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|By Agent Slash||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Agent Slash||Action/Adventure, Drama||PG-PG13||Positive||N/A|
|Our Ending, Part 2|
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A Note Before Reading
- For those of you who have read Our Story already, the new content starts around the point when Heng Gan and Saura decide to go back.
"What is it, Azulon? Why are you here?" Sozin's voice boomed through the large chamber, and then again all was silent. Now the only sounds were Azulon's footsteps, slowly each one made its way closer and closer to the Fire Lord.
"Azulon, what is it?" Sozin was growing impatient, there was something off... Azulon was not his usually stoic self, he now emanated something sinister.
"Father, I've been thinking..." he finally spoke.
"Thinking what? Tell me what you want or get out!"
"Yes, yes, of course, father. Don't worry; I'll be finished... quickly." Again the sound of Azulon's footsteps drew closer to the throne, but as he made his way to the steps, his footsteps weren't the only ones. A servant came running into the throne room and quickly dropped to the floor in a respectful bow.
"My great lord, I have a message from the small village of Sakiya." Azulon grabbed the small parchment from the servant, obviously annoyed. He read it and he laughed, burning the scroll in his hand.
"Azulon you fool!" The Fire Lord exclaimed. "Why did you burn that? What did it say?" He demanded.
"Relax, father. It simply said the Southern Water Tribe has attacked Sakiya." Azulon responded.
"What?!" Sozin asked. He then let out a fit of laughter. "So these worthless Water Tribe animals think they can defy me?! How adorable!" He declared. "You!" He pointed to the servant. "Fetch me more paper so that I may write back to Ji Qing. I think he will be pleased to hear what I have to say."
The enraged Ji Qing stormed through Sakiya, setting a banana tree ablaze in anger. "Men, gather these worthless villagers!" Two Fire Nation soldiers rushed to bang an enormous bell in the village center.
A bald man with a grey goatee wearing luxurious gold robes with bright red lining approached them. "You dare bang that bell in the Dragon Spirit's hour of rest?" he questioned with vexation.
"Enough with your spiritual nonsense Tan Shi," responded a woman in the attire of a high ranking Fire Nation officer.
"Whatever you wish, War Minister Lo," said Tan Shi sarcastically.
The people began to gather as the infuriated Ji Qing made his way to a small, wooden stage. "Which one of you lowly scum did this?" he demanded. After receiving a response of blank stares he became more violent. "Who was it! Who sent the assassin! Nobody wants to tell me?" he looked around. "Bring me the old man there!" Two soldiers seized Tan Shi and dragged him next to the admiral who grabbed him by the neck and held his fist to his face. "If one of you doesn't tell me who sent the assassin, the man dies!"
"Please, no!" Tan Shi cried. "The Sun will not grant our nation victory if you take my life!"
"The Sun isn't here to stop me old man." Ji Qing replied.
"Fine. It was Munni!" Tan Shi to a few gasps from the crowd.
Ji Qing smirked and threw Tan Shi back with the rest of the people. "So, the elder sent the murderer...I should have guessed that." "It wasn't Munni!"
Ji Qing found the voice coming from the town nurse known as Mizele. "Then who was it?" the admiral questioned.
"I don't know," the woman paused. "But it couldn't have been my husband."
Ji Qing grunted. "Fetch the man from the prison. I'll deal with him myself." Hearing that, Mizele cried out a second time.
"He isn't in the prison! I just know he isn't."
"And how could you possibly know that? You're as crazy as the Sun prophet over here."
"Go ahead and check for yourself."
"Fine!" Ji Qing bellowed. Taking two of his guards with him, he stormed off toward the prison.
"He's not there." Mizele muttered.
When Ji Qing made it to the prison, Munni wasn't there. "Impossible," Ji Qing said to himself. "He probably joined those kids who escaped earlier."
"Are you sure you covered up our tracks?" A man asked. "We cannot let any of those soldiers in the town know where we are." It was Munni who spoke these words.
"Yes, Lord Elder. No one knows of our location but we must leave quickly before the soldiers return from the town." Bai Fu answered.
"You're right now let's hurry!" Munni said. Before they could leave, a dark figure appeared before them.
"Not so fast!" The boy said. He took out a hooked chain and swung it towards Munni who dodged it.
"Who are you and what is the meaning of this?!" Munni asked.
"My name is Sha and unfortunately for you I cannot let you leave," Sha replied.
"Well then, it looks like we'll have to kill one more of Ji Qing's lackeys before we leave," Bai Fu stated.
"Do not underestimate me," Sha said quietly before swinging his chain at Munni.
Munni jumped back and launched a fireball at the assassin. Sha twirled away and launched three shurikens at the group. One caught Bai Fu in the foot and he fell down to avoid the other two. Bai Fu looked up to see Sha raising a sai above his head. He was about to stab it into the man's body when a fire whip smashed into the ground behind him. Sha tripped over Bai Fu's leg and fell to the ground. Munni sent a wheel of fire at the young man. Just before it hit, though, Sha was clouded in a plume of smoke. When the dust cleared he was gone.
"Let's get out of here," Munni said after catching his breath.
Ji Qing approached his tent. As he was entering it, an arrow just barely missed him. He turned around to see men falling out of the trees and attacking his camp. The admiral's eyes darted around, furiously. "What is going on here?!" He shouted. A man that looked like the commander of these men approached him.
"In the name of the Thieves of the West and our master, we will destroy you scum!" He yelled. Ji Qing's eyes lit up with fury as he unleashed a devastating attack on the commander.
"ATTACK!" commanded Ji Qing, as men started battling with Thieves of The West.
"What about me?" asked Sha.
"You... You failed to kill a miserable, old, weak person! Why would I need you?" said Ji Qing, furiously.
"Because you do want to be alive. You know I am in good relationships with Sozin," replied Sha confidently, as the Thieves of The West were advancing.
"You beat me this time, Sha. Now go and help the men beat those idiots. I will need you in my elite group," said Ji Qing, trying to regain leadership.
"You will, admiral, you will," replied Sha as he went out, stopping a thief from killing a soldier. Sha does have good relationships with the Fire Lord. He is one of his favorite assassins. Ji Qing thought. I must find a way of gaining control over him.
Back in Sakiya, Mizele was on her way to the town hall. She entered with a furious look. "Tan Shi!" The old women yelled. Tan Shi turned around to see her.
"Ah, Mizele what can I help you with?" The sun prophet asked, obviously annoyed.
"I don't know what you are up to, Tan Shi so you better start explaining why you told the army that it was Munni that sent that assassin after Ji Qing!" Mizele demanded.
"Munni was the most likely suspect. Who else could have done it?" Tan Shi replied.
"You are lying!" Mizele accused him. "You wanted them to think it was him so you could save your own skin!" Mizele shouted.
"Oh, and I suppose you have proof?" Tan Shi retorted.
"I am warning you, Tan Shi, you had better not try this again!" Mizele said before turning to walk out.
"I am trembling with fear!" Tan Shi responded, sarcastically. What could an old woman possibly do to him? An arrogant grin twitched at the edge of Tan Shi's lips. So what if he had sold Munni out? His life, the life of a noble priest, meant more than the old man's ever would. I give those Firebenders the blessing of the sun. What does Munni do? Nothing compared to that. Those fools would never realize that Munni couldn't possibly assassinate someone from a cell. And if selling him out results in them finding the escaped elder, than so be it. No matter what happens, Tan Shi thought, I won't be held accountable. What's the word of an old woman compared to that of a great priest such as myself? Despite his words and thoughts, a chill ran down Tan Shi's spine. He did not know what this woman was capable of--and in the end, it might happen that he should have chosen a death by the hands of the military.
"Now then, I am afraid that I have more important matters to attend to," Tan Shi spoke through a lump in his throat as he turned back to Mizele just as she was leaving. "Point fingers at another innocent, as that is what you're best at. Or come clean and repent for your brash accusations at the temple." In the end, his tone still managed to be cocky and belittling as he turned from the other.
Mizele marched through the village to her house. She could not believe Tan Shi! The nerve of that man! she thought. I won't let him or anyone else take Munni away from me! He is the last person that is close to me. The old woman began to tear up as she remembered her family being killed by those people many years ago. She would never forget the horrifying experience of watching her mother, father, and brother be brutally murdered by those horrible thieves. If Munni, the last close person to her did not make it back she wouldn't be able to go on. He must be okay. He can take care of himself, Mizele thought. I just wish he would come back soon. One thing was certain, she would expose Tan Shi for the greedy coward he was. Little did the Sun Prophet know that he had made himself a new enemy this day. Mizele stared at the moon as she approached her house. She was tired of just simply nursing the town of Sakiya and staying home doing nothing. Now she would finally be doing something exciting, just like her husband.
Who was that boy?" Munni thought aloud. The sky was clear and the moon was almost full, the small group's lamps glowing softly in the dark.
"Ji Qing's assassin," answered Bai Fu, he continued, "Sha, I think he's called. No one really knows who he is or where he came from." The others seemed suddenly very interested in what Bai Fu had to say.
"So he just... Happened? Think he could be a spirit or something?" A bewildered man asked.
"Don't be silly!" Munni admonished and let Bai Fu continue.
"I did some research on him, I couldn't find much... Only rumors, rumors that connects him to the capitol..."
Meanwhile, on Ember Island, Heng Gan and Saura were staring up at the night sky in silence. Zelbo was fast asleep.
"Heng Gan," Saura started. "Do you remember when we first met?" She asked. Heng Gan was not sure why she had asked him this.
"Yeah, I remember," he said. "I was running through the village and you and I ran into each other. I remember you were pretty mad. Then you and I got into an argument over who could beat who in an Agni Kai. After a while, we settled down and called a truce and that's when we became friends." Heng Gan recalled.
"Yeah, what a wonderful day that was." Saura said with affection in her voice.
The two continued to stare up at the stars for a while before Heng Gan finally broke the silence. "Saura, what are we doing?"
Saura sat up and looked at her friend. "What do you mean?"
"We're doing the wrong thing. Chasing after some guru who may not even still be alive!"
"Well, what do you suggest we do?" Saura inquired, a trace of cynicism in her voice.
"I suggest we go straight to the heart of the problem! We go back to Sakiya, we find Ji Qing, we hijack his ship, and we go straight to the Fire Nation Capital," Heng Gan said.
"And you're sure that'll work?" Saura asked.
"Of course I'm sure!" Heng Gan said, enthusiastically. "We'll need Munni to gather the members of whatever this movement of his is so we have an army to storm the capital with."
"That sounds a little farfetched, Heng Gan," Saura said.
"Come on, aren't you the least bit curious to find out?"
Saura pondered this for a moment, but not for too long a moment. "Yes, I am. Let's do it."
"Great!" Heng Gan got up and moved over to Zelbo. "Hey, Zelbo, buddy, wake up," he said. The dragon awoke with a snort and got to his feet. "Let's ride," Heng Gan said.
"Wait!" a voice called out. Heng Gan and Saura turned around to see an elderly man approaching them. "I heard you mention Munni. You know Munni?" he asked.
"Yeah, we know him," Saura replied. "What's it to you?"
"I am Nobu," the elderly man replied. "I am a friend of Munni's."
"Are you a member of the Order?" asked Heng Gan.
"Yes. I am the leader of the Ember Island division of the Order of the White Lotus." Nobu responded.
"Good, then you can help us. My name is Heng Gan and this is Saura. We're on a mission to stop the new war that Sozin has created."
"As are we," said Nobu. "The members of the White Lotus are all in agreement that something should be done, but everyone is in disarray. The Grandmaster thinks we should bide our time. There is no one to lead us."
"Is there a way we can rally all of the members of the White Lotus?" asked Saura.
"There is one way, but it might not work," said Nobu.
"What is it?" asked Heng Gan asked, eagerly.
"We could light the White Flares, but that's usually done by the Grandmaster and he certainly won't."
"White Flares?" Heng Gan asked.
"What are those?" inquired Saura.
"Everywhere there is a leader of the Order there is a flare that can only be lit by said leader," Nobu explained. "Using a very special technique that only a master of the White Lotus philosophy can perform, we are able to create white fire and we use it to light a flare. When another member of the Order sees the flare, he lights his flare and the pattern repeats until all members of the Order of the White Lotus living in the Fire Nation can see."
"White fire?" asked Saura. "I don't believe it."
"Well, then I guess I'll have to show you," Nobu said. "Perhaps your dragon there can get us there faster."
"Alright, then. Hop on, everyone," Heng Gan instructed. Saura got atop the dragon's scaly back and Nobu followed. Zelbo lifted off the ground and flew in the direction of the mountains that were opposite the ocean. "Where to?" asked Heng Gan.
"On the top of that mountain there is a flare," Nobu stated. "Land on the top of that mountain."
Zelbo flew to the mountain straight ahead of them. He flew upward until he reached the top and Heng Gan made him land. The three dismounted the dragon and saw the large, round, metal bowl that was the flare. Nobu walked over to it and closed his eyes. Then he put his hands together, drew several deep breaths, and chanted, "Zai lianhua de mingcheng, shao bai!" He then extended his palms and unleashed a flash of white flame. Heng Gan and Saura were amazed by what they saw. In an instant, the beacon was lit. About a minute later, another beacon was lit in the distance. "And so on and so forth the beacons will be lit. The Grandmaster will not be pleased."
"It doesn't matter," said Heng Gan. "As long as the members of the White Lotus show up to help us, we will be fine. Now let's head back to Sakiya." And with that, the trio mounted Zelbo and took off.
"I do hope those children are alright," Munni said, worriedly. He and his group had now put quite a bit of distance between themselves and the Eastern Air Temple.
"Munni, that's the thirtieth time you've said that since we started walking back," Bai Fu said. "They're fine."
"Well, what kind of danger do you think they're in?"
Before Munni could say anything more or Bai Fu could respond, one of their comrades shouted, "Look over there!"
Munni and Bai Fu looked to the top of a mountain to see a White Flare ignite. The two of them smiled upon seeing the white flame. "Bless those wonderful children!" Munni declared. "They've activated the flares!"
"How do you know it's them?" asked Bai Fu.
"It has to be," said Munni with a grin. The Lord Elder's suspicions were confirmed when they saw Zelbo flying overhead. "Hey!" he called out. "Heng Gan, my boy! Down here!"
From above, Heng Gan and Saura heard shouting down below. They looked down to see Munni and his entourage waving at them. "It's Munni!" Saura yelled, joyfully.
"Alright, Zelbo, let's land down there," Heng Gan instructed. The dragon obeyed and landed in front of the White Lotus members. The trio dismounted and greeted their friends.
"I knew you would stay alive, my boy. I had faith in you all along," Munni said, warmly. "And you as well, Saura."
"And we knew you would escape the prison," Heng Gan said.
"What's this, Munni? No greeting for your old friend, Nobu?" asked the other elder. The two of them embraced in a hug and then moved on to converse.
"I wasn't aware that the Grandmaster changed his mind about lighting the beacons," Munni said.
"He didn't," Nobu explained. "These children convinced me to light the Ember Island flare."
"Well, then we can expect backlash from that later," Bai Fu said.
"That doesn't matter," Munni said. "What's most important is that the White Lotus unifies to stop Sozin. I trust that's why you turned back, children?"
Heng Gan and Saura nodded.
"Very well then. Now we must ride back to Sakiya and eliminate Ji Qing's forces."
"Then let's not waste any time," said Saura, hopping aboard Zelbo. Heng Gan, Munni, and Nobu did the same.
"Bai Fu, I want you to stay behind with the others," Munni instructed. "I want you to rally the other members of the White Lotus and march them to Sakiya."
"Are you sure, Munni?" Bai Fu asked, doubtfully. "I'm not a Lord Elder. People might not listen to me. Maybe Nobu should stay behind."
"You may not be a Lord Elder, Bai Fu, but you are a highly respected member of the Order. They will listen to you if you make them," said Munni.
Bai Fu nodded and motioned for the other White Lotus members to follow him. "Let's keep moving," he instructed. "Alright, Zelbo, let's go," Heng Gan instructed. And with that, the four friends flew away into the sky.
The battle was over. Ji Qing's forces had barely defeated the men who called themselves 'Thieves of the West'. It didn't matter to Ji Qing, though. Any minute now an entire legion of soldiers would be arriving on the shores of Sakiya. Then he would have twice the strength he had before. "Men!" he hollered. "March with me to the shores of this town. We will have visitors arriving soon!"
Sha was the first person to comply. He walked over next to Ji Qing and followed him to Sakiya's shores with the rest of the surviving soldiers right behind them.
The clouds were whooshing by Heng Gan and his friends as they flew swiftly on Zelbo's back. They looked down through the puffy white figures to try and spot their hometown. "I don't see anything. Do you?" Saura asked.
"No. Not yet," Heng Gan replied. Then it finally came into view. The small town was a sight for sore eyes.
"There it is!" yelled Saura.
Heng Gan, Munni, and Nobu looked down, barely able to see past all of the clouds. "Alright, Zelbo, take us down, buddy." With a roar, the great beast flew downward to the town.
Meanwhile, Ji Qing, Sha, and the rest of their entourage had just arrived at the shores of Sakiya. There were five ships lined up in a row that had just docked. The bows of the ships opened and the men that came out struck many people as odd. The type of armor they wore was unlike anything ever worn by a Fire Nation soldier. They wore helmets that resembled the face of a bird. "What kind of bird is that?" asked one of the soldiers already with Ji Qing. "An Eagle Hawk?"
"I don't know," another one said. "Maybe a Falcon Vulture?"
"Both wrong," Ji Qing corrected them. "The masks resemble Sea Ravens. They symbolize the fact that from this day forward, if you live on the sea, then you will meet a fiery end." He then turned to face all of his soldiers. "Men, today marks a historic day! A day that will leave the world studying me for centuries to come! Today we will raid the Southern Water Tribe! They thought they could defy the Fire Lord's will? They thought wrong!" Ji Qing's soldiers responded with a cheer. "We will sail to the icy shores of the Southern Water Tribe and reduce it to nothing, but ashes! The blood of every man, woman, and child will cause the icy, white snowbanks to turn red!" The soldiers cheered once more. "We will take all of their waterbenders and lock them away in cages! They will have no choice, but to surrender themselves! And after I pass on, my children and my grandchildren will still be honored for this deed done today! Now follow me, my Southern Raiders!" The soldiers now let out an overwhelming cheer.
They all proceeded to march up to the ships when they heard a roar overhead. Everybody looked up to see Zelbo racing down from the clouds. The dragon breathed a scorching blast of fire from his mouth, destroying two of the Raiders' ships.
It only took Ji Qing a second to realize who was riding the dragon. With a furious shout, he motioned towards Zelbo. "Fire at those kids!" The soldiers complied and unleashed their flames at the two teenagers and their elderly companions. Zelbo ducked and dodged, somehow managing to avoid all of the fire blasts. The dragon then landed and sent out another blazing wave of flames at Ji Qing's men, successfully frying some of them.
The four companions then got off of the dragon's back and took their attack stances. "Stand down, Ji Qing!" Munni shouted. "Don't make this worse than it already is!"
"You can't stop me, old man!" Ji Qing declared. "I will burn the south!" There was a pause before anything else was said. "It's been a long time hasn't it... Master Munni?" Munni's eyes widened. "That's right. I remember you now. Shall I tell your little companions that your real name is Huan? That you taught me everything I know? Or have they already figured out that you changed your name to Munni after leaving the Fire Nation Capital for defying Sozin and decided to live amongst the commoners?"
"Is this true?" asked Saura.
Munni hesitated. "Every word of it."
"You were once so great," said Ji Qing. "Now you're nothing more than a pathetic outcast. You wear an old, kindly face as a mark of honor and wisdom, but it's really a mark of shame and disgrace. These people think you're so important, but you're a traitor and a fool."
"No he's not!" shouted a voice. Everybody looked to see Mizele running to her husband's side. "He's a good, honorable man who has more wisdom than you have worth! And more importantly he is my husband!"
"I tire of your interference, woman!" Ji Qing spat. "Men, show our friends exactly who is in charge around here!" The legion of Southern Raiders ran towards the group of friends. They may have been outnumbered, but they were willing to fight to the last breath. The Southern Raiders were mere seconds away from destroying the group when a horrible sound filled the air. The air rang with the noise of what must have been a broken instrument.
Then a gravelly voice hollered, "Thieves of the West, march! Destroy everything that breaths!" A legion of thieves then came running out of the woods and started attacking both sides. The battle quickly turned into a free-for-all that engulfed the entire shore. Everybody was fighting each other off. Thieves stabbed Raiders to death, Raiders burned Thieves to a crisp, heroes fired at Raiders and Thieves alike, even Zelbo was in on the battle, firing hot breaths of fire at those he opposed.
As Mizele fought her way through several Thieves, someone lurked behind her in the midst of the chaos. She's strong for her age, thought the lurker. No matter. All I have to do is kill her in the midst of the chaos and say one of these brutes did it. The lurker ran towards her and shouted, preparing to plunge a knife into her back, but she turned around to notice him and moved out of the way, causing the man to run into a Raider and drop his knife. Mizele picked up the knife and was tempted to plunge it into the lurker's heart, but stopped herself. "I should kill you right now," she said. "I should, but... I just can't do it. I am a nurse. My purpose in life is to heal things. I just don't have the heart."
"I'd say what you lack is nerve, you old bat," Tan Shi spat from underneath her.
"Shut up!" Mizele said. "I won't kill you, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of these soldiers trampled you. She stabbed the knife through the Sun Prophet's shirt sleeve, pinning him to the ground, and then got up and left to keep fighting.
"What?" Tan Shi said, alarmed. "Come back here and unpin me this instant!" Tan Shi shouted, desperately. "The Spirits of the Sun will punish you for this! Make no mistake about it! You will burn for this, do you hear me?! Bur-" Tan Shi's hollering was promptly silenced by a nearby Raider's fire blast.
The battle was resulting in major bloodshed. Everywhere, soldiers and thieves fell, but Heng Gan and his friends managed to stay alive.
In the middle of the battlefield, Ji Qing found himself facing a rather large man with an impressive build who towered over Ji Qing. He must have been at least 6 ½ feet tall. "Am I to assume you lead these thieves?" Ji Qing asked.
"I do," spoke the man in a gravelly voice. "I am Tou Zei, the leader of the Thieves of the West."
"Well, you look like a rather impressive fighter, but you're still going to burn!" Ji Qing launched two spinning columns of fire at Tou Zei who sidestepped the blast and charged towards the Admiral.
"Death to all who oppose the Thieves of the West!" Tou Zei shouted. Ji Qing stood his ground, preparing to sock the thief in the jaw. The Admiral, however, had not anticipated the force of Tou Zei's blow. The head thief rammed into Ji Qing, throwing him several feet backwards and knocking the wind out of him as well. Tou Zei looked down on Ji Qing whose face was trickling with blood. "You are small and broken. Now prepare to meet death!" Before he could deliver the final blow, another horn sounded.
This time everyone looked over to see Bai Fu at the head of a group of several hundred members of the White Lotus. "Members of the White Lotus, attack!" he ordered. The White Lotus members charged into battle and turned the tide of the battle. With their numbers outweighing the Raiders' and the Thieves', they quickly disposed of their opponents.
However, the White Lotus members did not walk away unscathed. In the midst of all the chaos, Sha leaped onto several of them and bit their necks, causing blood to gush out. He did this to quite a few Thieves as well. Everyone near him dropped dead within moments, it seemed. He then lashed out with his hooked chain and impaled several Raiders. Sides meant nothing to him anymore.
Within minutes, the Raiders and Thieves had been defeated. When it was all over many people lay dead on Sakiya's shores. Raiders, Thieves, White Lotus members, and the battered, burnt, contorted body of Tan Shi.
Munni walked over and approached Bai Fu. "I knew you would get them to listen."
Bai Fu smiled at his friend as a sign of his appreciation for his confidence.
"What are we going to do with him?" asked Mizele, pointing at the bloody Ji Qing.
Heng Gan, Saura, and Munni all walked over to the beaten Admiral. "Go ahead! Do it! Finish me!" he wheezed.
"No," said Saura. "We are going to let the people of Ji Qing do with you as they will. That will show you that the people do have power. Not just you militaristic brutes."
"That's a wonderful idea," Heng Gan said. "Do you hear that, citizens of Sakiya? You are free to do whatever you wish with Ji Qing!"
Hearing this, the citizens slowly left their homes and converged on the shore. They lifted Ji Qing and took him away. "NOOOO!" Ji Qing roared as he was taken away.
"Finally that asshole will get exactly what he deserves," Bai Fu said.
"Um, fellas, we still have a problem," said Nobu, pointing to Sha.
"No you don't," said Sha. "Because I know exactly what is going to happen next. I am going to disappear into the woods and you are going to leave me be."
Having seen the monster in action, no one objected. Sha then took off into the woods, never to be seen by any of Sakiya's residents again.
"Alright, we all know what we have to do now," said Heng Gan. "We have to storm the capital."
"Then we have no time to lose," said Munni. "We must leave now." He turned to the members of the White Lotus. "Everyone into the ships! Today we sail for the capital!" Everyone complied and marched into the ships that had brought the Southern Raiders. Munni then turned to Mizele. "Are you sure you want to come with us? Are you sure you don't just want to stay here?"
"Munni, darling, I'm fine," Mizele replied. "I'm tired of sitting on the sidelines. If all of you are going then so am I."
Munni nodded and the two embraced each other. "Please promise me we'll make it out alive together," he said.
"I promise," said Mizele. And with that, the elderly couple went aboard one of the ships. Their destination: the Fire Nation Capital.
The ships were approaching the shores of the Fire Nation Capital. Every man and woman drew an anxious breath as they prepared to launch their surprise attack. It seemed like the ships trudged on forever before they finally stopped. Everyone was waiting for the rusty, old things to halt yet at the same time they wanted them to keep moving forward. Heng Gan and Saura were eager for a fight. They grabbed each other's hands as they prepared for the ships to stop moving forward. Finally they stopped. The bows of the ships opened and no one wasted any time rushing out to attack. With a fearsome yell in unison, Heng Gan and Saura ran out first, inspiring the others to follow from behind. The Fire Nation dock workers were shocked and defenseless. They were ultimately trampled as everyone ran past them.
It didn't take long to get to the tower. With Sozin unaware that they were coming, there weren't many defenses. Still, the capital wasn't totally off-guard. Soldiers quickly swarmed out of nowhere to meet the large group of Freedom Fighters in battle. They fired into the group, but were met with thrice as much fire. Once they stormed the tower, Munni called out, "We have to get to the top of the hill fast! If we take too long that will give them time to mobilize! March!"
The Lord Elder was right. By the time they got to the hill, more and more soldiers were swarming the pathway and the group found it was becoming more difficult to advance. There was a group of firebenders directly in front of them that were streaming waves of fire at the Freedom Fighters. Together, Heng Gan, Saura, and Munni all spun around and unleashed three fire streams themselves, burning the soldiers to a crisp. The Freedom Fighters were cutting down many soldiers in their path as they advanced up the hill, but as they got further up, they found more of their own combatants falling to the ground. This, however, did not deter them.
"Keep fighting!" Heng Gan shouted. "We're almost to the top!"
Munni found himself surrounded by soldiers on all sides. He fought them off with as much ferocity as possible. From a distance, Mizele saw her husband being outnumbered. She reached out to him, but he was not able to so the same. His vision was blocked by the soldiers in his way. He fought his way through more, getting to see her once again. He attempted to move closer to her, but she was struck by a fireball. Munni's eyes widened in horror and all sense of restraint left the old man as he furiously created a fire wall that swept the soldiers off of the ground. He ran to his dying wife. "Mizele, Mizele, speak to me! Speak to me!!"
Mizele was able to wheeze out one last sentence. "I finally got to do... something." She then died on the ground. Munni gazed at his dead wife, his expression shifting to one of absolute rage. His heart burned as he turned around to fight off more soldiers with twice the ferocity and twice the power as before.
Meanwhile, Heng Gan and Saura were fighting back-to-back. They were wasting soldiers no problem when Heng Gan spoke to Saura. "Saura, I don't know if we're going to come out of this so there's something I want to tell you."
"Heng Gan, don't talk like that! Of course we'll come out of this!" Saura replied.
"Just let me finish!" Heng Gan shot back. "I love you, Saura. I've loved you as far back as I can remember and if we get out of this I want to spend my life with you."
Saura turned around to see Heng Gan. She looked into his eyes to see if he was joking, but they showed he was dead serious. "I love you, too," she said before walking over to him and kissing him passionately. "And I want to spend my life with you. Now let's get to the top of this mountain and win this fight so that can happen."
Heng Gan nodded and advanced with the rest of the group to the top of the mountain.
"We're nearly there!" Nobu called out.
"All of our work is going to pay off!" Bai Fu said, hurling a throwing star into a soldier's chest. "Master Hui would have been proud," he said to himself.
"For the freedom of the Fire Nation, charge!" Heng Gan yelled. Everyone let out a mighty cheer that filled every last person with a strengthening sense of unity. They were just mere seconds away from the top of the volcano, and then they finally reached the top. They peered down into the Capital City and were surprised by what they saw. The entire city was lined with soldiers waiting for them. Dragons stood there as well, waiting to breathe fire at their opponents. Outnumbered and outgunned, Heng Gan, Saura, Munni, Bai Fu, Nobu, and all of the members of the White Lotus could only stay frozen as they were incinerated by the flames.
Guru Pathik sat meditating at the Eastern Air Temple. He opened his eyes as he sensed the presence of a spirit. "Ah, Gyatso, my friend. How are you today?" he greeted his friend.
"Not so well, old friend," Gyatso replied. "News has rung throughout the Spirit World. Those Fire Nation Freedom Fighters were all killed in battle. But I suppose you already knew that, didn't you?"
"That was such an ironic thing that happened. If only you'd known that the danger that awaited his young companions awaited all of them," Gyatso added.
"Even if I had known, there is nothing I could have done about it," stated Pathik. "Fate is fate and we cannot change that nor should we."
"I suppose that is true. Still, it is such a shame."
"Indeed it is, my brother. Indeed it is."
Sozin stood before an audience of citizens that had been forced to come and listen to him. "Citizens of the Fire Nation, let what has happened here today be a warning to all who dare defy me! If you're not for my agenda, if you're not for this war with the other nations, then this is the fate that awaits you! And let this be a lesson for the other nations as well! You dare to oppose me and this is what awaits you! I will wage this war for one hundred years if I have to! Whether it is me or my son or my grandson, the world will bow to the Fire Lord's feet!" And with that, Sozin left. On his way out, he whispered to one of his aides, "Ready my ship. Now that that's been dealt with, I am going on a voyage to search for the Avatar."
"Yes, sir," the aide said.
Sozin then walked off to prepare for his departure.
Twenty years out at sea, Sozin thought. Twenty accursed years. The now Former Fire Lord slowly got into his bed as one of his soldiers came in to inform him of the latest search. "Did you find anything?" asked Sozin.
"No, sir. He's nowhere in Sakiya."
Sozin simply nodded and dismissed the man. After sitting on his bed for a minute or so, he got up and started writing.
'As I feel my own life dimming, I can't help but think of a time when everything was so much brighter...' He wrote for what seemed like an hour until he was nearly finished.
'With Roku gone, and the great comet returning, the timing was perfect to change the world. I knew the next Avatar would be born an Air Nomad. So I wiped out the Air Temples, but somehow, the new Avatar eluded me. I wasted the remainder of my life searching in vain. I know he's hiding out there somewhere. The Fire Nation's greatest threat... the last airbender...'
Before he could finish, Sozin felt a fist grab him by the throat. His eyes darted backwards to see who was choking him. All he could hear was the voice that sounded like death. "That's it?" It growled, tauntingly. "That can't be it. Where's the rest of it?" Sozin was picked up from his seat and forced to look into the eyes of Sha. "You may think you're royalty, Sozin... but I am the only real Fire Nation royal blood in this room."
Sozin's vision was fading. The last thing he heard was Sha's words. "I've dreamed about this – choking the life out of your wretched, old self! And no one will even know I did it. They'll all think you died peacefully in your sleep. Nighty night, Fire Lord."
Sozin drew his last breath and died. Sha placed him on his bed and subsequently snuck out the door.
"The bravery of the Fire Nation Freedom Fighters inspired others from all nations to rise up and fight the Fire Nation without any hesitation," Aang read in the present day. "The end." All three friends were silent.
"Wow," Sokka said. "That was incredible."
"I can't believe I'm saying this, but I really enjoyed that," said Toph.
"I'm definitely getting this for Zuko," said Aang. "He needs to read this and find out about his nation's history. Hopefully he'll build a memorial in their name."
"Alright, let's go check it out," said Sokka. The three friends got up, checked out the book, and headed back to Air Temple Island.
For the collective works of the author, go here.