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|The Northern Air Temple|
Book 2 Rise of the Deathbenders
18 The Northern Air Temple
"Oh my gosh it's an Imp!" you could hear his screams for miles, "It's gonna eat my face," Halois exclaimed.
"Really?" Gatton said as Halois ran to hide. The "imp" walked up to Baizken and Finosa. In reality, he was only a little bit shorter than Baizken. He went to shake their hands.
"Hello, I'm Cori." He shook their hands; though he shook Finosa's hand a little longer.
"Why did you yell?" the kids asked.
"And why the mask young imp?" Halois added.
"Oh, this; I thought that was a traditional fire greeting and a traditional fire mask. Isn't it Master Senzin?"
"No it isn't?" Senzin sighed.
"Osla and her stories..." Cori continued to mumble.
"Why don't you take the children for a tour?" Senzin suggested to the young monk.
"Yes master," Cori replied.
"Actually, I think I'll stay here," a bored Finosa said. This was met by a glance from Halois, Senzin, and Gatton; but she stayed. So, Baizken went on a tour of the temple while the others talked.
"...and over here we have the Great Mural of Sky Bison," said an enthusiastic Cori. Baizken marveled at the mural. Some how the wall explained Air Nomad history by pictures of animorphic sky bison. Baizken didn't understand it much; but he realized it was art. An art so different from his nation. Greens, blues, and browns mixed with the walls off-white tone giving it an extraordinary look.
"That's amazing," Baizken awed.
"Eh," Cori shrugged, "It's not so interesting when you have to stare at it for hours and meditate." The swords-boy was stumped at why someone wouldn't want to look at the beautiful painting, though hours did seem unnecessary.
"So, you want to go to the top of the tower or do you want to see spinny gates?" he asked hoping to go to look from the vantage point." Baizken decided to go to the top tower. The steps made Baizken feel like his feet were going to melt off.
"Hurry up," replied Cori who seemed to be almost running up the steps. It took a while; but they finally made it to the top. They could see the surrounding mountains and hills. More so ever, they could see the entire Air Temple. Including some kids down in the lower court; they were laughing and playing while blowing wind in each others. Bigger, stronger monks stood with them, like they were guarding something. Cori looked at if as if it were normal.
"Why are the kids being watched so closely?" Baizken questioned his eyes focused on the kids playing.
"So they don't fly over the wall?" Even Cori didn't seem to sure about what he'd just said. "Listen, things have been happening at this temple, as well as the others."
"What kinda things?"
"Things I can't tell to an outsider. The monks are there to make sure the kids are okay," Cori sweated a little as he explained, "I've probably told you to much."
"It's all right. I'll keep quiet."
"Who was that girl that came with you?" Cori asked happily, inquisitive.
"Oh, my sister?" Baizken said confused yet again.
"Whoosh," Cori said under his breath, but cheerfully.
"Nothing," Cori looked left.
"Welcome back, Gatton," said a haughty Senzin.
"Senzin, I see you're still eating fruit pies." This was met by an angry stare from the monk.
"Well great you 2 no each other; I'm White Lotus member Halois."
"Hello, welcome to the Air Temple. This Air Temple has always sided with the Order," said a manipulative Senzin.
"Precisely while were here..." Halois was cut off.
"I know, 'You're trying to rebuild the Order of the White Lotus.' Not now, I have a meeting to attend; not that I'm disinterested." Finosa just quietly watched the old men talk.
"So, the polo games are tomorrow?" Gatton asked; this reminded Senzin of an event.
"You aren't going to enter, are you?" the monk asked.
"Because you are banished from competing in the games after the cheating incident." Senzin played those words like a sitar, driving them into the Avatar's head.
"My grandpa would never cheat he..." She looked at Gatton who waved his hands which she interpreted as "Not now" or "He's half-right".
"Enough, I have a meeting to attend. Are you coming, Avatar. The Avatar as well as Halois and Finosa went to the meeting, to listen.
Baizken and Cori could see from the tower that monks were starting to enter the meeting room. Cori and Baizken decided they wanted to listen in.
"What's the quickest route there?" Baizken asked, not familiar with the Air Temple layout."
"Down," Cori replied solemnly. He suddenly walked to the edge and looked down, like he was going to jump off.
"No, don't jump!" Baizken yelled. What the heck was up with this place. He was to late; for the little nomad had jumped off the building. Baizken slowly walked to look down from the ledge, expecting to hear a splat. Suddenly, Cori came up fastly, spinning his staff around like the Air Nomad helicopter relic.
"Grab on to my feet."
"What, why would I do that?"
Baizken decided to take the stairs, much to Cori's dismay. Why was Baizken afraid to fly.
They met back together right outside the meeting room. Cori began to apologize; but he decided not to, because he didn't to anything wrong in his own mind. Baizken said that it was alright. They peaked inside the open door to see what was happening.
Finosa and Halois sat in the back corner of the room. The Avatar, however was on the front-left side. Five monks from four of the temples sat on a large mat. They all looked at each other and no one spoke for about 5 minutes. Finally, the head monk from the southern temple spoke. "The Southern Air Temple finds 10000 strong in our temple." This continued around with each of the Temple's having a higher total then the last. This finished with the Northern Air Temple having a total of 45000. They all continued with how many people died that year. At the same time they all said, "The temples find 96 people missing." A Head Mother from the East responded, "All children?" Everyone nodded their head yes.
The silence was interrupted by a subject change "The monks of center have failed to attend. Should we say they have died out or disbanded, stripping them of status," this was said shrewdly by Senzin. The North and West agreed while the others said no; it was a tie. One that could only exist by the un-attending Central Air Temple. The motion was halted. They continued to talk of other matters.
Baizken and Cori sat outside. Baizken was finally starting to understand what was going on at the Air Temples. Cori looked sad, like someone in morning. Like someone close to him who was missing.
"You alright?" Baizken calmly asked.
Suddenly, as if moving as fast as lightning, wind blew past them. A hard, stormy breeze; they looked toward the path. A dark figure was moving fast, faster than Baizken, and more importantly Cori had ever seen. He was almost flying. He stopped at the gateway to the meeting. He had a hilt at his side and one strapped on his back. He looked at them and nodded and he enter ad a leisurely pace.
The monks were talking about agriculture in the Air Temples. The three outsiders there did not want to here about fruit and pies; but they felt obligated not to leave. Gatton, as they were talking felt a chill go down his spine, almost unearthly. The monks felt it to; but they continued to talk more of peaches and vegetables. A breeze came through; this made Finosa feel cold even though it was the end of March. Some character walked through doorway. A cloak hid some of his face. His cloak was black and his stare was cold and menacing. He did not bear a smile or frown; he just walked right ahead.
"Luta Raider!" a westerner shouted like a battle cry. She stood up and put her wrist together. She separated them in a downward thrust headed right at the ghastly man. Airbending. It came so fast at the man. He put his hands on his back and side. As quick as the blast was coming, he made it look like slow motion. He pulled out 2 sword handles. Finosa and Gatton noticed tiny holes on the 2 handles. Blades for the sword appeared. This all happened in a matter of 2 seconds. He made a slashing motion and diffused the air cutter. Gatton stood up preparing to attack. The unknown man sheathed his swords and looked at the monks. He took the hood off revealing the black tattoo covering his forehead, an arrow.
"Peace," he said in a strong voice. He was the monk of the Central Air Temple.
"Who are you?" a monk from the north, who was not Senzin, spoke harshly.
"I am Wong, the representative from the Central Air Temple," he said, his voice unwavering.
"Impossible, the head monk of the center is Geno and he's nearly 50," Senzin said in his mightiest voice, though compared to Wong it was weak.
"Father Geno could not be here do to the crisis unfolding at our temple," his voice actually started to sound upset, "We have lost nearly 40 children at the Central Air Temple."
"We've all last children; but we still came," said an eastern female monk.
"That is what separates us from you."
"Well we better continue our meeting," said the southern head.
The meeting continued and the vote for should the Central Temple be dropped was obviously voted. They continued to talk on and on.
"So, the games start tomorrow as planned?" said a monk from the south.
"The Central Air Temple refuses to compete," Wong said, cold as earlier.
"Okay... well I guess this meeting has ended."
Gatton and his grand children were showed to their room by a friendly old monk. They tried to be happy; but it was kinda hard when they knew they had to sleep on mats. They tried to think of something to do; but again, all they had in their room was mats and a picture of a bison.
"So, Grandpa what's all this about you cheating in the games?" Finosa asked, trying to get an answer.
"What, Grandpa cheated?"
"All right, all right, let me explain," Gatton chuckled as he said this, "Back when I was 16, I participated in Bison Polo during the games. I had made it to the finals and I was up against Senzin. He hit me with an air blast right in the knees. I lost my temper as he was about to hit the ball. I might have launched a fire blast and burned his racket."
"So you did cheat."
Gatton sighed, "Yes."
"Well, I can't wait to see what this 'polo' is all about, tomorrow. Good night," Finosa said laying her head on the, mat.
|The Lost Air Temple|
|Book 1 - Fall of the Sages|
|• • • • • • • • • • • • • •|
|Book 2 - Rise of the Deathbenders|
|• • • • • • • • • • • •|
|• • • • • • • • • • •|
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