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|The Avatar Situation|
One: Mel of the Earth Kingdom
This is the third chapter of Book One: Mel of the Earth Kingdom. It tells of what restrictions the Avatars have made, and what happens to Yanghchen after she finished her conversation with Mel. It is told from Aang's perspective.
Avatar Yangchen had left over an hour ago, and I was beginning to get worried. I hoped Appa could fly without making a lot of noise, so Yangchen would not hear us.
As we flew above trees and bushes, I wondered why Yangchen had left, and what was she doing. She had never been the person who would do something for nothing, meaning that she would have had her reasons for leaving the other Avatars. But that did not stop me from wondering; it actually did the exact opposite by increasing my curiosity and worries.
I spotter her! She was meditating, and was seated right in front of a man in his spirit form – he was from the world of the living! There was something strangely familiar about him, yet I had never seen him, and, much less, had I talked to him. But it didn't take me much time to realize that he was the current Avatar, for who else could be in the Spirit World and be so calmly having a conversation with another Avatar? But Yangchen should not have been talking to him. With the Avatar State's closing twelve years ago, all contact with the living world was cut off also. To make matters worse it was completely banned a couple of years ago after the situation in the world had gotten too dangerous. It was actually quite a curious subject, the world. Interesting what was happening there now. But I had more important things to worry about – Yangchen's breaking of the rule would strongly displease the other Avatars, I was sure of it. And if I did not turn her in, I would be considered as guilty as her. But I could not and would not turn her in. The rules that were created lacked any reason, but I hadn't bothered opposing them, since I believed that when the Avatar succeeded we would reopen the communication. But for Yangchen to break the rule, the world must have been doing very badly. This was turning out to be a true head-scratcher.
The man vanished and Yangchen started heading my direction. I hid and so did Appa, but even after all these years Appa had never learned to hide behind the big bushes.
"Appa? What are you doing here?" she asked.
Well that was the end of my hiding tactic. Yangchen had been around a while and knew that Appa didn't just fly by himself.
"Aang?" she sounded worried (and for a good reason). "Is that you?"
"It's good to see you, Yangchen," I said.
"W-what are you doing here?" her voice shook. I had never seen her so worried.
"I'd ask you the same, if I didn't know the answer already."
That did not exactly come out the way I had planned for it to.
She sighed, "I was talking to Mel, the new--"
"—Avatar," I smiled.
"Yes," she continued. "He seems to be experiencing quite a lot of... difficulties. The world is in terror. From what he explained, there is some fire witch, which I presume is the new Fire Lord. She seems to be ending the world once and for all. Mel mentioned her next target being the Southern Water Tribe and that the Northern had already fallen."
We both stood in silence. Why had Mel wanted to talk to Yangchen? She couldn't help him; she was dead. And then I finally realized what everything had been about.
"He wanted the Avatar State unlocked, didn't he?" I asked.
"Yes," she responded, "But I can't. We can't."
She was forcing me into it. I couldn't say that was displeasing, but it was not comfortable either. But I had a duty to the world, and this time it was not up to me to do the work in the living world, but in the Spirit World.
"We have to try," I said, "Even if the others won't be exactly happy, so to speak, that we, or at least you, have talked to a man in the living world."
"But there isn't enough time!" she said.
I was not sure if she was trying to get me to stop trying this entire time – first she gets me into it and then tries to persuade me we lack time. This did not seem like Yangchen. She was overwhelmed with fear.
"Then what should we do?" I asked her.
"I told him to visit an old friend of mine," she started. "I didn't exactly tell him who she was. She is not exactly the... normal type of teacher. She will risk killing him without even thinking noticing."
I was confused.
"Then why'd you sent him somewhere he might die?"
"Because she knows a technique that is enough to defeat the whole Fire Nation army – heatbending. She is the biggest prodigy in the world's history."
"Wait a minute... You aren't talking about...her?"
I was scared now. I knew to whom she had sent the new Avatar, and they neither had proved reliable, nor mentally stable in my experiences.
"But she can't even be alive! She must be over two hundred years old!"
"She is," Yangchen answered, "She was kept alive for this one task. When she passes down her knowledge, I would guess, she will die."
"But what if she isn't the first one to die? What if Mel dies?"
Yangchen had crossed the line of being desperate. Send the Avatar to her only proved what the past Avatars had done to the world.
"Well, we can't open the Avatar State in time (if we can even open it at all)," she said. "This is our only chance."
"Fine," I said. "But we have to try to open the Avatar state. He will need it."
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