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Avatar: Legend of Fire
September 17, 2010
Awaiting Bliss is the second chapter of
Some time has passed since Takeo's previous scolding, he attempts to stay out of trouble and fights and awaits his sixteenth birhday with glee. Meanwhile, The Earth Kingdoms forces advances onto the Fire Nation.
It had been a few weeks since Lempuh. He spent the later training sessions trying to stay away from and , but the both of them seemed to be enjoying the idea that Takeo was getting punished more and more. didn't even punish the two of them; he old lectured them on the rules and duties of the sage. They constantly got special treatment, Takeo did too, but when he did something bad he'd be punished severely and most of the time, it wasn't even him. The only good thing about this whole month was the fact that his birthday wasn't far off, a few days actually. He was turning sixteen, which he hoped would earn him a little more respect from the other students. Apprentice Sages didn't really get presents during their birthdays; they simply were congratulated and received cake, which was handed out to all of the students, leaving the birthday boy a slice of his own cake.had been scolded by Master
Well, he just had to last a few more days until a day of relief for him. The following day was quiet uneventful, after a rather calm training session all of the students went back to the barracks and fell asleep, Takeo went to visit Zhin Tsu, who was growing strangely distant and awfully respectful to Takeo for some reason, yet at the same time managing to talk to him like he's still a kid. After having another tie Pai Sho match, with his old friend, he went back to bed. The next morning he woke up late. All of the other apprentices had already woken up, made their beds and left, nobody even bothered to wake Takeo up. He looked around in despair, hoping at least one student was still here. Quickly jumping from his bed, he got dressed in his apprentice robes and rushed out, still trying to fit his foot into the long boot. He quickly ran around the temple trying to find where everyone was, but it was dead silent. Upon finally reaching the east wing of the temple he heard Zhin Tsu giving a speech in the main hall.
The main hall doors were massive wooden doors, when opened they would release a large creak, making it impossible for Takeo to slip in without being noticed. He cracked it gently, slowly opening it, for a second he was happy how quiet it was. However, he then accidentally slipped and slammed into the door, making it open with full force, releasing an echoing creak through the whole main hall. Zhin Tsu went silent. Master Lempuh slammed his face into his palm and the students (who were bowing on the floor) turned their heads, some cringed, some chuckled and some were just annoyed. Takeo chuckled awkwardly and slowly stood up, giving Zhin Tsu and look that just screamed "I'm sorry". Lempuh glared Takeo down from the platform where all the high council members and sages sat. Takeo slowly closed the door, which led to it creaking through the whole temple once again. Everyone just kept glaring. Upon closing it, he muttered "Sorry..." before kneeling down and sitting down on his knees on the stone ground like everyone else. After another second, everyone finally reacted to Takeo being late to the meeting.
"So nice of you to join us, Master Takeo." Lempuh began as he stood up from his seat. Zhin Tsu turned his head to the old master and shook it lightly, showing him that there was no use screaming right now.
"As I was saying..." Zhin Tsu continued his lecture. The main hall was massive, made out of black metal and stone, lit by torches which resided basically everywhere. There were stairs that lead to a platform where a table was located, at this large long table sat all of the sages and council members, Zhin Tsu was standing closely to the edge of the platform, giving a lecture to his students about the duties of a sage. Takeo turned his head to the side, recognizing a student he was well acquainted with.
"What did I miss?" Takeo asked the other student who released a sigh and explained "The usual... you should try to wake up earlier, now Lempuh is going to punish all of us... again" the apprentice shook his head lightly as Takeo asked once again "Why did nobody wake me up?" the apprentice shrugged "Nobody noticed, Lempuh came in screaming that everyone needs to get here immediately and everyone rushed out, you're a tight sleeper..." Takeo chuckled awkwardly once again and lowered his head. Zhin Tsu noticed the two of them talking and quickly shouted "Takeo!" Takeo gulped and lowered his head. "If you're late, then at least have the decency to stay quiet while I teach the other students." He ordered the teen in a calm and tired voice. He then continued rather abruptly "Or would you like to explain to the other apprentices what is the duty of the Sages?" Takeo stood up rather hesitantly "Well um... uh..." he knew the answer, but he was so flustered that he could barely speak.
"Out with it, boy!" Lempuh demanded in a loud and annoyed tone. "Uh... The Sages serve the Avatar and um... maintain the knowledge and archives of the Fire Nation's spirituality as well as help the Fire Lord rule the kingdom with spiritual advice... I think..." Lempuh shook his head in an annoyed fashion "You think? Or do you know?" Zhin Tsu quickly dismissed Lempuh "No need to be picky at the child, Master Lempuh- he answered correctly" Lempuh murmured something under his breath and continued to listen to Zhin Tsu's lecture.
The Unmarked Islands
Far from the capital city, in one of the unmarked islands located in Fire Nation territory, an Earth Kingdom army had just finished destroying and capturing the village. A muscular, tall bearded man dressed in Earth Kingdom armor walked up to a soldier "Report" he told the soldier as the soldier saluted him and quickly reported. "Sir, the village is secured, sir." The soldier quickly replied before lowering his hand. The tall man gestured with his hand, dismissing the soldier. One of the soldiers quickly ran up to him and spoke "General Lee!" the Earth Kingdom general turned his head to the soldier. "We've just received word from Whale Tail Island, Lieutenant Daisuke is requesting assistance against the Fire Nation soldiers, sir" he handed the general the letter. The general quickly rolled it open and skimmed through it
"Send a messenger hawk that he'll have to wait, our fleet's top priority is to capture the unmarked islands for later use and ambush of Fire Nation troops, this is a very tactical location and we cannot afford to abandon it for the campaign on Whale Tail Island." The soldier nodded and ran off. The general began slowly walking forward until he reached an edge of the small hill he was standing on, overlooking a small village which was no in almost complete ruins and Fire Nation citizens, farmers, children and women being chained and led to a large Earth Kingdom ship. "The Earth Kingdom shall dominate everything. Destroy or be destroyed, so declared by King Xanshi!" He shouted loudly to the citizens and his men
The next day went by rather uneventfully once again. With only two days remaining until his birthday, Takeo seemed more cheerful and pleased with himself then ever. Takeo had just finished eating his bowl of rice and was returning to the barracks. Suddenly two voices were heard behind him; "Well, well, if it isn't the prodigy himself, let's wipe that smirk off your face!" Tetsuri commented as he grabbed Takeo's shoulder and slammed him against the wall. Hetsuki chuckled and grabbed Takeo's collar, pressing him against the wall tighter, Takeo was both scared and confused heavily. Tetsuri was about to send a punch to Takeo's face saying "This is for getting us in trouble!" but before he could, Master Lempuh shouted through the hall. "What's all this!" Hetsuki quickly released Takeo and the two older kids quickly made innocent faces. Lempuh limped over to them and asked in a calm tone "What are you kids up to." His eyes narrowed as he glared at all of them. Hetsuki began to explain "Well, sir... we.... Um... we were just... um". Tetsuri intervened and quickly took control of the situation "We were just explaining to Takeo here, that it's not honorable to decline a proposition for an Agni kai, because it is a sacred ritual of fire bending and dueling". Lempuh glared at Takeo "is this true?" Takeo couldn't believe it. He was just about to get beat up and he's the one getting into trouble for not doing anything!
Takeo shook his head "Well yes, but ..." Lempuh then intervened "If you admit that it's the honorable thing to do to accept a challenge, which is the way of the sages mind you, then you are in agreement that you will fight, Hetsuki here." Hetsuki looked confused "Wait, me?" Hetsuki exchanged looks with Tetsuri who smirked "Actually sir, I was the one who issued him the challenge, Hetsuki was just making sure Takeo abides to the rules." Lempuh nodded "Yes, Tetsuri, it is quite noble of you to make sure that the rules are upheld, but if you actually wish to upheld the rules, we'll make this duel official and hold it in the dueling arena instead of a hall" Tetsuri gave smug look to Hetsuki. It seemed like Takeo wasn't even asked anymore if he wanted to fight, anger was just boiling up in him. "This is ridiculous!" Takeo lashed out at Lempuh and the two others. Hetsuki was about 5'9 and Tetsuri was about 6'0 tall, so it seemed like a fair fight against either of them. Lempuh quickly frowned in anger "So you refuse the challenge?! Typical, so smug yet so scared to be proven of his inferior abilities, you disgust me apprentice! Honor is the foundation of the sages and you obviously have none!" Takeo turned red with anger "I have more honor in me then all three of you combined! Especially these two nitwits!" Takeo pushed them away from himself as he glared directly at Lempuh. "You want me to show you my abilities?! Fine! I'll fight both of them at the same time!"
The teenager turned to his two bullies, who seemed to be angry and insulted. The boy quickly shouted "I challenge the both of you to an Agni Kai!" Tetsuri quickly answered in an insulted tone, bringing his fist up to Takeo's face "We accept!" Hetsuki seemed slightly scared about the whole ordeal, obviously not wanting to fight Takeo, even if it was two on one. Lempuh, thought angry was slightly flabbergasted "It's settled then, tomorrow at noon, you shall duel" Zhin Tsu was standing at the end of the hall and released a sigh; obviously he had seen this whole event. Takeo stormed off, passing Tsu as he attempted to speak, "Takeo Y-" Before he could utter a single word, Takeo ran off.
"This is going to be a piece of cake!" Tetsuri told Hetsuki as the both of them began laughing as they walked off. Zhin Tsu was left standing there
with Lempuh. He gave the short old man a glare.
- This chapter foreshadows the events of an upcoming chapter
For the collective works of the author, go here.