Chapter 2: The Tale Of The Wise Old Man And His Talented Son
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General Iroh's Heart



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Chapter 2: The Tale Of The Wise Old Man And His Talented Son

It had been three weeks since the ball, and Iroh and Aya fell into a routine. Every day, at around one o'clock, Aya would think up a story, or invent a reason to leave her parents for a few hours. She would walk to the outskirts of town, where she would meet Iroh in a park.

On one of these blissful afternoons, Aya and Iroh were sitting on a blanket, in the shade of a tree. Iroh was leaning on its trunk, reading, and Aya was leaning on his shoulder, sketching. She suddenly threw her sketchbook on the ground and sighed. "Tell me a story Iroh, it is too hot to sketch."

Iroh smiled and closed his book, she squeezed Aya's hand and began.

"Once there was a wise old man who had a caring, loving son. The son was an incredibly talented farmer, he always managed to have the biggest, juiciest vegetables, and even the most amateur chef could make delicious food from them," he said, pausing for a slight moment, before beginning his tale.

"One night the son and his father were sitting outside in the night air, under a beautiful blue, full moon. 'Look at this moon!' said the son, "it is big and strong, it controls the tides and is friends with the water spirit." He nodded his head knowingly, and the wise old man smiled at his son, and then bade him goodnight."

"A few weeks later, the son went away on business, and left his farm in the charge of his father. The father had nothing more to do, except to make sure the crops were ready for the year's planting. However, soon after the son left, a terrible storm hit the village, and many farmer's lands were ruined."

"The wise old man, knowing his son had plenty of resources to last him until harvest, told the farm hands to help the other villagers clear up after the storm. The son came back and was furious with his father. "It is too late to plant new crops now!' the son roared, 'You have ruined me!' as he stormed off. The son and the father did not speak for a whole planting season, and when the new crops of the other farmers harvested, the son bought more fruit and vegetables."

"He ate them and realized that his fellow farmers made quite delicious food, but no one bought their produce, because they always bought his. The son went back to his father's house, and said 'I will soon have no buyers of my food, for soon they will see the others have delicious food and I do not!' he became clearly upset. The wise old man took his son outside and pointed at the sky. 'What do you see?' he asked."

"'I see a black sky, the moon has finished its cycle and has not yet started another,' The son answered, obviously confused."

"'And what else?' the wise old man asked his son."

"'I see many stars that I haven't seen before,' The son said, surprised, staring at the sky in awe."

"'Sometimes, my son, the moon has to dim so the stars can shine,' said the wise old man."

"The son understood, and hugged his father dearly. 'You are a wise man, and I did not see it. My friends are also good farmers, and I did not see it, because I was too focused on my own problems,' said the son afterwards. 'How could you still love me, even after I abandoned you, and was too worried about my own achievements?'"

"The wise old man just smiled and said, 'Sometimes you have to believe in the goodness of others, even when they do not believe in it themselves.'" Iroh relaxed, concluding the story.

"That was beautiful," Aya sighed. "You're pretty remarkable, you know that?' she looked up at Iroh's face and smiled at him.

"Only because I have someone to be remarkable with." Iroh said, leaning in and kissing her. It was like an explosion went off in her brain, her nerve endings were tingling.

"Mmmh," she murmured, as they pulled apart. "You are one great kisser." Then realizing she said that out loud, Aya's cheeks turned a light pink colour.

"You're beautiful when you blush," Iroh whispered, touching her face.

"Kiss me again?" Aya asked, leaning in closer.

"Definitely," Iroh said, smiling.

Author's Note

I wanted to show Iroh and Aya at their best in this chapter, I thought that Iroh telling her a story, would be able to show how simple and sweet their relationship is. (I just want it noted that I know NOTHING about farming!)

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