Sozin refuses to help Roku
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Elements of Life





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Roku's eyes flashed with blinding light. All the skills and knowledge of the previous Avatars coursed through his veins. The man battled nature as the villagers fled on boats. As she looked back, a tear slid down Ta Min's cheek. In her heart, she wished she could see Roku again. Her mind told her otherwise.

Sozin watched from a distance. Avatar Roku used all of his resources. He admired Roku's focus and sheer force as he dueled fire and brimstone. The brave man detached himself from the world as smoke and ash erupted around him. The air wavered with intense heat. Toxic gas compressed his lungs. With all the power in the world, he was still just a man.

Vision blurred, Roku knelt down to catch a breath. His lungs filled with more smoke and ash. Sozin tried to run, to help, but he couldn't move. He was paralyzed as he watched his friend succumb to the poison. He had always been there for Roku. He had always been there...

The old Fire Lord felt the agonizing pain of a blade stabbing through his back. As Roku fell, the steel drove deeper and deeper into Sozin, spilling blood. Right before his eyes, the Avatar's body deteriorated under the forces of nature. Sozin shared the noxious torture as poison dissolved their lungs and ghostly flames charred their flesh. Sozin cried out from a distance. Watching his friend die alone hurt more than any burn wound. The blade pierced straight through Sozin's torso, the sharp edge bathed in crimson. Struggling for an agonizing breath, Roku reached out for a last saving grace but grasped only emptiness. The Avatar and the Fire Lord fell in unison. Sozin's mind collapsed into pitch-blackness as the inferno engulfed the world. Then it was done.

Azulon lay flat on his back, staring at the blank ceiling. The blood curdling shrieks of his father rang in his ears. For many nights, Sozin struggled with intense nightmares, yelling in agony as he slept. He tried to console his father about the nightmares but Sozin remained silent. The old man felt alone and forsaken in the world. Depression weighed down on him. Every night, Azulon lay awake with conflict in his heart. There was no one to turn to. The painful screams of his father seared his mind. His thoughts wandered to the day his father told him about being Fire Lord:

"Son, what makes a good ruler?"

Azulon stared with young, innocent eyes, "Being powerful, and brave, and strong."

Sozin chuckled, "Who told you that?"

The child shrugged.

Sozin put a hand on his shoulder and pointed out across the ocean, "The world is full of amazing things that you haven't seen. Being the Fire Lord is about more than power, or strength, or bravery. People suffer everyday in poverty and disease. Being Fire Lord means you have to see everything, and relate to everyone."

"Ruling isn't all about controlling others," Sozin laughed, "even if we can."

The boy smiled as his father continued, "The secret to being the Fire Lord is mercy. When the time comes for you to take the throne, rule with compassion and care. You are responsible for healing painful hearts."

Azulon went to help his father.

In the dead of night, Sozin sat at his desk, doused in candle-light. He stared at the blank piece of parchment. Ink dripped from the quill as he thought of the words to write. But there were none. There were no words to explain his emptiness. There were no words to explain his regrets. There were no words to explain his weakness. No matter how hard he tried to forget, the image lingered in his mind. The old man sat motionless in the dim light, alone.

What is life without happiness or love? Sozin felt hollow inside. There was nothing left. He couldn't find solace, even in dreams. Dreams only caused more suffering. Every night, he woke up sweating and breathing heavily. He glared at the moon with hatred. The soft light beckoned him to sleep. It beckoned him to succumb to the torture all over again. He stared silently at the parchment covered with black stains of ink.

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