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|"Haven't you figured it out yet? I'm about to celebrate becoming an only child!."|
|— Azula to Zuko.|
Revenge and Debts
Azula left the miserable retired captain's hovel with deepest disgust. How a product of the Royal Navy could turn out to be such a coward, she did not know. "They should include a 'spine test' along with the other exams to graduate the academy!" she muttered. However, she saw some vegetables growing in the garden. As they looked fresh, "and not too tainted by that traitor's hands" she thought, she added them to her basket, knowing she had a long journey ahead of her, and there probably wouldn't be any markets along the way. In her head, she thought out a plan. A plan for revenge, and justice. A plan to turn the scales, and restore to her what was rightly hers.
She must get to the forest. The forest....the forest...a tree at the very forest line, at least. She sank down at the tree's roots, and cried. How could she be in such a state? She was a princess, with divine power running through her veins! How could she be robbed of her throne, entitled to her by her father, the Phoenix King, ruler of the world, by her banished traitor of a brother?
"I swear, Zuko, I'll get you, kill you, Mai, Ty Lee...and the Avatar and his group. They deserve to die!"
In anger, she threw a fire blast at the ground, but her fire..."Oh, Sozin...my fire, my lifeblood...it's...it's....red!" Sinking to the ground, she sobbed furiously. Her father's careful instruction had all gone to waste.
"First, I'll walk to the cliffs, and climb down; that is the easiest way to get to the shore unseen. It should be at nightfall, of course. Then, I will stow away on an army battleship, where there is sure to be enough food and drink for me during the relatively short journey. Also, it's big enough to go unseen. Zuko must still be withdrawing those from ports all around the world. Once I arrive safely at the Capitol, I will sneak off at night (all must be at night) and I will get more food, namely by taking it from unworthy salespersons. Once I have collected enough food, I will steal a war balloon, and launch it, unless the fool has popped them all. Or maybe--"
Boom. Azula froze, terrified that she would be discovered. Boom. She ran, not caring for all the branches she popped. Whizzzzzz. Boom. Then laughter; not the vindictive laughter of men knowing they have an escapee in their grasp, but the joyous cries of mere children. Then,
"Eloki, that was amazing!!!"
"Yeah, I know! Kae Li, should we tell anyone, though?"
"Of course! Then they'll know not to pick on me, 'cause you can blast 'em until they turn black from burns!"
"Shhh...don't say stuff like that; Maman will blast you if she hears such a thing."
"Of course she won't. She's just pining for Azula and Ozai; she misses the Glory Days."
"Gory days. Still, although she was bad, Fire Lord Zuko shouldn't have killed Azula like that."
"But I'm not dead." Azula steps slowly out of the shadows. The children scream, but Azula creates a ring of fire around them. "I never was killed, ha! Zu-zu didn't have the guts to finish me off. He just let me scream in anger, in chains, while he walked away with the Avatar's Water Tribe friend. He was a weakling."
"Zuko...a weakling? "
"If you mention this encounter to anyone, I will track that person and your family down and kill them all. I promise by Sozin. If you, however, leave this be, I will simply walk away." Walking away didn't sound good, though. Sleeping away sounded better. Although she tried, the children could sense her weakness.
"A--Azula? Maman will take care of you, if you wish....?"
"No. I must be moving on. Good day." She silently glided away, with the children watching in wonder behind. Then, she stopped short. "Finally!" she breathed in wonder. Princess Azula had arrived at the Ember Island Cliffs.
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