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Chapter of the Embryo

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December 21 was the day of a total lunar eclipse. It was also the darkest day in three hundred years. Coincidentally, it was also the day that Kuri died.

Well. If you can call it that.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we? Her name was Kurisuta Watanabe. She was born in San Francisco to Atsuko and Toshio Hikawa. Her dad was a wealthy Japanese businessman, and her mom came from a family of priestesses. Believe it or not, from the day of her birth till the day she died, Kuri was completely and utterly immortal. 

The legend goes like this, when her Mom used to tell it.

“In an old story known as the Chaotic Sleep, Chaos is a goddess. Despite what one might thing, Chaos may be a goddess of darkness, but she is not evil. She was very beautiful and, like all goddesses, immortal. However, should she fall in love with a mortal man and bear his child, she would lose her immortality.

She was their goddess.

Chaos eventually comes to earth, taking on the body of the first priestess in our family line, Midoriko, making her a powerful immortal like her incarnation. Midoriko falls in love with a handsome samurai, Natsume, and they are married. When they exchange vows, Natsume vows to forever love and be faithful to her. A year after their marriage, Midoriko gives birth to his child. From that moment on she begins to age. As Midoriko’s physical attractiveness diminishes, Natsume loses interest in his wife.

One afternoon, Midoriko is walking near the stables when she hears the familiar snoring of her husband. When she enters the stable, she sees Natsume lying in the arms of another woman. Natsume points her finger at him, which he feels as if kicked, waking him up with surprise. Midoriko curses him, stating, "You swore faithfulness to me with every waking breath, and I accepted your oath. So be it. As long as you are awake, you shall have your breath, but should you ever fall asleep, then that breath will be taken from you and you will die!" 

“So what’s the curse, Mommy?” Kuri, age four, asked her mother the first time she told it.

“The curse is two fold,” Mother would say. “When the females in our family turn eighteen they gain immortality and the second part is the Dreaming. During all the time you spend as an immortal your Dreams will be real trips to other worlds. Someday a priestess will be born who will become the next Midoriko, and yet will not be betrayed, and she will save all those lost and forgotten.”

“But why do I have to live so long without aging?” Kuri would ask. 

“Because, my child,” she said softly. “One cannot be magic and bear a human soul.”

Kuri lived nineteen years before my death. It was the worst. After her eighteenth birthday Kuri couldn’t go to college like all my friends. Kuri had to stay home and get a job at a bookstore. But books just made the Dreaming worse. 

So before Kuri’s story begins, their stories must be told. Entwined with hers as they are. The entirety of the dreaming cannot be told, that would take eighteen years. But these speak to those with importance.

The first Dreaming came when Kuri was ten, and continued for nine years, until she died. She did not realize how real they were. 

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Kuri was meditating in my shrine. Staring into the flames.

What was the future they were showing her? The strands of her fate were entangled with criminal genius Artemis Fowl II. 

Kuri stared at those mismatched eyes as the fire grew monstrous in response to her sacred energy.

“If it isn’t enough that you have fairy knowledge, now you go after me?!” Kuri screeched. Most uncharacteristic for her. Kuri was usually a calm well trained priestess. “I am the last priestess of the Fairies!”

Kuri felt her aura charge in response to my rage, and then, suddenly, flicker out.

“Hello.” Artemis stood there, using stolen fairy magic to tame her. Kuri could not attack a fairy, and he counted. For some reason. “I am Artemis Fowl II. I would like to study at your shrine. I believe the term is, sanctuary?”

Kuri growled at him. But there was nothing she could do. He had fairy power. And after responding to Kuri’s sacred power, his magic was growing.

“Don’t...” Kuri said weakly. “You’ll lose your humanity. You don’t know what you’re dealing with!”

Artemis laughed. “Where have I heard that before?”

Chapter Text

Inside the Crystal Catacombs, where Kurai was pacing back and forth and Katara was crying in the corner. Kurai stopped pacing upon hearing a hole open up above.

“You've got company.” Dai Li agent said.

He threw Zuko in, who rolled down and landed in front of Kurai.

“ZUKO!” Kurai rushed forward, catching him in her arms

Kurai clutched Zuko and held him. “I’ glad your safe.”

Inside the Crystal Catacombs, Kurai slowly let go of Zuko.

“Why did they throw you in here?” Kurai asked. “They were disguised as Kiyoshi Warriors and captured me and Katara.” 

She looked over at Katara, who was huddled in the corner.

There was a silence.

“What...happened to the Water Tribe Girl?” Zuko asked.

“Azula wanted to use me as an example.” Kurai admitted. “She knew everything. About my past as Queen of the North, about us, everything. Azula...knew I was a Firebender. She...challenged me to an Agni Kai.” 

“WHAT?” Zuko involuntarily lit his hands.

Katara whimpered in the corner, and Kurai grabbed his hands, putting out his fire. 

“Don’t. You’ll scare her.” Kurai said. “Katara defended me and stopped Azula. She’s...she’s been burned. She healed herself, was traumatizing for her.” 

Zuko straightened firmly and walked over to Katara. He knelt down. “Thank you. Thank you for protecting the woman I love. I won’t let either of you get hurt again.”

Katara looked up, hope etched on her face, and silently nodded. “We have to get out of here.”

“I’m so sorry for what happened.” Zuko said, to both of them.

Katara touched her arms, half expecting to see burns, but also knowing she had healed them already.

“It doesn’t matter.” Katara said. 

“I...I should have been here.” Zuko directed this sentence at Kurai. “I should have protected you.” 

Kurai kissed him. Katara turned away.

“You are here now. That’s all that—“ 

They were interrupted by Aang and Iroh.

“Aang!” Katara said.

Aang looked surprised as Katara hugged him, but Aang looked over Katara's shoulder to glare at Zuko. Zuko got a hug from Iroh, and glares back.

“Aang, I knew you would come.” Katara hugged Aang again.

“Uncle, I don't understand. What are you doing with the Avatar?” Zuko pointed to Aang.

“Zuko!” Kurai protested.

“Saving you, that's what.” Aang said.