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|More from SaeryenKatten||Romance/Adventure||PG||Positive|
|Fire, Song and a Snowstorm Chapter 1|
She did not stop running. She could not. She had to get out of there, out of the ice fortress where she was being held. She didn't care that her feet were making visible marks in the snow – if she could make it, it wouldn't matter.
Then the wall of ice appeared before her.
This was it. There was no way she could escape now.
There was no sun here, or blue sky. Only thick snowstorm clouds conjured by a stolen power. That was where she and the others were imprisoned. A world without warmth, or new company, or anything other than the ice and snow covering everything.
Was this her fate?
A girl groaned as the morning sunlight poked through her window, shining on her face. She wrapped herself tightly in a red blanket and rolled over into her pillow, hoping she wouldn't be wakened...not just yet.
A clear voice rang out from the other side of her bedroom door. Slowly, Elsi pulled herself up and off the bed.
"What?" she said sleepily.
"It's snowing, it's snowing! We have to go outside!"
Elsi opened the window curtain. It was indeed snowing. It was one of those rare snows where one could see the sun while the sky made ice crystals.
She slumped toward her small mirror and began to comb the snags out of her dark brown hair, while her reflection's golden eyes stared back at her.
Soon, Elsi was out of her night gown and in a pale yellow day robe with green trim. She walked out of the small house where she lived with her aunt and found who had called to her.
Mihoshi, Elsi's childhood friend, was standing in the snow. It wasn't very deep yet; one could still see the grass tips poking out of the white. As usual, Mihoshi's dark orange hair was in a single, tight braid, and she wore her favored color of mint green, which Elsi thought nicely complimented her dark brown eyes.
"Good morning!" Mihoshi said.
"Good morning yourself," Elsi replied.
Suddenly, Elsi felt something small, wet and cold hit her in the back. She turned to see Leyka, Mihoshi's dark haired younger sister, hiding her hands behind her back and trying, in vain, to form an innocent smile.
"Did you throw a snowball at me?" Elsi asked, smiling back.
"Well..." Leyka replied.
Elsi nodded knowingly at Leyka.
"Yes!" Leyka yelled excitedly as she threw another small snowball at Elsi. Elsi, however, was prepared this time. Almost as quickly as Leyka had thrown the snowball, Elsi sent a blast of fire in its trajectory, melting it before it could find its target.
Elsi was a firebender, but only a select few knew it.
Elsi lived in a small village in the Earth Kingdom, called Midori, stationed in the middle of a forest. She had been raised by Meimu, her aunt, because her parents had been killed by the Fire Nation Army. Her father, Keden, had once been a Fire Nation soldier. Forced into that role, he had longed for a way out. And one day, when his fleet touched a particular shore, he met Miri, a common woman from the Earth Kingdom. Keden had left the army and started a life with her, but a week after Elsi had been born to them, the army had found Keden and killed him and Miri for what they saw as an act of treason.
Elsi, however, had escaped, as Miri had been wise enough to hide her under a shrub outdoors. The next day, Miri's sister Meimu heard the terrible news. Knowing where they had been hiding, she found Elsi and ever since then had been raising her as her own.
It was how she had met Mihoshi. Meimu lived next door to Maya, an old friend of herself and Miri. Maya had a husband, Han, and a daughter, Mihoshi. From an early age Elsi and Mihoshi had been the best of friends.
When it was revealed Elsi had inherited her father's firebending, she had been warned to speak of it to no one other than Mihoshi and her family, who already knew the identity of Elsi's father. Meimu knew that, with the war still going on, firebenders were seen as an enemy, and Elsi, if found out, would be an outcast. Worse, if any Fire Nation soldiers found out, they might capture or kill her because she was Keden's daughter.
Fortunately for Elsi, she wasn't the type to concern herself with anything outside of her own world. Oh, she was cautious. She kept herself a secret from strangers, and she was certainly not happy with what the Fire Nation was doing in the Earth Kingdom. But she felt fortunate. An orphan she may have been, but as far as she was concerned, she had a family. She had her aunt who loved her, and Mihoshi and Leyka and Han and Maya – and Liu, who was at that moment flying headfirst into a snowman she and Mihoshi were building.
Splat! – The little brown striped cat bearing the wings of a swan rammed into the large snowball, getting stuck in it, and in the process causing the snowball to roll off of the snowman-to-be's bottom portion. As it landed, so did Liu, who at once sat up as soon as the snow broke. She shook the snow off of her head.
"Liu!" Mihoshi laughed, picking up her quinn, for "quinn" was what the cats with the swan wings were known as. Liu purred at Mihoshi's touch.
"Who's a pretty quinn?" Elsi cooed as she scratched Liu's head. Liu purred some more.
The rest of that day was spent redoing the first snowman and building many more, some with cat ears, some with snowballs in their stick hands, and some with their arms positioned as though they were performing a song. In between that were more snowball fights. Despite Elsi's secret weapon, she couldn't always evade Leyka, who fancied herself a "snowbender." Even Mihoshi, an earthbender, couldn't always put up a wall of icy soil in time to block Leyka. Leyka, of course, had her own strategies. She was an expert at ducking snowballs and at jumping over them at just the right time.
And as the moon rose, it became clear to the one with the frozen heart that if she was to succeed, her fortress had to be hidden from all outsiders. She knew there was a small forest village nearby...anyone could slip in and find it. The trees that surrounded her land would have to block it off...somehow...
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