|More from BlueDagger||Adventure||PG-13||Positive|
|Bar Fights are Fun!|
June 29, 2011
Feng and Wei's second job as assassins, in which they are hired by a noble looking for good work for cheap to kill a thug named Lu Zeng, who's favored spot is a bar.
Feng walked down the path. It was a typical street in Ba Sing Se. All around, there were merchants pedaling their wares, musicians playing in the streets, and in the distance Feng could hear some kids playing a game. He had a sack of money hanging from his belt. He and Wei had saved just enough money from thievery, and their first job, to afford some new weapons. If they were to continue the job, they would need much more than one rusted dagger. As Feng continued down to the blacksmith's shop, he looked around, taking in the sights. It was a perfect day. The air smelled of something gentle, even here in the slums of Ba Sing Se. He passed a few Dai Li agents as he continued past a florist's. The "cultural guardians" of Ba Sing Se, they had been around ever since the 46th Earth King had gotten Avatar Kyoshi to train them at the end of the Peasant Uprising, many years past. Ever since, they had protected the "city's culture," although in most people's eyes they were simply over-glorified guards.
Feng strolled into the smithy, which was near the end of the road. He walked inside. The blacksmith looked up from his work and said, "Anything I can get you, sir?"
"Not for the moment, I'm just looking, thank you," Feng replied. The smith shrugged and went back to his work. Feng looked around. The smith had an incredible amount of weapons for sale. Swords, axes, knives, shields, spears, hammers, throwing weapons and even bows and arrows were all in the shop. Feng looked around for a while, finally picking several weapons for him and Wei. He had bought a fine sword, a dagger, and a bow and quiver of arrows for himself, and two daggers and some throwing knives for Wei. Their money was nearly spent.
By the time Feng got back to the house, with weapons in tow, the sun was almost midway through the sky. Wei looked up from a book she was studying when he walked in. "Wow, a nice assortment. How much did you spend?" Feng smiled.
"Almost all of it, unfortunately. But, hey, now we have more than one rusty old dagger, eh?" He threw the daggers and throwing knives to Wei. She tested the balance as she talked.
"Nice quality. Where'd you get 'em?"
"That smithy over at the end of the road, the one with the florist and the tea shop." Wei nodded. Feng tested his weapons as well. The sword felt great in his hand. The bow was easy to draw back, and felt as if it had power behind it. The smith had done a great job when he created these.
"Well, what now?" Wei asked. "We have the tools, now we need the job." Feng nodded in agreement.
"We'll find something, I'm sure."
Later that day, as the sun was beginning to set, there was a knock on their door. Feng opened it, revealing a small, skinny man, with black hair put into a ponytail. He looked nervous.
"H-hello, young man. I hear you are not bad at what you do, for a young man, and that you come reasonably cheap."
"Not bad, yes, although we are new. Cheap, definitely yes."
"Very good, very good. I need someone gone. A thug. He runs with a band of criminals. They've killed more than one person close to me before, and I want their leader gone. He is a man of average height, with light brown hair, which he wears long, down to his shoulders. He is usually with about three other men. One of his favored spots is a pub in Wulong Square. If you can kill this man, I will pay you one hundred silver pieces. Do we have a deal?" He held out a hand. Feng shook it.
"Deal. Thank you, sir. This means a lot to us." The man nodded.
"When it is done, you will find me at the Saeing estate in the Middle Ring. My name is Banam Saeing. I will see you then." The man then left.
Feng went to Wei after the man left.
"Hey, Wei, we got another job!"
"Nice. How much for?"
"One hundred silver pieces." Wei whistled.
"Nice. What do we gotta do?"
"There's a thug we need to track and kill. Our contractor, Banam Saeing, said the thug has light brown hair which he wears down to his shoulders, and usually hangs out in that pub in the square with the guitarist who plays on weekends and the tailor."
"That's the one."
"Okay, so how do we go about this?"
"Not sure. I'll come up with something. I'm going out tonight, gotta visit some people."
"The beggars. Their eyes fall everywhere. They'll have something useful."
"Got it. I'm going to bed, see you tomorrow."
They Know Everything
As Wei dragged herself into her room, Feng walked out the door. He continued into Oshan Square, near the blacksmith's. He could feel two of the Dai Li's eyes on him as he passed them. The Dai Li scared him. Something about them was... off. He shrugged it off and continued on. When he got into Oshan Square, he turned into an alleyway. He found a dark shape huddling in the corner and kicked it gently. By this time the sun was completely down. He kicked it again and said,
"Hey. Hey, Joe, wake up." The shape rose up.
"What, what, what do you want?" He saw Feng.
"Hey, Feng, good to see you, man. What do you need?"
"Of course. What now?"
"A man. A thug. Has light brown hair down to his shoulder. Hangs out in a pub in Wulong Square with a couple of his cronies."
"So you're still assassin? I figured you'd quit. Well, good for you. Now pay up." Feng begrudgingly handed over three copper pieces. Joe smiled.
"Good. That thug's name is Lu Zeng. He does love that pub. Every night from around midnight to dawn. The rest of the time, none of us beggars have ever seen him. Plenty of rumors, but no one knows the truth. Around midnight, he appears in Wulong, and heads into the pub. That'll be your only chance to get him."
"So, how do I?"
"My best advice: A bar fight."
"A bar fight?"
"Yeah. Sorry, kid, the only way to get him will be the head-on approach."
"There's no other way?"
"The pub is too small for a ranged shot. Too exposed for stealth. Just start a fight, kill him. The fight might, if you're lucky, disguise the kill. If not, have fun." Joe smiled.
"Good luck, kid. I'm going back to sleep." He lay down and slept.
"Great, a lot of help you were," Feng muttered.
"I heard that," Joe called as Feng walked away.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever." Feng walked back to the house and slept the rest of the night.
When he woke up, the sun was just rising. He walked out of his bedroom. Wei was already eating some fish at the table. He grabbed a fish himself and sat down.
"Wei, I have a plan." She looked up and wiped her mouth.
"What is it?"
"I went to see Old Joe last night. He gave me the info we need. Not much help, though."
"What is it?"
"Our target's name is Lu Zeng. No one knows where he goes when he's not at the bar. He just appears in Wulong Square and heads into the pub. There's no chance to get him in Wulong itself, too many guards, mostly Dai Li. They'd kill us. The pub itself is too small for archery, too packed for stealth. The only way to do it is to start a bar fight."
"A bar fight? Really!?"
"Yeah. We punch someone, they punch out, eventually, the entire bar is involved, then we kill Lu Zeng, and hope that no one notices."
"This'll be fun."
"Yeah. He goes to the pub at midnight. Rest up 'till then, okay? Meet me in Wulong, by the fountain in the middle, half an hour after midnight"
"Got it." They both finished their fish. Feng, still feeling tired, dragged himself back into bed and fell asleep.
Scouting the Area
He woke up around noon. Wei was gone. He got up and went out of his room. He got a loaf of bread and ate it as he exited the house through the trap door in the roof. He decided to check out Wulong Square for a bit. He used Earthbending, making a pillar of earth to launch himself in the air. He landed on the next roof. He traveled this way until he got to Wulong Square. He jumped down from the roof. He quickly located the pub where Lu Zeng would be. It was a small bar called "The Drinking Dragon." He walked in slowly, taking in all the sights. The only people were a small group of men huddled in one corner. The bartender looked up from a glass he was polishing as Feng walked in.
"Hello, sir, can I get you anything?"
"A drink, whatever you have." The bartender got a cup and poured a brown liquid into it. He gave it to Feng. Feng sipped it. It was slightly bitter, but it was good.
"Thank you. How much?"
"Five copper." Feng dug in his pocket for the money and set it on the counter. Then he walked to a table, sat down, and started drinking. He looked around as he did. It was, in fact, a very small place. There would be no use for bows and arrows here. In fact, fighting itself would be hard here if it would get as packed as Old Joe said. The bar fight would indeed be the only method of killing.
Feng finished his drink, thanked the bartender, and went back home. He grabbed his dagger and his longsword and went back to Wulong Square. He waited there for most of the day, browsing several shops and chatting with people, listening to musicians, and relaxing. As it got dark, he sat down by the fountain and waited. At around midnight, he saw a man with long brown hair walk into the pub. That has to be him, he thought. An hour later, Wei walked into the square, with her daggers at her hips. Feng walked over to her and said
"Ready to go?"
"Yeah. Let's do this."
Bar Fights are Fun
They walked into the pub together. It was packed. There would be absolutely no stealth here. People were drinking, laughing, talking, and dancing all over. They saw Lu Zen laughing in a corner with some other men. Feng walked over to the nearest large man. He then punched the large man in the face. When he did, the man cried out:
"ARGGGGGGHHHHHH!" The entire pub stopped. They all looked, in silence.
"What the-? You'll pay for that, kid!" the man roared. He swung a left hook at Feng. Feng caught the fist, grabbed the man by the neck, kneed him twice, and then hit him with an undercut. All the man's friends stood up as the man fell. Some others stood up in front of Feng as they did. Before long, the entire bar was in a large fight. Even the bartender was swinging bottles at people. Feng and Wei saw Lu Zeng swinging punches at random brawlers. Feng was then attacked by another man. He quickly dodged the man's punch and swept at his legs. The man toppled over. A life of thievery had prepared Feng, he had learned to fight long ago.
Eventually, Feng was able to make his way over to Lu Zeng. By this time, only small pockets of men were still standing. Lu Zeng himself was sitting down with his cronies at this point. Feng walked over to him and, seeing as how there would be no chance to kill him discreetly at that point. He walked over and punched Lu Zeng in the face. Lu Zeng fell off his chair. Everyone who was left up stopped fighting and stared. Some of Lu Zeng's friends helped him up. His nose was bleeding. He glared at Feng.
"You... you are going to PAY for that, kid!" He unsheathed a curved sword he was wearing and swung it downward with two hands. Feng caught the blow with his own sword just in time. The force of it knocked him to the ground. Lu Zeng swung again, and again. Each time, Feng managed to roll away from it. He got up and swung back. Lu Zeng countered the blow, though it was more force than he had been anticipating. Feng swung twice more, each time knocking Lu Zeng back a bit. Lu Zeng swiped at his feet, and he jumped. He landed off balance, however. Lu Zeng pressed his advantage, with Feng barely managing to counter each blow. He saw Wei fighting off two of Lu Zeng's cronies, and wondered where the last one was. His answer came as the last one, a bald man with a scar running from his temple to his chin, came running at him, with a long, ugly sword in hand. Feng countered his attack, while he pulled out his dagger and countered another of Lu Zeng's attacks. He countered both as he was pushed out of the pub's doorway and into the square. As he was, Lu Zeng's friend was forced behind Lu Zeng, on account of the narrow doorway. Feng stomped the ground, and a sharp piece of earth rose up. He sent the earth flying towards Lu Zeng's friend, and it hit him in the throat. He pulled it, shocked, as he died.
Feng brought up a pillar of earth, launching himself into the air. He landed behind Lu Zeng and attempted to stab him. Lu Zeng, however, quickly spun around and deflected the blow. He tried for another sweep at Feng's legs, but Feng jumped up. By this time, they were near the fountain, which Feng quickly jumped up on. He sent chunks of earth flying at Lu Zeng, but he deflected all of them. By this time, Wei was also outside the bar, and down to fighting one of the men. Feng, dodging away from Lu Zeng's blows, threw more rocks at him. He launched into the air again, and, as he did, got a large boulder from the ground and launched it at Lu Zeng. He dodged the boulder, but was put off balance. As Feng landed, he sent a pillar of earth at an angle, and hit Lu Zeng in the back. He went sprawling forward. Feng ran up and drove his sword into Lu Zeng's back. He gasped in pain. Feng yanked the sword out. As he did, Lu Zeng breathed his last breath, and died.
"Rest in peace," Feng muttered.
"Sleep in death." He looked around. Wei had already done away with the last man. Feng lowered the pillars he had raised and walked over to Wei.
"How was it?"
"Not bad. Got a nasty cut on my shoulder, but other than that, it's all good."
"Go and get that patched up. I'll meet you at the house."
"Got it. See you later, Feng."
"Yeah." He walked into the bar then, and handed the bartender a silver coin. "If anyone asks, Lu Zeng started the fight between me and him, and you don't know who started the original fight. You also have no idea who saw the fight. Got it?
"Thank you, sir." Feng then walked home, resolved to visit Banam in the morning for his pay.
The next morning, he woke up, and found Wei by the table, eating breakfast, as usual. She had a large bandage on her shoulder.
"How is it?" he asked, pointing at the cut.
"The doctor I visited said it would be fine, it'll heal pretty quickly. It wasn't that bad a cut."
"Nice job with Lu Zeng, Feng. You were born for this job." He smiled.
"Thanks, Wei. I'm gonna go get our money, you coming?"
"Money? Hell yeah, I'll come with."
They walked out of the house through the normal door. They walked up to the Middle Ring and passed through the gate. Feng nodded at the Earth Kingdom soldiers guarding the entrance. They walked through to the Middle Ring. Feng walked over to a woman walking along the road and asked,
"Do you happen to know where the Saesing estate is?"
"Yeah, it's just down the road a bit."
They got to the estate, and Wei used the knocker, shaped like an ostrich-horse. Banam came to the door. He looked excited when he saw Feng.
"You! You're here! ...Who's this?"
"I'm his friend, Wei," Wei said.
"Ah, yes, very good. So, if you're here, I'll assume the job is done?"
"Yes, sir. We killed Lu Zeng at the bar, and his men," Feng said.
"Bar fights are fun." Banam chuckled.
"Ah, I see. Well, let me get your money." Wei looked at Feng.
"'Bar fights are fun?'" Feng shrugged.
"What?" They laughed. Banam brought out their money, one hundred silver pieces, in a bag. Feng and Wei nodded.
"Thank you, sir," Wei said.
"No, no, I thank you. That man did some awful things to the Saesings. Well, goodbye, Feng, Wei. I may look you up again, if I require your... services again. I will also recommend you to any of my friends who also require your services."
"Thank you, sir. Goodbye." They walked back to the Lower Ring, where they bought some food, and went back home. Feng and Wei both slept for a time, and spent the remainder of the day training.
They would need it, they decided, for the tasks to come.
- Old Joe, the beggar, was largely based on the beggars in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
- The fight between Feng and Lu Zeng was largely based on Jet and Zuko's bar fight, albeit with much more bending.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Part 1: Beginnings|
|First Blood - Bar Fights are Fun! - Civil Unrest - What Goes Around - Comes Around - The Shroud - Battle on the Wall - Starry Skies - Sister Dearest - One Last Sale - Horizon Part 1: Stormy Sky - Horizon Part 2: Farewell|
|Part 2: Journeys|
|That Long Road - Morning Never Comes|