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|The Sages Apprentice|
Avatar: Legend of Fire
September 14, 2010
The Sages Apprentice is the first chapter of
Takeo is an apprentice who lives in the Fire Temple located in the capital city of the Fire Nation. Born and raised there, Takeo longs to see the world outside the Fire Nation and the temple. While receiving constant bullying from his fellow apprentices and being generally disliked by the sages due to his hot headed attitude and ability to be a complete klutz, Takeo never felt at home here. Meanwhile, the Earth Kings forces are breaking through the Fire Nations defense and if The Avatar doesn't manage to master the four elements and stop them as fast as he can, this whole world is in danger of a war.
The capital of the Fire Nation, located in the crater of a now dormant volcano, it's one of the largest cities in the world and easily the most beautiful one. Thousands of people of all nationalities travel here from all over the world, just to see the culture, beauty and foods of this great nation. Many however, travel here to learn, for this is the best place to study something for your future, be it being a scholar or a master of some art, this is the place to learn it in. It was nearing the middle of the day, the sun was high in the sky and everyone was busy. Most importantly of all however, was the fact that at this time the Firebending training had been underway in the fire temple. All of the apprentices were standing in a line, about thirty of them. All of them were dressed in red outfits. A maroon vest, a red long sleeved shirt underneath, red pants of the same color as the shirt, tucked into black Fire Nation boots, making them seem a little puffy. The boots were black and ended somewhere near the knees, which differed among them.
All of the students were in perfect sync, doing exactly the same moves at the same time and releasing fireballs upon completing them. The move routine was quite simple; step forward, kick, punch, turn around, repeat. Most of the kids seemed to have their sleeves rolled back for this training, while others didn't even have long sleeves and some of the kid's sleeves ended at their elbows. The training was happening in a large training area in the temple, there was no roof, so the sun shinned over the whole area quite easily. Around the area there were pillars and a hallway circling them into a square. At all the entrances to the training ground, there was a statue of a dragon. At the far end of the training ground was a red pillow and rug, which laid on the ground. On top of them sat an old man, sitting in a lotus pose with his hands together in a prayer like motion, he observed the kids train, giving them instructions and advice "Tetsuru, straighten your leg when you kick, Hetsuki, faster... Takeo, stronger attacks!" he instructed them while sitting straight. The kids followed his orders, while the last one only mimicked him "Takeo, stronger attacks nununuh" he muttered quietly under his breath, making his voice seem like some kind of clowns instead of the wise elder he seemed like.
After a few more rounds of the training routine, the old man clapped his hands and all of the kids stopped. They quickly lined up and kneeled in front of the elder. "Very good, most of you are becoming really good at your element" The old man commented as he stood up from his pillow seat. Slowly walking around the row of students he kept commenting on their mistakes as well as their progress. One of the students with sleeves ending at the elbows, which seemed pretty loose, had trouble staying awake during this speech; his eyes were constantly closing as he tried to keep them open. Two of the kids sitting behind him noticed this; they quickly exchanged looks and pulled his leg which was kneeled on the ground. The half asleep kid who was obviously exhausted, couldn't even fight back; he instantly face-planted into the stone floor. The old man turned with an angry frown to the sound of something hitting the ground, while the kid was slowly raising his head and rubbing his face, trying to understand what happened. He heard a chuckle behind him and turned around to see two of the other students fist bumping. He clenched his teeth, about to say something as the old man intervened "Oooh, is the fire bending prodigy bored in my lesson? Well, I'm sorry Master, Takeo- maybe the lessons would be less boring if I doubled the training, FOR EVERYONE?!" The old man commented with an insulted tone, obviously angry.
Takeo got up back to his knees and tried to tell the old man was happened "But, Master Lempuh, I was-" his excuse was cut short by the old man, who was still furious.
"I don't want to hear it!!!" the old man shouted so loud that an echo began echoing through the whole temple. Takeo lowered his head as the old man glared at him, knowing that he was in trouble once again for something he didn't do. This was his daily life, people bullied him and he didn't even get chance to say something, he just got shouted on. Master Lempuh quickly limped over to the child; lifting him up by his collar and making him stand up. Once he stood up straight, the kid was about 5'9, towering a couple of inches above Master Lempuh, who was quite short. "I'm taking you to the Great Sage, I will not have a brat mock my teachings" the old man commented as he pushed Takeo lightly out of the row of students towards one of the exits of the area. "The rest of you do fifty sit ups! And so help you the great spirits if I see at least one of you slacking!" all of the students sighed, but began doing their training out of fear of the old man. The old muttered something quickly to himself and turned to follow Takeo to the chamber of the Grand Sage.
The Great Sage
Soon, the doors slammed open, entering the room of the great sage. The room was circular, with several large windows on the walls. There was a red carpet on the floor and a red bed near the place where an old man was sitting. He was sitting on a pillow meditating in front of a few candles as the teenager and the old man walked in. "I've had enough!" the old man began to shout "This spoiled brat of yours is constantly mocking my class!" he pulled Takeo's ear and twisted it so hard that Takeo actually bent forward "I wasn't-" the boy tried to argue, but the old man pulled his ear even tighter. "Control him, Tsu, until you teach this brat some manners I refuse to train him!" the meditated old man sighed, he slowly opened his eyes and all of the candles in front of him extinguished themselves. "Calm down, Master Lempuh, I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation to everything, go back to your students and I'll talk with the boy." he told the other master in a calm tone, while at the same time staring at Takeo with a tired expression. Lempuh released a sigh and turned around to walk back to the training area. Muttering "I swear one of these days..." he walked off too fast for Takeo to hear what the full sentence was, but he knew it wasn't good. The door behind Takeo closed as the boy was left standing in the middle of the room. The old man gestured to the pillow in front of him and Takeo slowly sat down in a lotus position. Takeo smiled awkwardly, rubbing his neck.
This old man was dressed in a long maroon robe, with a red hat that seemed very extravagant. His robe ended somewhere at the ankles, but he wore similar boots to Takeo and the other students. He had a mustache and wore red forearm protectors. Unlike most of the sages, he seemed more youthful, despite being the oldest among them. As Takeo sat down, the old man gently pushed the candles to the side and placed two cups on the ground in front of himself and the boy. He then turned around and took a kettle which was behind him "Tea?" he old man asked politely as Takeo nodded. After pouring both of their cups, he sat the kettle aside and picked his cup up. Holding it gently with both hands he sipped the hot liquid carefully as he looked over at the teenager who was doing the same. "What did you do this time?" The elder asked in an irritated tone, as Takeo blushed lightly "Well, Master Lempuh thinks I fell asleep, bu-" even this master cut him off right there "Takeo, there can be no excuses for falling down during a training session, you know that..." Zhin Tsu commented looking at Takeo with a tired expression.
The teen lowered his head "Wasn't even my fault... I was tripped" Takeo muttered quietly. Zhin Tsu placed his cup on the floor and patted the kids shoulder. "Regardless, when you're in a training session you must keep your guard up; I'll have a talk with and " Tsu commented with a smile, as he retracted his hand picked his cup up again. Takeo had a slightly confused expression on his face as he asked, "How did you know it was Tetsuri and Hetsuki?" the old man sighed and shook his head "It's always Tetsuri and Hetsuki..."
Takeo smiled and took a gulp from his cup before thanking the old man "Thank you, Master Zhin Tsu..." then the old man asked him another question right after that. "Did you finish up cleaning the mess you made last night with the vase?" Takeo nodded and replied "Yeah, I stayed up all night... but it was Tet-" Zhu shook his head "It doesn't matter, Tetsuri and Hetsuki are not necessarily the two calmest and friendliest students, but they are superb firebenders and they come from a noble family, so they must be treated with the respect they've earned, even if you don't like them, Takeo, it's always crucial to keep a open mind and friendly heart" Takeo nodded and placed his cup on the floor. "Can I go now, Master Zhin Tsu?" the old man nodded "You're father would be proud to see how strong you've grown, Takeo, but try to keep the ruckus down to a minimum alright?" his tired expression flashed a gentle smile to the boy. Takeo only nodded and ran off as the old man closed his eyes and began meditating once again.
Once he got back to the barracks in the west wing of the temple he found the whole room starting at him from their beds. He chuckled awkwardly and lowered his head as he walked towards his bed. Some of the kids insulted him as he walked "Nice going, dweeb." One of them commented as Takeo passed, another walked passed Takeo and bumped into him on purpose, making him fall down. "Watch where you're going, prodigy" he commented as he continued walking. As Takeo stood up he was instantly pushed back to the ground. Tetsuri, dressed in similar clothes to Takeo, except with the sleeves rolled back, was the one who pushed him and Hetsuki, dressed just like Tetsuri, was standing at his side. Tetsuri quickly glared the kid down "Well, Prodi-dweeb, wanna apologize for giving us extra work?" Takeo tried to stand up, but Hetsuki pushed him down "Answer us when we talk to you, peasant, unless you want a beating!"
A loud scream quickly reached the kids; Zhin Tsu was standing at the entrance to the barrack "What do you two think you're doing? Just because your families are of higher stature doesn't give you the right to break the rules of this temple and assault a fellow student" The old man shouted at them as he walked over, picking Takeo up by the elbow and placing him on his feet. "If you want to fight, do it in the arena, under the rules and under supervision and not two against one." He glared at Hetsuki and then at Tetsuri. The smug one named Tetsuri quickly began to explain "We were just goofing around, ain't that right?" he smirked at Takeo as Zhin Tsu got even angrier "I know your games Tetsuri and it is not the way of the sages, to my quarters, NOW!" the two turned around and began walking as one of them glanced over his shoulder to Takeo and muttered "We'll finish this later..." as they walked off, Takeo was left standing in the middle of the barrack with everyone still glaring at him. He quickly made his way to his bed, which was in the corner of the room and sat down on it, lowering his head, trying not to catch any unwanted attention, anymore.
- This is the first chapter
For the collective works of the author, go here.