The Greatest Element of All
A king without love is not a king at all, but a man of nothing.
He has a palace of white marble, its walls wrapping around the entire Kingdom, golden plates that reflect the clouds resting above serve as the tiles, leading a visitor into his chambers where his cream throne stands. The legs intertwined in white brilliance, suiting a man of such brilliance—on the outside.
Kings to their queens—bonded by love they should be.
For, they live hand-and-hand in power—oh so easy to corrupt. From power, lust spawns, expelling all chances for love to exist. Into their eyes, they look, only to see the reflection of gold.
During the age of Kurruk, the princess of the Northern Water Tribe was sold to an abusive King in order to preserve unjust peace. During the age of Kyoshi, Omashu whored himself, the King to take in multiple women, forcing his blood into the next generation when his wife could not bear a child herself. During the age of Roku, Fire Lord Sozan took in a second wife to secure a treaty festooned with riches.
Kings and Queens—without love, merely labels they proved to be.
Slow steps Aang took to the courtroom—he paced his breath and drew up his head. There upon the windowsills hung the waves of the Water Tribe flag and across, the Fire Nation's upon the second window. Beside the blaze of the emblem, the Earth Kingdom's hung, facing the flag of the Air Nomads. Water, Earth, Fire, Air: a balance that was mandatory in order for the world to thrive. However, a fifth element—oh so sacred, powerful, feared, and missed—was integral-the keystone piece.
With the air nomads on their eve of extinction, harmony between the world and the spirits remained unbalanced—the tangible world breaking from the spirit world. However, a bridge between two worlds still remained, but another airbender did not.
Below flags stood their representatives, all chosen upon their cunningness, intelligence, wisdom, and strength. For they had gathered to unite a dying world under the leadership of the Avatar: the last airbender.
He did not let his youth patronize himself; although young, he was wise and with that virtue, he was respected. The gust of his being, the peace in his eyes, the joy in his expression, and the freedom in his soul overtook his audience and they, the three others beside his humble seat, welcomed him.
"Hello friends of the Republic." Aang spoke into the space of the empty court. "I apologize for being late. I was not aware of the meeting today."
"Last minute, we call it to be." A woman dressed in blue laid sincere eyes upon him.
There was an uncomfortable silence to a lingering echo.
"Avatar Aang…" The depth of an aged man of Fire Nation uttered, "We have called a private meeting with you to discuss a personal matter-"
"A personal matter that has been needed to be addressed for some time," the Earth tribe representative contested.
Aang looked around to find urgency and awkwardness leaked upon the face of his council. Taken by the seriousness, he adjusted to their sincerity and stood up straight to match his tone. "Of course. What's going on?" He seated himself under Air's flag.
"Avatar, after the War, we, the Republic, were built to rebuild the nations, piecing them back together after the damage dealt by a hundred years. All is well in the city under your guidance, I assure you, but there still is an existing problem."
"I am aware." Aang glared sternly, buckling his mouth.
Un-Beckoned, he glared back. "You are still the last of your kind."
"So I am." Aang held the tension.
"Avatar," the water representative spoke, "let there be no offense in this courtroom."
He shook his head, murmuring to himself. "Please, I know where this is going." He unfolded the rose to meet the council. "Let this not be about her."
Grounded in his stance, Earth barked, "You are the last airbender and for thirty years, not counting the one-hundred years prior, you've been so. You are so valuable to the world, your people. For, the balance of nature depends on your survival. Everyday holds a possibility for your death! With your death, all hope is lost." He paused from his crescendo and met the Avatar's weakening contact, "Avatar Aang, it has been ten years and there has been no air bending child."
"Let this not be about her!"
"Katara is getting older!" The fire representative burnt his words into him, "For all we know, child birth may be impossible! In order to save your kind, we suggest you take in other women!"
Break to the tie of his element! A bullet of hurt riddled itself through the room, violently swallowing the peace that clung to the outskirts of a young airbender's heart. He shot up from his seat and flipped his desk with one blow.
In the dead silence, he huffed away his anger—send swishing gasps into the silence. Ashamed, he contained himself, turned away from his friends, hiding the anger heating upon his expression.
He muttered over his shoulder, "How dare you." A pause, channeling a booming voice, "After one hundred years of fighting, have you not figured it out? I will make this short and hopefully it will be clear to you as it is to us—my family and I. Love is the only thing that will keep us connected. To love, water, earth, fire and air are nothing!"
Gracefully, he raised his head and turned back to his audience—still in their seats, "I thought I had lost all the love when the Air Nomads were killed. I was wrong though. It was reborn into my friends who I call family—into Katara who I call my wife. Into her especially." A smile cracked, "Love has a power that transcends circumstances no matter how tough they are. I know it."
"Aang, we-we—" Justification we all do when wrong.
"Not like this. It won't begin like this. I would prefer that you think about such things."
He let the silence claim the courtroom and spoke again, "I never want to hear the denial of my wife in this courtroom ever again."
Aang looked beyond the shock of the expressions to find fear and doubt. With a graceful arm, he whirled gusts from his fingertips, slowly drawing up the desk from its fall. With a breath, he stepped towards the door, stopping at the grand arch, "Tomorrow, we start over."
Slowly, his footsteps upon the golden tile faded into the arms of the outside.
To his family he went that night. He swung his daughter in laughy circles, drew up his son in constant giggling, and kissed his wife, releasing the stress of the world back into the air. With love, he knew, everything would be alright.
For a king without love is not a king at all, but a man of nothing.
Author's note: I wrote this as a response to what I do not see, but no matter, "love will never fails." I believe 1 Corinthians 13 says more than I could ever summarize. In a way, these characters I come across serve as inspiration to me-heroes in fact-even though they never really existed in this world. Avatar: the Last Airbender is always a pleasure to write for! Thank you for reading!
P.S. I mapped out the ages when Tenzin was born and according to the ages in the story, he will be born the next year. Happy ending and a new journey!