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"Revelations" is the fourth chapter of The Rise of Kyoshi.

Overview

Kelsang and Kyoshi discuss the possibility that she is the Avatar, rather than Yun. Jianzhu gives Kyoshi insight into why Yun is commonly believed to be the Avatar. Kelsang tells Kyoshi significant information about Avatar Kuruk.

Synopsis

Kelsang takes Kyoshi aside to an empty, dusty study, apologizing for hurting her, and explains why he had lost control. He tells her that he believes that she may be the Avatar. Kyoshi considers this the worst news she had heard, and tells him that he is mistaken, as everyone knows that Jianzhu identified Yun as the Avatar nearly two years ago. Kelsang responds that the Earthen traditions around finding the next Earth Avatar had fallen apart after Kuruk's death, and that many Earth Kingdom sages and earthbenders felt abandoned by the spirits and ancestors until Jianzhu identified Yun. The airbender elaborates that the way Yun had been identified had no precedent, and that the story would cast the shadow of illegitimacy on him. Kyoshi finds strange that Yun has never told her the details of the story, which Kelsang guesses is because Jianzhu forbade him.

The monk tells Kyoshi about their time in Makapu Village while surveying the volcano. He recounts finding a crowd gathered around a child with a Pai Sho board, hustling tourists and giving them confidence by using the "blind bag gambit". Peculiarly, while the tactic was supposed to be a scam, Yun was actually drawing tiles randomly and winning. Jianzhu noticed that the boy was drawing and playing Kuruk's favorite strategies that were kept secret from anyone but the late Avatar's companions. Jianzhu felt a great relief at finding Yun after the Yellow Neck uprising, and his doubts were lifted once he saw the precision of the boy's earthbending. Kyoshi expresses her confusion as she believes that this is all proof that Yun is in fact the Avatar. However, before giving her an answer, Kelsang asks that the two leave the room.

They make their way through a corridor, with Kyoshi feeling uncomfortable in the sight of such expensive treasures. They go inside her small quarters, Kelsang pointing out her heavy locked trunk and her leather-bound journal on top, her only inheritance from the time before Yokoya, and he recalls how valuable and precious the items are to her.

Having found the courage, Kyoshi finally asks if he thinks she is the Avatar because of a stupid song she made up, and he responds that she "might be the Avatar" as he recounted the exact lines of a poem Kuruk wrote a long time ago. As Kelsang notices that she needs a better explanation, he asks Kyoshi to keep a secret before recounting that twenty years prior, Kuruk's companions drifted to their own separate lives. Kuruk was traveling the world when he showed up on Kelsang's doorstep, asking him to review a declaration of love in the form of a poem, which was almost exactly like the song Kyoshi composed. The Avatar had written it for Hei-Ran, only two months after her wedding to Junsik. The monk berated the Avatar for his selfishness, for trying to ruin their friend's happy relationship, and made him destroy the confession. He ponders if he did the right thing, given that Kuruk met Ummi shortly after, and a tragedy began to unfold. Kyoshi assures him that he did the right thing, but begins to develop a dim view of Kuruk.

Kelsang admits that he wishes he could be more certain, but notes that Yun is having problems with firebending, and that Jianzhu is becoming more extreme every time that he faces a setback. Kyoshi is shocked that her friend cannot firebend, while the monk tells her that even though Yun is the better candidate, she has to also be considered if the only criteria is repeating improbable things that Kuruk once did. Kelsang adds that he is not entirely upset by the complication, and notes Kyoshi's Avatar-worthy merit, such as selfless humility, which she denies. He apologizes to her for not being able to meet with her parents like he did with the other village children, as more information could have made the difference. Kyoshi angrily responds that her parents would only think of having the Avatar for their child as a valuable prize, but Kelsang tells her that they would be proud of their daughter no matter what, as he is. Kyoshi asks that they keep the possibility a secret between the two of them for a while as the revelation could tear apart the littler corner of the world the two of them had marked off for themselves. Kelsang agrees, at least for a little while, but they would have to eventually tell Jianzhu and find the truth together.

Kelsang leaves, and Kyoshi thinks on her feet, not sitting down. She thinks of the nightmare of the situation, and how the revelation could damage the precarious political situation established by Jianzhu and Kelsang. When Kyoshi is thinking that being revealed of the Avatar would ruin the confidence that the sages and people of the world find in Yun, she hears a knock at the door and realizes she has forgotten her gifting duty. She opens the dor and, unexpectedly, it is not Rangi, but Yun.

Production notes

Series continuity

  • Kelsang says that, after Kuruk met Ummi, a tragedy began to unfold, referencing their encounter with Koh the Face Stealer.[1]

Character revelations

  • Kuruk was in love with Hei-Ran.
  • Kelsang was being groomed to take over the Southern Air Temple.
  • Yun was presumed to be the Avatar due to a Pai Sho tactic that only Avatar Kuruk and his companions knew.

References

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