|More from Henryjh98||Adventure||PG-13||Positive||Not yet|
|A Trio of Thieves|
, , , ,
July 25, 2012
Previously on Avatar: The Sole Woodbender; Sozai's Story
|"The anger residing in Sozai's stomach boiled and churned, that comment making it want to explode. For a split second, Sozai fought himself, but the anger won. "That's rich!" he roared. "It's not safe! Oh, it's not safe for me because I'm royal! Well, it's not safe for them either, but you don't see their parents keeping them in a palace, do you? No, you don't! I hate this stupid palace! I hate you stupid people! I hate my life!""|
|" An enormous fleet of Earth Kingdom pirate ships were anchored in the bay, catapulting rocks into the city, covering a huge distance in one throw. Streams of green clad men scurried off the ships, sprinting into battle in the Harbor Town. Sozai's eyes grew wide in fear. What was happening was unheard of for decades. Centuries."|
|" The anger residing in Sozai's stomach boiled and churned, that comment making it want to explode. For a spli second, Sozai fought himself, but the anger won. "That's rich!" he roared. "It's not safe! Oh, it's not safe for me because I'm royal! Well, it's not safe for them either, but you don't see their parents keeping them in a palace, do you? No, you don't! I hate this stupid palace! I hate you stupid people! I hate my life!""|
Voice of Ahkang
Water. Earth. Fire. Air.
The monks would tell me how since the time of the first Avatar, there have been four bending elements, and a nation to go along with each one; The Fire Nation, the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Air Nomads.
But everything changed fifteen years ago, when the Earth Kingdom split and a new element rose. On that fateful night, the sky lit up a great white color, the color of my eyes at my most powerful. Nobody knew what it was.
I do. I know. A fifth element has come into this world, granted by the spirits. The element's entry has defied the Avatar Cycle. Defied the world. But the new element is our only hope, our only way to survive. We must protect it. We must.
I belive Mozukai can save the world.
Water. Earth. Fire. Air.
A Trio of Thieves
Sozai could still see the hundreds of ships flashing in his mind as he and Mozu ran back in the direction of the palace. Rocks flew through the sky, exploding ice on impact.
"How do they do that?" asked Mozu. "How do rocks explode ice? It doesn't make sense!"
Sozai shrugged. "We need to get back to the-"
He was cut off as someone ran out of their house and pushed him to the side. The crowd was getting larger and everyone was panicking. Sozai and Mozu were shunted along with the throng of people. The prince grabbed onto his friend, so they would not get separated in the panicking group.
Screams and shouts ripped apart the sky. People yelled for loved ones and family as they were pushed apart. Soon, the screams grew even louder and noisier, followed by a great boom. Sozai and Mozu were thrown against a wall by the sheer force of the impact. Just twenty feet away, there was a huge circle of ice, and in the center of the ring were several crushed bodies and tangled heaps of the poor souls who had been smashed by the rock.
"Run!" screamed Mozu. "Just run!"
Sozai and Mozu scurried up and sprinted off in what they thought was the direction of the palace. Little did they know that they were heading the opposite direction, and with each step they took it made it even harder to reach their real destination.
Another boulder soared over the ridge of the caldera and exploded right over a fountain that Mozu and Sozai were running too. Ice sprayed out, causing Sozai to slip on the surface. He slid forward and rammed into the fountain at a fast speed. A jarr of pain shot up his leg and he screamed out loudly.
"Come on, Sozai!" Mozu cried, rushing to his friend's aid. He grabbed Sozai by the arms and pulled him up. Sozai staggered to his feet and began to hobble forward at a fast speed. People ran pell-mell around them, and they had to be careful to not collide with anyone.
A huge rock crashed some two hundred feet behind them and people heading in that direction screamed and turned around, pushing Mozu and Sozai along with them. They spun around and couldn't gain control of where they were going. By the time Sozai realized what was happening, it was too late.
"They're pushing us out of the caldera!" he yelled to Mozu.
"No!" exclaimed Mozu. "No! That'll just bring us closer to the pirates!"
Sozai nodded as he and Mozu were pushed out of the gates of the Royal Caldera City and down the winding road leading to the harbor town.
"Won't the guards stop us?" Mozu asked to no one in particular.
Sozai looked over the edge of the path and saw dozens upon dozens of firebenders and swordsmen running down the bottom of the volcano, heading into battle. He shook his head and blinked twice. "No, because they are heading into the town. Just like us."
Mozu gulped loudly. "What do we do?"
Sozai shrugged, but he was lying. He knew what he was going to do once they reached the harbor town. The plan had come to him when he had rammed into the fountain. It was nowhere near foolproof, but he hoped desperately that it would work.
"Let's get out of this crowd before we get knocked off of the path!" Mozu said, shoving his way through everyone and beckoning for Sozai to follow. They pushed and shoved to get everyone out of the way, and after a couple minutes, the duo reached the front of the throng of people. Sozai craned his neck and looked over the crowds, and it seemed that hundreds of people had been pushed, and were being pushed, out of the city and down the volcano.
A huge rock soared towards the city, but fell short and hit the side of the mountain. Ice sprayed in all directions and rocks tumbled down, crushing unfortunate citizens. Screams rose from the crowds, loud and obnoxious, but Sozai could understand their fear. Nothing like this had ever happened to the Fire Nation Capital. Never before had they been attacked. Barely any citizens knew what to do, so when people began to panic, it felt instinctive for the others to do the same.
After turning around one more corner, Sozai and Mozu were on the final stretch to get off of the volcano. He could see, down near the town, dozens upon dozens of firebenders were streaming to help fight against the pirates. Pedestrians fled from the city, running in all directions to flee the fighting. Sozai assumed the same would happen once these citizens reached the level ground. They would just stream off in all directions to get away from the fighting.
Sozai sprinted the last slant and continued to run as he reached the green grass, with Mozu right behind him. The prince took a glance back; his assumptions were right. The hundreds of people climbing down the mountain just began to run off in all directions as soon as they touched the ground. Nobody wanted to linger. Sozai turned back around and sprinted as fast as he could.
"Sozai, why are we going into the fight!" screamed Mozu.
"Just follow me!" Sozai shouted back.
They reached the soldiers running to the town and weaved their way in and out, dodging between the fighters. Once they escaped the crowd of firebenders, they had Harbor Town citizens to deal with. The panicking people had no destination and had no regard for anyone but themselves. Not one person even bothered to get out of the way for Sozai and Mozu, much less anyone. He watched as a teenager girl fell down, only to be trampled by other people running.
Mozu dived to help her up, but was knocked down by other citizens fleeing. Gasping in fright, Sozai knocked people out of his way and pulled his friend up. Mozu, acting quickly, grabbed the girl by her collar and dragged her to her feet. He looked her in the eyes and said, "Get far, far away from here. Stay out of the crowd. Run."
The girl nodded, wide-eyed and thankful, and ran in a direction to get out of the huge throng of people. Sozai grabbed Mozu and they continued to run to the Harbor Town. More and more people streamed out and several times, Sozai caught glimpses of pirates fighting their way through the town.
As a huge flood of people sprinted out of one road and into the trampled, dying grass, Sozai and Mozu burst into the city, only to meet a score of people desperate for the fields and safety beyond. These white-stoned buildings with red tiled roofs were in perfect condition, but farther into the city, buildings were crushed and burning, smoke curling into the air.
A pirate popped out around a corner and laughed loudly. He swung his sword at Sozai, who nimbly dodged it. Sozai quickly sent a blast of fire at the pirate, striking him in the chest. The pirate swung around and topple down, his chest burned. He breathed heavily, a pleading look in his eyes. Mozu grabbed a nearby bucket of water and dumped it on the man's chest, causing it to sizzle and the fire went out.
"Take his stuff," said Sozai. "The swords and knives. You can't firebend, so you'll need some weapons. And, while we're at it, you might as well snatch his coin purse, too."
Mozu nodded and grabbed the sword out of the man's hand, then snatched up another sword and two knives. He cut the small pouch from the man's belt and stuffed it into his pocket, hearing the jingle of coins. Lastly, he rammed the pirate's temple with the butt of the sword hilt, rendering him unconscious.
Sozai grabbed one of the swords and then continued to run, closely followed by Mozu. They darted in and out of alleyways, weaved through people, and skirted around pirates. However, they couldn't evade the invaders forever. It was a nearly impossible feat to achieve.
Ten minutes after they had assaulted that first pirate, Sozai and Mozu rounded a corner, only to find nearly a dozen pirates fighting three firebenders. The firebenders were overwhelmed, and with every time they were attacked, they were pushed further up against the wall. One of them sent a fire slice at a pirate and knocked him down, but other than that, none of their attacks were doing anything.
Sozai's face went distraught as he watched a lithe pirate stab one of the firebenders in the heart. A scream tore out of one of the other firebender's mouth, Sozai could take it no longer, He turned to Mozu. "I have to help," he muttered.
Mozu nodded and drew his curved blade. The pirates still hadn't noticed them, so they had the element of surprise. Sozai tightly grabbed his sword and closed his eyes. They flashed open and he roared loudly, fire streaming out of his mouth. "Get out of my city!" he shouted. Sozai blasted himself into the air by shooting fire out of his feet. He flipped over and sent three quick punches into the pirates. They scattered quickly, but one of them was not so fortunate. The pirate toppled to the ground, his hair on fire.
Sozai, still in the air, screwed up his nose at the scent of burning hair. He began his descent onto the ground, falling right over the pirate he had just disabled. Lightly, Sozai landed next to him and slashed both of his arms, making him nearly useless.
Mozu, meanwhile, snuck behind the group and hacked at a couple of pirates quickly, before they could react. They spun around and two more attacked him. Mozu ducked under a slash with a sword and slid in between the pirate's legs. He spun around and scrambled to his feet, ramming the hilt of his sword into the back of the pirate's head. The muscular figure toppled to the ground, unconscious.
Sozai kicked out at a pirate rushing to him, blasting him backwards with a huge jet of fire. The man stumbled backwards and then toppled against a wall, banging his head hard on the flawless, white stone. Another pirate charged at Sozai, lashing out with a club. Sozai nimbly dodged underneath and spun around behind the pirate, kneeing him in the back. Yelling loudly, the pirate arched his back and dropped his club in pain. Sozai kicked him in the nose, breaking it.
By now, the two other firebenders had regained hope of surviving and charged forward into the battle, sending fire blasts everywhere. Sozai and Mozu kicked, punched, and burned their way through the squabble until the only people standing were them and the two guards. Two guards ran away in fear, screaming loudly, while another hobbled away on a twisted ankle, his hair on fire. Around them were the bodies of dead and unconscious pirates.
"Thank you," said one of the guards. "You saved us."
Sozai nodded and then turned away, sprinting down a road. Mozu followed in his wake. They continued their run through the city, and now more and more pirates were being spotted by the duo. The carnage was everywhere. Buildings crushed, dead bodies slumped against the walls and spread eagle on the ground. People screamed and ran past them, while a small number of soldiers and guards worked to defend the city. They rushed to and fro, slicing with their spears and shooting their fire.
As Sozai and Mozu rounded a corner, a loud command startled them and saved their lives. "Spears!" roared a Fire Nation commander, at the head of twenty soldiers. Each one leaned back and snapped forward, throwing deadly looking barbed spears at onrushing pirates.
"Duck!" screamed Mozu, flattening himself and Sozai to the ground. They looked on and saw the first twelve pirates in the group fall to the ground with spears sticking out of their chests. Three more staggered around, spears impaled in their legs or arms. The other seven spears missed entirely. Then, taking on the pirates' surprise, the soldiers ran forward and began hacking their way through the rest of the pirates. Only two made it out of the struggle, and they looked pretty bad.
Sozai stood up and grabbed Mozu's shirt. "Come on," he growled, jogging off in the opposite direction of the battle. Mozu staggered up and followed at a quick pace. As they were walking, Sozai glimpsed the harbor and saw hundreds of boats. He turned that way, but then stopped. The Royal Plaza would be filled with firebenders keeping out the pirates.
And sure enough, it was. Sozai took a right turn and ended up looking out over the long Plaza. Bodies were strewn across the ground, ice covering much of the surface. Smoke and fire rose up in the sky, and still, dozens of figures were fighting for their lives there. However, the Fire Nation soldiers seemed to be losing the battle.
"This is terrible," Mozu muttered. "I wish we could help," he added.
Sozai frowned, his eyebrows creased. "You know how we can help?" he asked, emotion audible in his voice.
Mozu turned to him. "We can't fight them. Two people won't make a difference."
"No, it won't," said Sozai. "But thousands of Earth Kingdom soldiers will." He grabbed Mozu's collar and dragged him away from the awful sight.
"Sozai, we can't leave the city!" he protested.
"We have to get help," Sozai shot back. "Or else everyone will die."
Sozai rounded on Mozu, his faces inches from his friend's. Tears of rage and anger glistened in his shiny amber eyes. "Listen, Mozu!" he roared. "I am helping my nation, my people whether you like it or not! Now are you coming with me or are you going to stay here like a coward?"
Mozu dropped his head and muttered something under his breath, inaudible to Sozai. Sozai groaned loudly and rolled his eyes. "What?" he snapped.
"I. . . I will come with you," he muttered.
Sozai nodded and then said, "Let's go. Hurry!"
The duo took off running down the streets. Citizens still ran from the terror, but most had escaped the town. . . well, at least most of the survivors had fled. Often, Sozai and Mozu had to leap over fallen bodies and dodge around dead soldiers. For every one dead pirate, there were three dead Fire Nation citizens or soldiers.
It pained Sozai to see all this carnage. As they went deeper into the city, the happened more and more upon crushed building and burning roofs until all around them was ruins and destruction. Three minutes ago, they had passed four pirates fighting an old woman, who, astonishingly beat them with her purse, but pirates were no running amuck through the streets, with little or no resistance. Thrice, Sozai saw people get cut down by the pirates.
Now, as they ran through the half-crumbled buildings and burning wooden frames, dead bodies were more and more common. Tears sprung to Sozai's eyes when he happened upon two children, under the age of six, holding hands, still and cold in their death. Looks of terror were upon their face and blood was stained across their chest.
His chest heaved in and out and he closed his eyes, furious with rage. He threw back his head and puffed out his chest, roaring loudly. A forty-foot column of flames erupted from his mouth, like an angry dragon. Mozu backed against a wall, his face rigid with fear. He had never seen his friend like this, and now he was terrified.
After about ten seconds, Sozai closed his mouth and fell onto his knees. He felt a desire to kill every last pirate. . . but no, he needed to escape and get backup for his town, more people to help. It was their only hope. He looked at Mozu and stood up.
"We need to get out of here, and fast."
Mozu nodded and they jogged away. They rounded a corner and saw a demolished house, rocks and debris everywhere. A couple dead bodies were slumped against the wall of a building across the alley, but there was a girl under the debris, wood covering her hips and her legs.
And she was alive.
Sozai rushed over to her and raised her head. There was blood and her eyes were closed, but her mouth was moving. "Are you okay?" he asked.
The girl's eyelids fluttered open, revealing eyes so amber they were nearly gold. She smiled weakly and attempted to push herself up. The debris on her legs stopped her.
"Mozu, get all the wood and stuff off of her," Sozai ordered.
Mozu immediately went to work throwing off all the wood. The girl opened her eyes wider and looked, grateful, at Sozai. "Thank you," she croaked. "I couldn't get it off myself."
Sozai began to slowly pull her out under the ever shrinking pile of debris. Soon, he pulled her up out of the destroyed home and was supporting her as she stood.
"What's your name?" asked Mozu, looking at her beautiful face.
"Kibozhi," she replied. "My father is a fisherman, a poor one at that. We live here."
"Your father is a fisherman?" exclaimed Sozai. "Can we use his boat? We are trying to get out of the Fire Nation and go get help from the Earth Kingdom."
"But we don't know how to get past the battle in the Royal Plaza, which is the only way to the harbor," said Mozu.
Kibozhi bit her lower lip for several long moments, but then smiled and looked at the duo. "No, it's not," she said. "I know a way to get to the harbor. I use it a lot when I wanted to get out of the city and sit on the beach. Without going through the defenses at the Royal Plaza. Now follow me, quickly."
Kibozhi darted away from her houses at a fast speed, Sozai and Mozu following close behind. They took back roads, so they hadn't seen a pirate for some time. Finally, Sozai glimpsed green grass as they passed an alley, but Kibozhi kept them running parallel to the fields for another minute. Then she turned down a wide street, only to find their way blocked by five pirates.
Before the pirates even had a chance to notice the trio, Kibozhi leapt in the air and did a roundhouse kick, sending out a stream of fire. She landed lightly and then punched one of the pirates in the nose. Behind her a pirate was raising his sword, but before Sozai could shout a warning, Kibozhi spun around and hit the pirate in the solar plexus with the back of her hand. While he was doubling over in pain, she kicked him in the jaw. His head snapped backwards and he toppled down, cowering in pain.
Next, she slid under a sword swung at her and jabbed up at the pirates wrist and elbow three times. His arm went limp and the sword flew out of his hand. Sozai kicked it further down the street. Then Kibozhi smacked the man in the face. She leapt over him and kicked him in the backside, right before blasting the fourth pirate in the face with fire. The pirate screamed loudly and sprinted away.
Finally, it was her and the final pirate. His legs were buckling with fear, while a grim smile and a challenging look shone in Kibozhi's eyes. Cautiously, he charged forward and threw his whip at Kibozhi. Amazingly, she grabbed the whip and burned it. She leapt towards the man and punched him in the gut and kicked him behind the knees. The pirate gulped as he hit the ground hard.
The whole fight lasted about ten seconds and it was amazing how well Kibozhi had fought. She had unarmed, knocked out, and disabled five born fighters single handedly. Sozai and Mozu both stood with their mouths open, eyes wide, shoulders slumped in an awed position.
"What are you gawking at?" she snapped. "Come on!" She turned heel and ran quickly out into the fields. Sozai and Mozu followed.
"You're a firebender?" Mozu asked, awestruck.
"What of it?"
"Nothing," he said, flabbergasted. Sozai himself was pretty impressed, even though he was a firebender too.
After about ten minutes, they came to a stop over a huge staircase. Without a thought, they scrambled down the stairs and landed softly on sand when a couple minutes had gone by.
"Where is your boat?" asked Mozu eagerly.
Kibozhi looked around, but it took her a while to reply. "I. . . I think they sunk everyone of our ships!" she exclaimed. "How will we get out?"
Sozai quickly scanned the three or four hundred boats moored on the harbor and his eyes fell upon a small boat that could probably only hold a crew of ten. He pointed at it and said, "We are going to steal that boat from them and take it to the Earth Kingdom."
Kibozhi and Mozu flashed doubtful looks at each other, but Sozai was stubborn and it was their only option. They quickly ran along the wooden harbor docks and then hopped onto the boat. They met no resistance, just barrels of food and water. "Good, it is well supplied," Kibozhi muttered. She nodded at Mozu. "Raise the sail. I'll take the steering oar for now, but once we get further out, I have an idea. Sozai, are you a firebender?"
"Good," she said. "Now, I want you to burn every single boat we pass," she added as she hoisted the anchor up and burned the mooring rope. "Let's get going."
Sozai nodded nervously. His insides were quaking, a mixed of fear, anxiety, and joy. He was escaping his life in the Fire Nation and finally getting out. He should have been happy. . . yet something seemed wrong. Shrugging, he rushed to the port side and began fire blasts of flames at the pirate boats he was passing. They caught quickly, especially the sails. The few pirates who remained on board the ships began to scream and shout in nervousness and tried to put the fires out, but it was too late. They sailed out of the armada and into the open ocean, leaving behind them nearly twenty burning boats.
Twenty minutes later, when they could barely see the shore, Kibozhi handed the steering oar over to Mozu, who had a little experience with boats and approached Sozai. "We're going to sit on the back of the boat and stick our feet in the water. Then we will firebend out of our feet and speed our escape. It works; trust me."
Sozai nodded and then sat about five feet apart. He stuck his toes into the ocean water and felt a sense of cold rush through his body. Yet, it felt. . . free. The water. . . it was free. The air was free. He was free. As he put his hands on the wooden deck, a smile played on his lips. For the first time in his life, he finally felt free.
He channeled his chi through his feet and fire erupted, as with Kibozhi. Just as she said, the boat seemed to speed up and it traced a path through the ocean, heading east to the Earth Kingdom.
Nearly fifteen hours later, the shores of the Earth Kingdom came into view in the dark horizon. Night had fallen many hours ago and now the stars and the moon were the only source of light. But, still the shore was growing closer and Sozai felt a growing sense of anticipation. He was nervous, scared, and excited all at the same time.
There was a loud grinding noise as the boat came ran aground, beached like a panda-whale. Sozai and Kibozhi hopped off, landing softly in the few inches of water. The girl beckoned for Mozu to stay up there and begin to toss down supplies, but not too many to carry.
"What are we going to do with the boat?" asked Sozai.
Kibozhi was silent for a minute, in thought. Then she turned to Sozai with a sincere look on her face. "We might as well burn it," she said. "It'll make sure nobody can steal it and because we probably will not use it again."
Sozai nodded, jumping in fright as two bag full of food hit the sand next to him, followed by three sleeping rolls. Next, a pouch of gold fell down and landed on top of the pile. Mozu jumped off and landed next to the pile, grabbing a bag and a sleeping roll. Sozai and Kibozhi both grabbed the same and Kibozhi took the gold.
"When we reach town, we'll want to buy a tent or something."
The other two nodded and they set off up the beach and climbed the green hill at the back of the beach. They summited it and then looked around, trying to see the dim lights of a town that they could head too. Sozai was peering west when he heard a sharp crack. "What was that?" he asked, head whipping around. He dropped into a defensive stance, but heard no reply from his friends.
Then his breathing was cut short as a huge, gloved hand wrapped around his mouth and pulled him backwards. "Don't think about fighting," a person said, their voice deep and gravelly. "You wouldn't want anything to happen to your friends, would you?"
Sozai's eyes darted frantically around and he saw Kibozhi and Mozu in similar situations. He gulped loudly and saw at least a dozen men scattered around, holding torches and weapons. How had they not seen their captors?
"Round 'em up!" cried the man holding Sozai, who appeared to be the leader. "They're young and fit; they'll make great slaves!"
The others laughed as they threw the trio onto a cart and tied them up tightly, so they couldn't move. Afraid to talk, they all cast nervous glances at each other.
They were not free. They were slaves.
- In a chapter in the second book, you will find out how the rocks explode and shoot out ice. Yipee!
- The scene where the old woman is beating back pirates with her purse was originally more detailed, but then somehow the author exited out of editing and lost it all, so he didn't feel like writing it again and it became the way it is now.
- The concept of making your boat go faster was stolen from his counsin's fanon .
- The author has no idea how long it takes for a boat to cross the Mo Ce Sea.
|Avatar: The Sole Woodbender Chapters|
|• • • • • • • • The Shinu Resistance • A Brewing Storm • To Flee, or Not to Flee • A Gale for Battle, Part 1-Four Fusion Furies • A Gale for Battle, Part 2-Airship Escape|
|Crash Landing • Imprisonment • When Paper Comes in Handy|
For the collective works of the author, go here.