"I essentially published this on the 18th of March, 2022. But due to issues whenever I try to modify or edit the story, I decided to re-upload instead.
To the original followers and people who favourited this story, I hope I didn't alarm you all when I took down the Original.
With that said, I wish you all a good day."
[Summer, 104 AG – Fire Nation Imperial Palace]
The war was over.
As hard as it is to believe, the war was actually over.
The Avatar returned, the Fire Nation was defeated, the Phoenix King was chained, balanced was restored, the world survived, and peace finally prevailed.
Fast forward 4 years later, the world gathers at the home palace of Fire Lord Zuko in celebration of the end of the Hundred Years War and of the victory of the Avatar.
It was decided that upon the arrival of summer, each nation of the world would be given the chance of hosting the festival celebrating the War's End. The celebrations in itself was a week-long affair, with preparations usually lasting 1 to 2 weeks prior to the beginning of the event.
The first War's End Festival was held in the Fire Nation following the immediate victory of Avatar Aang against the fallen Phoenix King Ozai and the coronation of Fire Lord Zuko. The second festival was held in the Northern Water Tribe approximately a year later. The third was held in the Southern Water Tribe a year after that. And the fourth festival was held in the Earth Kingdom the year after.
Music, laughter, and joy filled every hall and square inch of the Imperial Palace as nobles, diplomats, dignitaries, politicians, and war veterans all the like celebrated the occasion within the palace walls.
Outside, the festivities were even more intense as the City of Caldera, the Imperial Capital of the Fire Nation, sprang to life as both residents and visitors partied as if there was no tomorrow.
Yes, one would think that today would be an incredibly perfect day as each and every corner of the palace and the city was surrounded with bright and joyful emotions.
One such of these people would be the Avatar himself.
The man who ended the war, the man who defeated the Phoenix King, the man who brought peace after years of turmoil and suffering, and the man who returned balance to the world after such a long time.
Many would revere the Avatar as a divine and all-powerful being, I mean, why wouldn't they?
Master of All Four Elements, the Bridge Between the Physical and Spiritual Worlds, and the Leader of the Resurging Air Nation.
He was basically a god amongst mortals, and the entire world knew it.
But as much as he may be seen as an all-powerful being, he was still human.
He wasn't immortal; he lives, breathes, eats, drinks, sleeps, and would pass away just like any human being would.
It would seem that through his portrayal in the public eye as the Keeper of Balance in the Physical and Spiritual Worlds, the people tend to forget that he too is but a mere mortal like all of them.
A mortal who, through random odds and chance, was lucky enough (or unlucky depending on who you ask) to be born as the Avatar.
A mortal with needs, a mortal with desires.
A mortal with emotions, a mortal with feelings.
Today would have been the perfect day, he thought. They were celebrating their victory against the tyrants and the instigators of the Hundred Years War. Everyone was elated and happy, what better time than to ask her now?
For the past 4 years, the Avatar had travelled the world alongside his most trusted and beloved companion. The woman who had freed him from his prison of solid ice, the woman who had shown him the world after his cryostasis, the woman who showed him was it was like to actually love. Together, he and his companion, Katara of the Southern Water Tribe, travelled the world following the end of the war, rebuilding and mending all the destruction that was left behind, whilst simultaneously strengthening their love and relationship for each other in the process.
He was certain, there was no other woman in the world for him. They have gone through literal hell and back together, and still lived to tell the tale. If there was one person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with in holy matrimony, he knew, it was her.
Katara had reached marrying age the moment she turned 16, and although he was only 14 at the time, he promised to her that he would propose to her by the time he would reach the appropriate marrying age as well.
He had turned 16 just last spring, and as such, he intended to keep and uphold his promise…
The Avatar had spent the past few weeks gathering supplies for the betrothal necklace he wanted to propose with. Though it's true he could have instead bought one to save time and effort, what better way to show his love, devotion, and affection than by making one from scratch?
He spared no expense in making the betrothal necklace. The metal lace that held it all together was made out of pure silver sourced from the mines near the mountains of Gaoling, the pendant was the emblem of the Southern Water Tribe made out of the finest diamond he could find from the Fire Nation, and within the pendant was a light crystal he sourced from the caverns within the Old Ba Sing Se.
It took him 2 weeks to just find all of the components he needed, and another month just to build it to the best of his bending abilities. He even considered not attending the birthday party Zuko threw for him last spring just so that he could finish the necklace in time.
Overall, he was very proud of the work he'd made, and he was silently hoping that she would too.
After getting the blessing of Chief Hakoda, he was all set to propose to the love of his life…
Katara had ventured out into the palace a few minutes prior, with the festivities and a majority of the guests currently occupying the main ballroom of the palace, he knew the time was right since there would be no way anyone would be able to interrupt them.
Using his seismic senses, he managed to track her to a discreet hallway within the inner sanctum of the palace, far from the hustle and bustle of the main ballroom.
Imagine his surprise when he felt that there was another person's heart beat as he approached her location.
Using his aptitude for light and silent footsteps, he decided to hide and listen in from the corner of the hallway to hear what it was that she and the mystery man were saying…
"Are you sure about this?", she asked, he could recognize her voice even if he was asleep.
"Positive.", the mystery man replied, "Almost everyone is at the main ballroom partying and drinking their hearts out. Save for the guards on patrol, no one would dare find us here."
Katara giggled, "Finally, you had no idea how long I had to wait just to sneak out. You owe me a lot tonight, your majesty."
As the title left from her lips, a shocking and sudden realization dawned on the young Avatar as to whom his beloved was conversing with.
His majesty, the Fire Lord chuckled, "My lady, it would be my pleasure…"
What could only be described next is pure and utter pain for the young Avatar as he witnessed both his lover and his best friend make out in a fiery lust of passion in the secluded hallway.
He could physically feel his heart crack.
He was fighting desperately to hold back his tears.
"How could they?"
"How could they do this to me?"
"Was I not enough for her?"
"How long has this been going on?"
Similarly-worded thoughts ran through his mind as he silently witnessed his lover and his best friend stab him in the back.
Without any words left to say, he simply bolted.
He had no idea where he was running.
He had no idea where he was going to.
He knew he simply had to get out of there.
Seeing his lover go behind his back with his best friend out of all people was too much for the young Avatar to bear.
His emotional state was on the verge of total collapse. Sadness, anger, sorrow, rage, dejection, fury, and despair were currently holding the reins as he ran though the halls of the palace as fast as he could.
Eventually, running as fast as his feet could carry him, he ran smack dab into an unsuspecting victim in the halls.
"OW!", the person exclaimed, "Watch where you're going you idiotic…"
The person simply halted their barrage of what was supposed to be a slew of insults and cusses the moment they saw who it was they was planning on verbally annihilating.
"Avatar?", the person asked.
As the Avatar got back to his senses, he could finally recognize the voice. He knew who that sharp, vindicative, and feminine voice belonged to and his hypothesis was only confirmed the moment he opened his eyes.
To be continued…