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|Love and Lost|
February 24, 2017
Two years later...
The autumn morning air sends a brisk chill to earthbending training. After a half hour, emerges from the tent and waits beside Singi.as she steps out of her tent not long after dawn. Despite the cold morning, she smiles confidently, ready for another day of
"So, what do you think, Jamyang? Willcome back with a message from my parents today?"
"She has been gone for eight days now. Perhaps today will be our lucky day."
"I just hope she hasn't caught the attention ofor , or any of their men."
"If she did, I'm sure they would think she is just an ordinary cranefish."
As soon as they finish their conversation,rushes over, Qiú in toe. At eleven, the boy has grown by a few inches, but otherwise, his appearance hasn't changed much. The rising sun casts a bright glow behind him, highlighting the outline of his mahogany hair, his laurel green robes, and his khaki-colored pants in the glistening light.
"Morning, Singi! Ready for another day of training?"
"As always, Guilin," she responds with a wink.
After an additional twenty minutes,approaches the group unaccompanied by any of his men.
"I'm sorry, Singi, but there's been a change of plans. I'm meeting with, the leader of the city of Gai Chan, about a two-hour journey west of here. You can spend the day with Jamyang and Guilin, and I'll even let you take a day off from training."
"Well, thank you, General, I appreciate having the opportunity to take an extended break from training. Is this meeting of anything of concern?"
"Not exactly. Gaogui just wants to discuss some things regarding the spirits; there haven't been any hostile confrontations between them and the residents since its founding."with me. He and I are close allies, and I am one of his most trusted military personnel. Gai Chan is arguably one of the most peaceful settlements in the continent, and the people there are lenient towards any visiting
"Wow..." Singi marvels, briefly thinking back to the.
"Gaogui has been leading the city since a couple of years before I was born. He is a charitable and well-revered man, who makes rounds everyday to every residence in the city to make sure his people are happy, and make any changes to satisfy his people. Eventually, his reputation and the city's prosperity became known throughout the continent, and the city had to expend in order to accommodate the hordes of hopeful newcomers who wanted to settle in the city."
Dao takes a calm breath, smiling slightly.
"Well, with all of that, I'd better head off. I don't want to be late. I'll be back later today, at the latest, around sunset."
With that, Dao begins to walk off as the group bid their farewells.
"So Singi, now that you don't have to train today, there's a really neat cave I wanted to show you a bit east of here!" Guilin proposes excitedly.
"Uh, sure, Guilin," Singi responds somewhat enthusiastically, not entirely captivated over what could be so special about a cavern. "Jamyang, will you be joining us?"
"Why don't you two go on without me? You should have fun today, without needing to look after me. I'll stay here in the village."
Singi smiles in understanding, tilting her head slightly to the side while Guilin hesitates for a moment.
"Well, alright, suit yourself," he responds, shrugging his shoulders before looking back up at Singi, smiling. "C'mon, let's go!" he shouts excitedly before grabbing her by the wrist and leading the way in a jog, Singi taken aback for a second upon being pulled by the pre-teen: "Whoa! Alright, alright! Not so hard!"
Jamyang simply smiles at the two as they rush off, Qiú bounding off after them, before he settles himself beside a tree and begins to meditate.
After twenty minutes, the two humans and thereach what appears to be a fairly ordinary cave.
"Isn't it neat?" Guilin asks with enthusiasm.
"Uh... I guess. I mean, it just looks like an ordinary cave," Singi responds before the trio walks inside the tunnel, Singi clearly being cautious as she glances around and takes light steps.
"I wonder how far deep it goes. HELLO!!" Guilin shouts, cupping his hands around his mouth and listening intently at the echo. The sound reverberates around them, and Singi places a hand on Guilin's shoulder.
"Be careful, Guilin. We don't know who or what could be living here."
"Aw, c'mon, Singi! I thought you said that before you became the Avatar, you often spent time out in nature. Where's your sense of adventure?"
Their conversation is interrupted by a low, but audible growl, causing Qiú's ears to immediately perk up and swivel to the entrance of the cave. Turning their heads to face the entrance, the trio spots a medium-sized, four-legged mammal starring at Qiú seemingly eagerly. Primarily gray in color with a light brown underbelly, it sports a distinctive black facial mask as well as a bushy striped tail with gray and black inter-changing bands. Its forepaws up to its elbows are black and rather bare, protected by a thin horny layer, and ends with five digits with no webbing between them.
"Uh-oh..." Guilin hums nervously, as Qiü's shudders nervously, lowering his ears and tucking them down along his head.
"'Uh-oh'? This guy doesn't look that dangerous."
"Not to you or me necessarily, but that's a. They've been known to eat armadillo hares when the opportunity—"
Before Guilin can finish his sentence, the raccoon fox hisses before charging straight for Qiú. The two animal hybrids run a few circles around the humans' feet before the frightened armadillo hare rushes further into the cave, curling into a ball at one point and rolling into the darkness, the predator in hot pursuit.
"Hey! You leave my friend alone!" Guilin shouts, earthbending a rock at the raccoon fox—which misses its moving target—before, blinded by anger, rushes into the darkness himself. "Stay away from my Qiú!"
"Guilin!" Singi calls in vain, before rushing in to follow the earthbender. It soon becomes apparent that this cavern isn't simply a single underground chamber, as she begins blindly meandering through a long tunneled path as the sounds of Guilin and the raccoon fox steadily become louder. As Singi closes in on the sources of the sounds, Guilin can be heard earthbending again before a loud SMACK can be heard, followed by the yelp of the raccoon fox.
"A-ha! I got'cha!" Guilin proclaims before taking the frightened armadillo hare into his hands as the terrified creature slowly unfurls itself from its protective ball.
"That'll teach you to mess with meEEEE!!!"
Right as Guilin is finishing his gloat, Singi accidentally runs into him, sending them forward and off an incline, plummeting straight down a ravine. Guilin yells, afraid as he clutches Qiú to his chest, while Singi composes herself and begins to airbend a cushion of air beneath them, not sure when they would hit the bottom, but prepared nonetheless. After a few seconds, they land safely on the ground and get to their feet.
"Guilin! I'm so sorry. Are you and Qiú alright?"
"Yeah, we're fine. How about you?"
"Flustered, but alright," she breathes out, placing a hand to the side of her head. "So, how do we get out of here?"
"Uhhh..." Guilin ponders, before slamming one of his feet to the ground and closing his eyes. Not able to see one another, Singi can't tell what Guilin is doing, so she interjects after a few seconds.
"Uh, Guilin? What are you—"
"Shhh!" he silences her, focusing intently before opening his eyes.
"I can't get much of an exact reading as to where an exit is. This place is just too huge!"
"Ugh, this place isn't a cave; it's a labyrinth! Alright, well, let's just try going back the way we came."
With that, Singi begins airbending around her, forming the beginnings of an air spout. With one hand, she reaches out and manages to grab onto Guilin, clutching him close to her side. Using her free hand to expand the air spout, the trio slowly rises into the air. Not even halfway up the ravine, Guilin clutches Singi in a death grip while Qiú grabs onto Guilin's leg, now no longer being carried in the arms of his owner.
"Take us down, PLEASE!" Guilin cries, clearly afraid.
"What? What's the problem? I've got you. I'm not going to let you go."
"Pleeease! I wanna go back down!" Guilin pleads.
Singi sighs and relents, lowering the air spout until there are back on solid ground. Relieved, Guilin kneels down and rubs his hands along the dusty floor, breathing a sigh of relief.
"What is the matter with you?"
"I... I suffer from a fear of flying. It's really bad."
"But I've seen you launch yourself into the air with earthbending."
"Yeah, but that's different. I don't go really really high into the air like you do. I just don't like being disconnected from any earth."
"Well, what about when weon Lychee? You weren't afraid then."
"Yeah! That's because we were on an air bison; that's stronger than a cloud, or a cyclone of air! It's not going to disintegrate when hit with a huge rock!"
"The element of air is stronger than you think," Singi mutters under her breath, before sighing and placing her hands on her waist.
"So we're completely lost, then?"
"I'm sure we'll find a way out."
"Yes, but how!? You're too afraid to go back the way we came, and you can't seem to detect a way out of this underground maze! We can't even see where we're going!"
At this, Guilin remains silent. He hangs his head down in guilt and shuffles some pebbles along the ground with one of his feet. Although Singi can't see Guilin beside her, she can tell that her words hurt him. She carefully places a hand on Guilin's shoulder, her tone of voice softening.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have raised my voice at you."
"No, I understand. This is my fault, anyway."
"What? No it's not."
"Yes it is! I shouldn't have led you to that cave. We should have just stayed in the village, or explored somewhere else, or done some training today."
"We didn't know that raccoon fox would get us into this mess—it's not your fault. Believe me, Guilin..." Singi now places both hands on Guilin's shoulders and kneels down so that she is as level with him as she can figure out in the darkness."
"Somehow, we'll get ourselves out of here."
Later that morning, Dao arrives at Gai Chan. The city, merely a few miles away from the South Sea, is situated on the southwestern-most portion of land on the continent, and is surrounded by a wall some ten feet high. All of the buildings are topped with fern colored tiles with a golden trim. The residents are preparing for the day ahead of them contented, some bringing in laundry that was hung outside, others standing before market stalls selecting various goods and foods to purchase. Reaching the main square before the governmental building, Dao finds Gaogui smiling at him as he stands between two armed guards. The man, in his mid-sixties, wears mellow yellow robes with a Crayola Green trim. Beneath his robes is a pair of raw umber-colored pants followed by black sandals, which contrast with his tan skin, slightly graying hair and striking mint green eyes.
"Good morning, General Dao. I am glad you were able to make it on such short notice."
"The pleasure's all mine, Gaogui," Dao responds, standing at attention. Gaogui turns to the side and gestures him towards the building, and the men make their way to Gaogui's office and sit on opposite sides of a large desk.
"I apologize for being rather vague in my letter to you, General, but I'm hearing more and more tales about those men from the Fire Islands, and I admit, it has me a bit concerned."
"I understand your concern, sir, but I don't believe we as earthbenders have anything to worry about. We are not targets in their crusade. I have not received any word from the other earthbender militiamen on this vast landscape about their attacking any earthbender settlements within the past two years."
"Yet, General... yet," Gaogui cautions, raising a finger before standing himself up and pacing back and forth with his head towards the ground in front of him, while Dao's eyes follows the elder's movements. Gaogui soon stops before one of the windows, looking down at a portion of the city within his view.
"I'm starting to think that someday, we may get involved in this war ourselves."
"Why do you think that?"
"Sympathy. We may not be targeted by these men, but we are still against what it is they are doing and why. I even wouldn't be surprised if someday, they."
At this, Dao's eyes widen slightly, while Gaogui continues.
"We allow the spirits to roam here during the solstices, and unlike some other earthbender settlements scattered throughout this continent, nothing has befallen our city as a result."
"For Gai Chan to fall would be an incredible tragedy for our culture, sir. This is a city of prosperity because of you. Earthbenders from all over have migrated here so that they can live under your leadership."
"Indeed. I was born and raised here long before it became a city. As my home settlement steadily grew in size and population, changes had to be made to accommodate the expansion. When I turned thirteen, I spent my time performing charitable acts around the settlement—cultivating gardens, helping residents with their daily chores, even giving my time to construct entire buildings to provide a home for more people. Gai Chan eventually became a city, and when I was twenty-six, I was elected to lead it, and have been the leader for the past thirty-nine years. Anyway, moving on from my rambling on about my life, I just want you to be aware. We may be innocent bystanders for now, but one day..."
Gaogui trails off, leading to another lull in activity as Dao processes what is being told to him.
Back in the cavern, Singi and Guilin have picked a path to follow, along the way, finding a small cluster of glowing green crystals, which they take a sample of to use as a light source.
"You know, the color of these crystals reminds me of my mother's eyes," Guilin notes nonchalantly.
At this, Singi's eyes widen slightly before she glances down at Guilin, saddened.
"Your father told me a bit about her."
"Yeah. I don't remember much about her, other than that she had a warm, gentle voice, hair as black as the night sky, and her eyes were as bright as the green tea she brewed with love."
Guilin smiles, reminiscing about the few memories he has about Ta Ying.
"She really loved you, you know."
At this, Guilin's mood changes. He stops in his tracks and looks down at the ground, his expression rather dry—not smiling, nor frowning, either.
After a brief pause, Singi gently grabs onto Guilin's right hand, causing the boy to look up at the Avatar, who is smiling warmly at him. Guilin smiles back before the two look ahead of them and continue walking. After a few minutes, rumbling can be felt around them, and they stop, Qiú hustling himself to Guilin's feet. Suddenly from behind them, a portion of the tunnel collapses and exiting the newly made hole is a large furry creature mostly brown in color, except for a pair of dark brown and white ears, black and white mask-like facial patches, and a white stripe between two smaller black stripes running down its spine, ending at a long, bare, rat-like tail. Five claws extend out of its large paws, and its eyes appear a milky tan. The hulking animal shifts itself so it faces the two humans and armadillo hare.
"It's the original earthbender—the badgermole..." Guilin exclaims in awe, while Singi can only stare and marvel at the enormous creature. The overall silence of the atmosphere is shattered not long after, however, when Guilin punctuates the air with a loud "RUN!!" before grabbing Singi by the hand and rushing her down the trail. Qiú runs behind them, while the badgermole begins its pursuit.
Back in Gai Chan, Dao and Gaogui have taken a tea break. As they sit on opposing sides of a small table beside two large windows overlooking another portion of the city, Gaogui speaks up.
"General, you grew up in Ba Sing Se."
"Yes, I did."
"There is a slab of earth just a bit north of the city, not far from the shoreline, with an intriguing pattern mounted on top of it. I don't suppose you happen to recognize this for any reason, do you?"
Gaogui takes out a small parchment, where drawn in blank ink are three wavy lines increasing in length from top to bottom, with a lone swirl underneath.
"No, I'm sorry sir. I don't recognize it at all."
"Ah. I figured I'd ask."
Back in the village, Jamyang stands and stretches, taking a break from his meditation session. Yawning, he supports himself against the tree, placing his left hand on the trunk. Upon making contact with the trunk, energy travels from Jamyang hand and quickly snakes its way to Singi and Guilin's location. Soon, he receives a vision of the two being chased by the badgermole, before he snaps his eyes open and looks around him.
"Those two are in trouble. I need to get help!"
Jamyang makes his way to Lychee and mounts the sky bison before commanding his companion to fly west. Upon landing in Gai Chan, Jamyang makes his way to the ornate building housing Dao and Gaogui. Climbing the stairs and taking notice of a pair of yellow doors with a celadon trim guarded by two men, Jamyang makes his way to his target.
"I'm sorry, sir, but Gaogui is in the middle of a meeting."
"I am a friend of General Dao and the mentor of Avatar Singi. Please, it's an emergency."
The two guards glance at one another for a moment before allowing Jamyang to enter.
"General Dao, sir!" Jamyang exclaims in urgency before bowing, causing him and Gaogui to face the monk, Dao surprised.
"What is it, Monk Jamyang?" Dao asks, getting to his feet.
"It's Guilin and Singi. They're in trouble."
At this, Dao's eyes widen before he faces Gaogui, who by this point has made his way beside the general.
"Gaogui, sir, this is Monk Jamyang, Avatar Singi's close friend and mentor. I've been teaching the Avatar earthbending for a bit over two years so far."
Gaogui bows in respect to Jamyang. Upon rising, he exclaims, "Why General, you never told me you were teaching the Avatar," in a mixture of pride and fascination.
"I'm sorry, sir, but I'm afraid we'll need to cut our meeting short."
"No need to apologize, General. The safety of your son and especially the Avatar right now is paramount."
"Thank you for understanding," Dao replies, smiling, before bowing and turning his attention to Jamyang. The two exit the building and take flight on Lychee, all the while Gaogui simply smiles in the direction the duo have left from.
In the labyrinth, Singi, Guilin, and Qiú are still being pursued by the lone badgermole. As they continue running, their pursuer takes a moment to stop and slam its forepaws down on the ground, causing the immediate area to tremble before a wall of earth shoots up just before the fleeing trio, causing them to jerk violently as they suddenly halt in place to avoid running into the newly formed wall. Singi's expression then changes from one of worry to determination. She turns around towards the incoming animal hybrid and takes a few steps forward before standing her ground unflinching. As Guilin takes a moment to take down the wall with earthbending, he glances behind him to find the badgermole closing in on them and Singi not moving.
"What are you doing!? You can't face up against an angry badgermole!"
"We can't keep on running. If we do, then we'll never find our way out of here."
"But now you're gonna get us killed by the—"
Before Guilin can finish his sentence, the badgermole stops in its place before Singi and rears his head up before cocking it to the side in curiosity. Singi continues standing tall and in her place, glaring at the massive animal defiantly, her fists clenched and her chest puffed out. After a momentary pause, the badgermole leans its head down to Singi's level and sniffs her a few times, the sharp intakes of air causing her hair and robes to flutter forward, and her eyes to clench shut momentarily.
"We don't mean any harm to you, badgermole. We're just lost and are trying to find a way outside," Singi calmly reassures the animal before she slowly begin to reach out a hand towards the blind creature, Guilin looking on in shock while Qiú huddles closer to his owner. Singi gently places her hand on the badgermole's snout and smiles, and after another brief pause, the massive creature coos quietly before Singi is lifted off of her feet by a couple of inches by the pink tongue of the badgermole, giving her a single firm lick on the face.
"You see? We're okay..." the Avatar coos to the massive beast while Guilin's jaw slacks open in utter disbelief.
"How did you do that?"
"I just stood my ground like an earthbender," Singi replies nonchalantly, giving a wink to the stunned pre-teen before the Avatar turns her attention back to the badgermole and addresses it again.
"So, think you could help us get out of here?"
"So, you saw them get into some sort of trouble?"
"Somewhat. Not in-person."
"What do you mean?"
"It's a bit of a long story, but due to my high spirituality, I've acquired a few... special abilities. I'd like to think it's in part due to the mission that Avatar Wan gave me all those years ago, to aid him in restoring peace and balance to the world."
"Hey, I'll believe it," Dao chuckles, but with honesty in his tone.
At they near the mountain range, a familiar call can be heard to the left of the travelers. Coming into view and swerving alongside Lychee is Jiefeng, the letter holder around the base of her neck and an elongated, rather thin item wrapped up and situated along her dorsal side, extending from her feet to a bit past her head.
"My, my, you're carrying quite a load, friend. Not too heavy for you?" Jamyang chuckles. Jiefeng gives a quick chortle in response, seemingly confirming that she has herself under control. Eventually, the group lands along the base of the mountain range due north of the village.
"I saw them in a tunnel being chased by some large creature."
"So they're somewhere in this mountain range being hunted down!?" Dao groans before walking over to the base of one of the massive towers and running a hand across the rugged mass.
"This area is much too massive to pinpoint exactly where they are. I'm not sure how we'll be able to—"
Suddenly, Dao stops mid-sentence before rushing back a few yards towards Jamyang, Lychee, and Jiefeng.
A few seconds later, a large portion of the mountain Dao was standing before gets bent to the floor, and out from the massive opening is Singi, Guilin, and Qiú riding a badgermole, which slowly lumbers forward before lowering its head, allowing Singi to grab onto Guilin, who clutches Qiú tightly to his chest, to airbend them back down to the outside world. The onlookers watch in bewilderment before Jamyang quietly states.
"Well, that's certainly the creature I saw chasing them," Jamyang quietly states before the group make their way over to the trio.
"Guilin! Singi! What happened!?" Dao asks while kneeling down and gripping his son by the shoulders. He turns his head to gaze at the badgermole sitting before them. "And how in the world did you manage to tame this wild badgermole?!"
"Well, I wanted to show Singi this cave nearby, and a raccoon fox chased Qiú further inside. I wanted to save him, and, I did, but then all three of us ended up getting lost in this massive underground maze! Eventually this guy showed up and went after us, but Singi managed to stand her ground and calm him down before he gave us a ride here."
Dao hangs his head low, overwhelmed the events that transpired. After a few seconds, he lifts his head back up and pulls Guilin into an embrace, holding his son tightly.
"I'm just so glad you three are alright."
"So you're not mad?"
"Right now, I'm just beside myself. You should be thankful Singi accompanied you on your adventure. If you had gone with only Qiú beside you, and had been through what happened today, I could never forgive myself."
At this, Dao shakes slightly, still embracing his son, the mixture of relief, worry and disappointment clearly getting to him. After a moment, he gazes up at the badgermole, tears shining in his eyes as he smiles.
The badgermole grunts once before turning around and making its way back inside the mountain, sealing the entrance away with earthbending as if it was never created.
"And Singi..." Dao starts, causing the Avatar to shift her attention to the general.
"A small part of me wishes I could have seen you stand up against that badgermole. It's one of the last things an earthbender would ever dare to do, but the fact that you stood your ground against the original earthbender speaks volumes about your progress as an earthbender. Thank you for saving my son's life, and that of Qiú."
"You're welcome, General. I never would have put the safety of myself above anyone else. I know you may not agree with me, but the needs and safety of your son and his pet, and anyone else for that matter, far exceeds that of my own."
"That is incredibly noble of you, Singi. I can't imagine anyone else but the Avatar having such a powerful sense of selflessness."
Jamyang finally cuts in, smiling, "Avatar or simple airbender, today is a special day for you, Singi, and it is evident that your parents' love for you on such a day shows in what they have gifted you."
At this, Jiefeng steps forward, causing Singi to smile widely.
"Jiefeng! I didn't even notice you were here!" Singi exclaims excited before walking forward and putting an arm around the cranefish's nape and petting her on the head with her other hand. She unfastened the items secured to her animal companion and opens the letter first:
To our loving daughter and brave Avatar Singi,
Things are quite well here back at home. The temple is still being constructed, and our lives are carrying on as if there weren't a war in progress. Don't worry about those warlords and their men finding us—they would need to scale very high peaks and search all corners of the globe to find our secluded settlements and temples.
In the meantime, continue your training and work hard (as you always do) on bringing balance to the world in Avatar Wan's footsteps. We love and miss you every day, but know that our eternal love and pride for you far outweighs our desire to see you soon.
Mom and Dad
P.S. We hope you enjoy your gift and put it to good use. It is one of the very first handcrafted by the monks, and we have no doubt it will revolutionize the way Air Nomads, both the young and young adults, will hone their bending abilities.
Tears slowly begin to gather in Singi's eyes, and a couple trickle down her cheeks as the Avatar concludes reading the letter, smiling. Upon taking a deep breath and composing herself, she takes the wrapped gift and settles it before her, kneeling down to unwrap and reveal it. Once she has removed the paper and string, lying in front of her is a long stave. Raising an eyebrow, Singi stands, carrying the staff in her hands before she places one end against the ground, the staff standing just a few inches above her. Lifting it up slightly, she steps forward and begins twirling the staff around like a baton, her hair fluttering in the breeze as her smile widens before she stops twirling the staff and swiftly swipes it across her body, creating an crescent-shaped wave of compressed air which swoops before her.
"This is a pretty neat staff," Singi exclaims before placing her other hand on an upper portion of the staff. Suddenly, the staff unfolds into two fan-like wings, a larger fan on near the top, and a smaller one closer to the bottom, everyone looking on in shock and wonder.
"Wow!" Singi marvels, amazed, glancing up and down the glider. "So, I can fly with this thing?" Singi gets herself into position and shoots herself up in the sky, her hands holding onto each side of the glider's upper wings while her legs come together along the bottom set of glider wings. She lets out an excited yell as she soars through the air before dancing mid-air in a variety of shapes and directions. The human onlookers all smile as they watch Singi dance above them, while Jiefeng takes to the air and flies alongside her friend and attempts to copy her movements. Eventually, the two land back on the ground, and Singi closes up her staff, smiling before addressing those present.
"I think this is definitely my favorite birthday so far."
- The city of Gai Chan and its leader, Gaogui, are introduced for the first time.
- Although not mentioned in this chapter, Gaogui is a non-bender
- Gaogui (pronounced: GOW-gway, 高贵) is Chinese for "noble".
- The city is located in the area where Iroh and Zuko would reside and eventually split up in "Avatar Day".
- The founding of the city is also detailed. Based on the fact that Gaogui has been the sole ruler of the city for 39 years since he was 26 years old, this would put Gaogui's current age at 65, and he would have been born in 9,810 BG.
- The is heavily foreshadowed in this chapter.
- It is revealed that Guilin has an early variant of the seismic sense sub-skill. Because of the vast expanse of underground tunnels, coupled with his not yet having fully mastered earthbending, however, his ability to use the sub-skill effectively was compromised.
- Dao may also have this ability, as hinted near the end of the chapter.
- Originally, the raccoon fox was not going to be the animal involved in the mishap which led to Guilin, Singi, and Qiú to become lost in the labyrinth. Initially, a wolfbat was going to appear from within the cave and snatch Qiú and fly back into the cave, leading to a similar chase sequence to that which played out in the chapter. This was scrapped so that the fanon-created hybrid animal could make an actual appearance in the trilogy.
- Guilin's aviophobia is revealed for the first time.
- Ta Ying—Dao's wife and Guilin's mother—is mentioned again.
- It is revealed that Jamyang can sense the energy connections between [at least] two individuals and enable them to find each other over great distances. This is in the same manner as when Guru Pathik revealed to Appa that Aang was in Ba Sing Se in "Appa's Lost Days", and a stronger example of the ability Aang used to locate Appa and Momo in the Foggy Swamp in "The Swamp".
- It is revealed that there is a rock slab not far north from Gai Chan with the symbol of a water lion turtle, hence how the spirits are able to arrive in Gai Chan around the time of the solstices.
- Originally, instead of this, the cave which Singi and Guilin entered was going to be situated along a mountainside that was disfigured due to the feuding Raava and Vaatu just before being separated by Wan. Because of the beings which caused the damage, trace amounts of spiritual energy were going to be left behind, allowing the spirits to cross over into the mortal world. This was eventually scrapped.
- This is the second lion turtle symbol to be revealed in the trilogy, the first being that of an earth lion turtle along the western slope of what will be Mt. Makapu near the proto-Earth Kingdom settlement of Bianji.
- It is revealed that this chapter takes place on Singi's eighteenth birthday, which is sometime in autumn—the season in which most Air Nomads tend to be born.
- Singi's birthday gift from her parents is an early version of the airbender staff—a simplistic yet important tool used by airbenders to augment their bending.
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