The next morning had come far too soon for Katara's interests
Katara groaned as she rolled out of her cot. The ship was still rocking back and forth; the current mellower then it had been the previous evening. Zuko had suffered from Sea Sickness all night, but had gotten a bit better after she water bended the water around his stomach, loosening the tight muscles.
Katara hurried around and got dressed, hopping on one foot as she attempted to pull her boot on. When she did, she walked out of the small cabin, and was greeted by a still fairly green Zuko.
"It's been so long since I've actually gone sailing, the sea isn't settling well." He grumbled, Katara snickered.
"Are we far?" She asked. Zuko shook his head.
"No, we're not. We're not more then an hour away from the Earth Kingdom's main port. When we arrive, we'll eat lunch." He paused, his upset stomach growled, he looked at it disdainfully. "And then we're travel by Ostrich Horse until we arrive in Ba Sing Se." he finished.
"We're going to meet up with the Yu-Yan archers there, right? I've never met them before, what are they?" The waterbender asked as she sat next to Zuko to enjoy some tea.
"They're an elite group of Archers. It's a pretty prestigious group, actually." Zuko explained, sipping his tea. "They sometimes perform in festivals. They can hit a fly from 50 yards and pin its wings to a board." Katara's eyebrows raised a bit.
"Wow, that's impressive. I can't wait to meet them!" The Fire Lord merely nodded. The ship lulled back in forth, more silence. Katara looked out to the ocean, where the sky and the water met. It seemed endless. Katara looked to her right; Zuko's brittle scar was right next to her. She put a shaky hand next to it, and then thought better of it.
"Does… does it hurt? Your scar, I mean." Katara said, slight flustered, as though she'd tread on ground she knew she wasn't supposed to venture into. Zuko turned to her.
"No. Not anymore." He said quietly. "I've had it for a long time." Katara looked at the ground guiltily, and feared she may have invited unwelcome feelings of the past to Zuko.
"I'm sorry about it… It must be a painful memory." Zuko nodded.
"I'll tell you about it someday. Maybe when Azula is back in prison, and we can talk normally. When things are back to the way they should be." Katara's shoulders slumped a bit.
"Right. Azula." She got up and stared out past the hull of the ship. The spec that was the port was now beginning to blossom into a dark line, filled with ups and downs and many shapes. She could now see more ships sailed in and out, as the busy waterfront filled with importing tankers and ships alike.
"We're here!" she exclaimed happily.
Azula cleaned the dirt out of her fingers. She hated earthbenders. Their bending was so stiff, so vulgar and not in any way beautiful. Blood spattered all over the ground, flecks of it were on her shoes. She sniffed haughtily at the charred body in front of her; she cared not if it were ever found.
When she became ruler again, she would kill whomever she pleased. After all, the world was just waiting for her, and it'd only have to wait a little longer.
She picked up the basket the deceased earthbender had been carrying, and made her way back to the cave she'd been hiding in.
She hated hiding out, it made her feel like an animal, a poor one at that. She was Fire Nation royalty, where was the decency? The servants? Her brother would pay.
He would pay dearly.
Katara quickly discovered how much she despised ride on her Ostrich Horse. It wobbled as it walked, making her feel as though she were to fall off at any given moment. It didn't like her, and she didn't like it. It was going to be the worst ride of her life. After riding for what seemed like forever through the endless plains between the port and Ba Sin Se, she finally spoke up.
"How much farther?" it came out as more of a groan then a question. Zuko smiled at her discomfort.
"Not much more, we're almost there."
"How can you tell?" she inquired, shifting her weight a bit more in the hopes of finding a slightly more comfortable position to sit in.
"I came this way a long time ago. We're almost there." He repeated.
"Oh." Katara continued to carefully move her waist around the moving animal, in the hopes of gaining a more agreeable position with the animal. She arched forward, stretching her back, and Zuko's face tinted a shade of pink.
"What?" She looked at him, he looked away.
"Nothing." He said cryptically, trying to hide his face.
"No, tell me!" she laughed. Zuko shook his head.
"It's nothing, really." Katara looked at him strangely, but accepted his answer. The Ostrich Horse continued to wobble and weave its way to the newly rebuilt walls of Ba Sing Se. They were much grander then the previous wall. Intricate designs had been placed in the stone, a huge Earth Kingdom emblem embedded into the rock. Katara stared in awe; it was a sight to see.
When they strode up to it, Zuko called out;
"Fire Lord Zuko is requesting to be allowed into the city. I have important business here, please, open." His voice was strong, loud, fit for a king. Surely enough, a low, grumbling noise erupted from the wall, as they began to slide down into the earth, allowing passage for the two.
As they walked in, a lady that looked similar to Joo-Dee welcomed them. "Welcome to Ba Sing Se, the Earth King has been expecting you." Zuko nodded, and she led them through the levels of the city to the great palace. They waited in the throne room, and not a few moments later the King and Bosco strode into the room.
"Katara! My good girl, how've you been, hm? Well, I hope. And Fire Lord Zuko! You look like the Fire Lord we all knew you would be!" He exclaimed happily. Bosco stumbled over to Katara and rubbed his head on her hand as she smiled and pet the enormous creature.
"We've been well, aside from the current predicament." Zuko answered, bowing in respect to the King.
"No, no. None of that. No need to bow, we're all friends here, aren't we?" the King pulled Zuko up from his bow. Zuko stared.
"Er, of course."
"Good, good. Now, shall we have dinner?" Katara shook her head.
"As much as I'd love to stay and catch up with you, we really need to begin the search for Azula." The Earth King's face fell.
"Oh dear. I forgot about that, we must get to business quickly then, I suppose."
"Yes. Where are the Yu-Yan archers? I need to speak with them." Zuko asked.
"They've been stationed around the Great Wall, I believe." The King replied. "I'll have Joo-Dee lead you up there, so you can talk."
"I would very much appreciate that." Zuko said with a small smile.
"Well then, shall we go?"
Sorry for taking so long! I feel horrible, I honestly do. I had this evil thing called writers block and this awful thing called School. Really, it's dreadful. I'm there from 8 to 4 and I don't have much time for the computer aside from completing homework, it's really rather depressing. But, it can't be helped. If I don't do homework I don't get the computer, and if I don't have a computer I can't update! So, it's all a vicious circle. But I hope that I'll be able to get another chapter up before the end of the month, so I will do my best!
Sorry for taking so long! I feel horrible, I honestly do. I had this evil thing called writers block and this awful thing called School. Really, it's dreadful. I'm there from 8 to 4 and I don't have much time for the computer aside from completing homework, it's really rather depressing. But, it can't be helped. If I don't do homework I don't get the computer, and if I don't have a computer I can't update! So, it's all a vicious circle. But I hope that I'll be able to get another chapter up before the end of the month, so I will do my best!And as I always say, please review! I like to know what you guys thought about the chapter, if there were things you'd like to see and things you wished had been left out. Thanks so much!