The Crimson Dragon
Sequel to: The Blue Rose
I do not own Avatar: the Last Airbender
To Grand Advisor Chen of the Royal Province; Most Loyal to the Eternal Spirit of the Chosen King; named Spokesman of the Holy Tongue; once Lord of the Kiraz Estate; once Grand Admiral of the Royal Navy;
Greetings and Peace upon the Household of the Chosen King of Heaven.
In reply to the threats of the Insubordinates and the Rebels, following the account of actions taken on the eastern fronts to secure the peoples and territories of the Union:
Dispatched armies of the Twelfth, Fourteenth, and Twenty-Third Regiment on the fourth month, day 12 after the New Moon: unable to recover the territories of Hu Shin, Al Khamasin or Rihad. Unable to recover cities of Balda Haram, Balda Shiva or Tabuk. Defenses constructed along the rivers of Tibul-ahn and Portho, both lost to Rebel forces.
Hotzones: Cities of Gahmai, Apnu and Omashu. Territory of Balda Sio-maht.
Outnumbered seven to one on the northern front. Defenses strained on the southern front and Atheos River. Forces will fail by month's end.
Advisor Azo Hung
Governor of the Hu Shin Province.
Governor of the Al Khamasin Province.
Governor of the Rihad Province.
Governor of Balda Ajan.
Governor of Einar.
Multiple familial deaths of all parties.
Captain Ae Sook.
Multiple soldier deaths. Identities to be recorded at confrontation closure.
Requests for manpower:
Twenty orders of military tanks.
Fifteen orders of catapults.
Ten Earthbending Regiments.
Firebending Defense Specialists.
Waterbending Defense Specialists.
War-Guidance Dai Li Faction.
Captain and General support.
Identity of Rebel Leader Confirmed:
Name: Azula of Agni. Daughter of Ozai of Agni.
Female. Lower Noble/Working Noble. Firebender.
Mai of Niraj. Daughter of Yusung.
Zhanu of Balda Shiva. Son of former Advisor Zhao.
Tenth, Fourth Factions of the Dai Li.
Unknown Number of Traitorous Earthbender Elite and other Union Soldiers.
Unknown Number of Peasant Followers.
Confrontation has reached critical period. Request Union officials take actions in response to Civil War, Article 19.
With all Respects, Honors, and Prayers to the Chosen King, in defense of the free Union,
General Si Yun
To Uncle Mushi,
I'm sorry it's taken so long to reply to your letter. I've been very busy with some friends of mine, and with my studies. I can say I never imagined traveling to such strange countries...or meeting such strange people, but I suppose I'm thankful for it. I hope the crows have left your garden by now - although I heard from another that your garden isn't in such good shape. I hope you don't have any other pests around. I for one hate it when snakes show up.
I was very sad about the painting. I never mentioned it to anyone, of course - but it was devastating. Give my regards to everyone back home. I'm starting a big assignment now, one you probably wouldn't understand all the way - though I am rather curious as to how well you know the Professor. It'll be very difficult. But maybe if I get it done well you'll hear about it. Other than that there's not much else, except the Devil on my back.
I did find one thing interesting here. A flower grows in the wilds here, that would take your breath away. I doubt there is an equal to it, in all the world. In fact, I know there isn't.
They call it the Blue Rose.
"What's that one part mean? About the Devil on his back?"
The soldier holding the letter was leaning back in his chair, feet up on the desk before him, mindlessly getting grime on the stack of instruction papers. The window of the make-shift watchtower in Balda Haram, positioned there strategically by Azula, was seeing no action tonight. The city had long been under the control of the Rebels, and even those most loyal to the Union would not dare have tried to reclaim it. It was Azula's home base, guarded by the worst, the most cutthroat and desperate.
The other guard was steadily devouring a chunk of salted pork and potatoes, which a shy-eyed woman from a nearby bar had brought him. He squeezed her ass delightfully on her way out, and was now making his happy way through the meat.
"Ain't mean nothin'," he spit out a bit of food as he spoke. "Jus' a sayin' ."
"What sayin'? I ain't never heard it."
"You know - Devil's on my back, waitin' to attack, if he comes lookin' for a due, you better hope it ain't you. It's somethin' goes 'round the city, is all."
"So it don't mean shit?"
"Nah. Pass it off."
The soldier in the chair shrugged, then leaned over to give the letter back to the rather disgruntled eagle-hawk. After tying it to the bird's leg, the creature took off like a shot into the night. The soldier leaned forward a little to grasp another letter (it was scented, and seemed from some distant lover) and ripped it open to read.
"Can't believe it sometimes, you know. We in the middle of Civil War, and people still gettin' worked up over a damn flower."