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|The Master of the Elements: Part 2|
January 21, 2011
The group fights through the wreckage to get back to Appa. Zuko swears that Azula will pay for destroying the Southern Air Temple.
Chapter 10: The Master of the Elements: Part 2
Sokka heard the sound before he felt it. It was like a thousand people screaming at the same time, followed by a single, giant, tumultuous groan. The temple's walls broke into a thousand pieces and hurtled themselves in a thousand different directions as the ceiling gave way and plummeted downward.
In the crazed madness it seemed the entire world was collapsing in on itself, and Sokka stumbled blindly, unable to see nor care where he was going. He had to escape before the entire temple came down on his head. He screamed for help, but knew that no one would answer him. He was going to be buried alive...
Zuko groaned and shook himself awake. Everything was dark. What happened? Then he remembered. Azula had united all four amulets...and become an Avatar. His head throbbed where he must have hit it on the ground as he fell, and he grimaced as he got wearily to his feet, his legs bruised heavily from the impact of the temple implosion.
He looked around and saw Toph unconscious on the ground, her face covered with dirt and Earth. A sudden rumble shook the caves, and as Zuko looked up he realized that the temple's weight must be too much for the caves to handle. They had to get out of here before they were buried alive...
Toph stirred, and slightly opened her eyes. "Sokka?" she asked. "Oh Sokka, I knew you would save me. Mwah!" She kissed Zuko on the cheek.
"Uhh..." said Zuko, not knowing what to say. "It's me, not Sokka."
"Oh...well..." Toph blushed. "I really need to stop doing that..."
Sokka reached a dead end in the labyrinth and knew it was over. He looked upward just in time to dodge a large falling rock from the collapsing ceiling of the caves. Wait a minute, he thought, that's it! That's how I'll get out of here!
He took out his boomerang and threw it at the ceiling, which gave way at once. Dodging out of the way of the falling debris, he looked back to see a large hole in the weakened ceiling, and he successfully hoisted himself up and out of the tunnel. Now to get to Appa...
"I don't see Sokka anywhere, Toph," said Zuko downheartedly. "I think we need to get back to Appa before it's too late." He turned back and walked aimlessly until he found a way up to the temple. He carried Toph in silence all the way back to where the bison was waiting.
The temple was completely demolished. The tall spires and arches; the grand courtyards and paintings of Air Nomad culture; they were all accumulated in a giant pile of meaningless wreckage. Zuko carefully walked through the waist-high pieces of stone that once were part of one of the greatest landmarks of Air Nation culture still standing. This is awful, Zuko thought, and we were powerless to stop it.
Zuko stopped and looked ahead, unable to believe his eyes. It couldn't be...but it was!
"What? Why'd we stop?" Toph asked, confused.
"Because!" Zuko exclaimed. "It's Sokka!"
Sokka and Suki were both clambering up Appa's giant tail, quickly followed by Zuko holding an exuberant Toph. Appa slammed his tail down on the ground and lifted up into the air. The group looked back to survey the wreckage just in time to see a gigantic explosion send ripples through the rubble. Charred remains of the once-proud temple spewed every which way and the group turned away from the sight. It was too painful to look any longer. Azula will pay for this, Zuko thought. He would be sure of it.
This is the end of the first book, so head over to book 2 now!!
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