49 Interlude #1

Sorry for the mistake in the last chapter, here's an additional chapter for my mistake

200 power stones equal an additional chapter

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Katara's life changed in an instant when she and her older brother Sokka discovered an ice sphere containing a boy and a large six-legged beast with a vast, wide tail. That day, her destiny took a sharp turn in a different direction. Or was her fate always meant to be this way?

Recalling those days, Katara felt a multitude of conflicting emotions. She had found the Avatar... no, Aang and Appa, and she had gained hope that the Fire Nation's tyranny would be overthrown... and, deep down, she hoped to avenge her mother and find her father. But she couldn't deny that it was then their path began to converge towards that day, that moment...

Meeting Prince Zuko, leaving the South Pole, defeating Zuko, and flying to the Southern Air Temple. Aang, in rage upon learning his people were wiped out by the Fire Nation... the Avatar state...

Then there was Kyoshi Island and their encounter with the Kyoshi Warriors, as well as a new twist of fate. Freo, an incredible bender, who resembled the Avatar in mastering not just one, but several elements! Doing what seemed impossible! A waterbender who surpassed all the waterbenders she had seen in the future combined. At that time, it didn't seem special, thinking every waterbender could do such... but at the North Pole, when she was learning from the best waterbender, Master Pakku, she saw that Freo, as her new acquaintance was called, far exceeded her teacher. Especially when she, Sokka, and Aang heard those rumors circulating about a name, Jo, or as he was also called, Chimamire Monsuta. They visited some of his "glorious" deeds' sites. This convinced her that his level of waterbending was unreachable for ordinary waterbenders... as was the battle with him earlier. A fight in which Aang engaged. What Freo did... he helped earthbenders, he saved them, he destroyed firebenders... but the way he did it... it extinguished even the deep-seated thirst for vengeance in Katara's soul. Such cruelty... so much blood... it was too much for the young woman... and apparently, the others couldn't bear it either...

Aang intervened, and then Freo showed something that seemed impossible even after everything demonstrated on them. Controlling another's body... another's blood, as Katara later deduced.

And then Aang entered the Avatar state again. And all that power, all that strength surrounding Aang... He stood against it, all that force... but the Avatar, being the strongest bender, swept Freo away, far away. We didn't become friends, but he aimed to save us when we were with King Bumi... but in the end, we ourselves fought against him...

We never found Freo's body, assuming he had perished, drowned in the waters. When Aang came to, realizing he had killed Freo, it hit him hard. He spent most of his time depressed, and smiles were rare on his face. He told us that the Air Nomads abhor killing, even for food, and Aang, raised in the Air Temple, held the same belief.

But gradually, he recovered, and by the time we reached the North Pole, he was almost the same Aang who had first met them. A lot happened at the North Pole. The senior teacher didn't want to teach her, saying women's role was healing. Katara was not against learning to heal with waterbending, as Freo often discussed how useful this skill was and how it helped him escape tricky situations. Involuntarily, you start to respect healing! But Katara wanted more. And then she almost compromised Aang but managed to extricate herself from her own created problems.

Then the Fire Nation fleet arrived... it seemed to her like she had entered a nightmare, reliving the day her mother was killed... but she did everything she could to help... and even though she wasn't strong enough, she managed to hold off the enemy...

And again Aang entered the Avatar state, this time willingly, embodying the mighty Ocean Spirit, sweeping away the enemy fleet, destroying their ships... that's what it means to be a powerful bender...

Everyone had forgotten about Freo... although, in reality, that wasn't the case. Both Katara and Aang continued the meditations that their short-lived partner had shown them, and soon both Aang and Katara began to see successes...

But time passed, and they had to leave the North Pole. There, they learned much and gained new skills. And lost something...

It seemed everything was going well again, everything was proceeding as planned, and now Aang had mastered waterbending. Although, Katara remembered with pride, her achievements were significantly greater, so much so that eventually she became his teacher. Then there was the encounter with that crazy commander of the fortress, the attempt to control the Avatar state, ending with the fortress in ruins.

After that day, Sokka was plagued by nightmares, and during the day, he constantly felt anxious. Who would have thought that this feeling would turn out to be like a premonition?

Omashu, a city that seemed to Katara an impregnable bastion, standing alongside Ba Sing Se against the Fire Nation's army for a hundred years. The sight of this invincible city under the Fire Nation's banners would forever be imprinted in Katara's mind. Seeing her hopes crumble while only Aang maintained determination, and they headed into the city. How did it happen that they ended up outside the city with the refugees?

Everything happened so unexpectedly and quickly that it merged into a few moments for Katara. And there they were, at the construction site, exchanging the governor's young son for King Bumi... and then they had their first encounter with Him. Garo, as he called himself, but Katara felt something familiar in him, though she couldn't understand what exactly. A quick and swift fight ensued. Two firebenders, a boy and a girl, attacked Aang, while she and Sokka were left with only two, but even those two they couldn't defeat... she couldn't, as Sokka was carrying the child and couldn't fight, but he managed to escape while she tried to hold off the two opponents. But a third firebender intervened, attacking Aang with another bender, but the Avatar and that girl somehow leapt away...

more accurately, the bender leapt, and Aang was blown away after another attack.

A few seconds of bending combat and unexpectedly, Katara loses all her control over bending, followed by a powerful strike to the solar plexus. It seemed to her she was lost in darkness. Breathing was nearly impossible, her eyes wouldn't obey her, shadows danced in them, obscuring all light.

She heard Appa land nearby with Sokka, she heard her older brother's conversation with the firebender, she heard everything, but her brain simply couldn't process this information, overwhelmed by pain it was unaccustomed to.

Then there was a push on her back, and barely able to move her legs, she took only a few steps when her older brother caught her. The older brother, who had always been her support, who always cared for her, always protected her.

Brave, strong, smart. The epitome of an older brother...

All these thoughts flashed through Katara's mind in that short moment, as she looked more consciously into Sokka's eyes and saw in their reflection that small, bright fireball flying towards them...

Then there was pain, which finally overloaded Katara's brain, sending her into unconsciousness.

It seemed to Katara that only a few seconds had passed when she opened her eyes, but looking around, she realized a lot of time had passed.

Sitting nearby, staring into nothing, was Aang, with Bumi next to him, and in front of them lay a pale Sokka.

Sensing something was wrong, Katara immediately rushed to her older brother, but as soon as she touched his skin, she felt the cold emanating from it.

"No... no-no-no-no-no!" Katara started screaming in a breaking voice, falling into hysteria, as tears streamed from her eyes. "Not you, please, Sokka, don't leave me! I beg you, Sokka! Wake up!" she cried, while tears flowed in an unending stream.

She hugged her brother, but he remained lifeless, and despite all his younger sister's pleas, he couldn't wake up. The spirit world had taken him and didn't intend to return his soul back to his body.

Hysteria, that's the only way to describe what happened to Katara next. Tears stopped flowing, but she couldn't let go of the last of her family, aside from her grandmother and teacher. How could she look her father in the eyes when she allowed her brother to die. All attempts to heal him were in vain, but Katara herself understood, it was too late...

Bumi left them soon after, at their next stop, helping the two remaining members of Team Avatar bury Sokka.

Now, feeling death with every fiber of her soul, losing one of the closest people to her, Katara could feel all those feelings she had been told about, understand and realize what Freo felt, losing his twin brother and beloved mother in one day.

Now, she no longer felt that dragging fear of the enemies' blood she experienced on the prison barge. Now, faced with a choice... she would likely have helped Freo that day, or, at the very least, tried to prevent Aang from interfering.

"I will kill him," Katara said firmly, after several days of flying, unexpectedly to both Aang and herself, but then just as confidently continued, feeling her eyes again covered in moisture and tears streaming down. "I will kill him at the first opportunity. And I ask you, Aang, not to stop me at that moment... please, for Sokka's sake."

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