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An Unfriendly Face
"Man, I still can't believe I broke my arm." Lu Ten whined as he made his way out of the infirmary.
"Well that's what happens when you cliff dive from that freaking high up." Ursa II chided in as she joined her twin. "Especially when you asked Sora to make it even windier than it already was."
"Well she didn't have to agree to it." Lu Ten said defensively.
"It's Sora we're talking about. Of course she's going to do it." Ursa countered while rolling her eyes.
"She has a point there." A voice called from above. The two looked up and saw Sora diving right at them with her airbending teacher. The two airbenders landed just a few inches in front of the prince and princess. "I mean you should've known I'd say yes."
"Morning, Sora, morning, Tengu," Ursa said with a polite bow. Tengu simply nodded his head in turn. Out of the three children only Sora had ever heard him speak. The four of them turned as one of Fire Lord Zuko's Generals entered the courtyard. General Gin.
"Good morning, General Gin," Lu Ten and Ursa called as the young general approached, while Sora affectionately called him by her nickname for him, "Gen Gin."
Gin bowed respectfully to the children while replying, "Good morning, children." Gin then turned to Tengu, "Morning, Tengu."
The silent airbender nodded respectfully to the general before gesturing to Sora that it was time to continue training.
"Oh come on, Tengu, can't I take today off," Sora complained. "I mean I've been doing really well with my lessons. Please." Tengu got into a short staring contest with Sora, as they often did when she didn't want to train. Tengu won these most of the time, but in rare occasions he consented. This was one of those times. With a quick shake of his head Tengu extended his glider and leapt into the sky disappearing from view.
"So General Gin, any news from Father?" Lu Ten asked.
"Or Mother?" Ursa asked.
"Or my parents?" Sora chimed in.
"Actually there is one thing that happened on the front," Gin answered. " A few days ago General Iroh and Fire Lord Zuko have recently defeated a large force of the Black Lotus Assassins."
"Did Father ride Spyro into battle?" Lu Ten asked as the four of them headed for the gate in order to go into town.
"Of course he did, after all, Spyro's finally old enough to fight," Ursa said, remembering the dragon's birth three years before. The most of the Fire Nation had thrown a massive celebration once it was discovered that the dragons were returning.
"Actually I was told that your father and Spyro fought very well and Iroh single handedly dueled the leader of the Black Lotus Assassins," Gin replied with a smile.
"Really?" Sora said picturing Iroh single-handedly defeating dozens of assassins before he reached their leader.
"Oh yes it was quite a spectacle," a voice announced from in front of them. The four looked up and found themselves directly in front of Des. "I wish you children could've seen it."
Long Time no Kidnap
Des smiled intently as his prey could only stare at him. He loved this part of his job, when his prey was helplessly staring at their immanent destruction. Fortunately for them however, Des wasn't here to kill them.
"It's been awhile hasn't you two?" Des asked the prince and princess. "Do you remember me?"
"You're one of the ones who kidnapped us ten years ago." Ursa answered with unquestionable hatred.
"Oh so you did remember me, I'm flattered your highness." Des said with a mock bow. "Now would you three children be so kind as to come with..."
Des was interrupted however as Gin launched a massive fire blast at the assassin. Des smiled as he stomped his foot on the ground, raising a wall of rock that protected him from the fire.
"Guards! Take him, I'll protect the children." Gin yelled as Des lowered his barrier. The assassin watched as the three children and general disappeared behind a small army of guards.
"This is going to be fun." Des said as he cracked his knuckles. Before the guards could attack Des charged forward and destroyed ones rib cage with a single punch. The guard died a slow agonizing death as his lungs collapsed. Des smiled as he plowed through more and more guards.
As Des fought the guards Gin and the children barricaded themselves in the training field. As they listened to the fighting outside three more guards arrived in case Des were to break through. Gin lead the children to a secret exit.
"This should get us out safely." Gin said as he opened the door. But before they could go through one of the guards grunted in pain before falling from a knife embedded in his back. As everyone turned around a barrage of fireballs blasted another guard, while a sansetsukon struck the last in the throat. Gin, Lu Ten, Ursa, and Sora watched in confusion as Tengu pulled back his three sectioned staff while Ursa's instructor Ji, and Lu Ten's instructors Ru, and Tao turned to the door and readied themselves.
"Tengu? Have you betrayed us?" Gin asked almost hysterically as the airbender prepared for a fight.
"I've betrayed no one." Tengu answered with a neutral voice. Then Tengu lashed out with his sansetsukon again, aiming for Gin's throat. The general ducked under the attack and countered with a blast of fire. Tengu jumped over the fire while pulling his weapon back.
"You three hide." Gin ordered the children as Tengu began spinning the sansetsukon by one of its ends, creating a massive whirlwind. The whirlwind swept Gin in the air. As the general was flying through the air he tried in vain to hit Tengu with one of his fire blasts but the firebender was out of his element, while the airbender was right at home. Tengu repeatedly zoomed around Gin, each time striking him from a different angle. Finally Tengu struck Gin's chest with the middle portion of his sansetsukon, while the end opposite the one he held coiled around and struck Gin's back.
The two crashed on the ground with Gin under Tengu's feet. The general was unconscious and Tengu let out a sigh of annoyance. Tengu turned to the other instructors who nodded at him. Tengu nodded back before he called out to the children.
"Sora, Lu Ten, Ursa, you can come out now."
"Why would we do that traitor?" Lu Ten's voice seemed to come from all directions.
"I told you, I betrayed no one." Tengu said, "Gin was the one who betrayed us."
"Why should we believe you?" Ursa's voice questioned.
"Because now I'm the only hope you have of getting out of here." Tengu said putting his sansetsukon back into its pouch.
As Tengu waited for a response a loud crash was heard on the other side of the door into the training field.
"I say we trust him." Sora whispered to the others in their hiding place.
"Why?" the twins asked in unison.
"What if he's lying?" Ursa asked.
"I know Tengu, he doesn't lie." Sora said adamantly, "That's why Father chose him as my instructor."
Lesser of Two Evils
Tengu turned to the children as they left their hiding place. Once they stood before Tengu another loud crash was heard as Des' fist punched through the door.
"You guys have to go now." Ru said as Des punched another hole in the door.
"But what about you guys?" Sora asked as Tengu pulled her to the secret exit.
"We'll stay and hold him off." Tao said.
"And buy you some time." Ji added as Tengu pushed the children through the passage. The airbender gave the three instructors one last bow before he too entered the exit.
Just as the exit was sealed, Des broke the door down.
"Where are they?" Des asked noticing Gin unconscious on the ground behind them.
"Far away," Ji said before throwing a knife at the assassin. Des took the knife in the chest and ignored it as he charged forward screaming in anger.
Meanwhile, Tengu, Sora, Lu Ten and Ursa were already out of the building and making their way towards the forest. Once Tengu was sure they were at a safe distance he let them rest.
"So what now?" Ursa asked.
"Now we make our way to your parents," Tengu answered while he checked his pack to see what provisions they had.
"What do we do on the way there?" Sora asked as she climbed a tree.
"Train, avoid detection, and if necessary kill any assassin in our way," Tengu replied. "Congratulations, Lu Ten, Ursa, you have both just been inducted into my training program."
"But my arm's broken," Lu Ten complained.
"Then I'll teach you to fight with one hand," Tengu replied curtly.
"Hmm, I think I would rather be the assassin's hostage than yours," Lu Ten muttered sarcastically as they got up and started moving.
- This was supposed to be the first chapter of Wanted to be written by someone other than Twilitlink, after some complications Twilitlink had to write the chapter himself
- Tengu's in Japanese mythology were fierce bird demons, which helped inspire Tengu's fighting style and abilities
- Tengu's final move on Gin was inspired by Cloud's Omnislash version 5 from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
- Zuko's dragon was named Spyro, after the titular character from the Spyro the Dragon series.
For the collective works of the author, go here.