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|Return to the Southern Air Temple|
February 5th, 2013
The following day Aang was introduced to a girl maybe two or three year older than he was, they called her Luya. She had already Mastered even the most complicated of Waterbending techniques. Since the introduction she drilled Aang on the relationship of the moon and the tide all while showing him the most basic move of Waterbending. The simple back and forth of the tide, it took Aang about 5 seconds to master this technique.
"You sure caught on quick. I shouldn't be surprised since Air and Water are quite similar."
For the rest of the morning she showed him more and more difficult moves but Aang seemed to master them almost immediately.
Luya frowned, "Okay Mr. Avatar. Let's spar a bit. You've learned enough to be able to at least defend yourself."
Aang let out his childish laugh and did some sort of silly dance. Luya didn't quite understand why Aang was doing this but maybe it was just an Airbender thing...
Aang barely had time to look at Luya when an icicle sped towards him. The Avatar nimbly dodged it, though it grazed the back of his clothing, leaving a small tear. In defense, Aang shot several, yet small, waterballs at his Master. It was all too easy for her to freeze them and send them flying back. Frustrated, Aang made them collide in mid-air and shot the shards back at Luya. While she was distracted with redirecting them once again back at Aang, the Avatar summoned a large wave. It would have hit Luya if the Waterbending Master didn't suddenly turn and part the wall of water so that it passed around her harmlessly.
Aang groaned in disappointment, "I almost had you!"
"That you did," Luya laughed "For that being your first time sparring, I must admit it was impressive. But I should expect nothing less from the Avatar." Aang smiled, he enjoyed the praise. It sure did make being the Avatar a whole lot easier.
"Now Aang, the spiritual council informed that I could only train you so far and that it is tradition the Avatar travel to our sister tribe in the North. There you will perfect Waterbending with a Master who is much less forgiving than I. But first you must make a stop at the Southern Air Temple though, the monks require you to meet someone."
Aang nodded and thanked Luya for all of the training in which the Master was quite humble and bowed to Aang, making him feel a bit silly. After a light lunch, Aang jumped aboard Appa and sped towards the mountainous region that sheltered his home from the rest of the world.
"I wonder who I get to meet buddy." Aang said to Appa, who in turn replied with a low grumble.
It wasn't long before the mountains appeared, tall and shrouded in mist. Aang easily navigated them, flew vertically over a natural rock wall and beheld the Southern Temple.
"We're home!" Aang was excited but at the same time apprehensive, his actions would surely have made the Elder Monks quite unhappy. As they neared the major courtyard of the main temple, a small welcoming party gathered. Gyatso stood at the very front.
"Aang!" he called out. "You have been missed young one."
"You aren't mad at me?"
"I was rather upset at first but now I am at peace with this. You have begun your Avatar journey on your own. Come quickly to the Air Sanctuary, you need to meet someone before you go any further in your training."
"Even I do not know that."
Gyatso lead the way up the winding path a large door that could only be opened by way of Airbending. Whipping his arms around he fired two large streams of air to cause the doors to swing inward.
"In you go Aang."
Aang walked in, the room was somehow lit up but he couldn't see the source. It appeared several people were standing in the room, but all was silent. What did they want? Looking a little close Aang realized they were statues...all of people that seemed vaguely familiar. He walked amongst them until he reached the last one, a tall Fire Nation man with a thick beard. Aang noticed he bore the Fire Nation Royal Crown, he must be royalty.
"I'm afraid I was never Royalty," a deep, wise voice echoed through the hall.
Aang spun around to face the very same man, only he was a bluish color and shimmering slightly. Gaping, Aang backed away.
"Do not fear me young one," he said warmly. "I am Avatar Roku."
"You were the Avatar before me!"
"Correct. I come here today to aide you in beginning your Avatar journey. I also have a bit of unsettling news."
"What would that be?"
"We will get to that later. For now we shall take a short trip into the Spirit World."
"Huh? But I'm no spirit."
Roku chuckled deeply, the sounded vibrating among the statues, "Young Avatar, you and you alone are the bridge between our two worlds. It has always been this way."
"So I can travel into the Spirit World?"
"Yes, but there are some things you must know before we go. The Avatar holds no place of authority in the Spirit World like they do in the real world. Second, you will be unable to bend any element so stick close to me; we will be riding my dragon Fang. And if we get separated do NOT stray off of the path you are on, many things wish to end the Avatar. Should you perish in the Spirit World it would mean the end of the Avatar Spirit."
Aang gulped, "Why are we going in anyway?"
"You shall see."
Roku waved his arms and brought them together in a loud clap. Immediately chamber rumbled and a huge shimmering figure burst from the ceiling. He was a great scaled beast with a beard just as great as Roku's. The dragon curled around the two, Roku climbed onto him, just behind the shoulders.
"Come on up Aang. Fang is your steed as well."
And so Aang mounted Fang just behind Roku. They shot back towards the ceiling, which made Aang's instincts kick in as he braced for impact but a funny, tingling sensation replaced it. When Aang opened his eyes they were in an odd place. Clouds were everywhere with hundreds of people nestled among them.
"These are all of your past lives Aang. While only I can communicate with you under my own command, you can communicate with any one of us if you so choose. We are all here to lend our wisdom."
Aang could only look on in awe; he knew the Avatar was a spiritual being but the enormity of it all was overwhelming to him.
"Roku...I never wanted any of this..."
Roku looked back at him, "Many of your past lives have had similar issues. Why, I was very disappointed at the beginning of my journey. I had packed all my bags until the Fire Sages said I would no longer need them. Now come, we don't have much time and you still need to learn some most unfortunate news."
Aang was about to protest but instead bowed his head and allowed Roku to continue. "Twelve years ago I perished trying to save my island from a volcanic eruption, overwhelmed by the poisonous gases that were being released. But there is a reason I could not escape."
Roku became very grim at this point. "Fire Lord Sozin was there to help me, but we could not do it. Even with us two, the Avatar and Master Firebender, could not stop the elements from doing as they wished. I was quickly overwhelmed from inhaling too much gas and I collapsed. Fire Lord Sozin... he stood there and watched me, helpless. I reached out for his help but he chose to abandon me. Unable to save myself, Fang came to me and we perished together."
"He abandoned you? But why Roku? Why are you telling me this?"
"Because Aang, several years before that incident I caught Sozin attempting to invade the Earth Kingdom. He refers to it as colonization and spreading the Fire Nations wealth, but I know what he actually wants. Now that a fully realized Avatar is out of his way he can begin his conquest of the world. You are in great danger Aang as you will be his main target. The Fire Lord plans to utilize a comet that will bring him and every Firebender in the world unimaginable power."
"So he will come after me?"
"I'm afraid so, but not just you, every Airbender alive. He doesn't know your exact identity yet so he plans to strike all four Temples simultaneously."
"He knows where our Temples are?!"
"There is a traitor in your midst Aang. You must find a way to become powerful enough to stop Sozin before this comet arrives. I have faith in you but for now we must part ways...until next time..."
And before Aang knew it, he was back in the Air Sanctuary...silent and still, digesting the news he was just delivered.
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