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April 13, 2013
Naera's head spun with the story her grandfather had just told her.
"But how? How do you know?"
"He has been in my firebending class for five years," her grandfather, Mr. Re, responded.
Naera nodded. "What do you expect me to do about it?"
"Nothing. You just needed to know."
Naera stood and bowed. "Good night, grandfather."
Naera closed the door to her bedroom behind her and glanced around. With a sharp click she put out the candle, using only two fingers. Then she sat, cross-legged, on her bed, waiting.
Twenty minutes later she could hear Mr. Re's soft snores across the hall and she stood, quietly opening her window and letting down a rope. Her bare feet slapped against the pavement as she dodged her usual way, which would have woken up Neru. Instead, she pulled herself up into Kero's room.
A soft "shh" sound hissed between her teeth as Kero woke up with a start.
"What are you doing here?" he asked, as soon as he recognized her dark form.
"We need to talk."
The pair slipped quietly out onto the roof.
In his room, Neru was in fact awake. The first thought he had was confusion, as Naera passed his room entirely.
Then it dawned on him where she was going, and his blood boiled.
Wulon was taking a midnight stroll around the garden when he saw Kero and a girl sitting on the roof of the house. Interested, he stopped to look, just in time to see Neru's lithe body rise up over top of them.
Gre woke up instantly as the yells--one of fear, one of anger, and one of surprise--split the air. Rising to his feet, he ran out into the yard.
"What in the Spirit World are you doing?" Kero yelled.
"Taking revenge on those who have betrayed me."
Kero's wrist barely deflected Neru's sudden fire blast.
"Stop! This isn't what you think!" Naera shouted.
"Shut up," Neru bit out.
"No, I won't shut u-" Naera was cut off as Neru angrily turned. She was closer than he thought and the fire leapt toward her, burning her outstretched hands.
She toppled and fell off the roof.
"Naera!" Kero yelled. He began to look down at the ground but he was forced to dodge a blast that Neru directed toward him.
"You're weak," Neru taunted.
From his position in the garden, Wulon could only see the fire light the roof and a dark body fall all three stories to hit the ground with a thump he could hear from there.
Gre had caught Naera in a dirt grip and lowered her to the ground, so he was caught off-guard when Neru slammed into the dirt right next to him.
Kero stood. He could see that Neru was hurt, but not dead and that Naera was all right. The fire sprang up behind him and he did the only thing he could: he jumped.
Wulon saw Kero hit the hedge and roll to a tentative standing position.
"Brother," he whispered. "You'll have to run. Father will be furious."
Kero nodded. "Just, take care of Naera for me."
Wulon smiled. "Deal."
With that, Kero broke into a full-out sprint and was lost to the darkness.
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