^The only things I would consider editing are the "Suspiciously"/"Inconspicuously" mix up, and the continuity error with Suki.
Also, I went back and read through Chapter Eight yesterday.
Kiss (Azula + Aang) = No.
I'm sorry, but isn't this the same Azula that nearly ended the Reincarnation Cycle? The same Azula that nearly killed Aang? Good La, there is absolutely no way they would share something that intimate (Well, not really "share", since Azula initiated it) this early. Hell, I'm pretty sure Aang would still be on the subject of trying to forgive her for nearly ending his life.
Other than that, Chapters 6 - 8 were much better than the previous ones. Didn't see any major grammatical or spelling errors, and the dialogue was pretty well-done, almost believable.
Post by The Crystal [Hope] Catacombs on May 8, 2007 18:08:38 GMT -5
Okay, thank you so much. I really appreciate your help. Yasu had said that the kiss was too soon... lol I'm mixing up the weird dreams I have with what it actually believable. I'll edit out the kiss... maybe put a different type of gesture in it's place. Thanks again! *karma*
Credit: Zuko 1 by RP, Zuko 2 by Konoko14. Keeper of Toph's chest and Mai's grey aura.
Post by The Crystal [Hope] Catacombs on May 19, 2007 12:10:44 GMT -5
The sun was directly overhead, blazing down on the courtyard as I waited for the Avatar. He was late. My ears buzzed with irritation. Tardiness was not something I usually let go of.
Relax, I told myself. You can't scold him too harshly or he won't stay. I forced myself to put on a soft smile. It had to go perfectly.
At long last, he raced into the courtyard. "Sorry I'm late," he said, bowing to me. I grinned. I loved having people bow to me.
"It's quite alright," I assured him. "Let's begin."
We began with breathing. He managed it splendidly, mentioning that he had already covered the basics with another firebender whose name he would not tell me.
I felt it was time to test him.
"Okay, the next move is not an elementary move. Pay careful attention," I instructed. I inhaled deeply, smelling newly extinguished fire and blossoming flowers as I breathed. Slowly and deliberately, I outstretched my fist and felt flames burst from my palm, engulfing my entire hand in fire. It shot out, streaming in about ten different directions. Then, I opened my fist and the flames dissolved to nothing.
"Wow! What was that?" he asked excitedly.
"That is called the Dragon's Beard. It is very useful when it comes to fighting more than one attacker," I explained. "Now try it."
I watched as he took a breath, extending his fist. Fire began to seep out of his fingers.
But then, to my surprise and his, the sparks sizzled out.
"Perhaps that move was too advanced," I commented. He nodded his head sullenly. "That's okay. Now I know where you stand. We'll continue tomorrow."
"Yes, Azula," he said, a bit sadly.
"Or, if you wish, instead of another lesson, we could go see the city," I suggested, an idea entering my mind.
"That'd be nice," he replied, a smile beginning to form on his face.
"Good. I'll meet you here again tomorrow at noon, and we'll go take a look around. Feel free to bring your friends," I said. "Have a good evening." I left the courtyard, leaving the Avatar to play with a frog by the pond.
I had to admit to myself that I was rather impressed with the Avatar's ability to learn. He had almost managed one of the more advanced moves that even Zuko had not mastered yet. He was very good.
Post by The Crystal [Hope] Catacombs on Jun 9, 2007 14:30:58 GMT -5
Sorry this chapter has taken so long. Thanks to everyone who has kept reading!
Needless to say, I was a bit nervous about seeing the city again. So much had happened. With Azula in charge, anything could happen. Still, she had acted very patient and encouraging during our session. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad.
Everyone else had agreed reluctantly. Nobody was exactly excited about being back in Ba Sing Se. Everything here was strange, divided, and cloaked in secrecy. Just surviving was a struggle last time around.
"You want us to go walk around this stupid city again? With Azula? Are you nuts?" Sokka exclaimed when I told them about Azula's plan for the day.
"Well, we never really got to enjoy it before," I added.
"What is there to enjoy? It's a city! We're just a bunch of kids. Everyone is still gonna try to tell us what to do," Toph whined.
"But Azula has power over the Dai Li and the city now," I insisted.
"Which means she has power over us, too," she pointed out.
"No one can control the Avatar," Katara cut in. I threw a grateful glance at her. "I think we should go. It'd be nice to get out for a little while."
So it was settled. We awiated her in the courtyard where our lesson had taken place before. Katara sat my the pond, making ripples in the water. Toph was sprawled out in the grass. Sokka was chasing Momo, who had stolen his bag. I pet Appa absentmindedly as we waited.
Finally, Azula arrived, followed closely by Ty Lee, Zuko, and the bored-looking dagger girl. "Good afternoon, Avatar Aang," she greeted me. I bowed respctfully. "I don't think we have all been properly introduced. Shall we do that before we leave?" I nodded.
"I'm Aang, and this is Katara, Sokka, Toph, Momo, and Appa," I said awkwardly to the group of Fire Nation adolescents staring at us. Katara waved stiffly, Toph blew her hair out of her face, and Sokka crossed his arms.
"Nice to meet you all. I'm Princess Azula. This is Mai, and this is Ty Lee. And I think you all know Zuko," she replied, pointing to each of them. Mai just stared, Ty Lee giggled and wiggled her fingers at Sokka, and Zuko nodded his head sourly.
Everyone stood around, not really sure of what to do next. "Shall we go now?" Azula suggested.
"Sure!" I answered. We all filed silently out of the courtyard and into the busy city street, everyone keeping their strict distance from the other group.
"Now, as you can see..."
"The walls are gone!" Toph gasped in surprise. Katara, Sokka and I looked around. Sure enough, the inner walls had vanished.
"Why would you destroy the architecture of such a beautiful city?" Katara demanded, turning to Azula.
"Well, you see... Katara... the walls were like dividers. In the Fire Nation, we don't believe that people should be classified and set apart because of their social status. For instance, look at Ty Lee, Mai and I. We all went to the same school, but we come from different backgrounds. Mai's father works in the government. Ty Lee's parents are nobles. Yet we all became friends," Azula explained, unfazed by Katara's hostility.
"Oh," was all she had left to say. We walked in quiet for a while. I was still in shock. Azula's demolition of the walls had created a friendly enviroment for the citizens. I could see smiles everywhere.
"Why don't we split up a bit? It would be easier to see everything in two groups. Zuko, you take Sokka, Katara, and Toph around. The girls and I will escourt Aang around. Is that okay with everyone?" Azula asked. We exchanged glances. Sokka and Katara didn't look too happy, but Toph shrugged. I didn't know what to say. But did I really want to make my teacher angry? I knew that the Fire Nation was dangerous, and I didn't want to get on their bad side.
"Um, sure. I guess," I answered hesitantly. As if on cue, the groups split. Katara cast a worried glance over her shoulder before following Zuko, Sokka and Toph deeper into what used to be the lower ring.
"So, is there anything you would like to see?" Azula asked. I shrugged casually. "Mai? Ty Lee?"
"Something worth seeing, maybe?" Mai sighed sarcastically. I wasn't quite sure about her, but she didn't seem like the type of friend I would want.
"I know!" Ty Lee exclaimed after a moment of what looked like serious thinking. "Let's go see some street performers!" I could see Azula's eyes flicker with irritation, but she forced a smile.
"What do you think, Aang?" she said, turning to me. I knew that it wasn't Azula's idea of fun, but Ty Lee beamed at me in such a cute, happy way. I couldn't say no.
"I don't see why not," I said. We set off walking through the remains of the middle ring. Everywhere I looked, people were happy. Nobles with gorgeous, intricate green robes were chatting with merchants in baggy brown clothes.
When we reached the street performers, Ty Lee surprised me by bounding into the crowd and joining the three jugglers. She flipped onto her hands and began to kick four stones between her pink-slippered feet. Excited, I flew over the crowd and joined in, too. I took out my marbles and juggled them through the air. The people cheered, tossing coins into a ratty old hat that was being passed around.
The three orginial performers hopped into a pyramid formation. Ty Lee and I eached bowed on either side. The crowd dispersed, leaving only Azula and Mai waiting for us. Azula grinned and clapped as we rejoined them, and Mai smirked.
"Wow, that almost made this whole trip worthwhile," Mai mumbled. I ignored her.
"That was very entertaining," Azula commented. Ty Lee and I smiled back at her, basking in her approval. It was always special to impress royalty.
"Ooh! Mai, look! That guy is sooo cute! Will you go talk to him with me?" Ty Lee said suddenly, pointing at a boy up the road a ways.
"No," Mai replied flatly.
"Pleeeaaase?" she begged, her big eyes looking sad.
"Great!" Ty Lee giggled, grabbing Mai's wrists and running ahead, dragging her friend along. Azula rolled her amber eyes. We conitinued to walk at a slower pace, just looking around.
But something was bothering me.
"Azula, why did you tear down the walls? Why are you trying to make things better here? You're the Fire Nation princess. Your family has been trying to conquer the other nations for a hundred years," I asked.
"I don't want to conquer the other nations," she answered. "I want to merge us all together. One nation, different people. Why should we be divided because of our abilities? The men in my family don't understand. All they want is war, and fighting. They want to be rulers. I just want peace."
"Oh." I was very satisfied with her answer. Sure, she had tried to hurt me before, but she had apologized. And now she's admitting her quest for peace. Maybe I could trust her after all.
Post by The Crystal [Hope] Catacombs on Jun 10, 2007 14:57:23 GMT -5
Don't worry, people, conflict will come. And Katara only went with Zuko because Aang agreed to split up. They don't know how uncomfortable she is around him, because they weren't there in the catacombs when Zuko told her he had changed.
Credit: Zuko 1 by RP, Zuko 2 by Konoko14. Keeper of Toph's chest and Mai's grey aura.