The Six Elements
The snow glows white
On the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation
And it looks like I'm the Queen
The wind is howling
Like this swirling storm inside
I couldn't keep it in
Heaven knows I tried…
Anto and his champion coercively hauled the Light of Hope descending into the murkiest bowels of the Spirit World. Their features were painted with psychotic smirks—each heavily intoxicated by the sheer power within their grasp. Somewhere along the way, Akiko lost conscience. Which, in retrospect, been in her favor. Incapable of witnessing the insidious transgressions awaiting her. At least for the time being.
Once they returned to Zan, Anto immediately catapulted her into the hoosegow. As if the ravishing young lady wasn't anything more then decomposing garbage. Taking sadistic pleasure by the number of abrasions blemishing the girl's radiant alabaster skin.
"Finally!" Azula proclaimed gleefully as she slammed the cell shut. Indeed, she took utmost satisfaction seeing Zu-Zu's squeeze ultimately in her proper place, beneath her feet.
The Demon Princess was sick to death of this insufferable bitch! How everyone treated the untalented floozy as if she's the princess. Azula didn't know how many times she'd gashed her teeth because of this bitch.
Ever since she'd been four, she'd to put up with the entire palace glorifying this mongrel! Forced frequently to listen to how attentive, nurturing, and insightful she was. That her beauty could only be challenged by the spirits themselves!
Setsuna had been accurate in her hypothesis. That part of Azula's resentment was due to Akiko's outstanding beauty. But, living with reality, people adored Akiko and not her.
However, the worst part? Zuko and Akiko were destined to get hitched. Which meant the mutt would inherit the title of Fire Lady one day. Thus gaining half the nation's power!
Azula couldn't stand that this bitch was closer to the throne then she was! And she was the Princess of the Fire Nation! No wonder she got so steamed up whenever Akiko was around.
I tried to be one of them.
Tried to be part of civilization.
But I couldn't breathe.
I couldn't live.
So it begins.
The other teenagers sought to one-up each other in the dining hall on who did the best job obtaining the Shards. With how much their heads had swelled up? Frankly, it was amazing there was any standing room left!
"No way, Anil! I had more of a challenge collecting the Water Shard! Unlike how easy it was for you to collect the Air Shard!" Sitka roared belligerently, waving around the 'gift' Anto bestowed him.
Anil shoved the older boy glaring daggers at him. "How can you honestly say that?! I'd to deal with avatar himself!" he harked back at him hostilely.
Sitka scoffed, unimpressed with the shrimp. "An untrained thirteen-year-old? Sorry, nope, not a big deal. Face it, granola boy! You got your ass handed to you because of some deaf oddball! I dealt with more danger then that!"
"You think being a yellow-belly sissy is something to be proud of? Ha!" spatted Setsuna, incredibly unrefined. Of course, her Uncle Long Feng would've been appalled by her uncouth conduct. But, fortuitously, her relative wasn't here.
The two ludicrous youths scowled at her. Her face twisted in expression as if she'd just swallowed something sour. Then, tossing her sable locks over her shoulder, she licked salt into Sitka's wound. "If you didn't have that shiny brand-new toy, you wouldn't have gotten your crush to hand it over!"
"You'd like an enchanted shiv!" he retorted furiously, "How are you not the cream puff? Furthermore, not a wuss? Given you couldn't even wield the weapon yourself!"
"ENOUGH!" howled Azula as she waltzed into the chamber. "Quit acting like children! We still have a lot of work to do!"
The others had had enough of Azula's dictatorial attitude. So that she felt entitled to order them about for some reason, now they unleashed their outrage of her mistreatment of them back at her!
"Why should we listen to you, Miss Prissy?" challenged the villainous Airbender. This caused the princess to narrow her steely gold eyes. Then, getting right in his face, she hissed dangerously at him.
"Unlike you commoners, I've got the divine right to rule! I'm the most powerful in this room! Therefore, it'd be wise to follow my commands!" she barked back at him. That statement caused their emotional bombs to go off. Instantly the fur went flying then they're all fighting dirty. Their childishness gave Anto such a migraine.
"ENOUGH!" he roared so loudly it shook the palace's foundation. Having the earth threatening to swallow them whole. Immediately everyone shut their trap before snapping to attention. No one dared even breathe as the dastardly devil locked his frigid gaze at them.
Let them burn, let them burn!
They're no longer my concern!
Let them burn, let them burn!
Time to show the world it's my turn!
I won't care how they're going to scream!
Let the fire rage on.
Flames never seemed to bother me.
"The fact you buffoons even succeeded in gathering the Shards? Despite humanity's innate ability to screw everything up? Count your lucky stars. You didn't flub this!"
The teens preferred Azula's abuse over the maltreatment they received from the half-crazed monster. Yet none of them dared challenged him. It'd literally been suicide to challenge Death itself. None of them were ready to kick the bucket yet. With a final glare, the malevolent shade got straight to the point. "Now, I hope your minuscule brains comprehend this concept! Collecting the Shards was only the first step." he started when he got tactlessly cut off.
"First step?! Are you freaking kidding us?!" Sitka blurted out without thinking. Everyone took a few steps back as Anto rounded on the teenager. Then he smacked the juvenile across the face. Sitka hit the ground hard with a bloodstained face and a lost tooth."Don't ever talk back to me again! You understand?!" he growled as the others helped Sitka back to his feet.
"Understood, Lord Anto. Sorry for my slipshod language," he atoned, which seemed to appease the wraith. However, his soulless orbs instilled trepidation in his pawns.
"You're fortunate that your services are still required. But, don't push your luck. Any of you!" the Black Spirit advised them in a dangerously low tone.
"Understood," Team Anto replied obediently. They're too terrorized to do or say anything. Even Azula, who'd never taken orders from anyone, refused to piss off the lethal deity once more.
It's funny how the thunder.
Can drown out all my fear
And a bolt of lightning lights the way
My choice is crystal clear
Gathering himself together, he resumed his speech. "Now, I realize you're all exhausted. Plus gung ho to own the power you all so sumptuously deserve," studying their drooling smiles. Their ticket to a perfect life was so close they could taste it. Holding up one skeleton hand, he paused for effect, "However, we still have a few minor hurdles to overcome. The damn spirits who conceived the Shards?
It wasn't enough to keep them concealed. No! They'd a backup plan if they're ever brought together!" he smashed his fist on the tea table, causing everyone to jump back. Then, quickly ceasing his hissy fit, "In short, there is a fail-safe to guarantee they cannot be fused. Their creators didn't want them to be 'abused' by those who weren't their definition of 'honorable," rolling his golden eyes in irritation.
The concept of good and evil was utter nonsense. Everyone committed god-awful acts every day. Consequently, how was anyone a good person? Oftentimes, he'd speculated that his lost love sustained brain damage. It certainly explained her ludicrous notion that humanity had any good in them.
Setsuna raised her hand before courageously asking, "Lord Anto. Are you saying the Shards are useless? That we went through all this trouble for nothing?" Everyone tensed up from her question. She glanced at Azula for support, except she received none. Azula called herself a people person. However, she couldn't read Anto at all. That gripped her with a tiny bit of anxiety.
It's time to see what I can do
To let the wind carry me through
I pay no mind to gravity; I'm free!
"I didn't state they're good-for-naught, child," Anto whispered while flipping his queue over his shoulder. Then, glancing at his reflection, "I said they've some additional protection. The protection we need to circumvent if we wish to achieve our goal."
Immediately Anil voiced the next question meekly, "Do you know what the fail-safes are? Or how to overcome them?" silently praying he wasn't about to be struck for asking it.
Death smirked viciously at the child before answering. "Yes, it's one of the reasons Princess Azula and I abducted that hussy," not genuinely answering their questions.
"I'm not following you, Lord Anto? What do we need that beauty queen for?" asked Sitka, who wasn't nearly as intelligent as Sokka. If Sokka were here? He'd have everything figured and planned out in less then an hour.
Getting a bit agitated, he explained wearily. "While the Shards represent the four elements, one of the fail-safes is that they can only be merged by the spirits of light and darkness. In other words? They can only be amalgamate if my father and Alanna's mother worked together.
However? Seeing that's not going to happen? We require a substitute for our parents. The substitute spirit of darkness awaiting us on Earth. That hussy in the dungeon will stand-in for a being of light."
"I'm baffled, Lord Anto. How is this girl going to fill in for a spirit of light? Furthermore, who precisely is the substitute for the spirit of darkness?" the Demon Princess questioned in a threatening tone.
It infuriated her to no end. Despite being his chosen one, she'd been left out of the loop. "Well, my champion? Due to sheer luck, that girl is known as the Light of Hope. But, unfortunately, I got cheated out of collecting her mother's soul," he drifted off into a daydream for a fleeting moment.
He was grounding himself once more, "For reasons I cannot fathom, Alanna returned her soul before I'd collected. So, therefore, not only was her brat born in limbo? She's blessed by Alanna's fair light."
"How is someone born in limbo? Moreover, how does that help us?" Azula snarled furiously. Anything regarding that strumpet she didn't genuinely want to know.
Anto raised one eyebrow in surprise. "I'm genuinely dumbfounded someone as clever as you, Princess Azula, failed to see the truth. Lady Akiko's birthday is the Summer Solstice, the holiest day in the Fire Nation. It's likewise one of the four days the Spirit World and Human World are one. Given the fact, her mother technically died giving birth to her? Thus, one soul prepared to enter the afterlife, and one soul began its life."
Setsuna raised her hand once more, "So are you saying that Meng Po didn't even get this woman's soul to her tea house?" she expressed in confusion.
Everyone knew Setsuna's question referred to Lady Meng Po. An eye-catching spirit. Moreover, the magistrate of human souls. She'd either send you to the Fields of Evergreen to rejoice in paradise. Or she'd send you to the bowels of Valley of the Shadows. Then, if you're genuinely lucky, she reincarnated you.
Let it flow
Let it flow
Running down the mountainside
Let it flow Let it flow
Wash away the tears I cried
Here I stand
And here I stay
Let the waves climb high
Anto scowled at the mention of that name. He despised that half-spirit got the ultimate word where souls ended up. Alanna created life. He carried out death. Lady Meng Po dominated the hereafter. She wasn't a lady you want to cross. He should know. Given he'd crossed her a few times in the past. The consequences for his misbehavior? Well, he'd rather not think about it.
"No," he replied simply. "The Lady didn't have the chance to host that particular soul. Nevertheless, let's focus here? What do I require from you four? Your next task is to prepare for the ordained ritual. I've left you instructions on what to do.
However? First, I order you to rest up. Then, perhaps, meditate for a couple of hours. We must be at our peak if what we seek is to be within our reach! Now, I don't want to be disturbed for the next six hours. So use that time to do as I've ordered. I'll see you all at dinner now if you excuse me!" as he departed the room.
"Boy! Does he need to get laid!" bitched Setsuna. Unquestionably some sexual activity would do Death Boy some good. It'd improve his mental state without a doubt.
"Well, I don't know about you guys. I, for one not going to contemplate my navel! That stuff is bogus at any rate! I'd say we do something entertaining. Does anyone know if there is a cocktail cabinet in this joint? Things get done so much quicker when it involves some liquor!" Sitka recited poetically.
"Sitka, are you brain-dead? You're only fifteen! The universal law mandates no one under twenty-one is allowed liquor!" Setsuna chewed him out for his stupidity.
"Honestly? You want to play by the rules? I'll have you know, Prissy Sissy, I've been systematically looting my tribe supply of booze since I was eleven! I've not been caught once."
"You're either a simpleton or just had a lot of dumb luck. Besides, in my civilization, Air Nomads are prohibited from even looking at alcoholic beverages. Something about we're supposed to embrace temperance," Anil complained loudly.
"Look, forget the liquor for a moment, you bozos!" snapped Azula. "I understand we desire something fun to do. Believe me. Drinking sounds dandy. Still, let's do a small compromise. First, we'll do two hours of meditating to satisfy Anto. Then afterward, we can unearth some liquor. Does that mollify everyone?"
The compromise did satisfy them, quickly departing to their rooms to meditate yet looking forward to a drink. They're reasonably confident that Anto had a bottle of hard liquor stashed away. After all, he thrived on sinful behavior. Consequently, it stands to reason he'd have some wicked stuff inside his home.
I'll chase the wind as the sly fox chases the hare.
I'll climb Mt. Everest and breathe that clean, fresh mountain air.
When one thought swirls around me in a thermal gust
The worries of the past are blown away like dust!
After they'd finished mediating, then uncovered the liquor cabinet. However, the four teens were light-weights. Therefore naturally, they'd be seriously hungover by morning.
Anto had no knowledge they'd broken into his private reserves. He spent the next six hours in his shrine to Alanna. Deluding himself further if their plans succeeded, she'd forgive him and wear his ring at last.
Let it flow
Let it flow
Let the surging whirlpools swirl
Let them burn, let them burn!
Their precious world is gone!
Finally, it was time for the ceremony! Of course, since they're already drunk from the whiskey, they're only further intoxicated by the thought of the immense power just at their fingertips.
They created a circle with various colored candles. Black for Anto, orange for Anil, brown for Setsuna, gray for Sitka, and gold for Azula. As with the candles burning within the holy ring, these candle colors also held symbolic meaning.
The burning of a black candle is serious business. This is done when one wants to neutralize negative energies. The color black offers protection from illness, evil, and the negative energy cast upon you from outside forces. The black candle is also burned to harness the healing energy of the universe.
Orange is the color of sudden change. It confers upon those who dare to wear it, a form of super-power. To this end, the act of burning an orange candle is an aggressive move. One would do so to effect instant and profound change. Therefore, the lighting of orange candles is suitable for rituals occurring on the eve of weddings or important business meetings.
Brown is the color of our Earth. This color represents, above all things, balance and a firm connection to the land. The individual who supplicates in the presence of a burning brown candle is sending a message to the universe that they respect the dignity and solemnity of mother Earth.
They are well-grounded) and acknowledge the delicate balance of all things living on this Earth. Brown candles are used in rituals to regain balance, seek refuge from chaos, eliminate indecisiveness, find lost items and develop meaningful friendships.
Gray is a neutral color. It is useful to the practitioner when meditating on complex issues. The gray candle has the power to offset negative influences without repercussions. The gray candle is used in the same manner as charcoal to flush poisons from the body.
The gold candle is burned by the votary to achieve enlightenment. This is because the color gold blemishes light in its purest form. Gold is the very symbol of good fortune. It represents money, success, protection, and victory over our troubles.
The burning of a gold candle enhances communication with the universe as it attracts positive cosmic influences. Therefore, gold candles are recommended for use in rituals undertaken to gain personal power or fortune.
Highly spiritual believers hold that a candle flame can create a passageway that will enable prayers and petitions to be more easily received by such powers from which help is being sought.
Anto dragged Akiko into the room in shackles before throwing her into the middle of the circle. She scowled at him hatefully, wanting spit in his face. How dare this pathetic excuse for a man touch her! "Listen, sweet cakes, if you desire to see your precious prince again, you better do as I say, got it?" as he held her face in his skeleton-like fingers.
She continued to glare hatefully, but nothing more then that. Then, seeing she was a bit accommodating, Anto informed her of what she needed to do. "I don't know if you realize this, you little hussy, but you're blessed by Alanna herself. You are literally a light of hope!
Therefore this is what is going to happen next. First, you'll connect your light with the darkness within my descendant. Then you'll combine your powers to fuse the Shards. After that, you'll bestow them to my new vessel, Prince Ozai. Who then will be crowned, Phoenix King.
Do this, and you'll at least see your pretty-boy boyfriend again before the world ends. Consequently, think you can do that, sweet-cheek?"
Again, the jade-eyed woman scowled at him but nodded. She shed a single tear as he loosened the restraints. "Don't get any ideas," he snarled at her. He needn't worry. Akiko was a woman of honor. More to the point, she was a Dragon Guardian. They kept their word no matter what. They're reputable souls, unlike these bastards.
Getting into a meditation pose, she calmed her breathing. Then with all her focus, she called out to Anto's offspring, Wyanet. Her body started to burn with an extraordinary aura as the pathways became merged.
Meditating in the unholy circle of her blood tattoos, Wyanet glowed as the two girls' spirits formed the bridge. Their souls coincided halfway. The Shards materialized before them. The girls clasped their hands together, focusing with all their might. Suddenly a nova-like explosion went off, unveiling a fantastic talisman. The Shards had been fused!
Akiko bowed before turning to open the gateway that would bypass the laws that kept them from forming on lands of exile. Anto and his posse left his home and emerged on Sado Island!
Akiko then took the talisman with immense disgust walked over to the waiting Ozai. Pausing a moment to enable Anto to step into Ozai's body, she clasped the talisman around the Phoenix King's neck. Suddenly she collapsed from pushing her spiritual capabilities to their limits. Ozai/Anto smirked at the motionless girl. "Shall we feed her to the sea monster around the island? Or would our heiresses liked to kill her where she stands?" the Phoenix King proposed murderously.
Before they'd decided what actions to take, a blinding light enveloped Akiko, and she literally vanished into thin air! It surprised them, yes. However, as they felt they already held all the cards, it didn't bother them. The Phoenix King allowed the forbidden power to flow through his veins before granting each child their fair share.
"Now, no one can stop us from conquering the world! Then remaking it into our image! Soon the Avatar will be our thrall! But, for now, let's get off this wretched island!" crowed the Phoenix King. Then utilizing forbidden power, the newly formed court, moreover, an army of the Phoenix King escape unleashing hell upon the unsuspecting world.
Here I stand
Where you can hear the roar
Let the storm rage on!
The cold never bothered me anyway!
You Are Not Broken
You do need to be fixed, nor do you need to become someone else's version of perfection. You are a human being experiencing the highest of highs and lowest of lows.
Accept that you are not damaged. You will sometimes feel broken and sometimes feel more together than you ever dreamed possible.
But either way, you are an extraordinarily complete person. Strong, vulnerable, and alive. You, my dear, are not broken. You are exceptionally human.