prologue • three

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PROLOGUE

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PROLOGUE

"FIRE LORD Zuko, the Order of the White Lotus has requested an audience with you," his secretary announces while standing before the throne and bowing before his lord. To say that the Fire Lord was surprised was an underestimation. What could the White Lotus want from him?

"Send them in," he orders. His hand moves over to his left to find that of his wife. When their hands entwine, he squeezes it gently. Their sweet moment was short lived when the three old men in their blue with white uniforms enter. The first one of them and the Grand Master bows first before him, followed by his companions.

"Grand Master, it is an honour to welcome you in our home," Zuko responds. He studies the Grand Master intensively. He was short with a bald circle on top of his head, bushy eyebrows and a wild beard and moustache. His eyes are small and looking stern. A man with many responsibilities, weighing an incredible burden on him. Zuko knows the feeling.

"Fire Lord Zuko, it is an honour too. Unfortunately, we are not here to share pleasantries. We'd like to speak with your granddaughter, Princess Daiyin."

Mai's eyes widen and she looks up to her husband, who was balling his free fist now. "And why should I allow that, gentlemen?" A second man, taller with long grey hair and a bun on top of his head, steps forward and speaks. "My Lord, as you know it is our duty to find and protect the Avatar. To guide him or her during the training."

The first man continues. "Avatar Korra has succesfully finished her training in waterbending and earthbending. Next she will have to learn how to correctly bend fire. Your granddaughter, Lord Zuko, has been described as the best firebender of this age. There is no better teacher for the Avatar on this earth."

Zuko slams his fist angrily on the carpet that he was seated on. Fire escapes from the space between the ground and his skin, blasting in a small circle but luckily not harming anyone. "You want to take my granddaughter, the only thing that rests me from late my son and his departed wife, away from me? My heir, the second of my two grandchildren?"

"My Lord, it is of great importance that your granddaughter will teach the Avatar everything she knows," the second man tries again, but Zuko shakes his head. "No, I will not agree. Besides, isn't it the Avatar's purpose to travel the world and find his or her own teachers?" The Grand Master was starting to get upset and Zuko would soon throw them out of his palace.

"The Avatar needs to be protected. She is far from ready to leave the South Pole! All we ask for is your granddaughter to stay there and teach her firebending and you are in our way and so in the Avatar's way," the short man screams.

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