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Book 3: Earth
October 15, 2014
The prey have been hunted by the predator, now the hunter needs to hunt to quench the thirst of his vendetta.
Chapter 4: Hunter's Vendetta
Book 3: Earth
Chapter 4: Hunter's Vendetta
A large scaly red dragon soared through the Earth Kingdom skies, snapping on the reins of the beast it released a bestial roar that shook the trees as all the winged creatures flew away in terror. On top of the dragon was Rong Yan, Unaraq, Aloi, and Jushi, holding onto the handles that were specially made on the saddle for riders to hold on and not fall off to their deaths.
In the distance they could see a town, Unaraq unscrolled the map he was holding to see where they were at, "Yep still in the western Earth Kingdom..the name of this town is Huangshun, and to the southwest of this is the Huangshun mountain range."
Unaraq pointed at their location on the map as they lowered from the sky.
"We're stopping here?" Unaraq asked.
"Yeah, I thought we could get some more supplies before heading off to Omashu." Rong Yan responded.
"Wait...Omashu?" Jushi asked.
"What's wrong with Omashu?" Aloi questioned Jushi.
"Nothing..I've just never been there." Jushi replied. As Shen lowered and landed on the ground Rong Yan tied him to the nearby tree just a few yards from the town of Huangshun. Jushi looked at Rong Yan with a concerned and questionable expression.
"You're going to leave your dragon out here?" Jushi asked.
"I didn't see a stable in there and I doubt people want a fire breathing animal in their town." Rong Yan commented.
"Good point." Jushi agreed.
They walked into town looking at all the various buildings where they could enjoy a meal or even a drink. Jushi looks at a tavern nearby, signaling Rong Yan, Unaraq, and Aloi that he's going to split up.
"Well I'm going to this tavern here, if you guys need me I'll be in there." Jushi said.
"Alright then." Rong Yan replied.
Splitting up after they agree with each other, Jushi walks into the tavern while the gang goes somewhere else, chatting and laughing. Opening the door to the tavern, he sees the large building having two floors with patrons and drunks on both floors. Walking over to the counter he sits down and places a coin on the counter, the bartender takes the coin and gives him a menu to look at. Pointing at an exotic Fire Nation drink, the bartender looks under the counter, grabbing a wooden cup and the bottle of the Fire Nation grog he pours it into the cup and slides it over to Jushi.
Taking a sip, he looks around the room and then begins to drink the cup. The patrons and drunks all laughed as they all chattered about their lives and weird experiences they had. The doors flung wide open, a tall, banana like shaped man walked in to the tavern, his skin was white but it was pretty dirty, he had a dark brown bushy mustache on his face, brown eyes and short dark brown hair with grey every now and then. His eyes looked menacing, he didn't look like a friendly person.
Everyone looked at who had entered the tavern, and the room grew silent, the bartender was a little startled. Jushi was just paying attention to drinking his drink and didn't care much for who it was so he didn't bother to look. The man who entered was a little annoyed that Jushi didn't care to look at him since every time he enters a location everyone looks at him.
This man was a nuisance to the town of Huangshun, he was a bully to the townspeople there. Rumor has it he had killed two people when he was younger, people say it was by accident of course because if they for one mention it was in cold blood they would probably disappear at night. Everyone was afraid of him because of it, the town bully and to top it off he was a bit wealthier than everyone else so he might have tipped off any guards to look the other way. The last fight he was in, he almost killed a man according to the bartender, the guards had done nothing since they were paid off.
You could guess he might have been a noble perhaps, but to such knowledge he does not come from a family of nobility. The man grabbed another man by the back of his shirt collar and pulled him off his seat. The man screamed as he fell off the bartender shaking began to wipe the counter where the menacing man sat, Jushi now swishing the rest of the drink in his cup, still not feeling the buzz of the alcohol in his exotic imported Fire Nation drink.
"Fuchou, it is a surprise to see you twice in one day, what can I get you?" the bartender greeted shaking.
"I came back and noticed an outsider walking into town with a Fire Nation man, a Water Tribe man and a girl from one of the Air Temples. I decided to introduce myself..." Fuchou chuckled.
Jushi looked up to the bartender giving him a concerned look as to why he was shaking thinking nothing of it he returned his gaze back to his drink as he took another sip of what was left of it. Fuchou slightly turned his head to look at Jushi, taking off his hat, the crowd still silent as they watched horrified.
"Y'know it's dangerous for an...outsider to enter Huangshun.., what with the constant crime and all." Fuchou claimed.
Jushi continuing to stare at his drink says nothing and ignores him, Fuchou now a little irritated to see that Jushi had ignored him. Fuchou speaks a little louder now, "That's rude! I spoke to you, outsider and you're going to ignore me?" "I'm not afraid of you, go on and try intimidating someone else, bub." Jushi answered.
"Intimidating? Oh no, I was just trying to warn you about what's been going on here...that's all." Fuchou smiled.
"And I assume you are the cause of the problems around here?" questioned Jushi still staring at the grog.
"Why won't you turn and look at me in the eye and say that, boy?" Fuchou taunted.
"Sorry my eyes aren't interested in looking at a dirty animal." Jushi commented.
The crowd shouted 'Oooo' as to react to what Jushi said to Fuchou by calling him a dirty animal. Fuchou got up and spat in Jushi's drink, and walked off saying, "I'll let you off with a warning, outsider. But I'll keep a close eye on you, and when the moment comes..." he paused.
Fuchou looked back at Jushi, Jushi tossed his drink on floor, he turned over to face Fuchou with an angered expression on his face, looking at the man's face he held himself back almost like he's met him before.
"I'm going to strike and you're not going to see it!" Fuchou finished as he walked out.
The crowd cheered Jushi for standing up to Fuchou the town bully or more so the town criminal. Flashbacks at rushed through Jushi's mind, so many at one time that falls to his knees with a headache. One of the patrons had walked over and crouched down placing his hand on Jushi's shoulder. Concerned to why the guy who just made Fuchou walk out fall on his knees. Jushi felt the rush of the flashbacks affect him tear falling down his eye.
"Hey are you alright?" the patron asked.
"Yeah.." Jushi paused, "I'm..I'm fine." he finished.
He stood up and ran out of the tavern, running down the streets trying to find his friends but to no avail he did not find them instead he ran out of the town, half a mile away there was a large cliff over looking a large lagoon. Jushi sat there as the thoughts poured into his head.
He began to remember fire, destruction and death, all in the meanwhile Unaraq was leading Aloi and Rong Yan to the tavern that Jushi had walked into thinking that they would meet Jushi inside. When they entered the tavern the patrons were watching two other guys playing Pai Sho, all crowded around one large table.
Cheering one of the guys on screaming the place was going wild. They were calling out Jushi's name the guy who had knelt by Jushi's side as he fell to his knees was still there and he walked up to them.
"The swordsman? Oh he left running from the tavern I don't know where but he looked a little upset." the guy said.
"Do you know what must've upset him?" Rong Yan asked.
"Nope, I just know he stood up to Fuchou the town bully." the guy replied, Rong Yan gave the guy a slight nod, he, Aloi and Unaraq walked out of the tavern and back to the streets.
Meanwhile, Jushi, was still sitting atop of a rock with his face resting on his hands, his swords lay to his left and right. He lightly shed a tear as flashbacks ravaged his mind once more. He remembered himself a small boy afraid and tears falling down his eyes, the man that was overshadowed in his home finally revealed himself. The face was recognizable to the one he had seen on the man at the tavern. That man in his horrible nightmares from when his parents were murdered by a group of brigands, was the same man in this town that the people call 'Fuchou'
Aloi approached with Rong Yan and Unaraq, placing her hand on Jushi's right shoulder, he shrugged her hand off. She knelt by him and asked him what was going on.
"What happened, Jushi?" Aloi asked.
"That man in the tavern..." Jushi whispered.
"What man?" she asked again.
"Fu-Fuchou, I...I recognize his face when I was boy my town was raided by bandits. And my parents' murderer looks a lot like the man in the tavern." Jushi answered.
Aloi gasped as Rong Yan and Unaraq tried to comfort their friend, Rong Yan then commented, "So you mean that all these years no one has ever caught him and he has been living freely here in Huangshun?"
"We need to do something, Jushi's parents need justice." Unaraq added.
"Vendetta..." Jushi let it out.
"What?" Aloi asked.
"The prey have been hunted by the predator, now the hunter needs to hunt to quench the thirst of his vendetta." Jushi said.
"What does that mean?" Aloi asked. Jushi stood up grabbing his swords and walked away, Rong Yan repeated what Jushi had said a few times. Thinking about it, snapping his fingers he said, "You don't think he's going to get revenge do you?"
It was afternoon within a small cottage in the woods just outside of Huangshun was, the man named Fuchou. Stirring a pot that was cooking over a small fire, a little girl was walking over to him with a wooden plate with diced vegetables of sorts. He glanced behind himself and noticed the little girl walking to him, kneeling down and grabbing the plate he patted the girl's head and smiled.
"Here you go, daddy." the girl bubbled.
"Thank you, sweetie." Fuchou thanked his daughter.
"We're having some vegetable stew tonight I hope you're hungry." Fuchou added.
It began to rain off in the distance perched on top of a tree was a shadow with two swords on his back and an arrow notched on his bow. Only the eyes were visible as the droplets began to fall he quickly placed his hood over himself. From the tree he watched as Fuchou was handed the diced vegetables by his daughter he grinned.
Rong Yan, Aloi, and Unaraq ran after Jushi in the direction he had gone hoping they could catch up to him. The shadow perched on the tree jumped down from it landing on the ground a puddle splashed around his feet. Fuchou walked out with a hood over his head and a cloak surrounding his body. He signaled for his daughter to come walking with him. Looking to his left he saw Jushi strutting over to him, pushing his daughter behind himself he put up his fists.
"Who are you?" Fuchou shouted.
Lifting off the cowl on his head, Jushi pulled out his katana swords placing a strong grip on both of them. Tightening the grip as anger soared through him like a raging fire.
"Look me and tell me do you know who I am?" Jushi shouted.
The little girl was now afraid she screamed, "Daddy! Who is this horrible man?!"
"I..I.." Fuchou was interrupted.
"Answer me, you weasel!" Jushi now angered.
"I don't know..please don't hurt my little girl!" Fuchou demanded.
"You don't know? Think back several years ago, the town of Baoshun. You left me an orphan...you murdered my parents and you left me to live a life without parents..without a childhood." Jushi yelled.
"Yes, yes I remember you now the little boy.." Fuchou remembered pausing for a moment.
"I was wrong..I was wrong to do that to you. I'm sorry." Fuchou apologized.
"Sorry? Sorry? No! You don't deserve a sorry!" Jushi argued.
Jushi lifted one blade and charged jumping into the air the blade was met with earth, the katana being chipped now, it vibrated in his hand. The vibrations hitting his wrist as he dropped his left katana. Rong Yan, held the wall up, Fuchou and his daughter ran over a few feet away.
"What are you doing?" Rong Yan shouted.
"I'm doing what I should have done a long time ago!" Jushi yelled back.
"Don't you see what you are doing? You're only being the monster this man once was!" Rong Yan retorted.
"You don't understand, Rong Yan. Your parents have never been torn from your life!" Jushi shouted.
"I understand." Unaraq blurted out.
"My mother was killed by Earth Kingdom soldiers, but I'm not enacting revenge. My mother was a loving and caring woman she was special to my father, myself and my sister..she was torn from us during the raids on the Southern Water Tribe. I feel your pain. But this is not way! Forgiving him for his misdeeds is all you can do, so you can move on." Unaraq walked up as he told his story to Jushi.
"You avenged your parents by standing up to him, now they would have wanted you to move on and grow up to be your own man. And so far that's what you have done, but you need to move on. This man has a daughter...you can't really stoop to his level and leave this little girl an orphan herself!" he finished.
Jushi dropped his other katana, shedding a tear he walked up to Unaraq and hugged him as he began to sob. Unaraq returning the hug, after they were done he shook Jushi's hand. Jushi then told him, "I never thought I would share something like this with one...thank you. I need to move on."
Shedding another tear he gave a slight nod, he picked up his katanas and walked back to his new friends. Walking back to town they have collected all the supplies needed to head onto to the next destination. They strolled out of Huangshun, packing their supplies on Shen. Rong Yan had snapped the reins on his red dragon, as it shot into the sky like a rocket.
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