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|"Azula always lies. Azula always lies...."|
|— Zuko to himself in Zuko Alone.|
Revenge and Debts
November 20, 2011
Thump, thump, thump, thump....
Azula had to try and hold her breath, but in her wearied mental state, her breath was between a pant and a sob. Desperately, she tried to tone it down, and much to her surprise, it worked. Oh no....the soldiers are stopping right below me! She climbed a few more yards up and then listened with all her might.
"Zuko said she would be around here. Maybe she's moving too fast...but that's not likely in her condition. Or maybe he just gave us the wrong place."
"No, I see her footprints. They end right....here!"
JUMP! Azula screamed at herself. JUMP!! And she did, but the soldiers heard the noise.
"What was that? Was it....her?"
Silently, she pointed her finger at another tree and set it on fire. Hisss...
"She's over there! She must have been using the trees! After her!"
Azula smiled smugly to herself, but lost her balance. Quickly, she grabbed onto another branch to stabilize herself. The shaking of the tree must have dislodged a spirit, for a blue mist came from it. For the first time in her memory, a cold claw of fear came into her heart. Spirits can't be destroyed by fire...
"Why did you trick them, Azula, my only daughter?" her mother, Princess Ursa, asked sadly. "They would have helped you. Zuko only wants--"
"My demise and death!" She screamed at her mother. "Get away from me! If you never loved me, why would you 'console' me now?"
"He wants to save you from yourself, and so do I. Azula, you will destroy yourself if your hate continues to feed on your heart! Let go of your father! Oh, Azula, do not condemn yourself to your death and betrayal of your good person! Let go, darling, let--"
She was gone. Azula started swinging on the branch in confusion, anxiety, and sadness. Betrayal?
******Once satisfied that he had earned the village boy's help, he motioned to him and his sister, bowed to the b--Eloki's wreck of a mother, and left with the kids trailing after him like two platypus-bear cubs. The little girl, who couldn't have been more than 6 years old, tugged at his robe, and asked for a ride. A rare half-smile crossed Zuko tired consciousness, and he swung the girl up on his shoulders. A small price to pay for the boy's loyalty.
Azula...escaped?? I put maximum security on her cell, and she still got out. Hmmmm...I wish Mai were here. She would know what to do and where to look. The Sun Warriors? No, I can't see Azula looking for their help; if she even knows that they're still there. Some random village? Maybe. She's on a killing streak: an old man and his mother are dead. What's another village to her insanity? The Capitol? Probably. Trying to kill me? Most definitely.
But, even through all of his deep thoughts, he heard a shriek. Not Azula's, but a bird called a kamikaze. Zuko let a bird land on his outstreched arm, and they considered each other, Fire Lord and bird. Kamikazes were always his favorite little birds...he once had a few for pets. He remembered their nature; fierce, easily excitable, screeching when upset. They were like Azula...but these could be tamed. Could Azula be tamed and brought back to sanity as well?
"Ummm...Fire Lord Zuko? Fire Lord Zuko? We're here." The little girl on his back tugged at his top-knot. Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch ouch. Zuko set her down, where she immediately fell down. "Ahhhh!"
"Kae Li, what is it? Kae Li? Kae Li!" Her brother crouched down next to her. She backed up into Eloki's lap, and screamed even louder.
Zuko looked in the direction she was pointing. "Bad sideburn mean guy! Go away, go away!" But it was nothing.
"Is she dreaming?" Zuko asked, tensely. He hoped that it was not the sideburn-toting admiral who tried to kill him at the North Pole.
"I think so....I hope. But yes, this is the spot where the Princess ambushed us. Ughhhhh, I still shiver when I think about it. She was kinda...."
"Crazy." His sister tearfully put in. "Really crazy. It was like she was about to start screaming every other second...but she told us terrible things." She looked up at Zuko. "Were they true? That you spared her, and that you're a weakling?"
"Kae Li, be quiet!!" her brother hissed.
"No, it's fine. I guess, to others, I am sort of a weakling. Azula is one of those people who think that." Zuko said quietly. "I feel for others. In some cases, that sort of things is dubbed as cowardly."Like my Agni Kai where I got this....memento.
"Here's the scorch marks." Eloki said hurriedly. "And her footsteps."
"Based by her footsteps, she looks a bit unsteady on her feet." Point for me, none for Azula!
"She said something about The Cliffs...."
"Of course. The port. But that means..." Zuko jerked up, startled by a thought, a dreadful thought, which he was sure was Azula's master plan.
"That means what?" Eloki was naturally curious.
"I'm sorry, but you have to stay here in this village for safety."
"But Azula! Her curse at us!"
"Oh. That. Fine, you'll come with me." Zuko was in a hurry, with no time for small talk such as this.
"What's the rush?" Kae Li sleepily inquired.
"She's going to the Capitol. She's going to the Capitol! But wait...after she takes revenge on some notable Fire Nation teenagers." Last thing I want to do, save those lowlifes.
"Them. Chan and Ruon-Jian."
"Yeah." Zuko picked up Kae Li and started to jog towards the cliffs. Robes prohibit running.
The Cliffs were getting even closer...Zuko could see the kamaikazes hurtling at the water, intent on spearing fish. Was that the firepit where he, Mai, Ty Lee, and Azula sorted out their personas?
Eloki stopped at the very edge of the cliff and playfully asked, "Well, are you in for a climbing lesson?"
In the distance, he heard a kamikaze shriek. Azula had better be tamed. And soon.
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