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|The Criminal and the Lost Blade|
September 28, 2013
In one of the less luxurious areas of the city, a very rugged, weather-beaten apartment building stood hidden in the darkness of the night despite the lighting of the night sky. According to sources, the building was condemned many years ago due to improper facility instillation and an infestation of rodents. Rumors also went around the city that the building was haunted, as most police officers who checked the building for "suspicious activity" returned with wounds and no memory of how they got them. Despite its mysterious background, one girl called this place home.
She sat alone by the dusty windowsill. Brushing aside her long, jet back hair from her eyes to view the brilliant night sky, it was evident this girl has been through a lot. As she was staring at the sky, the doorknob behind her was twisting and clanking. The girl turned around quickly to confront whoever was trying to enter. The door's old bolts finally opened and the man behind it emerged. The man appeared to be clad in what initially appeared to be police armor. However, as he stepped further into the room, the sharp spikes on his arms and the numerous dents and breaks in the armor revealed that this man was no officer. Despite the man's appearance, the girl let down her guard, seeming rather concerned rather than scared.
"I thought you said you were coming back before 12 tonight," she said with concern. "It's 2. Didn't you say tonight's job was supposed to be quick and routine?" The man ignored her and walked over to an ancient sofa chair and took a seat. However, he walked with a slight limp, clear evidence that he was hiding the fact he was injured.
"Got caught up and spotted by officials, nothing I haven't dealt with before," the man replied gruffly. "Nothing you need to worry about." He then grabbed a small glass of water on the desk that the girl had left for him. Suddenly, the girl noticed an enormous gash on the man's left leg. Noticing her concerned look, the man looked at his leg and looked back up at her.
"It's a scratch, nothing I don't deser..."
"Oh my! Jinshu, what...What happened?!" the girl interrupted. Jinshu, the injured man, sighed angrily. However, he also gritted his teeth, as the pain from his injury was starting to become apparent to him.
"Fought a couple benders too many and got caught off guard. I'll be..." "Stay there I'll get a healer." "NO!!" Jinshu shouted. He tried to stand up but he ended up stumbling and would have hit the floor if his only friend had not caught him. Jinshu started breathing rather heavily, unable to accurately comprehend what had just happened.
"It's okay," she whispered to him in a calming voice. The girl then helped Jinshu back into the chair. He grunted in arrogance; he hated being helped but he knew without her help he could easily bleed out. The girl cleaned and bandaged his injured leg. "I'm sure we can find a healer who can help you anonymously. It's that or you'll be stuck in that seat for a week or two." Jinshu sighed.
"You worry too much about a killer," Jinshu replied. However, he then gave her a smile. "However, that doesn't mean I don't appreciate what you've done for me. You're a far purer soul than myself, Naomi." The girl smiled back to him. The two then sat in peaceful silence for a short while. However, after this light moment, they heard a very unfamiliar voice.
"Well what do you know? Looks like I've struck the jackpot." Both Naomi and Jinshu turned back sharply in shock. The unfamiliar voice belonged to a man with long, dark hair wearing a blue tailcoat. "I've found the most infamous criminal in Republic City, and..." Suddenly, Naomi launched two quick blasts of fire at the intruder, both of which the man dodged easily by leaning left then right. The intruder then grabbed Naomi's wrist rather roughly so that she could barely retaliate. The intruder then smiled. "You must be the missing Blade sibling. Your eyes are the same color as your brother's." Naomi looked at the intruder in shock; she believed anyone who knew her and her brothers' identities was probably a threat to her.
"Take your hands off her!" Jinshu demanded as he tried to stand up once more, this time using the chair to balance himself. However, once he stood up, he grasped his left leg in agonizing pain.
"I don't think you're in any position to fight Mr. Qudi, as much as I'd love the opportunity," the intruder answered sarcastically. "Actually, your injury is exactly why I am here." A hooded man emerged from behind the intruder to examine Jinshu's leg. As the man approached, Jinshu tried to swat him away, but Naomi, now getting some understanding of the situation, told him to let the healer do his word. At these words, Jiàn also released Naomi from his grip. The hooded man removed the bandages and quickly uncorked a small water vial from his belt and bent the water onto the wound. Although not spirit water, the sheer pureness and cleanliness of the healer's water enabled it to seal up and heal much of Jinshu's leg in only a matter of seconds. With his leg now healed and much of his pain gone, Jinshu delivered a swift blow to the healer's head, knocking him unconscious. He then utilized sandbending to shatter the glass on a nearby window into hundreds of shards, all of which he aimed directly at the mysterious man who "raided" his home. "Looks like you got your wish, but this will be over in a few short..." Suddenly, Jinshu realized that the intruder was far closer to him than he had anticipated, noticing that the man had a sword tip touching his chestplate. Naomi stood away from them in horror.
"Well, it would appear as though we've reached an impasse," the intruder expressed to Jinshu. Jinshu huffed angrily while his opponent still kept a grim smile on his face. "It turns out I need a metal bender to help me with an... 'invasion' of sorts. Perhaps you'd be willing to..."
"Do you really think I don't know what you're doing?" Jinshu replied angrily. "You help my injury and expect me to help you in return, then you plan to just throw me to your buddies in the Council so they can finally off me?" The intruder raised an eyebrow. "Yes I know you're Mayor Jiàn, your attire doesn't fool me." Jiàn simply laughed.
"Quite observant of you. However, I can assure you that I am a man of my word and can ensure you won't be executed for your past actions." Jinshu could see a sincere look in Jiàn's face, so he must be either telling the truth or be very skilled at lying. Still unsure if he could trust him, Jinshu looked to Naomi, who appeared very nervous and uncomfortable. He looked back to the mayor, realizing he finally had an opportunity to do something just.
"My safety is not what I'm concerned with," Jinshu replied, once again viewing that both he and Jiàn were fractions away from killing each other. "If you can prove to me that you won't let anyone lay a hand on Naomi, I will do whatever you want... free of charge." Jiàn, now appearing with a more serious expression on his face, nodded.
"Considering no one has ever been this close to killing me before, I believe I have no choice but to accept all of your conditions," Jiàn answered, still holding his blade against Jinshu's chest. "As for your proof..." Jiàn dropped his sword to the ground, raised his hands, and immediately whistling a specific tone. Jinshu, thinking it was a trick, aimed his glass shards at the open window, as he also heard something outside. A minute or so later, Bayne and Byron jumped through the window. At seeing them, Naomi, rushed and embraced both of them before Jinshu could release his shards. Seeing this joyful reunion lessened Jinshu's anxiety and allowed him to drop his shards to the floor. Bayne and Byron both looked ecstatic to see their sister, although Byron did shoot Jinshu a very ugly look. Naomi began explaining to them who Jinshu was and how he actually came to carrying for them, which caused Bayne to offer Jinshu a hand shake in appreciation. Byron, however, just gave a nod of his head. Jiàn then caught everyone's attention. "Now then, I do believe it's time for us to put a nice dent in the Triad's endeavors."
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