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|The Sons of Azulon Pt. 2 - Wisdom of Iroh|
September 18, 2009
The Sons of Azulon Pt. 2 - Wisdom of Iroh is the sixth chapter in Avatar: Guardian.
Many tables are organized around a counter with all the seats filled. Two old men, one older than the other, but still in excellent shape are in the center of the room addressing all of those sitting. "Thank you all for coming. Welcome to the grand opening of the Jasmine Dragon of the West. You will all receive the best tea in the world."
Bumi pipes in "This branch will feature something that even the original didn't have." He laughs wildly while holding up his hands, covered in Jenamite rings.
Iroh resumes where he was cut off, "All proceeds generated from this store will go to helping rebuild the world. I hope that you will enjoy the tea as much as I do making it. Now, let's make some tea." At that, he begins taking orders for his tea. Bumi's rock candy is also doing very well. Later, after the orders have been taken and Iroh and Bumi are on break, a boy in his early teens walks in before bowing to Iroh in respect.
"It is an honor to meet you, General."
Iroh laughs a bit while saying "No one has called me that in years, many more than I care to mention. Please, have some tea."
The boy is briefly taken aback. He had expected that the 'mighty Dragon of the West' would react more strongly to being recognized by his old war nickname. Getting what he needed would be much easier than he expected. "I didn't come for tea, but thank you."
While signaling for a waiter to bring the table tea, Iroh sees conflict in the teen's eyes "Please, sit. You look like you have a lot on your mind."
While sitting down, the boy begins unloading "My name is Cheng. I'm an Earthbender and my parents want me to study and become a scholar. Since my brother died in the war, they want me to live a life away from any combat or danger. I want to learn. I think that it is important for me to preserve the sacred art of Earthbending. I heard that you are one of the wisest people in the world, and I need some guidance."
Iroh laughs heartily while thinking about when Zuko said the same thing to him. "I'm not sure about the last part, but parents sometimes want the wrong things for their children. You must respect their wishes, and take it into consideration. My father wanted for me to be the most powerful person in the world. He pressured me into all day bending practices. I found power overrated. You have to understand power and authority hold their place, but they must not suffocate who you are. Know who you are and choose your own destiny."
The boy is shocked by the wisdom that was generated off the top of the old General's head. "Thank you" was all that he could get out of his mouth. Everything became clear to him.
Iroh interrupts his train of thought. "I have some one who would be interested in teaching you Earthbending. Please, I would like for you to meet King Bumi, he's one of the best in the world."
Bumi turns to Cheng, "Hello, welcome to Omashu! Would you like a ring?" while laughing wildly.
Iroh laughs along with Bumi, "Not now, Bumi, maybe later." Cheng has slight doubts about Bumi's skill as a bender, which Iroh is able to see. "Trust me, Bumi is an excellent bender. He assisted in liberating Ba Sing Se as well as this entire city."
Cheng's doubt is gone. "I would be honored to learn from a seasoned master like you."
Iroh is quick to change the subject away from military matters. He loved to meet interesting people over tea, and this seemed promising. "What about that tea?" They were still waiting and it was taking longer than expected.
Cheng decided to ask Iroh something "I would love some. I hear you know the Avatar. What's he like?"
Iroh remembers his time with Zuko chasing down Aang and how they became allies. He knew Bumi knew him as a child and decided to defer the question to him. "I think Bumi would have a better answer for that."
Bumi quickly responds "Aang? Ahh... he's a good kid, typical Airbender, but Momo... that's something special." He laughs again.
Cheng begins to realize that no matter how much power is in the hands of one person, they will have struggles. He nods his head to show his grasp on the concept as a waiter finally brings the tea out.
Iroh thanks the waiter and turns his attention to the statement brought up by Cheng "All Avatars have had problems. Avatar Roku struggled with his best friend Sozin."
Cheng was impressed. "Wow. You must have spent a lot of time researching his history."
Iroh brought a slight smile to his face. "Although I always have liked history, Roku told me himself. On an adventure to some ruins, our ship had to make a stop on his home island. There was a hurricane and we had to go ashore in the nearest island. While there, the Fire Sages told me that when my ship docked, Roku's eyes flashed. It was the solstice and his dragon took me into the Spirit World. I wandered around for hours before Roku revealed himself. He told me the history of the war and why it needed to end. He also said it would be my destiny to help his lineage."
Bumi began speaking about Zuko "And you did. You saved Zuko from being very, very bad."
Cheng's respect for Iroh kept growing "So, if it wasn't for your influence over Zuko, the war would have continued?"
Iroh provides a contradiction to Cheng's question "No... I believe that Zuko would have found his own way. I was meant to help his mother. She was on her way out of the Fire Nation as I was returning. I gave her a fleet of ships to ensure that she made it out of the Fire Nation safely. She told me that Ozai sent assassins after her to prevent her from telling anyone that he killed Azulon."
Cheng was shocked "Wait, he killed his own father?"
"That's why he ascended to the throne" Bumi adds. "You're looking at the rightful Fire Lord."
"Yes. If I had known what he was planning to do to my father, I would have prevented it. But I was too late. Since I never wanted power, I let him have his throne. Again, I made a mistake. Letting Ozai become Fire Lord allowed the War to head down a much darker path. I later realized that if I had taken the throne, I could have ended the war. But it was not my destiny."
"But you had other thoughts clouding your judgment at that moment."
Iroh remembered his late son, Lu Ten, and a tear formed in his eye. "I was still mourning the loss of my son, a loss I could have prevented. Yes, but my encounter with Ursa did prove to assist me in guiding Zuko. She gave me the crown prince headpiece, a royal artifact which allowed me to cause enough turmoil within himself to make him realize where he should be. I offer you this, wisdom and foolishness come through trial and error, but you must choose to make the errors again to be a fool."
"Thank you, esteemed General, I will not waste this opportunity you have given me." Cheng looked forward to the day he would be a great Earthbending master.
- This wasn't be as much of a flashback chapter, but will add a lot of info to Iroh's and Ursa's backstories.
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