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"Promises" is the sixth chapter of The Rise of Kyoshi.

Overview

Kyoshi chats with Yun, who asks her to come with him to the Eastern Sea to sign a new treaty with Tagaka and the Fifth Nation. The two friends then spend a relaxing time with Rangi.

Synopsis

Kyoshi and Yun sit on the floor of a receiving room. He lies on his back, lazily waving a jian blade around and voicing his distaste for the weapon. The servant feigns shock with a mock gasp at a boy who dislikes swords, and tells him to put it in an armory pile while suggesting that Rangi teach him at some point.

Kyoshi thinks of her responsibilities at the Avatar mansion. While the farmers' children in the village assume that she handles dirty jobs due to her orphaned and unwanted status, her primary purpose is to pick up after Yun and tidy his messes. She had been assigned to clean up after the slobbish supposed-Avatar shortly after the staff discovered her need to put things back in their rightful place, minimize clutter, and maintain order. However, her current job requires her to sort through and pack away the gifts that wealthy visitors gave to Yun. Kyoshi points out that the Pai Sho board that he has been sent is the forty-fourth so far, and notices that Yun is wearing new boots. She crawls over to him before she quickly observes that the boots are far too big for his feet and that the apparent Avatar must have stuffed the extra space with bandages. Kyoshi asks her friend to take them off as she grabs one of his feet with both of her hands, but he refuses with an expression of "pure dread", a reaction that surprises the girl as Yun rarely raises his voice at her.

Yun puts his hands on Kyoshi's shoulders and pleads with her to come with him on a journey, she is puzzled but feels honored at the same time. Kyoshi has a fantasy in which she imagines huddling next to Yun, riding off into the sunset. She asks Yun what kind of trip it is and where it is taking place, to which he responds that it is to the Eastern Sea near the South Pole to sign a new treaty with Tagaka. Kyoshi feels embarrassed upon realizing that the trip did not match her fantasy; she brushes Yun's hands off her shoulders and sits on her knees as she feels the heat leaving her face. Kyoshi soon expresses her disgust to the fact that he would sit at a table with the Fifth Nation, to which Yun recalls and acknowledges her hatred for outlaws, but considers that she would like to see his political victory over the band of pirates. Kyoshi tells him to take Rangi on the mission as she is nothing more than his nanny, but Yun informs her that the bodyguard is coming as well, leading Kyoshi to ask why he wants her to come with him. Yun claims that he needs Kyoshi's perspective, asking if it is sad of him to simply want a regular person there, someone who cares about him and who is proud of his own person and not of the performance of the Avatar. Kyoshi is unsure what to do, and Yun reassures her, telling her that most daofei have a respect for the Avatar, being either superstitious or intimidated by them.

When Kyoshi realizes that Jianzhu would never risk Yun's life and her friend would never risk hers, she agrees to come in order to be there for him and clean up his inevitable mess. Yun shudders with relief before he brings her fingers to his cheek, and nuzzles into them as if they were ice for a fever. Kyoshi flushes all the way down to her toes in response to Yun's sudden contact. She reminds herself that sharing touches is simply part of Yun's personality as he once kissed the Princess of Omashu's hand for one second longer than usual to score an entire new trade agreement. Kyoshi also reminds herself that she needed a very long time to convince herself that she was not in love with Yun, believing moments like these to potentially undo "all of her hard work". Despite this, she does enjoy the contact. Yun anticipates Rangi's entry by sensing her footfalls, he breaks contact with Kyoshi, tilts his ear toward the floor and counts down the time until Rangi opens the door. The firebender bows to Yun, and complains to Kyoshi that she has barely started to make progress with the gifts. Yun jokes that they have decided to burn everything, and were waiting for the guard's arrival. Rangi sarcastically remarks that that would only set the entire mansion on fire, to which Yun jokes that they would later need to go to the river, strip down naked, and grab the nearest firebender. This results in the bodyguard throwing a decorative pillow at Yun's face. While Kyoshi and Rangi are shocked at her sudden reaction, Yun laughs out loud, Kyoshi following him as her sides shake until they hurt, Rangi attempting to stifle her giggles and snorts. An older member of staff enters the room and frowns at the trio, causing them to laugh further. Kyoshi looks to Yun and Rangi, considering them her closest friends. She thinks that, above all else, she needs to protect them, and she privately vows to defend them at all costs.

Production notes

Series continuity

Character revelations

  • Yun owns forty-four Pai Sho boards as of this chapter.
  • Kyoshi has a compulsive need to organize things.
  • Like many people from the Earth Kingdom, Yun has jade-green eyes.
  • Kyoshi used to have a crush on Yun.
  • Kyoshi, Rangi, and Yun are close friends and the youngest people living at the Avatar mansion.

Trivia

  • This chapter marks the only mention of Avatar Salai in this novel.

References

  1. Malis, Nick (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 4, 2005). "The Warriors of Kyoshi". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
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