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|The Northern Air Temple|
January 16, 2011
Azula and Long Feng head to the Northern Air Temple with the Aang gang hot in pursuit. Aang and Zuko enter the temple while the others stay behind, and Azula's plot gets deeper...
Chapter 4: The Northern Air Temple.
Azula and Long Feng had been climbing mountains for some time now, but this one was by far the tallest. Long Feng wiped a buildup of snow from his forehead and shivered. This cold was unbearable. If they didn't reach wherever they were going soon, he had a feeling he would simply freeze right there on the mountain. Finally, at the end of their third day of climbing the mountain, the Northern Air Temple emerged into view.
Long Feng was about to ask why they were here, but then he decided that it would be better just to keep his mouth shut and watch the events play out. They were here for a reason, and he was determined to find out what that reason was...
"There it is!" Sokka exclaimed. The Northern Air Temple was finally coming into view. Aang landed Appa in front of it, and the group dismounted.
"Actually, you guys, I think it would be better if you stayed here and watched Appa. Zuko and I'll go ahead," said Aang. "If something bad is going on and anything happens to the two of us, you need to be alive to escape and warn the world."
It was times like these that Katara really noticed how much Aang had matured since she had met him. He wasn't that funny little kid that she freed from the iceberg almost two years ago. He had really come to accept his role as the Avatar.
Katara turned to the group and helped to quell their protests, agreeing that Aang had a point and that they needed to stay behind this time. Sokka crossed his arms and pouted, Toph went "Humph!" and turned her back to them, and Suki just sat there rolling her eyes.
"Go, Aang. You can do this," Suki added with a smile.
After the rest of the group reluctantly agreed, Aang and Zuko proceeded into the temple. It was completely deserted. After the end of the war all of the people living here had left, and here it was, uninhabited and foreboding.
"So..." Aang said. "Any idea where we're supposed to go...or why...or how...or wh—"
"NO!" Zuko shouted angrily, and smoke rushed out of his mouth. He sighed. "No," he said calmly. "All I know is that, in my dream, my mom told me that I had to come here."
Aang stopped. "Your mom? In a dream?" Zuko nodded. "Zuko, I don't mean to be rude, but isn't it usually ME who has those spirit-dream-vision things?," said Aang. "How do you know it wasn't just...you know...a regular dream?"
"I don't know, I can just tell. There was something different about this dream. It felt almost..."Zuko stopped.
"Yes?" Aang inquired?
"SSH!" Zuko hissed. As they listened, the sound of footsteps echoed from the next room. Zuko roughly grabbed Aang and they squeezed themselves into the shadows along the walls.
"Ah, here we are." It was Azula, and Long Feng was right behind her. Aang and Zuko silently watched from the shadows as Azula took a stone from her pocket and wedged it into a large crack in the wall. Aang gasped, and Zuko quickly covered his mouth. Azula turned around, her eyes scanning the room.
"What is it, Princess?" Long Feng asked.
"We're being followed," she replied. "And our pursuers are in this very room."
Long Feng looked around frantically, but saw nothing.
"Yes Avatar," she continued, "I know you are there. And I'm guessing Zuzu's with you, too. That's fine. If you're half of the Avatar that you are supposed to be, you'll know that nothing can stop us now." Azula turned and blew fire at the rock she had wedged into the wall. It began to glow a crimson hue, and then a part of the floor crumbled in, revealing stairs. "Come, you, we have much to do," Azula barked at Long Feng. The man jumped to attention and scurried after her. Azula removed the stone from the wall, the two quickly descended the stairs, and the floor reformed over their heads again, making it impossible for anyone to follow them.
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