7 The Ship at Sea
The Ship at Sea
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Avatar: The Legend of the Phoenix





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Still traveling to the North Pole Erica and Natsu find a Fire Nation ship and on that ship is Prince Zuko.

The Ship at Sea

Fire. Air. Earth. Water. Long ago, the Phoenix was created to help keep balance among the four nations by making sure the Avatar would not neglect his duties. However, almost a hundred years ago, the Fire Nation started the war and the Avatar disappeared along with the Phoenix. Now, as the Fire Nation comes ever closer to victory the Phoenix has reappeared and I truly believe that she can help restore the world to its formal self.

Erica and Natsu were walking along a dirt road; they had been traveling slower because of Natsu's still sore, but almost healed, paws. Finally, five days after leaving the abbey, they reached the opposite coast of the Earth Kingdom peninsula. After arriving at the beachy area, Natsu went to the ocean water and began swimming around happily. Erica looked at the eelhound for a second, smiling, before looking out to sea. What she saw made her stomach drop and her smile vanish.

There was a Fire Nation ship anchored a few miles off shore.

"Natsu get over here," said Erica alarmed.

Natsu walked to where Erica stood and looked out at the ship. Then suddenly his tail began to wag and he barked happily.

"Shh," said Erica angrily. "Keep it down."

She looked closely at the ship to see if anyone heard the eelhound, there was a lone person on the deck of the ship, it was then she knew what had caused Natsu's excitement.

The lone figure was Zuko.

"Natsu," she said excited "can you swim me out there?"

Natsu nodded and Erica climbed on his back. Natsu swam quickly toward the ship as Erica looked up at Zuko. Erica had been wondering what had happened to him after his banishment, and now she was going to find out.

Right before they reached the ship Erica saw General Iroh walk up to Zuko and say something to the young prince that caused Zuko to turn around and walk back into the ship. When he turned, Erica gave a small gasp.

Where Ozai had hit him with a flame in their Agni Kai there was a large red scar.

Natsu arrived at the ship soon after this, swimming next to the downed anchor.

"Wait here Natsu," said Erica.

Then she grabbed onto the anchor chain, climbed up it, and pulled herself up onto the deck of the ship.

"Hello Iroh," she said.

Iroh jumped and turned around facing Erica.

"Erica?" he said a look of doubt on his face.

She nodded.

A smile grew on Iroh's face and he walked over and hugged her.

"I am glad to see you are alright!" said Iroh happily holding her at arm's length seeing if she was injured, "What are you doing here?"

"Heading to the North Pole," said Erica. "But forget me, what are you doing here, and how is Zuko doing?"

Iroh opened his mouth then closed it thinking.

"Iroh, what's wrong?" Erica asked worried.

"Physically, Zuko is fine, other than a scar where The Fire Lord hit him. But emotionally he is troubled." explained Iroh sadly.

Sad Iroh

Iroh talking about Zuko

"Well I'm not surprised, Ozai banished him!" said Erica angrily "Because of that he can't ever go home."

"Well...that's one of the things that is bothering Zuko. He can come home, but only if..." began Iroh but then he stopped and shook his head "Well it's a mission that he will never succeed at."

"What, what is it?" Erica asked urgently

Iroh sighed

"You won't like it."

"If it was chosen by Ozai of course I won't like it, but I still want to know," said Erica.

Iroh saw the determined look in her eyes and realized she wouldn't stop asking until he told her.

"Alright, if you really must know, Zuko can only return if...if he captures the Avatar, and brings him back to the Fire Nation."

"What!" said Erica loudly.

"Shh," said Iroh looking around to see if anyone heard them.

"Sorry," said Erica quietly. "But Zuko's mission, how can Ozai expect a thirteen-year-old boy to capture an Avatar who is over a hundred years old!"

"I don't believe he does," said Iroh seriously. "My brother seeks to punish Zuko for showing cowardliness during their Agni Kai, and it doesn't help that Ozai is a little upset because he was taken down by a thirteen-year-old girl in front of all his high ranking officials."

Erica gave a guilty smile at this and Iroh laughed.

"Well if Zuko is looking for the Avatar why are you in the Northern Sea?" Erica asked

"Zuko wants to check all of the Air Temples first and then look in the remote locations of the other nations."

"Are you going to let him." Erica asked

"Yes I am going to let him look around the nations." Iroh said

"That's not what I meant," said Erica.

"What did you mean?" Iroh asked confused

"Are you going to let Zuko capture the Avatar and bring him back to the Fire Nation." Erica asked seriously

Iroh sighed

"At this point Erica I cannot be sure," said Iroh. "I feel responsible for Zuko's banishment and I am not sure I can deny him his only chance to go home."

"Maybe I can talk some sense into him," said Erica starting to walk foreword.

"No," said Iroh as he grabbed Erica's arm.

"Iroh I can make him see sense."

"Yes you probably could, but not now," said Iroh. "Zuko is confused and I feel that trying to crush the only opportunity he has to return home now, will only permanently oppose him to the idea in the future."

Erica opened her mouth to protest but Iroh spoke again before she could.

"Erica, you have always been able to sense the internal struggles that Zuko faces, you know that I am right."

Erica thought about it then had to agree with Iroh.

"Maybe I should go with you." suggested Erica

"I don't think that is such a good idea," said Iroh. "I don't feel your destiny is staying on a ship looking for the Avatar. You should continue heading to the North Pole and master Waterbending, if, once you have mastered the element, you want to look for the Avatar maybe then you could join us and convince Zuko the error of trying to imprison the Avatar."

"I suppose you are right," said Erica. "But promise me you won't let Zuko do anything stupid."

Iroh laughed

"That I can promise you," he said.

"Well, then I guess this is good bye for now," said Erica hugging Iroh.

"Good bye Erica and stay safe."

Erica nodded and then walked to the side of the ship where the anchor was. When she was about to climb over the railing Iroh called:

"Wait!" he quickly ran over to her "You should take this."

He put something in Erica's hand and upon seeing it; she gave him a puzzled look.

"A white lotus tile?" she said, "You know I am not any good at Pai Sho."

White lotus tile icon

white Lotus Tile

"True, probably should learn."

Erica raised a confused eyebrow at him.

"When you get to the North Pole I want you to find an old person and tell him a Grand Lotus wants you to learn Pai Sho."

"What on Earth is that supposed to mean?"

"Just trust me," said Iroh with a mischievous smile. "Now you had better go before someone spots us."

Erica looked at the White Lotus Tile in her hand for a second more before slipping it into her belt. She then climbed down the anchor chain, where Natsu was still waiting.

"Come on bud, we better get going." Erica said petting the eelhounds head

He cried out softly and then began swimming foreword.

Erica pulled out the Pai Sho tile and stared at it as they continued their journey toward the North Pole.

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