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March 14, 2015
|"I need your help with something 'important'."|
|— I told an old friend.|
After learning more about the ways of the spirits, I have left the group, and headed to the Fire Nation; however, Mother was not well. Everything changed after my mother's passing, and the attack on our tribe.
As I made my final goodbyes to Zaheer, Aiwei, and P'Li, the sandbenders came in their sand-sailers, ready to escort me to the ferry terminal at Ba Sing Se, ready to travel to the Fire Nation. The ferry arrived twenty minutes late, so much for the huge reputation. It was no classy cruise liner, nor was it a junk boat, but just a regular steamship. As days went by being at sea, one thing that was unusual, was my first sense of discomfort on ships, after spending all those weeks with the Red Lotus. I knew I wanted to travel to the Fire Nation, but which part, I finally made my mind up when we reached Ember Island. From what I'd read, this used to be a secluded island for the Fire Lord and his family thousands of years ago. However, the Fire Lord decided to share this island with a few local residents, and now it became a bustling island, full on fun, and self-rediscovery. Now I finally understood why Xai Bau asked me to travel to this island. Next on, I travelled up Sozin's Mount, to find P'Li's family, as she asked earlier on the boat ride.
"So how did you end up becoming the Warlord's killing machine?" I asked P'Li.
"Well, it was a long story. The Warlord was just our close family friend, but we never knew him as a warlord back at home. He was like family to us. When I was eleven, I had to defend myself against a rough school bully up in the mountainside. That's where I found my ability to bend with my forehead. Soon, word got across the mountain about my ability, and everyone feared me at school, despite my pleading it was an accident. One night, he took me out of my bedroom, before knocking me out. Silently, he took me down the mountain, and headed towards the Earth Kingdom, where he reunited with his gang. I couldn't escape the clutches of the gang, until Zaheer came, and took down the Warlord himself," P'Li recounted.
And so I remembered, and I must let her family know of her whereabouts.
"Door thirteen, door eleven, nine, seven. Seven," I told myself.
I knocked on the door, no one answered at first. All the windows around the neighbourhood suddenly slammed shut.
"Hello, can I help you?" A man asked.
"Sure can, I just needed to deliver a message to the parents of P'Li," I told the man.
"I'm her father. Everyone, he's not an intruder, you can stop hiding," P'Li's father said.
"My name is Unalaq, and I've just met your daughter. I heard she was kidnapped by a warlord several years earlier. Well, he is dead, and P'Li is safe. She's travelling around in the Earth Kingdom with a partner," I told her father.
"Fa, did you hear that, our daughter is safe!" P'Li's father cried out, happily telling his wife.
"Thank you, Unalaq. If you need anywhere to stay during your travels, let us know," Fa said.
"Will do. I'm just headed to the Capital City's university," I told them.
"It's getting late, how about we treat you to dinner?" P'Li's father suggested.
"Dinner would be great," I told them.
So I went on in to visit P'Li's family. P'Li wasn't the only one in their family tree to gain the rare ability of combustion. The other man, much older, was killed by his own blast at the Western Air Temple forty-nine years ago. I have also learnt that their family used to be a member of the Fire Sages, the Fire Nation's religious authority, but fled here after the Hundred Year War was started by Fire Lord Sozin. For mountain food, this was surprisingly delicious. Fire flakes, along with fried chili roti; Roti was fried bread that the villagers here ate fairly often, due to their physical properties. Easy to work with, and it could last for days. After the scrumptious meal, and a good night's rest, I headed out to the Sun Warriors' Ancient City, which was around an hour ride by an ostrich horse. Living among those people was something else. I knew that history was different for everyone, but their ways were just out of the norm. After a month's stay there, year one hundred and fifty, I travelled to the Fire Nation Capital to complete my studies there. They definitely had a more strict environment there, compared to our tribe, but that was just what drove people to do their best. Many great historians came from the Capital City, especially those ones who had recounted the events during the Hundred Year War.
Suddenly, later in 150 AG, I received a call that my mother was dead. That was a drastic event for our whole family. So I returned home, to the Northern Water Tribe, to watch her pass, and retell her history. Father was saddened by her loss. His old happier nature, changed into a much more dry one. One day, I heard him, outraged with my brother.
"You did what?!" My father said.
"I did my job, I trained the men by using drills," my brother told him.
"You just wasted the life out of them. They are just new recruits. Move on," he told my brother.
"Yes, Father," my brother replied.
I knew my brother was right. Training them the way he did, created a strong military force for the tribe. Soon, he and the Water Warriors left for the tundras to train in the wild. There was something I hadn't noticed about my brother. I used to respect his ways, but I never truly believed in understanding his ways. That was probably the reason he left with his men after that fight we had several nights ago about our nation's welfare. The morning was one of those ones full of relief, and hope. It was just... he had changed so much, so had I. Once best friends into worst enemies. Oh well, I stayed with my father a little longer. I knew what I needed to do now: Take matters into my own hand. I rung up several good friends of mine from a while back.
"Still looking for a job?" I asked.
"What do you have in mind for us," the man asked.
"A mission in the Northern Water Tribe. Destroy it, for five hundred thousand yuans for each mercenary," I told them.
"Deal, I'll bring fifty. Is that agreeable?" the man asked.
"Deal," I told them. "Remember, if the Water Warriors chase after your lot, hide in the spirit forest further north, in the tundra. Let my brother chase you," I added.
"We will be there in three weeks," the man said. "You'll see."
That was just the beginning of my plan. I decided to meditate into the Spirit World, to find Vaatu.
"Vaatu, I need your assistance to wreak havoc to the men who are about to attack the Spirit Forest in the Northern Water Tribe in about a month," I told Vaatu.
"You need my help? I'm trapped right here," Vaatu said solemnly.
"Convince the spirits to protect the Spirit World from harm by the humans," I told Vaatu.
That was when Vaatu and I began working together for the first time. He seemed surprisingly accepting of humans who weren't aligned with Raava. This was when I decided to rendezvous with the mercenaries by the Eastern waters from the Northern Water Tribe.
"We will be there by morning," the mercenary leader said.
"Here's your pay." I handed the money to the leader.
So I travelled towards the Northern tundras to find my brother in a small village near Northern waters the next morning. I only found my brother through the help of my father, but when I got there, my brother looked at me, and the yak with displease.
"Brother, we're being attacked," I told him.
He ran up towards me, as the rest of the Water Warriors stood still. "What! Who's attacking us?" My brother questioned.
"Some mercenaries, I think," I told him.
"Men! Time to retake our home!" my brother rallied the men up.
"Yes, Sir!" They all echoed out.
All the men got on their yaks and rode their way back to the city, where the terrorists were wreaking havoc onto the city's core. As soon as my brother and his men got to the city, they decided to take over the western parts of the tribe, before retaking the central. I rushed back to my father, in case they wanted to assassinate or otherwise take him out for the throne. Luckily, most of the men didn't know who I was, except for the leader. Luckily, as I anticipated, my brother managed to drive all the barbarians out of the City.
"Sweet," I said as I watched my brother drive off the barbarians.
We waited back at the city for three days, still no return of my brother and the Water Warriors.
"Father, what should we do?" I asked him.
"Don't worry, he will be back. I just hope he doesn't do something rash again," my father told me. I guess he realized I knew as well.
"Chief! The warriors have just arrived on the outskirts of the northern border," my father's messenger said.
"Let's hear the good news, son," my father told me with a smile, something he hasn't shown in a long time.
The two of us walked outside of the palace to find a parade of citizens cheering for my brother, and his troops. All went according to plan for me. This was the first night the city was able to sleep with ease since the attack of the mercenaries a few days back. Then suddenly... dark spirits came, as Vaatu told me. They wreaked havoc to the city's architectures. Houses were torn, and sliced in bits. My brother and a few others attempted to fight off the dark spirits, but proved to be no match, as I anticipated.
"Go in peace," I told the dark spirits, as they travelled back to the Spirit World.
This was when my father called the shots, and banished my brother for good. This was better than I expected from the start. The rift grew, and so did the distance, as he ventured to the Southern Water Tribe. News went out that I drove the dark spirits away, which earned high praise on the streets of the North. However, my brother being banished wasn't and that was how father and I intended to keep it, for now at least. The next few years were quiet until my father had passed in spring 156 AG. There was a royal procession that guarded the coffin, and buried him near the palace. He ruled our Tribe for the past fifty years, which is the perfect time for me to take over power of both tribes, as my brother is now banished, and revoked of his birth right, perfect.
"It's been a while, old friend, I need your help with something 'important'," I told an old friend.
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