|More from Azulazulazula||Adventure, Drama||PG-13||Highly Positive|
|A Death Mass, an Injury, and an Ever-Changing Heart|
Book One: Freedom
A Blossoming Rose
Jong and Partida duel with a large group of Dai Li agents in the newly-captured Omashu'.
Partida's eyes were bright blue. But now, they let off a scarlet glow. The first fireball had been launched. Flames seemed to engulf her. She was paralyzed, her eyes locked on the fire approaching her. And as she began to feel the intense heat, her line of vision was broken. An earth wall rose from the ground. She was saved. And she was no longer dazed. She was ready to fight.
A nearby pipe cracked, revealing water frozen by Partida. As quickly as it had frozen, the water melted, now soaring toward a Dai Li agent. Ever elusive, he rose above her, riding a column of earth. From the column shot two thin earth spikes, one hurling toward Partida; the other at Jong. Jong lept to the side, and forward, the spike sailing past him and stabbing a wall. Partida, on the other hand, drew water from the pipe, creating a wall in front of her. The wall froze before their eyes. But it was shattered by the earth spike, which fell helplessly to the ground. Partida charged forward, Jong at her side riding a wave of earth. Her arms flew back, and returned with two thick rows of water, flying toward a firebender. The man shot a string of fire to block it, but it pushed forward. And the man fell backwards, down a hill.
Jong approached two Dai Li agents, each wielding rock gloves. As they moved toward him, Jong ducked, easily avoiding them. Now riding a wave of earth, Jong stood two feet taller than the agents. Suddenly, the earth collapsed from under him, as he returned to flat ground, tumbling. On either side of him, earth walls approached him. Fast. Regaining himself and standing up, Jong jumped bakwards, escaping being crushed to death. Cutting two blocks of earth from the collided walls, Jong sent them reeling at the agents whom he previously attacked. They were struck, one in the stomach, one in the head. One fell down upon being hit, blood dripping from his nostrils and his forehead alike. The other was sent reeling back, stopped only by a metal factory as the block bounced off of him. Jong moved on quickly.
As Jong burst forward, Partida felt a pelt of rain upon her cheek. Turning her gaze to the sky, millions of blue raindrops were plummeting to the ground. Another one hit her cheek. And in that instant, she attacked. The drops poured down now, drenching each of the fighters. But Partida was dry. And she surrounded herself with ripples of water. Each contender stared in amazement. But soon, the water didn't surround her. It gathered behind her, rising higher and higher. Jong quickly removed himself from in front of the wall of the water, and it powered forward. Some agents formed a protective wall. Some tried to rise above it. Some even tried to outrun it. But almost all of them were engulfed in the wall of water; the great tsunami.
When the water cleared, Partida looked around. Bodies lay still. Some were bleeding. Some were clean. Some weren't even that wet. But none of them were moving. One man was stripped of his shirt. But you couldn't tell. Cuts covered him. A flood of blood flowed off his body. His tattered pants were now a deep crimson. He looked like he was in a red full-body suit. And a tear scurried down her face. Even some of the metal buildings were tattered piles of rubble. Partida wondered if anybody was buried in there. But she never was able to ask. For when she tried to speak, she broke down into tears. Jong ran to comfort her. But he was stopped. Out of the ground jumped five spheres of earth, each about six feet wide. As they fell to the ground, the earth around them disintegrated. And five Dai Li agents remained.
Each one dug their hands into the ground, and the very ground itself began to crumble. Jongrose an Earth column beneath his feet to protect himself. But Partida was defenseless. Standing, fighting back tears, she could only watch as the ground fell to pieces. But she didn't. Pulling the rain from the air, she combined them into a thin disk, placing it beneath her feet. Freezing it, she lifted it into the air with Waterbending, still standing atop it. The ground continued to crumble. Jong's column of earth joined it, breaking into millions of pieces.
The column shattered, and Jong plummeted to the ground. Only Partida saved him, riding under the collapsing column. As she caught Jong, a shard of earth stabbed her in the arm. But the pain was worth it. Jong was safe.
The Dai Li agents stood on a lone column, surrounded by the newly-created trench. They fired rocks at the pair, but avoiding them wasn't hard. With the rain drops, Partida formed another disk of water; this one, however, was much bigger. With the frozen water, Partida sliced it through the earth column. The top part slid off the bottom, leaving all the agents to fall into the trench; all but one. One agent jumped onto the bottom portion of the column, regaining his balance. And as Jong and Partida, sparing him, flew away, he stared at them, fire in his eyes. Jong met his gaze with crooked eyebrows, staring at the man until he was out of sight.
"I think we're safe here," Jong offered calmly. Partida nodded, and landed the disk. The pair stepped off, and Jong noticed the hole in her arm. It was bleeding. Not much, but it was bleeding nonetheless. "Partida, what's wrong with your arm?" he demanded, in a worried tone.
"Oh...when I caught you, a rock shard stabbed me. I'm okay," she explained. But before she even finished, Jong had punched her arm in three places, smiling all the while. And the pain subsided. "What did you just do?" She impared.
"Just a little trick I learned from a Chi Blocker in prison..." he began. But he stopped, as his eyes met her eyes. He could have explained how the Chi paths in the body can cause life, and death. Joy, and pain. They could even control one's state of mind. But he got lost in the moment. Lost in her eyes. They were both covered in dirt. They looked like they were about to keel over. But they wouldn't. They leaned in, and they closed their eyes in the dimming of the light of day.
And they kissed.
- This chapter takes place between City of Walls and Secrets and The Tales of Ba Sing Se.
- This will likely be the final chapter of Rebel released in 2011.
- "And the kissed" was also the ending to "Sudden Silence, Sudden Heat," another Rebel chapter.
For the collective works of the author, go here.