|By The Bos||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
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|Return to Gaoling|
July 23, 2010
Return to Gaoling is the thirty sixth chapter of.
Team Avatar follows a lead on the Earth King to Gaoling, and find soldiers with unusual orders.
Toph is sitting uneasily on the side of Appa's saddle. "Do you really think that he might be there..." Toph mutters to herself.
"Yes, that's what the guy said. He said that he knew a man with a bear for a while, but that he didn't know who he was. He said that he was headed for Gaoling. We have to go to find him." Sokka replies, making slight hand motions to try to prove his point. Toph's expression didn't change.
"Toph, no matter how much you hate this place, we need you here. If the Earth King really is here, then the Dai Li might be here too. You're going to be needed to help protect him," Katara adds.
"Hmph..." Toph mutters as she leans her head further over Appa.
Zuko begins, "Wait, what exactly does she have against this place?"
"It's where her parents are. That's why she doesn't want to come back." Katara explains.
"You got that right..." Toph mumbles again.
Appa lands on a hill outside the town and everyone but Toph hops off.
"Come on Toph," Aang calls up.
"Fine..." Toph says as she jumps off of Appa and lands on the ground. "Let's find the king already."
"Sounds good to me," Sokka adds as he begins leading the way to the town. Sokka walks through the gates to the town and begins looking for any signs of the king. He is soon joined by the rest of the team, who begin looking around town for any information about the king.
"This isn't getting us anywhere..." Zuko says to everyone after almost an hour of asking around failed to accomplish anything.
"Maybe we should split up." Sokka suggests. They decided that Katara would go with Toph while Aang, Sokka, and Zuko went looking in the other part of town.
You're not welcome
Aang, Zuko, and Sokka walked around Gaoling looking for any sign of the Earth King. They asked many people about the whereabouts of a young man with a pet bear, but no one remembered him.
"Do you remember anything?" Sokka asks one man.
"No, all I know is that there was a man a while ago who had a pet bear. He let the little kids play with the bear; it was really well behaved. But that's all I remember. I wish I could help more."
"Thanks anyway," Zuko tells the man, who carries on his normal way. "Why couldn't there just be someone who knows where he is going to end up? We could just wait there!"
The other two nod in agreement. They look around, and eventually Aang spots an Earth Kingdom soldier. He runs over and taps the man's shoulder. "Excuse me, have you seen a man with a bear recently?"
"Listen Avatar. You're not welcome in this town anymore. I would leave immediately if I was you." the soldier says sternly.
"What? This doesn't make any sense!" Aang replies, clearly frustrated.
"It's not up to me. We have orders from high up to not allow the Avatar to stay in Gaoling. Leave, or you will be forced out." The soldier adds even more stern than before.
Sokka and Zuko arrive at Aang's side. "Do you know what Aang has done for you? He saved your entire Kingdom! If it wasn't for him, your entire kingdom would have been burned down and you would be serving the Fire Lord!" Sokka exclaims, fuming at the soldier.
"Last chance. Leave this town Avatar."
"No! I came here to try and help, and I won't leave until I find that man! I'll leave once I find him," Aang tells the guard.
The guard bows his head, and stomps hard on the ground. He stomps in a pattern and the three look around, confused. Soldiers run from around the block and surround the three friends. The soldiers raise rocks from the ground, and send them towards the three. Zuko creates a fire dome, and many of the rocks are vaporized. Aang stops the remaining boulders and sends them back into the ground.
A soldier sends an earth column that is aimed at Sokka. Aang quickly moves in front of the column and stops it in place. He hops over the column and knocks the soldier over with an air blast. Zuko knocks over a nearby soldier and holds a flame to his face, warning him not to rise. Sokka is swiping at the original soldier, trying to hit him with the blade, but the soldier is able to distract him by using Earthbending. The soldier raises pillars in between Sokka's sword and him, forcing Sokka to readjust himself to prepare another strike.
"Just let us stay!" Aang calls out to the guard.
"We have our orders." The soldier quickly ducks beneath Sokka's swipe and knocks him away with a rock to his stomach. Zuko arrives from behind Sokka and sends a fire blast at Sokka's attacker that knocks him over.
"Who gave you these orders?" Zuko asks that soldier, the last of the group that attacked them.
"The highest ranking military officer in the area." the soldier replies. "And no, I won't tell you who he is."
"Well, that's not good." Sokka says. He turns around and looks into the small crowd that gathered around the little battle. He sees some of the student's of Master Yu's Earthbending academy, and recognizes the two that Katara scared around a year before. "You! You guys can help!" Sokka runs over, and the crowd parts to allow Sokka to see the two kids. "Who in this town isn't a fan of the Avatar?"
"Well, I know a family that hasn't been a fan of him for about a year now. I don't know why that really matters. But I can take you there. But what's in it for me?" one of the two boys replies.
"Not being burnt," Zuko says, creating a small ball of fire in the palm of his hand.
"Okay... put that away..." the boy says, motioning in a different direction and wanting for the three to follow him.
You belong here
Toph and Katara walk around the far part of town, far away from the Bei Fong mansion. "Excuse me, sir, have you seen a man with a bear? He was supposed to give my cousin a ride on the bear, but she lost the flier that he gave to her. Can you help us?" Katara says in a fake tone to an official looking man.
"Nope, sorry little lady. I haven't seen him in like a week or two. Your cousin must have a memory problem too. Can't help you," the man replies.
"That's okay. Did he say where he was going?" Katara inquires.
"I thought I remember something about him going to Ba Sing Se or something. I can't remember for sure, but I'm pretty sure he mentioned something like that," the man tells Katara.
"Thank you sir," Katara says while bowing and leading Toph away, as if she couldn't see. "See Toph, that was useful. Now we just need to find Aang and the others."
"Wait Katara, be quiet for a second." Toph says as she kneels down to the ground. "That man is talking to a soldier now, and he's been gesturing this way." Toph stands up and turns slightly to face Katara. " This won't end well..."
As she finishes, another soldier arrives and places his hand on Katara's shoulder. "Excuse me ma'am. I am going to need to take this girl. I hope you don't mind. I really hope you don't mind," the soldier tells Katara in a dark tone. Before waiting to hear her response, he moved his hand from Katara's shoulder to Toph's, and began leading her away.
"No you don't!" Katara says as she draws her water from its skin. She uses a whip to knock the soldier's arm away from Toph's shoulder. She then used it to push the soldier about ten feet away from her. "She's staying with me," Katara boldly states as she returns her water to her pouch.
"Don't you know who this girl is? She's the Blind Bandit, a fugitive criminal. She stole something valuable from the Bei Fong's, a very rich family. They have offered a large reward for her."
At this, Toph's expression changes to fury. She stomps on the ground and sends the soldier into the air. "They said I did what?"
Other soldiers from the area quickly join in the little scuffle. "Girl, you are under arrest for assaulting an officer of the Earth Kingdom Army. Give in peacefully."
"I'll hurt a hundred more before I go back there!" Toph replies, assuming her stance and preparing for battle. Some soldiers begin preparing their earth attacks, but Toph knew of them as soon as they did. She sent a jet of earth at the first few soldiers who were almost ready to attack her. The rest were knocked down by earth pillars soon after. One soldier gets up from behind Toph. He prepares an attack, but is knocked out by a water whip to the back of his neck.
"I'll never go back there," Toph mutters to herself. "They never really loved me. They sent soldiers and bounty hunters after me, without ever telling them who I really am."
"Maybe you should find out why." Katara replies, moving closer.
"Why? They wouldn't care that I'm back, they just want me there so that I won't be out in public to embarrass them."
Aang quickly emerges from a side alley to find the two girls. "There you are! We found something, and I think that you two should come with us," Aang says.
"Great! Let's go!" Toph replies, quickly following Aang, who is also followed by Katara.
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