Spirit Oasis
The Forbidden World
Chapter information

The First in a Long Line





Written by


Release date

July 24th, 2012

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In The Beginning

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Notoriously Shady and Sly

Inna and Kaio were walking through the empty halls of the palace. Where they were going, few people knew about. Only those who were Warriors knew the exact location. Being a member of the Royal Family, she knew of the hidden room. She looked up at the eaves, seeing the intricate carvings of the past of her people. She had seen these pictures a thousand times before. She knew the top of which pillar had her birth, and, just 8 years later, her mothers death. Taking a left, the two teenagers walked down a narrow hallway, and into a small room, barely a closet. Keeping her eyes averted from her friend, Inna felt along the wooden walls until she found the handle, and she swung outwards a round door, barely a metre in height.
"Got it!" She leant forward to walk through the door, but Kaio caught a hold of her hand.
"Wait. Let me go first. I want to be able to see your face." He rushed through, not releasing her hand. Inna was pulled along after him. Suddenly, he stopped, turning around abruptly. Inna was pulled straight into him, knocking him to the ground.
"Oof," Kaio grunted, the wind knocked out of him. Inna scrambled up.
"Oh, my, I'm really sorry, Kaio, I just... Sorry. Here. Let me help you up." Inna reached out her hand for his, only be distracted by what it was she was standing on. It was a green substance, so odd in their environment. And the temperature; it was so warm. Kaio grabbed onto her hand, but she was focused on her surroundings and as he got up, Kaio accidently pulled his friend down, causing her to land right on top of him again. Blushing, they looked at each other; Inna quickly rolling off him, looking away as she did so.

"I always love coming here. It's so beautiful." Kaio looked at his friend. His best friend. The person he loved to be around. "But I never realised just how beautiful it could have been." He gave a shy look to his friend. Inna felt her heart racing; it had nothing to do with the surroundings. She chose to focus on that, though.
"So, why is it so warm in here? And how does grass grow here? And how do these fish feed, they're koi fish, how do they survive? And why are two matching, but the other one is so..." Hurriedly, questions spilled out of her, covering her awkwardness. Kaio noticed this, and grinned inwardly. He walked over to the pond in the centre of the room.

Yin and Yang Koi fish by firreflye2

"We don't know why it's so warm in here. Reikoku doesn't know, I'm fairly certain your father doesn't know. We think it has something to do with the Spirits. The warmth is what enables the grass to grow, too." He sat down at the edge of the pool, patting the floor next to him. Sitting down, Inna was careful not to let a single part of her touch is skin. The bender leaned forward. "Now, the koi fish. They aren't real koi fish. They are the Spirits, Tui and La; the Moon and the Ocean. They circle each other, never stopping, never slowing. That white one, with the black dot, that's Tui. It is the physical incarnation of the Moon Spirit. The black one, with the white dot? That one is La, the Ocean Spirit." He smiled at her. "These fish are the secret to our bending".
"But, what about that one?" As she pointed to a third fish wading in the center, a searing hot pain flashed inside her head, turning everything white. She had almost forgotten the chanting, so great was her curiosity, but now it was back, a pain far worse than she had ever felt. Inna grabbed her head, falling backwards as she did so. Luckily, she was still sitting on the floor, else serious damage could have been done. Kaio kneeled over her, poised to lift her up, but as quick as it had come, the pain vanished.

"Sorry... I'm not too sure what that was..." Inna was cautious. Whatever the pain was, she could still feel it, but not as pain. It was more like a separate entity from her, allowing her to feel it, but be unaffected by it. Just to be on the safe side, she did not point to the fish again, merely indicating it's presence. "So, what of the lonely fish? No partner to swim with... What is its purpose?" Inna tried to smile, to convince her friend that she was no longer in pain.
He frowned, a slight downturn of the corners of his lips. He looked at her, and tried to make his expression less pessimistic. "We call that spirit Jingshen. We don't know his purpose. Maybe he doesn't have one. No-one knows. What we do know is that he has been swimming between the Water Spirits for as long as they have been here." Inna looked at the fish again, moving closer. She could hear the chanting again, it was getting louder, more urgent. Inna had a sudden urge to touch the fish. Jingshen. That was his name. And no, it wasn't an urge. It was a matter of life and death. She must get to that fish. Groaning, Inna put her hands on her head again.
"What? What is it?" Inna couldn't hear the words of her friend, nonetheless she knew what he was saying. He was repeating it, asking over and over again. Kaio went to lift her up, but as he did so, the water rippled, and became disturbed. Kaio stopped trying to move her, backing away from her. Inna was able to move her hands, and with each paddle that Jingshen swam closer, the sound faded slightly, until he was on the edge of the pond, and the chanting was no longer screaming.
"Inna! What's happening?!" Kaio was yelling at her. Inna didn't know, couldn't know. All she could focus on was that one, insignificant little fish. She reached out, just to touch it, to feel it. Kaio was running, trying to stop her. But she would succeed. He couldn't stop this. It had to be done. This is her destiny. She could feel it. Her fingers made contact just as Kaio tackled her to the floor. For a split second, her eyes glowed white, and he could see nothing but his friend, bathed in an eerie white power. Not light, power. It subsided, and he could see nothing of the koi fish. Tui and La were carrying on, as if nothing had happened. He looked to his friend. Inna had fallen forward, unconscious. He didn't know what to do, and so, lifting up his friends' slim frame, proceeded to carry her outside. He carefully closed the small, wooden door behind him, careful not to injure Inna in the tight space.

Arriving outside his friends bedroom, Kaio propelled himself inside the open window using his bending. Laying his unconscious friend gently on her bed, he looked down at her forlorn figure. Standing up, Kaio moved to the window, looking back once more at his friend, appreciating how the light of the moon shone off her hair, and... her neck? Moving back to the bed, Kaio adjusted Inna's anorak to reveal, placed ever so gently on her neck, a betrothal necklace. But, not the one he made for her, sitting in his desk. Someone else was engaged to her...

Author's Notes

When I looked up the word "spirit" on Google Translate, it came up with Jingshen in Chinese. Thus, the name of the spirit is Spirit!
Again, this was a lot longer, I had to cut it down, and it's still massive!
This was released at 3am on the 24th. You can tell when my brain started getting sluggish.
This story has been revised twice.

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