Lessons From Uncle Iroh part 2
358 1 14
Reading Options
Font Size
A- 15px A+
Table of Contents
Loading... please wait.

(Aden's P.O.V)

I sat there, clenching and unclenching my fingers. Iroh's words echoed through my mind endlessly. They made a lot of sense and truthfully I could now see the signs of the strain on my soul he talked about. All my actions had been carried out with the confidence that I was doing the right thing. The right thing to both survive and save this world. But what was me talking and what was my negativity? My cynicism? My fear? My arrogance?

I still believed I was on the right track but I wasn't sure I was on the right vehicle, in a manner of speaking. There were instances where I'd acted out of character. Needlessly antagonistic. Which if you look at the situation was justified and not entirely my fault. Yet, I was a kid who up until 3 months ago, my biggest worry was finishing high school. I hadn't ever brutally attacked anyone. Violence had never been my thing. And my thoughts had never been so…cynical about the world. Yet, 3 months later I was on the Justice League's watchlist and enemies with the few friends I had made.

I brought a hand on my face and ran it down. Where had it all gone wrong? Truly I had no idea…no that was a lie, I knew it. I had just shoved that memory far back into the recess of my mind to completely get rid of any of my guilt. It was after the Doctor Fate mission. When I had lashed out at Connor. Justifiably of course but…I should have understood that he had only been a few weeks old. You don't get into a shouting match with someone who still didn't completely understand social cues or basic manners and personal boundaries. Granted I had had problems even before that with Red Arrow and Kid Flash but for god sakes, I knew their characters before hand.

Maybe everything would still have gone down the way it did even without Iroh's new revelation about my spirit being under a lot of strain but…it sure as well wouldn't have been so bumpy. However, that was all in the past and even offered the chance to change it, I wouldn't. The thing is, despite my now deeper understanding of how the Avatar's Power affected me, I had made peace with all of it. I had let go of all the negative feelings and guilt. I was a product of my past choices and I was a fucking badass, who didn't let anyone walk over him. This new information only strengthened my resolve. Every obstacle that had appeared my way had been similarly blasted apart before me. Nothing was going to stand between me and my will. And so I asked.

"How can I change that? How can I strengthen my spirit?"
Instead of answering, Iroh took his time to finish the tea in his hands. This time, the cup stayed empty and then he got up. The robe he was wearing fell away. My eyes widened. The old man was ripped as fuck! Those arms were toned and looked like they could break a man in half.

He raised his leg and stomped it on the ground with a grunt. My energy sense screamed out at me, as the earth below us cracked apart. Flames licked out of the fissures burning red and oh so very hot. I only had the time to shield my face from the explosion that followed before I felt myself form a groove with my body through the ground. I opened my eyes and dizzily stood up. My head was ringing and my forearms slightly scorched from Iroh's unexpected move.

I stood up warily.
"What the hell?!"
I hissed, falling into a ready stance incase that move wasn't a one time thing.
"You called me to fight, did you not? To test yourself against the might of a true Firebender. I am merely obliging you the courtesy."
He said, walking forward slowly. His presence doubled in power then tripled in my senses. The air immediate his surroundings rippling in a mirage of power.

The change had happened so fast. One minute he was a nice old man albeit cryptic, then the next this monster of a bender who registered in my senses as fucking op. Still... I shook my head.

"I don't want to fight you. I still have a lot more questions that I need answers to. Besides," I spread out my hands and the world shook as I exerted a piece my full influence on the Fire Plane, showing him the futility of his actions.

"You cannot beat me while I am here. I am the master of this place. The one and true deity."

The rumbling stopped and my hands fell.

"So how about we forget that you just tried to make barbecue out of me and continue with our talk?"

Iroh looked to be in thought, before he started laughing.

"I do not disagree. You have the advantage here. However, do not be too quick to count me out." He told me with a fiery glint in his eyes. A pulsation of energy escaped his body, spreading out through the surroundings. An energy I could not clearly sense. It hit my body and immediately, I felt something resonate from deep within me. Pressure. Heaviness. Too much! Too heavy. I heaved, my mouth opening up but no words coming out

I fell down to my knees as Iroh's steps registered in my senses.

"You have the home advantage...I have the spirit advantage."

He was suppressing my soul. How in the hell was he doing this. This went further than just being able to affect my perception. It felt like I was carrying a huge load on every part of my body. Every second, the heavy toll increased, sending me to meet the ground quicker.


I heard him hum in confusion.

"Your spirit seems to be adapting to the suppression."

That completely through me out of the loop. It...it was? Of course! Adaptive physiology! But how was the perk doing this? Did it extend it's influence past, the body and my mental aspect? If so then...I tried to marshall up my will and push back against Iroh's spiritual aura. A splitting headache started to hammer through my head as I pushed myself up.


For the first time, I heard shock and surprise from the old general. I ignored him. I ignored everything. Even the power I had in my realm. The power to banish him away or attack him using the Fire Plane itself. I ignored all that in favor of what I was combating. The obstacle standing in my way. Like the rest it would break apart. The pressure doubled. A crater formed under me as Iroh's spiritual power slammed down on top of me harder than before. It's influence exerted even in the material world.

I strained my neck muscles and looked up at him. An apathetic being looked back. Orange ethereal energy shrouding his body in a protective membrane of power. His eyes were similarly completely orange.

"Defeat me and prove yourself worthy of the answers you seek."

His voice sounded strange..as if it was layered with something else. I wasn't dealing with Uncle Iroh. I was dealing with a strange spirit who in his mortal life had been lauded as a great tactician and an even greater fire bending prodigy.

I felt something give from within me and shatter. Instantly...the world changed in my senses. The pressure from all around me seemed to disappear. I stood up in difficulty, while marvelling at the lack of or at least the decrease in spiritual pressure Iroh was producing. No not a decrease, my spirit had only adapted to that level of pressure. Adaptive physiology showed it's effects better when an aspect of myself was in its weakest form. That's why it had taken such a short amount of time to evolve my spirit into the initial stage. The stage where spirit attunement was granted. In other words, I could see spirits now, nothing else. I was initially like Iroh after his journey following the death of his son, where he came back and was able to sense and see spirits.

I looked down at myself. Feeling a new and weak...node within my being. A node full of shining light yet dim when looked at along with everything else. This raised more questions. I glanced at Iroh and took a step back in fear. My eyes widened and I gulped. What the fuck?! The real Iroh was gargantuan. An orange figure the size of Korra when she first bent her form to fight Unalaq. Iroh easily dwarfed her! I blinked and he was back to his regular size. I won't lie...I was considering on forfeiting. Either that or cheating. The latter was out of the question however, because just as I could cheat...so could Iroh. Based on the spiritual fluctuations coming off him, the pressure I had felt was nothing more than the lightest touch upon my soul.

"I accept. If I defeat you...you will answer any of the questions I have and if you defeat me...I will do the same."

I replied. The orange glow covering his form faded, leaving Iroh in his old but ripped as hell body. I couldn't sense his power at all. And that scared and both excited me. If Iroh could do it. Then so could I. Granted I don't lose my life here.

I held out my hand to the side and Equity appeared. I was going all out from the start. There was no way I wasn't taking Iroh seriously. Sparks of electric energy shrouded my form as I bent my legs low, leaning forward slightly. Equity had changed into a Katana. Perfect for slashing. My hair stood on it's head while I cycled my inner fire throughout my body. Power. Incredible Power. The upper limit of what I could safely access without destroying my body was made readily available.

I took one step forward...and vanished.