Set after 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 arr...
][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?
-For the longest moment, Zuko thought he was seeing things.
He blinked, and then blinked again. The image of his Uncle was still there, but this image was different: he was not fat, but muscular. Why was he imaging his Uncle that way for?
“Uncle?” Zuko dared to ask. He inwardly scolded himself because his voice sounded so childish.
The muscular man nodded. Zuko lowered his swords slowly, stunned.
For days he wished to see his Uncle and have his company and advice, and now there he was. Standing in front of him, just a few feet away, looking at him with tears in his eyes.
Slowly the firebenders approached each other. Then suddenly, Iroh embraced his nephew.
Stunned, Zuko could only stiffen at the sudden embrace. After a few minutes, Zuko hugged his uncle back, tears welling up in his eye.
“I’m so sorry, Uncle. Please forgive me.” Zuko sobbed, biting his lip. How could he be so weak? Luckily the others weren’t there to see him.
“It’s all right Zuko. I have already forgiven you a long time ago,” Zuko heard his uncle say.
They let go of each other. Iroh looked at his nephew with a smile. Zuko looked better then he remembered, filled with light, and balance in his soul.
“How did you find me?” Zuko asked. If his Uncle could find him, then his father probably could.
“My good friend, Chief Haruki said you were here, with the Avatar.” Iroh said, knowing what his nephew was thinking.
Zuko scowled and bit his lip, feeling foolish under his Uncle‘s gaze. “So you know that I joined him?”
“Of course, I knew you were the one that was destined to teach the Avatar the art of Firebending.”
“You never told me how you knew I would be ‘the one’.” Zuko said sitting back down the ground. Iroh followed, sitting cross legged in front of his nephew. Iroh knew that this talk would come, to know his full lineage.
“You are the first born of the Fire Lord, my brother. You are the great grandson of the Fire Lord Sozin and Avatar Roku, the descendent of Dragon Master Yumiko (1), daughter of the Yu Yan Archers (2). With that lineage flowing through your veins, how could it not be you? ”
Zuko titled his head. “Yu Yan Archers?” he asked. How in the hell? “I’m related to them?”
Iroh smiled, “Your mother was one herself, before she married your father. I believe she taught you and your sister the Yu Yan way in archery.”
“Yes, she did. But Azula didn’t continue the art after mother left.” Zuko admitted.
“But you did.” Iroh said smiling.
“Only because you told me too. Beside, I haven’t held a bow in years, since I was banished.”
“I think you should take it up again, my nephew. It will serve you will in the future.”
“But I don’t have a bow--”
Iroh smiled. “Surely you can make one yourself?”
“Yeah I can, but--”
“I was told, my your mother, that the Momiji tree makes the best of bows.” Iroh smiled at him.
Zuko sighed and smiled. “Okay, I’ll make a bow.”
There was silence.
“Another reason I came here, Zuko, is that I need your help.” Iroh told him a moment later, breaking the still silence.
“My help? With what?” Zuko asked him, confused. What could he do to help his Uncle?
“I and the Others are calling upon the Holy Counsel.”
“The Holy Counsel? But, Uncle, the Holy Counsel hasn’t be called for hundreds of years! Do you think it’s wise to do so?”
Iroh sighed, “You sound like Haruki.”
“Then he’s wise. Have you forgotten that we’re in War?”
“No, I have not forgotten.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Zuko asked him.
“Soon, you, the Avatar and the water tribe boy will hear its call. Ignore it and consequences could be fatal, or so the Legend says.”
“What call? What consequences?”
Iroh sighed. “The Holy Counsel can not be taken lightly, Prince Zuko. There must be someone from each Holy Line to complete the Counsel. One from each Nation, one from each role of their Nation.”
Zuko looked at his Uncle with an unsure look.
“What I mean is that I myself must be in the Counsel, taking the Fire Lord place for I am the eldest son of the former Fire Lord. You will take your mother’s place among the Yu Yan Archers; the Avatar must take the Air Nation place and because of him being the Avatar, he must take the two roles within the Holy Counsel.”
“And Sokka?” Zuko asked him.
Iroh gave him a look. “Sokka,” he said, assuming that it was water tribe boy‘s name. “Will take his father’s place in the Counsel until the Others rescue him and others from the Fire Nation prison.”
“I must go now,” Iroh said.
Zuko gulped, biting his bottom lip. “Why must you go? You just got here and--”
“I must, Prince Zuko! I and the Others must do this. My place is with them and your place is with the Avatar. When you feel the Call, you must take the others with you to the Island of the Holy Counsel. Do you remember where I told you it was?”
Zuko nodded. “Its--it’s the island that is located at center of all the Nations.”
Iroh nodded. “Very good. Now I must go now.” he said standing up.
“Must you?” he asked.
Iroh nodded grieve. “Remember what I told you, Prince Zuko. You will do fine. Remember what I told you this day. I forgive you for what you did in Ba Sing Se.”
They embraced each other.
Zuko watched as his Uncle walked away.
A dark hooded woman slowly walked down the shadowy steps of the Fire Palace.
The woman stopped at the corner, her heart beating faster with each sound she heard; fearing she would be discovered. She knew what she was doing would brand her as a traitor, but love was calling her. Each night her dreams were filled with her lover. Tonight the call was too great, she had to find him, to tell him that she loved him and would follow him with whatever he felt was right in the War.
The woman tightened her cloak around herself. Just as she was about to open the exit door, a small voice was heard behind her, making her jump.
“Mai, what are you doing?”
Mai swiftly turned around and came face to face with Ty Lee.
Ty Lee stood in front of her. She had her long hair undone, wearing a light pink nightgown.
“Ty Lee, what-- what are you doing here?” Mai asked, pushing Zuko’s letter deep into her pocket.
“I was just walking towards the kitchens when I saw you walking. Are you going to take a stroll outside?”
Mai couldn’t lie to her. Ty Lee was one of the few that could always see right though her.
“Ty Lee, can you keep a secret?” Mai asked her.
“Of course I can keep a secret! What kind of a friend would I be if I couldn’t?”
Mai sighed, “I’m going after Zuko.”
Ty Lee tilted her head in confusion. “But Mai! The Fire Lord branded him as a traitor. Whoever allies him will be branded too! Didn’t Azula say he had a price on his head?”
“Yes, she did. But Ty Lee, I need to find him.”
“I-I love him.”
Ty Lee knew that Mai was telling the truth. The acrobat had never seen her show any emotions like this. “Wow,” Ty Lee said, smiling. “Well, it makes sense that both of you fell in love with each other. Just like a fairy tale! You’ve been betrothed since forever!”
Mai rolled her eyes, knowing this information for years.
“I need you to not tell anyone about me going after Zuko. If I find Iroh then I can find Zuko.”
Ty Lee nodded. “Does this mean I have to keep this secret from Azula too?”
Mai nodded, “And the Fire Lord.”
Ty Lee bit her lip, unsure if she was up for the task. “I know this is a lot to ask to you, Ty Lee. I know if you are found out you might be branded as a traitor too, but Ty Lee, you must not tell anyone! If you do then I’m afraid that we’ll never see each other again….”
“I don’t want you to die!” Ty Lee yelped. “You’re my best friend! If you‘re dead, then me and Azula would be all alone. And then Zuko would be sad.”
“And you’re my best friend too. But please---” Mai almost begged.
Ty Lee nodded. “I vow by my honor to keep this secret.” she said firmly. Mai suddenly smiled and they hugged farewell. Ty Lee was overjoyed that her friend finally found something that made her happy.
“Tell Zuko that I said hi!” Ty Lee said after they let go of each other. “And if you see Iroh say hi to him too.”
Mai nodded. “I will. Good bye Ty Lee. May the Fire and the Sun Spirits be with you.”
“And same to you.” Ty Lee responded as she watched her friend leave the palace. She knew what their tasks would cost them if anyone ever found out. She would’ve done the same thing if it was Azula that asked to keep a secret.
Ty Lee skipped down the dark hall, humming to herself. Her thoughts went to her friend that was now heading to the unknown, following her heart to find her lover. She hoped she would find love too.
And she hoped that Mai would be alright, and that nothing would stand in her way.
(End of Chapter)
Words: 1,903(1) Yumiko: a female Japanese name. The word (/yumi/) means “archery bow” or (/yu/) “reason” with (/mi/) that means “beautiful” combined with the word (/ko/) which means “child”.
(2) Yu Yan Archers: The Yu Yan are legendary archers and their skills in archery are unrivaled. It is said that their precision is so accurate that they can pin a fly to a tree from a hundred yards away without killing it. It appears that they devoted their lives to practice and train in their unique skill. The Yu Yan are straight-faced, serious warriors. They so disciplined in their talents that they work flawlessly as a unit without having to speak to one another at all. They obey commands without question and are relentless in the pursuit of their objective.
Author’s Notes: I’m so sorry for the long wait! My Beta and I was little busy for the past week.
Hopefully this chapter is good as all the others before. And don’t worry, in the end of this fic all your question will be answered. Hehe.