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|Coast of War|
Book 3: Earth
August 25, 2014
The presence of the Water Tribe has begun to take over the beaches of the eastern Earth Kingdom.
Chapter 2: Coast of War
Book 3: Earth
Chapter 2: Coast of War
A few days have gone by since Sao Feng had sent a pirate courier to Ba Sing Se, to send a message to a member of the Dixia gang or even to Baotu himself. The spring air sometimes changes from nice to harsh, the roads of the eastern Earth Kingdom have gotten a little more dangerous now with the war going on.
Smoke had risen from the top of a hill, two men had gone ahead of their small group of six Water Tribe warriors, while the four were carrying small bombs, clubs and ivory blades. One of the warriors who had gone ahead with his partner had held back his partner when he noticed the footprints in the sand.
A warrior in the back had lightly stepped as the men in front had halted the entire group, the sound of a small branch had been heard even from the top of the hill. Where four Earth Kingdom soldiers sat in silence. Upon hearing the snapping of the small branch, they signaled each other to be more silent and be ready for an attack.
One of the two warriors in front almost went ballistic in silence on his comrade, the one who stepped on the branch had crouched down and looked to the ground the entire time watching his step this time. All of a sudden, the sand had hardened into earth and all of the warriors but the crouched one reacted in time. The crouched warrior had sunk into the sand up to his knees, when the sand had hardened into earth he was stuck and couldn't budge himself out.
Instantly, an Earth Kingdom soldier had jumped out of nowhere and began tossing small boulders of earth at the remaining five warriors who were jumping around, flipping and dodging the boulders thrown at them. One of them jumped behind an earthbender kicking him in the back of one knee, crouching on his back, grabbing the soldier by the neck like in a reverse head like and with force breaking the soldier's neck on his back. Immediately killing the soldier, the three remaining earthbenders had gone in a rampage and began chucking boulders and what they could at the warriors. The warrior still stuck in the ground was panicking.
An earthbender jumped in front of the trapped warrior, sinking him in further, and smashing his hands together, screams of pain and agony were heard as his bones were being crushed and his organs were rupturing inside, the poor warrior died a painful death.
Down to five warriors and three earthbenders, the warriors had began to hack and slash, and attempt to break bones with their clubs. A warrior had gone ahead and charged at one of the earthbenders with his club raised up swinging down as hard as possible to smash the earthbenders' skull in, the earthbender countered in time to grab the warrior's arm and break the warrior's elbow with his right knee.
Using his left hand to bend some sand into the warrior's eyes to blind him, disorienting the warrior who had dropped his club. Pushing both arms with open palms forwards forming a pillar of earth and smashing it into the head of the disoriented warrior.
Four warriors versus three earthbenders remained, one warrior ducked down and with his club hit one of the earthbender's in the back of his knee, sweeping him off his feet and landing on his rear another earthbender had sent a boulder at the warrior who just swept his comrade off his feet, hitting him in the back. Knocking him down, wrestling with the earthbender on the ground he began to gain leverage and choking the earthbender out.
One of the two warriors still standing was dual-wielding two clubs while the other had a large two hand ivory sword in his hands. Hacking and slashing away at an earthbender who was using pillars to try and stop the insane two hander wielding warrior in means of getting away from him.
The warrior tricked the earthbender who was trying to get away from him and stabbed him in the gut and kicked him off his weapon. The earthbender on the ground had grabbed a nearby rock and began smashing it on the head of the warrior trying to kill him by choking him out.
Two warriors standing, the dual-wielder standing tall, and his friend with the large weapon in his hands. Two earthbenders left, one grabbed the bloody rock he used to kill one of the warriors and split the rock up into smaller sharper bits and shot them towards the two hander warrior piercing his armor, and going through him. He fell to his knees as the blood poured out of the holes in his torso.
The last warrior left had twirled around with his blades in his careless way thinking he was going to die anyway. On the second twirl he cut into one of the earthbenders necks, he held on tight to his neck but the pain was greater than the pressure being applied, and he bled out in seconds.
The last two standing fought it out raising earth walls to defense himself and boulders to shoot back at the warrior who seemed almost like an airbender the way he dodged the boulders and jumped over each earth wall. Holding both clubs to his sides he charged at the earthbender successfully hitting the earthbender's left arm possibly fracturing a bone in the bender's arm.
The earthbender began to limp away, the warrior had picked up the boomerang of his fallen friend and chucked it at the limping earthbender running away for his life. Hitting him in the back on his head in knocked him off his feet. The warrior grabbed one of clubs and ran over to pulverize the enemy, smashing his skull in to confirm the kill.
He walked over all the soldiers and began checking their bodies to see if they had any orders or maps on them. Any piece of information he could take back to superiors. Grabbing onto left shoulder with his right hand and pressing pressure on the shoulder to ease the pain a bit, he began to walk back to base.
Somewhere in the Earth Kingdom, everyone was sleeping in their sleeping bags, when suddenly Rong Yan received a kick, and instantly woke up freaking out using airbending to lift himself up quickly. In front of him was the tall, slightly built tan skinned Jushi, up and ready for the training to begin.
Rong Yan, rubbing his eyes still looking at Jushi with blurred vision, he yawns and asks, "What was that for?"
"Get it up. We begin earthbending training now." Jushi said.
Rong Yan yawns again, getting onto his knees and trying to get comfortable again as he lays down, sheepishly replying, "May-maybe...later."
Jushi sighed and shook his head, punting the ground slightly out protruding a large pillar that shot Rong Yan up a few centimeters before slamming down on his rear. Getting up he began to rub his bottom looking at Jushi annoyed.
"You told me you were ready to learn earthbending, this training is not for the weak. Otherwise...I'm just wasting my time." Jushi remembered.
They both began to walk downhill to an open area where there was earth everyone, enough for basic training. He pointing at the track that he had created for Rong Yan to run, pointing at what seems to be the beginning or the starting point of the track he instructed Rong Yan to run five laps around the large running track.
"Do five laps now! This will help you build strength in your legs, as an earthbender you need to have a good stance. Or else, you will be seen as weak and an easy opponent to defeat!" Jushi shouted.
Rong Yan, began to jog around the track completing two laps, then remembering that he could use his airbending to run at superhuman speeds without running out of energy. He picked up his speed by bending the air around him, and then running with his arms sticking out in a stiff position behind him to help run a bit quicker. Running the last three laps like it was a stroll in the forest, reaching the end of the fifth lap he began to slow down.
Jushi stared at him, arms crossed, nodding at the speeds that Rong Yan was running at. "Impressive. Although earthbenders cannot run at superhuman speeds like an Avatar or airbender can." commented.
Leading Rong Yan over to another area, Jushi stomped on the floor and out came a boulder, using his hands he lifted the boulder up and blew a hole through the upper part of it. Levitating it over to Rong Yan, Rong Yan grabs it being just a little too heavy for him. Jushi used both arms and shot them upwards to bend long pillars as Rong Yan rose a few feet from the ground.
Jushi bent another boulder out of the ground and had done the same by blowing a hole into the boulder, and raising his arms upwards as the pillars raised him to Rong Yan's level of height.
"Follow my movements." Jushi ordered.
Rong Yan nodded and waited for Jushi to begin, with his left Jushi threw the boulder up into the air and caught it with his right hand, and then throwing it back with his right again only to catch it with his left hand. Doing so repeatedly, Rong Yan began to do it as well, starting with his right hand he tossed the heavy boulder into the air and caught it with his left arm, the weight of the boulder knocked him off balance and he fell to the ground, rubbing his head. Jushi facepalmed and shook his head in disappointment.
From up where he was Jushi sunk the pillars back down, Rong Yan picked up the boulder again as Jushi lifted him up he gave it another try. Rong Yan started with his right again and threw the boulder into the air, and then successfully caught it with his left. Doing better at it he then began to show off by doing it on one leg and using airbending to give him better balance, throwing the boulder into the air he had then lost balance and fell back onto the ground.
"Stop fooling around! Earthbending isn't supposed to be fun, it is a disciplined art that requires years of training to master!" Jushi yelled.
"Sorry, sorry..I'll be serious this time." Rong Yan apologized.
Jushi once again sunk the pillars, Rong Yan bending over to pick up the boulder, went at it again within minutes he had gotten the hang of this exercise. Rong Yan dropped the boulder, and jumped off the pillars as he caught up with Jushi who took him to another area.
In that area was a flat form of earth in front of them, Jushi put his hands together and faced them downwards. He demonstrated as he rubbed both hands quickly as they began to cut into the earth, dust begun to form. Rong Yan coughed a bit from the dust that had formed and gave it a try himself.
Using force with his right fingers he smashed them into the flat form of earth, instantly feeling the surge of pain on right hand's fingers grabbing them with his left hand, using airbending to amplify his scream of pain.
"AHHHHHH!" he screamed.
Birds out of the trees flew away from hearing the sonic scream, Jushi blocked his ears from going deaf himself. Aloi and Unaraq had jumped when they heard Rong Yan scream taking defensive stances they shouted, "Rong Yan? Where are you?"
Jushi bent a boulder out of the ground a large boulder in fact, he pointed at the boulder, signaling Rong Yan to copy his movements. Jushi placed one foot forward and the other one a few centimeters back, using his strongest arm, balling up a fist he pushed upwards as the boulder lifted and levitated in mid-air off the ground.
Rong Yan, had done the same pushing his balled up fist up, but nothing moved. Trying once, in the distance Unaraq and Aloi heard the boulder hit the ground, they ran over in the direction that they had heard the sound from. Seeing Rong Yan and Jushi training, Rong Yan.
Rong Yan, frustrated tried levitating the boulder, once again trying instead he let out gas and farted. Jushi plugging his nose walked away shaking his head, blushing he had hoped that Aloi hadn't heard the fart. The frustration got to him, upset he had yelled really loud at the boulder, the sonic boom from the soundbending technique he used to amplify his voice had crumbled the boulder to bits.
Aloi, had bent a dome of air that muted the sound of the sonic boom protecting Unaraq, Jushi, and herself from going deaf and their ear drums exploding. Jushi asked curiously what Aloi had done, "I used airbending and soundbending to protect us from the sonic boom." she smiled.
"Quite spectacular move, Aloi." Jushi commented.
"Thank you, Jushi." Aloi bubbled.
"I'm glad we have another soundbender to protect us from the chaotic one." Unaraq added.
"I DID IT!" Rong Yan shouted.
"Great! You crumbled it, but this time try using earthbending!" Jushi shouted back.
"On it!" Rong Yan yelled.
Jushi walked back over to Rong Yan he turned to look back at Unaraq and Aloi signaling them to come. "You're welcome to come watch." They walked right behind Jushi, conversating about things, as they stopped to and watched Rong Yan learned earthbending from Jushi.
Bending all the crumpled bits of the boulder than Rong Yan had broken with soundbending. He had formed the large boulder back by compressing all the smaller bits of earth together.
"Earthbenders use their strength of their extended arm which is earthbending and use it in defense to overwhelm their opponents. Earthbending is considered to be the only of the four elements to be a diverse art." Jushi began.
"It maintains a distinct balance in its offensive and defensive form of capabilities." Jushi added.
"Now you will be practicing three techniques all at once, these are breathing, listening to the earth and neutral jing." Jushi finished.
"Aww that's going to be hard!" Rong Yan complained.
"If you do not master these three techniques, then you can forget about earthbending! Breathing is a key to learning earthbenders, it keeps you focused on what's at hand. Listening to the earth is another, the earth has many vibrations through these vibrations will you find what's under your feet. Once you master this then you will train blindfolded, and neutral jing this will involve you to wait and listen before striking this will allow you to strike with precision. I'll leave you to it then." Jushi explained.
Rong Yan took a deep breath, and sat down in criss cross position taking in deep breathes, exhaling the air slowly and peacefully while clearing out his mind and meditating. Jushi, Unaraq, and Aloi sat together in a semi circle talking while paying attention to Rong Yan as he did the exercise.
"How long do you think it'll take him to levitate some earth?" Aloi asked Jushi.
"We'll just have to wait and see, Aloi. It could take a matter of minutes, hours, days or even weeks...if he masters breathing, meditating and the neutral jing he should be fine." Jushi answered.
"Well anyone knows how to breathe! It's a natural born talent! As for meditating I'm sure he mastered it when he trained with the Air Nomads in the Southern Air Temple." Unaraq claimed.
"Really? Then it shouldn't be too difficult getting the neutral jing to earthbend, although for some it is impossible. And those we call non-benders." Jushi acknowledged.
"Wait so you're saying at one point I was a bender?" Unaraq inquired.
"Perhaps. We won't know unless you can master your neutral jing. At least that's what my grandfather always told me. That the non-benders' only problem is being unable to master the neutral jing making them incapable of bending any element." Jushi claimed.
"That's a load of balooie! Only reason why the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, and the Fire Nation have non-benders is because half of their populations no longer have a connection with the spirits. As for my people the Air Nomads we do hence why each Air Nomad born is an airbender." Aloi argued.
"Who told you that?" Unaraq inquired.
"The Council of Elders! Our people have known this for thousands of years!" Aloi contended.
Hearing the vibrations, and exhaling some air Rong Yan felt something within him in a matter of seconds he stood up, going into a sideways positions sliding his right foot across the earth, and then stomping down with left foot, rose regular sized pillars of earth.
Jushi quickly turned his head as he heard the sound of the earth rising unnaturally, rushing over to Rong Yan he began clapping, slightly smiling he chuckled, "That wasn't so hard now was it?"
"I did just like you said! I meditated, focused on breathing and waited for the right moment, then I felt something within and this happened!" Rong Yan answered excitedly.
"Good work, Avatar. Normally, it takes a regular earthbender longer to find his neutral jing. But for you, you are naturally gifted." Jushi congratulated. They walked back to camp, the sun had begun to go down already. When they had begun cooking their meals Jushi asked Rong Yan what he was taught about how benders and non-benders came to be.
"I always told that it depended whether you had benders in your family, that it was a slight chance that a bender would be born in a family of non-benders, or even a non-bender in the family of benders. My parents are both non-benders, most of my family are non-benders in fact." Rong Yan responded.
"What about your grandparents?" Aloi asked.
"I never met my grandfather, as for my grandmother she's a firebender..must make sense why I was lucky enough to become a firebender." Rong Yan said.
"Lucky? You were lucky to be reborn again, you're the Avatar after all." Unaraq commented.
"That may be true..I think of I was not the Avatar, I would be working in the mines with my father." Rong Yan added.
"Mines? Your Dad's a miner?" Jushi questioned.
"Yep a miner, I come from a small Fire Nation village called Tang Village, on the outskirts of Yin La." Rong Yan answered.
"Hmm..who knew that even the Avatar could be reincarnated into the lower class.." Jushi quipped.
"The Avatar Spirit, doesn't see the good or evil in someone's surroundings nor the poor or rich, the Avatar Spirit chooses the best candidate because the Avatar Spirit is never wrong about its choice. It believes that that person will be the one who will control and maintain balance on the world." Aloi acknowledged.
"So the Avatar can be born into a criminal family?" Unaraq wondered.
"Yes, but it would take the right kind of people to lead the Avatar away from the path of destruction and into the path of tranquility and balance." Aloi nodded.
Somewhere within the eastern Earth Kingdom one man returned to his home base stationed somewhere near Lu'an where the Water Tribes had captured the dock town. The warrior happened to be in small skirmish earlier where he became the sole survivor, limping back to the base.
Limping towards the gates a soldier notices him and runs to his aid, putting his right arm over his shoulder to carry his weight and walk him over to the infirmary. The injured warrior spat on to the side and gasped for some air, he felt like he had entered into shock a bit.
"Healers! Stat! This warrior has gone into shock, he might have an unnoticed wound!" the soldier commanded.
"On it!" yelled a Northern Water Tribe healer, the woman ran over with some water skins strapped to her back, popping off the cap and bending out some water as she hovered her hand with the water over the warrior looking for the wood. She tore his clothing off, and found a small wound with a shard of earth jabbed into his flesh. She tugged at it, and jerked it out of his wound. The warrior screamed in pain, as she quickly bent water over it and began to heal him.
"I need a wet cloth on his forehead!" she ordered another healer.
Another woman rushed over and bent the soaked cloth over his head, as it gently landed, he still winced in pain as the elder healer was healing the wound he had. The curtains to the tent he was being attended in opened up and in came his commander, looking at the healer healing the man's wound. He asked what had happened.
Wincing in pain as the elder continued to heal him, he slowly and painfully, "W-we were...ack!..we were scouting..when we..r-ran..ran into..a small camp of earth..earth..earthbenders.."
"How many?" his commander asked.
"F-f-four.." he cried.
"Any survivors?" his commander wondered.
"N-no..I...I...I'mmm...the o..only sur-sur.." the warrior had passed out from the loss of blood.
"He's lost some blood, commander. What do we do?" the elder looked up to the commander.
"Do it." the commander ordered the elder healer.
"Aye, commander..in times like these our soldiers are all we need to keep us and our families safe." the elder bowed.
The healer had stopped healing him, taking in a deep breath, the body of the soldier rose just a bit into the air, the healer was making weird movements as the blood had once soaked linen cloths and the fur skins that the soldier laid on was being bent back into his body. The elder had place her hand on his wound and froze the blood around the wound in hopes of stopping the bleeding.
Two men had reached the top of a hill, atop of the hill were cold corpses of Earth Kingdom and a few Water Tribe soldiers. Examining each of the corpses one of the men an archer looked over to his friend a scout.
"The bodies..they've been here for awhile now..still no sign of decay, these men had just killed each other today." the archer examined.
Pointing at footprints on the sand and suggesting, "Look! Footprints leading somewhere, we should head back to HQ and let General Qingbao know. We can come back with enough men to lead an assault on a Water Tribe camp."
"Good lookout!" the archer complimented to the scout.
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