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Fanon:Sozin's Blood - Chapter 5: The Beach, Part 1

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The Beach, Part 1
Chapter information
Series

Sozin's Blood

Chapter

5

Written by

French Froglegs

Editor(s)
Release date

April 2, 2011

Chronology
Last chapter

To Live

Next chapter

The Beach, Part 2

The Beach - Part 1 is the fifth chapter of "Sozin's Blood", which explores to its fullest the love between Iroh and Cixi. It also allows me to introduce brand-new characters and to show some old ones in completely different situations.

Do I really need to say it was based on the famous episode "The Beach"?

Creation

Gee, I have no imagination : I wasn't even able to find a better title. *sigh* So, I already had one big chapter of 14 pages (and I'm not even done with it yet) so I decided to take a dreadful decision : split the chapter. I was encouraged to do so because I hadn't posted a chapter for 2 weeks, which might have eventually annoy my (very few) readers. Soo ... Nothing happens much in that part. Let's say this is just a prelude of things to come. It sets the stage for the drama, the real show. So don't be too disappointed, I'll try to have the other part out as fast as I can, even if I'm stuck deep into exams.

Don't hate me too much.

Additional note : it takes place almost 2 years after the events of the previous chapter. We're now in 54 AG.

In 40 years, everything will have changed, many will be born, many will have died, and Azulon will die in mysterious circumstances.

Story

Storms were rare in the Fire Nation, but when they happened they always took dramatic proportions. And the one that was looming looked big enough to degenerate into a tempest. Lightning regularly lit its nebulous insides. Cixi violently closed her window through which entered icy wind and returned to the important daily task which was combing her lustrous hair.

"It's been for how long now?" Zola asked. "Two years?"

"Almost." Cixi answered. "And I can tell you I don't regret any second." She stopped combing. "But it's so hard at times. Everything in secret. Whole days without seeing him. The most annoying is when he goes on how it's hard for him, being the Crown Prince, perpetually trying to satisfy his father's expectations... Although I do understand it is not always fun, it's not a reason for never inquiring about my problems, my doubts!"

"Yeah, but the game is worth the candle, right?"

"What does that mean?"

"Er, it's a proverb which means that the hardship you endure will be nothing when compared to the rivers of pleasure you will experience when you'll achieve your ultimate goal."

Cixi frowned. "Which is?"

Zola rolled her eyes. "Why, becoming the Fire Lady of course!"

"I'm with Iroh because I love him!"

"Come on Cixi, all girls who courted him did it for that particular reason, and the one girl he ends up with would be uninterested by the position?"

Fulminating, Cixi pointed to the door. "Get out of here!"

"Hey, there's no reason to be ashamed, I perfectly understand."

"I said get out!"


Lightning cracked nearby.

"Why wouldn't we go to Ember Island?" Fire Lady Ilah proposed. "It's been years since our last trip. Ozai has never been there ; if we leave tomorrow, we'll be able to celebrate his second birthday under a sunny sky!"

The entire Royal Family was in a long, gloomy hall, poorly lit by a blue fire in the chimney. They were all far away of each other, separated by several feet of wet tiles. Outside, waves of rain were battering violently the glass with which was made the entirety of the southern wall.

"We would enjoy a sunny time on the beach." Ilah insisted.

Iroh touched the facial hair of his chin. "I would love to, but I only live to obey to the Fire Lord." he said bitterly.

Ilah sighed and turned to her husband. He was in the farthest corner of the room, his face lit regularly by the lightning. He stopped reading the parchment he had in his hands and seemed to ponder the question. His eyes turned to Iroh, who was facing the chimney.

"Yes." he told his wife at last. "I'd love to."

Iroh smirked.


The Royal Family took their private barge to Ember Island the day after, pulled by a magnificent Sea Lion with a golden mane. They didn't boarded on one of their ships, as each of them was very easy to recognize, and they wanted to remain anonymous. Iroh was on the hull. He finished tying a small scrap of paper to the back of a messenger hawk (which he had affectionately named "Hawkie"). Soon, the bird started to fly, heading to the darkest depths of the storm clouds.

In the middle of the afternoon, Ember Island came into view. The sea was the color of turquoise, sand rolled on the beaches, lush vegetation covered the top of the small central peak. Iroh inhaled, filling his lungs with the bitter-sweet smell of iodine, which he enjoyed particularly. There were lots of teenagers playing on the beach. Iroh could already hear the laughter.

Ozai's beach house

The Family Mansion

But the ferry suddenly turned right and entered a less populated part of the island. A lonely villa had been built against a huge chunk of rock, like a small mountain, which casted its shadow on a private dock far below, on the sea level. A tall and intimidating old woman was standing alone on it, her face darkened and made intimidating by the shade of the mountain. Although she had her back straighter than a steel column, she was holding in her wrinkled hands a walking stick so thick that, used against enemies, it would be as effective as a professional war club.

Iroh jumped out of the barge and faced the old woman. She had high cheekbones, a deep tan and not many teeth left. Her snow white hair had been pulled back in a top-knot. Her sunken eyes, as black as coal, shining like the shell of a beetle, seemed to burn with a cold fire as they focused on Iroh.

She smiled widely. "Iroh, my little boy!" she exclaimed. "I almost didn't recognize you with all those muscles and these hairs!"

Iroh hugged her. "I missed you, Baba!"

Fire Lady Dowager Hirohitaba, nicknamed "Baba" by her grandson, was the widow of the late Fire Lord Sozin, which of course made her the mother of Fire Lord Azulon. She had retired to Ember Island when her son had married Ilah, almost twenty years ago, and since then she had been focusing on one of her passions. Now, at age 75, she was a highly successful businesswoman, whose sole desire was to enjoy her tranquility on Ember Island.

Ilah and Ozai came out of the ferry. The Fire Ladies hugged. "And this is my new grandson, I guess?" Baba questioned.

"Ello." Ozai said.

"Hello, little sunshine." Baba chuckled. "Azulon, Iroh looked from the beginning like his mother, but this wonderful infant has a striking similarity with you!"

Azulon put his left foot on the dock and he suddenly looked younger, lighter, free. He looked relieved from an invisible burden.

"Hello, Mother."

Baba smiled. "My baby. I missed you."

Azulon took the headpiece of the Fire Lord out of his hair which he gave to a servant before falling in the embrace of his mother. She patted him on the back. Then she started to pinch his cheeks.

"Aow. Mojer, it hurtch a bit." the Fire Lord mumbled.

"I know, darling. It makes your blood circulate better."

She showed the mansion with her stick.

"Come all, to our house."


Iroh was holding his baby brother in his arms. "I'll give you a tour of the house, okay?"

"O-K." Ozai repeated.

They entered in the main hall. "So that's the hall." he said. They went to the upper level and started to open several sliding doors. "That was my room when I was your age. I guess it will be yours now. That's Father's and Mother's room. That's Baba's. Oh, you have to meet someone."

He entered Baba's chamber and showed Ozai a big vivarium on a table. "Now, wait and listen." One minute later, there was a gentle croak. Iroh smiled and took a warty badgerfrog out of the vivarium. "Ozai, meet Mr Fren-Shi. Mr Fren-Shi, this is my baby brother, Ozai." The frog croaked. Ozai laughed and petted it on its silver hairs. "Nice froggie."

Baba entered the room. "Basically, I use Mr Fren-Shi as a timing device, as badgerfrogs have a very precise croaking pattern." She cuddled the mammal-batracian. "But since I often feel alone in this big mansion, I also frequently talk to him." She made her eye twitch in a way that was supposed to be scary. "This is certainly the first sign of senescence of my mind or maybe a strange kind of madness." she said in a cavernous voice.

Ozai giggled in a typical childish way while grabbing Baba's long nose. "You thunny." he told his grandmother.

"I think he means "funny", Baba." Iroh explained. "He has trouble pronouncing the "f" and "h" sounds."

Baba's eyes twinkled. "Ozai dear, you must see the greatest treasure of this house, from which comes my fortune."

They went down to the cellar. Politely, Iroh lit the torches with a simple movement of the wrist.

"Thank you sweetie." Baba grinned. "I haven't Firebent for a while, so I would probably blow myself up if I dared ignite a candle. All I can do now is to heat up the air to get rid of the moisture."

Enormous wood barrels were lined up against the dry walls. They opened one; it was filled with minced leaves.

"Here's the secret, little bro!" Iroh enthusiastically exclaimed. "Baba is the greatest tea-brewer in the world!"

Baba tried to minimize her role. "I only succeed because of my tea fanaticism. I do what I love, and I love what I do!"

She spinned with open arms. "I have tea from everywhere! Of every kind! Ginseng! Jasmine! Lychee!"

Iroh joined her. "Green tea! Spiced tea! Chi-enhancing tea!"

"And my latest acquisition." Baba said with pride. She triumphantly raised a red box. "White Dragon!"

Iroh's eyes widened with adoration. "White Dragon?! I thought it was only a legend!"

"Not anymore! It's rare, but it certainly isn't a myth!"

Iroh took some tea leaves and sniffed them with love. "My greatest joy would be to become a tea brewer myself." he confessed to his baby brother.

"But you can't, dear." Baba told him. "You have to be the next Fire Lord."

"I know." The smell of tea suddenly seemed dizzying instead of extremely pleasant.

Baba put her arm around his broad shoulders. "Bah, you're still allowed to have hobbies. Fire Lord Zio, Fire Lord Sozin's father - or was it grandfather? - enjoyed cultivating rare flowers from around the world. No, he was his grandfather." Baba remembered. "Sozin's father, Fire Lord Hokuzai, practiced astronomy. He predicted the return of the Great Comet of Power and wrote most of our astronomical treaties."

Iroh huddled against the comforting presence of his grandmother. "Baba, would you brew that White Dragon for us, please?"

Baba pushed him aside. "You mean you want me to sacrifice you a plant in which I put most of my energy and money to find, only for the temporary pleasure of some relatives, when I could sell it at an even more important price?" she said with a stern voice.

"Yes?"

Baba's wrinkled face stretched in a smile. "Of course I would do so, dear."


A pearlescent hot liquid was poured into three teacups. Iroh inhaled its fruity fragrance. "Can we drink it now?"

"Iroh, wait a little for everyone to be ready." his mother reprimanded him. They had sat in a cubic room with green windows, which gave to the entirety of their bodies a jade color.

"You know, Ilah, I would have never allowed you to marry my son if you hadn't been a tea lover like myself." Baba declared.

Mr Fren-Shi croaked.

Ilah smelled the delicate aroma of the tea. "Baba, what happened recently on Ember Island?"

Baba rubbed her chin. "Lastly? They started to build a theater. At last we will have a decent night time occupation on this part of the island! But this year, there were two strange births, one amazing, one saddening. By which one do I begin?"

"The saddening." Iroh said.

"A maze-in!" Ozai babbled.

"As you wish my baby." Baba grinned.

"But if we have the saddening one first, the amazing one will lighten our mood." Iroh pleaded. "Whereas with the saddening one which is last to be heard, our morale will plummet."

"An old proverb teaches us that "Truth comes out from the mouth of children." " Baba decreed. "I'll begin with the amazing one."

She remained silent a bit to increase suspense.

"Lord Zozin's wife gave birth to a little girl, C'ian."

Iroh raised an eyebrow. "Er, there's nothing amazing with that."

"Did I mention her hair is the color of flames?"

"What?"

Ilah frowned. "Are you sure, Baba?"

"Yes, I saw the baby with my own eyes and I do confirm she has reddish golden hair. Some speak of a blessing from a Fire Spirit or even the Sun Spirit. Many wait to see if she has the Firebending gift."

"And the saddening birth?"

Baba nestled against the wall. "Lady Seyenra gave birth too to a daughter."

"But isn't Lady Seyenra like ninety?" Iroh asked.

"She was." Baba replied. "She died as the baby cried for the first time. It's a miracle of some kind. She and her husband, Lord Kajaro, had lost all hope to have a child decades ago. And now..."

"How is Lord Kajaro?" Ilah questioned.

"He died a week later, heartbroken." Baba revealed. She looked deeply moved. "Their daughter was adopted by Seyenra's nephew, Lord Krozon."

Iroh barely had any memory of the couple. Still, he remembered an elderly and gentle couple, frail but healthy, and very funny in the case of Lord Kajaro.

"I told you our morale would plummet if we ended with the saddening news." Iroh grimly told them.

Baba weakly smiled. "No dear. Because now it's ..." She raised her teacup. "TEATIME!" They all at last drank their tea.

It was ... amazing. It was tasty. It was delightful. It was beyond mere words. The essence of the tea seemed to fill Iroh's body, dissolving it and putting his naked soul in an ocean of bewilderment, happiness, and joy. He had reached a state of plenitude.

"It's heart-breaking." he confessed with tears in his eyes.

They were speechless; the only noises in the room were the regular croaks of Mr Fren-Shi and the light snoring of Ozai, who had fallen asleep.

"Wasn't ... Wasn't Lord Kajaro the son of Avatar Roku?" Ilah inquired, stammering because of the effect the tea had on her. "I thought he was stripped of his nobility by Soz... by Fire Lord Sozin."

"No no no." Baba negated. "Roku gave up all his earthly titles and distinctions when he learned he was the Avatar, like all Avatars did before him. Kajaro had the titles of Ta Min, Avatar Roku's wife. When Roku died in the explosion of his island, Sozin didn't have the heart to take what few things were left to Ta Min, which is to say the possessions of her family on Ember Island and her rank. But Kajaro had been more or less banished from the court up until Roku's death. Sozin gave him back all his privileges after that volcano incident."

"Why?"

"Because, even if they didn't get along at all for most of their adult lives, Roku and Sozin were best friends when they were young. Sozin was more and more consumed by guilt after that event, though I don't know why. Ultimately, I think that's what killed him. Though I'll never know why exactly Sozin felt that way; he didn't talk to me that much."

Iroh looked at the tea leaves in the bottom of his teacup. They were shaped like a badgerfrog.

"What is the name of the orphan girl?"

"Ursa."


Iroh was wearing his bathing suit and had put a towel on his right shoulder. He had untied his top-knot and his black hair was flowing freely over his neck. "Mother? I'm going to the main beach to swim a bit!" he called.

A window opened from which came Ilah's voice : "Be sure to be back before sunset for dinner!"

He chose to reach the public beach by the inland paths instead of walking along the coastline. The alley beginning at the back of the house was narrow and disappeared regularly under patches of grass. He soon was on an hill from which he could see most of the island. Very far in front of him, the long-dead Ember Volcano, now a verdant hill, with a thick jungle at his base. A few trails of smoke were coiling and uncoiling in the sky, probably emitted by the factories that harvested the amber which was abundant in this place. Or it could have been sawmills ; Iroh didn't know nor cared. Everywhere else, rolling plains of emerald grass were undulating before him. And at his left, the main city of Ember Island, Ao Zhai, stood. It was more a resort than an actual city, but that was there that the main beach, the ice cream and the biggest harbor were. Iroh walked in that direction. He didn't hurry, enjoying the soft wind and the sun kisses on his skin. His naked feet were preserved of any form of harm by the thick grass.

He was only a yard away of the first houses when a group of teenaged girls in bathing suits came from the opposite direction. They soon were at his level. Although he didn't pay attention to them, they started giggling while looking at his chest. Iroh looked down to see if he had spilled tea on his breast, but his trunk was stainless. He shrugged. Girls ...The eternal mystery ...

"Hey, strong guy!" The girl that seemed to be the leader had walked back in his direction. Even though she wasn't the tallest or the oldest - she looked to be around 16 -, she was definitely the prettiest. "You seem to know no one here. Can I be of any help? I'm Abruta." She smiled in a way that was supposed to be seductive.

Iroh's face turned the color of tomato-pepper - bright red. I hate it when I blush. he mentally grumbled. "Well, er," he told the girl, "I'd love, but, hmm, someone's already expecting me on the beach, so I gotta hurry. See ya!" He then started to walk as normally as possible, leaving the girls alone.

Abruta smiled slyly. This was not over.


Ember Island beach

The beach was warm and sand started to go between Iroh's toes.

The beach was warm and sand started to go between Iroh's toes. The regular rushing of the sea was filling the space. Seagulls shouted in their high-pitched cry. Old and young people alike were sunbathing. Children were building a sand castle nearby.

"It's a very good representation of the Royal Palace." he told them. "In fact, it's more beautiful than the actual palace itself."

The children grinned. "Fanks, Shir." a little girl lisped.

Iroh smiled. As he started his search for the person he was looking for, he helped an old woman unpacking her stuff. In remerciement, she pinched his cheeks. I'm wondering what's with old ladies and cheeks. he wondered, rubbing his hurt face.

He was so distracted by his quest for the person he sought that he didn't focus where he was walking. His foot suddenly came into contact with something sticky and wet, rather unpleasant to the touch. It bellowed in an animal way when Iroh walked on it.

He slowly turned his gaze down. He then rocketed himself backwards, with a scream of disgust. It was just horrible.

It was some kind of shapeless blob, gelatinous in appearance. It was all bloated and wrinkled, with varicose veins, covered irregularly with brown patches. The mass of fat was shivering, unstable. White hairs sprouted out of the reddish meat it was made of. It was ...

It was ...

It was Hayao in a bathing suit.

"Student! It hurts." Hayao rubbed his ugly belly, which now had the pale shape of a foot printed on it. Iroh put his hand before his swollen cheeks, as if he was about to throw up.

"Sifu ...I was looking for you ..."

"Well, you have found me now. Happy?"

"Not really. I would have preferred not to step on you."

"So would I."

Iroh looked around Hayao. There was no one he knew. His heart sank. "I was hoping you won't be alone but I see you didn't manage to bring them ..." he stated sadly.

For the first time since Iroh knew him, Hayao smiled. "They're here. A little farther to the north, in a small bay to be precise."

Iroh could almost hear his inner fire coming back to life. "Brilliant! Do you want to come with us?"

"No, student, it's fine, I have more important things to do."

As Iroh walked away, the old master added for himself: "After all, it's my first day off ever since I'm his tutor. I can allow myself to not interfere in his business." He crossed his arms under his head (revealing hairy armpits which made nearby children flee in terror) and sighed with happiness.

"Hayao?" Chu Baka's voice gargled from behind a bush. "Can you come to put some cocopeanut oil on my back, please? My warts are getting sun-burnt."

Hayao opened his eyes. Not my lucky day.


Jiuan was having a great time: he was on a sunny beach while his parents were probably drowning under the monsoon in the Capital City, there was plenty of people he could pickpocket and, most important, he had nothing to do: no school, no duties, no homework, no chores.

He was also alone with Cixi, though he didn't know if it was a good thing. His heart had been set ablaze, both by love and guilt.

And jealousy too.

He had thought it would wither. He had thought that seeing them together would have been painful enough to stop it. He had thought he would have gotten used to it. But in two years his crush had become a burning passion.

He was entranced by her laughter. He was enchanted by her intelligence. He was subjugated by her skin, her silk hair, the amber seas of her eyes.

He wished he could kiss her.

But he refrained himself from surrendering to his love because of his devotion for Iroh. He was the sole thing he had. His parents? He never saw them, they just kept working. The rest of his family? Boring flower-pickers. But Iroh ...He was more than his friend: he was his brother. The one person he could count on. The one person in this world give up his life for - plus Cixi. Iroh was, and would always be, here if he needed advice, help, whatever.

He could tell him about his sorrow, joy, anger, happiness, fears.

He could confess him anything that was on his heart. Anything ... but that.

He was in love with Cixi.


Cixi was laying on her towel, sunbathing. Hayao had brought them here two hours ago and Iroh was still nowhere to be seen. Jiuan and Cixi had swum a bit, but she had soon grown tired of it. It was not that Jiuan was boring - he was very intelligent and funny, when he wasn't trying to steal from her an object in her possession. It was just that she wasn't feeling complete without Iroh. She wasn't showing it to him, but their secret relationship was tiring her - but that distance had also strengthened their love, as Jiuan had foreseen so long ago. She cherished any of the moments passed together.

On another hand, she didn't know why she was attracted by Iroh. He was good-looking, but if she had to date all the handsome boys, she would have become polyandrous a long time ago; she didn't care if a boy was enjoyable to her sight or not.

It was strange, but she couldn't think of any of his qualities now; only his bad tendencies came to her mind. Self-indulgent. Over-complaining. Sometimes air-headed. Lazy, apathetic, selfish. Hypocrite. He was always acting as if everything was normal, as if only he suffered in this world.

And yet, she loved him.

Why?

"Come on Cixi, all girls who courted him did it for that particular reason, and the one girl he ends up with would be uninterested by the position?"

No, it couldn't be, she wasn't interested in power. But then ...

All her doubts disappeared when the silhouette of a muscled, bare-chested teenager came between her and the sun. Blinded by this artificial eclipse, she could only see a male body darkened by shadows.

"Hey, beautiful." the young man said. Cixi smiled: it was Iroh's voice.

"Hey, handsome. Wanna come near me?"

As Iroh laid down on the sand, Jiuan gave her a look of horror. What's with him?

"I missed you." she told Iroh. She leaned towards him, preparing to kiss him.

"I missed you too, Cixilicious."

Cixilicious?!

She suddenly backed away from the man, getting up to realize it wasn't Iroh, but Chan.

Okay, one good thing with Iroh: he doesn't give me any stupid nickname.

"What are you doing here?" she shrieked with outrage. On the upper slope, sand started to smoke.

Chan gave her a cocky smile. "Well, isn't it obvious, Cixilicious? I'm here for you. And, obviously, you're ready for me."

It can't get worse. Cixi thought. At least Iroh isn't here.


Mur Fi's law: if it can get worse, it will.


Iroh had been contemplating Cixi for a quarter of an hour now. He was blissfully in love. She had the body of a goddess, even the Love Spirit would look ugly when compared to her. This rose skin, this long hair the colour of the wing of a raven-crow - black with dark blue hues, which was divided in two little braids and one big bang which partly covered her left eye, these long delicate fingers ... He couldn't see them at the moment, but he imagined her eyes, two amber embers, oceans of light, in which he drowned, in their golden depths.

Then Chan came by.

Holy freaking hog-monkey, what's he doing here? He vaguely remembered Chan boasting about his huge mansion on Ember Island, from which his family originated. Shoot. At least, Cixi will make him piss o...

Then he laid down on the beach, and she leaned towards him.

To kiss him.

WHAT THE... Sand started to smoke around him, burning with his anger. But then Cixi abruptly backed away from the moron. Huh? Okay, I don't understand what in the Seven Hells is going on, but I have to intervene.

He jumped down the hill, landing on the beach with a loud thud. With a martial attitude, he walked in a threatening way towards the idiot. Chan had now got up and was stuck in a supposedly cool pose.

"Excuse me," Iroh told him, barely containing his anger behind his polite tone, "but I think you are annoying the lady."

Chan smirked. "Piss off, stupid ; I think you are annoying the lady. We were about to experiment the Water Tribe kiss ; we don't need you."

In the background, Jiuan face-palmed.

Iroh pulled back his hair as if it was in a topknot, revealing his face. "Repeat that."

Chan's face became paler than snow. "Prince Iroh ... I didn't know. I'm innocent, it's her fault!"

"What?" Cixi cried with anger. She clenched her fists as if she wanted to punch him.

Iroh dismissed the image of Cixi leaning towards Chan. "I know by experience that I can completely trust her, when you're just a coward hidden behind smug looks. Now, you will leave this place."

"But she ..."

"Get. Out. Of. My. Sight."

As they watched Chan fleeing as if he was running for his life, Cixi pondered. Spirits, I didn't make the difference between Iroh's voice and Chan's. How stupid am I? It could have taken dramatic proportions; I was actually lucky: I didn't kiss him. I won't mention the incident to Iroh, because technically, it's my fault ; Chan is right. But suddenly, strong arms wrapped against her, as Iroh passionately kissed her. She threw her guilt at the back of her mind and surrendered to his embrace. "I missed you." he tenderly whispered to her ear.

As stated before, Karma cannot stand sweet moments and will do whatever it takes to stop them. Even if it means the end of the world if nothing else is available. But luckily, it wasn't on schedule this day.

The rocks behind them exploded as something flew above them and splashed in the ocean.

"TALLY-HO!" Baba shouted. She was wearing safety goggles and was sitting in a now half-destroyed cart pulled by a very wet, old Ostrich Horse.

"Djorj!" Iroh exclaimed with delight. As he hugged his old pet, he asked, "Baba, are you okay?"

"Oh, yes. Don't worry, it's not my first crash in the sea." She chuckled. "And it won't be my last."

"Who. Is. That?" Jiuan questioned, wide-eyed.

"My grandma." Iroh replied, with a mix of embarrassment and pride. He turned to his grandmother. "Baba, I assume you're here because everything went according to my plan?"

"Yes, dear. With a little help from your mother, my son is now at the spa near Lake Sensei, in the center of Ember Island. Thanks to you."

"And will we know if he comes back home earlier than what is scheduled?"

Baba shrugged. "Oh, I'm the queenpin of the whole island ; I have spies everywhere." She pointed to the destroyed cart. "Now get in, laddies and lady!"

"What for?" Cixi asked.

"Oh, well, let's say that again I want to spend some quality time with you, people, but this time without interference." Iroh simply declared. "Now just get in."

Jiuan put a weary foot on the crushed wood of the cart. "Is this thing safe? I don't know what's the most worrying me, the state of the wooden thingie that might have been a cart in a previous time, or the person driving it."

He gave a look to Baba who smiled evilly.

"TALLY-HO!" she shouted madly. And off they went in the direction of the Fire Lord mansion.

Who was allergic to cucumber courgette.


TO BE CONTINUED ...

Avatar Extras

  • Hawkie is the grand-grand-grand-grand-grandfather of the well known Hawky. That family of messenger hawks always seem to end with heroes.
  • The last sentence of the chapter, which may seem random, foreshadows things to come.
  • The author makes an appearance in the chapter. Guess who he is ?
  • Hirohitaba is not mad. Just ... eccentric.
  • Avatar Hint : not a thing said in this chapter is random. Everything will have an incidence.
    • Saved from Chu Baka's warts, thanks goodness.
  • Question to fans : Both Iroh and Jiuan describe Cixi in a similar way ... But who is more in love ?
  • "Mur Fi's Law" is an obvious reference to the real-world "Murphy's Law" ; check Wikipedia.
  • The terms "Djorj", "Water Tribe kiss" or even the fact that Chan's around in 55 AG might puzzle you ; for further understanding, I would advise you to read the previous chapters.
  • The qualities I give to the previous Fire Lords come from their official portraits.

Followed by ...

Sozin's Blood - Chapter 6 for you people !!!

Warning : This chapter need your help before reading it. See my comments.

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