A Day On the Town
Chapter information

The Road that Never Ends





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Release date

September 8, 2011

Last chapter

Downhill Trudge to Pohan Village

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Mako Meets Yin

Setting: West Coast of Earth Kingdom; coniferous forests; small villages

Heading: Northeast

Time: 11:00 AM

Mako put the tea kit down at the foot of the town gate. Pohan Village was quite a lot bigger than it had seemed atop the hill. He was the first to set foot in the town and see its splendor.

The trees rose high above the village and the sun shone through their leaves, making a beautiful pattern of light and shadow on the stone-paved ground below.

The houses were small, mostly one-story, and they all looked nearly identical to each other, but that just made the town look even more spectacular. They were green (as it was an Earth Kingdom town) with wooden roofs, painted a golden color that sparkled in the sunlight.

Mako looked down a nearby alley to see four children playing an Earthbending game. He turned to Lee, who was lagging a little behind, for confirmation to go watch.

"Go ahead and have fun," Lee yelled to Mako, "just don't do the thing you're not supposed to do while we're traveling!" Mako was already running to the alley before Lee could finish his sentence.

He stood just outside the alley and stared at the children playing their game. There was a ball, and the game started with one person hitting it into the air with an Earthbending strike from below. The children would proceed to hit the ball into the air until it dropped. Whoever last hit the ball before it dropped wins.

"You shouldn't stand there," an older boy said to Mako nonchalantly while simultaneously striking the ball, "You might just get your head knocked off."

Mako heard none of this, however, having been entranced by the amazing spectacle before him. Wow... he thought as he stood there, mouth agape, I wonder if I could ever Firebend like they Earthbend. I'll bet I could if I practice some more. But where could I practice around here? Maybe I could tell Lee to keep watch while I practice at night. But I'm really lazy! I'll practice when I'm older. But these kids bend so good.... Mako had never seen an Earthbender before, let alone children who use that power to play a game. This only made his curiosity stronger.

Once they realized Mako wouldn't move until they stopped playing, the children let the ball fall to the ground, after which stomping their newly made pillars of rock back into the earth. "Did one of you just lose?" Mako asked stupidly, walking farther into the alley.

"No, we all quit so you wouldn't get killed," a younger girl around Mako's age answered, "So you'd probably want to thank us."

Mako totally ignored the girl's obvious request for an apology and instead began to babble on like he usually does when his excitement peaks. He was usually a bit shy when it came to new people, but he knew (or thought) that speaking to an Earthbender was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "How did you learn to Earthbend so good? Or is that just average Earthbending? It looked pretty good to me, so I'd say you're all really good Earthbenders. Am I right? Are there any more Earthbending games like that? Are all Earthbending games that fun? Do you guys play that game a lot? Can you show me you favorite game...."

Mako went on like that for about two more minutes with a plethora of questions that would never be answered. "You're not from around here, are you?" the older boy asked, amused by Mako's ability to ramble on and on for so long without drawing breath.

"No, I'm not I'm a traveler, can you show me how to play that game? Or is it an Earthbending game..."

Another minute of rambling. "Let's play a different game!" a third child said shortly, who had become less and less entertained by each excruciatingly long second. "Do you know how to play hide-and-seek?" Mako nodded eagerly. "Okay, you go hide, and we'll count to a hundred. Ready? Go!"

Mako ran from the alley to find a good spot.

Lee noticed how Mako left the tea kit at the gate and decided to do the same with the sleeping bags, but was sure to hide everything behind a large tree before he entered Pohan Village. He had made it to town a few minutes before Mako's game of hide-and-go-seek began. He, too, noticed how much larger the town was than it had seemed.

I hope he doesn't get lost, Lee thought before realizing how hungry he was. Maybe I'll get something to eat before I look for him. Lee proceeded to walk toward a small, cheap-looking cafe near the middle of town. He had stolen some gold from his father's vault (he wouldn't take Fire Nation currency), but wanted to make sure it lasted.

When he entered the cafe he ordered some noodle soup, Ginseng Tea, and some kind of exotic cake. I wonder if Mako is hungry, too. Well, when he finds me I'll ask if he wants anything. Just as he sat down and started sipping his tea, the most odd-looking person he'd ever seen in his life walked through the door.

He knew it was an Airbender, as he'd heard of how some of them had tattoos, but he'd never known of the way the women cut their hair, nor did he know of how the tattoos were arrows all over their bodies.

"One fruit pie, please," she said, handing the man a few silver pieces.

Once she got her food the Airbender looked around for a place to sit, but found that the place was full. Lee felt bad for her and piped up, "You can sit here if you want."

"Thank you!" she said cheerfully, sitting down across from Lee. "I'm Yin, of the Western Air Temple."

Lee sat there for a second, pondering just where those tattoos lead, when he realized he was staring. "Oh, sorry, I'm Lee. I was just wondering about those tattoos."

"Well, when Air Nomads accomplish something great with their Airbending, they are rewarded with these tattoos. Do you know you're eating a fruit pie?"

Lee became confused, but answered quickly, "Uh, yes?"

"Air Nomads make the best fruit cakes. They're not the same here. Oh well, I guess these'll have to do!"

This lady is way too cheery, Lee thought, once again sipping his tea. I guess you can't say that's a bad thing, though.

They each sat there for another minute until Yin asked, "So where, if you don't mind my asking, are you from?"

"Anywhere, I guess," Lee answered, smoothly avoiding further questions about where he hailed from.

"Oh," Yin said, taking a sip of her tea, "Sorry I asked."

She finally stopped with that ridiculous smile, Lee thought happily, It'll be a lot easier to talk to her without laughing now.

Lee decided to continue with some light conversation until he finished his cake. "So, how do Airbenders travel? I heard the temples are on islands on the far points of the world. I guess you used a boat?"

Yin laughed hysterically, which caused everyone in the cafe to turn their heads. Her smile had also returned. "Oh, no, we have nowhere near that much money to use a boat. We, being a nomadic people, would be broke after a few short trips! I have a Sky Bison." Lee chuckled slightly. "What? You don't think I have a Sky Bison?"

"I'm sorry, but I've never believed in fairy tales."

Yin's smile evaporated and turned into an angry frown. Her eyes narrowed, and Lee noticed he'd hurt her feelings.

At that moment an explosion was heard from outside. Everyone, including Lee and Yin, ran out of the cafe to see soldiers in red marching up the street, a fire burning at the town's front gate.

"Fire Nation," Lee said quietly, clenching his fists. Then his eyes widened in fear as he remembered he had to find someone. He looked to Yin and asked urgently, "Can you help me find my brother?"


  • This chapter is a kind of two-parter, but I didn't call it that because I didn't think it lived up to that kind of importance.
  • I modeled Yin after two people from Avatar: Joo Dee (smiley-smiley) and Aang (serious and fun).
  • Please note that Mako is a child. He won't speak proper grammar very well.

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