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|Village Of War|
May 19th, 2011
Village Of War is the tenth chapter of the fanon
The two companions run into some trouble finding a way to stitch up their wounds and Myaku has a heart-to-heart talk with a man who has seen the bitter side of war.
It had been a couple of hours since Taizo had fallen unconscious from the small bruises he received over his body. Myaku carried him to a village, which thankfully was close enough so he could run there. The tired monk carried his companion on his back and when he entered the village, he immediately began questioning for a place he could find help.
"Help me, he's dying!" Myaku screamed at a large group of villagers who froze up when they saw him, giving him blank looks and staring at his monk robes and bald head before slowly dispersing and deciding to ignore the monk and his apparently dying friend. Myaku stood there, his face filled with fear as he tried to catch his breath "Where are you going?! Help me!" he attempted to return the villagers as some of them broke into sprints and ran off from him. He turned a couple of more villagers standing inside of a shop, looking out the window. "Please!" Myaku attempted to say as they closed the door and window shutters right in front of him. He came closer to the door shouting "What are you doing?!" before he realized that they weren't going to open up. He ran off, carrying the unconscious Taizo on his back. He turned a corner to see a street filled with people.
"He's dying, please!" the people either ignored him and walked off, or looked around with fear and ran off, everybody closed their doors even the inn immediately closed and locked it's doors when it saw that Myaku turned to its direction. "Please!" Myaku shouted as a few more people ran by him. Taizo's weight was bringing Myaku down; he couldn't keep up carrying his companion, his armor and his sword like this for much longer. The monk looked around to see an old man staring at him down the street when Myaku turned to him the old man was startled and looked around, scared and started to walk away, no not walk- limp away. His left leg was motionless, he held a wooden cane, but was considerably old too. Myaku ran towards the old man "Please you have to help me!" Myaku shouted as he was a few meters behind from the old man. "Please, he'll die!" the old man kept limping as fast as he could before Myaku ran in front of him
"What's wrong with all of you!" he shouted directly into the old mans face. Myaku had quickly forgotten that before he met Taizo, his lifestyle was the same- he just didn't care, everyone was out of their own in this world and Myaku never trusted or helped anyone, it wasn't his job to do so. But, these people took it to the next level- the pure distaste and fear they saw in their eyes was scary to say the least. "He'll die, please..." Myaku begged as Taizo was beginning to slowly slide off of his back. "...please" he muttered silently staring into the old mans eyes. The mans face was wrinkled, squinted eyes and a mouth with only a few teeth, the old man gulped as he watched the monk beg.
"I'm sorry." The old man muttered as he passed Myaku and kept walking forward, Myaku couldn't take it.
"Don't let him die like this!"
For a long moment the old man stood still and silent, before glancing back to Myaku, a wrinkled face filled with hesitation and doubt "Follow me..." he muttered and kept walking forward, without glancing back again. Myaku followed- he wasn't about to let his companion die, let Taizo die after everything that he's done for him. Taizo came back to save Myaku, if he had never come back, he'd be fine and the monk would be gone, but he came back, he came back only to save him and it cost him everything, if he dies- his death will fall on Myaku's shoulders. In his head the only thing he could see was the smug look of Fei, the bounty huntress that dueled Taizo with such speed and grace that Myaku had never seen. Taizo seemed so untouchable, so skilled with a sword and so powerful and now, now he was a pale unconscious body on the monks back. Was he still even alive? Myaku could feel the small hint of breathing coming down his neck and hoped that it was indeed the rogue breathing and not his imagination.
The two men swiftly came out of the town and into a small hut in the outskirts, on a small hill behind which stood a forest and behind that forest stood a mountain beyond which had been considered the western front. Their destination, it seemed so close and at the same time it seemed so far. Myaku's mind rushed back to Omashu, was Bumi still alive? A whole city was depending on them to get this message to the general. Was Myaku doing the right thing? Risking so much time and so many lives to save a person he felt indebted to? They entered the small hut, the old man opened the door wide for Myaku to carry the rogue in.
"Set him down here." The old man gestured to another room in which there was a bed, Myaku nodded and carried Taizo into the room, slowly placing him down on the bed and his sword next to it. The old man rummage through a box in the other room and came out with a small box, he opened it to reveal various types of flowers, plants and medicine. He set the box onto a cupboard next to Taizo and slowly looked at Taizo's cuts. "Hmmm." He though to himself as he removed a small leaf from the box and rubbed it against one of his wounds, the leaf darkened a bit "He's been poisoned, very potent poison at that, a large enough dose could kill a person in minutes." He examined Taizo's other cuts on his bicep and on his leg "These cuts weren't deep and are considerably too small and too few to kill a man instantly. When was he poisoned?"
"A few hours ago." Myaku responded immediately and the old man's face turned to pure shock."He should be dead." The old man double checked Taizo's pulse and Myaku gulped. "Your friend is a very enduring man, I'll give him that, but we don't have much time- help me get his armor off of him." and so Myaku and the old man quickly removed the armor off of Taizo and threw it to the side, leaving him in a blue tunic and blue pants. The old man quickly removed the tuning and took some sort of concoction out of his box, rubbing it on another leaf the slapped it onto Taizo's bicep and then took out a small pouch and opened it to reveal some sort of substance that looked like chewed leafs and slapped it on top of that leaf before wrapping his bicep tightly with bandages. He did the same to the cut on his foot and the small cut on his face before finally releasing a sigh and pulled up the blanket from his bed to cover Taizo.
"There, that should do it- if the spirits grant it your friend should be fine."
"He should be fine, all he really needs now is time and rest." The old man assured the monk before leading him out of that room into a small area in which stood a couple of counters, a stove, skillets, pots and kettles. "Tea?" the man asked Myaku, who followed him into the kitchen. And Myaku swallowed his saliva at the sight of freshly cooked rice "And something more." The man added with a smile, taking out a bowl and filling it up with rice before placing it on a table in front of Myaku, he then went back to the counter- poured Myaku some tea and placed the cup next to the rice. Myaku sat down slowly.
"Why did nobody help us? They were going to let him die..." Myaku muttered silently as his fingers gripped the tea cup.
"Are you an airbender?" The old man asked bluntly, sitting down in front of Myaku.
"Yes..." Myaku replied with a moment of hesitation, keeping the bounty on Air Nomads in mind, but this man had helped them and was now feeding him; he didn't seem like the type to sell Myaku.
"You look like one." The man added with a sip of tea from his own cup.
"I don't understand..."
"Do you know that this village is a Fire Nation colony? A platoon of Fire Nation soldiers took this town a year ago."
Suddenly Myaku was scared, they were in Fire Nation territory, and he was a target, he was scared, not only for himself- but for this kind man that took him in, if they were found out, what would become of him?
"Aside from bandits, bounty hunters and lads looking for coin or fortune going after your head, if the Fire Nation found somebody harboring you... well, you know harboring an Air Nomad is a crime punished by death."
Myaku took a gulp of his tea, trying to calm himself down; the idea of getting this entire village, especially this man in trouble for helping him didn't sit well with the monk. In fact, he felt bad; he felt scared and could only begin to imagine what kind of risk this man took by leading them through the town to his house. "So that's why nobody..." Myaku lowered his gaze
"War is such a terrible thing, it takes so much from all of us, it forces us to hate and fear each other as though we were not one people. I fear it's only getting worse." The old man sipped his drink again "Many of the young lads from this village were taken to war, I would have went... but" he grasped his left knee "my bones aren't what they used to be." He slowly shook his head "I still remember that day two years ago, I'm sure you do too- when the firenation rained fire on the temples and chased the bison with dragons and catapults, how armies of Fire Nation soldiers stood on the shores of the Earth Kingdom, they ambushed anyone who passed..." Myaku was staring blankly into his cup as the old man spoke slowly and quietly, his tone so greave and sad that Myaku could not help but remember the day the comet soared through the blue skies. "I'm sorry, I'm sure it's a difficult topic for you."
"Have you lost anyone, to the war?" Myaku asked slowly as the old man looked down
"My grandson, a boy of eighteen- such a smart lad, he was never the fighting type, he left two years ago to the front, I haven't seen him since, not a single letter... my wife could not bare the pain of losing her grandchild, a disease took her months after the boy left."
"I'm sorry." Myaku muttered.
"My son was killed when they took the village, he stood to protect our house and the soldiers just stabbed him and threw him to the ground, when I tried to help, the soldier broke my knee..." tears appeared in the old mans eyes, his voice was trembling."
Myaku consoled the man with a tap on the shoulder and a comforting smile. The old man wiped his tears "No use crying, everyone has lost something in this war and I fear it will only get worse. The lords say that the war is coming to an end, but I've seen enough skirmishes in my life to know that this war will be long and horrible and many dark things will come with it."
"We can only hope then." Myaku stated as he began eating his rice, it comforted him to it finally, it had been a while since he had a bite of something tasty in his mouth.
"Did you know the Avatar? If memory serves correctly he should have been an airbender." The old man finally asked after an incredibly long moment of silence, changing to topic.
"I did..." Myaku replied hesitantly.
"Too bad Roku passed; he would have never allowed something like this to happen. Is the boy you knew as the Avatar still alive?"
"I don't know..." Myaku confessed slowly, a strange pain in his chest. The Avatar a beacon of hope and peace for so many people, where was he know? Was Aang still alive? If he was, how could he left this war get so out of hand? Was there really nothing the Avatar could do? Then again, the chance that Aang was dead outweighed the one that he was alive, if so, Myaku could not express his sadness over the death of Aang.
The disappointment was evident in the mans expression, he was most likely expecting Myaku to tell him that the Avatar is training or preparing to strike. "Well, I'm going to sleep, feel free to help yourself to anything you need in my house..." his tone was so depressed and the way he stood you could tell he was in a great deal of physical and emotional pain.
"Thank for helping us and letting us stay here, we'll be out of here as soon as-"
"Don't, stay as long as you want to- it doesn't matter" he smiled and Myaku could not help but smile back at the old man who turned his back and walked away to sleep. The monk sat there for another hour or two contemplating everything that the man had said before slowly going to sleep in an armchair.
- Originally this chapter was supposed to be longer, but it was decided to make it into several chapters.
For the collective works of the author, go here.