Dreams and Rebellion
Chapter information

When Air Nomads Walked the Earth



Written by

The Ultimate Waterbender

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What Next?

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Life Carries On

This is the seventh chapter to When Air Nomads Walked the Earth and should be an interesting read. I hope you enjoy reading this chapter because this was very fun for me to write.

What happened last time...

Syra races home in the middle of a downpour after spending a weary day at school. To relieve herself of her worries about the current state of the world, she decides to catch up on sleep where she encounters Avatar Yangchen in a dream.

Meanwhile, Siro and Jengso become temporarily caught during a raging storm. After the storm passes, Siro arrives home to overhear Zala and Zorin having a conversation about him.

Past and Future Avatar

Syra's dark, gray eyes widened with curiosity and excitement as she beheld the blue figure of the Air Nomad whom Master Yangsu had proclaimed was the greatest Air Avatar. She halted in her tracks, standing in the soft, rich-green grass. Sunlight streamed through the peaks and gaps of the canopy the tree branches formed over her head. The harmonies of the birds, each distinct from the rest, echoed through the landscape.

"Please, sit," Avatar Yangchen coaxed the stunned girl, staring in awe at the legendary figure. Yangchen pointed the spout of the ordinary tea kettle she gripped in her hand to the place opposite where she was sitting.

The young nomad briskly trotted over to the base of a towering oak tree and sat down cross-legged, facing Yangchen. They were separated by a small, round patch of soil where two tin teacups and a porcelain kettle propped over a small fire were situated.

Lion turtle forest

They sat beneath the trees.

At first, Syra was momentarily speechless; there was a multitude of questions and remarks she had, however, nothing escaped her mouth. After several moments of silence, she finally spoke up, saying, "I'm truly amazed. It's such an honor to meet you!" She bowed her head to the Avatar.

Yangchen replied, "And it is pleasure to meet you, young Airbender. Please, though. Do just call me 'Yangchen'. I may be a past Avatar and, I admit, a quite knowledgeable spirit, but I'd rather be addressed normally as anyone would be."

She poured steaming tea into one of the plain tin cups and handed it to Syra who politely thanked her and heartily drank the brew. It was a strange combination of Leechi and Ginseng tea yet warming and delectable.

"This place," Syra remarked, "is absolutely amazing. Never before have I seen such a gorgeous landscape and I've traveled to many incredible sites in my life."

"It is truly something to behold, isn't it?" Yangchen said.

She turned her head to observe the luscious forest surrounding them; flowers, shrubbery and trees of every species known to man thrived. "This forest just seems to extend infinitely," she commented. "The number of trees growing is countless."

Yangchen chuckled at this remark and replied, "Oh no, it does end eventually. And the number of trees is finite as well. Now don't ask why I know this, but there are actually 20,791 trees growing in this paradise."

Syra could only nod as she sipped her tea and continued to take in the magnificent view. For a while, she was able to lose herself in the nirvana and indulge herself in the perfections of this universe. Her blissful thoughts were interrupted by Yangchen who told her, "You seemed to be a bit lost, dear, when I spotted you. I could tell something was troubling you."

Syra sighed, knowing very well that is was the truth. She did have a lot on her mind; she was concerning herself with matters that she shouldn't have been thinking about. She was in no rush, to reveal to Yangchen the conversation she had eavesdropped on.

Instead, she openly revealed another matter to the Avatar who sat intently, waiting for her to say something. "Well, I do have trouble in school sometimes with these two nasty cliques, Jia and Mika."

Before she could say anything further, Yangchen nodded and said, "Ah, I see. These girls give you trouble in school. They taunt you or irritate you perhaps even spread rumors about you."

The eleven year-old sighed and slowly nodded. She cast her eyes to the grass that swayed in the breeze. "They do taunt me and spread rumors," she slowly confessed. She strived to keep one memory from flooding back; one she wanted to forget; one she and Tyla called the "Unspoken Memory" because neither wanted to remember it.

"You look troubled again," Yangchen remarked, her brow furrowing in concern. "I assure you, cliques such as those you speak of are merely insecure and hollow. Don't fret; their shallow ways will one day catch up with them and cause great resent."

"It's okay," Syra replied quietly. "I can tolerate them now and whatever little tricks they decide to play on me." A warm breeze comforted and consoled her.

Yangchen nodded thoughtfully and said, "I can sense something greater is disturbing you."

"Well..." Syra began hesitantly. She fished around quickly for an explanation to her apparently strange behavior. "I guess I'm also a little impatient when learning Airbending."

"Ah, you desire to be an Airbending Master," Yangchen concluded. "I can sense ambition in your eyes. To be truthful, I wasn't always the noble Airbender I was when I was the current Avatar. I can assure you, though; patience and discipline pays off."

Syra tried to act engaged in the conversation, but she felt almost urged to reveal to Yangchen what the sisters had spoken about. The overwhelming feeling built up until she felt had no other choice, but to spill it out."

Reluctantly, she admitted, "The truth is... I heard two of the sisters of the Council of Elders yesterday, talking about the possibility of future warfare." She drew in a deep breath and continued, "I'm so confused and worried about the whole thing; as much as I want to deny the possibility of there being war, something just doesn't feel... right."

Yangchen pondered this mention for a few moments, a thoughtful expression splayed across her face. After several silent moments, she finally answered, "Seeing how I can't delve into the future, I don't have an accurate answer for you. When one is isolated in the Spirit World, in a whole other dimension, one loses track of current events. I'm afraid to say that I haven't the slightest clue as to whether this threat of war you speak of is indeed a reality or not."

Syra let out a deep sigh and replied, "It's okay."

"The only wisdom I can offer to you," Yangchen told her, "is that men are the deciders of their own destinies. Whatever their choices may be will affect the future of the world."

Syra contemplated this statement then proceeded to say, "The other major conflict I'm facing is whether I should tell anyone I know about this possible issue. It would feel relieving to open myself up to someone about this. The thing is, I don't want to risk worrying anyone right now; just because I'm troubled by this issue doesn't mean anyone else should be."

"Well, I think you just answered your own question," Yangchen replied. "Some things in this world are better left unsaid."

Syra looked out over to the horizon where sunset had already begun. The bright orange-yellow sun hung low, the light causing a ripple effect in sky, appearing to bend the sky. She barely had any time to soak up the last of the radiant rays when a sudden feeling of change surrounded her. She looked around her and saw that the soft grass she had just been sitting in just a moment ago, began to shrivel and reduce to crumbly, wilted pieces. She could no longer hear the birds chirping nor the gentle creek flowing. Flowers fell like the heavy raindrops she had witnessed pelting the ground during the storm; the nirvana was falling apart.

Syra felt as though she were being pulled underneath the dry, cracked soil. She could not comprehend what was occurring. All of a sudden, Yangchen appeared to be far off in the distance. She had only been sitting in front of her a few moments ago; now she was becoming more and more distant.

"I don't understand!" she called out to the fading blue figure. "What's happening to this dimension?"

"We must go our separate ways, dear, I'm afraid!" Yangchen cried out. "As I said before, this nirvana is finite; it's not endless; it has its limits!"

Syra was bewildered as she felt herself slowly being swallowed up in the rapidly diminishing universe. So even a heaven like this can't last, she thought. It's so real. So true. So much like my life...

She heard Yangchen call out once more to her. "Detach yourself! Let yourself be free! Let fate occur naturally!" she heard the Avatar shout.

Syra barely knew what occurred afterwards; she was suddenly engulfed in a dimension of darkness. Moments later, she found herself in another scene, another universe. She surveyed her surroundings and found herself to be in the middle of a battlefield.

Everywhere she looked, she saw soldiers, even Air Nomads, who didn't have a formal military, engaged in heated combat. Water whips, earth slabs, stray fireballs and powerful air gusts were being launched, sent and employed in all directions. The entire scenario was chaos and she directly in the center of the whole catastrophe.

Invasion of the Fire Nation

Syra found herself to be in the middle of a battlefield.

Frozen in fear, Syra was utterly clueless as to where to turn next. She found it surprising that, amidst all the upheaval, she herself remained unharmed by any weapon, powerful bending move, or soldier. It was as though she were shielded by an invisible force field around her, making her impervious to any attack.

Even so, a battle was a battle and not something to be in the dead center of. She searched frantically for a narrow slip through which she might be able to make her escape, but to no avail. Every square foot of land seemed to be flooded with troops. She caught sight of a Water Tribe soldier dressed in blue attire fighting off an Earth Kingdom soldier and Fire Nation soldier, all three armed with swords and spears, barely ten feet away from her. Seemingly rooted to where she was kneeling on the ground, she witnessed the brutal fighting. Thankfully, she did not view any soldiers fall during the battle, but it was terrifying all the same.

Just when all hope seemed lost, she beheld an odd figure not too far off in the distance that appeared to tower over all the rest. A quick radiance of resplendent light surrounded the figure for no more than a few seconds before fading. The figure became slightly more distinct, but Syra was still unable to make out their exact appearance.

It was a wonder what occurred next. In an instance, she observed immense gusts of wind whirling around her, blowing up dust and dirt. The blue skies were masked by a whirlwind of dust, the figure who had conjured these winds barely visible in the torrent of debris. Yet somehow, despite being in the midst of the sudden dust storm, she remained unharmed, untouched by the wind and dirt.

What's going on right now? Why am I seemingly invincible to all this? she asked herself frantically. And who is that mysterious figure in the distance?

She began mulling over in her head who the figure could possibly be as the dusty winds continued to blow forcefully around her. They were certainly more powerful than all the soldiers combined... she pondered. And that glow... That could only mean one thing: that figure was the Avatar.

Syra was bursting with excitement; never before had she witnessed an Avatar in action. This is terrifying and incredible at the same time! she thought excitedly. The only thing she couldn't solve was the question as to what Avatar was in the middle of a battlefield. It could've been any of the thousand or so Avatars she had been taught had existed in the world.

After several moments of dust and wind raging about around her, the landscape finally quieted down. The thick cloud that must have spanned for miles on end thinned and gradually faded. Syra found herself no longer in the midst of a battlefield, but rather the remnants of the battlefield. The thousands of soldiers that had surrounded her just minutes ago, as it seemed, had mysteriously disappeared. Only their weapons, clubs, spears, swords and all, remained behind.

All the troops had vanished and only she and the unknown Avatar, whose back was facing her, remained in what was left of the wind-blown landscape. She could now make out the figure's basic features and found the Avatar to be an Air Nomad just like her. His head was shaven and his skin bearing the Airbender tattoos Syra longed to bear one day. To her surprise, he was rather short and possessed the body of not a sixteen-year-old or older, but a young boy around her age, perhaps a bit older. This she found odd because the nuns had taught her that the identity of the Avatar was never revealed to the person until they were sixteen.

She found herself able to move once more and without a moment's hesitation, she darted from her spot on the ground over to the figure who remained standing still, his back still facing her. Yes, the boy didn't appear to be sixteen yet, but she didn't care; he was still an Avatar.

"Hello, I'm Syra!" she called out to the boy as she ran towards him. She reached the boy and placed her hand on his shoulder; to her excitement, he slowly began turning around to face her. His head turned, slowly revealing his side profile... Syra could feel herself shaking with excitement. No, wait... she was being shaken literally.

The deserted battle scene started to blur together and she could hear someone shouting at her. "Syra, dear, wake up!" She recognized the voice... "Come on, sweetie, you have to get up now!" The voice... it was Sister Min's.

In a split second, Syra snapped out of her dream; the battle scene had faded completely, the mysterious Avatar gone as she found herself to be in her own bedroom. Sister Min was standing by her bedside, her hands grasped around Syra's left arm. No wonder I felt like I was shaking... she thought. Sister Min was trying to wake me up...

Her guardian was standing over her, smiling brightly and saying, "Come on, Syra! You don't want to be late for school now, right? Get ready and don't worry, I didn't let you oversleep or anything!" She walked over to Syra's bedroom door which was ajar and motioned for her to climb out of bed.

Fully awake and slightly startled, Syra hopped out of bed and quickly scrambled to get dressed and ready for school. Light was cascading into her room, contrary to the sheeting rain and gloomy clouds that stretched across the sky yesterday.

Strangely, Syra couldn't seem to remember much about the two dreams she had had last night. She remembered only fragments of them and even those fragments were relatively ambiguous. She did, however, remember Avatar Yangchen calling out to her at one point, shouting, "Detach yourself! Let yourself be free! Let fate occur naturally!" And she did remember placing her hand on someone's shoulder. Was it the Avatar? Syra was almost certain it had been the Avatar, an Avatar she was not familiar with, an Avatar whose face she never got to see.

She sighed, wishing the missing fragments of her dream would flood back into her mind. Fully dressed and almost prepared for the day, she paused for one more moment to ponder over her two dreams. Finally, not wanting to be late, she ran out of her bedroom and down the stairs, accidentally forgetting the stone she had placed on her wardrobe before.

Pent-up Confusion Breaks Loose

"So when is he supposed to leave?" Jengso asked as he and Siro ambled home from school.

It was a hazy summer afternoon in Sen Go, the type of day where one would kill to find a cool lake for swimming or a nice, shady cave to crawl in and avoid being soaked up by the heat and humidity. Puddles of water still collected in the cracks and dips of the pavement from yesterday's storm and Siro could judge from the way several wooden roofs were splintered, that the storm had caused a bit of damage.

"He's going to leave tomorrow evening after dinner," Siro replied.

Zorin was to leave Sen Go tomorrow and continue his training at the military school he attended. He said he wouldn't be able to revisit the village until at least for another two or three weeks, but promised he would write to his family as often as possible. Siro was downcast at the reality of his brother leaving yet again, however, he felt he could get by this time without sinking into daydreams. He was already confused by the secret talk of warfare; why should he cause more worry for himself?

"Are you okay with that?" Jengso asked quietly.

Siro muttered, "Yeah, I'm okay with that." What I'm not okay with though, he thought secretly to himself, is what I overheard my mother mention yesterday when I got home.

Siro had sauntered into the dining room yesterday only to hear Zala say in mid-sentence, "...until he turns older and will hopefully involve himself in the war somehow." He knew his mother was referring to him which made him only more uneasy about the whole idea of warfare.

Does she really expect me to become a soldier like Zorin? he asked. Siro enjoyed fighting others in Firebending duels, but those were only in good fun. He never considered the possibility that he might one day fight a real battle. Siro had always aspired to become either a writer or a Firebending instructor; he wasn't so sure how he felt about becoming a soldier.

Then again, Zala hadn't said Siro was to become a soldier; she had simply mentioned her hopes of him becoming somehow contributive to the war effort. Perhaps he could become a journalist and record the latest news about the war or an instructor who taught Firebending to would-be soldiers.

His mind, still confused, turned to another matter. "I saw you speaking with Master Shyo today," he said to Jengso. "Were you confronting him about your test score?"

"I was actually," Jengso replied. "Unfortunately, Master Shyo wasn't very convinced by my argument that he should credit me for my answer to number eighteen. I told you he's difficult to persuade. It seems like every Fire Nation teacher is like that: strict, rigid and practically without feelings."

Siro shrugged and replied, "I guess it's their method of teaching us discipline: showing no mercy or compassion towards students."

They soon came to their "splitting point", as they had begun calling it, and after bidding each other a goodbye, walked their separate paths home. Siro strolled home down the silent streets of his comfortable village. He could hear the faint commotion of Sen Go's several marketers selling their wares and knew that among the small crowds was his mother selling her pottery.

He wished greatly that his mother's expectations were not to send him to military school and have him train as a soldier. One thing that struck him as odd was the fact that only a couple of nights ago, Zala was fretting over the idea of her children being actively involved in the war in the future and now his mother was hopeful, perhaps even enthusiastic, to that prospect. He wondered what could have caused her to have a change of thought.

When Siro arrived home, he was slightly surprised to find Zorin absent from the house. After a few moments, however, he came to the conclusion that his brother was off practicing Firebending somewhere in the fields of Fire Lilies or accompanying Zala at the market. After splashing some cold water on his face to cool him down, he took his schoolbooks upstairs. Master Shyo hadn't assigned the students homework in school; instead, he obliged students to practice several Firebending drills and begin thinking about their topics for the important, beginning-of-the-year essay he always assigned.

Siro walked silently over to his bedroom window and viewed the bright orange fire streams appearing and disappearing among the vivid Fire Lilies. He knew there were a few students standing in the fields at that moment, practicing their drills, careless and unaware of what their futures might one day be. It didn't seem fair; he was just as passionate, innocent and hardworking. Why couldn't he be at peace as well?

"I brought home Fire Gummies for you, too, Siro! Do you want some now?" Zala asked her son as she busied herself, clearing the dinner dishes off their wooden dining room table.

Siro, halfway up the stairs, called out, "No thank you! I'll have some later!"

"That's fine, sweetie!" Zala replied. Siro could hear her add, "You can have some, too, Zorin."

Zorin groaned and told her, "Come on, Mom. I'm not ten anymore."

"Oh, don't pretend you don't love Fire Gummies," Zala protested. Siro could hear the water in the basin sloshing around as his mother began scrubbing the dishes vigorously.

His cozy bedroom was dimly lit by a kerosene lamp burning on the nightstand by his bed. He picked up the lamp and set it on his desk, still as sturdy and varnished as when his father first built it for him nearly five years ago. He pulled out a clean sheet of white paper, held it in place by two wooden paperweights and set a small bottle of black ink on the desk. Sitting down in his plain wooden chair with only the dim, steadily burning flame to work by, he began writing out ideas for his beginning-of-the-year essay.

His eyes couldn't help wandering over to his open window which let in a gentle summer evening breeze. The sky was a brilliant pink-orange color, the setting sun a glowing orb in the distance. The beautiful scenery along with the magnificent splendor of the Fire Lilies created such a panorama that Siro couldn't resist the urge to kneel on his bedspread, arms leaning on the window ledge, and watch the stunning view.

He caught sight of a few students in the distance who managed to get a few hours of Firebending practice completed before nightfall. The dazzling blasts and streams of fire they created added to the flare of the landscape. The vista was so extraordinarily breathtaking, Siro felt a need to record the view and took the sheet of paper, ink bottle and brush to the window ledge. Carefully propping the writing implements on the ledge, he dipped the brush in the ink and began describing the site in detail, accounting for every fire blast he witnessed being conjured to every streak of color in the sky.

After filling up the entire page with his description, Siro looked up at the sky once more and saw that a dazzling, white moon hung in the dark, blue night sky. The air had become crisp, the fire streams had ceased and the streets fell almost silent, save for the faint tinkling of a bell being blown by the breeze.

Mountain near Hama's village

The field of Fire Lilies sat silent under the moon.

He sighed with deep satisfaction and thought, Time really gets away from you when you're so wrapped up in thought. Carefully, he put away the ink bottle and brush and laid the piece of parchment on his desk to dry. Deciding to go downstairs for some Fire Gummies, he quietly opened the door to his bedroom. Much to his dismay, he could hear the rest of his family engaged in another deep conversation. Wary yet overwhelmed by a natural curiosity, he sat at the top of the stairs where no one could see him and listened in on the conversation.

"Remember to keep us updated on all that is happening at school and how you are progressing in your training," he could hear Lee Wang say. "One letter per week should suffice, but do try to write to us as often as you can."

"Don't worry. I promise I'll write as many letters as I can possibly get around to," Zorin assured him in his usual cavalier, laidback tone. "I'll keep you updated on all things interesting that occur and give you any information you need."

Zala spoke up, "That's good to hear. It'll be awfully quiet around here when you leave. I hope Siro will hold out well; Master Shyo reported to us that he had caught him daydreaming in class several times. His attitude definitely took a downturn and was then miraculously lifted once you came home for a visit; I tried to coax him into telling me what troubled him, but you know how boys his age tend to keep all their emotions to themselves."

So... my parents knew about Master Shyo catching me daydreaming in school? Siro was stunned at this and even more surprised as to why his parents never discussed the matter with him in the first place.

"Sometimes I feel as though you're a bit too soft with him, Zala," Lee Wang spoke in a serious tone, one Siro had grown to fear and despise. "As parents, we shouldn't let these matters slide like that; we should have confronted him with the issue instead. I was going to had it not been for your insistence that keeping silent about the matter would be best."

Zala opposed his beliefs in a slightly raised tone. "I am certainly not soft with him; I simply look out for him. And we can afford to let a few daydreams during class slide. Now if it becomes a consistent issue, that's another situation."

Zorin deterred the rising tension by remarking, "Well I think my two-week visit did him good."

"I couldn't agree more," Zala said. "Tomorrow will mark a sad departure, but we shall enjoy the evening out, not let our minds become clouded with negative thoughts." After a slight pause, she added, "And I saw you ate some of those Fire Gummies this evening. I knew you couldn't resist."

Zorin chuckled and admitted, "Okay, so I did give in to temptation... Happy?" Zala only laughed.

"Well," Lee Wang commented in cheerful yet slightly gruff tone. "Tomorrow shall be a day of joy, pleasure and hope for a brighter future. It will mark your departure, Zorin, and celebrate your current prosperity in military training. I have high hopes that Siro will one day follow in your very footsteps."

Siro's hazel eyes widened at his father's last remark: I have high hopes that Siro will one day follow in your very footsteps. He could sense a shift in the mood of the previously light-hearted conversation. After moments of silence had passed, Zala at last broke the reticence.

She sighed deeply and admitted hesitantly, "I don't understand your insistence that Siro follow Zorin's path, Lee Wang. Zorin has already taken up the patriotic duty to serve the Fire Nation and become a valiant soldier in war; Siro should be able to pursue an occupation that meets his own interests."

Lee Wang argued her, saying, "This is what I mean by saying that you're too soft with the boy. No, no, there is no doubt that Siro will become a Fire Nation soldier in the future. He will learn true discipline in military school and demonstrate patriotism towards his own nation."

Siro was taken aback at his father's decision; his hands, now slightly shaking, gripped tightly around the wooden banister. Despite the natural warmth that circulated through the house, an icy feeling crept over him as he sat tentatively atop the flight of stairs.

"He already knows discipline well enough," Zala argued, her voice raising evidently. "He is a well-rounded boy, innocent with great potential; I don't want him to squander his talents and ambitions pursuing a career that will bring him discontent."

"One cannot feel discontent when serving his own nation in one of the most courageous ways," Lee Wang replied calmly yet tersely.

Siro realized Zorin's abrupt silence in the arising conflict and felt torn by his father's insistence. He came to the realization that Zala had not had a change of thought as he previously perceived. His mother was only mentioning to Zorin yesterday her "hopes" of Siro becoming involved in the war somehow because it was what her husband demanded, not what she desired. He was overwhelmed with a feeling of anger and self-pity, longing to have the strength to walk into his bedroom again yet unable to do so.

"He has shown great potential in becoming a brilliant writer perhaps a Firebending instructor to students his age," Zala firmly stated. "It would be wonderful to see him pursue a career in those fields. Besides, it was Zorin's personal decision to enroll in a military school and become a soldier. Shouldn't Siro deserve the personal decision of deciding his future?"

"Nothing will stir me or persuade me to reconsider my decision about the boy's future," Lee Wang objected, Siro sensing irritation is his voice. He was slightly hurt at how his father addressed him as "the boy", rarely referring to him as "my son".

Zala protested, "Well I, for one, am his mother and feel I should have a say in this matter as well."

Siro could hear Lee Wang bang his fists on the table, not too forcefully, but dynamically enough to make his point clear. "Listen, Zala," he disputed, making every effort to remain calm. "I'm fully aware of Siro's potential, however, my decision is final. He will take up his brother's profession and serve the Fire Nation on the battlefield! He may not be carrying out a position that will meet his interests, as you say, but he will be standing up for his country and that will suppress his discontent! No more of this nonsense! His discontent! You are too soft on him!"

Tears were brimming Siro's eyes by now, rage and frustration swallowing him up furiously. How could his own happiness not be of concern to his father? Feeling his cheeks flush red with anger and body shaking, he rose sharply from his sitting position and raced down the stairs at lightning speed.

He burst suddenly into the kitchen, startling his entire family; his feelings of rage were like a waterfall, spilling over uncontrollably. He directed his attention to his father and yelled, "How could you say that? How could my happiness not be of any importance to you? How can you, my father, simply decide that I should become a soldier one day?"

Lee Wang, although outright astonished at first, quickly came to his senses and an expression of ire crossed his face. "You overheard this entire conversation? Don't you know better than to eavesdrop on other people's discussions?" Turning his attention momentarily to Zala, he bellowed, "He does need to be disciplined!" Diverting his attention back to Siro, he stated coldly, "It's for your own good and for the benefit of the nation. I will not stand for any revolts from you."

Lee Wang said the word "you" in such an icy, disapproving tone, it only angered Siro more. "Why can't I become a writer? Why can't I become a Firebending instructor when I get older? That's so unfair!"

"I'm warning you, Siro!" Lee Wang glowered at his twelve-year-old son standing boldly against him.

"If you're going to make the decision to rule over my life, you can at least include me or inform me about it!" Siro soon felt exasperated by his shouts, his fierce insurgence against his father. The overshadowing anger that had just moments ago consumed him were slowly wearing away, leaving only shame and disbelief. He didn't realize the tears streaming down his face until they ran down the sides of his neck.

Lee Wang's eyes were intense with shock and fury at Siro's boldness; the entire family was dead silent. At long last, Zala placed her hands on Siro's shoulders and said quietly, "It's going to be okay, Siro. Why don't you go upstairs to bed now; it's getting late."

Siro cast a glance at Zorin who was sitting motionless in his chair, a solemn look on his face. When he caught Siro's eye, his face remained, for the most part, expressionless except for the very corners of his mouth which curled upwards in a faint, but detectable smile. This caught him by surprise. Lee Wang stood like a towering statue in the kitchen, arms crossed, face still expressing disappointment and anger.

When he and Zala reached the top of the stairs, he quietly muttered to her that he was fine and continued on towards his bedroom. He walked soberly inside and slammed the door closed. The flame in the kerosene lamp was slowly burning out, barely radiating any light or warmth. His bedroom was so silent, so still; Siro wasn't sure if it was silent in a serene way or in a dreadful way as it had been in the kitchen.

Then he caught sight of the parchment lying on his desk, explicitly accounting every minute detail he had observed in the field of Fire Lilies and orange brimmed sky. His descriptions spoke of happiness and peace. Siro closed his eyes tight, feeling tears welling up once more as he forcefully rolled up the piece of paper, opened one of the drawers of his plain wooden dresser and shoved it all the way in the back.

Slamming the drawer closed, he blew out the flame in the lamp and threw himself onto his bed. All lies, he thought to himself bitterly. Pure lies.

Additional Notes

  • Yangchen's statement that there were 20,791 trees in the nirvana is a reference to the user, Aang20791.
  • The quote "the light causing a ripple effect in sky, appearing to bend the sky" is a reference to the user, Skybender101.
  • The "Unspoken Memory" is the additional suspenseful plot twist that was promised readers in this chapter. It will be referenced in later chapters. The concept of the "Unspoken Memory" is based off the concept of "The Jenna Thing" from the Pretty Little Liars series.
  • Siro's dreams of becoming a writer directly relate to the author's dreams of becoming a writer.
  • It should be pretty obvious who the unseen Avatar was on the battlefield in Syra's dream.

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