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|More from AlaskaBender||Adventure/Romance||G (all ages)||Positive||No update page|
21 November 2011
The moon should have been beautiful. For everyone else in Ba Sing Se, the shining light beamed down on their city like a graceful flower in the night's sky. Moku, however, couldn't stand the sight of it. Nothing was beautiful knowing that Kyla was in danger if she was even alive. The prince decided to sleep for a few hours on a pile of hay located in a desolate Lower Ring alleyway. The sun had not even returned for the next day when Moku began looking for the names on Lee's list of possible leads.
Lee's handwriting was difficult to decipher. It had obviously been written in a hurry. Dad's primary source is a man named Tylo. He works in that pottery store by the area where all those jugglers gather during the day. Remember, you really need some pots from the Western Air Temple. "Western Air Temple..." Moky said out loud, trying to understand. "Whatever that means."
It wasn't a long walk. After passing a few closed tea shops and Pai Sho centers, Moku was surprised to see that the pottery shop was open at this time of night. As he approached, a large, ugly woman gave him a skeptical look.
"How may I help you?" she asked while cleaning a vase.
"Would you happen to have pottery from the Western Air Temple?"
The woman looked up from her cleaning, then continued. "Sorry, we craft everything we sell ourselves." She thought for a moment. "Except... we do have this one object from the Eastern Air Temple. Will that suffice?"
"No," Moku stated coldly, not sure where he was going with this. "I need pottery from the Western Air Temple."
"Are you sure. We have plenty of other things that may interest you. Have you seen our tea pots? The newest one has a rose on it that I painted myself."
"Western Air Temple."
The woman sighed. "So you're a friend of Tylo's?"
Moku tried to hide his shock that the plan worked. "I am a friend of all those who can supply pottery from the-"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah Western Air Temple. I heard you. You sure beat this code to a pulp, don't you?" The woman led Moku to a back door room. Inside, an extremely short man sat at a desk, reading papers and petting his cat. The woman slammed the door as she exited.
"Who are you? I haven't seen you before," Tylo stated.
"I am Maroph's son."
The man's face displayed his delight. "A friend of Maroph is a friend of mine! Can I get you some tea?"
"No thanks. I just need some information."
"And I might just have information. It depends," Tylo said as he gestured for Moku to give him something. The prince reached into his pocket and tossed ten gold pieces on the desk. "Excellent," said Tylo. "Now, what do you want to know?"
"Recently, a group of bandits kidnapped the princess of the Water Tribe while she was visiting a zoo right here in the city. Do you know anything about that?"
"All I know is that a few of the bandits were seen to be Firebending, Airbending, and Waterbending. No Earthbenders though."
Airbending and Waterbending? So they weren't just Firebenders. Moku concluded in his thoughts. In reality, this actually made his mission harder as he no longer had a reason to suspect Kyla of being in the Fire Nation. "And that's all you know?" he questioned.
"That's all I know."
"In that case, I think we're done here." Moku flipped an extra gold piece onto the desk.
The next stop on Lee's list was on the other end of the Lower Ring. By the time Moku reached it, the sun had slightly begun to rise. The prince was heavily disappointment when he entered an exotically painted shack to find a plump woman in unusual apparel sitting on the opposite side of a small, round table containing a diamond-shaped crystal of some sort. To the right lie a basket of bones next to a fireplace. Moku was visiting a fortuneteller.
"Come. Sit," the woman hummed without opening her eyes.
With a sigh of annoyance, Moku obeyed. "Madam, I need help finding a" he was cut off by the sudden glowing and levitation of the diamond-shaped rock. The rock slowly spun a few times before a blinding light shot from it into the heart of the psychic. With an enormous gasp, the woman's eyes opened wide. She began to move her lips, but it wasn't her that was speaking. The voice belonged to a man.
"Hello mortal," the voice stated. "My name is Koh. I rule over my realm of the Spirit World. Be advised human, that I do not usually tend to worldly needs, but it appears that helping your friend will also help mine, and in turn, benefit the entire balance of the world."
"Great spirit, what do you have to tell me?" asked Moku in astonishment.
"Those who took the one you love seek the grave of her culture's greatest forefather."
"Who? Why do they want the grave? Where is it?"
"I do not know its location. Mortals have not been able to find it. But you can, if you truly are destined to protect the balance."
"Destined? What do you mean."
The woman's eyes grew weary and she collapsed. After checking for her pulse, Moku found that she was dead.
Kyla sat with rage, her arms and legs tightly strapped the metal chair. There was no easy way to escape this time.
Finally, after hours of waiting, the door creaked open, and a man with long, black hair approached the captured princess.
"Who are you? What do you want from me?" Kyla demanded.
"You don't need to worry about it," responded the man. "I will give you credit though, it took quite some effort to recapture you. I am curious, where did you plan to go?"
Kyla said nothing, she simply glared.
"Well, while we're waiting for your father to-"
"Where is he? If you so much as touch him I'll kill you!"
"Calm down," the man's tone was stern but not angry. "Anyway, while we are waiting, you're going to perform a little skit for the men here. They're bored. They could use a good show."
Moku had cautiously made the trip up to the Middle Ring of the city. Now in broad daylight, he was worried that his father's guards would find him any minute. He wasted no time as he walked through the gates of the prestigious Ba Sing Se University. The list told him to see the economics professor, but instead he sought out the professor of Water Tribe studies in hopes to learn something about "the culture's greatest forefather" that Koh spoke of. He wasn't much help.
"Professor Kang?" asked Moku softly as he entered the office.
"That's my name. Who might you be?"
Moku thought of possible names. "I'm Rampo, from your Water Tribe Studies class."
"Ah yes, Rampo, what do you need today?"
Moku tried to not smile after exposing the professor for pretending to know him. "I read an interesting document this morning that referred to the Water Tribe's greatest forefather. Do you know who that is?"
Kang sat on his desk, rested his elbow on his knee, and put his fist to his chin. "Hmmmm. It could be talking about Phoku, the first chief. Perhaps, Kylan, the first Water Avatar."
Moku realized that he wasn't going to get a definite answer. "Is there anywhere I can look?"
"How do I get there?"
Kang shot him a puzzled look. "You can't possibly be serious."
Hundreds of Fire Nation soldiers were seated facing a small amphitheater. They laughed as Kyla's fellow prisoner, a man from Omashu, walked onto the stage with Earth Kingdom clothes and glasses way to big for his face. Following his entrance, Kyla joined him acting as though she was very worried. She tried to ignore the rude whistles coming from the soldiers.
"Are you the healer my friends told me about?" Kyla asked.
"Me sure is! The bestest and smartest in the whole Earth Kingdom!" The man felt shame has he portrayed his nation in such a ridiculous manner.
"Healer...I have this...plague. I don't know what to do about it!"
"Well let's have a looker here! Take of your coat so me can see."
Kyla endured more whistles as she ripped of her jacket, revealing a dress. This dress, however, was simply a Water Tribe flag wrapped around her body.
"Ohh I see it. This plague! This horrible, ugly disease is all over your body! It creeps farther and farther... like ice." He seemed to be referring to the flag.
"Oh no! Is it strong, healer?"
"Nah, it's weak, but annoying." The audience laughed at the thought of the Water Tribe being weak yet annoying.
"How do I get rid of it?"
"Well, to be healing this kind of disease, that can only cause harm..." he paused so the audience could laugh. "You have to... melt it away. Melt it away with fire!"
At these lines, the men watching began to cheer. Eventually, their shouts of joy turned into a chant of "Burn the flag! Burn the flag! Burn the flag!"
"There's is only one thing me here can do 'bout it!" He tore the flag off of Kyla's body, revealing the almost-named princess. She barely had undergarments on. She couldn't help but shed a few tears to this kind of humiliation. She looked away as the "healer" tossed the flag of her nation in to pit of fire.
Leaving Ba Sing Se
Moku brought his newly-bought ostrich horse with him to the monorail station. Upon approaching the station manager, hoped that he would not be recognized.
"Prince Moku!" the manager gasped in shock.
"Don't bow!" Moku muttered. "I need to take the next train."
"But you don't have any guards with you. And you have an animal, sir."
"I order you to let me leave on the next train."
"...Yes...sir. In fact we have a private train ready just in case someone like you comes along."
"Prince Moku! Wait!" Moku turned to see a team of guards rushing towards him. He respected his guards, but he did what he had to do. He stomped and kicked, sending a rock flying at a guard. With a thrust of his right wrist, Moku launched an earth pillar at two more. It was then when Moku saw a monorail train preparing to leave. He quickly raised both of his arms, creating a strong, earthen wall. He grabbed his ostrich-horse by the leash and darted into the train, just before the doors closed.
A Message For Rakara
"Chief Rakara, the palace has received a letter for you," announced one of the Water Tribe leader's guards.
Without speaking, Rakara took the message. After his guard exited his bedroom, he scanned it quickly, then he almost fell to the floor.
"What's wrong? What does the message say?"
"It's from the people who took Kyla. It's about what we have to do to get her back."
Muna snatched the letter and read it for herself. She had no words, only a look of great despair.
For the collective works of the author, go here.