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|Earth King Shoo (The Adventures of Qi)|
Several days after Huo was kidnapped, Maia and Liu had arranged them to meet with the Earth King's adviser: Xu. Xu would then discuss arranging a meeting with Earth King Shoo. Qi, Huo, Maia and Liu were in fact right outside Xu's door. His house was in the Upper Ring and it was enormous. It was made of solid red bricks and spanned over twenty metres tall and fifty metres wide. Qi went to the door and knocked three times. Moments later, Xu opened up the door. Xu was incredibly tall, his head lightly bumped against the top of the door. He wore traditional Earth Kingdom robes and had short, cropped hair. He had hazel coloured eyes and he looked strong and sturdy. He had the kind of build that made people think he was an earthbender, which he was.
"Ah! You must be the young members of the White Lotus! Do come in!" Xu greeted the moment he saw the four.
He led the four down a corridor to the living room. There were two sofas each large enough to seat four people. The sofas were arranged so they were opposite to each other with a coffee table in between. There was a small, silver bowl on the coffee table full of fruits. Qi, Huo, Maia and Liu all sat on one sofa and Xu sat opposite them.
"So I hear you four are looking for the Avatar," Xu said.
"Actually, it's just Qi and Huo. We're just friends, we're not part of the White Lotus," Liu explained.
"Ah, no matter. Anyways, are you sure you want to seek out help from Earth King Shoo? He is awfully... unbearable and cruel. Not to mention he is an excellent earthbender, he could probably take you four on in battle," Xu said.
"We understand, but I presume he has a list of who was born in Ba Sing Se on the day Avatar Korra died?" Qi asked.
"Of course," Xu replied. "Such important information must be within the Earth King's knowledge."
"Well, would you happen to have the knowledge yourself?" Huo asked.
"Yes," Xu replied. "There weren't very many babies born on that day and we have inspected them all. I'm sorry, but the Avatar isn't in Ba Sing Se."
"How do you know if the baby is the Avatar or not?" Maia asked.
"Well, you see, the Air Nomads had a trick. They would put the baby in a room with a thousand toys and see if he or she choice four specific toys that resembled their past lives. Or in this case, past life, as Avatar Korra was severed from her connection with the previous Avatars. None of the babies chose anything to resemble Korra or the Water Tribe," Xu explained.
"Well, that's too bad," Qi said. "We would like to meet him anyway."
Xu was taken aback.
"Why?" He asked.
"Earth King Shoo has lots of armies under his control right? Can't he send troops around the Earth Kingdom to help the search?" Qi said.
"Certainly yes," Xu said. "I will arrange a meeting for you with Shoo, but I'm not sure he will agree. The Earth King is very... greedy and self-centred you see."
"Don't worry," Qi said with a hint of cheekiness. "I can be very persuasive."
Shoo had a very tight schedule, and could only have met with the group two weeks after their meeting with Xu. Two weeks later, they met Xu outside the Earth Kingdom's royal palace. It was exactly the same it was sixty years ago; nothing had changed.
"It is a very high honour to meet with the Earth King and you must therefore be on your best behaviour," Xu said. "Sorry if I sound patronising."
Xu led them slowly up the staircase, in which it felt like forever to climb. When they reached the top, Xu led them inside the doors. The inside was majestic and beautiful. Tall, scarlet pillars loomed everywhere with golden patterns of dragons embedded into them; the halls were decorated with all sorts of relics and ornaments; everywhere was painted a deep emerald colour and there were hundreds of corridors. It was gigantic! Everyone stood in awe, gazing at the royal palace.
"Come this way," Xu called.
He took the group down a magnificent corridor that was painted gold and green.
"Be very careful when you meet Shoo," Xu warned. "He can be very... paranoid at times. One wrong move could land you all in prison or worse."
Qi shuddered. How bad could this king be? When they finally arrived at the doors to the throne room, Xu turned around to face the group. The doors were about ten times taller than Qi herself, and they were coated in an emerald green with strip of gold running down the middle.
"Are you ready?" Xu asked.
"We were born ready," Huo replied.
"Then let us enter," Xu said.
He opened up the gates slowly with earthbending and they opened up to reveal the throne room. Tall, giant pillars loomed everywhere, shadowing the room. At the very back were three or four steps. On the steps was a stage that held the throne. On the throne was... Earth King Shoo. Shoo was wearing the royal robes of the Earth Kingdom with the same royal hat that Earth King Kuei wore. Shoo looked middle-aged, yet his face was already full of lines and wrinkles. His green eyes were dull and his hair was beginning to grey.
"Xu!" Shoo screamed. "What is this riff-raff doing in my palace? Let them be gone!"
Xu knelt down on one knee, so the group followed his example and also knelt down on one knee.
"Sir, this is the group that is looking for the Avatar, you said you would meet with them," Xu explained.
"Very well!" Shoo said and pointed at Maia threateningly. "You! Tell me your name and explain what you want!"
Maia stood up quickly and looked worried.
"W-w-well... Your M-M-Majesty... m-my name is Maia," Maia stuttered.
"Are you an Earth Kingdom citizen?" Shoo suddenly and rudely interrupted.
"Yes," Maia softly replied.
"Then don't stutter or I'll have you sent to prison!" Shoo threatened.
"Yes Your Majesty," Maia said. "My friends are searching for the new Avatar, and we would like your help."
"My help?" Shoo asked. "I asked Xu to tell you the Avatar wasn't in Ba Sing Se! What do you need by help for?"
"Well, I'm sure someone as powerful as you must have lots of armies or search parties, am I right?
We were hoping you could send search parties to help look for the Avatar," Maia explained.
Shoo thought about it for a long time before finally answering.
"Very well," Shoo replied. "Something of such importance must be dealt with by people other than little kids. I mean, what was the White Lotus thinking? Did they really think that you guys could possibly find the Avatar?"
Qi didn't know what to think of this. She was feeling incredibly insulted, yet happy.
"Xu! Escort this riff-raff out of my palace! I will send the most powerful and loyal search parties to find the Avatar first thing tomorrow and I expect these kids to be gone by then!" Shoo ordered.
"Everyone, it is time to leave," Xu said.
When Xu had escorted everyone outside and had left them alone, Maia started screaming.
"AAAHHH!" Maia screamed. "We did it! We managed to get the Earth King on our side!"
"This is great! We should find the Avatar in no time!" Qi smiled.
"You never know!" Liu replied.
"Liu! Don't always be so negative!" Maia criticised.
"Hey guys, I've been thinking about something that came up when Xu was talking to us," Huo said this directly to Maia and Liu. "You guys said that only Qi and I were looking for the Avatar, how about you two come with us?"
Maia and Liu gave each other a look.
"Well... I don't suppose why not," Maia said.
"We'll do it!" Liu announced.
"Group hug everybody!" Qi said.
The four all walked in for a group hug. All was going great... or was it?
The next day, Qi, Huo, Maia and Liu had everything packed on a new airship. They were about to take flight when they were approached by Shoo.
"Taking flight?" Shoo asked.
"Yes," Liu said.
"Um, Your Majesty?" Qi asked.
"What?" Shoo asked annoyed.
"If you find the Avatar before us, contact us. We'll rendezvous so we can collect the Avatar and bring him back to Republic City," Qi explained.
This came as a shock to Shoo.
"What?" He said. "No! The Avatar is of the Earth Kingdom! I thought I was going to raise him in Ba Sing Se!"
"No Your Majesty, I was given orders to take him to Republic City," Qi said.
"NEVER!" Shoo yelled. "HOW DARE YOU TRICK ME INTO HANDING THE AVATAR TO YOU? THE AVATAR IS AN EARTH KINGDOM CITIZEN AND I AM THE KING! I WILL FIND THE AVATAR BEFORE YOU AND RAISE HIM IN BA SING SE IF IT IS THE LAST THING I DO!"
Shoo then used earthbending to trap Qi and her group in a cage of rock.
"NEVER WILL YOU FOUR LEAVE BA SING SE!" He cackled.
Maia took action by using her bending to sink the rocks back into the earth. The four then duelled Shoo. Maia rapidly sent rocks flying one after the other; Huo sent two simultaneous, on going, boiling streams of fire; Liu jabbed ice bullets at Shoo and Qi fought with two blades of air. Shoo fought back, and he was powerful, but not powerful enough to take on all four. Maia soon pinned him to the ground with earthbending, and the four quickly rushed back onto the aircraft where they soon took flight.
"That was too close," Liu stated.
"WAY too close," Qi said.
"Well, we better find the Avatar before Shoo does," Huo said.
"And if we don't?" Liu asked.
"Then we'll have to fight the entire army of Ba Sing Se," Huo said.
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