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November 11, 2016
Two days have passed since the typhoon waterbending training meditating along the embankment separating the settlement from the shoreline. It's sunset by the time a voice calls to her. Not flinching, Singi continues meditating in lotus position as finds her and walks over.Kunatuk. The clean up process is still underway, but luckily, there are only a few injuries reported. Ever since the storm has passed, has spent much of her time after
"Singi, it's time for dinner."
Singi scrunches her nose in slight annoyance as well as disappointment, and slowly opens her eyes before looking down in dissatisfaction.
"What is the matter, my pupil?"
Jamyang kneels down and places a hand on Singi's shoulder in support.
"I mean, even before we discovered I was the Avatar, you trained me intensely on spiritual matters—it's part of our culture. I don't even know if I can contact Wan, I'm only the second Avatar! But I figured that maybe meditation could do something..."
After a brief pause, Jamyang is the first to speak.
"Why don't we discuss this over dinner? I can tell you what I know of the Avatar's deeper spiritual connections."
Singi glances at her friend, still frowning, but relents and stands up, and the two head back to their tent.
Over a large bowl of rice and vegetables, the two airbenders convene while feeds from a bowl of crushed fish.
"Now then, before I begin, I just want to let you know that the knowledge I gained was not only through some of the lessons I learned from the high monks from my youth, but also through Wan himself when I met him when I was nine. He did not get to tell me everything he knows about the inner-workings of the Avatar, but hopefully what I can tell you may help you to contact his spirit."
"So you think I can contact Wan somehow?"
"I certainly don't think it's impossible," Jamyang smiles. "You are his successor, and Raava, his spiritual half, lives inside of you now. She is the Avatar Spirit."
"And that's different from Wan's spirit..." Singi mutters.
"Correct. It would appear as if it is a process of reincarnation. When Wan died, he was reincarnated into you through Raava. Because Wan gained the elements in the order of fire, air, water, and earth, it seems only fitting that the Avatar after you will initially be a waterbender, and will learn the elements in the same order as this cycle."
"So, getting back into spiritual matters," Singi begins, "how do you think I could contact Wan's spirit? Do I need to somehow contact Raava?"
"I don't think that would be necessary. You recall how in all of my meditation teachings, I told you to focus on your breathing and emptying your mind of all other thoughts, correct?"
"I think all you really need to do is to perform some deep meditation. Once you get a steady breath, rather than relieving your mind of all other thoughts and external distractions, focus all of your energy on contacting Wan."
"You think that'll do it?" Singi asks, cocking an eyebrow slightly, and air of excitement in her voice.
"It's worth a try," Jamyang chuckles.
"Then I'll try that tomorrow, then!" Singi shouts enthusiastically, before continuing, "Now, you also said you would talk to me more about... the incident during the typhoon, and how the Avatar State allowed me to break down that tidal wave."
At this, Jamyang sighs and frowns, causing Singi's smile to form into a look of curiosity.
"I'm afraid I don't know much about the Avatar State. I told you when we met at the temple that the Avatar's bending is enhanced when in the Avatar State, and his or her eyes glow white—and it would seem that based on what happened to you, an Air Nomad's tattoos glow as well, I believe because the tattoos follow the chi lines in your body. I assume Raava would be the mechanism behind the Avatar State, but you would need to ask Wan himself. I am sorry I cannot provide you with anymore information; Wan didn't tell me much about the Avatar State when I met him."
At this, Singi simply smiles again.
"Don't worry, Monk Jamyang! I'm sure Wan will be able to clarify everything."
Jamyang smiles, "I have no doubt he will, and I promise, despite my lack of knowledge on the Avatar State, I am more than honored to act as your spiritual mentor."
"Well, you already have been since I was six; there's no one I'd rather have as my spiritual mentor besides you, Avatar or not."
With this, Jamyang smiles, ending their discussion, and the two continue eating dinner.
The next day, Singi goes about her usual day with, Jamyang, and Jiefeng. Upon finishing training for the day, she approaches the waterbending master, hands clasped together.
"Master Gekkō, by any chance, would you know of a quieter place away from the settlement from which I can meditate tonight?"
He nods before replying.
"A few miles north of the settlement is a pond, not too far from the foot of the mountains. We really only go there for special occasions, or if someone wants to get away for a while."
Singi smiles and nods in thanks, balling her hands into fists in slight excitement and hope.
Later that night, under a crescent moon, Singi locates the pond. A single cherry tree stands along the water body, its branches bare of blossoms. Singi walks over to the tree, running her hand along the smooth bark.
"It's a shame I can't see this tree in bloom this time of year. I'm sure it's a wonderful sight."
Making her way past the tree, Singi finds a large sheet of rock. On one end, the symbol of ying and yang painted in characteristic black and white paint; while on the other side, is a similar, but more intricate design of what appear to be two koi fish circling one another in a similar formation, a white circle atop the head of the black fish, and a black circle atop the head of the white fish. After eyeing the two paintings for a few seconds, paying particular attention to the koi fish design, she sits atop of the ying-ying painting gently, as if not to damage the design, in lotus position. Placing her knuckles together and closing her eyes, she inhales deeply, preparing herself for however long her ordeal would take.
"Avatar Wan... where are you?"
What seems to be hours passes. A steady wind blows from the west, causing the branches of the cherry tree to gently tremble, Singi's hair to gently brush against her cheeks and almost tickle her nose, and ripples to form and push from one side of the pond to the other. Despite this, Singi does not budge in her thoughts or actions, and continues focusing her attention on contacting her predecessor. Eventually, her mind strays, and she thinks about the statue of Wan and Raava that Jamyang had carved, and her Mula. Afterwards, Singi takes another deep breath and again channels her mind on making a connection with the former Avatar.involving Wan and his animal companion,
After another long period of seemingly no progress, the wind begins to pick up again, however, slightly stronger than before. Fallen leaves from other trees tumble clumsily towards the west; the branches of the cherry tree creek slightly under the pressure. In the midst of all of this, a focused, yet gentle fwashhh can be heard gradually lessening in volume, as if the force—which at first seemed to lightly tug on the teenager—is moving away from her. The wind dies down, and Singi maintains her composure until something distinct snaps her out of focus.
Slowly opening her eyes, Singi takes a moment to adjust her vision to her surroundings after shrouding herself in darkness for some time. Shifting her head to look at the base of the cherry tree, she instead finds a blue, semi-transparent apparition staring back at her. The apparition, a young man with black windblown hair down to the nape of his neck, along with a black goatee, sits in lotus position. He sports slightly tattered robes covering most of his upper body down to his knees, a dark-colored sash around his waist with lighter embroidery, wrappings covering the majority of his arms and hands except for the fingers, and a scarf covering his neck and collarbone. Protruding from his robes are blank pants, which end with thick, stitched padding down to his ankles, and his feet are also bandaged in protective wrappings. Once again, he speaks, a slight grimace crossing his face.
"Have you come back down to earth, now?"
After shaking her head quickly to regain her thoughts, Singi stares slightly wide-eyed at the figure before her before finally speaking a few seconds later.
The man nods, smiling warmly at Singi.
"Yeah, it's me."
At this, a wide grin plasters itself on Singi's face as wonder and excitement begins to fill every vein in her body, warming her up and setting her heartbeat to a quickened pace. Wan meanwhile, looks on calmly, albeit, amused, as Singi begins to go off on an exhilarated rant.
"I can't believe it! I actually did it! I'm actually talking to you! I mean, I know you've only said a few words to me so far, but...."
As Singi rambles on, Wan rolls his eyes slightly and smirks in amusement, briefly looking up towards the sky, muttering to himself.
"Well, it looks like you've gotten yourself up in the air again..."
He lowers his head to stare at Singi again before calling out to her, catching her attention mid-sentence. At this, Singi's cheeks tinge pink, and she settles down, embarrassed.
"Don't be," Wan chuckles. "I can understand why you'd be excited. It's good to finally meet you."
With that, Wan places his hands on his knees and straightens his back slightly.
"So, how can I help you?"
"Oh, that's right! I wanted to ask you something. A few days ago, a typhoon struck the area where I've been waterbending training for a month now. I wanted to prove that I had improved in my skills since I began training, and so, I went against my waterbending master's orders, and faced the storm."
Singi hangs her head in shame before continuing.
"Eventually, this massive tidal wave began to come in. I was just... frozen in fear, I couldn't move. Then, from what my waterbending and airbending masters told me, I apparently entered the Avatar State reflexively, and bent this large stream of fire, which broke the tidal wave down! I just don't get it, how could I have been firebending? I've only mastered airbending and am still learning waterbending. How could what I have done had enough power to break down a tidal wave!?"
Wan lifts a placated hand and smiles slightly.
"It's okay, Singi. The Avatar State is your strongest and most powerful ability as the Avatar. With it, you channel enormous amounts of cosmic energies, and my knowledge, throughout your body through your chi lines, giving you increased strength, and the ability to perform exceptionally powerful feats of bending."
Amazed, Singi pauses for a moment, recalling one of her dreams that involved Wan, and questions further.
"I remember, the day before I discovered I was the Avatar, you were in a couple of my dreams."
Wan raises an eyebrow, amused.
"Were you trying to contact me or something?"
"In a sense, yes. I wanted to make you aware of your destiny as the Avatar."
"And in one of those dreams, you entered the Avatar State. Why did your eyes glow white? My airbending master, who was present when I entered the Avatar State, also told me that my tattoos glowed as well."
"The glow is because of Raava's spirit inside of you, which results in me focusing my energy through your body."
Before speaking again, Wan pauses for a moment.
"But Singi, I want you to promise me that you will not blatantly put your life at risk like that again. As the Avatar, you need to continue our shared mission to be the bridge between humans and spirits, and work to see that the many cultures of this world can live in peace with one another."
Flashing his teeth in a sly smile, Wan smirks in wry amusement.
"In my opinion, you haven't gained enough experience just yet to pass on your knowledge to the next Avatar, were you to be reincarnated."
Wan loosens his smile, and begins to conclude the conversation.
"I know, though, that you will make a wonderful Avatar. Should you ever need to contact me, just meditate until I appear before you here in the physical world, or meditate your way into the Spirit World."
"Wait, I can meditate into the Spirit World?!"
"Sure," Wan states nonchalantly. "Just because I closed the spirit portals doesn't mean you can't get into the Spirit World. It's a beautiful place, certainly more peaceful than this world since I accidentally separated Vaatu and Raava." At that, Wan rubs the back of his head in embarrassment before relaxing and flashing a wide, toothy grin.
"But you can always find me in the Spirit World."
"Thank you, Wan. I'm sure my airbending master, Monk Jamyang, will be thrilled to know I connected with you."
At this, Wan's eyes widen for a moment before softening, a warm smile crossing his face.
"Your airbending master is Jamyang?"
Wan places his left elbow on his knee and rests his head atop his knuckle, contented and staring off into the distance.
"I rememberas if it was yesterday. I'm so glad to know he became a High Monk and is good friends with the next Avatar."
"He's my best friend. He instructed me on airbending and on spiritual matters relating to our culture. He even told me of the time you two met, and the how you hoped that he would help you in your—our—mission."
Wan continues silently staring off into the distance before sighing contentedly and lowering his arm.
"Well, considering where he is now, he has no doubt helped out tremendously."
Wan closes his eyes for a moment and inhales deeply before exhaling and staring back at Singi, still smiling.
"Please send him my highest regards, and that I am so proud for what he has become since we met. His mission is far from over, though, and neither is yours. Your time as the Avatar will no doubt come with some major disputes, which you must resolve, but I have every bit of confidence in you."
At this, Wan's unearthly body begins to dissipate, like the morning fog kissed by sunlight.
"For now, I offer you this wisdom: Even more than your physical strength through the elements, rely on your inner strength—for the decisions you make can set the path for not only yourself, but those around you, and ultimately, change the world."
Singi can only stare as the form before her transforms into a wraith-like mist before evaporating completely. After remaining in her spot for a few further seconds, she stands and respectfully bows at the painting where Wan had sat.
"Thank you, Avatar Wan."
After taking a moment to glance around her surroundings, Singi bends a cloud and whisks off back to Kunatuk.
Upon returning to her tent, she is instantly greeted by Jamyang and Jiefeng.
"My, you've been gone for quite a while!" Jamyang chuckles. "How did it go?"
"I did it. I actually did it! I met Avatar Wan!" Singi exclaims enthusiastically before embracing her friend for a few seconds.
"You should have been there, Jamyang! He looked no older than, oh, twenty, and he appeared all bright blue and kinda transparent, and when we finished talking, he just vanished into thin air!"
Singi composes herself for a moment before glancing back at Jamyang with a small smile, as if she were able to tell a secret.
"I also mentioned you by name at one point, and he—he remembered you."
At this, Jamyang's eyes widened slightly before relaxing, tears slowly beginning to form.
"He told me to tell you that he sends you his highest regards, and that he is very proud of what you have become since the two of you met."
"Oh my... so he hasn't forgotten after all," Jamyang whispers while wiping his tears away with his fingers. After a few seconds, Singi slowly embraces Jamyang, who returns the gesture, shaking ever so slightly.
"He told me I could contact him whenever I needed to, and I've got a strong feeling that this meeting with him won't be my last."
Meanwhile, in the skies above, the moon continues to shine in the cloudless night. A single star shoots across the sky, heading in the direction towards the spiritual ground where two lives connected as one met for the very first time.
- This chapter marks the first instance in which Singi connects with Wan.
- It is revealed that Wan has not forgotten about his encounter with Jamyang over sixty years ago.
- Wan's piece of wisdom not only reflects how the decisions he made ultimately led him to become the first Avatar, but it will also play a crucial role for a significant moment during the —the final battle of the .
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