|More from SaeryenKatten||Romance/Adventure||PG||Positive|
|Fire, Song and a Snowstorm Chapter 13|
April 19, 2017
Through the gap in the ceiling of Kaligah's fort, the rays of the rising sun peeked more and more.
"I haven't seen the sun in so long," Aira sighed.
As she stepped toward the sunlight, Elsi noticed a tear form in the corner of her eye. So did Mihoshi.
"Aira," Mihoshi said, "are you...crying?"
More tears formed as Aira responded.
"Yes. I'm so...happy."
Mihoshi's face lit up at these words.
"Elsi!" she gasped.
Elsi smiled too, realizing, just like Mihoshi, that if everything Aira touched froze, there was no way she could shed tears. And if she was, and she wasn't wincing in the sunlight she'd said caused her so much pain, that meant...
"Our curse is broken!" Ket-Ket cried with joy.
She pulled off her leather gloves and peered at her hands. Blue ice was receding from her fingertips, revealing brown skin. At the same time, ice disappeared from the top of Aira's head, unmasking sleek black hair and pale skin. Weeping with joy, Aira too pulled off her gloves.
In the same moment, a great crack echoed through the room. Everyone turned to see Maya-Ar, surrounded by smashed ice crystals that had been the chains imprisoning her. She was no longer an ice girl. Her hair was light brown and her skin was pale like Aira's.
"Aira!" Maya-Ar cried, running to Aira and leaping into her arms, which were now completely unfrozen.
Elsi looked around her and saw piles of powdery snow everywhere.
"The snow warriors are gone now too," Mihoshi said.
Suddenly, Mihoshi felt something wet hit the top of her head. She looked up and saw what looked like raindrops begin to fall from the room's ceiling. "The fort is melting!" she cried. "We have to get out!"
She grabbed Elsi's hand and dashed down the stairs and out the door, followed closely by Leyka, Aira, Ket-Ket, Maya-Ar and Kaligah. As Kaligah stepped through the door, it turned to water. All of Kaligah's icy creations had melted away.
She stood still for a moment in the sunlight, then she ran off through the trees.
Elsi and Mihoshi moved to stop her, but Aira held them back.
"There's no need," she said, smiling. "She has no power now."
"But Aira – " Elsi began.
"Elsi, her bending's gone."
"But what if she comes back? You said she made that ice thing herself. She could make it again!"
"That was long ago," Aira replied. "She made it in the Northern Water Tribe, with the help of their research. Since then, the Northern Tribe has carefully guarded itself with the Fire Nation spreading across the Earth Kingdom. Plus, they know her face, since she kidnapped Ket-Ket. There's no way they would let her back in now."
"Then where did she go?" Mihoshi asked.
"Who knows?" said Aira. "Wherever it is, she is powerless without her snow army."
"Then she better not come after us again," said Elsi. "Because I'll be waiting."
"Me too," Mihoshi agreed.
"And me," Aira smiled.
"What are you going to do now, Aira?" asked Mihoshi.
"There was nothing in my home city for me," she said. "I won't be going back there. But there is something for me here. Four somethings."
She wrapped her unfrozen arms around Elsi, Mihoshi, Leyka and Maya-Ar. "I'm going to stay in Midori Village with Maya-Ar."
"What about you, Ket-Ket?" Mihoshi asked.
"I'm going back to the Northern Tribe," replied Ket-Ket. "I have a family there and I've wanted to see them again so badly."
The six of them continued to walk until they reached the entrance of what had been Kaligah's domain. The ice that had formed a wall between each tree was gone, and gone too was the cluster of branches and briars that had been frozen in place as a barrier. The twigs were now scattered around, some of them charred from Elsi's firebending, which had also melted the snow in that place. A patch of fresh green grass shone brightly under the morning sun.
On the other side of it, Midori Village awaited.
Hand in hand, the six girls stepped through the patch of spring among winter and bid farewell to the cold they had escaped. Each of them took a step toward home.
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