The Second Prince: Starting Flame



Fire Nation Royal Library

Summer 95 ASC

When my cousin, Lu Ten, died, I didn't cry. On other hand, my mother and brother didn't have the same level of control that I had. I didn't know about Father and Grandfather's reactions; it has been two days since I last seen them. They were probably discussing the Siege of Ba Sing Se and if Iroh was still fit for command. They had nothing to go on. All reports from the Impenetrable City stopped when word got out about Prince Lu Ten's death.

The siege was an attempt to further our territories into the Earth Kingdom. Sadly, I can't claim the siege as my idea because the Fuddy-Duddy, The Dragon of the West, already acted upon the idea. He stated that, by conquering the capital of the Earth Kingdom, he would secure the Fire Nation's future victory of the almost hundred-year-war.

The Earth Kingdom army put up a good defense to Iroh's invasion. It is a known fact all earth benders were stubborn including the non-benders. The layout of the city is the only reason it wasn't Fire Nation territory. The city has a major wall that was divided up into sections. The first section if the Outer Wall. It one hundred meters tall and was the city's first and thickest line of defense. By the Earth King's orders, soldiers and sentries were placed on the wall at all times; they even decided to even allow them to live there.

Iroh managed to penetrate the Outer Wall after a period of time. I had the give the Old Fart some credit. He was ruthless and cunning. So much so that the general in charge of the Outer Wall surrendered in a heart beat when Iroh and his son struck a thundering blow to his numbers during a night assault. With their large foothold, they charged into the next layer of the wall: the Agrarian Zone.

The Agrarian Zone is between the Outer Wall and the Inner Wall. It is a large area of plains and untamed areas. This was the second stage of Iroh's plan. The Agrarian Zone holds crops and wildlife that are vital to the people of Ba Sing Se. With the breach in the Outer Wall, the Fire Nation stops the imports and exports of resources. Despite the life-saving resources, the zone also widened the gap between invaders and the last wall, the Inner Wall, where the city's citizens lived. Whoever designed the Impenetrable City, they knew what they were doing.

Iroh and his forces were close to winning the siege when Lu Ten died. The same general that surrendered at the Outer Wall did a sneak attack of his own. While Lu Ten and his troops rested, the general approached their camp site. They stayed hidden in the earth until the moon was at its highest peak and the fire benders were at their weakest. They met their fate that night when the general's numbers, the surprised attack, and their weakened bending overwhelmed them.

That was all we knew up to that point. The only other thing that we knew was that Lu Ten's body was due to come in two weeks.

Yes, I could proud myself for not crying at the resent death in the family. I was enjoying my Father's small victory right now. Lu Ten's death will leave Iroh without a proper heir to the throne. The most logical choice for Grandfather to make is to let Ozai become his new heir. He has two children and Mother was still young and healthy.

I was going over my thoughts while reading a book on the original fire benders, the dragons, in the Royal Library. The first benders to actual learn from the dragons was the Sun Warriors' civilization, the precursor to the modern-day Fire Nation. Later, they tamed the them. All benders that managed to ride a dragon were regarded as strong fire benders.

I am truly sad to say that they were extinct. If we still had them, this almost century-long war would have been over in a couple of years.

My great-grandfather, the late Fire Lord Sozin, was responsible for the loss of the mighty animal and the also extinct sport of Dragon Hunting. Anyone who managed to killed a dragon earned the title of "Dragon" and their talents as fire benders would be legendary. This is one of the reason why I can't stand Uncle Iroh, the so-called 'Dragon of the West'; he was the one that killed the final one. I heard stories that he actually killed a family of dragons: a mother, a father, and an unborn egg.

Our fascination of dragons was one of the things Lu Ten and I had in common besides our firebending. By the time I could talk and understand words, Lu Ten told me hundreds of stories involving dragons. To take it a step further, we tried to incorporate bending forms based on our knowledge of the species and ancient scrolls we managed to track down.

Our time together slowly ended when it was time for him to go off to war. During he slow and less frequent returns home, he didn't have enough time for me. He had enough time for Zuko though; everybody always have enough time for Zuko. Just like Mother, he realized what I was becoming and feared my power like Father told me.

Unknowingly, I started to cry and a single tear stain the text of the book. Realization hit me and I got out of my seat and with anger, wiped my face of the tears. Needing to recollect my self, I walked further into the Royal Library.

As a single structure, the Royal Palace is a simple layout with elaborate decorations. It had three towers: the main tower in the middle and two wings on both sides with their own towers at the end. On the backside of the main tower lays the large third wing. The third wing houses the main line in the Royal procession, the War Room, the Throne Room, and various other rooms for other types of meetings.

The inside of the palace, there are numerous and enormous halls, smaller wings inside the three main ones, chambers, and secret rooms and passages. Tapestries and fire-themed paintings and details lined the walls.

The Royal library was no different. It is located in the east wing of the palace. It almost takes up the entire wing. The ceiling was raised high with depictions of the royal family taming dragons as its decoration. The whole building was unusually circular; we always built rectangular structures for they take up less room. Rows and rows of books lined the walls; never-ending. Halfway through the rows, there was a set of stairs that toke you to other five floors.

I was on the second floor. This floor housed all the myths and old stories of our people. Despite my logical sense of mind, I enjoyed reading from this floor than any other. You could say that Lu Ten got me hooked when he read a book about a fire bender who wield the blue flame as I do and tamed the King Dragon.

Prince Azulon's Chambers

Summer 94 ASC

"Early in Fire Nation history," Lu Ten reprised. "There lived a famous and proud prince of the Fire Nation named Atsushi, meaning pure ambition. He was an intelligent and brave warrior. He accomplished many extraordinary and astonishing things. They say he was the direct son of Agni himself for he had the brightest golden eyes in the land. He also had the brightest flame: blue fire. When he first bended, he burned his teacher to ashes."

"That is just like I did," I interrupted from my bed. "Instead I burned Master Kenya's eyebrows off."

Lu Ten laughed from his seat near my bed. "Exactly," he stated. "When I heard the story, I knew I had to tell you the story of Atsushi. Let's continue before Aunt Ursa shows up and lectures me about being responsible.

"With all of his feats, he wasn't satisfied; he needed to do more. From his mother, he learn of the story of the King Dragon. The King Dragon was the largest, smallest, and bravest dragon there was. No one could tame him, and if someone was lucky enough to get close to him, they were erased from existence by the dragon's white flame. Upon hearing this, he decide to do the impossible and tame-"

"I hope you are getting ready for bed, Azulon," Ursa shouted from around the corner.

"Well, that is my cue to leave, Azul," he said, rising from his chair and yawning. "I guess we have to finish the story until I come back from the Earth Kingdom."

Disappointment appeared on my ten-year-old face. "What about the story?"

He smiled. "It will have to wait until I come back because I am the only one who knows the story by heart," he explained.

"I thought you found the book in the library?"

"I did. But being the easily frighted child I was, I dropped the book as a reaction to a sound I heard and ran off." He sighed, "I could never find it after I came back the next day."

"Azulon," Ursa shouted again.

Lu Ten started to head for the door. Once he reached it, he paused. "You know," he smirked. "You could try to find the book while I'm gone. Think of it like a treasure hunt."

Disclaimer: I do not have any rights that relate to Avatar. If I did, the comics would have been extended into another season.

AN: Sadly, this is not a real chapter, BUT it is a sneak peek of chapter four. I would have updated sooner, but who knew that high school could kick ass?! Trying to stay at the top of the class is a twenty-four hour job! Please, don't forget this story. I am still writing. It is just going to take a lot of hard work on my part.

Until I return in a (hopefully) flash, read, review, and/or PM!

To Guest: I plan on continuing AND finishing this story. If you look on my profile, you can see my plans for this story.

To pink light's archive: First, love your profile pic. Darth Maul rocks! Thanks for the excitement and encouragement!

To Nightwing's Apprentice: Thanks! I'm glad that you love the concept! Thanks for also erasing my worry of Azulon being OOC.