prologue • one

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THE BELLS chime throughout the whole Fire Nation. People look outside through their windows and leave their houses to see what the commotion was about. In every city and every town, no matter how big or small, one person stands in the heart with an official scroll in their hands. In the capital city it was the Royal Herald who made the announcement.

He straightens his robes and walks onto the balcony. The whole field was filled with the mass of people. Every available place to stand was taken and some children sit on their parents' neck to see it better. The herald breaks the seal of the scroll and rolls it out. Then, he scratches his throat and starts his monologue.

"Dear citizens of the Fire Nation. Today is a glorious day for our land, because the Royal Family has received great news I can finally speak of. Princess Sakura has given birth to the long awaited heir of the throne. Hereby I announce the birth of Her Royal Highness, Crown Princess Daiyin of the Fire Nation. Daughter of Kazuo, granddaughter of the great Fire Lord Zuko. His Highness has announced that her official introduction to court and her coronation as Crown Princess shall be held one month from now."

The crowd was silent after the announcement. The pregnancy of the princess was very secretive as it was uncertain if she would carry full term, so the land was shocked to know she had been expecting at all. Nonetheless, the people are very happy. Immediately people begin to talk with each other, expressing their expectations of their newborn princess.

Everyone slowly returns home, but it was not left at that. Flags of the Fire Nation soon hang out of almost every window. In the temples and at the altars bells ring. The torches are lit, showing their warm and gentle light on the streets. Festivals and feasts are organized in honour of the newborn princess. At an instant, Daiyin was popular and beloved by her people.

Fire Lord Zuko sits on a rocking chair by the window. He could see the feasting people in the capital city from his spot in the palace. Zuko smiles as he looks down at the bundle of blankets in his arms. He raises his arms so the baby in his arms had a view on the outside. "See those colourful lights, little one? Those are all for you," he mutters to her softly.

Someone knocks on the door of the nursery. "Come inside," Zuko tells the strange person. He hadn't been expecting someone, but his life was full of unexpected events. There is always someone who needs him: his signature, his advice, his solution, his orders- it was tiring, sometimes.

The heavy door opens and Mai enters. Her look was gentle when she sees her husband with their second grandchild in his lap. He is so happy with her, it is adorable. She walks inside slowly so she wouldn't make a loud sound that might wake the dozing newborn. Her skirts drag over the wooden floors as she nears Zuko. She presses a kiss on his cheek. "Shouldn't you leave our granddaughter to sleep, Zuko? We have many festivities to attend and things to plan for Daiyin's coronation."

Zuko sighs. "Sometimes the duties never stop," he says. Mai grins and brushes through his hair. "They do not, indeed." She takes the newborn from her husband's arms and hugs her gently. "Sweet dreams, darling. Tomorrow we will spend all our time with you," Mai ensures the child before laying her back in her crib. The lady locks her arm with that of her husband and pulls him out of his chair.

"Come on, it's time to enjoy ourselves. I have already called her wetnurse and she will fulfill any needs that she may have." Zuko grins and pecks his wife on the side of her head. "You are right, Mai." They leave the nursery together, both fulfilled with happiness beyond imagination.

GUESTS FROM all over the world came for the coronation, including old friends of Fire Lord Zuko. Aang and Katara enter as a family with their three children: Bumi, Kya and Tenzin. Tenzin had also brought his newly wedded wife, Pema. Sokka came on his own shortly after. Zuko greets his old friends. "Aang, Katara, Sokka. It's been a long time."

Aang gives him a goofy grin, one that still makes him look like that twelve year old. "I believe that congratulations are in order, Zuko?" "Yes, where is the little princess," Katara questions. The Fire Lord turns around to look for his son and daughter-in-law. When he spots them talking to some guests while holding the newborn, he calls them over. Kazuo and Sakura come closer. Kazuo bows while Sakura curtesies before their guests. "It is an honour, Avatar Aang."

"We are the ones honoured, Crown Prince Kazuo, Princess Sakura," Aang says. Sakura pulls the silk blankets a little to the side so her father-in-law's friends can see her face. Sokka cooes at the child's face. "She's so.. tiny," he exclaims giddily. Katara looks at the baby and sees her father's bright eyes and her mother's beauty. "She is so beautiful. I am sure she will grow up one of the most beautiful princesses the Fire Nation has ever known."

Sakura blushes at all the love that her child receives. "Thank you all for coming." The princess walks away. Kazuo smiles and looks at his father. "If you will excuse ourselves, we just saw Izumi and Iroh arriving." Zuko smiles at his son and signs him to move along. The old Team Avatar catches up with each other when the ceremony starts.

Kazuo and Sakura stand on the stairs of the altar. Fire Lord Zuko and his wife stand on the altar, next to an official. The Crown Prince takes their newborn and walks up the altar. There, he kneels down before his father and presents him his daughter. "Father, Fire Lord Zuko, I present you here my daughter, Princess Daiyin. Do you accept her as your second in line successor?" The scarred man steps forward and takes the child from her father's arm.

Daiyin was staring up at him with her big amber eyes. She was no longer in her father's arms, but that didn't matter. This man was familiar too to her, so there was no use to cry. Zuko hugs her close to him and pecks her forehead. "I accept your daughter as my successor, second in line to the throne of the Fire Nation. She is now Princess Daiyin of the Fire Nation and all must pay respect to her position as royalty."

He gives the baby back to her father under loud applause. Zuko couldn't be more proud than then. He now had his granddaughter he could teach how to bend fire to her will, to make lightning or blue flames. To teach how to rule the country once it is her time.

But one thing is certain in his mind and that is that she will grow up very succesful.

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