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|Leaves From the Vine|
The Mysterious Scroll
February 04, 2013
Leaves From the Vine is the thirteenth chapter of.
I actually started to tear up during this chapter, and I was like, I'm too emotional. Rewording the story, I actually did cry in the end, but since I want the last thing you read to be the last, the Extras will be posted in the next chapter. Please enjoy and leave a review. By the way, this is my favorite chapter. RuleroftheBisons97(Fanon) 05:13, February 5, 2013 (UTC)RuleroftheBisons97
Iroh is brought face to face with old memories that helped scar his life while mourning Lu Ten and giving advice to Kuei.
Previously on The Lost Scrolls
|"Wh-where did you find one of the Lost Scrolls?"|
|— Iroh, in|
|"You must locate and obtain these scrolls before someone else finds them. Keep them safe for if anyone got them, a second War will begin."|
|— Iroh, in|
|"They are searching for these ridiculous Lost Scrolls. If the story my uncle told me is correct, then we wouldn't need to worry about them. They're playing right into their own destruction."|
|— Azula, in|
Leaves From the Vine
~~Ba Sing Se: Jasmine Dragon~~
Walking down the Upper Ring of the seemingly impenetrable city of Ba Sing Se, one could sniff the aroma escaping from the popular tea shop known as the Jasmine Dragon. The intoxicating smell attracted many consumers into the shop. Iroh smiled to himself as he noticed the amount of people that were swarming inside. Despite every chair being full, this was not one of the busiest days that Iroh and the tea shop had experienced.
Iroh made an effort to greet every guest and offer any of his most needed advice. Now that Zuko was no longer around, Iroh needed others to take his proverbs to another pupil. He smiled at his happy thoughts before retreating to the back of his shop. He greeted the tea makers and the waiters as he entered the back room. The tears that followed were heartbreaking to see or hear. Iroh struggled to sing as he lit the spark rocks to emit a fire.
"Leaves from the vine. Falling so slow. Like fragile tiny shells drifting in the foam. Little soldier boy. Come marching home. Brave soldier boy. Comes marching home."
The retired general sniffed as the last of his tears streamed down the side of his face. Another year has passed and the anniversary of Lu Ten's death still left a rock in his glorious heart.
Iroh would've visited the shrine he made by the park but the tea shop demanded his assistance. He decided to visit it after closing hours.
"If only I could've helped you my son." Iroh whispered. He quickly dried his tears and went back to the kitchen.
"Sir" One of the waiters said catching his attention. "A special guest has come to talk to you."
Iroh pondered who could the special guest be and of his motives and decided to find out. He walked into the dining area where he discovered an unusual sight. A bear was drinking his tea. But it wasn't just any bear. It was Bosco. Seated next to him was none other than Earth King Kuei.
"Hello Iroh." Kuei said while sipping from his tea cup.
"Earth King, to what do I owe this honor?" Iroh bowed, showing his respect.
Kuei drank another sip of his tea before tapping his finger nervously on the cup. He pondered whether to admit his mistake or hide the truth a little longer.
"I just needed some time to think about the consequences of my actions." Kuei admitted. "Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko tell me that you give out great advice."
"Have you come to seek my wisdom?" Iroh asked.
"If you are willing to share it with me." Kuei responded. Bosco scratched his nose with his paw before rolling onto his back and falling into a peaceful state of sleep.
"I can sense that something is troubling you." Iroh admitted.
Kuei nodded while stopping his unconscious tapping. He looked up at Iroh and asked, "Have you ever felt compelled to do something even though doing so can lead to dire actions and consequences?"
Iroh nodded to answer Kuei's question. "Of course. Only fate knows the outcome of our decisions."
Kuei returned to sipping the cup of tea. "When I traveled the Earth Kingdom, I saw the impact of the Hundred Year War that Long Feng hid from me. I finally got to see my citizens with my own eyes. I saw the challenges they faced and the way they handled it. They managed to leave an impact on me and the fog of blindness that concealed the truth started to clear. We were one and the same."
"Of course, but not all citizens of the Earth Kingdom have a bear for a companion." Iroh noted.
Kuei smiled before tapping again. "When I returned, I promised to change things for the better but I got ahead of myself."
"Prince Zuko told me tales of the struggle over the Fire Nation Colonies." Iroh informed.
"Ever since the colonies were permitted to stay, I felt like I failed my people. They no longer see me as a man of authority, but merely a figurehead."
"I see you are troubled by your mistake on the colonies. Do you admit your mistake?" Iroh asked.
Kuei stopped tapping to think. After a pause, he stared at his tea as if hoping it will whisper the answer to Iroh's question.
"Admit mistakes when they occur and seek to restore honor." Iroh reminded Kuei. "The pressure of the throne is a great one and you have begun the process of reforming, but if you keep digging yourself into the earth you may never come back out. To reach the end of the tunnel and restore honor, you have to admit your mistake."
Kuei finished his tea before standing up. "Thank you for the tea Iroh. I will do my best to restore the city and my honor. Come along Bosco, we have a long palanquin ride back to the palace."
Iroh watched as the two left his tea shop before turning his attention to the other customers. One by one, they all left the Jasmine Dragon. Iroh closed up the shop and made his way to the tree at the top hill of Ba Sing Se.
~~Fire Nation: Royal Palace~~
Many Years Ago...
A young Iroh ran out of the palace followed by a small boy.
Mocking a firebending move by thrusting his hands outward, Lu Ten laughed, "I got you dad."
Iroh feigned a blow from the imaginary fire blast and fell onto the grass. Lu Ten smiled and jumped on his father's belly as the two laughed in happiness.
Lu Ten chuckled, "When I grow up I want to be just like you Dad. I want to fight!"
Iroh chuckled, "Son, your future is many years away. I encourage you to live in the present and look toward the future."
Lu Ten sighed and grinned wildly like a mad scientist about to make a discovery. "Will you sing me the song, Dad?"
Iroh smiled. "Of course son." The firebender opened his mouth to sing as a leaf released itself from the branch's grip.
Iroh, now older, walked outside with an older Lu Ten, who donned the Fire Nation uniform.
"Fate is a funny thing my son."
"What do you mean father?"
"Who would've thought I would fulfill my vision of conquering Ba Sing Se with my own son?"
"Together, we will bring the city to ruins for Fire Lord Azulon."
"Oh, good. You are still here." A woman's voice interrupted. Iroh and Lu Ten turned to see Ursa leading Zuko and Azula out of the palace.
"You weren't planning on leaving without saying goodbye right?" Zuko asked, hugging his cousin and uncle. Azula rolled her eyes at Zuko before receiving the stern look emitting from Ursa. "Oh all right. I hope you don't get killed."
"Azula!" Ursa scolded.
"It's okay Ursa." Iroh said, raising a hand. "The reason there are many ways if saying goodbye is because it is too difficult to do so."
Azula sighed heavily to make it clear that she wasn't interested in anything Iroh had to say. Zuko, on the other hand, was committing every word to memory.
Ursa smiled before speaking. "May the Spirits be with you on your journey. Come along kids, we must not delay the two any longer."
Zuko groaned while Azula eagerly followed her mother back inside.
Iroh smiled before feeling his pockets. "It seems I have forgotten my lotus tile. Go on ahead son. That tile is essential to my winning Pai Sho strategy."
"I will make sure the ship is ready." Lu Ten said.
Iroh smiled at the retreating figure of Lu Ten before a voice interfered.
"It's a shame father sent you on this doomed voyage." Ozai stepped out of the shadows and his menacing smirk with a sympathetic frown. "I mean, no one has ever even breached the city's Outer Wall."
"Ozai, our father wouldn't send me on this trip if he knew it was in vain. We will unearth the ancient legend, the Lost Scroll."
"Just because Sozin found one and got his traitor to open it doesn't mean you will be successful and ill be waiting here for you when it happens......brother." Ozai grinned from ear to ear before retreating inside the palace.
Iroh sighed at Ozai's retreating form. "It's good to know I have a supportive brother." The wise man turned to see a shell floating the pond of the turtle duck lake. He chuckled to himself before beginning to sing.
Ozai stared through the window, glaring at the lunatic he had of a brother. Sneering with disgust, Ozai looked away. "Why does he keep singing that infernal song?"
~~Ba Sing Se: Upper Ring~~
Earlier in the Month...
Iroh calmly turned the key, closing the Jasmine Dragon. He started whistling a familiar tune as two figures moved swiftly across the roofs of houses. Iroh stopped and turned, eyeing his surroundings carefully.
The Dragon of the West turned and breathed fire at his opponent but Camu jumped to avoid the blast. The Energybender shot three bolts of lightening at Iroh's heart, but the former general redirected each and every single one of them with his technique.
Azula clapped as she walked out of the shadows. "I didn't know you had it in you uncle."
"Azula." Iroh remarked, shocked but not surprised. "I should've known you would be after the Lost Scrolls as well."
"Their existence means nothing to me uncle." Azula snapped, "I just came here for revenge on Zuko!" She quickly shot a shower of blue meteor sized fire balls at Iroh, but the Dragon of the West spun while breathing from his mouth, blocking the attacks.
Azula shot a pinwheel of flames at the cage Iroh had made, and shot her attack with a simple shove of the hands. The pinwheel burst as it made contact with Iroh and he flew into the air. Azula summoned rocket jets to follow her uncle while Camu followed by converting the streets to his personal slide.
Azula landed on a building next to Iroh, running alongside him. She shot fire from her feet and levitated over a pole and onto the next roof. Iroh slid down the opposite side of the roof and doubled back, confusing his pursuers.
He smiled to himself as he neared the Royal Palace. There, he could get help from Kuei. His thoughts were interrupted when he fell waist-deep in quicksand conjured by Camu.
"You thought you could escape?" Camu boasted. "Grave mistake, Dragon of the West."
"Enough!" Azula shouted. "Uncle, who knew it would end like this? Before I do it however, I must ask you about what exactly Zu-zu and the Avatar are after."
"I thought you mentioned something about their existence not interesting you." Iroh reminded Azula.
"It wouldn't help to have a back up plan." Azula grinned madly, showing the signs of mental instability.
"Azula, it will be wise to not seek the Lost Scrolls even as bait as I know you are planning to. The Scrolls will turn you into a deranged monster, killing off every single soul who dares to oppose you." Iroh reasoned.
"Sounding better and better to me." Camu smirked.
"Do not let your ties to human life fall of like the last leaf from the vine. Once you start the hunt, you will regret it." Iroh said.
A device rang in Azula's pocket. Pulling it out, she screamed into it. "What is it?"
"We failed ma'am." Dai Nero's voice echoed over it.
"Don't come back until the Avatar is dead!" Azula shouted.
"Gladly." Dai Nero said, "But, ma'am, if we may ask something of you. The team is heading to the Southern Water Tribe and we can't cross into their land."
"Hmm, the Southern Water Tribe? Dai Nero, await my orders." Azula said, hanging up. "Now, Iroh, where do you think we can get some Fire Navy ships?" Iroh smiled before breathing a wave of fire at Azula. The princess anticipated the trick and blocked the attack by shooting the torrent of flames to the side, but Iroh was gone.
~~Ba Sing Se: Lu Ten's Shrine~~
Iroh cried softly as he reached the undisturbed shrine of Lu Ten. Setting down his favorite food and lighting the essence sticks, Iroh's eyes started to tear up at the amazing adventures Lu Ten wanted to have. Now, he was gone, and Iroh was left alone. Sure he had Zuko, but he had new responsibilities after the war.
"Leaves from the vine." Leaves started to unhinge themselves from their confinement, freeing themselves to join the wind. "Falling so slow. Like fragile tiny shells." The leaves were slowly pushed into a nearby gentle stream and started to slowly drift along the foamy water, leaving its tree. "Drifting in the foam."
"Little soldier boy." Iroh started to cry as the stream turned into a waterfall. The leaves flew off the edge and twirled, transforming into a little Lu Ten shooting his imaginary attack, pretending to kill his father.
"Come marching home." Lu Ten smiled as he walked along a path alone, holding nothing but a picture of Iroh. He held it to his chest as he started to grow.
"Brave soldier boy." Lu Ten grew into an adolescent and grew until he became an adult, now wearing the Fire Nation military suit.
"Comes marching home." A booming sound from a firearm fills the air.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|The Lost Scrolls|
|Book 1 - The Mysterious Scroll|
|The New Adventure Begins – The Kyoshi Code – The Rebels – The Southern Water Tribe – The Siege of the South, Part 1 - The Siege of the South, Part 2 - - The Rebirth of Revenge - The Rise of the Peacekeepers - - - - The Plan - Crescent Hearts, Hopeless Dreams - Secrets of the Bounty Hunters - Cracking the Code - Revolutions and Revelations - The Spirit World, Part 1 - The Spirit World, Part 2 -|