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|Book 5 War: Chapter 5|
June 4, 2015
After healing the Earth Focal Temple, the group began their journey to the Fire Focal Temple located in the Fire Nation. Opal, Mako, Bolin, and Korra were in a room telling ghost stories to each other.
Bolin: ...and it was the hammer that was haunted!
Everyone had blank faces.
Mako: Bolin, you do realize that story isn't remotely scary?
Bolin: Cut me some slack, that was all I could come up with.
Opal: So, whose turn is it now?
Korra: That would be me. And my story is a true story.
Bolin: (scared) I'm not gonna like this.
Korra: One of my past lives, Avatar Kuruk, lived in a time of peace due to his predecessor's actions.
Opal: (To Bolin) It's not that scary.
Korra: The world solved its own problems, and he chose to go with the flow instead of following his Avatar responsibilities after mastering the elements. On the day of his wedding, at the Spirit Oasis in the Northern Water Tribe, his fiancée, Ummi, was taken by the spirit Koh, the face stealer. Koh did this to punish Kuruk for neglecting his duty. When Kuruk hunted Koh down, he learned that Koh had stolen Ummi's face. If you ever find yourself facing Koh, do not show any emotion or he will steal your face.
Bolin screamed, Opal looked nervous, and Mako was taking deep breaths.
Bolin: I am going to have NIGHTMARES!
Xiaolin: (Appears behind Bolin) You should be wary of nightmares.
Bolin: (Panicking) DON'T STEAL MY FACE!!!
Bolin fell to the floor. He saw that it was only Xiaolin.
Bolin: Don't sneak up on me!
Mako: What do you mean by "be wary of nightmares"?
Xiaolin: The Dark Spirit of Fear, Phobos, can enter the dreams of humans, and turn them into your worst nightmares. When they reach a certain state, he can take your lives within your dreams. I feel that he may strike, so be on alert.
Korra: That's reassuring.
Later that night, the airship was set down so everyone could rest, except Xiaolin, who was still awake. Opal entered the room and saw Xiaolin.
Opal: Couldn't get any sleep?
Xiaolin: Spirits don't need to sleep. We stay awake for as long as we want without ever getting tired. Why are you awake?
Opal: I couldn't get any sleep after hearing Korra's story and your warning.
Xiaolin: Can I ask you something?
Opal: What is it?
Xiaolin: I believe that I have fallen in love with Korra.
Opal: Really? She has a crush on you as well.
Xiaolin: I see. How do women wish to be treated by someone they love?
Opal: It depends on the type of woman they are. But since you and Korra both have a crush on each other, you should just tell her that you love her.
A scream was heard from Asami's room. They headed there and saw that she was awake.
Opal: Asami, you alright?
Asami: I saw...a living skeleton in a black cloak, with a red glow in its eye sockets, and it carried a scythe. It was gonna kill me until I fell off a ledge.
Xiaolin: Phobos. He's come for you all. He must have invaded the dreams of the others.
They brought Korra, Mako, and Bolin in the same room and saw that they were squirming and screaming.
Xiaolin: They're giving in to their nightmares. I can help them fight back, but I can't fight with them.
Asami: Do what you can.
Xiaolin: Understood. Just don't sleep.
Xiaolin entered a meditative pose, manifested his wings, and they started to glow. He found himself in Bolin's dream; he saw Bolin surrounded by a group of people talking bad about him.
Dream Varrick: I don't know why I made you the star of my mover, you were absolutely terrible in it!
Dream Mako: We only survived on the streets cause I had to keep you from getting yourself killed!
Dream Toph: You are the worst earthbender I have ever met. You can't bend metal.
Phobos appeared in front of Bolin.
Phobos: I can make the pain you feel go away. By ending your life, you will be free.
Bolin: I might as well.
Xiaolin: Bolin, don't.
Bolin: (Sees Xiaolin behind him) Xiao? Why are you here?
Xiaolin: I came to rescue you and the others.
Bolin: What's the point? I'm a failure.
Xiaolin: You've accomplished much, young earthbender. You learned that you could bend lava, you helped save Republic City and the world on numerous occasions. Are you really a failure?
Bolin: No. No, you're right. I am not a failure!
The people around him disappeared, and Phobos charged at him.
Bolin: Get out of my dreams!
Bolin bent a boulder at Phobos, sending him back, and then Bolin bent two boulders at him from two angles, crushing him. Bolin then woke up.
Bolin: I'm alive. I'M ALIVE!!!
Opal: (Kisses Bolin on the lips) I'm glad you're okay.
Xiaolin entered Mako's dream and saw Mako fighting a firebender with grey hair and wearing a red suit. Mako threw a fire ball at the man, but he deflected it at blasted Mako off his feet.
Firebender: Give up, kid.
Mako: (Gets up) No. You killed my parents, now I'm taking you in!
Firebender: Or you could just kill me. After all, you took a life. Remember Ming-Hua?
Mako: I didn't have a choice, it was self-defense.
Firebender: We all have a choice. That's why I killed your parents.
Mako: SHUT UP!!
Right when he said it, he fired lightning at the firebender, killing him. His body fell forward and Mako realized what he just did.
Mako: No. This isn't how it was supposed to be.
Phobos's voice: You killed a man in cold blood. The right thing to do is to let yourself be killed. I can help you with that.
Xiaolin: Mako, don't!
Mako: (Sees Xiaolin) Why?! I'm just as bad as that firebender.
Xiaolin: Does any of this look real to you?! Would your friends and family want you to throw your life away like it was nothing?!
Mako: No, they wouldn't. (Turns toward Phobos) I'm done playing your game.
Phobos: You're done when I take your life.
He swung at Mako with his scythe, Mako dodged it and blasted Phobos with a barrage of fire. Phobos was pushed back, and then he fired energy blasts from the blade of his scythe by swinging it in Mako's direction. Mako dodged each one and fired a lightning blast at Phobos, causing him to disappear. Mako then woke up.
Mako: Am I back?
Asami: (Kisses Mako) Yes, you are.
Opal: All he has to do now is free Korra.
Bolin: Don't worry, Xiaolin hasn't let us down.
Xiaolin found himself in Korra's dream; he saw himself in a ruined Republic City overrun with spirit vines and Dark Spirits lurking at every corner. He found Korra facing Terra, Thalassa, Razor, and Heylin.
Heylin: You've failed, Korra. Raava has been separated from you, and Vaatu has returned; he now moves across the Earth, destroying every human he finds and eliminating every threat.
Korra: Then why are you here and not him?
Heylin: He has given me the honor as a way of thanking me for breaking you.
Korra charged at him and threw water blasts at Heylin, but he created an energy barrier, and then created five copies of himself, who started to blast Korra with a stream of energy, causing her to fall. They stopped and the copies disappeared.
Heylin: You failed.
Korra: No, I can't.
Phobos: (Appears) Yes, you have. Allow me to take the pain away by ending your life.
Xiaolin: Korra, don't!
Korra: What's the point? The Dark Spirits have won, Raava has been taken from me, and Vaatu has returned.
Xiaolin: What you're seeing isn't real. We haven't failed.
Korra: We're destined to fail. There's no hope.
Xiaolin: Yes, there is. Every time a temple is healed, Heylin loses the power he gained from it. Korra, I know that you have a crush on me.
Korra: (Blushes) How did you know that?
Xiaolin: Opal told me. It's okay, because I love you too.
Korra: (Turns toward Phobos) I won't die from your illusion, Phobos.
Phobos: Then you will die by my hands!
He charged at Korra, but she jumped back and hit him with an air blast. Phobos fired an energy blast from his scythe, but Korra blocked it by creating an earth wall. Korra then jumped into the air and fired a barrage of fire balls at Phobos, knocking him to the ground. Korra then bent water around him to start her spiritbending technique. Phobos turned gold and dissipated.
Korra woke up and saw everyone around her. She looked at Xiaolin, who was getting up from his meditative stance. Korra got up and approached him. When they were facing each other, they both kissed each other.
Bolin: Uh, did we miss something?
Korra: We'll tell you guys about it. (Turns toward Xiaolin) Is Phobos gone? I used my spiritbending on him in the dream.
Xiaolin: He's still alive. We only scarred him, but he won't attack you in our dreams.
Mako: What do you mean "scarred" him?
Red Lotus base.
Phobos: (Falls over in pain) AAAGGGHHH!!!!
Heylin: You've been scarred. That wound will never heal.
The bones of Phobos rib cage turned black, along with the right side of his skull, and the red light in his right eye socket went away.
Phobos: I can't end up like Parasite.
A being in a cloak keeping his appearance hidden walked into the room.
Parasite: And what's wrong with ending up like me, brother?
He pulled down his hood to reveal a pale face on the left side of his head, white hair, and a left eye with a red coloring, but he had injuries that were similar to Phobos's, but he had red burns in place of blacked bones, and a milky white right eye.
Parasite: Now you know my pain.
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