Burning eyes
Shadows of the Past
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Our Story

Written by

RageOfFluffy, Agent Slash, MibuWolf, Omashu Rocks, Omar067, Bahjy1, PreservationsWings, AlaskaBender

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Recent events have been quite disturbing, Munni thought, starring at his hands. It seems the world is falling apart at an alarming rate, and the Fire Nation is turning to madness. It's hard to place everything, to find some solace, some order... The death of the Avatar, the destruction of the Air Nomads, the drafting of an army, that young assassin, and now the danger Heng Gan and Saura are in. Things started off slowly, but now... Now things are just happening without order or reason or... Munni's face shot up. What am I talking about? Order? There is no order in war. He softened his gaze, and for a moment he thought he smelt the sweet aroma of Fire Lilies, a smell he associated with his youth, with peace, and with that day. For just a moment he thought he would sleep, he thought he would return home. Munni's past haunted him still, but alas he kept aloof. I can't be worried with the past, I must deal with the present and only the present, we must keep a level and clear head if we are to deal with all of this. We must find the young ones and send out an urgent call to the Lotus... Munni experienced that scent once more. I... No... Nostalgia won't help us now. But he wanted to give in. Melancholy is just a curse. But he longed for it's blessing. I... He closed his eyes and gave in. Just once. It won't hurt. Smoldering embers warmed his skin. They were warm... They were... "Breath in, and out." My own young voice resonates in my mind. "In and..." I exhaled. I remember how the embers in the fireplace came alit. "Yes!" I exclaimed. I lost control... His eyes opened. "No more." He mumbled. "I just want to go home."

Prince Azulon sat uncomfortably in his chamber, staring at the candle that lit up his room. He then started to think about his place in the Fire Nation, how much he was worth in the Fire Nation. The prince began to reminisce on what he did in his life up until now.

I was born a prince, and I had everthing I had ever wanted. However, being a prince didn't just make things easy for me; I had to work hard to stand up to my father's expectations. Everyone looked at me and thought of me as my father. They all depended on me to get stronger every day so that I could become a powerful Fire Lord some day. This is what has drove me to become powerful; powerful enough to make the Fire Nation survive forever. And the only way to survive is to slaughter and be cruel to anyone that opposes you. It's the only way to survive. Mercy is for fools. The weak perish while the strong grow stronger. Kill or be killed is the law of survival in this world. Burning everything in the Fire Nation's path will be my way to serve my Nation as prince until my father dies. "Doesn't fire burn everything in its path as well?" Azulon asked.

Saura was in awe upon seeing the breathtaking statues in the Northern Air Temple's east garden. "Pathik!" she called. After receiving no response, she continued to examine the Air Nomad sculptures. This one must have been an Avatar, she thought. She turned to look at the blooming flowers by simple paintings of Sky Bison obviously created by young children. She smiled as she viewed the cute pictures. Her smile, however, was quickly replaced by despair when she noticed the corpses of four children lying beside her. How could anyone have done this? She fell to her knees and began to weep. After a few moments, she crawled away from the bodies, as their sight was unbearable. However, she only made it a few feet before breaking out in tears a second time, now out of anger. She punched the grass underneath her, creating a few embers that she let eat away at blades of grass. As the Saura watched the fire grow larger, she remembered her own troubles as a little girl in Sakiya.

My parents... why couldn't they ever stop fighting? Even on my tenth birthday they bickered. She remembered that awful day, the time her father hit her mother across the face. And I just ran. I ran like a coward, she thought. Her memory did have a bright side, however. She recalled running to the beach and crying. Only when she heard a young boy speaking to her, did she look up. "Are you okay?" Saura still remembered the sound his voice and the way his friends made fun of him for talking to a girl. "Hey, leave me alone," she recalled him saying. "Hi, my name's Heng Gan." And that was the moment I met him.

But now, none of that matters. Everyone back in Sakiya is going to die if Heng Gan and I can't find this guru. It will take weeks to get to the Eastern Air Temple, and he may not even be there! Her thoughts were interrupted when she noticed that the small embers had expanded. She barely stopped the heat before the Sky Bison paintings were destroyed in flames. That's when it came to her. That's what I'm going to fight for. So that no more children have to die.

Where could this Pathik guy be? Heng Gan felt like everything depended on him. If he didn't find this man named Pathik, Sakiya would be doomed, and so would the world. He probably isn't here. Saura and I will need to look in the Eastern Air Temple next. Heng Gan turned around and started heading back to Saura, but as Heng Gan was walking, he noticed a hallway that he hadn't seen before. What could be down here? Heng Gan started to walk down the side hallway. As he neared the end, he saw a horrible scene. There were piles of bones sitting arount one intact skeleton: An airbender. Heng Gan felt horrible. He turned around to get out of the horrible room. As he walked off, he tripped over a string. There was a giant explosion. Heng Gan barely created a fire shield around him when rubble and dust blew in all directions, and a fire plume shot into the air. As quickly as it started, it ended. Heng Gan let the fire dissipate. He stood up. Around him, everything was destroyed. Heng Gan couldn't even see the bones that had surrounded the Airbender skeleton before. Great, now I've tampered with the remains of people that have passed away. Heng Gan turned and ran back to where Saura was. He wanted to make sure she was okay. As he rounded a bend, he saw a grass and plants that had been scorched into black ash. "Saura!" Heng Gan yelled, worry shown clearly on his face. Over by Zelbo, he saw Saura. She squeezed her fist shut, putting out a few flames. She looked angry. "Is something wrong?" Saura's head snapped up. "You looked pretty angry," Heng Gan said, walking over to sit down by Saura. He stared at the pictures of Sky Bisons on the wall. Saura looked at Heng Gan. "Why did you talk to me?"

Heng Gan frowned. "What do you mean?"

Saura rolled her eyes. "Why did you talk to me when you saw me sitting down, sulking? You knew that those boys would laugh at you because you were talking to me, a girl."

Heng Gan paused. "Well, I guess I just felt that I needed to make sure that you were okay. How else would I explain it?"

Saura looked at Heng Gan, her eyes searching him. "Then please help me to be okay now. By finding Pathik."

Heng Gan nodded. "I promise."

As the Bai Fu and his companions walked down the steps of the Eastern Air Temple, he could not help but take in the beauty of the place. This temple brings back so many memories. He thought. He remembered the beautiful mountain on which he lived when he was younger. He remembered his old master and the training he went through. He remembered that day when he was fooling around during a training session. "'Bai Fu, you must train hard to master the ways of Ninjutsu. Stop goofing off," an old man said. "I know, Master Hui. But I don't want to train hard. This is boring. I want to learn everything as quickly as you can teach it to me!" an eager, young, Bai Fu said. Hui sighed at this. "Bai Fu, I know you are anxious to learn but you cannot expect to learn everything all at once. The art of Ninjutsu takes years of discipline and practice," the old man stated wisely. "But, master-" Bai Fu began. He was cut off by Hui. "Listen, Bai Fu. I promise you if you work hard and find patience, you will be a master just like me in no time," Hui said. Bai Fu reminisced the happy memories of his days training with Master Hui. But then he remembered that fateful day on the mountain top. He had gone up to begin training when he saw a man with a black robe and hood on. The only detail of the man's face he could remember was the scar. The man leapt away and ran down the mountain. The young Bai Fu ran over to his master and began to cry. "MASTER!!" Bai Fu yelled. He saw a knife in his masters' stomach and could tell that Hui did not have long before he was gone. "Bai Fu," Hui started. "You must continue your training without me. P- Promise me that you will try your very hardest and take all the time you need to become the best ninja you can be. Promise me you will fight all that is evil and allow light to rule over darkness." Hui said. "I promise, Master Hui!" Bai Fu said. "I promise!" he repeated. Hui smiled at his pupil's promise before he died. Bai Fu started sobbing. He then remembered how he had indeed fulfilled his promise and afterwards joined The Order of the White Lotus. He remembered meeting Munni and disguising himself as a prison guard in Sakiya. He then thought about how it was his duty to fulfil his promise and stop the evil that was Fire Lord Sozin. "I promise," Bai Fu said aloud.

"What was that?" Munni asked.

"Nothing," Bai Fu replied, simply.

He killed...all of them! Ji Qing ran his hands through his hair out of stress of the thought. What in his past could have taught him such hatred? No, not emotion at all. He seems almost... dehumanized. But why? What dark secret lies beneath his emotionless face? And he's always here... following... watching... waiting... like a shadow! Yes a shadow, some dark, shapeless being that haunts my thoughts and nightmares. The admiral was now sweating, for he feared Sha. What connections does he have with the capital? He can't be closer to Sozin than I am...can he? If he lives, I'll be dead in weeks. Sha must go. But how does one kill a shadow? I can't... my men can't... He must die in battle. But where? What army can destroy that shadow... that monster... that cold- "Cold!" he exclaimed out-loud. The Southern Water Tribe! I'm set to invade it shortly...Sha can always come along... "Sha! Get over here now!"

The smell of blood and burnt flesh still hung in the air. It hasn't been too long since the battle ended. The thieves were defeated. I have put them in their place. Sha thought as he perched himself on a rock. I have punished them. His chain of thoughts continued. Why? Sha did not know where his thoughts would take him, and despite the ever-present danger of them throwing him into the past and darker recesses of his mind, he closed his eyes and let his mind flow free...

It seems to me that people think I was begotten by some supernatural entity or that I myself am some kind of spirit, they are right. I am the divine ruler of the Fire Nation. I am the son of the true royal blood. And that blood was betrayed centuries ago. Our great portraits had been burned and our histories defiled! I am Sha. I am but a shadow... Sha opened his eyes to see the sun set. It was magnificent as it stained the sky with bloody red. It tasted salty, the blood... His grey eyes shut once more.

Mother. Father. I did not mean it. I did not want to. "I had no choice." He spoke softly. I remember father. I do not really know why, these thoughts will only... No. His silver eyes kept staring on into the red sky.

"Sha... You are the son... The son of the true royal... Blood... That blood... Which marks you... Marks us... It is now on your hands..." "I know."

A small frown spread across his pale face. He was betrayed and he betrayed in turn, but he felt he would soon betray once more. I pay the price for my life, and I fight for it, for them, the people I must rule. We were betrayed a thousand years ago and betrayed again. We became too strong. Now I must be a slave for my survival, but soon I will... "Sha! Get over here now!" Ji Qing's voice sounded angered yet shrill. "Shut up or I'll kill you now." Sha muttered under his breath. He stood up from his seat, ready to take another order.

Good relations with Sozin, Sha kept thinking as he walked. What does that even mean? I can still remember his voice and the way he looked at me, like I was nothing... "You are nothing, Sha. You have nothing left. All you do have is your talents, and so you are my tool." I am but a tool. "They will die either way, but you can live. Put them in their place, punish them!" I did.

I am but a shadow. I am divine. I am but a tool. I am nothing. I am Sha.

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 from Mizele. "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.

In the shadows of a darkened room, lit only by a small candle, there sat a man, a strong-looking man. Behind him on the wall was a picture, looked like a logo, it was a black circle, full of small white daggers. on top of the circle were five capitalized letters : D E A T H. We failed. Twice. We shouldn't have failed. Thought the man, I have the money. I am the boss. I have the power. But I can't sacrifice myself to take control of Sakiya. A member of this great organization should have the ability to gain me control, at least one! All hail me! All hail the boss of the Thieves of the West!. Then one of the many guards in the room talked : "Master, what are you thinking ?". After a minute of silence the master strong man replied : "Someone can end this. We are just a fraction way from achieving our goal". "Which one of them ? We have many goals," replied the guard. "It is our main goal," replied the master, "Take control of Sakiya". "Are you sure ? A fraction away ?"
"SHUT UP!" replied the master with anger, "Don't you see it ? The Fire Nation already collected the best soldiers out of the city, people are afraid of the Admiral so they sell to each other in secret, as my spies report. That says the people are in their homes, shivering, afraid. The city center battle is between us and the Fire Nation. We failed twice, they only failed once. We couldn't attack with even so many people, an assassin could not kill Ji Qing, and we are failing!" The master paused for a while, then said : "I will think of a plan where we can gain control". When we kill the Admiral, we are heroes for the city, but we are criminals. He thought, Or... We kill the Admiral in secret and act as him. Yes! We kill both the Admiral and a man of his army, and that man will be our tool. One of my men will act as him and give orders on behalf of the Admiral which is me. Yes! "I got it!" he yelled. "I smell a good plan," said another guard. "Your nose is right," replied the master. "But it's too far away, we will have to train so well. The Fire Nation is stronger than we expect."

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