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|The Prince of Dark Spirits|
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 Eleven: The Prince of Dark Spirits
Previously on Naton
After the darkbenders attacked the Flare Rebel fort, Tazen was teleported to the Spirit World by the darkbender Venja. Commander Narkan reveals himself to be Kian. Gardie, Naton and Aeron enter the spirit portal to save Tazen. When the guardian spirit saves them from spirit trees, Alang tells them of how Gardie nearly released Kaaju, Vaatu's son. Gardie stays at Wan Shi Tong's library, and Alang, Naton and Aeron continue towards the Siq Swamps.
Chapter Eleven: The Prince of Dark Spirits
The dragon bird spirit landed on a ledge, and the three took a short rest. "Why did those spirit trees attack us?" Aeron asked. The guardian spirit rubbed the dragon bird's beak.
"Many dark spirits have attacked the kind spirits. There is much conflict in the Spirit World, and many spirits believe the humans are to blame."
"Well, Gardie did release the dark spirits," Naton added. Aeron sighed.
"Yeah, but I still think the spirits should help the humans."
"Tell that to Wan Shi Tong," Alang said. "Spirits have become more hostile towards humans for the past decade. Ever since Avatar Korra reopened all the spirit portals, thinking the two could live in peace, she was wrong."
"You disagree with the Avatar?" Naton asked.
"With Avatar Korra, yes. Just because the humans helped defeat Vaatu, the spirits still despise humans. Have you seen what they have done to nature?" Alang scolded.
"But I'm not Korra. I'm Naton. I can fix it," Naton said.
The guardian spirit sat down. "There are some things the Avatar cannot mend."
They rode on the dragon bird spirit again, and they flew over the peaks of the San Mountains. Naton looked over, and saw the vast Siq Swamps. It was a damp, murky, grey bog, and a thick mist covered the place. The dragon bird landed just on a cliff above the swamp. "Once we find Tazen, we must leave the swamp as soon as possible."
"Will you come with us?" Naton asked.
"I have to. The swamp is very dangerous. No human has come out there alive," the guardian spirit said.
They descended the cliff, and entered the swamp. Aeron took a sniff of the air. "Blech! This smells worse than Beeno's cooking!" As they trekked deeper into the swamp, the fog grew thick.
"How can we know where Tazen is if we can't see anything?" Naton asked. "If you can train the Avatar in just 3 months, can't you use some magic spirit stuff?"
"It doesn't work that way," Alang replied.
Aeron looked around. "Hey! I see something!" He pointed to a faint object in the distance.
"Tazen?" Naton yelled out. The object didn't move. "Is that you?"
They crept closer. Alang pulled out his sword. "What?" It was just a tree stump. "Come on!"
Suddenly, Naton looked to his left. Alang and Aeron were gone. "Guys? It was just a stump. It's not Tazen. Guys? Where are you?" There was no other sound. "Guys?"
Naton spun around, and saw his old master, Onza. "Onza? Is it really you? You're in the Spirit World?"
"Yes. Didn't I say I'd come back?"
"Yeah! Onza, I have so much to tell you!"
Onza smiled. "Tell me about it."
"We won the battle, and I used the Sacred Tree, we rode Wushu and caught some criminals, we joined the Flare Rebels and fought darkbenders and-" Onza had disappeared. "Onza? Where did you go?" Naton walked around. "Hello?" Suddenly, his foot tripped over a root, and faceplanted into the swamp water, and he blacked out.
"I understand you all, but you all must be punished."
"No, you don't understand, you're just a selfish old man!"
"We were never friends."
"Why do you still care about me?"
"Because we're friends."
Naton opened his eyes.
"Naton! Wake up!"
Alang and Aeron helped him up. He was covered in swamp muck.
"What happened?" Aeron asked.
"I saw Onza, and then I tripped on something. I heard voices. Naton replied.
"It was probably the mist. We have to move quickly," Alang said.
They continued to walk around the swamp. "What if we've been walking around in circles?" Aeron asked. "What if Tazen isn't in the swamps?"
"Let's hope you're wrong," the Guardian Spirit replied. Suddenly, they saw a plume of fire in the distance. "That's Tazen!" The three ran towards the fire. "Tazen!" The firebender was kicking a tall black shrine. "Tazen! We're over here!"
Tazen turned and saw them. "Guys!" He went over to them. "You have no idea how much I've been waiting for you guys!" Tazen was smelly, dirty and covered in moss and vines.
Naton looked up at the tall black shrine. "Is this that prison you were talking about?" he asked.
"Yes," Alang said. "Kaaju's prison."
Tazen laughed. "I was about to destroy that thing!"
"Good thing you didn't."
"On second though, I should!" Tazen turned around, and blasted the shrine with fire.
"Tazen! Stop!" Aeron and Naton held him back. "If you release him, the world will be in great danger!"
"But, it looks so cooooooool!"
Alang grabbed Tazen and threw him against a rotting tree. "The mist has seeped into his mind. He's losing his sanity." '
"Ooooooh. Nice little black shriney! Must burn to the ground!" Tazen continued shooting fireballs.
Naton trapped the firebender in earth. "Tazen, don't do it! We have to get him away from here!" Alang picked up Tazen and began to run towards the San Mountains. Naton and Aeron followed him.
"No no no no! Shrine must burn!" Tazen fired a final fireball, and the black shrine exploded. Chunks of black earth flew everywhere. "NOOOOO!"
From underneath the rubble, a giant dark spirit rose. He wore a ripped cape, and his skin was purple and black. His hands had claws and he smiled. "I'm freeeeee!!!" He flew up, and shot several dark orbs at the swamp. "Finally! I can fly!"
"Kaaju!" Alang took out his sword and pointed it at the prince of dark spirits.
"Oh hi, Alang! Thanks for freeing me!" Kaaju fired a dark bolt at them, and then flew over the mountains.
"NO! Tazen has doomed the world!" the Guardian Spirit yelled.
"We have to warn Gardie!" Aeron said. He picked up Tazen, who was drooling, and flew up to the dragon bird spirit. Naton and Alang hopped onto its back, and the dragon bird flew off towards the spirit library.
In the distance, Naton could see Kaaju and a group of dark spirits heading toward the open Spirit Portal. "We can't let them get through!" As the dark spirits drew near to the portal, the spirit trees leaped up and trapped them in vines. From the San Mountains, dragon-birds and lion-dogs charged in to fight the dark spirits. The dragon-bird landed under the library, and Naton flew up. "Gardie! Kaaju and a lot of dark spirits are heading towards the portal!"
Gardie threw down the book.
"Yeah!" Gardie quickly exited the library and fired ice shards at the dark spirits.
"Whose fault is it this time?!" Wan Shi Tong yelled.
"The lost firebender," Alang replied. "But we'll take care of him later!"
Naton threw fireballs at the dark spirits, and drew closer to the Spirit Portal. "Aeron! Boost!" Aeron thrust his hands forward, and Naton was shot forward. He landed, and placed a hand on the open portal. As the spirit crystal began to close the portal, Wan Shi Tong flew out of his library. "Any enemy of spirits is an enemy of me!" He grabbed a dark spirit with his talons and smashed it into a tree. Dragon birds breathed fire, and lion dogs dragged the dark spirits down in packs. Gardie sent a tidal wave towards Kaaju.
"Kaaju! You will not escape again!"
Just as the spirit portal was about to close, Naton was thrown to the ground.
"Nice try, Avatar."
Venja prepared to strike Naton with a dark bolt. Aeron knocked him over with an air blast. "Not you again!" Venja jumped up and fired a beam of darkness towards Aeron. The airbender dodged it and formed a tornado. Venja was thrown into a spirit tree's mouth.
"No! Don't eat me, stupid, tree!"
The spirit tree exploded, and Venja fired darkness at a dragon bird. Naton stood up, and watched in horror as Kaaju, the prince of dark spirits, and the son of Vaatu, entered the spirit portal. "Thanks Avatar! But next time, be a little faster! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
Alang saw Kaaju enter the portal. "Naton! Close it!"
"It's too late!"
"Just close it!"
Naton walked over to the portal, and began closing it. The guardian spirit pointed his sword at Venja. The darkbender fired a dark orb at the spirit, and Alang slashed it, and barely missed Venja. Wan Shi Tong flew over the army of dark spirits, and knocked them to the ground. Naton put the last of his energy into the portal, and then a dome of spirit crystal covered and closed the spirit portal. Venja flew up and began to fly towards Naton. "The Avatar is mine!" He fired a dark beam, and Naton dodged it, and fell to the ground. "Too weak, Avatar? Then you should train!" Venja fired another beam, and Naton closed his eyes, preparing to meet death.....
"Why does he need us?" Commander Kian asked.
"He says he would like to join forces with the Ben Hai to fight the darkbenders," Zaro replied.
"Wow. I remember the last time there was a war, the President didn't do anything." Beeno added.
"Once Naton, Gardie, Aeron and Tazen return, we'll go straight to Republic City," Kian said.
"Yes, commander." Zaro ran back to the fort.
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha!" Kaaju flew out of the portal, and shot into the sky.
"What the-?" Kian, Beeno and Karrie stared at the prince of dark spirits. "What is that?" Then, the spirit portal closed. Kian stared at the closed portal. "First, that dark spirit, now the portal is closed. Something's going on the Spirit World."
"Should I tell the Rebels there's a dark spirit coming?" Beeno asked.
"Yes. Do it quick!" Kian replied.
A bright light shone in front of Naton. The dark beam never hit Naton. Venja stared at the light. "What the-AUGHHH!" The light slammed Venja into the ground. "Ow.... that felt like an old man hit me..."
A staff jabbed into his stomach. "It was an old man hitting you," Onza said.
"ONZA!" Naton cried.
The master lifted his hand, and an orb of light sent Venja flying into the trees.
"Master Onza! You came back! Is it for real?"
"Yes," Master Onza smiled. He turned around, and a bright light shone out of the tip of his staff. The remaining dark spirits fled, and flew past the San Mountains.
"Onza!" Gardie and Aeron bowed to their returned master.
"Gardie. I see you have taken care of the Ben Hai. Why are you in the Spirit World, may I ask?" Onza said.
"Tazen was teleported to the Spirit World by that darkbender," Gardie replied. "It is so good to see you."
Alang approached Onza. "Greetings, Onza. I thought you would come."
Wan Shi Tong landed in front of them. "If you ever need me again, I'll be in the library." The owl spirit flew back to his spirit library.
"Onza, how did you come back? Are you a spirit?" Naton asked.
"I am a half-spirit. Because I was trained in lightbending, I can live again," Onza answered.
"So.... you're a light spirit?" Aeron asked. '
Onza nodded. "Now, about that dark spirit...."
"That was Kaaju," the Guardian Spirit said. "The prince of dark spirits. He has escaped."
Naton stared at the ground. "Sorry."
"No, it is not your fault," Onza said. "But we must get back to the Rebel camp. Naton, reopen the portal!"
Naton walked over to the closed portal. "I barely have enough energy."
Onza touched Naton on the shoulder. "I can give you some."
Naton felt a surge of energy go inside of him, and the spirit crystal disappeared, and the portal reopened. Naton collapsed on the ground.
"He'll be okay," Gardie said.
Onza helped Naton up. "You've come a long way, Avatar."
Naton smiled. "It's good to have you back."
For the collective works of the author, go here.