Avatar: The Legend of Anzen Hyriu (+14) Complete Book Two (74 posts)

Topic tags: Anzen, Avatar, book 2, book two, darkness, Hyriu, Legend
  • Hyriu 85

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    said 2 years, 10 months ago

    This topic is for book 2 of my fanfic. It has a raised age ratng because it is more mature and well darker than the first. I will edit this as the story goes up but for now here is a sneak peak:

    Hyriu will gather his friends and set out to seek signs for the Coming of Darkness. Along the way they encounter a dangerous forest spirit, strange men in robes, an odd new ally, and Darkness itself. They will go to the wondrous Wulong Forest, to the dangerous city of Gulanoth, to a market place in all out war. Many unexpected things happen to Hyriu and his friends and things get worse when the Robed Man targets someone close to Hyriu. The thrilling sequel to The Legend of Beifen will blow you away with action, adventure, emotion, mystery, and maybe even a little romance. The Legend of Beifen was just the begining, the real adventure and journey begin as the story continues in Book 2: The Shadow of Darkness. Darkness has arrived…

    Table of Contents
    Chapter 1: Departure-Page 1
    Chapter 2: Gathering a Team: Shan-Page 1
    Chapter 3: Gathering a Team: Moji-Page 1
    Chapter 4: A Good Plan-Page 1
    Chapter 5: Village and Forest-Page 1
    Chapter 6: The Archer and the Samurai-Page 1
    Chapter 7: The Dawn of Rebellion-Page 2
    Chapter 8: The Encampment-Page 2
    Chapter 9: A Shadow on the Leaves-Page 2
    Chapter 10: Stopping the Sword-Page 2
    Chapter 11: Secrets Revealed-Page 2
    Chapter 12: The Avatar and the Anzen-Page 3
    Chapter 13: Blacker Than Night-Page 3
    Chapter 14: The Cold Dark-Page 3
    Chapter 15: Outside Gulanoth-Page 3
    Chapter 16: The City Within-Page 3
    Chapter 17: Another Way of Life-Page 3
    Chapter 18: The Isolated Fear-Page 3
    Chapter 19: A Painful Divide-Page 4
    Chapter 20: Bounty-Page 4
    Chapter 21: Refugees to Ba Sing Se-Page 4
    Chapter 22: Friends and Foes-Page 4
    Chapter 23: The Wand Chooses the Wizard-Page 4
    Chapter 24: L. E.’s Test-Page 4
    Chapter 25: A Chilling Return-Page 4
    Chapter 26: Tsunami Town-Page 4
    Chapter 27: Water Against Rock-Page 4
    Chapter 28: Journey to Zhanling-Page 4
    Chapter 29: Battle Plan-Page 5
    Chapter 30: City Under Iron – Page 5
    Chapter 31: On the Harbor – Page 5
    Chapter 32: The Revolution Begins-Page 5
    Chapter 33: Plans Undone-Page 5
    Chapter 34: Old Friendships and Rivalries-Page 5
    Chapter 35: Friendly Competition-Page 5
    Chapter 36: The Illusion of Peace-Page 5
    Chapter 37: Defense of Hydronia-Page 5
    Chapter 38: Cascading Fear-Page 5
    Chapter 39: The Fall of Hydronia-Page 5
    Chapter 40: A Threat Followed Through-Page 5
    Chapter 41: Despair- Page 5

    Please check out my fan fiction under the thread called ‘Avatar The Legend of Anzen Hyriu’
  • Nick-Nat

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    said 2 years, 10 months ago

    *screams like an idiot high on drugs* Gahhhh I’m soooo excited for this!!! Besides “The Fault in Our Stars”, this is my favorite book/book series. I’m looking forward this. :)

    Why be a salad when you can be the best broccoli ever.
  • Hyriu 85

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    said 2 years, 10 months ago

    Well I thought I’d be nice and give a little update. As of tonight, the first six chapters of book two are nearly finished. They are all typed and have been emailed to my editor who is working on the first few now. An in my rough drafts I am on chapter 12. Now some of you may or may not think that that is very far but actually each chapter is very long except for one. I will give you a list of how many pages each chapter is on Word Document

    Chapter One-14 pages
    Chapter Two-11 pages
    Chapter Three-16 pages
    Chapter Four-5 pages
    Chapter Five-13 pages
    Chapter Six-12 pages

    Those are the typed ones. I won’t say the others because the page length usually changes a lot from written drafts to typed drafts but the typed and final drafts are usually only a page in difference if at all. So you can see that the chapters are longer which I love and I hope you love. My editor isn’t happy about it because for her it’s just more of my bad grammar and punctuation to fix.

    And I know that the other character POV’s were very popular among most of you so you are in luck. I said Lamara would get a lot of character development and part of that is seeing the world from her perspective. Several chapters in a row will be her POV if any of you are familiar with the Inheritance Cycle or the Heroes of Olympus series it will be kind of like that. Now back to character development. Every main character will go through a certain amount of a beating down to a low point then they will try to come back better than ever. Hyriu’s character as the main character has the most beating and the harshest. Lamara is a close second. Her character beating won’t be as harsh as Hyriu’s but it will be drawn out longer. And it begins in this book. In the sneak peak in her character bio I gave a bit of foreshadowing into that, read closely ;) Her character will also get a love interest which I am having a blast writing about. We will get to see more sides of her than just her cheerful upbeat self and I and very excited about it. I am most excited to see my editor’s reaction, she does know of Lamara’s arc to an extent but she doesn’t know much, and right now she is not a Lamara fan because she doesn’t like how upbeat and happy she is. Well I guess that is all for now. I will probably do more updates like this leading up to book 2 since it is a bit of a wait, and if you want to know the exact date, check my profile pic in a few minutes when I change it, but it isn’t official yet, but it most likely won’t change. Here is a little sneak peak of Lamara and Hyriu talking on a boat.

    I closed my eyes and meditated. I could feel the heat of the sun slowly slipping away. A chill crept up my spine. I felt nervous. Uneasy. Scared.

    “Lamara!” Hyriu said shaking me.

    I realized I was holding my breath and my back was rigid. I stopped meditating and I was breathing heavily.

    “Careful, don’t let the feeling control you,” Hyriu warned.

    “I could feel it, the anxiety, the fear. I can still feel it,” I said in a shaky breath.

    “I know, the world can feel the threat coming. A shadow lies upon the world and it’s growing in strength,” Hyriu said.

  • Hyriu 85

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    said 2 years, 9 months ago

    Well in light of the Book 3 trailer I have some bad news for Book 2 of my story. It will be pushed back to July. I still don’t have an exact date, but I will do everything I can to make it as soon as possible. The reason for the push back is because I am going on vacation in a few days and it was orignally going to last two weeks. I had already made arrangements with my editor to post chapters while I was away since I won’t have computer access while on vacation. However the length of how long I would be gone is now in question and I could be gone longer. I learned this yesterday and while the first four chapters are done, as those were the chapters my editor would have to post, now that I could be gone longer, I would want more chapters finished before I leave but with the late timing, that is not possible. I am very sorry for the delay but to try and hold you off you can read this little extra thing, and watch the book 3 trailer over and over again.

    So I will just kind of ramble on. I will first talk about the writing style of Book 2 and how it contrasts Book 1. In book 1 the chapters could be sectioned off into little groups that led up to a goal chapter, or they would be little side stories. The first 10 chapters all lead up to Hyriu’s waterbending test. After that it was the Celebration, Chapter 16. Then Hyriu’s birthday chapter 20. Then there were the little stories: The Warrior Games which was structured like a story not a goal chapter, because the climax was chapter 23 with the battle and vision. Then the training in the earth kingdom and the final 10 chapters to round up the book. Book 1 was a series of sections put together to make a whole book. Book 2 however, is very different.

    Book 2 is a whole story on its own, the chapters can’t be sectioned off into little groups. Each chapter is apart of the bigger story. Sure there are interesting characters and locations here and there but it isn’t a small little unneccessary story. Every chapter I have written thus far moves the plot along on its own and has a lot of character development. Each chapter tells its own story in the book but the chapters can’t really be grouped together. Its all one on going story.

    We get to meet A LOT of new characters in this book. In the character bios you got some sneak peaks and hints at some, I will go a bit more in depth. The three main characters in the series as a whole to me are Hyriu, Lamara, and Koluk. They are the only main characters in Hyriu’s ‘gang’ the return in book 2′s gang. And most of the time the different character POV’s will be from them. In book 2 Hyriu and Lamara really lead the charge for development and POV’s while Koluk takes a back seat. He still gets develop but not like Lamara, she goes through a lot of crap as I have already mentioned.

    Shan returns to get a main role this time round. He is a very fun character to write. He has some very fun moments with and very interesting realationships with each member of the H-gang. He is very over the top and fun and doesn’t like to be all that serious as he has had a pretty harsh past and he doesn’t want it to weigh him down.

    We get to meet some Fire Nation characters finally instead of just, ‘soldier’ haha. We travel to a Fire Nation colony where Master Zohar and Moji live. I wanted to be sure to have very different personalities with Hyriu’s teachers. We have met three of them. Master Wei is strict, sarcastic, but kind and encouraging when needed. Master Sonam is fun, carefree, but if he tells you to do something, you better do it. Master Lee is stubborn and blunt. He feels his responsibility as a teacher is to show you what to learn and how to learn it, but leaves that to you. He feels it is the student’s responsibility to learn, not his to help then all the way there. He thinks it builds character and makes the student independent. Master Zohar is very different from all of them. He is very laid back, and doesn’t make an effort in things. All he wants is to get what needs to be done, done. No more, no less. It takes a lot to get him angry, but once his is up and making and effort, RUN!

    Well I hope you enjoyed that ramble. Once again I am sorry about the delay. And here is a riddle that I love and that fits Book 2.

    It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
    Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
    It lies behind stars and under hills,
    And empty holes it fills.
    It comes first and follows after,
    Ends life, kills laughter.

    Darkness Arrives
    July 2014

  • Hyriu 85

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    said 2 years, 8 months ago

    Well after a long time, it is here at last. I am very proud of this chapter and I think it sets up the rest of the book perfectly. Enjoy.

    Avatar: The Legend of Anzen Hyriu
    Book 2:
    The Shadow of Darkness
    Chapter 1:
    Departure

    I looked down at my things; everything was packed. I sat on my bed, delaying the inevitable – my departure. After consulting Wei, Arnook, and Sonam over a series of days, we all came upon a decision: I would never be prepared for the Robed Man by just practicing and training. I had to experience something real. The Siege of the North showed that I could take care of myself. Also, the Avatar had left the North to master earth bending, and he was forming a team. I thought that I should form a team of my own. I would leave the Water Tribe with Lamara and Koluk, and we would go and ask Shan and Moji, my earth and fire bending friends respectively, to accompany us. All four nations in one group. My plan was to travel through the Earth Kingdom, keeping tabs on the Avatar while I continued my training. We would also search for signs of the Coming Darkness and when that might be. And, if we should happen to come across the Fire Nation, well, then I’d get some hands-on experience.

    I had asked Koluk and Lamara if they would accompany me. They said yes of course. Wei formally told Koluk’s family the situation and plan, and, after a day of considering it, they agreed. Since Sonam was Lamara’s guardian we just needed his approval. He gave it. I had my reasons for picking them. I choose Koluk because he fought in the siege, and he handled it very well, and because I knew he would never let me go with out him. I choose Lamara because I knew we needed an air bender. I hadn’t fully mastered air bending yet, and she knew how Sonam taught. Plus, we had been friends for years and I trusted her. I couldn’t bear to ask the others to uproot their lives because it would be too hard to take them from their families also, and it would be nearly impossible to explain. The cover story for Koluk and me was that Arnook and the Royal Court recognized our battle skills and declared us Heroes of the North. We were going to be taken to the capital to receive excessive training and even be sent on missions into the Earth Kingdom. The Water Tribe was going to be taking a more active stance in the war with the Fire Nation. We were going to be a part of it by visiting Fire Nation occupied villages and taking them back for the Earth Kingdom. It was a great cover story, and I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t real. The air benders knew why Lamara was leaving and most of the people in Hydronia wouldn’t really notice her disappearance anyway.

    A big celebration was being held for us at the Grand Hall. I was somewhat nervous but glad also. This was the closest that everyone would come to seeing the real me.

    I walked in the bathroom and looked in the reflection ice. I wasn’t the same person that I was on the day of my water bending test. That day was when everything began to change. I had gotten taller since then, and my hair had gotten longer. Any baby fat that had been left on my face was now gone. I looked leaner and more muscular. I could definitely see the results of all my training.

    I went and got my bag. It had most of my supplies. I was wearing a set of deep blue robes, like my eyes. I had my quiver and sword strapped on. I went to see if Hiko was awake. His room was empty, so I went down stairs. He was eating some squid noodles for breakfast with Wei.

    “Ah, Hyriu, I hope you are ready,” Wei said.

    “As ready as I’ll ever be, I guess,” I said and set my bag down. “Ugh, this weighs a ton.”

    “I highly doubt it,” Wei smiled.

    I got some noodles and began eating. There was a knock at the door. Wei started to get up.

    “I’ll get it,” I said, and he sat back down.

    I walked over to the curtain-door and pulled it back. A fresh breeze blew in. It was a nice breeze since it was beginning to be spring, and it was warming up. Though it really wasn’t all that much warmer in the spring than it was in the winter.

    “Hey.” It was Koluk. “Uh, you guys ready?”

    “Uh, just about. We’re finishing up breakfast,” I said as he walked in.

    “Finishing up?” Wei said. “Sorry, Koluk, Hyriu seems fond of hyperbole today. He just started eating.”

    Koluk laughed as I sat down and began eating.

    “So um, what happens after the celebration?” Koluk inquired.

    “Well, we will escort you to the land-raft and begin the route to the capital. Once we get behind Heiwa Valley on the route, we will stop, and you and Koluk will fly to the air temple and pick up Lamara as well as say your final goodbyes. Then, we will go to the capital, and you’ll have another celebration there. Chief Arnook will send you on a mission to the Earth Kingdom. Said mission will ‘go wrong’: hence why you do not return for however long it may be. However, I suggest if you get the chance, you should return after a few months. We can only say for so long that you are alive, but if we don’t hear from you in, say, six months, you could be pronounced dead,” Wei told us. “And that would not be desirable.

    I couldn’t think of being away from home for one month, let alone six.

    “Well, if you two are ready,” Wei stood up, “we’ll be going.

    “Alright,” I said, getting my bowl and going over to the dish bin and washing it.

    “Hyriu, I’ll get that later,” Wei said.

    “The least I could do is wash my dishes for the last time,” I said and surprisingly got choked-up.

    “Alright, fine, if you want,” he said.

    I finished the last of the dishes. “Oh wait, I think I left something in my room,” I said, but I really just wanted to look at it before I left.

    “Be quick,” Wei said, seeing right through my cover.

    I went up stairs and into my room. I walked over to my nightstand and picked up the sacred golden jar Wei had given me for my birthday. I opened it, then put the lid back on and set it down. I looked at the paintings I had hanging. First was the one with my parents and a baby Hiko, when I was four. Next was the painting Wei had done on my fourteenth birthday. The second to last painting was of Hana and me on our date. The final painting was done yesterday. It was my group of friends: Koluk, Lina, Lamara, Fai, Tekton, Hana, and me in the middle. I took one last look around my room then went down stairs with watery eyes.

    “I’m ready,” I said, looking around the house trying to absorb every last detail.

    We walked out and through the city to the Grand Hall. Everyone who saw us walking gave a smile and a nod. When we arrived at the Hall, the Royal Court was already there. People were rushing around getting everything ready. The Hall was refurbished with new banners and fresh, elegant torches. New animal pelts and even a rug were laid on the newly polished, pale blue, stone floor. The banners on the walls were new. They had Hydronia’s symbol, a full moon with two spears making an ’X’ and a vertical sword at the center. They also displayed pictures of waves and ice. They were, in fact, very beautiful; then I saw two banners hanging over the stage. I stopped dead in my tracks.

    “Really? Overkill much, don’t you think?” I muttered.

    Koluk and Wei saw them as well.

    “Whoa,” Koluk said.

    Wei laughed. “Well, I like them.”

    One banner depicted Koluk, the other, me. We were both in fighting stances with a determined look on our faces. We walked up to the stage where Arnook was. He was muttering to himself. I hadn’t seen him since my final warning vision, two weeks ago. When we got closer, I realized he was practicing his speech. I thought it was interesting and amusing that he rehearsed his speeches beforehand.

    “Please welcome the, fantastic heroes? No, that won’t do…Grand Heroes. No, no…Wonderful Heroes. No not that one either…um, oh, Brave Heroes! Yes, that’ll work, brave heroes,” Arnook was saying as we walked up. When he saw us, he cleared his throat, looking a little embarrassed, “Oh, uh hello, Hyriu, Koluk, and Master Wei. Good to see you again.”

    “Hello, Chief. Good to see you as well, and can I just say, these banners are spectacular,” Wei said with exaggerated interest and a wide smile; I was the embarrassed one now.

    “Oh yes, I contacted the Air Nomad weavers last week. They’ve done a fantastic job,” Arnook said, gleaming at the banners.

    “Indeed they have. I love how they got Hyriu’s eyes just right,” noted Wei with a large smile at me.

    I felt my face turn bright red.

    “I know, the likeness of each of the boys was captured fantastically,” Arnook said. “I’m going to leave them hanging up even after they leave.”

    “Oh, great! Isn’t that fantastic, Hyriu?” Wei said, happily enjoying this far too much.

    “It’s wonderful,” I said sarcastically.

    Arnook walked us through how everything was going to happen. The banners of Koluk and me were rolled up, so they could drop down when signaled. Koluk and I went back stage. Koluk would come out of the left; I would come out the right. People began filling the Hall excitedly. I saw my friends in the front.

    The Royal and Hydronia Courts took seats at the back of the stage. Arnook stood up and faced the crowd as he began speaking.

    “As you all know, a few weeks ago, the Fire Nation dared to attack us. They sent the entire armada to the capital. Some scouts reported the coming threat to Hydronia. Hydronia’s finest then prepared to leave. However, unbeknownst to them, two young men devised a plan to stowaway on the land-raft and, therefore, ride to the capital. Once discovered, we did not have the time to return them to their home. They were given the task of evacuating the women and children to safety. One even risked his life for a little girl’s doll, as well as helping out the healers during the night. When the Fire Nation broke through to the city, they both disobeyed direct orders to stay back and charged into battle. They fought even when we told them not to. And when a friend fell in battle, he was helped to the healers by one of them. The other fought side by side with Master Wei, saving his life countless times while also taking on a Fire Nation Sergeant and Commander at the same time. When the moon turned red, they continued to fight. When one of them fell to injury, the other guarded his fallen friend with his life. He even took down multiple fire benders with no weapons of his own. They risked their lives for each other, for friends, for family, and for our nation. Please welcome the Brave Heroes of the North!”

    The crowd cheered. The banners fell, which lead to more cheering, and we walked out on stage.

    Once they quieted down, Arnook continued, “They disobeyed orders from friends and family to protect friends and family. Though some might call them rebellious or unruly, their actions were purely honorable. Because of that, I have offered them each special combat training in the capital; they both accepted. So today, they will depart from Hydronia and receive the best training I have to offer. Then, they will be sent on missions to the Earth Kingdom. Not in heavy combat, small skirmishes to begin with, and they will work their way up from there. The Northern Water Tribe will no longer just sit back and let the war come to us, as we have done so far. Now, we will take an active stance in the war. We will help rebuild the northern regions, just as Master Pakku will help rebuild our sister tribe in the south. Hyriu and Koluk will truly be Heroes of the North!”

    The crowd cheered like crazy. I could see my other friends as well as my usual gang, like Huan and Kanshin, my teachers, and the parents of my friends; all of them beaming with pride. All except one; Taruk was glaring at me. ‘Not this again,’ I thought. One of Taruk’s friends, Kobun, nudged him. Taruk looked at him. Kobun shook his head; Taruk nodded and they began to leave.

    At Arnook’s request, a path was made in the crowd. He escorted us through the crowd, through the city, and to the land-raft; we climbed on. We smiled and waved at the crowd as we began to move. We picked up speed and turned into the mountains. We past through the mountains and turned toward the back of Heiwa Valley to avoid the dangerous ice. The raft came to a stop.

    “Well, Hyriu, we will wait here while you two say goodbye,” Arnook said.

    I made an ice raft and jumped on it, as did Koluk. I water bended us to the back end of the valley. We were close to where Daminao lived, behind the Greenwall. A group of people were there waiting for us. The group was made up of our friends, the temple monks, and our families. Koluk embraced his parents when we got to them. I hugged Hiko.

    “Take care, little brother,” I said.

    “Please don’t be gone for too long,” Hiko said, already crying.

    “I won’t, Hiko, I promise.” I smiled at him.

    Master Sonam bowed to me.

    “It was an honor to teach you. I hope Lamara will be able to help you master air bending,” he said.

    I bowed back. “It was an honor to learn from you Master. Goodbye.”

    Monk Dadao, Monk Yami Monk Seng, Monk Meiso, and Monk Sahil, which were all of the temple monks, bowed to me

    Monk Dadao spoke, “Safe travels Hyriu, Koluk, and Lamara. May the spirits watch over and protect you and may you inflict mischief in the lives of those who oppose you.”

    “Thank you, Monk Dadao, and may the spirits watch over you as well.” I bowed back.

    I looked over at Daminao. We hugged. He hugged Lamara as well and shook hands with Koluk.

    “See you later, Daminao,” I said.

    “See you later. Put my sword skills to use. Take care Koluk, and Lamara, stay safe,” Daminao said.

    Ava stood next to Daminao.

    “I know we didn’t get to know each other very well, but perhaps we can in the future. Goodbye,” I said to her and shook her hand.

    “Yes, perhaps in the future. Goodbye,” she said.

    Koluk said goodbye to his parents. Hana took me aside.

    “Hey, can we talk?” She said.

    “Sure,” I said, a bit confused.

    “So, you’re going to be gone for a few months… traveling the world… meeting people-” she started.

    “Yeah,” I said awkwardly.

    “I mean, just a lot can happen while you’re out there,” she said nervously.

    “I think I know where you’re going with this,” I said. “You want to break up.”

    “Not that I want to. It’s just, a lot can happen in a few months. I mean, we happened in a few months. If we are away from each other, and we meet people, it would just make things a lot less complicated if we weren’t together,” she said, looking at me.

    “I understand,” I said. “And if I come back and neither of us has met anyone, then we can go from there,” I said.

    “If you come back? You have to come back, Hyriu,” she said.

    “Right, yeah, I meant when I come back,” I said.

    She hugged me. “You’re darn right you meant ‘when,’” she said as she pulled back with teary eyes, and I laughed.

    Koluk was talking to Lina and Fai, so I walked over to Tekton.

    “So, you think you’ll be able to handle Taruk without me?” I asked him.

    “Think?” He said, making a show of cracking his knuckles.

    We laughed, then stood there awkwardly.

    “I won’t have anyone to talk to on our ridge,” he said, looking away, his voice full of emotion.

    “We can talk there when I come back,” I said reassuringly.

    “Alright, just make sure you do come back,” he said, looking back at me.

    “I will, I promise. Keep an eye on Hiko for me,” I said.

    “I’ll watch him,” he said.

    We hugged, and I went over to Lina and Fai while Koluk went to Tekton.

    “I won’t have anyone to teach me,” Fai muttered.

    “There is Tekton and Huan,” I told him.

    “Your friends,” he said.

    I looked him in the eyes and put my hand on his shoulder. “They are just as much your friends as they are mine. And besides, if you believe in yourself, you’ll do just fine. And if Taruk messes with you, give him a demonstration of the ‘Swing Kick’.” He laughed.

    I looked at Lina. “Stay strong-” I hugged her. “And if Taruk says anything to you, show him how good you are, and keep practicing.”

    “I will, Hyriu,” she said with tears in her eyes.

    I took a step back and realized there was no one left to say goodbye to. We all stood there awkwardly, not wanting to part. I realized since I was the rising leader of my friends, I had to make a decision.

    “Well, I guess we should get going,” I said and grabbed my glider and opened it.

    Lamara did the same. She flew off, and I prepared to also. Koluk rode on the top of my glider while I held on to the bottom. I looked back one last time at my friends.

    We got back to the rafts and headed toward the capital. I had a lump in my throat; I didn’t speak to anyone because I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold back all my built up emotion.

    ###

    That night, a celebration was held by the Chief’s Palace. Arnook said that he would send us on a small mission to be moderated. That way he could see your strengths and weaknesses in battle. The next day, our boat was preparing to leave. Wei and the Royal Court were there. Lamara was disguised as a Water Tribe boat girl, since most of the capital citizens didn’t know about the Air Nomads in Hydronia.

    A large crowd had gathered at the docks. I recognized a few people like Taruk’s cousin, the little girl I had saved with her mother, and Hushi, the girl who had healed me.

    “Farewell, you valiant heroes. May your victories come swift and many,” Arnook said.

    Then he walked up to us and shook our hands.

    “Farewell, Koluk, keep your sword and your wits sharp. And always watch your back out there,” Arnook said to him.

    He came over to me and shook my hand, “Farewell, Hyriu. I hope to see your swift return. Stay safe and stay strong. And I must apologize; I didn’t give you enough credit before. The shadow we saw during your third warning terrified me; I’m still having nightmares about it. The spirits choose well when they picked you.”

    “Thank you, Chief. I hope to be back soon,” I replied.

    He gave a nod at Lamara, “Safe travels and may your people’s luck and wit be with you always.”

    She nodded back. I looked over at Wei; we embraced.

    He pulled back, “You are growing up Hyriu. I can see it in your eyes. What has happened over the past few months has changed you. You have a serious expression most of the time and I see a shadow in your eyes. Don’t only think about the bad things, think about the good,” he said.

    “Alright,” I said smiling.

    “Now, Hyriu, they will be looking to you to lead,” he said.

    “I know,” I replied.

    “Lead them well and ask the spirits for guidance if you need to,” he said.

    “I will,” I said.

    “And if you get into a battle, fight with your brain, not your sword,” he said.

    “I know, Wei,” I smiled.

    “We have given you the best training we could give. Please, use it well,” he pleaded.

    “I already have. I’ll be fine Wei, really,” I reassured.

    “I know; I just can’t help but worry,” he said. He motioned to Koluk and Lamara, “Here, come over, I want to say some thing to all of you. On this journey, you will see some unspeakable things no doubt, horrible things. Things that you may never forget. Up here in the Northern Water Tribe, life is comfortable. We have it great up here. We are much better off than most of the world. Out there is a much darker and much more dangerous place. I want all of you to know what you are truly getting into. Even if – er – when you come back, you will not be the same. What ever you see and experience, will change you, and not necessarily for the better. You must prepare yourselves for this. Be ready to fight off the darkness, but not just the Robed Man, the darkness within yourselves as well. Look after each other well, for the longer you stay away from home and out there, the farther you may fall. So please don’t stay gone for too long,” he said, hugging me again.

    “I’ll try not too,” I said, on the verge of tears.

    We stepped back. I felt my eyes get teary; Wei’s did also. I quickly boarded the boat and looked to the ocean. The ship began to leave, and the crowd cheered. I didn’t look back because if I did, I knew I wouldn’t be able to leave. The ship sailed for the Earth Kingdom and Mazushi Village. I kept my eyes fixed on the horizon as all my emotion burst out and tears streamed down my face.

  • Hyriu 85

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    said 2 years, 8 months ago

    Chapter 2
    Gathering a Team: Shan

    We arrived at Mazushi Village later that day. The sun was almost set. We decided to stay the night there and then set out the next day. I had told Koluk and Lamara about this place, but they had never seen it. They both looked at the Bei Ji Mountains with awe. As we neared the shore, I noticed a large stone wall where the docks used to be. New, fortified docks adorned the area instead. The wall stretched from one arm of the mountain to the other, and the village was nestled right behind it. The wall itself was very impressive. It was tan stone with the Earth Kingdom symbol on it. On top of the wall were several battlements. We came into the new dock. Some guards were there, as well as Mayor Tanlan. He walked up to us.

    “Anzen Hyriu, I welcome you back so soon,” he said politely, “And I see you bring goods even though they were not due for two more weeks.”

    “My special treat. The normal goods will still come in two weeks,” I told him as I stepped onto the docks.

    He looked at me in disbelief. “I do not know how to thank you Anzen. That is a most generous gift.”

    “Yeah, well, I won’t be needing any Water Tribe money for a while, so I though I’d put it to use by buying all this,” I said and gestured to the small pile of goods.

    He noticed Lamara and Koluk behind me.

    “Oh, I am sorry, Mayor Tanlan, allow me to introduce Koluk Yonggan, the finest warrior in Hydronia, and Lamara, one of the secret nomads of the Shui Temple,” I said.

    “Oh, a pleasure it is to meet you, Koluk Yonggan, and you as well, Lamara,” Tanlan said, grabbing their hands.

    “Nice to meet you, too,” Koluk said.

    “Oh my, you are the first Earth Kingdom citizen I have met,” Lamara said in wonder.

    “And you, my first Air Nomad,” the mayor said.

    “So, Mayor, what exactly happened? I mean, with all of this,” I asked gesturing at the wall.

    “Oh, yes, quite a story, if I do say so myself. But I think I will save it for the feast tonight,” Tanlan said with excitement.

    “Feast?” I said questioningly.

    “Yes, we will actually be having a feast. Can you believe it? Ah, but the rest of the village is waiting to meet you two and see you, Hyriu. Shan is most happy at your swift return,” he said, leading us to the wall’s gate. It opened, and he led us in. A loud roar erupted from the crowd of people. I saw Shan a second before he nearly knocked me to the ground with a hug.

    “Ha ha, I didn’t think I would see you this soon,” Shan said happily.

    “Yeah, I am glad to see you, too,” I said. “These are my friends, Koluk and Lamara.”

    “It is great to meet you both; Hyriu has told me about you,” he said as he shook their hands. “I’m Shan.”

    “Nice to meet you, Shan,” Lamara said happily.

    “Likewise,” Koluk said to Shan.

    “And I will introduce myself,” Master Lee announced from behind Shan. “I am Hyriu’s earth bending master, Master Lee.”

    Lamara and Koluk bowed respectfully, and Lamara said, “Oh, it is an honor to meet a master of earth.”

    “Hyriu has spoken highly of you,” Koluk said.

    I nearly bust out laughing at how suddenly formal they had become.

    “Well, Hyriu, I see your friends know how to respect someone. Perhaps they will be able to teach Shan a thing or two on their travels,” Master Lee said, glowering at Shan disapprovingly.

    “Oh, come on, Lee-” Shan began, but Master Lee snapped a look at him. He got down on his knees and bowed to the ground. “Oh noble and powerful Master Lee, please except my most honest and humble apologies, so I might restore honor to my name.”

    Master Lee scoffed, “The only thing honest in that sentence was my name. Get up.”

    Shan stood up laughing.

    “You know, I don’t think I’ll miss you all that much,” Master Lee said.

    “Oh come on, Lee, you know you love me,” he said with a pretend pout face.

    “Only on occasion,” Lee said.

    We all burst out laughing, except Lamara and Koluk, who weren’t used to their sense of humor.

    Mayor Tanlan led us to my house, which had been refurbished. I noticed that many new buildings in organized rows were all over the city. However, a few old shacks still remained in their random positions. Lamara and Koluk would be staying in my house. When it was refurbished, other beds were added. We unloaded our things and hung out in my house.

    “So, you’re the famous Koluk, huh?” Shan said, fake punching him in the arm multiple times.

    “Ha ha, yeah,” Koluk said.

    Shan then stepped between Koluk and Lamara, put an arm around each, and looked at Lamara.

    “And you’re Lamara; Hyriu has spoken highly of your Pai Sho skills-” he jumped in front of her suddenly and spoke in an odd voice, “I challenge you to a duel. Do accept or will you dishonor your name?”

    Lamara, who had a similar personality to Shan’s, joined in, “It seems I have no choice, but know this, young one, I will not be the one to shame myself.”

    “We shall see,” Shan said.

    They jumped into a game, shouting things like, “I see your honor withering away!” or “How dare you make a dishonorable move like that!” Koluk and I watched from the sidelines. In the end, Lamara won, to Shan’s dishonor. Shan then discussed different hunting methods he used with Koluk. He didn’t talk to me much, but I realized he was trying to establish a friendship with Lamara and Koluk. We talked and laughed until it was time for the feast.

    We went into one of the new buildings, a hall of some sort. Mayor Tanlan sat at the head of the table, and I sat next to him, while Shan, Koluk, and Lamara were across from me. I noticed the rest of the village had better clothing and didn’t look quite as much like starving animals.

    “Attention,” Tanlan stood. “I would like to welcome Anzen Hyriu back, and welcome his friends, Koluk of Hydronia and Lamara of the Shui Air Temple. They have come here to set out on an amazing adventure to defeat the Great Darkness. And our very own Shan will be going with them!” People cheered. “Now, I will fulfill my promise to Anzen Hyriu. When he arrived, he noticed a fair amount of changes. Well, I will tell that story now. After you left, Hyriu, we got some visitors. They said they were Earth Kingdom refuges that lived in the Northern Air Temple. They said they were under control by the Fire Nation. Then, the Avatar visited the temple and freed them. Now that they are free, they have opened trade with us. Among them is an inventor, The Mechanist, who has passed on a few good machines. Then, a large group of pirate ships attacked. It was a terrible attack. They had torches and flaming arrows and nearly burned the whole town burned to the ground. They stole and burned. The Earth Nomads, as we call them, returned and helped us rebuild. They contacted other villages who sent earth benders and builders. We rebuilt the lost houses, but now they are organized and strong. We also had them build a large wall, which we mounted The Mechanist’s crossbows on. Now with the Air Temple regulating trade between the Bei Ji Mountains, all of the villages are prospering. We are entering a golden age that could only get any better if we won the war. And if things keep going as they are, that may not be far away. To victory and peace!” he shouted and raised his glass.

    We all did the same. The feast commenced. I was very surprised at the variety of the food. There were roasted boar-Q-pines with sea pheasants as the center dish of the table. There were all kinds of sausages and bacons and jerky. They were seasoned with a great variation. There was also a large amount of plants and herbs to eat. There were mushrooms, radishes, onions, lettuce, carrots, and potatoes to start off with. I recognized every plant and knew their names even though I had never seen them before. I figured it was the spirits’ knowledge within me that knew. I had never seen anything quite like this feast; in Hydronia most of the food is primarily sea food or grains from Heiwa Valley, so all this meat was great. The smell was overwhelming. The seasoned pork mixed with onions was surprisingly good. Lamara greedily dug into all the different plants. Koluk looked around, hungrily piling up his plate. Shan told me about the different foods and what I should try.

    We talked and laughed between bites. There was a large variety of drinks. I found out there was mango juice and drank that primarily. Everything was delicious.

    Tanlan saw me get some more seasoned pork on my third round, and he laughed. “I thought you might appreciate a good meal since you will probably not get very decent ones on your travels,” he laughed again as I continued on.

    I hadn’t thought about that but, he was right. Food would be hard to come by. I still had a large amount of money and talked to Tanlan about it. He agreed that he could trade out my Water Tribe money for Earth Kingdom currency since he could use it to buy goods, but it wasn’t accepted in most of the Earth Kingdom.
    Soon, the plates grew empty, and our glasses grew light. Everyone began to disperse. As my friends and I started to leave, Mayor Tanlan called out to us.

    “May you all sleep well tonight, for you might not find the comfort of a bed for many weeks.”

    “He never fails to remind us of that, does he?” Koluk said.

    “No, he most certainly does not,” I laughed.

    ###

    I climbed into bed hoping to find comfort in sleep; of course, I did not get my wish. The hauntingly young face of my parents’ killer appeared. I heard the voice call out, “Akiko! Akiko. Akiko, Akiko, Akiko…”

    Suddenly, Akiko’s face transformed into Shan’s, and I was awake.

    “You alright?” he asked.

    “Yeah, I was just, uh,” I began sitting up. I looked around and saw it was still dark. “What are you doing?”

    “I thought you might want to go on one last walk,” he said with a small smile.

    “Oh, yeah, of course,” I said.

    We quietly walked outside. Shan kept looking at me.

    “Hyriu-” I looked at him, “Who or what is Akiko? You were muttering it before I woke you up.”

    “Oh, uh, I’m not sure,” I said looking away. “I can’t remember my dream.”

    He knew I was lying, but hopefully, he would not ask about it again, at least not now.

    We climbed up the mountain to the ledge that looked out over the ocean. I looked back between the valleys. I remembered the vision I had of the meteor landing in that direction. Kan Dao had called it the Coming of Darkness. According to my very first vision, that was next.

    I took a deep breath of the mountain air and cleared my head.
    “So what do you think of Koluk and Lamara?” I asked him.

    “They’re cool. Will anyone else be coming with us?” He asked, sitting down.

    I sat down also. “Yeah, my Fire Nation friend, Moji. Are you alright with that?”

    “Yeah,” Shan answered, “as long as he doesn’t say anything insulting.”

    “She might say something. She lives in the colonies and has met a few not-so-friendly Earth Kingdom residents,” I explained.

    “Great, well I will be as nice and welcoming as I can,” Shan reassured.

    “I know you will, thanks,” I said.

    “So what is the plan after we get Moji?” Shan asked.

    “Um, I am not sure to be honest. I haven’t given it much thought. We will be in the north western part of the Earth Kingdom after we get her,” I said.

    “Oh, um, we could go to the Wulong Forest,” Shan suggested, looking kind of hopeful like a child.

    “The Wulong Forest? Where’s that?” I asked.

    “Western Central Earth Kingdom,” Shan said. “It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful and stunning natural settings in the Earth Kingdom. It is a forest on the coast with hundreds of rock pillars.”

    “This isn’t a vacation, but that does sound like a good place to train,” I said.

    “Exactly!” Shan said.

    I laughed. We continued talking about all the other places we could visit as if this was a vacation and not a dangerous mission. The night dragged on, and before I knew it, we had fallen asleep on the ledge.

    ###

    I woke up, seeing the open sky. I sat up, looking around, and then realized what happened. I woke up Shan; he looked around then burst out laughing.

    “Everyone is probably freaking out,” Shan said, laughing.

    “No kidding,” I said.

    ‘So much for a good night sleep in a warm bed,’ I thought. We climbed down the mountain. When we got to the bottom, Shan looked at me.

    “Follow my lead,” he said, and we walked into town.

    People were rushing around everywhere. Master Lee saw us and quickly came over.

    “Where have you two been!?” He demanded.

    “Sorry, Hyriu was having trouble sleeping, so we went on a walk just before sunrise. I guess we lost track of time,” Shan said.

    “You lost track of time when you left just before sunrise when it was still dark?” Lee snapped.

    “Yes,” Shan said.

    I put my face in my hands.

    “Well then how come you didn’t think to come back after the sun had risen and it was light out?” Lee said sarcastically.

    “Guess it just didn’t occur to us,” Shan said.

    “Ugh, doesn’t matter, you’re here now,” Lee said. “Come on.”

    We all gathered at the docks. We would be taking a small Water Tribe boat through the Earth Kingdom then abandon it once we got close to the Fire Nation colonies. Tanlan was issuing orders to the dock men; they were loading supplies on our ship.”

    “Whoa, Mayor Tanlan, what are you doing?” I asked as we walked up.

    “You bought us a most generous gift, the least I can do is give you some supplies. It is mostly food and herbs, as you can never have too much of that when you are traveling. I also have things like spark rocks and sleeping bags, which I am sure you have some, but nothing is wrong with having a spare. When you leave the ship, you can make the choice of what you want to carry from there,” he said.

    “Well thanks; I swear I will make use of them!” I said.

    “Farewell, Anzen Hyriu, and Shan, and Koluk, and Lamara. Safe travels to you all and may you experience many victories!” Tanlan said.

    We boarded our small ship. I began to steer us away from the docks and angled the ship to the south west. We began to sail away. Lamara controlled the winds. I steered and controlled the tides and also gave orders to Shan and Koluk. We sailed away from the comfort of Mazushi Village and into the wild that lay beyond.

  • Hyriu 85

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    said 2 years, 8 months ago

    Chapter 3
    Gathering a Team: Moji

    The sun was starting to go down. We had turned down a river and we were sailing against the current.

    “Hey, Hyriu!” Koluk called from the stern. “How much longer do you want to go for?”

    “Um, I don’t know,” I said looking at the others.

    “You’re the leader,” Shan said.

    I realized he was right. They all looked to me to lead. The idea scared me, I didn’t know if I could handle this responsibility.

    “Um, we’ll look for a clearing to set up camp,” I said.

    “Aye aye Captain Hyriu!” Shan said and saluted jokingly.

    I went to the bow of the ship and looked for an ideal spot to camp out. I saw a small clearing up ahead.”

    “Land ho, starboard side,” I said.

    “Land ho, what, we’re surrounded by land,” Shan said.

    “I meant I found a place to camp, Shan,” I said back to him.

    “Which side,” he asked.

    “Starboard,” I answered.

    He sighed, “Come on Hyriu, left or right?”

    “Right,” I said amused.

    “Okay so why didn’t just say, ‘Hey I found a campsite on the right!’?” he asked.

    “I did,” I smiled.

    “Yeah, in ship-speak, not all of us understand that,” Shan said. I laughed.

    “Well you live next to the ocean so I assumed you understood ‘ship-speak,’” I muttered to myself.

    “I heard that and it is an unfortunate stereotype,” Shan replied.

    “Your ears are finely tuned I see,” I said.

    “You can see; I can hear,” he laughed.

    “Just shut up and man the sail,” I said smiling on the verge of laughter.

    We didn’t have enough room on the shore to beach the ship so we tied it down in the shallow water.

    We started going through the supplies seeing what we had. While we were unloading it Lamara looked around.

    “Hey, I think we should unload it onto the beach,” she said.

    “What? Why should we do that?” Koluk asked. “We’ll just have to load it back on.”

    “I know, it’s just I feel like we should,” she said thoughtfully.

    “Well I don’t see why we should unload then reload for no reason,” Shan said.

    “It won’t kill you,” I said as I handed him a crate of food. “Besides you could use the exercise.”

    “Oh alright then, Captain,” he answered with a smile.

    We began unloading everything on the beach. When the last crate was unloaded and sorted we took a break on the deck of the ship. We lit some lanterns since it was now dark. We were eating dinner; just some bread, jerky, lettuce and carrots for Lamara, and some water. We didn’t want to pig out on the food, we had to conserve it. We were talking and laughing about stupid things. Lamara, Koluk and I told Shan about the Gambing Palace and the Shui Air Temple.

    “And it has this huge library, around ten or eleven floors. It was incredible,” Lamara was saying.

    “Oh yeah, and it has a master water bender section,” I added.

    “Yeah, Hyriu was pretty upset that he wasn’t able to go in at first,” Lamara said.

    “I still won that race to the top of the Meditation Tower,” I teased back.

    “Uh, you cheated!” she said laughing.

    “I used my resources,” I smiled.

    She pushed me over and we laughed. Lamara rolled over from laughing, which made us laugh even more.

    A loud thud and a crash brought us back to the present.

    “What was that?” Koluk asked.

    We all looked at a lantern shattered on the deck of the ship. Where it used to hang was a flaming arrow. Lamara slowly stood. She walked over to the arrow and pulled it free, and extinguished the flame with simple air bending with her fingers. She looked at us. We all stood at attention looking around. Another thud came from the bow and stern. Lamara and I went to the stern while Koluk and Shan went to the bow. An arrow had embedded itself in the wood. I pulled it free and looked at Lamara. Another arrow hit the mast in the center of the boat and a shattering sound echoed out. The four of us rushed to the center. A black sticky liquid splashed on the deck. While the others examined the arrow and shattered pieces of clay, I examined the substance. I rubbed some of it on my fingers.

    “Whale oil?” I muttered to myself.

    In Hydronia it was used for lanterns because it was highly – flammable.

    “Get back! Back! It’s oil!” I shouted.

    We all jumped just as a flaming arrow landed in the middle of the puddle. Flames erupted over the wooden surface of the boat. We all fell back. The inferno surged before us. Arrows rained down on us. I felt my arm pinned to the floor. When I looked I saw arrows had gone through my shirt sleeve pining it down. I looked at the others and saw they were similarly trapped. I pulled the arrow from the wood and my sleeve freeing my arm.

    More arrows rained down. I did some quick flips but tripped and fell. I saw an arrow had gone through my pant leg and trapped my ankle. I used air bending to move the arrows away. I pulled the arrow out of the floor that trapped my ankle.

    “The arrows are coming from across the river,” Koluk called.

    “Lamara, cover me!” I said; she nodded.

    I stood up and ran to the side of the ship by the river. I lifted up a wall of water and swirled it around so when the arrows entered the water, a current of mine pulled it away.

    “Hyriu, what about the fire?” Shan asked.

    I cursed.

    I prepared to water bend at it. I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I looked to see an archer had jumped from a tree over the river far enough to see behind the wall of water. I saw something come whizzing at me. I realized too late that it was an arrow. It hooked my sleeve and twisted my arm in an awkward angle to the floor. My wall of water collapsed. Arrows rained down again but Lamara shielded us. Then the arrows suddenly stopped. I looked around; the ship was riddled with arrows.

    Then one arrow hit the mast that was on fire, it had a small pouch attached to it. I went over to it then realized what it was.

    “Get off the ship!” I yelled.

    We ran but I pushed them with air bending and jumped with air bending. We hit the beach and the ship exploded. I was able to make an air shield but we all were thrown to the ground anyway. We all slowly got up, our ears ringing.

    “Well, good job Lamara, I think we all owe you our supplies and lives,” I said referring to her shielding us from the arrows and unloading the supplies.

    “Uh, yeah,” she replied stunned.

    The large inferno of what was once our ship blocked us from view of the archers. We quickly distributed out supplies into packs and began walking. We left behind a lot of the extra stuff Mayor Tanlan had given us.

    When the moon was high we set up camp and went to sleep. We set up a watch, nothing happened that night. The next day we found a small Earth Kingdom village. We asked if they could point out the town on a map. An older man said he could.

    “Now let meh see, it’s ‘round here some where,” he said moving a wobbly finger around. “C’mon, ah ther it ’tis!” he pointed. “Right ther. Tha’s where ya be. Now where you fellers be headen’ to anyway, if I might ask?” he said looking at us.

    “Oh, um just a small town near the coast to pick up a friend,” I answered.

    “Well, you bes’ be careful now, them ash makers be ’round there, making ther so called colonies. You be safe now, yer here?” he said.

    “We will and thank you for your help,” Lamara said politely and smiled.

    We headed out. It took two days to get the coast into view. We were on a small mountain with a Fire Nation colony below us.

    “Okay so we will wait until night, and then sneak in with the cover of darkness,” I said.

    Everyone nodded. When night fell, we put on dark blue robes and went down the mountain. The only one I was worried about was Shan since I didn’t think he was good at being stealthy. We ran between the houses lightly. I climbed on a roof and jumped from roof to roof; Lamara did the same. Koluk and Shan ran in the alley ways. I recognized Master Zohar’s house. I motioned to my friends. Lamara and I climbed down next to the house where Koluk and Shan were. We started walking to the front when I heard a clay pot get tripped over. I glared at Shan, he pointed at Koluk. I looked and he had a guilty look and held up his hands. I sighed.

    “Sorry,” he mouthed.

    We got to the front. I knocked. I heard foot steps and the door opened.

    “Who is it?” Zaria’s voice called out. “Um, hello? Hellooooo…. Is someone there?”

    “Who is it?” Master Zohar, Zaria’s father, called from inside the house.

    I stepped in front of the doorway.

    Zaria was looking into the house; “I don’t know.” she turned back and saw me. She screamed and then slapped me. “Hyriu!” then she squealed with delight. She hugged me. Then she saw my look that said ‘shut up.’ “Oh, right, secret, quiet, sorry.” She cleared her throat and said in a fake serious tone, “Good evening won’t you come in good-” she burst out laughing, “Just get in here.”

    I laughed, “Alright, but I brought friends.”

    Koluk, Lamara, and Shan stepped into view.

    “Oh, wow, yes you did,” she said and motioned us inside.

    Zaria was thirteen. She was the only person I knew of to have gold hair. The town’s folk said the sun spirit blessed her even though she was a non bender. Her hair was very long and curly. She wore bright red-orange clothes. She had golden eyes to match her hair. She was nice to everyone but you didn’t want to get on her bad side, she went for the cheap shots.

    She led us to the sitting room. Everything was red, orange, yellow and black.

    “Zaria, who was at the-” Zohar walked into the room and saw us.

    I stood and bowed, “Master Zohar, nice to see you again.”

    “Oh, Hyriu, it’s good to see you too,” he replied surprised. “We weren’t expecting you for a few more days.”

    “Yeah well, we had a few complications on the way that actually worked in our favor,” I explained.

    “Complications, eh? Like what exactly?” he asked.

    “Um, our ship blew up,” I said.

    “Oh, well then, it seems you already have quite the tale to tell. Zaria, why don’t you go and fetch the Miyashiros, invite them to dinner, and don’t take no for an answer. But do be discrete about it,” he said.

    “Of course Dad, when am I not discrete?” she asked but then tripped over the table’s leg while she walked out. Zohar shook his head.

    “Oh I completely forgot,” I said, “Master Zohar, allow me to introduce, Koluk of Hydronia, Lamara of the Shui Air Temple, and Shan of the Northern Earth Kingdom.”

    He bowed to each of them, they bowed back.

    “It is wonderful to meet all of you, as you may have figured out, I am Hyriu’s fire bending master, Master Zohar, but you can just call me Zohar, or Mr. Zohar, or sir, I really have no preference of what you call me as long as it is appropriate.”

    Master Zohar was tall, well built and lean. He was a master of fire bending martial arts and dagger weaponry. He was mostly pretty laid back as along as everything that needed to be done, was done. He kept his hair in a fire style top not. He had pure gold eyes the same as his daughter.

    Just then a woman walked in holding a small child. It was Zohar’s wife, Qizi.

    “Honey, who is it-” she saw us, “Oh, oh well hello Hyriu. You are a bit early, eh?” she asked.

    “I know, we had some complications,” I said to her.

    “Yes dear, Zaria went to get Moji and her family so Hyriu can give us the full story,” Zohar said.

    “Oh alright, well how have you been Hyriu?” Qizi asked.

    “I have been go-” I began but was cut off.

    “Rui!” the small boy said in his mother’s arms.

    We all laughed. Haizi couldn’t say my name so he just called me ‘Rui.’

    “Hey little guy, wow you’ve gotten so big,” I said.

    Qizi was a larger woman and she kept her hair in a neat and tight bun. She was rather short. She looked mean, though she was probably one of the nicest people in the world.

    “Well, I say we should get the food and table ready,” she said. “How about you all help me in the kitchen?”

    “Of course,” I replied, you could never say no to her face, but I was glad to help anyway. Lamara helped me and Koluk set the table, while Shan helped Qizi with the food.

    The dinning room was very nice. There were elegant candles on the walls and a gleaming chandler. There was a waxed wood table carved exquisitely.

    We heard voices in the front of the house.

    “Ah, it sounds like our guests have arrived,” Zohar said happily. “I’ll go and greet them properly.”

    He walked out.

    “Oh hello, hello. Good evening Muqin, Manisa, Trevisa, Xiao, and finally Moji. I trust Zaria played her part well?” Zohar asked them.

    From the angle I could see him but not the Miyashiro family.

    “Too well Zohar, she was very persistent,” Manisa, Moji’s father, said.

    “Yes, and she said you have special guests that were eager to meet us,” Muqin, Moji’s mother, said.

    “Oh yes indeed, though you already know one of them, here come to the dinning room where they are waiting,” Zohar motioned them in.

    I saw Trevisa first, Moji‘s older brother, then Moji, then Xiao, Moji’s younger brother, then her parents.

    “Hyriu!” she said and ran at me.

    She hit me with a hug, “Ouch, I see your hugs still kill.”

    She laughed, “I see you’ve brought friends,” she said, her eyes stopped nervously on Shan before she looked back at me.

    I stepped back, “This is Koluk, the finest warrior in Hydronia and one of the finest in the Northern Water Tribe,” Koluk nodded. “Lamara, who I learn air bending with,” she bowed. “And lastly, Shan, who I learn earth bending with,” he nodded nervously.

    They all looked at him warily.

    “Anyway,” Zohar cut in seeing the awkwardness, “we have dinner ready and they have a tale to tell, so let’s all grab a chair.”

    There weren’t enough chairs for everyone, we stayed standing letting the families sit and there was room for one more so Koluk also sat at the table. Lamara used air bending to hover above our heads and the little kids tried to jump up and grab her. We all ate with gusto since we hadn’t had a decent meal in days.

    “So Hyriu,” Manisa said, “how is it you arrived two days earlier than planned?”

    “Well we left Mazushi Village, Shan’s home, right on schedule. Everything was going fine, fair weather, the seas weren’t too bad. We turned down the river and set up camp when the sun set. Lamara said we should load the supplies on the beach, so we did. After we had finished unloading the supplies, we were attacked by archers. Only Lamara and I were able to block the arrows since Shan can’t bend on a wooden ship, and she saved me multiple times. Even though they were on the other side of the river, their accuracy was astounding.”

    “Hmm, it sounds like you ran into the Yuyan Archers. Their talents are legendary. They say the archers can pin a fly to a tree a hundred yards away without killing it,” Zohar said.

    “I believe it. It was pitch black and the fire had to of caused a glare yet they could still pin us to the deck unharmed. At one point I made a wall of water to shield us and one jumped half way across the river and shot an arrow that took my wrist to the deck. Anyway, they splashed whale oil on the deck and shot a flaming arrow with a small pouch, probably some sort of blasting jelly. I air bended us off of the ship just as it blew up. Then we loaded up our stuff on our backs and walked here cutting through a large area of the Earth Kingdom we would have had to go around on the ship,” I finished.

    “Hmm, quite the tale,” Manisa said.

    “That sounds kind of fun,” Zaria said.

    “Oh don’t say such things Zaria. Besides you’re staying here where it is safe. I’ll never have you go running off on some wild dangerous adventure,” Muqin scolded.

    “I know,” Zaria said and looked down.

    Moji’s parents looked at each other nervously, but Moji looked intrigued.

    “Don’t worry,” I said to them. “Everything worked out alright. It was our first fight, we didn’t exactly know what to expect,” I said trying to reassure the parents but I wasn’t doing a very good job.

    Trevisa stood, “Hyriu, could I speak with you, privately?”

    “Uh, sure,” I said standing as well.

    We walked into the living room, I could feel the others’ eyes on us, they were all well aware of how protective Trevisa was of his younger sister. He was tall, muscular and had fiery eyes. He was eighteen years old and I admit I was a bit scared of him.

    “Sit down,” he said, I obliged.

    “So what did you want to say?” I asked politely.

    “I know you are scared and intimidated by me,” he started.

    I did not like where this was going.

    “I want a better explanation of why the ship blew up,” he said.

    “Um what exactly did you mean?” I asked.

    “You said it was your first fight, but that’s not true. We know what has been happening, Arnook has kept us updated. I know about your scouting mission, thirty soldiers. The Siege of the North, who knows how many you took out. This is your third fight, not your first. Koluk didn’t fight on the scouting mission but he was there and he fought in the Siege of the North. Not his first fight either. Shan lives on the northern Earth Kingdom coast; you know it’s not his first fight. Pirates raid the coast about every month. The only one who hasn’t been in a fight before is Lamara and it sounds like she was the most effective in the battle. So tell me, what your excuse is now. You should know what to expect, and if you don’t know what is out there, then it is even more dangerous for all of you,” he said.

    “I understand your point, but I always knew it would be dangerous. That battle was kind of a wake up call, now we know we could be attacked at any given moment of any given day. We will never let our guard down again. I will ask your parents again if they are one hundred percent sure they are okay with this, I do not want to steal her from you,” I said.

    We walked back to the table. Lamara was playing with the kids. Koluk and Shan were talking with the two families.

    I cleared my throat, “Moji, your brother has brought up some good points. I want you to know this venture will be dangerous, very dangerous. Do you still wish to accompany us?”

    She nodded, “Yes of course.”

    I turned to her parents, “Are you still okay with coming with us. I will not take her without your blessing?”

    They whispered to each other and nodded, “Yes, she can leave with you.”

    “Oh, really? I thought you’d say no,” Moji said.

    “We never wanted you or any of our children to grow up here, sheltered from the world. We want you to live your life your way. You’ve reached the age where you start to make your own decisions,” Muqin said.

    Moji hesitated, “Well, I am still sure I want to come with you.”

    “Alright,” I said. “And I promise that I will do what ever it takes to protect you, to protect all of you.”

    “Just remember,” Lamara came forward, “when it comes down to it, the world is more important than any individual life. You are the only one that is said to be able to face the coming Darkness, if you die saving me, we all die. Never put your life on the line for me.”

    “Or me,” Koluk stood.

    “Or me,” Shan also stood.

    “Or me,” Moji said confidently.

    I looked around at them all and with a grave face I nodded.

    ###

    We stayed the night there. Shan and Koluk stayed at Zohar’s house; Lamara and I stayed at Moji’s house. We had a quick breakfast in the morning. Zohar gave us maps of the Earth Kingdom.

    “Take good care of these, if you don’t mind,” he said as he handed them to me.

    “Of course,” I bowed.

    Moji said goodbye to her family. She walked over to us with teary, but confident eyes. Her older brother, Trevisa, looked at me. I gave him a nod, he nodded back. It was just after sunrise and not many people were up. We stood on the edge of town as a light fog surrounded us bathed in the yellow light of the sun.

    We walked on a path that led into the woods and low mountains. I walked in front with the map, then Koluk and Shan. Lamara was speaking softly to the teary Moji, already building a good friendship.

    Well I think that is a fantastic opening for Book 2. Chapter 1 is so perfect in my opinion. I love it so much. You can look at the first chapter in Book 1 and Book 2’s first chapter and you can see a difference in writing. Well now it is time to be excited for the rest of the book…

    Now that Hyriu, Lamara, and Koluk have left Hydronia, the real journey begins. A team has been formed. They will encounter mysterious forest spirits, other worldly beings, and Darkness itself. In their travels Hyriu learns the true impact of the war and decides to take a stand. The group also uncovers the truth of Gulanoth, the fallen Earth Kingdom stronghold. New friendships will be made and new enemies will rise. New powers will be discovered and secrets will be revealed in the thrilling sequel to The Legend of Beifen, Book 2: The Shadow of Darkness.

    Chapter 4: A Good Plan will go up Wednesday.

  • Nick-Nat

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    said 2 years, 8 months ago

    *speechless*

  • Karis

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    said 2 years, 8 months ago

    That was quite amazing compared to book one, though chapter three became a bit awkward. But all in all, it was great. :3

    “Leaves from the vine. falling so slow, like fragile, tiny shells drifting in the foam.
    Little soldier boy, come marching home. Brave soldier boy comes marching home.”
  • YangChen

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    said 2 years, 8 months ago

    Amazing.

    Keep Calm and Carry a Wand
  • Hyriu 85

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    said 2 years, 8 months ago

    I am very happy book 2 is liked so far. What I had hoped for was such a change I’m pace, style, and format that it would be almost like a slap I’m the face, in a good way. And considering everyone’s reactions so far, I think I archived that. :D

  • Hyriu 85

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    said 2 years, 8 months ago

    Well we are getting back into the swing of things. This chapter is short and to the point but I like it nonetheless. Enjoy.

    Chapter 4
    A Good Plan

    We had left Moji’s village two days ago. It was mid-afternoon, and we were taking a break. I sat on a moist rock. It was very humid, but there was a nice breeze, and the thick canopy of the trees blocked most of the sunlight.

    I studied the map. Koluk swung his sword around. Moji sat on another rock on the other side of the path. Shan walked over to Moji. I watched out of the corner of my eye.

    “Hey, you thirsty?” He offered one of the water pouches.

    “Oh, uh, no thanks,” she said and looked away.

    Shan walked over to me and sat down.

    “You see that? She hates me. What have I done to her? I’ve only known for three days,” he said as he sat down and took a drink.

    “Maybe she just isn’t thirsty,” I said.

    “Humph,” Shan took another drink of water.

    Just then, Lamara sat down next to Moji. “Thirsty?” She asked.

    “Oh, yeah, thanks.” Moji gratefully accepted the pouch.

    “Now see, fire is good an all but not in situations like this,” Lamara said. “Air bending on the other hand-” She did a simple motion with her fingers, and a swift breeze ruffled their hair. “Now that is nice.”

    The girls laughed.

    “Oh yes, very refreshing,” Moji said.

    “See?” Shan looked at me. “She hates me.”

    “Oh yes, I can see the hate seething from her eyes,” I stated sarcastically, looking at the map.

    “Hyriu,” Koluk said, “Come on.” He motioned to G. B. which was leaning on a rock.

    “Alright; it’s your funeral,” I said, unsheathing it. I started to bow. “No disre- You know what? Who cares? You know I am just left-handed.”

    “Okay,” he said and swung.

    I fought lazily, but Koluk got me fired up. He swung his sword at my chest. I blocked and swung at his head. He ducked. The others watched with interest. I disarmed and tripped him.

    “Looks like I win,” I said.

    “True, but at this point it is about training, not about winning,” he said.

    “You know what?” I said as I helped him up. “You’re right. We need to focus on training, so in our next fight, we won’t be so helpless. Moji, your brother brought up a good point; the only one who was really effective in that battle was Lamara, and she was the only one of us who hadn’t been in a fight before.”

    “Well what can I say? It’s a talent,” Lamara said.

    “But do remember, we lost that fight. Just because we escaped doesn’t mean we won. So the plan is for us to train almost everyday on our journey,” I said.

    “And what exactly is our plan?” Moji asked. “Are we just going to wander around the Earth Kingdom fighting?”

    “No, I have given some thought to that. Our first destination will be the Wulong Forest,” I said.

    “Sight seeing?” Moji asked. “Why are we going there?”

    “Because that part of the Earth Kingdom is very close to the Fire Nation. When the Avatar traveled across the world, he and his friends installed hope in the villages along the way and even freed a few. I say we do the same. First, we just go for small camps and then work our way up. Sparing with each other will be good training, but none of us wants to kill each other, I hope.” I saw Shan glance at Moji. “So fighting actual soldiers will be good for us and the world. A lot of villages by the Wulong Forest are occupied by the Fire Nation. And, depending on how long it will take to liberate them, we will then head to the Bei Ji Mountains. That’s where this Darkness, the Robed Man, will arrive according to my visions. We will moderate the land just south of the mountains and look for signs of The Coming of Darkness.”

    “Hmm, not a bad plan,” Lamara said. “But are we really going to walk all the way to the Wulong Forest?”

    “There is a town nearby that has a port. We can take a boat south,” Moji said.

    “Sounds good to me,” Koluk said. Shan nodded in agreement.

    “Alright. Let’s make for this town,” I said.

    “Only one problem: the Senlin Forest is right next to the town…” Moji trailed off.

    “And? What about the forest?” Shan asked.

    “Um, it’s kind of possessed by an evil spirit.”

    One problem that I can see clearly now with Book 1 is that overall, the readers had no idea what the plot was. In Book 2 it is very clear what it is and what is going to happen as said in this chapter. You know what will basically be happening overall in the book. That is why I like this chapter is it short but needed so the reader isn’t left wondering what in the world is happening.

    Chapter 5: Village and Forest will go up Sunday!

  • Nick-Nat

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    said 2 years, 8 months ago

    Short, but I liked it. Moji seems like those firebender types that don’t think highly of the earth benders.

  • Hyriu 85

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    said 2 years, 8 months ago

    Sorry I was a little late today. Well now that we have gathered our team, and the plan is made, it is time to get to the good stuff. This chapter really jumps right into the thick of things. Enjoy.

    Chapter 5
    Village and Forest

    “What?!” Koluk said.

    “Yeah, what?” I said. “The forest is possessed by an evil spirit?”

    “At least, that’s what the legend says,” she said.

    “What is this legend exactly?” I asked.

    “In the early years of the war, the Fire Nation took control of Poto Village. The soldiers began chopping down the forest for fuel and to make room for a new military base. After a few days, soldiers began to disappear when they went into the forest. A group of soldiers would march in with their axes only to be found the next day at the village’s gate dead, their armor and weapons stripped from them. The Fire Nation sent in more soldiers, and the same happened to them. They tried burning down the forest but all of the fire benders were suddenly killed. Eventually the Fire Nation gave up on the forest; they still control the town though. Every now and then an unsuspecting group of solders or travelers venture unknowingly into the forest only to wake up at the town gate, stripped of their supplies,” Moji finished.

    “Well, it sounds to me that the spirit isn’t evil, it just wants to protect its home,” Lamara said.

    “Yes, that is what was thought at first, so the villagers conducted an experiment,” Moji said. “They had several unarmed people go into the forest with good intentions and instructed them not to do anything that might provoke the spirit. The next day they were found at the gate, not dead, but unconscious and stripped of their supplies. The villagers believe the spirit was just protecting its home at first but the Fire Nation angered it greatly and it is still mad and trusts no human.”

    “Hmm, perhaps we should pay a visit to this forest then,” I said.

    Koluk sighed, “I was afraid you’d say that.”

    ###

    We looked at the maps for guidance and traveled across rolling hills with scarcely few trees. The rolling hills were covered in wild grasses and flowers. The ocean had been in view on the horizon as well as the Senlin Forest. We came over a particularly large hill. Once at the top, we could see it was a straight down hill trek to the forest. A well-worn path went around the forest to the south.

    We walked toward the path and the forest. It was a nice day with a bright sun, white clouds, and a nice breeze. As we got closer to the forest, I could see it had an exotic and sinister look, especially if you knew the stories of the dark spirit within the boughs. The sound of insects, and small animals could be heard, as well as creeks and birds. Spring was in full swing; most of the plants had flowers in full bloom. It was incredibly beautiful and definitely looked like the home of a spirit.

    We walked along the path, which once had been gray stone bricks, but was worn and over grown. About four hours after noon, we could see Poto Village. The forest blocked off the village to the north and east. To the west was the ocean. The only way into the village was from the south. The village gate drew near; it was obvious that the Fire Nation machinery had been added over top of the Earth Kingdom structures. The raised iron gate was rusty and ancient looking. There were two guards stationed at the gate. In order to attract less attention, we all wore raggedy green, brown, or tan cloaks to look like common Earth Kingdom citizens. As we walked up to them, I could see the remains of a path that lead into the forest, an iron gate now blocked that way.

    “Halt!” the guards said and blocked our way. “State your business.

    “We have come to buy a boat ride south,” I said.

    They looked us over then let us in. Poto Village was in the shadow of the nearby trees, secluded next to the ocean. The buildings were dark and haunting. The people looked fearful, but fierce. Children played with sticks and rocks in the dirt. There were domesticated animal everywhere, roaming about freely. We went to the docks, they said a boat would be coming from the north and would be going south tomorrow. We looked for an inn to the stay the night and we came upon ‘Laky’s Inn.’ It was a large wooden and stone building. We walked in. It was dimly lit with candles and lanterns, but I felt homely. There was a dinning room and bar to the left, stairs straight ahead and a counter to the right. The man behind the counter looked kind, and as if he had been standing there since the beginning of time. He had few hairs left on his head or face, but any that were left were pure white. He had wrinkles and pale eyes. Though despite all this he still had all his teeth, which were all white, and he didn’t hunch over in his stance, not even slightly. We walked up to the counter.

    “Um, would you by any chance have a room for five available?” I asked politely.

    “Sorry, the largest room we have is for four, and we keep things traditional around here, the ladies get their own room if you don’t mind.” he said kindly.

    “I don’t mind at all, so then I guess a four-bed room for us, and a two-bed room for the girls?” I said and offered the right amount of money.

    “That’ll do,” he said. “Here, come along this way. I’ll take you to your rooms.”

    “Alright,” I said and we began to follow him.

    He saw our weapons, “What is the world coming to? Now even youngsters carry swords around as if they know how to use them.”

    “I beg your pardon, but I do know how it use it,” I said.

    “Well then that’s even worse. I remember a time when I could walk from Ba Sing Se to Ohmashu and the only thing I worried about was remembering the names of all the travelers I met on the way. Times have changed,” he said as we reached the top of the stairs.

    “Um, do you know anything about the legend of the forest?” I asked curiously but tried to sound casual.

    The man stopped, “Yes, everyone around here is familiar with the legend, but I know the original story, and experienced it since I have been around for awhile.”

    “May I ask your name?” I said.

    “Lakshith, you can call me Lakshith, though most people just call me Laky,” the man said.

    “I like Lakshith better,” I said.

    He looked at me with a glint in his eye, “So do I. Mind if I ask your names?”

    For some reason, I trusted this man, “My name is Hyriu, and this is Shan, Lamara, Koluk, and Moji.”

    His eyes widened in shock but he concealed it so fast I wasn’t even sure I had seen anything. They all seemed a bit startled I had used their names but they didn’t object.

    “Nice to meet you Hyriu. Here is the gentlemen’s room and here is the ladies’ room,” Lakshith said.

    They were right across from the hall from each other.

    “Why don’t you drop your things off and down stairs I will tell you the legend properly since you seem so interested in it,” Lakshith suggested.

    “Sounds good,” I said, he walked back down the hall and then the stairs.

    “Hyriu, why did you tell him our names?” Moji asked.

    “I don’t know. I trust him,” I said.

    She sighed, “What is the point of aliases if we don’t use them?”

    “Sorry, I will use them next time,” I said.

    After putting our things in our rooms, we went back downstairs. In the dinning room, only Lakshith, and a few other shady looking people were there. Apparently, the town wasn’t a tourist attraction. We went over to Lakshith, who was sitting patiently at a table. The room was also dimly lit and had an earthly feel to it. We sat down with him.

    “So, could you tell us about this spirit?” I asked.

    “Well first of all, the spirit’s name is Hogo-sha, or that’s what we call it. When the Fire Nation took control of this town, they began cutting down the forest. Soon, all the soldiers who entered the forest to cut down trees, died. Their bodies stacked in a pile by the gate, stripped of armor and weaponry. The Fire Nation sent many soldiers into the forest, not one survived. Well soon, no one dared go near the forest, though once in awhile an unlucky traveler would wander into the forest and be dead the next day. However, soon the villagers noticed the buffalo-cows disappearing, about one a month. Tracks were found heading into the forest. Hogo-sha was taking our cows. So the people decided to sacrifice a cow by the forest, but that angered the spirit. He spread the cow’s gore all over town in writing,” Lakshith said shuddering as if he remembered the horrid sight, which he probably did.

    “What did it say,” Lamara asked warily.

    “Leave the best alive,” Lakshith answered. “So the villagers made a gate to the forest path, which was the only way to enter the forest since it was so over grown. Well anyway, a cow would be lead into the gate then closed in. That appeased the spirit. After a few years, no one was killed. Anyone that went into the forest just ended up being tied up by the gate, but still without his supplies, he had carried. So people got bold and more and more ventured into the trees. It is said to be the most gorgeous place in the Northern Earth Kingdom. So you can understand why people would want to see it, others wanted revenge on the spirit. This went on for many years; actually, it only changed a couple of years ago. People started getting hurt, no one died, but they certainly didn’t come out unharmed. People have stopped going in there now. You kids are lucky; there is actually a sacrifice tonight.”

    “Oh really?” I said.

    “Wonderful,” Koluk muttered.

    “Oh, and I have just remembered,” Lakshith said. “I know of one person who made it through the forest. She is sitting over there,” he pointed.

    I walked over and sat down at the girl’s table. She was pale with had many scars, including one that went from her lip to her neck. She didn’t look too old though. I wondered what she could have gone through to get those scars; I decided not to think about it. She wore mostly black clothing but had a burgundy hood that shadowed her face. She looked at me with cold dark eyes. She had pure white hair that was dark at the tips. She cautiously drank from her mug; I noticed her bear arms also had many scars. While she sat there, she played with an array of knives. She repeatedly stabbed the table and pulled the knife free. From all the little holes in the table, I assumed she had been doing this for quite some time.

    “Who are you?” she asked in an intimidating voice.

    “My name is Hyriu. What is your name?” I said.

    She looked at me cautiously and took her time to respond, “I’m Karis, what do you want?”

    “I heard that you traveled through the Senlin Forest without Hogo-sha apprehending you,” I said. She nodded slowly. “I would like to know what you saw or heard while you were in there.”

    “Well I hadn’t gone in very far when small rocks began flying at me from behind. I was able to dodge or block them. However, they kept coming, and from all directions. I could hear movement in the trees and then branches began falling around me, nearly crushing me. I heard more strange noises and I began fighting my way out of that place. The forest itself seemed to attack me. Then, once I just reached the edge of the trees, I looked back and saw a face, a face of bark and leaves, and a cruel expression on its face as it stared me down then disappeared. It is hard to unnerve me, but that face, that face got to me. I don’t know if it was a spirit or not, but something was definitely attacking me and trying to drive me out.” Karis said finishing her drink.

    I thought to myself, “Thank you, Karis.”

    She nodded and eyed me as I walked back to the others as Lakshith was giving a bit more detail on some of the events in the legend.

    “Thank you for telling us this,” Lamara said.

    “My pleasure, retelling lore to fascinating strangers is a true delight of life. Would any of you care to play a game of Pai Sho?” he asked with a twinkle in his eyes.

    “Uh, sure,” Lamara said.

    We moved to the Pai Sho table and they say down.

    “The guest has the first move,” Lakshith said.

    Lamara hesitated. She got an interested look then she light up. She grabbed the White Lotus Tile and placed it in the center of the circular board. I saw a glow light up in Lakshith’s eyes but he remained silent. He put down his piece. Piece after piece they put down without hesitation as if they both had done it a million times. I soon noticed a pattern that began to form. After the last pieces were put into place, we all gasped. All the other tiles created a pattern of a large lotus flower in bloom around the lotus tile in the center.

    Lakshith looked at Lamara, “Very interesting for one so young to play such a way, favoring the White Lotus Tile.”

    “My master taught it to me, he said I should use it if I needed a friends when playing Pai Sho, he wasn’t very clear.” Lamara said.

    I stepped forward, “You’re right. I remember Sonam using this strategy.”

    “Sonam?” Lakshith questioned.

    “Uh, yeah Sonam,” I said cursing myself for the slip up.

    “Ah, now it all makes sense,” Lakshith said. “How very interesting that we should meet, Lamara. And you as well, Hyriu Jingshen.”

    I got a bad feeling, “Wait, I said my name was Hyriu, I didn’t say Jingshen.”

    “True,” he said. “But I know who you are. I am a friend of Master Sonam and Master Pakku.”

    “How?” I asked amazed.

    “We are members of a secret society that exists throughout the Four Nations. Pakku sent word to all of us of your journey and that we should all do what we can to help you. So, how can I help you?” he asked.

    “Um, we came here for two things, a boat ride south, and to investigate about the spirit, Hogo-sha,” I said.

    “Well, a boat ride is no problem around here. As for the spirit, I have told just about all I know,” Lakshith answered.

    “This spirit seems unusual,” Lamara said. “Protecting its home is one thing, but attacking people even now, years later when the forest has grown and prospered, it doesn’t make sense. Also, you said it took a few years after the sacrifices for the spirit to calm down. And it wasn’t an ongoing slow change, but swift and sudden. That is also odd. There is more to this legend than what most people think. The average person is not educated on the nature of spirits, I am, and so are you, Hyriu. Surely you see something not right here, right? Hyriu? Hyriu?”

    I could hear her talking abut I was in deep concentration. I had closed my eyes and entered a deep meditative state. I could feel the pressure of the sprits and I was pushing my thoughts toward them. The communication wasn’t with words but thoughts and feelings. They too were puzzled at the way this spirit was acting, also no spirit was known as Hogo-sha, but I had already guessed that it was just a name made up by the townsfolk.

    “Hyriu? Hyriu!” Lamara was shaking me.

    “Huh, sorry,” I opened my eyes. “Sorry, I was talking with…you know,” I tapped the side of my head.

    “And?” Koluk asked.

    “From what I can make out, this is very unusual behavior for a spirit.” I hesitated, I trusted Lakshith but he didn’t need to know everything. “There may be something wrong with it. In most places where a spirit lives, there is usually a sacred spot, with an altar or temple or something of that like. Perhaps the sacred spot here has been damaged and no one has been able to repair it. We should investigate further.”

    “You mean, like go into the forest?” Shan said.

    “Yes,” I answered. “There is a sacrifice tonight, we can watch from a distance and follow the sprit as it takes the cow.”

    “Great, we get to watch spirit eat a sacrificed cow,” Koluk muttered.

    “Thank you again, Lakshith,” I said ignoring Koluk.

    “Your welcome. Just be careful when you go in there. The girl, Karis, escaped, but not one person has gotten the slip on Hogo-sha yet and I don’t think he’ll want to break his streak,” he admonished.

    We got a quick dinner at the bar then went to our rooms. I left my supplies and my staff since I didn’t want to carry that thing, as it would get in my way. I kept my sword and bow, as well as my dad’s knife. Shan and Koluk did the same as me; I noticed Shan didn’t have a weapon other than his earth bending. We walked out into the hallway; the girls were waiting for us.

    “Aren’t you bringing your glider?” Lamara asked motioning to hers.

    “It’ll just get in the way like always,” I said.

    “But what if we need a speedy escape? I can carry two people, but not three,” she reasoned.

    I sighed, “Fine, I’ll get it.”

    After I got my glider, we snuck through the houses staying in the shadows. A tall rickety wall separated the village from the forest. Lamara used air bending to jump over the wall. I used air bending to launch Shan, Koluk, and Moji over the wall; the plan was for Lamara to catch them. Since I heard no screams of pain, it seemed it was a success. I jumped over the wall after them.

    We walked along the wall next to the intimidating trees. The sun had just set but its orange light could still be seen, though we could barely see the sky with the wall on one side and the trees on the other. Here and there, I could see ancient stumps, the first trees the Fire Nation must have down. We got to the gate that lead into the city and watched as a person walked out of the forest quickly and closed the gate. We waited for him to go into the city and the city gate to close.

    “Okay,” I whispered. “Now we need to find a way into the forest.”

    We scanned along the border of the bushes looking for a break in the shrubs.

    “Over here,” Shan called out in a hushed voice.

    We went over to him.

    “It’s a bit of a squeeze but I think we can make it,” he told us.

    “Well you made it through, so it should be no problem for the rest of us,” Moji muttered.

    Shan shot her a look.

    “Come on, let’s go,” I said before he could say anything back.

    Shan’s path was just an area where he had broken through the bushes. We all squeezed our way in and after some scratches, cuts, slaps in the face with twigs, and curses, we made it behind the gate and onto the path. The forest was very much alive with sound. Mostly running water and insets but with an occasional ’hoo’ from a cat-owl or a screech from a wolf-bat.

    We walked through the forest as quietly as we could. The sun still hadn’t set all the way. I used my staff as a walking stick. Spider-flies, mosquitoes, and other insects swarmed around us.

    “Uh, Hyriu?” Lamara called from up ahead. “You might want to see this?”

    We walked up; on the ground was a leather rope that was the cow’s lead.

    “And that,” she pointed to an area that looked like natural grown pens with cows in them.

    “Those look, domesticated,” Shan said.

    “Wow, I didn’t know you knew such a big word,” Moji said.

    “Hey-” Shan protested.

    “Actually,” I interrupted, “I have to agree with her. Now both of you shut up.”

    I took a few steps toward the pens when the forest went dead silent. The sun had set completely as well. I couldn’t even hear running water and the insects seemed to vanish. We all tensed. I listen intently and could hear a fain whistling. Suddenly Koluk screamed and fell to the ground. We rushed to him.

    Lamara examined him, his head was bleeding, “He’s knocked out.”

    I stood looking around. I heard another whistle; it was on the right. I swung my staff and created a windshield. I heard an object bounce off my shield. I stopped air bending and saw a rock on the ground. I heard another whistling. I stood abruptly as a rock whizzed by my head.

    “It’s shooting small rocks at us!” I shouted.

    “Rocks, huh?” Shan said.

    He began doing earth bending forms and he stopped the pebbles in mid-air and began firing them back to where they came from. I could hear rustling in the trees as something moved to dodge Shan’s attacks. I quickly whispered a plan to Shan.

    “Who are you?” I shouted at the trees. “Are you the ’spirit’ they call Hogo-sha?” More rocks flew at me; I dodged them. A branch fell towards Koluk; Lamara smacked it away with some wind. “Because if so, I know you are not a spirit. If you are wearing the stupid mask, you can take it off. I know you’re not Hogo-sha!”

    Shan went into the bushes. A figure jumped down in front of me and stepped forward. He wore the mask Karis described and it did unnerve me. It had a cruel expression with black eyes that seemed to cut into me. He took it off. A teenage boy around the age of fifteen stood before me. He wore lots of brown leather that went with his shaggy brown hair and his fierce brown eyes; he was holding a bow in his hand. I instantly recognized him from one of my first visions, where my friends were being tortured. I glanced at Koluk who was still uncurious and guarded by Lamara and Moji. The archer looked at me.

    “My name is Dhanu,” he notched an arrow; I did the same. “And you obviously know too much.”

    He released the arrow.

    Quite an ending wouldn’t you say? This chapter and the next are some of my personal favorites. I love adding things to this world and The Legend of Hogo-sha was very fun to create. My editor and I collaborated on the legend. I told her what I had come up with and she shaped it into what it is. Also I was glad to introduce the cautious character of Karis. And the scheduale for Book 2 will change slightly. From now on, chapters will go up Mondays and Thursdays as it is easier on my editor to get chapters done on time.

    Chapter 6: The Archer and the Samurai will go up Thursday.

  • Hyriu 85

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    said 2 years, 8 months ago

    This is a very nice chapter. Just a heads up, it is in Lamara’s perspective. Enjoy.

    Chapter 6
    The Archer and the Samurai

    I watched as Hyriu confronted the archer. Moji kneeled down to see how Koluk was. I watched the confrontation carefully incase I had to step in. The archer shot an arrow at Hyriu. Just I as I was about to block it, a wall of earth raised in front of Hyriu; Shan. Thank the spirits he did that. Hyriu jumped over the wall, I quickly followed him. He kicked Dhanu, the archer, to the ground, put his knee to his chest and pointed an arrow at Dhanu’s neck.

    “You say I know too much as it is actually you who doesn’t know enough,” Hyriu said then he got up and put his bow away. “We are not here to fight you, we just merely wanted to find out the truth,” he offered his hand.

    Dhanu took it and stood.

    “Well, you know my name, so who might you be?” he asked looked at each of us in turn as Moji and Koluk joined us. His eyes stopped and narrowed at me. He made me uncomfortable and I looked away.

    “My name is Hyriu Jingshen; the one you knocked out is Koluk Yonggan. That is Shan Leeson and Moji Miyashiro. And that is Lamara.”

    He was still looking at me, “Does she have no surname?”

    “Uh, no, her mother died at birth and her father abandoned her. No one knew either of their names,” Hyriu lied quickly.

    “Hmm, and your nationalities?” he said. Hyriu hesitated. “Your nationalities?” Dhanu’s eyes narrowed on Hyriu.

    “Koluk and I are from the Northern Water Tribe, Shan is from the Bei Ji Mountains, Moji is a colonist of the Fire Nation.” Hyriu said but stopped.

    “And her?” he pointed at me. “If she belonged to any of the other nations, you would have said so with the others like you did with Koluk and yourself.”

    “Oh, uh, she’s from a nomadic tribe, really-” Hyriu began quickly.

    “Don’t lie to me, fool. Oh she’s a nomad all right, an Air Nomad. I saw her air bend along with yourself, Mr. Jingshen,” Dhanu said accusingly.

    “Uh, well, um,” Hyriu stammered.

    “Explain yourself, or the villagers will see that Hogo-sha is killing again,” Dhanu demanded.

    “Okay, I am the Anzen, from the Legend of Beifen. It’s this Water Tribe legend where-” Hyriu began.

    He had a look of realization and interrupted Hyriu, “Where a Great Darkness threatens the world so the ancient spirits created a second Avatar to defeat it?”

    “Uh, yes, how do you know that? It is a secret legend of the Northern Water Tribe with only two villages knowing about it outside of the Water Tribe,” Hyriu said astonished.

    “Well apparently, those villages weren’t very trustworthy,” Shan and Moji shifted uncomfortably. “It is known throughout the northern regions, only it is a children’s tale, nothing more. Well obviously, it is something more. Much more than an old folk’s tale, it is happening isn’t it? The Darkness is coming. That’s why you’re here,” he said.

    “Uh, yeah, how did you know?” Hyriu asked nervously. I was also surprised by how much he had just pieced together.

    “I can feel it. It’s hard to explain but the world feels…different, darker, colder, and more dangerous. It fells as if the world is holding its breath, retreating deep within itself, trying to prepare for the Darkness. Any spiritual person, like my master and me, is able to feel it if you are paying attention. A week or two ago, I was meditating in a meadow and as the sun set and the shadows drew near, I became afraid. I came out of my meditation and realized that that was what the forest felt. This is a very spiritual place and it fears the night – the dark. It can sense what is coming. Notice that the forest is alive with activity during the day, but after the sun sets, it is silent. In most forests, they become more active at night, but not this one, it knows better,” Dhanu said.

    This stranger intrigued me. He knew right away that I was an Air Nomad and he can sense the Darkness and he has a whole group of people convinced that he is a protective spirit.

    “You mentioned your master, who is he?” Hyriu asked.

    “What makes you think it’s a he?” I spoke up.

    “Well, uh,” Hyriu looked at me.

    I began laughing and Dhanu joined in my laughter. I stopped abruptly, not wanting to seem too friendly.

    “Well, he is in face a he,” Dhanu said. “He is The Brown Samurai, the forest’s protector before me.”

    “He was the ‘none violent’ one, right?” Koluk said rubbing his head.

    “Not non-violent, he just didn’t like hurting people, but if the occasion demanded for it, he would resort to violence,” Dhanu replied.

    Koluk nodded, “Good.”

    I was a bit put off that he didn’t apologize for attacking us or for knocking out Koluk.

    “I am sure my master would very much like to meet you, would you allow me to take you to him?” he asked us.

    “Of course, I would like to meet him as well,” Hyriu said.

    He led us through the forest. It was over grown and ruled by nature. I could tell there was once a stone path but it was nonexistent mostly, though every now and then there was a break in the moss that revealed a cracked gray stone. The forest kind of reminded me of home, Heiwa Valley. There was a thick canopy with just enough breaks to see the stars and it was humid. The thoughts made me homesick. I had never left Heiwa Valley. Even when I went down to Hydronia, I had always returned that night to my room in the temple. I had a window that overlooked the valley. Often times in the morning a lemur or two would fly in and wake me up at dawn then I would jump out my window with my glider and enjoy a morning fly watching the sunrise and the valley wake up. Dhanu interrupted my thoughts.

    “So, Lamara, an Air Nomad that survived Sozin’s Comet, huh? There is definitely a story behind that,” he said.

    “Indeed,” I said looking forward in a flat voice.

    “You don’t like me, do you?” he asked somewhat amused.

    “I am not overly fond of you,” I answered simply.

    “Awe, why’s that?” he asked slyly.

    “Oh I don’t know, maybe it has to do with the part when you knocked my friend unconscious,” I snapped.

    We looked back a Koluk; a bruise was forming on his forehead on the left side.

    “Hey, no hard feelings, right?” Dhanu asked him.

    “Huh, oh no. My head’s too thick for hard feelings,” Koluk said.

    “See, he’s fine with it,” Dhanu looked back at me.

    “Well then maybe you should go bother him,” I snorted.

    “Oh but I like bothering you,” he walked in front of me.

    “Ugh,” I pushed past him. “Where are we going anyway?”

    “Here,” Dhanu smiled.

    We looked around.

    “Um, where exactly is here?” Hyriu asked.

    Dhanu smiled and walked over to a rather large, ancient looking tree. It was covered in mosses and lichens. He pushed some of the lichens out of the way to reveal a natural looking
    ladder in its bent branches.

    “Going up?” he held out hand to help me up. I slapped it away. I climbed up the branches. There was a clear path to follow up the tree. I rose into the branches and I could see a wooden platform resting on large boughs. I climbed up to the platform and looked around.

    It was high in the trees and there were faint torches that provided just enough light. Wooden bridges connected several trees all with large platforms. The others climbed up.

    “Okay, this is pretty cool,” Shan said.

    “It’s beautiful,” I said.

    “Yeah, it is,” Dhanu winked at me.

    I looked away quickly. I wasn’t used to someone acting like this, it made me uncomfortable.

    “So, this master of yours, The Brown Samurai,” Hyriu began, “where is he?”

    A loud clunk of wood on wood answered him. It came again and again in rhythm of someone walking. A tall man in a brown robe with a straw hat came around a branch. He carried a polished wooden walking stick that came up to about his waist from the floor.

    “I do not remember inviting guests, Dhanu. Explain. Now,” he had a deep voice full of wisdom.

    “Yes, explaining, that’s what I do best,” Dhanu said.

    “Then enlighten me as to why there are five strangers in our home,” he said sternly.

    “This is Hyriu, he is the Anzen from the Legend with the Darkness,” Dhanu said.

    “Is he really? Well I think it is time to hear your story. Come,” he said. I could see why Dhanu was able to pick up things so easily without question.

    Hyriu looked baffled that that he just accepted the fact that he was the Anzen so quickly. Dhanu motioned for us to follow. We walked through the braches following the clank of his walking stick. I thought it was odd that he had one since he had no limp in his step; in fact, he walked like a refined master of old. I glanced around again thinking of home.

    Moji nudged me, “Hey, are you alright?”

    “Yes, just homesick is all. This place reminds me of it,” I answered quietly.

    “Well do what you told me, remember why you left: To protect it and the ones you love there.” she said. “Sometimes people are able to give good advice to others but don’t remember it for themselves.”

    “Thank you Moji,” I smiled; she smiled back.

    We were led to a circular room with a pot of tea over a fire in the center.

    “Sit,” the samurai instructed.

    We obliged. He took off his straw hat and hung it on a wall. I could not guess his age for he had few wrinkles but his eyes looked older than the war itself. He had brown-gray hair in a not on his head. He had golden brown eyes like tree sap. He had somewhat angular features that were very defined. He got some cups and poured everyone some tea.

    “So tell me, Anzen Hyriu, what is your story?” he asked as he handed out the cups of tea.

    Hyriu first gave a detailed version of the Legend of Beifen. He then gave some history of Hydronia and the air benders. After that, he spoke of his personal story: the death of his parents and growing up in Hydronia. Hyriu told them about his training and visions and the Siege of the North. He lastly told them about how we came to be here.

    “That is quite the story,” the samurai said pouring me more tea. “And to learn that the air benders have survived is wonderful. I promise you we will not speak to anyone about this, not that we speak to people often,” he laughed. Now that he knew who we were his demeanor had changed, he was still full of wisdom but he was kind and friendly. Hyriu looked down then said.

    “I would be honored, Dhanu, if you would join us in our mission to defeat the Darkness. You have great skill that we could very well use.”

    “Uh, do you mind if we discuss this in private first?” I asked quickly.

    “Not at all,” Dhanu said smiling slightly.

    We got in a huddle.

    “What is it Lamara, do you not like him?” Koluk asked.

    “I just have a bad feeling; I don’t think we should be too quick to ask anyone to join us. We have to be careful about who we tell,” I said.

    “He already knows everything anyway. We might as well take him. Strength in numbers right?” Moji said.

    “Well if even she says it’s okay, then I think it’s alright,” Shan said.

    They all looked at me.

    “Lamara? I don’t want there to be turmoil in this group, we can’t afford it,” Hyriu said.

    “Well why did you ask him anyway?” I questioned.

    “I saw him in one of my visions,” Hyriu said darkly. “I believe he is meant to join us. Something just felt right about asking him.”

    I sighed, “I suppose it’s alright.”

    We came out of the huddle.

    “We are all in agreement,” Hyriu said. “If you would like to join us, we could use you.”

    “I would be honored,” Dhanu said with a smile and winked at me.

    “Well, I think I will do what I can to prepare all of you. I can already see that you all could use some improvements on your armor and weaponry. Come, I will show you our stores to see if you find anything of sue, I am sure you will,” the samurai smiled.

    He stood and motioned us to follow him. We walked through the boardwalks among the branches. I looked up at the sky. It was close to midnight. The full moon mixed with the subtle torch light was just enough to see so you didn’t trip over yourself.

    We got to a large hut next to an equally large tree. Inside were racks upon racks, shelves upon shelves, piles upon piles of weapons, armor, and supplies.

    “Holy spirits,” Moji said.

    “Here is everything we have gathered over the years along with some items that we personally crafted,” Dhanu’s master said.

    “This is incredible!” Hyriu exclaimed.

    “Now, let me see, show me your weapons and gear,” he instructed Hyriu.

    He set his things onto a table as they were examined. The samurai started looking at the items.

    “This is a beautiful sword, quite old I believe, yes?” he said as he weighted the weapon.

    “Yes, from the days when there was one Tribe,” Hyriu said. “It is called the ‘Gambing Blade’ though Koluk came up with the abbreviation G. B.”

    “Is it really? Well, G. B. that is amusing,” he said holding it up. “Now let’s see what you look like,” he unsheathed the blade. “Ah, beautiful, oh what’s this? ‘Victory is worth any sacrifice except your honor,’” he read with a gleam in his eye. He sheathed it “Indeed. Well quite a fine blade, no improvements needed there, a match for my own sword I think.”

    “Your sword?” Hyriu asked interested.

    “Yes, my sword,” he said and lifted up his short walking stick. He pulled the handle just enough so we could see the glimmer of steel then pushed it back in place. Hyriu looked disappointed. “Don’t feel bad, not even Dhanu has seen its blade. I only draw it in times of great distress.”

    “Have you ever drawn it?” I asked.

    “Once, a very long time ago,” he answered with tears in his eyes. “Now then, let’s see; is the belt as ancient as the blade?” Hyriu nodded. “I can tell it hasn’t held up as well, it is already fraying. Hmm let me see, let me see,” he said as he dug through a pile of leather. “Ah, here it is,” he lifted up a leather belt. “Try it on.” It fit Hyriu reasonably well. “There, you’ll find that will serve you better. Your knife is good, oh dear, your water pouch looks less than ideal.”

    “Um, it was a gift,” Hyriu said uncomfortably. Koluk shifted his feet.

    “Oh, well if it holds sentimental value then I should be able to modify it so it will last you longer. Your staff has a few dents in it.” he said.

    “Yeah, I am not used to always having a staff and it gets in the way all the time, if there is a fight I usually just drop it so I can defend myself.” Hyriu said.

    “You know you can use it to fight and defend,” I said.

    “Well I may have a solution to Hyriu’s problem,” the samurai said. He dug through piles of leather and straps. Suddenly he shot up holding an odd-looking belt. “Here it is!” he exclaimed. “It was a sort of sheath or pack to hold a spear or an axe one one’s back, but I think it will work for your purposes.” it was a leather strap that you put on one of your shoulders and rested on the opposite hip. There was a leather tube that was open on both ends and was threaded with long strips of leather that could tighten or loosen its grip. Hyriu accepted it gratefully.

    “Now then, let’s see about the rest of you,” he said.

    He talked to Moji and Koluk while Shan and I talked to Dhanu to speed things up.

    “So, Lamara,” Dhanu said rolling my name on his tongue in a flirtatious way, “What supplies do you have?”

    “There is nothing I have that you can improve,” I said to him.

    “Perhaps that attitude could be improved,” he said.

    Shan laughed, I shot him a look.

    “Come now, there is always room for improvement,” Dhanu said.

    “I don’t think so, I just have my staff,” I started but then I remembered. “Well there is this.”

    I lifted up my pant leg and unstrapped my short grappling hoot staff I got form the Gambing Palace from my shin.

    “A nifty hiding spot,” he said as he looked down.

    I put the staff under his chin and forced his head back up, “Watch where you’re looking,” I snapped.

    He smirked, “Sorry,” he didn’t sound sorry at all. He saw the mini staff, “Oh, one of those,” he grabbed it from my hand.

    “Careful with that,” I said.

    He twirled it around, shot one of the hooks, grabbed a spear across the room, and retracted the hook pulling the spear to him; he caught it with his other hand. “See, I know how it works. I can put curved daggers in it. You’ll be able to attach them to the hooks or just on either end of the staff.”

    “I don’t believe in killing,” I said.

    “Neither does my master, but he carries a sword. You can fight with deadly weapons and not kill. Also, it will help with your grappling hooks,” Dhanu noted.

    I sighed, “Fine, put them on.”

    “Alright, is there anything else?” he asked.

    “I have this,” I said and untied the blue ribbon from my waist that I hid under my shirt. I had also gotten it from the palace.

    Dhanu gave me back the mini staff and took the ribbon, “Oh wow, I am not too familiar with this fabric, oh what is its name. Master, could you look at this ribbon, I can’t identify it?”

    The samurai was holding a strange wooden object up to Koluk and Moji but he dropped it when he saw the ribbon. “That is palm leaf; it is an incredibly rare fabric with very unique qualities, which is also what makes it so valuable. The regular fabric is very strong and can withstand large amounts of strain. It can hold heavy objects very effectively. It is also resistance to heat. Nevertheless, it does have limits. For instance, if it is in a house that burns down, the fabric will survive, but if a fire bender directs his attention to burning it, it will only last a few minutes, but that is still impressive. And that is the normal fabric, this however, this threaded in such way that enhances its strength tenfold. Who ever made this was either incredibly clever, or incredibly stupid. I hope the first statement is true because that would mean someone purposely made it this way to make it stronger and disguised it as a normal hair ribbon to the unknowing eye. Though it could have just been some oaf that was just unaware of the fabric he was using. I do believe that with its enhanced strength that the ribbon might be able to even block some blades.”

    “Are you saying I could block a sword with this,” I said disbelievingly.

    “That doesn’t mean to go into a sword fight intending to use only this. Theoretically it could stop a sword but most likely only a few times, and it would depend on the circumstances, like the condition of the fabric, the metal of the sword, who is wielding the sword and so on,” he turned his attention back to Koluk and Moji.

    Dhanu then examined Shan’s stuff, which was actually nothing. He didn’t use any weapons and didn’t have any armor. In the end, Dhanu found him some lightweight leather armor he could wear under his clothes comfortably. We were all finished getting our personal upgrades. It was beginning to be light in the sky.

    “You should return to the city before it gets any later. It was a grand pleasure to meet all of you. I wish you much luck in these dark times when it is needed. In Dhanu’s absence, I will resume watching over the forest and keeping it safe. Farewell, until we meet again,” the samurai said.

    “Wait,” Hyriu said. “You never told us your name.”

    He looked at us and winked, “I am The Brown Samurai.”

    It might have just been my imagination but I thought I saw a glimmer of sadness in his syrup eyes. We walked back through the lush, overgrown forest with Dhanu. We snuck back into the city and into the inn.

    I quite like this chapter a lot. I hope most of you did as well. The Brown Samurai and Dhanu are interesting characters with some interesting back stories.

    Chapter 7: The Dawn of Rebellion will go up Monday.

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