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|The Last Lesson|
February 4, 2014
It's been a few days since Korra fell into the cold water. Miraculously, Korra did not suffer from any injuries or got sick. In fact, she was ready to learn a new move the next day, and day after. Today is different. Korra doesn't know it, but today is a very special day of training, and after what happened, Katara wants to make it very exciting for her. Katara just showed up at the compound.
"Alright, Korra," Katara began. "Today's training area is a secret location, so I'm gonna have to blindfold you." Katara pulled out a midnight blue cloth and tied it over Korra's eyes so she couldn't see.
"How can I walk to the location if I can't even see?" Korra asked. Katara chuckled and replied, "Don't worry, I'll hold your hand and guide you to the location." And just like that, the two were hand in hand and off to the location. "You know, one of my best friends, and Chief of Police in Republic City, Toph Beifong is blind and she gets around just fine everyday," Katara explained. "Instead of using her eyes to see, she feels the Earth around her; using seismic senses with her feet to see. Maybe it can't help her with reading things and is completely blind to everything when her feet aren't on earthy grounds, but she's the greatest earthbender in the world despite her lack of eyesight."
Korra had no words. She was amazed by this person she was told about. She thought to herself, I'll never be as great an earthbender as her, but she'd love to meet her sometime. "Do you think Toph would be able to teach me earthbending?" Korra asked.
"I'm not sure," Katara replied. "Toph is very busy in Republic City being the Chief of Police. She has very critical duties to the city and keeping it safe."
Out of nowhere, Korra begins to giggle. "Duties," she said in between her laughs. Katara in return starts to giggle too. How could she not? Korra is only four. Of course she would think the word 'duty' is funny.
Eventually, the two arrive at the location. "We're here," Katara stated. "You may take off your blindfold now." Korra reached behind her head, unknotting it. When the blindfold is completely off of Korra, she is surprised. Katara took her somewhere she wasn't expecting; the cliffside.
"The cliff?" Korra asked displeased. "How is this a secret location; we've been here before!" Katara was a little upset with Korra's attitude of the location, but she can't blame her. "I know it's not what you thought it would be, but I have my reasons for bringing you back. After what happened the last time we practiced here, I had the perfect move planned out to teach you, but I thought I'd give you a couple days to shake off the incident first. Today, I'll be teaching you the waterspout. It's kinda like the whirlpool move, except it's supposed to spin around you, and you have to be way up in the air." There was a short pause. "Today is also a very special day because it is the last lesson I will be teaching you. After you master this move, you will spend a couple days practicing for your waterbending test and then you will move on to earthbending."
Korra couldn't believe it. Not only was she being taught a lesson that would help her from drowning, but it would also be the last training session with Master Katara. She felt like she just started training and learning new moves. Now it's almost over. It's all happening so fast, Korra thought to herself. How could I already be almost done with waterbending?
Before Katara could go into more detail with the waterspout, The Order of the White Lotus walk up to them. "Master Katara," the leader began. "Any particular reason why you're training Avatar Korra over here by the cliffside again?" he asked. Katara looked worried. "I want to teach her how to perform the waterspout," she replied. "It should help her if she were to fall into the water again."
The White Lotus leader's eyes got wider than an egg from a platypus bear. "I'm familiar with the move, but I hope you're not planning on performing it yourself," he explained concerned. "What do you mean?" Katara asked. "I have no doubt that you can perform the move perfectly, but I'd suggest you think about what you're putting yourself through. Think about your age. Think about your health. You're not the young, waterbending prodigy you were when you helped Avatar Aang and Firelord Zuko during Sozin's Comet. You are an old master now and need to consider what's best for you."
Katara looked saddened by what the White Lotus leader told her. It hurt to be told that she was too old to teach someone a waterbending move; especially if she couldn't teach it to the Avatar. But she knew that the White Lotus leader had good intentions. "Perhaps you're right," Katara finally said. "But I still want Avatar Korra to be taught the move."
"I understand," The White Lotus leader replied. "But who could you get to teach Avatar Korra the move on such short notice?"
"My daughter, Kya would probably be willing to help," Katara explained. "You mind getting her to come over?" She asked.
"No problem," the White Lotus leader replied.
The Order of the White Lotus left the two behind. Once they were out of sight, Korra wrapped her arms around Katara's legs and said, "Don't feel bad, I didn't think you were too old to show me the move." Katara was very touched by Korra's act of kindness. "Thank you, Korra," she replied with a smile.
Not too long later, Kya showed up with The Order of the White Lotus. "Hi mom," Kya said. Kya grabbed onto her mother's shoulder and leaned into to her ear. "Don't listen to that bub," Kya whispered. "He doesn't know what he was saying about you being too old to perform a waterbending move." Katara nodded.
"Don't worry, we'll keep our distance, but if anything happens, we'll be around," The White Lotus leader stated.
"Alright, Korra," Katara began. "The waterspout is a very high-level move. The water is constantly spinning around you, so you must be one with the water. In a fight, it protects you not only because of the height you're at in the spout, but also because of the water's speed in circular motion makes it hard for elements or weapons to get through. As you already know, there is liquid water right below us--"
"Don't mean to interrupt the lesson," Kya said. "but don't you think it's a little dangerous to perform the waterspout move from here? Shouldn't we go all the way down to the water to make the move easier to learn for Korra? We are getting into the water after all." Katara considered her daughter's option. "Very well, Kya," Katara replied. "I'll take your advice."
The three waterbenders were escorted down closer to the water by The Order of the White Lotus. Before Kya performed the move, she pulled Katara aside. "What is it, Kya," Katara asked. "Look, we're closer to the water, you're the greatest waterbender in the world, and it's just a training session. I don't care what that White Lotus leader guy said, you're Korra's master and you should be the one to demonstrate the move."
Kya and Katara walked back over to Korra. All Katara could think about was what to do. She wanted to perform the move, but she didn't want to anger the leader of The White Lotus. Then she thought back to when she was at the North Pole. She remembered how her, Aang and Sokka finally made it to their sister tribe. She remembered how sexist and rude her teacher, Master Pakku was at first. She didn't just sit back and let him get away with the customs of the tribe; she took action.
"Kya, are you ready to perform the waterspout?" The White Lotus leader asked. Before Kya could answer, Katara put her hand in front of Kya's mouth, stopping her from her words. "No," Katara said, cutting her daughter off. "I may be old and I may not be as flexible and agile as I was when I started to learn waterbending, but that doesn't mean I can't perform the move myself! I promised Aang that I'd teach the next Avatar waterbending, this is my last lesson with Avatar Korra, and I'm going to perform it for her!"
This made Korra smile. She had never seen Katara, or anyone really take action for what they believe in. The next thing everyone knew, Katara jumped into the water and started to bend it around her. The water kept spinning and forming around her, lifting her higher in the air. Everyone stared at her in awe, except the White Lotus leader. He was in shock over what Katara did. He's so used to people listening to him, but in a way, he respects her for not doing what he told her to. She didn't have to listen to him; she's an adult, an old master. She knows best when it comes to training the Avatar; she's done it before.
When Katara came back to shore, everyone just stood there at first. Then, Korra broke the silence; she started clapping. Not too long after, everyone else started to clap too; even the White Lotus leader. He even walked up to Katara and said, "I'm sorry for doubting you." This made Katara filled with happiness. She looked over to Korra with confidence and asked, "You wanna give it a try?"
"YOU BET I DO!" Korra shouted! Korra began the move the same way Katara did. She jumped into the water, and started to bend the surrounding amounts around her. Before she knew it, she was higher in the air than she had ever been before. She could see the mountains in the distance. She felt like she could touch a cloud. She had never felt so strong and powerful in her life. When Korra came back down to the surface, she was embraced by Katara. "You did it!" She exclaimed. "You mastered the waterspout! You are a master waterbender!"
Korra smiled big and wide, jumping around with her hands in the air and shouted, "YES, YES, YES!!!"
"Not quite yet," explained The White Lotus leader. "You still have a waterbending test to complete before you are considered a master." Korra didn't care what he said, because to her she was a master now.
The three waterbenders and The Order of the White Lotus walked back up to the compound. Korra hugged her parents tightly, still overjoyed that she completed her last lesson today. Katara told her how honored she was to teach the Avatar waterbending yet again. Tonraq and Senna shared hugs with Katara before she left, telling Korra that next time they see each other, it will be at her waterbending test.
For Korra's last lesson, she learned something very important. Not just the waterspout and how it can be very useful in a fight, but she also learned not to stand by and let people tell you what to do all the time. You should believe in what you want to believe in and not give in when people want you to give in. You can't just stand by and do nothing.
Korra certainly can't do that; she's the Avatar. A master waterbender Avatar.
And since this day, and everyday since, Korra hasn't thought of Katara as just her master, but her hero too.
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