Return of the Dragon
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The Grandmasters

Lu Ming stood on a ledge overlooking the field of battle. He watched with pleasure as his Black Lotus forces easily won this battle, too easily. SNAP. Lu Ming spun on his heels and launched a massive blast of air that was blocked by an equally massive fireblast. Lu Ming stared as his opponent, Iroh, calmly straightened himself after his powerful defense.

"You must be Lu Ming." Iroh began, "I'm..."

"Grand Master Iroh of the Order of the White Lotus, the Dragon of the West, Conqueror of Ba Sing Se, and the best tea maker in the world I hear." Lu Ming interrupted with a grim smile. "I must say I've been most anxious to meet you."

"You seem to have me at a disadvantage. You clearly know all about me yet I know little about you," Iroh said with a seemingly genuine smile.

"Not much to know about me," Lu Ming said with a wave of his hand. He was impressed Iroh didn't flinch away, Lu Ming could have easily turned the gesture into an attack. "All you need to know is that I'm the Grand Master of the Black Lotus Assassins. Anyway, like I said I've been anxious to meet you. I'm almost glad Nero failed to kill you, now I get to." Without another word Lu Ming blasted air at Iroh's feet. Iroh jumped into the air and shot multiple fire balls at Lu Ming. The airbender blocked the fire balls with an air shield and then he flung the shield at Iroh as he fell. Iroh blocked the attack with his own fire shield. As Iroh landed Lu Ming ran up to him and jabbed at his face. Iroh grabbed his wrist and pulled it away while his foot came up to Lu Ming's chest. Lu Ming flipped backwards and kicked Iroh in the chin before landing. Lu Ming watched in surprise as Iroh landed rather gracefully on his feet.

"Not bad." Lu Ming commented as Iroh took a low stance. Lu Ming charged forward again and began to rain blows down on Iroh. The two fought each other fiercely as the battle below them began to waver. Iroh noticed throughout their fight, that Lu Ming was gradually getting slower.

Age must be catching up with him. Iroh thought as Lu Ming's hand wrapped around his wrist. Iroh twisted his own wrist around and grabbed Lu Ming's as he took his other arm and pushed down just above Lu Ming's elbow. The Grand master of the assassins dropped to his knees as Iroh applied pressure. "You've lost." Iroh said as Lu Ming looked out to the battle.


"Even if you've defeated me, you've still lost this battle," Lu Ming said before breaking into a fit of coughing. "Just look out there, your army is being decimated as we speak."

Iroh gave Lu Ming a look of pity. "That's not even a tenth of my forces." Iroh began, "This battle was a distraction so I could get to you."

Outrage shot across Lu Ming's face, not because he'd been outsmarted, but because Iroh dared to pity him. He took in a massive breath of air before blowing it towards the ground, sending both of the fling through the air. The two landed with a thud on the ground and as Lu Ming slowly got back up he broke into another coughing fit.

"Why do you keep fighting?" Iroh asked not even bothering to take a defensive stance.

"Don't even try to understand anything about me." Lu Ming practically hissed back. "What could you, of all people, possibly hope to understand about me? Did you ever lose everything you cared for because a firebender got too hungry for power!?!"

"Yes I have actually." Iroh declared mournfully thinking of his son. The two said nothing as the battle below suddenly began anew. Iroh turned and left as Lu Ming began to cough up blood. "Your forces should retreat. My army goes all out once I get back." When he was gone Lian ran to Lu Ming's side and started to examine his body for injuries.

"You okay?" she asked as Lu Ming coughed some more. "I'll take that as a no." By the time Lu Ming stopped coughing Des, Gao and Lee had gathered next to them. Almost as soon as Lian finished a load ear shattering roar tore through the air. For the first time in nearly a hundred years Lu Ming felt fear.

Shifting Tide

"Sounds like the Avatar and his flying cow are coming." Gao scoffed as another roar was heard.

"That's no sky bison." Lu Ming whispered as a long serpentine creature appeared in the sky. It's golden scales that brilliantly reflecting the light of the sun gave it the appearance that it was a blaze of fire. It's streamlined body sliced through the air like a hot knife through tiger seal blubber. Mounted on the creature's back was Fire Lord Zuko, holding one of his swords. " The age of the dragon has returned." Lu Ming said standing and turning his back to the battle field. "Signal the retreat." he told Gao.

There was no need, as the dragon descended on the battle field it's razor sharp talons grabbed many of the Black Lotus forces while fire poured out of its mouth, the remaining assassins fled before Gao could even ready the signal. The dragon picked off the few assassins brave or foolish enough to try and slay the beast.

As the rest turned away Lian pulled Des aside. "I have an idea."

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For the collective works of the author, go here.

Wanted chapters
Book One: Black Fire
Targeted - Duel at the Tea House - Reunion - Rematch - Pursuit - Trials of the Black Lotus - Tracking the Assassin - Final Encounter Part One: Rebirthing - Final Encounter Part Two: Truths
Book Two: Red Water
Thanks for the Memories - The new Assassin - Breaking Barriers - The Masked Ones - The North Pole - A Change of Plans - Gathering the Army - The War of the Lotuses: Dying Moon - The War of the Lotuses: Warrior of the Moon - The War of the Lotuses: Tears of Blood
Book Three: White Earth
A Different Kind of War - Children of Heroes - Return of the Dragon - Hostage - Recon Trouble - New Duties - Lineage Part One: The Apple Doesn't Fall Far - Lineage Part Two: From The Tree - Lies - Forbidden Love - Captured - Betrayals
Book Four: Heavy Air
Punishment - Vendetta - Origins Part 1: The Lady of Death - Origins Part 2: The Orphaned Contract - Rescue - Sacrifice - The Pain of Learning, Part 1: Night - The Pain of Learning, Part 2: Day - Blind Ambition - The Airbending Slicer - Prepare - Payback - The Master and Apprentice - Decisions - The Enemy of My Enemy - End Game - Epilogue: All is Well
v - e - d

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