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Fanon:A Thousand Days

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Piandao's castle
A Thousand Days
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Total word count




Original run

12 October, 2014




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Avatar: The Last Airbender


This is my entry for the Fanonbender's contest round seven. It is also a preview for a new series that I will be working on over summer called Warriors of Makapu, telling the story of Meng, Aunt Wu, Poi, Ping, and other villagers from Makapu during and after the Hundred Year War. This One-Shot takes place after the war. The title of this fanon was inspired by the prompt for this round, a 1,000 word limit. :P

A Thousand Days



The sword was flung either side of her, though with her agile moves she managed to deflect the onslaught. Her opponent pulled his silver weapon back with both hands, preparing to thrust it straight forward. She wouldn't have enough time to jump out of the way. Instead, she lent her whole upper body behind her, arching her back as the sword nearly reached her chin. From this deceivingly vulnerable position she kicked her left foot to the right, missing her opponent's sword, though it gave her a chance to straighten her body and attempt to flick sand at his face with her weapon scraping the ground. However, just like her kick the sand missed her target. It elicited a small chuckle from his mouth.

"My last student, Sokka, tried that one on me already," Piandao smiled. "You'll have to do better than that, Meng."

Meng smirked through gritted teeth. He was right though, she would have to do better. Bringing her weapon up to her shoulder, blade facing her master, she lurched forward and swung the sword to the left. Piandao clashed his own sword against hers, the sounds of clanging metal against metal echoing around them. She lashed out again, and again, though each time her master was just quick enough to deflect it. After a few more attacks Meng pulled back, keeping her weapon steady but pausing to catch her breath. Piandao did the same.

"It has nearly been three years now, hasn't it? For nearly three years you have been my student. Do you remember when I first found you?"

Meng laughed, "How could I forget? I waited outside your home for a month." She managed a chuckle in between her breathing.

Piandao nodded, "But can you remember why I left you there for a whole month?" He narrowed his eyes, still smiling.

Meng answered with a slash to her left, nearly cutting though the sleeve of his shirt. After dodging her first attack, Piandao flung his own sword forwards, forcing Meng back to the spot where she started.

His student paused again. "It hasn't been three years yet, though today marks the one-thousandth day of me being your student."

Piandao placed his free hand on his chin, deep in thought, "Hmmm... You count time in days rather than years? Why is that?"

Meng sighed, turning to look out at the scene before her. The rolling green hills, the cloudless deep blue sky above. It was really quite spectacular. "There was a time when I used to think that way; where would I be in ten years time? What I will be doing? Who I will marry?" She closed her eyes, "But then people I cared about were taken from me."

When her eyes reopened, Meng pulled her sword to the side, "The people I loved were murdered before my eyes, and I realized that I didn't have years to live or look forward too. My life could be taken in an instant." With her right foot she pushed off the earth, leaping though the air and swinging her sword to the left.

Piandao blocked one of her attacks but had to step back to avoid the second after Meng landed. "When one is on the battlefield, they must have a clear head. They cannot let themselves be clouded by future events, or desires of their heart," Meng continued. Another clash of swords, followed by an elbow from Meng which struck the air near Piandao.

"And if one is able to think only of the present, their most basic survival instinct and willingness to live, than one will find--" She stopped mid-sentence, flinging her weapon to the right while her master ducked to the left. But as her sword was flying she swept her left foot along the earth, tripping Piandao, and then turned her body around using her right foot to knock his sword out of his hands.

Her shoulders heaving in time with her breathing, Meng pointed her sword towards Piandao on the ground, "...Than one will find that they are able to defeat any enemy."

Piandao laughed as his student put her weapon away and lent him a hand. Once he was standing, he placed a hand on Meng's shoulder, "Congratulations, Meng. After one-thousand days as my student you were able to best me."

"Master, I know you were going easy on me. But thank you." Both the master and the student placed a fist into their other opened hand, and bowed to one another.

"Nonsense," Her master replied with a wink. "This calls for a celebration. Fat," Piandao called out to his butler, "Would you please fetch us some tea?" The butler grunted in reply, setting off to complete the request. Piandao turned back to his pupil, "Meng, I have taught you all I can about the way of the sword, but would you let me teach you what I know about the way of life?"

His student nodded, bowing slightly, "Of course master Piandao"

"I once thought like you did; living one day at a time, not knowing if I would wake to see the sun rise in the morning," As he spoke he kept his eyes fixed on some unknown point in the distance. "But still, there is a part of every person that yearns for something more than just survival. Perhaps destiny. Purpose. Love. And it is faith in these things that keeps a man going through life." He glanced back at his student, "Meng, do not lose sight of the big picture. We are here to do more than simply exist; we are here to make a difference, in whatever way destiny has planned us to. Have faith in what the future holds."

Meng smiled, bowing her head, "Thank you master for your words."

"And you never know; perhaps that 'Man with big ears' is waiting for you out there?" Piandao grinned.

A smirk formed from her lips, though deep down Meng knew her master was right.

Author's Notes

Like what you've read? Be sure to check out Warriors of Makapu when it is released. ;)

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