Dark forest
The Dream that Led to a Journey
Chapter information

Spirit of the North


Book 1

Written by


Release date

15 November, 2014

Word count


Last chapter

Chapter 9 - Avatar (SotN)

Next chapter

Chapter 11 - Promise (SotN)

"He listens as we sleep in the dead of night, sending his visions to those who are destined." – From the Book of Tutorik.

The rest of the night had been filled with much discussion. All the council members had addressed the crowd with their own proposals as to what course of action they should take, most of them agreeing with Onartok in that they should fight against Utadano. There were still some who were undecided, just contemplating and considering all the options they had. After everyone who had wanted to speak had done so, the villagers left the Meeting Hall. Some wandered off back home alone, while others gathered in groups at each other's homes to discuss the meeting further. Miki, Saskha, and Junetsu had gone to Anana's house for that very reason, along with Kesuk and his parents.

Their home was nearby to the village centre, and rather large compared to the other homes in the hills. Anana had her two older siblings living here at one stage, as well as her baby brother Kayi and her grandparents, and so her family had needed a large home for them all to live here. Her parents had set out some moon peach tarts on the table for the guests, though with the amount of discussion going on hardly anyone had been able to touch them yet.

"You saw him didn't you dad?" Kesuk asked his father. He was seated next to both his parents at one end of the table.

Kesaq nodded. "Indeed. When you looked into Huode's eyes it was like staring into the eyes of a demon," He bowed his head and sighed, "I should have ended him there. One swift strike from a water whip and he would have left this world for good."

"But such an act would have only aggravated Utadano even further," Kesuk's mother, Yepa, joined in. "Surely we are in a better position now than if you had done that; we have three weeks to contact the other nations, and to send our civilians back to the Northern Water Tribe."

Anana's father nodded. "It is better this way. A hasty decision can be your last." He looked towards his wife, "And at least this will give us time to send my wife and children up north."

"You have family there Pirta?" Yepa asked Anana's mother.

"Our two oldest children moved back a while ago to bring Nilak's," She motioned to her husband on the right, "Newly designed sailboat plans to the Northern Water Tribe. Kayi, Anana, and I will be safe there." Pirta closed her eyes. It was still surreal that this whole thing was happening.

"Kesuk and Yepa will be joining them too," Kesaq commented in response.

"What?" Kesuk questioned, "I... Can't just leave! Not when you're staying here Dad."

Kesaq turned to his son, "It's for the best son. All the children will be leaving for the north."

"But I'm not a child! I'm 18 years old!" Kesuk pleaded with his father.

A small smile made its way onto Kesaq's face. He took a moment to breath in deeply, and then turned to Kesuk, "I know you're not. But still, I wouldn't forgive myself if something happened to you," He answered, his expression much more serious.

"Well then, maybe I could go with Onartok in search of the new Avatar."

As soon as he had said this, both his parents reacted. "Kesuk, no," Yepa began, "Just please, do what's best for us. We won't be able to sleep at night knowing that you are in the middle of nowhere, in enemy territory."

Kesaq glanced back to his son, "And I also need you to help protect your mother and the other villagers in the Northern Water Tribe. They will be sending us reinforcements, but if Utadano manage to break through our village we need to have capable warriors to defend the north." Kesaq grunted, "Anyway, this whole idea of finding the next Avatar is nonsense. He would only be sixteen years old at most, what good would an adolescent be in a war?"

"Why do we even need an Avatar?" Anana had finally lifted her downcast head and broke her silence. "Why must there be someone to restore peace to this world? Why can't we just live in a world in peace and harmony already?" She took a moment to wipe the tears from her eyes, "I've grown up hearing about the wars of the past. Both my grandparents were killed in the Barbarian Wars, and I never got the chance to meet them." By this stage Pirta had started crying too at the mention of her own parents. Anana continued, "Maybe we should just give in to Utadano and join their new Empire. Maybe we could negotiate, or somehow get out of the war but still supply them when we need to. I just... I just don't want to live in a world of all this fighting and hatred."

"Do you think the fighting would end if we joined Utadano?" Kesuk question his friend. Anana made no response but looked up, her tears running down her face. "Do you hear what they say about us? They call us primitive, and savage. Why, they even call us barbaric. If we joined them we would become the scum of their empire. We wouldn't be treated fairly or equally. Sure, we wouldn't be at war with Utadano, but there would still be fighting. Every day would be a battle just to get what we need to survive." He turned back to his father, "Didn't you say that Utadano want to manage all the resources of their empire? Well, I'm sure you can imagine how much will be given to a bunch of savage primitives like us."

Junetsu, who had remained quiet for the majority of the time, decided to intervene, "Look, this has all been very difficult for everyone to accept," She began. "And we have to understand that there are good and bad things about any choice our tribe decides to make."

Nilak nodded. "And you guys have to also understand," He glanced at his daughter and Kesuk, "That you are Manirak's future. You are our future leaders and parents, and we as your parents want to do everything that keeps you safe. And if that means sending you to the Northern Water Tribe then so be it."

"But I don't want to leave you behind," Anana looked at her father, her voice saddened and pained. Her mother put her arm around her, stroking her back. The gesture even brought tears to Nilak's eyes.

Sensing the tension in the air, Kayi began to wail. His howling cries brought a silence to the conversation, and Pirta tried to comfort her baby son. It gave everyone at the table a moment to pause, and contemplate all that had been said. So much was at stake, and everyone knew how important it was to take a moment to think about all their options as a tribe. When it became obvious that Kayi wasn't going to stop crying anytime soon, Pirta picked up her baby son and carried him into another room, gently stroking him and whispering hushed tones.

"How did this stupid war between the Earth Kingdoms even begin?" Anana asked, her head tilting downward.

"The war itself hasn't actually been going for a long time," Junetsu began, even though Anana hadn't directly asked anyone for an answer. "There aren't many reliable sources on the matter, though I do believe that while the war itself has not been going on for a long time, contrary to common belief, the hatred between the two kingdoms has existed for a good while. I remember reading that it happened soon after the Earth Kingdom capitol split into the two kingdoms we have today, when the throne had been inherited by twin firstborn sons."

"Now it's more about the land and leadership isn't it?" Nilak suggested. "The Earth Kingdoms would benefit hugely if they were united, though which side should rule - North or South - is what they are fighting for."

The librarian nodded her head. "It does seem that ruling the other Kingdom is both of their goals, though we have not heard much from the Southern Earth Kingdom and their goals, given our location in the north."

"It's been a long night, so maybe we should all just give it some more thought and get some rest for the voting tomorrow?" Saskha suggested. She placed her hand around Anana's from across the table. "We can talk again in the morning."

Junetsu put an arm around Miki as well, "Should we get going then?"

The girl who had not even opened her mouth since the meeting nodded. Standing up, Miki bowed slightly to Anana's parents before making her way out the door with Junetsu.

There were usually few lanterns still lit at this time of night, though given the circumstances many were still awake with their lights on, perhaps chatting and discussing tonight's events. Saskha had decided to stay with Anana a while since she had seemed to be taking the news of this war pretty hard. Kesuk and his parents had left shortly after Junetsu and Miki did, making their way to their home nearby. Now, Miki and Junetsu made their way back home which was higher up in the hills.

"You can talk to me if you want to you know," Junetsu broke the silence. "I can see you're upset about something."

Junetsu always had a way of reading people like her books. Miki stopped in her tracks, but kept her face low, "Why now?" She asked. "Why is this happening now?"

"Fate is a funny thing," Junetsu responded after a brief pause. "We can find ourselves asking why events take place and not knowing their purpose then, but later on we can see the unobscured picture fully."

The young girl turned around, "But why now? We have been here all this time! We have minded our own business this whole time, and yet they would want to treat us this way now? Why?! Why couldn't they have been like this the whole time?!"

Junetsu's expression saddened when it became clear what was going on, "You're not talking about Utadano, are you?"

"Why have the villagers only just started treating me differently now?" Miki questioned, her voice filled with confusion and sadness. "I've been hurting for three years. I've been rejected, ignored, gossiped about, and grieved for my mother for three years. And only now people start to actually care?"

"Miki, we've always cared--"

"There are still many who still shun me, or hide away, or whisper when I walk past. But others are now actually talking to me. They're even noticing me." She laughed cynically, "Why, even that fossil sea cow Hinani talked to me! She told me she was 'Sorry for my loss'. Well, she also failed to mention how she was sorry for ignoring me, spreading rumors about me, and separating me from her daughter, my closest friend!"

Miki let out a wave of tears from her eyes, her face revealing her anger and confusion, "I should want Utadano to succeed! I should want them to destroy this pathetic village and bury everyone with it! It doesn't matter what people are like now, if I had known they would have treated me better after my father died than I would have killed someone else already!"

"Miki, stop," Junetsu pleaded. But Miki had let out all she could from her lips, and now all that was left to express were tears from her eyes. "What about this morning? I saw you at Keiro's gravestone? You were saying your goodbyes to your father. You were beginning the process of grieving. Don't go back to before then, when you beat your fist into the stone and blamed yourself for his death."

She had heard all that Junetsu had said, but Miki could only cry in response. Junetsu walked over to Miki and held her tight. "Miki, it is not your fault that your father died. I know it is hard to understand why things are the way they are now; why many people let you suffer all those years yet choose to help you now, but don't give up on yourself." Junetsu pulled away so she could look down into Miki's eyes, keeping her arms on her shoulders, "You have grown to despise these people who have mistreated you, but now that their lives are in danger you're confused. You don't know how to feel about them."

Miki could only respond with more sobs and tears running from her eyes. "Fate is a funny thing. We can find ourselves asking why events take place and not knowing their purpose then, but later on we can see the unobscured picture fully." Junetsu gave Miki another hug before turning back to the hills, "Let's get back home shall we? Saskha will be back soon too."

It took Miki a while before she could actually get to sleep. Saskha had arrived back home shortly after Miki had climbed into her hammock, but she stayed up and talked things over with Junetsu. Inside Miki's mind was a scrambled mess of thoughts, unable to settle themselves. Junetsu had been right; this whole time, Miki had grown a deep resentment for the villagers in Manirak. Almost all of them had rejected her after mom had died, after her powers were revealed. People avoided her like a plague, and instead spread their rumours and lies about her, their judging eyes attacking her every time she was caught in their line of sight.

But did they really deserve to suffer by Utadano's hand? Miki couldn't give an answer. If only she had left that day when she had been sitting at the top of her hill with Ulva, then she wouldn't have to worry about all of this. Her sister would have been able to evacuate to the North, and her father would still be alive. If only she and Ulva had left for the Earth Kingdom, and then none of this mess would have happened.

Feeling the numbness spread from her feet to the rest of her body, Miki eventually fell asleep...

The first thing she saw when she opened her eyes was the snow. Her cheek resting in it as her body lay, she blinked a couple times before sitting up and dusting the snow from her face.

Where am I?

How did I get here?

Tall shadows of trees engulfed her surroundings, and the ones nearby to her extended their branches like arms in all directions. Filtered moonlight seeped in between the gaps in the canopy, illuminating the small shrubs and the thin layer of snow covering the ground.

As she stood to her feet, she noticed shapes moving between the trunks of the trees. Small flickers of orange to the sides of some. Panic engulfed her thoughts as she saw the shadows approaching, and she spun around searching the darkness until her foot was caught by a small rock. She tumbled backwards, landing back in the snow.

What are they?

Where should I run?

From her position, she could see the unobscured moon in the night sky. There were no branches or clouds blocking its light, and it radiated silver-blue light all around her. That's right. The moon was here, and her powers flowed from the moon. Tui had cursed her, but she could always count on the moon's presence to unleash her powers.

As the shapes began to emerge, she began to recognize them; they were villagers, all dressed in blue cloaks and jackets. Some held torches – which must've been what she had noticed when she saw those dancing flickers of orange when the villagers were far away. But as they neared her now, she began to realise that they were not just any villagers. They were villagers of Manirak.

Why are they here?

What do they want with me?

They villagers had completely surrounded her. She had nowhere left to run. Now that they were close, she could hear them muttering and snarling under their breath.


Hooded She-Spirit!

Their scathing eyes lashed out upon her, their faces full of malice and hate. She was surrounded, but it didn't matter. She would find her own way out. Lifting her arms in the air, she breathed in the cool night air, sensing the moonlight upon her body. When she exhaled the air from her lungs, she opened her eyes. Now was her chance.

She swung her left arm forwards, clawing her fingers in the air. The closest villager to her screamed though he was unable to move, and he was soon sent flying into the trunk of a tree. With her right she did the same to a woman on that side, though the woman crashed into a mound of snow. The bulk of the group had started to retreat, their cries and fearful gasps echoing through the forest. Some who had been holding the torches started waving them in her direction, one of them nearly hitting her. But she quickly took a step back, and with both her arms she forced the torch-bearer to drop his weapon. She slowly raised her right arm, causing the man to levitate, and after a few moments she shot her arm forwards, the man soaring in that direction.

With every wave of her arm another villager was hurled away. They deserved this. All these evil, monstrous villagers had been nothing but awful to her. They had ignored and avoided her when she needed comfort and love. She loathed each and every one of them. She noticed that shop keeper, the one from a few days ago who she had tried to sell wood carvings to. His usual smug and arrogant grin had been replaced by an expression of terror, like an animal caught in a hunter's trap. He struggled against her grip, though he was no match. Every time he would move one of his arms, or try to grab onto the tree branches, she would twist and flex her fingers in such a way that he could only tremble. Once he was in the air, she swung her arm downward, slamming him onto the ground.

As she continued to lash out at the crowd, she began to realize that less and less villagers surrounded her. There was still a group in front of her though. She ran at them, her teeth clenched and arms spread wide, ready to unleash her hurt and anguish which they had inflicted on her. But as she approached she recognized who was before her. It was Pirta, Anana's mother, holding a crying Kayi in her arms.

Please! Stop!

Miki! Please!

While watching the woman and child in front of her, she lowered her arms. She breathed in deeply, quickly exhaling afterwards, and then once the reality of the situation began to sink in she began to hyperventilate.

What am I doing?

Why am I doing this?

She spun around, now noticing that all the villagers took similar positions to Pirta. The ones on the ground cowered under their raised arms, pleading and begging for their lives. Others lowered their heads, shaking uncontrollably. All of them terrified by the display of power before them.

They deserved it. They have shown nothing but hatred towards you.

So what?! How could I just attack all these people?!

Tears welled in her eyes as she continued spinning. Her dizziness got the better of her and she collapsed onto the ground, a crying heap of confusion. When she raised her head again, she noticed a young girl crouching next the tree, her hands raised over her face.

Don't cry, I'm sorry!

I won't hurt you!

She approached the young girl, crawling on her hands and knees. The cries of everyone else around her slowly began to fade away, as if they realized that they weren't her target anymore. But something was off about this girl. She was familiar, though she wasn't quite sure where she had met her.

She tried to delicately place her arms around the girl's, though she shook so much it was impossible. Instead, she reached for the girl's hood to pull it back so she could see her face, and this motion made the girl lower her arms. As she slowly uncovered the girl's face, the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach grew more and more overwhelming until she felt like vomiting.

With her hood pulled back fully and her eyes wide open, she could recognize just who it was. She had dark hair, two strands running from her temples with light blue bands near the ends. Her eyes were deep blue, though her irises so small with terror it was hard to tell. Her small but wide nose, fairly pale skin. She knew who this girl was. It was Miki.

What is going on?!

Why am I there against the tree?!

She got up and left Miki trembling where she was. Her breathing had accelerated, and her chest now heaved in and out with each painful breath.

Why is she there?!

If she is there, than who am I?!

She glanced at her bare hands. These weapons had defeated everyone here, her powers flowing through them. She continued spinning, and the cries and terrified moans of everyone around her grew louder and louder. It was too much to bear. She shrieked and sunk to the ground, burying her head in her arms as she fell flat on the ground.

And then it all fell silent. The cries and fearful sounds, gone. Only her own stifled sobs and heaving breaths could be heard.


She looked up at the sound of that name. She knew once upon a time it had belonged to her, though now she felt as if she were someone else. All the villagers had gone, including her clone. She was all alone, yet a woman's voice was calling to her.


She focused her vision ahead of her, wiping tears from her eyes so she could see clearer. There was a figure descending from the sky.

Miki, stand up.

It was a woman. She wore flowing white garments, a dress with detached sleeves. Her hair was white as snow, and two braided strands hung from the sides of her head. Her whole figure glowed with a spectacular white light.

You, you're the Moon Spirit, aren't you?

Why did you curse me the night my mother died?

Fresh tears rolled down her cheeks as she watched the woman float towards her. She couldn't explain how, but she knew that this woman was the Moon Spirit.

I had nothing to do with what happened that night for I belong to another time, a time far in the future.

But that is beside the point. Miki, stand up.

She took a moment to consider what this woman had just said. What did she mean 'From another time'? But she obeyed what the Moon Spirit told her, and managed to stand on her trembling legs.

You see what I did here? I am a monster!

It's all your fault!

The Moon Spirit's eyes softened as she heard this statement, a small saddened frown appearing on her delicate face.

Neither I, nor Tui, cursed you.

Now Miki, step forwards.

She reluctantly followed the Moon Spirit's commands. She still had no idea how to make sense of what this woman was saying. How could she be from another time, yet still be the Moon Spirit, and not be the same person as Tui? She was so confused, and frustrated, and angry at this whole situation. The Moon Spirit was now within reaching distance when she began to speak again.

Listen, Miki;

You have not been cursed.

You have not been forgotten.

You have not been broken beyond repair.

But you have been destined.

You have been chosen.

And you will be rebuilt.

For a monster, you are not.

You are a child.

Who is destined to be a hero.

And you are not alone.

She felt the Moon Spirit place a hand on her cheek. All around her, the trees had begun to sway, and the earth shook beneath her feet.

I will show you what you must do, when you are ready...

The Moon Spirit placed her other hand upon her forehead. White light engulfed everything, and a ringing sound accompanying it. The world kept spinning until eventually it disappeared into the light.

Her sister's footprints were still visible in the snow, forming a trail from their home into the woods. But Saskha didn't need to rely on them, as she knew exactly where her younger sister would be.

After waking up for whatever reason, Saskha had gone to check on Miki but found that she wasn't in her room or anywhere else in the house. What she couldn't understand was why? Why would her sister just get up and go outside at this time of night?

Saskha quickened her pace. Anxious thoughts gripped her heart. Her younger sister had been through so much lately, her emotions spiraling. She had thought tonight had been good; before the meeting they had been joking around, even teasing each other, like the good old days. But something about this whole Utadano dilemma had affected Miki. After the tribe meeting she had remained silent almost the whole time, not even paying attention to much of what had been said. Something was definitely up.

Her pulse settled a little when she neared the top of the hill, seeing her sister snuggled next to none other than Ulva. The friendly wolf sensed Saskha's presence and walked over to her, tongue hanging out and panting, brushing up his body against hers.

"Hey there Ulva," Saskha said while stroking his head. Over the last few days Ulva had grown much fonder of her, occasionally popping in around their home. He still didn't venture too far into the village, since most of the villagers feared wolves and would probably attack him.

"I suppose father taught you well," Miki spoke without turning around. "You managed to follow my tracks here."

"I didn't need to be a hunter to know you would be here," Saskha replied. She made her way over to her sister and sat down next to her while Ulva curled up in the snow next to them. "Miki, why are you out here?" Her light blue eyes tried to make contact with Miki's.

Miki was staring into the distance ahead of them. Saskha could see why her sister would come here so often; the scene was breath-taking, even under the dark night sky. Endless forests of trees, covered in patches of snow that occasionally caught the light from the moon and sparkled. "I had a dream. And... Well, I thought I would come here to think about it," She responded after a slight pause.

Saskha nodded slowly, "Yeah... I had a dream too. It involved fruit pies and a sky bison dressed in green, nothing worth mulling over," She sighed lightly, placing a hand on Miki's shoulder. "What's going on Miki?"

Miki turned to look at her sister, "I was in a forest, much like this one. There was snow on the ground and it was dark, though I could see the full moon through a gap in the trees." With each sentence Saskha nodded, though she was still skeptical while Miki continued. "And then I saw shadows, moving closer to me. And once they were near I recognized then. They were people, villagers."

"Villagers from here? From Manirak?"

Her sister nodded. She glanced back to the hills before them, "I could hear them saying things under their breath, calling me a 'She-demon' and 'Hooded She-Spirit'."

Saskha narrowed her eyes, a saddened look on her face. Miki was still dreaming of the way the other villagers treated her because of her powers, and possibly this was on her mind as well. "What happened next?"

Miki looked back to her sister, "I attacked them." Saskha let out a small sound from her lips. She clearly wasn't expecting that. "I could feel the power from the moon, flowing though my body. I could feel the anger and hatred I had for each of them as if the dream were real. So I lashed out. I moved my arms around, clenched my hands, sending people flying in all directions. And it felt good, as if I were somehow finding justice with all they had done. But then," She turned her face downwards to the snow in front of her, "I realized what I was doing. These people were terrified; they screamed and cried as they ran away from me. I was so upset I ended up tripping and falling on the ground. And that's when I saw this girl, cowering against a tree. So I crawled over to try and say something, but as I got closer I realized that it wasn't just any old girl; it was me."

"Hmm?" Saskha questioned, her eyebrow raised. "There were two of you?" She placed her hand back on Miki's, "Listen, I know a lot is on your mind lately, but remember that sometimes dreams are just random, and they don't mean anything. Well, I sure hope that I don't get fruit pies tossed at me by a sky bison in green sometime in the future," She replied with a slight smile.

Miki laughed a little, "Well that would be unusual." Her smile faded, "But I think this dream is different, though it took me a while to make sense of how there could be two of me." She looked back to her sister, "I may have only been out here a short time, but I've been awake for hours, trying to make sense of what happened. I kept replaying what happened in my mind, and then... it became clear. The other villagers and I are the same. That's why there was another girl identical to me crouching on the ground in fear."

"What do you mean?"

"I've always thought that the other villagers avoided me and rejected me because they hated me. But...What I saw in my dream were not hateful people, but scared. They were terrified by my powers. That's why they ignored me all this time." She turned to her sister, tears beginning to form in her eyes, "Once I had realized that, the rest of the dream became clear. I understand why I saw myself cowering on the ground. I am no different from the villagers. I'm scared of me as well. I have these powers I don't know how to control! I'm terrified that I really will become a monster. I'm so fearful that I will cause someone else to die just like father did."

By this stage Saskha had started crying as well, "Miki," She tried to reach out to her sister to reassure her that their father's death wasn't her fault, though Miki shook her head.

"It's okay, I know it isn't completely my fault," Miki wiped her eyes and took a moment to pause. "When this whole Utadano situation was brought up I almost wanted them to succeed; I hated these villagers because I thought they hated me, and I wanted to see them crushed in some way, as if it were fate's way of dishing out justice. But once I realized what my dream meant it... It changed my perception. They don't deserve to suffer by the hands of that tyrannical city. Utadano is threatening to swallow Manirak up into its new empire, forcing us into their army and taking all we have. And I think that now I see why the villagers rejected me, now that I see that I am just like them, I think that I am meant to... To do something," She looked into Saskha's eyes, "I think I'm meant to help find the Avatar."

Saskha was speechless for a moment, though after a few seconds she managed to stutter, "Bu... What? Why? I don't under--"

"A woman in white descended from the moon in my dream. She told me that I was somehow destined. That I... would rise a hero. I think I now know what it means."

"Miki, stop," Saskha grasped her sister's shoulders, looking into her blue eyes, "You can't just take this dream as reality. I know you have been through a lot lately, and I am so happy that it sounds like you're finally understanding what has happened – that's more than I can say about myself." She leant in closer, "But trekking halfway across the world in search of a man who may or may not even be there... That's just crazy. Look, I know that since Mom died you have been intrigued by the Earth Kingdom; Dad became distant, and started drinking. You longed to go somewhere away from him. I get that. But maybe this whole dream of yours is simply that desire manifesting itself. Perhaps the reason you want to go on a search for the Avatar is because you want to get away from here. Tell me I'm wrong."

Miki looked back to the ground in front of them, pausing to ponder her sister's suggestion. After a brief moment she sighed, and answered, "I can't tell you you're wrong; part of me does want to leave this place. So much has happened here that I just want to forget." She looked back up at her sister, "Saskha, I don't think that I could ever call Manirak my home, not after everything that has happened here. I don't think I can fully forgive the villagers who rejected me after Mom died. I will try to, though I don't know if I will ever be at peace with it. But one thing I can do for this village... Is fight for them."

Her older sister could only smile back with teary eyes. It was all clear now for her as well; this wasn't just some dream that her sister had, but a path destiny had chosen for her. Perhaps this was the reason that she had her powers. Perhaps she was meant to do this.

"The Avatar is the one who brings balance to the world," Miki began, "But maybe to fulfill his role he needs to know of our war. We need to let him know what is really going on."

Saskha smiled, "I suppose it could make sense. I still don't know if it is exactly the right thing for us... But don't think you can go without me! You're my only family I have left now. And so if you feel convicted, like this is what you are meant to do, than I will support you and be with you all the way."

Miki laughed, "I knew you would say that. I wouldn't dream of leaving without you anyway," A more serious expression formed on her face, "Though it will be hard leaving those behind that we care about. I only just started talking with Kashi again. Are you sure you can manage leaving your friends behind?"

Her sister pondered before she spoke, "Anana will take it the hardest; she is already taking the news about Utadano waging war on us pretty hard. And Kesuk..." She couldn't bring herself to finish her sentence.

"They'll need both of them," Miki answered. Saskha looked up to her sister, "We have to assume the worst case scenario. Utadano might attack Manirak before the three week period, and so no one else can leave with us. We can't risk it; Kesuk is a skilled waterbender and Anana a healer."

Tears forming in her eyes, Saskha managed a nod. "What about Junetsu?"

At the mention of her name, even Miki felt like shedding tears. Since Mom had died Junetsu had taken care of them, as if she were their own mother. Leaving her behind would be hardest for Miki. She shook her head, "June is a healer too, a very good one as well."

"Right," Saskha nodded, still upset by the thought of leaving her friends behind. "Still, I don't know if Councilman Onartok will not mind us being with him. He's always... Well, disliked our father, and through association us in some ways."

"We don't need him," Miki replied. "Just us. And we have Ulva of course," She grinned and stroked her friend's fur, and in response he lifted his head onto her lap.

Saskha smiled, looking out into the forests again, "So are we really doing this? Are we really going to venture out into the Earth Kingdom and the Fire Nation, in search of the new Avatar?"

Her sister smiled in response, standing up as well. "Let's go talk to Chief Iluliaq."


  • The woman in white from Miki's dream is Yue from Avatar the Last Airbender, and her presence in Miki's dream will be explained in a few chapters.
v - e Spirit of the North
Book 1
Chapter 1 - ManirakChapter 2 - MemoriesChapter 3 - The LibrarianChapter 4 - LiberationChapter 5 - GuiltChapter 6 - A Final GoodbyeChapter 7 - ReconnectionChapter 8 - Visitors from the EastChapter 9 - AvatarChapter 10 - The Dream that Led to a JourneyChapter 11 - PromiseChapter 12 - The VoteChapter 13 - Unspoken DesiresChapter 14 - Beyond the BordersChapter 15 - Foreseer of FuturesChapter 16 - The Warrior WithinChapter 17 - First BloodChapter 18 - Victories and DefeatsChapter 19 - Secrets of the BookChapter 20 - Entering the Earth KingdomChapter 21 - The Dream Nobody Thought Would Come TrueChapter 22 - The Great River City: Part 1Chapter 23 - The Great River City: Part 2

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