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|Reaching Ba Sing Se|
It's out everyone! I hope you enjoy! I will keep writing during my inactivity. I have three references in this chapter. I suggest you read the trivia if you want to see these references.
What this is about
This chapter introduces a character who only shows up in this chapter. Mei Lien and Lanying are on another attempt to escape again, including Lanying.
The group finally reaches their destination!
Reaching Ba Sing Se
Finally, the one thing she has been dreaming ever since she left her home in her village. The only thing she hoped for. Her father would be proud.
Ba Sing Se
The name carved instantly into her mind. In time, it would be her new home. One more day away...just one more.
On the other hand, the girl's friend also seemed enthusiastic. Her father, the only family member she had left was waiting for her eagerly. Through all the years, she had not received one letter, but one had finally turned up on her doorstep. Why had her father finally revealed himself to her? Or did he finally figure out where she was located? Questions swerved through the Earthbender's mind.
"Girls!" a familiar stern voice interrupted their thoughts. "Let us get going. If you want to make it to Ba Sing Se by tomorrow, it is best if you two stop daydreaming and get your act together!" Lanying's voice erupted.
"Someone is excited..." Mei Lien whispered to Lanji, and the two giggled happily.
By mid-morning, the two girls went hunting while Lanying collected a basket of fruit. They ate hungrily and set off. Lanying buried herself in her map while Mei Lien and Lanji took mental pictures of the amazing wall that spread miles and miles on the horizon.
"It's so miraculous!" exclaimed Mei Lien.
"You can say that again!" Lanji agreed. "Just think, in hours we will be riding on a ferry across the river and step onto the stone streets of the city."
Mei Lien could not help a giant smile that came across her face. "And after we arrive, you will find your father with the address he gave to you, and my mother and I will try to make a living."
The word try worried Mei Lien. What if mother couldn't find a job? Where would that leave us?, Mei Lien thought. Don't think negative Mei Lien. That will get you nowhere...
The group journeyed across rivers and land, heading straight towards the barricade that blocked out the marvelous wonders of the biggest city in the Earth Kingdom.
Mei Lien frowned every time she lost sight of the wall because of the surrounding trees. "Mother, how long do we have left to arrive at the place with the ferries?" Lanying propped her bad leg up on a rock, which surprisingly was healed. "Still a days trip away."
Afternoon came upon the group and they stopped to eat the food they collected. Mei Lien picked up her diary supplies and began to compose her entry.
Finally, we have been traveling almost three months. Our destination seems to be moving toward us, even though we are moving towards it. Ba Sing Se, the biggest city in the Earth Kingdom is almost in our reach. It seems like just yesterday my mother and I were forced out of our home into the wilderness beyond. Time flies fast.
Father would be proud if he was here....if he was, but he's not.
An unwelcomed tear scurried its way down the Earthbender's cheek. She continued to write.
I wonder what we will find in Ba Sing Se. I know we will have to part with Lanji. That devastates me. Lanji has been a faithful friend and companion, but I know she has to find her father.
Right beside her on a rock, a badgerfrog croaked, staring at the girl with wide eyes.
Maybe my life would be better off as a badgerfrog. I'd have no worries.
She closed the ripped diary and placed it in her bag. Mei Lien did not realize that Lanji was watching her the whole time.
"You really like that diary of yours." she wondered curiously.
"Oh yeah, I have written a lot of entries since I left home. I think you should write one too."
"Yeah! I'll think about it Mei Lien!"
Lanying came upon the girls out of nowhere in particular. "Girls! Let us get going!"
As they carried on with their travels, Lanying told a story about a powerful Waterbender named Ultima and a spectacular Airbender named Oong.
"They teamed up and attempted to overthrow the leaders of each nation and rule the world," Lanying explained. Mei Lien and Lanji listened reluctantly because it was an excellent way to pass time as they advanced to Ba Sing Se.
"Those are peculiar names mother," Mei Lien interrupted Lanying's story.
"Yes, they are daughter. As I was saying, both of the benders eventually destroyed the leader of the Earth Kingdom. When they faced the Avatar, they lost. Ultima and Oong were killed by the human with all four bending abilities."
"Did they kill any other leaders of the nations?" Lanji questioned.
"Not that I know of, just the leader of the Earth Kingdom."
Hours passed as the sky changed from bright blue to a deep shade of red, purple, and orange. Ba Sing Se walls still fell directly ahead of the group.
Trot Trot Trot Trot! A trotting noise fell upon the group. It was coming from behind them on the dirt trail that they were following. Two horses peered from behind pulling an old-looking carriage.
Trot Trot! Quickly, the carriage approached the group, and halted abruptly next to them. The swift driver called out to the three. "Would you lovely ladies enjoy a ride? It's free! It looks like you three are heading to Ba Sing Se. Am I right?"
Lanying smiled politely. "Yes we are heading to Ba Sing Se. Thank you for your offer sir, but we can make it to Ba Sing Se on foot."
"But this is a free ride!" the man pressured. "You ladies will get to your destination in about two and a half hours. If you walk, it will take at least five hours. So, how about it?"
Mei Lien glanced at her mother, as in saying that she should take the man's proposition. "Sure! We'll take a ride. Thank you sir!" Mei Lien agreed before Lanying could speak a word.
Lanying glared at her daughter, but then sighed and followed Mei Lien and Lanji into the coach. Inside the broken down transportation knelt a girl Mei Lien and Lanji's age. Her hands and legs were tied to the floor of the carriage with large black chains. The poor girl had giant bruises all over her arms, legs, and face. Tears slipped freely from her eyes. She cried in surprise when she saw the travelers, shaking the chains ferociously. "Get out of here!" she shrieked in horror.
Click! The miniature doors of the coach were locked by the driver. He laughed in glee as he hopped on one of the horses and started to move the carriage.
Oh shoot, this is going to be Sinsu all over again, Mei Lien thought.
"Ahh!" the girl screamed as she tried to escape from the metal rings that held her down.
"We gotta get out of here!" Lanji shouted, banging the exit of the carriage.
Mei Lien bent down to aid and unlatched the chains off the helpless terrified girl. "What happened? Who is this man? What did he do to you?"
The girl's lips quivered as she tried to get sound out of her mouth. "T-the man captured me f-from the r-road I was walking on," she began. "He is a v-very bad man. He will get y-you if you do not leave."
"Great, just great," Lanji frowned. "A few days ago we were trapped in another cart carriage thing, and now we are stuck in this."
"It's okay girls. Calm down. We are going to be off schedule that is a fact, but if we put our heads together, we can surely find a way out of this cramped space."
"Is it made out of earth?" Mei Lien spoke up immediately.
The girl coughed. "No, sadly it's not. It is made out of hard wood. By the way, my name is Jia Qua. Thank you for helping me."
"Okay Jia, we have supplies in our bags, but I'm not sure if there is anything to break out of the wood."
Lanying, Mei Lien, and Lanji searched through their bags. "Nothing," Lanji sighed in defeat. "Nothing. Nothing. Nothing!"
Suddenly, the carriage jerked to a stop. The group was tossed around into the tight space. "Ahh!" Jia shrieked as the doors of the coach flung open. The supposedly "bad" carriage driver stood at the entrance.
Before he could move a muscle, Jia took her fist and socked him right in his pudgy face. He was knocked out faster than a sprinting cheetah-lion. The man fell helplessly onto the dirt road.
"Now that's how ya do it," Jia smirked, hopping off the platform of the old transportation. Once the three had exited their trap, the horses, who now had no one to control them, sped off with carriage leaving a trail of dust.
"What should we do with his limp body? Move it away somewhere?" Mei Lien asked, organizing her messy backpack.
"We should leave him out here. He deserves it anyway," Jia retorted in disgust. Mei Lien, Lanji, and Lanying seemed not so thrilled by leaving a man's unconscious body on the side of a road, but reluctantly agreed to.
"I wonder if we are even close to Ba Sing Se," Lanying questioned, opening her map.
"I'm sure we are not that far away," Lanji answered, with a hint of doubt in her voice.
Jia grabbed the map out of Lanying's fingers and studied it carefully. "Don't worry. We are closer to Ba Sing Se then you think. Actually, Mr. Unconscious over there brought us closer to the city if that is where you travelers are headed."
"Yes, we are headed to Ba Sing Se. How do you know we are close? I have no clue where we even are!" Lanying exclaimed, looking up at the evening sky.
"I know where we are because I look at a map," Jia shot back rudely. "I can escort you three to the ferries if you'd like. I have nowhere else to go."
Lanying's nervous expression faded into a cold anger. "I think we can manage on our own."
"Actually, we need her mother to lead the rest of the way. I highly doubt that we can make it there alone with just your last century map," Mei Lien stated matter-of-factly.
Lanying sighed in defeat. "You are right daughter, but I do not like her behavior."
"I can behave however I want to behave lady," Jia smirked. "But before we begin our way to the largest city in the Earth Kingdom, we have to find a water source."
"Why?" Lanji inquired impatiently.
"Well, because I'm a Waterbender. I desperately need some!"
"You are a Waterbender?!" Lanji and Mei Lien cried at the same time.
Jia chuckled. "Yes, I am. I have just always traveled around in the Earth Kingdom. I never knew how I got here, but I am one hundred percent Waterbender."
"I always knew there was something about you that was different," Lanying mused. "Especially your name, it is Water Tribe."
"That's funny you mention that because the only reason I know I'm from the Water Tribe is my name. Enough about me, we have to keep moving ladies. To a water source!"
The four companions discovered a lake where Jia was mesmerized by the clear water that danced and swirled. She showed off some of her Waterbending moves, and Mei Lien and Lanji showed off their bending as well. After, the gang carried on into the wilderness.
Reaching the Ferries
Darkness fell across the group as they finally walked the last distance of their journey. Suddenly, Jia halted to a complete stop.
"I see it! It's the mouth of the river where the ferries are docked!" Jia exclaimed to the group. "See, told ya I could take you here!"
Lanying, Mei Lien, and Lanji cheered in sheer happiness and joy as they saw the immense boats that were docked on the mouth of the wide river.
This is it, Mei Lien thought. The last leg of my journey. I will miss the outdoors. Bites of spider-ants, eating rotten deer-squirrels, and most of all, falling into freezing rivers were an experience of life time. Mei Lien grinned at the humorous thought.
"Well travelers, I'll be off now. Enjoy your trip to Ba Sing Se and thanks for saving me from Mr. Unconscious!" Jia smiled widely.
"You are leaving?" Mei Lien queried.
"Unfortunately, yes. I would love to accompany you three, but I love being a nomad. Traveling outdoors is my life, not the noisy city with many dirty people," the Waterbender replied. Her facial expression hardened and she looked straight into Mei Lien's eyes.
"Mei Lien of the Earth Kingdom, be very careful. Do not trust everyone you meet. Do not take risks in the place where fate lies or you will only be burned," Jia growled in an unfamiliar voice. In an instant, the Waterbender whipped around and sprinted back in the trees.
Mei Lien stared back in the trees, pondering what Jia had told her.
Lanying took out two old, thin books with a dark brown cover. "These are our passports Mei Lien. They are vital for when we board the ferry, so do not loose yours!"
Mei Lien paid little attention to her demanding mother. All she could think about was the Waterbender who gave her the mysterious omen.
"Lanji, I suppose you have your own passport?" Lanying questioned.
"Yes, it is one of the few things I have left," Lanji responded, grasping a small book in her left hand.
"Okay girls, we should now head towards the docks so we can ride the next ferry."
Heading to the City
A cool summers breeze whipped through Mei Lien's long dark brown hair as she held on to the railing that surrounded the edge of the ferry. The large boat rocked back and forth on the dark blue waves that pushed it forward. A full moon reflected beautifully off the ocean waters creating a light that lit up the world. Lanying approached her daughter from behind draping a thick blanket around her shoulders.
"Are you excited?" Mei Lien's mother whispered.
"Actually, I'm a little nervous," the Earthbender girl admitted.
"Everyone can be nervous before visiting their first city."
Mei Lien nodded even though she was not nervous about that. She worried about what Jia had told her. The words played in her head over and over again. Mei Lien of the Earth Kingdom, be very careful. Do not trust everyone you meet. Do not take risks in the place where fate lies or you will only be burned.
"Come on, let's go inside to eat with Lanji," Lanying interrupted her thoughts.
An hour and a half passed until Mei Lien heard the words she always dreamed of.
"Look everyone, we made it to Ba Sing Se!"
- Jia means "beautiful" in Chinese.
- The story Lanying told about Ultima and Oong may be the future in Ba Sing Se.
- Ultima is in reference to the . Please note that this only a name reference not a personality reference.
- Oong is a reference to or as I like to call it, M Night style. Please note that this is only a name reference not a personality reference.
- The badgerfrog is in reference to . The badgerfrog represents this users name and profile picture.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it! Can't wait to see you guys when I get back!
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Legend of Mei Lien Chapters|
|Beginning of a Journey - Problems, Solutions, and Surprises - Lanji Tong - Traveling On - The Escape - Into the Mountain, Part 1 - Into the Mountain, Part 2 - Reaching Ba Sing Se - Difficulties and Unexpected Matters - Revealings - Discoverings|