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"Prologues" is the title of the preliminary chapter of the AU fanfiction story. It is not part of the story itself, but serves as a nice lead in and gives some insight to characters.
The old airbender and his young pupil were on a peregrination in the Earth Kingdom. The boy sang a traditional Air Nomad song as they went, and his mentor was laughing.
Two more travelers joined them on the road. They were young men, dressed in shabby clothes. They were probably from the Earth Kingdom. They said nothing for a while, and then one asked whether the old man and the boy were airbenders.
"Yes," the old man replied.
"Where you two headed?"
"Really? Us too. Would you like some company?"
The strangers were quiet for a bit longer. The only sounds were the shuffling of footsteps and the click of the old man's staff as he leaned on it to walk onward.
One of the strangers noticed the silver circlet the old man wore around his wrist.
"Say, that's nice. Is it real silver?"
"Why, yes. It was a gift."
"Well, it looks very nice."
The boy was walking next to his master just then. He decided to glance up, because the sun was very bright that day.
Suddenly he heard his mentor sigh in pain and fall, just as he felt a bandana being tightened around his neck. One of the strangers was trying to garrote him. He saw the other stranger holding a dagger as he rummaged through the robes on the old airbender's lifeless body. The thief removed the silver circlet from the man's one wrist and his prayer beads from the other, then grabbed his staff and sprinted down the road and into a wood off to the right. He called for his compatriot finish up the kid and get going, and the second bandit constricted the bandana even tighter around the boy's neck. Remembering an airbending technique his mentor had just recently taught him, the boy held the air in his lungs and purposely stopped his breathing, pretending to be dead. The second bandit ran off.
The boy lay there for a long time, waiting to make sure the bandits were gone. He sat up and looked over his mentor's body. His eyes started to water. He laid his head on his mentor's chest and quietly sobbed into his robes.
Eventually, Afiko picked himself up and went on to Omashu, where he found some visiting Air Nomads. He tearfully asked them for a ride home, and they flew him back to the Southern Air Temple.
As was the custom in her family, the pregnant woman brought her unborn child, as well as her first son, now a boy of seven years, to be blessed by the Avatar. This Avatar and the woman had been friends in the past. He had once helped her win an important battle.
However, with his deep spiritual insight, the Avatar noticed something strange about her son. Both of them, really. He told her that this child had a dearth of yang energy to his chi, in exactly the same proportion as the older son's lack of yin. He told her that it was rumored that the woman and her brother had had the same condition. At this the woman was visibly dismayed, but the Avatar tried to comfort her. He told her that although yang can mean aggression it can also mean strength, diligence, and authority. There was no reason why her sons should turn out like her and her brother.
They talked a little more about the past, and then about the future. They hugged good-bye, and he crouched down and shook her young son's hand.
The Avatar told the woman he had a gift for each of her children. He entered his sanctum and returned with two sturdy but simple-looking dao broadswords. The little boy looked at them in excitement. The Avatar told her to give one sword to each of them when she felt they were old enough.
"These are dual swords," he said. "Their relationship mirrors that of yin and yang, and that of your children. They appear to be separate things, but they're not. They complement each other. They balance each other. They are meant to work in conjunction." Then he wished them all good health and reminded her to take good care of her son. "Our nation's future will be in his hands someday," he said.
The woman thanked the Avatar. "I will make my son a strong, capable ruler. He will not repeat my father's mistakes."
The woman took her son's hand and looked down at him. "Thank Avatar Roku, Sozin."
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Enemies and Traitors chapters|
|Prologues - Brothers - Responsibilities - Necessities - Resources - The Avatar - Opportunities - Preparations - Betrayals - Changing Plans - Scars - Counting Losses - Exiles - Ghosts - Homecoming - The Traitor and the Firelord - Escapes - The Last Chance - Legacies|