered him before, it might have worked.

"First, I would like to offer you the chance to join me, Avatar. You should not be throwing in with traitors and defiant kings."

"Lets say I actually considered that ridiculous proposal, why should I join you?"

"Balance."

"Balance and peace? You started this whole war!"

"I said balance and to achieve balance in the world, hard choices have to be made. Something your legacy has proven time and again." He began pacing, "Avatar Aang defied the unspoken laws of our lands in the creation of a fifth nation."

"He said it was a haven for all from anywhere. It was the breeding ground for a new world, one that would destroy its ancestors, the four nations."

"That's absurd."

"Is it? The Water Tribes are completely dependent on trade with the United Republic. Half of the Earth Kingdom has been lost in land either to its borders or its trade. Forces from other nations have to donate troops. And it deigns to tell the Fire Nation where our naval borders are."

"You and I both know you manipulated that event into motion."

"Yes, I did. And you know what? It wasn't hard. The Council in Republic City needed no convincing or bribery, they took it on like it was their own idea, like they had been waiting for this moment. To tell the Fire Nation how the seas work."

"The fact is that Avatar Aang did exactly was Firelord Sozin wanted, create a united empire of the world. He just did it in baby steps with an illusion of peace."

"Peace isn't an illusion." Tala answered defiantly.

"Oh? Tell me of a time of peace that did not follow or was not followed by great strife in the world. Every era of 'peace' was bought with blood and borrowed time before another war took it. Never has there been true peace and never will there be."

"When you realize this, you will stop with the ideologue's dream and face the realities that balance is the most you can fight for. And that is what I'm doing. Returning the balance back to the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation as it was centuries ago."

"You think that you can do all that?"

"The fate of the many rests in the hands of the few. That was, is, and always will the way of the world. Accept it or you will be destroyed from within as person after person fails to be anything like you."

Tala looked down and away for a second, Rishu pressed, "You've seen it haven't you? People do stupid things, the most illogical choices possible and they have no idea why that was wrong. They suffer and they make everyone around them suffer. and then you have to come in and fix it, only to be blamed for all the troubles they caused."

"Are we going to fight or not?"

Rishu smiled, "Very well, we shall fight. Now our terms: Should you win, Kuir shall remain a prisoner, and I shall join him. The siege shall be lifted and your people under no threat or harm. Should I win, Kuir shall be released, the city will surrender peacefully; you and Urri shall fall to my custody. No one will be harmed to the best of our abilities. Do we have terms."

Tala did not need time to think it through, "We do."

"Then we shall begin. If you would please, the young gentleman there will hold onto your glider until he returns it to you, should you win."

She handed the staff to the soldier, he held it calmly and carefully. He walked two steps and pulled up on a hatch and climbed down. Rishu's lieutenant stole another glance at her as he took the Grand Marshal's cloak and also climbed down a hatch, closing it behind him.

Rishu took his stance, his body profile facing sideways as he waited for the Avatar to strike. She sent a blaze of flames at the man, venting her anger to augment the first strike.

The powerful flame kept true for its target, but it dissipated before reaching him. Tala wondered, how did he do that?

She attacked again this time with two blasts of air, they angled at him, one high and one low. He rolled down away from the low blast and faced the next with an orb of white flame that engulfed his hand. When the cycle of air hit, it did not blast him nor snuff out the flame, but rather it expanded it. Its as if the flame fed on the air. Rishu spun and lobbed the flame at her.

She easily dodged the attack but could still feel the oppressive heat of the flame as it passed by. When she turned to face her opponent, he had crossed half the distance between them.

She set off two quick bursts of flames to keep him back as she used airbending to avoid him. Tala thought on it, Rishu planned well, being on a metal ship robbed the Avatar of earthbending, he no doubt knew she only had limited metalbending, not enough to take advantage of the environment.

He pressed forward, arms back like a phoenix flight. He leapt up lifting his leg high and bringing it down with a hard kick. Flames spewed forward, forcing the Avatar to get away from that section of the ship, she saw that the metal was glowing from the heat.

She landed and attacked again. He quickly expunged her fires, either dissipating them before contact or waving them away like they were wisps. His own response were mcu deadlier. Tala breathed a breath of air with enough strength to make a crater in the hull like a round sphere. Rishu barely rolled back from the attack and the concussive force pushed him further.

She landed, hitting the ground with a shockwave. Rishu took the wave in stride, which gave him the lift to get back up easily. He made several circular movements, spun and launched his fist forward. Flames erupted from his arm funneling their way to Tala. Tala lifted herself up to see the scope of the attack.

The flame was almost as long as the airship and an intense white that actually started melting the metal beneath it. How could he have made such a powerful flame? Tala used her high ground to get above him. As she moved forward, Rishu shot his hand up, temporarily catching her ankle, forcing her to land sooner and awkwardly.

She barely got to her knees when an another blast came her way. She airbended a sphere that held to the attack dissipating much of it beforehand. She knelt low, bring her left hand from out to in while twisting her right hand in the opposite motion. A small but powerful cyclone horizontally rolled forward with empty air in the middle of the cylinder.

Rishu fired another blast right through the cyclone only to realize the trick of it. The empty air caught on the flame and dissipated even the white flames. The spinning air kept forward. Rishu could not get an angle on where it would hit in the cyclical pattern, and got hit it the waist by the attack. He was reeling from the attack and almost fell into the molten hull in the front of the airship.

Tala exhaled wearily. Rishu showed no signs of exhaustion, pain, or even frustration. He brought his hands back in a fashion like an airbender and shot forward. It seemed as if the attack failed as nothing came. An instant later, light appeared in his open palm. It was unstable and churning, it escaped his palm, heading straight for Tala.

She created an airsphere and lobbed it at the speeding ball of light. The two collided between them and erupted into a fireball so massive it pushed them both back. As the flame and smoke dissipated, Rishu was doing it again; Tala sent an air slice at it. The ball ignited again but the slice cut it giving Tala safety as flames surrounded her.

She didn't stay in place, immediately jumping out of the way as Rishu fired after her. The attack itself was fast but the charge wasn't, giving her the ability to dodge his new ability.

She stopped and noticed that so had Rishu, he was sweating from the exertion. She breathed heavily, "How?"

"The Sun affects firebenders in many ways. And one of the most principal times is on the solstices. At that time, a creative firebender can do remarkable things limited to the unique."

Tala was kicking herself. Hava was right, even if he didn't know for what specifically, Rishu utilized the winter solstice to his advantage. Rishu regained his earlier calm and breathed slowly, preparing again.

Tala knew its was only a matter of time if this kept up. Rather than fleeing the attack, she bolted straight for him. She formed a palm sphere in hand. She punched forward, keeping it locked in for melee as her hand met the extending attack of Rishu's hand.

The explosion was even worse than before, shearing the metal beneath them. The blast was so strong that they were still being repelled up and away as they flew off the airship from the blast. It was seconds before they started to descend.

Tala narrowed her eyes as her daze faded and saw that she was falling. She used airbending to slow her descent. Before she could take the next maneuver, she was hit as if by a truck.

Her guided descent became a fraying, spinning mess. All she saw was the black of Rishu's outfit as they rolled down. She sent an elbow into him. He didn't flinch but responded her a knee to her chest. He continued to pummel her as she did likewise, but his physical strength won this contest. He was not doing any permanent damage as hits seemed to be aimed at knocking the wind out of her.

When she was subdued enough, he grabbed her with one arm while punching back with the other arm and both his legs. Fire was summoned and the raging flames propelled him forward.

She began to regain herself but didn't fight back yet. Rishu was flying them to another airship, an Omashu Defender. She waited till they reached it when she launched a kick that separated them. Rishu's momentum would have sent him past the airship, however he turned away from the direction he was going and so turned away the propulsion of his flames. It stopped him from flying over. As he stood on the deck, he reinvigorated the jetting flames, blazing forward to Tala at intense speeds.

He fired another stream of flame at the Avatar. There was no point for her to even firebend against the man. Her attacks were weak to his. Airbending was her only advantage.

That is when it hit her, she did have firebending strong enough to fight back. She pointed her middle and index finger together and aimed at Rishu. Electrical energy sprang forward, bounding at Rishu at a rate too fast to avoid.

Rishu didn't hesitate. He extended his own hand forward, catching the lightning. His other hand traced the path of chi he directed the lightning through, it escaped his body through the other arm. He fired it back at Tala who expected the strike. Smoke and flame temporarily engulfed the area.

Faster than a shadow, Rishu came through the smoke hitting Tala dead on. She crashed into the base of the tail rudder of the ship. Rishu was quickly there. She sent a balst of air that he quickly dissipated with his flames. The flames surrounded her for a moment but never touched her. The next thing she saw was Rishu using his knee to pin her against the base. His hands shot up, the thumb of his right hand pressed against her forehead while the other against her chest.

"Wha-?"

Her body churned in agonizing pain, stopping her tongue. Things began to blur and change before her eyes. What was a clear blue winter sky was now glowing white. Her eyes seemed to narrow beyond what was possible and focus solely on Rishu. But it wasn't Rishu anymore. His face sneered and glowed white as a skull of flame emerged. It soon became something else, as flames hissed, the skull became that of a black dragon, staring malignantly at her. His two whiskers slithered forward touching Tala's head.

Her forehead started to burn, as images raced across her mind. Things she had never seen before. A canyon that spoke, a fire that didn't burn, creatures that didn't breath. A grassy and stony hill covered by eternal storms. But the last image terrified her. A cave, black and fathomless. Something stirred out of sight, it hissed at her. It said something that she tried to ignore, "-be as it was-". It stood before her, but before she could recognize it, green light blinded her in a flash.


Light of Knowledge

Her chest burned as her vision restored and reality returned to her. She was kneeling on the ground, hands holding her up. She tightened her fingers into fists. The metal bent beneath as if she had the strength of a thousand men. She exhaled deeply and the strength left her, leaving her weak and tired.

She looked out and saw Rishu twenty feet away, laying on his back. He got up slowly and painfully. "Blast you, Avatar!" He spoke every word with venom. "You stopped it, you could have learned so much were you not such a fool!"

Both stood up shakily. She looked on him with a new fear, "How did you do that?"

"Don't be so naive, Avatar. Even Omashu taught you history."

"Only the Avatar could bend energy."

"Oh really? Aang didn't learn from another being that wasn't the Avatar? I am relieved that that historical error has been taken care of."

Tala looked down in embarrassment and shame. How could she be so stupid to actually believe that? Aang learned from a Lion Turtle, so at least one other being who wasn't an Avatar could, why not a human?

"How did you learn this?"

"That is my secret, to give to you as I deem. Ironically, I was teaching you just that when your predecessors stopped me."

She looked at him questioningly, "The Avatar State has a lot of power, and the will of so many over yours is the ultimate slavery. They don't want you to know the truth and therefore stopped me from teaching you in the best method possible."

She was wary. That he thought she would believe any of it was beyond her. He continued after taking a long breath of exhaustion, "You still have some of my knowledge, but your past has kept it from you. To access it, you may very well have to destroy the presence of those who would stop you."

She assumed a stance to fight as soldiers in uniforms of Omashu climbed from the ship. Rishu stood up straight and calmly put his hands behind his back as he smiled. "Should we fight and bring on the deaths of these poor fools who thought they could help?"

The soldiers looked dumbfounded or insulted, but Tala began to think. These men would be charred bones in a minute if a fight began. "Can you honestly say you won?"

"Can you?"

She stood up, abandoning her form, "No."

He nodded his head in agreement, "Neither can I. Unfortunately, unless we continue this, the Agni Kai is unfinished."

"Or it could be a draw. Nothing gained and nothing lost."

Rishu smiled, "I could agree with that." He walked to the edge of the airship, "Until next time, Avatar Tala." He walked forward, stepping off and falling into the sky. He propelled himself again, to the Empyrean which was now heading their way.

She looked to an officer among the soldiers, "Let's go home."

Tala stepped off the bridge that connected the zeppelin to the gorge's docking bay. All the war council was waiting as was Kulek and the twins. She knew they were waiting for the result, "No victor, we decided to end it on even terms."

Sighs of relief spread throughout the group. Kilidi started yelling, "Yeah! That wimp copped out so he didn't have to get walloped like Kuir did in the tunnel!" Esas chuckled, but Suun gave them both a stare that made them shut up.

As things calmed down, she was able to get Hava away from the others, "Master, we have a problem."


"So you're saying he bent your energy?" Hava and several elders of the Rohan Clan stood with Tala in a secluded space in their section of the palace.

"There was no other explanation."

"Did he take your bending away?"

She created a ball of flame before snuffing it out, "No, he was trying to pass information to me." She recalled to them what little she remembered.

"What was in the cave?"

"I don't know. But whatever it was, it scared even Rishu."

Hava and Simi looked at each other, "The canyon is probably the Whispering Canyon."

"But what does that place have to do with everything going on?"

"Probably little to nothing. This cave though, it is probably in the Fire Nation. Those lands have some dark places with even darker histories."

Simi looked at Tala, "Thank you, for this. It is important that someone knows, but we cannot let the whole city know, panic will erupt and chaos will follow."

Another elder, as old as Hava and Simi combined objected, "The people have a right to know."

"And do you know what will happen?" Simi responded quickly, "The city will break apart in fear of a man who can take bending away, and combine that with the fact that he did something to the Avatar. The whole city will think she is under his control or some other ridiculous thing."

The aged man looked at Hava, "We can't keep this from the city. They need to know."

Hava breathed out, "Simi is right, only evil can come of this. At most, we tell the king and Suun of this, and no one else. Not even their sons."

The elder seemed dejected but agreed to keep his silence as did the other elders.


Rishu sat at the table, looking down at the Pai Sho table. It was his turn; he moved the light chakra tile forward; now with the lotus tile, it cornered a metal tile. Now it was time to wait. As the opponent player was a prisoner. Until out of the enemy's hold, his response was long and coming. A shuffle of the tent informed him that another person had entered.

Out of the corner of his eye was Liam, his lieutenant. The young man waited quietly, Rishu nodded, "Sir, they have arrived."

"Good, this plan will be incredibly risky, but it must be done. The Prince is expecting light defenses."

"Sir, it seems awfully risky putting so much weight onto such treacherous hands."

"They are not treacherous, just untrustworthy." He looked at the tiles before him, "I want you to be on the field that night."

"Sir?"

"You are one of the best tacticians I have seen in my life and a master swordsman. Even Chief Arkoda would have had a run for his money had he faced you instead of me. Plus, I need someone I can trust on that battlefield."

"What about the Sky Dragons, sir?"

"They have duties elsewhere at present. I need a man with skills not affected by the skies above. And if you can take care of Arkoda, that will be a bonus."

"Yes, sir."

"Bring her in."

"Very well, sir."

The woman stepped in as Liam stepped out, "You called for us all?"

"Yes, I have a plan that will perfectly suit your skills."

Notes

  • Chapters 10-14 all occur in the same month.
  • In this chapter, we discover that Rishu can Energybend. How he learned is a secret still.
  • Rishu's plans at the end of the chapter directly lead into the next chapters, Night of Puppets and Exile.

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