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|"Home Sweet Gaoling"|
July 24, 2016
"Home Sweet Gaoling" is the first chapter of Book One: Start (開始) of.
Home Sweet Gaoling
In their house, Avatar Miranda, her father, the earthbender Mir, and her two younger brothers, the firebender Willy and the non-bender Myrdin were sitting around the table, eating breakfast.
"Can you please go out and bring me the mail, Myrdin?" Mir asked.
"Yes, Dad," he answered obedient and went out.
"Are you awaiting something special?" Willy asked.
"Maybe..." Mir answered.
Myrdin returned with the mail. "Is there something for me?" Mir asked eager.
"Let me see..." Myrdin said while browsing the papers. "There is a bill for you, Willy," he said and gave it to him. "And we have the newest release of the Gaoling Times, do you want to take a look, Miranda?" he said as she received it.
Miranda noticed a painting of the evil Lady Li-Hua. She showed the other ones it and said, "I can't believe the newspaper editorial bothered to write such lies about Lady Li-Hua. I mean, she is just a myth."
"You can't know for sure," Willy said.
"Come on, she can't be real," Miranda said back.
Myrdin had only one letter left in his hands. "Is that for me?" Mir asked even more eager.
"Yup, Dad, this is for you," Myrdin said while he gave it to him, sat down again complaining over that no one wanted to send him anything.
Mir got up from his chair and read the letter in silent. His kids noticed that it was something special. "What is it, Dad?" Miranda asked curious.
"I can't believe it," Mir said. "It's from the Royal Palace! Earth Prince Kuei wants a meeting with me to discuss our new project!"
"What? What project?" Miranda asked.
"I can't tell yet, but it will be great! I promise you, kids, our family's future is going to be really, really great! I must go to Ba Sing Se immediately. I will call you as soon as possible! Good bye!" he said while he ran out of the house.
"Good luck!" Myrdin barely managed to say.
Miranda was walking on the streets of Gaoling in her bathrobe-like outfit. By her side Ming was flying. They were going to meet Dandelion in the park. When they arrived in the park, three girls, who apparently didn't know that she was the Avatar, were pointing and laughing at her. Miranda noticed, and asked: "Is there any problem?"
The girls giggled, and the one in the middle, who apparently worked as their "leader," said, "Nothing. We just wanted to do you a favor". The girls laughed even more.
"What are you talking about?" Miranda asked. She started to became pretty upset.
The girl smiled and said, "I think you've forgotten to take off your bathrobe and get dressed for the day."
That made Miranda become so angry that she said, "I don't think you know who you're talking to. I'm the Avatar." Then Miranda used waterbending to humiliate the girls in front of the whole town. The girls were sitting on the ground, soaking wet with their makeup completely messed-up.
While the girls cried, Dandelion, who had stood there and looked at them the whole time, now went to hug Miranda and say hey to Ming too. The girls and the bird went to a bench.
"You know you shouldn't care about what those girls said, do you? You and your outfit are beautiful, Mira!" Dandelion said.
"Thank you, Dandelion. Of course I don't care about them," Miranda said. "I know my outfit is kind of special, but my mom wore it, and after her death I just..." Miranda may have cried a little bit, but her kind friend Dandelion comforted her.
After the crying had transformed into laughing, Miranda eventually asked, "So, what have you done today?"
"I was talking to some of the earthbenders earlier," Dandelion answered.
"What did they want?" Miranda asked.
"It was weird. They said we should go home right away!" Dandelion said.
"Really? Why?" the Avatar asked confused.
"Something bad is happening in Gaoling," Dandelion cited.
Miranda looked around. "Looks fine to me," she said, although she noticed that they were the only people who still were outside of their houses.
"Maybe they were playing a joke on us or something?" Dandelion proposed.
"Yeah, maybe," Miranda said with a bit of nervousness in her voice.
Then, they heard a familiar voice. "Hey, you, Dandelion! Hey!" It were the three girls who dared talking to them again.
"You guys come back for more?" Miranda asked and got up, as so did Dandelion and Ming.
"We are trying to do you a favor," the girl in the middle tried.
"That's what you said earlier too!" Miranda said.
"Okay, if you don't care that Guardian Su has been kidnapped, it's fine with us," she said and the girls were about to leave. Miranda and Dandelion looked at each other.
"Wait!" they said in unison. "Guardian Su has been kidnapped?" Miranda asked confused.
"That's what everyone says," the girl said and continued, "Haven't you noticed that you're like the only people out in the street?"
"Has anyone told the Earth Queen?" Dandelion asked.
"Please! Like the Earth Queen needs us to tell her what's going on in the Earth Kingdom!" the girl said sarcastic.
"Wait... Why are you telling us this? It's almost nice," Dandelion said.
"Look. Just because we make fun of you doesn't mean we want to see you and the Avatar over here captured by Lady Li-Hua," the girl said.
"Oh, come on! She doesn't really exist!" Miranda said.
"If that's what you think, suit yourself, we are going home where it's safe. Come on, girls," she said, and the girls left.
Miranda noticed that even Ming became a little nervous. "I'm not sure," Miranda said. "Lady Li-Hua is just a myth, right?" she asked her friend, who wasn't sure either. "She can't be real," Miranda said.
"I didn't think so," Dandelion said. "But maybe I should go ask my mom, just in case."
The girls hugged each other and went back to their homes.
That night, at her room, Miranda was sitting in front of her make-up mirror and brushing her hair while talking to Ming about their day. "I can't stop thinking about what those girls said, Ming. I mean, Guardian Su can't really be kidnapped. She is too powerful. I mean, she is an Earth Guardian, right?"
While Miranda was talking, she didn't notice that Ming was already asleep. Miranda turned off the lights and went to sleep too.
The Journey Begins
The next day, Miranda and her brothers woke up to a Gaoling filled with mysterious green smoke. When they and Ming went outside to take a closer look, they met no one but Dandelion.
"I don't understand! This is horrible!" Miranda said.
"It is everywhere! Whole Gaoling!" Dandelion said.
"But what is it?" Willy asked.
"No one knows what it is, but now some people are having trouble bending," Dandelion informed.
"Has anyone told Guardian Su?" Miranda asked.
"Guardian Su is gone; the closest Earth Guardian is Guardian Tyro, and he is all the way in Ba Sing Se!" Dandelion said.
"I have to go to Ba Sing Se," Miranda said.
"We will come with you," Myrdin said, while Willy laid his arm around him.
"Me too," Dandelion said. Ming twittered.
"Good! Then we're together about this!" Miranda said, and the group started walking out of Gaoling, their home.
- Originally, Willy and Myrdin wasn't going to join Miranda on her journey, but I changed to get the good old "Team Avatar" feeling.
- This chapter was originally going to be titled "Home".
|Book One: Start (開始)|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Book Two: Disease (疾病)|
- - - - - - - - - Chapter 9: The Crossroads of Love - Chapter 10: Wilbert Alone - Chapter 11: Healing - Chapter 12: The Lack of Forgiveness - Chapter 13: The Search for Jin-Zul, Part 1 - Chapter 14: The Search for Jin-Zul, Part 2 - Chapter 15: Separation - Chapter 16: The Virus of the Dead Lotus, Part 1 - Chapter 17: The Virus of the Dead Lotus, Part 2 - Chapter 18: The Virus of the Dead Lotus, Part 3 - Chapter 19: The Virus of the Dead Lotus, Part 4 - Chapter 20: The Virus of the Dead Lotus, Part 5 - Epilogue: After That
For the collective works of the author, go here.