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Wrath of the Blackened Blade is the ninth chapter of MightyBrit's fanon, . It is an action-heavy chapter that recounts Sokka's battle with Zhao.
|Wrath of the Blackened Blade|
Ba Sing Se
Aang and Zuko were on Appa's back, taking to the skies above Ba Sing Se. Toph waved them goodbye, but was waving in the wrong direction as soon as Appa turned. Aang and Zuko both chuckled at the sight.
"Why is Sokka going to the North Pole?" yelled Aang as they ascended.
"I don't know! Something to do with Yue!" Zuko yelled back over the rushing winds. "Zhao's always had a thing for the moon spirit. Maybe Sokka knows something we don't!"
Aang leaned down and spoke directly to Appa. "Fly fast, buddy. Faster than you've ever flown before."
Appa gave a mighty roar in response, swung his tail and increased his speed.
"So the Water Tribes have chosen their champion," sneered Zhao. "And he's not even a bender."
"Hello Zhao," said Sokka back in a joking, casual tone. "I'd say it's a pleasure to see you again, but whatever body you take, you still seem to be really ugly."
Zhao made a loud throaty chuckle. "Petty insults! Is this the way you defend your nation, swordsmaster?"
"Lesson number one – there's always room for petty insults in a fight."
Zhao laughed again. "You amaze me, Yue. Of all the people you could have chosen to defend you, you choose a ridiculous joker with a stick that makes him feel powerful."
"Hey, this is a one-of-a-kind space sword!" protested Sokka and spun his sword again to draw Zhao's eye. Behind his back, he sneakily opened a pouch and withdrew a single steel ball bearing, less than half an inch in diameter.
"Then tell me, how will your 'space sword' stand up to one of the greatest firebenders who ever lived!" cried Zhao as both his fists ignited in flame.
"Not very well," said Sokka honestly. "But I do have this," he said proudly, as he revealed his ball bearing and rubbed it gently with his fingers.
"That's it?" Zhao almost looked like he'd burst into fits of laughter.
"Lesson number two – everything's a weapon," said Sokka in his best teacher voice, before he tossed the shiny ball with all the strength and accuracy he could muster. The tiny metal ball flew with too much speed for Zhao to stop it and it collided hard with Zhao's throat before falling to the ground with a clink. Zhao was instantly winded, his breath stuttered and the flames around his hands went out.
"Strength in firebending comes from the breath," said Sokka, doing his best impression of Iroh.
Zhao coughed loudly, his throat was stinging. "I have still more than enough firepower to take you down! Yah!" His thrust out his closed fist, sending a jet of flames right at Sokka, who rolled into the room to avoid it.
Sokka was up in a second and brought his sword in a large arc towards Zhao, who stepped backwards to dodge it, while sending another blast of fire from his fist. The fire hit a wall, setting the flags adorning it ablaze and bathing the entire room in an eerie red light. Zhao readied another blast, but his throat stung and he coughed. His breathing was thrown off and the flames he was making stuttered and died. Sokka took advantage of it and slashed Zhao across the shoulder with his blade, leaving a nice long gash that slowly oozed blood.
Sokka came in for another strike, but Zhao loudly screamed – "Damn you!" Flame came from both of his hands as he yelled and blasted Sokka in the chest. The swordsmaster went flying across the room and collided with the ceiling and then crashed onto his face. He lost his grip on his sword and it clattered across the floor.
Sokka struggled onto all fours; his chest and back hurt from the crash and he thought his nose might be bleeding. Zhao smiled from across the room and lit a small fire on his fingertip, then ran it along the gash in his shoulder, which cauterized and closed the wound. He flinched briefly from the small controlled flame, backing up against a portrait of Sozin that lined the back wall.
"One lucky blow won't save you," Zhao snarled.
Sokka let out a low breath. "Better make it two then," he said, drawing his boomerang and throwing it hard at Zhao's chest.
"Water whip... water whip... water whip..." whispered Liang to himself, trying to emulate what he'd seen some of Arnook's Waterbenders do earlier. He made the same motion they had and, sure enough, the stream of water narrowed and whipped itself towards a sword-wielding cultist nearby, who instantly fell over.
"Yes!" Liang celebrated, but a cultist Firebender took advantage and let a fireball loose at him. He reacted quickly and raised his arms. The water he was bending flowed and made a thin film of water in front of him that blocked the fireball.
Liang laughed. He really was getting the hang of this.
Behind him, a knife flew out of nowhere and embedded itself in the chest of a cultist. A distorted blur of heat ran to the fallen cultist and pulled out the knife. "Kid! Over there!" came Wuoyan's voice, though Liang couldn't see his mouth move through the distortion.
Liang span around. Shaoshang was running toward the edge of the sky ship at full pace, holding some bright red in his hand. Liang used Waterbending to send a small jet of water towards him, but Shaoshang easily dodged it and jumped up to balance on the very edge of the deck.
Liang and Wuoyan started to run towards him, but Shaoshang turned to smile at them with his pointed teeth.
Then, he jumped.
Liang and Wuoyan got to the edge and looked over. They saw Shaoshang plummet downwards, straight towards the Frozen City below.
"What the hell is 'e doin'?" wondered Wuoyan aloud, and then they saw Shaoshang, throw up the flag he was holding and used it like a parachute. He guided it down, steering it cleverly with his hands towards the Sokka's ship that was docked in the bay.
"He's blowing heated air up into the flag to guide it like a balloon. Very clever," said Liang, then he turned to Wuoyan. "He's going to steal our ship, isn't he?"
But, Wuoyan wasn't paying attention. He'd seen a tiny flash of red feathers sweep in front of his eyes and now he was watching the darting spot of color spin towards another area of the ship.
"Gotta go, kid," said Wuoyan and he sped off, following the red flash.
"Wu!" complained Liang as his friend ran off, leaving him to deal with the remaining cultists. There were still several dozen soldiers lining the deck swinging their weapons. Suki was swinging her war fans with finesse and taking on four cultists at once. Liang bent some water around his arm and ran over to help her.
Zhao quickly dropped to a seating position against the wall to avoid Sokka's boomerang. The boomerang imbedded itself into a canvas portrait of Sozin less than an inch over Zhao's head.
"Missed," said Zhao arrogantly, carefully eyeing the sharp edge of the boomerang that was now incredibly close to him.
"Keep telling yourself that," said Sokka. He took the two waterskins that were strapped across his back and threw them both underhand at his own boomerang in quick succession. They hit the sharp edge and cleanly ripped open, dumping their contents all over the unsuspecting Zhao.
"Ice water," shivered Zhao as the freezing cold water soaked into his clothes, hair and skin.
"Figured you needed to chill out a bit," smiled Sokka, not taking his eyes off Zhao. He saw what he wanted to see. Zhao kept trying to light a flame in his hands, but the cold water he was now soaked in it wouldn't allow him to produce a steady flame. All that came out of his hands with little sparks and feeble wisps of smoke.
There was stillness for a moment as they both reevaluated the fight. Then, suddenly, Sokka dived and crawled for his sword. Zhao was faster though. He clambered to his feet and ran up to his foe, then kicked him as hard as he could in the stomach. Sokka was thrown onto his back, grunting in pain.
Zhao reached over and grabbed a large dao sword that was mounted on the wall and swung it wildly at Sokka. But, Sokka whipped off his wolf helmet and, holding it in both hands, he used it to block the blade. Again and again, Zhao swung his sword, but Sokka kept blocking his blows with his helmet and sparks flew as the metals collided.
"Sokka!" screamed Yue, still shackled on Zhao's bed.
"Quiet! I'll deal with you in a minute!" shouted Zhao in anger; his eyes were wide and bloodshot. Sokka took advantage of his anger and slammed his helmet into Zhao's face. Zhao stumbled backwards and fell onto his back. Sokka grabbed his sword and stood up. He dropped his helmet and took a war fan from his back pouch.
"Lesson number three, Zhao – never lose your temper," said Sokka, doing his best to sound imposing.
"Enough of your damn lessons!" screamed Zhao, blasting a fireball from his fists as he skittered backwards on all fours. But, the cold made his fire was weak and Sokka swept the blast away with a strong swipe of his war fan.
Zhao retreated while throwing flames, but Sokka blocked every blast with his fan and advanced slashing his sword dangerously close to Zhao. Within moments, Zhao was backed up against the flaming wall and Sokka leveled his sword with his enemy's neck.
Zhao gulped and breathed heavily. His throat pushed against the blade as he did so, drawing blood.
High Above the Ocean
Zuko and Aang rode on Appa's back high above the ocean. Appa was flying at full speed and the Northern Water Tribe was quickly coming into view.
"Is that a war balloon?" wondered Aang aloud.
"It's bigger than any airship I've ever seen!" said Zuko.
As they came closer, they saw blasts of fire shooting out from various points of the skyship and water shooting at it from below. They heard the clanging of swords from the deck.
"There's fighting!" yelled Zuko.
"Not for long," said Aang. He ran and leaped off Appa's head, deploying his glider. Zuko sighed, taking Appa's reins and directed the sky bison towards the massive skyship.
Aang glided away from Appa at speed. When he was a safe difference away, he blasted fire from his feet to give him an extra boost. Within moments, he was at the ship and he flew over the battling cultists on deck.
Underneath him, he saw Suki and a white-haired waterbender battling against the soldiers. Aang used waterbending to draw moisture from the air, and then as he passed by them, he released it all. The water hit the cultists and froze instantly, rooting them to the deck.
Aang rocketed towards the main cabin where Zhao would be keeping Diyi, past a strange moving blur that was heading the same direction as him, past the fallen guards at the entrance, before landing in Zhao's room with a powerful gust of air that extinguished the fires within.
"Aang?" asked Sokka, as both he and Yue turned surprised at Aang's sudden arrival. In that instant of confusion, Zhao breathed deep, shoved Sokka's blade aside with one hand and, with his other hand, he channeled all his energy into one last blast and let loose with all the flame he could muster.
The massive blast of fire tore across the room, engulfing the bed and Yue with it. She screamed from within the flames.
"NO!" yelled Sokka. He dropped his sword and ran towards her as Aang made a gust of wind, which launched Zhao across the room. Sokka dragged Yue off the burning bed and cradled her in his arms. Her skin was horribly burned. "Yue? Yue?" he begged, tears welling up in his eyes. "Answer me, please!"
Yue tried to whisper something, but no sound came out. She tried to reach Sokka's face to touch it, but her eyes closed and her hand fell limp on the floor.
Aang's eyes went wide with disbelief while Sokka hugged Yue into his chest, sobbing with grief.
Zhao climbed to his feet in the corner of the room and let out a long, low chuckle. Aang willed the water to come out of the air and freeze him against the wall, but the water didn't come and Zhao continued to laugh his evil laugh.
"I am a legend once more..." he said, the pride in his voice was undeniable, but it was cut short as a black handled dagger whistled past Aang's ear and landed right between Zhao's eyes.
"Ya don' look much of a legend ta me," said Wuoyan from the doorway.
Zhao made an odd choking noise as the blood dripped down his nose. His eyes went wide and he fell flat on his face with a thud. There was a strange whooshing noise and black smoke poured from Zhao's dead mouth. The smoke flowed upwards to form a solid shadow that stood where the physical Zhao did just a couple moments ago.
"Too late, Avatar," said the shadow in a dark, disembodied voice before it shot out of the room in a pillar of smoke at blinding speed.
This chapter came out very quickly - less than a week since the last chapter - due to its short length and MightyBrit's abundance of free time. Also, the strong support forto be featured fanon in August, gave him a great drive to finish the next chapter quickly.
Zhao is not one of the best firebenders who ever lived, he just thinks he is.
The main focal point of this chapter is Sokka's fight with Zhao and it has been planned since the very beginning. MightyBrit really wanted to show how Sokka had become a capable warrior and was more than capable of challenging a powerful bender and winning using his fighting abilities and his ingenuity. He studied the weaknesses of Firebending that Sokka could take advantage of. However, winning is boring and book 2 needs to be set up, so Zhao got in the final blow that will change the world.
Obviously, Zhao's final line is a direct reference to the Siege of the North, where he declared himself a legend shortly before his death.
Please let me know what you think!
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Child of Destiny Chapters|
Book 1: Fear
The First Airbender - Stolen - Sharks and Sea Serpents - Asylum Seeker - The Swordmaster of Kyoshi Island - Cold Snap - Due North - Better to Have Loved and Lost - Wrath of the Blackened Blade - Water's Fall
Book 2: Anger