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|Chapter Seven: Agathy|
They were flying for weeks and weeks. Everyone was exhausted, but Hama the most. However, she was determined not to show it. Appa was getting tired more quickly, because he felt everyone he carried was in a terrible mood. Toph had never felt so sick in her whole lifetime, but she knew it was not the time to make complaints. Finally, one day, Hama said:</p>
"We are almost there." Everyone left a big sigh. After such a long journey, Aang had started wondering if the journey to heaven would last longer than the journey to Agathy. Suddenly Appa, for no clear reason, started to get nervous and move his tail up and down very fast. This move almost dropped Aang off the bison. Aang successfully created an air scooter and jumped back in the saddle, but Appa wouldn't go in the right direction. He turned and started going the other way round, heading to the opposite direction Hama said the forest was.
"What is wrong, buddy? C'mon, you're going the wrong way," Aang said. "C'mon Appa, yip-yip!" he yelled again, because the sky bison wouldn't turn to the right direction. Suddenly, he started spinning around in the air. Everyone except Aang felt really sick, and Sokka turned around to throw up from the other side of the bison.
"Well, that was awful" said Toph, looking at Appa with a hating look.
"What happened? Why did Appa start flying awkwardly? This has never happened before!" Katara said. Hama started explaining.
"Oh, Agathy has an effective defense system, right? You did not think such a spiritual and unique place would be left defenseless? The Willbenders would have destroyed it!"
"The what benders?" asked Toph. Everyone was looking at Hama now, and they all had the same thoughts. Willbenders?
"What benders, guys? Did I say Willbenders? Oh, my tongue tripped. I meant Firebenders." She looked at them, and it was obvious no one believed the explanation. More bending? And I thought I was a fully-realized Avatar! Aang thought.
"Anyway, we will have to go there on foot and the forest will sense mine and Aang's energies and let us all in. The forest acknowledges the energies it has been taught to acknowledge and it will let you in too, because I will manage to tell to it that you are with us" Hama continued.
"Oh, come on! A forest can't understand energy and if you are talking to it, then you are totally not in your right mind!" Sokka exclaimed. Typical Sokka, Katara thought.
"...though I might make an exception for this one." Hama said referring to Sokka. He totally deserves not to come, but anyway Toph thought. But no one was really thinking about Sokka, they were just trying to find something else to think about so they would not start wondering about Willbenders.
"We should land, shouldn't we?" Aang asked and the sky bison started heading towards the ground and going lower and lower, till he landed on his feet and started running towards the mountains, away from Agathy.
"He will stay in a cave and wait for us there. We should start walking." Hama said and every one looked at her in amazement. How could she know where Appa was going? She read his mind? Hama started walking and they followed her. It was only a ten minute walk.
"We are almost there. Aang, can you feel it?" Hama asked. Aang could feel it. It was a like a wave full of happiness and warmth. A small heavenly ocean inside his stomach. Toph felt like a monster was sleeping under the forest. She could feel its heart pumping. What is this place? she asked herself. Since they started that journey, she started thinking that the fact she trusted her chi was not beneficial.
"You, you and you, stay here. Although the short girl can come. A master of chi reading like her should be allowed."
"I am not short, but I agree with the rest." Toph said and stepped forward.
"Now, Aang, I and... what's your name, dear?" Hama said.
"I'm Toph. Toph Bei Fong."
"Aang and Toph put your hands on the ground and focus totally on your hand. This way, your energy can be understood easily by the forest."
"Whatever, go do your magic things." Sokka said. He was worried about Suki at the moment. Where was she? Why had Pathik and Iroh taken her with them? And where were they now? He was bored of having unanswered questions. Aang, Toph and Hama were still touching the ground with their palms. Suddenly, a gentle breeze came from the forest to touch their faces. It had a different smell for everyone. Aang smelled Sky Bison's fur and apples. Sokka smelled a flower that grew only at Kyoshi Island and... roast meat. Katara smelled of Aunt Wu's Cloud Reading book and of the fragrance her mother used to put on. The last smell brought tears to her eyes. Toph smelled the smell of the soil at the arena she once fought and of her room back at her parent's house. Hama smelled of...
"What is happening?" asked Sokka. Suddenly, Toph felt like the big monster whose heart beat she could feel just took a big breath. This sudden feel made her jump up.
"I just felt..." she started, but Hama interrupted.
"I know. The forest is welcoming us." At the last word, her voice cracked, like she was about to cry. When she talked again, this was gone. "We can enter now." Everyone started walking to the forest in silence. As soon as Aang entered it, he felt like the time he unlocked his seventh chakra. He was sure that if he tried to, he would be able to communicate with Roku while walking and with his eyes open. He knew he would be able to talk to Yangchen just with sitting on the ground, and being able to conversate with others at the same time. Suddenly, communicating with the first Avatar seemed as easy as breathing. The ocean inside his stomach now grew wider and wider, till it started flowing to every part of his body. He had never felt such a pleasure. Toph felt the beast sleeping under the forest wake up. She jumped up.
"Relax, honey, this is how you understand the forest." Hama told her. How does she know? Toph asked herself. They were walking deeper and deeper into the forest, and everyone except Toph noticed its magnificent beauty. There were trees full of green with light purple fruits hanging from their branches and flowers the smell of which nearly hypnotised you. Amazing colours everywhere. By the time they reached the centre of the forest, everyone felt a little ocean of happiness and warmth inside his stomach. But Aang's ocean was the bigger one.
"I am ready." Aang said.
"Try" Hama told him. Aang sat down. He closed his eyes and concentrated. Just the moment he put his fists together, his arrows began glowing. He was in the Spirit World. He started searching for the first Avatar. I want the Avatar Circle. Take me to the Avatar Circle, he thought strongly. His will was so powerful while he was in Agathy, that the Avatar Circle appeared in front of him. He started running to the start of the circle. When he finally reached it, he came across a dark shadow, which did not seem like a spirit as much as Roku did. It was half a human and half a spirit.
"I want to talk to you!" he shouted to it. The shadow opened its eyes. They were red like blood. It raised its hands and suddenly, Aang started walking towards the start of the Circle. But he didn't want to. He wanted to stop, but something forced him to continue, and then pushed him out of the Spirit World. He opened his eyes to see everyone looking at him.
1. The author has left some little hints about what the new kind of bending will be.
2. The author got the idea of the light breeze's smell from the love potion Amortensia, mentioned in the book "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", one of the author's favourites.
For the collective works of the author, go here.