|By Agent Slash||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|and Omashu Rocks||Adventure||None||Positive||None|
|Love and Betrayal|
"Yeah! That's it! Great job!" Amai cheered on Kembar as he made his way through his first ever Airbending test. He was by no means an expert, or even an intermediate, but he was making steady progress. Sister Jiyu gave the Airbending girl a stern look as if to say "quite down" as the Avatar approached a pillow lying on a low stool.
Kembar brought his hands to his side and formed a small ball of air. In one, smooth motion, he propelled the ball forward, under the pillow, and flung it ten yards across grass, into a small box. After seeing that he had hit the target, he took a deep breath and made his way to the next challenge. Although he was halfway through the obstacle course, he knew the hardest parts were ahead of him. He found a box filled with feathers, and he sighed as he prepared for the most tedious exercise he had learned. With complete confrontation, he levitated the feathers and begin to revolve them in an ellipse around his body. Kembar had always thought that these feathers could be used as good target practice, but apparently even shooting feathers was too violent for Jiyu and the nuns at the Western Air Temple. Instead, he simply dropped the feathers and walked up to a large structure, a platform containing a series of tall, wooden gates with ornate designs on them.
While Kembar caught his breath, Amai, much more talented than the Avatar at the bending art, blasted a gust of wind at the gates, causing them to spin rapidly. It was the student's objective to weave himself through the obstacles and to the other side. Usually, Airbenders-in-training would start with this exercise, but Jiyu quickly realized that Kembar learned in a much different fashion than her other pupils. He simply didn't have the Airbending gene for evading and dodging. Out of the corner of his eye, Kembar saw Amai shoot him a kittenish wink before he began, something that did not go unnoticed by Jiyu, who grimaced and rubbed her chin.
So far so good, thought the trainee as he made his way through the spinning boards. He could remember the first time he took this test, and he could also remember the color of the bruises he received from it. To him, it was still a terrifying machine, but at least he was starting to get the hang of it. And what was with that wink Amai gave me before. Spirits, she's cute. I just hope BAM. Due to his loss in concentration, Kembar ran smack into one of the gates and was thrown into another. He was helpless as his body was tossed around like a salad through the evil mechanism, each whack hurting more than the last. He slammed into the final one face-first, and almost fell unconscious as he plopped onto the ground next to the gates.
"Kembar!" Fretful, Amai rushed to her friend's side and fell to her knees. She grabbed his face and smiled as he looked up with a moan. For a brief moment, Kembar simply gazed as a breeze rushed through the Airbender's light brown hair, her glowing eyes illuminating her perfect freckles. "Are you okay," she asked softly.
"Well, I've felt better," he replied half-jokingly.
"Kembar..." Jiyu was staring down at the pair. "You failed your first Airbending examination."
"He just needs more practice, that's all!" protested Amai.
"That's enough Amai. Would you like to try it again tomorrow?"
"Absolutely. I had everything down except for that last part."
Jiyu nodded. "Very good then. Come Amai, I need help dusting the library's bookshelves."
Kembar slowly got to his feet as the two strolled off. In a way, he was almost happy he had failed.
Everything was black. Kiama could not see, and for some reason she could not speak either. It only took her a few seconds to realize that she had not only been blindfolded, she had been gagged as well. They had not covered her nose, though, and Kiama could smell the horrible stenches if what must have been the sewers. Suddenly, she felt someone forcefully removing the cloth from around her mouth and eyes. Once everything came into view, she saw twelve people who were all dressed in black standing before her. "You again!" she shouted.
"Ah, so the great Avatar remembers us measly little bombers. I am honored," Heng Wei said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
Kiama looked around, trying to find some means of escaping this place, when she noticed something. "Where is Palu?" she inquired.
Two of the bombers standing behind Heng Wei stepped out from behind, holding Palu's handcuffed body with a tight grip.
"After you defeated us, Avatar, I wanted to kill you so much. I wanted to wrap my hands around your throat and teach you what it means to cross the Baozha Bombers," Heng Wei started. "But I have another way of teaching you."
Kiama was growing more concerned by the second. What are they going to do to Palu? She thought. He must hate me even more now that I've gotten him into this!
"When you're a Baozha Bomber, getting revenge is not about simply killing your enemies outright," Heng Wei stated. "It's about scarring them mentally and then killing them." There was a long pause before anyone spoke again. "Yehua, would you like to explain to the Avatar what she will be doing tonight?" Heng Wei asked.
"Why, I would be delighted," Yehua replied. "Tonight, you and your boyfriend are going to be a part of the greatest coup in history. You will return to the palace, and you won't speak a word about this to Shan and Yama. You will go to them and when they don't suspect a thing, you will kill them both; allowing us to take command of the throne!"
"And why would I do anything like that?" asked Kiama.
This time, a third person, a man with a shaved head and a small beard spoke. "Because if you do not, we will kill your boyfriend," he replied.
Kiama's eyes widened. "No! You wouldn't!" she shouted.
"Try us," replied the bald man with an evil grin.
"Alright, alright, you win," Kiama conceded. "I'll do it."
"Quite a shame that Kembar did not perform well during his examination." Jiyu was dusting away at wooden bookshelf. "He almost had it," she added.
"Yeah, he did," said Amai, trying to sound indifferent.
"Oh please," snapped the nun as she looked over at her apprentice. "Don't pretend like you couldn't care less."
"I don't. I just said... well- fine." Jiyu crossed her arms and raised one eyebrow at the girl, who replied "I like him, okay! He's a nice guy."
The Superior shook her head. "What happened to the Amai who could recite all eleven values of the Western Air Temple?"
The girl let out a heavy sigh and said "Number two: detach yourself from all worldly desires..."
"Including boys!" Seeing Amai flinched when she raised her voice, Jiyu calmed herself. "This is why the temples are divided in the first place. I knew we should've sent the Avatar to the Northern Temple."
"So you could do what? Prevent us from being human? This is what people do! They fall in love!" There were tears in her eyes.
"You're not in love," retorted Jiyu.
"Well, I know that," Amai conceded, "but it's not fair that some old monks and nuns get to decide that everyone else has to spend their life unhappy without ever settling down and raising a family!"
"When did all of this nonsense get inside your head?"
"Oh don't play dumb, Superior! You know very well-"
"Watch the way you speak to me!"
"Kembar has told me what it's like in the other nations! Men and women fall in love! They live together and raise kids! Families live together!"
"Listen to yourself! How can you expect to be a nun one day with this kind of insanity?"
"I don't want to be a nun when I'm older!"
Kiama was walking through the halls of the palace. The girl had a lot on her mind. What was she going to do? She could not possibly kill Shan and Yama! "But if I don't, then the Bombers will kill Palu," she quietly muttered to herself. She approached the throne room and waited for the guards to let her in. They lifted their spears and Kiama walked in slowly. She walked towards the thrones on which the king and queen were sitting. They spotted her and spoke.
"Kiama! Where have you been?! You've been gone for hours; we were worried sick!" said Yama.
"I'm sorry for worrying you," Kiama said.
"Where is Palu?" asked Shan.
"He's already gone back to his quarters," Kiama lied. "He said he wanted to see you."
"Well, then why didn't he come here?" asked Shan, curiously.
"He said he wanted to talk to you in his room," Kiama explained.
"Very well," said Yama. "Let's go." The king and queen got out of their seats and the group of three proceeded to exit the throne room and head for Palu's room.
Later in the evening, a few hours after dinner, Kembar was readying himself for bed. He had just brushed his teeth, and was blowing out the candle on his nightstand.
"Kembar," spoke a soft, quiet voice.
A bit startled, Kembar looked up to see Jiyu at his bedroom doorway. "Superior! Is something wrong?"
"Kembar, I'm going to speak candidly with you."
"Okay," still embarrassed from his earlier failure, the Avatar sat on his bed. "Look, I'm really sorry about my performance in my Airbending test. I-"
"It's not that. I need you to clear your head of any romantic thoughts you have for Amai."
"I absolutely forbid you from wooing her any further."
The three were nearing Palu's quarters, and Kiama was getting nervous. Am I really going to go through with this? She thought. I can't just kill them! There must be another way. The group approached his room, and Yama slowly opened the door. It was dark in the room, and the queen proceeded inside. Shan entered shortly after, followed by Kiama. Yama ran her hand along the bed and felt nothing. "I don't see him, and I can't feel him either," she stated.
Kiama closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She knew if she was going to go through with this, she would have to do it now. She formed an ice shard in her hand, utilizing the water from her pouch, and moved towards Shan. The king and queen turned around at that instant and saw their student with the shard.
"Kiama, what are you doing with that?" Shan inquired, puzzled at what his protege was doing.
As Kiama spoke her next words, a single tear ran down her cheek. "I'm sorry, King Shan," she said. Shan and Yama's eyes widened as Kiama swung the knife down and struck.