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|The Lady Of Death|
July 06, 2010
The birth of Lady Sa.
A tall man with long white hair is standing atop a mountain,wearing a long, flowing robe adorned with Fire Nation emblems.
The valley below is beautiful, much like Shu Jing when spring is in full bloom. A soft breeze blows, sweet and serene.
The man lifts his hands into the air, and all four elements begin to twirl around him, like in a dance.
Out of the sky appears a blue dragon, carrying a long dagger in its front right paw. The Blue Dragon sneaks up on the old man from behind and stabs him in the back.
The dying man lets out a gasp, as a seed he was carrying in his right hand falls to the ground. From the seed, a sapling with golden leaves begins to grow.
The Blue Dragon now sits atop the mountain and begins to breathe fire in all directions. Soon, everything is wrapped and consumed by the flames, except the young tree.
From the tree, springs a fruit, and from the fruit, a young woman. Her features are clear and sharp. She is wrapped in a long, red robe with golden trimmings.
As the fire engulfs the valley, she opens her robe and from her belly flows a river which puts out the fire and quenches the land.
The Blue Dragon is enraged and tries to attack her, but she is saved by a mysterious creature: half man, half bird... The creature takes her to a cave and hides her, protecting her from harm.
From beyond the horizon, a strong wind blows, knocking the Blue Dragon out of the sky. He falls into the waters and drowns.
This strong wind continues to blow and makes the water recede, showing a renewed valley, lush and green again.
It's the old man! He is the one causing the wind to blow! He retakes his position atop the mountain and opens his robe.
As he does this, the old man and the robe seem to dissolve, as from within emerges a young boy, with arrow tattoos and a staff in his right hand.
The waters from the river have turned into a Red Dragon. The boy then mounts this dragon and both soar into the sky.
Tengu woke up agitated. Its was the second time this week he had the same dream. He didn't know if it was because he finally had to face Ozai, after failing to deliver on his target or if it had to do something with what Iroh had mentioned about his decision opening a channel into the Spirit World. He thought the spirits could actually accomplish much more if only they only bothered to present him a dream that made sense...
The Second Meeting
Tengu's reunion with Lu Ming was less than stellar. Ozai had not been pleased with the outcome of the mission, and had been forced to maneuver around Iroh's survival in a most awkward way. Ozai would ask for a little more than a refund if the second target was not destroyed immediately. Lu Ming sent Tengu back to Ozai for a "damage control" meeting. With the Black Lotus' reputation at risk, Tengu would have to take things to a whole new level, if he was to keep his life...
This time, Ozai dispensed with all formalities, but still held on to his monumental sarcasm:
"Well, well – if it isn't our friend, the professional... Was two years too little time to complete your assignment?"
"It was more than enough, for anyone lesser than the Great Dragon of The West."
Ozai despised his older brother's nom-de-guerre: it made him feel unaccomplished and inferior.
"Well, this should be much easier. I have someone I need disposed of immediately. His name is Zuko, and he lives in the palace. This map shows where you will find his quarters."
The business was pretty much concluded, when a light scuffle was suddenly heard outside. The door burst open with a loud noise, and a woman broke into the room with the force of a storm gale. The guards were all but unsuccessful in restraining her "You will NOT KILL OUR SON!!!"
A cold shiver ran down Tengu's spine, as he saw the woman from his dreams stand before him, with tears in her eyes. He needed a few seconds to tie everything together. The river of healing waters must be her offspring...
"What is she talking about?" he asked, a hint of severity invading his usually smooth tone.
"Oh – maybe the Prince forgot to mention it is his ten year old son he wants to have eliminated!!!" Ursa roared.
"Shut up!" Ozai commanded, as he grabbed Ursa from the guards and slapped her ferociously across her face.
Ozai's brutal blow sent Ursa to the floor. She sat up and wiped the blood from her nose. Her face had been bruised, but her determination was still intact. She grit her teeth and grunted like a Saber Tooth Moose-Lion - "You will NOT touch Zuko!!"
"Is this a child we are talking about? YOUR child??" asked Tengu, unable to hide his disgust.
"You owe me a death! You have been paid more than enough and you will do as you're told!"
Tengu took out the money from his coat pocket and threw it on the makeshift desk. "Here is your gold. I don't do children."
He was about to walk away, when the guards crossed their lances, cutting him off. The situation called for creative thinking.
"I must congratulate you, your Highness. Your guards seem very loyal. I wonder, however, how they must really feel about having to witness all of this..." He could see the guards sweating underneath their helmets, their labored breathing betraying their seemingly steadfast appearance.
Ozai's eyes widened as he realized his carelessness.
"Leave" he ordered his men with a slight growl in his voice. The guards bowed and made the quickest self-respecting exit they could. He then turned to Ursa.
"The kid is weak, he is spineless and clumsy. He will never be a great leader – he's lucky to even have been born!"
Ursa returned to her feet and charged - "Is this how you plan to earn your place on the throne? By killing your own child? Is this the proof of loyalty requested by the Great Fire Lord Azulon? An old ruler, who has lived and had plenty wants you to take the life of a child, who is only beginning to live?? You are all the same: cruel, heartless cowards. You didn't have the courage to face your own brother, so you took advantage of his son's death – IN HIS ABSENCE!!!"
"My brother is an old windbag who cares only about tea and PaiSho!! He did not have what it took to conquer Ba Sing Se and he certainly does not have what it takes to run this Nation!" replied a visibly angry Ozai. Tengu wanted to end this Ozai fool right then and there, but he remembered the stakes and kept his composure.
"If you were only half the man your brother is, you would take matters into YOUR OWN HANDS!!! You would have either the guts to slay your own son yourself or to face your father for even daring to ask!!!!" Ursa was crying tears of rage.
Ozai stood silent, his back towards Ursa and Tengu.
Ursa continued - "But what do I know about politics or running a nation? I'm only your trophy wife!! The granddaughter of the Great Avatar Roku, meant only to enhance your standing and enrich your bloodline!!! That is ALL YOU HAVE EVER CARED ABOUT!!!!"
Tengu shivered. The man I saw planting the seed – it must have been Roku!!!!
He knew then and there his dream had been no ordinary dream: The Spirit of the Avatar was conveying a message. This child they had been speaking of carried the blood of the Avatar, and would be a key player in returning balance and healing to the World. He knew it was his duty to protect this woman and this child from the heartless monster that was Ozai. But how?
Ozai turned around, wearing a mysterious smile on his face. "A decree has been issued by the Fire Lord, and it must be carried out. I could revoke it, if it were within my right, of course..." "Get to the point." Ursa was in no mood to dance around the issue.
"Do you want to save your son?" Ozai asked.
"Name your price."
"Take out Fire Lord Azulon for me. I will revoke the sentence." Ozai bartered.
Ursa closed her eyes in absolute despise and tightened her lips, as she turned her head away from Ozai. She could no longer lay eyes on this man. To think that she had lay with him and bore him children made her sick to her stomach. She breathed hard and began shaking with rage, but somehow managed to recompose herself.
"I'll do it."
Tengu could not believe his ears. He looked at Ozai – he was smiling. He had achieved his purpose – he had found a way to get his will without having to soil his own hands.
"What will become of me?" She asked.
"You will be banished, course. But I will provide safe exile." Ozai promised. "And you will have help." He stared in Tengu's direction.
Tengu stared right back. He knew his role well.
Ever since reading the original background for Fire Lord Azulon's death and the origin of "Lady Sa", the selfish little troll inside my head decided it wanted to be a part of that too. I thank Twilitlink for the opportunity to add to what I believe is one of the single most original, interesting stories in the Wiki: the story of Lady Sa.
For the collective works of the author, go here.