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|Battle Of Whale Tail Island Part 2|
December 1, 2011
Battle Of Whale Tail Island Part 2 is the eleventh chapter in the fanon seriesand the second part of a two part chapter
The battle continues asattempts to warn the prince about the impending danger, he must fight for his own life, while Jin and Captain Cho fight on the front in the Earth Kingdom camp.
He ran and he ran, he avoided the battle, jumping left and right to avoiding bumping into rushing soldiers and only throwing a fireball once or twice as he passed by a group of Earth Kingdom soldiers, regardless, he ran. He didn't look back, in his mind he begged for to still be alright. Hang on. Please. He rushed through a group of Fire Nation soldiers as he neared the destroyed section of the wall. An Earth Kingdom soldier jumped in front of him, he was so fast that had to jump back to avoid the slash of his blade and fell onto his back. The solder towered over Takeo as he was about to bring his blade down to the Avatar. As his sword went down, his head flew off of his shoulders in a fountain of blood; his lifeless body quickly fell to the floor. It was Cho; he had taken his head off with a single swing of his battleaxe. He glared at Tak as he rode by, he might have said something, but Takeo didn't hear it, maybe it was the sounds of battle, maybe if was adrenaline, or maybe it was focus, but now he had only one goal- save Zhu.
As he finally rushed out beyond the wall, he ignored the soldiers pushing past him and struggled to make it out to an open field, quickly, his head turned left and right as he searched for the cliffs, the second he saw the large rocks beyond some trees he ran, not even considering if they might be different, cliffs, he just didn't want time to even think about this. When he reached the forest he quickly swatted the branches out of his way, ducked under some of time, jumped over a fallen tree and ran. He couldn't fail, everything was riding on him succeeding, he had to succeed, and he had to. Please Jin, be alive... If Jin died, how would Takeo reach the Air Temples? If Jin died... he'd be alone again. His heart was pounding in his chest as he ran through the forest.
The sound of steel clashing with steel could only have been overshadowed by the screams and crackled of fire as it spread through the tents and camp. pushed Daisuke's sword to the side as he thrust his own sword forward, Daisuke bent his head to the side, narrowly avoid the tip of the jian, his katana returned in an arc aimed at 's legs, but the young man jumped over the blade and landed on his feet firmly before sending an arc of his own to the captains head, the captain ducked under it and rolled forward. When he jumped back onto his feet, he turned just in time for his katana to slam into Jin's straight sword. Sparks flews as the blades collided and the captain moved forward, the blades locked together and the captain pushed, sending Jin stumbling a few steps forward. The youth took the hilt of his sword with both hands and slashed at Daisuke, who parried the blows as he took three steps backward, jumped back.
Daisuke pointed the tip of his blade at Jin, who stepped forward and slammed it aside; spinning to the other side at the same time, avoiding Daisuke's returning slash. Daisuke held his katana in his right hand, his left freely dangling at his side. He was taunting Jin, making him angry, and trying to make him slip up. Jin rushed at him, and the blades collided again, above their heads and as they passed each other the blades collided once more, at their feet. They continued to dance for a moment; Daisuke's style was a great deal different than Jin's. Jin's sword fighting relied on speed, grace and agility, while Daisuke's swings, slices and slashes relied on strength and endurance, his defense was impeccable, grounded. Jin slashed at him from left to right, holding his sword with both hands and Daisuke blocked the attack, pushing it aside he left an opening for his own attack, he sent a slash from left to right at Jin's head, the teen ducked and rolled forward, slashing at the captain's legs, but his greaves on his black boots met the attack and blunted it, he staggered, but remained on his feet.
"Not bad." Daisuke noted as Jin got back on his feet and took his blade with both hands again, catching his breath, pointing the tip of his blade at the captain. "I'll be taking your sword once I kill you.
"And I'll be selling yours once I cripple you." Jin rushed at him again, but Daisuke blocked the attack and pushed Jin backwards, slamming his shoulder into his chest, they stood at almost even height, Jin was maybe half an inch shorter. Daisuke swung again at Jin's head, who leaned backward, letting the blade pass over him before he leaned forward and thrust his blade at the captain, who spun to the side and sent another swing from the youth's right. Jin twisted sideways and went up in the air, kicking off with his right foot, he spun in the air horizontally for a second, narrowly avoiding the blade as it went under his spinning body. Jin landed on both feet and sent an attack from an above, the captain blocked it with the flat of his katana and then slid it forward, slamming the round cross-guard into Jin's blade and sending it off to the side, he slashed diagonally at his enemies chest, but Jin's feet slid back, dodging the attack and his hands brought the blade back in a slash of his own. Daisuke parried it, before kicking Jin in the stomach, forcing him to stagger backwards as the breath escaped his lungs and burst through his mouth in a gasp. Daisuke advanced on Jin with a smug smirk across his face, spinning his sword around in his right hand, and Jin just kept staggering backwards, deeper and deeper into the maze of slowly burning tents.
Takeo realized a bit too late that climbing the actually cliff might not have been the best way to reach Zhu. When he first reached the cliffs he couldn't find the entrance to the canyon and quickly restored to climbing in the rocky cliffs, jumping from ledge to ledge and gripping rocks and boulders to pull himself up more and more. When he was already near the top his hand gripped a loose stone and he fell, however managed to catch the edge of a ledge and rolled onto it, using a moment to catch his breath, he couldn't waste any time, he begged for the prince to still be alive. He followed the ledge to where it led, there was an opening in the cliff and he slid inside, it was a narrow pass but he was a skinny guy, pressing himself against the wall he slid through the rather long pass and found himself staring down the canyon. It wasn't a large canyon, two hundred meters deep and about several miles long, it was jagged and rocky, surrounded by the rocky cliffs on both ends, and the cliffs themselves seemed to connect through several passes of rocks that fused into the mountains through erosion... or were they man made?
Takeo squinted at the pass, on the other side of the canyon, roughly the same height as Takeo was, were a few soldiers hiding behind a large boulder, below them, a bit further, he saw soldiers dressed in green take their positions behind some rocks and above him, on the top of the cliff, he heard voices and in the distance, moving towards them was a large platoon of soldiers dressed in red. Takeo didn't have much time, but at least the ambush was yet to happen. He slid back through the narrow passage and found himself on the ledge again, he attempted to climb the cliff once more and his feet slid a bit, but he managed to pull himself to the top, finally. The top was covered in large boulders and rocks, small peaks and holes and crevices. On the edge of the cliff were three soldiers, two of them held spears and the other stood unarmed, but without any shoes- an earthbender, Tak assessed, Tak moved forward swiftly, slamming into one of them men and throwing him off of the edge of the cliff, he screamed as he fell and Takeo quickly sent two powerful blasts of fire to the men at his sides, the jumped away, rushing behind some rocks to avoid the flame. They saw him, the soldiers, both earth and fire. Takeo released a loud whistle, which echoed through the wide canyon, bouncing off the walls and rocks he then released two powerful blasts of fire, one towards the other cliff, forcing the soldiers to scatter and one towards the bottom of the canyon, making the soldiers reveal their position, the Fire Nation soldiers charged. Takeo released a sigh of relief when the soldiers attacked the group of Earth Kingdom fighters, they were safe, but wait, the earthbenders on the other side- they're going to cause and avalanche.
As soon as Tak realized this he wanted to jump onto one of the small long stone bridges and sprint to the other side, however before he could even take a step forward, a spear lunged at him. Tak jumped back, avoiding the tip and grabbing the wooden length of the long spear. The soldier twisted and Takeo slid down the edge of the cliff, holding onto the spear for dear life. A boulder flew past his head and the saw the other soldier joining the fight. The spearman tried to stab Tak, but it was largely a failure as the boy held on tightly. He pulled himself up a bit, the soldier digging his boots into the stone to not slip from the ledge himself, Tak grabbed one of his wrists and pulled himself up completely, the struggled for a bit, Tak trying to not let him move and the soldier trying to push Takeo off of himself. A rock hit Tak's leg with great force and he stumbled, sending a punch with a fireball into the soldiers face before he hit the ground. The soldier screamed and staggered backwards, Takeo swept his feet from under him with his leg and the soldier fell, screaming.
The other soldier charged at Tak while he was on the ground, drawing his sword from its scabbard the lifted it above his head, aiming to slice at the grounded Avatar. Tak kicked, sending a burst of flames from his feet, forcing the soldier to stagger back a bit before trying to hit him again, his time, as he returned, Takeo gripped the spear tightly and rolled onto his back, thrusting the tip of the spear into the soldiers upper body. The pierced the light armor and the soldier screamed in pain and anger, Takeo pushed, getting onto his feet and putting his entire weight behind the spear, of course- the soldier was heaver than him, but the spear in his stomach had made him somewhat weaker and unprepared for the entire weight of a teenager. He slammed his sword downward, against the spear, cutting it somewhere in the middle, leaving the sharp tip of it still in his armor while Tak stumbled forward, gripping a splintered stick, which he promptly threw at the man, randomly. The soldier slashed wildly at Tak, but the Avatar sent a right jab, propelling a ball of fire into the soldier and then another and another and another until the soldier's tunic was burning and he slid off the edge, down towards the battle in the canyon, screaming at the top of his lungs, both from pain and fear and anger.
Tak didn't wait another moment, he jumped onto one of the jagged rock bridges and began running towards the other part of the canyon. The canyon was narrow, maybe a hundred meters in width and Takeo reached the other cliff in a matter of moments, using a moment to catch his breath before he pulled himself up to a ledge and just in time- he saw the earthbenders stomping angrily at the edge of the ledge and waving their hands. Just as he had suspected- they were going to cause an avalanche onto the platoon. Tak began punching the air rapidly and powerfully as he ran towards them, sending a fireball with each punch, the soldiers jumped back, avoiding the barrage of fire and then one of them stomped the ground, sending a rock to fly from the cliff and hit Takeo in the stomach, the Avatar staggered and took cover behind a corner as more rocks flew at him, some missing entirely, others hitting the stone. He jumped out again when the attack stopped and tried to send another fireball, setting his fist on fire as it went through the air, aimed at the head of a soldier, who was only a few steps away from him. However, the soldiers hand moved through the air and caught Takeo's punch and squeezed, Tak's eyes widened when he saw that instead of the soldiers regular arm, there was large hand made out of rock, extinguishing his flames and squeezing his hand, to much that it seemed like it was about to break.
Tak kicked the man in the stomach, he gasped and released his hand for a moment, enough time for Takeo to send another fireball- this time with his left hand, had he not been brought down by the earth moving under him, forcing his feet from down under him and slamming him into the ground. He rolled to the side as the man above him punched the massive stone hand into the ground, cracking the rock. His hand gripped the stone wall of the cliff in an attempt to pull himself up but a rock slammed into his back so hard it forced him back to his knees and against the wall, slamming head first into the jagged wall. He turned around to see one of the earth benders finish some sort of hand movement and slam his hands into the ground, the wall began to tumble down on him and Tak rolled to the side again, narrowly avoiding the collision. He threw another fireball, without seeing where he was throwing it and an earthbender stopped the blast by extinguishing it a small wall of levitating rocks, scattering the small stones to the side as it collided. The five benders moved towards him and Tak began walking backwards as he sent more and more blasts of fire, sending a slash of flame with a wide kick and a few more fireballs with his quickly moving fists. The blocked and dodged as they advanced and Takeo felt his back up again the wall, he was corner. He wanted to send another blast but a cloud of dust erupted around him as one of the earthbenders stomped the ground quickly and ferociously.
Was this the end? Killed by a bunch of earthbenders? A rock flew out from the cloud into his shoulder and then another into his abdomen again, slamming him even more again the wall, he blocked a rock with his arm guard but then a large rock slammed directly onto the center of his body, sending him full force against the wall, he fell to his knees and his hands moved to grasp the ground before his face slammed into it, earth twisted around his palms, consuming his palms and fingers locking him in place. Takeo heard himself grunting and gasping for air and as the five earthbenders stepped out of the dust aiming large rocks that levitated in their hands at him, he hoped that at least the soldiers made it out of the canyon in time, maybe his death won't be a total waste, he died fighting for his nation, a bit too early for him.
And just as the earthbenders prepared to attack, one of them screaming in agony and flew against the wall with great force, they all turned and before they could say anything, a blast of fire hit one directly into the face followed by a barrage of smaller, but no less powerful blasts that killed the man, before he even hit the ground. The three remaining earthbenders began stomping and waving their hands, and as one sent a rock into the dust, a blast of fire collided with it, but unlike Takeo's blast, this fireball destroyed the rock completely, shattering it to pieces and then another blast that flew right behind it, slammed into the man's chest, he screamed and spun before falling. It was all a cloud of dust, rocks and fire but, there was something strange about the fire. Takeo couldn't tell if he had brain damage from the rocks or it was simply the bad lighting, but the flames looked... blue?The firebender jumped up and sent a wave of fire with his feet into one of the earthbenders, he tried to dodge and jumped backward, just as the firebender sent a blast from his palms that slammed into him and sent him off of the side of the cliff. He turned to the last earthbender, who created a wall of earth in front of him just as the firebender sent a powerful blue fireball from his right hand, that slammed into the wall and destroyed in, knocking the soldier backwards- unconscious, pieces of his small wall tumbling onto him. And Takeo recognized his savior.
"Avatar." Zhu said in a stoic tone as he stepped out from the cloud of dust and offered Tak his hand "Are you alright?"
Takeo looked out in front of him as the dust cleared, the four earthbenders were either dead or dying, one had been throw off the edge and Zhu had done it all by himself, Takeo didn't even manage to injure any of them.
"Is your fire blue?" Takeo asked, dazed, he took the princes hand and stood.
"It is." Zhu answered calmly as he helped Takeo up.
"Then I'm not hallucinating, I'm alright."
Takeo used this moment to catch is breath; he wanted nothing more than to just collapse right there and rest.
"There was an ambush here, they knew about the plan."
"But they didn't expect on a diversion." Zhu noted "Just as I had suspected, there's a spy in my camp." The prince chuckled "See? You were crucial to my plan, not only did you save my platoon you created a diversion... you did create a diversion, I expect?"
"Yeah me and Jin-" Takeo realized it "Oh no- Jin! He's fighting that Daisuke guy in the camp, we have to help him!"
Zhu nodded and turned around, he began running and skidded down the side of the cliff, landing in the middle of the canyon and Takeo followed, there was a large stampeded of ostrich horses and komodo rhinos as the soldiers road through, he turned around to see the earth benders laying shattered in piles of rocks, some of them burned unrecognizably, some of them bloody, others seemed unmolested yet still lifeless. He heard a whistle and turned just in time to grab Zhu's hand as he road by on a komodo rhino, pulling himself up behind him. The whole platoon road in incredibly speed, twisting at a long turn and even Takeo could see it- the exit out of the canyon. They picked up speed and before Tak knew it, they were out, the rhinos taking the lead as the brought down the trees and road through the small forest passes, clearing a path for the soldiers on foot or some riding ostrich horses. They finally reached the walled camp and before Takeo knew it, Zhu, who sat in front of him on the giant rhino, began spinning his arms in a slow circular motion and at the tip of his pointing finger on each hand, electricity started to crackle. It buzzed and hissed through the air until the circular motion was complete and the tips of his finger of each hand collided together, before he pointed forward with both hands, Takeo had never seen anything like, yes he'd head about such an art before, but this was the first time he had gotten to see it- lightning generation.
A blast of powerful white lightning blasted from the princes fingers, it slammed into the wall with such power and ferocity that when the black smoke and dust clouds cleared there was a huge opening into the camp and they rode through the hole, the entire platoon, instinctively formed a line and moved with incredible speed and accuracy, riding through the camp. Inside, the battle was still raging, surrounded by the burning tents and falling boulders, screams and blood, the soldiers clashed.
"The flank!" one of them shouted, but it was too late, Zhu's forces attacked and the Earth Kingdom men were surrounded, Takeo threw a fireball at one of the earthbenders and quickly began looking around.
"There!" Takeo pointed for Zhu to look near the burning tents; it was the two men, Captain Daisuke and Jin, clashing with their swords. Daisuke moved in a quick ferocious manner towards Jin, who blocked his vicious attacks and staggered each time the blades collided, it seemed like he wouldn't hold much longer. Zhu turned his komodo rhino around and rode straight and fast, when Daisuke finally turned to see the wild animal it was almost too late, he could only jump to the side in an attempt to dodge but the rhino still managed to graze him, sending him rolling through the burning grass. The captain jumped to his feet and pointed his sword at them, Takeo jumped off of the rhino and took a battle stance and so did Zhu, Jin took his place at their side, pointing the tip of his blade at the man.
"It's over, you've lost!" Zhu declared angrily and Daisuke looked at his forces surrounded, still keeping up a fight, but it was already lost, men were already scattering, some ran, some surrendered but were not shown mercy."So it seems then." Daisuke sheathed his katana and bowed his head graciously "However I shall disappoint you, I'm not easy to detain." He took a quick step forward, his right foot stomping into the ground viciously as he bunch of rocks flew up from the ground, small, large, medium and dirt and before either of the three men could even move, Daisuke punched a powerful jab into the air and the rubble flew at them with incredible speed and accuracy. It would have been impossible to dodge, but before either of them could move, Zhu stepped forward, stomped the ground with both feet and spread his arms wide, a massive explosion of blue flame erupted in front of them, diverting some of the boulders sideways, destroying others or simply sending them flying back, but none of them made it past the fiery shield. When the flames dispersed, around them, was a large could of dust and through it, they could vaguely see a smaller hole in the wall through which Daisuke had apparently escaped, as he was no longer here. Shiel
"That snake." Jin muttered through his teeth "We have to catch him."
"His forces are scattered and his ships are destroyed, he's done for, forget about him." Zhu answered calmly as he jumped back onto his komodo rhino, gracefully and elegantly and the three of them made their way towards the battlefield. It was without a doubt one of the most horrible days in Takeo's life. So much death and blood, so much fire and screaming. In the battle, Takeo saw many men die, some he had seen around the camp, others, only needed to see the fear pulse through them to know they never wanted any of this, the carnage of battle, it was horrible and sickening that though Takeo wasn't injured, he felt like he was going to die.
The joy of victory
When the two platoons made it back to camp, Takeo collapsed into his bedroll.
As he lay there silently, the only thing he could think about were the losses that both sides had felt, the Earth Kingdom forces were completely slaughtered, besides the few men that managed to flee, among them- Daisuke. He remembered the mutilated corpses of the men and the wounded they brought back, some of them already missing limbs, other obviously requiring amputations, others screaming for the mercy of death. Takeo wanted to cry, but couldn't, though inside he was crying and screaming, outside he only blankly stared at the ceiling of his tent, war, this is what it was like and it was up to him to stop it.
The following evening, there was a feast in the camp, soldiers drank to their delight and it was the first time Takeo had seen Jin so happy as when he was telling the soldiers the story how the two of them were rushing through the burning tents, the soldiers laughed and cheered, even Zhu smiled a few times as he listened to the story a bit father off, the only person in a bad mood was Cho, who kept saying there was nothing to party about, they still hadn't stopped the war. Takeo agreed with him, but at the same time he couldn't help but feel relieved that this battle was over and for now, they could bask in the peace. There was music, food, drinking and dancing, though Takeo partook very little in any of the activities besides eating, he was so hungry that it might have seemed like he hadn't eaten for days. Suddenly, the music stopped and Jin move to speak.
"Alright, listen here!" Jin shouted, holding a jug of wine in one hand and a wooden cup, filled to the rim with the red liquid in the other. "While we party, let's not forget the hero of the day, no I don't mean me... however if you look at it from a certain perspective... but no, not me- Avatar Takeo!" he lifted his mug "Let us toast the Avatar, without him, the Earth Kingdom soldiers would be the one drinking tonight." Everyone roared in approval and Takeo blushed red and lowered his head. Hero. Was he a hero? What had he done so important that he'd deserved such a title? Informing the prince of the ambush was an act of fear not bravery or honor, no, he'd be a hero if he had ended this war not this battle and from the frown Cho flashed in his direction, Takeo knew he'd been thinking the same.
A soldier tapped him on the back, a few bowed and Jin wrapped an arm around him, stinking of wine.
"This tastes like paint!" someone shouted as the music began again.
The morning was a less somber deal. Jin and Takeo were packing their small bags and Jin kept repeated, over and over how his head was pounding and how he'd never drink again. When they left the tent, the sun wasn't even up yet, but Zhu sat there, on a barrel drinking some tea in front of the fireplace, clad in his fine armor. He stood to great them.
"I take it you're leaving then." Zhu laid the cup onto the barrel and followed them as the three of them slowly made their way to the river.
"I'm sorry we couldn't stay and help you pack up,-" Takeo began
"No need, I understand you must go on with your training. However, I must implore you to reconsider my offer for an escort to the temples." Zhu spoke softly.
"Not to be rude your grace, but we can't afford to wait while you pack up and ready your men, much less while your ships make their way towards the temples." Takeo explained calmly, Jin said nothing, he just covered his pale face with a hand, he looked like he was about to puke.
Zhu raised an eyebrow at the Avatar as they walked.
"For the my entire life, I thought there was peace, that the world was nothing but one big place of happiness and joy, where nobody suffered, but now, I see what it really is- pirates, death, suffering, war, greed and destruction and if what it takes to stop it is me mastering the four elements, then I will do everything in my power to do so as soon as possible."
The prince flashed a tired smile. "I see." He nodded "an honest sentiment, no doubt, but I must remind you to be careful, the Earth Kingdom knows about your existence and they will try everything in their power to catch you, you must remain vigilant and safe." They walked through a small path in the forest and eventually into a small opening, through which stretched a narrow river, the current was strong and fast, splashing against the rocks, at the coast, a small ship was tied to a wooden pole.
"I'm afraid this is all that we can offer you, it's small, but it's safe and fast- a souvenir from one of the villages that was raided."
Takeo examined the small cutter, but Jin just jumped in without hesitation and bent inside of the small cabin (which looked more like a tent) that was on the deck of the small cutter.
"It'll do, thank you, your grace." Takeo bowed his head.Zhu nodded lightly before wishing them luck "Good luck, Avatar Takeo, may the spirits watch over you." And Takeo climbed into the cutter as well, Zhu cut the rope that held the cutter in place and before they knew it, they were off again. Takeo turned around to look at the coast, but the prince was already gone when he did. Inside the small cabin, Jin had passed out on one of the two bedrolls, Takeo left him be, hoping that he doesn't puke all over the cabin.
Takeo stepped outside and watched the Coast of Whale Tail Island slowly shrink as they moved south. He could help but smile as he took a deep cold breath of air. Despite of everything that had happened, they were still alive and still heading towards the temple, it brought somewhat of a relief to Tak, however, that was mainly because he could see that in the distance, Captain Daisuke stood on a deck of a small sloop, Earth Kingdom soldiers preparing the sails and steering the ship as Daisuke lowered the spyglass with which he watched the cutter sail away. He gulped and shouted loudly and confidently, not showing his growing fear.
"Commander, Follow that cutter! We will not let the Avatar escape!"
For the collective works of the author, go here.