Title: I Conquer Ba Sing Se and Other Earth Kingdom Adventures Author: devilinthedetails Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender Characters: Azula; Zuko; Iroh; Mai; Ty Lee; Ozai. Genre: General; Adventure/Action; Drama. Summary: Azula’s diary covering the events of Season 2 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Including some bonus chapters and content at the beginning to set the stage. Author’s Note: Written for the Half Marathon Dear Diary Challenge. Dear Diary, We just met and already I long to set fire to you. I’d do it slowly. Burning you page by page until nothing but smoke and cinders remained to suggest you had ever been in the world. Prolonging your suffering. Inhaling your agony like incense from those candles Fire Sages love to light in the temples. My desire to destroy you is nothing personal. Currently I want to burn everything to the ground. To reduce everybody and everything to rubble and ruin. I especially wish to set Ty Lee ablaze. Who is Ty Lee? I can practically hear you ask. Well, dear diary, I shall be compassionate and not keep you in suspense a second longer. She is one of my two best friends dating back to our shared childhood in the palace. Our friendship only strengthened when we attended the Royal Fire Academy for Girls. Studying fighting, military stratgey, and our glorious Fire Nation history together. Ty Lee was never a firebender–which meant she could never be a proper rival to a firebending prodigy like me–but she was the best gymnast and acrobat in our class. Perhaps then I should have foreseen her treachery. Her abandoning me as soon as we graduated the Royal Fire Academy for Girls. It is just that she has run off to the Earth Kingdom Colonies to join the circus like some common street performer. I could have forgiven her leaving me–would even have been gracious enough not to categorize it as a betrayal–if she had marched off in service of the Fire Nation as part of our proud army (one of the chief purposes of the Royal Fire Academy for Girls is, of course, to produce stellar military officers to aid in our conqeust of the world). However, flighty Ty Lee had nothing so substantial in mind. No, she lowered herself to become a circus performer. The equivalent of an elephant dancing for peanuts. Her parents should be ashamed of her. They probably would be if they had ever been capable of telling her apart from her sisters. She has brought disgrace to her entire family with her pursuit of such a degrading profession, but apparently her parents do not care. Perhaps they have forgotten that she exists because she has so many sisters or else they are content to watch her commit what amounts to the social suicide of self-imposed exile to the Colonies. Maybe I should be equally content to watch her ruin her own life. Ty Lee was always a strange creature, after all. Yet, she did give me you, dear diary, as a parting gift. Clasping her hands together in that way she has as if whatever she is about to impart is the most wonderful news ever to be delivered in the history of civilization (it never is), she announced that writing in you would be a therapeutic stress reliever for me. That it would keep my aura pink and healthy. She said all this in a tone that suggested butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. Of course it would. Especially if I set fire to it. I am not interested in any sort of therapeutic stress relief beyond manicures and facials with the royal family stylists or shooting lightning bolts from my fingers (always a very satisfying and electric experience). Nor do I know or care about what an aura is and how its pinkness would be beneficial to me. When I said as much to Ty Lee, she gave a high-pitched giggle as if I had made the funniest joke in the world. As if I were a clown in the circus she joined. Then she hugged me and tittered about how much she would miss me, but I knew she was lying. If she was honest about missing me, she would never have left my side to perform cheap tricks in a traveling circus. I smiled at her and told her to break a leg. A well wish or a curse. I left it ambiguous. Let her decide. Knew that would keep her on edge. Keep her guessing and wondering about whether she stands inside or outside of my good graces. Maintaining my power and influence over her. Manipulating her as I always have. When I see her again, I will smile at her and greet her with words that will cut like daggers. Mocking the circus profession she has chosen for herself. Asserting my dominance over her. Seizing control of her life again. She will not be able to escape from me even in the Colonies. She will remain my friend and my minion. I have decided that. I have also decided that I will not burn you. At least not tonight. It is pleasing to be able to confide my schemes to something that cannot backstab me as a person would. Thus, you have earned yourself a stay of execution for tonight. Be grateful for it, and do not rely on such mercy continuing in the future.