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|Loss Outweighs Victory Part 3|
So yeah. The EotO Christmas Special I started drawing didn't get finished in time, so I have two little presents for any readers. Especially since this chapter... Well, to say the least, is not my best work.
First of all, I created the page for my next fanon project (following the ending of EotO). It's a fanon following the backstory of Piandao. The goal of DWF is to create a backstory fan fiction that turns into its own original series and plot.
Second of all, I wrote a poem for the Avatar wiki.
'Twas two nights before Christmas,
and all through the Avatar Wiki,
several souls did stir.
For the tournament of episodes still raged
as all would concur.
The Avatar wiki is close,
to being number one.
But that's beside the point,
we simply want to have fun.
Partying, partying, yeah.
As a family, as a community,
As that funky cool joint.
The Fanon Portal smells sweet,
with fanons new and old about.
Not to mention LoK looming over the horizon,
with all its delays making fans pout.
But in 2012 *coughcough* it shall come,
and then the Avatar wiki will celebrate
in festivities and glee.
So fear not, dear wikian, LOK's time is nigh.
I am a user new to the wiki,
but I had a great few months
here with alls y'alls.
And look forward to a great new year,
With many more to follow.
So happy holidays, Avatar Wiki,
and I'm sorry for torturing you with my crappy poetry.
Often the defeat hurts more than the victory helps
All of the Elders lay dead or captured. Master Bingwen watched as all of the Monks, all those he had known in his years at the Temple, were slaughtered. With no staff, his chances of fighting off the remaining soldiers and police officers was slim. Haneul and the Avatar are safe. The old Airbender thought, Hopefully they'll succeed, because once again... The Air Nomads are finished. Bingwen fell to his knees, and the enemies stopped their attack. Roughly, they approached the man and heaved him up, carrying him away with the rest of the Air Nomads.
"The fighting has stopped..." Even the faint noises of fighting had ceased, and Haneul turned to look at the spirit. He hadn't realized this earlier, but it seemed ironic that the spirit had chosen to launch his attacks against the Air Nomads in the sanctuary. Not much remained of the original structure, but the irony of the situation remained. And now that the battle had ended, undoubtedly with the United Republic victory, there was no need for negotiations with the spirits to continue.
The spirit seemed unperturbed by the fighting in the first place, let alone the end of the fight. Haneul stood up quickly and scratched his head in vicious irritation. "Dammit! I'm done waiting for him!" His foot pressed against the ground, and in one fluid motion, Haneul leapt through the portal into the Spirit World.
"I knew it! Korra, you're cheating too!" Aang slammed down his Pai Sho piece and stood up. In response, Korra stood as well. Behind them, Avatar Roku and Avatar Kyoshi watched with their arms folded and their brows furrowed, trying to decide when to intervene.
"Ha! That means you admit to cheating yourself!" Avatar Korra retorted, smiling sassily.
"Come now, you two are acting like children. You're both adults, why not sit down and play like it?" Avatar Roku suggested.
Both Avatars sat again, and once more tried their hands at playing Pai Sho. Just as they sat down, Ishio was lead into their playing room by Jo and Lifu. All the Avatars turned to see the entrance of the young Avatar. Despite their glee at the arrival of the young Avatar in his spirit form, their expressions grew quite serious.
"Jo, Lifu, you may take your leave." Korra's voice was serious—the two spirits understood that their conversation with Ishio would be about something more than the occupation of the spirits in the Northern Air Temple.
Stepping forward, Ishio began to present his case as Jo and Lifu departed, "I'm here to ask for your help. A spirit by the name of Yoru is taking over the Northern Air Temple, and I can't convince him to leave on my own."
Korra's polar bear dog appeared beside her as Ishio spoke, and she tenderly rubbed the beast's head. "We are well aware of the issue in the Human World. We'll send you out with Naga, whom I'm sure will be able to convince Yoru to leave." Ishio bowed, but before he could leave, Avatar Roku lifted a hand.
"You may or may not have guessed this, but Avatar Kyoshi and I are not only here to referee Avatar Aang and Avatar Korra's Pai Sho game. We've been thinking about the issue of the portals; it's unlike anything we ever faced in our time as Avatars. Since you last came to the Spirit World, we have been cross-referencing the experiences of all the Avatars before you." Roku explained.
"As Avatar Roku has said, the tears between worlds is unlike anything we have faced as Avatars—or any Avatar has faced." Kyoshi took up the explanation from Roku, and passed it on to Aang.
"We've figured out a solution using our combined knowledge of the power of the Avatar and the Avatar State. You are close to mastering the Four Elements, and we feel that you are ready to hear what you must do in order to close all the portals and restore balance." Aang continued, rubbing his chin gravely.
"You might want to sit down." Korra finished their combined explanation.
Entering the Spirit World, Haneul was baffled by his surroundings. Everything seemed as though it had been dyed a faded blue. Spirits bustled around some sort of marketplace; save for the strangeness of some of the spirits' appearances, the area seemed like any other marketplace in the world. All froze upon Haneul's entrance—undoubtedly they were startled by the fact that a human had just entered their world. Two spirits approached him, one black and formless save a mask and the other... Haneul couldn't quite place his finger on what was wrong with the other one.
"Are you a friend of the Avatar?" The formless spirit inquired.
"Yes!" Haneul shouted, surprised that the spirit guessed so quickly, "Have you seen him?!"
A pause followed, where Haneul awkwardly waited for the spirit to offer to take him to Ishio, and the spirit stood, waiting for Haneul to make a point. Finally, the human sighed and continued wearily, "Can you take me to go see him? It's an emergency."
"Then take me there now!" Haneul barked.
Jumping at the other's tone, the spirit nodded several times. "Of course, follow me."
Arriving at the Avatars' location did not take long, and upon arriving Haneul saw Ishio seated with a concerned expression on his face. All looked up at the new arrivals, and Ishio's expression quickly changed to that of surprise upon making eye contact with Haneul. "Haneul? How did you...?"
"The Northern Air Temple is being attacked by Republic City! We have to leave now!"
"What?!" Ishio stood and looked to the Avatars for permission to leave.
"You're here in your spiritual body, Ishio. You must wake up normally, but Naga bring your friend back into the Human World." Korra spoke and her polar bear dog approached Haneul. "This will be the last time we see you before you are finished with your mission. Don't forget what must be done."
"I won't." The Earth Avatar diverted his gaze. Before he could say anything more, he took a deep breath and vanished from the Spirit World.
And once more occupied his human body. Not much had changed: Yoru still sat, and there was no sign of Haneul's claimed attack. His body was stiff from the meditation, but Ishio managed to stand up and looked around a bit. Haneul had not appeared yet—undoubtedly he and Naga had yet to catch up. Soon enough, the matter of the spirits would be resolved, and he and Haneul would be able to help the Monks.
"Excellent," Yoru's voice pierced the silence. Sarcasm dripped from his every word as he continued, "you timed your entrance so that your Air Nomad friend had just left to find you. Very clever."
Humming filled the air. Through the portal, a figure seemed to be rapidly approaching. Before Ishio could respond to Yoru, a beast burst through. Haneul clung to Naga for dear life as the polar bear dog suddenly took on a physical form. As Naga pinned Yoru to the ground, Haneul leapt from the beast's saddle and stood beside Ishio.
"You must return to the Spirit World, Yoru. And if you insist upon staying and corrupting the balance of worlds, I will be forced to rip you apart and drag your disembodied pieces back through the portal." Naga threatened the other spirit.
Fear of death was greater than the desire for power in Yoru. Sweat dripped off of his face, and he gulped out a few words, "Fine, fine! I'll return to the Spirit World."
"And tell your subordinates to do the same?"
"Yes, yes! They'll follow."
"Very well." As suddenly as the situation had sprung up, the situation was resolved. Naga and Yoru departed through the portal, bringing a stream of the weaker spirits in train.
Without discussion, Haneul and Ishio left the chamber to search for hope in the previously raging battle.
Smoke filled the air outside the temple building. The area lay in ruin: craters from explosions lay scattered about, guns and bullets littered the floor—joined only by the corpses of fallen Air Nomads and United Republic soldiers and police officers. Ishio and Haneul walked through the battlefield, breathless at the sight of chaos. "They're all gone..." Ishio's tone was heavy as he looked over the distorted faces of all the men and women he had gotten to know in the past few weeks. Though they had won the battle with the spirits, they had lost a much more costly battle.
"What should we do?" Ishio turned to Haneul, who stood silently. The Airbender's shoulders rose and fell slowly. His gaze steadied on Master Bingwen's staff, which he still held as if it were an extension of his arm.
"We'll kill them," he replied determinedly.
Ishio bit his lip with uncertainty. "We're meeting back with the others in about a week. We should finish my Airbending training in that time." The Avatar approached Haneul and held out a hand. "I promise that I'll give you plenty of opportunities to smash United Republic heads in the rest of our journey."
The other grasped Ishio's hand and they stared into each other's eyes. "I'll hold you to your word."
For the collective works of the author, go here.