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|More from Twilitlink||Adventure||G||None||None|
When Genesis awoke the next morning he had the worst, not to mention first, hangover of his life. His head throbbed, his vision was blurry, his ears were ringing, and he wasn't one hundred percent sure of what transpired the night before but he was fairly certain that it was Fut's fault. Speaking of whom.
"Fut." He groaned rolling off his bed onto the dusty floor, "Fut wake up." No response came from Fut's bed so Genesis slowly pulled himself to his feet, careful not to rise too suddenly. "Fut, get your ass out of bed and wake the hell..." Genesis started, only to pause once he saw Fut wasn't asleep in his bed, "... up." Genesis quickly glanced around the room and saw a folded piece of paper resting on a table, under a small leather bag. Genesis grabbed the note, unfolded it and read.
Went to take care of some business in the city. Left you some money, use it for supplies to get to Bequing. And don't forget your lunch, you're gonna need something in your stomach after last night. Make sure you're by sunset, we're heading out first thing tomorrow.
Genesis crumbled up the note and tossed it back on the table before he started to feel lightheaded. He quickly moved to sit on the edge of his head and gingerly held his head in his hands. Another half hour would pass before he felt he could stand with out falling on the floor. But as soon as he opened the door to the hall, he doubled over and vomited on the floor.
"I'm not cleaning that up." The cleaning lady said as she passed his room. He slowly looked up at her, a small bit of bile dribbling from his chin. The woman paused before handing him a bucket of water and a cloth. "You'll need this."
Genesis said nothing as he accepted the bucket and cloth. The lady glanced at the mess on the floor, prompting Genesis to stoop down and scrub the floor. Once he finished the cleaning lady took the bucket and cloth back and continued on her shift.
Feeling slightly better, Genesis went outside and began to casually explore the city. Eventually Genesis decided to heed Fut's advice and bought enough supplies to last them to reach Bequing, which apparently was about a week's journey on foot. Once his travel bags were bulging with food and tent gear, he turned his attention to his growling stomach.
"Cabbages! Get you're cabbages here! Best cabbages in the Earth Kingdom!"
Genesis walked over to the cabbage merchant, ready to purchase one of the leafy vegetables, when out of the corner of his eye a movement distracted him. Suddenly a large wagon came speeding past him, careening right towards the merchant.
"Look out!" Genesis called, diving straight at the oblivious man. The merchant turned just as Genesis crashed into him, knocking him away moments before the runaway wagon would've crushed him along with his cabbage cart.
"Damn it!" the merchant screamed, pulling himself away from Genesis and jumping to his feet. The merchant quickly started to gather up the splintered remains of his cart, all the while muttering under his breath, "Why does this keep happening to me?" and, "If this happens to me one more time, then let my descendant's be cursed ten fold."
Genesis was about to say something, but a few more mutterings from the merchant changed his mind. Quickly making himself scarce Genesis turned down an alley and leaned against the wall, and looked to the sky. It was getting close to sunset.
"I should start heading back." He muttered to himself.
"Back to where exactly?" a familiar voice called from down the alley. Genesis turned to see the familiar silhouette of the last man he wanted to see, Choy.
"I wonder Genesis is up to." Fut thought aloud while he waited for the tailor to bring him the order he left during his last visit to Omashu, approximately a year ago.
"To be honest I had completely forgotten about your order." The tailor admitted, emerging from the back of his shop with a long sleeveless overcoat. Fut smiled as he examined the fine, dark green garment. He gently ran his fingers over the intricate embroidery that ran over the front and sides of the robe. But his favorite thing was the image of a peaceful badgermole on the back.
"So how much do I owe you?" Fut asked, sliding his new overcoat on.
"About fifty silver pieces." The tailor said moving behind his counter. Fut smiled as he produced fifty silver pieces, followed by ten gold pieces.
"Enjoy the tip." Fut said as he hefted a bag over his shoulder. The tailor was about to object when Fut seemingly disappeared into the crowd. A half hour later the earthbender was sitting in a teahouse watching two older gentlemen play some pai sho. He watched amused as the two expertly moved their pieces around the board, each positioning themselves for the final attack. His thoughts were invaded however when he felt a tap on his shoulder.
"Been awhile hasn't it?" Fut muttered as he turned to a middle aged man with a graying hairline and beard. "Oh Talv, you got a tan?"
"Comes from working in the sun." Talv shrugged as he took the seat across from Fut.
"Why the hell is one of the wealthiest men in Omashu working?" Fut asked, "Outside no less."
Talv laughed as he leaned forward, "I don't know, why does the heir to one of the wealthiest families in the Earth Kingdom live on the road like a bum?" Fut joined in Talv's laughter, while the older man signaled for a waitress.
"What'll you have gentlemen?" the waitress asked, a cute smile on her pretty face.
"Jasmine." Talv ordered while Fut said, "Green."
The waitress nodded and left the two alone to get their tea. But not before pausing for the briefest of moments to wink at Fut.
"So did you bring them?" Talv asked, pointing at Fut's bag.
"Did I bring them?" Fut mockingly repeats before producing a small box from the bag. "Of course I brought them. Did you bring it?"
Talv smiled as he tapped his temple, "It's right up here." Fut smiled as well, placing the box on the table and lazily leaned back in his seat. Meanwhile, Talv gently placed his hand on the stone table and gave a slight push. Fut watched amused as a large intercrossing grid pattern appeared on the table. With the table set, Fut opened the box revealing a number of pai sho tiles.
"Take your pick." Fut and Talv each selected about twenty tiles and began their battle of patience and strategy. For the next half hour Fut and Talv setting their opponent up before Talv took the first piece. After that the two friends were at each other's throats, layering trap after trap after trap. Finally Talv managed to seemingly back Fut in to a corner.
"Well my friend it looks like I win this time." Talv gloated leaning back in his chair.
"Looks like it my friend" Fut agreed studying the board, "Except for one small detail." As he spoke Fut placed his hand on his white lotus tile.
"And what would that be?" Talv asked, growing a little worried.
"This." Fut said as he had his white lotus tile jump every single one of Talv's remaining tiles. "You, my friend, have fallen victim to the 'White Lotus Gambit'. You know what that means." With a broad grin Fut shouted to the whole teashop. "Hey everybody! All your orders are on this guy!"
Talv sat there stunned as the teashop erupted with cheers. Fut began putting all of the tiles back into their box and downed the last of his tea before turning to leave. With a quick glance at the setting sun, he decided it would be best to head back to the Dancing Ostrich Horse.
"Hopefully Genesis hasn't gotten himself into any trouble." He muttered to himself, unaware that the energybender in question was rapidly approaching him from a nearby alley.
Genesis was running harder than he'd ever run before in his life. Choy was relentless as he chased him through the city. And unlike the last time he'd encountered him, Genesis couldn't energybend to defend himself because he was afraid that he might hurt someone innocent. Choy however didn't seem to share his concern as he hurled fireball after fireball at him.
Hoping to throw him off his trail, Genesis turned into the alleyways, throwing the stacked up crates and other pieces of debris down to slow Choy's pursuit. And it seemed to be working because before long he was putting a fair amount of distance between him and his pursuer. Satisfied that Choy was far enough away, Genesis turned out of the alley in order to disappear into the crowded streets. Unfortunately, or conveniently, immediately after Genesis turned out of the alley he crashed into Fut, sending them both to the ground.
"Genesis." Fut's muffled voice said as his face was pushed into the dirt, "Why are you on top of me?"
"You might want to watch where you're going kid." Choy mocked as he emerged from the alley. Genesis glared at Choy as he helped Fut to his feet. "And you are?"
"My name's Fut." He replied, brushing the dust off his coat, "Fut Han Bi. Who's your friend Genesis?"
So that's the energybender's name. "Choy. Did you say your surname was Han Bi?" Choy questioned. Fut nodded. "You know, there was a Han Bi the 14th division in the army."
"17th actually." Fut corrected, staring the firebender down.
"I heard he defected." Choy teased, paying more attention to his sword. "A treacherous earthbending prodigy, you're just what I ne-..." Before Choy could finish, Genesis saw his chance and blasted a ball of energy on the ground, creating a smokescreen with the dust it kicked up. Before either Fut or Choy could register what just happened, Genesis grabbed Fut by his wrist and started sprinting away.
"So I take it that guy's not a friend of yours then!" Fut dared a glance back at their pursuer, and was greeted by a ball of flame that nearly hit him in the face.
"Not in the least!" Genesis yelled back as another fireball flew past them. "He's been on my ass for weeks."
"Well let's give him a fun chase." Fut said with a devious grin before he grabbed Genesis's wrist and pulled him down another alley.
Once they were in the alley, Fut stomped on the ground and slab of stone rose from the ground, blocking off the alley's entrance. Fut smirked when he noticed Genesis start to relax. "We got to keep moving. This won't keep him back for long." As if to confirm what Fut said, Genesis heard a scuffling sound, like Choy was trying to climb over the barrier. They wasted no more time for chitchat and kept running. It didn't take long before Choy was on their tail again, and Fut had to raise another barrier to buy them some time. The chase took them to the higher levels of the city, greatly exhausting Genesis along the way.
"I've got to stop." He breathed, clutched painfully at his chest. Fut glanced around and saw one of the many chutes used to deliver the mail in Omashu. A wide grin spread across Fut's face as he pulled Genesis over to the loading area.
"I've wanted to do this ever since I first came to Omashu." The earthbender said as he helped Genesis into the crate. "This is going to great." He continued as the crate started to move down the chute.
"I've got a bad feeling about thiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssss!" Genesis screamed as the crated picked up speed down the steep slope of the chute. Wind violently rushed through their hair as they sped through the city. Two cries echoed through the city, one of pure terror and one of pure joy. Both cries ceased however when a fireball crashed into their stone crate. The two looked behind them to see Choy chasing them in his own crate.
"I'll give him one thing! He is persistent!" Fut stated, as another blast of fire whooshed past his head. With snicker, Fut extended his arm towards Choy, "But this is where his chase ends," he said with an upward pulling motion. As he pulled his arm up, the stone crate Choy was riding in flipped over, throwing Choy to the side over the chute.
Choy flipped through the air before he landed lightly on one of the building rooftops. Choy scowled as he watched his quarry escape his grasp once again. "I will catch up to you Genesis. You won't keep me from my destiny."
"I think we lost him." Fut laughed as he watched Choy grow smaller in the distance.
"Fut pay attention!" Genesis screamed, drawing Fut's attention back to the front, where the chute was coming to an end. Before Fut could slow them down, the crate crashed through the barrier. The two screamed as the crate flew out from under them. They crashed into the ground and instinctively rolled to absorb to downward momentum. Meanwhile, the crate they were riding in slid across the ground, scattering several civilians and crashed into a cabbage cart. A cabbage cart that had very recently been purchased by the same merchant whom Genesis met earlier.
"Damn it!" the merchant cried to the heavens.
"Let's never do this again." Genesis groaned as he pulled himself to his feet. Fut just glanced at him and smiled as he shook head.
"I make no promises. Now let's get the hell out of here."
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Last Energybender chapters|
|Peace is Fleeting - The Sanctuary - The Recruiters - Crystal Night - The Firebender - War is Kind - Fear - The Companion - Escape|