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|Chapter 7: The Lord In A Shack|
August 19th 2013
Zuko hadn't the faintest idea how he was going to do it. He had puzzled on how he was going to get to Omashu the entire walk down to the beach. He was dressed in red robes with the emblem of the Fire Nation on the left side of his chest, heavy boots on that would cause give him blisters if he wasn't used to wearing them, an overcoat with a hood that kept his ears (warm though he had it down in the heat of summer night)
He strolled over to a tree and sat down. He began to mumble to himself. "Should I take an airship? No that's too noticeable." Zuko tried to think of something else. "Hmm...a ship of course! But that will take weeks to get to the Earth Kingdom and I'd need to hire a crew." Zuko just couldn't come to a conclusion. He didn't want to people to have to come with him on this journey and he certainly didn't want to put them in danger. Maybe that was the problem with him being a changed and more kind hearted man than he was before.
The rain pattered softly on his shoulder. He liked the rain it made him feel calm and tranquil. It was moments like this that reminded him of the storm were he could have chased Aang when he rose out of the water but went against it to protect his crew. He always said that his uncle was a bad influence on him but he wasn't he was the best influence he could have wished for.
Of course the rain meant he couldn't launch a small air balloon, plus the amount of time he'd be traveling, it just wouldn't be the best option. There had to be something, but what? Just then, a bird flew by. Zuko didn't think anything of it at least until it dropped next to him it's crimson feathers blooming underneath the damp water that drizzled down his beak and onto the edges of Zuko's robes almost as though it were crying. It was a messenger hawk.
"Now what would you be doing flying in the rain little guy?" The bird shook its wings causing Zuko to notice it had a message in its pouch. Zuko picked up the bird and stroked its' fur. He saw a small shack not so far in the distance and ran towards it.
He reached the shack, fumbled with the handle on the door and leaped in almost falling from the speed that he had entered the shack. "There you go you get dry now," Zuko said comforting and stroking the hawk. He then let it go to fly round the shack. Only once the bird was happily flying around and drying its feathers by stopping to shake them did he notice he was in a beach house. Not much was in it except for a hammock made of straw which seemed not very well made, plus a small desk coming from the wall next to the hammock with a pen and some paper on it with bread also on it. Someone had been in here recently.
Zuko decided to not worry if he was invading someone's home (he never had done in the past) instead he decided to open the small piece of parchment and began to read what it said. He noticed straight that it was in Katara's hand writing as he had saw her write lots of letters to her dad while they were at the Western Air Temple to her dad. He wasn't snooping or anything he just found them sprawled in her room whenever he went in to try some failed attempts to get on her good side again.
Once the hawk had stopped flying round the room, Zuko was able to focus on the rolled up parchment with no distractions. It read on the front:
For the Firelord's eyes only.
Zuko opened the parchment and began to read.
If you have received this message then it seems that Sokka's bird, Hawky, actually made it to you for quite a long flight. I need to tell you what has happened in the past week so here I go:
There are these groups of people who call themselves, according to General Fong, "The Energybenders". They had attacked our friend Martin to get to Aang and then attacked Bumi and Aang. They seem to have people everywhere even some members of the Earth Kingdom military. We don't know who else is on their side but it can be assumed they are in the Fire Nation as well. If you can, come to the Southern Air Temple. We need to get the gang back together (and no I'm not writing Gaang as I'm not Sokka). Just get there as soon as you can. Okay?
So he had to get to the Southern Air Temple? It was strange that they had a messenger hawk for one thing, but the fact it had manage to fly all the way her in a storm was something else.
Zuko noticed a smaller text of writing at the bottom. It read:
Burn this message when you have read it.
Zuko obeyed and began to burn the parchment. As he began burning it the writing began to change. It held a hidden message. Zuko was perplexed by this. "How is this possible?" he muttered to himself. Zuko stopped burning the paper and began to read the hidden message.
P.S- Our real location is at the Southern Water Tribe. I wrote the fake location in case this went into the wrong hands as you're the only one of besides Aang who can burn it. Since we put "For the Firelord's eyes only" on it, no one should read this besides you.
P.S.S- The idea to conceal messages like this was Sokka's idea made by the mechanist.
Sokka impressed Zuko with his mind boggling ideas yet again. So it seemed he would have to get to the South Pole another thing that was difficult to reach. Zuko needed something but what? He couldn't take a boat because it would get more people involved and he couldn't take a one man airship because of the terrible weather.
If only dragons were still alive.
"Wait a minute they are!"
With that Zuko got up and looked towards the north through an almost imperceptible hole in unkempt shack. There was only one place where he could find a dragon and sure it was a long shot and a very long shot if that but it was his best (though really only) shot. Zuko looked at the parchment and decided to send a message of his own. With that Zuko approached the desk scribble note on the parchment then walked over to the hawk. Whilst he was carefully stroking the crimson bird's delicate hair, he placed a piece of parchment into its container.
"Okay. This isn't something I want you to do but you have to. You need to deliver this parchment."
The hawk looked into his eyes and noticed the lack of symmetry tilting his head first left then right. One side held the face of a true Firelord who had everything he ever wanted while the other side show a prince in shame but had been rescued and was happy again.
Zuko stared at the bird for sometime (it felt like an eternity passed them by in that short moment) The bird seemed to smile and flew out a through a hole in the shack to head deliver the message. With that Zuko knew what he had to do. He grabbed his bag and made for the door. He turned back and briefly smiled however he turned away and ceased his smile and slowly put his hood over his head and ran into the rain of the night.
In the distance, a man in a black cloak watched him race off into the dead of night whilst a crimson red eagle rested on his shoulder. He smirked "Find out where the hawk is going. I have some unfinished business with the Firelord." The eagle flew after the hawk. The man turned around and walked into the distance.
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