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May 13, 2013
"Come on guys, can't we stop just for tonight?" Aang asked. The rain was lashing down and they were walking down a long, muddy dirt path.
"Fine... there's an inn further up the road," said Sokka, pointing to a sign. They picked up their pace and reached the wooden building. Appa lay down under a shelter and let out a groan of relief.
"We'll be inside buddy," said Aang, stroking Appa's fur. The door creaked open and inside was a warm lobby. A bearded man was leaning on a counter reading a small book. Aang slowly walked towards him, gazing at the room and its unique decor. "Hello?" The man peered from his book and sat it down.
"Can I help you?" he asked as he looked back towards his book.
"Um... can we rent a room for tonight?" Aang asked, almost intimidated by the size of the man.
"Aye, you got money?" Asked the bearded man.
"How much for tonight?" said Katara opening her purse.
"5 copper coins." She handed him the coins and he smiled, taking them and sliding them into his pocket. "Feel free to sit by the fire, and if you're thirsty, first set of drinks are free." They gathered around the open fire and sat down.
"It's nice," said Katara, running her hands through her hair.
"Yeah, I'm surprised..." said Sokka as he removed his soaked jacket and leaned backwards on his chair. The door creaked open and a short hooded figure walked inside.
He walked up to the group and sat at the opposite end of the fire. "Hey folks..." he said as he sat down. His voice was light, that of a young boy.
"Ummm...." groaned Sokka uneasily.
"Hey, how are you?" said Aang, with a warm smile. The figure took down its hood; beneath was a young boy. He took out a short, straight pipe and lit the opposite end.
"I'm good... where're you heading?" he asked, taking a short puff of the pipe.
"Inver Garvin, a highlander village," replied Aang. The boy smiled as he blew a short ring of smoke.
"You're in luck, that's my home village." He continued to take short puffs and Aang leaned backwards, relaxing at last.
"Can you lead us there?" asked Aang. They had no idea where they were going, only that this was the place they were looking for.
"Guess so... I'm Luag, you are?"
"Katara." Momo scurried up to Luag, tilting his head.
"Heya, bud," he said, scratching behind Momo's ear. The little creature snuggled up next to his leg and Luag burnt out his pipe. "Have you encountered any trouble so far?" he asked.
"No why?" Aang said with hesitation.
"Highland's are dangerous..." Luag said as he put his pipe in his pocket. Sokka was snoring away and had fallen asleep after only a few minutes by the fire. "So guys... when do you leave?" asked Luag hunching over, clasping his hands.
"Tomorrow... are you not... cold?" Asked Katara smirking.
"No... why?" Luag asked in a puzzled face.
"You're wearing a skirt..." she said with a giggle. His face had turned red as he tried to defend himself.
"It's a kilt!"
"Okay sure," said Aang giggling.
The night was colder now... Luag was sitting by the fire, across from Aang's room.
"So, why are you travelling in such a small group?" Luag asked, trying not to wake Katara and Sokka. Aang was wide awake and paused for a moment.
"It's because... I'm the Avatar." Luag's eyes widened and he leaned backwards.
"I never thought you would end up in this dump..."
"Well, I'm looking to learn waterbending from the highlanders." Luag scratched his hair and looked into the dying flames of the fire.
"I wish I could help teach you... but I'm just an apprentice."
"That's okay..." Katara shifted from side to side, Aang put his hand on her shoulder. She stopped turning and went back to sleeping peacefully.
"Is she your girlfriend?" Luag asked lighting his pipe.
"No... but I really wish she was..." Aang said with a sigh.
"I know the feeling..."
The next morning Luag awoke to see the group still sleeping. Katara was sleeping cuddled into the covers, Sokka was asleep in his chair and Aang was lying next to the burnt out fire. Luag stood up, stretching his back. "Aang, Katara, Sokka get up." Aang slowly opened his eyes.
"What time is it?" asked Aang, barely able to speak.
"Early... we need to go right now... there's someone looking for us!" replied Luag, pointing out a window to a teenager in Fire Nation robes.
"Ohh no...it's Zuko!" said Sokka, hiding behind the curtains. Luag pulled out his knife from his boot.
"Head north... I'll hold 'em off." In an instant, Luag opened the window and dived out into the rainy street.
"Shouldn't we help him?" Katara asked.
"He'll be fine, we can't let them find Aang!" Sokka said as he quickly packed his bags.
Luag took one of Zuko's guards by surprise, stabbing him in the back of the neck.
"Go!" Luag yelled.
"Come on!" yelled Sokka running out of the room. They climbed aboard Appa and in an instant were flying north. Luag pulled his knife from the guard and pushed him towards Zuko.
"Leave, firebender!" he yelled, pointing to Zuko, Zuko chuckled slightly.
"I don't have time for him, finish him off," he said walking away. The two guards closed towards Luag. One made the fatal mistake of lunging for Luag, leaving his side exposed. Luag quickly jabbed the guard with his knife, making him flinch and then delivering a deadly blow to the guard's neck. The guard fell with a thud and the second grinned as he lit a ball of fire from mid air. He threw it towards Luag, sending him on his back. Luag's chest was in a burning pain and he crawled backwards. The guard stamped on his back and rolled him over with his foot.
"Shouldn't have done that boy!" he said making a second ball of fire. Luag quickly jabbed his ankle with the knife, sending the guard off balance. Suddenly a gust of wind sent the man flying backwards. Luag titled his head to see Aang, Katara and Sokka running towards him.
"Luag are you okay?" Asked Aang pulling Luag to his knees.
"I'll be fine, why did you come back, I told you to-" A fireball flew past the group and through the smoke they could see Zuko.
"Run!" yelled Luag as he ran towards Appa.
"Giddy up, fly... get in the damn air!" he yelled as he climbed up Appa.
"Yip yip!" yelled Aang, springing on top of Appa. The bison took off sending Luag backwards.
"Where to now?" asked Aang as he looked around.
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