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|Long Live the King|
Book 3: Earth
January 15, 2014
The King's defeat, corrupts the army with a new leader.
Chapter 7: Long Live the King
Book 3: Earth
Chapter 7: Long Live the King
Spring, spring was the season where the war was happening on, usually we celebrate spring with the birth of new baby animals, the end of winter, and all around nature. This season will see many new earthbending children. The rocky mountains surrounded another grand capital city. The western Earth Kingdom also known as the Omashu province housed a great number of towns, villages, and cities. At the heart of the Omashu province, was the city of Omashu ruled by its own monarch. King Gao Zu, the ever so arrogant just like any other noble of his kind, ancient man with a great legacy, and a leveled bad reputation for abandoning the Ba Sing Se province and leave it to fend for itself in the Thirty Year War.
Many of those denizens of the Ba Sing Se province despise Gao Zu for his cowardice, but these days they envy his kingdom and himself for closing off their borders to all who try to enter by sea or by land. A red creature was seen flying over the horizon, a soldier of the Omashu province darted his eyes to the sky. To get a quick look at what he might have seen. It was early in the morning, a lot of people see things until they rub their eyes and notice there was nothing in front of them to begin with. He rubbed his eyes but when they adjusted there was nothing there. The red creature that was seen flying had flew through the air like a rocket unseen by the patrols on the borders of the Omashu province.
The red creature was Shen, Rong Yan's dragon they were traveling somewhere. But where? Well when they passed the mountain ranges they had seen a giant city not like the gargantuan Ba Sing Se much smaller but yet bigger in height, the western capital city of Omashu. Long and big mail chute systems were seen connecting all over the city. Jushi looked up from the map that Unaraq usually was using while he coordinated Rong Yan around the world.
"And now I present the grand capital city of Omashu!" Jushi introduced.
"Its beautiful!" Aloi commented.
"Why is there so many soldiers outside?" Unaraq asked.
"Must be because there is a war," Rong Yan added.
"Yeah Gao Zu tends to be well prepared in case Qiang Zhen tried to flank him and wage a civil war," Jushi answered.
"How would you know?" Aloi asked.
"Well I know some people, who know some people, who know some people who work in the palace. I don't understand why would he, Gao Zu is a powerful ruler. I just think maybe with age comes great wisdom and tactics." Jushi responded.
They landed just outside the city walls, a few soldiers stood there examining the dragon when they had seen Jushi and Unaraq raising their arms up trying to catch Rong Yan who fell on them. Aloi had slid off of Shen using an air cushion to break her fall, covering her mouth and giggling when Rong Yan fell on top of Unaraq and Jushi.
"..or paranoia." Unaraq smirked.
The soldiers marched forward to the Avatar and his friends, standing tall as they stopped in front of them. Intimidating auras surrounded them, they gave off a mean stare eyeing Rong Yan and the group. They blinked then bowed to Rong Yan and the group before the one in the front spoke to them.
"Avatar Rong Yan, you have graced us with your presence. Welcome to the grand capital city of the Omashu province," the soldier in the front greeted.
"Thank you, I didn't know that the king would expect me," Rong Yan thanked the soldier.
"He didn't until he saw a red dragon in the sky, our highness Gao Zu heard many stories about your heroics around the Earth Kingdom nation whilst the war rages on. Gao Zu, would like to have a feast with the Avatar...and friends," the soldier responded.
He signaled the soldier to his far right, the man saluted and ran over to grab Shen's reins and pull the dragon with him. The men turned around and began to stomp in front of them as they made pulling back motions along with the soldiers on the wall. The large walls began to shift and slide slowly as they opened wide enough for Rong Yan, Aloi, Jushi, Unaraq, and the soldiers along with Shen were able to move inside the city.
The soldier handling Shen had separated himself from the group and walked off with the dragon. While the other soldiers escorted Rong Yan and his friends to Gao Zu's palace. As the Omashu soldier strolled down the streets while holding the reins of Shen the dragon the people of the city stared and froze a few cowering in a corner as they eyed the large red beast. It grew silent as the dragon groaned, as it walked by and towards the stables that held on the exotic mounts used by some of the visitors.
The group of soldiers gave Rong Yan, and the gang a tour as they passed by the various streets starting with the famous story of how the city had been established with two lovers known as Oma and Shu. The citizens dubbed Omashu as 'the City of Two Lovers', where rumors had gone by that at the parties held by the nobility that one can find true love. Whether that was true or not was a mystery.
Reach the grandous staircase that led to the gargantuan palace in which Gao Zu ruled from. They began to walk the stairs, when reaching the top the elite guards stationed at the large palace doors bowed to Rong Yan and pulled on the door handles as they creaked open. They walked on inside in the palace hall and into the throne room where Gao Zu sat borely. The throne room had high security there were at least eight elite guards who stood there silently giving off a cold stare, only their eyes moved as they watched the visitors pass through towards the king.
Gao Zu sat there, left fist holding onto his cheek as it rested there, a drink was taken from his hands as he swatted away the servant to get him more wine. He stood up when he saw a man from the Fire Nation, an Air Nomad, a man in light blue clothing being from the Southern Water Tribe as he came to identify the man by the hues on his clothing, and a man from the Earth Kingdom.
Extending arms to each side he then rested one around his lower torso and the other caressing his chin as he stood hunched over. He let out from his mouth, "Rise."
"Truly an honor to be in the presence of the Avatar once again...last I remembered you were shorter, more built and you were old..." Gao Zu begun.
Unaraq chuckled, "Ahh yes, I presume you were remembering my past life Avatar Ku Tei. We've never met before though. I was told you were expecting me," Rong Yan answered.
Gao Zu clapped his hands twice, the elite guards had then bent and formed a large table and some chairs for Gao Zu and his guests. The servants gliding in as twirling with their feet holding various Earth Kingdom delicacies. Rong Yan sat on the other end of the stone table across from Gao Zu. Aloi, Unaraq, and Jushi sat on opposite ends of each other. As foods were placed on the table and beverages were poured into clay cups. Beverage tasters walked in with wooden spoons to sample each of the guests drinks and make sure they were poisoned.
They began eat Gao Zu staring down at Rong Yan he began to chew his food, he then begun with "Avatar Rong Yan, what brings you to my city?"
"Visiting as we travel around, trying to figure out how we tackle this war and end it," Rong Yan answered.
"Spoken like a true hero, how goes earthbending training?" Gao Zu asked.
Jushi spoke up, "Basics. He's only just learned the basics, the real training will come soon."
Gao Zu turned to face Jushi, nodding grabbing a fruit and peeling the skin layer off of it before eating it. He jabbed his two thumbs into the fruit and split it open, eating the fruit and swallowing he again questioned the Avatar but this time on his perspective of the war.
"And...this war, what do you think about it? You've ended it once...you must end it again. I mean it is your duty as the Avatar to do so, or watch as the world plunges into chaos and imbalance." Gao Zu went off.
Rong Yan knocked his drink off the table, standing up he stammered out of the throne room and out into the city. The sun was going down, Gao Zu gave a small smirk before Aloi ran out after Rong Yan. Unaraq, and Jushi looked at each other shrugging as they continued to gorge themselves of food.
He sat down alone on the bench looking up to the orange skies. Meanwhile, the stone walls slid open once again as three men walked into the city of Omashu. Two Water Tribesmen and a hulking Earth Kingdom man. None other the Palartok, Senlin, and Kimaru. Taking the streets with stride they were here for only one mission and that mission was more likely considered suicide but Senlin didn't care he had plans to go through with.
Aloi walked up to Rong Yan, sitting next to him holding him as she comforted him the best she could. He sighed, "He's right.."
"No he's not, Ku Tei while being a good Avatar had his own achievements. That doesn't mean you have to live up to the name and meet everyone's expectations. Who cares what Gao Zu thinks of you?" Aloi asked.
"I care. I care because I need to bring the fear and respect into the people. These people fear, respect, and love me. They know of my power, the power I possess is great in strength. But just one man tore it apart," Rong Yan responded.
"No Gao Zu, is just a little ant rat. He is small compared to you, you have the strength of a hundred men. You are the Avatar not some washed up old king. You weren't born to impress him, you were born to keep the peace and balance of the world. You have me, Unaraq, and Jushi here. We're here to help you keep peace across all four nations!" Aloi explained.
"The war is just an obstacle that is all, yes life is rough but do you think all of your past lives felt this frustrated? No! They took that obstacle head on! Take Jushi's training and the war head on and don't let anything or anyone stop you from achieving greatness. Defeating Senlin is your destiny," Aloi added.
"You're right, Aloi. But I can't even face Senlin yet. Ku Tei advised me to master the four elements." Rong Yan said.
"You have plenty of time master earthbending, and knock all of that guy's teeth out! You can do this! You know when I was a little girl the nuns have always told me and the girls stories about the Avatars of old. How their legacies had been cemented into history and that there is no greater being than the Avatar himself," Aloi remembered.
"Come on, let's gather the other two lugheads and leave Omashu." Aloi smiled, as Rong Yan agreed with a nod.
Rong Yan walked back into the palace standing tall, Gao Zu stood up as did Unaraq and Jushi. Announcing to the entire room in his palace he said, "Everyone the Avatar has returned!"
"Jushi, Unaraq we're leaving. As for you! I wasn't born to impress you, old man. I hope you regret this moment," Rong Yan said as he walked out the door.
"Yes, Avatar I will regret this moment. Karma doesn't exist, young man. You'd best remember that!" Gao Zu laughed.
Senlin, Palartok, and Kimaru walked throughout the city as they climbed long stairs, and took earth lifts to higher tiers of Omashu in reaching their destination. Senlin was grinning the entire way there. Thoughts flooded his mind of the ending that is supposed to result in.
Palartok eyes Senlin's grin from the corner of his eye, thinking to himself 'Wow, Senlin has truly gone mad if believes this is going to work. I hope that this isn't the end for us.' He continued to walk down the streets with Kimaru and Senlin as he gulped.
Rong Yan, Unaraq, Jushi, Aloi stood on a lift as the Earth Kingdom soldier made a downward motion with his hands and stomped twice. The lift slid and slowly dropped down a few tiers. Rong Yan bummed out about Gao Zu's words, Unaraq and Jushi were cleaning their mouths with green cloths that they souviered from Gao Zu's palace. Aloi placed her hand on Rong Yan's left shoulder frowning at her friend being upset.
Strolling through the higher tier streets Palartok noticed something although he said nothing Senlin nor to Kimaru. He thought he had seen a glimpse of a man that looked like Rong Yan. Seeing as how the hat that Rong Yan wears has become well known around the Earth Kingdom and beyond. Rong Yan, could be spotted a mile away.
Jushi also met eye contact with Palartok, giving off a concerned look as the Water Tribesman looked on to his friends. Palartok looked away and the three moved on, Jushi placed his hand on his chin as he thought why the man was looking at them. They reached the lower tier of the city and walked off towards the stables to grab Shen and leave Omashu.
Upon reaching the smelly old stables they could see rodents squeaking and running by with food. Rong Yan pointed at the stable master and then his dragon Shen. The stable master bowed and opened the pen door. Leading them to the stable courtyard where they could mount on Shen and fly off. The courtyard was large some people would visit the stables to see the animals there. Getting on Shen they soared into the skies above the city and flew off.
Senlin, Kimaru, and Palartok reached the palace of Gao Zu, within the old king was sitting down still laughing from what he told Rong Yan. The guards didn't recognize him nor did they recognize Palartok or Kimaru. They opened the palace doors from within the throne room Gao Zu could only make out three shadows before the palace doors were shut. Senlin walked in first kneeling to the floor bowing along with Kimaru and Palartok.
Gao Zu slowly stood up from his throne Naoren looking at the men who had just arrived crossing his arms while turning to eye Gao Zu. Gao Zu raised his arms and spoke, "Rise, and speak, citizens."
Senlin grinning he slowly stood up and so did his companions, Gao Zu gasped and then became angry. Palartok and Kimaru inhaled some air for concentration, the tall clay jugs filled with water burst as the pieces spread out across the floor the water torrents were shot at the guards surrounding the throne room. All of them frozen in one place, mouthes covered so no shouts or screams can be heard.
Naoren gulped and cowered behind the throne fearing for his life, Gao Zu threw off his royal garbs as showing a hulking build that frightened some of his guards they thought he was a mere skeleton under the garbs as most men believed the strength of the old king only to be a myth.
Gao Zu shouted, "You are -not- welcomed here! What do you want Senlin?"
Senlin grinned wickedly, staring into Gao Zu's eyes as his mind was flooded with more thoughts of his. Kimaru and Palartok, stood ground making sure to fend off any incoming guards or take down the ones who were frozen if they began to thaw out somehow.
Gao Zu angrier than ever had slammed his two fists on the ground, the earth crumbling as the paths went under Kimaru and Palartok, and earth encased their bodies to incapacitate them for the meanwhile. Senlin raised an earth wall and kicked it at Gao Zu, the earth wall slid quickly at Gao Zu, who stopped it with his palms before bulging his fists cracking the wall up and punching large chunks of the wall at Gao Zu.
Gao Zu ran in a curb punched the floor, a tremor appeared and curbed to hit Senlin, although he countered it raising pillars to stop the tremor in its tracks. Senlin stomped, small boulder forming out of the palace floor he then twirled and spin kicked it towards Gao Zu.
Taking the hit he fell back, Senlin approached Gao Zu. Although the old king had a trick up his sleeve. This time around the trick backfired, Gao Zu sunk into the earth, Senlin split the earth open and pushing his right arm upwards brought out a rocksicle that protruded out pretty lengthy catching Gao Zu by his belt and letting him hang just about ten feet in the air.
Gao Zu felt defeated, he exhaled a large puff of air as he broke a small sweat. He looked up in the face of the victor and asked, "What do you want Senlin?"
"I want you to promote me as -commander- of your army, and you will let me give out orders to the superiors and those under me. I will command this army and launch an offensive attack on Ba Sing Se. Refuse and die!" Senlin requested.
"You..you have won.." coughs out Gao Zu.
Senlin grinning once again, he gave a slight chuckle he lowered the rocksickle, Gao Zu catching his breath on his knees accepting his defeat. Palartok throws him the royal staff, grabbing the staff he used it for support to stand up. Now on his knees he rested it on Senlin's left shoulder. Senlin knelt to receive the honor that he earned victory for.
"From...this moment forward any...and all will tremble at your feet, I hereby grant you the ability to command over my armies. You are now Senlin, Commander of the Omashu province." Gao Zu announced. Senlin stood up and walked out with Palartok and Kimaru on each side they walked out of the palace and towards the barracks.
As Senlin walked out under his breath Gao Zu said, "I hope that one day you meet your creator and you answer for all your crimes!"
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