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|The First Lesson|
August 27, 2013
~~The Courtyard on the central mountain~~
"Well, you seem more confident that before," said Katara, proud about her brother.
"Of course I am. I finally figured out meditating and finding your inner self. To be honest, when dad left to fight in the war, I became depressed. Up until now, for almost ten years I felt strange and uncomfortable feelings, and I couldn't find a "happy place". But now that I talked with Gyatso, I figured out the things that really matter. But more importantly, he thought me to believe in myself and to be more confident. So, when are we starting training?" said Sokka.
"Sokka, it's six o'clock in the afternoon. The day is almost over and you need your rest," said Aang. "We'll start training tomorrow morning. But, for now, let's go to bed."
"Fine, I'll just grab my sleeping bag from Appa and find a nice, cozy spot to sleep," replied Sokka.
"Why don't you come with us?" said Katara. "We'll show you what we've been up to these past few days."
"Okay, if you insist," said Sokka as he and the others started walking to a nearby house. "What is this place? It's the only building that's intact."
"Well, it's just ONE of the buildings refurbished and cleaned up in the past few days," replied Hokai. "While you've been in the main training hall with Guru Pathik, we'we been rebuilding the temple to its former glory. Only the grounds around the training hall have yet to be rebuilt. We didn't want to disturb you."
"That's amazing, but for who is all this? I mean, who is going to live in the temple? We still have to save the world from Admiral Shinzou," replied Sokka.
"We'we already got that covered. A few hours after you'd gone in to train with Guru Pathik, I got a note from Ba Sing Se. More precisely, from Iroh," said Aang. "He told me, that a so called Air Nomad club is being formed. The members include several professors and students from several Ba Sing Se universities as well as other people, that want to live the Air Nomad life. They are willing to abandon their current life and live as Air Nomads studying the Air Nomad ways, culture and philosophy. I sent a note, that if they want, they can come and live here."
"So, in a way the Air Nomads are being reborn again," added Hokai.
"Well, here's your room," said Aang, as he showed Sokka his new room. "Sleep well, you've got a long day of training ahead."
THE NEXT DAY
It was a beautiful sunny day. The sun just started shining in Sokka's bedroom and filled it with its energy. "WAKE UP SLEEPY HEAD!" Aang, who just came into the room gently, shouted as loud as he could.
"WHY DID YOU HAVE TO SHOUT?! You almost gave me a heart attack!" Sokka said, furiously.
"Well, I had to wake you up somehow. Now, come in, we have a long day ahead of us, so get outside as fast as you can," said Aang, as he slowly started to walk down the stairs, outside of the building.
After a few minute of waiting, the rest of the Gaang saw Sokka, as he came outside of the house. "So, what's the first move, we'll be working on? The Air blades, the Air bombs..."
"Wow, there. These are master level moves. Let's start with the basics. Hm?... Hokai, please bring me the special tool," said Aang as Hokai went to get the special tool.
As Hokai came back, he was holding a small wooden and decorated box. He opened the box and grabbed out of it, a candle. "Are you people serious. This is my first move. To blow out a candle. I can do that with my mouth," Sokka said as he started to blow the candle out, using his mouth, but to no avail. "What kind of trick is this?!"
"It's no trick, Sokka. These are special candles. You can only blow them out using Airbending. Your breath won't do."
Sokka tried time and time again, but he wasn't able to blow out the candle or even generate and wind from his hands. "Why can't I do it? What am I doing wrong?"
"Sokka, you must understand, that we airbenders learn to feel the energy behind the wind, not just the breeze on our skin. It's all about controlling energy. And that's your problem. You need to feel the Energy behind and around you. Only then will you succeed."
"I bet five silver pieces that Map Boy isn't gonna do it!" said Toph to Katara. "What! That's my brother you're talking about. You're ON!" said Katara as she shook Toph's hand, immediately regretting her decision.
Sokka concentrated like never before. He used the energy around him to form a small wind between his hands and released the trapped wind towards the candle. The candle went out instantly. "I DID IT, I DID IT!" shouted Sokka.
"WHAT! Here, take your money," said Toph as she handed the five silver pieces to Katara.
As they cheered, a messenger hawk flew to Aang and Hokai. Hokai took the letter and started reading. "Dear Avatar, we'd be delighted and honored to join you in the Eastern Air Temple and to start rebuilding the Air Nomad way of life.
"Do you know, what this means?" Aang asked. "The temple is going to be filled with life once more."
"Katara, Toph. Do you want to help me? We still have a lot of work to do around the temple. I was just heading to the library. I'm sure that our guests would love to read about the Air Nomad way of life," said Hokai.
"We'd love to help," replied Katara. "Now, let's leave Sokka and his master with their training."
"So, what's next?" Sokka asked.
"Well, since you're eager to learn, I suggest that we learn the fundamental move of the Air Nomads. Gliding," Aang said.
"You mean flying. What if you teach me less threatening moves?" said Sokka in fear. "Oh, come on Sokka, gliding gives an airbender the motivation and strength to do all other moves. True airbenders come from the skies. Like Appa. And don't worry, you'll have me and Appa to protect you," said Aang.
The duo and Appa went to the edge of the terrace, looking down on a cliff. Aang gave Sokka Hokai's glider, with Hokai not knowing about it. "Are you sure I'm ready?" said Sokka. Aang nodded in agreement and Sokka had no other chance. He opened his glider and started running towards the edge. He jumped and grabbed in to his glider. He slowly opened his eyes. "Hey, I'm flying. I'm flying!"
"Yes, you are," said Aang, gliding besides him. "See, this isn't that hard. Now, use your airbending to lift yourself up. You're flying downwards." Sokka did as his master told him and the duo started to fly around the temple. They came to the central square in the central mountain, where they saw the rest of the Gaang. "Hey, Katara, I'm FLYING!" shouted Sokka.
Katara, Toph and Hokai couldn't believe it. Sokka was flying with Aang, as they started to make acrobatics in front of their friends.
"Wow, Sokka's pretty good at this," said Katara.
"He might be, but he's still goofy looking, wearing those clothes and being bald," replied Toph.
"HEY, Wait a minute!" said Hokai. "That's my glider! They took my glider!"
"Oh, lighten up, I'm sure that Sokka's not going to break it... You do have a back up glider, do you?" said Katara, after realizing that her words weren't enthusiastic as in her head.
END OF CHAPTER TWENTY
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