Author's Note: Sorry there was no chapter yesterday! I didn't get home until late last night and didn't have time. I'm going to post another chapter right after this though to make up for it.
Avatar: The Next Generation
Chapter 5: A Change of Mind
“Spotted where?” Zuko asked at once.
“She's in the Fire Nation, sir,” the guard continued, “She was spotted on a small, unnamed island a few hours away from Ember Island by boat.”
“Tell both Admiral Tadashi and Admiral Susumu that it is their crews' job to capture Azula,” Zuko ordered, “Remember, Azula has always been dangerous. Now, she's even more dangerous. She's not in her right mind. She won't act the way you remember her from when she was Princess of the Fire Nation. I want her captured if at all possible. They will only kill her if absolutely necessary”
“Yes, sir,” the guard bowed and left.
The children were staring at each other in shock. They couldn't believe that their Uncle Zuko (or dad in Ai's case) had just talked about killing someone. Of course, he wasn't killing Azula, but they were shocked that he would even suggest it. Sure, they had all heard the stories and knew all about Zuko's troubled past, but they'd never actually been able to picture him trying to capture Aang. Aang and Zuko had been great friends for as long as any of them could remember.
“You six need to go to bed,” Aang was the first adult to turn back towards the kids. “We'll talk about your punishments later.”
They didn't need to be told twice. They all got up and headed to Ai's room to have a long discussion on what was going to happen to Azula and more importantly, if she was not captured, what were they going to do now.
“I still say we go anyway.” Ichiko told the others as she laid on her back on Ai's bed.
“Why?” Kazuna asked cautiously. She hadn't really been thrilled to go in the first place. “I'm sure they'll capture her. What help would six kids be anyway”
“I've already said.” Ichiko exclaimed exasperated. “We're not just any kids! We're some, if not the, best trained at fighting kids in the world!”
Kazuna wasn't convinced. “But we're still kids!”
“Will you two be quiet and listen.” None of the children doubted that Ai would be a good leader of the Fire Nation when she was older. She was very good at getting people to listen to her. “We'll just wait and see if they're able to capture her and then decide what to do then. There's no use running away for nothing. All that will do is get us in a ton of trouble.”
Ayame, Ikuo, and Kazuna all agreed. Ichiko and Hajime both looked like they wanted nothing more than storm out of the room and go after Azula themselves, but they reluctantly agreed. Even with their stubbornness, they weren't stupid enough to go after a crazy psychopath by themselves.
“Let's all just go to sleep.” Ai stood up and started pushing them toward the door. “We'll find out what's going on with Azula tomorrow. We'll eavesdrop if we have to.”
So, all the children went back to their beds. None really followed Ai's suggestion of sleeping though (not even Ai herself) they were all to busy thinking about what their parents were discussing and the horrors Azula was probably up to at that very moment.
“Good morning Dad!” Kazuna greeted her father at breakfast the next morning. She was up incredibly early because she couldn't sleep, so of course her father and Momo, who was enjoying some fruit while sitting on Aang's shoulder, were the only ones up.
“Good morning Kazuna. Why are you up so early. That's unusual.” When Kazuna had been younger, she had gotten up early with her father every day, but as she got older, she'd started sleeping in more and more. Now it was very rare that she was up before her mother came and told her it was time to get up. A lot of her siblings still got up early, but she was pretty sure her father had wanted some time to think about this Azula thing alone.
“Because of Azula?”
“You shouldn't worry. Even if she's not captured now, she will be soon. You're not going to have to go through what your aunts, uncles, mother and I did when we were your age.”
Kazuna started filling guilty about everything they had been planning. She knew all their parents wanted was for them to have a carefree childhood. The childhood they hadn't been able to have. Before she could think about it anymore, Aang continued.
“Which is why I'd like to know why you all that you'd sneak off like that. Why do you want to find Azula?” He stopped, thought for a second, and then continued speaking. “I guess I shouldn't say that. I know exactly why you did that. You think it would be fun, Hajime and Ichiko especially, I'm sure, but you're all still children. To young to be caught up in this.”
“You were two years younger than me when you defeated Fire Lord Ozai.”
“But there was no one else to do it. I had no choice. You do. Besides, I had my awesome Avatar powers.” He smiled at her. That was her dad all right. Even in situations like these, he would still make a joke. “I just don't want you or any of your brothers and sisters getting hurt.”
“I know dad.” She leaned over to hug her father. She knew she would have to tell the others that there was no way she could go after Azula. She had always been a daddy's girl and she loved both her father and mother to much to hurt them like that. She didn't care what Ichiko or the others said. She wasn't going.