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(Avatar Roku's Island Cave)
"Oh no just call me Kenichi." he said standing behind Katara.
Avatar Aang immediately got up and placed himself between the so-called "Kenichi" and Katara quickly getting into a defensive stance.
"No need for that Avatar. We are here to settle this peacefully," said the one wearing the red kimono, trying to keep the Avatar in a calm state.
"Call me crazy Ryuu, but, I don't think he will believe you, since Altair and Miku just attacked his group no more than three hours ago. Am I right Avatar?" Kenichi asked.
Aang did not lower his stance; all he did was nod.
"Very well, most people are hostile to strangers so, I will tell you all our names." Kenichi continued.
The airbender, Aang recognized that had attacked him before, seemed to almost protest against this until he caught the gaze of the Akuma me. "I, as you know am Kenichi, 'Akuma me of The Fifth Nation of the Element of Plasma'" Kenichi said with a slight bow towards Aang.
"Plasma???" Aang thought; he knew this was the truth. The man spoke in a tone that held no reason or hint of deception.
Kenichi then pointed to the woman who attacked Katara. "This is Miku; she is 'The General of Water' for our Nation."
"Nice to beat you, I mean meet you, of course." She said with a wicked grin on her face.
"This is Daichi 'The General of Earth', also the longest reigning General of Earth in our Nation's history." Kenichi continued pointing to the bulky figure. "These formalities are sickening; they do not know the meaning of these words. No one does in this time." The bulky main said.
"This is Ryuu 'The General of Fire', considered the craftiest of all the Fire Generals before him." Kenichi continued, ignoring Daichi's remark.
"..." Ryuu didn't speak to anyone, much to Team Avatar's curiosity. The only thing he did was smile with that perpetual expression, his kimono moving a little as he stood up during his intro.
"And finally Altair 'The General of Air', considered to have the fastest Kagetejun in the history of our fine Nation." Kenichi finished.
"Okay I have had enough, what do you take me, for a fool? I know better than anyone that the airbenders had no military ranking or even a military at all. So stop lying and tell me the truth." Aang demanded.
Altair disappeared from view like before, then, a split second after he disappeared, Kenichi disappeared as well.
Instantly afterwards Altair reappeared five feet away from Aang's face. Kenichi appeared between Aang and Altair facing Altair. The tension from the two seemed thick but unlike the cold serious expression Altair had, which Aang would expect from an Earthbender, Kenichi had a playful grin on his face and a straw sakkat on his head.
"We can play this game all night Altair. Even though you are much faster than me at Kagetejun we both know that the time it would take you to strike would be long enough for me to get in the way." Kenichi said still smiling, as if it were a game, his eyes only slightly revealed because the sakkat was tipped.
The Airbender eased from his stance. "I can't believe you let him speak to you like that. Doesn't the spirit of the Avatar remember?"
Aang was confused by what just happened "If the Akuma me is the most dangerous being to exist, then why did he just protect me?" Aang was beginning to doubt the words of the old Avatars.
Just then, the hand of Kaida landed on the collar of Aang's shirt, pulling him back to form a group huddle with Katara, Toph, and Sokka. "Let's go all mighty Avatar." Kaida said with sarcasm. "Could we borrow him for a second?" she threw the question at the Four Generals and the Akuma me.
"Of course." Kenichi said in a lighthearted tone.
After being dragged into the group huddle Aang asked, "Okay, what is it?"
"Aang before you start another fight with them, we have to tell you something." Sokka said.
"What is it?" Aang asked still tense of the situation.
"These people, their actions don't seem to add up." Kaida began "First off, half of them attack us for no reason. Then this Kenichi shows up and they immediately stop on his word, and even when we attacked him, they did not take any action to repel us, even when he was seen being corrupted by your energy they still did nothing, like they knew you would have no effect." Kaida continued.
"Wait." Aang interrupted "How do you know the process of energybending and what do you mean they didn't interfere? Wasn't that why I was unsuccessful?
"Katara was telling me the process as it was happening, like how you explained it to her." Kaida answered.
"Also no one interrupted the process while it happened, the glow was right, your energy did flow into Kenichi, yet all of a sudden when the energy hit his eyes it immediately flowed back into you, Aang, yet unlike with you and Firelord Ozai his energy did not flow into your body. All that happened is that he seemed to disconnect from you and all the glowing stopped. For some reason they just asked us if we should move you inside. So we did, and they joined us." Sokka explained to Aang's horror.
"So how should we play this out?" Katara asked after being unusually quiet for the last couple of minutes.
"If I may intervene?" Kenichi asked the huddled group.
Almost all of Team Avatar jumped at this, except for Kaida and Toph.
"If you all want to know our motives, why don't you just ask? It was my intention to reveal the Fifth Nation to the whole world today." Kenichi said in a matter-a-fact tone.
"Well, how do we know we aren't being lied to?" Toph asked smiling in victory that she could tell if he was lying or not.
"That's the best part I could say anything and you would have no way of knowing. Hell, I could say 'I am a demon' and you would have no clue." Kenichi said proudly.
Toph's smile dropped, "He can do it too!" Toph thought in distress.
"So you're just going to have to trust the man who allowed you to attack him, and forced his most trusted coworkers to stand by as you tried to take his bending away." Kenichi said in piercing words, "So will you join us for a drink?" he asked as he stomped the ground producing a large circular plateau, then he forced his flat palm down to make leg space for everyone. He then preformed the technique he called Kagetejun and appeared right beside the boat he had crashed into the cave. He leaned into the boat and pulled out several large jugs of what Sokka, Toph, and Kaida found delight to behold in, 'Saké'. "Oh almost forgot." Kenichi said. He threw up his arm and ten chairs formed from the rocky cave floor around the table. After that, he made a slicing motion, which caused the feet of the chairs to cut off from the cave floor.
Everyone sat down according to their nation so Earth would face Earth, Fire face Fire and so on. The only exception to this was between Kenichi, Aang, Sokka, and Altair, Aang sat across from Kenichi, and Sokka sat across from Altair. "Altair would you be so kind as to pass out the cups?" Kenichi asked him as he handed Altair ten traditional Fire Nation sakazukis.
"Fine." Altair said with little complaint, he disappeared using Kagetejun. Suddenly the sakazukis appeared in front of everyone and Altair reappeared in his chair.
"Okay let's play a game, for every question asked we all take a drink." Kenichi said trying to lighten the mood.
"You mind if I could be left out of this game?" Katara asked politely.
"Well we won't force you to drink, but you won't be able to ask any questions, okay." Kenichi said.
"I understand that." Katara said.
"Is there anything else you would like to drink?" Kenichi asked.
"Well some tea would be nice." Katara replied.
"Lucky me, I just got some of the best tea from Ba Sing Se the other day." Kenichi said, he then disappeared using Kagetejun.
A few seconds later, a porcelain teapot and a teacup appeared in place of Katara's sakazuki.
"Thank you." Katara said hesitant to drink the tea.
"If I was going to kill you all I would've done it when you all were busy trying to move the Avatar." Kenichi said he then used waterbending to bend the right amount of saké into everyone's sakazuki. "The first question is yours Avatar Aang." Kenichi said as he raised his sakazuki.
Aang thought long and hard about this question.
"Why are you here?" he asked.
Everyone took a drink except Katara; she only sipped her tea in the spirit of the game.
"Wooh that is good." Kenichi said at first "Okay we are here because you Avatar Aang have broken a sacred and ancient contract with our Nation that is binding throughout the spirit and physical world." He answered.
"What contract?" Aang asked.
"Ah, ah, ah that isn't how the game goes." Kenichi scolded playfully "Miss Beifong the next question is yours." Kenichi said, again waterbending saké into everyone's sakazuki.
"Okay?" Toph said she sensed Aang wanted her to ask his question "How could you guys stop my seismic sense?" Toph instead asked, to Aang's dismay. "Sorry twinkle toes I need to know this."
"Well that is a question for Daichi to answer." Kenichi said as he looked at the bulking figure.
"It is simple your seismic sense is based on vibrations. So I simply made vibrations on counter frequencies to block and send back vibrations of what I wanted you to see." Daichi said as he began to take a drink along with everyone else; except he fell down unconscious.
"Poor Daichi the man never could hold his saké." Kenichi said, he quickly earthbent a bed shaped rock underneath Daichi with a little bit of an incline to help him breath. "Your turn Katara." Kenichi said refilling the sakazukis again.
"But I'm not part of the game" Katara declined.
"Ah, but you are drinking with us in spirit and that is what matters." Kenichi said friendly as ever.
"Okay," said Katara; she had no personal questions of her own so she asked what she knew Aang was dying to hear. "What is this contract?"
Kenichi's face grew grim; he knew this was Aang's question. He took a deep drink and said, "We really are forgotten are we. The contract was based on the one thousand year war. We agreed that our people would disappear from the world so long as the Avatar kept balance between all four nations. Avatar Aang failed this task by letting the entire Air Nomads be wiped out. So since there was a breech in that contract we will resurface to continue what our people did so long ago."
"You have to be kidding." Aang said, "All Avatars past and present have never made any contract with your people."
"Oh really?" Kenichi said in a serious tone, "You think I am referring to the human Avatars; that is not the case. I am talking about the original Avatar the spirit that agreed with our oldest ancestors, that if they would leave the world the Avatar would personally see to it that it would keep balance to all. You Avatar Aang have faulted that task and we will resume our duties that you failed." At the sound of this chilling voice Kenichi covered his face with his sakkat by tilting it. "One last question from you miss..um?"
"Kaida" Kaida corrected.
"Yes Miss Kaida." Kenichi said.
"How do you intend to do this?" Kaida asked.
Kenichi took a deep breath to keep his composure and spoke:
"That is simple, first off the Four Generals and I will challenge the best benders of all four nations along with the Avatar, in Agni Kai like fights to show all Nations that we are worthy to be here. If we are defeated, three out of the five fights, then we shall leave. If we win, three of the five, we will move our people into the lands that were occupied by the Air Nomads. The White Lotus has already chosen those benders to fight for you. They are Miss Toph Beifong chosen by a letter of recommendation of King Bumi, it was given to Iroh for this exact situation before his passing. Master Katara of the Southern Water Tribe recommended by the late master Pakku as of similar letter like King Bumi's. Grand Lotus Iroh himself recommended Miss Kaida to represent the Fire Nation as he sees she has had the most promise for the Fire Nation in generations. And severing for the only Air Nomad Avatar Aang will double in his fight with Air General Altair and myself. Preceding these fights the generals and their opponents will train with each other to better understand each other's motives. This event is not debatable. If any of these representatives refuse they will be marked as an automatic loss in the score." Kenichi got up bowed to those around him and left.
Toph felt Kenichi Earthbending several seconds later. Apparently, he had made a large earth tent around the boat that had crashed.
Everyone was still sitting around the table except Daichi and Kenichi. Altair was the first one to speak. "Please excuse him he has obviously had a bit too much."
Aang was not convinced, his experience with these people, so far, has taught him to question everything he knows. "I have a few more questions. If I may?" Aang said politely to this 'Altair'; who obviously wasn't the biggest fan of The Avatar.
"Go ahead." Altair said not looking at Aang in the eyes.
Everyone in Team Avatar noted this, due to the fact that Kenichi had also did this until his sudden voice bump.
"Why did you attack me when it seemed you were never ordered to do so?" Aang asked wording his questions carefully now.
"It is simple, Altair despises you Avatar Aang." the man called Ryuu answered for Altair.
Aang was shocked at those words. "It was true many airbenders didn't get along with others, but they never resorted to physical violence." Aang thought to himself.
Before Aang ever had a chance to ask the question, Altair said, "I will not explain why I have acted, as is my free will to do so."
Several minutes had passed before an unexpected question arose from Sokka:
"What makes you think this will work? Sure, you remember some ancient pact with our ancestors, but after so many centuries do you think they will remember something that not one of our Nation's histories can recall?" he said almost generously wording it in detail.
"Well you must have known something; otherwise you all would have had many more questions than this. So help me help you understand, how much do you know about us?" Altair said sounding more comfortable answering Sokka than he had answering Aang.
"Well we know there was a great war that lasted a long time between, what we can guess was, your Fifth Nation of Plasma along with the Air Nomads against The Earth Kingdom, Water Tribe, and the Fire Nation. Then one day the spirits used their magic to end the war, and on that day the Avatar was first created." Sokka finally inhaled this after his quick overview of their knowledge.
"Well where would I begin?" Altair said rhetorically "Well first off all titles of our Nation are probably false such as 'Blood of the Sun', 'The First Bending People', and 'The Guardians of Balance', most of them are close to correct, yet they are off. Our people's names are 'The Guardians of Plasma'. It is a bit self-righteous for my taste but that was the duty of our people before the Great War." Altair said trying to find a starting point.
"The time is my main concern. We left a century long war and so much had happened that we would not forget it for many generations to come. From what I heard your war supposedly lasted a thousand years, how could no one remember that?" Sokka said a little suspicious of the facts.
"Well your war won't be covered up by the spirits any time soon, I am betting, and you said generations to come. How many generations do you think have passed since that war? The time that the war lasted is correct. To be honest I am glad you brought that up. At the end of that war 'The Guardians of Plasma' were transferred the ability to bend the other four elements. That is why we hail from the Fifth Nation yet we can bend your elements. It was the ultimate punishment." Altair said in a more upbeat tone, that Aang recognized to be airbender like.
"Two words confuse me in this 'Transfer', and 'Punishment' could you explain." Sokka said more curious of one than the other did.
"You ever wonder why the Air Nomads were the only nation to have all benders? Well our history said that long ago all people could bend until the legendary war, and after the legendary war, a great punishment was dealt to the Fire Nation, Water Tribe, and Earth Kingdom for their brutal actions. That punishment was that in those three nations some people lost their bending abilities. Those lost abilities were given to our ancestors and then passed down to us. Only the Air Nomads abilities were only shared instead of also being taken from them." Altair said pausing to breathe every other sentence.
"From what I know the First People were the ones to attack so how did they get rewarded?" Sokka said interested yet agitated at these ludicrous claims.
"Such history is lost to even us, all we know is the prologue, middle, and end to that war. The Air Nomads were supposed to keep the knowledge of the beginning part of the war." Altair said in a calm and comfortable tone.
"How convenient." Kaida said done taking the back seat in this conversation "But you two are getting off topic. The original question was 'What makes you think this will work?'" she reminded them.
"I'm glad you reminded them of that." Ryuu said in a blank tone, "That is why Kenichi thinks is a good reason to have this exhibition instead of a full on invasion. The last war our people had with all three nations, the people almost completely wiped each other out in a stalemate. But even now, with your combined populations larger than ours, barely anyone knows we exist. If we were to attack your people as a whole, they wouldn't know what to do. If we were to attack in a month let alone in two weeks, we could over power you. Our people are done with wars, though; we were the protectors of peace once. Why not let five fights that won't even be to the death decide what one major war could." Ryuu finished with the same smile on his face; he knew he had won them over of course.
"Tomorrow we all will be leaving for training, so we better get some rest." Aang said, these words rocked the whole group, as Aang was the last one to want anyone to fight.
Everyone got up from their chairs and showed respect to their future opponents and training partners.
... 3 hours later
Sokka woke up early in the night to have a talk with Kenichi. When he was next to Kenchi's large earth tent, he heard a familiar voice.
"You have more questions as well?" The mature voice of Aang accused Sokka.
"Yes, it is probably the same as yours." Sokka said thinking about the training they were supposed to do; Sokka knew that Aang would want to ask about his energybending not working; among other things.
"Well ladies are we just going to stand here all day or are we going to ask these questions?" Toph said as she jumped off the top of the tent.
"Toph!!!" Sokka questioned with a surprised smile "What questions do you have?"
"I have only a few, maybe even less. Depends on how he answers the first one." Toph said opening up a little.
Sokka was about to knock on the solid door when the slab pulled down and Kenichi's voice was heard from inside.
"If you guys are going to sneak around you are going to have to do better than that." He said drearily.
All of those standing outside were shocked.
"Well?" Kenichi asked.
Toph, Aang, and Sokka went into the tent. Aang was about to use firebending to light the room when:
"I'd rather you not," Kenichi said.
"Fine," Aang said as he stopped.
"What are your questions?" Kenichi asked.
Sokka perked up to this "You said everyone was training with their opponents to learn each other's motives. Why is no one is training with you so far?"
"Ah I see, well while you all will be off training, I will go back to Jigoku. If you want you can join me, but I will probably drop you of at Miss Clay's lab though." Kenichi answered honestly.
"Why didn't Aang take away your bending when he was energybending?" Toph asked suddenly.
"Simple, Plasmabending is caused by the control of one's inner energy. Unlike energybenders we cannot control others energies. Yet if they try to tamper with ours they are quickly purged due to the fact we can control almost all energy within our own bodies." Kenichi answered "Now I feel you must leave, this next question from Aang is one that is personal," he continued kindly.
Sokka was about to resist until he saw Aang's eyes "Let's go Toph."
"Wait I have a few questions left." Toph struggled as Sokka dragged her out.
"Toph here," Sokka said after they were several steps away.
"What is it?" Toph asked not feeling anything being handed to her. "I don't feel any..." Toph was cut off by an unexpected kiss from Sokka. The rush Toph felt was amazing. The warmth of Sokka's lips was pure ecstasy in itself. Suddenly all Toph's questions melted away into the warmth of his lips on hers. Through their little dates, Sokka never tried anything, to Toph's disappointment. Sure, at first, they were to help him get over Suki's passing, but Sokka always seemed enjoyed them. Over the years, Toph thought he just didn't notice her. "What was he holding back for? Was it for him?" Toph thought, and then she realized "No it was for me."
"So Avatar Aang, What is your question?" Kenichi asked, his ruse of 'the kind host' gone, what sat before Aang was not an enemy against justice. Not even an ally for justice. Only a man who fought and worked for both sides.
"What was that I saw when I was in your chakras?" Aang asked without hesitation.
Kenichi took a deep breath "To be honest, he is my instinct, my power, my demon. With him, I could be the most powerful being ever. Without him, I am only just as powerful as you."
"Demon?" Aang asked quizzically.
"The Avatar is a being that a spirit latches onto so they may keep balance throughout the world. The Akuma me is a being that has the darkest parts of their soul manifest into separate consciousness as a demon soul. You see, those two giant pools were the eighth chakra; The chakra of darkness. It deals with the flow of negative energy throughout one's body, and is blocked by one's soul. Unlike all other chakras this one is meant to be blocked . That creature is the manifestation of the spirit which blocks the chakra. What you saw was the real me." Kenichi said in a hardening of his voice "Now go get some sleep, Altair won't tolerate lateness."
Aang left in a daze "A man who was destined to be miserable all his life, For when he tries to become stronger to protect the ones he loves he is only putting them in more danger." he thought about the man in the tent he just left. One more dangerous thought traveled through Aang's mind "What happens if he wins?" Aang then knew this training might be the best thing for him to protect the ones he loved. He thought as he walked back into his tent.
Katara was laying on a sleeping bag content as can be, ignorant of what Aang just had found out.
Aang laid down on top of his bag and began to, surprisingly, fall asleep. His dreams were comforting, yet even in them Aang knew he could never fully rest until this event was over.
... Early the Next Morning
The sun was barely up when Aang walked through the cave entrance. "Some early morning meditation should do me good." He thought trying to stay lively.
Since he was half awake Aang hadn't noticed the group until he stared at them for a while. Then he realized that the Four Generals and The Akuma me had gathered unannounced, the odd thing was the General of Fire wasn't with them.
Daichi and Miku had slight black bags under their eyes so they must have not been used to such an early awakening. Altair and Kenichi looked almost energized in the cool morning.
"You all have you orders and under no circumstances will you ever violate them unless absolutely necessary, and if any of you spot Ryuu send a letter immediately." Altair said in a commanding tone.
"But." Miku was about to protest when she was interrupted.
Kenichi disappeared from Aang's sight.
"GOOD MORNING Avatar Aang. Nice day for eavesdropping isn't it?" Kenichi said now behind Aang.
Aang jumped a little at this. "I'm sorry it is just so early I thought no one would be up." he said trying to explain something to someone who he needed no permission from.
"Well seeing that you went through all the trouble why don't we tell you." Kenichi said with his kind host ruse. "It seems Ryuu has gone missing. And we can't seem to track him at all."
"MISSING!!!" Aang said in alarm.
"No need to worry, Ryuu is smart he won't start any wars intentionally. The only real problem is that lovely Miss Kaida has no one to prepare her for her upcoming fight. The only other person at the caliber to help her is either me or someone in Jigoku. What do you think she should do?" Kenichi asked Aang.
"I think we should let her decided for herself." Kaida said behind Kenichi.
"Well of course we should ask you; so will you join us to Jigoku or will you stay here and wait for an unpredictable Ryuu?" he asked.
"Well the choices are being trained by a person more powerful than the Avatar to become stronger, or sitting around waiting for some guy who would have the upper hand if I waited for him. Such a hard choice." Kaida said as if she hadn't already made up her mind.
"Well there's no problem then." Katara said standing at the caves entrance.
"You all might want to say goodbye to your group." Kenichi said.
"What about you four? Don't you ever say goodbye?" Sokka said walking out of the cave in a jolly tone.
The three generals and Kenichi went into awkward stance which included: whistling with ones had behind their head, looking at the ground, and slowly kicking at the ground.
"Our element is that of solitude. We welcome our alone time." Altair said breaking from his group.
"Oh that sounds... depressing" Sokka said still happy.
"Well my question is how we will get off this rock?" Toph asked behind Sokka in the entrance of the cave.
"Transportation is not a problem; Altair could you call Toshi?" Kenichi asked.
"Toshi?" Katara asked puzzled.
Altair pulled out a small metal whistle and blew into it.
Two distinct roar came as a result. One was further away though.
Appa came hobbling out of the cave trying to stay off his one fractured leg that was now splinted.
A louder roar was heard above everyone's head. Suddenly a large shadow swooped over. The next thing Team Avatar knew there was a white bison that was trying to smother Altair.
"Whoa, whoa down girl." he said strangely lightheartedly while the bison licked him.
"A FLYING BISON?!?!?" Aang said in disbelief at what he was seeing.
"Yeah this is Toshi; She is Altair's lifelong partner." Kenichi said puzzled at the Avatar's response.
Appa's eyes widened upon seeing Toshi. He instantly tried to hide his wounded leg.
Sokka nudged Appa's front leg. "You like her don't you? Hard not to see why she has a stunning coat, six beautifully elegant legs, and a big tail" he said mocking the bison at his infatuation.
Appa gave a subtle response by simply kicking Sokka on his way towards Aang and Katara.
"Okay we will have two groups one on The Avatar's bison, and one on Toshi." Kenichi said.
"What about our transportation?" Sokka asked.
"One thing at a time sir." after those words Kenichi's stood silently gazing into space.
"One thing at a time." he parroted himself.
"So who should ride who?" Miku said as she walked towards Toshi.
The bison's response was a quick attempt to bite Miku.
"Quite the contrary, Toshi obviously can judge character." Altair said teasing Miku like a child.
"How about Toph, Katara, Miku, and Daichi go to their respective places on Appa and Altair and I will go on Toshi." Aang suggested surprisingly.
"You never let Appa leave your side. Why now?" Toph asked.
Aang responded with a shrug and "Appa probably won't let Altair ride on his back since he fractured his leg with... well, me."
"That reminds me, Miku would you heal the bison's leg now?" Kenichi requested.
"Fine" Miku said rolling her eyes.
"No one can heal a fractured bone that fast! Not without spirit water at least." Katara interrupted.
"Well then, I'll just have to show you what kind of no one I am." Miku said confidently. She then took water out of her own water satchel and proceeded to move the water in several healing motions. "You might want to tell your bison that this is going to hurt a lot more if he moves." she said to Aang.
"Trust me you won't want to find out." she said showing an actual serious face.
Aang put one hand on Appa's head "Okay"
Miku then proceeded to pull on the water with fluid motions and just as the water surrounded the leg in the luminescent glow, she froze the water.
The roar Appa made was tremendous. He stayed still though, as Aang was holding onto his head.
"What are you doing?" Katara asked.
"Healing the bison DUH, what else would I be doing with glowing water?"
"She means why did you freeze the water?" Toph explained.
"Why didn't she just say that?" Miku asked Toph.
Toph shrugged and had said, "I don't know, ask Katara."
Miku then looked at Katara with a confused look.
"You know what never mind! I don't need to know any more!" Katara said cranky.
"DONE!!!" Miku said excitedly a few seconds later.
"You have got to be kidding me?" Katara said agitated.
"Avatar; could you get your bison to flex his leg?"
"Are you sure?" Aang asked concerned.
"Ehhh." Miku mumbled as she gave a hand motion for fifty-fifty.
Aang looked at Miku then at Appa, then at Miku then at Kenichi who simply nodded. "Appa could you move your leg?"
Appa broke the ice cast in one kicking movement, he hesitantly stepped with the leg. After a few small steps to check it, Appa was quickly walking around with a freed and happy attitude. He quickly stopped turned around and tackled Miku to the ground bearing his teeth. After a few seconds of eye-to-teeth contact Appa started to lick Miku in the face.
"Ahh! Stop it that tickles!" Miku failed to keep Appa at bay by using her arms.
While Miku was facing her new foe, Kenichi and Daichi were having a conversation.
"She hasn't had that much fun since."
"Since her mentor disappeared, I know. She must never find out though." Kenichi said glum.
"I'm afraid what I will do if that time comes. Just remember to make that offer to Miss Beifong."
"I will, but I cannot make her choose to take the offer or not."
"I know that, wouldn't you take it if you were her?"
Daichi stroked his chin "I don't know Toph is a wild factor in this."
"That is why she is being given this chance. You know as well as I do the numbers will be against her."
"Good luck my friend, with the person you're training you'll need it." Daichi said as he put a hand on Kenichi's shoulder and walking towards the large group.
As Daichi walked towards the group, Kaida, who was hidden behind the massive man, appeared.
"What are you offering Toph?"
"Whatever do you mean?" Kenichi said walking away while putting his sakkat on.
"Someone is hiding a lot more than he will ever let on." Kaida thought to herself.
Kenichi walked up to the group the consisted of everyone except himself and Kaida. "Okay you all have had your fun. From here on out you all have seven days to train after that you will face one another in battle. If anyone is intentionally hurt to a point they cannot compete the member of the team that caused it will be penalized for one match."
"What about your missing group member?" Sokka asked.
"Ryuu was never one who played well with others. So I will personally see to the training of Miss Kaida. You all should leave now because your seven days start now."
Everyone gave a quick goodbye except Aang to Katara and Appa "Look out for her buddy."
A small rumble was heard from the bison's mouth.
"Seven days won't be that long." Katara said to Aang.
"I know." Aang said looking down. He couldn't shake the feeling that they were being told too much.
"Where will you be training?" Katara asked Aang.
"We will train in the Southern Air Temple." Altair said appearing before them using the Kagetejun. "And we need to leave now for us to make it back on time."
"Oh?" Katara reacted somberly.
Altair disappeared again to leave them alone.
Aang and Katara exchanged a brief kiss and parted towards their bison. As they walked away they felt something sever. They knew both of them would change forever on their trip yet they still felt they had to go.
Katara walked up to a saddled Appa with Daichi, Toph, and Miku who was humming a strange tune.
Aang was walking towards Toshi who had a smaller saddle and was housing Altair on her head.
They both climbed on to their separate bison ready to go. A unison of Yip yip's was heard and the two bison parted, one heading north the other south.
It wasn't until after the two dots disappeared into the horizon that Kenichi moved again. Sokka quickly followed trying to investigate.
"Where are you going?"
"Well we are going to the capital settlement of the fifth nation." He responded.
"Yes this 'Jigoku'; where is it exactly?"
"Well I'd say about a mile that way. No slacking Kaida, if you don't want to waste a day you better start joining us." Kenichi said pointing to the ground.
"I'm already in the cave!" An echo repeated.
"Clever girl." Kenichi remarked impressed.
"Hold on, I know for a fact people can't live that far underground sea level." Sokka protested.
"Yes, and I bet twenty-one years ago you didn't believe in flying people or bison." Kenichi responded nonchalantly.
Sokka seemed to attempt to make a protest. Yet his precedent had defeated his logic.
"How do we get to this city?" Kaida asked as Kenichi and Sokka entered.
"Easy, we fall." Kenichi said.
"We wha-aaaahhhhhhhhh" was all Sokka and Kaida could get out before the floor collapsed beneath all of them.
(Under Avatar Roku's Cave)
Air was blasting under them as Kenichi, falling above Sokka then Kaida, began saying something but, as they all were falling, the air was blocking out all sound.
Suddenly a dull light began to shine below all of them.
As this happened Kenichi turned from a falling stance to a diving one which sent him rocketing past both Sokka and Kaida. As he passed both of them, Sokka and Kaida swore they saw him grinning.
The light was shining brighter and brighter by the second, and after a while Kenichi disappeared into the light.
"So this is how it ends." Sokka thought as he and Kaida passed through the light. Sokka, expecting a thud or even a bounce off a plush substance, was surprised that he simply stopped in place. He looked underneath himself to find he was in a massive air spiral and next to him was Kaida looking as confused as Sokka was. He looked again to find Kenichi was underneath them twirling what seemed to be a broken blade.
"Sorry for the surprise but that's the fastest way to get here." he said slowing the spiraling movement of the sword.
Kaida slipped off the barrier and landed on her feet she was brushing herself off when she suddenly froze in place.
Sokka on the other hand had an ungraceful landing on his back. "What's the big idea?" he said.
"You could have killed us!" he continued to rant to Kenichi.
"What gives you the right to collapse the ground from underneath us?"
"What is it Kaida?" Sokka said turning his head. "OH MY SPIRITS!!!"
Both Kaida and Sokka were surprised at the sight that they were witnessing. A massive city, bigger than any other they ever have seen, was in front of them. It was full of skyscrapers, trains, and several small air ship hovering over. Off in the corner of their view they saw that one fourth of the city was completely destroyed and a massive waterfall was spurting into that area.
"Even with one fourth the city destroyed this place is three times the size of modern Ba Sing Se. The city is mainly segregated due to the people's second element inherited. The section in the middle of the city is where we'll be going. Oh and welcome to Jigoku, welcome to Hell."
"Hell?" Sokka asked.
"Yep, this place is our little oasis of torture." Kenichi said informatively.
"I'm more curious on how we will get there." Kaida interrupted to Sokka's minor annoyance.
"That's a good question," Kenichi said. "I wish I knew," he continued.
"How did you guys get here before then?" Kaida asked.
"Oh that is simple we..." Kenichi said before he was interrupted.
A bush was rustling nearby the group fairly loud.
"SHIT!!! RUN, NOW!" Kenichi said in a full sprint towards the city.
Kaida and Sokka turned around to see a massive hoard of people holding a mismatch of anything and everything possible. They quickly realized what Kenichi meant and sprinted as well. As they both caught up to him Kaida asked the question on both their minds "Who are those people? Attackers, assassins, enemies?"
"Ha, I wish, no they're even worse. Their reporters and advisers and maybe some fans expecting to get the Four Generals in a group." He said keeping a heavy hand on his hat.
After several minutes of high speed pursuit most of the mob was dispersing. And when the last couple were leaving the two guests and Kenichi realized they were in the forest at the cities edge.
"How lucky are we." Kenichi said under a hearty breath.
"LUCKY! What luck, we ran several miles just to end up in a forest." Sokka complained.
"No I mean we are close to Miss Clay's lab." Kenichi said knocking a few rocks around with his feet.
"How do you know for sure?" Kaida asked puzzled.
A large explosion was heard very close by.
"That's how. Miss Clay has a distinct, how should I say?"
"Path of destruction?" Sokka inquired.
"I was going to say highly volatile method of bypassing safety procedures. But yours sounds less dangerous on paper." Kenichi said lightheartedly.
Another explosion was heard.
"Well what are we waiting for? Off towards the dangerous scientist's lab." Kaida said already following the explosions.
"Well she doesn't stray from danger," Kenichi said impressed.
"She usually tries to avoid the things that mean certain death," said Sokka.
"Well then she already knows it's safe," Kenichi said, walking the direction Kaida went.
"How are two consecutive explosions safe?" Sokka inquired.
"Think of it this way. The first explosion must not have been that bad if there is enough time for a second explosion."
"I am trapped in a world full of optimists." Sokka sarcastically realized.
"Oh, I'm not an optimist. I'm just a realist." Kenichi said informatively.
The lab was exceptionally ordinary. Only a few things were on the tabletops with apparent blast markings. A skeleton was in the corner of the lab on the floor.
"Was that Miss Clay?" Kaida asked a little shaken at the sight.
"I doubt it," said Kenichi.
"This skeleton is to bleached and it is set up to be studied," Sokka said, picking up the arm of bone.
"Not what I meant, all my life I have never seen someone as indestructible, or as lucky as Clay."
"Well aren't you a sweetheart," a woman's voice said.
"Where did that come from?" Sokka said while he looked around. "I don't see any radios," he continued.
"Underneath you, now step to the side. PLEASE!" The ground said to Sokka in a sarcastic tone.
A trap door opened and a lady in her late twenties walked out of the dark void in the entrance.
Kenichi perked up with "Did I forget to mention that she is a little...what's the word?"
"Stressed?" Kaida put in to be polite.
"High strung." Sokka said in a snobby attitude towards Clay
"I believe the word you all are searching for is 'bitchy'." Clay said still angry.
"I wouldn't go..."
"You're not that ba.."
"Yep pretty spot on there."
The three said over each other. Sokka giving the honest answer.
"Well at least one of you has a spine." Clay said in her wonderful tone.
"Well then he's the perfect for the job of helping you out." Kenichi said.
"NO" Sokka and Clay said in unison.
"Good its decided then." Kenichi smirked childishly. "By the way have you finished the project yet?"
"Yes, I found the substance but it is very expensive and will be very hard to make into an alloy like what you described." Clay said now grumpy(er).
"I figured as much, set me up with seven of them." Kenichi said.
Sokka was looking over the notes set on the lab counter when he realized how expensive it would be. "This is impossible."
"What is?" Kaida asked.
"This process, the temperatures needed is equal to that of the sun." Sokka stated with some dramatic hand gestures.
Kenichi and Clay turned their heads towards Sokka with a look of sheer shock. "Ha ha ha ha" They both busted out laughing.
"Are we missing something?" Kaida said puzzled.
"Ha ha you sure do pfft ha ha ha." Kenichi continued to laugh with Clay for five minutes.
"You done?" Kaida said the anger plainly showing on her face.
"I think so." Kenichi said trying to calm down.
"These impossible tasks you say are mere child's play to our people." Clay explained.
"How so?" Sokka asked.
"Why don't you demonstrate." Clay said to Kenichi not in her usual, speaking down to tone Sokka and Kaida know her for.
"And you call me spineless." Kenichi said jokingly to Miss Clay.
"Yes." Clay answered.
"Fine." Kenichi said as he inhaled deeply. He then began a circular motion with both his hands that Kaida and Sokka recognized.
"That is only lightning generation." Kaida said in a simplifying tone.
"Not exactly." Clay said staring at both of them. "Your friend doesn't seem convinced either."
"What do you mean?" Kaida said as she turned around to see Sokka observing the form.
"Something is different." Sokka stated "Look at how the motions are much slower than lightning generation also the focus of his movements aren't in his hands as much as it is in the shoulders. Even after all that he still has no sparks coming forth from his hands."
"What?!?" Kaida said as she turned around.
Sokka was right the form was slower and there were no sparks coming from his hands.
Kenichi completed his movement except that his hands stopped next to each other like they were holding a ball. As he was holding his hands close to each other they seemed to be pressing against something, like an invisible force. A flicker passed in the area between his hands and a small orb suddenly exploded out of the flicker.
"Is that fire?" Sokka asked.
"No its Plasma." Clay answered.
Overcome with new yet familiar energy Kaida realized what it was. "It's like a tiny sun."
"Correct!" Kenichi said now holding the orb with ease causing it to change its shape and form. "Clay would be able to explain it better than I could though."
Kaida and Sokka then looked towards the woman known as Miss Clay.
"Oh of course." Clay said with a slight blush.
Clay was about to explain when a phone rang. "Excuse me." She walked over to the phone and picked it up. "Hello?... yes he is here, but how did you... fine here he is." she handed the phone into the unoccupied hand of Kenichi.
"Hello?... Hi Hisoka... Oh I see... we'll be there." Kenichi hung up after the last few words. The plasma disappeared into thin air to Sokka's amazement.
"We have to go now no time to explain." he grabbed Kaida by the arm and flew out with a few words barely reaching Sokka and Clay's ears "Show him the city... have him help with experiments... make sure the experiment is done... be back in seven days... bye!" ...
The trivia has specifically been with-held until the publishing of "Training Days Part 2"
For the collective works of the author, go here.