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|Of Damsels and Fire Duels|
Chapter 6: Of Damsels and Fire Duels
Tenzin and Kyani walked out of the restaurant, their hunger satisfied. "Now, my incredibly boring cousin, I will show you how to have some real fun."
"Riiiight..." He raised an eyebrow. "It's nothing illegal is it?"
Tenzin thought for a second before shaking his head. "No. Not illegal."
"Okay, I'll bite. Where are we going?"
Tenzin held up a poster. "We're going to check this out."
Kyani sighed. "You're insane."
Sora, Chikyuu, and Fiora chowed down on their dishes, each wishing that they weren't already full.
"Oh my gosh! This is amazing!" Fiora, who was used to the best, had to agree with her friend's statement.
"So when are we going to tell the others about—?" Chikyuu began.
"We're not." Sora cut her off. "With any luck they won't find another poster."
"Has Tenzin always been like this? This free-spirited?" Fiora asked.
Sora shrugged. "He is an Airbender." She turned to Fiora. "But it wasn't always that way." As they got up to leave, Fiora continued questioning.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, when we were little, really little, Tenzin hadn't manifested any bending yet, but I had already begun to Waterbend, which made my mom really happy."
"I bet it did."
Sora smiled. "Yeah, well, Tenzin, believe it or not, adored his older sister."
Fiora gasped. "No!"
"Anyway, he wanted to be a Waterbender like me so badly that he unconsciously used his Airbending to...well...fake it."
The Fire Nation Princess' eyes widened. "What?!"
"It really happened. He was somehow able to manipulate water using air currents, and it looked so real. It even had Mom convinced for a while."
"But it wasn't on purpose?"
Sora shook her head. "He just wanted to be like me." She grinned. "After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
"I bet you hold that over his head." They were both briefly distracted when Chikyuu bumped into a pedestrian. "Be careful, Chikyuu!"
Sora affected a serious look. "Would I ever do something like that?" Fiora raised an eyebrow. "Yes I would."
"We need to settle this once and for all." Lu Ten said as they both finished their lunch.
Sanaki cocked her head. "Settle what?"
"You're homeschooling does not make you better than me at Firebending, and I'm going to prove it."
She rolled her eyes. "C'mon, Lu Ten, I don't wanna do this right now."
"Really, Lu Ten?"
"To an Agni Kai!"
She stared daggers at him. "Fine, I'll settle this, then."
His grin was feral. "There's an open courtyard two blocks from here."
Doma nudged his superior. "Gareth, they've split off."
"Excellent, you know you're mission. Move quickly and fight hard. If you underestimate them, you die."
His face carried an expression of incredulity. "But that one hasn't—!"
"It doesn't matter; carry out your mission. It must be done."
Doma and three other men stood. "Okay, let's do this." They pounced.
Kyani gave an exasperated sigh. "You have no idea where you're going, do you?"
"Of course I don't." Tenzin snorted. "I can't believe that you didn't realize that."
"That's what I thought..."
"Come on, Kyani," He nudged him with his elbow. "Where's your sense of fun?"
"I'm sorry; I seemed to have left that back at the Tower and brought my common sense instead."
As they walked past an alley, both guys noticed several men surrounding a girl. "Careful, remember that she is deadly. We cannot afford mercy." They moved in closer, bringing out their respective elements.
Tenzin glanced at Kyani. "That can't be good." A grin slowly came to his face. "I think it's time to play hero."
"I'm not arguing!" Kyani reached for his waist before remembering that he'd left his shotos back at the tower. Crap! Oh well...Live and learn.
Tenzin used Airbending to propel himself at a slightly faster running speed, his father's words ringing in his mind.
The world doesn't know that I am bringing the Airbenders back, and in order to maintain this delicate balance, I am asking you to refrain from using it in public as much as possible.
The girl stood ready, without any semblance of fear. "I haven't done anything; leave me alone!"
"I'm sorry, but we can't do that." That man, obviously the leader, pulled water out of two water skins at his side.
"I'd do what the girl said if you don't want to suffer embarrassing defeat." Tenzin jumped into the air and flipped over the Waterbender, landing directly in front of the girl. "Leave her alone."
He held the water in place. "You can't defeat all of us, kid. Stand aside."
"Too bad for you; he's not alone." Kyani strode up behind them. "Leave before you cause trouble."
The Waterbender turned to his comrades. "We have our orders; try not to kill these two idiots."
He launched a stream of water toward Tenzin and the girl, but the young Airbender grabbed her and jumped out of the way. As soon as they landed, she pushed him away.
"Let me go! I can take care of myself!" She punctuated this point by ducking under a fire blast created by one and retaliating with multiple blows to his limbs.
"A simple 'thank you' would be awesome!" Tenzin called after her.
She glanced back at him, her expression a mix of amusement and frustration.
Kyani for his part dodged attacks from the other two combatants while attacking conservatively. One of them, an Earthbender, fell into unconsciousness when struck by an elbow to the temple while the other retreated a few steps to reevaluate his strategy.
The Waterbender weaved and dodged Tenzin's strikes, but he soon began to tire. "You cannot stop this! You don't know—!"
"I know enough." Tenzin easily dodged the man's water-based attacks. You don't live with two of the world's best Waterbenders without picking up on a few things. "You aren't going to hurt her." The Airbender moved in and shoved forward with his palm, pushing out a gust of air as soon as it connected. The attacker flew into the opposing wall before dropping to the ground.
"What's your name?" Tenzin realized he'd have to act quickly before the man went unconscious.
"D-d-doma. You-you don't understand. They-they want to..." His words were cut off as he was out cold.
Tenzin rolled his eyes before turning to his cousin and the girl, who were finishing off their respective opponents. "I hope you're..." He stopped as he caught sight of her, finally getting a good look. She was slightly shorter than he was, and she had light brown hair and gray eyes that seemed so full of life. "Okay..."
She exhaled. "Thank you both for the help. I could've handled it, but I appreciate it nonetheless."
Kyani smiled. "It was the least we could do." He offered his hand. "My name is Kyani."
She smiled and returned his gesture. "And your friend?" Her genuine smile remained.
Kyani turned. "You gonna tell her your name or keep staring?"
Tenzin quickly shook off his stupor and laughed. "My name's Tenzin." He grinned. "What's yours?"
She raised an eyebrow, a grin playing its way to the edges of her mouth. "Pema." She turned, her dark blue cloak flying behind her. "Thanks again, boys; maybe I'll see you around."
"Y-yeah, maybe..." Kyani had never seen it before, but there it was. Tenzin was speechless.
The watcher turned back to his superior. "What just happened, Gareth?!"
The Firebender paced back and forth. "Doma ran into some difficulties, and the others failed as well."
"How do you--?"
"I can sense it. Although I doubt they survived."
"Then how do we proceed?"
"I don't know; they were obviously prepared."
The man was fearful now. "This doesn't bode well."
The two teenagers stood opposite each other. Lu Ten was ready; he would prove himself. "Are you ready?"
Sanaki raised an eyebrow. "Are you?" Her almost nonchalant attitude angered him, but he realized something else came with that. Something he could not identify.
Fire erupted from the Crown Prince's hand as he moved forward while San flipped out of the way. As she landed, she slid her foot out toward Lu Ten, launching flames along the ground toward his feet, all the while letting a small ring of flames circle around her fingers.
As soon as the fire hit at his feet, Lu Ten lost his balance. It was at this moment that San grinned and struck.
Sora, Chikyuu, and Fiora walked down one of the side streets. "I swear I felt something!" Chikyuu complained. "It was like an explosion."
"Well, maybe it was nothing to worry about." Sora offered.
She moved from one foot to the other nervously. "But I felt Lu Ten and San!"
"Maybe you were mistaken?" Fiora shrugged. "Maybe you just thought it was them."
"Just thought it was who?" Kyani and Tenzin strode up beside them.
"Chikyuu thinks San and Lu Ten are in danger." Sora stated.
Kyani tousled her hair. "Hey, don't worry kiddo; they're two of the most powerful Firebenders we know. I think they can handle themselves."
A loud boom shook the buildings around them, and they could all feel the heat. Both seemed to snap Tenzin out of his contemplation. "Or maybe not."
They arrived at a courtyard to find fire everywhere, and San and Lu Ten were still going at it. Neither could truly gain the upper hand, but it doesn't mean they didn't try.
Kyani put his head in his hands. "Great..."
"Sanaki! Lu Ten! That's enough! You'll burn down the whole courtyard!" Sora yelled.
That got their attention. "What?" They said in unison as they looked around. "Oops..."
"You guys are just lucky you didn't torch any buildings!" Kyani cried. "How are we going to explain this?!"
"Ahem..." Tenzin tapped on his cousin's shoulder. "We won't have to. Sora!"
"Put water bubbles around everyone's head."
She nodded, realizing what he was planning. As soon as the bubbles were in place, Tenzin pulled up his hands, dragging all of the air away and creating a vacuum that allowed the flames to die. After the last of the fire was out, Tenzin nodded to Sora, who released the water globes and put it back into her water skins.
"Well, that was easy." Tenzin sat down on the ground.
"Aside from the fact that they almost destroyed property..." Kyani rolled his eyes. "What were you guys thinking?!"
Lu Ten shrugged. "We just wanted to see who the better Firebender was."
"Doesn't the Tower have a training arena or something?" Chikyuu gave a confused stare. "Wouldn't that be easier and less dangerous?"
Sora shook her head. "Chikyuu is making more sense than either of you."
Tenzin's odd grin returned, and Sora realized that it did not necessarily bode well. "If you guys really want to Firebend so bad," He pulled out the poster that he had found. "You could do it here."
Sora's head whipped back and forth. "No, Tenzin, I draw the line here! We are in no position to be doing this!"
His feral expression grew. "No, I think it's perfect."
They all looked at the poster, and Chikyuu raised an eyebrow. "What's Pro Bending?"
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