Set after the episode the Firebending Masters. It was dinner time after Zuko and Aang arrived back from the Sun Warriors’ community. Aang, Sokka, Katara, Toph, Haru, the Duke & Teo wait for the a...
][Dragons of the West-
Summary: Set after episode, the Firebending Masters. There are many secrets that mortals in the past have long forgotten. Ever wondered how the War started? How the mortals in the Avatar world learned to bend the elements from the help of the Gods themselves? And how did the mortals then defended evil that wanted to take over the world? What happened to Aang’s friends before the War, after he disappeared? How is Zuko related to Avatar Ruko and Kuzon? Is Ursa still alive or she is dead? How did Iroh became a member of the Order of the White Lotus? What really happened to Iroh’s son Lu Ten? What really became the airbenders 100 years before? Ever wondered what became the other characters in the story after we never see them again?
What secrets would be discovered? And what is the cost to know them?
It was dinner time again.Zuko was bored. He didn’t like doing the same thing over and over again, each and everyday. Before he was banished he, Azula, Mai and Ty Lee used to do anything to bother the servants that worked in the Palace, climb trees, swim in the pond, practice sparring each other, and anything else anything that felt fun at the moment. Everything went fine until Azula turned six years old. Ever since Azula started learning how to firebend he was weak in his father’s eyes.
His sister was a prodigy. The perfect little son his father always wanted, it didn’t matter if she was a girl, she was still perfect in his eyes. Beside her Ozai viewed Zuko as weak. Since then his father started hating him, and loving his sister more. It wasn’t fair, his mother knew, so she favored him more then his sister.
After he was banished his Uncle and him used to play Pai Sho (most of the time Iroh won), teaching him how to use the White Lotus tile. However after a few years, he got tired of the game. He sparred with his Uncle and his crewmen and women (in the Fire Nation, men and women are equal to fight in war). His uncle taught him how to control a ship, looking for the Avatar.
After the Invasion and joining the Avatar he been doing nothing but sleeping, eating, training the Avatar, and now sparring with Sokka. He’d been trying anything to make the group trust him. He asked to help them do chores, only Katara refused his offer to help her. Only Appa and Momo seem to like him, and now the Duke. Aang, Sokka and Toph seemed to slowly trust him, followed by Teo and Haru. The only person he wasn’t so sure of was Katara. Would he ever regain her trust?
Why was he doing so bad at trying to be good?
He missed his Uncle. If fate had it in for him, Zuko wouldn’t care if he had to help his Uncle make tea, sing songs, or anything his Uncle thought it would be fun to do. He would do much more then that just to see him again. To tell him that he was sorry and beg for his forgiveness. Zuko admitted to himself that he’d missed those days with him, during his banishment. They had many hard times (who doesn’t?), but most of the times were good.
And what about Mai? What was she doing now? Did she hate him for leaving her, again? It had broken her heart, he knew, when he was banished four years ago. They were betrothed since before either of them was born. It seemed like they knew each other since birth. They were connected; they were equals to one another. One can not live without the other. His heart broke each time he thought about her. Besides her gloominess and her sharp tongue she was beautiful and kind young woman.
“Hey, Zuko!” the Duke yelled into his ear. Zuko jumped and turned to look at him.
The Duke looked at him with worry. “I’ve been calling your name for a whole minute! Didn’t you hear me?”
Fear crept into him like a knife through his heart. /‘Do they know?’ /he thought. “I--I was thinking.” he said quickly.
Toph gave him an I-know-you’re-not- telling-the-whole-truth kind of look. Zuko ignored her.
“What are you thinking about?” the Duke asked his new friend.
“I was thinking about my Uncle.” Zuko said truthfully. “And--” he stopped. Why was he telling them this? They didn’t need to know.
“And what?” Teo asked, curious of what a firebender would think about. Did they think about what normal people think? Or do they think about blood and death?
Zuko looked up in horror. Now everyone in the group was looking at him. /‘Curse it!’ /he thought. “I was thinking about my Uncle and my girlfriend.” he confessed.
There was an uneasy silence.
Sokka looked at him confusion. “You got a girlfriend? When did you get a girlfriend? Who is she?”
“Sokka! Just because you had two girlfriends, doesn’t mean that any of us can’t either.” Aang said, looking at Katara with dreamy eyes. Sokka didn’t know what to say. Why was Aang looking at his sister like that? Katara blushed.
“Her name is Mai. We were betrothed since birth.” Zuko said, gritting his teeth.
“Betrothed? What does betrothed mean?” Aang asked, breaking everyone out of their thoughts. Everyone looked at Aang like he was crazy. “What? The monks never tell me things like this.”
“It means that Zuko and his--girlfriend had been promised to be married. It’s like a forced marriage.” Katara told him, her voice tinted with disbelieve.
Aang looked at Katara in a confused look. “Oh.” was all he could say, clearing telling everyone that he didn‘t understand. To his people ‘forced marriages‘ were unheard of. However, if he remembered right, Kuzon did tell him something about a marriage in the Fire Nation and something about families planning their children‘s marriage before they are born. He also said something about only those of the same status can marry, or something like that. “So when’s the wedding?” he asked Zuko.
“There is no wedding!” Zuko yelled suddenly, his ears turning red. Everyone started to laugh. Zuko didn’t know what they were laughing at. Did his Uncle put a pink hat on him again? No wait, he’s not here. “Seriously, There is no wedding.” he repeated.
“We’re only kidding, Zuko, chill out!” Haru laughed. Never in his life had he thought he would witness a firebender blush.
Zuko didn’t felt it was funny. He and Mai, despite the War, fucked up family and them being betrothed; they fell in love with each other. Of course, when they were growing up they knew that one day in the future they would be married as husband and wife, but back then it was an eternity. But sitting of where he sat now, he wondered if he would survive this War and be united with Mai again….
“Hey Zuko, want to spar again?” Sokka asked standing up, finishing his dinner. Katara glared at him as she saw her brother gave her his dirty dish. Damn men to hell. Cleaning is not just a woman’s job!
Zuko shrugged and got up and followed him, ignoring the glare that Katara sent to him behind his back.
Zuko and Sokka faced each other waiting for the other to attack first. Their eyes narrowed at each othe, as each passing minute felt like an eternity, their swords in front of themselves (or in Zuko’s case, his left sword in front of him and the right sword above his head) ready to attack.
The rest of the group was sitting on one side of the field, each of them waiting for what would happen next.
Then it happened. No one was sure who attacked first or if both Zuko and Sokka attacked each other at the same time. They watched in awe as the two swordsmen attacked each other in such grace and balance. It was hard not to watch, admiring each of them. Their forms were so different from one another, besides the fact that Sokka had one sword and Zuko had twin swords and the fact that they’re from different Nations with different ways to fight, but at the same time their forms weren’t that different.
Zuko slashed on Sokka’s right, as Sokka easily blocked it. Zuko smirked, he loved sparring with Sokka who was almost at the same level as he was in swordsmanship. Zuko was glad he had an equal to fight.
Sokka, on the other hand, was pleased that he wasn’t the only one in the group who knew how to fight besides just bending. Now he wasn’t alone.
As the two were sparring Haru and Teo had an idea. Nodding, Haru touched the earth, feeling its energy, its life. As he did this something crawled towards the sparring men, as if a mole was digging its way towards them.
Sokka saw it first. He quickly got out of the way. As he did this the earth ran towards Zuko on his left.
Zuko knew something was coming towards him, guessing by the way Sokka suddenly moved. He saw nothing in the left eye, only sensing something coming towards him that had no heat whatsoever. He turned his head so he could see what was coming towards him with his right eye, his good eye, but it was too late.
A rock slammed into him, making Zuko fall onto his butt. Everyone laughed, expect surprisingly Toph, who was confused. /‘Why didn’t Zuko move when he saw that rock coming towards him? Surely he can see through his--’ /she stopped, her eyes widened in realizing of what she and everyone witnessed. Or more like she witnessed.
Zuko was blind on his left eye.
-Iroh stopped at the foot of the mountain, looking down at the Sun Warrior’s community. It had been years since he came here, ever since he was brought to the Masters and deemed worthy./‘I wonder if Haruki /(1) /is still Chief?’ /Iroh wondered.
He walked slowly down the mountain. The Sun Temples around him stood high.
Suddenly there was shafting noise to his left. Iroh bended a flame on his right hand. “State your business Stranger,” a voice emerged from the darkness.
“My name is Iroh, son of Azulon. I am here to speak to Chief Haruki.” Iroh told the voice.
Two men and one woman, covered in paint and cloth, stepped out of their hiding place. Iroh grinned as he recognized one of the men.
“It is good to see you again Manu (2), my friend.” Iroh said, bowing to him.
Manu bowed back, also smiling. He stepped forward and he and Iroh embraced each other. “The Masters have been expecting you, Iroh.” he told him.
Iroh was puzzled, “They have? Why?”
“Of course they were. The fate of the World is also intertwined with yours. Ever since your nephew came to us with the Avatar, they knew that you would come.”
“Zuko was here with the Avatar?” Iroh asked, surprised.
“Yes. You didn’t know he joined the Avatar?” Manu asked him.
Iroh shook his head.
“It is not my place to tell you. Come, Chief Haruki would like to speak with you now.”
Iroh followed him down the stone path.
Chief Haruki and Iroh were sitting side by side in a circle next to the camp fire. There was silence between them.
Only those of the Sun Warriors that were part of the Holy Counsel were in the Meeting. Few of them didn’t know what was going on. They waited patiently as Chief Haruki stood up.
“We call this meeting, for news has brought us with an old friend, Prince Iroh.” Chief Haruki began. “Iroh, you may speak now.”
Iroh nodded as he stood up and Chief Haruki sat. “I bring terrible news. My brother plans on doing that we, the Children of Fire, have vowed never to do. A plan that Fire Lord Sozin planned long ago.” Iroh paused for it to sink in. Everyone nodded. “He plans on releasing the Armageddon.”
There was silence.
“That is not possible,” said one of the elders, fear creeping into his voice. “Haven’t our ancestors defeated them once before, thousands of years ago?”
“Yes they did, but they can not be tamed. Our ancestors long ago defeated them for reason. They bring nothing but conquest, war, famine and death.”
“The end of the World itself.” muttered one.
“What you speak, Iroh, is false! No mortal can release them---”
“That is the key, Hideki (3).” Iroh said. “No mortal can. However, this doesn’t mean, that it can be done.”
“You speak as if you brother had allied with the devils themselves of the Spirit World.”
“That is what I speak of.”
“Iroh, speaks truth.” Chief Haruki said, also standing up beside Iroh. “Of what Iroh speaks, I trust him. We must act now, or we, like all the other Nations, will fall.”
“What should we do?” asked another.
“We must call the Holy Counsel--” Iroh began but was interrupted by Hideki.
“We can not do that!” he yelled. “The Holy Counsel was never called for hundreds of years! The Air Nomads are gone; the Holy Counsel is not complete! And your brother is a traitor to us all! To do this we must have every one of all the Nations.”
“The Holy Counsel is complete.” Iroh said. “I myself will attend, for I was supposed to be Fire Lord, not my brother. It is my birth right.”
No one had anything to object to that.
“It could be possible.” Hideki admitted. “But didn’t you say the Chief of the Southern Water Tribe is also captured of the Fire Nation?”
“Yes, however, his son can take his place.” Iroh said.
“And where is he now?”
“The Chief’s son is with the Avatar. With the Avatar, is my nephew who will take the place as Yu Yan Archer, as his mother was before him, and the Avatar is an Air Nomad, therefore, the Holy Counsel is complete.”
“It is settled then. The Holy Counsel will be called.”
(End of Chapter)Words: 2,584
(1) Haruki: Male name in Japanese, form the word /Haru /that means "clear up" or /Haru /that means "sun, sunlight" combined with /ki /that means "radiance, shine" /ki /meaning "life".
I thought it was fitting for the Sun Warrior’s name. The fire is life, not just destruction, and he is fire nation. Plus I can’t find the Chief Sun Warrior’s name ANYWHERE so yeah.
(2) Manu: a male name in Indian, Hindu Mythology. It means “thinking, wise” in Sanskrit. In Hindu mythology this is a title of Svayambhuva, the progenitor of the human race, as well as several of his descendents.
(3) Hideki: a male name in Japanese. The world /hide /in Japanese that means “esteem, excellence” or “excellent” combined with /ki /“tree”
Author’s Notes: Oh my Jesus! This chapter was hard to write:’( Anyway.
WE HAD BEAT MY RECORD! My record was 7 reviews on a chapter, and when I posted this is was 16 reviews! 16! Yeah! Can you believe it? --dance around-- I can’t to tell you the truth.
Let me tell you all a secret. This story was planned as a one-shot, but after I finished with the chapter one, I thought better of it, cause I couldn’t stop writing this story.
To all who reviewed and pm, YES this fic is Kataang and Zuko/Mai.
And also to those who pm asking me “do you think you could put in Zuko telling the others how he got his scar and how is related to Roku ?” Well, to tell you all, you are ahead of the story here! Lol!