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|The Day After Tomorrow|
April 19, 2014
Ai Lun Na
"Why are we still waiting? We could have taken Omashu by now if you didn't keep on showing me new stupid facts."
As soon as I said it, I was sorry. Kaihua had been my most trustworthy general. She provided strategy for the rebels, and that was needed. Before I met her with other refugees I was alone. They had managed to survive for a full week in the bitter cold of the North Pole, with nothing but their bending. Before that, I was planning on finding Lan, Tian and Kassandra on my own, even if it would take all of my strength. She could calm me down and led me to the hideout where we are now. The Fire Nation was the only true independent nation now, as all the others had either been conquered by Soyun and his generals or didn't have the guts to stand up against the Earth Kingdom.
"My lady, I don't want to keep you from advancing to New Ba Sing Se, but we lost two men who were infiltrating in the city."
"Jun and Wei. We put them in the city under the cover of being married, and now we've lost them."
I looked down. I knew every rebel, no, every soldier here by name. Every time somebody told me one of us had fallen, I remembered everything that person taught me. I played Pai Sho with Wei not long ago. I lost, but he tried cheering me up. It was a sign that something had to change. The losses would not stop until we had conquered Omashu or until there were non of us left.
"Attention! In two days, a small group will infiltrate Omashu and take out Wanji. Then, we, and most importantly, Omashu will be free, once again. Everybody selected to come with me has every right to say no. This will be dangerous, and some of you may not live to see the next day. We will depart in two days. Tomorrow the group will be announced. I beg of you, think of what you want to do, what you will do, and what you have done. We will win this war!"
I immediately received an applause from Chin, one of my other generals. He was the one leading all of the operations. Whether you were going to leave and search for reinforcements, or participating in a real attack on the city, you always had to pass by Chin. The others followed his lead. I calmed them down.
"There is no reason for applause. We didn't accomplish anything yet. Dismissed."
Kaihua followed me back to our quarters. She looked intrigued.
"I really wonder what makes you such a great leader."
I managed to bring out a faint laugh.
"Really? You think I'm a good leader? Everybody here is just following me out of desperation. In all honesty, I always feel sick when I speak to them. They just want to believe that everything I say is true, so that they can return home. I'm no leader. If I was a good leader, I would have stayed awake that night. If I was a good leader, Lan, Tian and probably Kassandra would all be safe and right here with me. If I was a good leader..."
Kaihua put her hand on my arm.
"You shouldn't be so hard on yourself. The attack on the North Pole came as a total surprise. Nobody would have stayed awake that night after the feast of the tournament. It's just not your fault. And about you being a good leader, nobody with even a little piece of spirit would follow somebody out of desperation. They do follow for his charisma. These people know what you have accomplished. They know you have done an enormous amount of things for the Earth Kingdom. Now we need to focus at the task at hand. Select soldiers for the day after tomorrow."
I nodded. There is no point in whining while there is work to be done.
~Some time later~
"Can we agree that this will be our group?"
I looked at Kaihua and nodded. We sat here for hours, carefully considering everyone's strengths and weaknesses. I was on the list. Chin was, too. We decided Kaihua would stay behind to guide everything here. I prepared myself for the longest wait I would ever have to bare through.
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