Republic City alley
Ling's Scars
Chapter information

Avatar: Into the Light





Written by

Agent Slash



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The Return of Hong Shu

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Love and Secrets

Rong stood in utter silence at the mention of Ling's name. "Ling?" she repeated.

"I haven't seen him in years," said Sokka. "What's he been up to?"

"I don't know," Bo replied. "I only ran into him once recently. I stumbled into him in the middle of the night when I went out to get some food." Bo paused before continuing. "He looked awful."

Rong was feeling more uncomfortable by the second. "Wow, I wonder why," she said, pulling at her hair, nervously.

"Well, if Ling can get this guy to talk, then we can wrap up this case and pick up Suki and Zuko for our Ember Island trip!" Katara said.

"Yeah, except there is just one problem, Sugar Queen, we don't know where he is," said Toph.

"Bo, can you show us where you saw him?" asked Aang.

"Yeah, follow me," said Bo. The group walked out of the room and headed for the exit.

Team Avatar was walking down the streets of Republic City, looking for the food stand where Ling had last been seen. Night was falling, and more thug-like people were walking the streets, some of them eyeballing the heroes. "Can we get a move on, Bo?" Ai asked, feeling uncomfortable.

"Here it is!" Bo said. "This is where I saw him."

"Then he must live around here somewhere," said Aang. "Let's start looking." The heroes proceeded to walk through the streets, watching their steps as thugs were out and about.

"Let's check back here," said Sokka, motioning to an alleyway.

"Sokka, are you sure that's a good idea?" asked Katara.

"Yeah, what's the worst that could happen?" Sokka replied. The group proceeded into the alley, being cautious as they walked. Then, out of nowhere, someone grabbed Ai's arm.

"Hey, there, pretty lady," said the man. "How about you come with me and we'll have some fun?" he asked, very sleazily. Suddenly, Team Avatar was surrounded. At least seven men surrounded the group.

Aang drew his staff, Katara pulled out the water in her pouch, Sokka drew his boomerang, and everyone else prepared to fight. In an instant, a voice was heard yelling from above. Everyone looked up to see a man jump down on top of one of the thugs and sock him in the face. Three more levitated rocks out of the ground, but the man created a landslide that threw them off balance, and then sent them into the ground. Taking advantage of the moment, Ai broke free from her captor's grip and Waterbent him to the ground. She then transformed the water into ice and froze him where she lay. The other two thugs fled, but Toph bent her metal cable at them, wrapped them up, and brought them back over to her.

"Thanks for the help," Katara said.

"No problem, Katara," said the man.

"How do you know my name?" Katara asked, confused.

The man turned around and looked at the group. "How could I not?" he responded.

Rong looked upon the man with shock and disbelief. "Well, this is a surprise, isn't it?" she asked.

"Well, hey there, Rong," Ling said, his voice very bitter. "I never expected to see you again."

"Is there something going on between you two?" asked Toph.

Ling had a chuckle at this. "Oh, what, you haven't even told them?" he asked.

Before Ling could say any more, Rong intervened. "No, nothing at all!" she insisted. "We just haven't seen each other in a really long time, that's all." She looked at Ling with desperation, pleading for him not to say anything without even having to say the words. "Whatever," he said. "Now, what do you want? Surely you must have some reason for trying to find little old me?"

"Bo says you can help us interrogate someone," said Aang. "We would really appreciate it if you would come help us."

"Hey, now that we've found you, you could even be a part of our group again!" Bo suggested.

"Forget it," said Ling. "I'll help you guys interrogate this chump, but I am not rejoining your group."

"But-" Bo started.

"I said no!" Ling shouted.

"Alright, just please come with us," Aang said.

Ling nodded and walked away with the rest of the group.

The Kyoshi Warriors were stunned to hear this. "Hong Shu killed Ty Lee?!" Miki asked.

"Well, sort of," said Suki. "It was Shuang who killed her."

"Then why did you bring up her death if Hong Shu had nothing to do with it?" asked Ning.

"Hong Shu is not an ordinary man," Suki explained. "He is a combination of two people. Nine years ago, the spirit of Hong Wu entered Shuang's body and took control of it. I feel like killing Hong Shu will allow me to have complete closure since I'll be taking them both out at once."

"But once you do, what's to say Hong Wu's spirit won't just take control of someone else's body?" asked another Kyoshi Warrior. "I don't know," said Suki.

"You don't have to worry about that," Suki heard a voice.

"Did you guys hear that?" Suki asked.

"Hear what?" asked Ning.

"I just heard a voice," Suki said.

"They can't hear me, Suki," the voice spoke. "Only you can. And don't worry, once a spirit has possessed a mortal once, they cannot do it again."

Suki suddenly recognized the voice as one of her ancestors. "Kyoshi?" she asked. There was no response.

"Who are you talking to?" asked Miki.

"No one," Suki answered. "Now, come on, let's get inside. It's getting dark out here.

Team Avatar walked into the police station and into the back. "Yeah, so the first three we brought in wouldn't talk, so-"

"Wait, you guys already have three of these guys in custody?" Ling inquired, cutting Toph off before she could finish her sentence. "And you decided to capture another one?"

"Toph couldn't get the other three to talk, so I thought that maybe we would have better luck with someone else," Aang replied. The group walked over to the Lightbender's cell and waited outside while Ling went in. They stared through the glass as he walked over to the man.

"So, my friends here tell me you won't talk. Why not?" he asked. The Lightbender said nothing. "Come on, you know you want to talk," Ling goaded. Still, there was silence. "Okay, look, I don't know how our esteemed chief of police handled this, but I'm a whole different kind of person, so unless you want to end up with some broken ribs, I suggest you talk!"

"He is just bluffing, right?" asked Katara. "Ling would never do anything like that."

Finally, the Lightbender opened his mouth to speak, but what came out did not please Ling. "Get pulverized, Earth Kingdom scum," the Lightbender spoke. He was quickly thrown out of his chair and grabbed by his shirt collar.

"Listen to me, you son of a bitch! I am going to get some answers from you whether you like it or not!" Ling screamed. "Now start talking or I'll hurt you so badly you won't even remember where you are!"

"Toph, get in there and stop him!" Aang shouted.

"Alright, alright, I'll talk!" the Lightbender said. Everyone outside the cell froze.

"Talk, then!" Ling demanded.

"Bai Lung is plotting to make the prophecy a reality. He has chosen now as his time to rise. He is planning some sort of assault on Republic City very soon," the man said. "That's all I know."

"You're lying to me, aren't you?" asked Ling. "There is something you are not telling me."

"No, I swear in the name of Yoake, that's all I know!"

Ling thought about what the man just said. "Wait, did you just say 'the prophecy'?" he questioned.


"And who is Bai Lung?"

"He is the leader of the Light Clan."

"Although the conqueror has fallen, a warrior of..." Ling muttered the first part of the prophecy. "Light will arise and destroy every weakling in his path," he finished. "That's what it said." Ling dropped the man and left the room. He stepped outside to see the bewildered expressions on Team Avatar's faces.

"Ling, what happened to you?" asked Bo. "You used to be so nice and tranquil, but now you're so... vicious."

"What happened to me is none of your business," Ling replied. "And I'm not vicious; I've just developed a backbone."

"So, a lot of good this did us," said Toph.

"Actually, this did do us some good," said Aang. "Now we know that we need to look out for some kind of attack."

"I'll dispatch the force to look out for any signs of danger," Toph said.

"Great! Now we can focus on our Ember Island trip!" Sokka stated.

"Hold on, guys," Ling said.

Everyone turned to face the man. "What is it, Ling?" asked Ai.

"I had no idea that the prophecy was involved with this or that Light Clan he was talking about. I want back in the group."

"Really?" asked Katara.

"I'm not so sure if that's a good id-" Rong started.

"We would be happy to welcome you back, Ling," Aang said.

Ling nodded. Then, a thought suddenly occurred to him. "Hey, where are Suki and Zuko?"

"Don't worry, we're going to pick them up," said Aang. "Let's go."

Most of Team Avatar left the room and headed for the exit, but Ling grabbed Rong's arm before she could leave. "You can't hide it from them forever, you know," he said. "Sooner or later they will find out, and you will be embarrassed."

"Why did you rejoin us, Ling? Was it to make me feel worse?" Rong asked, calmly.

"Oh, so you do have a heart after all," Ling said in response. "But no, I rejoined for exactly the reason I said. Now, come on, let's go."

Rong nodded and the two of them left to catch up with the others.

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