I leaned over the edge of the fire nation war balloon, watching the lowering sun. I glanced over to my side where Ryu still stood by the engine. It was only yesterday that we were both informed of his new position of avatar. It had started out like a normal day, well at least as normal as you can get with a fire nation princess and thief being best friends….
I sat out in the palace garden stroking Huo’s soft black and white fur. The small kitten stretched, extending his black owl wings. Suddenly I heard yelling and people running. “Ryu” I muttered knowing very well the brown and orange haired boy was behind this chase. As soon as the tall boy ran past the palace gate I grabbed him and pulled him in behind a bush. The guards ran past unknowing that Ryu was safe in the Fire Lord’s house. “What did you steal this time?” I asked. He held up a basket of fruit. “Of course, food. You know you’re always welcome here when you need a place to eat. Why don’t you stay for dinner tonight? You’ve had enough stealing for one day.” I said. He smiled. "Says you. But I guess a free meal that's supposed to be free wouldn't hurt. And I don't even have to heat it up myself." Ryu replied with a cheeky grin. I rolled my eyes. “Come on, let’s go.” I said pulling him into the castle. Ryu had been my friend for a long time though at times I think he finds me annoying but hey what do you expect, no one is perfect. Well pardon my older brother Nootau. Now there was a person who always seems to know what to do, never loses a fight, never lost his temper, and always said the right thing. The perfect little firebending prince. Everyone said I was a great firebender but in comparison to my brother I looked weak. My baby sister Kalama on the other hand was a trouble maker. She got away with murder. She would blame things on me and Nootau would ground me. My father was Fire Lord but for the about two year now he’s been very ill and Nootau has been doing everything. Of course. Ryu paused when we reached the door to the castle. "Huh? Flame? Where'd you go?" Ryu said looking around. I turned to look for the baby dragon only to find him crawling up Ryu and perching on his shoulder Ryu scratched his dragon’s chin. "There you are. Okay, let's go get some food." He said then we continued to walk inside. Ryu and I entered the hall of portraits and I looked at all the past fire lords. All of them had such great stories, my brother would fit perfectly up there amongst them. I couldn’t say I was jealous of him exactly, I never wanted to be Fire Lord. Then my nine teen year old brother walked over to us. His black hair was up in a bun with a few strands hanging out, his golden eyes showed his wisdom, kindness, and exhaustion. “I see your friend is here again. How long will he be staying?” Nootau asked. “I was hoping he could stay for dinner.” I said aid blinking up at him. He smiled. “Of course we always have room for one more.” Nootau said. Then the dinner bell rang. “Looks like you are just in time. I’ll go fetch father and meet you two there.” Nootau said. I skipped away to the dinning room, Ryu walked behind me. When we reached the dinning room Kalama was already there. Her perfect curls were up in high pigtails. “Hello Kala.” I said sitting down, Ryu took the seat beside me. Nootau came in not long after with a frail, gray haired man. My father. He sat down. “Good day children.” He said in his raspy voice. “Hello father.” All of us, pardon Ryu, said. The food was served and we all slowly ate. Suddenly a servant came in. “Fire Lord Tytus, the fire sages are here.” He said. “Let them in.” Father said. The fire sages walked in. “Fire Lord Tytus forgive us for interrupting your meal but we’ve come to announce the new avatar. Avatar Ryu.” The lead sage said. They then bowed to him. Kala, Tau and I rose from our seats and bowed to the new avatar. Father remained seated but bowed his head in respect. After a few minuets I rose back up to look at Ryu. His normal laid back expression was gone and his jaw was slack. “You must prepare for your departure. You will be leaving at dawn tomorrow to find masters to train you. You must learn the elements as quickly as you can and put an end to this war.” The fire sages said before leaving. I hugged Ryu. “I’m so happy for you, isn’t this great news? You have such an important destiny.” I said. He didn’t look as sure. “I better go.” He said then left. I looked at the door he had just left through then back to his food he had bearly touched. He was always hungry, he never wasted any food. My father whipped the corner of his mouths. “I’m feeling rather tiered. I’ll be heading off to bed now.” He said. “I’ll help you.” Kalama said. Once they were gone I turned to my big brother. “I want to go with Ryu.” I said. “No, you cannot go. You are the princess and needed her to defend the castle against invaders.” Nootau said. “Tau! Please let me go!” I said. “Your nation needs you.” Nootau said. “No the kingdom needs you not me. I want to help my friend end this war, not sit around in the palace doing nothing!” I said. “You say one more word about this and you’ll be grounded.” Nootau said. “But Tau…” I started. “Go to your room!” Nootau growled. Tears burned my eyes and I ran off. I curled up in my bed crying. Huo came over and curled up under my chin. I cuddled him and cried myself to sleep. Upon waking I looked outside. It was only a little before dawn. I grabbed a bag with some food, a change of close for Ryu and myself, and a large portion of my personal money. I clasped a cloak around my shoulders and flicked my hood up over my head. Huo flew up and hid under my cloak. I set a runaway note on my pillow and made my way swiftly through the halls to the front door. “I’m sorry Nootau.” I whispered before leaving. I ran as fast as I could to where Ryu was getting into a war balloon. “I’m coming with you.” I said. He smiled and helped me up into the balloon and we took off.
I looked out of the balloon to where Huo and Flame both flew around in the air. I felt horribly for running away, but I had to. I knew this was a journey I was meant to partake in. I turned to Ryu. “When we reach where ever we are going, can we not mention that I’m Fire Lord Tytus’s daughter?” I asked. He appeared to be about to resopned but then he ran to the edge of the balloon. “what’s wrong?” I asked. “A battle ship.” He replied. “Which kingdom?” I asked. “I can’t tell, it’s too far away.” He said as he pointed down to a ship. I grasped the edge of the basket and silently prayed it wasn’t from the Shadow Empire. “Huo, Flame, get in the balloon where it is safe.” I called to them. Huo landed on my shoulder and Flame on Ryu’s.