The Dancing Dragon
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Shattered Balance


Book One: The Avatar



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Ghosts of the Past

The Tests of the Dragon Samurai

Suzaku rushed to his room, his mind a whirl. His test, it was today! He couldn't believe he had totally forgotten it, even after all the weeks of him and Azura training. He could remember all the forms of Spirit Firebending backwards and forwards if he had been asked, and yet this most important day had somehow slipped his mind. He rushed to his closet, and rapidly slipped on and tied his Samurai armor on. He was about to put on his helm when a sudden gust of wind blew it away. Suzaku turned, only to find Seiryuu leaning on the porch door, holding her sides and dying of laughter.

"You should've seen your face when I knocked off your helmet! You were all like 'what the hell?' and stuff!" Seiryuu said through fits of laughter. Suzaku frowned.

"Seiryuu, this is no time to joke! I'm going to be late for my-"

"Oh god, I KNOW Suzaku, your all-important test-that-if-you-dont-pass-you'll-die one, yes, I know about it!"

Suzaku grumbled and, picking up his helmet, put it on and tightened its straps so it wouldn't fall off. He then passed Seiryuu, still grumbling angrily, and blew his Dragon Whistle.

Seiryuu rolled her eyes "Oooo, the all-mighty Suzaku is mad at me. Lets hope lightning doesn't strike me in retribution!"

"I would stick you with lightning if I could." Suzaku grumbled.

"Riiiiiight, I'm totally scared now." Seiryuu snapped back, a half-smile on her face.

Suzaku was about to reply, when something big landed right behind Seiryuu on the porch, and he simply smiled in reply. She turned around slowly, and her eyes got huge as she saw the dragon.

"Oh....uhh...hi Azura?"

Azura hurred in annoyance, as if saying "you got three seconds to leave before I torch you off".

Seiryuu understood, and in a flash she simultaneously leaped off into the sky with her Air Glider, and cried out "Good luck on your test Suzaku!"

Suzaku laughed. Azura was probably the only thing that could scare, or at least control Seiryuu...well, him and Monk Tsuyi, and the only reason why she listened to the monk was so that he wouldn't kick her off the trainee group that wanted to join the Sky Bison Samurai.

Azura hurred on the back of Suzaku's neck, heat-signaling the word hurry. Suzaku looked towards the Hollow Mountain, where he would test. The sun was almost between the two peaks.

"Crap! I need to get there now!" he yelled in annoyance, and lept onto Azura's back. With a roar Azura flapped his wings and lept off the porch, free-fell for a second before a breeze caught his outstretched wings, and with a mighty flap lifted himself high over the island.

A few minutes later Azura landed in the clearing of the mountain. Dragon Samurai surrounded them, and in the center of them was Liang, riding her dragon Genbu. His metallic scales glowed brilliantly, their golden sheen making it seem like he was infused with light.

Liang looked suspiciously at the pair. "You two were almost late. Highly unusual of you."

Suzaku looked uncomfortable "Heh...its a long story..."

Liang shrugged "Well you made it, and that is what important. Now, onto the tests."

She first led him to a small fire, which was set under an intricate maze of holes. At the top of the maze, there was a picture of a dragon's mouth.

"First, lead the fire of the dragon to expel from its mouth, controlled and unable to hurt the dragon itself."

Suzaku nodded in understanding. He stood in front of the fire, which turned a deep purple as he took control of it. With precision, he led the fire up through the dragon. Through the knot of paths that was the stomach of the dragon Suzaku faltered a bit as he lest his sense of where to lead the flame, but recovered himself and led it right up and out of the stone dragon's jaws.

Liang nodded in approval. She then led him back to Azura, and motioned for him to mount his dragon, which he did. She then grabbed three bronze ring of various sizes.

"Fly up into the air. I will throw each of these rings in the air by order of size. You must first light each ring on fire, and then catch it with either your hands or his teeth."

"Alright." Suzaku replied, and flew into the air. Liang threw each ring up in the air one by one, first the largest, then the medium-sized one, then finally the small one. Suzaku successfully lit them all on fire, and Azura caught all three in his teeth. After they landed, Azura, with obvious pride, deposited the rings into Liang's hands.

Liang smiled, and led them up the tall stairs to the massive platform in between the two peaks of Hollow Mountain. She then described to them their third and final test:

"You and Azura must perform the Dancing Dragon. If you complete it successfully, you will become a Dragon Samurai!"

She then walked back down, and with a motion of her hands, drums started beating.

Suzaku looked at Azura, who hurred in pride, and Suzaku nodded in approval, and started the form. With each step Azura followed next to him in the sky, his movement causing gales of wind to buffet both Suzaku and the warriors below. Finally, Suzaku reached the last step, and with a strong step expelled flames from his fists, their purple glow reflecting off Azura's scales. At the same time, Azura unleashed a mighty torrent of amaranthine fire, and together they looked like they were both bellowing the same fire. They held their cascade of fire for a moment more, then extinguished it and at the same time stood in ready stance.

All that could be heard after that was the deluge of clapping, and the mighty roar of Genbu triumphantly and in awe.


Far away, in a small corner of the Fire Nation, in a town called Kaigan, two warriors faced each other in a small arena. It's stands were filled with two very different kinds of people, afraid villagers, or men that did not seem like men. The villagers cheered for the defender, a hearty young man named Nensho, and the non-men cried for their leader, Dākuāsu.

Each man sized each other up, seeing if the other had any weaknesses they could exploit. Finally, a horn echoed, and the two started circling each other. Nensho started attacking immediately, his green flames bursting from his hands skillfully. However; Dākuāsu simply parried or avoided all of Nensho's blasts as if they were nothing. Nensho attacked again and again, but nothing seemed to hurt his opponent. Desperate, he stood protectively in front of the side of his fearful villagers, and started gathering massive flames into his hands.

Dākuāsu smiled evilly, and with one hand motion, the villagers side of the arena was crushed down onto Nensho. He then Metal-Bended the steel into a large cocoon, killing all of the villagers and leaving only Nensho barely alive. With his last breath, he asked one question:

"Who....are have such power....?"

Dākuāsu laughed. "I am the Ankoku-Shin of Earth you fool! Who else would've crushed you so easily? You were fighting against a god!"

He then lifted his lance over Nensho, and with a powerful thrust impaled Nensho in the face.

The men who were not men cheered.

And darkness seemed to coalesce around them all.

Shattered Balance
Book One: The Avatar
The Dancing Dragon - Ghosts of the Past - The Jouney Begins with a Single Word - Giant Evil Demon Bird!

Suzaku's Ambition - Reflection - The Oni

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