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April 8, 2015
Fire. Air. Water. Earth. Long ago, I had been friends with the Avatar and we had many adventures together, but little did I know we were always being watched so closely. After Korra was murdered, I could never be the same, my life seemed to be over, until I learned of the new Avatar, or should I say, Avatars. I now have devoted the rest of my life to these twins and I know that one day, they can stop this evil of Vaatu that plagues this world!
Previously on Avatar: The Severed Spirit
After leaving Zhu Milou and the Society of Faces, Lei and Aiya journeyed to Tu Zin and there they met Puren, a young Earthbender who worked for the wealthy Gaoma family. They also met Balo, Puren's Godmother, during a protest that was held in front of the Gaoma Factory. Now Lei, Aiya and Puren continue their long journey to Republic City, but they are unaware that they are being followed.
"C'mon Joon, a little farther girl." The camelephant yawned and fell to the ground. Puren turned to his new friends and smiled nervously, "It looks like we are going to have to take a short break."
"I thought you said that your camelephant would take us to Republic City in no time." Lei looked worried as he examined the animal which was now fast asleep.
Puren shrugged, "It seems I forgot to feed her before we left. I'll go find some food."
"I'll help!" Aiya volunteered and ran to where Puren was standing.
Lei pulled the map out of his bag and held it up, "I guess I'll try to figure out where we are right now." The others nodded and ran into the forest. Lei carefully looked at the map and finally found their location, "The Foggy Swamp? What a silly name for a place."
A vine suddenly flew past Lei's head and he quickly jumped off of Joon and created a lightning bolt and struck the vine with it. The plant singed but didn't burn or break; instead, it wrapped itself around Lei's arm. The Avatar tried to fight but he, along with Joon, were soon tangled up in vines and unable to move. Lei moved around and tried to break free, but immediately stopped when he heard footsteps.
"Who do you think you are sneaking up on me like that Firebender?" A scraggly man dressed in a dirty brown robe asked Lei but refused to let him answer, "You and your- your... well what in tarnation is that creature?"
Lei bent the earth beneath him and used it to break free from the chain-like vines, he then made a dagger out of fire and held it up to the stranger's neck, "How dare you tie us up!" Lei looked over at Joon, who was now eating the vine, and laughed. "And she's a camelephant, by the way."
"Get off my property!" The man screamed and bent another vine that caught Lei's legs and caused him to fall, "This is your first warning. If I see you here again, you're gonna be in big trouble." The man then bent the water that was around them and caused Lei to fly through the air and land somewhere else in the swamp. The stranger then turned to Joon and moved the vines off of her, "Get along now little caramelplant!"
Joon slowly got up and made her way towards the place where Lei landed.
"Aiya?" Puren looked around, but couldn't find the girl anywhere. They had been wandering through the swamp for a short time before separating in order to find food for Joon. Puren looked around for his friend and some food but couldn't seem to find either. Then he heard a noise, "Aiya, is that you?"
Puren turned to see the figure of a woman in a green robe wearing a dragon mask. Puren thought to ask the woman if she had seen Aiya until she removed her mask and revealed that she was Sahn Gaoma. "No! No! I left you back in Tu Zin!" Puren stuttered and tried to run but Sahn caused the rocks that surrounded them to attached to Puren's legs making it impossible for him to escape. "Please Ms. Gaoma! I'm sorry!"
No answer came from the woman, she only laughed at him. Just when Puren thought it couldn't get any worse, Sahn raised her hands and a rock floated above her head. She moved and arm and some of the swamp water surrounded it, then she used the other one to create a ball of air. "How are you doing that?" The young boy asked but again received no answer from the old woman.
Sahn suddenly jumped forward and breathed out fire. Puren covered his face hoping it would protect him but was surprised when he felt no burning sensation on his skin. He moved his hands and realized that Sahn had never even been there and that it was only a hallucination.
"I must find Aiya," Puren whispered to himself and began retracing his steps.
Aiya stepped into a small grove and looked around for Puren, but couldn't seem to find him anywhere. "Ah!" Aiya bent the water around her and almost attacked the tiny squirrel-frog that had frightened her, "Oh I'm sorry little guy. Have you seen my friend Puren around here?"
The frog blinked a few times then started hopping away, "Wait!" Aiya yelled and chased after him. They ran and ran and ran until the two reached another small clearing. "Why have you led me here?" Aiya looked around but couldn't see Puren or her brother anywhere. Aiya picked up the squirrel-frog and smiled, "Well thank you for leading me here! I am sure my friends shouldn't be too far."
"I wouldn't be so sure about that." A woman dressed in blue stepped into the clearing and surprised Aiya.
"Are you lost here too?" The woman did not answer Aiya's question. "You look familiar... do I know you?"
The stranger laughed, "Well you should but it seems someone has made your past a little murky like this swamp water." The lady laughed and casually adjusted her short hair. "I am Korra."
Aiya suddenly felt something click and knew exactly who this stranger was, "You- you're my past life!"
Korra nodded, "I have been trying to contact you for some time, but someone has managed to block me every time I've tried." Aiya knew it had to be Zhu Milou who stopped Korra from contacting the twins.
"Why can I see you now?" The young Avatar inquired.
"You have broken free of the chains that once held you down, you are free now." Korra laughed, "Plus, this swamp does help a little bit."
Aiya laughed too but grew very serious very quickly, "Why would Milou want to keep you from me?"
Korra thought about this for a moment, "This 'Milou' knows that I am able to help you grow as the Avatar and reveal to you the truth about your role in the world. Milou sounds like a bad man who wants to use you for his own sinister purposes so it is only natural that he would try to take me out of the picture."
Korra interrupted, "Korra is just fine my dear."
"Oh," Aiya whispered, "Well Korra, I must find my brother Lei and Puren but can I ask you one last question?" Korra nodded. "How did you pass?"
The old Avatar sat down on some vines. "You may want to sit because this is quite a long story. Can your brother and friend wait?"
Aiya thought for a moment then nodded. "Yes."
Lei was woke up and was cover with swamp water. He tried to get up but realized there was something big on top of him; Lei opened his eyes and saw Joon happily chomping on some of the swamp vines. "Get off of me!" Lei used his Earthbending to move the huge creature.
"What are you doing in the swamp?" An old man, who was dressed the same as the stranger Lei had met earlier, started poking the boy with his cane.
Lei jumped up. "WE'RE JUST HERE LOOKING FOR FOOD SO WE CAN GET TO REPUBLIC CITY!"
The old man laughed at him. "Well why didn't you just say so. My name is Chung and I am the leader of the Swamp Tribe."
Lei gulped, "You mean they're are more people like you in this place?" Chung and revealed a toothy smile.
"You see, my people have lived here for many years. We never really needed leadership, but one day Toph Beifong, the greatest Earthbender ever, came here and started whipping this place into shape. Now we have greater knowledge of the outside world and the people that control it. That information has helped us to grow as a society."
"How can you live in a place like this?" Lei asked, "It seems like everything out here can kill you."
Chung laughed. "It can." They had made it to a huge tree that Lei presumed to be the center of the swamp, "But the hardships this place throws at us are worth it. So, do you need help finding your friends?"
Lei looked surprised. "How did you know I was looking for people?"
Chung chuckled again. "I ain't known nobody who came to this swamp by themselves. That would just be dumb."
"So... can you help me find my friend and my sister?" Lei timidly asked.
"Of course!" Chung slapped Lei on the back and ran up to the trunk of the tree, "Everything in this swamp is connected via this tree. You will be able to find your friends using it."
Lei bowed, "Thank you."
Chung grinned, "Don't mention it."
"Ow!" Puren fell to the ground and was about to beat up the person that ran into him until he realized it was Lei, "Man, am I happy to see you."
The two hugged and as Lei looked over Puren's shoulder, he was able to see something, "Aiya!"
Puren looked around. "Where?"
Lei laughed and pointed to a small clearing that was filled with vines. The two friends took off and entered the place where Aiya was. She immediately ran up to them and hugged them both. "I think we should leave," Aiya whispered nervously.
Puren nodded, "I saw a vision of Sahn and she was wearing some... hmm, some dragon mask..."
Lei and Aiya looked at each and said in unison, "Milou."
"C'mon, I left Joon at the tree in the center of this swamp," Lei stated and began making his way back.
Aiya smiled at Puren and picked up something that was swimming in the water. The boy gave her a funny look and began to laugh, "What is that?"
Aiya smiled even wider, "Well, a friend told me that every Avatar needs an animal guide, so this is mine," Aiya held up the tiny squirrel-frog. "His name is Squishy."
Puren laughed again, "Wait, doesn't Lei need an animal guide too?"
Lei shook his head, "We can worry about that later."
"Someone's in a bad mood," Aiya whispered to Puren and the two giggled once more causing them to get a dirty look from Lei.
As the trio came up to the tree they noticed something strange. The Society of Faces and Sahn and Su Gaoma holding the residents of the Foggy Swamp. "Looks like we found your little friends, Milou." Sahn petted her shirshu. "Good girl."
Milou looked at his students, "Lei, Aiya and..." He leaned over to Sahn. "What is the other one's name?"
"Puren," Sahn whispered.
"Ah ,yes, Puren. You three are under arrest for assaulting soldiers of the Earth Kingdom and destroying the landscape of the mighty state of Tu Zin." Milou read from the scroll Sahn handed him then looked back up at the three. "Any resistance will lead to a longer sentence."
Puren rolled his eyes. "You honestly think we're just going to allow you to arrest us?"
Sahn shook her head. "The three of you are now in the custody of the Society of Faces. Su and I need to go back to Tu Zin before Stella messes up anything." The two sisters jumped on their Shirshu and took off.
Milou Hu laughed, "Well, you heard the lady." Lei and Aiya looked but could not find their teachers, instead there was one man dressed completely in black and wearing a mask different from everyone else's. Milou Metalbent the bottom part of the stranger's mask, the part where his mouth was, and the man charged towards Lei, Aiya and Puren.
The trio had no other choice but to run while the man breathed fire at them.
"Who is that?" Puren screamed as he hid behind a thick vine.
The twins could not answer for they had no idea, "How are we supposed to stop him?" Aiya said with urgency as she saw his flames lighting up the sky, "He breathes white fire!"
"I know how we can stop him and get out of here alive," Lei began. "But it may be risky."
Puren and Aiya nodded. "Let's do it," They said in unison.
Lei jumped up from the hiding place and ran. The fire-breathing man turned and saw him and began lighting the swamp on fire. As the man did so Lei used his own Firebending to move the fire to one of the vines. The man laughed at Lei and began spitting more fire.
"What exactly was Lei trying to do?" Aiya whispered to Puren who just shrugged.
Lei looked the stranger in the eyes, "Everything in the swamp is connected." The ground began shaking and screams came from the distance. "Everything."
The residents of the Foggy Swamp popped out of the water and began bending it on the intruders, "Get away from that caramelplant!" One of the Waterbenders shouted as she knocked Zhu Milou off his feet and caused him to fall down to the bottom of the tree.
Aiya and Puren ran out of their hiding spot and attacked the firebending man who had managed to knock down Lei. Puren trapped him in a stone cage and Aiya used water to freeze the man before he could catch anything else on fire. Aiya ran over to her brother and began helping him up while Puren watched the Foggy Swamp residents take down the Society of Faces.
The battle ended very quickly with the Waterbenders being the victors. "Thank you for the help." Lei bowed to Chung.
"No Mr.. Thank you! If you hadn't of used the vine to warn us someone was trying to burn down this swamp then we wouldn't have our home anymore."
Xai, the Waterbender who had taken down Milou, returned Joon to Puren. "You have a very lovely creature."
Puren laughed. "Um.. thanks I guess."
Aiya kept looking at the stranger who had attacked them. "What are you going to do with him?" She kindly asked some of the Waterbenders.
"Maybe send him to Song Island." One laughed.
"I hear the Boiling Rock is a pretty good prison too," the other stated with a chuckle.
Puren tapped Aiya on the shoulder. "I think we are about to leave. We have a few more days before we reach Republic City but..." Aiya continued looking at the strange man that was before her. "Aiya, are you okay?"
Aiya nodded and held up her squirrel-frog, "I was just wondering if I could bring Squishy with us."
Puren giggled. "Of course."
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