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|"The Enemies of Destiny"|
October 10, 2016
Chapter 4 – The Enemies of Destiny
Night had fallen over the Fire Nation Capital. And this time, it was a peaceful night. Or at least, so it seemed.
In her house, Mai had got a visit from her deep love, Ty Lee. They sat at the bed together. Ty Lee was crying, and she was comforted by Mai.
"Are you sure you can't stay?" Ty Lee asked.
"I'm afraid I don't have any choice," Mai said. Ty Lee gave Mai a passionate kiss.
"I will never forget you. I will always love you, Mai. Very, very much," Ty Lee said.
"I love you too, Ty Lee," Mai said, followed by a tear from her eye as well. Someone knocked the door.
"I have to leave now," Mai said and got up from the bed. Ty Lee grabbed Mai's hand and gave her one last kiss, before Mai took her purse and opened the door. A man stood outside.
"Hello, Zheng," Mai said and curtsied.
"Are you ready to get married?" Zheng asked.
"Yes. I'm all yours," she said. He grabbed her hand, and they started walking out of the house.
Ty Lee stayed in the house. Though she cried about the fact that the love of her life was completely gone, she soon managed to say to herself:
"No ... my aura ...". She sighed and continued.
"Mai's not gone. Mai's not gone. Mai's not gone. She's still in my heart. And she will always be with me. Always."
Twenty years later:
The people of the Water Tribe loved cold, so they often raised families in self-build houses even on the tundra.
It was late night in the Northern Water Tribe. Darkness had fallen over the frozen tundra, and since the spirit portals were closed, the full moon was all alone about giving any light to the landscape.
Therefore, in a tiny house located nearer the end of tundra, it was pretty dark, but the people living in the house had this small campfire thing to keep them a bit warm.
Mai was sitting on one side of this campfire, and her six suns sat on the other side. .
"When does dad come home?" one of them asked.
"I don't know," Mai answered in her classic way to talk. The door opened, and a girl arrived inside. Though she did not have any arms, this cold water easily replaced them, making her feel nice and wet.
"Welcome back, Ming-Hua," Mai said. Her daughter did not say hello back. She just sat down in the only place where no one did already sit.
"Where's dad?" she asked.
"He's on a hunting again," Mai informed.
"I'm going out with Min tonight," Ming-Hua said, referring to a friend of her. .
"Can't you stay home, sister? Please!" one of her brothers asked.
"Why? Are you too afraid of that dark spirit monster? So that you can't even use your own waterbending to defend yourself and your family?" Ming-Hua asked.
"Yes, but ..." he started. Ming-Hua got up again.
"Mom, you've got your knives if my sissy brothers are too afraid to do what real men would've done when in danger," she said and went outside the house.
Then suddenly, everyone could hear a big roar, coming from this dark spirit who was now coming very fast against their house. Mai came outside. .
"Oh no," she said worried.
"Don't worry mom. I'll handle it," Ming-Hua assured. She used her skilled waterbending to keep the dark spirit away from the house, but she did not calm it down at all.
While Ming-Hua kept the fight going, her friend Min arrived, and she got this thought inside herself. "Yup. Just another normal day at Ming-Hua's house".
The fight from the tundra easily got the attention of Prince Unalaq, who knew how to deal with dark spirits. He could see the fight from his room in the palace, and therefore he ran outside and out on the tundra.
"Stay away! Then I'll deal with it!" Unalaq yelled. Ming-Hua let go of her water, and Unalaq grabbed it himself. He surrounded the spirit with water, and did his fancy spiritbending to make it light and let it leave the tundra in peace.
"Thank you very much, Prince Unalaq," Mai said.
"No problem, Mai," Unalaq said, smiled, and leaved. Mai went back inside the house.
"Dude. Unalaq's a pretty boring guy, don't you think?" Min asked.
"I think it's kinda sexy," Ming-Hua said.
The two girls went to the capital city, where most people had already went into their houses to sleep. However, they noticed that something was going on.
In a corner, a crowd of people was standing, and it was clear that they were arguing about something. A notable person involved in the argue was Prince Unalaq himself.
"What are those guys babbling about?". Ming-Hua and Min went towards them.
"Calm down, guys. My father has done decision. Deal with it," Unalaq said to the rest of the people who clearly was protesting against something.
"What's going on here?" Ming-Hua asked.
"The chief wants to double our taxes!" one guy said.
"And my family won't be able to pay them. We'll all die!" a little girl said.
Ming-Hua, coming from a pretty poor family herself, knew what it was like struggling to earn money, and she was totally against this kind of strict policy.
"And you're supporting that, Prince Unalaq?" Ming-Hua asked.
"I need to trust my father's decision," Unalaq said.
"Are you crazy?!" Ming-Hua yelled and got this evil look in her eyes. Her water arms turned into sharp ice arms and she suddenly looked more violent. .
"Calm down, Ming-Hua," Unalaq said. But Ming-Hua did not calm down at all. She changed one of her arms back to water and used it to grab Unalaq with it, threatening with killing him with the sharp ice arm.
"Listen to me carefully, my dear prince," she yelled. .
"I want you to return to the palace, and tell your foolish father to ...". Until now she had kept this evil look in her eyes, but suddenly, her eyes became nearly wet, and she let go of Unalaq in that moment. .
"I'm so sorry!" she screamed, breaking into tears and ran away from the crowd, including her friend, Min.
Ming-Hua ran to her hiding place, a small lake called the Star Lake. This was a place where she was all alone. She sat down beyond the lake, and cried. After letting her face be placed at the knees for a while, she looked up on the full moon.
"Please ... Someone ... Make it stop. I can't live like this anymore," she begged. Her eyes were filled with new tears. Then, she could hear a familiar voice. It was actually Prince Unalaq.
"I know what happens to you when you act like this," he said. Ming-Hua shied a bit at first.
"Wanna sit down?" she asked, however. Unalaq sat down next to her.
"I've always seen you, Ming-Hua. I know how you think inside yourself when you act like you do," he said.
"Well, if you know me so good ... you should know that I believe in freedom. How can you take your father's side? My mom has suffered enough. Probably even more than I know". She started crying more.
"Actually, I'm not taking my father's side. I want freedom, like you". She could not believe that.
"What are you talking about?! You acted like you want to double the taxes. It will make my family even poorer," she said.
"I don't want my father to discover that I'm against him before I'm gone," Unalaq said. Ming-Hua did not understand.
"Gone? What do you mean?" she asked.
"I've got the feeling that there's more people like me out there. People like us," he said.
"Us?" she asked.
"We know it. Both you and I want to live in a different world," he said.
"True. But we're not doing the same things to success in our goals. You're planning to leave the tribe and meet people 'like us' living 'out there'. I don't want to do anything. I could've engaged myself more in the stuff going in the city, letting it play a more central role instead of turning all the attention over to me. I could've helped the crowd by giving you the beating you deserved. But instead ... I just ... This happens a lot..."
While Ming-Hua talked about all this, she did not cry anymore, but now even new tears popped up.
"It's like I'm hitting some sore point ... I change ... In one moment I'm calm and controlled, fit for fight ... and in the next ... I just ... I can't handle anything. It's like there's ... two of me". She looked up on the full moon again. When she slowly let her eyes look down at the water, she could glimpse an old woman in a green dress comforting an armless waterbender like herself, only a generation younger than the oldest, who was crying, though she seemed to be safe with her kind friend. .
"Your silence will not protect you. But you will be safe. Ultimately. I promise," the older said.
This vision changed Ming-Hua's attitude completely. This old but pleasurable voice that assured her that she would be safe made her very silent at the moment.
Unalaq took it as she was just very, very tired. Therefore, he decided to follow her back to her house so that she could get some sleep.
After Ming-Hua had went to bed, her mother, Mai, again thanked Prince Unalaq for helping the family.
The next morning, Ming-Hua was still very calm due to yesterday night's vision, though she still went to the capital city.
While she was walking on the street, without having any specific goals, she was soon met by her friend Min.
"There you are! Are you okay? What happened yesterday?". Ming-Hua could not help but ignore her paranoid friend. However, when she met Prince Unalaq, she finally did say a word, though with a very wry voice.
"Feeling better?" he asked.
"I'm fine," she said, though deep inside herself she knew she had never really felt bad. At least not when acting like this version of herself.
"I've got a visit from some new friends outside the city who would love to meet you. Will you come with me?" Unalaq asked. Ming-Hua did not have very much to do, and due to the fact that she in general was a bit spaced out right now, she accepted the invitation and followed Unalaq.
After walking in almost an hour, without really talking, they reached a small hut.
"They're staying inside here," Unalaq said. They went inside. Three guys were sitting around a table. Unalaq presented them to each other.
"Ming-Hua, this is Xai Bau and his recruits Ghazan and Aiwei. Guys, this is Ming-Hua". Ghazan got up from his chair and gave his hand to Ming-Hua, unknowing about the fact that she did not have any arms.
"I don't use arms, stupid," she said. Ghazan kept smiling.
"Nice to meet you too," he said and sat down again.
"Ming-Hua is born without arms. She uses water as a substitute for her missing limbs," Unalaq explained.
"What's the point with this?" Ming-Hua asked.
Xai Bau was probably the right person to explain, so he did. He told her the story of him being a former member of the Order of the White Lotus and the fact that he and the others, including Unalaq, all wanted to change to world to a disorder type of world. They wanted her to be a part of it.
"Yeah ... I'm not interested," Ming-Hua declared and walked out of the hut. Everyone was very surprised, as Unalaq had described Ming-Hua as the perfect recruit for their organization. .
"I'll be right back," Unalaq said and followed her.
"Ming-Hua, wait! Why did you say no?! I thought this was something you wanted," he said.
"Unalaq! Stop it. I'm a bit confused. I need some space," she said and leaved him alone.
In the afternoon, Ming-Hua took a warm bath. She felt very relaxed, and after finishing at the bathroom, she felt like sleeping.
While the past night's vision was something that made her feel good, she was this night exposed to a horrible nightmare which was going to change her life forever.
Ming-Hua herself was the light version of herself, but she could see the dark version of herself, standing at her hiding place beyond the lake, with her back against. It was full moon.
The dark Ming-Hua slowly turned back, and when the light Ming-Hua finally got to see the dark Ming-Hua's face, she noticed that the eyes were gone. It was just ... black.
The dark Ming-Hua actually used her water arms to drag the light Ming-Hua down in the lake. However, the water of the lake turned into mud, and though the light Ming-Hua tried to refuse it, the dark Ming-Hua was far too overwhelming. As a result, they were both dragged into the mud and everything got completely dark.
Mai was still her old self. She had this dark, pretty negative personality, and so she was liking to go outside in the middle of the night alone. The most important reason, however, was the fact that she wanted to look at the sky and think about Ty Lee.
Mai was on her way outside, but she noticed that someone else was awake in the house. She went inside the bedroom of Ming-Hua's six brothers, but they were all asleep. It made sense to her that it was Ming-Hua who was awake, as she had already acted pretty strange the last days.
Mai went into Ming-Hua's bedroom to see if she was awake, but no one was there. Mai assumed that Ming-Hua had went outside the house, but when Mai walked through the corridor she could hear the sound of steps.
No one answered.
Ming-Hua was standing in the corner of the small corridor, and her mother could not spot her from there. One thing that was a bit strange this time was that she was kind of switching between her two selves. She whispered to herself.
"Okay. I can't keep living like this. I have to join those guys. I need to do this. Forgive me, dear mom."
Mai could barely hear the words, though enough to understand that someone was there.
Suddenly, Ming-Hua formed some water into sharp ice and ran as fast as she could against her mother, and in the end, she was sticking the ice through her mother's back so that it came outside her stomach, and she started to bleed.
Leaving her mom at the floor, Ming-Hua ran away as fast as she could.
Mai's last words before she died was spoken by her when she could barely breath.
- Like with the previous chapters, please take note that the profile image of this chapter does not represent Ming-Hua's age at this point, we are only using his profile image to symbolize the fact that this chapter is about him.
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