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February 4th, 2013
Oma trained to the bone every day since her intervention between the two armies. She told those who dared ask that she had no reason to anything but train. Sometimes she would stand in a nearby field flinging boulders miles away, others she would find herself making the Cave of Two Lovers more and more challenging to pass through. Occasionally she would come upon some lost soul and direct them out...if it wasn't already too late.
The day after Shu perished in the war, she built a secret tomb deep within the cave. She made an elaborate sarcophagus for him and gently laid him inside and then filled it with sand to force all air out of it. She then sealed it as tightly as she could, to preserve him for the ages. She then built herself a matching sarcophagus and was highly tempted to fill it with sand and seal herself in, but she knew Shu would not agree for her to end like this.
So instead she trained relentlessly for weeks until one day she spotted a figure approaching her from a distance. She immediately took a defensive stance but as the person got closer she felt calmer, yet could not understand why.
"Who are you?" she called out but received no response. The man was in tattered travelers robes; his face rough with a thick beard. Her immediate reaction was he was a thief or something of the sort. She called out to him again when he was about ten feet away. This time he lifted his head slowly and gave her a warm smile.
"Hello," he said in a deep, wise voice.
"Quite the talent you have there. Did the Badgermoles teach you?"
"Why yes, how did you know?"
"Just an assumption, I once observed the great lion turtles bestowing the gift of Energybending to humans."
"But that was a hundred years ago!"
"Time works in an odd way for me my dear."
"What is your name?"
"You may call me Krag."
"Are you an Energybender? Do you come from the Earth Kingdom?"
He chuckled, "Eager for answers are we? Okay. I am not a bender of any sort and I do not call any one nation home but rather the entire world. I wander here and there, picking up more knowledge. Just last month I observed some monks in the mountains gliding through the air effortlessly. It would seem the elements have become tools to us humans."
Oma's interest was piqued at this, "There are Windbenders?"
"They prefer the term Airbender," he confirmed.
"So...why did you approach me all the way out here? Why not take the main road into the city?"
He stared at her long and hard, "I know many things about this world. I have seen visions of the future and have sensed the current changes in the world. You have appeared in my visions; you will play a major role in the coming months. The world is on the brink of total chaos with the introduction of the bending arts. A long known art is slowly being lost to the world as the origin is."
For the first time he seemed to look upset, "The Lion Turtles are being hunted down and murdered. A group sees them as a prize and their leaders is well aware that eliminating them is plunging the world into darkness. There a just a handful of these magnificent creatures left in the world...you must help us save them."
He chuckled again, "You will see soon enough for they are not even aware of their own destinies yet. What do you say, Oma of Omashu?"
"I-I don't know. You come out of nowhere with crazy claims and you want me to leave with you on some journey? I mean I've never even seen a Lion Turtle! And besides...I've recently had a bit of a tragedy and...and..."
"I know. You are full of sorrow and anger. This is your way to shape the world. Aid me in bringing back the Balance." Oma stared at him, trying to figure him out, trying to sense if he was lying but she couldn't get a good read on the man so she had another idea.
"Only if you defeat me in combat," she grinned.
"If that is what you wish."
Her confidence vanished, if he really knew her power he would have never so readily accepted. Nonetheless he took position opposite her and stood motionless. Oma struck a fist forward, fast as lightning, launching a boulder the size of Krag. The man idly stepped aside as the rock flew past him and crashed to the ground loudly. The Earthbender attempted to trap Krag with several spires but he seemed to slip through them each time. Oma then resorted to moving the Earth below him in order to throw off his footwork but he seemed to know exactly when she was going to move.
"Are you sure you aren't an Earthbender?" she asked, huffing in exhaustion.
Oma then took a wide stance and clutch her hands above her as though she were lifting a great rock. Into the air rose the patch of land the two were standing on, if she couldn't land contact she would make it so he had no room left. She gradually reduced the floating piece of Earth until the two were mere feet from each other. Forming rocks around her fists she threw blow after blow at Krag but he again moved at the right moment. After a particular blow towards his right side missed by inches, Krag suddenly took the offensive. He eyes flashed a brilliant white and he began to physically deflect her blows, his strength was incredible. He had Oma on her knees, her rock covered hands in his grip. To her amazement the gloves started to crack, she used Earthbending in attempt to prevent them from shattering but this lapse in concentration caused the floating Earth to crash into the ground. Along with their platform crashing her gloves shattered at the same moment. She didn't even notice Krag move extremely fast to grab a spire of rock that had broke loose and before she knew it, it was pointed directly at her throat. Swallowing hard, she closed her eyes.
Krag smiled, "You have remarkable talents Oma. My premonitions were correct about you."
"Well, I guess we should head back to the city and collect my things and tell my Father were I'm going."
"Ah...no. On this journey you will have no need for possessions and your Father has already been notified."
Oma stood silently as Krag began to walk as though he had no certain direction. She reluctantly followed him.
"So you want to fill me in on exactly what you did back there with the whole glowing eyes thing?"
"In due time."
Oma growled and punted a nearby rock into a nearby thicket. Krag chuckled at her displeasure.
"Can you at least tell me where we are going?"
"I thought we could head south. There's a bit of a war going on between the Air Nomads and the Air Warriors. My sources tell me the Southern Air Temple has had some troubles keeping the Warriors out. And a certain young man also resides there that I would like to speak with...I believe his name is Dashi."
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