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|The Journey (The Kai)|
Book One: Answers
Chapter One: Plot
"A new day, Kuzon, get up. Today will be better than yesterday, I promise," Ursa said to me.
"I highly doubt today couldn't be better," I moaned. I sat up from my sleeping position. Yesterday was awful. I spent the entire day getting wind burned on the back of Fang. Fang had a tough day too, flying for nearly five hours straight
"I know buddy, yesterday was rough. Today has to be better. It just has to."
"Where'd you say your friend Lee lives? Omashu, right?"
"Ba Sing Se, Ursa," I said, "He better be there or else we are screwed fighting the Kai. His seismic sense ability I predict will come in handy more often than not."
I heard a loud landslide outside our cave.
"Shit! What was that?" Ursa said as she ducked her head and drew her sword simultaneously.
"I don't know. Hopefully not the Kai, I really can't deal with them right now," I peeked around the cave entrance. I saw three Kai members down the mountain. I fiercely shot a huge fireball down the mountain. One of them raised an earth wall to block it but the fireball got around it and killed two of them. The third one shot himself up to my position with earthbending. He kicked a rock up and punched it at me, which I easily avoided. He then pulled a dagger and charged at me. Ursa stepped in and sliced the dagger out of his hand. He yelled:
"KUZON MUST BE ERADICATED!"
and began to run away right as I channeled all my energy into a bolt of fire that exploded right on his back. He flew maybe three thousand feet off the mountain, and Ursa and I flew back due to the explosion. I got up, helped her up, and we assessed what had happened.
"What the heck??" I screamed. "WHO THE HELL WAS THAT!"
"Some idiot Kai crony," Ursa said in her calmest voice. "He fought like a turtle duck though."
"We need to get to Ba Sing Se. NOW," I said without emotion.
"Okay, can we eat lunch first?" an unfamiliar voice said.
"I swear, if you guys haven't experienced enough pain," I said as a turned to face the voice, hands full of fire. "Lee!"
It was in fact Lee, the person we were searching for.
"How've you been man? You lose any more tourneys after I left?" he asked.
"Haha you know me man, I don't lose!" I laughed. It was great to see Lee after all these years.
We ate lunch, a wonderful winged lemur stew made by Ursa. She put in my favorite ingredient, fire salt, into it. Lee ate a bite of some with fire salt in it.
"Yikes! Heck dude, you can take some spicy stuff in your stew!" he said.
"Yeah I know, it comes naturally to a firebender I guess."
So far the Journey was going very smoothly. We had found Lee before we had even gone to Ba Sing Se. That means we could focus more on the Kai and less on finding Lee.
"So Lee, how's your seismic sense?" Ursa asked.
"Well, your hair is fluffed up a little bit towards the front side of your head, and Kuzon is trying to take some more fire salt, but other than that it's doing fine!" Lee said. With his eyes closed.
"So it works haha!" she laughed.
We ate more. Lee and I chatted about the Kai. It was great to see him. He had grown so much since I saw him when he was 15.
Suddenly Lee started madly convulsing. His eyes rolled back in his head and he went pale white. His arms and legs began twisting into an unnatural shape. Then where Lee once stood, was a figure of a man I'd never seen before. I tried to create a wall of fire between us and him, but I couldn't firebend. I wasn't being bloodbended, no, I knew that feeling. I just couldn't bend.
"What are you doing to me? Where's Lee?" I asked, my voice cracking slightly.
"I am The One," the man said. "We have been looking for you for much too long, Kuzon and Ursa. I know where you are at all times. I know where you're going. I know where you've been. We know."
"What do you want with me?" I yelled, but it was to no avail. He disappeared in a cloud of steam.
I looked around for Ursa. I couldn't find her for a moment, and I panicked. I heard a rustling in the bush behind me. I turned and faced it. Ursa crawled out.
"We need to leave," Ursa said. "Now."
Five Minutes Later
Fang growled. I climbed on him. I helped Ursa up and Fang crawled out of the cave.
"Here we go to Ba Sing Se," I mumbled. "Fang! Up!" and with that Fang flew up in the air.
We flew for hours. Mountains and valleys, rivers and plains, all passed under us as we flew. We passed Omashu, the great Earth Kingdom stronghold that had recovered from its New Ozai days quiet well. It showed no signs of Fire Nation occupancy.
We stopped in a small fishing village for dinner later that day.
"I'll take three fish please," Ursa said to the fish-seller.
"That'll be three copper pieces," he said. Ursa looked in her pockets.
"Umm I have a gold piece, can you make change?"
"Sure," he grinned. He took the piece and made a mad dash with it. He knew that a gold piece was worth 50 copper pieces, and he wasn't about to let this money escape his grasp. We chased him through the tiny village. Fang flew overhead. The man ran into a small building. We opened the door, but he had vanished.
"Dammit!" I yelled. "We lost a lot of money in that deal."
"This blows," Ursa moaned. We paced for a moment or two, contemplating what to do next.
"Wait! What's this?" I motioned at a secret door behind a bookshelf that wasn't fully covered up.
"After you!" Ursa smiled.
I lit my hands, and stepped into the door, and was faced with the most blinding light I had ever seen. I fell to my knees, and felt hands grab my neck. I violently jerked up, and head-butted someone right in the stomach. The light disappeared momentarily, but long enough to see what I was up against. Probably fifteen men, all in Kai uniforms, and the sleazy man who took our money. The light resumed. I blindly launched four streams of fire in four different directions. Screams echoed. I grinned. These bastards don't know who they're up against. I thought. I heard the unmistakable sound of Ursa's swords slashing through flesh. It was an awful sound, but at this moment one I was very happy to hear. More fire streams, more sounds of agony. Then suddenly I heard a female voice.
"Put on your gas masks if you want to live!"
"Shit! They're gassing the place!" Ursa screamed. "Get out! Now"
"I know!" I yelled, and felt something being placed in my hand. "Wait!"
"I just got handed a gas mask!"
"Hey me too!"
"Well put it on!" screamed.
We put them on, and suddenly the light disappeared again.
I looked around. The Kai warriors had been gassed, not us. Their remains looked like they had been burned with a million candles, and then eaten by a sabre tooth moose lion. And then spit out. The sleazy man had died too. Ursa found the gold piece in his pocket.
"Damn..." I said. This was a very efficient way of dealing with the Kai.
"Wait, who was the female voice I heard?" Ursa asked.
"That was me," the voice said.
Then, the most attractive girl I had ever laid eyes on entered the room from the ceiling. Her body was perfectly proportionate. Her eyes were beautiful, her hair was beautiful, everything about her screamed beautiful.
"I'm Kahra," she said. "I'm from the Northern Water Tribe. I assure you, I am not your enemy."
"Hello Kahra, I am..." Ursa began.
"Ursa, I know. Princess of the Fire Nation. Expert swordsmaster. Pleasure to meet you," Kahra said, to our amazement.
"How did you know that?" I asked. "Do you know who I am?"
"Yes, Kuzon, I do. You are a Fire Nation prince. Expert firebender. It's nice to meet you too," she said, and I swear on my life, I saw her blush a little bit.
"How?" I asked. "We've never met you."
"I raided a Kai base three days ago. I found your files by accident. They knew you'd be coming here," she said. "I thought I'd come along and see if I could help."
"Wow!" Ursa exclaimed. "How'd they know we'd be coming here? We decided that like an hour ago."
"They have their ways. I'm not entirely sure either. I've been hunting the Kai for a couple years now. They have a way about them. It's very odd," she told us.
"What was that gas?" I asked.
"I developed it myself," Wow, I thought Beautiful and smart. What a catch. "It's a nerve toxin. I call it the KK gas."
"Kai Killer," she laughed. "I named it after the raid that killed my brother, Tolahk."
"I'm sorry," Ursa said. "The Kai killed our parents."
"The Kai had the nerve to kill a Fire Lord? They are even more dangerous than I thought."
"No no, we aren't that royal family. Our uncle is the Fire Lord heir. Our father was just his brother. But our Uncle has no children so my brother, Ha Min, will become heir after him." I explained.
"Oh I see," Kahra looked puzzled. "That's still very bold though. We need to find out they're next target. We can look in their base in Ba Sing Se."
"Hey we are on our way to Ba Sing Se!" Ursa squealed. "You can come with us on Kuzon's dragon! It's the fastest way."
"You had me at dragon!" Kahra exclaimed. "Ba Sing Se is about three hours by carriage, so that means..?"
"About an hour by dragon," I said.
"Perfect. Ursa. Kuzon. Prepare to leave at dawn tomorrow. Your journey to Ba Sing Se has ended. For the most part," she laughed.
I slept well that night, knowing even if we didn't find the real Lee that day, we found a new partner. She wanted answers too, I could tell. The Kai had one more kid to worry about.
For the collective works of the author, go here.