I did some lore building and got a plausible timeline in, somewhat! Read chapters 2 and 8! :D
Also, just to let you all know, I edited a part in chapter nine to make it clear that Ozai WILL have back-up. See if you can find it! X)
Lastly, I changed how Aang learns energy-bending. You'll see how, but thinking back at it now, it seemed like the Lion-Turtle was just a lazy deus ex machina. I feel like with this idea that I'm gonna reveal soon, it sounds a lot more plausible and meaningful. So I hope that's okay! ^^;
The Next Day, During The Morning...
'Well, this is it,' Zuko thought as he took a deep breath as he stared out the glass window of the giant Fire Nation airship that he and the rest of his friends were flying in. He was wearing what looked to be a red and black Fire Nation armor fit for a General or a high ranking officer. His hair was down, and since it was a little longer, almost reaching to his shoulders, he had it in a small topknot. He was certainly ready for a big battle.
"Nervous?" asked the voice of Aang next to him.
Zuko turned his head to the right to look at the airbender, who just came up to his side. Aang was wearing what seemed to be the same thing he wore when he fought his father during the day of Sozin's Comet, except a little bigger for his tall and lanky frame.
"...In a way," Zuko said as he looked back at the window.
"Yeah…I'm kind of, um...well, a little nervous too. But hey, like Toph said, we beat your father before, we can do it again!" Aang said with a reassuring smile at the current Fire Lord.
Turning back to him with a smile on his own, Zuko said, "Yeah...I just...hope no one gets really hurt during this battle."
Aang hummed in agreement as he looked back at the window, Zuko also following suit as he gazed back at it.
As of now, they were all on an air-warship that has multiple airships by its side, housing plenty of soldiers in them. In the bigger air-warship, in the center of the fleet, Aang, Zuko, Iroh, Sokka, Suki, Katara, and Toph were all gathered inside, as well as a whole squadron of elite firebenders to fight off the impending threat that looms over the horizon. Even Appa was inside the cargo bay of the huge ship, just in case things get ugly. Meanwhile, Azula and the rest of the gang, such as Mai, Ty Lee, Haru, and Teo, were in another airship that was flying by the warship's right side.
They've been standing in front of the windows for at least a few seconds, gazing at the horizon of the landscape of the Fire Nation and the sea that stretched for miles, when Zuko sighed.
Aang turned to his friend and saw that he looked...worried. Frowning at his discomfort, Aang said, "Hey, I mean it. We'll beat him."
"...I know. But that's not what worries me," Zuko admitted.
Aang looked confused as he fully turned to him and asked, "What's wrong?"
"..." Zuko turned to him and said, "Aang, we don't even know what could be waiting for us at this cave. My father...he might be more power-hungry than he ever was. He learned a new power that's supposed to be ancient from our world, only to obtain it from this other world that he was in, and from what you said, he can fly now. Which I still find that hard to believe, by the way," he frowned, "Not only that, but he's got back-up from what this spirit told you. And if this...Zugaochi is as dangerous as you said it is, then...he could be a totally different person now. More violent, more savage, more cunning...he may be a worse version of who we faced. He could be...definitely not the man that I once knew…" he lowered his head down in sorrow.
Aang was starting to slightly see what Zuko was saying. He frowned and said to him, "Zuko...I...I think I know what you're saying."
Zuko looked up at his younger friend, waiting for him to continue.
"...You...You don't want to think that your father would turn into something even worse, do you? And...you're afraid that if he has gone off the deep end...then we would...have no choice but...to turn to drastic measures." Aang said as delicately as he can.
"...Yeah," Zuko frowned solemnly, "...I just...he's still my father, Aang. I only suggested maybe killing him back then because...I don't know, everything was going by so fast and...I guess I was angry at him at the time. But...I'm glad you didn't, in a way," he stood there for a moment, and took a deep breath, "...You know, my father wasn't always like this. He was...well, back then when I was really little, I remembered he used to be...fatherly. Like he actually truly cared. But...my grandfather's influence made him care more about power in due time…"
Upon hearing that, Aang frowned further. He recalled the final battle with Ozai and how he mocked Aang's heritage...how he was going to hurt more people by burning down the Earth Kingdom. To be so inhumane...it scared the airbender. Scared that if he lost, then Ozai would hurt his friends and bring unbalance to the world.
He honestly did think about maybe ending Ozai when it came to that...which scared him to no end. He would be abandoning his Air Nomad teachings if he went that far. How would Gyatso and the other monks look at him if he had ended a life?
Thankfully, while he was in the Avatar State, Roku came through his being and calmed his mind down, telling him that there was another way, a way to render him powerless; by taking his bending away. And so, Aang did just that, without the cost of killing him. But still, it haunts him to this day that he was this close to doing so…
"...I'm really glad I didn't kill him, either. In a way...your father helped you find your mother...and your mother helped out Azula...maybe that's why Roku suggested taking Ozai's bending away," Aang smiled slightly, "Maybe...your great-grandfather just wanted you, your mother, and Azula to be just...a family again."
Zuko looked at Aang with surprised wide eyes as he took that into account. Lowering his head slightly, he thought about that concept...and after a few seconds, he looked up at the Avatar with a smile. "You know...that's a great way of putting it. I have to thank Roku for that...I guess some things really do happen for a reason."
Aang smiled back, "I would like to think so too. Not only the Spirits know what they're doing, but it goes to show that The High Spirit really is controlling any situation."
"Yeah…" Zuko's smile died down a bit, "Although, I don't know about my father redeeming himself now...did he really burn a whole ship down full of his...uh, crew?"
Zuko heard from Aang that Ozai used to be a captain of his own ship of some sort. While the idea of his father being a captain of a ship was so...foreign and outlandish to him, Zuko had to take it by Aang's face value. He looked serious when he told him, and Zuko wouldn't think Aang would joke around about something like this.
"From what I heard from Roger, yeah...but apparently he still had some loyal followers with him. And they sound like they can fight from what I picked up when Roger was telling me this...I just hope they aren't really strong benders or something," Aang said with a grim frown.
"Hm…" Zuko looked down in thoughtful silence.
"...But hey, I can always go into the Avatar State when things get serious! That always seems to fix stuff!" Aang reassured.
Zuko looked up with a small smile. "Yeah...and no matter how strong my father has gotten, I would still think he's no match for the Avatar himself.."
Aang grinned, "Don't worry. I won't let you guys down."
Chuckling, Zuko said to Aang, "Neither will I...thanks Aang."
"No problem, Zuko," Aang said with a smile.
Both men each gave the other a good appreciative man-hug.
"Um, I hope we're not interrupting anything, are we?" asked a teasing feminine voice.
The two young men let go of their hug and looked to see that it was none other than Toph and Katara standing near the entry-frame. Toph, who undoubtedly was the one that teased them, leaned against the frame with her arms crossed and with a cheeky smirk, while Katara stood there as she crossed her arms with a smirk as well. Momo was also on Toph's shoulder looking at the two boys' exchange with curiosity.
"Oh, uh, no!" Aang said with a sheepish smile, "We were just giving each other pep talks!"
"Uh, yeah!" Zuko winced, feeling a little embarrassed by having that 'bro' moment.
Katara giggled a little, "Well, me and Toph were trying to find you two. Iroh wants all of us to meet up with him in the war room right now so he can brief us and give us ways to defeat Ozai."
"Yeah. And I think I heard that we're almost to our destination, so we can start encouraging each other before we get there," Toph told them, her smirk never leaving. Momo jumped off of Toph and flew over to Aang's shoulders.
When the lemur-bat landed on Aang's shoulder's, Aang and Zuko smiled back at the women, the latter saying, "Sure thing. We're on our way."
Once the four of them entered the war room, it looked like everyone was dressed up for the occasion. Sokka was wearing an attire that's suited for a Water Tribe General, dressed in light and dark blues, complete with white fluff trimming, and a wolf skin draped over his head. Suki was, of course, in her Captain of the Kyoshi Warriors get-up, even with the Kyoshi makeup on her face to seal the deal.
As for what the other two women were wearing, Toph was wearing what looked like a metal chest-plate on her front torso, which she also has metal elbow pads, metal wrist bracelets, and metal knee pads on. She has her space rock strapped on her right bicep as well, and was wearing green clothing that's reminiscent of the Dai Li, along with the round hat on her head. Katara was wearing her waterbending attire, which was like her old outfit back when she was fourteen, only this one is suited to her older frame. Her hair was down just like that day at Zuko and Azula's Agni Kai, with the two hair-loops on each side of her temples.
Iroh was wearing what looked like his old General outfit from days past as he stood at the top of the square table which housed the diagram of their location where the battle will take place.
"Ah, good!" Iroh said with a humorous smile, "The Avatar and my nephew, The Fire Lord! Come, we are almost to our destination, so we need to go over the plan."
"Sorry, Uncle," Zuko said with a flushed sheepish look, "I was just collecting my thoughts elsewhere. I'm just, you know, trying to prepare myself when we face my father."
"Oh, don't be, my Nephew," Iroh said in understanding, "We certainly have been deep in our thoughts about this as well."
"Yeah," Sokka spoke up, "We just need to find a very good tactic to bring your jerk old man down. And Iroh and I have a good enough plan to do so!"
"Sokka's plan was last minute," Suki said with a teasing smirk at her Water Tribe boyfriend.
Sokka directed a pout at her, "Oh come on, Babe, it's cool!"
"Your 'plan' was to use your new boomerang to strike Ozai down while he's flying, and let Toph and I try to encase him with rock and ice," Katara drolly said.
"Hey, you got to admit, it sounds like a really good plan when it was thought up," Sokka told his sister, "Besides, Aang and Zuko won't have to do anything! Zuko won't face his old man, while Aang won't go into drastic measures, like finishing him off."
Zuko and Aang looked at Sokka with surprised looks on their faces.
"Uh, Sokka, while I appreciate you thinking about us, we want to try to help out as much as we can," Aang said.
"Yeah...and...maybe this time, we have to…stop him...permanently," Zuko said in melancholy, head lowered.
Katara was next to Zuko and saw his expression. Frowning, she instantly put a hand on his shoulder to comfort him as she said softly, "Don't worry, Zuko. Maybe it won't come to that."
Aang noticed this affection, which he's next to Katara. He looked a little confused at first, but thought nothing of it, thinking that it was just Katara being a good friend.
Toph, on the other hand, heard all three of their heartbeats and Katara's voice, her tone sounding a little more warmer when talking to Zuko.
Zuko turned her head to Katara and smiled kindly, his eyes focused on her blue ones, "I can only hope."
Toph, who was next to Aang, decided to say something so that the firebender and the waterbender didn't get too far, "Well, I'm just ready to bust some skulls on whoever Ozai is bringing in for reinforcements!" she finished, punching her tiny fist into her other hand, "Let's get this battle plan going!"
Iroh chuckled slightly, "I agree!" he turned his head to Zuko with a reassuring smile, "We'll get through this, Zuko. Never worry."
Zuko looked at his uncle and nodded with a smile, "Right."
"Alright, everyone here?" Azula asked the remaining four who were in the war room. The Fire Princess was wearing her old armor suit, but this time, she has her hair down, never to tie it up in her old topknot in remembrance of her old self.
The four in question were Mai, Haru, Ty Lee, and Teo, along with some Fire Nation soldiers.
"Uh, yes," Haru.
"Here!" Ty Lee.
The rest of the soldiers confirmed their presence.
"Good…" Azula lowered her head to think, "...So...I know I was...harsh in the past. And I'm going to try and rectify all of that. Starting now."
Ty Lee smiled at her friend, while Mai nodded and gave out a slight smile to Azula as well.
The Fire Princess took a deep breath, "...You are no longer looking at Azula, my father's...Ozai's pawn. You are looking at a young woman who has her fair share of trials, both physically and mentally...but mostly mentally. All my life, I thought the only thing that mattered was to be the best...but thanks to my…" Azula smiled, "...thanks to my brother, and my mother...heh, and even my uncle, I realized that being the best was...meaningless. Not when I have a family. A family that cares deeply for someone like me, who strived for power once…" she frowned, "my father...he was once a good father...but as time passed...he just wanted more power...and he strung that onto me. As of now, I don't know what he's like...perhaps he's even worse than before...but I know one thing. I am never going back to what I once was," she closed her eyes as she began to tear up, "...I thank those who put up with me throughout the years...because as of now, I can assuredly call you all my friends and family. I'm truly and sincerely happy that...that they all deeply care about me. I…" she opened her eyes up and her tears began to fall, "...Thank you all for believing in me."
Ty Lee was beginning to tear up as well, happy that her friend has learned to trust again. Even Mai, whose face was still stoic, was getting a little slightly teary-eyed as she began to try to wipe away the forming tears in her eyes. Haru and Teo both gave their girlfriends some comfort, with Haru placing a hand on Mai's shoulder, and Teo grabbing Ty Lee's hand, while the Firebending soldiers all smiled and gave her nods of approval.
Azula took a deep breath to calm her emotions. She looked straight at them with a look of resolve, and said, "Okay...with all the pleasantries aside, we need to focus on what's coming ahead. My father could very well be something else entirely. Rumors say that he has back-up and that he could fly now...I find that last one hard to believe, but the Avatar was never said to lie before. He also said that he has his bending back...I don't know how strong his firebending is at this point, but knowing my father, he'll be using it to his advantage," she kept her expression hard as she looked at everyone, "But either way, we're gonna be ready for him. Up ahead is a small cave that my father was last seen with his resistance group that was against my brother. Although we foiled their plans of trying to usurp my brother off the throne as Fire Lord, my father was nowhere to be found. He disappeared...from what the Avatar said, he was transported...to another world. I know that sounds bizarre, and to tell you the truth, it really does sound bizarre. But now is not the time to question it. As of now, in the course of these two years, my father has gained his bending back by unknown means, and has learned an ancient power that applies to bending. He could be stronger than he ever was...I'm not gonna lie, I don't know what to expect. I don't even know how strong this...spiritual power could be when he uses it. But I know one thing. He will not win. Everything is back to how it should be...harmony is set in place, and we worked too hard for it to be ruined by my father's hunger for power and greed.
"From this day forward...we fight to win. We fight to keep that harmony balanced and restored. We fight for our mothers, fathers, siblings, grandfathers and grandmothers to live a day where we are not fed by lies from propaganda, and force it onto our children. We fight for the rightful heir to the Fire Nation throne...my brother, Fire Lord Zuko. We will all fight for him...just like he fought for me, when I felt all hope was lost within me," Azula looked down soberly, but then smiled softly, "...Let us fight for our future," she looked up and gave them all a look of determination, "So, without further ado, let's get to our plan. Our plan on stopping my father from taking over our world once more."
Meanwhile, Near An Island In The Morning...In Another World.
A quiet calm has blanketed the sea...but soon, something will start to brew.
A storm of catastrophic events will unfold...
Up in the clear blue sky, there was a creature flying in the air, straight towards an island in the distance. Below the creature was a medium-sized rowboat, full of four other individuals that seemed to be gaining on it...and that's because of one person's Devil Fruit ability.
The person who's operating the rowboat was somewhat of a bodybuilder, his intense bulging muscles and huge 7'0" tall muscular frame really pronounced and noticeable. His torso was exposed to show off his physique, and was wearing gray pants and black boots. His short hair was an orange color, while he has a stubble beard that's black haired on his rugged and square-jawed face. He was doing something unusual on getting the rowboat moving, and that's...by punching continuously straight at the back of the boat, almost as if the kinetic energy was pushing the were in. He was doing it in super-fast punches as well, which no one can see to the naked eye, except certain swishing movements whenever the man kept punching.
"HYA-HYA-HYA-HYA-HYA!" hollered out the bodybuilder-ish man.
Name: Bruin Aldo - The Kinetic
Devil Fruit Ability: The Push Push Fruit - Type: Paramecia - Allows him to use kinetic energy into a real force by pushing the energy at them. Also uses Armament and Observation Haki.
Bounty: 420,000,00 Berries
"Ugh, finally. I can see an island up ahead. I was about to go crazy hearing Bruin's damn exaggerated hollering here," said another guy on the rowboat, who was not as big as the man that he called Bruin, but was tall(exactly 6'2") and strong-looking nonetheless. He was wearing what looked to be an open black jacket with no shirt on and is wearing black pants, along with fingerless gloves and black pointed casual shoes. His skin looked pale-white, with his dark raven hair reaching to his shoulders, and his eyes looked like they had eyeshadow on it. He looked like a typical goth-looking guy, except his personality isn't of dread. His nature is more average...except for his sadistic glee whenever he wants to fight his adversaries.
Name: Skulder Leech - The Corrosive Death
Devil Fruit Ability: The Acid Acid Fruit - Type: Logia - Allows to make his body turn into corrosive acid and uses it to burn and melt his enemies. Also uses Armament and Observation Haki.
Bounty: 430,00,000 Berries
One other man, who looks to have two sword sheaths strapped around his back as well as two swords in them, is wearing a simple green jacket with a white shirt, black pants, and has black boots on as well. His head is bald and he has a curly blue mustache on his upper lip, and is of an average height, that being 6'3". The man was crossing his arms and looking over to the nearing island with disinterest.
"So, this is the island? Looks kind of...average." he said, with a raised blue eyebrow.
Name: Alfred Conner - The Refined Blade
Devil Fruit Ability: None - Uses Armament Haki to apply to his swordsman techniques with his two swords. Also has Observation Haki.
Bounty: 450,000,000 Berries
"Let's not be too judgemental now, Alfred," said a feminine voice, which belonged to a long vibrant red-haired woman that looked to be exactly 5'11" tall. Her attire is that of a Gladiator woman, with her metal boots, metal knee pads, metal skirt, metal chest-plate, metal shoulder pads, metal elbow pads, and metal gloves, all of them a golden material. The only thing she isn't wearing to match the Gladiator look, would be the helmet. She had a quiver filled with arrows and a bow draped around her back. She also looked quite beautiful, her red lips and facial features angular, and her figure a sexy, but strong and toned hourglass.
Name: Melinda - The Fierce Scarlet
Devil Fruit Ability: None - Uses her Armament Haki to apply her warrior strength and arrows from her bow. Also has Observation Haki.
Bounty: 440,000,000 Berries
"Hey, if this island is worth something to write about, even enough to let our Captain ask for a letter of resignation from the Admiral himself, and the Admiral accepting it, then this place really has to be important," the Skulder said as he laid his arms over the side of the rowboat.
"Hm. True," Alfred mumbled as he mulled it over, "But...has our Captain really been told to take his leave from his position as a Titanic Captain? And that the Admiral approved his resignation? I thought the Admiral wanted more power in his crew? What does that say about our strength? Are we even strong like the others?"
"Dude, of course we're strong! We're way hella strong! We wouldn't be in Blackbeard's Crew if that was the case!" Skulder argued, "You're not gonna get all mopey on us and shit right now, are ya?"
"Don't you find it rather odd that our Captain was in a glorious position with the most dangerous man and crew in the seas, but he threw it all away for...just one island?" Alfred asked Skulder drolly, looking at him with a monotonous expression.
"That is rather peculiar," Melinda mumbled to herself, putting her hand under her chin in thought, "Although, there are some things we don't know about our Captain. He is a man of secrets. All we know about him is that he had amnesia and was a king at one time."
"Yes, we have that to fall on...I just find it strange that our Admiral would be so willing to let not only our Captain go, but all of us as well," Alfred noted, "I also thought he wouldn't be too thrilled about our Captain quitting his Crew. And if word gets out that one of Blackbeard's Titanic Captains left his Crew…"
"Ah come on, who cares at this damn point? We're free to do our own thing!" assured Skulder, "We're lucky we even decided to follow our Captain through this whole crazy-ass trip, or else we would have been on that ship burning with the rest of his crew!"
"Hmm...still, this all just feels so...off. This island isn't even a marked territory by Blackbeard," Alfred reasoned.
"Oh come now, Alfred, are you really that concerned?" Melinda asked with a smirk at him, "Do you really want to be the Admiral's pawn for his schemes, or do you want to be an actual pirate and be free from rules and regulations? I left Amazon Lily because I wanted a change in scenery. I'm glad I did, even though it was hard to get off that island."
Skulder chuckled, "I'm still going over to that island of yours someday, Mel. If these women are as fine as you are, then I'm all for it to have a Haki-enhanced arrow striking me on the ass."
Melinda rolled her eyes and replied, "You'll be a specimen for them, I'll tell you that much."
"Hell yeah I would be!" Skulder grinned in a cocky way, "Women love the 'bad boy' look."
"Hard to believe you used to be a noble's son, with language and demeanor like that," Alfred drawled.
"Ah, screw you, Al! I left the noble life because my parents were nags, and it was boring," Skulder waved at him with a sneer. "And you should talk! You were a knight in some kingdom elsewhere!"
"I didn't like the job. Like Lady Melinda here said, I wanted a change. I don't want to keep doing the same thing over and over again in some stuffy palace with prip-proper people. I was close to losing my mind...and I hated how the other knights were too rowdy. Plus, the pay was horrible."
"See? There ya go! And then you decided to become a pirate to get a lot more of that profit!" Skulder said with a smirk.
"That I did. Although...while I do think the Captain quitting the Blackbeard Crew was quite bold, and I'm glad it all worked out, the fact of the matter is that him going to this island doesn't really add up. If he did regain his memory back to know that he once ruled a country, then why go to an island of all things? I just find it very odd that our Captain would go to this much lengths on quitting the Crew all because he wants to return back to this island." Alfred wondered.
"If I recall, that's where they found him, right?" Melinda asked either one of them.
"Hey, from what I heard, they found our Captain on an island in the New World. Chances are, this could be the one that they were speaking about," Skulder said with a shrug.
Alfred sighed, "I just hope we didn't make a mistake on leaving the Blackbeard Pirates."
"Hey, don't worry," Melinda said, "If the Admiral wasn't offended by our Captain leaving the Crew, then I think we're all good."
"Yeah, seriously, Al, don't be so uptight. Just cause you were once a guard in some kingdom, doesn't mean you have to be guarded all the time," Skulder jokes.
"I hope that wasn't a pun, because that was honestly not funny," Alfred drawled.
"Hey, I'm a pirate, not a comedian, okay Blue-stache?" Skulder told him in an annoyed manner.
Alfred narrowed his eyes at Skulder with a glare. "Don't diss the mustache."
Melinda snorted, "Men…" She looked ahead at the island they were nearing, "Still, this island must hold some sort of significance if our Captain wants to go back here."
"Yeah," Skulder agreed with a smirk as well, "Something must be pretty good over there. Maybe he experienced some treasure on this island and he kept it a secret from Blackbeard for two years, or something? Like he would be bargaining his country to let him reign again?"
"I wouldn't think our Captain would be the type to bargain with anyone, or to keep something trivial like that from Blackbeard," Alfred refuted, "He's more into power than anything that's laced with gold. In fact, he would have taken his home country anytime depending on his strength."
"Hm. Yeah…" Melinda sat there with a hand to her delicate chin, "Well, on the subject of wanting power, so does the Admiral. He really is stretching his influence across the New World these past two years. You would think being an Emperor would satiate his goals, but he still wants to take over all of the seas and islands in the World."
"Eh, well, either way, we'll find out when we get there. We're almost near the island right now," Skulder said as he glanced at the island getting closer. He craned his neck to look at Bruin and hollered back at him, "We're almost there, Meathead! Keep punching at nothing!"
"HYA-HYA-HYA-SCREW YOU, PALE BOY, HOW ABOUT YOU ROW THE BOAT NEXT TIME!? HYA-HIYA-HYA-HYA-HYAAAA!"
"I have to say, I'm impressed with Bruin's stamina and endurance," Alfred mumbled.
"HYA-HYA-HYA-WHY THANK YOU, ALFRED! AT LEAST I'M APPRECIATED! HYA-HYA-HYA-HYAAA!"
"You certainly are, Bruin," Melinda said with a smile, "Thanks for being a part of our transportation."
"HYA-HYA-HYA-HYA-OH WHY THANK YOU, MELINDA DEAR! ANYTHING FOR A LADY AS BEAUTIFUL AS YOU! HYA-HYA-HYA-HYAAAA!"
And so, the four crewmates of the retired Eleventh Titanic Ship all rode over the sea until they reached the island's shore. Meanwhile the creature was flying overhead the island, and soon descended its way in the lush green jungle…
In one lone area of the island, a cave is situated in the shrouded blanket of large trees.
Everything was quiet…
A rustling came from above the tree branches...
It was then a figure came through the greenery, softly hovering down to the ground by its wings as it entered the jungle.
As soon as the creature was close to the ground, one last swift woosh came from its wings as the figure, upon being what looked like a man, landed on his feet.
Standing at an imposing height of 6'1", the person looked like a cross between a man and...a dragon.
His biceps were bulging with large muscles that looked like he could break the simplest man in half, his torso ripped beyond comparison, his six packs abs thick to the point that not even blunt force could affect them, and shoulders wide and broad to display the powerful-looking frame he has.
However, the muscles were all covered up by rough red scales, along with his dragon's tail that he's sporting from behind him. The dragon-man was wearing an open red vest with golden trimmings on the sleeves, the bottom hem, all along to the side openings and its collar, exposing his packed scaly chest. He's also wearing black pants and black pointed casual shoes.
The man had a deadly dragon's snout that bore razor-sharp teeth in his maw, with two long whiskers on each side of the snout, while his hair and goatee beard were long, the latter long enough to reach the top of his chest, while the former was long enough to stop at his upper back. His claw-like hands and nails looked sharpened like wicked daggers, looking ready to puncture any sort of unlucky soul that stands in his way. His wings spread open as they closed in on his back behind him.
But the most terrifying thing about this dragon-man was not his build, nor his razor-sharp claws and teeth, or even the fact he's a lot taller and imposing.
No...it was his eyes.
They were a golden yellow, and they hold a look of determination, a look of pure resolve...with a hint of malicious intent.
He was ready to kill.
Then, his scales start to transform...back into normal human skin. His snout and whiskers were shrinking back into his face, and his teeth changed back to what they once were. His wings were morphing into his back, while his claws turned back into their human shape.
The only things that didn't change back were his eyes. The same golden yellow eyes that were holding his cold and hardened expression.
His facial features spoke of experience and hardships, looking as if he went through hell to reach this peak of physical perfection. And in ways, he actually had. He trained in grueling conditions, had to prove his worth, and kill many to show that he IS strong...and it all paid off.
When he began his training, the rest of his old crew didn't hold back their assaults whenever they stopped at islands, especially his former Captain. He did really well, his determination fueling him as he learned new techniques, as well as attacked them with stronger versions of his firebending. For some reason, he could use the spiritual energy known as Haki, which fueled his bending into being effective against certain types of Devil Fruit users, especially the Logia users. In fact, he was so attuned to his Haki, that he became almost a prodigy. However, he still couldn't surpass any of his old crew as well as his Captain, not even some of the higher-ups of the Marines from the World Government, seeing that not only they had Devil Fruit powers, but he later found out that they can use Haki too.
But that only driven himself to be stronger. And during the raids on each island with his former crew, he had to do unspeakable things. Things such as loot, steal, even kill innocents...not that he had any problem with that last task. He had to be stronger. And in due time, during the coming months, he was going to prove it when the Payback War was upon them. He encountered many strong fighters, pirates to put it more eloquently. The majority of them were Devil Fruit users, but all of them were Haki users. He used the amount of training he got to finish off a good portion of this once famous pirate crew(which his former Captain called the crew the Whitebeard Pirates), seeing powers that were extraordinary and grandeur, such as the recent Whitebeard Captain Marco's Phoenix Devil Fruit. Seeing how ironic that is, he took a strike at Marco, which he only got in a 'lucky shot' as one of his crewmates had so eloquently said to him. Either way, it gained him a name in the course of those months when his Captain had finally reached Emperor status.
That was when he became a Titanic Captain.
He had his own ship and platoon, his very own crew. His moniker was even called "The Fire Lord". And it was then, he felt a certain feeling that he hadn't felt in a very good while...power.
But it was not the power that he was seeking.
No. The power he was seeking was in another world, for this world was not his.
The men and women in this world...they also craved the same thing, but behaved more like monsters…monsters with god-like power.
And he once associated with these monstrous gods, all of which could eliminate his much smaller world in a second.
He was convinced that he was brought here by fate, to mingle with these gods as they told him the secrets of gaining strength and power. And when he learned that...it was time...
It was time to go back.
No longer would he be associated with pirates of all things. He was a king, a ruler! He doesn't care what his old Captain does in this world he's inhabiting, he can be king of it for all he cares. When he realized that he had become stronger than he ever had before, he knew it was time.
Ozai was ready.
And oddly enough...his old Captain was fine with it. He was fine with him leaving the Blackbeard Pirates.
Which, come to think of it...it struck him rather strange.
From his time when he was around his Captain-turned-Admiral, Marshall D. Teach, he made it clear that once he's in the crew, he's in for the long haul...that is, until when Ozai was about to approach Blackbeard on the topic, it seems...he already knew.
How? Ozai doesn't know. Maybe it was Teach's Haki, or maybe it had something to do with his Devil Fruit power. Maybe he suspected it the whole time...either way, he found out about him leaving the crew.
But the most peculiar thing about it...was that Blackbeard didn't care.
Feeling as if he was going to be backstabbed by Teach when he turned around, Ozai asked him if there was a reason for letting him go. Teach basically said:
"It's not because you're not strong, 'Fire Lord'. I just feel like you need to take a break, whether it be a temporary or a permanent one. We basically taught ya everything you needed to know on how to be strong, so congratulations on that! I think it's just time for you to spread your wings and fly away to whatever place you're from. There's no trick here, just to let you know. You're honestly free to do whatever! So, as of now, I'm giving you your official leave from the crew! Ze-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!"
It really was odd...but the dragon-man wasn't going to let this opportunity pass up.
And so, Ozai left the Blackbeard Pirates, and never once looked back.
However, he did have loyal crew members, such as the four that were following him as of now. He knew they wanted something more than just to be pawns for Blackbeard, so he offered a proposition for them. Leave the Blackbeard Pirates with him, and he'll reward them for their loyalty by gaining a country from his 'homeland'. None of the four knew too much about him, other than he probably had amnesia and he was recovering from it. That, and when he feigned on 'remembering' where he was from, he said that he came from a very distant land. So upon hearing that and Ozai's deal, they were all in.
With all that said, Ozai told the rest of his crew that he resigned from his position and that he was not coming back...to further emphasize his point, he burned down his ship with his whole crew on it, except for his four crew members that took a row boat and followed their Captain.
He was no longer a pirate...he was now going to be what he truly is in his own world.
No...a King sounds too...materialistic.
When he goes back to his world, he'll be something else entirely…
He was once in the company of unbelievably powerful beings, all the while learning only a fraction of the powers that these individuals hold. Some would call them monsters, others would call them gods…
He prefers the latter…
Whether he believes it or not, he associated with gods, beings not from his world. He learned their ways, and became like them. If he was honest, he would think this 'King of the Pirates' title was more than just being a 'King'. Whoever holds that title...would be the God of this world.
And quite frankly, he was not interested in this world's title, for he was from this world…
His world, his home...was just beyond that cave.
It was a bizarre thing to think that this day, the Summer Solstice in this world, will lead him back to his home. However...something inside of him knew that he was right on coming back here. Call it a crazy intuition, but he was convinced without having any proof. It's like something in his mind told him to go back...that now was the time.
He had a feeling that today...he was going home.
Today...he will become the God of his world.
Ozai stood there, waiting for his four stronger crew members to come to him as he stared at the cave's mouth.
He heard a rustle behind him.
"Took you all long enough," Ozai said to the four crew members without looking at them
"Hey, none of us can fly, Captain," Skulder argued with a glare directed at him as he walked up to the area.
"Indeed," said an approaching Alfred, "And depending on our transportation, we like to think we all made it here in quite good time."
As Melinda was approaching the group, she also said, "Although, poor Bruin needs to rest his arms after literally punching his way to get here."
Coming up behind her was the large Bruin, who was waving his arms around from using them too much. "It's of no worries, little lady! I still have some energy left in me! I didn't get this physique just by sitting on my butt all day trying to act 'cool'."
"Is that a crack at me, Meathead?" Skulder scowled at the larger man.
"I don't know, you tell me, Pale Face," Bruin said with a challenging smirk.
"Man, you're just asking to get your ass kicked, aren't you?" Skulder growled as he scowled at Bruin.
"Enough," Ozai said as he turned his head back at them from where he stood with a frown, "I rather not have this moment ruined because of both of your quarrels."
"Moment? What kind of moment?" Melinda asked her former captain in curiosity.
"This island...is where it all began," Ozai told them in a serious tone as he looked back at the cave.
"Where it all began?" Bruin repeated his words, "You mean, where Blackbeard found you?"
"Indeed. This is the island where I first...tasted power." Ozai explained, "It was where I not only gained my Devil Fruit ability, but my Haki, and...my firebending back."
"Firebending? You know, you call that all the time like it's separate from your Dragon Fruit…" Skulder pondered that for a second, "Actually, I still find it weird that you got another version of the Dragon Fruit besides Kaido."
"Hm, yeah, I have to admit for the last one, that is rather odd," Melinda muttered, "Maybe the Captain's Fruit is another Mythical type?"
"Another thing," Ozai said abruptly, "Never call me 'Captain' from here on in. I abandon that title."
"Really?" Alfred asked curiously, "Then what do you want us to call you?"
"...Ozai, for now," Ozai said to them. He turned around to face them, and continued, "From here, this was the start of my journey to greatness. Although not as…" Ozai scowled, "strong as Blackbeard and the rest of his crew, as well as the other Emperors of the New World and the World Government, I still achieved the peak of perfection where I'm from."
"Yeah, about that," Skulder interrupted, "Where is this homeland of yours again? You said that you remembered being King or something in it, right? So, why are we on this island right now?"
Ozai glared at him, "I ask for your patience, Skulder. And I advise you to not interrupt."
"Alright, alright. Sheesh, ask a curious question, and you get on the offensive," Skulder muttered as he raised his hands in defense.
The former Fire Lord narrowed his eyes as he glared at the pale man. "As I was saying, from where you are all standing, this island is where Blackbeard and his crew, before they achieved their status, had found me. This place, while not inhabitable by anyone at the time, was inhabited by an ancient civilization."
"An ancient civilization?" Alfred asked in interest.
"Huh. How ancient?" Bruin asked curiously.
"Is there a Poneglyph involved?" Melinda asked with a frown.
"What?" Skulder said incredulously, "Ah, hell no! Don't tell me that you can somehow read those things now, Cap-uh...Ozai. I don't want to know any of that Void Century crap. That stuff can really get us into deep shit, you know?"
"Quiet," Ozai said sternly as his nose blew out little flames and smoke.
All four of the crewmates went silent, letting Ozai continue.
"Thank you...now about this civilization, I am not absolutely certain who they are...but quite frankly, I don't care. As of right now though, this cave that you see behind me will be the gateway to my homeland...as well as my own world, to be more precise."
The four pirates all blinked at Ozai.
"Um…" Bruin scratched his head, "Your own world?"
"What do you mean by that?" Melinda asked curiously.
"Gateway…?" Alfred murmured in question.
"Uuuh...you lost me there, pal," Skulder said with a raised eyebrow.
"Believe what you want," Ozai resumed his speech, "But as of today, you all followed me here, by your own will I might add, to show your loyalty to me. And with that, I am pleased. You will all be rewarded in due time."
"Rewarded? You mean, that whole deal with us conquering countries?" Bruin asked.
"That, and much more," Ozai said cryptically with a bit of a smirk.
"Wait," Alfred interjected with a raised brow, "What exactly is going on here?"
"Yeah. This seems...a little sketchy," Melinda threw her two cents in as she put her hands on her hips in suspicion.
"Again, believe what you want. All you need to know, is that you will all be rewarded immensely. All you have to do now is to keep following me to our destination," Ozai told them as he turned around and walked over inside the cave mouth.
Each of the crewmates glanced at each other in slight puzzlement.
"Well...I guess we go on in?" Melinda asked any of the men.
"I don't know…" Alfred looked back at the cave that their ex-captain went into as he narrowed his eyes in wariness, "...This does seem to look a little shady."
Skulder scoffed. "Hey, if he goes off and attacks us, it's four against one. No need to worry, we can take him down."
"Pretty confident, aren't ya, Pale Face?" Bruin said with a ridiculing grin aimed at Skulder. "You sound like those chumps who think they can take me down back at my dojo."
"It was a draw, Meathead," Skulder growled back at him, "Besides, you said you like a challenge, which is why you wanted a 'change' yourself, right?"
"Hey, after I've beaten my sensei, of course," Bruin stated, "Still, we don't know what kind of skill Ozai has. Along with his Devil Fruit and Haki, he does that 'firebending' stuff."
"I thought that was part of his DF power?" Skulder wondered.
"Either way, boys, I don't think Ozai would bring us here just to eliminate us. I mean, the rest of his crew was just mediocre at best, so he sees value in us," Melinda assured.
"Hm...well, we'll just have to find out what's waiting for us in that cave, won't we?" Alfred told them.
Ozai can see it.
'Yes...I knew it.'
Once he ventured down the cave, he reached the end of the cavern...where he saw the red portal that he came out of.
Thoughts were running through his mind. But one thought was prevalent.
He is coming home.
'Either my country will welcome me back with open arms, or that my son is actually doing something competent with his role…' Ozai scowled in anger as he thought of his son, 'Zuko...you traitorous child! You, along with your worthless uncle, will know respect.'
He stood there as he heard, and sensed, his crewmembers coming down the path inside the cave.
"Whoa...what the hell is that?" Skulder said in surprise.
"Whoa...it's...red..." Bruin said in shock.
"What in the world?" Alfred said as he looked at the portal with wide eyes.
"Oh...wow...what is that?" Melinda asked in extreme interest.
"This," Ozai started, "Is where we are going."
"Um…" Skulder blinked, "...Okay, I have questions."
"So do I," Alfred said with a serious expression as he turned to Ozai, "What is this thing?"
"That...is the gateway to my home," Ozai announced to them all with an evil smirk.
Melinda looked on at the red portal in awe and then turned to the dragon-man, "Where...is that?"
Ozai's smirk turned into a full blown wicked smile. "On another world."
Bruin looked at the portal, and then at Ozai, and then back at the portal. "...You're gonna have to start from the beginning...uh, Ozai."
Ozai turned his head back to his crew, and with a crooked smirk said, "Just know that I come from somewhere far different than your world. And all of you will be back up. We're probably going to have some resistance, but if you all pull this off, then I will greatly reward every one of you for being loyal to me."
The four pirates all looked at Ozai in contemplative silence...
"...Ah, what the hell. Sure, this is different, but I like a change of scenery," Bruin answered with a shrug.
"...I still have many questions...but I like venturing onto the unknown," Alfred commented.
Melinda smirked, "Well, this is gonna be interesting…"
"...Ah, damn. Alright, alright, I'm all in," Skulder said with a mutter.
Ozai turned his head back at the portal with an evil grin of his own. "Then let's go."
Back in the Avatar World…
As the airships began their descent from the sky, they were all approaching an area full of trees and clear openings, as well as a lake. In the midst of all the trees, there was also a hill that looked like a cavern formation amongst the greenery. It became more present as the ships were lowered onto the ground, the cave hill becoming clearer to view.
Aang and Zuko, along with the others, were at the deck and stood in front of glass windows, viewing the ground below them.
"Is that the cave?" Aang asked Zuko as he spotted the cavern.
"It looks like it," Zuko answered solemnly. "Which means...we're here."
Katara, who's next to Zuko, glanced at him with a worried expression. "Are...you gonna be okay, Zuko?"
Zuko took a deep breath and sighed to calm himself of what's about to occur. He turned to Katara with a small smile and a nod. "Yeah...I'll be fine. Besides, I have all of you here."
Katara smiled at that in reassurance.
Sokka and Suki came up to Zuko, the former saying, "Yeah, Zuko! We got your back! Always!" He patted him on the shoulder for reassurance.
"Yeah, we'll kick your old man's ass, don't worry," Toph assured as she came up to Aang's side.
Aang smiled at the Fire Lord, "We'll be there for you, Zuko. You can count on it."
Zuko turned to everyone that supported him and gave them all an appreciative smile, "Thank you all."
"I really do apologize to break up this moment of friendship," Iroh said as he came up to the group with a soft apologetic smile, "But we are about to land. We must be ready for what awaits us."
Zuko, Aang, and everyone else stood straight. They all glanced at each other, nodding their heads, signaling that it was time.
"Well...let's do this," Aang said with resolve.
The cargo bay slowly opened.
The Gaang stood there in front of a row of soldiers that were also in front of the cargo bay's door, while Appa was behind the Gaang. Momo was also on Aang's right shoulder. Iroh stood a little bit next to Zuko's right, while Aang stood a little bit next to Zuko's left. Katara stood a ways next to Aang, with Toph next to her. Sokka stood a ways next to Iroh, while Suki stood next to her boyfriend as well. They gave each other some space as they stood there on each other's sides.
They were all ready.
Once the door lowered down, the soldiers filed out, as well as the Gaang, with Appa trudging behind them. The other airships from the fleet landed on the ground, including Azula's. All of the cargo bay doors opened as they all exited the airships, ready to face the fight of their lives.
They landed a little ways away from the cave, but they were not afraid to go even further. All they knew was to go straight to their destination, to face the unknown that falls upon them. Azula, Mai, Haru, and Ty Lee(Teo stayed behind to work on the arsenal) caught up to them as they walked alongside the Gaang. Millions of thoughts were running through their head as they near the cavern. But one thought collectively ran through their minds...
As soon as they neared the cavern, they stopped.
"So...this is it?" Sokka asked Zuko.
"Yeah...this is the cave," Zuko confirmed.
"Well...I guess all we have to do now is wait," Aang said with determination.
Momo glanced at Aang and looked at him questionably.
Aang turned to his pet lemur-bat with a smile. "Don't worry, buddy. We'll be fine. But I really don't want you to get in the line of the fight, Momo. You should probably go back to the ship with Teo."
Upon hearing her boyfriend's name, Ty Lee frowned, "Aww, I feel so bad for leaving Teo. I can tell he was sad to not join us in stopping Ozai."
"I think maybe he was sad because you had to leave him," Haru said with a smile.
Ty Lee blushed a bit, "Well...I mean, that could be it, too…"
"Haru, don't tease Ty Lee," Mai gently scolded, "Besides, I think it's for the best. No offense to Teo, it's just that...well, I don't really think I have to say it."
Ty Lee nodded, "Yeah...but still, he's such a sweetheart. He has such a beautiful aura on him...and he's cute, too!"
"Either way, he's gonna be managing some of the weapons on the airship," Haru commented, "I heard he's not only a great inventor, but he's a fantastic shot."
"Yeah," Mai agreed, "I got to say, he actually surprised me with that crossbow. Hopefully he can calculate the fire bombs on Ozai and this backup when things somehow go awry."
"I wonder what this backup looks like?" Ty Lee asked anyone, "Are they strange looking? They're from a different world, so their appearance has to be different."
"We'll soon find out," said a different voice, that voice belonging to Azula, "Just be prepared when Father comes out with his crew, whatever they may be."
Meanwhile with the Gaang…
"Hey, does anybody know if Ozai's backup crew are benders?" Sokka asked.
"Oh...you know, I don't think Roger ever told me anything about that…" Aang said with a contemplative look.
"We should be on guards, either way," Zuko said.
"That is right," Iroh said with a nod, "Just because one does not bend an element, doesn't mean he or she could not be dangerous."
"That's for sure," Sokka said with a nod also, "I mean, me and Suki? We can kick all kinds of butt together. But, Suki does most of the 'butt kicking' department."
"Aww, thanks Sokka," Suki said with a sweet smile at her boyfriend.
"Well, I'm ready to bust some heads!" Toph proclaimed, hitting her fist into her open palm, "When do we have to wait for Ozai and his goons to show up?"
"That, I'm not sure. But it's on this day is what I've been told," Aang told Toph.
"Well, we need to be ready for whatever comes our way," Katara said with a look of determination, "We have to stop them from proceeding."
"Exactly," Zuko said with a nod, "We can't let Father reach the throne of the Fire Nation and let him go forward with his quest for power...and we can't let him reach them as well," his face morphed into a bothered expression.
Katara saw his look, and consoled him, "Don't worry, Zuko. He won't be anywhere near your mother, Kiyi, Noren, and anyone else for that matter. We'll make sure of it."
Zuko turned his head to Katara and smiled gratefully, "Thank you..."
Katara smiled back in reassurance.
Aang looked at the exchange and couldn't help but feel a little tad...jealous when they look at each other like that.
'No, don't think that...we're together, me and Katara. There's nothing to worry about...right?' Aang thought, feeling insecure for just a second, when Momo's ears picked up something.
Momo blinked, chittered, and stood up on Aang's shoulder. The airbender took notice.
"Huh? What is it, Momo?" he asked the lemur-bat.
Toph, who was listening in on their Zuko and Katara's conversation and Aang's heartbeat, just in case she has to intervene, also heard two things: One, Momo's chattering, and the other…
She pounded her foot, sensing the vibrations on the ground…
"...Someone is coming," Toph said with wide eyes.
"Really?" Suki asked her.
Momo chattered to Aang as he was pulling on his ear and pointing at the cave mouth.
"Ack! Okay, okay! I think Momo is hearing something as well!" Aang called out to the others.
Zuko and Iroh both glanced at each other with looks of hard resolute, the latter nodding to his nephew.
Katara got into a waterbending stance and collected water from her canteen, while Sokka got his sword out and Suki got her metal fans out. Iroh, Zuko, and Azula went into a firebending stance, while Ty Lee, Mai, and Haru were ready to fight as well. Lastly, Aang got into an airbending stance, while Toph got into her earthbending stance.
Momo got off of Aang's shoulder and flew over to Appa, which landed on top of his furry head. The rest of the Fire Nation soldiers got ready into their stances also.
...Toph heard more footsteps.
"Hm?" She pounded the ground with her foot again, "...There are four more people coming..." she pounded her foot once more, "...There's a big one in there as well."
Aang became rigid as he gripped his weapon, his metal airbending staff ready to be used in his hands. Zuko calmed his breathing as did Iroh and Azula. Katara was twirling the water she was bending with her fingers, while Sokka and Suki gripped their weapons in anticipation. Mai and Ty Lee were ready on the offensive, while Haru and Toph were ready to pound the ground and shoot a rock at Ozai and any of these other backups.
...The footsteps became louder.
They all became tense…
...It was then all four footsteps stopped...and the fifth set of footsteps continued onward.
...A figure emerged out of the darkness of the cave…
And there he stood.
Zuko narrowed his eyes at the man. His father looked...different. Not only was he dressed in a unique way, but his stance radiated an arrogant confidence around him…
That's not good.
Iroh could feel the same kind of feeling his nephew has when staring at his brother.
Everyone's gaze was intense on the ex-Fire Lord…
It was then he spoke.
"Well...I have a welcoming party," Ozai drolly said, gazing at the throng of soldiers and adversaries...including the Avatar and his son.
One person stood out from the rest though…
"Azula?" Ozai questioned as his eyes narrowed at her, "...Well, it seems you're against me too now, aren't you?"
Azula flinched, but still held her ground. "I'm not going back, Father. I'm not going back to being your pawn! I have Zuko, mother, and uncle now!"
Ozai glared at his daughter, "Hm...so your brother, as well as mine, made you weak. How...very unfortunate."
"She chose to stay with us, Father!" Zuko called out to him, making Ozai turn his attention to his son, "She chose to be her own person! She chose to stay with our family, unlike you!"
"Ah, yes...my family. Tell me, have you found your mother yet, Zuko?" Ozai snidely said to him.
"I have!" Zuko said with glaring eyes, "And you will never get near her, as well as her and our new family!"
"A new family, you say?" Ozai said in interest, his eyebrow raised, "So...Ursa has another husband while she was banished? And you all decided to replace me, like how I replaced you the heir to the Fire Nation throne for your sister? How...slightly ironic."
Zuko eyes hardened, while Azula clenched her teeth.
Iroh then began to speak, "Brother, it is best for you to cease your mad quest for power! Everything is back to how it should be! Zuko has been doing his part as Fire Lord, as you should've done! You will not break the balance of Harmony anymore!"
Now Ozai looked at his own brother, "...You know, Brother, we used to be so close. You taught me everything that I should know about firebending...unlike our Father, who taught you everything about firebending."
Iroh stared at his younger sibling intensely.
"Indeed, we were truly like brothers…" Ozai then narrowed his eyes at Iroh, "What happened?"
The former General was silent for a second, until he said, "Our father may not be perfect...in fact, he wasn't. But you don't need to commit the same sins as our father did, Ozai."
"I think it's a little too late for that," Ozai drolly said, "Funny enough, I feel like I already became him in a way, mostly because I wanted to be like him...to earn his respect. However...I've done some thinking while I was...away," his expression turned solemn and distant as he looked forward ahead, "First and foremost, I became aware that I wasn't ever going to be like him...no, not in the slightest. In fact, I could easily say that I'm better than him…" he looked down at his own hand, "...in more ways than one."
Aang tensed as well as everyone else. They were all ready to strike whenever necessary, but they can't help but hear Ozai's bitter speech towards his own father…
'Zuko's family has been through a lot…' Katara thought in sympathy. Glancing at Zuko to see what he's feeling, she could make out his expression. He stood there, hard and stoic as he listened in his father's recollection of his own father, Zuko's grandfather.
However, Ozai continued, "It was then...I chose to be my own person," he looked up at the sky, almost as if he was reflecting, "It's funny...with me on knowing that revelation, I had to have more power...and it all started with this cave."
The Gaang and everyone else were on edge, keeping their gazes fixed on the ex-Fire Lord.
"This cave...sent me somewhere," Ozai started as he kept looking up, "And whether it be a spirit or a deity that did, it sent me...to another place. A place not of my own, a place that's different than our world, a place where I met unique and monstrous beings, both men and women...I was among them all...and they have power..." he lowered his head to look at all of his enemies that stand before him, "In mere simpleton eyes, they would be called Gods...but they were just mere men on their world..."
Toph listened in on Ozai's mad rant...she frowned.
'His tone...he's telling the truth…'
This fact was almost...discouraging to Toph. She pushed down the uncomfortable feeling and kept hearing the madman talk.
"These people...helped me become stronger than I ever was. Stronger than any firebender before me, stronger than any bender before me! I became a force to be reckoned with, impressing my peers enough to give me a title beside them on their crusade to greatness!" Ozai gave out a small knowing and evil smile, "And it would've been...fun, per se, to raid and conquer lands in order to flaunt that power. But...that world was not mine. This world...is where I belong...this world is mine to take back."
Sokka and Katara both glanced at each other with worried looks. Worried because Ozai seemed passionate and confident in his speech...also, from what he was saying, this world that he resided in at a time seemed to be filled with powerful beings...and if Ozai can mingle with them, then who is to say that whomever he brought back with him could be just as strong?
Zuko and Aang also glance at each other, feeling worried as well as what the former Fire Lord was saying.
"You know…" Ozai then looked at the Avatar, and smirked, "I've gained my firebending back, Avatar. Did you know that?"
Aang glanced at the tyrant and frowned as he answered, "That I did. Avatar Roku told me."
Ozai's smirk didn't falter. "Hm...I should've known that my wife's grandfather would spoil the surprise," his smirk then turned into a wicked smile, "Either way, yes, I've achieved my bending back...and so much more."
"What do you mean?" Zuko asked his father with an intense gaze.
"Oh come now, boy, if you all know that I have my firebending back, you must all know that I have something else to show you all," Ozai goaded, his smile never leaving, "I've achieved something that amplifies my firebending to an extreme, something that goes beyond my bending! I've awakened a deep power within me...a power that's in line with Sozin's Comet."
The Gaang and everyone else's eyes widened at that reveal.
"And it was all because I entered this world! These people I associated with called it Haki...however, I've learned of an ancient power in our world when I was little...I wonder if that's what it could be," Ozai feigned a pondering look. A second later, his evil smile returns, "Either way, this power, along with another foreign power, helped me grow stronger everyday."
Everyone was feeling a little uneasy as Ozai was explaining his 'new power', even Azula, who was tense enough already. However, Iroh looked at his brother in confusion.
"Another power?" Iroh asked him.
"Oh yes, another power. A power that defies all logic, a power that may have awakened my firebending...and I've obtained it just by merely eating it!" Ozai exclaimed with a crazed grin.
Everyone looked at Ozai in bewilderment and concern, not knowing how to react to these revelations, as well as his demeanor.
It was then Sokka spoke out, "So...you obtained the power of flight by eating the...source?" he asked in confusion.
Ozai stood there, the grin on his face faltering...but he then started to chuckle lowly...and it grew into a laugh...until his laughter escalated into a crazed and ominous way.
The Gaang as well as everyone else looked on at the man as he kept on laughing, almost feeling a sense of...dread.
His laughs died down into chuckles again as Ozai looked at everyone of them with another sinister smile, "Oooh my...you know what? How about I just introduce you to some of my friends? Did you all expect that as well?"
Everyone was silent…
"...Hm," Ozai said with a smirk, "Well, either way, make my friends feel right at home," he turned his neck back to call them, "Alright! All of you can come out now."
There were footsteps coming from the cave...and then…they showed themselves.
The Gaang plus Iroh and Azula's gang, as well as everyone else, looked at the four new arrivals with stunned wide eyes.
Before them, were strange looking, and oddly dressed individuals. One was a very tall-looking man, almost(or exactly) seven feet tall and ripped with muscle, while there were two tall men, one being pale as white and dressed differently, while the other was bald with...a curly blue mustache? Either way, the bald man was carrying two swords on his back, and the last person was an attractive woman with long orange-red hair, the color being odd to the opposing pair.
The big guy stood to the far left, while the pale man stood next to him on Ozai's side. The other two, the blue mustached man and the woman also stood next to his other side as well.
The big guy, named Bruin, grinned in excitement. "Finally! I've been itching to fight someone!"
"Hm...it seems we're surrounded," Alfred mentioned as he scanned the area.
"Heeey, there are some pretty nice looking women around here! They all look pretty tough too! I like 'em feisty!" Skulder said with a wicked smirk.
"Hmm...the men here aren't so bad looking either," Melinda said with a devious smile.
Ty Lee looked a little nervous as she looked at every one of the newcomers' aura. "Oh...their...their auras' don't feel so good."
"...Well, I'll tell you one thing, I actually do dig the pale guy's attire," said Mai.
Haru looked at Mai in confusion and shock.
Noticing this, Mai shook her head as she rolled her eyes and said, "Oh don't worry, I'm not gonna dump you because of someone's fashion sense."
Feeling alright by the answer, Haru just looked back at Ozai and his crew.
"Wow...that guy looks...really big," Sokka says to Suki next to him, impressed by the brawny build of Bruin.
"Yeah...I got a really bad feeling about this," Suki said back to her boyfriend, a frown on her face.
Aang's brows twitched as he looked at the new arrivals, a small sweatdrop running down on the side of his head. He glanced at Zuko, "Okay, so, when do we fight, Zuko?"
Zuko was glaring at his father when he heard Aang's question, "...Not yet. We need to wait until they make the first move. We can't go in blindly without knowing what these people my father brought are capable of."
"Well, what if they want us to make the first move?" Katara asked Zuko.
"I won't let my father have the pleasure of doing that," Zuko said to the waterbender.
"Well, we need to do something soon," Toph said to them, "Your old man might be the biggest threat here. The big guy might be the second biggest threat depending on his size, but I don't know what else these guys have to fight with."
"Well, one has two swords on his back, the woman has a bow and arrows, while the really pale guy...has nothing, I think," Aang told Toph.
"Huh. You or Suki might need to fight the lady, Twinkles. Can't really see the arrows fly past me. I'll probably deal with the big guy," Toph planned out.
"I will see if the pale one is a firebender at least," Iroh told the Gaang.
"I actually want to fight the guy with the swords," Sokka said a little sheepishly.
"Then I will fight Father," Zuko said in determination.
"We both will, Zuko," Azula said and reminded her brother with a glance.
Zuko turned to his sister and smiled softly. Azula also smiled and nodded.
"Well then, I'll help you two as well," Katara said to the two siblings.
They both looked at the waterbender, as well as Aang, whose eyes were all wide with surprise.
"Katara…" Zuko was about to say, but Aang beat him to it.
"Katara, are you sure?" Aang said in worry.
"Hey, don't worry about me. Besides, water and fire? Water can easily extinguish fire. So you guys might have a chance to go in to stop him if I can weaken him just a bit," Katara reasoned.
"But Katara-" Aang started to say, but Zuko beat him to it.
"It's dangerous, Katara," Zuko said firmly, "You haven't fought my father in battle before. And who knows how strong he might be now?"
"I'll take that risk," Katara told them, "After all that he's done to us, as well as you two, I'll gladly help you both on taking him on."
Azula smirked, "Damn, girl, you're hardcore. I approve."
Toph snickered a bit, "Yeah, I taught her everything she needs to know on being a badass."
Katara smirked, "I'm already a badass, Toph. Just cause water is considered graceful, doesn't mean it can't harden like ice."
"Yeah, yeah," Toph waved her off, "Enough with the symbolism and let's beat these guys already."
Aang and Zuko blinked at the girls. They glanced at each other, each of their own thoughts running in their heads. With Zuko, he felt honored and flattered that Katara would go out of her way to help fight his and Azula's father, although he felt cautious about it. With Aang, he was just cautious, but mostly, as much as he didn't want to admit it, he felt a little jealous that Katara would fight alongside Zuko instead of him. But when he thought about it, water does extinguish fire, so they could have a good chance against Ozai. Also, Azula is a powerhouse herself, so along with Zuko and Katara, they could probably win.
"Indeed," Iroh nodded, "We must all be ready."
Everyone then took their stances and stood there, waiting for any of Ozai's crew to make the first move.
With Ozai, he and the other four just stood their ground.
"So, which one of us will strike first?" Skulder asked Ozai.
"They will. But have patience," Ozai told him, "I have ways to let them throw the first attack."
"Hm," Alfred hummed, "And that one with the scar is your son?"
"Yes...he is," Ozai narrowed his eyes into a glare at Zuko, "And the woman in red armor is my daughter...shameful, really. She had so much promise...but her brother made her weak."
"Well, I got to say, your daughter looks smokin' hot," Skulder said with a smirk.
"Man, that was corny, Pale Face," Bruin said to the Skulder.
"Yeah, and...I'm thinking she's way too young for you," Melinda told Skulder.
"Hey, she could be eighteen! Ten years younger than me, not that big of an age difference! ...Although that short chick got a nice body on her."
"Now that girl right there looks way too young for you," Alfred says.
"Hey, if they got a figure, and among other things, then I'm all for tapping any chick," Skulder said with a shrug.
"Ugh, you are definitely slime," Melinda rolled her eyes at him.
"No, I'm definitely made of acid," Skulder joked with a smirk.
"Alright, enough of this. What's the plan, Ozai?" Alfred asked his ex-Captain.
"Just so you all know, my son, daughter, and my brother are firebenders. The woman in blue is a waterbender, while the short girl is an earthbender. The bald one is an airbender...the Avatar."
"The Avatar?" Bruin said in question, "You mean the one that can bend all the elements?"
"Yes...be careful of him. If either one of you all angers him to no end, he'll change into the Avatar State, a powerful form that all the Avatars will at once be inside him, amplifying his bending to an extreme," Ozai explained.
"So, take him out first?" Skulder asked.
"One of you will handle him. I'm thinking my son and daughter, as well as my brother, may have some 'catching up' to do with me," Ozai told them.
"What about the rest of the army here?" Melinda asked Ozai.
"...Finish them off," Ozai told them with a slight smirk.
"So, it's just a free-for-all then? Choose whoever we fight?" Alfred asked him.
"Just show them what you're all capable of," Ozai's smirk turned into a full-blown crooked smile.
"Alrighty then! Let's get to it!" Skulder proclaimed as he rubbed his hands together in enthusiasm.
"Again, patience," Ozai then turned to Zuko as he called out, "You know, boy, you really have to throw the first fire. I wouldn't think your uncle would've taught you how to be a coward."
Zuko frowned as he glared at his father, "Interesting how you're waiting for me to throw fire, Father, when you're the one that threw lightning at me when I left the Fire Nation."
"Ah yes, the day you left...the first time was more satisfying, but the second time...was a lot more bittersweet," Ozai reminded him.
Zuko gritted his teeth, while Katara just glared disdainfully at Ozai. The others looked at him with hatred.
"You know, Father, I had high hopes for you, to at least change your view on things. It seems going to another world didn't help you change that," Zuko said to him.
"Oh, it helped me more than you know, boy. It helped me know what true power is and can be. And do you know what the most astounding thing about going to this world taught me? That there are people stronger than me and the Fire Nation...maybe even the Avatar."
"People stronger than the Avatar?" Aang's head perked up in alarm.
"Oh yes, I've seen them beforehand," Ozai told them, "I don't know if these people could match the strength of the Avatar...but I'm willing to bet I could try."
"You sound confident," Zuko commented.
"Yes, that I am...unlike you, which you didn't finish me off during your departure. You couldn't even fight me at the Agni Kai!"
"Because I couldn't hurt my family!" Zuko exclaimed to Ozai.
"Which makes you weak!" Ozai exclaimed with a sneer.
"No!" shouted Azula surprisingly, "He isn't weak! He gave mercy! And mercy isn't a sign of weakness, Father! He would've ended me that day at the Agni Kai, but he didn't! He knew deep down that I could change! To be his sister again! Are you so blind with power that you don't even see what you've already got!? Mother still feels like you can at least change, and so do Zuko and I! Even Uncle Iroh! You threw your life away by wanting more and more! You could've even been better than grandfather! But you're the coward who didn't want to listen! You're the coward that didn't want to change! And you're the coward that doesn't want to admit that you're wrong! Even though you may have your bending back, the only one that is weak here, is still you!"
Zuko, Katara, Aang, Iroh, and everyone else looked at the Fire Princess with amazement and awe.
"Azula…" Zuko said, astonished.
Katara looked at Azula and smiled at the young woman.
Iroh gave out a warm smile and a nod. 'She truly means it.'
"...Damn, girl," Toph muttered, impressed.
"Yeah…" Aang said with a blink.
Sokka grinned, "I couldn't have said it better myself."
Ozai...just glared at Azula.
"...Change of plans," Ozai spoke, "But first of all, Azula...I am very disappointed in you.
Azula glared back at him.
"...Now...how about I let one of my crew...demonstrate what they can do," Ozai told them. He turned his head to Melinda, "Melinda. Show them."
Melinda shrugged, "Alright."
She then got an arrow out and readied her bow for it. Once she pulled the arrow on the bowstring, she seemed to be concentrating something into it...she aimed at a thick tree that was behind the army...
Once she began loosening the arrow...she released it.
It struck the tree…
...And the trunk of it exploded into a million wooden splinters!
The tree behind them toppled over and branches were flying in different directions. The branches landed on a few Fire Nation soldiers, some of them even blown slightly away from the blast, getting stuck with splinters through their armor.
Everyone staggered at the force of the arrow striking the hard bark of the tree. Most of the Fire Nation soldiers turn their gazes at the devastation that one arrow caused, the terror being shown on their faces.
Haru, Mai, and Ty Lee looked on at the scene in great shock. Even Mai was speechless, not saying anything as her mouth was dropped open.
The Gaang all stood there in equal shock. Sokka and Suki looked on at the destruction as well in sheer awe. Toph basically heard the impact and yelped at the sound. From her sense of smell, she smells the wood splitting in half and the splinters scattering...it made her eyes widened in horror at the sound. Aang just looked at the tree, his mouth dropped as his eyes widened at the carnage that one arrow made. Katara just stood there stunned at the tree that was obliterated. And Zuko, Iroh, and Azula...just stood there in shock, awe, and horror as they saw how the thick tree exploded into a million pieces.
Everyone was silent…
"...Ooooh...shit," Sokka whispered in terror.
Katara's eyes widened at what she just witnessed, "That...did that arrow...just...destroyed that tree?"
"...Holy...Holy Spirits…" Aang softly muttered, stunned.
Toph just froze there, too in shock to say anything.
Azula looked at the destroyed tree in horror, while Iroh looked on in awe at the display of the power in that shot.
"That…" Iroh started, "That was...that was just like when I fought Omuk…"
Zuko just looked on...and thought one thing.
Ozai, seeing their expressions, smiled in wicked glee.
"Now...what were all of you saying about power not being everything?"
...There was one collective thought that all of them were thinking...
MERRY CHRISTMAS! 8D
I've finally updated this thing! Ya-hooooo! XD
And...they are not in the One Piece world...like I promised in the last chapter...
...Okay, I apologize for this. BUT! NEXT CHAPTER! They will go there! Think of this chapter as the part 1 ending of the Avatar World arc, or something! And the next chapter will be the beginning of their adventure in the One Piece world! I just wanted to get this out because it has been so long since I updated anything for this story, as well as this chapter being long enough already and this being a good place to stop, AND I wanted to make it a Christmas gift for you all before Christmas is over and the New Year has rung! :D So without further ado, here's this new chapter folks! ^_^
Next chapter, some losing battles, world transportation, and a meeting of pirates...hopefully! :O
Thank you all for following and favoring this story! I hope to keep you interested throughout the whole thing! :)
Until then, tell me what you think of the chapter! I know nothing is happening at this point, as this is just a 'setting up' chapter for when they go to the One Piece world, but still, I love to know what you think! ^_^
Thank you all for reading, and until next time, keep on rocking everybody! ;D