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Author Topic: Agents of the Fire Nation (AU)  (Read 437 times)
Solid Sun
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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dio did nothing wrong


« on: Aug 30, 2017 06:31 am »

I'm back for a fanfic that's basically a Crack-Fic, lol, the idea really just came to me and I drew on it : D

It's an AU fic, with some few big changes.

--

"Grandma, please, tell us everything."

"The very very beginning ? The very middle ? The early middle ?"

"Erm, just the spy stuff."

"The early middle then !"

"Sure."

--
The two soldiers silently stood in the middle of the room. One had his arms folded and was contemplating the wall with a somewhat bored fascination, resting his jaw on his clenched knuckle, using his other hand to chow on some black stick. He sometimes reached for a gourd of some kind, hanging on his belt, but never quite picked it up.

The other one was circling around the room with a bothered expression, sometimes looking very disapprovingly at his fellow soldier whenever he tapped on the floor, or chewed on the black bar. He looked at the room around them often, as if he was searching for one unusual detail to focus on.

The room, by itself, was well-lit by several candles, with a green desk resting at the very center of it. An army of fancy green cupboards surrounded the soldier, each of them filled with more scrolls than they could count, with the one erratic fire nation soldier sometimes leaning against them, only to leave whenever he felt bothered again. Sometimes, he also threw irritated glares at the black box resting on the middle of the desk, as if it was somehow silently insulting him.

The floor creaked, with the soldier bringing his hands over to his ears, to the confusion of the other one.

"What's the deal with you stomping around the room ?" he said, after taking some moments off to stop chewing on the bar. "It's really distracting."

"I hate noises." he answered, to the visible surprise of the other soldier.

"Why'd you come here then ?"

The soldier gestured over to a round window at the back of the room, revealing several small illuminated houses in front of them, tied to each other with wood bridges. All the houses were floating on a peaceful lake, one full of water lilies. Some torches in each bridges were used to provide light in the dark, and the shapes of some other Fire Nation soldiers were faintly visible, walking on each bridge and entering or coming out of the floating houses. Very rarely, they heard a splash and some laughing.

"It's a lake ! I thought that it would be quiet !"

"It is quiet, apart from the moment where a guy falls."

"Except when a frog shows up, or when someone's walking on all the wood platforms, or when someone is chewing on the rations ! That's not quiet, that's just annoying !"

"... Why are you even a guard ?"

The other soldier grunted, and began walking around again. His comrade looked down at the box and sighed deliberately loudly, a smile creeping on his face as his interlocutor visibly tensed up. For supposedly important scrolls about secret spots in the Fire Nation castle, the commander, Houn, definitely wasn't making any efforts with guarding them.

It has been precisely one year since the previous Fire Lord, Ozai, lost both the war and his bending to the Avatar. With his daughter Azula reduced to a screeching harpy, his son naturally took on the role of Fire Lord, with the important task of managing the post-war repairs with the rest of the nations. Of course, not all the former generals or diplomats were happy with the new ruler. Prince Zuko was an exile and the subject of much mockery not so long ago, after all, and plenty of the nobles simply couldn't understand the idea of the "traitor" now being above them.

And beside, all the of the commanders or generals enjoyed some extra perks under Ozai's rule. His son, however, was far less willing to tolerate corruption and punished those who tried to bribe him, much to the angers of the old officials. As a result, some of the generals formed some independent cells, waging a civil war against the new regime and hiding in abandoned bases, often taking some clueless soldiers along. The two men were guarding such a base at the moment, but they had the most important role of all in defending the black box.

It contained several scrolls, and all of these revealed the secrets of the royal castle and a list of Ozai-loyalists amongst its crew. If it were to be found by soldiers from the new regimes, the situation could turn really ugly for the cells.

Which is why the box containing them was guarded by two soldiers, one of which was busy lamenting about the numerous noises of the base. The one former general in charge of the base, Houn, was far less dangerous to the throne than he thought, but he paid very well at least.

More creaks occurred nearby, and for a split second, the other soldier looked ready to pierce the walls with a spear, eagerly taking hold of one weapon in a corner of the room and holding on to it for deal life. His fellow traitor would deem it ridiculous, but he soon leaned forward when he realized that there was more creaks than before, just outside of the small pagoda, on the wooded platforms that kept it afloat. He could dismiss it as simply water or another soldier passing through, but Houn told them to be "thorough" in their guarding. And the old man would certainly be pleased to see some zeal from his troops.

Maybe he'd give them some more money ? The military man also grabbed on his spear but the other guard was already outside and pestering against the noises.

The moon illuminated a small portion of the lake as the irritated soldier made his way out, escaping the warmth and annoying noises of the room to focus on something more exciting. He toe-stepped upon the wooden platforms, raising his spear and getting himself ready to follow through with the stabbing motion if it was some spy or ninja, and turned around the corner, letting out a fighting screech as he did and staring at...

Nothing.

"It was all the water ! The water ! Or even a frog ! Do you know how much they love to step on those platforms ?!" said the soldier, yelling at his fellow guard in the pagoda. The silence did nothing to interrupt his rant. "A LOT ! I even found a big ugly frog with some weird flesh things on its back once ! And IT WAS LOUD ! And ugly."

He turned around and went on to get inside the Pagoda, setting the spear aside. He excepted to see some soldiers shooting odd looks at him, but they were seemingly gone. It was better because all the snickering just formed more noise.

By the time he entered inside the Pagoda, though, his fellow soldier was gone, along with the box. He took some time to blink and looked around slowly, excepting his annoying fellow to burst out of the ground nearby and yells at him. None of that happened though, but he did get surprised by someone else : namely, the small hooded figure that was hanging out right above him, holding the box in one hand. The person was dressed in a black and blue suit, with an hood to cover all but their eyes, gloves, shoes, and at least two pouches on the hips. The ninja promptly placed the box down on the pouch and leapt behind the confused soldier, striking him in the neck with a quick motion.

"What the hhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeee-" he said, falling forwards, although the ninja promptly caught him mid-flight, hosting him over the shoulder and then walking out of the Pagoda. She walked to the left to grab his unconscious friend and went on to dump them both to a small boat, covering them in a sheet of some sort.

She could already hear the disapproving voice of her teacher as she went to put the small boat next to several others, and went on to step on said boats, running across the military base efficiently. The night was already providing some great cover for her. The fact that she wasn't making any sounds, even as she ran across the wooden bridge, definitely helped her case. The poor soldiers, some of whom were holding gourds full of alcoholic beverages, were already too busy trying not to fall off the platforms.

Running out of the base took her about five minutes, and the ninja turned around, looking satisfied as she tapped on the box-holding pouch, and taking her hood off to reveal the face of On-Ji !!!

"Gotcha."

Agents of the Fire Nation.
« Last Edit: Aug 30, 2017 06:33 am by Solid Sun » Logged



Featuring : Polaris, Zyrax HikaruIzumi, Blue Warpath, Prophet of Doom, Weegee the Airbender, TyLuko4Ever, Johan, Riptide, SunxFire and AtoMaki : D
Solid Sun
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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dio did nothing wrong


« Reply #1 on: Sep 01, 2017 12:29 pm »

Chapter II : Briefing

On-Ji hesitantly swirled the keys of her little house on one finger, watching the spinning movements of the keys with enthusiasm as she prepared the rest of her stuff, putting up carefully crafted clothes within her bag in calculated gestures, not making a single mistake in her movements as she did.

“Shurikens… check.” She said, placing several shuriken on a pouch tied to her belt instead of putting those in the bag. The pouch was closed in a way that would prevent a would-be pickpocket from simply opening it up, and the shurikens would come in handy if she ever needed something sharp.

“The cool hood… check.” She briefly looking over at the hood before putting it in the bag, near the various pieces of clothing for infiltration, between the “peasant” and “noble” clothes. Adjusting the wide bamboo hat to fit in the bag probably took her most of the morning.

“The stealth suit… check.” She said, gently tapping the black blue fabric, lodged between the “guard” and “Earth Kingdom tourist” disguises. She then looked up at some of the weapons other than the shurikens, casually grabbing and waging around each of those casually. She could, since she was in a windowless room.

“The sword, check. The smoke bombs, check. The blowguns, check…”

Everything was set in its own cozy place. One would think that a bag full of weapons, disguises and books would be messy but perfectionism and boredom can lead to some great results. It has been two days ever since she came back from that mission, and yet, she still felt the need to go back to another.

Of course, she wasn’t feeling bored because of a feeling of bloodlust or something to this effect. She wasn’t a maniac, and quite enjoyed her life in the Fire Nation capital. She just felt discontent with not helping her country in such a time of turmoil : resting at home was nice and all, but the Fire Lord and some of her colleagues had no such luxury, and it would be disrespectful from her to merely stand idle while the world was undergoing profound changes.

Perhaps she was over-estimating the impact of her actions upon the nation, let alone the world, but as long as it was contributing to something, it was all good.

On-Ji walked out of the room and stared at herself in a mirror in the hall, having put on her best Fire Nation armor for the job, one that was perhaps too large for her at some spots, but it was close enough for her to be satisfied. On-Ji briefly adjusted the sleeves part, and coughed.

“All right On-Ji. You’re standing in front of mister Osamu and Kyozu. They’re really glad of your performance and you’re going to need to behave seriously. How am I going to act ?”

She briefly frowned and then stood high on her heels, adopting the best stoic face she could muster while crossing her hands behind her back, buffing up her chest to look even mightier.

“I am glad to be serving the country, lord Kyozu. Under me, no evil scum shall escape the mighty gaze of the spying branch of the Fire Nation !”

She briefly stood there, and slowly adopted her regular form, almost laughing.

“No ! That’s too soldier-like ! I should sound intimidating like that but without the excessiveness !”

On-Ji hesitated, and proceeded to lean forward, raising her hands above her hands and making wide grabbing gestures with them, contorting her facial expressions into insane sneers.

“Yeesssssss ssssiiiiir. I will make ssssssssssure to viciousssssssly murder the traitorsssssssssssssss ! But firsssssssssssst, I’ll make sssssssssssssssure that they BEG for death and who okay.”

On-Ji scratched her forehead. “That’s a bit creepy. I don’t look professional.. and I don’t even kill, so I’d be lying.”

The young girl walked out and stared at the sun, promptly realizing that her supposed meeting with the two men would occur soon, in about five minutes, perhaps.

“Darnit.” Said On-Ji, promptly leaping up to grab her bag, running down the halls of her house with haste, taking the time to quickly salute the numerous pictures of Fire Nation nobility scattered amongst her mansion, opening and closing the door behind her before closing it up with her keys.

The young ninja nearly left, but then turned around and proceeded to try to open her door, looking somewhat reassured upon seeing it stand firm. She turned her heels again to leave, but proceeded to turn away again and verified the safety of the door once more, under the watchful gaze of her neighbours.

Cursing herself for her perfectionism, the Fire Nation citizen accelerated, carrying her heavy bag on one shoulder with a degree of casualness that caught the eyes of quite a few citizens. One of them, a neighbour, called out to her.

“Heading out to the theatre again, On-Ji ?”

“YeahimgoingtothetheatrekissyourwifeformeKurz !” was her answer. Kurz briefly stopped to decrypt it, giving On-Ji enough time to head further into the city.

The HQ of the organization she belong to was rooted firmly in the middle of the city, although it was farther from the Royal Palace than one would think. The building, while not necessarily “wide”, was easily visible thanks to its shape, as a long tower, shaped up like an arrow meant to pierce the sky. It was pretty easy to spot even from her house, which was always a plus for her.

The building housed countless precious scrolls, contained several torture rooms, used to be filled to the brims with people from the Earth Kingdom, and dealt with the intel in times of war, with tons of old or disabled Fire Nation citizens sitting in front of desks and reading up on intercepted scrolls to decrypt them.

Some deadly agents are also trained and employed within it. These ninjas, commonly people with little to lose, are all-knowing when it comes to deception or stealth, and commonly kill off key targets or supply generals with intelligence concerning a future foe.

On-Ji was one of these “ninjas” and while perhaps news to the job, her skills were considered important enough, even amongst her highly-skilled peers, to meet the head of the building, lord Kyozu, in person. And she knew how important such a meeting was : the other ninjas would kill just to get a single word from Kyozu.

And they killed a lot, so to say.

“Excuse me ! Sorry ! I’m in a hurry ! Pardon me !” muffled the young lady, using every trick in her book to get past the human sea in front of the buildings, frog-leaping, sliding or simply pushing her way to the interior of the building, going through enormous black gates as she did.

The main room was similarly filled with workers, but those were moving in much more coordinated fashions, with several of the agents carrying scrolls in straight lines, opening up and closing up to let her walk around the room without blinking. The walls were black and several giant banners, marked with the flame of the fire nation, hung at every corner of the room.

The giant sign was also present within the ground, illuminated by the light of the sun and two large windows. It is the Fire Nation, after all, it was no surprise for even the quieter part of the hierarchy to proudly display the symbol everywhere they could.

The stairs took the form of a spiral, leading onto several platforms, with each platform holding up a black door, although some stairs led to the undergrounds parts of the building. On-Ji frowned in distaste upon seeing them.

She could hear the screams coming from them.

Quickly turning her head away, she smiled upon noticing Osamu in the distance, standing next to a cart full of scrolls. A young man was standing next to him, holding onto the cart with a proud smile. The ninja promptly walked up to him as he handed the scroll back, bowing in respect beforehand, the older man nodded and threw the scroll at the mountain, accidentally toppling it.

The young man still stood unmoving, his smirk frozen on his face, quiet as a statue, and slowly bent down to pick up the scrolls, his head twitching at worrisome speed.

“You’re right on time, On-Ji.”

Osamu was one of the higher-ranked individuals on the building, with sharp ambers eyes, a towering height, impressive side-burns, and an excellent record of spying or assassinating, rumours said that he would be the next in line to become the head of the group, once Kyozu will be done with chasing the traitors.

The man accidentally toppled a mountain of paperwork, and people still respected him. That is the level of authority that she wished to achieve one day.

“Let us go quickly. You might get a new mission very soon.”

On-Ji bowed again, mostly to hide her massive smile.

“Thank you, Sir.” She said, as they promptly began to walk up the stairs.

Climbing up the spire of stairs was a dreadful exercise for the newcomers, especially the ones located on the higher parts of the tower, with some of the recruits wasting at least two minutes on recovering their breath after climbing up. On-Ji, being used to the stairs and being used to physical exercise, had no such problems, but she nonetheless saw several struggling workers on the platforms, although they were quick to change their stances when Osamu passed.

On-Ji turned around and smiled at them whenever she could, occasionally helping them climb to the platforms if they were near enough. Osamu never complained, probably because she was quick to run up to him again.

The stairs lead to platforms, each platforms had a black gate that led to a specific part of the building, they were not interested in those sections, and actually climbed to the very top, reaching a large black door, albeit one with some golden parts. Osamu walked in and looked over at the young agent.

“I’ll go warn him, stay here, it’ll hardly take a minute.”

The man vanished in the dark room, with On-Ji promptly laying against the black steel wall, eagerly waiting.

“Wow, the colors here sure as varied.” She said, attempting to ease her excitation. “Black walls, black stairs, the railing… has some gold in it, the trap-door that lead to the roof is… also black because its in the wall !”

“At least there’s the sun to… wait, wasn’t it dark too at some point ?”

Osamu peaked his head out and silently beckoned for On-Ji, who went past the door with a nod and walked through the windowless halls. She could see some portraits of the Fire Lord, but the office seemed mostly dedicated to Azulon, an impression that only grew in strength as she reached the main office.

The office was quite, yet luxurious, with numerous shelves full of scrolls, some encens, and a good number of glass cabinets, full of items from the other nations or more ancient eras of the Fire Nation.

As usual, the Fire Lord’s portraits were scattered around the room. She recognized Zuko’s and smiled a bit, but noticed that, once again, Azulon’s was the biggest one.

A figure coughed, and the young woman turned over to look at the figure sitting behind a desk, nearly freezing over in shock when the sun illuminated his features.

The old man had several massive scars over his face. An especially long one was running from the top of his head to his chin, but he also had some holes drilled near his eyes, some claws marks on his eyes, a smashed nose, no lips, and she swore that she could see a large slash scar across his arm when he raised it in greetings. The fact that he still had fingers was impressive but he could barely move them into a sign.

His suit thankfully did much to cover his body, but the face alone unnerved her. She tried to focus on his mouth, but parts of his teeth and gums were visible even when he closed his mouth, the fault to some other scars within it.

On-Ji promptly bowed over.

“Ee-excuse me for my surprise, lord Kyozu. I…”

“I’m used to these, get up.”

His voice was a hoarse whisper, yet she felt more at ease upon hearing it, calmly getting up along with Osamu. She feared that he would chide her, but he seems relatively understanding.

Kyozu calmly took up a paper, silently declining any help, and looked over at her files with practically milky-white eyes.

“Your teachers speaks very highly of you, and you certainly complete your mission with admirable ease.”

“Thank you sir.” She bowed once again, as usual in the hierarchy.

“Houn, Zeofun, Zatsu, Okyou, amongst else, were caught thanks to you.”

“I just brought the scrolls back, sir.”

“And weakened their defences.”

She got them drunk, after all. The allied soldiers thought that they were going to engage in a bloody civil war, but the deadliest thing in Houn’s base was probably the smell. She had to thank herself for it.

“You’ve never been caught so far, and you always complete your mission to the letter. Whatever remains of the traitor is too scared to act thanks to your efforts.”

On-Ji was pretty sure that she would get the ego of the previous Fire Lord if the praise kept up, Kyozu noticed.

“There is something that prevents me from giving you a promotion, though.”

On-Ji tilted her head, as Osamu walked up to get next to the old man. He looked about five feet taller than the old man, and she swore that his knuckles were larger than Kyozu’s ruined head.

“So far, you haven’t killed.”

The ninja opened her mouth a bit, unaware of the nature of the request. What exactly was “bad” in that ?

“Pardon me sir, but I wish to know, in my limited wisdom, why such an act would be considered bad.”

“I can certainly understand your desire not to kill, and for the most part, it works in these kind of mission. But if you get promoted, you’ll take on harder missions, and you will need to put that sword to use on something else than locks or doors.” Said Osamu, his superior followed him up.

“The enemies that you will face will be ruthless, and will not leave you any room for error. If you make a mistake, they will kill you, and they won’t feel a thing about it.”

“W-well… isn’t wasteful killing a waste ? It’s more of a barbarian thing, right ?”

“We’re not asking you to run through bases and slaughter everyone in sight. You’ll just need to precisely kill a target, not just capture and bring him over to base, but kill him.”

“There is no room for mercy in our work, On-Ji. You must be ready to plunge cold steel into the back of anyone, for the sake of your survival and the Fire Nation’s.”

Osamu folded his arms after the phrase. It was odd for a ninja to be hesitant with killing, but the fact that they needed the target alive made it trivial. Now that she was approaching a rank where killing would come, the remorse were definitely going to be troublesome.

They had to go at soon as possible or else they might lose their best agent, simply because of some silly no-kill pact. The visible conflict on On-Ji’s face indicated that she also knew about it, for a moment, he emphatically raised his band to prevent her from hyperventilating, but Kyozu raised his hand to tell him not to.

The teenager continued to hesitate, but was thankfully interrupted when a man came in the office, wielding a scroll. Osamu, who was a bit tired of seeing scrolls everywhere, raises his hand to interrupt him, but that gesture was also overridden.

“What is it ?”

“Three of the traitors…” described the young man, with emphasis on the last part. “… are heading for the town of Yuta.”

“I know that town.” Said On-Ji, coming out of her stress just to speak up.

“You do ?” said the scarred man.

“Yep ! I could go there ! Or lead the way because it looks like a trap.”

The two men hesitated. It could be a trap, since they were laying low recently, but that was definitely a good occasion.

“Zakom, Zeo, and Makom are the last three big rebels. Once we take them out, the game is over… very well. On-Ji, you’ll scout the town ahead. We’ll deploy the nearby garrisons to prepare an intervention and catch them all.”

Osamu looked startled as the mention of three, but Kyozu continued.

“You can take these three alive, we’ll definitely be talking about your moralities later. Don’t try to take these three on, they likely have a small army with them.”

It was almost an invitation to take them on, but On-Ji kept up a straight face and bowed.

‘Thank you, I will not fail the Fire Nation !”

The young woman proceeded to run off, Osamu briefly waited, and turned over the scarred combatant.

“There are four still active.”

“Yes, but it’s better for her to ignore the last one.”

Osamu briefly tried to search to remember the identity of the fourth man and his eyes immediately shot wide in surprise.

“General Mirai !”

The recruit’s head snapped towards Osamu in terror, and Kyozu grimly nodded.

“We’ll mobilize the army for this one.”

Agents of the Fire Nation.
Logged



Featuring : Polaris, Zyrax HikaruIzumi, Blue Warpath, Prophet of Doom, Weegee the Airbender, TyLuko4Ever, Johan, Riptide, SunxFire and AtoMaki : D
Solid Sun
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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Posts: 3185


dio did nothing wrong


« Reply #2 on: Sep 02, 2017 04:40 pm »

Chapter III : Masks in the night

The town of Yuta was one of those quiet little towns in the countryside of the Fire Nation. It had a name and was marked on the maps, had a small garrison nearby to defend it against daring packs of bandits, and some nobles went there from time to time to relax.

The inhabitants of said town knew of the end of the war, and the rise of the new leader, but paid surprisingly little attention to it. These kinds of towns were hardly affected by the previous war, and were not deemed important enough for enemies to attack. And since the Fire Nation was dominating the war, they never had to fear invading armies and looters.

And the previous Fire Lords cared very little about the people in these small towns. The gazes of Sozin, Azulon, and Ozai were set towards the rest of the world, after all, and these tiny towns were below their notices. That detail might change with the new Fire Lord but the inhabitants didn’t care either way.

Due to all these factors, it wasn’t surprising for the three last traitors to reunite in such a place. The eyes of Kyouzu were everywhere though, especially in a town that housed the former commander of the Southern Raiders, and they were quickly spotted as a result. If On-Ji were to be successful in capturing them all, there would be no more serious resistance to the reign of Zuko.

Or so she thought.

 The young girl was sitting at the feet of a tree, equipped with some fancy clothing, idly smiling and writing down on some paper as she stared at some cows. Apart from some puzzled glance from the farmers, the few passer-by stared too, but were quick to dismiss her as a fancy poet, going back to whatever activity they were practicing.

The ninja, after a fair amount of writing, pushed the paper away and pulled up the scrolls containing the informations, reading those as if she was admiring her work of art. She had some drawings of beautiful vegetation or town, in case someone got curious, laying above the mission scrolls.

She knew that she had a fair amount of time before the meeting, but zeal pushed her to read up again, just to prepare her hypothetical battle plan for the umpteenth time. 

Zakom and Makom were two brothers, born from rich and shockingly unimaginative parents. The two enjoyed some privileges under Ozai, and were quite upset at the loss of said privileges with the rise of Zuko, pretty typical reason for rebelling. They acquired some very fancy weapons thanks to their money, and guards, but weren’t dangerous by themselves.

Zeo was actually a woman, a pretty old one at that. She was poorer than the siblings, and had fewer soldiers equipped with regular weapons, but knew how to keep it quiet. It took the group some time to actually pin her down, and she could actually become a threat if she manages to get her hands on the sibling’s weapons.

She also had some close combat skills. Not the stuff of legends, but On-Ji knew that a good fight awaited her if she ever decided to face Zeo in battle.

On-Ji proceeded to slap some sense into her. A ninja doesn’t engage the enemy directly, he only weaken him at a distance before attacking. If she wanted to fight strong enemies, she would have joined the army or something. Her parents decided for her when they decided to put her in the school at a young age.

Her thoughts briefly floated over to her progenitors. Were they okay ? Should she write them another letter ? She’ll see later about it. The slightest slip-up and three criminals escape in the wild, after all.

On-Ji made a wide gesture of silent satisfaction and picked up all of her stuff before putting it in the bag and walking away. The big pants made it quite troublesome to walk around but she only needed to endure for a few seconds as she reached a decrepit-looking hub in the center of the town, quickly changing her clothes to blend in more before looking out at the windows as she struggled with the hat.

To call the village desolate would perhaps be an understatement. She knew that overpopulation never threatened the place, but the eerie absence of citizens gave off a worrisome quiet to the population. It would make sense, in a way : in a war, the nation was going to pick up all the fit men and women of the area to send them off to fight the rival nations. For plenty of those recruits, this was a one-way trip.

Most of these young people were in charge of taking care of the crops, or bringing food over, and with them gone, some villages could only collapse or adapt to the situation as best as they could. But she never quite heard of such a problem within Yuta, what happened ?

“Only one way to find out.” Said On-Ji, walking out of the house and walking around the place. No one knew of her face under the hood, but she still kept a somewhat low-profile, passing in front of some shops and looking around. The shop-keepers looked somewhat unnerved but still stood there, ready to sold the products like true Fire Nation citizens.

There wasn’t much to lose from speaking to them, and it would be idiotic to roam around town searching for someone when they were standing there. And also, she really wanted to get a delicious apple.

On-Ji walked up to the fruit store and began poking around to set the mood. Thankfully, the shopkeeper took the initiative.

“You’ve got guts, walking around like that.” Said the shopkeeper, stroking his beard thoughtfully.

“I’m not in any danger, am I ? I’m a tourist so if there’s anything that I have to know…”

“Why would a tourist visit there ? Are you there to interview Yon Rha ? I can tell you where he lives but beware of his mother.”

“No no no, I just want to explore the town a bit, the city life bores me.”

“Well, ya should run back to your city quickly. Some masked men are kidnapping people there.”

On-Ji blinked in surprise. They were quicker than her.

“Masked men ?”

“Yeah, they’re ninjas or something. They leap down on some lonely target, then they grab the person and leap away, to eat them or something.”

“That sounds terrifying.”

Of course, the average citizen would never, ever, spot ninjas. However, On-Ji was more worried about the innocent lives.

“Yeah, though they’re not demons. They leapt on a guy yesterday or something but he managed to escape them enough for a mob to converge. We managed to hit them once or twice and they bled, so it’s definitely not some spiritual stuff. They had some smoke bombs though so they still escaped.”

And, of course, a ninja would never get hit.

“Well its nice to know that you can fend them off… tell me, when do they usually attack ?”

The shopkeeper grumbled, aware of what was going to happen.

“Don’t stick around, alright ? Get to a city and enjoy the end of the war with some rich people. It ain’t your problem. You don’t deserve getting caught by some vampires.”

“I could warn the garrison and inform them of what’s happening.”

“We’ve tried, they can’t catch a thing. Some people thinks that they’re working with the hunters.”

“Why ?”

“I dunno, you know the military guys, they probably want to get an enemy to fight after the end of the war. They’re all a bit loopy like that.”

She had some sane military friends though. She couldn’t quite offer a counter-argument since she was chasing one of those loopy soldiers, after all.

“Very well, I’ll buy the apple then.”

She handed him the money, and he gave off the apple to her.

“Thank you !”

On-Ji proceeded to leave the store, but was interrupted as the man beckoned to her, raising his hand.

“There is a bar down the street. If you’re afraid of getting caught, you can go there. Its where we gather.”

“Okay then ! And what about you ?”

“I’m just going to hide it out there. Good luck !”

“Good luck !”

On-Ji waved, turned around, and proceeded to bite into the apple, putting on the red coat to prevent the cold from affecting her. The clothes were warm enough but sometimes, she regretted her lack of bending. It surely must feel nice to be able to ward the cold away with a finger-flick or a breath, after all.

Not that she cared, her abilities where all she needed in her work-line.

On-Ji soon reached the bar. Unlike most of the house, it was both noisy and illuminated, much to her pleasure : perhaps her targets were dwelling in there. With a gentle push, she opened the door, a sudden warmth overtaking her face, accompanied by a light that nearly blinded her.

Laughter rang up in the air, along with the usual numerous idle chats between clients at the bar. Upon opening her eyes, the ninja could spot a dozen of drunk men and women scattered within the bar, waging large glasses around and sometimes splashing the wall or their neighbour with the alcohol.

On-Ji raised her leg to walk forward, but stopped herself when a little pig ran past her, going within the kitchen and earning loud swears from the personnel inside. She also had to duck to avoid some of the booze, dodging the liquid with haste, and watching as it splashed near the pig, on a return run from the kitchen.

The young woman walked forwards, pretty much ignored by anyone, and looked at the bar, tiptoeing over just to see the barman. She was excepting for the barman to be laying asleep in a pool of alcohol, but he was surprisingly sober, standing over the bar with his hairy arms folded.

Sometimes, he raised his hand to fend off a stray drunk.

“You’re a new face.” He said, his sharp ember eyes watching over the room.

“Yep ! I’m a tourist.”

“Good, but I’m interested in something else. What are you going to be taking ?” he said, making a wide arm movement and pointing out different kind of jars.
“Erm, do you have strawberry juice ?”

She was excepting a raucous laughter out of the big man, but he merely filled a glass with some strawberry juice, with his usual stern face. Money was money, and he didn’t care about whatever the client was drinking.

She quickly gave him some coins and picked up the glass, slowly beginning to drink up and looking at the carnage. No way she’d get the two brothers in such a place, or even Zeo. She’s not the kind of woman who wastes her time at bars, especially with ninjas breathing down her neck.

She was convinced that the case of the masked men had ties with her mission, but the trick was to find one. She could serve as a bait but she’d need to do it without getting the mob to intervene.

On Ji drank up, and froze when she noticed a distinct silence in the bar. All of a sudden, the laughter and passive chit-chat went dead, with all the inhabitants of the bar just raising their head in silence, the sounds of footsteps vaguely being heard on the outside. The young girl, unnerved by the silence, copied the drunkards.

A figure moved right outside of the window, its shape barely visible through the window. The hands of the villagers went to the nearest weapons they could find, be it broken bottles, or some pocket knives, or simply their fists if they had no weapons at the ready.

Their movements were slow and very deliberate, unlike the drunken stumbling that one would except, and the Fire Nation agent glanced at her back to see how the Barman would react. She didn’t need to, though, because said barman grabbed a crossbow below the shelves, pointing the sharp projectile towards the room with a grim determination.

Being careful not to show off her own weapons, the young woman grabbed a blanket and made a whip out of it, raising it above her head threateningly.

Time slowed down as the figure slowly made its way over the door, opening it up as slowly as it was humanly possible… only for the door to brutally open itself up, revealing a simple man, holding up two small beer kegs.

“HEY BOIS TIME TO PAR- WHOAUH !”

More silence ensued, and the laughter and drinking resumed, as the barman closed the door behind the newcomer with a sigh, taking up the two kegs and taking them to the shelf.

“Thanks for bringing it over, Uppon.”

“Meh, it ain’t much, man.” He said, still gracefully accepting the money, and proceeding to get a free beer out of it.

She didn’t trust him as the “smart” type, with his toupee hair and buckteeth, but at least, he seemed sober enough for some interrogations. As a result, she approached him, still drinking the strawberry juice. She disapproved of the barman’s eagerness to draw a weapon, but he certainly knew his berries.

“It’s certainly courageous of you to go run errands at this time.”

He turned around, glanced over at her, and smiled smugly, recognizing a pretty new face, certainly, or enjoying the compliment.

“What can I say, I’m a fearless one.”

“Do you know anything about these masked men ? Is there a trick to get around them ?”

“Well, nah. I never got in troubles with them. The key to dodge them is just to move in group. No need for like, fancy steps or tunnels, just walk around with some dudes or girls and they won’t pop out.”

“But you walked out alone.”

“The place with the kegs is right near the bar. They won’t attack if there’s light nearby.”

“They do pay you as if you just climbed up a mountain.”

“They just love the beer. And ya know how paranoia goes, they figure out that it’s a hundred of vampires at night, that they’re everywhere and can spot you all the way over to the abandoned building. But really, they’re just dudes who can fail like you and me.”

He drank a bit.

“But still, ask for a handsome dude to escort ya if you’re still scared.” He says, his voice slightly more slurred as he wiped some foam out of his lips with the back of his hand, before pressing the back of his hand against his shirt to clean it up.

On-Ji had to summon all of her spy training not to flip out at the moment. Thankfully for her, a scream promptly resonated in the night, quickly putting an end to the celebration once more, with some men and women moving out of their seats and dashing towards the door.

Uppon carefully sneaked back, as the young woman stood in horror, for the scream was familiar to her.

It was the shopkeeper’s.

Agents of the Fire Nation.
Logged



Featuring : Polaris, Zyrax HikaruIzumi, Blue Warpath, Prophet of Doom, Weegee the Airbender, TyLuko4Ever, Johan, Riptide, SunxFire and AtoMaki : D
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 03, 2017 01:17 pm »

Chapter IV : Masked Men and Towers

On-Ji rushed forward amongst the crowd, putting aside her glass of strawberry juice as she kept up with the stampede of the mob, awaiting for a chance to break off and run to her hideout to get into the ninjas clothes.

Her current clothing were warm and all, but the problem was that fighting would be hard within them. She was confident that she could take on the masked men by herself even with them, but it would be best to put every advantage on her side before engaging the mysterious foes in direct battle.

On-Ji sneakily slipped off the crowd once close enough, and promptly went inside of the house to quickly get in the ninja gear. It took her about ten seconds to do so, five seconds to get rid of the previous uniform, and five seconds to get on the new one. After pulling the hood up on her face, she spent three seconds to arm herself, having already prepared some pouches full of weapons in the bag.

Upon strapping her sword to her back, On-Ji posed fiercely before grunting and adjusting one pouch : its position was slightly off compared to the others. After quickly checking in to see if there weren’t other imperfect stuff, On-Ji ran off, taking one more second to lock the door before going in.

“It took me too much time !” she thought to herself, running up within an alley before jumping between the two walls to reach the roofs of the house, looking around everywhere to see wherever the kidnappers were. Only darkness greeted here, although the lights of the torches, courtesy of the mob, shone in the distance. Perhaps the masked men were still nearby then ?

On-Ji promptly dashed forward, her top speed allowing her to easily reach out to the spot with the mob, keeping up a steady breathing while doing so, leaping between buildings and avoiding the gaze of some late villagers, to avoid any association with the evil masked men. It wouldn’t be serious for her to be lumped along with those amateurs.

And she didn’t want for them to throw trash at her. She took some precious hours to clean up all of her clothes and she would hate for some rotten fruit to tatter the precious fabric, it would take hours to wash off the scent and would make stealth rather awkward.

On-Ji finally reached the center of the town, where all the towns-folks were gathered, and cringed as she heard the cries of dismay and anger from the crowd, trash flying just about everywhere to try and hit the mysterious attackers, the mob couldn’t save the victim this time, condemning the innocent man to whatever the masked men were planning to do to him.

But this time, she was there, and she swore on her honor as an agent of the fire nation that all the citizens would be freed from the clutches of the evil disguised men. And thankfully for her, her sharp senses, even with all the light and shouting, allowed the young woman to detect three moving figures in the distance.

“Bingo !” she said, crouching up and leaping over some roofs as silently as she could, quickly plunging herself into the shadow of the nights to avoid being spotted.
The three men were admittedly sneaky, but unfortunately for them, the person they were carrying had bright red clothing, making it somewhat easy for a true ninja to keep track of them.

She couldn’t quite see the masks, but they had long black cloaks, concealing their entire body under some pitch black tissues with hood. Two of them had regular builds, but the last one stood at a pretty generous height and boasted a bulk that would intimidate a lesser ninja into giving up the chase, that one specific man had the shopkeeper hoisted over his shoulder, and moving acrobatically in spite of his height and the weight of the victim.

The three attackers were moving swiftly across the town, dodging the errant trash and moving across buildings with ease, but On-Ji was even swifter, keeping up with them while remaining hidden in the dark or behind buildings. They clearly had some confidence, since they never ever turned around or bothered looking at the streets underneath, but they had no reason to believe that they would be pursued by a ninja.

Now, what was she going to do ? Her hand briefly moved over to the handle of her blade as she looked upon the big man’s hand, steeling herself at the thought of cutting off his hand or attacking the man with her blade. Startled, he’d let go of the innocent victim, and she would bring him back to the shop intact, before tracking down the blood to hunt for the false shinobis, easy.

She was worried about potentially missing her mark though. They were high in the air and the shopkeeper would certainly die if he were to fall to the ground, and even if she caught him, she could probably break his spine or harm him by accident unless she handled the situation very carefully, and that would give time for one of the men to make his move or even attack, potentially keeping her from saving a life.

And they could always find a way to stop the blood flow... perhaps it would be better to let them bring him over to their secret location ? That way, she’d know of their HQ and maybe of the way to enter it.

Also, if she were to cut off one hand or attack, they would be aware of her and she would struggle to find them again. She had to deal with the situation tonight or they might leave or just hide it out. And while reinforcements were coming, she was afraid of the fate of the victims, who could always be used as a leverage.

That was complicated, but then again, who said that an easy life awaited her ?

She decided to go on a simple plan. If they brought the shopkeeper in to emprison in, she would perhaps observe the HQ before retreating and waiting for reinforcements. If his life was in immediate danger, she’d leap in. She didn’t know how she’d handle fighting more of these guys, but she was not going to stand there while a life was in danger.

And besides, she needed to teach them a lesson in ninja arts and felt that they could bring her closer to her initial targets. At least, she hoped so.

The dark soldiers leapt up into the forest, with On-Ji following without much reaction from On-Ji, who steeled herself to get covered in leaves as she, too, leapt in.

The trio still leapt across the forest, jumping from branches to branches with insolent ease, and so did the woman. The shopkeeper was bleeding from the head by now, and the young ninja frowned, although her cool-head prevailed once more. Something much worse than a blow to the head awaited him if she were to fail, and she was close enough at this point.

They kept it up for some minutes, with the light of the mob fading behind the forest, the light of the moon shining upon her oblivious pursuers, they sometimes raised their heads, speaking in harsh whispers to the bigger man.

“What if a guy follows the blood ?”

“Just because we can’t kill them, doesn’t mean that you can hit the guy as hard !”

The large man never bothered to respond, keeping the unconscious man close. He didn’t even need to speak, because his colleagues were quick to drop the accusations, perhaps in fear of his size, or because they had to care for something else. The ninja was happy though, at least, they weren’t in danger.

But she was curious about the no kill rule. Were they enslaving the villagers ? Or keeping them as fodders to strengthen their ranks ? They apparently needed them healthy, going from the ninja’s indignation at his comrade’s treatment of the prisoners. The more this story progressed, the more she realized that she was probably outgunned by the situation… but then again, she had to see where the ninjas resided before going back with other ninjas or Fire Nation troops.

One of the men suddenly stopped, raising his hand towards the others, getting them to freeze on their tracks. On-Ji promptly grabbed a branch at the very top of a tree as a result, barely seeing the leader of the trio through the light of the moon.

“What’s the matter ?” said the larger individual, irritated. “The meeting is happening soon, we gotta bring this guy over there soon !”

The last man remained silent, his opinion perhaps already voiced by his fellow criminal. The shinobi at the center began looking around, with On-Ji sneaking up behind a tree, barely peeking her head through, somewhat excepting to see the man standing right in front of her, sword raised and ready to be plunged through her heart.

Thankfully enough, he was still oblivious to her location, still rotating his head to try and spot her. She had a clear shot at his mask : it was all white and spherical, with two sharp holes as eyes. She was excepting something more obvious, but why go for fancy when you can go for practical ? The mask looked fairly tough and did a good job at concealing the face.

She did wear masks, sometimes, but the hood and mask combo was always pretty dreadful even at night.

“Just a gut feeling.”

“You’re stopping us all coz of a gut feeling ?” said the muscled figure, already leaping up along with the others. On-Ji continued her own pursuit, although much more carefully.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, up until they reached a ruined white tower sitting alone in the forest. The large man threw the shopkeeper over his head and did a fancy flip to reach the door of the tower, catching the wounded and falling person on the way down casually, earning some cringe from the agent.

His partners in crime also did similar flips, although they looked angered at his acrobatic display. Perhaps aware of the coming meeting, they simply opened the door and entered quickly, closing it behind them.

On-Ji awaited some seconds before getting up on her feet and doing a much fancier flip to the main door, looking up at the building. It was a decrepit tower from the older days of the Fire Nation, one that was older than the investigator of the Hundred-Year War. Some groups tried to take care of these relics of ancient times, but it seemed like this one escaped their notice, perhaps because of its location, away from civilization.

She tried to read some signs within it. The paint was mostly destroyed at this point, the emblem of the fire nation was reduced to some barely-recognizable spikes, the ruined scraps of great flag hovered on the pierced roof, weakly moving in with the wind.

The windows, for the most part, were torn apart, revealing nothing but destroyed garbage inside. At least, she could see some small spider-cats webs on the windows of the first floor. The door that led to the inside of the tower was wrecked, but held firm against the wind, although she easily opened it up before engaging herself in the path, carefully grabbing the handle of her blade.

It was foolish of her to go in, but if there was a meting, she had to at least listen to it to get informations. It would take way too much time to get reinforcements there, even if she went to the nearby garrison. It was much to her displeasure, because the stench of the place was awful.

Drops of a suspicious liquid leaked from the ceiling, nearly splashing on her neat ninja suit as she progressed through a dirty stone path, using all of her skills to avoid making too much noise. She couldn’t hear any footsteps in the distance, but that soon changed as she reached a larger room, with On-Ji carefully not stepping out of the alleyway out. It was a wise decision, because she would have bumped right into one of the masked figures.

Several of those figures, along with regular masked soldiers, were standing around the edge of a large room, surrounding a large amount of hapless villagers. There were some more soldiers mounted on the balconies, complimenting the spears of their partners with bows pointed at the skulls of the prisoners.

The group was strangely quiet, only sitting there in terror and occasionally begging whenever a soldier’s spear got a little too close to the face. None of them looked starved, but they were all dirty, with some constantly scratching the head or bodies.

On-Ji recoiled in horror and clenched her teeth, but refused to use her weapon yet. The soldiers were too numerous and equipped with bows, and her attack would cause a commotion that would endanger the citizens. A more ruthless individual would perhaps find a way to unleash the poor prisoners unto the guards and exploit the ensuing confusion, but she was better than that.

The young woman climbed up with some stairs, using her stealth to avoid making noises, and spotted another alleyway, that lead to yet another part of the castle. She had the choice of staying behind, but much to her regret, there wasn’t much she could do to help them directly. Disabling whoever was running this was probably her best choice.

The young woman threw a sad look and went by the alleyway, climbing up some more stairs and reaching yet another illuminated room. That one room was also well illuminated compared to the others, and featured a generous numbers of fire nation soldiers and cloaked men.

But she didn’t care about those.

On-Ji quickly and quietly ran up a steel ramp, way above the round table at the very center of the room, and looked upon it, and, more precisely, those sitting around it.

The first figure was a young Fire Nation man, dressed up in Fire Nation armour. His most noticeable trait was probably his odd haircut : the left half was plain, but the other half was extremely spiky, to the point where it looked even sharper than the sword she was carrying with her. Zakom.

The other figure had a similar build, armour, and face, but the right half of his haircut was plain. The left side, however, was similarly spiky, with the exact same spike sizes and locations. Makom.

The last figure was a middle-aged woman with sharp features and black hair, although some grey strands betrayed her age. She was dressed in common attire and looked grim, compared to her two collaborators and their smug smirks.

“Ho Agni !” she thought to herself, filled with both joy and horror. “I… I’m right up above the traitors !”

AGENT OF THE FIRE NATION
Logged



Featuring : Polaris, Zyrax HikaruIzumi, Blue Warpath, Prophet of Doom, Weegee the Airbender, TyLuko4Ever, Johan, Riptide, SunxFire and AtoMaki : D
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 04, 2017 06:56 pm »

This chapter was too long to be posted fully, since I'm not feeling like violating the rules, I'll post a big part of it and will post the remainder of it with the next chapter :p

On-Ji remembered her ninja training, back when she was barely old enough to say something else than “mama”. She often did during stressful situations, as a way to keep herself calm.

It wasn’t anything involving rows of children practicing hand-to-hand combat under the watchful eyes of a master ninja, or a carnage where the children where forced to kill each other until the strongest remained. Such tests, beside the gruesomeness, were a waste of precious resources.

She remembered how one of the first lessons involved “the difference between a spy and a soldier”. The spy gets in quietly, weakens the enemy’s infrastructures with a few but devastating kills, and gets out to let the soldier clean up the rest. He’s not meant to fight entire room of enemies and if he does, he failed spectacularly at his job and should be reconsidering his career goals.

By contrast, soldiers are meant to hack and slash at the enemy group until the entirety of the other group is laying in pieces at their feet, or until they are reduced to bloody pieces led across the room.  If he’s still alive, well done, now time to get in another base and hack at more enemies.

Her teacher might have been biased, but the message was nonetheless clear, and she managed to completely screw it up in one of her most important missions. Sure, she had to listen to the speech, but if something were to happen, she’d have to fight her way through numerous soldiers, and while she was perhaps skilled enough to do this, it could still endanger the rest of the hostages.

Looking down, though, it’s not like there were many soldiers. More than she’d like, but she excepted a bigger number of hostiles. Sure, the ones currently around were numerous, but the scrolls indicated that they would need to call forth a garrison to oppose the sheer numbers of the enemy troops.

And yet, there were about fifty hostiles in the arena, including her three targets and the ones in the other room. What exactly happened ? Were others laying in wait or infiltrating the garrison ? And what exactly where those masked men ? The armoured soldier outnumbered them but she still wondered.

On-Ji carefully checked her pouch. She had he smoke bombs, some flash bombs prototypes, her throwing weapons, knives, and her sword. It was a testament to her skills, or the soldier’s obliviousness, if they couldn’t spot her while she was walking with all of this stuff around.

Her attack, if she ever needed it, would need to be swift and ruthless. Not a single soldier should be conscious or able to fight, or there should be only five of them at least. Her three targets should be taken down at the first opportunity, and On-Ji would need to keep some of the smoke or flash stuffs for the reinforcements in the other room.

Of course, reinforcements would be the best case scenario. If the soldiers were smart, they’d just take hostages and stale it out. She’d get the time to call for her own troops but then, it would be a diplomacy matter.

While On-Ji was planning, Makom coughed, angrily glaring as he looked around the room, not noticing the girl.

“Why would you hold the meeting in these ruins ? We have a very confortable safehouse on the beach.”

“These ruins used to house the old nobility of the region.” Responded Zeo. “You should be respectful of those.”

“The previous owners didn’t respect it very much.” Responded Zakom, coughing in sync with his twin.

“Yes… a firebender or two got intoxicated. Anyway, we will not switch bases. This place is close enough to the village and we can fortify ourselves inside if it’s ever found. It’s location also makes it fairly hard to find but Kyouzu’s ninjas are probably already aware of it.”

“A fort is only good if it can take the projectiles.” Said Makom. “This place would crash hard if I ever leaned on it. If they can’t invade it, they’ll destroy it with a firebender and we’ll all be buried under tons of rocks.”

“Yeah, hiding there is stupid !”

“And that’s where the hostages come into play.”

Zeo pointed at the next round with her long finger, folding her armoured arms afterwards.

“Zuko is weak, unlike his father, and we will take advantage of that. He will not dare to destroy it if he knows that people are inside.”

“What a weakling !” answered Zakom.

“Yeah, he sure is !”

So they were just keeping the hostages inside as a bargain chip ? But why would they take such a large chunk of the population then ? A few hostages would be enough.

“And how do you plan on making the escape then ?” continued Makom, scratching his nose. “Do you have a secret tunnel somewhere ?”

“Multiple. They’ll all lead us to parts of the forest, with huts full of weapons and disguises.”

“That’s cool ! But how could you dig them all ? Or were those tunnels built by the previous nobles ?”

“I prepared this place months ago, it was always meant to house the meetings or serve as a backup in case something happened to my HQ.”

Zeo leant forward, clasping her hands together.

“Speaking of that...”

“Did something happen to your HQ ? You didn’t warn us of anything on the way here.”

The middle-aged woman sighed, with the twins making quick nods to their troops. One of the armoured soldier approached her, the light of a blade being barely visible through the dark, but she spoke out first.

“It was burned to the ground.”

Makom and Zakom looked briefly spooked but kept their composure, with one of the twins gesturing for the soldier not to go through. At the same time, one of the cloaked figures also drew back its own blade.

“You got caught by some overeager general and you call for a meeting ? Why would they even burn the entire place down, it could be renovated.”

On-Ji never remembered any information about the loss of the HQ, and she was an avid reader of the local news.

“General Miraid did it.”

The brief look of fear suddenly became a wide look of terror, with the twins briefly freezing up as if something was pulling their souls right out. Embers bloodshot eyes stood unblinking for several seconds, their mouths opened agape in fear, their fingers instantly clutched on the table hard enough to nearly crack the wood, and the tanned skin nearly became snow white.

Streams of sweats began to ran down their faces as they attempted to get up, although the cloaked persons were quick to let them sit back in. The soldiers walked in menacingly, and for a moment, On-Ji thought that the problem was going to deal with itself, but alas, Zeo’s voice rang across the room.

“ENOUGH !”

The soldiers walked back, leaving their masters to stand there in fear. Makom was the first to retrieve sentience, staring at his interlocutor with chilling fury.

“You LIAR ! You DIRTY LITTLE LIAR ! Why didn’t you tell US ?! Is he nearby ?! Are yo going to-to SACRIFICE US TO HIM ?!”

“Everyone in the room would be dead if it were the case, don’t worry. Mirai is still at the base and some of my men are headed back to it.”

“Is that supposed to reassure us ?!”

“Yes, the loss of my HQ is obviously a terrible blow… but I am one to adapt. I sent six men over there, they’re armed with crossbows and knives, and one of them is an adept firebender.”

“Yeah, good job Zeo, sending six dudes over to fight the guy who destroyed your HQ on his own. Aren’t you supposed to be smart ? Why are your men dressed like some grotesque ghosts ? What are you even attempting ?”

“My men are dressed like that for stealth purpose. These cloaks are… not the best, but we moved across the nation without trouble thanks to them, and my men will be able to sneak up on him should diplomacy fail. I’m not going to get them to take him head-on, he’ll just be stabbed by arrows before he can attack them.”

Zakom glared.

“Diplomacy ? With that guy ? You know his track record, right ?”

“I fought with him, he is wild, but I learnt of his behaviour. My crew will offer him a proposal, and I will need your help to fulfil it.”

“Why aren’t you telling us things before we come over ?”

“You would have panicked.”

“Well of course we would, it’s Mirai. Ever since Oz-Lord Ozai’s and Lady Azula’s falls from grace, he’s been on a rampage. The guy has been drinking stuff and tearing or burning apart poor fools for a year now.”

“Yes, but I might be able to lure him over with the proposal. Will you listen to it ?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“It will involve those precious weapons that you’ve bought after the fall of Ba Sing Se. The two… spirit swords ?”

“You’re trading our ultra-rare precious swords to this brute ? He’s going to use them to pick his teeth !”

“According to the legends.” Said Zeo, ignoring any protests. “These swords can cut through any matter within the Nations, and can carve through the Elements themselves. If a swordsman were to get one, he’d be able to take on the mightiest benders.”

“That’s what the print said.”

“Mirai is… really interested in unusual weapons, and carnage. He would surely follow us if we were to give these weapons to him, along with a target to carve up.”

“Agni almighty, how are you general ? You see a powerful, unstable bender, who can cut loose now that the two people who kept him in line are gone. And you decide to give him two of our precious swords ? He’s going to carve us like a lizard-turkey, and maybe he’ll even eat us like one !”

“The prospect of cutting down a Fire Lord will surely please him. And beside, we need to do something about him. His destructive power can be used to our advantage, since we sorely lack in troops now.”

“A destructive power that can be cancelled out by the Avatar.”

“The Avatar has other matters to deal with, am I right ? Zuko will be cut down, and we will work on grooming a new heir to take his place.”

“The powerless maniac or the other unstable super-bender ?”

“We will see once Zuko is down…”

“And what if he refuses to help or is not interested in the swords ?”

“The men are sent there are amongst the finest soldiers of the crowd. They will kill him before he can become a threat… and even if he does survive, they will not give in the location, and we’ll work on other plans.”

Zeo extended her hand.

“I already know of the location of your swords. Give me the authorization to hand them over.”

“Why are you asking ? They’re locked, it’s not like saying yes is going to magically unlock the gates and allow you to go on the next level. What do you think, sibling ?”

“I think that she’s insane, but I think that we should go along. It is true that we are losing the war, and Mirai could turn it all around.”

Zakom grunted, Makom made a similar vocalization.

“Alright, you get the sword and we get to witness the end of this ridiculous Harmony Restoration Movement.”

“Very well, my tactics might seems foolish, but I assure you that success awaits us.”

“Just make it so that it won’t completely blow up in our face and end up with us being tortured by the maniac over at the capital… scar face or something.”

“I’d rather die before that happens.”

On-Ji, who has already begun snoring, promptly leapt up to listen.

“Him and that damned little ninja of his caught so many of us. They’re probably getting tortured as we speak, in the underground, and the sheeps at the Capital are still screaming in joy whenever Zuko is doing a speech.” Said Makom.

“Yeah, I heard that he did really awful stuff during the war. Why is Zuko keeping that guy at the top ?” continued his brother. “I heard that prisoners went insane even before he started torturing them, just because they feared him that much.”

“The Fake Lord is using him as much as he can. He’s old and is a relic, he’s going to go away and that Osamu dude is going to be the new head, and everyone will love him.”

“Heard he’s also a real bastard.”

Zeo leant forwards, she seemingly really liked to do that.

 “He is. I know something about him… do you know how they got those ninjas ?”

Now On-Ji herself was leaning forward, a cable nearly breaking under the weight behind her back. The two bros were leaning forward as well.

“Azulon started it, it…”

The pipe supporting On-Ji broke all of a sudden, bringing the young girl down towards the table ! Instantly, the three targets raised their head, with Zeo immediately leaping out of her seat, although the brothers were slower. Fireballs scorched through the room already, aiming to destroy the pipe, but the young woman leapt off before they could hit, jumping on the walls of the room to dodge the rest of the projectiles, and quickly throwing some smoke bombs around the room.

She landed right on the middle of the table, and closed her eyes, relying on her senses to hear. The two brothers were standing right next to her, still too slow to get out in time, so she leapt out and extended her legs to strike them in the face, knocking them down to the ground unconscious ! Zeo ran off as a response, escaping into a black door.

The rogue soldiers moved around the room erratically, confusion preventing them from wiping out her firebending. She moved in perfect sync, dodging any errand blow and knocking them with careful attacks. She wasn’t aiming to simply knock their noses off with mighty punches, though, far from it.

Be it with pressure points, or throws, or even breaking limbs, On-Ji was mowing her way down the enemy forces non-lethally, but they surely felt her attacks as she moved like a shadow, taking care of about one enemy per second, enjoying the chaos as the soldiers sometimes punched each other in confusion, with the young girl simply ducking under their gloved fists.

The masked men were stealthy, but they seemingly decided to ditch the armour, allowing for easier takedowns, whereas the extra defense of the regular soldiers forced her to go for the unprotected spots.

On-Ji knocked a cloaked man down with a leg sweep, and used his body to leap on two other soldiers while knocking him out, accelerating as the smoke slowly receded back.

One soldier swung his fist at her, but she intercepted her and threw him over to two more fodder, forming a pile. The pile slowly grew in size as she intercepted another attempted strike, knocking the soldier out with two swift blows to the face before knocking him on top of it.

A blinded masked man rushed over, unaware of her path, and she simply leant to the side, sticking her leg out and letting him join his comrades in temporary oblivion.

By the time the smoke was gone, the room was filled with unconscious soldiers, but three more stood. She didn’t recognize them as the kidnappers.

“For Agni’s sake, ATTACK !”

The main soldier took up a knife and went in for the assault, attempting to slash and stab her over, moving swiftly in spite of the armour. His two friends, seemingly unable to bend, drew their own knives and also attacked her, moving in coordinated sync. She’d praise them if they weren’t trying to carve her up.

On-Ji leapt on the wall and drew some shurikens to disarm the main soldier, throwing it with perfect accuracy, disarming her strongest opponent and making his own weapon fly up into the air. Exploiting the confusion, the agent of the Fire Nation leapt off the wall and knocked him over the air with a palm at the face, hurling him to the center of the room.

The two soldiers moved in to stab her, but she merely leapt up. It would be ironic to let them impale on each other, but On-Ji was not a criminal, and executed a kick to knock them over the ground, unconscious.

The young lady landed perfectly on her feet, smirking at the downed commander, but noticed that the spinning knife was now flying down at his chest ! Alarmed, the prodigy rush forward, holding a shuriken, and held it up over the downed commander, with the blade of the knife perfectly passing through the hole of the shuriken.

The metal was tough enough to resist the handle of the blade though, stopping the blade short.

“I… don’t know what would have happened if I failed to pull that stunt.”

On-Ji smiled and raised her arm to knock the man out, but he already fell unconscious out of fright.

Sighing, she launched herself across the room, paying attention to the noises outside of the room. The hostage room was surprisingly silent, but she pursued the target first.

The alleyway was large and dark, like anything else in the building, but sight wasn’t a problem. She could intercept an arrow flying at her in the dark, so she had no problem dodging the gigantic hand coming right at her, looking up to spot the huge figure of the tall man.

“I knew that someone was trailing us !”

His mighty fist swung down at her again, cracking the ground, water droplets and mud raising out and splashing the dark outfit. On-Ji leapt on his fist and tried to kick him in the face, but she felt like hitting diamond.

The mask cracked at the force of her kick, but the face behind it was overall intact.

A smile ensued, and On-Ji jumped back with a stance.

“Are ya the ninja who’s been capturing us ? Or are ya just another dog of Kyouzu ?”

“I’m surprised that you know about me.”

“Zeo know how ya back-pocking snakes work.

The giant attempted to shoulder-bash him, but On-Ji slided between his legs and punched hard upward. She felt like hitting diamond again, and tended to her hand as her huge foe turned around to try to swat her aside, executing several fast and strong attacks afterwards.

On-Ji was forced on the defensive, dodging or intercepting, but never making any real attacks on her own. Was the man made of steel ?

“How y’all chased down spies during the war, and how you’re chasing us down now. What’s your goal ? What are you going to chase after we’re done ? Is Zuko going to hire ya to hunt the moth-mouses in the castle ?”

His attacks slipped off ever so slightly in his rant, and On-Ji exploited it, leaping forward and striking at his body with several quick attacks, leaping off again before turning her back to him.

“I’m already hunting vermins.” She commented, running off. The man raised his hand, but it refused to budge.

In fact, his body was feeling very strange all of a sudden, like melted wax, and as he fell down, one last dignified thought came to him.

“Well crap.”

AGENT OF THE FIRE NATION
« Last Edit: Sep 04, 2017 06:58 pm by Solid Sun » Logged



Featuring : Polaris, Zyrax HikaruIzumi, Blue Warpath, Prophet of Doom, Weegee the Airbender, TyLuko4Ever, Johan, Riptide, SunxFire and AtoMaki : D
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 05, 2017 05:17 pm »

Chapter VI : BLACK AS THE NIGHT

Meanwhile, the young girl kept running off. Of course she’d know Chi Blocking. It was useful against foes like the big guy, who never needed armour and would only laugh at the series of pitiful attacks that she threw at him.

Her mind was elsewhere though, as the last words of Zeo floated back to her, about those ninjas… what was that with Fire Lord Azulon ? She knew that Kyuzu was shady but she always thought she entered ninja school legit.

She wanted to defend her country, and her parents… her parents…

The masked man leapt up at her, bringing his sword down. On-Ji merely grabbed him by the chest and threw him aside, hitting the other masked individual. The other two kidnappers, but she couldn’t care less about them.

In fact, the only thing the ninja cared about was finding Zeo at this point, and she felt an odd feeling of joy as the middle-aged woman appeared in her field of vision, wielding a katana. The young kunoichi promptly grabbed something in her pocket before clutching her fist.

Her young opponent went inside the room, it was a cellar, full of shelves and priceless bottles of alcohol. She could see some holes on the ground, and looked up at Zeo, who walked up confidently to her.

“If you want to ask, I just know that you’re going to be a little thorn at my side even if I escape.” Declared Zeo, raising her sword above her head.

“More than a thorn.” Was the reply, and the skilled fighter froze in answer, looking briefly shocked before laughing uproariously.

It was the kind of laugh that unnerved the soul.

“Ho my ! Now that I see you… you’re the one who’s been taking us down ? You look barely old enough to wed !”

“Maybe I am, but I just took down a roomful of soldiers, and you’re going to follow suit.” Responded On-Ji, pointing forward with determination. “And you will tell me what Kyozu did.”

At these words, Zeo blinked, looking almost unsettled.

“How odd of you to be asking that.”

“Why ?”

“No matter.” Said the woman, raising her sword. “Best me in combat, and I’ll answer it all. How you were born and sullied.”

On-Ji nodded and took up her own sword, the two adversaries looking up at each other. The old general vs the young ninja, the past vs the future, the lady vs the girl.

“My skills are told in legends, you know.” Boasted Zeo, twirling the sword. “Are you hoping to defeat me head-on ?”

“No.”

On-Ji threw the flash bomb that she grabbed earlier right at the face of her enemy, cutting off her boast. The ensuing flash stunned and blinded both, but the younger girl prepared herself and was quicker to steel herself back to fighting condition, leaping up and tackling the old woman to the floor before striking her across the face twice !

The other katana flew out along with plenty of blood, Zeo reached for it but On-Ji raised her own blade.

“Very clever, very clever… I should have known that you wouldn’t fight fairly.”

“What do you know about Lord Azulon and Lord Kyouzu ?! Speak !”

“Don’t yell at me, girl. I just took a flash bomb to the face.”

On-Ji pointed her sword menacingly, earning another laugh from the downed woman, spit and blood splashing over her face.

“Menacing me ? Girl, I saw you fight, you certainly don’t kill !”

“I’ll make an exception for you.”

“You’re not, because if I die, you’ll be tormented with questions.”

The girl gritted her teeth.

“How ironic of you to take us alive. Are you merciful or dumb ? Do you think that our fallen soldiers are treated fairly ? Do we think that we nicely spill it all out to the people who asks questions ?”

“No, and I don’t….”

“Care ? That’s some morals there ! Do you know and deliberately ignore the torture, or does it pass under your nose ? Do you think that Kyozu stumbled in the stairs to earn those scars ? Are you still believing in Zuko’s message of peace ?”

“The Fire Lord is leading our nation through a new era. You’re all relics of the war, attempting to drag us back to the conflict.”

“He’s weak. The other nations will take their revenge on us for daring to bring prosperity to them, and he’ll stand aside and watch us burn !”

“Prosperity ? You killed off the Airbenders and the Soutern water tribes !”

“I see that they changed the history books over there.” Laughed Zeo, she ceased when On-Ji pressed her elbow on her neck.

“My patience is wearing thin, what are you implying with Kyozu and us ninjas ?”

“Dodging my questions ?”

She glared back. One part of her felt that the “tough guy” vibe belonged to someone else, but adrenaline prevented her from thinking rationally.

“Just asking a question, what are your parent’s names ?”

“If you want to do anything to them..”

“Just asking. You can lie. You’d be bad at your job otherwise.”

“… Lee and Okam.”

“Lee ? They didn’t even try.”

A deadly smirk formed on the older woman’s face.

“Your parent’s names are…”

The words never came out, for a kunai bursted out of nowhere and crashed on the face of the downed enemy, instantly killing her and splashing On-Ji with blood, bones, and plenty of other disgusting stuff that she could name. The mutilated head of the knower of truth fell to the side, a wide pool of blood forming down at the feet of the unfortunate ninja.

“No !”

Angered, the Agent turned around and went pale.

Another Ninja stood at the door. Clad in dark and white. He was tall, muscled, and dressed in a black uwagi with a red sash, a black under-shirt with a turtleneck, long dark sleeves, gloves, dark pants, and red sandals.

His katana was bloody, and so was his attire. His black hood concealed all but his dark cold eyes.

“Mission accomplished.”

She knew of him, she never really met him, let alone spoke to him, but she sometimes heard of him whenever she was talking to Osamu, perhaps because On-Ji was endlessely compared to him.

Whatever she could do, he was able to do it better. While she was busy sneaking a handful of important scrolls outside of an enemy base, he was bringing back a library worth of them. Wherever she was infiltrating a fort and preparing it up for the invasion of friendly soldiers, he was handling the keys to the blood-soaked fort to the commander of the nearby garrison.

His age was unknown, but he was apparently doing his job before she was even born. His real name was obviously lost to the ages, and he changed codenames about every day or so. The man never interacted with anyone, except Lord Kyozu, and only high-rankings Fire Nation officials knew of his identity, along with other ninjas like her.

She even doubted of his existence at some points, thinking of him as a legend purposely created by Kyozu to motivate the troops or terrify whoever heard of his legend. For her, the officials merely crafted a shadow man out of all the victories of other ninjas, or Osamu lied to her to inspire her.

And yet, he was standing in front of her, real as the day, blood dropping from the tip of his long sword, his hand extended into a throwing gesture, calmly looking over at the corpse without a feeling of joy or disgust. He behaved like a moving statue.

And for some reasons, it deeply unsettled her. He moved in a not-quite-human way that sent chills down her spine, and she dared to slightly raise his sword as his cold dark eyes turned toward her, even knowing fully well that he was supposed to be on his side. In her defense, the man did little to admit his intentions, merely walking up to her, towering over the lady by three feet or more.

“Your fight over there was impeccable.” He commented. “You perfectly used your objects and surprise to gain the upper hand.”

She would enjoy the compliment, but his voice was odd, almost like a sword scraping against stone. Even then, she promptly bowed over in respect, attempting to hide her anger and confusion.

“T-thank you for your compliment, sir.”

He did not respond to that, and moved over swiftly to the corpse of Zeo, using blinding speed to appear at one spot and re-appear at the other. She barely even saw his legs moving.

“You seem angry at me, On-Ji.”

The other ninja raised her head forward, betraying her surprise, but was quick to lower it, going back to practically kissing the ground. She felt a tinge of hope when he sheathed his sword, carefully splashing the blood over to the corpse before doing so.

“Do not attempt to hide it. I can hear it in your voice and see it within your body. Are you perhaps upset at me for killing the criminal Zeo ?”

She was tempted to yell, but held it well enough to stoically raise her head, her mouth briefly quivering before delivering the words.

“I was about to interrogate the criminal Zeo.”

“Incorrect, you weren’t asking her relevant questions, and your voice was too high. Anger was leading your actions, and you nearly paid the price for it.”

He pointed down at the lower body of the part, a blade was tied to her hip with a small belt, and her hand seemed very close to it.

“You would have been stabbed. Thanks to my act, you can still live to serve the Fire Nation.”

“T-thank you for your help sir.” She said, keeping her head down for now.

“You are still subjecting yourself to wild emotions, On-Ji. The loss of Zeo is not a huge one. You heard of her meeting, and know of her intentions and desires.”

“What about my-“

“Lies.”

On-Ji froze, the man slowly began walking up to her, each step being separated by at least two seconds of silence. Whenever he was being dramatic or not, she didn’t care.

“The criminal was obviously trying to trick you into dropping your guard. Whatever that woman has described to you is fictional, and was only a ploy to ensure her victory over you.”

He stopped right next to her, and crouched, putting up one knee to the floor. The young woman refused to get up, so as to avoid offending him. And beside, her emotions were still acting up. She felt anger at the man for his murder, even on a criminal, but also fear over defying him, doubt over the supposed lies of the fallen general, anguish about her origins and plenty of other emotions that she should not be feeling on a mission.

The katana fell to the ground as she clutched her ears. Her fellow ninja not even grunted or sighed in answer, sitting still and looking on at the events with his usual cold eyes, she couldn’t know since she was still staring up at the blood-soaked ground, shaking her head in confusion.

“What is… what am…”

“On-Ji, you seem to be confused about the lies of the enemy. You shouldn’t.”

She felt his hand on her shoulder, another faint tinge of hope came to her, but fear soon overwhelm her mind again as the grip on her neck tightened.

“You really shouldn’t.”

On-Ji gasped, and her vision grew dark.

AGENT OF THE FIRE NATION
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Featuring : Polaris, Zyrax HikaruIzumi, Blue Warpath, Prophet of Doom, Weegee the Airbender, TyLuko4Ever, Johan, Riptide, SunxFire and AtoMaki : D
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 11, 2017 07:20 am »

BLACK AS THE NIGHT II

The two ninjas were walking out of the room, with On-Ji looking pumped up.

Everything about the mission went great : Zeo intensely spoke of whatever she planned to do, she successfully defeated a roomful of soldiers, Zakom and Makom were now under the custody of the Fire Nation, and the civilians were effectively freed !

“That was a splendid work, On-Ji. I shall speak to it to Lord Kyozu, he’ll certainly speak of your work to our new Fire Lord.”

“The new Fire Lord ?!”

He turned to look at her.

“I mean… I am glad to be worthy of a mention to the leader of our country.”

“You are allowed to be joyful on this mission, On-Ji. You deserve it.”

The young woman smiled under the hood, and looked over at the room. Everything was cleaned up, and some Fire Nation soldiers were busy rounding up the two evil twins and gathering weapons. Plenty of them were actually running around the ruins, rescuing the civilians or bringing out their traitorous fellows.

The ninjas remained under the shadow, not noticed by the soldiers.

“I’m glad that you were there to contribute.”

“Yes. I’ve been following the twins for a while. Your intervention gave me enough time to take care of the guards and rescue the civilians.”

“You sure are sneaky, I never noticed you.”

“Nobody does, unless I want them to.”

They were quick to walk out of the room. The older shinobi moved with the kind of casual grace that she hoped to pull off one day, escaping the gaze of civilians and soldiers alike without ever missing a beat. She did it too, but it took her more efforts than the other agent, who kept his hands behind his back.

He remained silent for the travel, perhaps because it could be done later.

Popping out of the ruins was easy, so was finding a quiet spot in the forest. The two travelled for perhaps a minute before the older man raised his hand to tell her to stop, checking around before leaping up on a branch, folding his arms and standing perfectly still on it. She would have clapped him elsewhere for that feat, but he would probably chide her for it.

So, she just stood on her own branch, sighing out in relief.

“If you ask. I wasn’t noticed by the civilians nor the soldiers, I used a proxy to tip off the garrison and they approached at the right moment.”

“These poor folks had no chance.” Laughed On-Ji.

“You should not be pitying the enemy, On-Ji. They were working up to destabilize the new fragile empire, it is vital for us to take care of them while they’re weak. We do not have to fear any of them any more.”

“What about general M-“

“He’s out of your required skill level.”

“Why ? I mean, I can fight a bender now. I can take him by surprise and chi block him until he’s just crushed to the floor, right ?”

“On-Ji, you appear to be disrespecting the order of a superior.”

She decided to keep her mouth shut, not wanting to offend the dark figure. After all, plenty of ninjas of her age would kill to be able to talk with him. She surely was lucky when it came to meeting important figures of the intelligent field, perhaps she should try her chance in some luck games ?

“You can outmatch a bender, but Mirai is far above the firebenders that you ever fought in your missions. Armies of people of your age died at his hands. You will not fight him, and if you were to stumble upon him, you must leave the area quickly.”

“Are you going to do something about him though ? He’s really dangerous.”

 “Mirai’s position might change, but we shall observe him and use the required measures to overcome his menace. And beside, he’s not to be taken alive : your desire to avoid kills at any cost might be troublesome if you somehow managed to topple him.”

“Alright, excuse me for foolishly speaking out in defiance.”

“Apologies accepted. Mirai’s problem will be dealt with and you will not need to face him.”

“Very well, sir. I will avoid bringing up the subject again.”

“A wise decision.”
“Now, if I might dare to ask you a question… do you believe that my wish to avoid killing…

“It is a mediocre little thought.” He said, bluntly, albeit his voice was still void of emotions. “One that will lead to your death unless you decide to take more rigorous actions.”

Outch. And he promptly kept on.

“I do know that you desire to keep them for interrogation, but as said by Lord Kyozu, not all missions will involve those. You will be dispatched to kill a target, and no choice will open itself up before you.”

She nodded, perhaps he was excepting a better answer, because he did not bother to speak up.

“I just want to avoid, well…”

“You will not suffer from such troubles. We have trained professionals to help you cope with the loss of a life.”

She thought of princess Azula for a moment. Not that she felt familiarity between herself and the insane royal, but if those trained professionals existed… what were they doing while she was undergoing those rumoured breakdowns ? Maybe she did try to get someone, or maybe they thought of her symptoms as the typical egocentrism of a newly-crowned Fire Lord, but she wasn’t really trusting of those professionals.

“You seem to be having foreign thoughts.”

“It is not the case, sir. I confirm that I shall take care of my code in the future.”

He did not blink, he never did.

“Very well. It will come into use for now though.”

She would frown : for all these talks about getting rid of it, they never quite forced her to get rid of it. It was all the better for her though.

Taking a life was a crime. She was defending her reasons with pragmatism, and knew that her job as a whole wasn’t very legal, but she still felt better than that. Whenever she tried to raise her sword to end the life of an enemy, she always felt a strong urge that prevent her from doing so. Something stronger than whatever her ninja instructors could drill into their heads, something that no threat or harsh word could remove.

Was it raw instinct ? Or something deeper ? She didn’t know, but as long as she could go non-lethal, she was happy with her job. The prospect of being, one day, forced into a “kill or be killed” situation floated in her mind, ever looming, but she tried to put it away.

Her superior checked into a pouch and pulled out a fancy envelop of some sort, handing it over with a quick motion. She used a similarly quick motion for it.

It was tagged with the symbol of the royal family, and her eyes widened slightly.

“Your new identity lies on this list. For the next mission, you will still be On-Ji, but you grew up within Ember Island. You will be a servant within the castle of the Fire Lord, but your true purpose will be to stop and capture assassins.”

Her heart dropped to a single beat, and she made a wide smile under the hood, one that the other ninja did not bother to correct. She was going to interact with the Fire Lord ? Or to be able to breath the same air as he does ? Perhaps he would even talk to her sometimes ? Not in a “hey On-Ji way” but…

Her mind wandered briefly, as she imagined all the romantic or comic hijinks that would ensue. A foolish thought for a ninja, but she had a liking for the new Lord. And her parents would be proud to learn that she somehow managed to get a spot in the elite !

Or, well, she just hanged out in the background and cleaned up the feet of the elites, but it was good enough.

Would Fire Lord Zuko mind if she took a crown home ?

“On-Ji. You will not be able to approach the Fire Lord. Your purpose is to eradicate the vermin that dwell at the heart of the nation.”

Good enough, maybe she’ll save him once ? An assassin would throw him out of a window and she’d catch him in her strong arms. And he’d thank her, and she’d proceed to tell her name to him. “Ji. On-Ji.”

“On-Ji.”

“Excuse me, I’m just focused on the mission !”

“You will need to be deployed tomorrow. Someone is letting these assassins pass by in the walls of the city. Find them if you can, but just sending a would-be Fire Lord killer is enough. They’ll talk.”

“Affirmative !”

She heard of the assassins coming in. Why would they do that ? The poor lord was reeling because of all the troubles that were happening with these colonies, what kind of maniac would try to add even more troubles ?

“I will defend Fire Lord Zuko with my life !”

“Good. The carriage that will bring you to the capital is ready. Good luck, and do not forget that we appreciate your contributions to the Fire Nation.”

On-Ji made a sign, and then happily ran off. The other ninja waited until he heard the sound of a vehicle moving, and moved up. She was dressed as a farmer and was already rolling her way back without a single complain.

“The project really is successful.” He thought to himself, holding up a Golden Disk.

Perhaps he should feel guilt, perhaps he should tell her about the things that happened to her before her childhood.

Perhaps he’ll need to kill her if she was to realize.

He didn’t care, emotions were long gone for him. And, with a single sign of his hands, he vanished in the night to do his report, not even disturbing the leaves as he ran off silently.

AGENTS OF THE FIRE NATION
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Featuring : Polaris, Zyrax HikaruIzumi, Blue Warpath, Prophet of Doom, Weegee the Airbender, TyLuko4Ever, Johan, Riptide, SunxFire and AtoMaki : D
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 12, 2017 10:06 am »

Chapter VII : Castle Royal

On-Ji stood within the halls of the Fire Nation palace, looking up at her surroundings with amazed awe. She knew that her mission required her to be extremely careful and serious, since her job was to unofficially protect the Fire Lord from assassins and traitors, but the sights of the immense halls, the glorious paintings, the amazing decoration, and the fancy-looking tapestry managed to give her some pause.

Sure, she dwelled in plenty of places. She went to the Intelligence HQ, she spied at fancy meetings, is spending her off-days in a confortable home, and her first steps took place within a big fancy house. But the Fire Nation Palace was just above all of these places together, as excepted from a building that housed the most powerful man on Earth, at the very center of the most powerful nation to ever grace the planet.

The other servants seemed rather unfazed by it though, perhaps due to experience, and one of them stared at the young woman with annoyance. On-Ji took the time to stare back towards the middle-aged woman, Zunli. Her hair was black but she could see some lonely grey bangs already, along with some wrinkles.

“The portraits are fine as they are, young lady. And beside, your job is elsewhere.”

Her steps carried authority though, and as she pointed at the end of the hall with an authoritative gesture, On-Ji felt almost compelled to respond with “yes madam”, in fact, and few could get such a reaction out of her. At the palace, even the servants are impressive ! She truly felt blessed to do that job, and also slightly terrified.

“Yes ma’am !” declared On-Ji, making a brief salute and bow before turning around to walk towards the end of the hall at a fast pace, avoiding some guards or other servants. The former were a little bit on the edge, looking around at each corner of the halls as if an assassin was waiting for them in there.

She searched for a dark room, as she listened on to the idle conversations. Two masked firebenders were talking with one another, one leaning against a wall while the other folded his arms and stood there, albeit he tried to find a wall to lean against himself. The spy checked to see where Zunli was, and grabbed an errant broom to avoid suspicions from the two soldiers.

“So, which one will it be tonight ?” said the first soldier, looking up at a piece of paper, speaking with a certain amusement in his voice. “I’m going to be betting for a water tribe savage.”

“Bonus point if he forgets to take a water gourd with him like last time.”

“Heh, dummies.”

The soldier checked again, On-Ji scraped another portion of the ground with the broom, doing so without looking much.

“Will it be an Earth Kingdom guy ?”

“Remember that guy who waved a rock around and tried to bash everyone’s faces with it ?”

“Good times, good times, except for Lee.”

“Poor Lee…”

Both were looking down at the moment, allowing On-Ji to write down the conversation in a little book before resuming the clean up.

“See, this is why Sozin started this war. He wanted to bring some greatness to the savages and the dumbasses, it’s just that they decided to resist because they couldn’t let go of their stupid, barbaric cultures.”

“Yeah, right, and you know what really grind my gears about the Harmony stuff ? Sozin, Azulon and Ozai will be remembered as the bad guys in the end. Kuei will rewrite history and probably put himself as the mastermind of the invasion, and the Avatar will talk about how balance is essential blabla.”

“I mean, Ozai did burn his son’s face.”

“That was all a test to see if he was worthy of being the Fire Lord, dude. But he got infected by the old ideals like Iroh did. You know, I heard that the Earth Kingdom did shady stuff themselves. Maybe these guys in hats brainwashed lord Iroh and Zuko ? And Azula took them in to see if she could break the spell on her family.”

“Pretty sure that she’s a b”

A pack of soldiers promptly emerged out of the end of the hallway, distracting the two firebenders and cutting the conversation short. On-Ji used the distraction to vanish into a dark room, the broom briefly spinning in place before laying on top of one fancy tables. Both Fire Nation soldiers raised their masked heads after some time, looking up and noticing all the sparkles around them. On-Ji’s work.

“What the he-“

Meanwhile, the young woman entered the dark room and opened up the tiny book, looking upon it with interest. That book contained all the datas that she gathered about her surroundings during the infiltration. Stuff like who to know, who to avoid (the scowling face of the Fire Lord’s girlfriend was drawn especially well at this point, and filled all the page), but also the recent assassinations attempts and whoever was suspected.

The name Konzui came back a lot.

She didn’t know much about that Konzui person, but he was a very average person who was charged with taking care of the upper level of the palace. He had no anger issues, never expressed a desire to kill the Fire Lord, never held a suspicious object in public and was overall just a regular assistant.

Ironically, that’s why people suspected him. A lot of the assassins entered through the upper level after all, and Konzui was said to be a rather naive person who spent a lot of time chatting it up with strangers. Some of the residents of the castle thought that the assassins were some “friends” of his who asked for the permission to enter the castle.

She knew better than to trust several sources like that. For all she knew, Konzui was just a scapegoat who only ever lived a quiet life and took the blame from everyone while the actual culprit was attempting, time and again, to murder the Fire Lord. On-Ji was not going to just drop in and knock him out for interrogation : she was going to check in firstly.

The name of Zunli also came back quite a few times but she thought little of it. The woman was rude but loyal, and was probably picked by a poor folk that she antagonized earlier. She was still to consider though, because if there is one thing that On-Ji discovered during her travels, it’s that the middle-aged or old individuals are always traitors.

Then what should she make of Osamu and Lord Kyozu ?

On-Ji shook her head off and went on to pick the laundry in a close room, exiting the big great halls and entering a cluster of smaller, darker halls. These halls were apparently made so that the servants could hide from the Fire Lord’s presence, but the truth was, it simply made travelling in the castle easier. She could see some soldiers or individuals of higher grades moving between the men and women working within the hall.

The candles illuminated the crowd as On-Ji walked up to pick up a bag full of fancy Fire Lord robes, with the goal of quietly deposing them inside the room while the Lord was busy. She slightly pouted when the servant holding the bag glared at her, his finger quietly pointed at the bottom of the bag to inform him that the letter was there.

The young girl wasn’t the only spy inside of the castle. At least three other members of her group lurked within the lit halls of the building, gathering information on their own and passing it upon to her. They served as messengers of some sort, to inform her of a new development in the mission, silently of course, time was too precious to be wasted in idle chat, especially because of the infernal rhythm of the castle.

Being a servant was boring, and she truly didn’t enjoy it, but being constantly forced to run around rooms at the merits of fending her boredom away. She took the bag and nodded with a smile, her silent interlocutor promptly turning around to vanish between two persons. They always liked to do that, instead of simply walking away like normal persons.

The room was several halls away, and she had to do it quickly while the Fire Lord was away. Off she went.

The bag clicked a little as she made her way in, the golden decorations reacting to the constant up and down. She almost caught herself banging her head down to the rhythm, slowly making herself a little melody with the sound.
It reminded her of something, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. It was probably important but it was hidden behind a metaphorical thick fog.

She thought of it as she walked down the long halls, rushing past some soldiers or officials. She recognized some persons from the intelligence group but they ignored her, a wise decision : her cover would have been blown. They were mostly talking tactics with other generals, although the generals were doing most of the tactics and dismissing the methods of Kyozu as they went.

She soon escaped the rooms and entered the gardens of the Fire Nation, where the future children of Zuko and Mai would happily play with other noble children. Detractors said that a product of the two would not be able to get friends, let alone find happiness, but On-Ji was above such thoughts and simply looked on as some rich children played within the garden, under the careful gaze of their parents or guards.

She wondered if she should feel glad or jealous, but settled for “not my problem”, and went past the painters to plunge herself into the rooms of the castle once more, looking up at the mighty sun. It was nearly night, the time where the assassins usually come out to attack the “defenseless” lord of the Nation. Perhaps it was time for her to prepare to hide.

The trip to the chambers resumed and finally saw an end when the girl arrived in front of the room of the Fire Lord. Anticipating some search, she promptly grabbed the note under all the Fire Lord robes and proceeded to stuff it in her clothes, before putting it all in order and walking up to the two guards. She was excepting several rows of the deadliest firebenders ever, but perhaps Zuko wasn’t trying to show himself as a dictator or was trusting these two.

Perhaps they could unleash awesome karate skills if threatened ? She briefly thought of a scene involving the two men kicking a hapless assassin between them before kicking the man down the hallway, and actually chuckled a little, stopping herself upon reaching the door.

“Gotta check, order of the Fire Lord.”

She nodded and let them go at it, the two men crouched, carefully opened up the bag, and then went on to check everything inside, disturbing the robes. For a perfectionist like On-Ji, the sight was unbearable, but she fought on and kept up a stoic face, looking up at the portrait of Zuko. He was only about one or two year younger than her, and yet, he looked about ten years older.

She couldn’t describe it easily, but he had a mix of pain and wisdom on his face, one that she never wished to ever achieve within her life. The man was burned, sent on an imaginary chase to hunt for something that didn’t even exist, promptly chased the very real thing across the globe, had to betray his nation twice, and stood with the other waterbender against his powerful sister.

Zuko wasn’t a weak man. In fact, he was probably the bravest that she ever heard of.

“Okay, it’s fine. There are no weapons, or fancy death threats, or even bloody helmets. God, how do they even put this stuff in ?”

On-Ji nodded happily and went inside.

The room was immense, and featured a wide black bed in its middle. Splendid furniture was present all over it, and by approaching and openings the windows, she could see the entire Fire Nation capitol, and the sight of it caused her to briefly freeze in wonder, even during the twilight, the city looked beautiful ! She could even see her house from there !

Was that the kind of sight that the Fire Lord witness at every morning ? She felt envious for a moment. One of the soldiers then interrupted her with a loud fit of coughing, watching over her with a boring glance. Perhaps that kind of reaction was common amongst servants.

“Don’t try and hide in the room to surprise him.” He says. “Assassins or fangirls, we treat ‘em the same way.”

“Of course, of course !”

On-Ji got to work, minutes passing as she very carefully placed each of the drabs within the special closets, taking special care for all of them. It was, first and foremost, her duty as a resident of the Fire Nation to take care of such things. And her obsession with clean things meant that she took, overall, far longer than she should have.

“Agni almighty, did you put poison on his robes ?” sneered the guard, looking up at On-Ji upon seeing her leave.

“Or you simply tried to steal something ? C’mon, don’t go lying in the Lord’s castle.”

The young woman turned around with a smile, ready to deliver a remark, but she jumped back slightly upon spotting a presence right behind the two guards. A tall, yet slim figure cloaked in black clothing, with a hood concealing the lower side of her face. Her brown eyes glared fiercely at On-Ji, who tried to raise her hand to warn the two guards of her presence.

They fell over in the next second, struck by her chains, with rocks tied at the end to provide some supplementary power. They were definitely not going to unleash insane karate skills upon the woman.

The rocks moved with unnatural speed across the air as the assassin stepped down the small stairs, looking at the servant with lethal intent, was it an assassin ? What was she doing here, while Zuko was doing a meeting about the Harmony Restoration Movement ?

“Death to the Fire Lord.” Whispered the assassin, before leaping in to strike with a basic chain strike. On-Ji expertly ducked, keeping the bag in her hand, and counter-attacked with a kick, hurling the young assailant down the hall and into the air. The Earthbender landed on her hands and was quick to right herself up with an acrobatic salto, but her eyes betrayed her surprise.

The “servant” carefully laid the bag aside and approach, taking up a stance. She knew of the serious circumstances but she couldn’t hold herself back from smirking in anticipation of the fight.

“My name is Ji. ON-JI. Remember it as the name of the woman who will beat you !”

AGENTS OF THE FIRE NATION
Logged



Featuring : Polaris, Zyrax HikaruIzumi, Blue Warpath, Prophet of Doom, Weegee the Airbender, TyLuko4Ever, Johan, Riptide, SunxFire and AtoMaki : D
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 13, 2017 07:13 am »

Chapter VIII : ON-JI VS KORI ROUND 1

The hallway leading to the Fire Lord’s room was now the stage of an unusual battle between two young girls who decided to launch themselves into the path of action.

On the right side of the path, clad in cumbersome clothing, stood On-Ji, 19 years old, weighing about 122 pounds and trained in the ninjas arts since she could walk. Sent to intercept a traitor within the heart of the Nation, she’ll need to fight an assassin if she wants to continue her mission.

On the left side, standing above knocked out guards, stood the unknown attacker. She looks about as old as On-Ji, probably weigh as much, but is actually dressed for battle unlike her. Not to mention those chains and rocks that she’s carrying around with her special power. She might be less well trained, but her powers compensated the gap enough to worry the young woman.

“Alright.” Thought the false servant, carefully raising her two arms and leaning forwards slightly. “I only need to stalemate or push her back until security arrives. No need to beat her to death or unconsciousness, although her cover was probably going to be blown if the people were to see a servant going toe-to-toe with a trained assassin sent to kill the Fire Lord.

On the other hand, it might be good to knock her out and ask questions. Her mind briefly wandered to Zeo’s words about Kyozu’s methods but she instantly focused on the fight when the female assassin spun the chain around, grimly stepping forward.

“Out of my way and I’ll just knock you out.”

“Sorry pal.” Said her rival, with a genuine smile. “I’d be in big troubles if I just stepped out of your way !”

The Earthbender scoffed and sent the chains forward to try and strike her, On-Ji quickly leaping forward between the rocks and dashing to the left to avoid being entangled in the chains, easily dashing up to her enemy and raising her right fist to attempt to strike her right in the middle of the stomach. Her adversary raised her knee to counter though, and attempted to bring down her elbow upon the arm, with the firm intention to break it.

On-Ji canceled her attack as a result, retracting her arm and promptly launched a simple straight up at her opponent’s chest, carefully preventing her enemy from launching the rock back at her spine. Predictably enough, she side-stepped out of the way and swung the chains to try and hit her in the back with a passing rock. She was seemingly looking to end the battle very quickly.

The girl dove forward with her momentum, her feet barely dodging the moving stones, and quickly righted herself upward, the stone crashing into a precious nearby vase and completely shattering it. She raised her arm backward to try to hit the enemy’s hooded face with the back of her fist, but her fist was caught.

Sneering mockingly, the assassin then pushed her foot against On-Ji’s to make her fall forward and brought that damned knee forward to hit the ninja right in the face with it. For the first time in a while, the kunoichi remembered how pain felt, and stumbled forward in confusion, angered about being tagged by a mere assassin. Blood flowed down her nose and she swore that some of her teeth felt more brittle as the dastardly woman launched herself in another offensive, capitalizing on the weakened state of her foe.

The ponytailed girl managed to go back to her senses quickly though, and pressed her palm forward to hit her square in the stomach as a reflex, hitting the unfortunate woman straight up in the air and launching her across the hallway. She could perhaps have used chi blocking, but a palm strike was quicker, with her own destabilized opponent reeling backward, it was On-Ji’s time to get revenge.

Grabbing the chain carefully, the young woman swung her opponent backward with the intent of tossing her around the hallway, decoration be damned. She effected a total of two spins before her opponent simply decided to let go of the chain, being briefly launched across the air before landing up on her two legs, staring with animosity at her opponent as the chains landed at On-Ji’s feet.

The innocent-looking agent wiped the blood clean and dislodged one tooth, carefully throwing it out of the room with a window. It felt pretty bad to do that but she maintained her tough exterior, she would spite blood if she could but it would dirty the precious furniture and make a stain that she’d feel compelled to scrap off.

Not that she cared that much, she just tossed a grown woman into it. 

“You’re too good to be a simple servant, who are you ?”

“It wouldn’t be really professional to tell you everything, am I right ?”

“You just told me your name.”

On-Ji winced and leaped directly into the action to clash, once again, with her lonely enemy, their fists clashing against one another briefly, the two combatants briefly attempting to overpower each other. To the visible surprise of the would-be assassin, the servant won the duel after a fair amount of struggling, struggling briefly before throwing her enemy’s arms wide, leaving her wide open to kick her once again in the stomach and hurl her away, almost into the room.

The young girl leapt and launched a kick to try and knock her to the ground, but the ninja was faster and leap above her leg before hitting the non-lethal ninja straight into the throat, also hurling her through the hallway, On-Ji barely landing on her two feet. She was stronger than that woman but her clothes made her slower though.

Judging by the way she stood, one or two good punches would be enough to lay her down. The hardest part would be hitting without going down to her owns attacks. Unlike the ninja after all, she was going all out and aiming to kill, adding to the lists of disadvantages of the protagonist. She had no swords, her clothes were holding her back and she had to avoid killing.

For some reason though, she felt excited. It was exactly the thrill she was seeking as she walked around her house ! The thrill of landing and receiving attacks ! The quick acrobatic moves !

“So what’s your name ? I’d like to get something to identify yourself back !”

“Shut up !”

Once again, they leapt head first into a melee, carefully blocking, deflecting or evading blows and placing attacks on their own. On-Ji weaved to the left and the right to avoid two blows, and attempted to hit her deadly foe with a uppercut, gasping as her opponent leapt back and raised her left leg to try and hit her across the cheek. Before the deadly blow could hit though, the girl used her already-raised arm to counter the attack and pushed up against the foot to try to destabilize the agile assassin.

It worked, and the woman found herself walking on her hands for a moment. Always eager to exploit an opportunity, the young girl attempted to kick her down but the hooded individual walked back with her hands, kicking with her legs to prevent any assault. Underestimating the value of such a defense, the ponytailed woman outstretched her leg and groaned when it ended up caught by her opponent’s own legs.

A victorious sneer escaped the individual’s lips as she reversed On-Ji to the ground, using her hands to jump a nearby wall before rebounding on said wall to jump above the distressed ninja, raising her leg above her head and promptly bringing it down towards the heart of the downed heroine at full strength.

“DIE !”

Using her quick reflexes, she rolled to the left, the foot promptly smashing through the wood, sending splinters everywhere as a small crater pierced the precious floor of the hallway. She might be weaker than her, but her strength was still quite impressive.

Having better things to do then marvel at the strength of the gal who was trying to kill her, On-Ji launched herself in an improvised breakdance. To her dismay, her opponent successfully dodged each kick, avoiding each attack with a cool, concentrated gaze. She ducked below a mighty swipe aimed at her head, jumped up to avoid a swipe aimed at the legs, and leapt back to get out of the striking zone, leaping once again in the air and bringing her feet down once again.

The woman thankfully interrupted her tornado in time and raised her own legs, bringing her feet up for a clash. Once again, she overpowered her foe and launched her to the roof, the assailant gasping in pain as she knocked herself on the wooden symbols on top of it, falling up near some furniture.

Both of the girls had a hard time with getting up, but the “servant” was on her feet before the ninja, making sure to keep an eye on her chains as she did.

“This is over, you know ?”

“Shut up.”

“The Fire Lord knows that you’re here and he’s coming to capture you. And I won’t let you flee, you best surrender before you wreck more stuff.”

On-Ji raised her hands together. A part of her almost wanted for the fight to continue till Agni raised across the horizon, but she was a nice girl and did not want for further harm, even on her foe.

“You will be treated fairly if you stop right now but..”

“THAT’S WHY ZUKO IS WEAK !”

Clearly, she couldn’t care about stealth anymore.

Drawing up a knife, she leapt to try and stab On-Ji. Her speed was as good as ever but her movements became considerably more predictable. Still, they were a little too “good” for the agent to safely place her attack : she had to find a way to make the girl goes berserk, somehow. She would have a much easier time dealing with an opponent who’s too mad to defend herself.

And the girl was probably about to rant.

The short girl leaned to the side and raised her leg to trip the knife-wielding girl, the earthbender almost comically falling to the ground, the knife twirling in the air before being caught up by the young kunoichi, who then proceeded to put it in a pocket somewhere, as an emergency weapon of some sort.

“Zuko isn’t weak. He stopped his insane family from burning your nation, he contributed to the end of the war, he’s saving the world !”

“THE EARTH KINGDOM IS NOT MY NATION !”

The girl re-appeared, commanding the chains to her hand. Tears were about to stream down her face, amongst the blood from her nose. She felt sorry for her, but another side esteemed that she deserved it.  That side was louder than she liked to admit.

Still, she focused on the words of the lady, and something in her mind almost clicked. But of course ! How could she forget !

“You’re… one of the colonies ?”

Footsteps raged down the floors further down, and the young woman ripped off her hood with an angry gesture, revealing the face of… someone important. She was ashamed to admit that she didn’t know anything about the person that stood in front of her, only tilting her head to the right.

Finally, it clicked.

“You’re Kori ?”

She heard that the daughter of the mayor of Yu Dao vanished, but she only ever dismissed it as news from the colonies that the shinobis on the other side would need to handle. Her problems always happened on the Fire Nation, and as a proud citizen, she was taught not to care too much about the colonists.

“They’re here to teach some lessons to the barbarians” or so they were taught. She had to admit that her teachers might have been biased.

“I’m Kori Morishita, and this… “Fire Lord” has betrayed us ! He’s bowing down to the Earth King and is aiming to undo a century of hard work !”

“You’re angry because of the Harmony Restoration Movement so you’re trying to kill the Fire Lord ? You think that one man’s death is going to change everything ?”

She knew that reasoning was useless and was counting on it, in fact.

“The Fire Lord is killed by a terrorist from the colonies ? Maybe you’ll please the old cuckoos who swear by Ozai, but you’ll draw a lot of anger to the colonies ! You’re going to make everything worse and undo the fragile peace ! The world might be plunged into chaos for good !”

Kori briefly looked at her. On-Ji was hoping that she’d drop her weapons upon realizing the futility of her action… although a fight would be quite nice at well.

Thankfully for her, and as the soldiers were drawing near, On-Ji leapt forward.

“SHUT UP !”

The rocks spun around in the air before being thrown at full force towards her, the chains whistling under the amount of force used. For a moment, she’d even thought that they’d light on fire under the friction.

The deadly projectiles demolished the wall behind On-Ji, carving an enormous hole in the structure and sending tons of dust and fragments everywhere, but the actual target was fine. In fact, she was right in front of the Earthbenders, her two fingers raised and hitting the body of her opponent in the split of a second.

Then, On-Ji dashed forward and stood over, looking back at the still-standing Kori.

“You’re already beaten.”

In a last cry of defeat, the daughter of the mayor fell forward, the chi-blocking overtaking her entire body as her victorious foe promptly fled to escape through the open window, spotting a bunch of soldiers arriving already in the hallway. Fire Lord Zuko was going to be mad but he’d be alive at the very least !

Happily, On-Ji landed on the top of a smaller tower and looked around, her gaze stopping to a nearby window.

Zunli was peeking her head upward, right below the chambers of the Fire Lord. She briefly cursed and then promptly drew back, shutting the window out. For a brief moment, the kunoichi lost her balance, only getting it back after three seconds of struggle.

“I got her !”

AGENTS OF THE FIRE NATION
Logged



Featuring : Polaris, Zyrax HikaruIzumi, Blue Warpath, Prophet of Doom, Weegee the Airbender, TyLuko4Ever, Johan, Riptide, SunxFire and AtoMaki : D
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dio did nothing wrong


« Reply #9 on: Sep 17, 2017 03:27 am »

Chapter IX : A little heart-to-heart

Osamu sat alone in the middle of the room, stoically writing down instructions upon the scrolls. Everything was quiet around him as he did so, ambers burning up on the nearby torches. The room was immense, being able to easily accommodate a meeting between generals, and a large amount of scrolls were laying down on the long table on the left, to be picked up by the unlucky janitor tomorrow to put them within the library or sent them to other sections of the army.

He only had about one hour to himself before he needed to rest, by the time he would be up, he would quickly need to reach the room to receive reports from his agents and carefully study these reports, which would take him about five hours before he’s allowed to eat the nearest restaurant. It would take him about twenty minutes to sit in, command, get served, finish his meal and walk back to his seat.

Then, he would spend the rest of the day practicing his firebending, before working on the scrolls again at night. He’ll squeeze the dinner between the practice and the scroll reading and that would be all he’d need.

He’d need to prepare for surprise meetings, since Zuko seemed to be somewhat fond of them, but its something that he could deal with. Osamu had about fifty years of dealing with Firelord with a worse temper than Zuko, and managed to keep his schedule impeccable under times of war, after all. Not that the peace-times were easier than the war-times, in fact, everything was muddier.

The name of the first colony, “Yu Dao”, kept coming back within the scrolls. He already went there quite a few times under the reign of Lord Azulon, to catch some stragglers who thought that they could create a new life in the colonies, and knew that the colonists were uncomfortably close to the earth benders living within the village, but he never paid heed to it during the war.

At the time of his visits, victory was only a matter of years and nobody thought that they would need to give the colony back to please the Earth Kingdom. It would just be a blip on the occupied nation, not a hotspot between several nations that could explode and trigger yet another war only one year after the end of another.

Several idealists and amateurs led the Harmony Restoration Movement, lacking experience in the field of diplomacy. Not that he could blame them : most of the experienced diplomats in both side had a grudge against the other nation and tried to sabotage the accords many times over, and the countries needed to handle the eventual repairs.

Mostly the Earth Kingdom and the Southern Tribes. Both of those suffered greatly because of the previous Fire Lords, and it was no wonder that Kuei was so determined with getting his colony back. The problem, however, was that the cultures of the two nations intertwined between each other over the course of the century. The supposedly superior colonists chose to live equally with the earthbenders, and their descendants were torn between two sides at a result.

Booting the colonists would result in many torn friendships, couples and families, and the village would perhaps quickly fall back into its original decrepit stage, with the government of the kingdom patting themselves in the back for their show of power.

But if Zuko ordered the Earth Kingdom diplomats to shove their rocks somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine, the colonies will be forever seen as the marks of invasion and might receive attacks from extremists within the future to absorb them back in the kingdom. Kuei was not going to be there forever and his hawkish generals would make sure to raise his child into a little tyrant.

He already imagined the conqueror, clad in green armor, walking up to Yu Dao and claiming to be “reuniting it” with their true country. He likely wouldn’t be alive to see such a thing but it was still his job to prevent such a thing from happening. He looked up at a small mirror on his desk, and sighed as he noticed a figure standing within the window, clad in black clothing.

“You’re going to fail, like the fifteen assassins who entered this room before you.” Said Osamu, raising up and preparing to engulf the invader within an enormous fire wall. He knew that they’d try to talk back and would expose themselves to a literal roasting mid-monologue. And even if they didn’t, he had the tools to instantly silence them.

He was the right-hand man and eventual successor of despised man, who’s infamy reached far across the continents. It would be foolish not to pick up some skills in dealing with assassins. Thankfully enough, he soon lowered his hand when he noticed the face of said assassin, being experienced enough to recognize his star pupil through her eyes alone.

“On-Ji, is that you ?”

“Who else could it be ?” said the young girl, sliding down and quickly taking off her hood. He could notice some bruises on her jaw and sighed, already preparing a new lengthy scroll.

“I imagine that you managed to find one of the assassins ? You can admit to falling in the stairs, no one will judge.”

“I did-no, I didn’t fall into the stairs though ! I mean, they are pretty slippery because Zei gets kinda zealous when it comes to them, but I 100% lost one tooth because some stupid girl punched me in it.”

Osamu’s memory came back to him. He sometimes got confused with all the cases, to his great shame.

“Ha yes, Kori Morishita, I believe.”

“Yep ! She’s the daughter of that mayor from-“

“Yu Dao.”

“Yeah ! I thought that she’d be raised to be more uptight, she kinda behaves like a gang members, with the chains, the bad attitude and all the jazz. Does she ever loosen up ? I’d be worried if she didn’t.”

“She was trained to have all of a firebender’s… spirited spirit, but with the aggressive behavior of earthbenders.”

“Ho right, the hybrid of two cultures ! Well, she’s clearly not afraid, because she sneaked up all the way to the castle to try and kill Lord Zuko to prevent the Harmony Restoration Movement from taking away her home. I can understand her motives but it’s my duty to kick her face in for trying to kill our lord, so I did so.”

“Yes, and you remained unseen, miraculously enough. We took her to our cells before she could fully wake up and I doubt that people will listen to her stories, especially one that involves a servant beating down a killer.”

“Are you going to ask her questions ?”

It was the euphemism that he, Kyozu and other high ranking intelligence officers used to speak about torture or interrogation. It was almost childish for an eighteen years old woman to still use such terms, but she was a pelicular case.

Ever since she knew how to walk, Kyozu has remarked On-Ji for her unusual skill, strength, and speed. She could punch a grown man through a wall, run faster than arrows, leap higher than any ninjas, and could easily disarm swordsmen or pin them to the wall from afar. Every technique thrown at her was absorbed and perfected, she had raw talent, and about two decades to hard work allowed her to bloom it to become a “deadly” agent.

“Deadly” because she still had a willingness to avoid killing. She could still do her job right, but she would always knock out the guards and bring the target back alive, it made working with her fellow ninjas extremely difficult, especially because “talking” to her didn’t lead to any results. She easily knocked grown men to the ground and then checked to see if they weren’t too badly injured.

Kyozu refused to force her though so far. She did her missions well enough and the kills could always be done later, they would need to talk but he kept pushing those talks back because her skills were always needed somewhere. He nearly asked Mal to talk to her for him, but he refused.

So they treated her as a child, a child who already surpassed men who trained for their lives, but still a child.

“No, because she’s the mayor’s daughter. Unlike with the previous Firelords, we just can’t tort-ask her questions and then send her to a prison.”

“So we’ll bring her back ? Are the guards fine at least ?”

“Yes, and we will need to. The Fire Lord apparently wants to go to Yu Dao and this is a good excuse to do so. “

“Are we sure that she’s not part of a group ? That they’re probably trying to lure him in to launch a massive attack ?”

“Well, she mostly called me various… grandiloquent names and implied that my mother had an active sexual life. But she said that she was part of a Yu Dao Resistance group, and that if the Fire Lord won’t do a thing, then they’ll defend the colony themselves. It seemed that you really angered her.”

“She’s probably not one to like losing, and I was trying to push her buttons, sorta. If she listened to what I said, she’d be fine, but she attacked me instead, and I managed to chi block her.”

“Yes, she does seem to be competitive. Have you made any progress with finding the hypothetical traitor ?”

“Well, apparently, there are two suspected individuals. And I found one last night, after the fight. Zunli. There’s also a Konzui and I pinned his location down, I’ll try and extract informations out of him tonight.”

“Only two ?”

“The traitors got rounded up and all, so they’re a little fearful. I think that Fire Lord Zuko dislikes it, he thinks that it’s a bit too brutal.”

“Do you think that what we’re doing is brutal ?” he asked, feeling worried for a moment. He kept his straight face on, but he certainly didn’t want for On-Ji to start feeling doubts about the purpose of her mission.

“Well, we prevent traitors from killing everyone, right ? We’re helping peace by capturing the bad guys, we’re not slaughtering them all, no ?”

“No. You’re right, we are doing honor to our new lord by stopping anyone from shattering the peace he fought so hard to install. He might not like our methods but we have the best interests of the nation at our core, and we promise not to step into the level of depravity of his ancestors.”

“I mean, the traitors do say that they have the nation’s best interest at heart…”

“They’re seeing the ancient nation’s best interest”

On-Ji hesitated and looked up at Osamu, the height difference meant that she practically needed to stand on her toes just to reach his stomach.

“It might sound cheesy, but I have the world’s best interest.”

He raised an eyebrow.

“N-nothing. I should be going, right ?”

“Yes, if you want to catch him. You can contact me tomorrow in the morning to tell me what you’ve found. We got rid of the assassin, On-Ji, now we’ll defeat the one who’s letting them in and ensue that Lord Zuko can sleep soundly before his departure.”

“I’ll do my best then ! I swear that I’ll get a full paper report ! You’ll need to run it down on multiple scrolls and get some ink from Kyozu !”

She back-flipped over to the edge of the window, saluted, and departed into the night, vanishing quickly, although he could see her silhouette darting across the shadow. A proud smile briefly drew across his experienced face as he closed the window, going back to his work, he briefly disturbed one of the shelves though, and a golden disk fell out of it.

His stare briefly focused on the disk, and as Osamu went to pick it up and stare at it, a weird feeling of guilt overtook him.

“… No, you don’t need sentiments if you want to succeed. You need hard work and power.” He said, repeating the statement a few times over before sitting down to finish his scroll, the feeling of guilt washed over as he once again pondered on his schedule for tomorrow, after all, he’d need to make way for the young woman and knowing her, she could be right at his doorstep before he even left the bed.

AGENTS OF THE FIRE NATION
Logged



Featuring : Polaris, Zyrax HikaruIzumi, Blue Warpath, Prophet of Doom, Weegee the Airbender, TyLuko4Ever, Johan, Riptide, SunxFire and AtoMaki : D
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« Reply #10 on: Sep 21, 2017 10:05 am »

A little heart-to-heart II

Her first target would be Konzui.

On-Ji progressed across the streets of the capitol, still brewing with activity as thousands of people surrounded her, eating, drinking, and going on with their lives, enjoying the festivities of the night, much to the delight of the nearby bar-owners.

She could already see some of them behind the bar counters, observing the approaching or departing clients with a greedy pleasure that she was familiar with, having already bribed her way through some missions with the power of money. And for the purpose of that “mission”, she brought enough money to buy out a few bars. The gold that she received from her missions was always very generous, to the point where she had no idea on how to spend it, so she wasn’t carving a hole in her fortune anyway.

And apparently, the prices around here were all kind of awful so getting a good quantity of money was key. She’d doubt that anyone would simply share their own money and would look quite embarrassing, and she wanted to actually impress the young man or get him to open up, not become a target of mockery for him and the others.

She looked around the bars, searching for one called “The Ruby’s Glare”. The man apparently really liked to spend his salary drinking himself to death in the establishment, and usually barely kept himself sober enough to walk back to his house. He was at his most vulnerable for a friendly interrogation, and she needed to exploit it now to prevent another assassination.

The guards certainly increased in numbers but judging from their lackluster performances last night, they would not be enough to actually repel the assassin. A luckier assassin could sneak up on the vulnerable Fire Lord and kill him, and she probably couldn’t intercept him because she can’t be everywhere. Whoever is paying these assassins has to be stopped at soon as possible, even if the Fire Lord is set to depart tomorrow.

She wanted for him to feel safe upon coming back. It might be a cheesy little thought but she also didn’t want for the assassin to take his wrath upon the innocent personnel of the castle.

On-Ji’s eyes darted across the street before she finally managed to spot the eye-catching red line on the building.

“THE RUBY’S GLARE” she spoke out loud, before smirking and slowly walking towards it. The drawing of a pink ruby, with a glaring eye at its middle, was a little odd but the building itself had nothing seedy or suspicious. She even saw some couples at the tables, talking about gossips and drinking what looked to be like peach juice, something innocent enough.

For a moment, she wondered about her own romantic life, but shook it off. She was married to her job and it would be awkward and dangerous to marry a civilian with her current lifestyle, and marrying a fellow ninja would only up the dangerousness and potential for tragic loss.

It was the kind of relationship that only particular type of people ever seeked, one that could only bred tragedy, frustration and regret. She already accepted that she’d probably need to stay alone until her eventual death, be it after meeting her better in a mission or succumbing to old age, and while she was still tormented at the idea of never ever being truly loved by someone else, she felt it was worth it.

It was a price that she was ready to pay to keep her skills sharp and protect the Fire Nation, because it’s much, much bigger than her in the end and would continue to prosper for the years to come, bathing the world in its glory in a more peaceful manner. She would probably die before the end of that century though, and her job was not to be remembered. Her only purpose was to protect the Fire Nation and everyone in it, and elevate it to its desired highs.

That’s what she told herself as she entered the bar, a small smirk plastered across her face. And that’s why she ignored the feeling of rage slowly brewing across her chest once again, or was it sadness ? In the end, she simply ignored it on with a smile and trudged on towards her target, which was sitting at the counter, quietly drinking up some alcohol.

His name was Konzui and he was about three years old older than her, with a youthful face and a bob haircut of some kind, cut carefully so that each bang would be of the same length. He had a long nose of some sort, wide ember eyes, was perfectly shaven and his sleeves were dirty; probably because he kept washing his nose or mouth with them, although he wasn’t wearing the uniform at least.

She grew greatly distressed but was quick to hide it, sitting near him instead and poking his back once or twice to grab his attention. He quickly turned his head around, squinted, and finally recognized her, leaning back and pointing a single finger.

“Hello Konzui !”

“Ayeee, sup, huh, On-Ji, is it ?”

“Yep ! Ji. On-Ji.”

“And what about the family name ? I always heard of you as On-Ji around the castle, they never used the actual names.”

“I guess that I’m kind of famous around here then, hm ?” she smiled, turning towards the barman and pointing at the strawberry juice on the command table.

The barman arched his back to laugh out but then she held out the money, and he promptly adopted a respectful expression, handling her the delicious liquid before carefully running off to count the money, to the surprise of his employees. On-Ji giggled as she drank.

“You’re just everywhere when it comes to cleaning stuff. The cleaning staff doesn’t have a whole lot to do now. They say that you’re going to put everyone out of job by yourself.”

“That would be awful !”
“Yeah, there are some idiots running around in the castle though, so it would be nice if you could get the hierarchy to “fire” these guys.”

He chuckled, so did she.

“Like what kind of idiot ? Maybe I could go ahead and teach them some things, one should never give up on someone else !”

“The idiot who opened the windows of the Fire Lord’s room last night. The assassin snuck in there and could have been close to Zuko if he wasn’t directing a meeting. Only two guards were knocked out but she could have easily cut us all apart in her beeline to the Lord, and that would suck.”

She nearly chomped down on her lips as she realized that the “idiot” was her. What a moment to be distracted by the pretty light ! Had the assassin been luckier herself… he already told her. She kept her smile but guilt flowed over her briefly, although she still stopped Kori all by herself, so she at least made up for her mistake.

“Ho, right, that idiot… it’s a real wonder that the assassin got stopped though, right ?”

“Yeah, we were all preparing to leave and then we hear noises up top, everyone fled because they didn’t want to actually die to an assassin and by the time the guards arrived, it was only the unconscious girl in a pool of her own tear. It was kinda pathetic but she deserves it.”

“You think ?”

He looked weirdly over at her.

“She was going in to kill the Lord. It doesn’t matter why she was doing it. Like… isn’t she from that colony up there ? The one that’s brewing up trouble because the Earth Kingdom really wants them back ?”

“Yeah, I think..”

“So what ? Speak to the Fire Lord or something then, don’t try and murder him. The Earth Kingdom natives really managed to infect the minds of their youth, I’m sure that right now, as we are speaking, they’re preparing a bunch of ninjas with the goal to kill Zuko.”

She agreed with the first part but the second part was more delicate. She still nodded back in agreement.

“Yeah, they’re pretty weird over there ! Though, you know, Earth King Kuei really wants them back, so the fire colonists feel pretty scared because their home is in danger.”

“Scared of going back to their true nation ? Where even the mayor is a second class citizen ? They can blame the Avatar or Kuei but Zuko is only trying to please them both to avoid the wrath of the Avatar.”

“The Avatar is pretty peaceful though.”

“He ripped the soul out of the former Fire Lord and wiped out the fleet over at the North Pole. He ain’t peaceful, and if he is, he’s a pretty technical sort of paceful. Maybe he’s going to kill us by dropping Yu Dao on us ?”

“Don’t say things like that, he is peaceful !”

“To each their own for that, I guess…”

“So, anyhow, what do you do outside of the palace ?”

He smiled, seemingly pleased at the question.

“I write poems, not many people think that I have the writer’s edge in me but I’m actually pretty good at it.”

“I could read some for you, I’m sure that you write well.”

He looked up at her in surprise.

“Are you sure ? Not many people think of this as a serious hobby.”

“I’m sure, I’ll read your poem and I’ll tell you what I think of it. Do you have one on you at the moment ?”

“Errr, not really but I’ll give it to you tomorrow if you want. I’m probably going to get kind of busy though.”

“Why ?”

“Huh, forget that.” He said, suddenly finishing his drink and getting up. On-Ji didn’t bother to forcefully grab his hand, instead settling her hand on his arm. He turned around, vaguely hesitant, as she adopted her best puppy’s stare. To her delight, it worked well.

“I’m not sure on how I could break it to you…”

Was he smuggling the assassins in ? Was he stopping them ? She was ready to make her move as soon as she heard him.

“But we’re kind of trying to track down who’s sending the assassins, me and Zunli.”

She raised an eyebrow in surprise. So her two suspects were helping her ? Or was he covering up ? She felt kinda excited at the idea of progressing a bit, and looked over the other clients, who didn’t seem to be listening on. The fact that he was whispering helped.

“Ho, so you’re secrets agents ?”

“Kind of, we’ve been making our moves and we’re going out at night tomorrow to spot the intruders and report them, maybe we’ll get a cool reward.”

“Could I come ? Where is it ?”

“Are you sure ? You don’t looks really tough and this is pretty dangerous. If we get spotted, we might get killed.”

She looked over at his tiny build, and looked at her own build concealed through the sleeve and dress. She was pretty sure that she could hoist him over her head and walk down the street without any problem.

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to be an helpless load, when do we start ?”

“Look, maybe I can get you in, but Zunli is probably going to get grumpy if you do. Best thing to do is to meet up with her tomorrow early and speak to her, so that you can get her authorization.”

Speaking to Zunli ? Gasp, she almost wished she was back to fighting Kori already.

“I know that she’s intimidating but…”

“She’s on our side though, right ? The worst I get is a verbal lashing ? I’ll prepare my speech and then I’ll convince her, and we’ll resolve this together and Lord Zuko will sleep well before he goes to Yu Dao, how about it ?”

“Okay then, good luck with it !”

He smiled and then walked off the bar, briefly turning around.

“See ya tomorrow, On-Ji.”

“See ya tomorrow, Konzui, and bring me the poem !”

He nodded and went off after the night. On-Ji smirked, finished off her drink and went off into the night to rest and prepare an epic speech too. She’d need one.

AGENTS OF THE FIRE NATION
Logged



Featuring : Polaris, Zyrax HikaruIzumi, Blue Warpath, Prophet of Doom, Weegee the Airbender, TyLuko4Ever, Johan, Riptide, SunxFire and AtoMaki : D
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Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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dio did nothing wrong


« Reply #11 on: Sep 27, 2017 01:49 pm »

Chapter XI : A little heart-to-heart III

The Fire Nation palace was in quite the excitation today, as On-Ji noticed, walking down the streets and carrying a heavy bag with her.

She spent practically the entire night making wild speeches to her mirror, about the importance of friendships, the power of will, the needs of the Fire Lord and how she was ready to martial arts her way through a bunch of traitors. She carefully laid mannequins with frowy eyebrows to make her speeches, even. On-Ji was more than ready to speak to Zunli and convince her to let the young girl come with the group.

After both her talks to Konzui and Osamu, she felt strangely energetic, perhaps more than usual. She knew that no fights would happen if the mission were to take place but… what if they get complimented for their role in defeating the traitors , What if Lord Zuko invites them all over and personally thank them with remarks about how their loyalties will earn the respect of countless generations of Fire Nation people ? It wasn’t technically a ninja task so she wouldn’t mind.

Though her spirits went down when she realized that this jerk of a girlfriend was around. Mai or something, the famous knife thrower who participated in the fall of Ba Sing Se with Azula before betraying the crown princess at the Boiling Rock to save her boyfriend, the current Fire Lord. Freed after the end of the war, she returned to the castle to support her beloved through the endless trial of leadership, although she left sometimes, for reasons that she never disclosed.

And On-Ji really liked those departures, because she really disliked Mai.

Now, the young girl was not spiteful. Mai is the future Fire Lady and a noble, so it was okay for her to be kind of stand-offish to people who might not be of a similar stature. And she would still lay her life down to protect her, but the raven-haired noble still drew the contempt of the young ninja. She was only ever smiling when Lord Zuko was around, without him though, she always kept a poker face, sometimes transforming said poker face into a frown when irritated.

And she was fairly easily irritated. How could Lord Zuko hang with her ? Geez, On-Ji knew that not all mean people are bad and that she might have her reasons, but Mai still had the immense honor of being disliked by the one ninja who likes almost everyone, and it was no small feat.

Distracted in her thoughts, On-Ji bumped into the back of a firebender in mask and armor. He was with his buddy, and she quickly recognized them as the guys from yesterday. She quickly apologized but quietly stuck around the duo, aware of their chatty mouths.

“So what’s happening exactly ?”

“Well apparently, Lady Mai…”

He grimaced under the mask. On-Ji was not alone in her contempt of the knife thrower, thankfully enough. The servants who thought good things of her either never met her or simply waved off her moods as “moments”.

“… Invited some foreign troops to watch over Zuko, because we’re not competent enough for her taste.”

“What about that one person who defeated the assassin ? Was it her ?”

“She was away, and well we can’t rely on that person again, huh ?”

“Yeah, anyhow, is it the Dai Li again ? Or these savages from the tribes ? Because I’ll tell ya, a single one of us is worth about ten of these guys ! They’re just inviting the assassins to the room of the Fire Lord, I tell ya !”

“Yeah and why invite these ? The Fire Nation tried to curb their barbarian beliefs so they’re mad at us now. Why would they move to the palace like this ? Maybe Mai promised them a lot of money.”

“In that case, they’re traitors to their countries and you can’t except anything from traitors.” Said the firebender, taking on a wise tone, and earning himself fierce nods from his partner.

“We need to protest against these people in the castle right now, before they steal our jobs.”

“Yeah, we’re going to give them the cold shoulder, that’ll teach em !”

A small commotion started, and On-Ji looked over as the gates of the castle opened, a swarm of generals and nobles coming out of it. She recognized Osamu but decided not to bother him, aware that there would be suspicions if they were to talk casually. Others were not so shy, and waved to catch the attention of some of the generals. One in particular noticed the noise, boasting the strong mustache and glare of master firebenders.

“General Tao ! Could you please give us a second of your precious time and explain the situation to us ? We are rightfully worried about…”

“ENOUGH ! You will keep your posts but the Kyoshi Warriors will be escorting the Fire Lord ! Blame your incompetence, it brought these foreigners within our proud nation’s most sacred building in the first place !”

The women still frowned, but the men were looking excited as Tao made his exit. None of them looked worried about his small speech.

“Ho boy, the Kyoshi Warriors ? The chicks in armor from the Earth Kingdom ?”

“Heck yeah ! I’m going to make them visit the castle !”

“Me first !” they said, pushing their ways past the guards and entering the castles, other men were also eager to enter, though they were probably aware that they had a very low chance of actually getting a Kyoshi girlfriend.

On-Ji herself entered quickly, wanting to get the problem dealt with quickly, and walked in the gigantic halls of the castle, carefully listening in to the idle chatter. There were comments about how beautiful they were, some men asking what warrior women like for gifts, but also plenty of debates about how far the nation fell, hiring warriors from other countries to defend the lord.

The name of a certain woman named “Ty Lee” came back a lot. On-Ji’s fangirl senses quickly tingled in answer, as she halted her search to listen up some more. Ty Lee was the third member of Azula’s group during the war, an expert chi-blocker with a bright smile, who joined the Kyoshi Warriors after the end of the war. She was exactly the kind of warrior that the young girl tried to emulate, optimistic and cheery, but more than able to fend off groups of benders.

So that’s how Mai got the warriors to join the castle ? On-Ji hastened her pace, searching for both the young girl and Zunli, with the hope of perhaps obtaining some kind of autograph or gift from the former. People spoke of her as much more sane than her co-workers, after all, so On-Ji’s demands would not be met with a lightning bolt or a cold glare.

She was not supposed to distract herself from her mission but the occasion was a rare one.

The brunette progressed within the halls, without ever meeting one Kyoshi warrior or anything really worth of her attention, sometimes smiling or waving at passerbys but never stopping for a chat. She cautiously progressed towards the main room of the lord of the nation, aware that she technically had no business stepping in. None of the soldiers or firebenders stopped her though, presumably thinking that she was just in charge of keeping the mighty room clean.

And beside, the guards had to stop some disputes in front of the palace, people were having sharp arguments about the ongoing events and were ready to trade blows instead of wits. And the crowd had no interest in stopping them, eager to see some firebending action.

She could stop it but it was not her immediate duty to do so, and the guards would certainly be able to solve the problem without needing to shove their fists in some hot-blooded protestant’s nose.

Hopefully.

On-Ji settled the bag down along with others belongings from her fellow servants, and grabbed a trusty mop. It would be very easy to disguise with that particular object and it could be used as a weapon if she were to meet another assassin again. It couldn’t compare to a sword or her usual weapons but she could still easily overcome the unaware killer.

She carefully progressed between the immense halls, up until she finally heard some chatter within the next room.
The Firelord’s main room, that is.

Peeking her head in slowly, On-Ji nearly cheered when she saw the Kyoshi warriors but frowned when she noticed the tall figure of Mai, and very slowly entered the room, moping up the carpet. As predicted, no guards stood in front of the door, she was free to go in.

Some of the warriors turned their heads to stare at her while their leader was explaining the terms of her protection. Her name was Suki or something, and she was focused enough to pay little heed to the entrance of the undercover ninja. Her fellow warriors merely turned their heads around and listened to her, Zuko and Mai carefully listening in the background.

She was a fly on the wall, and she was so immensely happy with it. Unwilling to interrupt the conversation, she retreated behind one of the immense pillars and pretended that she was cleaning things up.

“We’ll be your bodyguards within the castle. Not a single assassin is going to get past us without a fight.”

“Understood.” Said Zuko, calmly nodding. He looked a bit tired, with pockets under his eyes. Mai herself actually looked worried. She felt kind of sad for the both of them, and yet knew that some of the other soldiers would perceive the young lord’s weariness as a sign of weakness. Ozai or Azulon stood firm and planned ruthlessly in spite of the assassins sent after them.

But that’s because they lacked the compassion of Zuko, along with his gifts for making friends despite the odds.  He did burn the Kyoshi Warrior island to the ground at one point, did he ?

“We’ll also be escorting you for your trip to Yu Dao, for your own safety.”

“Then I’ll come too.” Said Mai, again with a usually concerned tone of voice. Zuko smiled at her, and so she did. On-Ji felt both jealousy and bewilderment at the idea of a smiling Mai, but merely kept moping the floor in silence.

“Perhaps you’ll need some protection yourself, the…”

Ty Lee smiled in the background, and so did Zuko.

“She doesn’t need protection.”

“So cute !” thought On-Ji, wiping the floor with a level of speed beyond what she should be able to do.

“We’ll be escorting you to the gates for your speech, are you ready ?”

“The Fire Nation is in turmoil, I can’t let chaos happens in the streets.” Declared Zuko. “I’m coming to calm them.”

Suki smiled and the little group went out of the room quietly. Zuko did turn around and glanced briefly at On-Ji and the sparkling ground below her feet.

“… Good job there.” He said, before stepping out of the room. On-Ji merely leant againt the pillar, sighing dreamily. How could this Mai be so angsty with such a boyfriend ?

She only ever interrupted herself when she heard coughing behind her. Excepting to see the menacing figure of a fire nation general, she was both relieved and frightened to see the figure of Zunli.

“Ho, it’s you !”

“Konzui told me everything, let’s go in a quieter place.” She said, quickly heading down the stairs. On-Ji followed, wiping everything in sight with her broom, and they both quickly reached a desert hallway. They could both see and hear the crowd outside, although Fire Lord Zuko’s arrival and the guards dimmed the noise by a generous margin.

“So, you want to join me and Konzui ?”

“Indeed. I met up with him because I’m-“

“How do you even know about it ?”

On-Ji shrugged and made her cutest smile yet to try to appeal to the nature of Zunli. It didn’t work.

“Gossip.”

“One does not spread gossip like that. You must be informed by someone else, who is your backer ?”

“I don’t have one, I’m simply a girl from Ember Island, eager to make friends and wipe the halls so that Lord Zuko can see his handsome face on the sparkling floor.”

“You wouldn’t be a mere servant if you were from the Ember Islands, you’d be strolling in the halls and glancing at us, instead… unless you’re from one of those old families…”

She began to think, the young girl proceeded to exploit the opportunity to move up.

“But I’m eager to help out ! I want to know who’s helping these assassins to get in !”

“You’re young, you sound excitable and loud, and you’re probably going to be making mistakes left and right, no.”

“I’m not a dumb teenager !” she defended herself with. “I can stay quiet ! Maybe I’ll even put in a blindfold ! We’re supposed to-“

“See ? Maybe start being actually quiet instead of yelling.”

“I can be quiet, it’s not like we’re going to be close, right ? Just check and warn the guards or the Kyoshi…”

“Yes, but there is always the chance that something could go wrong. I don’t want for you to be potentially harmed, you’re young enough to have escaped the horrors of the War : let’s not trust you into another conflict.”

“But Konzui is old enough for that ?”

“He knows the consequences, you just heard gossip and thought that it’s just a “fun” little experience. I can’t let you in.”

“I promise that I’ll keep my mouth shut, I just want to help the nation !”

“We all do, young girl, but you’re going to be a load for us if we get caught.”

Clearly, she wasn’t going to be moved. Perhaps making her own investigation or following them would do it ? But she still felt that they needed her in. If something were to happen, she could certainly defend them.

“Maybe I can just… follow you from afar, a bit ? if something happen, I rush back and warn the guards. That way, I don’t get in danger and I can leave if it happens.”

Zunli glared down at her but seemed to consider the idea.

“So I won’t slow you down too…”

“Are you sure about this ? How will you follow us if we enter a building ?”

“I can just wait, if you take too long, I can always warn some guards. I’ll be your third eye behind your head !”

Zunli hesitated for a long moment, closing her eyes and stroking her chin.

“We prepared this plan for only two of us, it would be dangerous to change it hours before we set it up.”

“You can keep the plan, I’ll just sneak around and watch out, we won’t even interact !”

More hesitation, she was fond of those.

“You will not call out to us if something were to happen and you will flee if something dangerous happens.”

“Right, to save you by calling the guards.”

Sharp ember eyes glared at round brown eyes.
“Promise me.”

“I promise.”

“Hrm, very well then… we have reason to believe that a firebender named Ukon is smuggling the assassins in through a fairly complex road.”

She pulled a map out of her massive sleeves, much to On-Ji’s amazement. She pointed at a road, going from the city all the way to the coasts.

“He lives at the edge of the capitol and uses secret road to carry the assassins under the army’s nose. He has a small foothold in the ports, where boats carrying the would-be killers arrive. We’re going over there to gather definite proof.”

“Why not ask guards to investigate ?”

“He has some of them under his payroll, I’ll tell you who to warn if anything happens, or else they might kill or knock you out and bring you back to him… and beside, have you heard Tao ?”

“I did.”

“The Fire Lord doesn’t trust his servants anymore. We have to do it ourselves to convince him that there are loyal subjects around.”

“Why not get more people then ?”

“Ho, when the others will hear, they’ll be quick to say that they supported us. And beside, too many people will be troublesome. Anyway, meet us within Calore street in twelve hours and just follow us. We’ll be making our little investigation, and then we’ll tell to the trustworthy guards. Then it’s in their hands and we leave as glorious protectors of the Lord.”

“Ok, I’ll hope that it’ll go well…”

“It will, Agni will guide our path.”

The two women nodded and promptly left. Too absorbed in her discussion and subsequent thoughts, On-Ji failed to notice the two Firebenders at the corner, leaning against the wall.

“Ho boy, they’re moving in to get the boss.”

“We gotta warn him.”

“Yeah, thank god they were holding their conversations loudly, huh ?”

“Yeah, huehuehue.”

AGENTS OF THE FIRE NATION
Logged



Featuring : Polaris, Zyrax HikaruIzumi, Blue Warpath, Prophet of Doom, Weegee the Airbender, TyLuko4Ever, Johan, Riptide, SunxFire and AtoMaki : D
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