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|More from WaterMasterFinn||Adventure||PG-13||N/A|
|Army of Creators|
Two: The Oceans
Book Two: The Oceans
Army of Creators
"Is it true?" the Elder asked.
"I witnessed his death with my own eyes. The Avatar is dead," Taizo revealed to the members of the tribe.
"Find me the prophecy," the Elder ordered. Taizo watched as two of his servants went over to a wall of scrolls and unrolling each of them. Finally one smiled as he read a scroll from the bottom of the shelves. He handed it over to the Elder.
"What does it say?" Taizo asked.
"The prophecy of the red flame."
"With the fall of the Earthbender, the passing of the Green Spirit and the Great Healer–there will rise a red flame that will extinguish all hope."
"Who is the Earthbender?" Taizo inquired.
"Avatar Jong-Mu of course," the Elder replied.
"Why do they list him twice as an Earthbender and the Green Spirit?"
"They did not list him twice."
"Yes, they did. The Avatar was the Green Spirit. He's fallen. He's passed."
"He has not passed yet," the Elder said crossly.
"I don't understand," Taizo began to say before he was cut off by the sound of someone entering the room. Taizo turned around and saw two people. One was a guard.
"A group of waterbenders have arrived. They possess a healer," the guard said to the Elder. The Elder smiled at Taizo and the other person to enter.
"I guess that makes you the Green Spirit," the Elder said to the man dressed in green.
"You're alive!" Taizo nearly shouted in surprise. "That's not possible!"
"The Red Flame will rise soon. Rally up the army. We shall take what's ours. Together, we will destroy the hope of those who don't worship the Dragons and the Sun!" the Elder said to the guard, excited that the time for their rise to power had finally begun.
She was still very unsure of leaving her home behind. Lily felt like she had talked to her grandparents only moments ago. But they were going to die unless a cure was found; a fact that Lily kept trying to block out of her mind.
They followed Tu Kon to the ancient city. Everything had bits of gold in it. Tu Kon made his way to his palace. The first room was huge with a giant sky light. The whole ceiling was practically missing.
"Welcome," Tu Kon stated.
"You've already welcomed us," Lily replied.
"Well, welcome to my home."
Behind Tu Kon was a painting on the wall of three dragons, two yellow and one green. Tu Kon stared at this painting for a long time before speaking again.
"I believe there is a healer among you?" Tu Kon asked.
"Why?" Kyla inquired immediately.
"Do you know who I am?"
"I didn't even know this city existed, let alone you."
"I am the Prophet, the son of the Elder, a member of the Creators."
"What does any of that mean?" Lily asked.
"It means I have powers. I can see the future. I am in line to be the final judge after the Elder, my father, passes," Tu Kon responded. A man of lean stature came jogging in and bowed down to Tu Kon. "Rise my son. Guests, this is Akhatro. I always have a right hand man that is from the younger generations. This way I always have the voice of the people."
"Clever," Lily stated.
"Akhatro, please explain to this ignorant fire girl what it means to be a member of the Creators." Akhatro nodded his head and then faced Lily.
"The Creators is a religious organization that believes the sun is the creator of this world. It brings fire and life. The Creators worship the sun as a god."
"Not so clever," Lily remarked. Tu Kon did not hear this. He simply smiled at the explanation.
"So I gather you are the healer?" Tu Kon asserted as he pointed a finger at Kyla. Kyla felt insecure quickly, not understanding how he knew. "I told you, I'm a prophet," Tu kon replied as if he read her thoughts.
"What do you want with me?" Kyla asked.
"Healer, it's very simple. You must pass. We're going to sacrifice you. Guards!" Tu Kon shouted. A ring of fire materialized around Kyla and grew smaller, entrapping her.
"Help!" Kyla shouted.
Lily's mind quickly drifted back to her grandparents for a second. She tried blocking it out but she kept seeing their faces. Lily suddenly felt short of breath, and quickly, but slyly, slipped out of the Palace to catch some fresh air.
Lily began walking away from the palace, unsure of where she was going. She felt like something was calling her, however. The more she walked, the closer she got to whatever was coming, felt warmer and warmer.
Lily turned a corner of part of the canyon at the edge of town and was startled to see an army standing before her. Lily felt short of breath again, instantly. This time she didn't run.
He watched her as they dragged her up the side of a hill. The members of the Creators tied Kyla to the lone tree at the top of the little hill. The rest of the members of Kyla's group were being held back by guards.
Taizo took his glider and quickly jumped off the top of a cliff. The wings of it opened up and he headed straight for the bound healer. He took out two of the members and cut off the ropes binding Kyla.
"You're saving me?"
"I'm saving you. You saved me once, remember?" Taizo said, referring back to being healed in the North Pole by her after having been struck by Yinlo in the sky.
"Oh right. Thanks."
"You're going to have to run with me now."
"Run!" Kyla yelled and darted away from the crowd before Taizo could even move. Before following the waterbender, he summoned a ring of air to push everyone back.
"Wait!" Taizo called out. She had run into the small city, down some back alleys, and away from the general public. There was an echo to her run. Kyla stopped when she noticed she was still being followed.
"Why are you following me?"
"Well I just rescued you and the people here aren't going to be happy with either of us."
"So we can run different ways, remember? I'm really thankful you saved my life, but last I checked you killed the Avatar. I don't need any more help from someone like you."
"I didn't kill—"
"Oh save it. I was there. I saw you. Now just leave."
"I can't," Taizo said quickly.
"Why not?" Kyla asked crossly.
"That!" Taizo pointed to the guards searching in the main street. Kyla grabbed Taizo's wrist and headed to another side street and another alley until they came across a library. They scurried inside and hid themselves deep within the walls of books.
They stood motionless, speechless, and exhausted. Kyla kept peering through the aisles to see if anyone was looking for them in here. Every sound had Kyla whipping her head to find out what it was. To her dismay, it was mostly Taizo reading different parts of different books while trying to pass the time.
"Will you stop that?" Kyla asked with a hint of snark in her voice.
"Did you know there's a river of lava that passes through the Fire Nation?"
"No, but can you be quiet?"
"Seriously, a river of fire. Now that's a wonderful image. But it's not just any lava river—it has access to the Fire Lord's Palace and the Tower of the Sun!" Taizo almost yelled in excitement.
"Taizo!" Kyla did scream. "You have to be quiet! Someone could hear us!"
Kyla was correct, as there was a man listening to their every word on the opposite side of the book shelves. He waited there patiently, figuring out his next move upon learning this new information.
The army seemed like it was sleeping. There must have been hundreds of them. Huge dragons of every color were littered in the canyon, all in chains. At the far distance on a stage made of rock, a few men in robes were bowing down. The leader of the prayer was humming a song. Lily could only make out a few words such as 'sun,' 'dragon,' 'green,' 'healer,' and 'blood.'
Lily crept behind the dragons as the members of the Creators continued praying. One member leading the group eventually got up to say a prayer aloud. Any time she heightened the volume of her voice; the dragons would raise their head into the air and breathe fires of different colors.
Lily watched as the people all rose along with the dragons at the sight of a small boy with his face painted yellow. Lily caught the word 'offering.'
A large gold and white dragon emerged from the herd as a member of the Creator whipped it. It had spikes on its head and four wings instead of two. It swung its head up into the air and then pointed its snout at the boy. Fire rushed out of its mouth and poured onto the young boy, frying him. The dragon then proceeded to eat the boy as soon as another crack of the whip was administered.
"They're forcing them," Lily said aloud to herself.
"How can you tell?"
"They're whipping them. The dragon didn't seem all too interested in eating that boy. We have to release them—" Lily stopped mid-sentence, realizing she wasn't sure who had asked the question.
"Hello, Lily," Mokolo said. "Where's Kyla?"
"I-I don't know."
"Don't lie now," Tu Kon responded.
"I don't know. You had her last! You were going to let her be a sacrifice just like that boy. You guys are killers!" Lily yelled back. Her screaming caught the attention of a blue and white dragon, whose pupil grew at the sight of the group. At first it blew smoke at the three benders. Then it surrounded them in a blue fire.
"I see so much," Tu Kon said while in a mesmerized state. "Fire. So much Fire. Everywhere. But alas, a new baby in the pillar of the sun. A new avatar under the sun. She is born! She is ours!"
Lily was caught by the mystical fire surrounding her. She saw an image of her mother swirling around, almost haunting her. The fire stopped as suddenly as it started, and they were left in a thick black smoke. Lily used this as an excuse to escape.
TAIZO & LILY
"It's been hours. I think if I keep my head down I can escape."
"The entire city is looking for you."
"Then I'd better run fast," Kyla replied. "Thank you again for saving me. Goodbye."
"Wait!" Taizo urged. "You have to know something."
"What is it?"
"The Green Spirit—Avatar Jong Mu, I mean. I have had a long time to think about what happened at the lake. I-I-I want you to know that at the last second, I bailed. I stopped bending. And I think it may have saved his life," Taizo revealed and brought forth a green envelope. He reached out his hand with the letter in it to Kyla.
"What is that?" Kyla asked, unsure of what he was saying.
"The Green Spirit is alive—and he wants you to have this." Kyla accepted the letter after some hesitating.
"Thank you. I think I shall leave now. Best of luck, Taizo." Kyla walked away from the Airbender and scurried out of the library, back into some alleyways.
Taizo left the library soon after, unsure of where he was going to go next. He wandered the city for a while. Most of it was empty, confusing Taizo. When he found a member running, Taizo stopped him and questioned where he was going as well as where everyone else was. The runner told him it was time for the Dragon Sacrifice.
Taizo made his way to the canyon just as Lily was escaping. She ran right into him, in fact.
"I'm so sorry," Lily said quickly, trying to leave again.
"What's going on? Are you okay?"
"No, I'm not. Those dragons—those poor dragons are being kept in chains in there. And on top of that my mother is still missing but may be in the same place as the new avatar!" This of course peaked Taizo's interest.
"New Avatar? Where?"
"I'm sorry. That's a lot of word vomit. I get like this when I'm stressed. I just say whatever is on my mind, which right now are those poor dragons. And my mom. And the new avatar. And something called a sun tower."
"The Tower of the Sun?" Taizo asked.
"It's a royal inn. Only members of the royal family may stay there."
"Then why is my mother there?" Lily asked. "Do you know where this tower is?"
"Yes, I've visited there once. It's below the Capital City. Do you want me to take you?" Taizo suggested.
"I know exactly how we'll get there," Lily replied, smiling.
Lily grabbed Taizo's hand and pulled him back into the Canyon, hiding among some rocks on the side. She chose a spot closest to a Dragon, and furthest away from any members of the Creators.
"What are we doing?"
"Free the dragons." Lily was still smiling, excited at her plan. "See, I think we just need to free a few, then every dragon we save will save another."
"How do we free them from the chains?" Taizo questioned.
"Fire power!" Lily pressed the bottom of her palms together and a small bright blue flame was admitted. Lily suggested Taizo use a blade of air to break the chains, which worked once he created a slice of air that was powerful enough. Together they began releasing the dragons, who seemed to understand exactly what they were doing. They waited until enough of them were released before getting up and releasing the rest.
The Creators began shrieking in distress at the flying dragons that had just been released. The leader of the prayer, Arielle, was screaming at the Dragons.
"We worship you! We worship you!" Her attempt to get them under control was wasted. She looked over at the Elder who had just arrived on the scene.
"Arielle! Remove the remaining dragons, as quickly as you can. Then get everyone else to safety."
"Yes, Elder," she obeyed. Arielle began reigning in as many dragons as possible with the help of the rest of the group.
The Elder watched as the dragons swirled through the air, creating fire and smoke to confuse the Creators. The large white and gold dragon made its way to the Elder. He was touched. They had found each other when both were children, and grew up with one another.
"You've come home, old friend. Thank you," the Elder smiled. The dragon then spouted flames from his mouth and lit the Elder on fire. The last thing the dragon did was pick up some chains and pour them on the elder, angered at the chains it had been kept in. The chains had been heated in his mouth and badly melted the elder's skin.
"NO!" Arielle screamed at the sight of the death of the Elder.
Lily and Taizo, meanwhile, grabbed a chain and swung up on a red and white dragon's back. They flew around the town, picking up the rest of their tribe and then heading to the Tower of the Sun.
Mokolo was sitting in his room at the inn when he heard a knock on the door. It was Zyon—but he did not look happy. Mokolo could sense how the conversation was going to go. The firebender would not be pleased.
"Come in, Zyon."
"You lied to me."
"I took care of my duties, first."
"Your duty was to help me!"
"After I helped my tribe!" Mokolo screamed. Zyon shook his head and began taking steps backwards. "Zyon, there—"
"No. People are dying in a town cut off from the rest of the world. For now. If they escape, if they get out and infect the people of my country and it spreads to your country—perhaps then you will wish you have taken care of this duty first." Zyon was breathing angrily; fire was almost bursting from his nostrils.
"You're a compassionate man, Zyon. Which is exactly why I need your help."
"You need my help? I need yours!" Zyon yelled.
"You will get my help, but there is something far worse coming then the illness the plagues your village," Mokolo admitted. The leader of the Water Tribe stood up from his chair and moved over to the window. In the distance he could see the mountains surrounding the Capital City of the Fire Nation.
"What is it? What are you looking at!?"
"I had to return to my ships, to my tribe and get them out of here. I had to make them except for my ship. You see, I spent all day with the Prophet while we searched for the healer."
"Yes, Kyla. That cult we found isn't just a cult. They are an army ready for war."
"An army? Against who?"
"Everyone. They are after the Avatar. It may well still be the Green Spirit, or it could be a baby right here in the Fire Nation. They are getting ready to take the baby and use it as a weapon against the world. Raise it so the Avatar is evil and the world is forced to submit to army of the Creators."
"The Creators want to destroy the world?"
"So they can create their own."
"Have to love the irony," Zyon said, skeptic of any gods.
"The Prophet knows where the Avatar will be, whether it the Green Spirit or the new Fire Nation citizen. We must go to the Tower of the Sun and put a stop to them."
"Then you will help save my town?"
"If we succeed, I think your town will be immediately helped by the Fire Lord."
"When do we leave?" Zyon asked.
"Tomorrow morning," Mokolo answered. With that Zyon left. The new chief sank into his bed pondering how he could possibly pull this off—especially after his inability to help Jong-Mu in the Serpent's Pass.
"So this is it?" Kyla asked, staring at the large inn. Most of their group had opted to stay in a smaller inn near the Tower. Lily wanted to find her mother.
"This is where I saw her."
"Are you going to be okay?"
"Yeah, I'll be fine. I'll come back to see you in the morning. Thank you for coming with me," Lily said to her.
"You're welcome. Though, I may not be in my room in the morning. See, I got this letter," Kyla responded as she brought forth the letter she received from Taizo.
"A letter? All the way out in the Fire Nation?"
"It was given to me by an old friend. But more importantly—it's from the Green Spirit."
"The Green Spirit?" Lily questioned. "You said he died. You said you watched him die."
"I was wrong," Kyla replied. "Well, I'm off to meet him! See you tomorrow!" Kyla practically ran away from Lily, too excited to see the Avatar to continue talking to Lily.
Lily took a deep breath, and then stepped into the inn. She asked the man at the front desk if her mother was there, to which he smiled largely and bowed.
"Follow me," he said and led her to her mother's room. He left her at the door. She waited a few minutes, unsure of what to expect. She hadn't seen her mother in a long time.
The door opened and a shocked woman gasped.
"Oh my!" the woman said. Then she realized who she was looking at. "Lily?"
"Mom!" Lily exclaimed and hugged her mother. She immediately starting tearing up. After greeting one another, her mother invited her in.
"How did you escape?" her mother asked.
"Some Water Tribe members helped me out. Grandma and Grandpa didn't make it. What happened to Dad?" Lily questioned, barely giving her mother time to process the death of her in-laws.
"We went to search for a cure. We thought the Earth Nation would be best. I was in Taku when I decided to come back and stay with my parents here. Your father is still searching."
"You left Dad? Why?"
Lily's question was answered by a gentle crying coming from the next room.
"Is that a baby?" Lily asked.
"That's your sister, Zola," her mother smiled ecstatically. "I'll go get her."
Lily smiled at the thought of her new sister. Her mind slowly drifted back to where she had just come from though. The prophecy she heard from Tu Kon echoed in her head.
"You know," her mother called out from the next room, "I almost didn't have her. I was in Taku and was in a lot of pain. Luckily a Waterbender was there. She knew how to heal and helped me. I was so lucky. That's when I decided to come back to the Fire Nation." Her mother walked back into the room with Zola. Lily immediately smiled at the sight of her.
"Hi baby sister!"
"Isn't she beautiful?" her mother said as she gave Zola to her.
"Well, besides the smell," Lily joked. Her mother left to grab a new diaper from the other room. Lily stared at her sister in her arms. Zola looked similar to Lily, except for her blue eyes.
The prophecy of Tu Kon entered her head again. There was a new baby Avatar in the Tower of the Sun. Lily looked up at the door to the neighboring room. She was struck by a sudden gust of wind to which she swung her head rapidly. She stared at Zola again, not blinking even once.
"Did you just do that?" Lily asked aloud. She glanced at the window, but it was closed.
"Did I do what?" her mother asked.
"Nothing. Hey, Mom, how did you get a place here? I heard this inn was only for members of royalty."
"We are kind of royal now," she replied. "You see, Zola might be the next Avatar."
Lily's eyes expanded rapidly and her heart began beating faster than it ever had before. "Mom, I think we're in trouble."
Taizo landed on the ground, having said goodbye to Lily before the rest of the group realized who he was having been too distracted by the dragon. Plus, he wore a hood the whole time.
He entered a small house in a town on an island close by to the Tower of the Sun. Inside he sat down at a table and took a deep breath.
"I hope you have good news."
"I do," Taizo replied.
"Then share, brother."
"I know where the Avatar is."
"Excellent. We may now proceed with our plan," Yinlo said while wearing an evil grin.
For the collective works of the author, go here.