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One: Mel of the Earth Kingdom
This is the first chapter of Book One: Mel of the Earth Kingdom. It tells of what Mel learns from Yangchen. It is told from his perspective.
"Avatar Yangchen...," my voice rang. "I need to talk to you!"
My body filled up with energy, and my eyes gave out a short, weak glow. Then a woman with a shaved scalp and the common Air Nomad arrow on her head appeared.
"Why is it that you request my presence?"
Her voice was oddly lively, but her eyes were weak – she couldn't be here!
"If you are here to waste my time," she said. "I suggest you accept your failure to do so. I am not risking anything."
She was rushing me to talk.
"Avatar Yangchen, what should I do?" I asked. "The Fire Witch is too strong! The world is burning already! If I don't stop them, all the Water Tribes will disappear! It's enough I let the North one down and the swamps were cut down... I can't let them destroy the South one too! You have to let me go into the Avatar State."
"Dear young Avatar. The Avatar State was locked on purpose. We didn't just decide this lightly."
She seemed irritated, but that wasn't on my care list right now.
"But I need to save the world!" I continued requesting. "The Avatar State is my only chance!"
Yangchen's eyes closed, and the scene dissolved. We were standing in front of a tiny village, a village like any other indeed, but... it was burning.
"This is my past," Yangchen's voice was now lacking its hopeful ring.
I looked back at the village and saw no one but a duplicate Yangchen. I took my time in turning my head back around a few times; trying to make sure that it weren't my eyes that played tricks on me. And I would have been quite convinced they were, except for the fact that Yangchen would stare, truly stare, at her copy. Her eyes were wide open and revealed in all their grayness, yet... magnificence. That woman over there was truly her. It was truly her heart that was laid down in that memory.
The sense of peace, yet unstableness was broken by a loud repeating noise – a march. As the soldiers approached, I saw the Yangchen from the memory change – her eyes and arrow started glowing; everything felt on the edge – she had entered the Avatar State.
The spirit Yangchen closed her eyes. If it wasn't for her being a spirit, I was sure she would have been crying. But this form of expression is known only to man and not to spirit.
The soldiers in the memory were now speeding up. Yangchen did not move until the very second they reached her. As the men drew their blades, she cracked the earth, resulting in their defeat. But more and more men were coming, and, one by one, they were too much. Yangchen jumped, did various flips and types of bending, but the soldiers were overpowering her. She threw a strong air blast at them, but they did not collapse; they just stood there, untouched. It was their armor; I knew it! It was dark and surely heavy – too heavy for air to tear it down.
Yangchen did a few earthbending moves, tearing more and more of the soldiers down. The Avatar State was truly a marvel. Most of the soldiers were already down on the ground, unable to stand up. I could bet no more than fifty were left, yet it seemed that they were the most skilled. Yangchen fought them and defeated them one by one, yet each time they attacked, she barely dodged the stroke. Finally, she was injured. As the spear of one of the soldiers came out of her shoulder, she collapsed on the ground, exhausted.
The soldiers' mocks were not to be stood behind – if it was not that it was a memory that I was watching, I would have done something about it.
Then Yangchen's eyes and arrow stopped glowing. I was stunned. Why had she exited the Avatar State? It wasn't as if hurt forced you to exit, was it?
My thoughts were cut right through by the soldier's next move – with one swing of his sword Yangchen's head fell. He then declared victory.
The scene dissolved.
"But why?" I asked. I still could not understand.
"To save the Avatar and to save the world," Yangchen answered. "They were too powerful. The injury just finished me off. As the Avatar you need to place the world before of your needs and desires. If I had died on the Avatar State, all of the Avatar and the reincarnation cycle would have been ended. You have no idea what unbalance that would unleash!"
That was why – if you died into the Avatar State, the Avatar died with you!
"So you sacrificed yourself..." I was stunned beyond belief.
"Yes, dear Avatar." Yangchen answered.
"But this it me it isn't the same" I said. "The world is dying! I am not winning this war, and nor is the world. The Fire Witch is too strong. The world will fall! No past Avatar has failed like this! You, Kuruk, Roku, Aang, Korra and all the others! All of them have done their part and saved the world! And now I will fail them all! And the whole world! Being able to bend all the elements won't help me this time!"
"I'm sorry, dear," said Yangchen. "I can't unlock the Avatar State. I would need all the other Avatars' permissions." My face twisted, as the tears rolled down my cheek. "Still..." Yangchen hesitantly continued. "I know a technique that will help you stand a chance." I looked up.
"What is it?" I asked somewhat hopefully, but still not fully containing my emotion.
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