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|Air Temple Island|
Avatar: The Legacy of Yan
March 28, 2013
Chapter Two: "Air Temple Island"
They went to the place to help rescuing any survivor. Firstly, Kozui used his waterbending to put the fire out, having Natsu put many water barrels near him.
'Who do you think ordered this attack?' asked Natsu.
'I don't know.' said Kozui, finishing his job.
Yan then began using his earthbending and metalbending to remove the wrecked layers, as Natsu began taking the corpses and rescuing any survivor. The Metalbending Police Force arrived to help them.
'I've found your mother.' said Natsu.
'Is she...?' asked Yan.
'Yes.' said Natsu, placing her left hand on Yan's right shoulder. 'I'm sorry.'
Later Yan was back at his house. The Beifong family lived in downtown Republic City, some kilometers away from the Metalbending Police Force headquarters. The Beifong residence was a simple house two layers tall, with white walls and green roof, denoting the bending nature of its dwellers.
Yan sat in one of the coaches of the living room, silently coping with his grief. He loved his mother, very much, but even now, that she was dead, he couldn't bring himself to shed a single tear. He wasn't this kind of person.
When not wearing the Metalbending Police Force uniform, Yan usually wore a gold-trimmed green cheongsam, its collar adorned and bound together by a small round pin displaying the family's symbol, the golden flying boar. In the back of his cheongsam, there was the figure of a badgermole facing right knitted in gold. He wore equally gold-trimmed green pants. Around his waist he sported a wide beige sash. He didn't wear shoes because of his blindness and in order for his seismic sense to work.
'Do you want to talk?' asked Chief Beifong, sitting beside him.
Chief Beifong was around fifty-six years old (having been born on early spring of 195 After Sozin's Comet). He had a stern face, sporting some wrinkles. He had short hair and sported a moustache, both graying. He had the same cyan eyes of his son, though his eyes were more focused while Yan's were slightly blurred due to his blindness.
'No, thank you.' said Yan. 'Could you please turn on the TV? I want to know what they are talking about the attack on Future Industries.'
'Okay.' said Chief Beifong, as he picked the remote and turned on the TV.
'We continue to cover the attack on Future Industries.' said the news anchor. 'Now back to Shirase Yarui at the attack's spot for more information on what happened. So, Yarui, what do you have for us?'
'Well, Shinobi, we just found a second missile that didn't explode.'
So it was two missiles. thought Yan.
'What about the missile?' asked Shinobi.
'Cameraman, can you please focus on this portion please?' asked Yarui to the cameraman.
'Now, do you recognize this symbol?'
There was a symbol engraved on the failed missile: a square inscribed with a circle, at the center of which is a much smaller square.
'So the attack came from the Earth Kingdom?' asked Shinobi. 'Thanks, Shirase. We just received a tape. Let's watch it.'
He put the tape, and the screen shifted to the tape's image. After some static, a man appeared, apparently inside an Earth Kingdom Broadcasting Corporation (EKBC)'s studio. This man was Diren. Diren was born on March 11, 207 After Sozin's Comet. Denoted by his light skin, he was a noble of the Earth Kingdom, having lived his whole life in the inner ring of Ba Sing Se. Some years ago, he married the daughter and only child of the 76th Earth King. When the Earth King died, one year ago, Diren was crowned as the 77th Earth King.
'Greetings, Republic City.' he began. 'If this tape is being played after the attack on Future Industries, I assume full authorship over the attack. You may be wondering why I ordered such terrible action. Let me tell you a tale, a tale taking place over two hundred years ago. Over two hundred and fifty years ago, before the War began, the world was in balance between the nations: the Water Tribe, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. During the time of Fire Lord Sozin, he did many wrong things, like the Air Nomad Genocide. But before that, he stained the Earth Kingdom's soil with blood, forming the Fire Nation colonies. Of course, there have been other foreign incursions into the Earth Kingdom's territory, like the Nomads' Northern Air Temple and the Foggy Swamp Tribe, but these were made rather peacefully. But the Fire Nation committed an unspeakable crime by creating the colonies and enslaving the people, going so far to outlaw earthbending within their reach. After the War's end, Earth King Kuei, Fire Lord Zuko and Avatar Aang tried to resolve the problem of the colonies. In the end they transformed these colonies in a fifth nation, the United Republic of Nations. But I, as the Seventy-seventh Earth King, do not recognize this new nation. This is just a warning. Surrender, for me to reintegrate your territory to the Earth Kingdom.'
'Can you believe that guy?' said Yan, too stunned to be angry.
'Now, a word to the Avatar.' said Diren. 'Wherever you are, if you try to stop me, I will have a surprise to you.'
And the tape ended.
'You heard firsthand here.' said Shinobi, as Chief Beifong turned off the TV.
'Well...' said Yan, standing.
'Where do you think you are going?' asked Chief Beifong, standing too.
'I will go to Ba Sing Se to stop that cunt.' said Yan, as he searched for his metal staff. 'But first I must learn airbending and waterbending.'
'You have my blessing if you want to finish your Avatar training.' said Chief Beifong. 'But to fight Diren, I forbid you.'
'WHAT?!' yelled Yan. 'SHE WAS YOUR WIFE, MY MOTHER!'
'Lower your tone.' warned Chief Beifong. 'It's your heart speaking. Remember the jing. The positive jing is incorporated into the firebenders' aggressive tactics in battle. The negative jing is incorporated into the airbenders' pacifistic lifestyle and their tendency to avoid conflict. The neutral jing in incorporated into earthbenders. What is the prime pillar of earthbending?'
'Wait for the right moment.' recited Yan.
'You are an earthbender, you should understand this.' said Chief Beifong.
'But the United Republic is in danger!' Yan reminded his father.
'Then let the diplomats resolve this.'
'I AM THE AVATAR!!!!!'
'This is not a battle for the Avatar.' said Chief Beifong. 'You are young, you will have many opportunities.'
'I will not accept this!' said Yan, putting his passport in the left pocket of his pants.
'Rocky, here boy!'
Rocky went to where Yan was, and Yan used earthbending to go up on his back.
'I don't mind if you disinherit me, but I must stop that man!' said Yan, as Rocky took him out of the Beifong residence.
Meanwhile, in the other part of the downtown, at Mako's house, he and his grandchildren were talking. Mako was now with nearly one century of age, a longevity granted by the power of Sozin's Comet in his return five years after the end of Snake's War.
'What will happen?' asked Kozui, slightly frightened. 'Will the Earth Kingdom attack us?'
'The Earth Kingdom is not to be blamed for the actions of one man.' said Mako. 'Diren passed the limits.'
'What will happen then?' asked Natsu.
'I don't doubt that this Earth King will attack the United Republic of Nations.' said Mako. 'At least for now, there is nothing you can do to stop this.'
'What, then?' asked Kozui.
'Korra's time has passed.' said Mako. 'My brother and many of my friends are gone. It's time for you and your generation to take over the responsibility of keeping peace and balance in the world. The Avatar still needs to learn airbending and waterbending, and I think you will be a great assert to him, especially you, Kozui.'
He then went to the phone's table and took something from its cabinet. He returned carrying a necklace that ended with a white lotus tile, those used in Pai Cho.
'Take it.' said Mako, delivering the necklace to Kozui. 'Use this to earn free passage through any White Lotus settlements. It should be useful. You can also take off the string to use it as a normal white lotus tile if you want to play Pai Cho in the free time.'
'Thanks.' said Kozui, putting the necklace around his neck.
'Now give me a hug before you go.' said Mako, and as his grandchildren hugged him, he said. 'Right, now off you go.'
'Goodbye, Gramp-Gramp.' Natsu bade farewell to Mako before leaving with Kozui.
Yan was mounted on Rocky as the badgermole walked towards Yue Bay. As he stood before the sea, he turned to the direction of Aang Memorial Island. He couldn't see, but he knew Aang's statue was there, watching over Republic City.
'Avatar Aang, please watch over me.' prayed Yan.
'Yan, wait!' called Natsu, as she approached with Kozui. 'We are going with you.'
'Why?' asked Yan, jumping to the ground. 'It was my mother who died in the attack.'
'Because Gramp-Gramp enlisted our help, and also, you are the reincarnation Gran-Gran, so there is no way we will miss this opportunity.' said Natsu.
'Besides, after you master airbending your next element will be water.' said Kozui. 'This I can teach you.'
'Thanks.' said Yan. Then he looked at Kozui. In his arms rested an adult turtle duck.
'What is that?'
'It's Quacky.' said Kozui, instantly adopting a "poor thing" look and a pout. 'You wouldn't dare separate me from my Quacky, would you?'
'No, of course not.' said Yan with a sigh. 'Let's go, there is a ship leaving in some minutes.'
They walked towards the ship's captain, who was impressed with the badgermole's presence.
'How much is the sail to Air Temple Island?' asked Yan, leading the group.
'Five hundred yuan bills with the badgermole.' answered the captain.
'I don't have any yuan bills–' said Yan, but the captain cut him.
'Then I can't help you.' said the captain, as he began walking back to the ship.
'WAIT!' Yan called him back. 'I have something worthier than any yuan bill.'
'What might it be?' asked the captain, displaying a hint of greed.
'This.' said Yan, displaying the Beifong family's document.
It was a green piece of paper with beige trim, and a piece of green ribbon tied to the top. It was inscribed with both the Earth Kingdom emblem and the symbol of the Beifong family. The writing read:
'Mr. Beifong!' greeted the captain after studying the document, which was used as a first class passport for anything, though with some restrictions. 'You and your friends are welcome to enter my ship.'
'And my badgermole?' asked Yan.
'You badgermole is also welcome.' said the captain. 'Follow me, gentlemen, the ship is about to leave.'
'You are awesome!' said Kozui, playfully punching Yan's shoulder. Fortunately, Kozui was only childish concerning his turtle duck.
They entered the ship, which began leaving.
Chief Beifong sat in his office at the Metalbending Police Force headquarters. He was thinking of Yan's words to him. He was worried. Yan was his only son, and he didn't want him to die like his wife did. He wanted to bring his son back, even if it was by force.
'You wanted to see me, Chief Beifong?' asked Captain Sencho, entering the office.
'Captain, did you know that my son resumed his journey to master the elements?' asked Chief Beifong, looking at Captain Sencho.
'That's good, he will become a Fully Realized Avatar.' said Captain Sencho. 'If I remember properly, he is yet to master airbending and waterbending, isn't it.'
'Yes.' said Chief Beifong. 'I want you to stop him.'
'From mastering the elements?'
'No, I'm okay with that.' said Chief Beifong. 'I want you to stop him from fighting Diren.
There was always mutual respect between you and my son, and I know you plan to appoint him as your successor as soon as you retire, that's why I'm counting on you to convince him. But if not even you can do it, bring him by force.'
'But he is the Avatar.' said Captain Sencho. 'It is the Avatar's mission to put balance to the world.'
'Captain Sencho, whom do you serve?' asked Chief Beifong, adopting a dangerous tone.
'You, sir.' said Captain Sencho.
'Good answer.' said Chief Beifong, putting aside his dangerous tone. 'Now, this is what I want you to do. Make wanted posters about my son, and scatter them throughout the nations. You can identify him as the Avatar, this will make him a valuable target. With that done, lead a troop to Air Temple Island, he will be there.'
'Yes, sir.' said Captain Sencho, leaving.
'Here we are, Air Temple Island.' said Kozui, carrying Quacky as they left the ship.
The sky's orange color denounced the proximity of sunset. As they stepped on the island, they stood admiring the place. Air Temple Island was created by Aang at the same time as the United Republic, as an isolated place where his family, along the Air Acolytes, could live in peace. It housed many structures, from high towers to shorter buildings.
'So the Avatar finally came to learn airbending.' said a voice, and they saw a middle-aged airbender approaching, followed by some Air Acolytes. The male Acolytes wore red-trimmed yellow robes while the female Acolytes wore yellow-trimmed red robes. As Yan and his friends came face to face to the incoming group, they bowed. 'So, who among you is the Avatar?'
'My name is Yan Beifong, and I am the Avatar.' said Yan, bowing. 'These are my friends, Kozui and Natsu. The badgermole behind me is Rocky, my animal guide.'
'My name is Papha.' the airbender introduced himself, bowing back. Papha, lika all airbenders, wore orange and red airbending robes. He had brown eyes, and his eyebrows denoted that he had dark brown hair when not shaven. He sported the traditional light blue airbending tattoos. 'It's been some time since I learned the Avatar reincarnated.'
'Then you will teach me airbending.' said Yan.
'No, unfortunately not.' said Papha.
'Why not?' burst Natsu. 'He already learned earthbending, firebending, even metalbending!'
Yan made a gesture to silence Natsu.
'Why are you not teaching me?' asked Yan.
'I have my responsibilities on Republic City.' said Papha. 'But don't worry, you will be taught by someone better than me.'
Then, a portion of the Air Acolytes moved aside, revealing a young man that was some years older than Yan.
'This is my son, Peng.' said Papha, as the young man approached. 'Peng, this is Yan, the Avatar.'
'Yan Beifong.' said Yan as the two men bowed.
Peng was born on September 9, 228 After Sozin's Comet (Year of the Dragon). He became an airbending master, thus earning his tattoos, at the age of twelve.
'Uh, why are you barefoot?' asked Peng, noticing Yan's feet.
'He's blind.' Kozui whispered to Peng.
'I use seismic sense to see with my feet.' explained Yan. 'By the way, this is my friend Kozui, this is his cousin, Natsu, and the badgermole behind me is Rocky, my animal guide.'
'And this...' said Peng, pointing the woman beside him. 'This is Manaivi, my wife.'
Manaivi seemed to be on her husband's age. She had long and flowing auburn hair and amber eyes.
'Nice to meet you.' said Yan. 'So when is your baby meant to be born?'
'How did you know I was pregnant?' asked Manaivi.
Yan simply lifted his right foot.
'Right.' said Peng. 'The birth is due to happen next spring. We are going to make the childbirth on the Southern Air Temple so that our baby is born on fall, as an airbender.
'It is darkening.' noted Papha. 'Why don't we dine, then you begin the airbending training tomorrow?'
'Good idea.' agreed Yan, and they went to the dining room.
In the next morning, Yan, who was already dressing the airbending training garb, was about to begin his training after eating his breakfast. And now they were in the meditation pavilion. Kozui and Natsu were watching as Yan meditated, accompanying Peng. Manaivi and the other Acolytes were still eating, Rocky was in the plaza, and Papha was nowhere to be seen.
'You need to clear your thoughts.' instructed Peng. 'An airbender must find peace within himself.'
'Right.' said Yan, taking a deep breath.
'Airbending is an external bending art like firebending, because it involves the air, so you don't need to rely on external resources.' explained Peng.
Yan tried to clear his mind but he soon found it to be difficult. So many things happened in other day. The attack on Future Industries, his mother's death, his father not wanting him to fight Diren...
'I will get something to drink.' said Yan, breaking the meditation as he stood.
'Hey, the meditation is not over.' said Peng, holding Yan through his sash.
But at the same time, Papha arrived. He sported a stern look to his face, but at the same time understanding, as if he was enraged at something but was willing to listen the explanation.
'Father?' said Peng, releasing Yan. Then they noticed he a large piece of paper folded inside his left hand.
'I went to Republic City to tend to my obligations, when I found this poster.' he said, walking towards Yan, unfolding the poster to show him it's content. 'What's this?'
'I don't know!' protested Yan, annoyed. 'I mean, seriously, what's with you people? I'm blind!'
It was a wanted poster featuring a photo of Yan. The poster read:
緝拿 - 北方岩降世神通 這個逃犯知道運土金運和制火朮 他是盲目的但地震感 獵人一定要非常謹慎 任何信息都必須被傳遞到共和城警隊
'The Metalbening Police Force is looking for you.' said Papha. 'Why?'
Yan quickly explained his argument with his father.
'Why didn't you tell us this?' asked Natsu.
'Because I didn't know this would happen.' explained Yan.
'I understand your actions, but this is no place for lies.' said Papha. 'I'm sorry, but you will have to leave.'
'But what about my airbending training?' asked Yan.
Before Papha could answer, they heard a movement coming from one of the windows.
'The Metalbending Police Force is already here.' said Papha, looking at the incoming airship.
'This smells problem.' said Peng, and then turned to Manaivi. 'Take the Acolytes from here.'
'Right.' she said, as she started to leave with the other Air Acolytes.
'Quacky, go.' said Kozui, sending his turtle duck away.
'What are you doing here?' asked Yan, as a group of policemen led by Captain Sencho landed on the meditation pavilion.
'We came to bring you back to Republic City. 'Your father is very worried about you.'
'So, this is it.' said Yan, assuming his fighting stance. 'And I see you went so far as to make wanted posters about me. Let my father know this, you will be very–'
'Your father was the one who gave us the idea.' Said Captain Sencho, cutting Yan's speech.
'WHAT?!' exploded Yan, creating a fire aura to show his anger. 'HOW DARE HE DO THAT! I AM HIS SON, NOT SOME SORT OF BANDIT!'
Yan's rage ended up getting the best on him, and his eyes began to glow, denouncing his entrance in the Avatar State. Soon he started to involuntarily use airbending. The air waves became stronger at each minute.
'We don't have the conditions to face such power!' said a policewoman, as they were struggling to stand their ground against Yan's air vortex, whose strength now equaled that of a category 5 cyclone. Then most of the troop began retreating to their standby airship, but Captain Sencho lingered there. 'Captain!'
'Go, I will take the risk!' said Captain Sencho, and the airship started to leave. When the airship disappeared, he turned to Yan.
'Yan, I know you are upset about the wanted posters.' said Sencho, doing his best to stand his ground against Yan's air vortex. 'But your father knows what is best for you.'
'How dare you defy your Avatar?' asked Yan, not only with his voice, but also the voices of Korra, Aang, Roku, Kyoshi, Kuruk, Yangchen, and the preceding Avatars combined. Yan then intensified his air vortex, causing Captain Sencho to fall from the cliff over which stood the meditation pavilion.
'There is nothing you could do.' Natsu comforted Yan. 'He was too stubborn to get out of the way.'
They were now in the plaza, where they found Captain Sencho's corpse. Yan was distraught. He and Sencho always shared an elder brother–younger brother relationship, and now the Captain was dead because of Yan.
'What about my training?' asked Yan.
'I maintain what I said.' said Papha. 'This is no place of lies.'
'Let's go, then.' said Yan, as he prepared to go up on Rocky's back.
'Wait.' said Papha. 'I said you weren't allowed to stay here, but you are still going to learn airbending. Peng?'
'Yes?' said Peng.
'Go with them.' said Papha. 'I suggest you visit each of the four ancient Air Temples to help in the Avatar's training.'
'But what about Manaivi?' asked Peng. 'I need to stay with my wife during the final stage of her pregnancy.'
'I will take care of her.' promised Papha. 'It is the Avatar who needs you now.'
'I will return as soon as possible.' said Peng, as he hugged Manaivi.
'You don't need to promise me that.' said Manaivi. 'Teach Yan airbending, and help him in his quest.'
Peng and Manaivi shared a parting kiss and then he turned away and gave a high-pitched whistle. Soon a sky bison landed beside Peng.
'This is Anahata, my sky bison.' said Peng. 'Since we are four, we can divide in two groups: One will go on Rocky with Yan and the other will go on Anahata with me.'
'Can I go with you?' asked Kozui to Peng. 'I always wanted to take a ride on a sky bison.'
'Sure.' answered Peng, smiling. He then turned to Yan. 'Now, I want to know something: can your badgermole swim?'
'Yes, Rocky is a good swimmer.'
'Nice.' said Peng. 'This way we can travel by sea. Well, I think this is all. Anahata, yip yip.'
And they started to leave Air Temple Island...
For the collective works of the author, go here.