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May 21, 2014
A new evil has risen; a darkbending nation. The world may be fighting, but only the Avatar can defeat the Dark Lord and bring peace to the world.
Book One: Dark
Chapter Ten: Spirit Tales
Previously on Naton
After the death of Master Onza, the Ben Hai arrive in the Fire Nation and join the Flare Rebels, led by Commander Narkan. The darkbenders attack the fort, and Naton is severely injured by a darkbender named Venja. Tazen is teleported to the Spirit World, and the commander is revealed to be Kian.
Chapter Ten: Spirit Tales
"We have to open the Spirit Portal," Gardie said. "Once we open it, we have to go into the Spirit World and rescue Tazen."
"Sounds like a good plan, but the Spirit World isn't exactly safe," Aeron said.
Commander Kian stood up. "We are the Ben Hai. We don't abandon our friends just because it's dangerous. We stick together until the end."
"What confuses me, is how that darkbender created the portal out of thin air," Gardie changed the subject.
"So... after we save Tazen, what we do?" Beeno asked.
"We'll gather up the Rebels and travel to Republic City. We must tell the President about what we've found out," Gardie replied. "It is at most importance that the President knows everything."
Naton slowly opened his eyes. "He's awake! He's awake!" Zaro and Lan helped Naton sit up in the bed. "Can you bend? That guy could have been a chi-bender," Lan said.
Naton shook his head. "I can still bend. But I feel so... weak."
Karrie entered the room. "Oh, hi Naton. Are you okay?"
"Yeah. Just a bit sleepy," Naton answered. He began to stand up.
"No, Naton. You're weak."
"I'm fine." Naton waddled down the hall. Kian and Gardie met him in the courtyard. "Kian? You're the commander?"
"Yeah. Thought I was someone else?"
"Well... you acted pretty much the same."
"We're going to have to get used to calling him Commander Kian from now on," Gardie said. "Oh, and Tazen's trapped in the Spirit World. Do you think you can open up the Spirit Portal?"
"Maybe. Where is it?"
Gardie, Kian, Aeron and Naton walked into the forest behind the fort. "I've seen the portal a few times," Kian explained. "It's somewhere around here."
They approached a clearing. In the middle, a large crystal dome shone and glowed brightly.
"Wow," Aeron gasped.
"Well?" Gardie helped Naton over to the closed portal.
"You two should stay out here," Gardie said.
"No way. I'm going in too," Aeron said. "If the darkbender could create portals to the Spirit World, he could attack you guys when you're in the Spirit World."
"In case, I'm coming too," Kian added.
Gardie sighed. "Kian, you have to lead your Rebels. Have Beeno and Karrie guard the portal. Naton, Aeron and I will go save Tazen."
Kian bowed. "Yes, master."
Naton turned to the portal. His hand touched the crystal. He took a deep breath. "For Onza." A great amount of energy began to flow into the crystal, and it began to shatter. Naton could feel his power increasing. Then, the crystal exploded, and a beam of light erupted from the portal.
"Good job," Gardie said. He turned to Kian.
"Good luck," Kian said.
Gardie nodded, and Naton, Aeron and Gardie walked into the opened portal, and entered the Spirit World.
Tall, mystical trees filled their vision, and glowing mushrooms lined the path.
"The Spirit World," Naton breathed.
Gardie began to walk down the path. "Well, we don't have much time to waste. I know someone who can lead us to Tazen." They left the portal, and continued down the path.
"He could be anywhere. The Spirit World is huge," Naton said.
"Which is why we need a spirit guide," Gardie replied.
Aeron looked around. "Uhh... guys? I think the trees are talking to us."
"I heard them sing."
"Of course they sing. We're in the Spirit World."
"They might tell us something."
"We can't get distracted by spirit trees," Gardie said. "Aeron. Where are you going?"
Aeron began to walk towards one of the trees. "Aeron! Get away from that-" Suddenly, the tree turned around, and grabbed Aeron with its branches. It opened up its mouth, and swallowed him before he could scream. Gardie ran up to the spirit tree. "Get Aeron out of there! Spit him out!" The tree taunted him, and began to run away. Gardie held his hands out, and blocks of ice stopped the tree. The tree then let out a loud hum, and the other trees began to walk towards Gardie and Naton, holding out their branch-like arms. Naton spun around, and shot fire at the trees. Gardie jumped onto the tree and tried to tackle it to the ground. The trees' bark began to grow grey, and their eyes turned red. Vines shot out of their mouths and wrapped around Gardie and Naton.
"Come on! Ten seconds in, and we're already going to die!" When a tree was about to eat Naton, the trunk split in half. A sword cut the vines, and stabbed the spirit trees. The trees fell to the ground, and let go of Gardie and Naton. The guardian spirit, Alang, walked over to a tree opened up the mouth, and pulled out Aeron.
"Okay, I think I got it... bad spirit tree... get on trac..."
"Guardian Spirit!" Naton cried.
"Hello, Avatar Naton. Sorry I'm a bit late," the spirit said.
"Actually, you're right on time," Gardie said.
Alang cleared his throat. "Hello, Kendo Gardie."
Aeron groggily stood up, and wiped wet moss off of his clothes. "Wait, you guys know each other?"
"Yes," the guardian spirit replied.
"Have you seen Tazen? A firebender?" Naton asked.
"No I have not. But I know someone who does."
"Wan Shi Tong," Gardie said.
"What?" Aeron asked. "Wan Shi- Oh! One Who Knows a Thousand Things. The owl who owns the Spirit Library. Jinora told me about him!"
The Guardian Spirit nodded. "Yes. Apart from just book smarts, he also holds spiritual knowledge. He is much more wiser than I am, and he will be glad to help the spirits"."
"What about humans?" Naton asked.
"Well... he doesn't prefer humans in his library," Gardie replied. "He's had a long history of... unpleasing humans."
"Like Gardie," Alang said.
"What? Gardie?" Naton asked.
"It's a long story," Gardie sighed.
I used to be a soldier in the Northern Water Tribe. I led the army against the fleet of invading pirates. After a successful victory, the chief let me enter the Spirit Portal in the forest. When I entered the Spirit World, it was amazing. Then I stumbled upon this tall black shrine, which I waterbended, and I set free a dark spirit; Kaaju. He was the prince of all of the dark spirits, the son of Vaatu himself. Along with him, evil dark spirits escaped from their prison, and entered the physical world. The guardian spirit fought and trapped Kaaju under the shrine again. The guardian spirit realized that I had caused too much trouble and seen too much, so he took me to Wan Shi Tong's Library, where I learned everything about the Spirit World. After a while, I returned to the Northern Water Tribe, but it was being attacked by the dark spirits I had released. I fought them off, and Avatar Korra saw that the spirits were dangerous, and closed the spirit portals. In shame, I fled to the Earth Kingdom, and found a new spiritual life in the Forest of Thorns. I've never been able to get over the guilt that I had started this war.
"So, you released the dark spirits?" Aeron asked.
Gardie nodded. "Indeed."
"So... does that mean the spirits don't like Gardie?" Naton asked Alang.
"In a way. But they do respect him because he respects nature and the spirits," the guardian spirit replied.
They arrived at Wan Shi Tong's Library. It was a giant elaborate temple that hung upside down. "Wow, it's just like how Mom described it," Aeron breathed. "It's beautiful."
"Wait until you see the books," Gardie said, and used a water tornado to enter the library. They landed on the bottom floor.
"Wan Shi Tong."
The giant owl spirit landed in front of them. "Greetings Alang, and Kendo Gardie. I can see you are the Avatar, and you are the son of Jinora."
Gardie bowed. "Hello, Wan Shi Tong. We desire your vast collection of books."
Alang stepped forward. "Have you seen a firebender pass by?"
The owl spirit leaned forward. "I have seen Tazen. He is lost, and heading towards the Siq Swamps."
"The Siq Swamps? That's not far away," Gardie said. He turned to Naton and Aeron. "You two go with the Guardian Spirit and look for Tazen. I'll stay here and catch up on my studies. I could find something important."
"We'll come back soon," Alang said.
They exited the library. The Guardian Spirit pointed towards a flat plain. "Past there are the San Mountains. Once we cross the mountains, the Siq Swamps will meet us."
"Is there anything special about the Siq Swamps?" Aeron asked.
Alang nodded. "Hence its name, it makes someone sick and mad. We must rescue Tazen quickly, or he will grow insane."
As they walked towards the mountains, Naton ran up behind Alang. "Are there dark spirits in the Spirit World?"
"Of course. They are born here, which is another reason why we should speed up." He raised his hand, and a dragon-bird spirit picked them up, and they flew towards the San Mountains.
Back at the Rebel camp, Beeno leaned against a tree trunk. "How long will they take?"
"I don't know," Kian replied. The earthbender began playing with pebbles. "I hope they come back quick, so I can go back to Republic City. I gotta meet my new fans."
Karrie rolled her eyes. "Pro-bending is soooo boring. It's just a bunch of armored guys throwing fire, water and rocks at each other."
Zaro and Lan ran up to Commander Kian. "Commander, we have word from Republic City. The President requires the Ben Hai as soon as possible."
Writer - GretriXcape
Illustrator - GretriXcape
For the collective works of the author, go here.