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Feng and Wen cautiously approached the Zhiming fortress, being sure to avoid any spies lurking about. Even though it was dark, Suki and her friends knew that they would not be able to use the darkness to their advantage. "How are we going to get in there?" Bo asked.
"We're going to have to be stealthy about this," Suki said. "We can't just storm the place. They would have our heads in seconds."
"So, what do we do then?" Ling questioned.
"Don't worry, guys. I have a plan as always," Otaka assured them.
Rong gazed upon Kang Dae in silence for about a minute. "You're lying!" she spat. "I don't even have a brother!" Rong was fighting hard to keep tears from falling down her face.
"Our parents never told you about me, did they?" Kang Dae asked in a sinister tone. "When I was thirteen, and you were only two years old, I ran away from home. Our parents hated me, because I was a delinquent in their eyes." Kang Dae explained. "They told me they were going to send me off to the coal mines, so that I would be punished for my bad behavior. I told them that was not going to happen, and I decided to run away from home." Rong could not believe what she was hearing. "I told them if they ever tried to bring me back, I would kill them and I would kill you, and I never saw them again."
It took a minute for Rong to process all of this. Kang Dae then leaned forward and got in his sister's face. "Don't you have anything to say, dear sister?" he taunted.
Kang Dae's remark was met by a burst of fire exploding from Rong's mouth. The Zhiming Superior leapt backwards, only taking part of the burn on the left side of his face. "You are going to regret doing that, you little brat!" Kang Dae formed a fire dagger in his hand and came at Rong with a fierce yell. Rong jerked herself forward with full force, throwing herself face first to the ground along with the chair to which she was bound to. Kang Dae's fire dagger melted right through the restraints that bound Rong to the chair. Rong immediately threw the chair off of her and dodged the fire slice that her brother slammed into the ground, just inches before her face. In a matter of seconds, Rong was back on her feet and had locked eyes with her sibling. With the snap of his fingers, Kang Dae summoned six Zhiming guards into the room. "Stand down," Kang Dae ordered, very seriously.
"Why? Why can't you just fight me yourself?" Rong inquired.
"Oh, please! I could take you down with my eyes closed!" Kang Dae yelled. "I'm just going to wait until we capture your friends so you can see their lives slip away."
"You really have underestimated me, haven't you?" Rong questioned, narrowing her eyes.
Without another moment of hesitation, Kang Dae motioned towards Rong. "Restrain her," he commanded. And with that, the Zhiming guards took Rong into custody once again.
"Let us go!" Suki demanded.
"You can't do this to us!" Bo shouted.
"Both of you shut up!" shouted one of the three Zhiming soldiers that was escorting the remaining members of Team Suki into the Zhiming stronghold.
Suki, Bo, and Ling were all led right into the stronghold by the three soldiers. "Are you sure this plan will work?" Suki asked one of the soldiers. "Don't worry, kids, I'm sure these disguises will allow us to find your friend soon," Gahno replied.
"Soldiers," said a voice coming from a short distance away.
"Yes, sir, what is it?" asked Ren.
"Excellent work," Hong Wu said, pleasure filling his voice. He gave Suki a glare that made her sick. "Lock them away in the most secure chamber in the entire stronghold," Hong Wu ordered. The knife-thrower then chuckled to himself and grabbed the Kyoshi Warrior's chin. "I finally have you now, you little brat!" The knife thrower released his grip and walked away with a smile spreading across his entire face.
"You wish, scum," Suki whispered as Gahno escorted her down the hallway.
Rong was once again bound to a chair in the middle of the room, and this time, she had also been gagged. The door opened and instead of the Firebending monster of a brother she expected to see, she was met by a murderous, inhumane Waterbender instead. "Did you hear? Your friends have arrived." After hearing these words, Rong was instantly afraid. She would never allow Shuang know this, but it was how she felt.
"Bring them in." Shuang's voice was terrifying enough to terrify even the bravest Earth Kingdom soldier. Three soldiers led the remaining members of Team Suki into the room. They were then followed by Kang Dae and Hong Wu.
"Let's kill them now," Kang Dae said.
"I thought we were supposed to wait for the boss to arrive from Kyoshi Island," Shuang reminded his teammates.
"I don't think he will mind if we take one or two of them out," said Hong Wu. "Besides, I don't want to wait one minute more to kill Suki."
"Well, sorry to spoil you fun, fellas!" said Kuong. The three Zhiming Superiors' expressions become those of shock. Kuong took off his helmet and tossed it at Hong Wu, who dodged it and threw a knife in Kuong's direction. Kuong sidestepped the blade and drew a dagger.
The three Si Guan Lian members then released their 'captives' at once, allowing them to attack. Suki let out a fierce cry as she ran at Hong Wu and sent an uppercut onto her arch-rival's jaw, then dealt a blow to his stomach and then his face.
Shuang, pulling water out of the air, sent several ice daggers at Bo. The young Waterbender bent the water from his pouch and formed an ice shield to defend himself. He then converted the shield into a stream of water, knocking Shuang down and causing him to hit the wall behind him. With a mighty kick, Ling broke the bonds that had trapped Rong. "Ling! You have no idea how happy I am to see you!" Rong said, unable to fight back the tears of joy. These tears were forming in Ling's eyes as well. "I love you, Rong. I am so happy to see you again," he said.
"I love you too," Rong replied.
"Sorry to break up your little reunion!" shouted a Kang Dae. He ran at the couple with a furious expression, but was halted by a fire stream from Rong. Kang Dae leaned backwards and just barely avoided the attack. Before he could make another move, he was struck down by Ren, who had discarded her helmet.
"Alright, let's get out of here!" Suki said, urgently. Four Zhiming guards, who had heard the commotion, rushed to the scene. "What is going on here?" One of them asked? She was swiftly defeated, along with the rest of her colleagues, by another stream of water from Bo, who then froze the water, trapping the guards. Team Suki, as well as the Si Guan Lian members made a break for it, bolting down the hallways of the fortress. By the time they were in their fifth hallway, the other soldiers noticed what was happening.
"Stop them! They are trying to escape!" one of them hollered.
Three guards appeared at the end of the hallway and prepared to take the colleagues out. Suki leapt into the air and landed on one of the guards' heads. She then drew her fans and took out the other two with ease. After that, the friends continued running through the corridors of the stronghold. "Don't let them escape!" "Seize the prisoners!" "We have to catch them!" These were the cries that Suki and her friends heard. Guards were rushing towards them in groups of about five each. Rong and Bo water and fire whipped the guards, while Suki, Ling, and the Si Guan Lian members used brute force to fight their way through. The friends fought their way through, corridor after corridor, more and more guards showing up and being defeated soon afterwards. After about ten minutes of fighting, Team Suki and the Si Guan Lian made it outside, only to find about three dozen troops awaiting them. The comrades all knew they were outmatched. Suki closed her eyes and thought to herself how unbelievable it was that she was being caught. Then, suddenly, everyone heard the thundering of giant feet. Out of nowhere, Otaka came riding on the back of Wen, and Feng came running right behind her. Feng took down about ten soldiers with a swipe of his tail, while Wen shot his tongue at one of the soldiers, paralyzing him. Suki and her friends continued to fight as each of the soldiers were taken down. Ling raised several slabs of earth out of the ground and attacked several of them. Rong unleashed several waves of fire at her opponents, while Gahno knocked one out with his fist. Suki silenced the last one by stabbing her katana right through his center. There were several seconds of silence before anyone said anything. "This was a major blow," Rong said.
"Yes, we managed to severely damage the Zhimings' main base of operations," said Ling.
"No, this isn't their main base," said Suki.
"What do you mean? They have three out of the five Zhiming Superiors walking around here!" Bo protested.
"Their main base is on Kyoshi Island, I'm sure of it," Suki replied.
"Well, Shuang did say that's where Tai Kun is," Rong recalled.
"It's not very far from here. It would only take a little more than an hour for them to get there on boat," Suki said.
"Alright, well now we know where their main base is," Bo said. "So, what's the plan, team captain? Where are we off to next?"
Suki faced her teammates with a very serious expression. "We are going back to Kyoshi Island."
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