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|Welcome to the City|
5 October 2014
Chapter 7: Welcome to the City
"Here it is, Lunia! The great city of Omashu!"
"Oh my spirits, Pathik! It's amazing."
Omashu was a big city carved in a mountain that stood alone, connected to where Pathik and Lunia were standing by four huge passages made by very powerful earthbending. The place was booming with traders coming in and out, visitors of all kinds, and very friendly earthbending patrols at the entrances. They walked in one of the passages and when they reached the entrance, the patrol there looked at them closely then said: "You look like two very tired travellers. Welcome to the city of Omashu!" They thanked him and entered the city behind the huge wall.
It was fascinating. The buildings were all of a similar appearance, everyone lived together in peace and harmony. There was an amazing delivery system spread all over the city and everything was very pleasant. It was Pathik's thought of what a perfect city should look and feel like. "Pathik! Look at these beautiful accessories over there!" She always loved markets and accessories.
"Lunia I'm afraid we're tight on money right now."
Not very far away, a Water Tribe fleet of 5 ships settled on the shores of the Earth Kingdom, near Omashu.
"The idiot at Kyoshi said they're here. Go inside the city and search for them both! Capture them and bring them to me tomorrow morning," said Lu, ordering his troops.
A line of about 70 Water Tribe warriors marched towards an entrance. "Welcome, our Water Tribe friends, to the great city of Omashu!" The first man in the line pulled out some water that he kept, wrapped it around the patrol and pushed him off the passage, to fall to his death. The patrol could pull a small surface from the passage build to fall on it, but was too tired to bend it to ascend to the top of the passage again and the entrance was left open. The waterbenders all entered the city, and started racing through its streets looking for Pathik and Lunia. On their way, they also handed out wanted posters of Pathik to random people.
A waterbender was running in a street, he gave a woman a wanted poster of Pathik. The woman threw the poster away, and the Water Tribe man noticed that. He pulled out a water whip and slapped the woman, dropping her on the floor. A man ran towards the waterbender and gave him a punch. "You dare attack my wife?" The waterbender fired an pulled water out of a nearby well and fired at the man, pushing him away.
Two waterbenders were running in a certain market street where they found Pathik and Lunia buying some food from a stall. One of them opened his arms to collect water from two nearby fountains, and then moved his arms inside and above, making ice around Pathik, capturing him. The other guy was about to do the same but Lunia could escape. She jumped off one stall then ran between the other stalls and climbed a rocky wall, jumped to the other side of it where she landed on a nearby rooftop. The roof was attached to the wall and had small walls from the other sides. She lied inside the small square roof, she felt quite safe there.
She was still close to the scene, she could hear the two waterbenders talk.
"You idiot! How could she slip out of your hand?"
"I don't know! She was quick enough to climb the stall and race between others before I could apply the ice!"
"Where in the world could she go now? We'll have to stay here and guard this one until the others find her."
The Water Tribe men and women continued searching the city, causing fear and disrupt wherever they go. The peaceful and beautiful city they entered is now filled with terror and doubt. This news was delivered to the king of Omashu later that day, but it was too late he decided to sleep and take action the next morning. The king of Omashu was a friendly and tolerant yet powerful man, but he has been serving as king for a long time and began to feel old.
Later in the night, Lunia was watching from her spot: she saw that the two men guarding Pathik who was locked up in the ice. They were standing next to each other, and there were torches dimly lighting up the street along the way. She looked backwards and saw an old man watching her, she gasped. He smiled at her, and threw a small sack to her, then entered the house she was standing on top of. She opened the sack and found a white lotus tile. She didn't understand, so she left the sack on the roof then slowly descended the wall and jumped down beneath the small buildings.
"Did you hear that?"
"Shut it you dumdum. You lost the girl now you want us to lose this one!?"
She continue approaching them slowly, then when she was close enough, she hid behind a stall. She pulled a rope out of her bag, one that they had been giving at Kyoshi Island for their small boat. She tied a circle at the rope's end, and held it from the other end. She cast out the rope at the far guard, and pulled him towards her. He hit the other guard on the way and they both fell down. "Was that you again !?", yelled the guard who was always yelling.
Lunia ran backwards, picked up a torch and jumped forward again. She kicked both of the fallen guards on their faces, tightened the rope around their necks, then jumped on them and threw the torch at Pathik. The fire and heat could melt the ice. She pulled him out as soon as his hand was free and ran with him into hiding. The guards freed themselves from the rope, looked for Pathik and Lunia, but they were already gone.
"Pathik, are you alright?"
"Yes... Yes I am, sweetheart."
They both gazed upon each other's eyes for a moment, then Lunia put her hands on Pathik's face and they kissed. The moment was unfortunately short-lived, they had to escape the city as soon as they could before anyone catches them. Pathik told Lunia that since waterbenders were all over the ground, their only exit was from the underground, through the sewer system. It was disgusting, but it was their only choice.
The old king woke up the next morning and read the news again. He was very angry that his peaceful city's order was ruined by those waterbenders. He stood up, and went walking towards the city's gates. Lu the librarian, commander of the troops, was also awake, and he was already at the entrance to Omashu. When the king reached the gate he talked with one of the patrols there and asked him about the waterbenders that entered the city.
"There were those some seventy waterbenders who entered yesterday and harmed my friend over there. Oh! And also their leader and another man went in about ten minutes ago."
The king appeared angry, and ordered the patrols not to welcome any Water Tribe people into the city. He went back to his palace and collected a force of a hundred warriors. He marched with his warriors around the city until he faced Lu and his forces.
"How could you let them go!? You idiots! The chief will not be happy!" Lu was angrily yelling at his troops and he was interrupted by the king's voice.
"Let who go? You filthy barbarians!"
"How could you say that!?", there was a small pause, until Lu said: "ATTACK THEM!"
The forces clashed with each other, but the earthbenders had a significant advantage. The city carved in the mountain had much better earth supply than water. The king counted himself as one of the men and fought with them, while Lu was cowardly and silently watching. A waterbender threw an ice bullet that hit the king hard on his arm, Lu opened his eyes wide and was frightened. "Troops! Retreat!" he yelled. The king's army chased the Water Tribe men as they fled the city and went running back outside. "Now we attack them with the element of surprise!" said Lu. The troops wanted to enter the city again, but the patrols didn't let them. "It is the king's orders not to welcome any Water Tribe people into Omashu!"
Lu was angry. He ordered his troops to siege Omashu until they hand him Pathik and Lunia. Ten Water Tribe men came to Lu and gave him and his troops reinforcements and big weapons. Lu shouted at the patrols: "Your city is sieged until you give us this man!", he held the wanted poster of Pathik and showed it to them. The patrols looked afraid, entered the city and closed the entrances. Lu's forces stood at the beginnings of the passages and didn't let anyone in or out.
Pathik and Lunia got out of the big sewer, and landed on an empty surface. There were no apparent roads, there were only two apple trees, rocks and sand. They picked up apple each and ate it, and walked in a certain direction. "We will just walk until we find a settlement or another traveller to help us," said a tired Pathik.
"Oh Pathik, I don't know how important is this but... The owner of the house I hid above gave me a white lotus tile and said nothing."
One week later, Ton Rha sat in his office in Zhu Fao, in the early morning. The colony's economy was increasingly blooming and everyone was satisfied. There were a few letters on his desk. He opened the first one and started reading it, it was about some conflict in the city of Omashu, so he put it down and didn't finish reading it. The next letter had Ton Rha very interested. It was a letter officially signed by the great Fire Lord Sozin! He read it very carefully:
To Captain and Governor of the colony of Zhu Fao, Ton Rha,
I have heard news about your success in the Earth Kingdom. Your amazing economical strategies and aiding of the Fire Nation military have pleased me.
Zhu Fao is truly becoming a Fire Nation fortress in the Earth Kingdom under your lead. I would like to congratulate you. Go to the shores of your colony. You will see that I have given you seven big warships of our latest designs. Use them to protect your colony and achieve more success for our nation. They are totally under your command.
Great Fire Lord Sozin.
Ton Rha smirked. He picked up the other letter about Omashu and read it again. "Omashu, prepare to join the Fire Nation!"
For the collective works of the author, go here.