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Breath of Fire
Chapter information
Series

Kun: The New Avatar

Book

1

Chronicle

Restoration

Chapter

3

Written by

AvatarAero

Release date

November 12, 2016

Chronology
Last chapter

Stand and Deliver

Next chapter

The City Underground

It's been 10 years since Kuvira's defeat in Republic City. She was the fourth and most difficult of the villains that Avatar Korra had to battle since coming to Republic City. First came Amon, looking for equality between benders and nonbenders, then Unalaq, who wanted harmony between the spirits and the humans. Zaheer, who felt the world was too out of balance, and finally Kuvira, who wanted to unite the Earth Kingdom under one banner.

Each had a goal in mind: To better the world. All of them chose honorable problems to solve, but the saying "the end justifies the means" did not extend to these people.

After Kuvira was defeated, and locked away for good, each member of Team Avatar did their own work to preserve the new world peace and help the less fortunate make their mark on the world. Whether world missions or helping smaller towns get back on their feet, there was no job too small for Team Avatar in restoring world balance.

Author's Note

This is Chapter 3 of my series. I think I like this the best out of all of them so far, and not just to toot my own horn (shameless plug). Below is some more information that you probably should read, but no one cares if you don't.

Out of all my stories so far, this one is the most confusing to understand, and the time shifts are all over the place. However, at the end of the story, the time frames line up, so everything from here on out, unless in flashback form, will be aligned time - wise. 

When this goes live (11/11/16 or 11/12/16, this is being written on 10/20/16), I'll create a poll to see if you guys, who read my post, want me to keep the prologue in or, starting from the next episode, want a recap of what happened in the past episode(s).

If you're reading this within two or three days of it being updated, then please go and vote in the poll. Just go to my profile and click on the link.

That said, I hope you enjoy the third installation in Kun: The New Avatar.

Previously on Kun: The New Avatar

Lin Beifong arrived on Air Temple Island to teach Kun the basics of earthbending. Even with the special skill running in the family, Kun was unable to bend for a long time, and Lin simply resorted to training him in physical activities. However, as Lin is distracted by an attack on Republic City, Kun manages to earthbend due to wise words from the Beifong herself, about how she first began to metalbend.

Tenzin, Kai and Jinora are flying to a state in the Northern Earth Kingdom on Pepper, but are captured along the way. Tenzin immediately realizes that their only escape is to meditate to regain their strength, as all of them have not practiced their bending for many days. Kai has the most difficulty, because he was not a natural airbender and so was not as in tune with his spiritual side as Tenzin and Jinora. Kai forces himself to focus on the task at hand and begin his spiritual meditation, to save himself from his prison.

Episode 3: Breath of Fire

Dragons were some of the more majestic creatures that lived on the earth. Regal, graceful, the epitome of beauty, but at the same time powerful, dangerous and lacking restraint. Only with a steady hand and a trustworthy heart could one hope to tame and reciprocate a bond with one. The dragon genocide, along with the airbender genocide, was initiated by the Fire Nation, to prove one's worth, which, in retrospect to many Fire Nation soldiers, was a poor use of their time and an ill - fated result.

It is therefore much more ironic that the Fire Nation became the new trainers of dragons, with Fire Lord Zuko leading campaigns to rebuild the dragon population. Taking Shaw as his steed, one of the two firebending masters, Zuko managed to create a whole dragon population, gifting the firstborn of the two masters, Hotaru, to his daughter, Izumi.

Hotaru benefited from being the product of the two most powerful firebending masters of all time. Within his first two years, he had already grown to the size of a full grown adult, something that took normal dragons 5 years to achieve. At his age of 56, he was almost as old as Izumi herself, but retained his fiery personality, as well as his close bond with Izumi.

It was on the back of the gigantic dragon that Izumi presented herself to Kun for the first time, flying into the airbending field on Air Temple Island. Hotaru was easily the length of a Republic City block, about 30 meters from the tip of his snout to the emblem of fire that blazed at the end of his tail. His eyes glowed green, a genetic byproduct of his parents, as well as his blue fire. Hotaru landed lightly in the middle of the airbending field, and down leapt Izumi.

Much like Tenzin and Lin, Izumi was in her mid to late sixties, retaining her figure as well as her bending prowess. With the death of her father, Zuko, the year prior, Izumi became the most powerful firebender in the world, and had previously been given the title of "master firebender" by none other than her father, one of the most gifted firebenders of all time.

She wore a long robe, indicative of her Fire Nation royalty descent, as well as her hair in a bun and the Fire Lady pin and crown through the hair at the top. Her hair was black - gray, a curious mix that reflected both her youthful spirit and her age in reality. Her eyes were also gray, hidden behind gold - rimmed spectacles. Even at her age, her posture was perfect and she exuded regality.

Such was the person that came to grace Kun by leaving her nation and teaching him the essentials of firebending: A matriarch of a whole race of people with a dragon as her steed. Even Agni, one of the rarest beings on the planet, was intimidated by the sheer size and power exuded by Hotaru. Oddly enough, to Agni, this meant intruding on the dragon's personality, even though the head of Hotaru alone was larger than the abnormally large winged fire horse.

Izumi stood a good 5 centimeters taller than Kun when she reached out a hand. Kun took it lightly, and without much force. "Thank you for teaching me, your highness. It is an honor to be in the presence of a true firebending master."

With those compliments, Izumi immediately began to soften, reciprocating, "The honor is truly mine, Avatar. Thank you for shouldering the burden the world has placed on you."

Izumi then turned to Lin. "Hello Lin," she said, in an icy cold voice. Lin's face hardened, and Kun could tell from weeks of training that something from her past was bothering her. It was the same clenching of her jaw, gritting of her teeth and the tightening of her fists that was displayed every time she talked about her deadbeat and worthless father. "Hello, Izumi. I see you've been busy at work in the Fire Nation."

Izumi glanced at her perfect nails. "Yes, I have been. I spent the last decade trying to fix the Earth Kingdom and the aftermath of your harebrained scheme to take down Kuvira, and you - " at this point Izumi inserts a short, condescending laugh - " - all you had to do was stay behind in Republic City and protect President Raiko. The one time he was attacked, you couldn't even protect him."

Lin growled, "Says the prissy queen, in her fancy palace! What a horrible life you must have had, living under the care of Fire Lord Zuko and having everything you ever wanted an inch away. Poor you." With a snarl, Izumi leaps back, fire blazing on her fingertips. In retaliation, Lin lifts a few fist - sized rocks.

Before either of them could initiate the first blow, a wall of rock separated them. They looked in amazement at Kun, who had erected the block of stone. "We have a huge problem! It's been 10 years since anything negative has happened in Republic City, and now, right after advanced gliding benders show up, you want to fight about the past? Get a hold of yourselves! We have a crisis at hand and we need to focus on that!"

Lin twitches in rage, causing her scar to perform acrobatics on her jaw. Izumi, always the more reserved one of the two, increased the intensity of the flames on her fingers, turning them almost pure white in rage. Oddly enough, it was Lin who first dropped the rocks, and apologized. "I guess we can leave the topic of our past for now, if we are to train Kun. Let's forget about it, for the time being." It was obvious that Lin was quite unhappy at the thought, but she relented, giving in the enormity of the danger before them.

Izumi retracted out of her fighting stance, and the flames on her fingertips died out. In unison, the two masters bowed to each other, and while neither of them accepted each other's presence, they begrudgingly respected each other, until the dangers had passed.

Kai is woken up from his uncomfortable position by the rattling of the metal baton on the metal bars on the top of the prison cell. A small hole in the earth of the cell appears to his right, and food is shoved in with earthbending. Almost immediately after the food is in the cell, the hole closes. Tenzin groans, evidently waking up as well, and turns to Kai.

Tenzin seemed to have aged 10 years since their capture about two weeks ago. His beard, once streaked with gray, had turned almost a solid shade of sheet metal. He hadn't shaved in such a long time that his head was beginning to sprout hair, and he was growing sideburns that stretched the craggy road up his jaw to his ear. His skull still had the nasty bruise from their ambush, but it had seemed to have stopped causing him pain and was more of a hallmark of their encounter in the sky. "The last time I felt this bruised, Zaheer wanted to kill Korra," he groaned.

Kai turns slightly to his left, and sees Jinora also waking up from her slumber. The cut that she received from the ambush seemed to have healed, but she was still very weak and tired. She had been sporadically waking up throughout the night, and was able to eat, but she had been considerably weakened by the attack. Tenzin, in hushed whispers to Kai, had mentioned how her random lapses of consciousness might be a journey into the Spirit World, but, Kai thought to himself, it could also be the by - product of hitting her head when they landed.

Kai, in his wildly restrictive position, managed to get a foot around to the bowl of rice and kicked it over to Tenzin. Airbender policy outlawed the disrespect of the most important essentials, food being very high on the list, and Kai was loathe to break such a sacred tradition. However, not once in the airbending scriptures did the old masters mention protocol while handcuffed to a metal pole in imprisonment, so Kai - and, begrudgingly, Tenzin - decided that all rules were moot at this point.

Even at the blistering age of 65, and in the face of imminent imprisonment unto his death, Tenzin kept true to all of his airbending physiques, the most important, right now, being his flexibility. Tenzin was able to bend over into such a pretzel that even though the bowl was on the floor, he was still able to eat from it. And he remained in that position for two minutes, devouring the rice as quickly as he could.

When he was finished, a messy Tenzin blew the bowl to Jinora, who was just waking up. Her intelligence still going strong, while Jinora ate, with the bowl on her lap, thought of a way to escape the dungeon.

Kai, the strongest of the trio currently, put his head back on the pole that he was handcuffed to. He closed his eyes, trying to recall what happened the night of their abduction. He couldn't remember much, other than their capture and being brought to a city in the Northern Earth Kingdom.

Tenzin was also doing his own thinking. He had figured out the schedules of the guards around their cell, and from that, had created a plan. After a few minutes of eating for the 3 of them, along with some fancy airbending for the water, Tenzin waited for the guard to leave, and then laid out his plan.

"Firstly, what we need to do is get out of these chains. Hopefully, they don't have an alarm in place, but if they do, this is what I want us to do. We have to airbend out of the cell." Tenzin's voice was raggedy, but even hushed voices couldn't suppress the ridiculousness presented in his plan.

"That's crazy talk, Tenzin. How are we going to do that?" asked Kai. Jinora nodded her head. In a weak voice, she whispered, "I can barely bend, and you're not in the best shape either, Dad."

Tenzin nods to himself, as if the protest was exactly what he was hoping for. "Then, in order to improve ourselves as airbenders, we must focus our energy within, and meditate. Only then can we unlock all the spiritual abilities that have been given as benders."

Kai looked to Jinora, and then asked Tenzin the big question: "Are you sure it will work?" In response, Tenzin let out a big sigh and said, "I'm not sure. But we have all the time in the world right now. And if Zaheer can master flight with a few weeks of practice, I am sure that we can achieve greater feats with the time and opportunity granted to us." And with that, Tenzin remained silent, crossed his legs, and entered his meditative state.

Jinora shrugged and followed suit. For Kai, it was a much more difficult experience, as he had not been born an airbender, but he too, began to slow down his breathing and practiced his bodily control. His ability to remain seated in one place was great, but his spiritual connection - as a result of being an airbender not through birth, but by chance - meant that he would have to work harder to escape from the prison. It would be a long week for the airbenders.

Izumi insisted on beginning training that day, even though Kun complained of being tired. Although she taught Kun the entire day, Lin agreed to Izumi's proposal. "You need to be tough, kid. Even in the middle of the night, you have to be completely prepared for attack. Now get out there and show me that you can firebend!"

Izumi took position opposite Kun in the airbending field. Even after the heavy earthbending that took place on the same field earlier that day, it was completely smooth, probably thanks to Lin. Kun again marveled at the continuous stream of energy that Lin had: not only did she train earthbending with Kun, but at her age, she also was able to bend earth in ways he could never imagine, such as replicating the designs of the Air Nomads in the field. On top of that, the fact that she could still insult him and threaten violence left Kun mentally shaking his head and physically preparing himself for a beating from both Izumi and Lin.

"Fire is the element of the breath. Your breath becomes the energy in your body, that extends past your limbs and becomes fire. My great - uncle Iroh used that teaching method for my father, Fire Lord Zuko. It took a long time to sink in, but eventually, Zuko understood. Firebending is one of the few bending techniques that is not reliant solely on your physical strength. Your spiritual strength matters just as much - maybe even more. And that is why the Avatar has had huge success in learning firebending in past - your spiritual connection to fire has made it easy for you to grasp the concept."

Kun took time to process this information. He knew that Izumi came from a long line of proficient firebenders, who controlled the Fire Nation for centuries. She must know more about the element of fire than him. Yet, Kun couldn't help but doubt her sayings.

Izumi smiled a little, letting her hard shell of emotional impermeability break a little. "I see you are struggling with the prospects. Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko faced the same problem after my father was accepted to the Avatar's team. They journeyed to the realm of the Sun Warriors, and learned the true meaning of fire. While we don't have the time, I will impart you with this knowledge: Our strength, both physical and spiritual, comes from our family. Thanks to my father, I have been able to experience more spiritual power, and believe me, it makes a difference."

Kun takes a deep breath and tries his hardest to find the spiritual energy within himself. Unfortunately, because his connection to Raava was not a result of his birth, he was not in tune with the spiritual world, at least not as much as he needed. Not being a natural firebender, compounded with the fact that he wasn't a true Avatar, meant that it was next to impossible for him to create so much as a puff of smoke, forget any true fire at all.

Izumi's voice cut through his meditation. "I want to you to spend a few more seconds finding the fire within you, and exhale when you think you have found it. At that moment, I will instruct you to fire, no pun intended. Get into a low stance, extend your dominant arm, and let loose the raging fire within you. Understand?" Kun nodded, a slight jerk of his head that indicated that he was as prepared as could be for his task. After no more than ten seconds, he exhaled, a mighty breath that allowed his lungs to gain the air necessary for his attack.

"NOW!" Kun settled into his stance, a low tiger position that he had seen others get massive power from. His right arm cocked, he punched the air, hoping to Raava that his spiritual energy would help him. Keeping his eyes closed, he heard a loud grunt, accompanied by the sound of fire blazing. Kun opened his eyes, and expected a scorch mark on the field or the feeling of heat in his body.

Neither happened. All Kun saw was a trail of rocks directed towards Izumi, a scattershot of stones pointing out of the ground. At the very end sat an indentation, about where Izumi was standing before Kun closed his eyes. Izumi herself was about 5 feet back, and assorted bits of flaming rock were lying around her.

"What happened?" Kun asked.

Izumi smiled bitterly. "Well, it seems my old friend Lin needs to tone down a bit on your earthbending training."

In the middle of the night, Naoki was woken up from her cell by the incessant clicking of boots outside of her prison cell in the mountainside. She instantly woke up, recognizing the boots to be that of the man in the robe. Not more than two seconds after she had woken up completely, the man entered the room, fully assured in his ability to control her if need be. "Hello there. May I sit down?"

Naoki growled and lunged at the man, but he simply clicked his tongue and shook his head. Just like before, Naoki quickly lost control of her body, and with slow and steady movements, she was forced into a sitting position.

The man tutted. "As long as you want to be aggressive, we will have to have this routine. Now - " at this, the man reclined into a sitting position in midair " - let's talk about your son. Again, my supporters will not kill him, or even seriously harm him. There's always the chance that he might perish from his wounds, and then I would have to begin my search anew in the Fire Nation, the most impermeable of all the major world powers."

The man readjusted himself, as if he was actually seated on a piece of furniture. He continued, "Therefore, it will be my goal for the next few months to cause him unbearable pain, one that he cannot recover from. I have studied the past work of those who opposed the Avatar, but be assured, my punishment will be much more severe than Zaheer's."

Naoki's eyes are wet, and her voice is choked with emotion. "Why? What could drive you to such a goal?" she whispers. Again, the masked man readjusted himself before answering. "Amon had it right, you know. Equality is lacking in this world, and I have taken it upon myself to right the wrong caused by bending imbalances."

He stood up, towering over the seated Naoki. "You may be wondering why I am giving you this information. It is because you will never be able to tell anyone what you have heard today, or any other day in which I wish to speak to you. And remember, this is a luxury I provide. If you wish to be as arrogant as you have been our last two meetings, even these pockets of information may be lost to you, and you will spend the rest of your life not knowing what may have happened to your precious son."

The masked man left, letting the door crash in on itself without stopping it, and he turned around through the metal, he almost could catch the faint sound of Naoki sobbing.

Izumi and Kun joined the rest of the airbending family - minus, noticeably, Tenzin, Jinora and Kai - along with Lin, who had been an honorary member of the family since her semi - permanent move to the Temple in order to train Kun.

Izumi felt much more at home in such an open family than at her own palace in the Fire Nation - it was beneficial being with her father, yes, but since his death, there was no one to have a conversation with, aside from her cold guards.

She suspected that both Lin and Tenzin felt the same way, since the world had heard of the shock of having 3 of its most glorious bending leaders pass last year. It would also explain why Lin remained at the temple much more recently than ever before.

It was Kun who began the conversation. "So, Izumi, how have things been in the Fire Nation, since - uh - " She cuts in. "Since my father's death?"

Kun gulped a hard rock down his throat. "Uhh, yes?"

Izumi nodded, and replied, "It's okay. I have had the time to recuperate, and it's not like we were estranged. My father was a large part of my life, but he was prepared for his passing. To answer your question, I have held the reins of my nation for a long time. It has not been adversely affected by his death."

Lin snorted into her fly - chicken broth. "Leave it to Izumi to not be grieving over her father's death." Izumi, in response, straightened in her seat, and delivered a cold reply: "And I'm sure you were positively broken up over Toph's death."

A large fist came down on the table, and everyone was surprised to see it was Kun's. "Like I said outside, we need to focus on the big picture. Or do I need to remind the two of you what's at stake here? I may not be the strongest bender here, or the smartest mind, but I've learned one thing in the swamp: You have to be prepared for everything that may come your way. And it seems like the two of you have forgetting that little tidbit."

Meelo, Ikki and Rohan shot daggers at Kun, mentally warning him to shut his mouth, while Pema fearfully looked between Lin and Izumi, no doubt awaiting a firestorm from the two of them. However, nothing volatile happened.

Lin's mouth, prepared to deliver a venomous retort no doubt, shut itself with a snap. Izumi, not frazzled at all by Kun's authority, continued eating her soup. Lin growled, "I can't believe that you support her" and left without finishing her soup.

Kun looked at Izumi, to his right, and asked her point - blank, his burning question he had since she arrived: "What could have happened between you two that makes you such big enemies?"

Izumi sighs. "Lin has, and always will be, slightly jealous of me. You see, I grew up in a palace, given everything to me on a silver platter, while Lin grew up with a single mother and a hateful father. As we grew older, we were both prodigies in our respective bending elements, but we used to be friends until Su left. Ever since then, there's been somewhat of a rift between us, since Lin became more reserved and hardened, and it finally came to a head about 10 years ago."

"Many people wondered why the Fire Nation, the most powerful nation on the planet, would not assist in the opposition of Kuvira's army. I reasoned that the Fire Nation needed to protect its citizens, and because we spent 100 years in a pointless war that scarred the world. Obviously, Lin thought otherwise. She accused me of being selfish, and for not caring for the people of the Earth Kingdom. I retaliated. It...shouldn't have gone as far as it did. Lin and I have been enemies ever since."

Izumi abruptly gets up, and leaves the dining room, trying to hide her tears. She tries to trace Lin for about half an hour, before finding her on the hillside, facing Republic City. "Lin?"

Lin, apparently not recognizing Izumi behind her, whispers to herself, "All of this, almost lost. Why?" Izumi creeps closer to Lin. "Lin? Hello, Lin, are you there?"

All of a sudden, Lin leaps up the air, propelled by an outcropping of rock. She lands, facing Izumi, and growls, "You put my entire family and all of my friends in danger 10 years ago. I could never forgive you." And, upon finishing the sentence, Lin attacked Izumi with a ferocity she never saw from the metalbender.

It had been many days since Tenzin and Jinora begun their meditation, and Kai had soon found himself in the spiritual sense. He settled into a meditative pose, mimicking Tenzin and Jinora, and remained in that position for hours in a day. Because of the lack of connection between himself and the spiritual world, Kai contented himself with reviewing every single major event in his lifetime since joining Team Avatar, in hopes that his spirituality would find him.

The first thing he could remember was being captured in Ba Sing Se. Kai had experienced oppression before, but he had always been led to believe that Ba Sing Se was a changed city. Less anarchy and more about helping the people. Of course, it was riddled with corruption, and he was conscripted into the Airbender Regiment that the Queen had ordered.

Then came the attack on the Northern Air Temple. Kai remembered his attempt at leading the group, but also distinctly his feeling of fear and loss when he was struck down by P'Li, the combustionbender.

Finally, he remembered his role in the attack on Kuvira's army. His role had been minor in the overall scheme, but he performed well, and drawing Kuvira's fire as others dealt damage was integral in protecting those who were actually going to damage the giant robot.

As Kai sifted through his memories, some pridefully and very many others fearfully, he understood who he was as a person. As Tenzin always said, understanding yourself is the key to spirituality, and meditation simply provides the lock. Kai knew that he was a different person now, after training with Tenzin, befriending the Avatar and most importantly, meeting Jinora.

As he came to this realization, he felt a tugging behind his navel, and found he could no longer feel the metal under him. As he opened his eyes in shock, he saw that both Tenzin and Jinora were levitating, obviously a product of their own spiritual journey.

Tenzin broke out into a huge smile, contrasted sharply by his age, and the pure gray of his beard. "Now, Kai, we are ready to plan our escape."

Long coils of metal extended from Lin's belt, shooting out towards Izumi. At the same time, she kicked out with her legs, sending a stone flying towards Izumi, leaving her to deal with multiple threats. However, Izumi herself was no pushover. With expert grace, she dodged the stone, her dress flapping in the process, and used her extreme heat to burn through the coils of rope.

Advancing, Izumi counterattacked, kicking out with her legs in a show of almost Zuko - like firebending. A series of fireballs and streams of fire ejected from her fingertips and feet, directing themselves at Lin. Lin snarled, and raised a wall of rock, designed to absorb the blast of the fire. Using the heatened rock, she fashioned a massive boulder, and using all her might, she threw it at Izumi.

"I SAID STOP!"

A roaring fireball came blazing out of thin air and, with extreme precision, struck the rock dead center. The flaming stone shattered in midair, raining down burning hot pieces of rock near Lin and Izumi. They turned over to see which firebender was attacking them, but they saw Kun, incredulous, looking at his right arm.

"All I was doing was trying to earthbend...and..."

Izumi's mouth twisted into a wry smile. "What I said before - about fire being based on spiritual energy - might not always be right. My father knows firsthand that fire is also spurred from emotion."

Izumi also took this opportunity to talk to Lin. "Lin, what I was trying to say before was - I'm sorry. I should have supported you when you needed me, and I shouldn't have let our old squabbles come in the way of my help. Aside from training the Avatar, the main reason I accepted Tenzin's call to be Kun's teacher was to reconcile with you. And just know that I will be right by your side whenever you need me to be."

Lin took a deep breath and nodded. "I guess I kind of overreacted. I've had so many memories with my friends, that if anything happened, I wouldn't have forgiven myself. Besides," and here Lin smirked, "I'm getting too old for this."

The masked man took a look at the camera in Naoki's room. It showed that she was sleeping, and as there was nothing much for her to do in the cell, that was a reasonable thing to do. He switched his gaze to the screen showing the airbenders from an aerial view, directly over the cell, and they appeared to be sleeping as well. However, out of nowhere, the elderly male airbender began to rise, followed immediately by the young female, and the adolescent male.

The masked man readjusted his mask, making sure to cover his face precisely the way he had for the last 10 years. "Well, that's an interesting development," he murmured to himself. He pressed a button on the console in front of him that led directly to his captain's quarters. "Captain! Rise and shine, sir, and begin your attacks on the Water Tribe and the Fire Nation. Our schedules have been changed slightly."

The captain, still groggy from his nap, mumbled, "And you, sir?"

The masked man smiled, a grotesque movement of his face even more horrendous than the last time he smiled. "Why, I think I should pay our guest a visit."

It had been about 10 days since Izumi had come to Air Temple Island, and in that time, Kun had become a truly fierce earthbender and firebender.

Lin and Izumi created a schedule for his training, and many times had him spar with both of them at the same time. Kun left the trading session in pain and heavily bruised, especially from the sparring session, but his skill was improving day by day. While at the beginning, Kun was barely able to create much more than a fireball, by day 10 with Izumi, he could shape and bend fire at his will, and his intensity had increased as well. Avatar Aang took 9 months to master the 3 elements, but Kun seemed to be progressing much faster.

Until the eleventh day. Izumi was just waking up, and preparing the day's session, which began with some light earthbending practice and devolved into a mixed earth - and - fire training session with Kun having to focus on two attackers at once. However, Izumi's plan was cut short by a message on the radio. It was from the Fire Nation.

Within minutes, Izumi had dressed herself and gone to Kun and Lin, who already had begun the day's training.

Kun, already somewhat sore, greeted Izumi as she hurried down the steps to the training field. "Izumi, what's the rush? We have a day of training planned."

Izumi, a little breathless, managed to squeeze out, "The Fire Nation is under attack by rebels, and from the looks of it, they're not as disorganized as the other bandits we've had to deal with. They're the real deal."

Lin, lightning fast in her calculations, set out the following plan. "Izumi, you have to go back to the Fire Nation. Go as soon as you can. Kun, Mako has already finished his task that I sent him on, so he can come tomorrow to teach you firebending. He isn't as good as Izumi, but he's no slouch. We'll have fun."

Kun nodded, and started bouncing on the balls of his feet, preparing himself for more earthbending. Meanwhile, Izumi raced down to the sky bison stables, where she could see that Hotaru was bonding well with Oogy, Tenzin's sky bison. Tenzin opted out on choosing Oogy because of his old age, as sky bison generally don't live as long as their masters. However, Oogy did remind Izumi of something she wanted to mention to Lin.

"Hey, Lin, where's Tenzin? He should have been back from his mission a few days ago, no?"

Lin popped her head over the brush that separated the training field and the stables. "No idea. Most likely it's just taking a long time, but even for Tenzin, this job should have been over soon. If he takes any longer than a week, we'll start looking for him."

Izumi nodded, and jumped onto Hotaru, who roared into the sky, delighted at being able to fly once more. Izumi took off in the Western direction, and left behind Air Temple Island. No sooner had she disappeared than Pema appeared at the door to the training field. "Tonraq's on the line! He has some troubling news about his journey!"

Lin jogged over to the radio, and picked up the phone. "What's the problem, Tonraq?"

Tonraq's gruff voice could be heard over the line, even though the connection in the middle of the ocean was not the best. "I can't come to Kun's training for the next few days. There have been some orchestrated attacks on the Southern Pole, and there's nothing my soldiers can do about it. I'm going to have to stay there for a while."

Lin gritted her teeth, finally understanding the nature of the attacks. "All right, do your thing Tonraq. Try to get here as soon as possible. Hopefully, Mako and I can keep Kun busy on the training side for the next few days. Good luck."

Tonraq closed the line, with a brusque "Good luck to you too" and a click on his end. Lin called out to Kun, "Training's over for a while! Take a break," and rubbed her temples. She knew exactly what the problem was, but she would need some time to call in some favors from Zaofu, from Bolin and especially from Opal. Hopefully, she could sort this out before it went too far, but Lin knew firsthand the chances of that happening.

Lin looked to the sky and whispered, "Mom, I really need you right now." She closed her eyes, and a tear trickled down her face. She lowered her head, and trudged inside to make some calls.

THE END

Author's Note

Again, please make sure to check my poll out, so that I can make better fanons for you guys and not have you read the prologue every single time.

This story is one of shorter ones, but it's still pretty sizeable. However, the main cause is that I compressed what I wanted to say in much shorter and concise language than what I was expecting. I think I did better at weaving in past conflicts with present feelings than in Chapter 2, but you be the judge. 

Again, I accept all criticism, so please send it my way. I know I'm not the best writer, and I would really like to improve myself.

There isn't much else to say, except be waiting in on 11/25/16 or 11/24/16 for Chapter 4, "The City Underground".

Hope you have a great day, and happy writing!

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