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The next day, everyone went off again to Ba Sing Se. However after a good 10 miles, Violet made the group stop by seemingly making Kaibutsu sick with her blood-bending. Of course much of the group was none the wiser.
The group had to stop a long ways from Ba Sing Se, in an open plain. Much of these mishaps seemed to get to everyone but Tesshin, Ty Lee, and GB were having second thoughts. "Strange of everything that has happened lately." Tesshin said.
"Strange? How come?" Ty Lee asked.
"Well think for a second here. Take Kaibutsu for example. He was just going on fine yesterday, but now it seems he can't move at all. Don't anyone find that at least abit odd?"
"I guess...but them again, he was carrying all the humans while we were running the whole time, he's Probably just tired." GB said.
"You think so GB?"
"I think so. The big doggy's just tired from all that running. He deserves a rest." Ty Lee said. Tesshin still wasn't exactly sure about this, but they can't make up as good of time if Kaibutsu can't continue so he put the thought at the back of his mind...for now at least.
Later on that night, Aang was having trouble sleeping, thinking hard on what to do about Hougen. He has never in his life had to harm anyone, let along kill. He was so deep in thought he didn't even notice Weed and Mel coming over to see him. "Having trouble sleeping Aang?" Mel asked.
"Hi Weed, Mel. Yea I can't sleep. I just don't know what to do. I never had to kill anyone ever. I didn't kill the Fire Lord, and he's a demon. How am I supposed to kill Hougen?"
Weed and Mel thought about it for a bit. Aang is right, he didn't kill Ozai, nor did he have to. But what's he gonna do about Hougen? But then suddenly Mel got an idea.
"Hey Aang? I got an idea. Why don't you ask the spirits for some help?" Mel asked.
"Yea that's a great idea Mel. You can go and find the avatar spirits to get some guidance on what to do. You've been in the Spirit World a few times before have ya?" Weed added.
"I know. But all 5 times were just by accident. I don't know how to get there deliberately."
"Don't worry Aang. Each time was through meditating right? Just do that. Well be right here." Weed said. Aang thought about it, and got into meditating. At first nothing happened for a while...but then Aang's forehead arrow started to glow. Weed and Mel stepped back as a white orb suddenly shot up into the heavens. Aang was now in the spirit realm.
Aang woke up in a new setting. Instead of an open plain at night, he was in front of a spiritual temple, covered with dark green vines and moss. He walked inside the building, seeing an ancient room, furnished and everything. He looked at a picture on the wall in front of him. It showed a small family in it, happy together in the painting.
"Where am I?" Aang thought. But then he heard a very familiar moan coming from outside. He bolted to see none other than Appa!
"Appa!" Aang shouted. He ran down to greet his friend but Appa...vanished. Aang skidded to a stop as the ask from his friend changed into a new form...Smith-San. The only difference between while he was alive and now was he has his leg back.
"Aang. Fancy meeting you here." Smith chuckled.
"Smith?...is that really you?...I need help." Aang said. Smith motioned Aang to fallow him. And the two walked off to a better location for the talk.
Meanwhile in the real world, Weed and Mel were still watching Aang's seemingly motionless body. "Psst...how long has it been since he started this?" Mel asked.
"I think...3 hours? 4? I dunno. But just make sure we don't move him." Weed replied, unsure himself. They were still watching him when Tesshin woke up.
"Mel? Weed? What are you doing?" Tesshin asked.
"Oh hi Tesshin. Were just watching over Aang as all." Mel said. Tesshin looked over at Aang, still meditating. But then he looked at the two cross.
"Guys?...what is Aang doing?" He asked sternly.
"Oh. He's just in the spirit realm right now, but he'll be right back and-"
"YOU LET HIM IN THE SPIRIT REALM?!?!" Tesshin shouted. His sudden screech woke up basically everyone, all surprised.
"Way da go Tesshin." Mel growled.
"Have you two gone mad?! Aang's too young to up in that realm!" Tesshin snapped. Weed and Mel cringed up, realizing their mistake.
"Sorry Tesshin!" Weed said.
"Yea" we didn't know there was an age restriction!" Added Mel.
"It's not age, it's experience! Aang has only been there a few times and hardly knows how to get in and out of there!" Tesshin yelled, nearly slapping Weed in the face.
"Tesshin calm down!" Alam said.
"How were they supposed to know he can't go in the realm anyways?" Added Azula.
"Either way, he's still stuck in the spirit realm! And has no way of knowing how to get back!"
"But Tesshin! Aang can get back, I guarantee it!" Weed said. Tesshin was about to jump at Aang out of anger when Smellerbee quickly jumped in and sliced the ground, between Weed and Tesshin.
"That's enough! Now I know you're angry with Weed for his mistake, but getting angry won't solve anything!...all we can do now is wait until Aang is done." Smellerbee said. As they were talking, Violet was watching all of this from afar, seeing an opportunity in sight. If Aang's in the Spirit World, he can't do anything to stop her. Toph quickly glanced in her direction and saw her about to start blood-bending again. But before she can do anything, Violet did it. A few quick motions and the whole group was down to the ground!
"Violet! What are you-" Hope tried to say.
"Taking what mine. I have to say I'm a bit surprised how naive you all are. Not much fun, but I still get the goods all the same." Violet smirked, grabbing Aang and Mai and running off!
In the spirit realm, Aang had fallowed Smith-San to an old cheery Blossum tree. Aang sat down by the tree as Smith laid down across from him. "It's been a while, hasn't it, Aang?" Smith-San started.
"Yea it has...I need some guidance Smith."
"With Hougen right?"
"How did you know?"
"I have my ways...anyways Aang, there's something I needed to tell you anyways before I say how to handle Hougen...it's with Zuko."
"Tell me, Aang. Remember what I said? There were three ways one can become an Avatar...what are they?" Smith asked.
"Let's see...you have to either do it by choice from the spirits, apart of the Avatar reincarnation, or apart of the family line...why?" Smith remained silent at first, looking at the ground.
"Aang listen to me...the knowledge I know is special. Not even the other avatars know this...Zuko is the third Avatar." Smith sighed. Aang just sat there shocked by what he heard. "But...how?"
"Zuko's family line dates back to Avatar Roku. In fact he is the exact decedent of him...Aang. If you are to defeat Hougen, you need him to teach you fire-bending."
"Okay Smith-San...but one question. How do I get back?" Aang asked, getting to his feet.
"Farewell Aang. Well meet again. I promise." Smith said. He then placed his paw onto Aang's chest. He focused hard and suddenly Aang was covered in a blue aura and he rocketed off. Smith looked onward and disappeared. Aang was going back to the real world.
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