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|By Rockjaw Grang||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Rockjaw Grang||Action/Adventure||PG - 13||None yet||None|
|Chapter XXXV:The Jungle, Part 1, The Tribe|
Southern Fire Nation
walked up a hill along with the rest of the army. He then saw a jungle not very far off. The group continued walking, until someone yelled out "Stop". The army then stopped. After a while, walked up to the Prince of the Fire Nation.
"Who told the army to stop marching?" Kumaro asked.
"I did," Saif responded. "Kumaro, I've heard about jungles. They're home to a lot of killer animals, poisonous ones too. I don't think we should march through."
Kumaro couldn't believe what he was hearing. "What? We've gotta catch up to the Phoenix Estates. We can't do that by marching around the jungle."
"We'll be able to cut them off by flying over the jungle. But the airships can't hold everyone. Fly up and tell Zysor I'm leading the army around the jungle."
"I'm telling you, we have to go through the jungle. Look, if it makes you feel better, I'll scout ahead so you know there' nothing to worry about." Kumaro then put down the supplies he had been carrying on his back, and used the staff he had been holding as a glider. He then flew up to a Fire Nation airship to talk to Zysor.
Fire Nation Airship
Red light bathed the walls of the hallway as Kumaro walked towards the airship bridge. He as he walked onto it, he saw Zysor seated in the center, with Azara at his side. Kumaro then spoke with the Fire Nation admiral. "Zysor, the ground troops are going around the jungle. Saif wants you to fly over the jungle and meet him and the gound troops on the other side."
"Alright, I'll keep on my current course." Zysor said. Kumaro then left the bridge to return to the ground forces.
Fire Nation Hill
Kumaro was convinced that a path through the jungle was how the Phoenix Estates army would be beaten. The troops were getting ready to start marching again, when Kumaro spoke with Saif. "Look, I'll go through the jungle on a scouting mission for two hours. If I'm attacked, you can head around without me. If I'm not, we go through the jungle and cut the Phoenix Estates troops off. Saif decided that it couldn't hurt to let Kumaro scout ahead, and since the prodigy was determined, arguing would do no good.
"Fine, we'll wait here for the rest of the day. Go two hours into the jungle. If nothing attacks, I'll send Sokka in with half the forces."
"Hey," Sokka said, not pleased at the fact that he was being volunteered by someone other than himself.
"Get some people to scout ahead with you. I'll be here.
Kumaro walked through the tropical forest, followed closely by Wei, Neza, , and . He pushed a vine out of his, way, and it gently swung back into place, hanging from a tree in the green realm. The friends continued to walk forward. "We should start heading back soon," Wei said. Kumaro had to agree with his friend.,
"Great, then we'll tell Saif we didn't encounter any trouble," Neza said. Suddenly, the group heard rustling. They went on guard, and started looking around, waiting for a dangerous carnivore to attack them. Without warning, six men riding mongoose dragons armed with spears, wearing green clothing that only covered their waist and below to the knee.
"Who are you and what are you doing here?" one of the men asked.
"My name is Kumaro, and..." Kumaro began to say, before he was interrupted by a frightening sound from far away.
"What was that?" Kumaro asked.
"Everyone, on a mongoose dragon. Two to a dragon, hurry!"
"You'll kill us with you questions, just get on," the man said. Kumaro and his friends agreed, and as soon as they were on the beasts, they were riding off through the trees away from where they were.
"What, where are we going?" Hari asked.
"And what are we running from?" Wei added.
"We'll explain once we get you to our tribe."
"Tribe?!" Neza asked.
"Yes, we'll explain later," the man said. They continued through the jungle, unsure of where they were going until they arrived.
The sixsome were impressed at the place the men lived. It was a large stone pyramid like structure, with three ledges that looked like large steps. The bottom ledge was full of women wearing the same garments as their male counterparts, plus some green clothing covering their skin from their shoulder to their stomach, farming several vegetables and raising mongoose dragons. The second level had several huts, with both men and women working at tasks like pottery and cooking. The third level had nothing but what looked like a writing system. As the group rode to the base of the structure, they saw a triangular block of rock, built so it fit alongside the pyramid and it had a level top. The six men rode their mounts onto the stone, and at this point, dismounted. "Are any of you Firebenders?" one of the men asked.
"I am, so are they," Neza said, pointing to Wei and Kumaro.
"You three shoot fire at those holes when I say so," the same man said, pointing to the ground. The three Firebenders took stances, but the man stopped them. "No, you need to be facing the same direction as us," he said. The three friends altered their positions so they matched the man's instruction, and then retook their stances. "Now," the man said. The trio Firebent, along with the six men they had encountered in the forest. A flame shot out and down the side facing away from the stone structure, causing the rock to slowly move upwards. Hari was the first to notice that there were wheels built on the block to help it move. Eventually, they arrived at the bottom level, letting their mounts and two of the men off. They then continued upwards to the second level, where the six outsiders and one of the men got off. The other three then brought the block back down.
"Thank you for bringing us up here. Now why did you do that?" Aditi asked.
"We were saving you from Maxitaotie," the man responded.
"What's that?" Haruka said.
"A giant snake. Lives in these jungles. We think he's possessed by some spirit, and that's why he can say his name."
"You can't be serious that there's a giant snake living in these jungles. There's no such thing," Haruka said.
"I don't know, I grew up near a snake. It lived in the water though. We called it the Unagi," Hari said.
"If you don't believe me, perhaps you'd like to see the paintings we have, depicting when the fifth Avatar killed every one of those snakes but this one, when the spirit of this jungle used her powers to make the snake live longer, and when one of our own tried to kill it, but instead nearly burned the jungle down."
"That's what that smoke during Sozin's comet was," Kumaro said.
"Huh?" Wei asked.
"During the time when Sozin first attacked, people said they saw smoke coming off of the jungle top," Neza explained.
"Yes, when that happened, we lost one of, no our greatest Firebender at the time," the man said. "We're hoping that we'll find a less arrogant person to take down the snake, one who isn't mad with power. We also think we've found him. He's chieftess Sulabha's son, Takumi. Ten years old, but a skilled bender nonetheless. I'll take you to him," the man said. They walked up a series of steps. These steps existed from level to level, but not from level to ground. They walked up the stone stairs to the top level. "The top only has two purposes; Firebending training, and recording our history in stone," the man said. Once at the top, they saw two young children, a boy and a girl, practicing some advanced Firebending forms. The boy wore the standard clothing of the jungle tribe, but the girl wore modern Fire Nation garments.
"Azara?" Kumaro said, not believing that his sister was there.
"Hey Kumaro," the girl responded.
Kumaro was furious at the fact that she had responded to the question, and used his name. "What are you doing here?"
"I came here on a glider. We were flying over, I saw a big rock and wanted to look at it up close, so I came down here."
"Does Zysor know you're here?" Kumaro asked.
"No," Azara replied.
"Gurr, neman, hurr," Kumaro said. He then stormed off in anger, producing a small amount of gren flame as he did. Hari then spoke to the man who had brought them there.
"By the way, what's your name?"
"Pravin, my name's Pravin," the man said. "How can he do that?" he aksed.
"Do what?" Hari asked, assuming Pravin meant Kumaro.
"How can your friend bend green fire?"
"He's a prodigy," Wei responded, after overhearing the conversation the two were having.
"I was wondering," Pravin said, the tone of his voice changing as he spoke, "if you'd let him train Takumi. We think Takumi is like your friend Kumaro, and think he would benefit from his knowledge."
- Maxitaotie comes from the adding of the Latin root Maxi, meaning great, and the Chinese demon Taotie
For the collective works of the author, go here.