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...
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?
Zuko couldn’t sleep.
After his Uncle left to go back to the Others he went back into his room to try and get some rest. He tossed and turned in his sheets while thoughts of what his uncle told him flowed into his head.
Unknown questions with no answers felt like little pricks sticking into him. Not knowing made him feel helpless.
What did his Uncle mean about the Call? What consequences would happen if you ignored it? Uncle did say it would be fatal, but how can a Call kill you?
And why did his Uncle want him to make a bow? Wasn’t Firebending and swordsmanship enough?
And why didn’t anyone tell him that his mother was a Yu Yan Archer? Surely he was old enough to know!
Zuko sighed as he got up, flinging the covers off himself. He grabbed his twin swords and cloak as he stepped outside his room.
The night was still dark, it could have only been a few hours since his Uncle left.
Zuko walked down the deep slop of the cliff. If he was going to make a bow, he needed some wood.
/‘Hopefully I can remember how, it been a while’ /he thought as he climbed down, heading towards the trees far below.
Aang yawned as he walked out of his room a few hours later, heading towards Zuko’s quarters.
Aang knocked on the door.
Confused, he knocked again.
Still no answer.
Then it hit him. “Darn, I forgot firebenders get up at sunrise!” Aang skipped down the corridors. He approached the fountain, since it somehow became a meeting place for everyone ever since they first came to the Air Temple. Zuko wasn’t in sight.
Fear slowly crept into his heart. Where was Zuko? Was he hurt? Had he been captured?
Just as Aang was about to run back and tell the others that Zuko was gone, a dark figure moved in the corner of his eye. Aang turned around to see Zuko climb up the edge of the cliff.
Aang ran up to him, but stopped to tilt his head in confusion as Zuko pulled out a long straight stick and smaller ones from his backpack.
“Yeah, Zuko. Ah, what’s with all this wood? I thought we had plenty back at camp.”
“They’re not for firewood. A little dragon told me to make a bow.” Zuko replied before standing up and brushing himself off.
Aang was more confused. “A little dragon? Did you hit your head or something? The Firebending Masters are not little.”
Zuko rolled his eyes, “It’s a Fire Nation expression.”
“Oh,” Aang said, clearly not understanding what Zuko meant. “Are you sure you don’t want me to get Katara to check your head?”
“No, don’t get Katara,” Zuko answered, still pissed at the waterbender. “Come on Aang, I need your help.”
“With what?” Aang asked excitedly.
“I need you to waterbend these sticks so I bend them to make a bow,” Zuko explained, as he led the Avatar back to the fountain. “It’s time for you to understand other Arts from the Fire Nation. Aang, have you ever heard of the Yu Yan Archers?”
Too soon (for Zuko) everyone started to get up. Katara was the first, after Aang to come out from her room. She glared at Zuko with hatred, as usual, while making breakfast. Then Toph, Haru, Teo, the Duke and Sokka eventually woke up and met the others at the fountain.
As Katara served everyone their portion of food, Zuko sat cross legged, not knowing how he was going to tell the group what he found out from his Uncle.
He sighed. “I have an announcement to make,” he said suddenly, making everyone stop and look at him. Last time he said that he ‘lost’ his firebending. Did he lose it again?
“What is this time? Did you ‘lose your stuff’?” Katara mocked.
Zuko glared at her. “No, its more important then that. Last night my Uncle visited me.”
All hell broke loose.
“A firebender was here?”
“Enough!” Aang yelled, stopping everyone from yelling. He turned to Zuko. “What did your Uncle say?” All the times Aang meet the firebender’s uncle, he seemed like a good man, and he gave good advice. He might have had something important to say.
“He told me that he and the Others are planning on joining you and Calling the Holy Counsel. He also said to meet him at an island called -”
“But we can’t meet him! We need to save my Dad!” Sokka yelled.
Zuko rolled his eyes. Can’t they let him finish? “My Uncle also said that they plan on breaking out everyone from.” Sokka glared at him.
“Zuko, what’s the Holy Counsel?” Aang asked him, confused.
Zuko was shocked. “You’re the Avatar. Don’t you know about the Holy Counsel?”
Aang shook his head. “The monks didn’t tell me anything about it. They said when I got older I would know... What is it?”
Zuko looked at everyone in the group, and saw that they clearly had no idea what the ‘Holy Counsel’ was. What were the other Nations teaching their children?
“The Holy Counsel is an Order that involves all the Nations. It’s a Counsel that was created thousands of years ago, probably created shortly after Man learned how to bend.” Zuko explained. “It’s basically what the name means. It’s a Counsel with members of the Holy Line from all the Nations. Meaning each role in a Nation and their descendants would be members,” He glanced at Sokka. “Sokka, you’re a member, so you better listen.”
“What?!” Sokka asked, surprised.
“I myself must attend, and Aang too because he’s an Air Nomad.” Zuko shrugged.
“How can Sokka be a member?” Haru asked. “Sokka doesn’t seem to be from a ‘Holy Line’ if you know what I mean.” Sokka glared at Haru. Zuko sighed.
“His father is from the ‘Holy Line’. Therefore he, his son, is also a member.”
“Does this mean I’m from the ‘Holy Line’ too?” Katara asked him, clearly not believing any of this.
“Yes you are. But because you aren’t the eldest, you aren’t able to be in the Counsel, unless your father or your brother perish.” Everyone looked at Zuko.
“Perish?” Sokka yelped.
“Then why is Sokka part of the Counsel?” The Duke asked his mentor.
“Because his father is not able to break out of prison himself, Sokka must take his father’s place until he’s out,” Zuko explained to the Duke.
“Oh,” was all he could say.
“I understand that Aang’s involved in all this. But why you?” Teo asked.
Zuko was about to answer, but Toph interrupted. “Is it obvious? He’s the Fire Nation Prince.”
Zuko shook his head. “Not necessarily. My Uncle is taking the Fire Lord’s place in the Counsel. I’m just a crown Prince, or was.” he said after a thought. “I’m in the Counsel because of my mother. My Uncle didn‘t tell me why, though.”
Toph knew he was lying, but knew that Zuko had his reasons for not telling any of them. She planned too confront him about it later.
“So… where is this Counsel thing anyways?” Sokka asked, breaking the silence again.
Zuko glared. “Its not called the Counsel thing. It’s called the Holy Counsel”
“Yeah, yeah whatever.” Sokka muttered, folding his arms on his chest.
“So where is the Holy Counsel meeting at?” Aang said him.
“The meeting place is on an island that’s located at the middle of all the Nations, or so it was before the War. Anyway, its name is /Locus qua is est Pondera /(1). However, the Ancient language was forgotten many years ago, so now its just called the Island of the Peace or the Island of the Holy Counsel.”
“/Locus qua is est Pondera?/” Aang muttered to himself. The name felt almost familiar to him. The name held power, such power that was foreign to him, but not at the same time.
“So when are we going to the Island of Peace?” Haru asked.
“We will go the moment we feel the Call,” Zuko answered.
“And when will that be?”
“The moment the Others are ready.”
Iroh leaned over the ship’s railing. He sighed as the ship rocked as waves pushed against it. The sun itself was just rising from the east. He turned to see water benders, ten at each side of the ship, bending the water to make the ship go faster. At that speed they would reach the Island of Peace in less then a day or two.
His thoughts drifted towards his nephew. Iroh didn’t want to leave his nephew behind, but he knew he had to.
His and his nephew’s fate were not intertwined as close as they wished. Fate was cruel.
Someone coughed behind him. Iroh turned and saw Chief Haruki standing behind him, his face a green hue. Iroh smirked, knowing that this was Haruki’s first time at sea.
“Iroh the boy is fine, stop worrying,” Haruki told him, trying to keep his balance as he walked towards the former General.
“I can’t stop thinking of him.” Iroh confessed to his friend.
“He is grown man. He will do fine.”
There was silence.
“How much further is it to the Island of Peace?” Iroh asked.
Chief Haruki looked at him. “We will arrive to Locus qua is est Pondera inless then two days time if the water benders are not too tired and the weather holds, and we are not discovered.”
“There is something that is bothering the Others,” Chief Haruki stated suddenly.
“What is it this time?” Iroh asked.
“The one that we will use when we Call upon the Counsel.”
Iroh nodded. “We are not as cruel our ancestors were thousands of years ago. However, the Call needs a blood sacrifice, one that will take a life to the Spirit World.”
Chief Haruki nodded. “The Others are… squeamish about us using blood to Call the Counsel.”
“That is the only way.”
“Of course. Only we, the Fire Nation, still use the ancient ways. They are mostly worrying about who will be the one sacrificed… I just came from below, I heard one say that we are going to use a virgin, and that everyone should get shagged so they won‘t be sacrifice.”
Iroh laughed. “Virgin blood is not necessary. Everyone here that are virgins are far too young. We can not use one of our own, though, Haruki. We should use an enemy, but where are we going to get one?”
Chief Haruki smiled. “I think I have an idea…” He walked off.
Iroh stared at him.
“What is it?” Iroh asked.
Mia gripped the reins of her horse-tiger (2), later that night.
She had been traveling nonstop since she started her journey from the Fire Palace. She had hidden in a ship sailing to the main land, stole a dark colored mare from a Fire Nation outpost where the ship stopped at, and then rode for the rest of the night.
She was hungry, thirsty and exhausted. She knew she had to stop soon, or she and the mare would die of exhaustion.
She pressed on, pushing the mare little farther before they stopped while searching for a good place to rest.
Finally, she found a good hiding place to stop; a nice cave fit for a grown woman, a large animal, and maybe a small camp fire, next to a small creek. She stopped the mare and jumped off, letting the mare drink from a nearby creek. Smiling at the eager mare, which jumped for joy at a drink. Mai patted the horse-tiger’s neck.
“You’re a good girl,” she praised. “Drink up, we have a long way to go.” She knew she was being silly, talking to an animal, but she had no one else to talk to.
After the mare had its full, Mai tied it to a nearby tree, letting it eat the green grass.
Sighing, she cupped some water in her hands and drunk her full. She drank slowly, letting her body ease the water into her stomach, not making herself sick. Afterwards, she pulled out a leather water flask and filled it.
Finished, she flung it around her shoulders for safe keeping. Looking up in the dark sky, she knew that morning would soon come. She knew that she should rest during the day, and travel at night, for she was still in Fire Nation territory and if people found her with a stolen mare and a traitor’s letter they would hang her without trial.
She still had a few weeks to go until she reached the place she was heading. She hoped the rumors of the White Lotus headquarters were correct, and she would find it near the heart of the Earth Kingdom, the place marked on the Earth Kingdom map that was tied to Zuko’s letter.
She walked back to the mare and let it into the cave. She set her bag onto the floor and pulled her cloak on top of her to use it as a blanket.
She fell into an uneasy sleep.
(End of Chapter)
[*](1) Locus qua is est Pondera:* translated from Latin to English, it reads ‘The Place where it is Balanced’.
(2) Horse-tiger: a made up creature that I formed in my head. It’s a crossbred of a horse and tiger (duh). The creature’s form is of a horse, however the head and tail is the form of tiger with tiger strips on its fur. Just like any horse, its vary of different colours.
Like the Earth Kingdom with their Ostrich-horses, the Fire Nation as this creature and of course their Rhinos.
In this story: Mai stole a female horse-tiger mare, that is midnight black with reddish strips.
Author’s Notes: To those who asked me. When Zuko said “A little dragon told me….”, I used this expression, “A little birdie told me…” twisting it slightly.
To all those who read this fic, I’m proud to say that I finally made a story line of this story. Sadly some of the story plot, you all would hate me. But like most stories, it would end good, twisted or freakish. Hopefully in the end, you all would be pleased.
And sadly this is the LAST chapter for Kit Kat to Beta the story. So I will NOT update until I get a new one. Please either e-mail me OR say it on a Review if you wish to have the job. The first one gets the job. Please Review!