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|The Dying Flame|
September 22, 2015
The Agony of Victory
There I stood, silently gazing at his corpse. What had been a brief moment of triumph quickly turned to what felt like hours of agonizing regret and remorse.
"I have killed a son..."
It seemed ages ago that I had been given my mission. A mission I had been eager to carry out...
There they were, the Headmaster of the Dai Li and the Council of Five.
"With all due respect Council, it is clear that sheer military force will not protect Ba Sing Se from falling to the Fire Nation. I fear the worse, and although it pains me to leave our Citizens at the mercy of the Fire Nation, perhaps it is best to retreat and regroup our forces so that we many live to fight another day," said the Headmaster.
"Thanks to recent negotiations, the Northern Water Tribe has even pledged to send troops to help us retake Ba Sing Se if it were to fall. Perhaps it is the wisest decision..." a General solemnly said...
"Cowards, all of them. They value their lives more than the lives of thousands of citizens," Long Feng, a fellow Dai Li agent, whispered into my ear...
"Do you suggest we fight until the last man in defense of our capital?" I whispered back.
"Don't be a fool. Brute force will not win this day. What we need is to break the will of the Fire Nation's armies," Long Feng replied.
"How do you break the will of an army that has conquered nearly all of the Western Earth Kingdom. An army that has wiped out the Air Nomads and brutalized the Southern Water Tribe. An army that has murdered so many of our sons...including my own..." I replied harshly...
I could almost feel Long Feng's grim smile. "Simple. We murder one of their own..."
Everyone knew of the great "Dragon of the West," the shrewd and capable General Iroh, The Fire Nation knew it would need its very best to even reach our capital, let alone reach its great walls. I couldn't help but admire his brilliance. He had managed to use the great rivers of the Earth Kingdom, and the sheer power of the Fire Navy, to reach our capital. He must have been revered among his people. I could only imagine what power his son could wield...
I had discovered that Lu Ten was defending a makeshift infirmary. Noble, yet foolish. He could rely only on himself for protection.
As the distant cries of battle echoed, I managed to reach the infirmary. I could hear the agony of the wounded. "You brought this on yourselves, Fire Nation demons!" I yelled.
In an instant, Lu Ten had appeared, quick to defend his wounded men. I knew in battle I would quickly be killed...so I lifted boulders and dangled them over his men. I could see weakness in his eyes...and in a flash I impaled him with earth...and let the boulders put those wounded monsters out of their misery...
And then the horror had struck me... "You look like my son..."
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