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|Sons of the Earth|
July 23, 2013
Offer prey and something worse will appear...
Chapter 7: Sons of the Earth
Tiros sat impatiently on the steps of the village. "How on earth is this a good idea?"
The village was abandoned as part of their plan, well, not really, there were several hundred soldiers in place of people. Melasa had made a grand plan that was to entrap Lesun. Evacuating all of the villages, only one was broadcast to have any people or wealth while the rest were taken and protected in Michyu.The village of Teira was then occupied with troops waiting for a raid. To ensure that Lesun came, a challenge from the Avatar was sent out. Teira appeared to have two hundred soldiers but actually had five hundred hidden in and around the village.
Melasa sat in a hidden part of the roof, waiting and watching. With unnatural and superior skill in perception, she could tell where and when the enemy was coming from. He stepped into a large building. He walked up the creaking stairs and then leaned against a wall and spoke softly to no one.
"Well? Is anyone coming?"
Melasa's controlled voice answered from the other side of the wall as she leaned on it, "No one beyond Earth Kingdom forces are near the village."
"I hope this works."
"It will, its just a matter of when."
"For not understanding people on an emotional level, you seem pretty confident about how they act."
A light chuckle that was uncharacteristic of the witch barely touched his ears, "Humans may make their choices based on emotions, but they are predictable. Humans are fearful of what they don't understand and rush into things like a headless komodo chicken."
The Avatar chuckled, "Perhaps they do. Yes, people fear, but that fear also ensures our survival. We know to run when something so terrifying that we can't stand is before us. And not all fear is fear of what may be done. Some is of what isn't done."
"What do you mean, Master?"
Memories flashed through his mind, reminding him of what he feared. He never wanted to talk about it, but perhaps it would help Melasa understand him a little better. "Before I arrived to the mainland, I was training in firebending. At the time, a mutiny of troops had occurred that brought on some troubles. I knew I was the Avatar earlier than normal and insisted I intervene. I was denied and told to finish my training as an Avatar. To them, that meant all the elements and then return; to me, it was mastering fire."
"I mastered firebending and set out to end the fighting. I was horrified at what I found. I saw things that I will never speak about. I used my power to my fullest, and I killed them all. I was nearly driven mad. It was then that I promised to hold back on my powers and always help people when they needed it and not when it was convenient."
"That was why you insisted on coming to end this rebellion," Melasa stated it, understanding his reason for coming. "You didn't want this rebellion to escalate to the point it did when you mastered your first element. You don't want a war that will claim more lives."
"I'm never going to let things get worse if it is possible to stop it. If I have to burn a single man to ash to save a village, I will."
Melasa sat and thought on that statement. Perhaps she wasn't so different from him. He could be just like her, but for different reasons. He sincerely felt responsible for the things that happened around him. He really wanted to protect people. How intriguing.
Melasa tapped on the wall, "They're coming."
Tiros got up and immediately ran to inform the Captain, they had a plan.
"Captain Kyo, they are coming."
He nodded seriously, when a scout called out, "Dust in the west!"
Tiros, Kyo and Mir stood up on the village wall where there was indeed a storm of dust in the far distance. It was so far away that it was hard to see in the night landscape. The only reason it was visible was because that many were riding. A large attack was coming if that was the case, perhaps a couple hundred. Fortunately, they were prepared for that.
Tiros waited at the gate as everyone prepared for attack. They had a plan, they just needed to draw out Lesun. The sounds of the approaching hoard made its way to them, ensuring that everyone was on edge.
The stampede of feet from Ostrich Horses circling made its way to them. The yells and whooping of men psyching out for war came as rumbling of earthbenders rose up from the ground.
The shaking increased and soon a wall cracked. It vibrated and shifted as dust fell from the cracks. Tumbling over, the stone wall fell as men came pouring in. A storm of black armored men attacked the ranks of defenders.
Tiros charged his hands with a current of wind and readied after a group of men came charging. He let loose and felled several men with one potent strike.
More rushed forward chanting, "We are the Immortals! We serve what can't be killed!"
Their frenzy was great and terrible as they rushed headlong into battle, heedless and violent. They took many down but fell to opportune attacks. More came in as it seemed that only a few were left beyond the walls now.
It was almost time.
The order came from the strong voice of the Captain and his officers as Earth Kingdom soldiers poured out of the village building and into the battle. Now outnumbered against those with home advantage, the battle did not seem so sure for the marauders.
To add to it, dawn broke over the dark sky. Creating a wave of bright light over the field, blinding all who were outside the city or were not smart enough to look away. The defenders jumped on the advantage and struck fast, cutting down many of the raiders.
Tiros fought against a particularly ugly man and had to ask, "What's in it for you to fight, to rebel?"
"Not much," The man shrugged as he sent boulders of sand and stone after the nimble Avatar, "but more than the Earth Kingdom offers."
The young airbender skillfully danced around the attacks and used palm-strike on the man in the forehead, leaving a bright red bruise. Tiros laughed, this guy was not as tough as you would think, nor as smart.
The large man charged with his large beefy hands tightened as he screamed. The Avatar smirked, yelling like that only gave away your intent. He sidestepped the rushing rebel and then gently lifted the tip of his boot as he passed by.
He crashed into the ground with a loud rancor and cursing as his nose dripped blood. The young peacekeeper laughed, "You're not very good at this are you?"
Hanbao began sweating heavily as another gust of wind smacked him in the face. This Avatar was tough, with strikes that broke through his walls and attacks. He was losing badly. Thank goodness Regou wasn't here to see that, or Lesun for that matter.
He stomped his foot on the ground and immediately howled in pain. He limped back to see he had landed his foot on a spike from armor. He cursed the stupid piece of metal and received a foot in the face as the young firebender kicked him from the air.
Hanbao landed in a pile of wood beams as he counted the time away. Muttering to himself in a daze, "Is it time yet?"
"Huh?" The Avatar looked at him confused.
The answer came soon thereafter when new yells and screams came. The ground shook harder and the answer to what it was came when more voices joined the storm of war.
"Oh no," Tiros leapt up onto a roof and climbed to a wall to see what was happening. Hundreds of men came pouring in from all directions. The clouds of dust they wrought on were incredibly blinding to see far ahead. If Tiros guessed how many, he would say the enemy now numbered a thousand.
That was great, they were supposed to outnumber the enemy two to one, but now the tables had turned. Teira still had the home ground advantage, but little else.
Tiros sent fireballs out into the swarms that approached. Too packed in, the riders couldn't dodge and caused more trouble with their flailing. The reinforcements crashed on the defenders, causing new chaos.
More screams came from the western side of the city. Tiros sprinted across the rooftops until he saw the invaders leading the charge. He swept his hand, collecting a curtain of air that was tightly compressed. It screamed to release and he did so when the horde was close enough to see the whites of each other's eyes.
Ostrich Horses toppled over, landing on their own masters and causing a cacophony of noise and trouble as a man led forward against the strike, "Forward you cowards! There is nothing to gain from crying!"
A fist of fire shot after the man who leapt off his steed and easily landed. Tiros landed down on the ground as he sent multiple blades of air after the man. He stood firm as a wall erected between them with just a simple wave of his hand.
The Avatar was impressed, this man could fight and keep his cool. Tiros leapt forward and sent small fire jabs ahead in quick succession in a blinding flurry. Another stone wall deflected and his opponent charged with deceptive speed.
Suddenly face to face, the man kneed the Avatar in the gut and sent him sprawling backwards. Tiros got up and looked on warily. The man laughed briefly before standing tall.
The great man approached. He was massive, full of muscle and an air of strength. His clothes, while a bit worn, was fine. His face was hard as his tanned skin shone in the light of a rising dawn.
He wore green and black as wrappings tightly held parts of his clothes down for efficiency. On the back of his belt, a sword was sheathed with its handle on the right side. He drew the sword as he yelled out, "I understand that the Avatar has invited me to a challenge? Well, I have come!"
His green eyes shined with malice as he laughed. "So you're the Avatar? I was expecting something a bit more."
Tiros didn't respond, he knew that the massive warrior was baiting him. Despite his brutish appearance, he was quite cunning. When it was clear that the young firebender wouldn't fall for his snare, he called out, "Where's that bitch I've heard so much about? Maybe she'll give me a fight!"
He narrowed his eyes at that comment, Lesun smiled at the reaction and his teeth showed in its wide grin. Tiros then smiled, "She's right behind you."
A shadow flew over him and before he could even turn, a sword cut through him. Between his neck and his right shoulder, a deep cut that almost reached his waist bled furiously. A flurry of red landed before him as a lightning shaped katana covered in blood hovered above the ground.
The assailant stood up without looking at him as her red hair flew in the wind. She swung the sword in Iaido to remove the blood from it.
Melasa looked to her master as she performed the attack without flaw, it was lethal as the warlord fell to the floor without resistance.
The witch walked back to the Avatar, when her eyes narrowed upon hearing a sick laugh. Her blue eyes looked on in shock as the man she just killed stood up. With a sword in hand, he snarled, "Is that the best you got, bitch?"
Melasa gripped her sword tightly. The gall he has to have to make her finish him off when he was already dead. The thought that he was just trying to survive soon dissipated when the deep cut in his body began stitching itself together again.
Blue eyes shook as Melasa looked in shock while Tiros spoke in disbelief, "Impossible."
The fatal wound healed completely as the man stood up and smirked, "Let's try again!"
- Hanbao can be quite sad and pathetic to watch.
- Lesun was nearly cut in half and he is still alive.
- Melasa stayed out of the fight in order to ambush Lesun specifically.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
Storms of the Future Cycle
|The Journey of Tala|
|Book 1 - Sand and Steel|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Book 2 - Blood and Swamps|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Book 3 - Pyres and Storms|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Fates and Vows|
|- - - - - - Ilera - Solace Fade - Scions - Sovereign|
|The Rise of Lirin|
|- In the Morrow - The White Dragon - Faith in Blood - The Great Gates - Lord Avatar - A Red Sun - Faceless - Faction - Tempest - Rally of Crows - Rally of Eagles - Dragons and Serpents - Kings and Men - Storms of a Spirit - Princes - A Battered Land - Seas of Ichor - Arbiter - Return to a Grave - Declination - Disaffection - Epilogue|
|Myths of the Empire|
|Pacification - Assassins - Empire - Red Sun Under The Empire - White Snow - Heirs|
|The Reclamation of Arein|
|Book 1 - Chaos|
|Refugee - Rogue - Ghosts - Dark Roses - Doyen - Divulgence - The Plan - Abscond - Mists of Illusion - Madonna - Syndicate - Playing the Stakes - Purge - Brothers|
|Book 2 - War|
|Alliance - Temple - Tensions - The Fall - Hunters and Prey - Lussuria - Shades of Relevance - Broken Star - Defiler - Strikeforce - Secrets of the Lair - Eminence - Swarm - Wanderer|
|Dreams of Melasa|
|Book 1 - Servant|
| - - - - - - - - - - - - -
|Book 2 - Shadow World|
|Faint but Clear - Ghost in the Steel - Kurotama - Loyalties - Servants of Shadow - Game of Fate - Shadows and Reflections - Tomb of Blood - Broken Blades - Hill of Shadow - Souls and Swords - Home|