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|The Hunt (TLAT)|
Book 2 Rise of the Deathbenders
25 The Hunt
(contact kuzon if you want to be an editor)
Last time on TLAT The world of dreams blurred with reality. Our three young heroes were able to conquer their fears with the help of Smoke, the spirit spawn. Smoke now is searching for Gatton, and the children must deal with the fortress that is The Lost Air Temple.
Cori woke up in a room. He looked around for his bed, but it was gone. However he was beside his friends. He gave a yawn and looked at the dark sky. How long had they been out? The monk child looked at his friends; they were still asleep. Cori gave them a good shake. The brother and sister both woke up slowly and peacefully.
"Five more minutes,," Baizken said as he stretched his arms wide.
"Guys, I had the strangest dream-" Cori was quickly interrupted.
"That was to real to be a dream, trust me," Finosa was the most alert. "I have a feeling that this is about to get a whole lot more serious."
"So what do we do?" Baizken was rubbing the dust from his eyes. It was indeed a strange room they were in. He could see a lot of detail on the walls. It was some kind of mural, but it was dark and menacing.
"We need to get the heck out of here," Finosa responded as she got to her feet.
Baizken was still focused on the wall, "What is that?" he said to Cori, pointing at the ancient images.
"Those are the oldest images that temples have. They were created alongside the temple. This a little different than the one at the Northern Temple though. There are people and they are all surrounding a bison riding a lion turtle. Wait, that's a bison with a guy's head!"
"Could we save the sight seeing for another time?" Finosa joked.
Suddenly, there was a loud crash. A door was shut. They all ran to the door, but it was locked. They all started to wail away on it, yet no blast or punch could to anything.
"Baizken, give me your sword. I can pick the lock, maybe," Finosa gestured her hand for him to give him the sword.
"I lost it," Baizken turned away.
"What, well I guess we've got to figure another way out. Cori can you airbend this door down."
"Well, not exactly. It is built so only a master airbender can open it, by using the final technique."
"So we are stuck?" Baizken asked.
"Cori check the window. Can we get out that way?" Finosa was quick to take charge, being the oldest. Cori ran over to the window. He had to squint a little because of how dark it was. They were a couple levels up.
"Not unless we like breaking every bone in our body, wait a second," Cori reached behind his back. "Never mind, they took my staff."
"This isn't good," Baizken looked at the door. What or if anything would come out of the other side he could only guess.
The monk with the black arrow rushed down the hallway. He was airdashing with such speed, that he knocked a couple people over.
"Get out of the way," he yelled at the bystanders. He had a mission and he had to fulfill. Wong was quite displeased.
"Father would not blame it on me, would he?"
"No, no he wasn't going to know," Wong told himself. Besides it was not his fault the dream powder did not work. Maybe his father had destroyed the wrong spirit or maybe some intervention happened. Still, it provoked a lot of thoughts in Wong.
"Why do you follow him?"
"He is my father, and he has the world's best interest at heart."
"Do you believe that?"
"Look where that got her."
"You have no idea what you are talking about."
"I do; I am you," the voice was very snappy about this.
"So, besides the Black Lotus are on our side," Wong's tone was equally frustrated.
"Look where that got the Water Tribe."
"You are talking to yourself."
"This is odd..." Wong thought something fishy was going on.
"We are going to be the new world order," Wong said proudly.
"No, you aren't leave this path. Do not follow the same one that your father took. It is not to late for you."
"What was that about you being me?" Wong was very confused.
"The equinox approaches. Remember this Wong, those who bend death itself shall surely die," the voice was eery like a ghost. With a loud pop, the voice that Wong thought was his conscious was gone.
"Well that was freaky," Wong said to himself. Probably a spirit that hated his father. Honestly nothing would have surprise Wong at this point. It did make him think a little harder though.
He continued to race out the hallway; he had made outside in the cool of night. He entered the second tower. Wong was almost there. It was time he dealt with these so-called "prodigies".
Father Geno did not normally summon people to his chamber. Most of the time it was someone of importance. Not a child. So Sid felt as if tonight was an unfortunate circumstance. He walked through the door post with his eyes on his shoes.
"I have summoned you for a reason, young one," Father Geno had the tone of authority when he spoke. His superiority seemed to just roll off his tongue like it was his job, and in a way it was.
"Father Geno, Chief of Airbenders, why have you summoned?" Sid was on his knees, bowing, as he said it.
"I have a mission for you, Sid."
"I am humble to accept this mission directly from you, but doesn't Wong or Skybender Elder normally deal with this, sir?" Sid danced on a thin line.
"Wong needs not to know of this mission, and the elders, well let's just say they do not need to know all of this," Father Geno was not as stern as he usually would be.
"Okay, Father Geno: The Deathbender."
That was Geno's favorite title, "You shall serve me well child. The Avatar is not moving as quickly as I would have liked. Some people need a little push."
"Or a shove," Sid said proudly.
"Yes, I need you to do something to trigger a response from the Avatar. If at all possible try to get him to follow you alone. I trust you will not let me down."
"No, Father Geno. I have a question though, am I aloud to use lethal force?"
"I appreciate ferocity, especially at such a young age," Father Geno was impressed with this child. Maybe even more proud than he had been with Wong when he was that age. The master airbender still was distraught over one part of Wong's training, but he realized the child had been speaking to him.
"I said 'yes or no?'" Sid sounded like the most patient person ever in front of Father Geno.
"As long as your hand does not lay waste to the Avatar, I suppose it may be a necessary push."
"Or a shove," Sid said. You could tell he enjoyed to play on words.
"Yes, it is time we shake this creature out of its hiding. May your hunt be fruitful."
With that Sid left the room. Father Geno seemed to just stare off into space. This was his destiny. He was the one to end the Avatar, and usher in a new age. His moment was coming, and he was not going to let it pass. The Avatar was going to go down in flames and was going to enjoy every single second. The world needed a new savior and he was about to come in the form of the greatest weapon. A child is the key.
Smoke was a little confused on how reentering the physical world was going to work. He had never brought himself back there. It was still going to be a fun trip, yet he knew he had to hurry. He had to tell Gatton something very important.
"Well here goes nothing," Smoke said with tired eyes. He made a knob appear in the air. It shine like a ruby and it was hot to the touch. He twisted it and he was off. Like all the other travels he had done in the Spirit World, this was not pleasant. His body felt like it was heated up to an insane temperature, while breaking through millions of glass walls. He could not see, only feel the intense heat and waves shards bouncing of his body. After a minute of those "wonderful" sensations, he was back in the real world.
"Where am I?" Smoke asked to himself.
"Why are you in my throne room?" questioned another voice. It was Fire Lord Pytharus. Smoke must have warped back to where he was when he entered the Spirit World. Pytharus was pretty confused at the sight of a man wearing rich, dark robes in his throne room.
"Wait, are you the spirit spawn?" Pytharus asked.
"Yes and I'm trying to find the Avatar."
The Fire Lord pointed north, "He should be over in that direction."
"Thank you," Smoke said. It was exactly the information he needed, but it was good enough. He started running as fast as he could. You could describe it, as if he was bouncing shadow to shadow. Smoke was moving north-east, he figured eventually he would run into the temple, or the end of the world (at this time people believed the world was flat). He had no time to lose.
The Eastern Temple was in an uproar that night, andwas not going to get the rest he needed. All the Air Nomads had come to different conclusions, and none of them were favorable of the Avatar.
"We would have been better off if we would had listened to," one would say.
"We have lost the future," would say another.
No matter how hard Gatton would try to calm the crowd down, it did not work. They were angry. Gatton took comfort in the fact that Air Nomads were the peaceful, nonviolent type.
Kolp's words kind of summed up what a lot of people had on their minds, "I was almost with you Avatar. I did not want to thinks badly of our brothers in the center of the world. However, my pupil is gone and my temple is running low on students. We are losing our people to these THIEVES," he was very upset. Kolp had a good reason to be. He had trusted the Central Temple, the Black Lotus, and even Wong. He had finally came to the realization that they were liars, and it seemed to hit him the hardest. He was now very afraid.
"Did we make a mistake?" Gatton tried to respond as best as he could in his tired state, "Maybe, but we did what we thought was best."
"We did what you thought was best, Avatar," this voice was that of a lady from the Western Temple. Gatton looked in the crowd for the leader of the White Lotus, but Halois had sneaked away to bed after seeing the growing mob. Gatton was certainly having trouble addressing the crowd. Suddenly a familiar voice rose out of the crowd.
"We followed the Avatar, because he is wise. He made an honest mistake; we should not dwell on that," it waswho said these words, and as he said them, he stood next to Gatton. "We need not to fight amongst ourselves. Tomorrow, after we rest, we will make our decision."
Gatton was very thankful that his rival had stood beside him today. The crowd was slow to disband, but it did.
Gatton wanted a hand shake as he said, "Thank you."
"Do not forget what I did for you, Avatar," Senzin said slowly. He followed it up with a bow.
"You will never change, will you?" Gatton chuckled.
"Never," said a stressed Senzin. Gatton was very thankful that they were on the same side this night. He dare not thing of how hard it would have been if the aged monk was part of the peaceful, yet frustrated mob.
was alone at night in a forest. The Air Nomad girl was completely hopeless. Her family and friends had been captured and she had failed them. She had made a deal that failed. Worst of all her mind had been slowly taken over by the enemy. In the end, Osla had helped the enemy win. This was the end. No hope just darkness. The sky had no stars, just a moon that loomed over her head. She sat in a tree, scared of any wildlife. Osla could still see the temple off in the distance. Those ominous towers seemed to be mystic. Her mind wondered how this had all gone wrong, once a peaceful bunch of lives, now in ruins. Everything seemed pointless now, meaningless. All of the things she'd done, good and bad, in vain. She could hear the howling of animals. Probably fierce creatures that would like to have a snack. The circle of life. Life and death. Death and a deathbender. The Deathbender and the future.
"So this is it?" she asked herself.
Now all she could do was cry. Her emotions no longer held inside. The world was drowned out by her tears. She stopped after a couple minutes of sobbing.
"What am I going to do about this?"
She paused again. The Central Air Temple seemed like a fortress. She did not dare think of going back. Wong had so much power. What could she do? Osla dusted herself off and stood on the branch.
"I'm not going down like this. They can take my mind, but not my spirit," she was only talking to the woods, but it felt like she was talking to the world. "I am not afraid."
Now what was she going to do?
Smoke finally saw three towers in the distance. They seemed to look ancient and old. He immediately knew this must be the place. It was only a couple hours before midnight. Smoke warped into a shadow that was just outside a lamp post. He had finally made it. No one was around, so he guessed they were all in bed. He started randomly opening doors that he guessed were bedrooms. One contained a snoring old man in a robe. Smoke quickly shut the door quietly.
"This may take a while," he whispered to himself.
Smoke opened another door. This one contained a very pregnant woman, who let out a screech. Smoke put his hands up his hands and motioned for her to quiet down.
"I am Smoke," he whispered quietly.
"I am Lilia. Leave now before I notify the authorities," her tired voice was not going to take no for an answer. Wong left again he went to a room near the top. He knocked this time. There was a familiar voice that took Smoke back.
"Who are you?" Gatton asked. He wore a red night cap. His eyes were still closed when he opened the door.
"It is me Gatton, Smoke." Smoke's voice sounded a little to excited for this time of night.
"So you made it back okay. I am so glad," Gatton was happy to see an old ally back.
"Yes, but we have much to talk about. There is a dark threat that looms over the world," Wong paused to look at Gatton's wise but discouraged face. "I imagine by now you have guessed what I am talking about."
"Yes, please come inside."
They talked for a long time on this subject. Gatton explained everything that had happened to him his missing children, the angry mob, and even his fear of a darkness that would soon fall upon the world. Something about the smile that the child of a spirit had on his face was off-putting.
"Why are you smiling?" Gatton asked. He was almost a little distrusting.
Smoke was happy to tell the Avatar his side of the story, "Avatar, I can honestly say your children are safe and well last time I saw them in the Spirit World."
Smoke talked of his journey in the Spirit World, of his mother, and the powers he had learned. The Avatar seemed cautiously impressed.
"My mission is to help you achieve the end goal."
Gatton seemed please to hear that Smoke had a plan, "Which is?"
"To defeat the Central Air Temple, and stop the ferocity that goes on there."
"The future can not be changed, Smoke," the Avatar said frustratedly, "We can't change destiny."
"That is where you are wrong Gatton. The future has not happened yet; you can change the world's fate."
"How so?" Gatton was surprised by Smoke's optimism.
"You are the Avatar. It is your world to save or allow to be destroyed."
"What did the Spirit of Shadows say to do? Can we trust it?" Gatton seemed realistic when he said it.
"I do not know, honestly, but if you are going to do something, we'd best do it now."
"You are right. I must save my grandchildren. Let us go tell the others."
They were quick to make it to the bottom floor. They were immediately greeted by a White Lotus guard, who was on duty.
"Hello Avatar, out for a stroll?"
"Not exactly. Could you direct me to Senzin or Halois's chamber?" Gatton seemed in a hurry, so the White Lotus guard panicked.
"Well uh, um, I... you see..."
Smoke face-palmed, "What is it?"
"Senzin is gone. He left on his bison and I have no clue where he could have gone."
"I have a feeling a know where he is," Smoke said as he looked up in to the sky.
"For his sake, I hope we are wrong," Gatton was worried about his old rival.
The children stood at the door. They were waiting for the inevitable. They were alert, standing a couple of feet away. Finosa was in front of the two boys, in a highly combative stance. Cori stood kind of off to the side. The way he stood was awkward, as if he had not seen many fights. Baizken hid behind both of them. Without his sword, he was hardly useful. After many minutes of silence sweat began to roll down Cori's face.
"Maybe they aren't coming?" he said nervously.
"I doubt that," Finosa whispered. She had heard footsteps. There was a large blast of air, and they heard gears turning. They all slowly backed away.
"Crud," was the word Baizken said that pretty much summed up all their thoughts. Long flowing black robes. They were dark, almost ancient. He had a Black Lotus tile button that seemed to be made of some kind of jewel. His eyes were pierced and started at them with hate. A black arrow was on his forehead. Its darkness seemed to echo Wong's personality. The person before them was a master airbender and he was ready to destroy them with absolute prejudice.
"It would have been better if I had brainwashed you all into thinking you were all hog-monkeys. I guess now we do it my way," Wong had a different look on his face. It was different than the one he had when he fought Baizken. The Air Nomad felt like he wasn't in control, and he hated it.
Wong started to walk towards them, "Stay back!" Finosa yelled. Flames, of a rich purple appeared in her hand. Wong kept walking toward her.
"You are a silly child," he laughed at her.
That did not sit well with Finosa. She punched forward. It was a very rigid fire jab, but it was accurate enough. Wong anticipated her move and merely batted it off to the side like it was nothing. He laughed again. He had found them and he was the hunter.
A lone Air Nomad stood on a hill. The nomad was tired of the games that the temple had played, the things it had taken. That was over now. It was time to stand up against the looming threat. It was time to get them back. The children needed to come home.
|The Lost Air Temple|
|Book 1 - Fall of the Sages|
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|Book 2 - Rise of the Deathbenders|
|• • • • • • • • • • • •|
|• • • • • • • • • • •|
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