Chapter 20

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I gazed at the dragon for a long time, until he was all I saw. The image of Aang completely faded. Though I knew what I had just done, I breathed a sigh of relief. Now, it is time to focus on now, with the dragon, not later, when I come back.

So I give a slight smile and say, "Thank you, and I'm afraid I don't know your name."

"Kzazul." He answers. "And I know yours, Kila Death-Breaker."

"Death-Breaker?" I asked.

"One who breaks death. You have quite a few times, even for your kind, and not only for yourself." Kzazul answered.

"My kind?" I asked, a bubble of hope filling me, making me slightly light headed.

"Deathbenders, as you have guess correctly the name." Kzazul tells me.

"There.. there are others?" I am filled with joy and disbelief. "I'm not.. alone? There are people out there, like me? Who can, who can..?"

"Yes." Kzazul said. "At least, there were. Before the war. I am Kzazul, spirit of the in between. I give mortals the gift to help the world, when someone dies when they should not. I can only give the gift, you see, and not return mortals myself."

"So there's a reason?" I ask. "Why I can do this? What about the elements? Was I right that I gave them to people? Is that part of it?"

Kzazul sighs. "When you were born, I will not deny I gave this gift to you knowing the hardships you would suffer because of it. But I could not risk Avatar Aang dying, not until this war is long over. What I did not foretell, however, was the.. extra gifts."

He paused, but I did not speak. So he continued. "Never before has an Avatar had a sibling. I could never have guess all of the things you were already born with. You, a blood sibling to the avatar, would not have been a problem otherwise. But a twin, together before birth? Avatar blood in you both, though stronger in Aang. You, with all elements already in your blood, though only your birth element unlocked, now bless with power over death? And several times when you were too young to even know what you did, you used the gift, without thought or training. With also the power over the avatar state, contacting past lives and untold powers?

"Don't you see? Never before was someone gifted with the impossible concept of giving the elements away! Elements are born and learned, not gifted, with the other party doing nothing but benefiting? And, not to mention, if you could figure it out, or were overwhelmed with anger, could kill those around you as easily as if you had breathed? No, someone like you could not be kept alive."

Silence for a count of five. Then, I spoke. "You mean, someone set that up? The arrow, and Aang, and my death?"

"Yes."

"But I can still go back, right? I have the power, and I've done it before."

"That, my dear child, is what they have not accounted for, and fear from their entire being. No deathbender ever before has brought themself back. Only others. If they could, why would they stay dead now?" He demands, searching my eyes to see if I knew.

I knew. I knew that I was a mistake, but now not because of what I originally thought. What I did not know, however, was "Do you want me dead or not?"

"No, no but alive! You must seek out Ji'Anni of the White Lotus. Seek him out, and he will tell you what I don't have enough time for. But one other thing. Your staff."

Until that moment, I had not realized I did not hold it, though I gripped it tightly when I fell. "Where is it, then?"

"On your back." Kzazul grinned, if dragons could. I turned my head to see..

Wings.

They were silver, like my staff, with golden sails printed with purple air swirls. "My staff is.. wings?"

"I knew from early on that you would be hunted from an early age. There is a way to remove a deathbender's power. In order to prevent this from ever happening, I gave you a bit of my power. Your staff can never be broken, and if connected to your back and with your willing, they can become your wings. With them you will fly faster and for longer, silenter, be more agile, and can carry more weight."

"An upgrade, then." I muttered.

"And the staff can be summoned at will. Try it, will them back into a staff and then through it as far as you can, then will it back to your hand."

I did as he said, finding it surprisingly easy.

"It will take practice to fly with wings instead of a glider, but it will also let your hands be free when flying so you can bend better, to fight and whatever else you want. Now, will yourself back to life."

I pictured Aang in my mind, standing tall, a smile on his face, and focused hard on his picture. He was my link to life at the moment. But then, another question popped into my mind.

"Kzazul, who doesn't want me to live? Who hunts me?"

"Spirits, I'm afraid." Kzazul said, his voice muffled and not altogether there. "Prove yourself to them, and they will let you be. Now, be alive."

~ ~ ~

I could feel a soft mattress under me and warm blankets over me. I could hear a fire nearby, in a fireplace, a friendly glow of warmth. My staff, my wings, was in my left hand, closed. The pillow under my head was filled with soft feathers. My wound was completely gone, and painless. I was in an empty room, a the small window shut, and door across from me to the right, also closed and locked. And Aang sat in a chair, asleep over my lifeless body. I knew all of this before I was even back.

I gasped for breath.

A/N

Yay!

So, what do you think? Kzazul is a very dramatic fellow, isn't he?

And what do you think of Kila's wings? Staff is finally explained!

And Ji'Anni! Who could he be? Hehehe

Once again, big thank you to kybjosh for the basic idea to this chapter, and helping me clear my own head of writers block.

Back to the normal schedule! One chapter a week! Unless I feel in a particularly good mood XD



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