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September 14, 2014
"Mr. Piandao for math in the first period?! You're in the same class as me and my master! Woo-hoo!" said Sokka peeking over at my schedule, doing a victory dance.
"Your master? Who's that?" I asked, bewildered. Sokka put a hand over my shoulder. "You've got a lot to learn, new kid," said Sokka. "Back in the day, when I was just a freshman, Mr. Piandao became my swordsmaster and maths mentor. That's how I became the genius I am today," he finished with a smile.
"That's a nice story Sokka," I said.
"My pleasure," said Sokka.
"Second period, English with Mr. Pakku."
"Oh, that guy's tough, he gives you no homework but tosses in a whole lot of surprise tests. Never know when he's gonna give you a test," said Aang with a distasteful smirk.
"Third period, physics with Mr. Roku."
"You're lucky, Sugar Cube," said Toph. "I've been trying to get into his class since last year."
"Wow," I remarked.
"What's next on the list? Can't wait!" said an excited Ty Lee.
"P.E. with Ms. Kyoshi?" I said. Everyone looked down and depressed. "Is that a bad thing?"
"You'll get a D if you don't participate in at least one sport. Or 'The Old Kyoshi Treatment' that is, being chased by an elephant. So it looks like your out of luck, buddy," said Katara.
"That's okay," I said. "I play badminton."
"Sweet," said Toph.
"Fifth period, biology with Professor Zei."
"Biology is disgusting, but Professor Zei makes it a tad more interesting," said Mai.
"Then there's lunch and the sixth period is art with Mr. Kuruk." I sighed with relief. Drawing was one of my favorite pastimes. Just then I realized something. "Oh no! I don't have anything to draw with!"
"Got you covered," said Zuko. "I have art at the same time, so we can share."
"Thanks!" I said gratefully. "Seventh period, chemistry with Mr. Bumi."
"Oh, that guy's actually insane," replied Kai casually. "Once he didn't tell me my chair was on fire, and that's how I was left standing for a week."
I shuddered. Crazy chemists weren't exactly my cup of tea.
"Oh, look!" said Toph. "We've got free period together! Score one for us! I'll pick you up near Mr. Bumi's room and we can do homework together or something."
"Sounds cool to me," I said. "Last period's history with Mr. Iroh."
"It's awesome that you have history with me and my uncle," said Zuko.
"Mr. Iroh is your uncle?" I said, raising an eyebrow at Zuko. Zuko nodded.
"Ten minutes till class," said Aang. "Rin, you and Sokka should get started if you wanna get there in time." He pointed at a distant building.
"Seems close enough," I said sprinting towards the building. Sokka struggled to follow me.
Mr. Piandao's class was a nice and tidy room, with charts and displays about famous mathematicians and mathematical equipment. Today we learnt about the properties of whole numbers. Sokka was answering every question like a calculator stuck on high-speed. When we were done, Mr. Piandao gave us a whole ton of homework. It was a good thing I had researched different properties already.
Mr. Pakku was a strict man. His room was ice blue and a nice little waterfall flowed in the corner. Aang was right, today we had a test on verb forms. I managed to get past through it, but to my disappointment, there were a few mistakes. Oh well, I still got an A.
Mr Roku's room was painted in deep shades of red and black, and the entire room has nice little wooden desks. There was also an elevated platform for the teacher. Mr. Roku gave a lecture about light, and almost everyone were doing something else. Aang and I were the only ones who were actually listening.
Ms. Kyoshi's class was very tiring. I had to play a badminton match against a girl until the bell rang. She had gleaming narrow eyes, Two thick bangs on either side of her hair, and her hair was pulled into a top-knot. Something about her gave me the creeps.
Professor Zei's room looked more like a lab than a class room. The entire thing was pure white, and he had tons of cabinets filled with reference books and equipment. Everyone had to wear lab coats and goggles. Professor Zei announced our lab partners, and I ended up with Mai. Biology was truly disgusting. I had to hold up parts of a dissected fish while Mai took notes. As soon as the bell rang, everyone raced out, not even bothering to complete their experiments.
"You're right, Mai. Biology is disgusting."
My stomach lurched. "Excuse me," I said and raced to the bathroom. I returned five minutes later.
"I think I saw all of my semi-digested meals from two days ago. Do they have to have biology just before lunch?"
Mai put a hand over my shoulder. "Trust me, you'll get used to it," she said with a rare smile. "Race you to the cafeteria!" She started sprinting towards a building near the principal's office. I tried to catch up to her, but she was too fast. We found our friends near a snug little table near the corner of the room. Toph was attempting to eat a large burger with a huge piece of chicken that was oozing with ketchup.
"Nice hunk of meat," I said, aghast.
"Protein and iron," she said, "very important for kicking butt."
"Wow. So anyways, why aren't you guys sitting with your own nations?"
"Well, Sokka and I aren't exactly from the 'cool' part from the water district," said Katara.
"And who'd want to sit with a 5'2" butt kicking genius?" asked Toph.
"Kai and I have always been a tad anti-social," said Aang, scratching his bald head.
"Ty Lee, Zuko and I walked out on the Imperials after they murdered someone at homecoming last year. She was Sokka's first girlfriend," said Mai.
"Man, that's rough," I said, nearly speechless. "Are you doing okay, Sokka?"
"I'm fine," said Sokka, distraught.
That's when she came, that toxic beauty from the match. Everyone's eye's widened, especially Zuko's.
"Well, well, well." She was wearing a gold, red and black armour-style outfit with an expensive designer purse. She looked down on Katara and Sokka. "How was your summer, Peasants?!" she asked rudely. I really wanted to punch her in the gut. Who did she think she was? Katara continued eating, but didn't answer. She knocked down Katara's cheese fries onto her beautiful blue dress. "Answer me, Water Peasant!" she screamed. "Or would you rather be shot with lightning?!"
Sokka stepped forward protectively in front of his sister. "We had a great summer, Azula. Now back off!"
This 'Azula' didn't seem to listen. "Oh I had a great summer, especially because I don't have beg for food like some people. See this trendy bag?" She said, dangling out her purse. "It was a gift from my dear, dear Azulon."
I couldn't bear it any more. "Listen, I don't care who you are or how rich you are, you have no right to bully those two. Now you either apologise to Katara or you get a punch in your face. Your choice."
Mai drew out her knives, Ty lee took a stance for her chi blocking technique and Zuko made a small flame in his hands.
"How about neither?" said Azula and scampered off towards a table of rich looking fire kids wearing gold headpieces.
"What was that all about?" I asked. "Who's that weirdo?"
"That's Azula, Azulon's girlfriend," said Zuko, munching on his smoked shrimp. I held my nose. "Dude, how can you eat that?!"
"It's a matter of Imperial tradition and pride!"
"In that case, don't blame me if you get stomach cancer!" I said. "And who's Azulon?"
"The Hitler of this school. Literally," answered Sokka, pointing to a guy walking over a table of earth kids.
I felt so downcast. This school was being ruled by a dictator. "He also has this posse of weirdoes and nuts who do all the dirty work for him," said Katara in an angsty manner.
I was speechless. "Look on the bright side," said Toph. "You two have art together. If memory serves right, you said you love drawing. That ought to get you back to normal,"she said.
As we entered the art room, Zuko handed me some acrylic paints and brushes."Thanks!" I said and ran off to find my seat. Mr. Kuruk sat at his desk. He was a middle-aged man wearing a thick blue coat. "All right class, today, I'll let you do your own paintings. Submit them to me when you're done. I drew a picture of my entire group of friends. There was tiny Toph, the yin-yang pair of Mai and Ty Lee, Katara with her pretty braid falling over her shoulders, Sokka playing the air guitar, Aang and Kai playing with tornadoes and last but not least, Zuko standing with a flame in his hands. I waited for the painting to dry for a while and submitted. "Very good," said Mr. Kuruk when he saw my painting.
As soon as I stepped into the chemistry room, I felt something was off. Mr. Bumi was a really old guy, and one of his eyes was significantly bigger than the other one. I found my seat and I realized what was wrong: Mr. Bumi's desk was on fire!
I watched in horror. Mr. Bumi just snort/chuckled and pulled out a couple of powdery, frost blue balls and sprinkled them all over the desk. As if magic, the flames stopped burning as soon as the powder hit them. What was left of the desk was now a grey, smoking hunk of wood. "Who can tell me what these thingamabobs are called? Just for giggles."
Instinctively, I raised by hand. "They're ice bombs. As soon as even a single particle come in contact with a flame, the bomb negates the flame and expels oxygen."
Mr. Bumi looked quite surprised. And then he returned to lollygagging. "Very good, no homework for you tonight!" Chemistry went on for another thirty minutes.
Soon, Toph came by to pick me up. As soon as I came out of class, Toph silently giggled as she saw the blue powder on my hair and dusted it off. "Thanks."
"Mr. Bumi's actually insane. You're gonna have to rub anti fireproof stuff all over yourself if you don't want to get burnt, Rin."
"Yeah," I said, smiling. "The only thing left of his desk now is an ashpile."
"That's gotta be his hundredth one! Half of the school's fund goes towards his desks."
"Woah! Now that's a lot! They should think of getting him a fireproof desk or something," I said as we walked back to the glade.
Toph reached for a paper sticking out of my bag. "I wanna see your painting!" I smiled and handed her the sheet. She marvelled at my drawing. "I love how you drew us all! There's something special about Zuko!" I opened my mouth in protest. "Oh wait, let me guess, you have a crush on him!" She grinned sneakily.
I blushed. "What? No! Who told you?!" I was blushing so furiously, my cheeks matched my eyes!
"No one," said Toph nonchalantly. "I figured it out myself. The way you two look at each other, it's all so obvious."
I quickly changed the subject. "Um, Toph, I want to talk about something more important. About the entire Azulon shenanigan, I decided I want to start a revolution against it."
Toph's jaw dropped. "You sure, Sugar? Last time we tried this, it didn't turn out too good. Remember Yue? She was killed for the revolution."
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