Trouble is Never Far Away
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Rise of an Avatar





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The Airbender

Book 2 - Chapter 3 - Trouble is Never Far Away.

Shinn jumped to the side to narrowly dodge the blade of air that was flying towards him. Before he could get on his feet two more were heading in his direction. He placed both hands on the ground beneath him and just before the blades hit he shot up into the air. Shinn stuck out his legs to bounce off the pillar behind him and flew towards his attacker who felt the full force of the Avatar's punch.

Tenzin fell to the ground with a large smash as Shinn landed gracefully behind him. Tenzin, after dusting himself off, spoke.

"Not bad, but your still ages off Airbending mastery."

Tenzin turned to find Shinn looking towards a small gap in the pillars in front of him, Tenzin managed to catch a glance of a man in Air Nomad clothes hurrying away after realising his presence was known.

"That monk," said Shinn. "He's been watching us every time we train."

"Think nothing of it, we hardly get any outsiders," replied Tenzin. "Probably just curious."

"Who is it anyway?" asked Shinn.

"Didn't get a good look, might've been Gyun but he isn't interested in fighting."

"Could you find out for me?"

"Something wrong Shinn?"

"I was attacked on my way here, it was an Airbender."

"I assure you no one here would think of doing something like that!" replied a defensive Tenzin."

"You never know," said Shinn taking one last look at where the man had been...

The man walked through the halls of the temple, he drew no attention to himself, and he walked silently and ignored all of his fellow monks as if not even acknowledging their presence. He took one the side corridors and then went through to a chamber, the chamber's walls were plain stone and it looked out of place in the temple. He stepped inside. The man sat down at a stone table and lowered his head in respect.

"What do you have to say?" asked a voice from within the shadows.

"The boy is learning well, he is learning Airbending faster than we anticipated" responded the man.

"The sooner the better, Kor requests a test, so we can see how strong he really is," said the voice.

"With all due respect my lord, I feel as though another test so soon would be a waste of time we should-" the man was cut off as a fist smashed into the table, shattering the stone. The man fell back with his hands covering his face in fear.

"I'll give you five seconds to reconsider your statement," said the voice in a cold angry tone.

"Yes! Right away my lord!" said the man bowing.

"Good, now get out of my sight!" said the voice.

A chain swung out towards the man sending him flying out of the chamber and crashing into the wall of the corridor, as he looked up the chamber's entrance had disappeared, replaced with a part of the corridor wall. He sighed, dusted himself off and walked off, cursing as he did.

Rude Awakening

Shinn lay awake on the bed reflecting on recent events. His room was a small chamber in the east wing of the temple; it had a window with a balcony overlooking the training area and had a wooden door on the opposite side. The room contained a table and a bed; it was a simple room as the monks had small needs.

Shinn thought about the man on the training ground, Gyun, Tenzin said his name was? The constant feeling of having to watch his back in case Xu or Fuma tried to take him out had made Shinn a little paranoid. He blanked his mind and tried to fall asleep, wanting to forget his worries for a little while.

Fate had other ideas. Shinn used a gust of air to shoot himself up as a blade of air crashed through the door, slicing it and the bed in half. Shinn jumped down and stood in a fighting stance inviting his attacker to come out. Everything was silent for a few minutes, but Shinn didn't relax his stance. Suddenly a blade of air came flying through the window; it narrowly missed Shinn, cutting a bit of his hair off as he dived to avoid it. Shinn didn't hesitate this time; he took one look at the window and flung himself towards it. He crashed into someone on the way out and both of them slammed against the stone floor of the training ground.

Shinn stood and looked at his attacker, he was bald and wore orange bottoms and had an orange sash across his torso, with a dagger holstered with a brown belt on his waist. He looked at Shinn with an angry expression.

"Gyun I presume?" asked Shinn keeping his eyes fixed on the man.

"Yes, and you Shinn, you're quite the little Airbender aren't you?" replied Gyun.

"Hmm, and what have I done to piss you off?"

"Nothing, yet. I just have contacts who are interested to see what you can do..." replied Gyun.

As he spoke a black glow emitted from within a pocket of Gyun's belt, Gyun's eyes grew darker and his expression grew more hate filled.

"En guarde," he said as he lunged at Shinn.

Shinn dived out of the way and as he prepared to counter Gyun was gone. Shinn's eyes glanced around frantically searching for his attacker. Shinn spun around suddenly, using his arm to hold back Gyun's fist.

"Very perceptive," complemented Gyun. "Still weak, however."

Gyun used his other hand to strike Shinn in the chest, stunning him, he then fired a gust of air that slammed the Avatar into the wall. Gyun then pulled out his dagger and swung twice at the air, creating two air waves. They slammed into the pillars above Shinn and sent them toppling down upon him.

Gyun burst out laughing. "This is the Avatar?!" he joked.

As Gyun revelled in his apparently victory a hand reached out the ground below him and grabbed his leg.

"What the hell!?" he screamed.

A jet of fire shot out and hit Gyun's face, as he fell back another jet struck him in the chest. Gyun crawled back clutching his wounds. His left eye was closed and had a black burn mark around it. His hands were shaking with shock. He looked toward the spot where the hand had arisen and saw the earth parting, and Shinn rising from it.

"Feeling okay Gyun?" taunted Shinn.

The monk grew enraged and swung violently at Shinn, his calm exterior all but gone and now replaced with blind rage. Shinn effortlessly dodged each attack, laughing as his did. Gyun foolishly stuck out his arm to attack giving Shinn an opportunity. He grabbed Gyun's arm and crushed the bone between his elbow and knee, breaking it. Gyun fell back again in pain.

"We're going to have words now Gyun," said Shinn, creating a jet of white hot flame from one of his fingertips. "Pick your words wisely or you'll lose the other eye."

"At least we got what we needed..." said a still enraged Gyun.

The black glow in Gyun's pocket faded and a smash was heard. Suddenly a blade pierced Gyun's upper chest, going through his heart and throat killing him instantly. He slumped forward, dead.

"Not bad," said Fuma as he stood on one of the pillars above.

"Oh, you," said an angered Shinn. "I didn't expect to see your face again."

Shinn thought back to their last encounter and how Fuma instructed him not the kill Xu. He thought now was the best time to ask one simple question. Why?

"Why did you tel-" asked Shinn looking up to see Fuma is nowhere to be found. He glanced across the roofs of the temple and the other pillars but failed to find the elusive assassin. Shinn looked down at Gyun again and reached into the pocket where the glow was seen. He found a shattered black crystal inside...

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