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Fanfic / Gilded Green

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At the end of Iroh's Siege, the Dai Li decide to test their brainwashing abilities on a Fire Nation soldier. They don't know that their guinea pig-rat happens to be a supposedly-dead prince. First in a series. AU, Dai Li!Lu Ten.

Gilded Green is an Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfiction by Caelum Blue. It is an Else Where Fic, starring Lu Ten during and after the 600 Day Siege of Ba Sing Se. It can be read on FanFiction.Net here and Archive of Our Own here.


Gilded Green provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Lu Ten has these for his cousins.
  • All There in the Manual: Several things that are not said in the fic itself are talked about in the author's notes.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Lu Ten behaves much differently from things than Xiaofan does.
  • Anti-Hero: Lu Ten is a staunch believer in Fire Nation imperialism and superiority, but he is kind and has loved ones too.
  • Anti-Villain: Shirong is probably the closest thing to a villain this fic has besides perhaps Long Feng, but he's a Dai Li agent who's just doing his job and, while creepy, (even the author says so) isn't so bad once you get to know him.
  • Awful Truth: The fact that Iroh has abandoned the Siege is only awful to Lu Ten.
  • Bash Brothers: Lu Ten is this with Jouin. For awhile.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Inverted with Director Tuan. His agents love messing with him.
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  • Big Brother Is Employing You: Our main cast is made of the Dai Li. And later, Xiaofan.
  • Book Ends: Both the prologue and the epilogue feature the letter to Azula.
  • Brain Washed: The main premise of this fic.
  • Break Them by Talking: Shirong to Lu Ten.
  • Breather Episode: The seventh chapter, which focuses on Shirong's godson's birthday. Lampshaded by the author.
  • Brick Joke: Enlai had to save a group of girls from a spiderfly in a Haiku club once. In chapter six, a certain bug is irritating the Dai Li Directors. Poor Enlai is doomed to squashing bugs.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Huang and Wu Sheng. The two are funny, take Earthbending Ball way too seriously, invade their boss' office at will, and are excellent Dai Li agents.
  • Buried Alive: Lu Ten for a little while.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Used in-universe with Xiaofan.
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  • Butt-Monkey: Tuan. Almost all the man's best agents get whisked away to Investigations by Yong, (almost being the operative word) which is generally considered the better job, none of his colleagues listen to him, he has to deal with not remembering an embarassing drunken bet he made for a thousand jin, the agents he's left with enjoy annoying him for kicks... If this series is ever continued, the counter is sure to get broken.
  • The Cameo: Azula, in the epilogue.
  • Cheerful Child: Lee, Shirong's godson, among the other children at his birthday party.
  • Childhood Friends: Lu Ten with Kenta and Min Lee. He met them at six and seven respectively.
    • Also, while childhood may be stretching it, Long Feng and Shirong have known each other from their university days.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Lu Ten appears to have feelings for Min Lee.
  • The Confidant: Jouin, in life. In death, he isn't much different.
  • Curse Cut Short: Shirong to Yong before Long Feng interrupts.
    Shirong: "Listen, Yong. Just because I'm not letting you rip the man to shreds doesn't mean you need to act like a-"
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lu Ten shows shades of this.
  • Death by Childbirth: Princess Janya, Lu Ten's mother.
  • Death Glare: Lu Ten is quite fond of giving these to his captors.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Shirong didn't quite think about keeping Xiaofan through.
  • Distressed Dude: Lu Ten, who's a prisoner of war.
  • Doomed by Canon: Everyone who's watched the series knows that Lu Ten is going to be taken out of the picture one way or another.
  • Double Agent: Enlai considers 'Lee' this. 'Lee' begs to differ.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Haiku Club in passing mention.
  • Elemental Powers: Benders need to be in contact with their respective elements for their spirits to remain happy. Earthbender Joo Dees are content in the crystal catacombs, but Firebenders tend to break when seperated from the sun.
  • Elsewhere Fic: Deals with important but little-known minor character Lu Ten and the Dai Li, who don't get much fleshing out in both canon and fanon.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: 'Lee' the Fire Nation soldier puts Honor Before Reason and returns the favour to Enlai for saving his life offscreen.
    • Another example is Shirong. While morally gray, he is above pointless cruelty and does not have the heart to carry out some of the more terrible experiments on Lu Ten.
  • Evil Uncle: Ozai orchestrated Lu Ten's 'death'.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Lu Ten. After becoming Xiaofan, he drops his Fire Nation-style topknot and goes with an Earth Kingdom braid.
  • Fake Memories: Played with. Shirong finds it's easier to implant memories with some truth in them, lest the subject's subconscious start to reject them.
    • To elaborate, Xiofan's past and personal life is a mix of Lu Ten's and Jouin's.
  • Fantastic Racism: Between the Fire Nation and the Earth Kingdom.
  • First-Name Basis: All the agents are on first-name basis with each other, calling them Agent 'X'. This trope is not used as an indication of growing relationships.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Lu Ten will not return to Iroh, and Ba Sing Se will not fall to the Fire Nation. Until later.
  • Foreshadowing: Jouin's death. By the man himself, too.
    Jouin: I couldn't care less about what [Ba Sing Se] the city looks like. I don't care if I never see it. I just want to get away from this stupid wall."
  • Good Parents: Good parent, more like. Iroh has never made Lu Ten doubt that he loves his son.
  • Heel Realization: Iroh has one.
  • Heroic BSoD: While not exactly heroic per se, Lu Ten has one of these when he is told that the Fire Army is retreating.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Lu Ten with Kenta and Min Lee.
  • Honor Before Reason: People from the Fire Nation are like this. The Dai Li, however...
  • In-Series Nickname: Zuzu for Zuko, Zuli for Azula and Lu for Lu Ten.
  • Insistent Terminology: It's not an obsession. Lu Ten is a tea enthusiast.
  • Irony: Long Feng loves the idea of a brainwashed Fire Nation soldier going around complimenting the Earth Kingdom.
    • Also, the non-existent Fire Nation soldiers that Shirong weaves into Lu Ten's brain crushed his legs with a rock to invoke this trope.
  • Jerkass: Yong. Even the author thinks so.
  • La Résistance: Mentioned in passing is an underground resistance in Ba Sing Se.
  • Loss of Identity: Naturally. It comes with the brainwashing sometimes.
  • Meaningful Name: Invoked by Delun and Long Feng, who deliberately choose befittingly ironic names for Lu Ten.
    • To go into further detail, 'Xiao' means small, while 'fan' would equate to model or example. 'Yu' would mean consent, spelling out 'little obedient one who consents'.
      • Also, the farmers in the Agrarian Zone have the surname 'Qiang' meaning 'wall' or 'superior'.
  • Metaphorically True: 'Lee' doesn't consider himself a double agent, as to him, he's simply carrying out the orders of a different master whose goals contradict his previous master's.
  • Mind Rape: But of course.
  • Missing Mom: Lu Ten. Plus, Zuko and Azula.
  • The Mole: Or mole-rat. 'Lee' is this to the Fire Nation troops.
    • Also it is said that there are several Fire Nation spies in Ba Sing Se during the Siege. Not that all of them are ever seen again.
  • Never Found the Body: Lu Ten wasn't actually dead so...duh.
  • Nice Guy: Yuan.
  • Nobody Poops: A month in captivity and not one mention is made to how Lu Ten relieves himself. Probably to avoid Squick.
  • Noodle Incident: Several. To name some, the Winter Solstice party (which gets everyone groaning) which a certain bet was placed, and the Spiderfly in the Haiku Club Incident.
    • No one really knows what happened to the Dai Li agents who were harrasing the first Joo Dees.
      • The 'butcher knife incident' involving a Joo Dee who had snapped.
      • And the incident when Yong tried to go after one of Shirong's Joo Dees and an epic, all-out bending war broke out that is still talked about among the agents apparently.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Iroh has this moment for Lu Ten.
  • Oh, Crap!: Lu Ten has a few. As does Long Feng, when Shirong brings Xiaofan/Lu Ten to the Director's meeting, as he has the fireplace lit.
  • Original Characters: The fic is rife with grey, flawed and believable OCs. This is nessecary, as the only Dai Li who got a name and backstory was Long Feng.
  • Papa Wolf: Shirong to his 'projects'. Though he's in denial.
  • Parental Substitute: Ursa to Lu Ten. He sees her as a mother.
  • Pet the Dog: Shirong attends his godson's birthday party and is shown to be a genuinely good godfather and friend in chapter seven. Contrast this with chapter eight, where he is nonchalantly mindraping Lu Ten. A stranger example is when Lu Ten/Xiaofan is calling out pitifully for his father Iroh, and Shirong comforts him, telling him that the process does not have to be painful, but continues brainwashing him anyway.
  • Playing with Fire: Lu Ten soon has his Firebending robbed from him.
  • Precision F-Strike: Xiaofan.
    Xiaofan: "What the hell are you talking about?"
  • Running Gag: Shirong being uncreative when choosing names. Plus, Enlai and spiderflies.
  • Sanity Slippage: Lu Ten, eventually.
  • Serious Business: Boarqupine roasting for Jouin, tea for Lu Ten, and Earthbending Ball for Huang and Wu Sheng.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Shirong mentions in his internal monologue that traumatized war veterans who are Earthbenders are brainwashed as to avoid from them causing mishaps from a combination of flashbacks and out of control Earthbending. Also, war veterans who cannot be quiet about the war.
  • Shown Their Work: The author, Caelum Blue has done extensive amounts of research and even made her own calender (which can be seen on her profile) for the series using ancient Chinese influence and a hell of a lot of brainstorming.
  • Sole Survivor: Lu Ten is the only survivor found from his platoon.
  • The Stoic: Delun, who takes things in stride.* Those Two Guys: Huang and Wu Sheng.
  • Trigger Phrase: In addition to 'The Earth Kind has invited you to Lake Laogai', there is also a thank you to get the subject out of the hypnosis. This phrase is used for civillians and basically anyone who's not a Joo Dee once whoever's done with them.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Lu Ten, Kenta and Min Lee, who is implied to be the eldest of Ty Lee's many sisters.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Lu Ten will seem like this to Kenta and Min Lee.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Downplayed with Iroh when his son dies, as it's a quieter realization. Eventually he just leaves abruptly.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Shirong thinks it's better to brainwash citizens rather than kill them.
  • Worldbuilding: In particular, Ba Sing Se.
  • You Didn't Ask: Lu Ten to Shirong. Shirong simply decides to be more specific.