|By Rockjaw Grang||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Rockjaw Grang||Action/Adventure||PG - 13||None yet||None|
|Chapter XXI:The Valley|
Fire Nation-Earth Kingdom southern army headquarters
Night had just fallen at the joint Fire Nation-Earth Kingdom camp, and though some people were still sitting around campfires, most were in their tents, sleeping.was one of the people who had been sleeping, when a Fire Nation soldier opened his tent door and called in to him. "Prince Kumaro, sir, is looking for you", he said. Kumaro woke up, still drowsy, and responded to what the soldier had said.
"Can't it wait until morning?" he asked.
"No, Saif says it's urgent, now come on", the soldier responded. Kumaro began to get up, and walked after the man who had woken him up through the camp. He passed several tents and campfires, some of them burning brightly, others just mere embers. Most of the ones that had a fire burning intensely had troops around them, some were joking with each other, others were discussing the war and how it was affecting them. Kumaro and the soldier kept walking, until they arrived at the largest tent in the camp, the meeting tent. Kumaro walked inside, and the soldier left to return to his camp. Once inside, he saw a table with a map of the Fire Nation on it, some candles burning on top of the table, and Sokka, Suki, Saif and Toph. He was surprised to also see Zysor and.
"Kumaro, we need to talk about tomorrow", Sokka said. By this time, Kumaro was well awake, and listening carefully to what Sokka said.
"There's a valley nearby which we are attacking. We should be able to easily take it with our airships, however, our scouts say there is a fort with some trebuchets and ballistas that could cause damage to our airship fleet, so we need to destroy the fort before we attack", Saif informed.
"So why are you telling me this now. I assume I'm going to attack the fort, but do I have to know about the attack I'm going to lead now?" Kumaro said. Though he was awake, he still wanted to get back to sleep.
"Because, we're leading the attack on the valley tomorrow, so the fort needs to be destroyed by tonight", Saif responded.
"Why can't you just attack the day after tomorrow, and have me attack the fort tomorrow night when I'm better prepared and rested?"
"Because we can see them, they can see us, and the longer time we take to attack the valley, the harder it'll be", Sokka responded. "They'll be getting ready for us, so we need to attack before they're so ready we can beat them. They can call in reinforcements, but what we have is what we've got."
"Okay, I'll lead an attack and wake up my squad. I assume Aditi's coming with me, that's why she's here", Kumaro said.
"Yes", Aditi responded. She and Kumaro then left the tent to wake Atenar, Altair, and Hikdeki.
"All Firebenders come to the meeting tent!", Toph yelled after she had walked out of the tent. Firebenders began to come towards the meeting tent, some walking because they were tired, others running because of military discipline. Using Earthbending to sense where each solider was, Toph began counting. "One two three four..." She continued counting until she reached forty-five." You forty-five are coming with Prince Kumaro, to attack a Phoenix Estates fort", she ordered. "You will be attacking from gliders, and dropping bombs on it. You should be able to destroy the fort, and prevent it from using it's trebuchets and ballistas on our airships tomorrow", she continued.
Due to a lack of available supplies, some tents in the camp were made of earth. Kumaro understood that it would be difficult to awake someone inside and earth tent. Kumaro inhaled, and produced a fire blade that cut through the top of the tent. "Wake up!", he called in. Immediately Atenar woke up. "We're attacking the Phoenix Estates", Kumaro said. Atenar began to push the rock slabs of what had been his tent apart, and got out. Kumaro then helped him up, and the duo walked to the next tent to wake up the others.
Fire Nation sky
Kumaro looked ahead of himself as he saw the valley approaching. In an attempt to conceal their presence, the Firebenders had been ordered to glide, and not propel themselves using Firebending. They were below the fort, which was stationed at the top of one side of the valley, and flying over the farms below. Kumaro could easily see the army camped below, and knew they would be no match for an airship. Kumaro was about to use Firebending to propel himself upwards and attack the base, when he heard ringing. He also saw about five gliders come out of the fort, and ten more from the valley below. Kumaro began to climb upwards, and was followed by his forces, when the gliders from the valley below attacked. A massive explosion occurred because of the flames hitting the bombs the pilots had brought to drop onto the fort, and the explosion consumed ten pilots. The five gliders that had come from the Phoenix Estates fort flew down towards the oncoming forces. Kumaro and Aditi used their superior speed to better evade the fire blasts and attack the gliders. Atenar saw three gliders headed towards him. He flew into the side of the valley, collapsed his glider into a staff, and used it to push himself off the ledge. He managed to use Firebending while falling through the air to hit two of the gliders. The remaining glider was destroyed by other Fire Nation pilots. He noticed that only fifteen gliders remained. Altair and Hideki had taken ten each and flown around to attack the fort from different sides.
Top of Valley
Hideki and the ten he had taken with him flew just over the ground of the top of the valley. He began to ascend, and the other pilots followed him. He saw five golden gliders flying towards him and his forces. He stopped Firebending, knowing his blue glider would not be easy to see in the night. As the Phoenix Estates gliders engaged his own, he was able to fly right up to them without them noticing him. When he attacked, his foe did not see it coming. He was able to take out two of them, leaving the other three to his ten. He then began Firebending again, as he lead his remaining eight pilots to the fort to attack it.
Altair watched as a group of five golden gliders flew out to attack him and his forces. He pulled up, and the ten pilots that had followed him followed. The Phoenix Estates gliders were hard on his heels, and he knew that he would have to put his plan into effect soon. he released his bombs so they would detonate in the middle of the Phoenix Estates gliders. The gliders that were not destroyed were forced to land, as their gliders were in no condition to fly. Altair then saw that some of his pilots had been hit with the enemy's flames, and called out to them. "Drop your bombs so you don't blow up and head back to our camp if your glider is on fire. If not, follow me!" he said. He then headed towards the fort, and flew over the walls. Once he saw the inside, he saw that many of the trebuchets were already in flames, as a result of Hideki and six other pilots. He also saw that the wall forces had shot down a Fire Nation glider inside the fort. Altair then began his attack, dropping his remaining bombs on the fort's heavy artillery. His squad did the same. Before he was at the other side of the fort, he pulled up, deciding that it would be best to not risk facing Firebending wall guards. Hideki then followed, and the remaining fifteen Fire Nation pilots flew out of the fort. Hideki flew low, to better view the ground from where his forces had been attacked, and he saw movement. A weary soldier struggled to get the attention of his allies, but he was unable to do so. Hideki landed his glider, and walked up behind the soldier.
"Hello", he said.
"Ghaah", the soldier screamed. "Oh, it's you Hideki", he said, much calmer because he knew what was with him.
"Take my glider and get back to the camp. I'll run there", Hideki ordered. The Fire Nation soldier then took Hideki's glider, and ran off the valley's edge, flying away towards the Fire Nation camp. Hideki then began running over the grass on the top of the valley that ran parallel to a forest.
Kumaro, Aditi, and Atenar had been unable to attack the fort, since they had been busy dealing with several gliders from the Phoenix Estates that had come from the bottom of the valley. Suddenly, Atenar called out to Kumaro. "Sir, I see smoke coming from the top of the valley, I think it's been taken care of", he said. Kumaro looked, and he agreed.
"I agree, plus our gliders are heading back to the camp. Let's join them", he responded. He then began to head back to the Fire Nation camp, when he saw Hideki's glider being chased by three Phoenix Estates gliders. He sped up to save his ally. He then formed his mouth into an O, and shot fire out of it. The flames hit all three of the gliders, and they fell down to the valley floor.
Valley fort, the next day
The Phoenix Estates commander looked over the valley. He then decided to talk with his lieutenant. "lieutenant, how many did we lose."
"Unknown sir", she responded.
"What about our heavy weapons, how about those?"
"All gone I'm afraid sir." The commander then took a moment to decide what to do next.
"Since we can be sure that they are going to attack us today, we should fall back to Terrarbor and aid the commander there. We're in no position to fight, so we should run."
"Yes sir", the lieutenant responded.
"Empress Azula, there is something you must see", the captain of the Phoenix Estates guard said.
Azula sighed, and then responded. "Very well captain, show me".
"Um, the thing is Empress, we need you to come to it.
"Fine, I'll come", Azula said after another sigh. The two then walked out of Azula's throne room, and headed towards a carriage pulled by a dragon moose. The carriage was painted gold, and it had a phoenix painted in black on the door. They took the carriage to Bharato's house, and then walked to the door. It was locked, but the captain had a key. The captain then walked down a passage,and Azula followed. They continued walking for some time until they came to a large balcony overlooking a rectangle of dust inside a large chamber. Azula saw five people standing at opposite ends of the rectangle. She recognized five of them as the infamous rough rhinos who had fought in the Hundred Year War, but she did not recognize the others. One of them was armed with twin katanas, another, some sort of darts. Another member of the group had two war hammers, a fourth from the group had a lance, a sword and a shield, and the fifth had no weapon, though he had tattoos on his forehead to show he was able to use combustion. "Exactly what is going on captain?" she aksed.
"The rough rhinos want to fight for you Empress, as do these other warriors, but they both fell that they deserve the title of rough rhinos. Azula thought about this for a moment, then responded to what the captain had said.
"Have them fight each other. The winning five receives the title 'rough rhinos'", she said. The groups then ran towards each other, screaming and preparing to fight.
Phoenix Estates Airship
sat in the sick bay of the airship. He was not happy about the leg Kumaro had broken when he had been giving his speech. The fact that he was bedridden for another month was unacceptable. But he found a bright side to the situation. He inhaled, held his breath for some time, and then exhaled, at the same time thrusting his hand forward, causing a small amount of fire to shoot from it. He then repeated the process, trying to produce a larger flame this time. He knew this would make him a stronger Firebender, and he knew it would allow him to do things Azula would not be happy about.
For the collective works of the author, go here.