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7 September 2014
Chapter 4: The Plan
"Many of us have achieved true wisdom by travelling the world, Pathik. Your time has come to do the same. The White Lotus will make a boat ready for you to sail towards the Earth Kingdom in a few days. Be warned, though, the whole world is now in danger, there's a war going on wherever you go. One of our members has told us about two weeks ago that he sensed an upcoming great war, in fact, it's someone you know."
"Someone I know?" exclaimed Pathik.
"How do you think you got into the Order of the White Lotus ? Do you think ancient and secret organizations accept members that easily ? We have been examining your studies for years, we know how you think and we got a recommendation from a Grand Lotus for you."
"Was it Ton Rha?"
"Who is that? No. The Grand Lotus who recommended you was Monk Gyatso," Kiro paused for a while, holding back his tears, then continued, "He knew a war was coming, and he knew the Air Nomads were going to be the first to take a hit, but he never imagined it would be a total genocide."
"What about the Avatar ? Does this mean that there is no more Avatar ? Or should a new Avatar be born into the Water Tribe?" Pathik was trying to rush the conversation.
"The White Lotus knows the Avatar is still alive, Pathik. Someone from the Water Tribe is destined to find him and teach him waterbending. His name is Aang, and he is destined to stop the war."
"How do you know?"
"You'll figure that out soon enough. Now you need some rest because you have a long trip ahead of you. You said it yourself that you have plans to explore the Earth Kingdom, and we are more than glad to back you in this trip. Your first stop should be Kyoshi Island, there are nice people there who could help you, and then move on into the great mainland."
"I am thankful, master Kiro."
Pathik stood up and got out of the room, he rushed the conversation to try to stop thinking about Gyatso. Gyatso has taught him almost everything he knows about the Air Nomads, but he never introduced him to the White Lotus, he did use to play the white lotus tile first in Pai Sho, but never actually told him the secrets. Pathik knew he had to move on, and the best thing to do was to study and read so that he could concentrate on something other than lost memories and tragedy.
Pathik went to Lu's library, and while he was entering, Lu gave him a skeptical and a suspicious look, forcing Pathik to look away and go immediately to pick out some books. While he was searching, there was a woman of about thirty-five years of age, but really looked like she's ten years younger. She kept watching Pathik as he looked through the books, she saw a beautiful black-eyed man with a charming brown ponytail on his head and a slight beard. Pathik soon noticed that and turned his head towards her, but she immediately looked away, blushing. Pathik just continued browsing the book titles, searching for what he came to read, assuming it was only his imagination.
The woman looked at him very quickly and looked away again, with her face getting redder and redder. She was sitting on a table with her friend, another woman of the same age.
"Come on, Lunia. Talk to him!" the friend said.
"No, I'll mess it up like I messed up all my other chances."
"Just help him pick books or something!"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, yes! This one seems handsome and friendly."
"Umm, okay.." muttered the woman, whose name was Lunia. She was still not married and needed love, but she seemed to fail to find any love in the Southern Water Tribe. Her friend, on the other hand, was already married since they were seventeen and had one kid, but the two of them were very close friends. Lunia walked towards Pathik...
"Mmm.. May I help you ?" said Lunia, while her friend watched her and laughed silently.
"Yes, please," Pathik replied, smiling, "Can you tell me where I can find any books about Kyoshi Island ? I'm planning to go there in a few days."
"Oh! I know where you can find the book! It's in there." Lunia pulled Pathik's arm and ran towards another bookshelf and then pointed at the book. Pathik felt awkward, but still managed to keep cool from the outside.
"Thank you," he said, in an effort to break the awkward silence.
"Hi. My name is Lunia," she said, finally smiling.
"Nice to meet you. I'm Pathik, Pathik the traveller." She didn't have a reply, she just pretended to walk elsewhere, so Pathik took the book and sat on a table, alone, and started reading.
"Mind if I sit here ?" Lunia asked him, quickly coming back.
"I wouldn't mind."
Lunia joined Pathik on the table, where he opened the book to a chapter titled 'Navigation', to know how to sail from the Southern Water Tribe to Kyoshi Island, he read through the maps and directions, and learnt the minimum he had to learn in order to sail towards Kyoshi. He then went on to read about the history and formation of Kyoshi Island. Meanwhile, Lunia was silently gazing at Pathik, but to break the ice, she initiated a conversation with him.
"So why do you need to know about Kyoshi Island ?"
"I am going there in a day or two, and I need to know how to sail there, but I also want to understand their origins. When you know the person's origins you can always understand them better and be friendlier towards them."
"You look so smart."
"I did spend most of my life as a scholar...", Pathik knew he had to continue the sentence with a compliment, he didn't want to seem so rude.. But he didn't. He just looked Lunia straight in the eyes.. He saw a very beautiful woman with big blue eyes and amazing black hair.
"What is it ?" said Lunia, slightly blushing.
"HEY YOU!", screamed Lu, "Why are you talking to my sister ?"
Pathik got really worried. Lu was approaching him and he was very angry, Lunia backed away while Lu pushed Pathik and laid him on the table. Pathik laid down defenselessly while Lu got closer to him and whispered to him : "I am only letting you live because master Kiro told me so. Take this book, leave my library and return it tomorrow. If you don't, my tribe will hunt you down, and don't ever talk again to my sister". Pathik came up silently, taking the book and rushing outside the library, sitting just outside of it on the icy floor reading about Kyoshi Island.
"What's wrong with you Lu ?" asked Lunia.
"What's wrong with me ? You're the wrong one here. How do you talk to this evil man ? The chief himself is afraid of him and thinks he's a spy."
"That's untrue! He's a good man and he's misunderstood!"
"Lunia, my sister, I don't want to hear another word! Go back home and stay there!"
"Fine!" shouted Lunia, running towards her and her brother's house with tears in her eyes.
Later that night, Pathik came into the library, returned the book to Lu, who was standing next to another man, but Pathik couldn't distinguish that man's identity because it was too dark. Lu and the man with him examined Pathik, then Lu said "Thank you", which Pathik immediately interpreted as an order to leave, so he did. After Lu made sure Pathik was gone, he lit a small candle which revealed the man's appearance - a very tall and muscular guy, with no hair and one tattoo on his forehead : some Chinese symbols reading "Death". "This is the man I'm after. Track him down and make sure he doesn't cause any trouble. I heard you're good at keeping secrets, so don't tell anyone I'm behind this," Lu said, talking very clearly and straight to the point. The muscular man replied with a silent nod, then waterbent some ice from the ground to fire himself out of the window.
The man again used ice to fire himself, this time into the air, and he could locate Pathik walking outside of the city, he somehow drew water from thin air, and also took some water from a nearby fountain, forming a water body in the sky looking like a carpet. He fell on it and stayed up in the air, then used his waterbending to fly above Pathik. He used waterbending to fly, something no one else in the city could do. Pathik reached an isolated piece of land, took out his sleeping bag from his backpack and slept peacefully, while the man settled on a higher ice mountain, enabling him to keep his eyes on Pathik. Meanwhile, Lu returned to his home, he knocked on his sister's door but then found a note on the door which read : Lu, I don't want you to talk to me. Lu got angry and screamed : "Fine! You'll get over him just like you got over your last fiancé!" but he heard no reply.
The next day, Pathik woke up, packed his sleeping bag into his backpack, and made some tea to drink. He took his time to drink his cup of tea, and once he finished drinking, he put the cup in the backpack and went walking straight towards the harbor. There, he found master Kiro.
"You have a long trip ahead of you, Pathik. Be safe!"
"Thank you master Kiro". Kiro pointed him to the boat, which Pathik immediately mounted, and sailed, waving goodbye to master Kiro. Suddenly, Pathik almost fell off to the water, surprised by the "Hi!" he heard. It was Lunia on his boat.
"What are you doing here !? Did your brother approve this ?"
"Yes of course! I decided to come with you to Kyoshi Island, I read a bit from that book and I love it. I even brought the book with me!", replied Lunia, grinning and holding the book in her right hand, while pointing to it using the left one.
Pathik blew some air out of mouth and said "Okay, you can come with me," then he smiled.
"Let's start rowing!" Lunia was really excited to accompany Pathik on his trip to Kyoshi Island, and she wanted to get there as fast as they could. But Pathik, on the other hand, was afraid of Lu.
Meanwhile, outside Lu's library, Lu met with the muscular man. "Listen, plans have changed. Pathik went to Kyoshi Island, took my book, and kidnapped my sister. I want you to kill them both for double the money", said Lu. The man's eyes immediately changed from a curious look, to a furious look. He raced through the ice into the harbor, where he stole a small fishing boat and knocked the old fisherman out to the water, then used waterbending to travel ever so fast, towards Pathik and Lunia...
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