Dark forest
Enemies by Blood
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Emblem of the Outlaw


Three: Water



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Misfortunes Carry Sorrow

Their fate was decided the moment they stepped into combat

Immobile. Completely and totally unable to move. Haneul grunted and twisted, but his opponent would not loosen his grip. A cruel smile twisted on the Bloodbender's face as he watched the other struggle. One foot after the other, this ghostly figure neared Haneul. Even if he could not move, Haneul did not want to let it end now. His continuous, futile struggle showed that much. And judging from the fact that the creepy man's smile widened as he struggled, the Bloodbender was amused by Haneul's grasping at life. "I will not release you, Airbender. You will die like an animal... Unable to fight back until the very end." His voice sent a sickening chill down Haneul's spine. Not only because of the words, but because of the tonality. Each word was like a stabbing needle. A stabbing needle laced in venom.

"Why... are you killing Airbenders?" Haneul struggled out these few words, not because his ability to speak was being restricted, but because he spoke between grunts of trying to free himself. It appeared as if some sort of mystical force, like invisible rope, bound him, not the power of a single man's bending. This question seemed to further amuse the twisted opponent, whose smile had now widened to a point where it did not even look as if possible with the proportions of his face.

"'Why?' you ask?" Another step forward. He was nearing closer and closer to Haneul now, and they were only mere feet away from each other now. "Such a simple question. Like a child." Now, they were face to face, and the creepy opponent ran a bony hand along Haneul's face. "And you are a child. A child whose body is killing him, and whose circumstance." The man cocked his head sideways, and looked deep into Haneul's eyes--he seemed almost as if he was trying to look deep down into Haneul's soul. But his albino eyes also seemed to reject the creepy man, and he took a step back. "I kill because I want to. It's fascinating to watch you struggle..." At these words, Haneul instantly stopped moving and watched the enemy intently. "And I kill Airbenders because they are different. Their arrows denote their bending ability, and so I fancy skinning them off when I kill them."

A sickening feeling shot through Haneul's stomach. "You... skin off Airbenders' tattoos?" He asked, barely gasping the words out through his shock. All struggling had ceased, though Haneul was still very much unable to move. The dark puppeteer laughed at this reaction. Now, the creepy man was so close that Haneul could feel his saliva fly off of his mouth and land on his face in midst of the opponent's laughter. Had he still had his mobility, he would have wiped it off his face. But now, all he could do was wince and wrinkle his nose in disgust. Hardly enough to so much as draw the attention of the other.

Then, the battle became silent once more. Though the smile still spread across the enemy's face, his laughter had ceased so that he could continue, "You are so amusing, Airbender. But you do not have the tattoos, so I will make quick work of your death." As he spoke, his right hand tensed. Haneul felt as if every part of his body suddenly froze up. His heart still beat, but barely. Just by looking into his enemy's eyes, Haneul could tell that the Bloodbender would use his abilities to easily stop his heart.

Until, just another instant later, Haneul was freed. He staggered out of the grip in alarm, looking to see that the Bloodbender was recoiling from dirt which got into his eyes. And a little ways away, Haneul saw a figure, crouched low to the ground, obviously so that she could easily attack again, if the situation called for it. As glad as Haneul was to be out of the enemy's grasp, he couldn't help but wrinkle his nose in disapproval at the person just a few feet away. "Kiri! I thought I said this was my fight!" Haneul shouted over to her. He did not only want to keep his friends out of the fight so that he could personally seek revenge for all the Airbenders this man had slaughtered, but he also did not want them to get hurt. Haneul was on death's doorstep already, and it would not affect to much should he die by the hands of this man. His friends on the other hand...

Before Haneul could say anything more, his limbs were restricted again. The Bloodbender had regained himself, and once more had a sickening smile plastered across his face. "You can keep struggling, Airbender... But to what purpose? I have personally killed all of your fellow Nomads, and will bring you to join them." Haneul clicked his tongue in irritation. He knew that this man was right, that he was the last Airbender. But at the same time... "You joined your mother's killer, remember? You left all your friends for dead, don't forget. Do you really deserve to live when you let them all die?" Now, Haneul gritted his teeth, though his face still showed defiance, a small bit of doubt welled within his chest.

"Don't listen to him, Haneul!" Kiri shouted from her position. She rose, and stepped closer to her friend. "There's another Airbender who is alive! Alive and kicking! He and Tuzo defeated Sumi!" After explaining this, she pursed her lips gently. As far as the rest of what the Bloodbender said, she had no idea whether it was true or not. But she did know that Haneul wouldn't have made those decisions on his own, and that if true his situation must have forced him to do so. Even from afar, Kiri's eyes searched Haneul's to look for that flicker of light, that sign that he wasn't lost...

"Don't worry so much, Kiri." These words came like a joyous melody over to Kiri. Haneul lifted his head, looking at the Bloodbender eye-to-eye. "I don't give a shit what you have to say, creepy pale bastard. But I do know this. It was really stupid of you to leave me able to breathe and speak." With this statement, Haneul took a deep breath. Before the enemy could react, Haneul let out a great exhale and sent the pale man flying backwards. And with the attack, Haneul also gave himself an opportunity to fight back. While the Bloodbender didn't have a hold of him, he was free to move.

With several pathetic grunts, the Bloodbender tried to move. But before he could, Haneul had begun his attack. Quickly, he spun in small circles and traced his hands in similar circles. Streams of air followed his movements, and after finishing a circular rotation, Haneul directed the stream of air towards the Bloodbender. It hit him square in the chest, and sent him backwards once again. Now, Haneul launched himself forward for a closer range attack, and within moments they were once more face-to-face. And this was Haneul's mistake.

His hand shot up to his throat. He was strangling himself. No words could come out, and air quickly became scarce. Within moments of his opponent taking control of him, the world flooded with light, and would soon become black. Until his arm fell from his throat. Kiri was within their fighting range now, interfering with the battle. She had only shoved the Bloodbender, but it had been enough to startle him and make him lose his focus once more. "You have to pay attention Haneul, otherwise he'll use his Bloodbending again!"

"You don't need to tell me that." As the Bloodbender regained himself, Haneul pulled his fist backwards. Right when the Bloodbender was standing up straight, Haneul planted a solid punch in the middle of the Bloodbender's face. He could feel the bone shatter beneath his attack as well as feel that same bone tearing through his own skin. Blood splattered over the area, and the Bloodbender recoiled. Once more, Haneul pulled his fist back and landed a clean punch in the middle of the other's face. Over and over again, until finally the Bloodbender fell to the ground with his face in a bloody mass.

Before he could go for another attack, Kiri caught his arm, "Haneul! He's down, you don't need to beat him to death."

"Well, how else am I supposed to kill him?"

"You're an Airbender!"

"Airbending is not very effective for killing people."

"No, Haneul, I mean you're an Airbender. Air Nomads are above killing people senselessly like that."

This statement made Haneul pause, and look at his friend in surprised bewilderment. "This seems out of character for you, Kiri. He killed all the Air Nomads and you want me to spare him?"

"I don't want you to spare him... I just..." But before she could finish her sentence, they noticed the pathetic Bloodbender dragging himself away. Not long after he began to move, a gunshot sounded. Some other rebel had obtained a gun, recognized his uniform, and shot the man before Haneul could do a thing. Now he was dead.

Around them, the battle of the rebels against the United Republic was dying down. Many of United Republic's forces had realized that their leader was dead, and fled without second thought. The rest were defeated, one way or another, with a few still fighting valiantly. Despite Kiri's earlier random outburst, Haneul did not question her further. This, she was glad for: more than anything else, she didn't want Haneul to kill that Bloodbender because it would have been a coldblooded murder. And though she had only known him for a little while, she knew that murderous was not a part of his personality.

A few moments later, Kiri discovered the real reason why Haneul didn't respond. Randomly, Haneul fell to his knees, barely catching himself with his hands, as he began to cough up blood. Helplessly, Kiri watched as his blood covered the ground, before finally he simply fell limply to the ground. Now, she rushed to his side and pressed her fingers gently against his neck. He still had a pulse. "Get me some water!" she shouted to no one in particular. But somebody responded, and she soon had a bucket of water by her side. She submerged her hands in the liquid and placed them against Haneul's chest in an attempt to heal him.

Kiri had never healed anyone before.

He's still alive, I just have to heal him, I just have to use my bending to make sure he doesn't die... Not now, not yet... He'll hang on, I know he will...


  • I wrote this chapter after midnight, and at the time I thought using blood as a recurring word/theme in this chapter would be really clever, since the creepy guy is a Bloodbender. I don't know if it still is...

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