People were stupid. Azula knew this. After all, she used them to her advantage. All the other times, stupid people just annoyed her. She tried to avoid them whenever possible. Unfortunately, her brother returning made it a little harder and the advisors for Ba Sing Se were unavoidable.
Why was she supposed to care about the refugees in the Lower Ring? It wasn't her fault they weren't able to make enough money to better their lives. Their poverty was their problem. As much forethought as Azula had, she did not anticipate that people would expect her to rule the Earth Kingdom.
Father was certainly very pleased that she managed to do what no one else could for nearly a century. He didn't seem to have any intention of offering to help her. Not that I need it, Azula thought with a sniff.
She rubbed her temples, clenching her teeth. She studied her entire life on how to rule a country! This was just a city! A very powerful, influential, and key to winning the war, of course, but it shouldn't have been this difficult. It was the people involved. If she had some of the Fire Nation's advisors working with her it would be easier. The few Fire Nation advisors were new idiots who didn't know what they were doing.
Azula made a mental note to fire them when the chance presented itself.
She glanced at the clock she took from the Earth Kingdom's palace. It would show off one of her proudest moments. She'd never admit it aloud but she thought it was a rather nice clock even for the Fire Nation's standards. She didn't know why she had such a fascination with an Earth Kingdom clock of all things. It made her feel similar to when Father gave her something important to do. Something that would help win the war for her home and country. She felt so very proud that Father deigned her worthy. The clock felt like confirmation that his faith wasn't misplaced.
She didn't much care for the Ba Sing Se's people but it would please Father very much if she was able to govern Ba Sing Se as perfectly as she was able to do everything else.
Azula quickly averted her thoughts back to what she should have been doing instead of letting her mind wander: dealing with Ba Sing Se and the problems it was facing.
The main problem was Ba Sing Se's defense. The Dai Li were virtually the only capable earthbenders in the entire city worth Azula's attention. They wouldn't be worth a copper piece if it wasn't for a strong leader.
The Fire Nation soldiers wouldn't be able to stay there forever to keep the city in check. It was Azula's job to make sure the city was secure before the soldiers would have to come back to the Fire Nation and do…whatever Father instructed them to do.
Azula skimmed through a report a general sent her, telling her what was happening. It was very informative but didn't give her much of a place to start. The Dai Li were powerful and skilled benders but without someone telling the morons what to do every two seconds, they wouldn't be able to retain control over the city for very long. If she was completely honest with herself, they were all muscle and no brains. Father expected her to keep Ba Sing Se and keep it on the Fire Nation's map.
How was she supposed to keep it in working condition without any help whatsoever? It was impossible — no! It was not impossible. Nothing was impossible for her. She would not let this city get the better of her. She just needed to—
"I'm busy," she turned her head in the general direction of the door to glare at it, hoping whoever dared disturb her would go away.
"One of the Earth Kingdom advisors is demanding to see you."
It was Brother Dearest. Azula thought with slight amusement that he'd been demoted to delivering messages to her.
"Tell them I don't need their advice." She replied airily, examining her nails as if she was talking to someone who could see her. "And they can go back to the Earth Kingdom. Or stand there like an idiot before the Home Guard throw them out."
"Why don't you just come out here and tell them that yourself?" He sounded testy. Zuzu was probably just throwing a hissy fit because he didn't want to play messenger boy. And to her of all people.
Azula knew exactly which advisor was demanding to see her. He was one of those people who foolishly cared to what would happen to the people of Ba Sing Se. It was a wonder she hadn't fired him.
There was no time like the present, however.
Standing up and making sure that her hair and makeup were intact. Not a hair was out of place, as to be expected. She walked to the door and pulled it open. "You're fired." She told him flatly. "You may leave now." Azula added flippantly.
"You're dismissed," she narrowed her eyes. "Now leave my presence before I have you thrown out." She always prided herself of how she was able to project every bit of her authority in her voice.
The current circumstances were certainly no exception as the peasant didn't say anything else and quickly left.
"You probably should have heard what he had to say," Zuzu remarked after the Earth Kingdom advisor scurried off and was out of hearing range.
"And why would that be?" She asked, crossing her arms and shifting her weight to her left leg. "All he ever says is about the people in the Lower Ring and how we should help them," a frown etched its way onto her features. "Don't tell me you agree with him."
"No," he snapped. He was always so defensive it was almost funny. "He put together this—"
"And you listened to him?" She interrupted. "He's not a very bright man, Zuzu." It wasn't like he wold be able to tell but she decided to be nice and spell it out for him. In spite of her circumstances, she was in a very charitable mood. One would have to be if they had to live with him.
"It was a schedule," he continued, an edge to his tone. "Some of your advisors thought that it would be a better idea if you were more organized."
Azula scoffed at the notion. "As if they would be able to come up with a halfway decent schedule for me."
"Of course they wouldn't be able to," he sounded sarcastic, which was odd for him. "You should have at least looked at it anyway. It might have helped you," he glanced over her shoulder. "It couldn't be any worse than what you have now."
She scowled. "You wouldn't be able to do much better." Azula winced internally. Her response sounded far too defensive for her liking.
"That's not my point."
She was getting impatient with him already. "Then what is your point?"
Her brother was getting a little too comfortable around her, Azula had noticed. He still tensed every time she was in his sight, as anyone with a brain should do, but him having the gall to look behind her shoulder so blatantly and point out how she wasn't perfect could be a problem. No matter. I won't mind putting him back in his place.
"That you should at least listen to what people have to say?" He didn't know what he was talking about. She wasn't surprised. "Even if they are stupid they might help."
She walked back in her room, hand on the door to close the it in his face. "I don't need any help. Now go away so I can work."
She was Princess Azula of the Fire Nation and she was perfect.