The Test
Chapter information

The Fall of Freedom



Written by

Pabu Lannister

Release date

December 20, 2013

Last chapter

A New Day Dawns

Next chapter

The Veil is Lifted

Jiyu and Ototo ran to the courtyard and jumped onto the end of the line of young nomads taking their airbending tests.

"So, now that everyone is here," Master Leio said, glaring at Jiyu and Ototo; "We will begin the tests, good luck to you all."

As the tests progressed, there were many amazing displays of airbending, some techniques which Jiyu himself had not seen performed by non-masters. He was in awe at the grace and sheer talent of his fellow nomads. It was one of those moments where he felt that this was what it was all about, the ability to perform such mind-blowing acts and feats with power bestowed upon them by the spirits. He couldn't help but laugh to himself and think about how grateful he was to be an Airbender and to have that kind of power.

Soon it came to his turn, Ototo had gone just before him and as always, managed to just scrape through and pass. Ototo was extremely glad that he passed; a fail would have meant he would have to wait another three months to try again.

Jiyu stepped forward. He bowed to Master Leio. "So Jiyu, in order to pass, you will need to lift this open barrel from here to the end of the courtyard," said Master Leio.

"If a single drop of water touches the ground, you will need to re-do the test in three months' time," added Master Leio.

"The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate discipline of the mind and of the body; you may start when you are ready," said Master Leio.

"All you have to do is lift it," he told himself. "You are an airbending Master, you can do anything," he said in his head.

He took his stance, inhaled deeply and exhaled. He focused squarely on the barrel of water and inhaled again. With a single flick of his wrists, he could feel the energy flow out of him in the form of air towards the barrel. Up went the barrel, hovering and dancing in mid-air.

Jiyu's movements were slow and controlled. Jiyu was in a world of his own, admiring the power he possessed in moving the barrel; he couldn't help but marvel at what he was doing.

"No sudden movements, just slow and steady," Jiyu told himself.

Jiyu moved slowly past the halfway point, marked by the great oak tree overshadowing the courtyard. The slow spiral movements of his arms guided and controlled the barrel. Air circulating and whizzing around the barrel in a symphony of grace and majesty.

Not long after, Jiyu started to feel his arms burn, the pain riveted all through his body; sweat began to travel down the side of his face. "You are an airbending Master, you can do anything," Jiyu whispered to himself. The burning sensation in his arms began to intensify. His whole body began to tremble, as did his confidence. "No! You can do this! You are an airbending Master!" he told himself. Doubt began to creep in and the thought of dropping it began to tempt him. "No, you don't!" Jiyu thought, as his willpower nullified the pain as he managed to maintain his composure to the end.

He gracefully planted the barrel down and not a drop of water was to be seen, apart from Jiyu's sweat that began to subside with the barrel finally planted on the ground.

Jiyu took a deep breath and turned then bowed to Master Leio.

Master Leio bowed and replied, "An excellent job Jiyu, your physical skills are just as impressive as your spiritual abilities I see." "You will make an exceptional Master."

Jiyu went back and sat with Ototo, flustered but feeling ecstatic over the accomplishment of his twenty seventh airbending test and the high praise he received from Master Leio.

Ototo leaned over to him and whispered, "Man you made it look so easy and did you see Jinsei looking at you?" "Oh, stupid question, of course you saw her lover boy," he said.

Jiyu had not noticed that Jinsei was watching him. The moment he had just had as he guided the barrel was something that would stay with him forever; just feeling the immense power flow throughout his entire body made him feel so alive.

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