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Anu and Zaheer are determined not to be deterred from their quest but it may mean putting faith in a mysterious ally?
Anu constantly pushed his hands outward to the ground, then inward to either side of his waist. He had been trying to break the surface rock for over an unanticipated our. In between breaks, he would wipe the sweat off of his brow while enduring the nonstop complaints of Zaheer who urged him to continue more rapidly. Anu would answer saying things like, "I'm going as fast as I can." Zaheer would answer him, encouraging him like, "Anu, you're our only hope of escaping. If you're able to reach them, we're out of here. Zaheer gazed through the holes in between the holes in the small rectangle atop a wall of the earthen prison and saw that the sun was quickly fixing itself in the damp sky. And like the rising sun, which grew in intensity, Zaheer's angst grew with the Sun, and he feared when it would burst. And he looked back to the lean Anu as he continued his endeavor to free them with his weak bending, and Zaheer grew anxious.
The forest submitted to the shadow girl as she darted across the branches. She skimmed them, bouncing and jumping off of every other one, until she found a new vantage point, where she could make her way over the wall of earth. When reaching such a spot, she pulled up her black friction gloves over her hands, tightened the gliding cape against her clothes, and pulled a mask as dark as night over her face, displaying only the grayness of her eyes. She pulled back, gaining potential energy. Then, she jetted through the wind, lunging forward and sprinting off of the branches. She jumped from out of the concealment of the forest and spread her hand out to her sides, subsequently tucking in, and falling against the side of the earth wall. Her friction gloves and slippers caught hold of the wall, slowing her descend. Like a stealthy warrior, she climbed up to the top of the wall and looked to the sun would was about to fall upon her skin. She slipped down below the wall, wishing to fall down into the darkness. She then let the wind catch her as she dashed through the shadows, her arms flailing behind her. She scanned the village quickly, evading the guarding soldiers and locating the town hall building where she stealthily moved around and about the building."
"Prepare the hostiles for our departure," an old man in garbs said. "This is to go off without a hitch. And for the last time, someone start preparing reparations for my inn. It better be fully repaired by the time I reach the lower suburbs. And that's only a fraction of the time it'll take me to get to the Royal Palace."
A guard interrupted him. "With all due respect sir, I think it's best you send someone an little more ad-e-quate? I mean for the sake of Chin."
The innkeeper turned to face the guard. "I will decide what's in the best interest of Chin. I found the outlaws anyway. I'll be the one to turn them in. You're only an accompanist. Speaking of which, go ahead and get the 'dweebs' if you will."
"Where will I find them?"
"The only place to look. The cells outside of the inn, which has now been destroyed!"
The stealthy girl had blamed herself for not observing that area of Chin. Still, she had the necessary information. She vanished into the darkness. Now she was on her way to the inn cells, hoping to free some captives.
Zaheer watched Anu nearly break through the surface while the thoughts of the soldier he had just seen earlier, racing towards them, were also playing their parts as fearful factors.
"I've done it!" Anu exclaimed cheerfully. And he pointed to a hole. However small it was, it was a hole.
Zaheer looked to it plainly, then punched it with incredible force, opening a fissure leading to the dark chasm in the earth. The earth cell began to crack. It fell to nothing and the guard looked to the empty cell and was dazed by the intense horror he felt when looking upon the open fissure. He gulped. "Oh no," he thought.
Zaheer and Anu took notice of the black bugs that scurried along the sides of the tunnels and the black crystals that protruded out of the earth. Zaheer walked over to the side of a tunnel and took two crystals about four inches wide and six inches long. He offered them to Anu. "Take these," he offered. "The minerals in these crystals will be pretty bendable. I can tell from their meteorite like color. You know?"
"Well what should I do with it?" Anu asked.
"Integrate it into your outfit."
Anu looked to his outfit. He wore a black under-suit tight over his skin and over that, a loose brown thin garment. Over his garment was the scabbard for his sword. He then looked to the crystalline pieces in his hands. They felt cool in his hands as if they were meant to be his. He then took control of them, letting them hover in between his fingers. He understood their strength yet great malleability. He found them easily manipulative, and he then shattered them into thin plates, giving them different shapes as he went along. He lined then pieces of crystal over the arms of his under-suit. He places on the sides of his garment, strips of sharp crystal, lastly epaulets of the crystal on his shoulders. He was content with his new look, feeling more empowered as an earthbender.
Suddenly, dust and pieces of earth fell from the top of the tunnel. Light was visible on the side of the tunnels. The light of lanterns were bright and evident. The soldiers had found them once again.
"Run," Zaheer uttered.
"Wait," Anu said. Over his closed-toed sandals, Anu pulled crystal from the walls and let it cover them. He also fashioned some for Zaheer. He then quickly started gliding over the earth with Zaheer. "Yeah!" Anu echoed through the tunnel. "Oops. My bad." The silently traveled through the tunnel, quickly escaping the soldiers until they found themselves at a place of great conflict——a dead end.
Oh no, Anu thought. Zaheer had been counting on him. And now they were at a dead end. Everything seemed to be over. Yet they found themselves thanking a mysterious figure for freeing them from an open fissure in the ground that she opened. Now there was only one thing. And it was the wall.
The figure was silent. All she did was point to Anu with her finger running along the side of the wall. At first thought, Anu was lost, but he quickly pushed through the pressure. He wished to succeed at this. He shot his hands outward forcefully, and the crystals shot off of his arms and dug into the earth wall, he shot them out so they would look like a stairwell, leading to the top of the wall.
The figure was the first to get up. Like a scaling prodigy, she spent no more than a second jumping from one crystal to another, making sure her steps were light. She didn't want to make the crystals fall out. Zaheer was the second, jumping a little slower with each step, almost falling from a few feet off the ground. Lastly Anu, who took time to try recollecting himself before getting out, was filling with angst. He had to do it. Then from behind, soldiers, with the aged innkeeper in front were darting down to the wall.
He stopped, saying, "Go you lazy soldiers! Seize the captives!" The soldiers were close to Anu——too close.
"C'mon, Anu," Zaheer encouraged.
The shadow remained inaudible, her eyes squinted at Anu. It seemed to be signaling, C'mon man. You can do it.
Anu breathed for a moment, The soldiers began launching chunks her earth, almost taking his out and shuffling the crystals. He had to do it. And in the spur of the moment, he ran along the crystals, evading the rocks that were thrown at him, showing off moves of his own. His foot quickly lost balance, but the shadow girl was there with her hand. She pulled him up atop the wall. He recollected his black crystals, and they were off.
They moved into the forest, welcoming the darkness. "Who are you?" Anu asked the shadow girl.
She finally pulled the mask off her face and responded with a cold voice. "My name is K'rin. And I am a renegade of the Kyoshi Warriors." The pulled back on her mask and motioned them to follow her deeper into the forest. A journey would soon begin.
The innkeeper looked to the crumbling earth wall as the Sun became fixed in its usual position. A soldier approached the innkeeper, asking, "Should we follow them?"
"No," he responded. "I know exactly where they'll be."
"But they'd know we were looking for them in that specific location now. They're destined to change direction."
"Of course," the innkeeper admitted, "but there's only one way to get to the Fire Nation right now. Trust me, we'll find them." And suddenly, as thoughts of great malevolence and evil entered his mind, an ominous grin dawned upon his face. We'll find them, he thought to himself. We'll find them.
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