|More from Twilitlink||Adventure||G||Positive||None|
|The Airbending Slicer|
Tengu smiled as he heard Aang enter his tent. He had a feeling the Avatar would be paying him a visit.
"Quite the speech there master." Tengu commented as Aang took a seat in front of him. "Very inspiring."
"Thank you Tengu." Aang replied while Tengu poured some tea. "Do you know why I'm here?"
"I take it it's not for the tea." Tengu joked as he handed a cup to Aang. Aang chuckled as he shook his head.
"Did you just make your first joke?" Aang asked before sipping his tea.
"Second actually, the first was in Ba Sing Se." Tengu replied after downing his tea. "Anyway, I assume it's because you're finally done playing around." Aang nodded solemnly as he set his half empty cup on the table.
"The Black Lotus needs to be finished off once and for all." Aang said. "We've lost too much to them already and we'll only lose more if they continue to exist."
"It's a rather ambitious goal to wipe out an organization that's almost as old as the four nations themselves." Tengu said almost causing Aang to think Tengu had given up. "But from what I understand of history, the first Avatar was able to singlehandedly wipe out an entire people in an instant so you might be able to pull it off." Tengu rose to his feet and walked over to a chest he had in his tents corner.
"But before we even attempt anything on that scale..." Tengu said opening up the chest and sliding on an armored gauntlet. "I'm going to have to teach you something for a change."
"Teach me what?" Aang asked as Tengu buckled an equally armored bracer to his forearm.
"The finished version of the move I made to earn my tattoos." Tengu said once the bracer was securely fastened Tengu moved to the tents entrance. "The one I presented to you and the other masters was incomplete. Meet me in the woods near the camp, I'll show you what I mean there." With that Tengu left the tent.
The Shield and Sword
Aang found Tengu in a clearing in the woods about an hour later.
"So are you ready to see what I was talking about?' Tengu asked.
"Yeah although I don't know what you meant by incomplete" Aang stated, "Your move was flawless." Years ago Tengu had presented to the council a technique where he spun the air in a circle on his forearm in order to make a shield. When he had presented it, Tengu even had a saying for it. "Let my left arm become your shield."
"What I showed you was the shield, this is the sword." As Tengu spoke several streams of air began to spiral around Tengu's armored hand and forearm. "Let my left arm become your shield, my right your sword." Suddenly Tengu swung his arm at some trees. Seconds later they were falling to the ground, in multiple pieces. Aang stared open-eyed as Tengu turned back to him.
"Damn." was all he could say.
"The technique is actually fairly basic." Tengu explained, "You focus on the tip of you middle finger, and from there you make about three or four air currents that spiral around your hand and forearm. Then you sharpen the currents into blades. If you want you can use the technique as it is now. Currently it can function either as a blade or a drill. That's all you need to know about this move."
"But what about what you did earlier?" Aang asked. "When you cut the trees in multiple pieces. What if I need to use that?"
"Woe unto the world if you encounter an enemy powerful enough to get you to use that. If an opponent gets you to the point where you need that, then you'd already be in the Avatar Sate." Tengu said with a slight grin, "At the point your opponent is doomed anyway." He and Aang each laughed a bit at the statement. "In any case I only want you to practice making the air currents right now, don't attempt the blades until I tell you to."
"Yes, 'Master' Tengu." Aang said with an ironic bow, causing the two to laugh a bit more.
Double Edged Sword
For the next few days Aang worked hard on mastering Tengu's technique. It only took him a few hours to master Tengu's air shield. The currents that made the blade proved to be a bit more challenging but, after about a week Aang felt that he had sufficiently mastered creating the air currents, now he only had to wait for Tengu to tell him it was okay to make the blades. But Tengu never gave him the go ahead. So after a while, Aang figured he was ready to make the blades himself.
"Aang I think you should wait for Tengu before you try anything." Katara cautioned. "Remember what happened last time you tried something you weren't ready for?" Both Aang and Katara remembered years ago when Aang first tried firebending, and he'd burned Katara's hands.
"Yes I remember, and I'm still sorry about that." Aang lamented before continuing in a cheerier fashion, "But that was firebending, which I was completely clueless about at the time. This is airbending we're talking about now. I'm pretty sure I can handle making a couple of wind blades."
Aang focused as he made the air currents flow around his arm. He was just about to focus them into blades when a mighty gale swept over him and Katara. When the wind died down Aang found himself face to face with Tengu, who was holding him by his collar.
"What are you doing?" Aang asked Tengu as he let go.
"Keeping you from hurting yourself." was his simple reply. "You never use this move unless you have an armored gauntlet and bracer like mine." As he spoke Tengu held up his other hand and made air currents spiral around it. "Otherwise this will happen." Tengu said as he focused the currents into blades. Almost immediately Tengu's sleeve was ripped to shreds as the air blades tore through them and into Tengu's flesh. "If I had put any more force into it, I would have to say goodbye to my arm." Tengu said as blood oozed from the several cuts that ran down Tengu's arm.
"Well that was unnecessary." Aang said as Katara moved to heal Tengu's arm. Tengu extended his arm as Katara covered it in her water.
"It would have been even more so if I'd let you hurt yourself." Tengu replied. "It's really my fault for not explaining the danger of this move. " By now Katara had finished healing Tengu's arm, he examined the repaired flesh as he continued. "This move is the very definition of a double edged sword. It's a self mutilation attack, injuring you as much as your enemy. That's why I have the gauntlet and bracer." As Tengu spoke he reached for the pack he carried on his hip and tossed it to Aang.
Aang caught the pack and opened it up to find a gauntlet and bracer, similar to the ones Tengu had on his right arm.
"Try it once you've got those on." Tengu said with a small grin. Aang returned the grin before he slid the gauntlet on and buckled the bracer. Seconds later Aang was creating the spiraling currents then focusing them into blades. Once the currents were sharpened Aang started to hear them scratch against his new armored gauntlet and bracer. Across from him Tengu made his own blade and also made a shield. "Now let's see if you can keep it up."
Katara couldn't help but smile as the two airbenders charged at each other. She readied herself to heal any wounds that would be received as the two air blades clashed.
The title of this chapter is an homage to one of Sokka's famous phrases "Airbending Slice"
For the collective works of the author, go here.