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3 September 2014
Chapter 3: Ton Rha
He marched silently wearing his new uniform, following the fierce-looking, supposedly powerful, captain, who led them into the nearest military harbor. Ton Rha looked around him, he saw nothing but silence and fear, and power. Those masked marchers who didn't look left or right, they just silently obeyed the orders of the captain, which were actually indirect orders of the Fire Lord, or at least that's what he thought. There weren't any trees or flowers on the way, like in the village, there was just emptiness and... just nothing, no life. Ton Rha hadn't been in the army for long, but he already missed home, he missed his wife, his only son who will not be able to see his father again.. but it was all for a good cause, serving the Fire Nation.
Ton Rha continued marching in complete silence, and he finally started to see life in front of him. The place was full of navy men of all kinds, there were food stores everywhere as well as a vast selection of weaponry, and the smell of the sea. They have reached the harbor.
"Okay newbies! Listen up!", the captain said in a very aggressive tone, causing his new recruits to line up perfectly. They were a group of about twenty people, all of which have joined the navy today.
"Are any of you firebenders ?", asked the captain, but none of them replied.
"Can any of you even use any simple weapon !?", yelled the captain, this time looking angry and confused. Ton Rha raised his hand, and was followed by three or four of the new recruits, then by the rest of the group.
"You there!", said the captain, pointing to Ton Rha while smirking, "You look like a brave man. What can you do ?"
"I can use my Jian sword, Sir". Ton Rha pulled his sword out of his belt and stood in a perfect fighting position, but the captain didn't like that move by Ton Rha, and his smirk immediately turned into an angry face. "With this thing ? You can't even kill a bug", the captain felt happier saying that, but Ton Rha didn't. This captain thought he could control and use the new recruits as his pigs, and Ton Rha hated him. He loved the Fire Nation, but this guy really got on his nerves.
"With this thing I can kill whoever tries to attack me or attack my nation"
"You think you are clever. Show me what will you do about THIS!" the captain shot a very fast and powerful fireball at Ton Rha, which he avoided. Ton Rha continued jumping to avoid the captain's several fireballs. "You can run away all you want, you still are no match to me!" yelled the captain. Ton Rha jumped on a barrel containing some spears, helping himself to jump to the top of a weapon shop. He was very athletic and agile. The captain threw another shot at Ton Rha while the other new soldiers looked frightened. Ton Rha blocked the shot by spinning his sword using the air to cancel out the fire, but he did feel as if his hands were burnt. He jumped off the roof and cut off a rope that was holding a barrel with heavy weaponry in the air over the captain's head. The captain quickly noticed and punched the falling barrel away in time, but Ton Rha was already running, and he got close to the captain, close enough to give him a heavy hit on the shoulder with the sword and continue running away.
The captain was very angry, he did a front flip and shot a great amount of fire through his feet towards Ton Rha which hit him hard on the back, and made him fall to the ground. The captain landed on his feet, with his back turned to the fallen Ton Rha. He smirked again and started clapping slowly, while a very suffering Ton Rha tried to get off the ground, to no avail. The captain started walking towards Ton Rha and said : "You are very brave to do what you've done. You're going to be a nice addition to my group". Ton Rha was very angry but he couldn't do anything about it, the captain came and helped him get up.
"What's your name ?"
"Ton Rha", he said and put his mask back on, going towards the rest of the group.
"I will be your captain, Captain Jiao, and this is our ship", he told the group, pointing towards a medium-sized ship, "We will be sailing towards one of our newest colonies in the Earth Kingdom, to guard it from the sea side. That colony is now Fire Nation, which means everything there is yours for free. Those peasants don't matter! Hail Fire Lord Sozin!"
The group enthusiastically hailed the Fire Lord, including Ton Rha, who started to feel a little better. Captain Jiao led them to the ship, they marched towards the ship and entered it, but the captain stopped Ton Rha and took him to talk alone.
"Listen you there, if I told you some stupid nice words and gave you the opportunity to express yourself, don't get used to it. On the ship, I am the only leader and if I order you to jump off to the sea, you do. I have been here much more than you and whatever experience you gain will never give you the right to try and threaten me. This is the last warning"
Ton Rha had a flashback in his mind, he remembered when Pathik and himself were playing kuai ball in the village, using a clothes line as a net...
"I have been playing this game for 3 years Pathik, there's no way you can beat me!", stated a young Ton Rha
"It's not about the experience, it's about the skills", replied Pathik.. who later went on to win the match.
"Wow Pathik! You're really skilled"
The present-day Ton Rha raised his head to look directly in the eyes of captain Jiao and told him "It's not about the experience, it's about the skills". The captain looked angrily at Ton Rha, looking as if he's about to attack. "This is your very last warning Ton Rha. Take one step against me and you'll be dead. Get inside!", ordered the captain. "Fine!"
Ton Rha entered the ship towards the other members, and then captain Jiao entered too and ordered the sailors to sail with the ship. On the way, Ton Rha and his teammates were in a small room in the ship lit by four or five candles. They discussed what happened with Ton Rha, and they were all fascinated by his abilities and courage. Most of them acknowledged that Ton Rha was actually better than the captain, but none of them had the guts to admit that outside of the small room they mentioned that in. The captain was a very hotheaded and quick-tempered guy that might kill them if they threaten his self-confidence.
The new navy recruits quickly bonded with each other, and although Ton Rha did enjoy their company, he needed some time alone, to think. He remembered that one time when he was assisting Pathik in his studies and Pathik told him about something huge, about his big plans to travel the world to learn about the different interpretations and thoughts of world unity and harmony, an idea that was already spread in the Fire Nation at the time. Ton Rha is now applying his, and the majority of the Fire Nation's, idea of world unity by helping the nation rule the world - so the whole world would be Fire Nation. However, Pathik used to say that this idea might be positive, but the other nations might not see it that way.
"I already know twenty-six different 'world peace' organizations and ideas in the Earth Kingdom, and I haven't even visited it yet!", those words ran through his mind as they were sailing - but the Fire Nation has to be the right answer! If the Earth Kingdom has that many ideas, all of them must be wrong. "The Fire Nation rule is the true answer to world unity", Ton Rha spoke these words, wishing Pathik was still alive and next to him, so that he could convince him to believe in the Fire Nation's idea. But for Ton Rha, Pathik was already dead, and he thinks it's time for the Fire Lord to rule the world.
Meanwhile, Pathik was in the company of master Kiro and another White Lotus member in a small room with no windows, and Pathik was being taught about the ancient and secret origins of the world unity and 'no borders' ideas, when suddenly, Pathik had an idea...
For the collective works of the author, go here.