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This is the eleventh chapter in the serieswritten by .Enjoy guys, and let me make this clear Quan is the name of the Earth King, a.k.a Lanji's father.
What this chapter is about
Many discoveries will happen. Mei Lien finds herself captured and brought into the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace to be "checked" if she is the Avatar or not. She is surprised when she discovers a few familiar faces...in the palace?
Smells of delectable food floated through Lanji's nose. Her father's feast was the most food she had ever seen. Many dishes such as rice, stir-fry chicken, and more blanketed a long table made out of gold. She could not remember the last time she had so much food. Around the table sat her father, Ranu, Mailo, a few royal guards, and a tall boy around her age.
Too bad the orphanage was not like this.
"So, Lanji," Ranu began the conversation. "You have questions?"
Lanji slurped a plate of noodles. "Mmhmm," she mumbled swallowing her food. "First off," her eyes wandered the room until it found her father, Quan. "What was I doing in an orphanage miles away from Ba Sing Se, while you were here as a pampered king?"
The Earth King's expression changed. "Well, it is a long story Lanji. You see," he paused. "I never wanted children. When I found your mother was expecting you, I was furious. So mad in fact I was cruel to her, and she left me. She fled Ba Sing Se and found her life far away in a little town called Twa."
Lanji's eyes widened. "That is my home!"
Quan nodded. "Yes, it was. I wrote to your mother often. I missed her so much, and apologized for my nasty behavior. She would write back rude letters to me saying that I ruined her life, but sometimes she would describe you in some of these letters after you were born. She told me you were an Earthbender, and a beautiful girl, but then..." a tear sparkled in The Earth King's eye. "She died in her sleep, and that is why you were put in the orphanage."
Everyone in the dining room fell silent. "S-so that is why I never actually met my mother and was stuck in the stupid orphanage," Lanji whispered, tears forming in her eyes. She pointed a threatening finger at her father. "You killed my mother! You made her die! Why did you not save me from the disgusting orphanage?!" Tears erupted from her eyes like a sudden waterfall. Confusion and rage took over her.
The earth ground shook like an earthquake. Plates, silverware, and glass cups crashed to the floor.
"Lanji Tong that is enough!" the Earth King roared at his daughter. The girl breathed deeply, relinquishing all of her anger and hate. "As much as I despise you right now," Lanji stared into her father's eyes. "You are my father, and the only family I have left."
"She is a powerful Earthbender, Your Majesty," Ranu mused. "You should be proud."
"I am," Quan grinned.
Lanji grew impatient. "I am going to ask you this one more time. Why did you not take me from the orphanage?"
"Lanji, I am very sorry, but I wanted you to grow up with you not knowing who I was...but then I thought, since you are a skilled Earthbender, maybe you could be the Avatar. So that is why I sent you that letter."
"Wait a second," Lanji spat, standing. "So you just sent me the letter to see if I was the stupid Avatar, which frankly, I would know if I am. You did not send the letter because you wanted me to come here and stay?" Rage flared within her once again.
"No of course I want you to stay here in the palace with me, but I just wanted to check if you were the Avatar, that is all."
"Well your checking is done because I am one hundred percent sure I am not the Avatar!" Lanji slammed herself down into her seat.
Ranu chuckled nervously. "Well, this has been a wonderful family reunion. Mailo, I believe Lanji is finished with her meal. Mind taking her to her bed chamber for me?"
Mailo nodded to his master. "Yes Ranu."
"Oh and Yong," Ranu added, looking at the boy Lanji's age. "Go help the maids clean up the mess Lanji made."
The boy nodded reluctantly and swiftly began to pick up pieces of glass that covered the floor.
"Thanks Ranu," the Quan stood. "I can always count on you."
"Yes, you can Your Majesty," the Earth King's highest general lied.
Terrified but relieved
"Let go of me you creeps!" Mei Lien bellowed as she struggled to resist the two soldier's grips. After regaining consciousness, Mei Lien realized she was taken into a fancy palace.
I bet it is the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace, she guessed. Wait, why should I care where I am when my mother is out there without me! A few tears escaped Mei Lien's eyes.
"Give me back my mother now!" the Earthbender shrieked as she was carried into a brilliant and majestic room.
"Oh be quiet girl!" one of the guards snapped, tightening his grip around Mei Lien's arm.
The two soldiers met up with another one of their companions, a guard with long black hair tied in a top knot.
"Is the Earth King present?" one of the soldiers who tightly held Mei Lien asked immediately.
The long-haired guard cleared his throat. "He is coming back from his meal, sir. Just wait here until he arrives." He bowed his head slightly and exited the large dome-like room.
Mei Lien scanned her surroundings. Oh my, the walls are lined with gold patterns. This place is so beautiful. Everything seems so different. Wait, do I have my belonging with me?
Relief smacked Mei Lien when she felt her bag latched on her back weighing her down. Phew, I still have my things.
Suddenly, two figures evolved from a small door on the outskirts of the enormous room. As far as Mei Lien could see, there stood a man with royal-looking clothing and another man dressed in a soldier-like uniform. The two soldiers released their tight grasps on Mei Lien's arms.
"Ah, Earth King!" one of the soldiers called as the two figures approached. "We have another Earthbender for you to scrutinize."
The man who appeared to be the Earth King propped himself on the large golden throne that stood in the middle of the spotless floor. His companion positioned himself next to his throne and eyed Mei Lien curiously.
The king cocked his head. "Alright, bring her to a bed chamber so we can test to see if she is the one we are looking for later on."
"Right away, Your Majesty," the two men chorused, replenishing there painful grasp on Mei Lien.
The sixteen-year-old felt herself being swept away into another part of the grand building. "Where is my mother?!" she screeched, rage bubbling inside of her.
"Do not fret little girl, we found your mother who came after you. She is safe," one of the soldiers reassured.
Thank the heavens she is alright! "Can you take me to her, please?!" Mei Lien pleaded.
"I am sorry. We can only let you leave with her after you have been checked."
Checked, for what? Mei Lien did not dare to ask, though she had a feeling being "checked" was not something to look forward to.
She was shoved into a small room with only a lit candle, a small circular window, a comfortable-looking bed, and a large desk. The walls of the room were decorated with golden pattering and green wallpaper.
The two soldiers immediately stood guard outside of the room. Mei Lien felt like a mouse in a cage, trying to find a way to escape except there were no signs of places to make a run for it out of the miniature bed chamber.
She reached into her travel pack and pulled out a small book and a writing utensil.
I have not the slightest clue why I am at the royal palace or why I was captured. It must be something to do with Earthbending. I am pleading in my mind that my mother is safe, but I cannot be too sure.
I am very scared and confused.
Tears escaped the Earthbender's eyes as she threw her diary back into her bag and perched herself on the fairly comfortable bed. She could hear voices beyond the walls of her room.
"The Earth King ordered me to bring food to the new arrival," a voice boomed from behind the walls. Strange. That voice seems vaguely familiar.
The door slammed open, and tall boy with jet black hair stepped in. Yong!
"Yong!" Mei Lien screamed in surprise.
Yong dropped the platter of delectable food he held in his arms. It crashed to the floor, rice and soup flying all over the place.
The girl flung herself into Yong's bulky arms. "You came to rescue me from this horrifying place!"
"Er... Actually I came to give you some food."
Mei Lien wriggled her way out of the boy's arms. "Oh, why are you here in the palace then?"
"Shh...quiet your voice. There are guards patrolling outside Mei Lien. I should be asking you the same question though. Why are you here?" Yong whispered.
"Well, the problem is, I do not know why I am here. The soldiers kidnapped me after I made a scene with Earthbending in the streets of the city. They brought me here, to the Royal Palace so I can be checked."
Yong's faced evolved into a worrisome expression. "They are going to see if you are the Avatar, Mei Lien. Oh, and by the way, you never told me you were an Earthbender."
Mei Lien's face reddened. "It just never occurred to me to tell you."
"Funny thing is Mei Lien, I am also an Earthbender, trapped in this palace to be the Earth King's trusty servant."
Mei Lien's jaw dropped into a perfect "o" shape. "You are suggesting that I am going to be evaluated to see if I am the Avatar and then assigned as the Earth King's servant?"
"You will probably be released, but since the Earth King thought I offended him or something along those lines, he kept me here as his servant."
Mei Lien shivered. "I have a bad feeling about this place. I hope I am released with my mother wherever she is."
"Did they kidnap you without her?" Yong whispered.
The Earthbender girl sighed. "I do not know Yong. They told me before that she is safe but I cannot trust those evil royal jerks."
"I will try to find out while I am roaming around the castle. You best rest now because they will check you in the morning."
"It is good to see you Yong," Mei Lien whispered.
Mei Lien tossed and turned while she slept in the Royal Palace's bed. She dreamt about her mother locked up in the Royal Palace's prison, screaming her name. Mei Lien help!
"I am coming mother!" Mei Lien shrieked as she darted awake. Her heart pounded repeatedly in her chest. Sweat poured down her pale face as she breathed heavily. The only thing that worried in her mind was the fear of her mother being hurt or even tortured. The guard told me she was safe, but where is she safe...in the prison? The sixteen-year-old girl had trouble falling back to sleep.
Sunlight streamed in from the small window placed in the back of the room. An exhausted Mei Lien arose from a comfy bed which she slept on for a few hours at night. She had gotten very little sleep.
She took a brush out of her travel bag and brushed out her long black hair. Bang! The girl jumped as the door opened loudly. Two Earth Kingdom soldiers waited at the threshold.
"You will be evaluated to see if you are the Avatar. If not the Avatar, you and your mother will be released back into the city, but if proven to be the Avatar, you and your mother will stay in the Palace. Understood?" one of the two men explained hastily. Mei Lien nodded slowly, her slightly-brushed hair swaying back and forth behind her. She followed one of the guards while his partner escorted her from behind.
They entered the main hall of the palace where she could see four figures near the throne: The Earth King who sat politely on the royal chair, the highest general Ranu, an elderly man she had never seen before, and a girl who looked Mei Lien's age with black hair tied up and looked very familiar.
"Lanji!" Mei Lien shrieked when she recognized the girl.
"Mei Lien!" Lanji cried when she realized who shouted her name. Mei Lien pushed the soldier who tried to grab her as she ran to give her friend a hug.
"What are you doing here Mei Lien?" Lanji asked unraveling herself from the tight hug.
"I might ask you the same question," Mei Lien retorted. Her smile illuminated the Palace. "But it is great to see you!"
"It is great to see you as well Mei Lien!"
The two girls abruptly realized that there were other people in the main hall observing them.
The Earth King stood from his golden chair. "Daughter, you know this girl?"
Lanji nodded slowly. "Y-yes father, I do."
"And how do you know her?"
"W-well, it is a very long story. I would rather save it for dinner time."
Mei Lien gaped in surprise. "The Earth King is you father Lanji?!"
"Yes. I figured that out a day ago. I guess that is why the address looked so official." Lanji smiled weakly.
"What a friendly reunion!" Ranu spoke for the first time since Mei Lien arrived. "Now Lanji, Fong will escort you out so we can evaluate Mei Lien."
"It's Yong, sir," a male voice corrected from the small door at the far side or the immense room.
"Yong," Mei Lien barely whispered as the handsome boy ushered Lanji out of the hall.
The Earth King smiled. "Well this has been a nice reunion, but alas we must check this girl to see if she is the Avatar. You are an Earthbender am I right?" The Earth King addressed Mei Lien.
"Yeah," the girl mumbled.
"Well, this man here," the king pointed to the old man standing next to his throne, "studies Avatars and is an Earthbending teacher. He will find out if you are the Avatar or not."
A few minutes later, Mei Lien found herself outside in an Earthbending arena on the outskirts of the palace.
"This is where all the Earthbenders are evaluated," The Earth King explained cheerfully. "Follow Gin's instructions and you will be fine."
The Earth King and Ranu studied Mei Lien carefully as the elderly man named Gin instructed her. Gin ordered Mei Lien to show him some of her Earthbending moves. Mei Lien used a move she invented called "Earth Slice." Gin seemed very pleased.
"You are a gifted Earthbender Mei Lien," Gin praised. "Now I want you to do a simple task. Make a giant boulder out of earth and throw it at me. I will block it and throw it back at you and then you will try to block it. Understood?"
Mei Lien nodded, wiping smeared dirt off her forehead. The Earthbender created a giant boulder out of Earth and with all of her strength, sent it flying to Gin. Before Gin could think, the boulder smashed into him sending him flying into the air and straight into the ground.
Mei Lien rushed to his hurt body in panic. "I am so sorry sir! I thought you would be ready and send the boulder back to me."
The Earth King and Ranu rushed over where Gin's limp body lay. "Is he alright?" The Earth King questioned worryingly.
"That was incredible," Ranu exclaimed. "Truly amazing."
Gin groaned. "She is a great Earthbender. A little tough one too." He grunted as he stood up. Dirt and pieces of Earth covered him from head to toe. Mei Lien could not help but stifle a laugh. "I apologize once again sir!"
"It is not your fault. It is mine. I have no idea what came over me." The old man started muttering to himself.
"So, am I the Avatar?" Mei Lien queried, curiosity flooding her.
Gin sighed. "Not yet, there is one more thing we must do."
"And what is that?"
Mei Lien was led into the depths of the royal palace by Gin, The Earth King, and Ranu who for some reason was acting strangely. She could hear the screaming of a ladies voice as they descended a long flight of stairs. Mei Lien shuddered as they reached a hallway. The scream was deafening now. "Where are you taking me?" Mei Lien asked for the tenth time.
"I said you will see when you get there," growled an inpatient Gin. She could hear the words that exploded out of the screaming ladies mouth.
"Get me out of here! What did I do?! Help!" she cried. Mei Lien panicked as they drew nearer to the horrifying sound.
They entered an area that looked like a prison. The lady who was screaming was inside a cellar and tied up with large metal chains.
It took barely a second for Mei Lien to realize who was imprisoned. "Mother! It's me, Mei Lien!"
"Mei Lien! Oh you are safe! I was so worried! They locked me up here after you were kidnapped." The terrified Earthbender could see her mother's dirty and bruised face. She about-faced to Gin, The Earth King, and Ranu.
"Why did you do this to my mother?! Get her out of there!" Me Lien shook the cell bars in complete rage. Anger she had never experienced before bubbled inside of her. How could they bring me down here to the cell of my terrified mother and not do anything? Why did they lock her up?!
The more angrier she grew the more satisfied the three men in front of her seemed to get. Is this some kind of joke to them?!
Suddenly, she experienced something that never happened to her before. Her eyes glowed and she rose into the air as if she was floating. A powerful ball of air circled her. She felt like she gained immense power, but she had no control of her body. The suddenly powerful Earthbender could see and hear, but nothing else. Her anger completely destroyed the cell and walls around her, blowing shards of Earth in every direction. Strangely Ranu who was attacked by many pieces of earth laughed. "Ahahaha, yes! Finally, the Avatar has brought herself to me! Funny I did not think it would be a girl..."
The Earth King looked very pleased. "Please! Avatar! Your mother has been taken off her chains by Gin! Stop blowing this dungeon to pieces immediately!"
The powerful Earthbending coming from the Earthbender ceased, and she slowly descended down from her mid-air position. The bending power that she experienced exhausted her and she collapsed to the floor not knowing who she had become.
- This chapter took me about six weeks to finish because of my numerous inactivities.
- I tried to write this chapter as dramatic as possible.
- I named Gin after a character in a Chinese movie.
- The name I came up with Mei Lien and Yong is Yei Long Or Mei Long. (oh the power of fanon shipping)
- I am finally pleased to finish this before my inactivity.
- The end is almost in our grasp!
I hope you enjoyed this one because it took me long to write. Many thanks to Ultimate for being an awesome fanon-discussing friend.
For the collective works of the author, go here.