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December 28, 2012
This is the sixth chapter of the series,.
9 days later.
Tahno and Korra lie in the canopies of the swamp with the children of the village relaxing after supper. They watch the sunset as Tao sits up looking over at Tahno. "Hey bro, since you're leaving tomorrow, I got you something." He pulls out a long beaded necklace. "Each of the beads was carved by someone in the family, so you'll always have somethin' from all of us."
Tahno takes the necklace and runs the beads between his fingers. "Thanks guys." He says as they give him a group hug. Korra looks over with a bright smile as Tahno stands up. "I've got a gift for you guys too."
Two days before the opening match, Ming and Shaozu are busy training in the gym with a replacement water-bender. "Faster, come on. We've got a lot of work to do." Ming says as he hurls a disc at the water bender who is knocked back several feet. "Yeah uh, what's your name again?" Shaozu asks.
"For the hundredth time it's Hasook!" the water bender shouts as he stands up.
"Interesting, but I'm afraid your services are no longer needed." Tahno says in the doorway of the training room.
"Uh whatever, I'm out of here." Hasook says exiting the room.
"Hey Tahno, where've you been?' Ming asks.
"Someone told us you'd skipped town."
"I just had some stuff to take care of, but it's all handled now. You boys ready to show those Skunk-bears not to mess with the Wolfbats?" he asks as the three howl in unison.
The night of the match the three Wolfbats are in the changing room putting on their gear. Korra gives them a surprise visit as she walks in. "Hey you guys, you look like you're ready to kick some butt."
"Sure are, they don't stand a chance." Shaozu says confidently.
Tahno takes Korra to the side to speak with her. "I just wanted to thank you, you know for helping me get all that straightened out and for what you said."
"Anytime pretty boy." She says chuckling for a second as Tahno moves in closer. She begins to blush slightly. "Tahno? I..." she says in a soft voice.
"Hey there baby." The two are interrupted as a girl with pale skin and dark violet hair jumps on Tahno's back. Korra recognizes her as one of the girls that was seated with the Wolfbats when they first met. "I was so worried about you." she jumps down and faces him. "I've been trying to find you for weeks but you weren't at home."
"Oh hey, Taki right, uh yeah, had to leave it, couldn't afford the rent anymore. What are you doing here?" he asks her.
"I wanted to apologize for what happened before. I shouldn't have just abandoned you when you lost your bending. I said some things and I didn't mean them. I, I love you. Please, please say you'll take me back." she says as she lays her head on his chest, Ming and Shaozu looking on suspiciously.
He confusedly shakes his head, causing Korra to turn away in disappointment. The announcer then sounds off. "Well uh, we have to get out there." Tahno says as he heads toward the platform. "She rushes over and kisses him on the lips. "For luck." she says as the trio leave, leaving her and Korra in the box. "Avatar." she addresses her simply.
"Making their debut match, the Si Wong Skunk-bears." The announcer says as the three male team mates, wearing black gear with a white line going down the back, front, and arms take the field. They consist of fire-bender Tanzou, water-bender Minoji, and earth-bender Shibire.
"And, introducing your four time reigning champions, the White Falls' Wolfbats." The announcer says as the three make their appearance. The crowd roars loudly as the champs take the field.
"Hey Suo, over here." Tahno hears a voice shout among the crowd as he turns to see forty or so members of his family in one large section cheering him on. He waves to the large group as Shaozu and Ming look on in confusion. "Family, what are you gonna do, right?" Tahno says as they move to the center of the ring to start.
The match begins explosively as both teams open with a salvo of attacks. Shibire launches a full-scale assault on Shaozu, who easily weaves around the discs, launching a single fire blast that sends the earth-bender to zone two. Tahno sends a lash of water directly at team captain Tanzou, who defends with a fire blast as Minoji comes to his defense. The water-bender is knocked into zone two as well as Ming flings an earth disc into his gut. The Wolfbats then triple team Tanzou knocking him all the way to zone three as they get the green light to advance into Skunk-bear territory. Minoji uses rapid water shots as Shibire brings up three discs and begins hurling them, in an attempt to halt the Wolfbats, to no avail as Tahno spring boards off Ming's back, performing a powerful aerial water blast that sends Minoji into zone three. "Round one goes to the White Falls' Wolfbats."
The three celebrate their first round win as the crowd cheers with them. "That's Foggy Swamp style right there." Tahno's father says to someone seated next to him. Tahno looks over, proud to hear it.
Round two opens much the same as the last with the Wolfbats taking an early lead. Ming and Shaozu double team Minoji knocking him back to zone three. Tahno motions to attack Tanzou. He stops as his vision begins to oddly blur. Tanzou takes the opportunity to knock his stunned opponent to zone two. "Tahno, you alright?" Ming shouts back as Minoji launches a water blast from zone three that Shaozu never sees coming as Shibire launches an earth disc at his legs knocking him off balance as the water sends him to zone two. Tahno gets his senses back together and launches another attack. The water whip misses its mark hitting to the left of Shibire as he launches another disc at Tahno, the force sufficient to knock him off the back board into the water. Ming makes a valiant effort to defend zone one only to be overwhelmed by the three sending him staggering back to zone two. "Round two goes to the Si Wong Skunk-bears."
"Something's wrong. Come on." Korra says as she and Taki leave the box and head down to the elevator from the pool. Shaozu and Ming are already there as the group helps the team captain out of the water. "Tahno are you alright?" Korra asks him. The team call for a time out as they head to the equipment room.
"Yeah I'm just a little light headed is all." He says as he sits on the bench removing his helmet. Korra takes out some water and uses her healing in an attempt to find the ailment.
"I can't sense anything wrong but we shouldn't take any chances. Maybe you forfeit the match just to be safe." She recommends.
"Can't do it." He says.
"Come on Tahno, it's just an exhibition match, no big deal." Ming says. "No need to tear yourself up."
"I promised to give my family a match, and I'm gonna give them a match." He says standing back up as Taki runs over to him.
She kisses him again. "Don't do anything stupid out there." He nods in agreement as the team heads back out, Korra still visibly worried.
The final match opens as the Skunk-bears direct their fire on Tahno who does his best to evade the attacks, as Ming and Shaozu come to his aid separating the three attackers. Ming performs an aerial flip lifting up two discs with him and shoots both at Tanzou, forcing him to zone two. Shibire retaliates against Tahno, who is now just barely keeping it together and attacks with three earth discs. The Wolfbat captain is hit and knocked back to zone three. Minoji jumps forward and throws three water blasts at Ming, forcing him to zone two. Shaozu defends zone one, leaping into the air, performing three full rotations, kicking three fireballs that knock all three Skunk-bears into zone two as the three Wolfbats advance to their respective ones. The three Skunk-bears perform a triple attack on the fire-bender that knocks him back a zone to join Ming. Tahno, his vision getting worse by the minute, sees the time running out. He looks forward just being able to make out Ming and Shaozu's silhouettes. "Get down!" he shouts to the two as he gathers as much water as possible and unleashes a wave of water that sweeps across the platform. Tanzou and Shibire are helpless as they are swept off the back into the pool. Minoji, however saves himself by bending the wave around him. He breadths a sigh of relief only to be surprised as he is knocked off his feet by an earth disc via Ming and Shaozu finishes him with a fireblast off the back board. "Your winners, the White Falls' Wolfbats." The announcer says as the crowd cheers even louder.
"We did it." Shaozu says.
"Was there ever any doubt. Nice move Tahno." Ming congratulates.
"Yeah, never knew what...wh..." Tahno collapses on the platform as the stunned crowd stops.
"Tahno!" her hears a woman's voice shout from behind, although he can't make out who it is.
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