|More from AvatarAero||Adventure/Fantasy||PG-13||In Comments||Infrequent|
|Lost and Alone|
November 11, 2016
Meanwhile, Asami, Mako, Bolin and the other members of Team Avatar eagerly anticipate Korra's spirited return. But what her father tells them shocks them.
As promised, this is the first chapter of The Avatar's Apprentice. The ending to this one is a lot like what actually happens in The Legend of Korra, but I couldn't think of something better.
Chapter 1: Lost and Alone
The night felt like deja vu, and Korra said as much to Kyon. "You know, this is exactly how I felt the night I met you. Thankfully, I feel much better, now that you're with me."
Kyon looked worriedly at Korra. Her right leg was acting up again, which was no wonder since she used it the most in a fight. Her kicking, her defense and her stances all relied on her right leg. And for it to be bruised meant Korra had to change up her game, big - time.
Aside from her limp, she had a nasty cut on her arm, courtesy of a stray pebble that had just enough velocity on it to cut skin. She also had a bruise on her cheek, and a possible broken rib, both of which came from getting hit in the gut multiple times. Safe to say, Korra had not won the match.
Korra and Kyon made it to Korra's apartment. After climbing three flights of steps (which, Korra admits, was not a good choice for a tournament bending fighter), Korra stumbled into her living room and collapsed on her couch.
Kyon went into the kitchen to begin cleaning some dishes. Now that he lived with Korra, he had to carry his own weight. "Just to be clear, you're the Avatar, right?"
Korra lurched out of the confines of her couch and staggered to the kitchen. With a pull of her hand, water began to shoot out of the drain of the sink at a rapid rate. Korra directed it and the soap to splash over all of the dishes, even the ones in Kyon's hand.
Then, will a blast of air, she dried all of the dishes. Moving back to the couch, Korra retorted, "Still not sure?" Kyon grumbled, and used his fire hands to evaporate some of the soap residue in his hair.
Drying off his clothes, Kyon crashed next to Korra on the couch. "The reason I was asking, is because you've saved the world twice. And both times, you've had friends with you. Those guys are just as famous as you. Why aren't they in Republic City with you? And for that matter, why do you need to be fighting in some glorified boxing ring?"
It wasn't the barrage of questions that made Korra flinch, but the open wounds that Korra had been trying to heal for the last 3 years that flared into existence again. Trying to contain tears, she choked out, "They're not around anymore. They kind of, moved on."
Kyon knew when to shut up. Trying to take Korra's mind off of her obviously painful past, he snapped his fingers in front of her face. "Let's forget about that, all right? What were you teaching me yesterday?"
Korra blinked away tears, and sniffed. She sighed, trying to get the tears out of her ducts and the sobs back into her chest. "All right, I'm good now."
Korra moved the couch to the wall of her apartment, freeing up some space in the center of her apartment. Then, she suddenly stopped. "You know what," she asked, rhetorically. "I think you might be ready for something different. Follow me."
Korra strobe to the door, opening it and wincing her way down the three flights of steps. Kyon, confused, followed her all the way down the stairs and into the empty street. Korra looked to her right and her left, scouting out the dark intersection, before bolting away from the center of Republic City, inland.
Kyon blindly followed her, half trying to understand how she was running so well on her ankle and half thinking she was going crazy. Korra jogged all the way out of the city, down a dirt road and towards the large swamp that bordered the edge of the city. This swamp was not the larger one that resided much father down the cost of the Earth Kingdom, but it was spiritual and very abandoned.
Korra screeched to a halt just on the edge of the swamp, with Kyon in tow. Kyon slowed to a walk as he got closer to Korra, and bent over, breathing heavily. Between inhales, he panted, "Spirits, Korra, how can you run? You were limping down the stairs!"
Korra bounced on the balls of her feet, but Kyon could still see the bruise on her foot. "After a few years of fighting evil benders, you get used to pain," she replied. "Do you know anything about the swamp?"
Kyon shook his head, still unable to breathe from his sprint of over a mile. Korra laughed. "If you want to be able to save yourself from Republic City's gangs, you're going to have to be a little bit more athletic than that."
She turned around to face the swamp. "The swamp is alive, and infused with spiritual energy. It can amplify the powers of benders, and for people who are spiritually in tune, it can grant enlightenment. Many a monk and sage in the days of the airbenders came to this very swamp to meditate for decades. No one's set foot in the swamp in over 30 years."
Kyon straightened up, gazing deep into the swamp. "So what you're saying is, we go into the swamp in order to help me become a better firebender? How do you know this stuff?"
A quizzical look from Korra gave Kyon all he needed to understand. "I told you I had been gone for 3 years. You think I was meeting friends and family in that time?"
They trudged into the swamp, ready to get the spiritual enlightenment they wanted and training they needed.
"I would like to welcome each and every one of you here to this momentous occasion." A pause. "Republic City, for the last 70 years, has been virtually cut off from outside influence. We have developed our own culture, our own city and our own people through our isolation. But today, we end our lack of communication. The first rail line through the city is opening today, all with the help and funding from Mrs. Sato and Future Industries."
Asami stepped forward into the microphone. Slightly nervous, she tried to appear composed for the thousands of people watching or listening on their radios or televisions. "Thank you all for attending today's occasion, and for listening at home. In order to connect more with the world, we have created this railroad station to do just that. Now, transportation and information will be much faster, especially into the Earth Kingdom."
With a deep breath, Asami handed President Raiko the gigantic scissor and together they cut the ribbon. Everyone in the audience cheered, and the journalists at the front snapped pictures furiously. Once the ceremony was over, Raiko stepped forward to take questions as well as support the idea of an advanced Republic, while Asami backed off into the police envoy to talk to Mako.
Mako broke out of character just enough to give Asami a quick hug. They held each other at arms length, before Asami said quickly, "It's been so long, Mako. Hope you're doing well." Thanking Raava up and down that he didn't have to be the first to respond, Mako replied, "life's been going well, and I can see that it's going well for you too."
Asami brightened up, thankful that the awkwardness has passed. "We should see each other more often. We need to get the old Team Avatar back together. Speaking of which, where's Bolin?"
Mako shrugged. "He's been traveling around the Earth Kingdom, helping Kuvira make a unified country under one leader. That's kind of the reason for the anarchy after the Earth Queen died. We need some kind of leadership over there, and it's really working."
Asami dropped her shoulders, a little disappointed, until Mako piqued her interest once more. "Of course, he will be back for Suyin's coronation as the Earth Queen. And Korra should be back by then, too. So you're right, we will have Team Avatar back again."
Asami squealed, and jumped into Mako once more. Mako was caught off guard but relaxed into the hug. Asami began to cry, choking out, "Thank you, Mako. Thanks so much."
Kyon's legs gave out before he got blasted with fire, which, in retrospect, was a good thing. Unfortunately, the pain from his knee was a poor trade off for the heat of the fire against his bare palms, making the split - second decision pretty painful.
"Ahhh!" The yell of pain couldn't be helped, no matter how much Kyon tried. Korra rushed over and examined the joint of Kyon's knee. A small nub on the right side of leg indicated all Korra needed to know. "You dislocated your joint. I can knock it back into place, but you should stay off of it for a while."
Through the pain, Kyon managed to nod quickly, bracing himself for the agony to follow. Korra took a moment for herself and Kun, before wrenching the bone back into place over an arduous 3 seconds. Kyon has his jaw clenched tight and his muscles tensed, but it was over before he knew the pain had come.
Breathing heavily, Korra sat back against a tree, and let Kyon move back until his spine was against another tree trunk, opposite Korra. He breathed heavily, and rested the back of his head against the trunk of the tree. "Where do you get these tricks? I know you weren't traveling for three years; you were supposed to be at the South Pole. So what in the name of the Avatar happened?"
Korra hit her head against the trunk of her own tree, obviously wrestling with herself over whether or not to divulge her personal information. She knew that trusting the kid was too much to ask, but at the same time, there really wasn't another option.
So it was with a resigned sight that Korra began her story.
"Let me start from the beginning. As you've told me, I was poisoned by Zaheer. I spent over 2 and a half years in the Southern Water Tribe, trying to heal from the pain, and trying to walk again. I was confined to a wheelchair for 2 and a half years, Kyon. Do you know what it feels like, as a bender, to be unable to work your art because you can't even move your legs?"
Kyon gestured to his his twisted leg, which was propped up on a moss - covered log. "I have a pretty good idea right now." Korra titled her head forward. "Touché," she conceded.
"Regardless, I spent 2 years trying to walk with all my heart. I've battled bloodbender, the great spirit of darkness Vaatu and the Red Lotus, but I can clearly say that trying to walk was the hardest thing I have ever done. Once I was able to, I decided to go on a journey around the world."
"First I went to the Fire Nation to learn the practices of firebending in greater detail, as well as meet with the great masters Ran and Shaw. The Avatar before me, Avatar Aang, had also met them, and I guess they saw the same potential in myself. It is from them that I learned the true nature of firebending, and that's why I'm able to teach you as well as I can."
"I also went to the swamp in the southern portion of the Earth Kingdom. Like I said earlier, this swamp is just a by product, a corollary, if you will, to the other swamp. It retains spiritual value as well as proximity to the Republic City. I learned from some fantastic swampbenders how to control the chi within the swamp, like this."
Korra raised her hand and concentrated. The tree behind Kyon slowly wrapped some branches around his prostrate torso and lifted him into the air on a hammock. All of a sudden, he was hurled through the air. Trying to keep his knee close to his body, he braced himself for impact. But instead of feeling the wet water of the swamp or the hard ground, he felt soft leaves on his front. He opened his eyes and say a bed of sorts erected out of nowhere.
Korra dropped her hand, and Kyon splashed onto the ground. She chuckled a bit to herself, before moving Kyon back to his position under the tree with some branches, sopping wet. "Back to the story," was all she could say for a few seconds.
"The last place I went to before I came back to Republic City was the Northern Water Tribe. I learned from some of the greatest masters in the world, how to bend water into fantastic shapes, and how to heal."
"Then why on earth aren't you healing me!" Kyon shouted. Korra reddened as she tried to explain. "It's because you need to get used to pain. As a fighter, you need to be able to adjust to being in pain - and still fighting."
A loud groan escaped Kyon. He didn't even know if it was from the pain or from his exasperation. Korra shifted slightly. "I told you everything you need to know about my adventures the past six months. Now, you need to reciprocate."
Kyon groaned again, and this time he knew it was because he had to share his past, which he had told no one. "No. I can't. I swore to myself that I would never say a thing about it, and I won't. I was a kid, and I won't be able to recover." Kyon decided that it was time to go, signified by him straining to stand up.
Korra jumped to her feet and jogged over to Kyon, helping him up. "I guess that the firebending training is over for the day," she joked. "Same time tomorrow?" Kyon nodded, beads of sweat appearing on his forehead. Together, they walked out of the swamp and down towards Republic City.
The massive ship slowly creaked into the docks. Asami was at the front of the small group waiting for Korra's appearance. Among the others were Bolin, who had taken leave from Kuvira's national reunion for a while to see Korra, Mako, who took vacation leave from Beifong for a few days and Tenzin, along with Jinora, Ikki and Meelo.
The ship slowly halted at the end of the dock, and down came some steps out of the hull. Tonraq and Senna were the first to step down, and were immediately assaulted by Tenzin's children. Tonraq laughed a big hearty laugh.
The children moved from him to Senna and Tonraq moved forward to grip Tenzin's hand. "It's been a while, hasn't it, Tenzin? Almost three whole years now." Tenzin smiled, and replied, "Yes, it has. By the way, is Korra on the ship?"
Tonraq looked confused. "Korra? Korra - She left the Southern Water Tribe over 6 months ago to come to Republic City. I was waiting for her here."
As Tenzin and Tonraq both realized at the same that Korra was not in Republic City, they turned with a look of horror towards the rest of the group. They had no idea where in the world the Avatar was.
After you read that, you probably want some brain bleach to remove that from your memory. Luckily, the third chapter ofis coming out tomorrow, so be prepared for that.
If you have any stories you want me to write, send me a PM. This is my first story on commission, so I will be open to more suggestions in the future. See you beautiful people later.
For the collective works of the author, go here.