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"The Fracture" is the eighth chapter of The Rise of Kyoshi.

Overview

Jianzhu questions Kyoshi about her earthbending abilities. Yun and Rangi are upset with Kyoshi for not telling them that she is possibly the Avatar.

Synopsis

Kyoshi wakes up in the Yokoya mansion's warm infirmary with Jianzhu sitting next to her. She feels slightly uncomfortable being around him, but she reminds herself that there is no reason to be. Jianzhu gives her a drink of water and admits that he has always suspected that Kyoshi was hiding something from him. Kyoshi almost chokes on her water as she listens to Jianzhu explain himself. He tells Kyoshi that, though he already knew of her clumsy and odd inability to earthbend small things, he did not know that it meant she could move mountains. He admits that he could not have done what Kyoshi did at the iceberg, to which she swears that she did not know either and that she only did it out of desperation to save Yun.

Kyoshi asks Jianzhu where Yun and Kelsang are, and he tells her not to worry about them, changing the conversation to be about the diversity of the Earth Kingdom. He informally addresses how much of a mess the politics of the Earth Kingdom are at the moment, specifically mentioning how the Earth King in Ba Sing Se has not effectively maintained power over the daofei and how his power "waxes and wanes". He asks Kyoshi what she thinks is holding the Earth Kingdom together but, even though Kyoshi knows the answer, she shakes her head. Without sounding smug, Jianzhu admits that he is the glue that keeps their kingdom from collapsing. He explains that he has to tirelessly maintain his "ties of personal loyalty" with every governor and bending master in order to keep his global influence because, without an Avatar for so long, the duty has fallen on him.

When Jianzhu notices Kyoshi's distress, he narrows his eyes and declares that "without personal loyalty, it all falls apart" as he makes a threatening bending motion that causes Kyoshi to flinch. Jianzhu asks if there is anything that she is hiding from him about what she did on the iceberg, but she tells herself to not inform him that she could be the Avatar since there is no proof. Kyoshi apologizes to Jianzhu, promising that she was not aware of her own limits, and that she had just panicked and lashed out as hard as she could.

Jianzhu smiles and stands up. He explains that despite how many daofei he has fought, they still threaten the Avatar's legitimacy. The sage says that he is glad that there is one more powerful earthbender who can fight on his side as he is only a substitue, as the responsibility of keeping the Earth Kingdom stable and in balance with the other nations belongs to the Avatar, making Kyoshi feel the pressure of her role as such. She decides to change the subject to Avatar Kuruk, asking Jianzhu if Kuruk should have been the one that dealt with the daofei. The Ganjinese agrees and admits that he is the one to blame that Kuruk is not still alive fighting them right now and that, as the Avatar's companion, he should have taught Kuruk wisdom.

As Jianzhu exits the room, he informs Kyoshi that Yun and Kelsang are down the hall. Kyoshi waits until the man has left the infirmary and then jumps out of bed to find them. She walks into Yun's room and discovers him sitting next to a steaming bathtub with his arm resting in it, while Rangi stands behind him staring out a window. The boy says that he has been telling the healers that he does not have frostbite, but he still puts his pallid hand under the hot water's surface. Kyoshi feels the urge to embrace both of her friends but she resists due to their distracted appearance. She asks them what happened and if Kelsang is alright, to which Yun responds that the monk is sleeping, but they lost a lot of guardsmen in the South Pole from Tagaka's avalanche. Yun explains that they managed to capture Tagaka and that she would be taken to the prisons at Lake Laogai. He also mentions that the Fifth Nation has fallen as their ships were damaged beyond repair and so they will not pose a treat to the Earth Kingdom anymore. When Kyoshi asks about the Earth Kingdom captives, Yun informs that Hei-Ran pulled some strings so that the Fire Navy would soon rescue the them.

Kyoshi is confused by Yun's expression since most of what he has said is good news but he is showing no emotion. Recalling how she is supposed to be his confidant and be awed by his successes, Kyoshi reminds him that he saved the captives and now people will talk about Avatar Yun for years to come. Rangi cries out for Kyoshi to stop talking. Rangi reveals that they know what she and Kelsang have been hiding from them. The firebender marches up to her and points an accusing finger in her chest, heatedly demanding to know why Kyoshi had not told them about her secret. As Rangi keeps pressing and her finger starts to burn her friend's clothes until it reaches her skin, Kyoshi struggles to form a response and instead begins to tear up, readying for Rangi to attack her. However, the firebender realizes what she is doing and storms out of the room. Yun approaches Kyoshi as if he is about to say something, but silently walks away.

Kyoshi walks into Kelsang's room and finds him sitting wounded in bed, eating a bowl of seaweed soup. Kelsang apologizes to Kyoshi for telling her friends about their secret after what she accomplished on the iceberg, as he thought her spirit had left her body. Kyoshi accuses Kelsang of having selfish motives since he has more control over her than he does over Yun. Kelsang looks away from her and says: "The time when any of us could have what we wanted passed away years ago."

Production notes

Series continuity

Character revelations

  • Jianzhu claims to be holding the Earth Kingdom together and reveals to have influential allies all over the world.
  • Jianzhu blames himself for Avatar Kuruk's death.
  • Rangi, Yun, and Jianzhu learn that Kyoshi could possibly be the Avatar.
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