Of Shadows and Fire: Chapter Seven

This is the same day as the last chapter, but doesn’t feature Kurami as a main character.

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Mother Dearest

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Black Spirit hideout, somewhere in the Earth Kingdom

“Ren, I’m worried about Kurami,” Miyu told her twin. “It’s been a week and she still hasn’t come back.”

“She’s been on longer missions than this. Don’t worry so much,” he responded.

“She may have been gone longer, but wouldn’t Kai be worried already? I’ve seen her pacing holes in the ground for less.”

“Unless…”

“…Kai has no idea what Kurami is really doing.”

The twins’ eyes widened simultaneously. It was true; there was never an assassination mission Kurami was involved in that didn’t trouble her adoptive mother, usually for days. They began to run through the corridors, looking for Kai.

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Kai had just returned from her own mission the day before. When she found her daughter missing, Jian had told her Kurami had been sent on a scouting mission in the northern part of the Earth Kingdom.

As she made her way to the training rooms, she was surprised to find Ren and Miyu frantically searching for her.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Kai, where’s Kurami?” asked Miyu, out of breath.

Confusion appeared on Kai’s face. “She’s on her scouting mission up north. Didn’t she tell you?”

Identical looks of horror appeared on the siblings’ faces as they glanced at each other. Warning bells instantly went off in Kai’s head, and her maternal instincts took over.

“Ren. Miyu. Where exactly is my daughter?”

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“How dare you?!?”

Jian didn’t even look up as a furious Kai stormed into his study. He knew exactly what she was talking about.

“She has already accomplished difficult reconnaissance missions in less than five years. This is just part of her training as an assassin.”

“Killing the Fire Prince? It’s suicide!” she corrected. “She’s just fourteen, Father. Barely out of childhood!”

Jian sighed. “This is why I didn’t tell you in the first place, Kai. You’re too soft on the girl! It makes the both of you weak!”

“Is a mother’s love weakness?”

“You are not her mother!” Jian finally burst, standing up in rage. Kai glared defiantly at him, showing no sign of backing down. In a quieter voice than her father’s, she stated,

“I am Kurami’s mother. I may have just picked her up in that forest all those years ago, but I raised her. Cared for her. Loved her. She is mine.”

With that, she walked out the door.

“Where do you think you are going?” Jian shouted after her.

Kai didn’t respond.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ren and Miyu stared incredulously at Kai when she walked outside, having overheard the entire conversation. They followed her until they arrived at the barracks.

“Kai? What are we going to do?” asked Ren.

The earthbender’s reply was blunt.

“Pack your things. We’re going after Kurami.”

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