Walks are a good time to think. That's all you need sometimes, to just stop and think. So I plan to get a lot of thinking done today. There are a lot of things I can think about, but I automatically think of the avatar. With thoughts of the avatar, come thoughts of home. I think of all the things I miss: the palace, my family, and of the near constant summer. It is my favorite season after all. But most of all, I miss my mother; she was always there for me. Whenever I was sick, she would come to my room and stay up all night with me.
Every once in a while, come to a secluded meadow; I'm pretty sure I'm the only one that knows about it. It is beautiful and relaxing there, the perfect place to train. There is a small stream flowing right down the center of my meadow- it adds to the peacefulness of it all. There are a lot of trees, very tall grass, and plenty of wildflowers that manage to calm me down no matter how bad of a day I've been having. I decide to get some training done; I really need it. Since I started traveling with my uncle, I have not had much time to train. We were always on the run from my sister.
I mentally slap myself for thinking about my sister. I promised myself a while ago that I will lock her from my mind, as If I never had a sister at all.
I walk up to the edge of the stream, and steady my breathing. I bring up my right hand, releasing fire at the same time and bringing it down sharply, forming a whip. I close my eyes and do the same with my other hand. Taking both the fire whips, I focus on shifting my stances, forming a kind of dance. I bring the whips up and down, taking them to one side, then the other. I open my eyes and pick a target. A rock, 20 feet away. Breathing in deeply, I concentrate on making the two whips as thin and as sharp as I can. I bring back my whips and lash them out at the rock, hitting them square in the middle. I close my eyes again and allow myself a small smile.
"Looks like you learned a new trick, Zuzu."
My eyes automatically snap open. I know that voice. Azula.
"What do you want?" I say, turning around slowly, acing my sister. She has a look of malice on her face that says she means business.
"Father gave me orders to capture you, but…I don't think I will."
If my sister had ever confused me before, it was nothing compared to what I feel now. Why wouldn't she capture me? Is she letting me go? Why in the world would she be doing this? All of these questions, and more, are all swirling around in my mind. I'm baffled. If she isn't going to capture me, then why is she showing herself to me? Does she think I will praise her for letting me go or something? Does whe want me to owe her a favor? I'm speechless, but I try to force something out of my mouth.
"What? You're letting me go?" Is all I can think to say.
Azula smiles at me, she probably wants to look sincere and trustworthy, but the effect is far from it.
"Dear brother, what made you think I'm letting you go? All I said was that I wasn't turning you over to father." Azula says.
Comprehension hits me like a brick wall. She's going to do something worse than capture me. I immediately get into a fighting stance and look around for her fellow freaks. Her friends must be hiding around here somewhere. I don't think she would come unless she had some kind of backup or protection. Azula isn't planning on letting me go, she's going to take me as her prisoner, or worse, kill me.
"What's wrong Zuzu? Is something the matter?"
I shoot out a fireball at her head, just to show her I am on to her. She easily deflects it, letting out a fire wave of her own. The speed of her flame is amazing; I barely have time to dodge it before another one comes my way. I bring out my fire daggers and leap at Azula, throwing a flaming kick at her head. She leaps back, nimbly dodging my blows. She swipes at my face with her fingernails. I stagger back; a dull pain is coming from my forehead. I am immediately reminded of the fight I had with Azula of her ship.
I hardly have time to think as Azula charges at me, unleashing a terrible barrage of flames. I deflect almost all of them, until one quick flame hits me in the square of my chest. I stumble back and fall hard, having the air knocked out of me. I gasp for breath and look up to see Azula staring maniacally at me. She begins to swig an arm around, electricity sparking from her left hand. She brings it around in a circle, and begins to mimic the motion with her right hand, electricity shooting from her index and middle fingers. She brings her fingers together then lunges forward launching a lightning bolt from her left hand. The lightning arcs over the small meadow, heading straight toward me.
Nothing happened in slow motion, as you sometimes hear it does. The lightning came at me quickly, hitting me in the chest. A blinding pain shoots through my body; I hit the ground and try to raise my head as my strength fades. I stare up at my sister, shocked that she would be able to do this to me.
The last thing I see before my vision blacks out, is Ty Lee and Mai jumping to the ground from somewhere in a tree.
"See? I told you I wouldn't need backup," Azula said smugly to Ty Lee. "Mai, didn't you like Zuzu? Sorry I had to kill him…"
I am surrounded by water. It is in my ears and my nose but I don't care. I faintly remember that I needed to do something, something important, but I can't remember what it was. I try to swim my way to the surface of the water I am in. For some reason I know the surface is good. That if I reach it, something good would happen.
I hear an
angelic voice call my name, almost angrily. Am I not supposed to
be here? I try to find the angel and apologize for coming, apologize for the fact that I couldn't defeat my sister. But the water is too deep, it is pressing at me from all sides.
I look around me; everything is a deep red color. I look down and see an endless black, but when I look up, I see the surface. I swim up, but I seem to only move a few inches.I growled in frustration. I start to swim even harder, and am rewarded with a few feet. I just swim, and swim, as hard as I can until I am a few inches from the surface. With one last kick, I break through the surface.
I cough the water out of my lungs and nose, and then look around.
I am in a cave, by the looks of it. There are only a few lights in the cave, casting an eerie glow on the walls. The walls look wet, as if it has just rained inside of the cave, but the floors are dry. A sudden burst of fire takes my attention away from the walls and brings It to a figure steadily rising from the flame. I can tell that the figure is very tall, with a strong build and broad shoulders. He has a top knot so I can tell he is of firenation decent, he looks oddly familiar though. Its like I have seen him before, but I can't place when and where. His face is cast in shadow, but I can tell that he is old. When he speaks it sends chills down my spine.
"Prince Zuko, of the firenation."
I feel I should answer.
"I am the fire god Agni. You are here because of the way you spent your life, hurting those around you. You have caused nothing but problems for the Avatar and his friends."
"But I had to do it! My father took my hono-" I said, trying to justify my actions, only to be stopped by his booming voice.
"I am completely aware of the circumstances. But Zuko, you were never without your honor. You never lost it. Do you think it not honorable to stand up for what is right? You tried to save thousands of people, is that not honarable?"
"Then you were never without your honor."
"You are right; I guess I never really lost my honor. But there is nothing I can do to fix this now, I had my chance. I wish I could have figured this out earlier." I said sadly.
"I can bring you back, you know. I can show you what you have done, how you made life hard for the people around you. I can help you experience all of this, and make yourself a better person."
Go back? Is this really possible? My mind is reeling with this information. I know I died, but how can I possibly go back? Maybe if I go back, I will be able to see Uncle again and apologize to him for everything. I decide to go for it.
"What do I have to do?" I ask tentatively.
"It is simple; all you have to do is sincerely change for the better. Then I will give you back to your body."
"Ok, I'll d-" I was about to agree with the deal when I realized something. He said he would bring me back to my body only after I had changed. "So I won't get my body back at first?"
Agni steps out into the dim light, illuminating his face. He is indeed an older man; his beard is very long and white. He smiles at me, almost maternally, and with a flick of his wrist, he's gone. It feel like I'm falling, falling fast. I hit ground hard but surprisingly, I feel no pain. I quickly jump to my feet and look around at my surroundings. I seem to be alone at the edge of a lake. The water looks clean so I decide to take a drink. When I reach my hand down into the lake I freeze, this isn't my hand. The hand looks distinctly girly; it is now that I start to feel scared. I stand up and look at my reflection in the water.
I'm girl. But not just any girl, I'm the Avatars traveling companion. The waterbender.