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|The Elephant in the Room|
As Erica, Roku, and Anil approached the realm of Xong Shi Tong they are attacked by a creature more fearsome than any before.
The Elephant in the Room
Fire. Air. Earth. Water. Long ago, the Phoenix was created to help keep balance among the four nations by making sure the Avatar would not neglect his duties. However, almost a hundred years ago, the Fire Nation started the war and the Avatar disappeared along with the Phoenix. Now, as the Fire Nation comes ever closer to victory the Phoenix has reappeared and I truly believe that she can help restore the world to its formal self.
Roku, Erica, and Anil were sitting on Fang's back as the red dragon flew through the sky. Roku was sitting in front, his eyes scanning the area in front of him, looking around the sky, searching for something. Erica was sitting behind him, her dark blue eyes squeezed shut and her face a nasty shade of green as she tried to keep her breathing steady. Finally sat Anil who was staring at the area above them, watching a flock of turtle ducks fly through the sky.
"There it is!" said Roku suddenly as he pointed in front of them.
Erica opened her eyes slowly and saw in the distance, what looked like, a castle, with a tower that went so high it seemed to pierce through the sky.
"That is the palace of Xong Shi Tong," said Roku. "We should be there soon."
"Finally," said Erica her voice weak.
"Are you okay?" Anil asked her worried.
"I will be once we land," said Erica.
"Do you need to rest for a moment?" Roku asked.
"No just keep going I will be fine," said Erica weakly
Just then there was a sound unlike one Erica had ever heard before, It reminded her slightly of an Elephant Rat only a hundred times louder.
"What was that?" Erica asked alarmed.
"In my experience we shouldn't try to find out," said Anil looking around the ground below them, searching for the source of the noise.
"Agreed let's just keep fly..." began Roku.
"LOOK OUT!" screamed Erica as a large tree flew toward them.
Roku grabbed the horns on the top of Fangs head and jerked them to the right causing the dragon to veer out of the way of the tree.
"What in the name of the first Avatar was that?" shouted Anil as he tried to see where the object came from.
"It looked like a tree," said Erica as she looked around the ground as well, however when she saw how high up they were her face turned green again and she began to stare determinedly at the back of Roku's head.
"What is a tree doing way up he-HERE COMES ANOTHER ONE!" said Anil.
As he said this another tree flew up toward them and hit Fang in the wing. The dragon roared angrily as he began spiraling down toward the ground.
Erica and Anil screamed as Roku tried to get the dragon to level out, but with a crash the dragon landed on the ground sending the two spirits and Erica flying.
"Ow," said Erica simply as she got up of the ground massaging her side.
"What idiot is throwing trees up in the air," said Anil also getting up.
"I am not sure, what do you think Roku?" said Erica as she looked around. "Roku?" she repeated when the Avatar did not respond.
Erica and Anil saw that the former Avatar lay on the ground unmoving. The two looked at each other and then began to run toward him but their path was blocked by a tree that was knocked to the ground.
"Okay who..."began Anil angrily but his face paled along with Erica's as they looked at where the tree had stood.
A giant creature unlike any either had seen before stood in the place the tree had been. It was at least thirteen feet tall with two long sharp tucks coming out from the sides of its mouth and a large trunk where its nose should have been. The creature raised its trunk and the same bellowing noise Erica had heard from the sky emanated from the creature.
"Anil, what do we do?" Erica asked quietly trying to remain calm.
"Why are you asking me?" Anil asked alarmed.
"Well you are the hundred year old spirit," said Erica as though it was obvious.
"I'm only ninety-seven," he said defensively.
"Close enough," said Erica slightly irritated.
"Still I've never seen one of these before," said Anil.
"Well you are supposed to be the spirit expert," said Erica.
"Says who?" said Anil.
The two continued bickering for a few more minutes the Mammoth's eyes traveling back and forth between the people as they argued until finally it roared angrily, snapping Anil and Erica back to reality.
"Here is some spirit advise," said Anil as he and Erica began slowly taking steps backwards "RUN!!!"
Erica and Anil both turned around and began running as the mammoth chased after them.
"I think I have an idea," said Erica as she and Anil continued to run through the forest, the sound of the mammoth, smashing trees as it ran, behind them.
"And what would that be?" Anil asked.
"Just follow my lead," said Erica as she grabbed a long thick vine off of the ground.
Erica knew the possibility of her idea working was one in a million but she still had to try. Erica jumped onto a rock and then used it as a step stool to leap up into a tree where she grabbed onto a branch and pulled herself up onto the branch. Erica saw Anil get on another tree branch across from Erica.
The mammoth charged through the clearing in between the tree's, unable to slow down in time, and as it did Erica jumped onto the creatures back.
"ARE YOU INSANE!!!" Anil screamed as he saw Erica land on the creatures back.
Erica was hanging onto the creatures back too tightly to respond. She had been counting on Anil's help but now it looked like she was on her own.
The mammoth, sensing the presence on its back stopped running and began shaking its body trying to knock Erica off. It jerked to the right, left, charged foreword, and charged backwards but Erica just dug her knees into the creature's woolly hide and hoped beyond hope that her idea worked. Finally, when the creature realized it was not going to knock Erica off, it raised its trunk over its head to try and grab Erica.
A grin crossed Eric's face, time to see if her idea would work. As the trunk approached Erica she leaned up and wrapped the vine around the creature's trunk and tied it in a tight knot.
The mammoths eyes began to bulge and it began thrash around again, this time trying to get the vine off of its truck. Erica jumped off of the creature as it collapsed onto the ground. Erica felt a sting of compassion for the creature as it lie there twitching, its air supply cut off.
"Help me," said the creature in a ragged breathless voice.
"You can speak?" Erica asked shocked.
"Yes, now please help me, and I shall tell you about the Oni." the creature said.
"Why should I believe you?" Erica asked
The mammoth tried to respond but only breathless squeaks came from its mouth. As Erica looked at the creature something inside her twitched uncomfortably and for a moment she didn't see the dangerous spirit that tried to kill her, but instead saw a suffering animal that was so very close to dying the spiritual death.
So Erica hesitantly approached the creature and untied the vine from its trunk. As soon as the vine was off Erica backed away and readied herself in case the creature got up and charged. The creature began taking deep long breaths and coughed several times before it stood up to its impressive height and looked down at Erica.
"Thank you Phoenix," said the creature its voice still slightly breathless "On this day you have shown me compassion so I will repay you in kind."
All Erica could do was stand there, hoping that the creature didn't change its mind and charge.
"You are walking into a trap young Phoenix, Xong Shi Tong is a ruthless spirit who hates violence even more that he hates the Phoenix," said the creature.
"Why would Xong Shi Tong hate me?" Erica asked, "I haven't met him before."
"A few of your past lives have a bit of a history with the spirit, a history that is not easily forgotten," said the creature.
"Great," said Erica bitterly.
"So it is best for you to find another way to stop Oni, because if you approach the knowledge spirit about destroying someone, even someone as evil as the Oni he will crush you like an insect," said the creature as it began to walk away.
"But then what can I do?" Erica asked desperately.
"Not my problem," said the creature as it faced Erica "I did this one favor to you Phoenix for saving me from the spiritual Beyond but don't expect any kindness from me now or the next time our paths cross."
Erica stood with a slightly shocked expression on her face as the mammoth turned away from her and walked away.
"Erica!" called Anil's voice as he burst through the brush looking around frantically.
"I'm here," said Erica turning toward him as the former airbender ran toward her.
"Where is the creature?" Anil asked looking around.
"He left," said Erica.
"It left?" Anil asked skeptically.
"Ya and we have a serious problem," said Erica grimly.
As the two walked back to the place where Fang had crashed into the ground Erica told Anil what the creature had told her.
"Well we can't go," said Anil "It is simple as that, we need to find another way to find the Oni."
"Well the only other option I can think of is to wander the Tundra for all eternity," said Erica crossing her arms.
Anil didn't respond and when they reached the area where Fang was they saw the dragon and Avatar now conscious with Roku looking at a scar on the dragon's leg.
"There you two are," said Roku relieved "I was about to go look for you."
"Roku we have a problem," said Anil gravely as he explained the situation to the former Avatar.
Roku didn't speak for a moment after Anil and Erica finished explaining the situation, and when he started to speak his voice was hesitant as though he was still processing the facts.
"Although this news is alarming...I am not sure how seriously we should take it," said Roku.
"What are you talking about?" Anil asked looking at Roku as though the man was insane.
"Well the reason we even started to seek Xong Shi Tong was because a Phoenix told us that he could help us, and now a spirit that tried to kill you says it is a trap, well, I am not sure we should believe it."
"So we press forward?" said Erica determined.
"Yes, that would be my advice," said Roku.
"Sounds good to me," said Erica, although she honestly she believed that the creature had told her the truth, her desire to save the people of the Northern Water Tribe as quickly as possible outweighed her desire to protect herself.
Anil still looked worried but did not voice his concerns.
"Alright then," said Roku as he turned toward Fang "are you able to fly friend."
The dragon grunted his 'yes'.
"Alright let us head off then," said Roku.
The three resumed their positions on Fang's back and the dragon flew toward the domain of Xong Shi Tong. Meanwhile a little bird that was sitting on a branch watched the dragon fly off into the sky and then took off itself in the opposite direction.
"Master," said a high pitched voice as the tiny bird landed on the ground in front of a hooded figure.
"Was the Eomni successful in his task." Oni asked as he looked out over a lake watching as several spirit creatures began fighting with each other.
"Um...about that you see master...ugh." stuttered the bird worried.
"Spit it out." spat the Oni his voice icy.
"Yes master, well it seems the Eomni...the Eomni...he...he let her go," said the bird as it flinched waiting for the Oni's anger.
However it did not come, the spirit just stood there and then spoke in a calm controlled voice.
"Well, I will just have to deal with him later, however in his betrayal did the Eomni do anything to jeopardize our plans?"
"No master, although he tried to warn the girl about Xong Shi Tong, the old man believed it to be a trick and they are still headed toward the Library," said the bird.
"Good, then everything is still going according to plan," said Oni his lips forming a smile.
Authors note just so you know Eomni is a Korean word for Tusk. And if anyone wants me to message them for when the next chapter is up just put your name at the bottom of the stories main page and I will let you know =)
|Avatar: The Legend of the Phoenix|
|Book One: Water 水|
|The Beginning ♦ Heading Out ♦ Remembering ♦ Past Mistakes ♦ A Friend ♦ An Enemy ♦ The Ship at Sea ♦ Karoton ♦ Welcome to the Northern Water Tribe ♦ Waterbending ♦ Pets and Orders ♦ Blast From the Past: Part One ♦ Blast From the Past: Part Two|
|Book 2: Spirit 精神|
|The Living, The Dead, and the In-Between ♦ The Face Stealer ♦ The Crocodile Hunter ♦ The Elephant in the Room ♦ The Library|
|Avatar: The Legend of the Phoenix Characters|
|Roku •• • • • •|
|Palik • Zuko • Iroh • Shyu • General Hazma • Yue|
For the collective works of the author, go here.