Recap on "Earth King": Aang and Sokka are on their way to the Eastern Air Temple to find Aang's guru and to find Sokka and Katara's father. Toph is fooled into a trap when trying to locate her mother. Katara stays in Ba Sing Se to protect the earth king. On the other side, fire prince Zuko is locked in a spiritual battle within himself as his uncle cares for him.
"Is something bothering you Katara?" The earth king approached the young waterbender who was currently staring out the window of the castle. She started a bit and turned to the king.
"Uh, sorry. I was just thinking. Doesn't this all seem a bit too good to be true? You know, all this happening at once. Long Feng has been arrested, Aang is off to perfect the Avatar state, Toph is going to patch things up with her mother, and Sokka gets to see our dad. Isn't it odd that all this is happening at once? I don't know. Maybe it's just me." Katara explained. The king sat next to her and smiled.
"It does seem rather coincidental, but sometimes it's just a case of good fortune. In other words, I wouldn't give it too much thought." He said in attempt to comfort her. It didn't seem to be working. Katara looked worried. "Tell you what, tomorrow, why don't we go find Toph. Then you'll at least know she is safe." He tried. Katara smiled.
"That sounds great." She said. "Thank you." The king smiled and left her alone.
Iroh walked into the market of Ba Sing Se. All his thoughts were with his sick nephew. Perhaps, with any luck, he might find a pain reliever or something that might help. He pushed his way through the busy crowds. Stands were scattered throughout the small market. Men shouted sales and items and held up just about everything for the viewing of potential buyers.
Zuko tossed and turned on the floor of the small apartment. He wiped his forehead with his arm. He was going mad with frustration and pain. Here he was, defenseless, bored, angry, not to mention terribly hot, and his uncle had deserted him.
After purchasing a few necessities, Iroh noticed a small stand near the back of the market place. A sign written in Chinese read, "Herbal Remedies". This was perfect! Iroh approached the counter. No one appeared to be there. He stood around for a couple moments. He heard what sounded like arguing coming from inside the stand. He jumped when he heard the shattering of glass. Finally, someone appeared at the counter. It was a girl of about 16 with strait, raven black hair, most of which was tied in a bun. Her frosty blue eyes were red, she had been crying. She wore the common attire all the other subjects of Ba Sing Se wore. She noticed him staring at her. "Can I help you?" She asked nervously. Iroh looked at her.
"Uh, yes." He replied. "My nephew has a terrible fever. I was wondering if you had any pain relievers." The girl looked up thoughtfully.
"I think Jin Sang might work. It's a muscle relaxant that should help." She replied. She retreated into the stand to retrieve the medicine. Iroh listened as the shouting continued. More shattering glass. Then he heard a shrill scream of pain. A few moments later, the girl reappeared carrying a bottle filled with a dark green liquid. Iroh gasped. A deep gash ran across her face. She used her sleeve to wipe off some blood and winced in pain. Iroh looked at her suspiciously. It appeared she might be a victim of child abuse.
"Maybe you should come with me. I need to determine what illness my nephew might have." Iroh said, even though he had a good idea of what was wrong. The girl looked at him, a little confused.
"Well there are tons of doctors in Ba Sing Se. Maybe you should ask one of them. I'm not sure how much help I can be." She argued. Iroh thought fast.
"I'm afraid there's no time for that. We may be too late already." The girl looked worried.
"If he's in that much danger, than I am certainly-" Iroh cut her off.
"He's about your age. I'd hate to see anything happen to someone of such a young age…Especially a prince." Iroh had her now.
"A prince?" She asked, her eyes widening with curiosity. "Maybe I could-"
"Good! Now come! We have no time to lose!" With that, Iroh grabbed her arm and the two headed for the apartment.