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Monk
Masquerade (part one)
Chapter information
Series

Avatar: The Legend of Teru

Chronicle

Foundations of Stone

Chapter

Three

Written by

Rassilon of Old

Release date

29 June 2011

Chronology
Last chapter

Chapter two: Bodies of Government

Next chapter

Chapter four: The Fall of Ba Sing Se

Masquerade is the third chapter of Avatar: The Legend of Teru, and the third chapter in the Foundations of Stone serial. It is also the first part of a three part episode.

Author's note

It seems that every chapter I write, it takes longer to finish the next. Luckily for myself, and you the readers, school holidays start in three days, so during the hols I can get a whole lot of work done. But onto the chapter, this is the first 'big' fight scene I have done, and I found it fairly difficult as there was very little bending involved. In the future when writing battle scenes, I will draft out what happens when and where, who is contesting and who isn't, all that kind of stuff. Also if it enhances your experience, whilst writing that fight scene at the end, I was listening to The Pirates of the Caribbean theme on loop. See you at the next chapter, "Underground Tactics"! - Rassilon of Old

Overview

When an old friend of Master Jiaoshi visits the City of Walls, Monk Yian, Teru requests that he be taught airbending from the nomad. However, when Teru fails to perform the art, an entire series of events unfold that puts Teru on his greatest trial, quite literally.

Chapter

"He has proved himself to be more of a threat then previously conceived," said a man standing in shadows. Another man at the other end of the room sat at his desk, smiling.

"Indeed, the Avatar has improved his skills greatly in the last week," said the man sitting at the desk.

"Perhaps action should be taken."

"After the death of Kartoh? You can't just waste your operatives, or me in trying to kill the Avatar," the standing man said angrily.

"I wasn't thinking of a physical confrontation," the seated man said. "Perhaps a more political approach could prove effective."

"Indeed," said the standing man, now smiling. "How fortunate we have an operative on the inside."

____________________

"Left. Right. Center. Right," Jiaoshi yelled directional commands, as Teru followed each and every command with a blast of rock in the stated direction. Teru had come far in only three weeks since he became apprentice to Jiaoshi. And in those three weeks, he had accomplished a lot. Starting with beating the would be murderer on his first day as Avatar, then the next morning, saving a woman from a thief. Two days later, Teru rescued a pet baby tiger-seal from falling off of the Inner Wall of Ba Sing Se, and that week, successfully caught a platypus-bear which was on a rampage in the middle of the market district during the lunch hour, without anyone being hurt.

Jiaoshi continued the commands that early morning, and Teru continued the offensive techniques, faster, stronger, and more effectively each time. After at least twenty sets of commands, Jiaoshi stopped ordering Teru from behind, and so Teru turned around to face his master, who was looking off into the distance. After trying to see what he was looking at, Teru gave up.

"What are you looking at, Master?" Teru asked, still trying to find the object of so much fascination. Jiaoshi smiled.

"An old friend," Jiaoshi said, pointing into the distance. Again, Teru strained his eyes, until he finally saw a man in beige and orange robes walking towards him. The man was tall, very thin, old, and bald with a blue arrow on his head, an Air Nomad, a monk to be precise. The Air Nomad reached Jiaoshi and the two met, they welcomed each other with a large hug, patting one another on the back, smiling.

"How are you?" Jiaoshi said, arms friendly wrapped around the monk.

"All the better to see you, old friend," said the monk, beaming, so as to reshape the wrinkles above his brow. The hug broke and now the monk stared inquisitively at Teru. "And who might this be?" he asked. Teru stepped forward.

"Oh, I'm Teru," said he, nervously, taking the monk's offered handshake.

"And you are?" the monk asked, shaking hands. Now Jiaoshi spoke.

"This is the Avatar," he said proudly, smiling. The handshake broke and the monk took a step back as if to behold the grand sight of what was standing in front of him.

"You, are the Avatar?" the monk said staring at Teru, who felt as though the monk was absorbing enough visual detail of Teru so he could reproduce a portrait of him. The monk stepped forward once more, and bowed low enough to lick his own sandals. He rose again, staring Teru in the eyes. "It is an honour to meet you. I am Yian."

"Thanks, uh, thanks very much," Teru said nervously, for he had never met a monk before, and was still not used to the appreciation he was now receiving. Yian turned back to Jiaoshi as his old friend asked a question.

"What are you doing here?" Jiaoshi started. "You're head of the Council of Elders at the Southern Air Temple, shouldn't you be there?"

"Well yes, normally. But I am here on-" Yian hesitated. "Here on other business," he continued. Teru could see a bead of sweat dripping from Yian's forehead as he muttered the last four words.

"Oh?" Jiaoshi said, eyebrows raised. "You mean, the Order?" he asked.

"Ah, yes, indeed," the monk replied, now staring cautiously at Teru, who was utterly confused by the 'conversation', if you could call it that, which was taking place before him. There was a long pause, at least thirty seconds, until Yian broke the silence. "Well, I better be off! I have an outrageous amount of work to get through. You'll never believe it, but they're thinking of dividing male and female monks up into different temples!" Yian said brightly. "Of course, that'll never happen!"

Yian and Jiaoshi exchanged goodbyes and Yian was about to leave when Teru jumped in front. How could he not have thought of this before!

"Ah, pardon me Master Yian! I have a question," Teru asked through a smiling mouth.

"Yes?" Yian responded.

"I was wondering, since you're a monk and all, and I am going to have to master Airbending one day," Teru started.

"Yes?"

"I was wondering whether you could teach me some Airbending techniques now, so that when the time comes to learn Airbending, I'm ready," Teru asked, waiting, beads of sweat dripping down his arms.

"Hmm? Yes, yes of course." Yian said smiling. "It would be my honor," he said, bowing. Jiaoshi nodded in approval, and Yian took a position next to Teru and dropped into a stance.

"Oh, what now?" Teru asked surprised.

"When else? I leave tonight!" Yian said. Teru was excited as he mimicked Yian's position.

____________________

For about fifteen minutes, Yian exampled various airbending positions, but no techniques. He said it was important to breathe, as "air is consistent and circular, and to Airbend, so should be your breathing." Yian also explained that to airbend, "stances and moves are more graceful then the blunt positions that Earthbending employs." Yian produced various pieces of advice, instruction and tips before he gave Teru the chance to bend air for the first time.

"Now, take the Lilly Flower stance if you please," Yain instructed from behind Teru's back, while Teru adjusted himself into such a position of the left leg in front of the right, with both arms extended outwards in opposite directions, and wrists bent so that the tips of the hands were pointing towards the ground. "Now initiate phase one of the twister technique."

As instructed, Teru span on the spot, with hands shooting upwards above his head and then outwards to the side, then remained motionless. Nothing happened. Teru looked at Yian puzzled.

"Hmm, you have the stance correct. Perhaps try again?" he advised. Teru nodded, and again, span on the spot, with hands shooting upwards above his head and then outwards to the side, and again, nothing. The air around him remained still. Teru looked at Yian disappointedly, and confused.

"Master Yian!" called a voice from far behind Teru. He turned and so did Jiaoshi to see a tall skinny man with a long black plat running from the back of his head to the backs of his knees. Huang-Fu approached.

"Ugh," grunted Jiaoshi. "What does he want?" he said cynically. In the past weeks ever since Huang-Fu murdered the fugitive that Jiaoshi and Teru were pursuing, Jiaoshi had developed a despising attitude towards the politician. Teru wasn't surprised, for he had also begun to dislike him.

As Huang-Fu approached and his oily skin shone in the sunlight, he begrudgingly smiled at Jiaoshi, completely ignored Teru and addressed Yian.

"Your eldership, I am most humbled by your presence. Are you well?" he said bowing.

"Please, you have no reason for bowing. I am but a servant to the Spirit World," Yian replied. Teru cut in.

"I'm well too thanks, since you didn't ask, " Teru said. "And I'll have a bow." Jiaoshi forced back a laugh as Huang-Fu unwillingly bowed towards Teru's general direction, rather than to Teru himself.

"Yes, good day to you Avatar," Huang-Fu said stubbornly, before turning back to Yian. "Might I have a moment of your time?" he asked. "I'm truly sorry, but the Earth King requires an audience with you before you leave."

"Of course, I've not seen my old friend the King in many years," Yian said smiling. "However, I was in the middle of teaching Teru the art of Airbending."

"And how is that proceeding?" Huang-Fu asked, twisting his head like a snake to peer at Teru.

"I'm afraid, not so well," Yian admitted. Huang-Fu shot his head around to face Teru.

"Really?" he said, smiling.

"Yes. His form is correct, as is his breathing and state of mind, but for some reason he has not yet been able to Airbend," Yian continued.

"Answer me this, Avatar," Teru said, somewhat politely but for the lashing of his forked tongue. "Have you ever bent any elements other than earth before?"

"No, I haven't," Teru replied. Huang-Fu's head tilted, still staring at Teru.

"Interesting, very interesting," Huang-Fu said. He turned then to Jiaoshi. "And how is the Avatar's Earthbending progressing?"

"Very well, I would give him a month or two until he has very nearly mastered Earthbending," Jiaoshi replied. "Does it matter?"

"Maybe," Huang-Fu said, now circling Teru, staring at him from all angles. He looked up to Yian. "But the Avatar is unable to Airbend?" Teru cut in.

"The Avatar, has a name," Teru said quite annoyed. Huang-Fu shot lunged around.

"You better watch your tongue, boy," Huang-Fu hissed, saliva spitting from his mouth. Teru remained quiet, wiping Huang-Fu's spit off of his face with his sleeve. Jiaoshi and Yian remained silent for some minutes, whilst Huang-Fu gathered himself. "As I was saying, Monk Yian, you are required to be before the King in one hour. I'll tell the King you are coming." And with that, he turned at slithered off.

"Not a very pleasant man, is he?" Jiaoshi said, watching Huang-Fu leave.

"Indeed, easily upset that one," Yian replied, also watching Huang-Fu leaving the courtyard. "I do wonder, what does the King require my attendance for?" Yian asked himself. Teru remained silent, waiting for his master's response. "I highly doubt it would be just to see an old friend."

"Perhaps," Jiaoshi turned to the monk, "his Majesty seeks help from the Order?" As soon as the word 'order' left Jiaoshi's mouth, Yian's head span around to look at the still silent Teru.

"I wonder, if we could talk in private before I leave for the Palace?" Yian requested, looking to Jiaoshi.

"Of course," he agreed. "Teru, you are dismissed until later this afternoon, 3 o'clock sharp. Understand?" Teru nodded and bowed.

"Yes master," he turned to leave before Yian called out.

"Don't worry son, you'll master Airbending, as well as the other elements, with time." Teru turned to face Yian, thanked him, and left.

____________________

Walking away from the courtyard, Teru could only think about three things, his hatred for Huang-Fu, his inability to airbend, and what, or who the Order was. He dismissed the latter, deeming that if it was important he would find out about it. His anger at not being able to airbend was dismissed as something to worry about later, and his hatred of Huang-Fu vented through his use of earthbending to destroy a segment of a stone wall nearby.

"You seem upset," said a calm, soothing voice of a girl somewhere nearby. Teru turned to see Lin sitting on a wooden bench against a wall. Her long black hair falling halfway down her back in long elegant waves. Her fringe covering her face down to the tops of her eyebrows, which she pushed out of the way of her eyes. Her pale skin shone in the sunlight, not like Huang-Fu's oily skin, no, Lin's skin was smooth and had more of a glow to it.

"How do you know I'm upset?" Teru asked, rather bashful.

"Well, you did just break apart that wall over there," Lin said pointing towards the crumbled wall. Teru looked and blushed, embarrassed.

"Oh, uh, yeah," he replied, looking at his feet, trying to hide his blushing cheeks.

"So, what's troubling you?" she said, gesturing Teru to come sit down next to her. He followed the gesture and sat down next to her. "It's this politician-"

"Huang-Fu?" Lin interrupted. Teru looked at her amazed.

"Yeah, how did you-" he started, but again Lin interrupted.

"My father's General Lionel, remember?" she asked. Teru looked up into the sky, he suddenly felt calmed. "My father talks about Huang-Fu all of the time, how he is stubborn, deceitful, you know."

"You're father's a good judge of character," Teru said, smiling. Lin giggled, and then smiled back, however the thought of Huang-Fu had wiped the smile from Teru's face, and he looked over at the wall he crumbled again. Lin took his hand.

"Come with me," she said, and she ran off, dragging Teru behind her. Teru only just managed to catch his balance when he caught up to her.

"Where are we going?" he asked.

"You'll see!" she yelled back. The two ran together through the town cobbled streets, dodging pedestrians on the way by jumping, ducking, and in one case sliding underneath the legs of a very unhappy man who persisted to throw cabbages at them. "Hungry?" Lin asked.

"Definitely, but not for cabbages!" Teru replied, and the two continued running through the streets.

After about five minutes of running, walking, running and then walking, the two arrived at the destination. They stood on the top of the back of a large hill, at which stood a large apple tree, of which roots curled and wound in an out of the ground, then its' trunk twisted upwards on an angle out of the ground. There was also a chipped and worn stone railing on the edge of the almost vertical descent on the other end of the hill, looking over the farm pastures which Teru once worked on, where he had not been for so long. Lin walked over to the apple tree and plucked two apples from its' branches, handing one to Teru.

"Thanks," Teru said, taking a bite. It may have tasted nice, it may have been rotten, it didn't matter, for Teru was too busy staring at Lin's glistening green eyes. Greener than the apple of which she ate, greener than the grass she lay on, greener than the leaves of the apple tree, greener than green itself. Lin noticed Teru looking at her, and blushed as Teru quickly turned his head away.

They sat underneath the apple tree, lazing in the grass in silence, just crunching away on their apples, looking out on the view of the farms below them. There was a cool breeze sweeping up the hill, enabling the grass and flowers to dance in the sunlight, the dew from that morning's rain sparkling. Slowly, Teru moved a little closer to Lin, and began to talk.

"It's really, uh, beautiful up here," he said, taking another bite of the apple.

"I often come up here alone," she said. "It's so peaceful, and sometimes lonely," she said, staring at Teru.

"Lonely?" Teru said, nudging closer to Lin, who was still staring at Teru.

"Yes, I often come here alone," she repeated, seemingly dazed. She nudged a little closer to Teru, and now the were sitting right next to each other, their shoulders brushing.

"You already said that," Teru said, leaning towards Lin, closing his eyes.

"Did I?" Lin said, leaning forward and closing her own eyes. Teru could just feel her breath on his face, all was silent but for Teru and Lin's heavy breathing as they leant forward, until the sound of a trumpet rang through the air.

Teru and Lin jumped apart in shock, both blushing, as they looked up to find three Royal Guards standing before them, one of them with a trumpet pressed to his mouth. The guard on the left stepped forward and pulled a large scroll from behind his back, unrolled it, and began to read.

"His royal majesty the King requests an audience with Teru the Avatar immediately on the grounds of the progress of his training," the guard announced. Teru looked to Lin, who looked away.

"I'm sorry, I have to go," he said, before rising and waiting for a response from her, but she gave none. Leaving his unfinished apple on the ground next to Lin, Teru walked off with the guards.

____________________

It was not for about half an hour until Teru arrived at the foot of the palace stairs, and began the long and tedious climb to the palace interior. Upon arrival at the top of the stairs, Teru followed the long green and gold rug, and walked through the long corridor of stone pillars that rose high up to the ceiling of the palace. At the end of the carpet, were the obscenely large wooden palace doors which were opened by two of the guards accompanying him.

Teru looked inside to see an entire audience of Royal Guards standing on either side of the rug which continued to run down the middle of the throne room to the foot of the King's throne, more than in the procession what accompanied him to the Earth Kingdom Palace for his first time. No, there would have been at least double the guards here, all armed with spears, and at the front of the room stood the frowning Earth King, a smiling Huang-Fu standing beside him, and a boy Teru's age dressed in what appeared to be Fire Nation clothes next to Huang-Fu.

Teru continued along the green rug with gold embroidery until he reached the foot of the throne, and customarily bowed. Something was happening, in previous 'progress reports' it was just the King, Huang-Fu, Jiaoshi, himself and a few guards. No, this was not normal, something was definitely happening.

"Your majesty," Teru said, bowing.

"Be seated!" the King replied firmly and disciplinary. Teru saw this as very odd for the King, as he was usually happy and cheerful, but today he seemed angry and disappointed. Whatever is happening, is deadly serious. Teru had a chair pulled up for him, and he sat. The Earth King stepped down from his throne.

"I'm sorry Teru, but I lied," the King started. "You're not here for a progress report."

"Then why am I here?" Teru asked, looking around the room.

"You're here on trial," the Earth King said frowning. Teru could not believe it, and before he could even speak, who but Huang-Fu, the man Teru despised most in the room, should step forward.

"Please state your name," he said.

"Uh, Teru," Teru replied.

"Please state your current place of occupancy," Huang-Fu asked.

"Um, the Coppleton Estate," Teru answered.

"When you were first brought before the King, who was it you were told you were?" Huang-Fu said without an expression on his face. Teru paused to think for a minute.

"I was told I was the Avatar," Teru answered, before a combination of curiosity and frustration broke his obedience and compliance. "What's this all about?" Teru asked the King. However, the King had his back turned on Teru, and Huang-Fu answered the question.

"You will be made aware of the charges against you in due time," he answered.

"I'd like to be made aware right now," Teru demanded. "What are the charges?" Huang-Fu gave in and took a sheet of parchment from a nearby guard.

"Teru, you have been charged for crimes against the crown of which the breaches of law may be and are; fraudulence, deception, plotting of treason against the crown, and impersonation," Huang-Fu finished, looking back at Teru, who was absolutely shocked and bewildered by what was happening around him. He could not say he understood or accepted the charges, but there was one charge in particular that he was completely oblivious to.

"Impersonation?" Teru started. "Impersonation of whom?" he asked. Huang-Fu bent over so as to be at the same eye line as Teru, and spoke calmly.

"Impersonation of the Avatar," he said, straightening up and smiling. Teru jumped forward out of his seat.

"WHAT! WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" he yelled. Next to him two guards ran forward with shackles.

"The defendant will be restrained," Teru heard one of them say as his arms were pulled behind his back and his wrists were shackled, and then he was pulled down into his seat forcibly by the guards. Teru submitted to the guards' strength and remained seated.

"Please Teru, your anger is not helping your situation," Huang-Fu said, smiling.

"What evidence do you have?" Teru demanded. Huang-Fu stepped forward.

"This morning, I visited Monk Yian of the Southern Air Temple, whilst he was attempting to teach you the art of Airbending," Huang-Fu said. "Do you confirm this?"

"Yes," Teru replied through clenched teeth.

"Whilst there, Master Yian commented that you were having difficulties learning the art of Airbending, and in fact at that stage you had not yet been able to Airbend. Do you confirm this?"

"Yes," Teru replied.

"Originally," Huang-Fu now addressed the entire throne room audience, "I thought nothing of this, until this lunchtime, I had a most disturbing letter arrive in my office. I have the letter here to read to you all," and with that, Huang-Fu took a piece of folded parchment from the inners of his robe, unfolded it, and read it out aloud.

"The letter reads;

Dear Huang-Fu of the Royal Procession of the Earth Kingdom, News has reached me here in the Fire Nation of the gang war that claims lives in your streets, and I apologize for not being able to provide help sooner in this time of need. However, if his services are needed or required, I send this message to you in front of the Avatar, who is sailing towards you as I write this now. I hope that the Avatar can prove useful and provide any assistance you may or may not require. Sincerely, Fire Lord Xuzin.

Most disturbing, don't you think?" Huang-Fu said after hearing the gasps and murmurs from various guards.

Now Teru understood who the Fire Nation boy standing next to Huang-Fu was, he was the Avatar the Fire Lord was supposedly talking about. Teru was in complete disbelief.

"No, no, no, no, no, no!" he muttered to himself before looking up. "There's a mistake," Teru said struggling in his shackles. "I'm the Avatar!" he pleaded. Huang-Fu raised an eyebrow and smiled. From that moment, Teru knew he had walked into a cunning trap.

"Tell me, Teru, what arts of bending have you been able to achieve?" Huang-Fu asked.

"Earthbending," Teru replied, knowing he had already lost.

"Any other forms?" Huang-Fu asked again.

"No," Teru replied.

"Then how can you be sure that you are the Avatar?" Huang-Fu asked.

"I can't," Teru said, speaking into his lap.

"Right," Huang-Fu said, smiling as he felt victory near, when a shout came from one of the guards.

"If he isn't the Avatar," he said referring to Teru, "what proof do you have that the Fire Nation kid is the Avatar?" Huang-Fu smiled.

"Oh, I think this should suffice," Huang-Fu said, as two pots were brought to the middle of the room. Teru could see that one was filled with earth, and the other was burning alight from the inside. The two pots were placed on either side of the rug which divided the room in two, and the Fire Nation boy walked in between them. Teru looked up to see Huang-Fu step back and sit in his own chair, whilst the boy dropped into a stance, and began to bend the fire out of the pot, up above his head, around in the air, and then back into the same pot.

Now the complete attention of the entire room was on the pot of earth, and sure enough, as Teru had both expected and dreaded, the boy bent the earth stones up out of the pot, above his head, around in the air, and back into the same pot.

The entire room was silent, as the true Avatar stood in the middle of the room, having displayed the two bending techniques as proof of him being the Avatar. Teru stared into his lap, solemn, disappointed, and most of all, saddened. How could his life had gone from such an amazing high to such a low in a matter of minutes? The King stepped forward to Teru.

"I'm sorry," he said. "You may leave." Huang-Fu then jumped out of his seat.

"NO! He may not leave!" he yelled. Huang-Fu then addressed the King. "Your majesty, this boy seated here has committed fraudulence, deception, plotting of treason against the crown, and impersonation. He cannot just walk free! It is stated in Earth Kingdom law what the consequence for treason and impersonation is."

"NO!" The King yelled at Huang-Fu. "That will not be Teru's fate." Huang-Fu was not scared, or put off.

"Am I to understand, your majesty, that you will not be following Earth Kingdom law?" Again, the entire throne room fell silent, and several gasps were heard. The Earth King conceded defeat and sunk into his throne. "As I thought," Huang-Fu said. "Teru, for the alleged crimes against the crown, one account of deception, an extended period of fraudulence and deception, multiple accounts of treason against the crown, and impersonation of the Avatar, you are sentenced to the gallows where you will hang by the neck until death." The Earth King failed to look Huang-Fu in the eyes after the announcement left his mouth.

Teru was shocked, the entire room was shocked. He was speechless and beside himself as two guards picked him up out of his chair and started to walk him out of the room. They were three meters away from the chair that Teru was sentenced in when in the reflection of a guards' spear he saw Huang-Fu smiling. No, Teru wasn't giving up, not this easy.

In one swift movement, Teru raised his shackled wrists above his head, bending a pillar of earth out of the ground underneath his feat, throwing him upwards in the air, where he managed to move his cuffed hands from behind his back, under his feet, and back up the front of his body.

He landed on both feet, facing away from the Earth King and Huang-Fu, whom he could hear yelling; "catch him! KILL HIM!"

The dozens of guards on either side of the rug ran forward, spears and swords in hands. Two guards lunged at Teru with swords, and Teru slid under the first, then jumped over the second, aided by earthbending. Teru ran forwards, as guards closed in on him from every direction, hands still shackled in front of his body, he was helpless.

A guard from behind ran charged forward with a spear. Teru jumped around and kicked the spearhead off of the guard's spear, then span in the air and kicked the guard in the side of the face. As the guard fell to the ground, Teru heard the swing of a sword behind him, and position raised his hands up to the sword, which with the added force, cut the shackles' chain in two.

The forty-something guards were now upon him, and so as not to severely hurt them, used earthbending to throw the guards on the left side of the throne room up into the air. Spinning around, Teru then slid his left foot forward and punched towards the ground. The earth beneath the feet of the guards shook violently, tripping them all up. Teru picked up a fallen sword and ran towards the heavy wooden palace doors, which were being shut and barricade by several guards. Three of them charged towards Teru, who whilst running stuck the tip of the sword in the ground. Instantaneously, a plume of sand and dust exploded into the air, rendering the guards sightless.

Seeing the large wooden doors before him, Teru slid the sword underneath his belt at his side, threw his two arms outwards, and two large and thick pillars of stone burst out of the ground and broke the wooden door into pieces. Teru jumped through the door wreckage and continued bolting out of the palace following the carpet of green and gold into the corridor of pillars, where guards appeared from each side.

Taking the sword from his side, Teru fought of several of the guards, occasionally blasting them in the chest with a boulder, or even punching them out. Slowly, he fought his way closer to the palace stairs, when he saw the Fire Nation Avatar running after him. Knocking out the last guard with a kick to the face, Teru sent three small boulders flying through the air at the Avatar, who jumped over the top of all three, took a large leap and the jumped metres high above Teru. The Avatar punched downwards several times towards Teru, and a burning ball of fire shot from the Avatar's fists. Teru dived out of the way, and tumbled down several flights of stairs.

Bruised, aching and feeling a warm liquid seeping down his face from his forehead, Teru knew he was losing, as dozens more guards began to chase him down the palace stairs, boulders and boulders of rock flying and tumbling after Teru, who was hit multiple times by the boulders, pushing him down even more flights of stairs. Finally rolling to the foot of the seven hundred staired palace stairs, he began to run as fast as he could, bleeding from every limb of his body leaving behind a trail of splattered blood he ran.

Guards managed to follow on the backs of Ostrich Horses, five of them. Teru tripped up the first three Ostrich Horses, and then jumped on the back of the fourth, knocking off its' rider. The fifth Ostrich Horses' rider threw out a spear, attempting to knock Teru off of his horse, however, Teru took the spear, and hit the rider in the face with the blunt end of it, pushing him off of the horse.

Teru's claimed Ostrich Horse continued to run, leaving behind the hundred guards trying to follow him. Sword at his side, Teru rode off into the dark of the night.

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