Zuko's Diary -- "Back home..."
How has it come to this?
In the Fire Nation magic is a privilege, a venerable discipline to respect, a sanctified prerogative. Here—it's business. It's fancy sport. It's an exercise in gossip. It's a petty exchange between a magician and Society, as if they were a maid and a fishmonger quibbling over a hunk of salmon! A spell to keep champagne fizzy in the punchbowl is thought an accomplishment!
However pitiable the modern condition of the Empire, at least its citizens still know to respect magical ability as a sacred legacy. But in this land—in this city—there is no pride, no heritage, no honor among magicians let alone ordinary men. What can be said of such a people? To call them hopeless is woefully optimistic, for it implies there was once, however insubstantial, the specter of hope rolling through the gutter. One can only hope the murder of dignity was mercifully quick while the local paws rifled through its pockets for amusement, for these people haven't the withal to offer better. That my uncle finds comfort in their order is a mystery and an insult.
Had I a fiber of sensation to spare I would fear this city, fear and abhor the perverse alchemy of its grime and air, its traffic and bells, its stinking crowds and busted wares, its lead mornings and useless dark, its walls.
As it is I can only hate my place in it.
AN: Guess who concocted that trick? As with the previous there's an illustration for this piece.
Fun Fact #27: The CP version of the Fire Nation (sometimes referred to by its outdated label of Ember Empire) is somewhat based on a major Western empire that existed during the early 18th and 20th century. Can you guess which one, dear reader?