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Journey
Chapter information
Series

Forsaken Avatar

Book

Murky Waters

Chapter

4

Written by

Keitonashita

Release date

24 December 2010

Chronology
Last chapter

The East-South Tribe

Next chapter

Mentor

Distant Waters

"If I eat any more sea prunes, I think I'll die," Keito said.

It had been many days since the duo left Gin. Their provisions were almost gone.

"Well, I'm sorry if you don't like my cooking," Hira huffed. "However, we will be on this boat for a lot longer, so get used to it!"

Keito cringed. "I'm sorry, Hira. I guess I'm just tired of seeing the same vast, empty ocean and clear blue sky day after day."

"It could be worse. There could be storm clouds on the horizon," Hira said brightly.

Keito groaned. "But there's nothing to look at!" he complained.

"Mm – try over there," Hira said. "I think I might see some koala-otters."

"Really?" Keito asked excitedly. He followed Hira's finger eagerly to some smallish grey specks on the horizon.

"How do you know they're koala-otters?" Kieto asked.

"I don't know," Hira replied. "It's just that koala-otters are the only greyish things I know of that float on water."

"Oh."

Keito looked back out towards the specks. Now, he saw a larger green thing that was long and slender.

"Um, Hira, what's that?" Keito asked nervously.

"Hm? Oh, that?" Hira squinted towards the green thing. "Oh, no! It's a serpent!"

Positions

"One-two-four-three-two-one-four! Four-three-one-two-one-three-two-four!"

Asa struggled to get it right. It was the daily practice of Academy positions. First position was defensive – arms crossed over the chest.

Second position was slightly different. Both hands were curled into fists. One arm was bent so the fist was almost touching the shoulder. The other was the same, but instead of touching the shoulder, the arm sticks out at a ninety-degree angle.

Third position was a kick. The leg jutted out. The arm above it also went straight out, while the other arm did the fist-to-shoulder thing.

Fourth position was a fire punch. One arm went straight out while the other arm did the fist-to-shoulder thing, only the elbow went back behind the shoulder. The leg whose arm went straight out goes slightly in front of the other foot.

It was hard enough just memorizing the positions. But when they went fast, it was almost impossible to keep up.

Once a minute, one point was given to each person still standing. The last ten people were given twenty-five points. The last five: fifty, and the last person: one hundred.

Asa was aiming for fifty.

Waves and Waterbending

Keito stood in the boat, watching the serpent as it slithered closer.

"Okay, Keito. Get under cover. Let me handle this," Hira instructed.

Keito sighed and curled up under a seat. He felt so helpless.

Hira started Waterbending. Waves crashed against the small boat. It lurched violently. There were loud splashes and roars. Then Keito heard her scream.

"Hira!" Keito cried. He crawled out and looked around. Hira was gone. He saw the sea serpent rushing towards him, mouth agape. Then, he saw Hira holding onto its shimmery surface for dear life.

"Hold on, Hira!" Keito shouted.

"I'm trying!" Hira yelled.

Keito furrowed his brows in concentration, using air suction to pull Hira back to the boat.

"Thank goodness," he said. "Let me do this."

Hira looked at him. He was an Airbender. He could take care of himself. "Okay, Keito. But please, be careful."

Keito nodded and flew up towards the serpent, sending air blasts at it. Hira helped by freezing the water, which slowed the serpent down a bit. But it was a losing battle. The serpent was just too big.

Then, Keito had an idea. "Hira, help me make a wave!" he called.

Lucky Ten

It was down to ten people. I'm lucky to still be alive, Asa thought to herself. She moved to position one which was most comfortable for her, breathing hard.

Zen looked around and noticed with satisfaction that Asa was still in. She was a fiery girl. Pity she was weak. She was the one with the lightning, after all!

"Position one, please," a sentry called out.

Zen groaned and moved back into form.

Change and Conquer

Hira using Waterbending and Keito using Airbending, they created a giant wave that flung the serpent into the air and far off into the distance.

Hira sighed with relief. "Thank goodness." She hugged Keito.

"Um, Hira..." Keito began.

"What, Keito?"

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you about being an Airbender," he said, looking down at the boat floor. "I just – didn't know if I could trust you."

Hira shrugged. "You can trust me, Keito. Always."

"Thank you, Hira," Keito said with a smile. "I guess I don't need to wear such heavy clothing anymore."

Hira nodded in agreement. Keito took off his headband and replaced his heavy clothes with orange-and-yellow traditional Air Nomad clothing.

"We can do this," Keito said.

Winner

Sweat was rolling down Asa's face.

"One-three-four-three-two-one-four!" the sentries shouted in rapid succession. It was down to the final three and Asa was about ready to die. But she couldn't give up. She had already earned eighty-four points; she couldn't quit now.

"Three-two-one-four-one-three-one-two!"

There was a thump followed by a string of curses as a boy slipped. Asa looked to see Zen frowning. He caught her eyes and scowled.

"Two-one-four-one-three-one-four-two-five!"

Five? For a split second, Asa was unsure, but then she remembered: down on one knee, head bowed. She moved into position.

"We have a winner," a sentry called out. He walked to Asa and grasped her hand, helping her up.

Asa grinned.

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