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"Hey, bro! Happy Birthday!" His older brother, Batu, was a muscular and talented Earthbender, always very amiable and fun to be around. Brek aspired to be like him in the future.
"Thanks, Batu. How's Dad doing?"
"It's rough for him, as always," Batu said with a crestfallen sigh.
While Brek's birthday was a celebration of one of the greatest moments in his father's life, it was also the anniversary of his mother's death. She had died in childbirth.
"Happy birthday, my son," said Brek's father, Kupo, holding a fake smile as he got out of his chair to hug his child. "Look at you. Sixteen already. Your mother would be so proud."
"She would be proud of all of us."
Kupo nodded in agreement. "Now off to school with ya! Have a great birthday and be back here in the evening for your celebration."
"I will, Dad." See you later. Brek grabbed some breakfast and descended to the bottom floor to the family shop, which Batu was just getting ready to open for the day.
"Hey Brek, I think your girlfriend is outside," Batu teased.
"She's not my-" Brek began to protest, then realized that it would only satisfy his brother more. He dropped the subject and walked outside.
"Happy Birthday!" shouted the always cheerful Berani, hugging her friend. She was very cute and was often jealous of Brek's ability to bend, but today she put that aside.
"Thanks. Where's Kaeta? "
"Right here!" responded Brek's best friend as he came up from behind and put him in a headlock. Kaeta was always messing around. He was originally from the Southern Water Tribe and had the olive Water Tribe skin. He had long brown hair, a slim body, and was attractive and sometimes very smooth, and other times, not so much.
The two exchanged some friendly bickering, and the trio departed for school. The morning went by fast. Brek took a test in Earth Kingdom History, which Kaeta was sure he failed, did a presentation on Fire Nation traditional foods in Foreign Culture, fell asleep in Spiritual Studies, and the teacher never showed up for Science. One more period remained before lunch: gym. It was battle day, a day once a week when students display their fighting skills in the arena. The day's challenge was a two-on-two battle in which the last team to remain inside the circle won. Kaeta chose Brek as his partner, and Brek pretended to be happy about it. Kaeta wasn't a very experienced Waterbender. He'd been living with his non-bending aunt and uncle in the Earth Kingdom since he was ten. Nonetheless, Brek was prepared to kick butt.
Before the battle, the coach added three metal barriers in the ring. He told the teams to ready themselves and shouted "Aja Aja!", or "fight".
A boy on the opposing team levitated a large boulder and propelled it at Brek. Brek smashed it with his head. He then, under the cover of dust from the smash, ran behind one of the metal barriers. He darted to the right of the barrier to propel and Earth Line move at his attacker, who fell back. Brek then tried to use an Earth column to knock his fallen opponent out of the ring, but he was sunk into the ground by the other opponent before he could move.
"Nice!" shouted the coach. "Earth sinking is very advanced!"
Seeing his friend in trouble, Kaeta pulled water from an arena barrel and used the Water Whip move to trip the opponent still standing. The other got up, and Kaeta used a weak Water Jet that was easily blocked by an Earth wall. Brek dug himself out of the ground and stomped twice, creating two Earth blocks that he shot into the boy who had just lowered his wall. The boy blocked them with a bit of difficulty, and his hands stung. Brek used the opportunity to stomp and erect an Earth column right in front of his opponent, who was launched out of the ring.
Meanwhile, Kaeta was dodging rock gloves left and right. He hid behind one of the barriers and gathered more water from more the barrels. The boy firing the rock gloves was ready to knock the wall down when he saw a wave jump over from behind it. The wave knocked him out of the ring and made Brek and Kaeta the winners of the battle.
The coach was amazed. "Wow! That was some of the best bending I have ever seen from you, Kaeta!"
Kaeta thanked the coach and caught sight of a group of girls giggling and whispering to each other.
Kaeta was ecstatic for the rest of his classes, despite failing the history test. He marched proudly and triumphantly over to Brek as they prepared to leave at the end of the school day. They walked outside the building and were looking for Berani when five men dressed in noble apparel rode up to the school on ostrich-horses. A teacher went up to one of the men, and after a short discussion, turned to Brek.
"Brek, these men from the Avatar Temple wish to speak to you."
Everyone in the area froze in silence. The man got off of his animal, looked at Brek, and spoke.
"It is your sixteenth birthday, correct?"
Brek struggled to answer. "Yes, sir. It is."
"Brek of the Earth Kingdom, sixteen years ago you were born on the same day Avatar Korra of the Water Tribes died," the man began. People started whispering, and most were looking directly at Brek.
"Since that day, you have been tested. The first test was when you picked out your favorite toys as a young child. You selected the ancient symbol of each nation because they were familiar to you. You have seen them in past lives. Brek, you are the next Avatar!"
Meanwhile, a meeting of three people was taking place in the Western Air Temple. One tall, hefty, thick-eyebrowed man was speaking to a muscular man with a shaved head and a young woman with long, curly hair.
"Kimma and Phronk, I want you two in the Southern Earth Kingdom. There are plenty of undesirables there that need to be taken care of. Lord Onjing will be joining us shortly, and I don't think he'd appreciate it if you two slack off. Is that understood?"
"Yes, sir," they responded in unison. Suddenly, the cat on the woman's lap began to twitch and shriek as she twisted her fingers above it. "I don't think any Earth peasants are going to be a problem," she said with a sinister smirk on her face.
- The name of the town, Kekuatan comes from the Indonesian word for "strong".
- The girl, Berani, gets her name from the Indonesian word for "brave".
- The brother, Batu, gets his name from the Indonesian word for "rock."
- The coach shouted "Aja Aja!" phonetic spelling of the Korean word for "fight"
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