Hey, ! It's been forever, and I feel I have lost fans, but hopefully this'll renew their spirits. I have had so little time lately to write, and I am working on finishing chapter 6 very, very soon, with Chapter 7 not to long behind.
So, to get you all excited, I am releasing of sneak peek of Chapter 6: Slaves. It's a rather boring chapter, and long, and not fun for me to write, but I hope you all enjoy this preview of the 6th chapter for.
Kibozhi sat down, fuming silently while Sozai and Mozu ate their meager breakfast. The girl grabbed her bread and began to pick at it, but pushed her soup away.
"You two have it," she muttered. "I'm used to little food, anyway."
Gratefully, Sozai and Mozu dove forward and began to spoon the soup into their mouths, satisfying their stomachs a little more.
The two boys quickly finished the remainders of their breakfast, not a moment too soon, because a second klaxon horn sounded. The guards began to walked towards the slaves. Sozai looked at Mozu and Kibozhi, dread on his face. Slave work was about to begin.
Mozu frowned. "I wish I was in the same station as you," he groaned.
"I do too, Mozu," Kibozhi said, "but our work is for benders."
Mozu looked at Kibozhi. "I know!" he snapped, a little too harshly and hastily.
Kibozhi flinched, taken aback, but Mozu stepped forward. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be rude."
Kibozhi dipped her head and then waved her hand at Mozu, grabbing Sozai's arm and pulling him towards the other benders. Sozai smiled half-heartedly. "See you tonight, Mozu," he muttered before turning around.
Mozu raised his hand and then walked away, towards the larger group of slaves. Several guards were beginning to give out orders to the consensus gathered there.
Sozai and Kibozhi were among fifty or sixty benders out of a population of nearly two hundred slaves. Guards surrounded them, ready to act at a moments notice. A tall man in green armor, with a clean shaven black beard and a well-muscled body stepped forward.
"Slaves," he addressed, "now is the time for you to begin your labor. You'll be divided and sent to different locations around the city to work. All firebenders will be escorted to the forges. Earthbenders, some of you will go to the forges, and the rest to various other locations around Shinu. All the non-benders are out gathering wood and building siege engines for the forces of Chao Dao, the supreme ruler!"
Chao Dao? Who was Chao Dao? Sozai flashed a confused glance at Kibhozhi, who shared the same expression. But several other slaves muttered curse words under their breath, and one even said, "Damn Chao Dao."
The lead soldier snapped his head in that direction. "Who said that?" he spat.
No one responded, but the slave made no reaction, nor did he try to act casual. Several slaves around him stepped away, and the lead soldier pointed at him. "Bring him to the block!"
Three guards rushed forward and barreled their way through the other slaves. The man made no move to resist as they heaved him to the ground and dragged him away. He kept a stoic face as he bumped over the rough ground, heaving to the far side of the compound.
Many of the slaves stepped back in fear of being dragged away themselves, but no moves were made against them, except for looks of contempt and hatred. Sozai flinched, but quickly got over it.
The head man cleared his throat. "Now, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, you will be distributed out to your various....works places in just a few moments." He said the last words with a malicious grin.
There was a silence and then he continued. "Firebenders, move over here. Now!" he demanded, waving his arms towards a spot to his right.
Sozai and Kibozhi shuffled along over to the designated area with the ten other firebenders this city had somehow managed to obtain. The man yelled out more demands and the earthbenders split up into several groups and moved away.
Six guards surrounded the firebenders and began to shove them forward. "If any of you make a move to run, you'll have us six and hundreds of other earthbenders to mess with. So don't try, unless you have a death wish."
The other guards snickered at their comrades joke, but all the slaves were shaking on the inside as they marched towards the wooden stockades of the slave compound. The gates opened, allowing the group to pass through, heading towards the metal buildings just up the road, where the weapons of the army were forged, and the place where all firebenders were to work.
The walked up a dirt road and a few citizens of Shinu poked their heads around corners to look at them. A couple children ran by, staring at the slaves with wide, nervous eyes. These people were just as oppressed as the slaves, Sozai quickly realized. The hungry, tired looks in their eyes made him want to cringe as they dug into his soul. It was frightening, sad.
The trudged up to the forges and then stopped in front of the huge metal doors. It was still a shock to Sozai at how quickly they could build such a massive, sturdy structure. He was guessing that these forces had only occupied Shinu for about three years, based on other slaves. At least he thought so.
With a loud, grating sound, the huge metal doors of the forces opened as two guards stepped away. A heat wave hit Sozai as he stepped over the threshold; it felt like walking into a furnace. The clang of metal on metal echoed around the medium sized chamber they had stepped into, in which racks of metal materials and old, broken weapons hung on above forging tables. Newly forged weapons hung on the walls to coll off. Several muscular men worked furiously to get their work done. At one end of the room was a large oven, and not to far down from that was corridor which led to other forge rooms. Sozai knew he would soon be sent to one of the forges to heat the ovens for the blacksmiths.
The guards muttered something and then pushed the slaves into a single file line, shunting them along the side of the room towards the corridor. The smiths glanced at them a couple of times, but they obviously weren't too interested. Clearly, they'd seen this happen countless times, so it was nothing new to the smiths.
As they stepped into the separate corridor, the air immediately got cooler, but Sozai knew it was only a matter of time before he stepped into the sweltering over-rooms, where he would keep the fires roaring for a long period of time. He rolled his eyes in dreaded anticipation.
The guards roughly opened the first door and shoved four firebenders inside. "You know what to do!" one snapped. "And if you delay the progress, you know what will happen to you!"
With looks of resent, the firebenders walked into the chamber and the door slammed shut, metal on metal echoing through the hallway. The small group moved on and group after group was distributed to the various furnaces, until only four slaves were left at one door.
The head guard looked at Sozai, Kibozhi, and the other two benders. "Get on in there!" he shouted, opening the door. Reluctantly, they all shuffled inside and the door slammed behind them. Sweat began to bead on Sozai's forehead in the sweltering heat, and he felt weak and sick.
But luckily he was with Kibozhi. Everyday, he was terrified of them being separated and something bad happening to her. Ever since he had first met the girl from the slums of the Fire Nation Capital, he had found her an intelligent, beautiful, and likable girl, and he cared for her, much more than he realized.
"Let's go, Sozai," said Kibozhi, quickly tying her hair in a croc-pony-tail. "I'll take the coal first."
Sozai snapped out of his reverie and shook his head. He scratched the back of his neck and muttered, "Sorry." He walked up to the left oven and took a bent his knees, firmly planted on the ground. Kibozhi stepped beside him and dumped a shovel-load of coal into the furnace, smothering the few sparks that were still sitting there. He breathed out loudly, flames shooting from his nostrils. The other two firebenders in the room watched in awe as he began his routine. Sozai stuck his left arm out and pulled his right arm back, drawing an invisible bow. Then, after nearly a second's pause, reeled forward and blasted his fist through the air. Flames shot out and immediately ignited the black coals in the oven's belly. He repeated the process until a raging fire was crackling.
Well, there it is. I hope you guys enjoy it! It's just a piece right out of the middle, and it's boring, but there is nothing else much better, so feel free to offer suggestions and everything. I hope it makes you curious for the next chapter! Thanks for being my fans!