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Kya (waterbender)
Substitute Teacher
Chapter information

The First Lesson



Written by


Release date

January 17, 2014

Last chapter

The Full Moon

Next chapter


Korra was outside practicing her waterbending before Katara came over to pick her up. One of Korra's favorite moves is turning ice into water just because the transformation amazes her. She even bent some snow around her home to form a snowman. She noticed that there were a few pebbles lying around the grounds of her home, so she earthbended them onto the snowman's face; two eyes, a nose, and five to form a smiley face. The look of the snowman made Korra giggle with pure joy, and then decided to fall flat on her back and make a snow angel while continuing to laugh. From inside her home, her parents watched her have fun out the window while holding each other and smiled. They were so happy to see Korra having a good time with her abilities. Suddenly, a ringing noise shook the house, startling Tonraq and Senna. It was the compounds telephone. Senna went to go pick it up, not knowing who she'd hear at the end of the line.

"Oh, good morning, Master Katara," Senna said.

On the other end of the line, Katara started to cough horribly before she could even speak. "I'm afraid I can't teach Korra today," Katara said in between her cough attacks. "I guess I must've caught something during the night lesson."

Senna gasped in concern. "That's terrible! Korra was really looking forward to seeing you today."

Senna could hear Katara sigh in despair. Katara hated that she wasn't well enough to help Korra with her Avatar training. "And I was looking forward to training Korra. She's not sick, is she?"

"No, in fact I don't think I've seen Korra any happier before," Senna replied.

"Well I don't want Korra to fall behind with her waterbending training, so if you don't mind, I can talk to my daughter, Kya about training her for the day. In the mean time, I have my brother, Sokka hear taking care of me--"

Before Katara can hear what Senna has to say, Sokka, sitting next to his sister, grabs the phone from Katara, and says, "Sokka here, being the best big brother a person could be!"

Katara grabs the phone back from Sokka. "Sorry about that. My brother can sometimes get involved in things when he shouldn't."

Sokka looks at Katara annoyed. "I was trying to entertain you!"

Katara rolled her eyes at Sokka.

"Well I think Korra being trained by your daughter sounds like a wonderful idea," Senna said. "Tonraq and I will bring her over whenever you're ready. Feel better soon."

"Thank you, I'll try," Katara said before hanging up the phone.

Senna hung the phone up and walked into the living room, where Tonraq was watching Korra outside continuing her waterbending moves. "That was Master Katara on the phone. She can't train Korra today because she has fallen ill, but will be having her daughter, Kya train her sometime today."

Tonraq looked concerned towards his wife. "Are you sure about that?" he questioned. "Korra has been doing so well with Master Katara. I know it would probably be just one day and Kya is blood related to her, but Korra seems to respond to things very quickly and positively with her."

"I'm sure she'll do just fine if it's only a day when Katara won't be training her," Senna replied. Senna decides to bring Korra into the house and tells about Katara's current well-being. Korra is upset with the news at first, but when she is told that Kya would train her today, she gets excited again.

A couple hours go by before the phone rang again. This time, Tonraq answered the phone since Senna is in the kitchen preparing a meal. It wasn't long before he got off the phone and walked into the kitchen saying that it was Master Katara again. "She said that Kya we'll be ready to teach Korra anytime today," he explains.

Before they head over the Katara's house, the family decided to eat lunch. Senna prepared one of Korra's favorite meals; seaweed soup. As usual, Korra enjoyed her meal, but she is still trying to get the hang of using chop sticks, so it took her the longest to finish her meal. Not too long after lunch, Senna put on Korra's parka and the three of them, along with being escorted by some White Lotus members, walked over to Katara's house.

It took them about a half hour to get to Katara's home. Tonraq knocked the door, but not too loudly in case Katara was trying to rest. When the door opens, Kya answers the door. She was dressed her traditional Water Tribe clothing along with her own parka. She also had on a betrothal necklace and her gray hair was in a pony tail, touching her waist.

"You must be Korra's parents," Kya said. Kya kneeled down, until she was eye leveled with Korra. "And you must be Avatar Korra, it's an honor to finally meet the successor of my father." Kya bowed her head in respect to the young Avatar, only making Korra confused. She's not used to people bowing at her. She knows she's the Avatar, but she doesn't think bowing isn't necessary.

"How's Katara doing," Tonraq asked.

"A little bit better than earlier," Kya replied.

Senna, holding a bowl, said, "I have some leftover seaweed soup for her if she wants it," Senna explained.

Suddenly, Sokka walks outside of the house, with a hungry look on his face. He started to clench his stomach, which started to growl at the sight of the dish. "Did somebody say seaweed soup?" Sokka asked happily.

Kya, taking the bowl from Senna's grip, said, "Yes, but it's for Katara. Not you. Can you give this bowl of food to your sister without eating any of it, Uncle?"

"I can, but the real question is do I want to," Sokka said humorously.

Sokka's sense of humor made Korra laugh a lot. Watching Korra laugh made Sokka smile warmly at Korra. "You must be Avatar Korra," Sokka said while kneeling down to Korra. "Hi, my name is Sokka. I'm Katara's older brother and was a very close friend of Avatar Aang. It's wonderful to meet his legacy in person." Sokka holds his hand out for Korra to shake. Korra, now smiling big and wide, takes Sokka's hand and shook it. "Now if you ever need a good laugh, come find me, because Sokka here knows a thing or two about jokes."

Korra giggles at Sokka again. "Okay! And it was nice meeting you too."

When Sokka stood back up, Kya handed him the bowl of seaweed soup, reminding him that it was for Katara. Soon after, Tonraq and Senna hugged and kissed Korra, telling her to behave during her lesson with Kya.

"Alright Korra," Kya begins. "So my mother has been telling me about all the moves you can already do. She said that today was supposed to be a day where you'd learn a more challenging move, but she wants to hold it off for tomorrow."

That is not what Korra wanted to hear. "Why can't you teach me the move, Kya?" Korra asked impatiently.

"I would, but Katara feels more comfortable teaching you the move herself, so I'm going to teach you a different move," Kya replied. "It might not be the move my mother had planned for you today, but it will be fun to do."

Kya and Korra walked a few feet away from Katara's house. "We're just going to practice closer to my mother's help in case she or my uncle needs me," Kya explains. "Okay, so I already know that you can turn snow and ice into liquid water--"

"I was just practicing that move before I got here!" Korra said proudly.

"Good, practice makes perfect. Anyway, there's another state you can turn this water into. Watch carefully."

Kya begins her demonstration by turning the snow on the ground into water. She bends the water around turning it into a water ball and then turns it into a stream before it fades away into the air. Korra looked amazed at what just happened. Her jaw dropped and her eyes got bigger than her mouth.

"Where did the water go?" Korra asked curiously.

"I dissolved it, turning it into water vapor," Kya explained. The vapor is just water particles now floating in the air. All you have to do is make the water even warmer than it was when you turn it into liquid."

"That was so cool!" Korra said almost bouncing in excitement. "I wanna try now!"

Korra began the move the same way Kya did by turning the snow into water. She formed the water into a ball and started to stretch it out more, but instead of the water turning into vapor, little fire balls came from Korra's palms causing the water to fall back on the ground and Korra to fall flat on her bottom.

"OW!" Korra screamed. "I bet if Katara was teaching me this I would've gotten it right!" Korra sat on the ground, her knees to her chest and her arms around her legs. She rested her head on her kneecaps and looked as if she was about to cry. Kya walked over to Korra and sat down next to her with her arm around her back. "Korra, you can't expect to get every move right away," Kya explained. "When my mother taught me that move, it took me days getting it right. I got frustrated with waterbending too, but blaming your problems on having a different person teaching you temporarily won't make you a better bender or Avatar. Believing in yourself and trying your hardest on the other hand will. I know you can do it."

Korra peeked her head at Kya, now half smiling. "You really think I can do it?" she asked.

"I know you can. You're the Avatar after all," Kya replied with a smile on her face.

"Okay, I'll keep trying... even if it takes me days to do it."

Korra spent hours trying to make the move work, but it always resulted in her either falling flat on her butt or the water would just fall back on the ground. It was almost sunset when Korra was ready to try again. She had the water in the ball form again and was stretching it out, when the water just gave out again. Korra, now getting really frustrated, yelled, "WHY CAN'T I DO IT!? EVERY TIME I TRY THIS STUPID MOVE IT JUST FAILS!" What Korra wasn't realizing was that there was some water drops on her hands from the water that just fell back on the ground and that as she got angrier, the water started to boil in her hands. "OW!" Korra screamed. "Why do my hands feel on fire?"

Kya looked at Korra's hands seeing that steam was coming from her palms. "Korra!" Kya yelled happily. "You're turning the water into vapor!"

"I am?" Korra asked confused.

"Yes! Look!" Kya yelled. At that moment, Kya bent the vapor from Korra's hands off and turned it back into water. "See, this was just vapor on your hands. You just had to channel in some inner anger and focus I guess."

"Let me try it again," Korra said determined. She followed step after step for what felt like the one-hundredth time today. She had the water stretched out, and then focused on the stream as if she was angry. This time, the water dissolved right before her aquamarine eyes. Korra gasped in disbelief.

"I DID IT!" Korra screamed. "I TURNED WATER INTO VAPOR!"

"I knew you could do it!" Kya said.

Kya ran up to Korra, picked her up, spun her around, and gave her a big hug. "You're going to make an excellent Avatar one day, Korra. Thank you for letting me teach you today," Kya said proudly.

"Well thank you for teaching me," Korra said back.

Kya put Korra down as the door to Katara's house opened, and out came the old master, clapping her hands together. "I was just walking by the window and I couldn't help but watch what I just saw. You did very well today, Korra," Katara said smiling at the young Avatar.

"Mom, get back inside before you get worse!" Kya demanded.

"It's alright, Kya. I've been feeling a lot better recently. I think that seaweed soup Korra's mom made was just the thing I needed."

"I'm just glad Uncle Sokka didn't eat it himself," Kya said jokingly.

"Oh, but you know I wanted to, Kya," Sokka said coming out the door. "I didn't see what happened out here, but I could hear the happiness in your voice, Avatar Korra. You're right, Kya, she will make an excellent Avatar one day."

Korra smiled at all the positive words. She felt so proud of herself today. Not because she learned a new move, but she learned a move that challenged her and instead of giving up, she kept trying. Korra figured that was one of the most important things about being the Avatar.

Before Korra left to go back to the compound, Kya walked up to Korra and said, "I'm so glad I got a chance to teach you today. Of course you know that move isn't meant to be used for anger. Eventually you'll channel that move feeling nothing negatively at all, but for now, a little frustration is just the motivation you need."

Korra hugged Kya around her legs, thanking her for the lesson. When she left that evening, she knew that something changed in her today, and that was to always keep in mind to never give up without a fight.

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