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|A New Home|
April 19, 2010
A New Home is the fourth chapter of Honor Thy Father.
The Avatar Family decides to relocate.
A Return to Serenity Edit
Master Lin returned with Katara after Kuan-Yin signaled her using a mirror. The prisoners were taken into an improvised stone cell that Aang bent out of the temple's masonry. A messenger hawk was sent to the closest Earth Kingdom regiment. They were asked to collect the prisoners for further questioning. After the situation was under control, the smaller children were taken out of hiding. When Aang had made sure everything was as back to normal as possible, he immediately met with his council. He also called Tengu, as he was informed by the masters that it had been he who had first become aware of the ambush plan.
“They were a bit careless. They lit a fire to warm themselves two nights ago. I spotted them by the side of that cliff.” He pointed to an outrock about five miles away. “I put on my cloak and glided closer to assess their size. I knew we could take them in a clean fight, but the Black Lotus does not fight clean. The children would have surely been hurt. That's why I recommended an alternative: a counter-ambush if you will.”
Master Kuan-Yin continued “Tengu estimated it would take them at least a day to reach us, which would give us time to prepare for their arrival. We put the children away, into safety.”
“That was a great plan, Tengu. Very well thought”.
“Thank You, Master Aang.” Emboldened, he progressed. “Master, if I may speak my mind.”
Aang knew what followed, but nodded anyhow.
“I know these people well. They're ruthless and relentless. They're far too dangerous to let live.”
An uneasy silence followed.
“Tengu,” Aang said “we have been through this before – I'm an advocate of peace, as it is the way of the Air Nomads. As one of us, you are both encouraged and expected to re-think your position on violence.”
“I understand, Master Aang.”
He stopped arguing then, knowing that the opportunity to address the issue would present again itself – probably a lot faster than anyone would want.
Master Chang intervened “Master Aang – These killers, they've been spotted around these mountains before, doing other 'errands'. I believe you may no longer be safe here.”
Master Kuan-Yin also spoke “And, not to sound selfish Master, but there's the children to think of: if you choose to stay here, the place will be a target. It will be hard on the children if they are forced to live in a place that's always under attack.”
The oldest sister of four, Kuan-Yin was a refugee in Ba Sing Se when she met Aang. Her home village had been constantly assailed by the Fire Nation until it had finally been destroyed. She knew what she was talking about.
The words were heavy on Aang's heart. He turned around to face Katara. Her eyes welled up with tears, as she had learned to love the Northern Temple. Master Lin hugged and kissed her, with misty eyes herself. Aang felt his own eyes well up. He looked at the charred courtyard. He looked at the children, hidden between the columns, only their little shaved heads peeking, trying to spy on them.
He finally said “ I would go to the Southern Temple, but there's just too many memories – too many ghosts...” Aang looked at Katara again and said “Maybe we could move in with Gran Gran and Hakoda for some time?”
Katara smiled and nodded. All smiled. She would surely do best at home.
“Please wash Appa for me.”
“If Yao and Cheng could help us pack the essentials." Both nodded and bowed.
Aang continued "The trip here was long and we all need some rest, especially after what just happened. We will need to rest tonight and leave at dawn tomorrow.”
Preparations were thus underway.
The next day, they bid everyone farewell. Once they were flying south, Katara asked. “How did you know?”
“Well... Tengu came out to receive me by himself. The masters are the ones who usually come out to greet me. Tengu usually just handles the luggage. Besides, he also said you looked ravishing...”
“What about that?” Katara asked, starting to feel her juices working.
Aang smiled at her. Katara stared back angrily at him: morning sickness in full bloom, just like the day before, and the dark circles under her eyes deepened by her stern expression.
He half-laughed as he replied: “Tengu never lies...”
Aang laughed as Katara slapped his head.
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