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Kindan no Ai
The Life of a Teenage Waterbending Master
In the year of 30 AG, Kayoko is an eight year old waterbender in the Southern Water Tribe. After her father and brothers leave on a long journey around the world, she is left with the women of her family, all of whom ignore her. This leaves her desperate to find a friend, and get attention from someone. Of course, she has one female friend, Hama, but they are both to busy focusing on their personal studies to play with each other much. But when a messenger hawk lands in Kayoko's lap, will she be able to find the friend she is looking for, or will it mean the end to Kayoko's life as she knows it.
Prequel: When a Flame Falls from the Sky
"Now, be a good girl for Mama while I'm gone, okay?" a big man with deep tan skin says to me as I hug him.
Pulling away I respond, "Of course, Papa. Why wouldn't I be?"
"Very true," he says, smiling down at me.
I hug him again, "I'm going to miss you, and Noriaki, oh and of course Nobukazu, and Uncle as well."
"And we will all miss you, but we will be back, hopefully, before the baby comes."
"I know, Papa."
He plants a kiss on my forehead then walks away. His arms wrap around my mother and pull her close. They embrace in the way they should, the way a husband in wife should hug when they won't see each other for half a year. Papa pats her tummy, then kisses her again and walks up the snowy plank to the boat.
While Mama, Kaede, and Risako hook arms and wave the boys off, I stand there on my own. The three of them are good friends, but everytime I come into the equation, it kinda explodes in my face. And an icy explosion at that.
I wave until I can't see Papa's face any more the slip away. The woman of my family don't even notice. They just stand there, waving as the ship disappears from sight. That's the way they work. Mama is an herbalist in our village, and well lets just say she needs Papa to keep her sane. Kaede is just some social butterfly, who doesn't really do anything for our village, other than try and make all the other girls jealous of her life in the lap of luxury. If you call one of the larger igloos at the center of the village with 7 people living in it, then sure, we are living pretty well. Then Risako is like a miniature Kaede. Risako is 7 years older than me, and Kaede is 12. Risako has always looked up to Kaede, even before Kaede married Nobukazu. They are like two peas in a pod, and its disgusting.
The wind picks up as I make my way down along the pier. The pier isn't too large, and only holds around 10 to 15 large boats at at time, along with a bunch of canoes. It is taken care of by one of my two uncles. He lives in the small igloo at the end of the pier, because, well, the village is a good 10 minute walk from here.
I slip into the small boat house behind Uncle's igloo. Inside are our family's personal canoes. My fathers, my two uncles, my cousin, my two older brothers, and mine. I'm the only girl in my family who has a canoe, because, I'm the only one who wanted one.
I hop into my canoe and open the ice door that blocks the exit. It takes a moment of concentration, but soon, the door is out of the way, and I can steer myself out to sea.
Everytime Papa leaves, he leaves me with multiple waterbending scrolls to practice with. I hate practicing in front of others, unless it's Papa or Nori, so I always take my canoe out to our secret hide out when I need to practice alone.
The breeze picks up the farther I get from shore. Our secret hideout isn't too far from the village, and you can actually access it from the tunnels underneath the village. My Papa made the tunnels with an earthbender who visited our village when they were teenagers. That was a good ten years before the war began.
The earthbender and his family came to the Southern Water Tribe for a year. He and my father became instant friends. They began to play pranks on the other villagers, and thought up a brilliant idea. To help aid in their pranks, they would create tunnels underneath the village that had an entrance to each house as well as a secret hideout for them to escape to if needed. That is exactly what they did.
Now, that hide out is used for storage, and only Papa and Nori know about it other than me. Papa says that the tunnels will be useful in case of an emergency, like a Fire Nation raid. Ever since this war started, people have been slightly on edge, because we don't want our waterbenders to go extinct, just like the airbenders did.
I round a bend in the ice, still sticking to the mainland. A high cliff hangs far above my head. The tell tale sign of a cave hidden by ice appears to my left. The ice hear is a deeper blue in color than the rest of the ice around it.
The boat slows to a stop in front of the discolored ice. I concentrate, dissolving the ice back into the water. The opening that is revealed isn't too large, only about 5 feet high and three feet wide. I steer the boat into the darkness.
As soon as I'm about four feet in, I turn around in my seat. I pull the water back up and freeze it back, covering the entrance, sealing me in. I float in a little more, then bump into some more ice. I clear the way, floating into a large cavern.
As soon as I put the ice back into its place, a bunch of crystals in the wall begin to glow, illuminating the room. Around me are walls of earth, reaching high above my head and far around me. Several canoes are attached to an earthen dock in front of me. To my right and left are entrances to two different rooms. Each of those rooms are another large cavern, each of them hold to large ships. They each have large tunnels leading off of them, but to open those tunnels, you need multiple waterbenders.
These boats were all made by my father, and are there so that if the village needs to evacuate, but be secretive about it, they can come here. Each of them is stocked full of food, furs, and other goods.
I push my boat to the dock and attach it to a post. I hop out and run towards the stairs. I sprint up the earthen steps, and soon reach an entrance blocked with a skin door. I push through the skins and enter a room made of stone.
The room is stocked full of the same things the boats have, just incase we have to leave some people behind. It is the storage room of our hide out. On the other side of the room is another door.
I make my way to it and push through, finding myself in another room made of earth. This one is much larger though. It holds several sleeping tents, as well as a large fire pit for a fire. At the far right of the room is a large open wall, that is filled in with ice. From here, you can see far out into the sea surrounding the South Pole.
Something on the ledge outside the window catches my eye.
It's red. Something you don't usually see. I sneak towards the window hoping that it is not what I think it is. A Fire Nation soldier. As soon as I get close enough, I can tell that it was not what I thought it was. It is a bird. A messenger hawk I believe, and it looks injured.
I open a small hole in the ice and reach my hand out. At first the bird is startled, but then it climbs onto my hand, and I pull it through.
It isn't a very large bird, only just bigger than my head. I hold it in my hands and examine it. It doesn't seem injured, just exhausted. I pet the bird on its back, and that is when I notice what it's carrying.
I let curiosity get the best of me. I grab the letter and read it. Its contents surprise me, no shock me. I grab ink and some parchment from a box nearby and respond. I wonder what the boy who sent this will think.
I like it. I hope that the two of us will become good friends, because clearly, we both crave it.
For the collective works of the author, go here.