Falling to the floor, Zuko slowly stood up from the ground, straightening his back and looking down at Yue who was a little shorter than him.
"... I'll help you take down Zhao," muttered Zuko after a moment of thought.
Yue nodded her pretty little head before turning to look at Pakku who was already gone.
'Huh? Where'd he go?'
Noticing Yue's gaze, Katara turned her head and also noticed that Pakku seemed to have disappeared. Scrunching her eyebrows together in confusion, Katara didn't know what was going through the head of such a man.
Turning back her gaze to Zuko, Katara approached Aang by half a step, hoping to protect him even better.
Zuko saw this and turned his head away in slight frustration.
He understood why Katara did so, even after he had decided to help them, but he couldn't help but feel frustrated at seeing it happen.
"Well well well… If it isn't Prince Zuko."
Zuko felt a chill down his spin and a ball of burning anger light up in his heart as he heard these words. He stood up in anger and glared at the man who had uttered these words.
Muttered Zuko as he glared at Zhao who was standing a couple of meters away from the small group of four; Zuko, Katara, Yue, and the currently 'unconscious' Aang.
Hearing the name Zhao, both Yue and Katara quickly perked up as they turned their heads to glare at the man standing 6-7 meters away from them. Behind Zhao, there were over 15 Fire Nation Soldiers behind him, waiting for his order to attack.
'How did we not hear them appear?' Zuko and the rest asked themselves as they looked at Zhao and his group with wary looks.
Zhao looked at how Zuko was preparing to fight against him and was even allying himself with two waterbenders. A smirk bloomed on his face and he looked at Zuko with unmasked joy on his face.
"To think that Prince Zuko would be betraying his Nation," said Zhao in a loud voice, letting every Fire Nation Soldier with him hear his words.
Zuko was just about to refute what Zhao said but was instead interrupted by Yue who took a large step forward and yelled with anger.
"Leave the Northern Water Tribe and call off your troops!"
Looking at this young white haired woman, Zhao couldn't help but laugh.
"Hahaha! That's such a funny request, little girl. You're unfit to lead your people if that's all you have to say," mocked Zhao as he looked at Yue with a ridiculing gaze.
He had seen many leaders of cities and villages, but he had never once seen one like Yue. Directly telling him to leave without receiving any bribe or the like.
Usually he would be offered gold, women, or even antiques, but to think that this girl couldn't even do such a thing. It angered him a little, but it filled him with amusement to see such a person.
Of course, he wouldn't accept any of the gifts he would be offered, he would directly continue the attack and then just pillage whatever he was offered.
Yue clenched her small fists and knew that what Zhao said was correct. She had already worked as a Chief Advisor before and she knew how things were supposed to be, but she didn't wish to yield and give anything to Zhao.
"Gifts are for those who deserve them. You on the other hand, don't deserve anything but horse shit," spat out Yue in anger, no longer caring what would happen next.
If she could defeat Zhao, it would be equal to winning this battle and slowly winning against the rest of the Fire Nation.
Zhao stomped his foot in anger and glared at Yue as he opened his mouth and gave the soldiers behind him an order.
Without wasting a second, all fifteen soldiers behind Zhao quickly moved as they shot off like arrows towards Katara and Zuko, ignoring Yue.
Seeing this, Yue felt her heart beat quickly as she turned to face Zhao who had already launched a fire attack towards her.
Narrowly dodging by jumping to the side, Yue saw Zhao make another move in an instant.
Without stopping her movements, Yue jumped once more to the side before moving her hands rapidly, causing the water around Zhao to encase him in a big ball of ice.
Bright red lights flashed within the ball of ice and Yue knew that Zhao was constantly using his firebending within the ball of ice.
They both began to fight against each other, each of Zhao's attacks were merciless as he attacked at a vital point every time.
Yue didn't dare to slack off a bit in her fight against Zhao. A single mistake could harm her permanently, one of those mistakes might even cause her death.
"Seems that it's true that waterbenders are stronger at night," said Zhao, his comment startling Yue. "It won't be long before the sun rises and I become stronger!"
Hearing Zhao, Yue's eyes shook and she began to attack more frantically, worried about the sun coming up any second now.
"Don't listen to him! He's trying to distract you!"
Seeing that Zhao was beginning to try to frighten Yue and have her make a mistake, Zuko quickly spoke up.
He knew that Zhao is a strong fighter and is also a cunning man. In such little time, Zhao has risen through the ranks through his actions and smart plans.
To shaken someone simple like Yue before overwhelmingly defeating them was something Zhao would attempt to do.
He had done it multiple times with Zuko, always trying to anger him and make him lose composure.
"Ig-NORE HIM!" Zuko yelled as he continued to block and fight back against the firebenders sounding him, slowly.
Yue heard everything Zuko said, but it was already to late, Yue had made a mistake at that very second.
Slipping and falling on her back, Yue looked at devious beast before her eyes, Zhao.
His fist was pulled back pretty fast and it was covered with a faint yellow fiery glow.
Punching forward, Zhao's Fire blast expanded and quickly made its way toward Yue at an explosive speed.
Both Katara and Zuko yelled as they watched helplessly. The bright light of the Fire was reflected in their eyes as they watched the Fire approach Yue.
Yue was Katara's friend and seeing her being attacked by a strong Fire blast, Katara was already feeling grief. An attack of such magnitude would definitely end up killing Yue if it hit her.
Despite not being friends with each other, Zuko didn't wish to see someone die before him. Especially now that he's recognizing how Yue is suffering.
After hearing of her people suffering in the battle outside of the Spirit Oasis, Yue quickly asked Zuko to stop the attack. It made Zuko feel some type of compassion towards Yue.
Because of this, Zuko had a bit of admiration towards Yue. He valued human life and although he may favor the lives of the Fire Nation citizens, Zuko still didn't wish to see a person die.
Whether it was because he was 'naive and innocent' didn't matter to Zuko.
To him, it was humanity.
"Stop it Zhao!"
Zuko yelled, but it was too late already, even if Zhao wished to stop, the Fire had already left his grasp.
The Fire spread rapidly and traveled at great speeds towards its target, Yue.
However, just before the fire blast hit Yue, it was already destroyed by a different fire blast.
Bright and blue flames had destroyed Zhao's attack and dispersed it into the surroundings.
Both Katara and Zuko's expressions changed after seeing this blue fire.
Katara was excited, hoping to see the proud figure she had seen back at the Southern Water Tribe.
Compared to Katara, Zuko wasn't too good. His eyebrows were scrunched up together so hard that he could crush a walnut. The color blue brought up many unpleasant memories he'd rather wish to not remember.
The powerful fire attack had shocked Zhao and he quickly turned to glare at whoever had interrupted his own attack on Yue. Needless to say, he was shocked to see who it was.
He felt his mind going numb, not daring to believe that the person before him was truly here.
Standing not too far from him and Yue, was a proud figure standing tall with arrogance coming from deep within their bones.
"Hello Zhao," said Azula with a mocking tone as she gazed at Zhao, she didn't even bother to glance at Zuko right now. Only briefly sparing Yue a small glance, Azula didn't have her attention anywhere else besides on Zhao.
Hearing the arrogant tone from the voice of the person before him, Zhao couldn't help but tremble.
"Azula…!" Zuko mumbled as he looked at his sister with a glare.
'Damn! Why is she here…'
Zhao's glare softened and he smiled amicably, preparing to step carefully on eggshells, Zhao was about to begin speaking.
However, before he could even begin, the eggshells had rapidly broken already.
"I dislike your gorilla face and that arrogance of yours Zhao. Especially that ambition of yours, it's a threat to the Fire Nation," 'explained' Azula with a mocking look on her face as she suddenly dashed forward and launched a sneak attack on Zhao.
Quickly sidestepping, Zhao managed to narrowly dodged Azula's sneak attack but it was only the beginning to the furious onslaught of Azula's attacks.
Du! Du! Du!
Azula pushed forward and forced Zhao into a defensive position, denying him the chance to retaliate any time soon.
After seeing Azula appear, Zuko began to attack more fiercely as he began he began take down soldier after soldier. However, each time he pushed forward, he was pushed back.
With the combined attacks of these elite soldiers, Zuko couldn't find a chance to defeat and escape this encirclement.
For a single moment, Zuko turned his gaze and looked at Yue and Katara as they were struggling to fight back as well.
They were better off than Zuko however.
They slowly began to take down the soldiers and evade them in thick ice, stopping them from joining back the fight.
"Why so flustered, 'General' Zhao," Azula continuously mocked as she attacked without rest.
Zhao could only continue to retreat, cold sweat beginning to cover his face.
In a fit of rage, Zhao burst out of the barrage of attacks with a strong fire attack, forcing Azula to jump back, a moving smile on her face.
"To think that even the Princess is a traitor to the nation," Zhao said unhurriedly, trying to calm back down.
"Oh Zhao… do you think such petty tricks will help you rise in rank?" Azula asked, looking at Zhao begin to get mad. "Your name will go down in history as the most foolish General. The Foolish Zhao… the man who failed to accomplish anything."
Zhao grew angry and jumped forward, striking toward Azula with great anger.
His dreams were mocked and Zhao couldn't help but strike out in anger. Crazily blasting out with fire, Azula couldn't feel but smile in amusement as she began to dodge the fire attacks.
Blast after blast was dodged and Azula continued to mock Zhao.
"The Foolish General?
Zhao, the failed Firebender, the man with no intellect.
Such a person shouldn't even enter the history books of the 'glorious' Fire Nation, you would only tarnish it."
A powerful fiery explosion came out of Zhao's fist, his expressions seeming more crazy by the second.
"Be quiet! You don't know what you're talking about! You're just a child, and I— I'm the Great Zhao!"
Another powerful blast exploded out and Azula finally began to counter attack, her own Fire attack blasted through Zhao's fire blast.
With an opening made, Azula burst through and struck Zhao as she extended two fingers out towards Zhao.
"NO!" Zhao yelled in fear as a blue light flashed before his eyes just as intense pain spread into his body.
Azula watched on as she struck and electrocuted Zhao to death, a small smile on her face. However, despite the smile on her face, no one seemed to notice the small furrow of her eyebrows that disappeared the instant they appeared.
No one noticed as their eyes were on Zhao's corpse that was now on fire, burning and emitting a terrible smell.
Azula's furrow went unnoticed by everyone in the Spirit Oasis, everyone except the dark shadow at the entrance of the Spirit Oasis that turned around and walked away.
Lots of explaining in the next chapter it seems. Aaannyways Thanks for the chapter.