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|The Master of the Elements: Part 1|
January 21, 2011
The group reaches the Southern Air Temple but they are horrified to find that they are too late to stop Azula. She unites the four stones, enters the Avatar State, and shows them a terrible display of her new abilities...
Chapter 9: The Master of the Elements: Part 1
Azula soared through the air, her blue fire propelling her quickly toward the final Air Temple: the Southern Air Temple. There, she would unite all four amulets and gain the powers of the Avatar. Even now, with the three amulets that she had, she was stronger than ever. With the final amulet, she would be unstoppable.
She had heard that her failure of an uncle, Iroh, had found his destiny by travelling to the Spirit World after the death of his son left him too weak to continue his siege of Ba Sing Se. What a pathetic man, giving up so easily. If someone as weak as Iroh could find his destiny in the Spirit World, then Azula's destiny must lie there as well. And with the powers of the Avatar, reaching the Spirit World would finally be possible...
Sokka was having trouble navigating in the darkness of the night. Just when he thought that they might have to land because it was too dark, he saw a bright blue light soaring upwards through the air along the horizon.
"Yip-yip," Sokka told Appa, and the bison clawed at the air as it picked up speed. After a while the blue light disappeared, but it didn't matter. Following it had led them directly to the Southern Air Temple.
Sokka, Toph, and Zuko dismounted Appa, and, after ordering the bison to stay put, they followed Toph to the secret underground stairs of this temple.
"Uh, guys," said Toph as they descended the stairs.
"Oh don't tell me," said Sokka. "She's already here isn't she?"
"And she's about five minutes ahead of us unless we move faster. Let's go!" The group hustled through the underground maze, following Toph's directions so that they didn't get lost. By the time they emerged into the room at the end of the labyrinth, Azula was already at the pedestal.
"Greetings," she said to them. She placed three elemental amulets next to the one that was already lying on the pedestal. With a gigantic 'bang' the entire cave shook violently and the rock-like outer shell of the elemental amulets broke apart. Before, they had simply looked like stones. Now, they looked like the mystically-powered gems that they were. Azula picked them up, and Sokka ran at her, his space-boomerang raised, poised to attack.
She flicked her wrist at him, and a huge gust of wind thrust him backwards, directly into Toph. Azula's eyes glowed and she rose into the air. She was in the Avatar State, and in complete control.
"Azula, you monster!" Zuko screamed as he took a few steps backward and stumbled to the ground. Shuffling backwards, he was unable to take his eyes away from the disaster unfolding before them. They were too late. They had failed...
"How dare you talk to me in that way!" Azula cried in an inhuman voice. She punched at him and an inferno of flame spiraled through the air toward him. It was too large to dodge, and it hit Zuko head on. He held out his hands in defense but it was no use. Overwhelmed by the power of Azula's effortless attack, he flew backwards and was unconscious the moment his head made contact with the jagged edges of the cave's rocky wall.
Azula turned to Toph, and Toph kicked a boulder at her. Azula pushed her hands together, and the boulder compacted itself into the size of a pebble. Azula then breathed out deeply, and the water from her breath sent Toph flying back against the wall, where it solidified and left her frozen in a giant block of ice. The maniacal princess looked for Sokka and Suki, but they were nowhere to be found. She screamed an inhuman scream that was so loud and high-pitched that it broke the ice surrounding Toph. The Earthbender fell to the floor, beaten. Azula screamed again, and she flew into the air. She punched the ceiling of the room, and it crumbled. Dirt and small rocks rained down on the unconscious bodies of Toph and Zuko as Azula rose out of the giant hole and emerged back in the temple. She flew away into the chilling night sky, and when she was a safe distance away she turned back to face the temple and pushed her hands firmly together. The entire temple crumbled in upon itself. In a fantastic display of Earthbending, the Southern Air Temple was destroyed...
I felt that the destruction of the Southern Air Temple was necessary in order to show Azula's disregard for everything except her own intentions. Now that we're really getting into the midst of the storyline, what are your guys' opinions on how it's turning out?
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