Chapter 4 - Rumble Pit
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The Wolf, Windbag, and the Great Depression





Written by

Ferrandor Republic

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Chapter 5 - Training Day

Earth, Fire, Air, Water.

Only the Avatar can master all four elements. Unfortunately, the Avatar is never around enough and the world needs her. There is a depression ravaging civilization, leaving thousands to go hungry and go mad. The Avatar is too busy resolving international disputes and spirit conflicts to help the common man. In times like these, real heroes will rise from the ordinary folk and try to restore peace and prosperity to the world.

The sun rose over the skyline over Republic City. It was a new day. Anil had given hospitality to the Naite brothers, his best friend, and a cute girl. Anil knew today was a training day so he woke up and fed Dako, his pet lemur. Then the lemur perched on his shoulder like a pirate's parrot.

"Good morning buddy." Anil stroked his pet then walked upstairs to the roof. He then pulled out a few muffins and ate two of them. He waited on the roof for thirty minutes until a giant wind nearly knocked him off. He looked up to see the eighteen year old Meelo standing in front of Anil.

"Good morning my student," Meelo told Anil and Anil likewise bowed. "I see you finally found old Ding's glider."

"Who?" Anil asked.

"He was an assistant of my father who disappeared a year ago after he got pissed or something." Meelo explained.

"Unfortunately Ding is now rotting in an Equalist prison," Anil said.

"That can't be good," Meelo gasped. "Well I'll tell my father about this after we train."

Anil nodded then stood in a fighting stance.

Grei Naite crawled out of bed and took a shower. He was a filthy man and needed to cleanse himself. His brothers however didn't want to get out of bed so they stayed in bed. Grey walked out of the shower and threw on some clothes. He bent the water drops from the bathroom and splashed them on his brothers.

"Wake up assholes," Grei said. "It's arena day."

"Not arena day, I'm sick of losing money on people," Zed said.

"Then quit trying to convince me to throw the match," Grei responded. "I seldom lose these matches."

"Oh well." Zed sighed.

The brothers groaned and crawled out of bed then everyone threw on some clothes. He and the brothers ate some strips of bacon and walked down the fire escape stares. The three mounted on Beast then strolled down a few dozen blocks to reach the "Rumble Pit" arena.

Baijin woke up from bed and saw his calendar. He then wrapped his hands, threw on his cloak, and put his mask in his jacket pocket. He then stepped up to the top of the stairs and spoke to Anil. On his way up he saw Li walking up the stairs as well.

"Say, you going to see airhead? Because, despite all stereotypes, I can blow better than he can," Baijin joked.

"I'm not going there for that." Li tilted her head.

"Okay then," Baijin responded.

The two reached the top to see Anil and Meelo practicing airbending. Li pulled out a lawn chair and sat in it reading a book. Baijin then leaned up against the concrete.

"Say, I see you're practicing again," Baijin said.

"Yeah," Anil said then was smacked in the face with a gust of wind from Meelo.

"Pay attention and you won't get a sore cheek," Meelo said.

Anil leaped back up and hurled a strip of wind back at Meelo. He redirected it then a sparring match soon followed. "Asshole," Anil commented in a quasi-friendly way.

"Okay then, I'm going to go now." Baijin started to tip toe away from the roof and down the fire escape stares while Li stayed in relaxed in here lawn chair reading her book. It was a novel from the Fire Nation but for sale in Republic City bookstores.

Meanwhile, there were illegal matches occurring in a far off abandoned underground warehouse. The place was nicknamed "the Rumble Pit" for being famous for near death to fully fatal duels between two benders. The triad and other groups gambled heavily in this area. Today a monthly tournament was taking place. The top sixteen fighters from the past few weeks were selected to duel in a series of heavy matches. One of these fighters was none other than the infamous Grei Naite. Zed and Warsh stood in the crowd cheering him on and betting on him to win.

"Attention ladies and gentlemen!" The Buff announcer said. "Today we test the strength of our brawlers in a tournament. There will be blood and only the toughest and roughest will take home the dough," he announced as the crowd gasped. "Our first contestants are Grei Naite and Zi Patolus."

Grei stood up from his bench and got ready to fight. He didn't need water pouches for the match since open barrels of water were provided on the sides. Grei then walked out to face his opponent. By the looks of him he was a firebender and kind of insane.

"Fight!" The announcer shouted as he rang the bell.

The Firebender immediately drew his flames and blasted Grei with them. Grei dodged the flames then leaped into the air. He pulled water from the barrels and hurled the huge wave at the Firebender. Then Grei landed on the ground. The Firebender stood up and summoned fireballs in his hands. Grei retaliated by pulling the water up and trapping the firebender in a vortex. After a few rotations, Grei released his opponent and froze him to the ground. His firebending opponent waved his hand then tapped it on the floor.

"Grei Naite is the winner!" The announcer shouted then whispered into the mic. "What a surprise."

The crowd cheered and roared for Grei's victory. An overwhelming majority had bet there money on Grei while the minority who didn't nearly went broke. A few fights broke out like usual, between spectators but it was resolved by the thugs. After that Grei received some cash then the next few fighters took the spotlight.

After two hours of training it was half past ten. Anil and Meelo sat down next to Li drank a few gulps of water. They both laughed and smiled after their thirty minute long sparing match. Li wasn't sure what to think when surrounded by two airbenders on a roof.

"So how is your brother doing?" Anil asked Meelo.

"Rohan, he's been better," Meelo stated. "He's sick again. The doctors can't understand the disease but my dad does not want to call his mother up unless it's absolutely necessary."

"Why? I thought Katara was retired and had all the time she needed," Anil asked.

"Well, she still lives in the Southern Water Tribe and traveling there would be impractical since he's not well enough to go by sky bison. He'd need a plane ticket, and those are expensive," Meelo said.

"I see." Anil affirmed.

The two stood back up and went back to training. Meelo needed to teach Anil some more combat moves and how to use the glider properly. Li however hunkered down while reading her old book.

Grei was a beast. He had totally demolished every opponent in his way. He managed to send two big earth benders to the hospital and left a firebender recovering from hypothermia. After crushing his opponents he was ready to take home the dough and win the tournament. Many people had lost money since they expected Grei to lose. He was an underdog since the adversaries were about ten years older than the seventeen year old Grei Naite.

"You're doing fantastic Mr. Naite." One of the assistants handed Grei a sweat towel while he rested.

"Shut up," Grei remarked.

He sat back and watched the matches. Most combatants used their bending with more traditional styles, none too original. However one stood out. When two more combatants stepped in the ring for the other penultimate round, Grei was amused. Two earthbenders; one being a cliché shirtless huge brute 'bone crusher' thug, the other was not at all large but wore a helmet mask, full clothing, and had some coiled steel cable on his back. "Metalbender?" Grei asked himself.

"FIGHT!!" The announcer shouted while ringing a bell.

The two opponents squared off. Bone-crusher lifted a huge mass of earth and hurled it at the mysterious Metalbender. Mystery man then leaped up with the help of earth launch and then launched his cables at the bone crusher and latched on to the man's arms. Then he pounced on the ground and yanked the man to the ground. When bone crusher fell to the ground, the Metalbender charged at him, drew some rocks into the air and smashed it over the brute's head.

"And the Mysterious Stranger is the winner!" The announcer proclaimed.

The crowd was baffled. Two underdogs managed to cost the gamblers to lose thousands of dollars. It was remarkable really. After a thirty-minute break, the fighters realigned on the stadium. On one side the mysterious stranger stood with his cords and blades while Grei prepared to shove an ice pick in his enemies' throats.

"FIGHT!" The announcer shouted again.

Grei immediately pulled a wave of water around him then hurled it at the stranger. The Stranger leaped into the air then drew his bladed batons. Grei then froze the water, forming a wall of ice in front of him. As the stranger charged at Grei, he sheathed his batons and flung his steel grapples at Grei's ice wall. Grei retaliated by melting the ice and blasting it at his opponent in a huge stream. This sent the stranger flying until he landed on the ground.

"Well you've managed to get this far with me, that doesn't happen too often," Grei remarked approaching his opponent that lay on the ground. "Who are you anyway?"

Grei approached the stranger and cleared out all of the water around him. He kneeled down on the ground and stared through the mask's eyes. The stranger started to move a bit but he was immobilized. "I hope you realize that surrender isn't that bad of a deal," Grei stated then reached for the mask. Stranger began to panic and squirm but he couldn't do much about it.

When Grei's thumb and finders began to lift the helmet's rim, glass shattered in the background. The entire room filled with about a hundred people gasped. All of the gamblers and scum looked to the window and viewed a few ropes sliding down the sides. A man standing near the window looked out and said, "Holy Sh--"

Suddenly dozens of masked and armed troopers stormed through the window. They were each armed with Equalist-type weaponry but they wore more armored suits. One man walked through the window with a bullhorn. "Hands in the air, you are surrounded. Surrender and come quietly. You're all under arrest in the name of the Republic City Law Enforcement."

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