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|The Final Battle, Part 3: The Arrival of the Storm|
"Xian, how are you Jun?" Aang could only mutter those few words.
"Don't you understand? There is no Xian! There never was! I forged those documents you found in the Fire Sage's temple but created an alias replacing my name so you would never know the person you would fight that night was me," explained Jun. "The reason I have been hunting you down these past few several months was because I knew you and your friends were the only ones who could stand in my way of having revenge on the other four nations."
That made sense. Aang thought. But there must have been more to it than that.
"I needed to find you and at first I planned to bend your energy and then kill you; then I got an idea. I decided that I should absorb your power and take it for myself along with the power of all your friends. I attempted to use Darkbending, a bending art that I invented eons ago, to kill you and absorb your powers at the same time but you always managed to defeat me each time. When you were abducted by Koh, I knew someone was trying to do you harm and I could not let that happen; I had to finish you myself. So, by remaining in the location in which you had disappeared, I granted you and the other Avatars the ability to bend in the Spirit World," Jun continued elaborating.
"But how did that grant us the ability to bend?" Aang questioned his foe.
"When a mortal Avatar is in the Spirit World and an Avatar Spirit is in the mortal world, all Avatar Spirits in the Spirit World can bend; so long as the Avatar in the Mortal world stays in the location of the Avatar in the Spirit World."
"Is there anything else you would like to share?" Aang asked.
"No. The time for talking has ended. Now we fight! The Lion Turtle warned you there was a storm coming; now it has arrived!" Jun roared. He shot an enormous amount of fire breath at Aang, who was wondering how Jun knew of what the Lion Turtle had spoken to him. The Air Nomad countered by bending an air shield around him. "If you want to defeat me you will have to stop defending yourself like an Airbender and attack your opponent like an Avatar!" Jun spat as he hurled an earth ball at Aang.
"Alright, everyone, it's time to move up the volcano!" Zuko declared. "Be prepared for a trap!" The invasion force marched up the volcano, slowly. Once everyone finally reached the top, they were instantly filled with terror.
"Fire!" Banhen shouted the command. Hundreds of tanks fired on the invasion force at once; eradicating many soldiers.
"Retreat, retreat!" Zuko called out, desperately trying to save his comrades.
"Follow them! Show now mercy!" Banhen ordered.
Katara was running next to Zuko. "Zuko, we can't just run away!" She urged.
"We don't have a lot of options, Katara!" Zuko shot back.
"Let's just regroup!" Sokka suggested.
"Regroup where?! We are being pursued!" Ai shouted.
Zuko could hear Banhen's voice even from this distance. "Look at the Fire Lord running away from his duties as usual! How predictable!"
"Enough!" Zuko ordered, stopping in his tracks. "Everyone, stand your ground! If we go down we go down with honor!"
"Honor? What do you know of honor! You have been searching for honor for years; yet even after you became Fire Lord you found none at all!" Banhen's voice boomed across the volcano.
"I may have lost my honor by losing my throne and abandoning my friends but today I will regain it! I will destroy you, you treacherous scum!!" Zuko retaliated.
"We will see," Banhen said, quietly.
Kato was running for his life. He knew he had to hide, now. He ducked behind a rock but still heard the rumbling coming after him. Before he knew it, Toph had thrown him into the air. Kato landed on his back, hard. "I loved you, Kato!" Toph screamed as she sent an eruption of earth near Kato into the sky. "I trusted you!" She sent yet another pile of rock into the air. "How could you?!" Toph converted the earth beneath Kato into sand and kept him suspended. "Answer me!!"
"I was working for the Sons of Ozai from the start!" Kato answered. "Lord Banhen ordered me to spy on you and your friends, gather information and corrupt you from the inside. I notified him that you were planning an invasion and told him where the invasion force was located. Just to be sure, he sent his spies to the camp to confirm I was telling the truth."
"If that was your only job, then why did you say you loved me?!" Toph was still infuriated with Kato for breaking her heart.
"Before I departed the capital, I was given specific information on each one of you. When he told me about you, he said you could detect if I was lying or not. So, I pretended to like you in order to let your emotions get in the way of you seeing the truth." Kato finished explaining.
"One more question, Kato: did you honestly think you would survive after this was over?" Toph asked.
"You are just a little girl. You are just a harmless, little Earthbender." Kato spoke his last words.
"I am Toph Beifong, the greatest Earthbender in the world!" the Blind Earthbender said before lifting a boulder and crushing Kato. "And don't you ever forget it, you dunderhead!" she added, running off to join her friends.
"How have they done this much damage?!" Banhen hollered.
"I don't know, but don't worry, my lord! We will finish them!" answered Mongke.
"You are the only one getting finished, jerk face!" Sokka said as he stabbed his sword through Mongke's stomach. "And that's for the Foggy Swamp!" The warrior added. Mongke's expression was one of utter surprise. He kept that expression as he fell dead to the ground.
"No!" Banhen screamed, having seen his best friend died. "Alright, you brats, now it is personal!"
Suki was advancing towards the city that lay within the volcano. She had gotten farther than most of her friends and was intent on her mission. She was about to make it even further when a knife zoomed past her head. Suki's eyes widened as she locked eyes with Hong Wu. "Surprised to see me, sweetie?!" Hong Wu sarcastically taunted.
"I'm not going to ask how you escaped or why you are here; I'm just going to end you for good." Suki said, firmly.
"Even though you don't care, you should know I have allied with the Sons of Ozai after I was freed by one of their agents. Apparently, since I am no longer with Jun and know so much about you, they considered me a great asset." Hong Wu briefly stated.
"Well you are going to wish they had never freed you! I'm going to make you hurt for everything you have done to us!" Suki declared.
"Go, go, go!" Ping shouted as he Firebent his way through more tanks.
Night had fallen, and several soldiers had been crushed as Gaizao's fearsome Lang Ren spirit form demolished their machines. "How can you still do that?" Ai asked.
"I can now transform at will when the sun goes down. Practice really pays off." Gaizao answered, now able to speak in his Lang Ren body.
Ty Lee blocked the chi of many of her opponents as she leapt across the battlefield and the Swampbenders were Waterbending their way through the chaos.
"We are winning!" Iroh announced. "Keep it up!"
"We can do this!" Mai yelled for everyone to hear.
"I don't think so," Mung mumbled. He took aim and shot a large ball of fire at Mai. The knife-thrower was caught off guard and did not have enough time to move. She closed her eyes and waited for the impact to come but nothing happened. She heard the sound of the fireball stop. On the ground below her was Ai. Judging by the large scar in Ai's center, she knew what had happened.
"Oh my gosh, Ai!" She said, alerted. "Katara, I need help!" she yelled for help.
"It's no use, Mai," Ai insisted.
"No! No, please don't talk like that! You are going to be okay, I promise!" Mai shot a dagger at Mung, hitting him in the stomach. She then threw four more until she was sure he was dead.
Katara came running to the scene. "What is it? What happened?" She then saw Ai's scar and covered her mouth with her hands. Without saying a word, she drew her bending water and began to heal her friend. "No! No, it's not working!" She panicked.
"Katara, Mai, just go and help the others. It's too late for me," Ai said, shakily.
"But, Ai, we can't just leave you!" Katara protested.
"I guess I'll be seeing Cheng and Omar pretty soon," Ai spoke, quietly.
"No, we are going to get you through this!" Katara said, strongly. She took her bending water and once again tried to heal her friend, but to no avail. Katara stopped and sighed. "Spirits, please hear my voice. Our friend is dying before her time. She has fought for good all of her life. She is the most compassionate person I have ever met besides Aang. I beg of you, please, help her!" Suddenly a flash of light appeared and a spirit appeared before the three friends; a spirit Katara knew all too well.
"Give me the girl," Yue instructed. Katara obliged and handed Ai over to Yue. The moon spirit touched Ai's scar and within seconds, healed her. Ai's eyes opened and she smiled as Yue set her down.
She stood up and looked upon the moon spirit. "Thank you," she said.
"You are welcome," Yue replied. "Katara, tell your brother that even though he has chosen another, I will always be with him," Yue's spirit then disappeared and with that, Katara, Mai, and Ai all left to continue their fight.
Aang and Jun were still going at it. Jun had come crashing down from the sky with a huge bolt of lightning. Aang redirected it inches away from Jun's face. The Darkbender had made contact with Aang and sent both of them crashing into the valley below. The two enemies got back on their feet after regaining their balance. Aang found water from a stream and Icebent it at Jun, encasing most of his body in ice. Jun quickly melted the ice by using his nostrils as a heat source. He then bent the water from the flowers around him and shot it at Aang. Aang created a water pinwheel and deflected Jun's attack. "Enough games!" Jun said. He motioned his hand towards Aang's mouth. Before the Air Nomad knew what was going on, he was suffocating. Jun was bending the air out of his lungs. "It looks like I won't even have to Darkbend before I kill you," he said with an evil smile. At that moment, Aang's eyes lit up. He blasted Jun with an enormous amount of air. "You think you are the only one who can use the Avatar State, Aang?!" Jun angrily yelled. The Darkbender's eyes lit up and the two prepared for the most intense fight either of them had experienced.
- The way Jun suffocated Aang using Airbending was a tribute to from .
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