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|"Return to Gaoling"|
August 4, 2016
Return to Gaoling
Three weeks later:
In Gaoling, a little girl was walking on the street, obviously looking for someone.
Willy, Myrdin, and Dandelion were sitting in the park, talking. Miranda and Ming arrived. Miranda was smiling. "Guys, guess what! I've got a call from dad! He is having his meeting with the Earth Prince today!".
Ming started twittering, obviously being concerned. "You think somebody was following you?" Miranda asked.
Then they noticed this little girl hiding behind a bush. As the group started walking in the direction of the bush, Miranda said loud, "I don't know, Ming. Maybe it's just your imagination? I think you should just forget all about it".
The girl couldn't see them anymore, so she got up from the bush. But when she turned around, she was startled to see Miranda and her friends.
"We're sorry we scared you, but why were you following Ming?" Miranda asked.
"Ming? Who's Ming?" the girl asked. Ming started twittering.
"Oh, the bird. No, I wasn't following Ming, I was following you," she said and pointed at Miranda. "I mean... If you're the Avatar? Are you Miranda?" she asked.
"Yes, but..." Miranda said but got interrupted by the girl.
"You are? How great!"
"Can I help you with something?" Miranda asked.
"Yes! You see... Zing Dang, the leader of the Laogai Village is in trouble," the girl said.
"What? What happened?" Miranda asked.
"Lady Li-Hua and her assistant Pei Qi have kidnapped him," she said.
Everyone was shocked. "What? That's impossible. Are you sure?"
"Yes. I was there, and I wanted to stop them, but I couldn't, so I went here to find you. You're the Avatar, so you're the only one who can help," the girl said, as the group, with the girl, left Gaoling.
"We'll support you," Willy and Myrdin said.
"Me too," Dandelion said.
"All right. Come on, guys!" Miranda said.
Meanwhile, Lady Li-Hua and Pei Qi were keeping Zing Dang under Lake Laogai where no one could find him. Li-Hua wasn't there at the moment, so Pei Qi and Zing Dang were alone in the room.
"You guys will not get away with this!" Zing Dang said. Pei Qi didn't say anything. Someone opened the door. It was Li-Hua.
"Welcome back, my lady," Pei Qi said and bowed.
"Pei Qi, I have a mission for you. After the Avatar and her foolish friends removed my green smoke, I've realized that my recipe was making it too weak. But now, I have a new recipe. I used to use seaweed in the mix, that's what made the smoke green, but there exists a purple berry that will make the ten times more powerful purple smoke," Li-Hua said.
Zing Dang was shocked. "So, what do you want me to do, my lady?" Pei Qi asked.
"I want you to find the berry and bring it back to me so I can create the purple smoke," Li-Hua said.
"Of course, my lady, but where can I find it?" Pei Qi asked.
"I don't know -- yet," Li-Hua said and smiled at Zing Dang.
"Forget it, Li-Hua. I will never take you to the purple berries," he said.
"Well, if you don't, I'll just use this," she said and showed him a bottle of green liquid.
"What's that?" Zing Dang asked.
"This is my simple poison. This one and only bottle of it will be poured into Lake Laogai, destroying it completely," Li-Hua explained.
"But... The villagers!"
"Yes, that's right, my friend. Without Lake Laogai, the people of the Laogai Village will not get any water, and that means they will not survive. But of course, I have a plan. I'll give them water if they let me be their new leader, but I can't assure you that I will be as nice to them as you were," Li-Hua said.
"ALL RIGHT! I'll take you to the berries," Zing Dang said reluctantly.
Elsewhere, in Ba Sing Se, Mir was finally having his meeting with Earth Prince Kuei at the Royal Palace.
"So, Mir. I know you have a creative mind, and that's exactly what I need," the Prince said.
"What are you planning, Prince?" Mir asked.
"Come with me," the Prince said, as the two of them leaved the room.
They entered a garden with view over the city. "You know, Mir, I've always loved Ba Sing Se. The best city in the world, in my opinion," the Prince said. "Do you know who built Ba Sing Se?" the Prince said.
"No, who?" Mir asked curious.
"An oracle did. It happened thousands of years ago. The oracle used its earthbending to form the impenetrable city of Ba Sing Se. His name was Laogai," the Prince said.
"Wow," Mir said.
"Yes. It's fascinating, isn't it? How he built his own paradise. And that's something I want to do to. With you, Mir," the Prince said.
"With me?" Mir asked surprised.
"Yes, with you," the Prince said.
"Okay, but what's your vision exactly?" Mir asked.
"You've heard about the Agrarian Zone, haven't you?" the Prince asked.
"Of course, it's between the Inner and Outer Walls," Mir said.
"Correct," the Prince said and showed up with a paper. "And my vision is to create my own paradise in the Agrarian Zone, a place with a hotel, stores, restaurants, and clubs -- the Agrarian Park," he said and showed Mir his drawing.
Meanwhile, Team Avatar, along with the girl, arrived at the beach of Lake Laogai. There, they saw a girl sitting on the beach. While the girl the group was traveling with was several years younger than themselves, this girl was around their age.
"That's Nora, a friend of Zing Dang's," the girl said.
"Great!" Miranda said.
"Maybe you should go home now," Dandelion said to the girl.
"No! I wanna... Wait... Okay! Good luck! See ya!" the girl said and left.
The group went to Nora. "Hi, I'm Miranda, and these are my brothers, my friend, and my bird. We're friends of Zing Dang too and...."
"You're Miranda? You're the Avatar? I mean... You're beautiful, but you're not that beautiful after all," Nora said.
"Hey! My sister is the most beautiful girl in the world!" Myrdin said.
"Look. I'm sure Zing Dang would love to see you, but this is where he and I hang out, so maybe you should just go back to the mining village," Nora said.
"You mean Gaoling," Willy corrected.
"Whatever," Nora said and started calling for Zing Sang, meaning that she didn't know about the kidnapping.
"Zing Dang is not here, he has been captured by Lady Li-Hua and her assistant Pei Qi!" Dandelion said.
"What? How do you guys know that? Did you see it happen?"
"No, but a girl told us," Miranda said.
"What girl?" Nora asked.
"She went home now, but she saw the kidnapping," Miranda said.
Nora started laughing. "If anyone should get the mission of finding Zing Dang, it's me. I know the Laogai Village better than anyone.
"Great! Then you can help us find him!" Myron said.
"Forget it! I will go and find Zing Dang myself," Nora said and left.
"Fine, what now?" Willy asked.
"Seems like we have to do this ourselves," Dandelion said.
"No, I'll not give up on Nora so easily. Let's follow her to the Laogai Village," Miranda said, as the group followed Nora up in the mountains and down in a valley.
There it was, the Laogai Village.
|Book One: Start (開始)|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Book Two: Disease (疾病)|
- - - - - - - - - Chapter 9: The Crossroads of Love - Chapter 10: Wilbert Alone - Chapter 11: Healing - Chapter 12: The Lack of Forgiveness - Chapter 13: The Search for Jin-Zul, Part 1 - Chapter 14: The Search for Jin-Zul, Part 2 - Chapter 15: Separation - Chapter 16: The Virus of the Dead Lotus, Part 1 - Chapter 17: The Virus of the Dead Lotus, Part 2 - Chapter 18: The Virus of the Dead Lotus, Part 3 - Chapter 19: The Virus of the Dead Lotus, Part 4 - Chapter 20: The Virus of the Dead Lotus, Part 5 - Epilogue: After That
For the collective works of the author, go here.