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Previously on The Avatar Rhythm
|"The reward that Koh promised to anyone that killed me was immortality. He wanted me, the boy who fooled a spirit, to suffer. And since than I've had to worry about the Quadrination Bandits, an organization whose sole purpose is to get my reward, to kill me."|
|— From The Fire Nomad|
|""Don't get your hopes up. We're just two guys on a boat, against the Avatar, with a gang of powerful bandits on our toes. In all reality, we probably won't win.""|
|— From The Fire Nomad|
|"Compromise. I'll recruit the Air Nomad armies while you kill Hotaru. Sora said she'd be back soon, and saying that she runs the place, I bet she runs the military. I'll go with her, and while we talk, you find out where Hotaru is."|
|— From The Temple|
|"The Mother Superior chuckled, then started laughing loudly. "Silly boy," she chortled, "We don't have a military!""|
|— From The Second Seminar|
|"As hundreds of members of The Procession filed into the temple, as Air Nomads ran and fought for their home, while the Quadrination Bandits killed nun after nun, and as Hotaru raced after Shirou and Shinji through winding halls and bridges, everyone was certain of one thing. Utter chaos. "|
|— From The Winds of Destruction: Part 1|
|The Winds of Destruction: Part 2|
August 26, 2011
This is Chapter 24 in The Avatar Rhythm Series
Winds howled through the night air as Shirou and Shinji sprinted through the halls of the Western Air Temple.
"Turn right," they said, sliding across the smooth stone floor, arriving back outside on a huge bridge, hearing Hotaru's footsteps behind them, pounding in fury. "We've got to get out of this place," Shinji yelled, panting. "Everyone wants to kill us!"
"The nuns aren't going to kill us," Shirou said. "They'll probably just break a couple bones."
A huge crash of stones banged through the air, and screams pierced through the night sky. People were dying. Nuns were confused. The Quadrination Bandits were too powerful. The Avatar wanted to know about their crimes that they were hiding. Members of The Procession were dispersing throughout the temple. Just about everyone wanted one of them dead. Shirou looked behind, and Hotaru was in sight - less than fifty feet away. Shirou drew his sword, and slashed a statue off a nearby wall, which fell onto the bridge and cracked the stone.
"It's not going to break," Shinji yelled. "We need to leave this place!"
Far below, in a huge temple courtyard, the Quadrination Bandits were putting up a good fight. Flames exploded through air as Zhena shot punches at all the nearby Procession members coming her way, killing man after man. Gephel was sending huge waves of earth at all the nuns around him. Sora and Anil were fighting, shooting hundreds of powerful gales at each other, destroying the home around them. Kyong was running through the halls, trying to find Shinji, killing anyone who got in his way. Havoc was breaking loose, and too many people were dying.
Shirou and Shinji ran back through a tunnel, and hopped through a window, landing in a large hall. Hearing Hotaru's footsteps, they sprinted across the stone floor and kicked down another door. Inside, there were almost a dozen Procession members.
"Uh-oh," Shirou whispered.
"Hey! That's the kid!" a Procession member yelled. "Get him!" The team of Earthbenders shot a volley of rocks at the duo, and Shirou cut them in half with slash of his sword, while Shinji kicked the rest away in a blazing fury. The Procession brought a large shield of stone up, defending them from the rubble and dust, and shot the wall at Shirou and Shinji, who jumped over it and attacked the tax collectors, taking them down with ease. "Lets go!"
They ran through the next hall, through a small bridge outside for a moment, and then they made it to another tunnel. "I'm surprised we still have to attack. Shouldn't the Air Nomad's army that you recruited be attacking by now?" asked Shinji, running for his life.
Shirou was struck with guilt. "Well, about that..."
"I, I," He was having trouble speaking. "The Western Air Temple doesn't have an army."
Shinji stopped. They had made it to a giant Pai Sho table, and Shinji jumped atop it. "You lied to me!"
Shirou was shaking. "What? No I didn't!"
"You told me that they'd be ready if anyone attacked us!" Shinji shouted. "You didn't keep up your end of the deal!"
"So?" Shirou shouted, stepping onto the giant game board as well. "Hotaru isn't dead. You didn't keep up your end of the deal either!"
"I would of killed her, but you stepped up instead and had a mental breakdown right before you slashed your sword." Shinji raised his fist up at Shirou. "You double-crossed me! I trusted you you! I thought you were my friend!"
"Throw all the insults you want at me," Shirou said. "But the Quadrination Bandits are here, and you know that if I don't help, they're going to kill you!"
As Shinji sighed, beaten, a huge explosion of dust and water erupted from the wall, and a new voice shot through the rubble. "We all betray each other at sometime or another."
The duo looked over, and out of the cloud of dust, Kyong of the Quadrination Bandits stepped out. He jumped on the giant Pai Sho Board, and got into fighting position, pointing his hands at Shinji, ready to attack.
"Stop right there!"
The Waterbender looked over at Hotaru, who was running into the room, and jumped on the Pai Sho board. "You're not going to kill Shinji and get his bounty."
Hotaru was ready to kill Kyong.
Kyong was ready to kill Shinji.
Shinji was ready to kill Shirou.
Shirou was ready to kill Hotaru.
And then, they attacked.
Meanwhile, Sora was panting, exhausted, trying to keep up against Anil, who was shooting one blast of air after another at her. When she would attack, he would evade. When she would defend, he wouldn't stop attacking. Sora blasted her fist out, and created an immense beam of wind at the Quadrination Bandit. Anil just swirled around, and brought the attack around and back at the Mother Superior, who toppled over into a group of Procession members who were fighting Zhena. Sora tried running, but Gephel, who was behind her, shot two huge columns of earth at the Mother Superior which wrapped around her hands, immobilizing Sora. "You monsters!" She yelled.
Zhena laughed, taking out a Procession member behind her with a bolt of lightning. Turning back to Sora, she announced, "Your time on this world - our world, is running out, Airbender. I could kill you now, yes. I'd very much like to kill you know, let me assure you. But killing would only give you a small moment of suffering. I want you to suffer for the longest time possible, and in order to do so we will destroy this entire temple, as slowly as possible. We will kill every little nun you know. And at the end, you can join them."
As the Firebender laughed maniacally in the night sky, Sora hoped beyond anything that Hotaru was coming.
But Hotaru wasn't going to come any time soon. She was battling with Kyong, Shirou, and Shinji, watching herself destroy the home which she had been living in for the past three months. This battle had no allies, no alliances. Every man for himself. Everyone had lost trust in each other.
Hotaru sent a huge fire whip at Kyong, which was instantly put out with a wave of water that made everyone step back. Shirou was tripping, and swung his sword into the ground, keeping balanced. Shinji ran towards him, preparing to kick him down with blazing power, but Shirou was too quick, and dug his blade out from the stone, and rolled away, watching Shinji stubbing his heel on the stone Pai Sho board.
Hotaru looked at Shirou coming her way, and she shot a huge blast of air at her former-friend, who was quick to his feet and evaded the attack. Shirou drew his sword, but as he was about to bring it down over Hotaru's head, a swipe of water from Kyong grabbed the blade, and threw it to the floor. He quickly ducked as the Quadrination Bandit shot a volley of ice darts at him, which Hotaru melted with a blast of fire. Shirou picked his sword up, and watched Shinji come at Kyong from behind, preparing to land a kick in his spine. Without even looking, the Waterbender thrust a hand behind him, and Shinji strangely fell backwards, hitting his head on the stone.
"Never seen bloodbending before, have you?" Kyong asked sinisterly, shooting a blast of water at the Avatar, who evaded the attack. Shirou shook his head in frustration.
"Those guys just have too much power," he said to himself, ducking from a blast of wind from Hotaru. Kyong turned around and moved his open hands upwards, and Shinji's arms were Bloodbent upwards. He tried kicking, but Kyong sent a blast of water at him that froze around his feet. Shinji's bending was immobilized, and the bandit went for the kill.
For one second, Shirou forgot about about Kaito, killing the Avatar, hating benders. For one second, he forgot about what he knew was wrong. For one second, all that mattered was his friend's life, and stopping Kyong from becoming immortal. For one second, Shirou did what was right.
He turned his back on Hotaru, and stared at Kyong, charging at an immobilized Shinji. Shirou leaped forward, slashed his sword in front of the Waterbender, and kicked Kyong in the chest, blasting him backwards into the stone wall - half conscious. Shinji, free from his Bloodbending restriction, blasted a ball of fire at the ice around his feet, melting it. While the chance was still there, he jumped off the giant Pai Sho table, and called up to Shirou. "Let's go! We need to leave before Kyong starts attacking again!"
Shirou looked at Hotaru, desperately.
"Go!" the Avatar shouted. "Protect Shinji! I'll hold Kyong off!"
Shirou took a last glance at Hotaru, and caught up with Shinji, running down the halls. As they made it back out into the open again, the duo gazed in fear, looking at the view of the Western Air Temple. Flames were all over the place, the towers were destroyed, and everywhere there was a sense of dread filling the temple. "We have to get out of here," Shinji said. "Fast."
"As far as I can tell, we're not going to bump into Shelly the Sky Bison any time soon."
"How did The Procession get here?" Shinji asked. "They didn't fit hundreds of members on a Sky Bison."
"The Airship!" Shirou exclaimed, leaping onto a stone platform above him. "We can escape on The Procession's Airship!"
"There's only a minor problem," Shinji said. "Everyone on there wants kill us!"
"We can hide stowaway," Shirou suggested.
"Well, how do you suppose we get out?"
Shinji stopped. "Fine. We can hide stowaway. But you owe me one for lying this afternoon."
As the duo ran towards The Procession's nearby airship, running from all their friends, all their hope, watching the Western Air Temple being taken over by the Quadrination Bandits, they both knew that running wouldn't do anything.
But they kept running.
The End of Book 2
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|The Avatar Rhythm Chapters|
|Book 1 - The Fire Saga|
| The Stranger - The Fire Lord - Everburn Academy - The Lesson - The Fire Days Festival - The Meeting - The First Seminar |
Into the Fire - Out of the Ashes - The Heat of the Moment - The Laws Ignite: Part 1 - The Laws Ignite: Part 2
|Book 2 - The Air Saga|
| The Island - The Fire Nomad - The Poison Farm - The Procession - The Airbender - The Swarm - The Black Market - Nun Gate |
The Temple - The Second Seminar - The Winds of Destruction: Part 1 - The Winds of Destruction: Part 2
|Book 3 - The Water Saga|
| The Land of Ice and Fear - Frostbite - The Stars - The First Strike - The Polar Revolution - Special Operation |
The Battle at Glacier Cove - Eleven Hundred - The Third Seminar - Tax Day - Drowning Hope: Part 1 - Drowning Hope: Part 2
|Book 4 - The Earth Saga|
| Survivors - Royalty and Poverty - The Peak of Power - Avatar Mikio - The Lady and the Koto - The Final Seminar |
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