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The Invitation is the first Chapter of.
All was well in the glorious city of Ba Sing Se. The home owned by Team Avatar had a great view of the peaceful streets of the Earth Kingdom's capital. Sokka and Suki had disappeared into the town, Toph was practicing her Sandbending by Lake Laogai, Ty Lee was putting on one of her solo shows in the city's middle ring, and Katara and Aang had the house to themselves. They were dating now; Their love for each other had truly grown over the course of their travels. Now they and their friends lived perfect lives in the largest city in the Earth Kingdom. All of that was about to change.
"Aang, come downstairs!" shouted Katara with excitement.
"We have a letter with the official stamp of the King of Omashu!"
"Go ahead, read it!" exclaimed Aang has he flew down the stair via air scooter.
"Avatar Aang and friends," Katara read aloud, "you are invited to be guests of honor at the coronation of Earth King Bumi...Earth King Bumi?...His Majesty wishes that you, as his great friends, will attend this historical moment in Earth Kingdom history. He cannot put his appreciation of your work into words and wishes to thank you personally in Omashu. He also says that he just came back from Kangaroo Island and that it was really hopping; he said you would understand what that means. Furthermore, the Earth King and all of Omashu wishes that you can attend this magnificent day next week. Sincerely, the Royal Palace of Omashu... Aang, what does this mean? Why is Bumi becoming the Earth King?"
"What about King Bumi?" asked Sokka as he and Suki entered the house.
After a pause Aang answered, "Bumi is being crowned as the Earth King!"
Suki jumped in, "I thought the Earth King lived in Ba Sing Se. Isn't that why this place is the capital?"
"Now that I think about it," continued Aang, "I don't think Earth King Kuei has ever returned from exile. He doesn't have any heirs so they must have decided to make Bumi Earth King. The coronation is next week in Omashu."
Toph was thrilled when she heard the news. "Anything to get out of Ba Sing Se," she explained, "the worst city ever!"
Ty Lee was a bit nervous. The last time she visited the city, it was to capture Aang and ensure the Fire Nation occupation of the city. She wasn't sure how Bumi would react to seeing her after she fought to keep him imprisoned.
"Don't worry," insisted Sokka, "You could tell him that it was your evil twin sister and, knowing Bumi, he'd probably believe it."
"Sokka," said Katara with an annoyed tone.
Later that day, Sokka and Suki visited the Jasmine Dragon to see if Iroh was going to the coronation. One of his employees said that he was already in Omashu. After making the trip to the shop, the couple decided they might as well sit down for some tea. They were interrupted, however, when they heard a shout from an old man outside.
"Stop that man! He has my money! Stop! Thief!" Sokka rushed outside telling Suki to wait where she was, and despite her protests, he began to chase the thief down the street. He threw his boomerang at him...and missed...terribly. He thought the thief would get away when someone finally tackled him, and, to Sokka's embarrassment, the hero was Suki. She took the sack of money back and pushed the thief away, and he fled. The old man whose money was stolen caught up to them and thanked Sokka for his heroic deed.
"Actually, it was the girl who caught him," said a bystander who received a glare from Sokka who replied,
"Let's say it was a team effort."
"Well," the old man started, "as a token of appreciation for your 'team effort' you can take 5 gold pieces." Sokka thanked the man and gladly accepted his reward.
On their way home, the two discussed what to do with their newly earned money just as an old woman approached them and inquired if they were interested in purchasing a very nice necklace. It was a very small green stone encased in some reddish clear flame shape made of crystal.
"Thanks, but we only have five gold pieces and that looks at least-" started Suki.
"That's plenty for it! That's fine! I bought it for three gold pieces!" Responded the woman, almost too quickly.
Suki continued, "Ma'am, that necklace looks far nicer than-"
"No, I insist. I don't need it anyway."
Sukki bought it and thanked the woman as she turned around and left the couple, disappearing into the crowd.
"Sometimes the people in this town are real nut jobs! Only five gold pieces for that! What a sucker!" said Sokka with glee.
"Sokka," started Suki, "Did you think that woman was too eager to get rid of the necklace?"
"So what if she was?" argued Sokka carefree, "I bet it looks beautiful on you anyway."
The rest of the week was rather uneventful. Other than Toph scamming people on the street, all Team Avatar did was relax and pack their things. As they were packing, Ty Lee noticed they had mail.
"This one is from Bumi himself," she said, "it says to pack enough things to last for at least a week, and to bring everything that you would ever need at any point...That's rather vague."
"Bumi must be very busy. He doesn't have time to list every detail about everything," explained Katara.
"Not to mention he's completely insane," added Sokka. They all laughed.
The team arrived in Omashu on Appa two days after they left Ba Sing Se. Aang was excited to see his old friend Bumi, so they made as few stops as possible. Omashu had changed drastically since they were last there. Instead of one narrow path crossing the canyon into the city, there were four enormous roads, traveled by traders and visitors. There was a wall surrounding the entire canyon, almost as big as the one around Ba Sing Se. There were four large gates for each road leading to the mountain of Omashu. The palace had also been greatly expanded; after all, it was about to become the royal palace of the entire Earth Kingdom.
When the children arrived, they were greeted by...wait for it...still waiting...I bet the suspense is killing you... none other than Joo Dee! When the group saw her they let out a simultaneous scream, except for Toph who had the same uninterested face as usual.
They drew their weapons.
"What are you doing here?" demanded Sokka. Joo Dee stared back at them with the same creepy smile that she always had.
"How wonderful it is to see you again! Even better now that, this time, I am not brainwashed by the Dai Li. I now serve as the Earth King's chief assistant. In fact, I am here to share some gifts with you. For Aang, a wind sword, for Katara, an ancient Water Tribe bracelet we recovered, for Toph, a belt that was worn by the late champion of the first Omashu Earthbending tournament, for Ty Lee, the newest Earth Kingdom shoes, nice to see you Sokka, and for Momo, some nuts!" They all thanked her, except for Sokka who lowered his head in disappointment.
At that point very serious looking man walked up to Joo Dee and spoke very clearly in her ear. "We have new details on both the mysterious Waterbenders and the developing-" he looked up and realized the whole gang could hear him. He whispered the rest. Before any of the children could speak, Joo Dee excused herself.
"Joo Dee is as weird as she was brainwashed," commented Sokka. "Hey, we have some time. Let's see what's new in the city." The group exited the palace.
The coronation was later that afternoon. Sitting behind Bumi was Captain Yung and a boy who looked Katara's age. Before Bumi was crowned Earth King, Captain Yung received a medal of bravery, and the boy received some sort of blessing from a high monk.
After the ceremony the people of Omashu cheered. Everyone had expressions of great joy and celebration on their face-except for Bumi, Yung, and the boy, who all looked troubled and nervous. What was on their minds?
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