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"Farewells" is the thirtieth chapter of The Rise of Kyoshi.

Overview[]

Lao Ge takes the bandages off Kyoshi's hands and she goes with Rangi and Lek to buy some gloves. Afterward, they are shot with poison darts, unable to move as Rangi is taken away by their attackers. Lek dies from choking and Kyoshi receives a letter from Jianzhu to meet him in Qinchao Village.

Synopsis[]

Kyoshi is surprised to see Lao Ge entering her room alone. She positions herself defensively on her bed, as she suspects that his purpose is to kill her for saving Te Sihung. When Lao Ge informs her that it is time to remove her bandages, the Avatar asks why he is the person chosen for the task, to which the man responds that he can be convincing when he needs to. The rasp of his knife against her bandages makes her shiver and he says she seemed lost in thought when he came in, inquiring whether she regrets killing Xu Ping An. As he cuts the first layer of bandages, she considers screaming for help. Kyoshi answers she feels bad about letting Te live and he tells her they can easily change that. She replies she will not turn back from the responsibility of saving him and that she feels unfair, stating she should have either killed both the governor and the daofei leader or spare them. Her mentor gives her examples of generals deciding which troops to send in battle and which to keep in reserve, kings taxing some lands to save others, and mothers having to choose which sick children to help when they only have medicine for one. He explains this will only get worse as she begins doing her duty as the Avatar, and that she will have to determine other people's fates case-by-case, taking into account every outcome of each choice. He also tells her this will wear down on her and she notices he speaks with kindness and sorrow as he proceeds to say that she has the burden of never being perfectly fair to everyone. Kyoshi is not sure she can take that burden and he asks her if she is ready to fight her enemy. She is distracted by the smell of her unwashed hand and is unsure what Lao Ge is referring to. He reminds her of her goal to kill Jianzhu and asks the same question again, adding that she defeated the same opponent as he did. She does not answer as he finishes cutting through the bandages and says she should go see the other members of the Flying Opera Company while he takes care of some business of his own. She tells him not to kill Te as he feigns innocence while pocketing his knife.

Kyoshi washes her hands and finds Rangi and Lek playing Pai Sho in the room where the Flying Opera Company has been sleeping. Rangi gives her a warm smile and Kyoshi says she does not like staying in the same town as much as they did. Lek replies they agreed to wait to leave until she feels better, admitting he does not know how she survived. He asks Rangi if firebenders use lightning to cheat in Agni Kais. She protests, stating that lightningbending is an extremely rare skill and there are very few people able to confirm it exists. She asks if he thinks she would let Kyoshi fight someone without telling her everything she knows about that enemy. Kyoshi thinks that not everyone from the Fire Nation has gold eyes and that daofei brotherhood does not require blood ties as Xu became the leader of a criminal organization in the Earth Kingdom. She also acknowledges how her mixed parentage makes her understand such outcomes are not very rare. Rangi notices the scars on Kyoshi's hands, dismayed. The Avatar replies her hands feel fine as the firebender brings her friend's hand to her cheek, stating she had very beautiful hands with smooth skin. Lek interrupts Rangi and says he has an idea and that they should go shopping.

The people in Zigan avoid Kyoshi, staring at her with fear and hostility. She asks Rangi and Lek why the townsfolk look at her that way and if she has paint on her face. Lek says that many of them saw the flashes of lightning and the pillar of wind and fire in her battle with the Yellow Neck leader and that some of the outlaws passed through town talking about how she killed Xu. He also tells her that the inhabitants have not figured out she is the Avatar and someone said she is a dragon in human form. She replies that she saved them from the criminals and Lek laughs, explaining that she is practically the new leader of the Yellow Necks and that it was hard to convince Doctor Song to help her since she saw what happened as a daofei girl killing her elder brother for control of the gang. Kyoshi is surprised how annoyed she is by her first heroic act being tainted and making her seem like Tagaka. She thinks her actions are part of what it takes to bring Jianzhu down, but that it is a higher price than she expected. Lek leads them inside a small leather products shop owned by an old man sitting on the floor who nods at them. Kyoshi considers he does not show disdain toward them because in many parts of the Earth Kingdom people's leatherworkers and tanners are considered unclean. Lek tells the man they want to buy a pair of gloves for Kyoshi and he says he has some bigger pairs, but those are meant for combat. She says she is willing to try them and the shopkeeper gives her a pair he made for a colonel that died before he could pick them up. Kyoshi pulls on the gloves and feels them like a second skin with heavy and reassuring pieces of armor. She asks how much they cost and the man tells her they are a gift for what she did. She feels grateful that someone sees her good intentions as they leave the shop.

As they walk down the street, Kyoshi levitates a pebble to see how well she can earthbend while wearing the gloves and wishes she could find shoes that fit her just as easily. Lek says it is better than being short and skinny and that he would rule his own nation if he was her size. Rangi laughs and grabs his arm, telling him he will fill out soon as he has good bone structure. He blushes and tells her to stop before she yanks him down as she becomes unable to move. She is trying to speak as her eyelids move very fast. Lek yelps and tries to hit something on his back before Kyoshi sees he was shot with a dart. She puts her hands in front of her face and the bracers protect her from some darts, but she is hit by another in the back of her neck. She feels the poison run through her body as her muscles feel loose. Lek tries to throw a stone at their attackers, but it falls on the ground, and the two collapse on the ground. The Avatar notices she is still able to see and think, but that Rangi is drifting into unconsciousness and that Lek is choking. Someone comes to them and drags Rangi away. Kyoshi is trying to scream, but the poison in her neck prevents her from making any sounds. She sees that Lek's face has turned red and that he is clutching at his throat, unable to breathe. Kyoshi cries as she is unable to save him from the venom, forced to watch her friend die before her eyes. Nearly half an hour later, she regains some feeling and manages to crawl over to Lek's body, only to find that he has no pulse.

After the effect of the poison wears off, Kyoshi reaches their building just as Kirima, Lao Ge, and Wong get there. They are very sad and surprised to see Lek's body in her arms and Wong begins sobbing as Lao Ge whispers a blessing. Kirima's hand trembles and she holds a letter from Jianzhu to Kyoshi that tells her to come alone to Qinchao Village. The letter has Rangi's top-knot attached to it.

Production notes[]

Series continuity[]

  • Kyoshi adds thick leather gloves to her outfit, which become part of her signature look, as seen throughout Avatar: The Last Airbender.[1]
  • Lek's death at the hands of Jianzhu due to an allergic reaction from the shirshu-spit darts is foreshadowed in at least two previous chapters:
    • In "The Town", Lek reveals that he almost died after being stung by a buzzard wasp.[2]
    • In "The Avatar's Masters", upon learning that Kyoshi picked a fight with Jianzhu, Lek declares that it is only a matter of time before Jianzhu kills them.[3]

Character revelations[]

  • Kyoshi gains permanent scarring on her hands from her duel with Xu Ping An.

References[]

  1. Throughout Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  2. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Eighteen, "The Town". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  3. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty, "The Avatar's Masters". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
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