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|The Royal Lady|
Book 2: Water
April 11, 2013
The gang come across a village who worships a statue, something's strange about this place.
Chapter 4: The Royal Lady
Book 2: Water
Chapter 4: The Royal Lady
Rong Yan, Aloi, Unaraq, and Tanaraq are seen flying in the air on top of Rong Yan's new red dragon, Shen. Soaring through the sky, they are above a forest, they fly downwards to what looks like a small village. They land right outside of the village, as they get off Shen the dragon, they walk towards a small, beaten down wooden sign that says "Welcome to Sichuan Village".
"Welcome to Sichuan Village.." Unaraq said.
Looking up from the small sign he sees a large stone statue of woman in the town square of the village. The statue was not painted but it was detailed. The woman was short, she wore robes, boots, had long hair fashioned in a unique way, and wore a straw hat, the only thing that was not detailed was her face.
It looked like the statue really didn't have a face, though the statue did bear a nose, and two ears, it did not resemble any eyes or a mouth. A man wearing a torn, and unkempt outfit walked up to the gang, it looks like he and the rest of the village is probably below the poverty line due to the fact that his clothing is dirty. That or he's an unhygienic man. This man hasn't identified himself yet but the gang assumes he is the mayor.
"Hi..hi...w-welcome to Sichuan village, tr-travelers. My name is Pigu." Pigu introduced himself.
"Hello Pigu, I'm Avatar Rong Yan, this is Aloi, Tanaraq, and Unaraq." Rong Yan introduced himself back to the man.
"The A-Avatar!" Pigu shouted excitedly.
"Yes, are you the mayor?" Rong Yan asked.
"Y-y.." Pigu replied.
"Scram you!" the man shouted at Pigu.
Pigu was startled and he scurried up the street and turned left into an alley. The mayor stuck out his hand in front of Rong Yan and says, "Sorry about that young man, don't listen to him...he's a little nuts..my name is Geng of the Gao family. I am a noble and I bought this land years ago from an ill man who used to own it. Have you made any offerings to the Royal Lady? She will bless you for the day if you wish to do so."
"The Royal Lady?" Aloi asked.
"Yes, young airbender the Royal Lady. The Royal Lady is a guardian spirit who protects this village, from harm and from anyone who tries to destroy it. So if you plan to do something to this village..DON'T because the Royal Lady is watching!" Geng Gao cautioned.
"You have my word, an Avatar never breaks a promise." Rong Yan answered.
"The Avatar?! Oh goodness gracious, I am sorry for using that tone with you, Avatar. Pardon my manners!" Geng Gao shouted.
"Its alright, can you tell us more about the Royal Lady?" Rong Yan asked.
"The Royal Lady, is said to bend fire, the element with which your people use Avatar. The Royal Lady brings this village great honor and protection. In fact the man I bought it off he told me the story of an ancestor of his who bought the land off of the Royal Lady hundreds of years ago, when she actually was alive! The Royal Lady came from the Fire Nation, she lived here for several years before moving back to her homeland. The man told me her name once, but I cannot remember it right now." Geng Gao explained.
"I almost forgot, there is a waterbender within the forest here. He's a very suspicious man, it looks like he might want to do harm to this village. You might want find out where he lives and question him. He could be a danger to the civilians and this village. For all we know he could be a criminal." Geng Gao added.
"Alright we'll get on it, right away!" Rong Yan replied.
"Thank you, Avatar." Geng Gao thanked before walking off.
"Alo-" Rong Yan was cut off by Aloi who had her staff in hand.
"On it!" Aloi said.
She skyrocketed into the air and onto her glider and flew off into the forest to find the house. Rong Yan, Unaraq, and Tanaraq walked into the forest, and towards Shen. Rong Yan ran into the forest to find some apples for Shen, as a snack. Since Shen looked pretty hungry.
Aloi landed right where Shen was, seeing only Unaraq and Tanaraq hanging out there, she says, "Where's Rong Yan?"
"He went into the forest to look for some apples for Shen." Unaraq said.
Rong Yan catches his breath and sees an apple tree about a few yards away. He shoots small air blasts at the apples to knock them off the tree. Three apples fall off and hit the floor, he knocks off four more apples and gathers all seven of them. Turning to his right he sees a small shack. Picking up the apples and carrying them in his shirt, and he runs towards Shen and the group.
Dropping three apples in front of Shen, and giving one apple each to one of his friends. The gang eats their apples, and Shen snatches one apple from the grass one by one and eats it quickly.
"Did you see anything, Rong Yan? I found nothing." Aloi asked.
"Yeah, as I was picking the apples I found a small shack by the apple tree." Rong Yan replied.
"Awesome, let's go check it out!" Aloi suggested.
The gang walks down the path that Rong Yan had just come from and go to where the apple tree was, in hopes of finding that house that Rong Yan says he saw. They had finally reached the apple tree and off in the small distance they saw the house all alone. They walk up to the front of the house, as Rong Yan knocks on the door. Few seconds pass by and no sound of footsteps is heard anywhere inside the house. Again Rong Yan knocks on the door, but to no avail no one answers the door. Unaraq steps forward and turns the knob of the door of the house, it slightly opens and makes a creak.
"Would you look at that...its open!" Unaraq said.
Walking inside, the floorboards of the house creak, and crack each time the gang makes a step in the home. They find decorations on the wall similar to ones that are in the homes of Water Tribe folk. Fur pelts, and masks decorated the walls and were under a thick layer of dust.
Spider webs laid about the house and small corners of the walls and the ceiling. Tanaraq being the last to enter the small house, three small birds flew out of the home, and she lets out a little scream, and the birds flutter out.
Unaraq looks at her, and places his index finger over his lips and whispers, "Shh." He unsheathes his blade from its sheath and sneaks across the dusty, old, abandoned home. Spending fifteen minutes checking the entire home, they all huddle together,
"Its all clear." says Unaraq.
They walk out of the house, and back towards the village. Walking back into the village they see a few folks walking about the streets of the village. Rong Yan walks up to a man with long black hair, and a mustache, in a brown outfit.
"Where's Geng Gao's house?" Rong Yan asked.
"Who?" the man asked confused.
"The mayor." Rong Yan answered.
"Oh I apologize I thought you said Zheng Hao's house. The mayor's house is just up the main street." the man replied.
"Thanks." Rong Yan said.
The gang ran up the main street of Sichuan village, and found the large home within the village. It wasn't hard to spot since that was the largest house within the village, it was bigger than the citizen homes too if you compared them. Rong Yan knocks on the door of the house, and Geng Gao the noble mayor of Sichuan village.
"Yes?" Geng Gao asked.
"We found the house that you wanted us to investigate, no one lives in the house. It is abandoned." Rong Yan replied.
"I'm afraid I have no idea what you are talking about, young man." Geng Gao said.
"What? What do you mean? You told us to investigate the house." Rong Yan said.
"No I'm afraid not. I don't remember ever speaking to you. In fact I don't know who you are. You must have me confused with someone else." Geng Gao replied.
"You're confusing us. You had just told us to find the waterbender who lives in the house." Tanaraq added.
"Nope sorry, little lady. You four are crazy kids. Please leave me be, I have pressing matters to tend to, than squabble with your false tales." Geng Gao commented.
Right underneath the home, was a small grate, under the grate it was dark nothing was heard other than rattling of chains. Geng Gao shut the door to his home, and walked down into the basement of his home which he personally had turned into a dungeon to imprison something or someone within. Geng Gao grabs two spark rocks, and lights a torch and places it within a torch holder.
The torch lights the entire basement, the basement was filled with cells made of wood. Geng Gao walks down the small hall within his basement. At the end of the hall he turns to his right and looks within a cell. There within the cell sat a man, bound in metal chains from his hands and feet unable to move, he wore blue pants and a torn blue undershirt, torn brown boots, the man's black hair covered his face, as the man hears the footsteps of the mayor he raises his head, and his hair flips behind his head.
Showing his light brown skin, and blue eyes. The man looks at Geng Gao and shouts, "They'll find me! You can't keep me locked in here forever, Geng Gao. When they find me they'll set me free!"
"Hmph, keep your mouth shut, waterbender. They won't ever come to save you. You're not an important man." Geng Gao hissed.
"I'll get my hands on you, Geng Gao. Mark my words!" retorted the man.
Geng Gao chuckled at the Water Tribe man, and walked away. He turned off the fire from the torch to save the tar left within the torch itself. He walks back up the stairs and closes the door and locks it tight.
Rong Yan and the group, walk up to the counter of the inn they are inside of, the woman of the inn asks, "What can I do for you today?"
"We'd like two rooms one for us guys and the other for the girls." Unaraq said.
"That'll be 50 copper a night." the woman replied.
"Alright, here's the payment for the first night." Unaraq said. Reaching into his pocket he hands the woman a small blue sack full of copper coins.
"Its right up the stairs the last two doors on your right are your rooms." the woman said.
"Thank you." Unaraq thanked the woman.
All four of them walked up the stairs, and into their respective rooms, they throw their stuff onto the floor, and prepare the bed for sleeping. It was nighttime and they were tired, they needed some rest for tomorrow.
Rong Yan, is having a dream as of right now. He wakes up in bed within the dream and walks down the stairs and out of the inn, no one is around as all the citizens are fast asleep. No guards around where he was wandering around. He walks up to the statue as he hears whispering coming from the statue. He stands in front of the statue still hearing what the statue was whispering to him. Touching the statue everything goes black.
Again Rong Yan awakens, and finds himself to be standing in front of a woman that appears to look like the Royal Lady. The Royal Lady has appeared herself to Rong Yan, she began to speak to him.
"Young Avatar, it is good to see you again." the Royal Lady greeted.
"Again? But we've never met before." Rong Yan said.
"You're wrong, we've met many times before." the Royal Lady disagreed.
"The mayor of the village called Geng Gao, he is not who he sees he is. He tells you a story where the original landlord of the land actually sold the land to him, but that is a lie. Yes, I sold the land to the man's ancestor but the old mayor did not sell the land to that bad man. That man who claims to be a noble, has murdered the mayor of the town, and has brainwashed the villagers that he is the mayor of the village now. A Southern Water Tribe ambassador was sent to the village by the chief of the Southern Water Tribe months ago, to make amends with the village." the Royal Lady began.
"He locked away the ambassador and has imprisoned him within his very home, under the home lies the basement of Geng Gao which he has turned into a dungeon. Geng Gao is actually associated with the very man who wants you dead, General Senlin of the Earth Kingdom. Geng Gao, was an officer under the control of Senlin, and he to had become a traitor of the Earth Kingdom during the war." the Royal Lady explained.
"Wait? How do you know all of this information?" Rong Yan asked the Royal Lady.
"I have been around for hundreds of years, I've been watching you for all this time, come closer young firebender I must share my identity with you." the Royal Lady replied.
Rong Yan walks over to the Royal Lady, she places her right thumb on Rong Yan's forehead, and her left thumb on Rong Yan's heart. Closing her eyes she reopens them and they begin to glow a white color, Rong Yan's eyes as well light up. Rong Yan is getting a flashback.
Within this flashback, he sees himself walking into the Fire Temple sanctuary with Fire Sage Xiao, the spiritual mentor of the Fire Nation and head of the Fire Sages.
"Who's that?" Rong Yan asked Fire Sage Xiao looking at the statue of woman, with a strange ornament on her head.
"Rong Yan, that is one of your past lives, that is Avatar Ilah, she once ruled the Fire Nation as the head of state until her second son was old enough to ascend the throne." Xiao answered.
"Wait she...I...was once royalty?" Rong Yan asked confused.
"Yes, you were. From the history scrolls I have read when I was a young boy, you were one of the greatest rulers of the Fire Nation. Though you had a tough past and a tough life throughout that past life." Xiao replied.
Rong Yan stared at the statue of Avatar Ilah in the flashback, then it fades. He returns to his dream. He looks at the Royal Lady who's eyes began to fade to normal from the white light within her eyes.
"You're my past life. I can see why they nicknamed you 'the Royal Lady'." Rong Yan commented.
"Yes, I was the Fire Princess of the Fire Nation hundreds of years ago, then I became the Fire Lady for a short term. Maybe one day when we meet again I will tell you my life story like I've told you many times before." Avatar Ilah responded.
The dream fades, and Rong Yan awakens from his dream. It is still late at night and he awakens Unaraq.
"Unaraq...Unaraq wake up.." he whispers to the sleeping Unaraq.
"Sleep now, talk later..." Unaraq murmured.
Rong Yan, lightly smacks Unaraq on the face, Unaraq quickly stands up, and falls over.
"Unaraq, I had a dream!" Rong Yan said.
"Of what?" Unaraq asked a little irritated.
"Of the Royal Lady." Rong Yan replied.
"That's great, I'm tired we can talk about it in the morning..." Unaraq said.
"No we can't..the mayor is not all he says he is. The mayor is associated with General Senlin, he's not really a noble or the mayor. He assassinated the actual mayor!" Rong Yan began.
"What?!" Unaraq burst out.
"Shh...anyways, the Royal Lady turned out to be one of my past lives who has been watching me ever since the day I was born along with my other past lives. But it looks like she and Ku Tei are the only ones who care since they've been the only ones who have contacted me. Along with Xi Tong but anywho, she told me something about this village, Geng Gao has all the villagers brainwashed." Rong Yan explained.
"All I hear is blah, blah, blah..get to the point!" Unaraq replied.
"The point is, after the war had finished your father had sent an ambassador to make amends with the village. This Geng Gao man, had locked up your tribe's ambassador and has forever kept him there within the basement of his house." Rong Yan finished.
"What?! We need to go rescue him right now!" Unaraq demanded.
"We're getting to that, let's wake up the girls and have them prepare Shen for flight!" Rong Yan ordered.
"Right I'll go wake them up." Unaraq agreed.
Unaraq changed clothing and runs out the room to knock on Tanaraq's and Aloi's room. Rong Yan changes into new clothing and puts on his hat. Tanaraq and Aloi run into Unaraq's and Rong Yan's room ten minutes later and gather their things and head out the inn to put everything on Shen.
Rong Yan and Unaraq sneak around the alleys of Sichuan village, there Pigu approaches them, signaling them to silence themselves he whispers to them, "I know what you're looking for, I've been trying to uncover what he's hiding down there, I was going to tell you when I first saw you but he scared me off! Please follow me!"
With that they follow the local bum Pigu to the so-called mayor's house on the way Pigu explains things.
"I am the actual mayor's grandson, I was supposed to be the mayor of the village but, Geng Gao threatened me, and kicked me out. I thank the spirits that the vile man did not kill me. Anyways, from then on he slew my grandfather in cold blood and brainwashed the villagers by telling them that my grandfather sold him the village. Everyone has since recognized me as the local bum who's nuts. I know you don't believe me but it is true, I swear it. I'll even give proof when we reach my grandfather's house."
They reach the home, and see that the house is being guarded by two men in the front, these men were local villagers. They sneak to the back, and see the basement doors are not open.
"Ugh the basement doors aren't open. Plus I no longer have the extra key I've lost it while sleeping on the streets. Avatar you must you use your firebending to burn the doors of the basement down. If the Water Tribe warrior uses his weapons it'll be too loud." Pigu whispers.
Rong Yan bends the sound around Pigu, Unaraq and himself, Rong Yan then uses his other hand to blast a large fireball at the doors of the basement, within the sound bubble they're in, the blast is heard. Outside the bubble everything is silent, the guards continuing to keep watch at their posts hear absolutely nothing.
Rong Yan, then bends the oxygen out of the fire to put out the small embers. Rong Yan sparks a small ember within his hand, and walk down the steps of the basement, turns to their right they see the cell with which the ambassador is imprisoned within. Rong Yan again soundbends within the basement itself to make sure no sound escapes, and blasts the wooden cell with fire.
Unaraq looks at the prisoner, and quietly shouts, "Suluk!"
"Unaraq! You've come to save me, brother!" Suluk shouted.
"I've brought the Avatar along with me. It'll be alright Suluk you'll be fine." Unaraq replied.
"Thank you, thank you Unaraq, I thought I was going to die in this place, my..my life is in your debt, friend." Suluk said.
The door of the basement leading to the mayor's house opens, Pigu is nowhere to be seen. Geng Gao, walks down the stairs and sees Unaraq, and Rong Yan trying to break Suluk out of the chains which sustain him.
Geng Gao yells, "Gua-"
All of a sudden Geng Gao falls to the floor unconscious, "That's for kicking me out of my grandfather's home."
Pigu searches the pockets of Geng Gao, but finds nothing, then he sees something shiny sticking out Gen Gao's slippers. He takes off Geng Gao's slipper and grabs the key. He runs over to the cell that Rong Yan had just burnt down and unlocks the chains that once sustained the ambassador.
Pigu runs back up the steps of the home, and cleans his face, and changes into his grandfather's clothing. Unaraq quickly locks up Geng Gao in the chains that he locked Suluk up on.
Pigu runs back down the steps to the basement and shows Rong Yan and Unaraq the painting of Pigu and his late grandfather who owns the home. Pigu, walks out in front of the home, and tells the men guarding the house to go back home, he has taken control of the village once more and explains that Geng Gao was an impostor and a criminal.
Geng Gao awakens, and tries to stand up, he struggles but sees himself chained to the wall of the burnt cell.
"Let me out! Let me out now!" Geng Gao shouted.
"No, Geng Gao, you have imprisoned this poor man, you've killed my grandfather. You are under arrested for now. In the morning Earth Kingdom troops will arrive and take you back to Ba Sing Se and lock you up for life in the prison there." Pigu answered.
"As for you, Avatar I can't thank you enough for helping me out here with this problem. Here is a scroll I've recently written. Take this scroll along with Suluk to the port town of Han Tui, there you will give the scroll to a man named, Duizhang. He is a personal friend of my grandfather's and I's. He is the dockmaster and captain of one the ships there, he'll be more than happy to get Prince Unaraq's friend Suluk back to the Southern Water Tribe." Pigu explained.
"And Suluk, here is a meal for you. I am assuming you're very very hungry, you look rather unhealthy." Pigu said, giving Suluk a sack full of pastries, fruits, and cured meats.
"Here are records of a Northern Water Tribe ambassador coming in about a couple of months ago. Looks like my grandfather had already made amends with the man and the tribe itself. You have my amends as well Southern Water Tribe." Pigu finished.
Rong Yan, Unaraq and Suluk walked back to Shen the Dragon, there Tanaraq noticed the unknown man to be Suluk.
"Suluk! I can't believe its you! Thank the Ocean and Moon spirits that you're okay, I thought I've never see you again! You must tell father your story! Tell me your story!" Tanaraq shouted as she ran up to hug Suluk.
They all climbed the dragon while Suluk ate his food, Shen soars into the sky, and heads on to southwest towards the town of Han Tui.
For the collective works of the author, go here.