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February 16, 2014
Lan isn't making progress at all. My first pupil can't make his own move. I've tried and tried again, but it won't come. He is a talented airbender, but I know perhaps he will never make his move. So, today, as a distraction from training, we're participating in a tournament. It will be mixed bending, and I don't even know how many people have registered. The prize is a free patch of lessons with a bending master to perfect it. We don't need that, but we probably aren't even going to win. It's been so long since I had some time on the field...
"Tian? Are you gonna stand there, gazing off all day or are we gonna pick up the girls and get going to the tournament?"
I fall back onto the world. Lan is looking at me funny. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine, don't worry."
He decides to take my word for it. Today is a perfect day for a tournament. The sun is shining, there is no fog, even Lan is whistling. Even without practice, I know I'm gonna be a good fight.
Soyun said that the Avatar probably crossed me using the Fire Nation instead of going straight north. Perhaps he's not as stupid as I thought. Uncle also said I should get to the Water Tribe, and perhaps I'll be able to find them. Even without having seen the Avatar since the Eastern Air Temple, Soyun is planning on a siege of the Northern Tribe, and then blame it on the Earth King. So, today is just another day of walking around. My dark brown hair and long sleeves cover up my tattoos, but I should still be careful. If someone sees me, Tian and the Avatar will flee. That's just how he is. Why is everyone going the same way? They all seem to be heading towards the palace. Why? Two girls are practicing their bending, earth and water. One of them looks at me, but it doesn't feel like that. It feels like her vision is piercing trough my body, deep into my spirit. She starts to walk up to me, but I run into the crowd. After I shake her off, I see why everyone is going towards the palace. There are four huge battle rings prepared. A tournament! Time for some action.
When Elena left me, I was unsure what to do. She just ran off to a random person. Like, one moment we were making jokes about some of the benders we are going to face in the tournament, the next she said: "Wait here" and disappeared!
"Why is everybody gazing off today? Geez, it's tournament day! Get your focus back!"
And there are Lan and Tian.
"Ready to go, pupil?"
I shake my head.
"Elena ran off. She said she saw somebody..."
Tian looks confused.
"That's nothing like Elena, losing her focus like that. Where could she be?"
Lan jumps off with airbending, but simply lands again without moving an inch.
"She's already coming. Also, from the look on her face, she looks like she saw a ghost."
And indeed, there is Elena. As we walk up to her and Lan starts to ask whether she's ready to go, she interrupts him and asks Tian:
"Tian, why did I see a spirit exactly like yours? Like, not the same shade, but exactly the same?"
Tian starts scratching his head.
"Well, since this is a tournament, one of my cousins or siblings could be here. I don't know."
An awkward silence follows. Lan fills it up.
"Guys, we really need to hurry to the tournament. I really want to fight!"
Ai Lun Na
I wouldn't know how it is possible I saw exactly the same spirit as Tian's, but that's for later. Right now we need to focus. When we reach the tournament field just in time, we get to see how we are matched up. First, there is one round of battle royals to decide who will go on, and to eliminate the weaker benders. Of course, there are far more waterbenders here then airbenders, so it would be unfair to battle based on your element. In the first round, I'll go up against two firebenders, one waterbender and one earth. In total, there are around eighty benders here competing. Most of them are amateurs, but there are people like us four, who got some actual training. Lan has to face an airbender, the only other one, two waterbenders and one earthbender. We have to wait two rounds before Kassandra has to fight, but from there we follow pretty soon. I know I'll have to face Kassandra if we both win our fights, but we won't team up with each other.
"Let the A block matches begin!"
The bell rings. Kassandra steps into the arena, and we watch her. Her opponents are two other waterbenders and two earthbenders. The two earthbenders immediately attack each other and the waterbenders use that as an opportunity to strike. Kassandra stands perfectly still, and we all know who's going to win. One of the earthbenders flies out of the arena, and the next moment, the other one does, too. From then, Kassandra starts wrecking them. They didn't even notice her, standing in the corner, but she fires one water blast after the other one. Lan is smiling, so I think she's doing it right. She ends the fight by making them trip, and simply throwing them out of the arena using a giant icy hand. The bell rings once again.
I was next, but my fight is over before it even started. The firebenders forfeited, I threw the earthbender out of the arena and the waterbender begged me to spare him. And so, my bell rang.
The battles continued, and finally Tian was up. He is the last one of block B, and Lan is in D. Tian also doesn't have to put up much of a fight, since he won by blasting his opponents away from the top of his airspout.
Lan was the last one up. He has to face Tian's aunt Ketu, the only other airbender in here. They put on quite a show after defeating the other benders, but in the end, Lan won with a water- and firebending combo.
And so, the tournament went on. The next round was, once again, a battle royal, but this time it was four people against each other. First up are Kassandra, Elena, a waterbender and a firebender. The others are pretty good as well, but I don't think they are ready for Kassandra and Elena. The bell rings. Kassandra immediately sends a huge wave towards the firebender, and before he even did anything, he was knocked out. The waterbender takes on a defensive stance as Elena waits for a chance to strike. Kassandra strikes the waterbender in the back, and as he falls, Elena sends a shockwave towards Kassandra. Kassandra quickly recovers, and strikes back, only to find Elena's impenetrable defense. Elena makes her slip, and gently pushes her out of the arena.
Next up is Tian, with two firebenders and one earthbender. They are pretty good, but simply not prepared for an airbender. After a very fast round, he is sitting next to us once again.
"I hope the next rounds will be better..."
Elena decides to mock him.
"Rounds? You do know the next two are one on one? And you also know you're up against me?"
The bell rings. A waterbender came out on top.
"Elena, let's keep our sence of competition for ourselves, shall we? After all, we don't want to stress Lan out."
I don't feel that well, so I take up some snow and heal myself. I step into the arena. The other benders are already waiting. The bell rings. Two waterbenders and an earthbender. I dodge their shots with airbending, and strike back. They are focussing each other now. I need to get back in there. I bend fire to push the earthbender back, and as he starts to lose his grip, the waterbenders send him flying. There are only three of us left. As one of them sends me flying, I get woken up. I am being thrown out of the arena! I blast myself forward with fire, and then push them back with an air wake. I bend fire to hold one of them, but the other one is attacking me. I return his shots and kick him out of the arena, and from then it was easy. I air kicked him back, and as I make him go up, I do something no airbender has done before: I bend the air around him to hit him from every direction, then push him even further. As I walk back, I see the crowd cheering, and even Tian is really looking happy.
- Sorry it took so long, I had a writers block ;D
- The tournament will continue in the next chapter!
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