|More from Keitonashita||Adventure||G (All ages)||None||None|
|The East-South Tribe|
23 December 2010
"I think it's time to head out, Keito," Hira said.
"What do you mean?" Keito asked. He was sitting on the rock next to Hira, watching her practice making waves. Keito mimicked the motion and the water moved like Hira's. He stopped quickly, not wanting Hira to see.
"I mean, leave this place. I want to explore."
"Really?" Keito asked. "But this is your home. What about your family?"
Hira turned away. "My mother...well, she doesn't agree with my ideas and opinions. She things younglings are 'better seen and not heard.' She thinks bending is 'a waste of time.' It's just...we're complete opposites. She'll never let me go."
Even if I'm going with an Airbender, she thought bitterly. She had decided not to tell Keito that she knew he was an Airbender. It would just cause problems. She would bring it up later.
"If you want to leave, we'll leave," Keito said. "Just one question: how are we going to leave?"
"We'll borrow a boat from the tribe," Hira said.
"By borrow, you mean...steal?"
"They're my boats," Hira said, then bit her tongue. Why did she say that?
"Your boats? How are they your boats?"
"No, tell me!" Keito said, anger cutting into his voice.
"Then tell me why you..." Hira stopped in mid-sentence. "Fine. My dad is the leader of the tribe. I'm the princess. Are you happy now?"
Princess? Woah! "If you're the princess, no one can stop you. Come on, I have an idea!" Keito said.
"Princess Hira wishes to travel!" Shal, the 'announcer,' declared.
The crowd that had gathered cheered.
"She wishes to travel with this noble...uh...er..." Shal looked over at Keito, who was standing tall.
"Intelligent monk," Keito whispered.
"Ah, yes. She wishes to travel with this intelligent monk to the ends of the earth! Our princess will learn many things on her journey and return a wise woman!"
King Llahma walked onto the podium.
"Hira," he said, holding her hands. "Do you really want to do this?"
"Yes, father," Hira said, looking into her father's eyes. "I really do."
"Then at least stay until tomorrow. We shall have a feast tonight in your honor. We will prepare a boat for you."
"Father, I want to go now," Hira said.
"Hira, maybe we should," Keito whispered. "I would like to eat real food before leaving. Besides, they're practically telling you to leave! One day won't hurt," he reasoned.
"I suppose," Hira said with a sigh.
"Thank you, Hira," Llahma said. He turned to the crowd. "The king grants his daughter's request."
The people cheered.
Keito licked his lips. "I can't wait for the feast."
The First Battle
The feast was amazing. There was sea prune stew, blubbered seal jerky, five-flavor soup, tentacle soup, and arctic hen.
After the ceremony, Hira's mother, Lla joined the duo at the empty table. Hira's mom talked and talked. She also asked a lot of questions.
"So, Keito, what brings you here to Gin?" she asked.
"He's exploring, mother. Stop sticking your nose in other people's business! He has a right to privacy."
"If he wants privacy, he'll tell me," Lla griped. "Now, tell me, Keito, why do you wear so much clothing in this weather?"
"Well, I have..." Keito began.
"He has sensitive skin, mother," Hira said quickly. Keito looked over at Hira in surprise. Why is she filling in for me? What does she know?
"Hmm," Lla said. "I can offer this: I have clothing that lets the heat circulate but is longsleeve – to protect you from the sun. Would that help?"
"Uh, I guess," Keito said, unsure what to think.
"Let me get it for you," she said. She got up and disappeared into a longhouse. She came out minutes later with a pile of clothes.
"You can change in there," she said, motioning towards a hut.
Keito looked at Hira for support, but she was focused on her food.
Keito took the clothes hesitantly and went into the hut. He changed quickly. The clothes fit him exactly. There was even a headband! It was kind of disturbing, actually.
It happened when Keito took off his headband. Suddenly she was there.
"I knew it! I knew it! You are an Airbender!"
Keito didn't know what to do. He just stood there, mouth agape. And then Hira was there, lashing her mother with water whips. She sent her flying against the wall of the hut, almost breaking the wall.
"You demon, attacking your mother like that!" Lla cried.
"You're the demon! It was a trap! I knew I couldn't trust you," Hira said angrily, hurling a water ball at her mother.
"No," Lla exclaimed. With a flick of her hand, the water ball fell to the ground. "It was not a trap. I was told in a dream that a boy covered from head to toe would come to the village and that I must kill him and whoever sides with him. That includes you, daughter," the queen said.
"You are insane!" Hira exclaimed.
"It would appear that way," Keito agreed. "I won't let you hurt my friend, Lla," he said. "Hira, leave! I can do this."
"No, Keito. You go. I'm the one with bending. Get the boat ready! I have to stop my mother."
But Lla sent a wave crashing down on Keito, breaking the hut. She formed a huge ice dome around the three of them. Then, she sent a jet of water to Hira, who was throwing ice discs towards her. Knocked unconscious, she fell to the floor.
"No!" Keito cried. "How could you? Your own daughter!"
The queen created a huge wall of water between them, which began to advance, trapping Keito in a small corner. Using the little water knowledge he had, he pushed the wave back at Lla. She didn't expect it and it collapsed, splashing water everywhere.
Keito then sent an air blast towards her, but Lla blocked it with an ice shield.
"You will be defeated," Lla said, forming a deadly ice dagger.
Keito's eyes widened in alarm as she pointed it towards Hira.
"Surrender and she'll live," Lla said, an evil smile on her face.
Keito's eyes narrowed. His brow furrowed in concentration, he formed a dome of air around her. "I don't think so," he said.
Lla smiled and sent the dagger sailing towards her daughter. To her surprise, it bounced off the shield and right back towards her.
"Oh my!" she said. She tried to stop it, but there was no point.
Time slowed down for Keito. He didn't want to kill anyone. With a slight motion of his hand, he changed the dagger into a water jet. It hit her full force, sending her sprawling across the floor, unconscious.
Keito ran to Hira. The air shield dissipated and he helped her stand up. With one arm around Keito for support, Hira walked to the beach where King Llahma was waiting.
"Good day, Keito," he said.
"As to you, King," Keito said with a bow. He and Hira got into the boat and set sail into the setting sun.
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