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|More from Keitonashita||Adventure||G (All ages)||Positive||None|
30 December 2010
"Asa, Master wishes to speak with you," a messenger said.
"Um, thanks," Asa said. "I mean, thank you, messenger."
The messenger didn't move.
"Uh, you can...go...now."
The messenger bowed and exited the room.
"Whew," Asa said. "I'm never going to get used to the customs of this place." And I'll never fit in, either. I'm probably the only one here who didn't want to come, she thought bitterly.
Asa remembered the day she was sent to the Academy.
"You there, you're coming with us," a soldier with a gruff voice said.
"You're wanted at the Academy," another soldier said.
"No! You can't make me! My mother would never allow it!" Asa cried.
The second soldier grabbed her arms.
"Your mother is dead now. You are an orphan. You're lucky the Academy wants you – although I don't know what they could possibly see in a scrawny thing like you. You wouldn't last a day out on the streets,"the first soldier said.
"Lee, take her to the cart," he added.
"No. No." As Asa watched her hometown fade away between the bars of the cart, she cried until there were no more tears left to cry.
Asa put on her red Academy robe with a sigh and went to Master's office. A sentry outside the door nodded when she approached.
"Ah, Miss Asa. Master has been expecting you. Go in," the sentry said. He moved away from the door.
Asa nodded and entered Master's office. She bowed respectfully, and with her head down, asked, "What do you wish, Master?"
"Please, stand up, Asa. Have a seat," Master said.
Asa turned and was surprised to see Zen sitting in one of two red chairs. She sat down hesitantly and took in the room with quick glances. Almost everything was red: the chairs, the carpet, the walls – even the paintings had an overall red hue. Being second only to Ying Lan, he got privileges and decisions – like how to decorate the Academy.
"I think someone's a red fan," Asa whispered to Zen.
"Ah, just a little," Zen said jokingly.
"Yeah, just a tad," Asa agreed with a smile.
"Well? Are you finished?" Master asked.
"Y-yes, sir. Very sorry, sir," Zen said.
"Good. Today, you are getting mentors," Master explained.
"Mentors?" Asa asked. Zen pursed his lips.
"Come with me," Master said.
Zen and Asa followed him through corridors and halls.
"Where are we going?" Asa inquired.
"The shrine," Master answered. "It is a very spiritual place. Hopefully, you will connect with the Spirit World and find a mentor there."
Zen arched his eyebrows. Now that sounds ridiculous, he thought. But if there was anyone he wanted to learn from, it was someone from the Spirit World. A certain person who was a true master, no matter what happened...
"In there," Master said, pointing to a small door that looked anything but spiritual. Its pain was peeling off and the wood was starting to rot.
Ew, Asa thought in disgust. "We actually have to touch that?"
"Eh – no. That's the side entrance. The real entrance is over there," Master said.
Asa and Zen turned to see twenty-foot-tall carved white ebony doors.
"That's impressive," Zen acknowledged.
"Well, go in, you two," Master said.
Asa pushed the door open and walked in. An aura of peace suddenly came upon her and she sighed. She barely heard the gentle thud as the doors slid closed behind Zen.
Blast from the Past
Asa found herself in a wooded forest. She walked amongst the trees. For some reason, there was a smile on her face. It was the first time she felt genuinely happy since being brought to the Academy.
Suddenly, a boy with arrows on his arms, legs, and forehead burst through the trees. He turned and looked at her. "Hi," he said.
Asa waved and began to walk towards him, but the trees around them erupted in flames.
"C'mon," the boy exclaimed, grabbing her hand. They raced through the trees, but the boy slowly faded away until he was gone.
"Hello there," a voice said.
Out of the fire came a girl wearing clothes that Asa recognized as Fire Nation. The girl looked familiar.
"My name's Azula," she said.
Azula. Asa had studied her. She was the daughter at Fire Lord Ozai. She could shoot lightning, like Asa. But she was evil and used her power to kill and cause pain.
"I will be your mentor," Azula said.
Suddenly, someone burst through the trees.
"Get out of the way! Azula's mine!" Zen cried.
"Hmm, maybe we'll have a little bit of fighting. That should be interesting," Azula said.
"No!" Asa cried. "You can have her."
"You're making a big mistake, little girl. You and I are soul mates! Think of the great power you could have! I can help you master lightning!"
At the word lightning, Zen turned to Asa in astonishment. But Asa shook her head and backed away into the fog. And suddenly she ran into something – or someone. She turned around to see another person.
"I'm so, so sorry," Asa said. "Please excuse me." Asa backed away, but the girl reached her hand out and gently touched her shoulder.
"The name's Mai. Glad to meet you."
Mai? "Aren't you Azula's friend?" Asa asked nervously.
"I was. But I changed one day – as well as Ty Lee," Mai said.
"Where is she?"
"She's around here somewhere," Mai said. "Will you accept me as your mentor?"
"Can I trust you?" Asa asked.
Mai smiled. "You can trust me if I can trust you."
"I accept you as my mentor," Asa said.
"Good," Mai said, and she began to fade away.
"Wait!" Asa said. "How can I reach you?"
Mai closed her fist and a bright light shone inside. She opened it and handed Asa a necklace. "Take this," she said. "And until I see you again, remember your values – where you stand and what you believe in." She faded away.
"Thank you," Asa said as everything around her began to disappear.
Asa found herself in the middle of a dark room, sitting cross-legged on the ground.
"Are you ever going to come back?" an impatient voice asked.
Asa opened her eyes. The voice was Zen, who was sitting in front of her. He gasped.
"What?" she asked.
"Your eyes! They're...purple!"
"They always have been," Asa informed him flatly.
Yeah, Asa thought. Glowing with goodness. If anything, his eyes were darker than before.
"Azula's your mentor, isn't she," Asa said darkly.
"Yes," Zen said. I will become unstoppable with power. You were a fool not to accept her offer."
Asa shook her head. "No, you are the fool. She and her ways will destroy you. Now, get out of my sight. I don't want to have anything to do with you."
Later, in her room, Asa studied the necklace. The string was a thickish brown cord. There was a small wooden emblem strung on it. On the emblem, there was a spiral. Asa tied the cord around her neck. She lay down on her bed and fell asleep, the emblem clutched in her hand.
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