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Author Topic: The Village of Anquan [PG]  (Read 3063 times)
PiElord
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« on: Jul 03, 2010 12:11 pm »

EDIT: Right, I should've just said this from the beginning.
I have about four chapters (including this prologue) written already, and I was going to post more after people left comments. I posted them on the Avatar wiki already, and I was just going to copy/paste them here. I'll do that now.

EDIT: EDIT: Okay, that's all of them for now. I'll post more here as I finish them. Please comment and review!

 Here's a tie in for this I wrote in a drabbe: Legacy. I suggest reading it after Chapter III.

Additions:
Legacy
A Warm Night

Those two links are to Drabbles I wrote pertaining to the story. I suggest reading both of them either just before or after Chapter III. The second one goes best with the song in the prompt.

Prologue: Discovery

"Ha!" Zhan exclaimed, clenching his hand in a fist that resembled a rock. "I win again! Earth beats fire!" A grin adorned his strong face, slightly worn for a 13 year old. Xinxin, the boy who held his hand out in an open shape, meant to resemble flames, replied:

"That doesn't make any sense! I thought water beats fire!" His face showed signs of confusion, but no lack of will. He was only a few months younger than Zhan, but still technically 12 years of age.

"It does...I think." Zhi chimed in. He sat on the ground, a few feet away from the other two. "I don't really remember how it works." Only 11 years old, he was the youngest in the group. He had brown hair, and like two of the others, he had brown eyes. His hair, like most in his village, was unkept, and slightly long.

"Maybe Cao knows." Zhan suggested. "Where is he anyway? I haven't seen him since breakfast." The boy turned his head, scanning the landscape for his friend. Zhi stood up. "He's probably by the pond again. Still thinks he can..." He looked at the ground, covered in stiff grass, that was losing its color. Fall was starting to set in.

The older boy sighed. "What's up with him lately?" He walked away, toward the aforementioned pond.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Okay. Cao thought, as he stared out onto the pond. One more try.

The boy assumed a stance similar to the ones he'd seen in the scrolls his mother gave him, raising his arms to waist level, keeping his palms out, and shifting his right leg forward. He inhaled, then exhaled, and began to slowly move his entire body, back and forth. He brought his arms to his right side, and leaned back on his right leg slowly, and in one fluid motion. He did so again, and again, and more still, and kept at it for several minutes. Just when he thought he saw motion in the pond, he heard a shout from behind him:

"Cao!" He stopped, and turned to see Zhan standing at the top of the slope behind him. The older boy had his left foot forward, right foot back slightly, and hand both hands at his sides, balled into fists. He didn't look angry, just annoyed. Cao knew why. "I was gonna do it this time!" He yelled. "I saw the water move! It was working!" His face was angry and defiant. His lighter brown hair was also unkept, but his eyes, unlike those of the others, had a unique quality: they were each different colors. His right was green, his left blue.

Zhan shook his head, looking down. "How many times to we have to tell you Cao? You're not a Waterbender! It's not even possible for you!" He looked "up" (a relative term, as Cao was standing at the bottom of the slope) at his younger friend. "Where were you born?"

"The Earth Kingdom." Cao replied, agitation evident in his voice. Zhan nodded.

"Now, tell me, where are the only two places in the world that Waterbenders can be born Cao?" The older boy kept the stern look on his face, hiding his sadness for his friend. "The North Pole, and the South Pole. But that's only bec-"

Zhan cut him off. "Because that's where the Northern and Southern Water Tribes are located, I know. And you were not born in either of those places and, therefore, not a Waterbender!" Anger flashed in his eyes for a moment, before he suppressed it. He wasn't angry at his friend. Zhan was angry at the circumstances.

"But what about my mother!?" Cao replied, his voice now rising in volume. "She was from a Water Tribe!"

"She wasn't a Waterbender either. So what makes you think you can be?" It was a well known fact in the village that Cao's father had brought home, and later had a "proper" Earth Kingdom marriage to, a woman from the Northern Water Tribe. After giving birth to Cao, she left for the Southern Water tribe, hoping to find a better life. She'd left Cao in the care of his father, who was later called to the front lines in the war against the Fire Nation, and had not been seen since.

"My father was an Earthbender though!" Cao was adamant in his rebuttal. "I don't how it could've happened, but I know I've bended water before!" He didn't notice the tremors forming in the pond behind him, nor did his friend. Zhan knew the argument had little chance of success going in, but he thought it was worth the try.

"Whatever. It's no use trying to convince you anymore. Go ahead and splash around in the pond for all I care." With that, he turned and left. Cao turned his attention back to the water. It was rippling slightly now, and some plants were noticeably bobbing with the water. The boy's rage turned to shock, and the effect ceased as quickly as it began. He breathed heavily, staring at the pond. If he'd seen what he'd thought he'd just seen...then Cao knew he had a lot of work to do.
« Last Edit: Aug 09, 2010 11:00 pm by PiElord » Logged


"Can you imagine what I could do, if I would do all I can?"
- Sun Tzu
The Village of Anquan
PiElord
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« Reply #1 on: Jul 05, 2010 11:40 am »

Chapter I: The Mounted Bandits

"I found it!" Zhi announced as he sprinted back toward the area where the boys had been playing. As he ran, he held a parchment in the air, which flapped vigorously. The sun was shining upon the field, giving it a pristine shine that only occurred during the middle of the day. There were storm clouds in the distance, but nobody seemed to notice them moving.

Xinxin was lying down in the grass, watching some smaller, whiter clouds shift along. He looked up after hearing his friend. He had almost dozed off from the boredom he was suffering while Zhi had been away. "Took you long enough." Xinxin asked, wiping some loose dirt out of his hair. "I thought you only needed one thing."

"I did." Zhi replied as he arrived. "But it was hard to get to. I had to look through all my stuff. It was with the other papers my dad sent me." Zhi's father had sent him many things from the War, including pages from books, along with other notifications and pamphlets. His son had always loved reading, he'd known, but few people in the village could afford reading material. Money was a primary motivation for many men in the poor village to join the army.

Zhi rolled out the parchment. There were few illustrations, but that wasn't a problem. "Okay, so, what did we need to know again?" He asked.

"Well," Xinxin began. "We were trying to figure out if Water beats Fire...I think..." He stared at the sky, trying to be sure what they had argued about nearly half an hour before.

Zhi read along the page for a moment before finding what he was looking for. "It says here that Fire and Water are opposite elements. It says that when they are both used, then it cancels out, and nobody wins."

"That doesn't make any sense." Xinxin said accusingly. "Water puts out fire!"

"Yeah, but it has an explanation too. It says that: 'When a Firebender and a Waterbender send an equal attack at each other, and the elements make contact, then water turns to steam, and the attack is negated. The same occurs here.'" He looked up. "So, we start over."

Xinxin blew a strand of hair out of his face. "I don't like this game. Do you know anything else we can do?"

"No," Zhi replied. "But maybe Zhan does." He pointed off to the distance, where a figure was approaching. He walked slowly, and with his head down. "Looks like the talk didn't go so well..."

"Hey Zhan!" Xinxin shouted. "Is Cao still crazy?" A grin adorned his face. He had taken a liking to poking fun at Cao lately.

Zhan wasn't as amused. "Shut-up." He said nothing more, and shot Xinxin a look that could pierce metal.

"Let's go home. Those clouds are getting kind of close." Zhi chimed in, looking up. The storm clouds were much closer now, and were casting shadows that were visible from the field.

"Is somebody gonna go get Cao?" Xinxin asked. "Or can he can bend lightening now, too?"
____________________________________________________________
The whole pond was swaying now. Cao had been working at it for hours, and had neglected to notice the looming storm clouds, or the setting sun. Working from a hunch, he began to move his arms in an upward movement. The water bulged at some point, until soon-

I've got it! Cao thought triumphantly as a pillar of water began to rise from the pond. It wasn't very tall, only a few feet, but it was a start. He twisted his wrists, and was shocked as the pillar turned instantly to ice. The whole pond, with the exception of the ice, stopped with his astonishment. The surface was clear enough to reflect the sky perfectly. Aside from the floating ice pillar, the whole pond was still.

Cao looked at the at the orange and blue reflection of the sunset. Wow He thought. How long have I been out here? There was a slight distortion in the water. Then another, and another. Soon, the whole pond was riddled with small impacts of raindrops as the looming clouds began to empty themselves into the landscape. Cao wasn't dressed for rain, and knew he would quickly be drenched if he didn't go.

He began to run off, all the while thinking, Wait till I tell Zhan about this!
____________________________________________________________

"Has Cao come back yet?" Asked Zhan as he held an arm over his head. "We forgot to get him didn't we?" They were about halfway from the field to the town, and the storm was just setting in. There was no lightening yet, but the boys knew that could change.

Zhi nodded, protecting his parchment from the rain. "No, we didn't. Who's gonna go?" He had a look on his face that clearly displayed his distaste for the weather. If anyone went, it wouldn't be him. Ahead of him, Xinxin was shaking his head.

"I'll go." Zhan said, turning back. It's my fault he's still there anyway. He began to sprint off toward the pond. He didn't mind the mud, and he didn't care about the rain in his face. Cao was the closest thing to a younger brother he'd ever had, and he had no intention of having his last words to him being: "Go ahead and splash around in the pond for all I care."
____________________________________________________________

Almost there. Cao thought as he trudged through the slop that was usually a long stretch of dirt in the field. He had been walking for what felt like hours. The sun seemed to have disappeared when the rain started, and he had little light to guide him. He remembered the rough direction of where the town was, and hoped that he was heading the right way. It felt like the mud was up to his knees, though in reality it was only his ankles. Cao had tried to bend the raindrops, but he couldn't muster enough concentration to stop them.

There was a flash ahead. It lit the sky, and the ground around Cao, revealing how hopeless his effort was. The mud seemed to stretch on forever, and the town was nowhere in site. A moment later, he heard the thunder. It ripped through him, and tore into his eardrums. It was the kind of thunder that shrieks, rather than booms. To Cao, that meant stronger lightening. Closer lightening.

Deadlier lightening.

He kept moving, ignoring the warm, stinging rain on his face, the strong winds nearly blowing him off his feet.
____________________________________________________________

The wind was at his back, Zhan could tell that much. The grass beneath his feet was slippery, and was still just showing signs of mud. He nearly slipped a few times, but the ground wasn't quite that slick. A flash cast his shadow across the grass. In the split second it was there, Zhan saw a figure only a few yards away. It was smaller than him, and it looked to be struggling.

Cao!

The mud sloshed beneath his feet as Zhan tore across the wet field towards him. It was still dark, and for a moment, the only sound that could be heard was the rain. The thunder roared across the field with tremendous volume. Zhan knew that couldn't be good. Another flash lit the field, a longer one this time. He almost ran into Cao as he entered the muddy patch of ground. He grabbed his friend, and shouted: "Cao! Can you hear me?" His voice barely rose above the wind and rain.

"Yes! Where are the others?"

"Home. Where we should be!"

Zhan helped Cao across the patch, and soon, they were both sprinting for the village, against the wind.
____________________________________________________________

When they arrived at the village, the wind had died down to nothing, but the lightening wasn't. It occasionally streaked across the sky, but the thunder wasn't as unsettling as it had been half an hour before. Zhan and Cao found that the entire village was standing in the center square, looking at something. Interested, the boys ran to investigate. After finding Xinxin and Zhi in a spot off to the side with a good view, Cao sat down. Zhan didn't.

"What's going on?" Cao whispered to Zhi as best he could above the rain. "Why is everyone out here?" Zhi simply pointed out to something in the rain. Cao looked closely to see a group of men, some mounted on Ostrich Horses, others simply standing next to theirs. "Who are they?" Zhi simply shrugged.

One of the men was saying something to the village's leader. Cao tried to listen in, and only made out the words: "That's all we want. Give us that, and we'll leave here, and won't come back...at least, not for another year." He couldn't hear what the village leader was saying, and couldn't see either of their faces.

The one who was talking to the leader stepped onto his mount. In a commanding tone, he bellowed: "Alright, here's what we want: We won't take any money from you people, nor do we want any crops, or goods. The only thing we're here for are men above 14, or Earthbenders of any age." Cao couldn't see his face, but he saw his wide, sloped, circular helmet scanning the crowd.

"Now you want them too? The army already took all of them, there's nobody left that meets your standards!" It was a woman's voice, Cao could tell that much.

"Who said that? Come on, speak up!" The Mounted Man said, anger apparent in his voice.

The crowd somehow seemed even more silent now. People looked around, trying to pick out who could've said something so bold at a time such as this. Zhan's mother stepped out.

No. Cao thought, shocked that she would do something like that. Zhan's mother had been raising Cao since his father had left for the War. He was like another son to her, and she was almost like a mother to Cao. Almost.

"If you have nothing to offer us, then you people will at least learn respect!" The man announced to the crowd. He raised his arm, and a large rock rose from the earth next to him. He tilted his arm back, and the boulder went back as well. Just as he was going to strike, a cry was heard.

"NO!" Cao was just as surprised as everyone else when he heard his voice, but was even more surprised by what immediately followed it. The boy threw his right arm outward, and a few gallons of rainwater came together, and stretched out as a jet into the Earthbender's torso. It had enough force that it knocked him off his mount, and the rock he was using fell from the air, into the mud.

The man stood, angered by the turn of events. "WHAT'S GOING ON HERE!?" He bellowed. The crowd separated, leaving a path straight to Cao. His friends were shocked as well, but Zhan composed himself, and stepped in front of him. "Stay behind me." He whispered to his younger friend. Zhan has no weapons, and no way to fight...and he knows that. Thought Cao.

Cao placed his hand on his friend's shoulder, and gently pushed him aside. "I'm not letting anyone get hurt because of me today." He said, to both his and Zhan's amazement. Where is this coming from? "I'm fighting my own battles."

They were cut off by a rock flying towards the group. Cao reacted, instinctively throwing his arms in front of his face. A thick wall of ice formed from both the water on the ground, and coming from the sky. It shattered when the rock hit it, but it was enough to stop its momentum. Cao assumed a loose stance as his opponent assumed a rigid and experienced one.

This fight would not be an easy one.
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"Can you imagine what I could do, if I would do all I can?"
- Sun Tzu
The Village of Anquan
PiElord
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 05, 2010 11:55 am »

Chapter II: Of Water and Earth

It was almost quiet.

The only sound to be heard was that of rain, pattering off any and every surface. The puddles on the ground, the tiles on the roofs, the hair on Cao's own head, and the wide, smooth almost umbrella shaped helmet worn by the large Earthbender just a few yards away from him.

Nobody had made a move since they had prepared to fight. The Earthbender seemed unmoving in the thick, rainy haze between him and Cao. His arms were in different positions, his left in front of him, parallel to the ground, and palm flat. His right was straight behind him, and also palm flat. His right leg was bent at the knee, and in front of him, while his left leg was behind, and diagonal from his body, foot facing forward.

Cao's stance was less professional. He was trying to adopt one of the stances from his mother's scrolls. His right leg was before him, also bent, and his left leg behind, foot facing left and away from him. Both of his arms were before him, his wrists loose, and fingers spread slightly. He kept his elbows too close to his torso, and knew it. It wasn't that he was doing it intentionally, but he instinctively kept his arms close in a defensive style, as if he were in a regular fist fight, with no bending.

The man just stood there. Why doesn't he just attack? Cao thought. The man had every advantage, yet he did nothing. Cao knew that couldn't be good.

The rain continued to poor from the sky. It pooled in buckets, barrels, bowls, and various other containers meant to collect clean rainwater. It overflowed in the small canals lining the edges of each street. There were four buildings on either side of the immediate street, and they were all drenched. They looked similar, simple storefronts, stone shingles on the roof, cloth hanging over the carts in front.

There wasn't another body to be seen. Just about all of the villagers had ran into the surrounding buildings, or their own homes to escape the battle. It wasn't that they were abandoning Cao, rather it was because they had no ability to fight. All were women and children with no weapons, and none were benders. There was little they could do, other than get in the way, or get hurt. Cao was actually happy they'd left.

The other men with the Earthbender were watching from their Ostrich Horses from across the town. They were barely visible in the haze.

Cao was worried now. His arms were itching to move. His legs were already beginning to ache slightly. How long had he been standing like this? A few minutes? An hour? A week? He had to do something. He began to draw his arms backward, as if to perform one of the movements from the scroll.

The Earthbender saw this. Without hesitation, the man stomped on the ground, sending a boulder slightly smaller than his own body to about torso level. In the split second afterward, he turned his body to punch the rock, sending it flying towards Cao. The boy was taken aback by the suddenness of the man's actions. He jumped to his right, but it wasn't quite quick enough. The boulder grazed his left torso in midair, sending him rolling off to the side.

Cao tumbled in the mud for a few feet, before stopping. He quickly stood up, and assumed what barely constituted a stance. The Earthbender sent another rock his way in the same fashion as the last one, but he was ready this time. Cao threw his arms forward, sending a small, pointed, pillar of water up from one of the pools on the ground. It struck the rock through the center, and then froze into a spike of ice, stopping it completely.

The boy flicked his wrists, causing the ice to instantly melt to water, and the rock to fall. The water remained under his control as Cao brought his arms to his right side, before throwing them ahead of him, causing the water to lunge toward his target. The Earthbender shoved his arms before him, bringing a column of earth diagonally from him, into the jet of water, which collapsed and simply splashed its target.

Another jet of water came rushing toward the Earthbender. Before he could react, it struck him in the abdomen, throwing off his stance slightly. Cao brimmed with an exasperated smile. He tried to launch another while his opponent was off balance. This one didn't catch him off-guard, however, as the man simply raised his arm, and blocked it with another column of earth. He threw his arm to the ground, sending the column back down.

Cao couldn't see his face, but he had a feeling the man was angry now. The smile disappeared.

A broken up wave of rock shot toward Cao as the Earthbender stepped forward with his right foot, and punched with his right fist. It struck the boy squarely in the stomach, sending him flying into a cart of cabbages just a few feet behind him. The vegetables felt soft, soggy, from the rain, and when the cloth above the cart came down, it completely soaked the cart and Cao. The boy could only see the gray sky above him, and cabbages around him. Meaning he had sunk into the cart almost completely. He felt around with his hands. He quickly found the bottom of the cart. There was a pool of water, several inches deep.

The Earthbender approached the cart slowly. There were several yards of ground to cover, and he took his sweet time doing it. He cracked his knuckles, then his neck. He would enjoy this.

Just when he got to about ten yards away, two tendrils of water ripped through the cart, and jetted toward the bandit. He brought his arms before him, facing up, in one strong motion. A wall of stone blocked the sharp jets, causing them to stop and fall to the ground. The Earthbender then kicked the wall, and it tore across the ground, and rammed into the cart, destroying both objects, and sending Cao and bits of cabbages into a nearby canal. He was on his back, his legs resting on the outside of it. Cao looked up.

The Earthbender hadn't broken his stride. Mud and grass squashed beneath bare feet as he walked the canal. Cao, still on his back, swung his arm, and another stream of water streaked toward the Earthbender, who simply raised his right arm, sending a column of rock into the body of it. The boy continued swinging his arms, but was met with the same result. Cao sunk into the canal. This is it... He thought as the Earthbender got within a few yards of him.

The man stopped walking. He assumed his earlier stance, and stomped the ground again, launching a rock into the air. He raised his arm, bringing the rock above, and to the right of him. "You should've just kept your mouth shut, boy. I have little use for a Waterbender in the dry Northern Earth Kingdom." He brought his arm down, and the rock followed. Cao turned his head and closed his eyes--which were swelling with tears--just before hearing a crashing sound. His eyes opened, and he looked up only to find more confusion.

A column of earth had sprang from the ground diagonally from the right of Cao and the rock. The Earthbender looked as puzzled as Cao did, and they both looked to the right to see what could've done it.

Zhan stood in an amateur Earthbending stance, his right leg in front, his left leg behind, and his right arm out, hand in a fist. His left arm was bent at the elbow, and near his torso, hand also clenched in a fist. He was breathing heavily. "Thought you could use some help, Cao." He smiled in the rainy haze.

Cao was shocked. "Why didn't you do anything before!" He shouted. The Bandit had resumed his stance, and waved off his other men who had began moving to help.

"They literally held me down in there." He pointed to the third building on the street. "The guys and a few others refused to let me help. They didn't know I could bend either."

Cao nodded, then turned his attention back to the Bandit. He was watching both boys now. His body was still, but Cao and Zhan could see his eyes moving between the two of them. He was waiting, Zhan knew, for one of them to make the next move. Cao had learned this as well, from the beginning of the fight. Again, the only sound to be heard was the rain, which hadn't let up in the slightest. The street was becoming a river as the canals overflowed. Tarps above kiosks sagged heavily as their cloth desperately held back the falling drops.

Finally, as if bored with the inaction, or seeing something that looked like an opportunity, Zhan stepped forward, and stomped his foot into the ground. A rock about the size of his chest was shot from the ground, which he then kicked with his opposite foot. The Bandit simply stuck out his right hand in a fist. The rock was stopped completely when it made contact. The Bandit then threw his arm toward Cao sending the rock his way. Cao was not expecting this. After missing the rock with a spike of ice from the ground, he was struck squarely in the chest.

Zhan's eyes widened. He stepped forward with his right leg, and threw his left hand in an uppercut. A broken fissure of of earth came from the ground and shot toward the Bandit. He wasn't quick enough to turn, and as the man attempted to block he was met in the left side by an earthen strut. He flew back several feet, and landed on his right. He was just a few inches short of the canal.

Zhan sprinted toward his friend. He was only a yard away when a wall of earth sprouted from the ground in front of him. The Bandit had jumped to his feet, and was now in a new stance, and had erected the wall between the boys. Both his hands were in fists, and bent at the elbows. His right was before him, and perpendicular to the ground, facing up. His left was parallel to the ground, and facing right. His legs were bent at the knees more dramatically, his right before him, and his left facing away.

The wall came toward Zhan as the man directed his body toward the boy. Zhan responded by sticking his hand out, and breaking through the wall with Earthbending, as it passed around him. The Bandit had underestimated the boy again. Angered, he brought down the wall with one motion. He then threw his right arm forward, moving the ground beneath Zhan's feet. The boy lost his footing, and fell over to his right, as the ground beneath him moved left. He tried to get up, but was struck in the back by a lump of rock that came from the ground, before quickly receding back.

Both boys lied there, both conscious, but unable to move. The Bandit wasted no time. He took only three steps forward, before bringing both his arms up above his head. His legs were spread out, bent deeply at the knees, and almost parallel to each other. Six downward spikes of Earth, three on each side of the boys, came up from the ground. He brought his arms closer, and the spikes moved until they were directly above them.

The Bandit brought his arms backward. He felt something on his wrists, but before he could respond, both arms were pulled back by tendrils of water. The spikes, still under his control, fell on their sides, away from the boys, landing harmlessly in the muddy slop that constituted the street. The Bandit turned his head to see a figure in a tattered, dark grey robe.

The face was shadowed, but the hands were clear, as the sagging sleeves dipped a few inches below the wrists. They looked slightly delicate, and the fingers were slim. The skin was lightly tanned, odd for anyone from the Earth Kingdom. Both arms were above the head, and slightly before the figure. The watery tendrils were a few feet to either side, and extended from the figure to the Bandit.

The figure threw both arms down, toward the ground. The tendrils pulled the man off his feet, and caused him to slide across the mud on the ground, stopping a few feet from his assailant. The figure then brought both arms out, straight from the torso. The raindrops stopped in the air, and a dome of water came together a few feet above, enclosing the immediate ten foot radius of the area. The figure brought both arms down, fingers moving all the way.

Water sealed around both wrists of the Bandit, and his neck and forehead. They froze, trapping the man. He struggled, but could not break from the grip of the ice, nor could he bend in the slightest. His comrades raced to his aid. The figure raised one arm, and a wall of ice stretching from one side of the street to the other, stopped them in their tracks.

The figure stepped off to the right, turned to face the Bandit, and then brought both arms in a wide sweeping motion off to the right. The man, still in his restraints, was shoved off on a horizontal slide of ice toward the wall. A hole opened, allowing him through, and causing him to crash into the feet of several of his fellow bandits. Needing no other warnings, the men ran off, one of them carrying the still trapped Bandit on his Ostrich Horse.

The figure turned to the boys. Zhan turned over, and stood, followed by Cao, who was holding his stomach. The figure stopped just a few feet from the boys, and brought a hand to the hood on the robe. The hood fell to reveal the face of a woman with black hair, and blue eyes. She was tan, like Cao's mother.

"So." She began, in a voice that held both authority and maturity. "It looks like I'm not the only Waterbender here. You're Muji's son, aren't you?" She was facing Cao.

It obviously wasn't a secret that Cao was the son of the town's only former Water Tribe resident, but he had never seen this woman before. "Yes. Did you know my mother?"

The woman nodded. "Yes, I grew up with her in the Northern Water Tribe."
Logged


"Can you imagine what I could do, if I would do all I can?"
- Sun Tzu
The Village of Anquan
PiElord
Banned Member
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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Team Optimism 團隊樂觀


« Reply #3 on: Jul 05, 2010 12:00 pm »

Chapter III: Breath of Fire

The arena was rectangular, and lavishly decorated, outside of the boundaries. The ground within the boundaries was a flat, leveled stone, which was at a slightly lower elevation than the rest of the room. A ceiling, adorned with a dragon-themed mosaic, stood far above the arena. Decorative torches lined all four walls. Outside of the boundaries, spectators stood on either long side of the rectangle, brimming with anticipation.

On each end, there sat a man, squatted, leaning forward with their right hand on the ground, and with a decorative shawl over their backs. Both were barefoot, bare chested, and wore baggy pants that were tighter around the calves. One of them, a boy of only 14, had his eyes closed. His hair was in a top-knot, like most of the men in the surrounding crowd. His eyes were closed, and images passed through his mind as he inhaled deeply.

"MA! MA MA!"
A one year old boy with tears in his eyes wandered aimlessly down the sparsely lit hallway. There was a shifting light at the end, illuminated from outside the open door on the left hand side. The boy keeps walking towards it.


The young man exhaled, and opened his eyes.

He put his right leg forward, and stood, the shawl falling from his shoulders as he turned to face his opponent. He quickly shifted into a stance. The young man's left arm was almost fully extended ahead of him, hand in a fist. His left leg was also ahead of him, the foot was two feet from his torso. His right arm was bent at the elbow, closer to his side, hand also in a fist, right leg bent at the knee and behind him, foot perpendicular to his face.

His opponent, on the opposite side of the arena, was several years older than him. The man wore a short, triangular beard beginning just above his chin, and a pointed mustache. He assumed a stance similar to the youth. His eyes burned with confidence, but his face only displayed concentration. He took one step forward with his right leg, and punched with his right arm at the same time. A bolt of flame leaped from his fist, and jetted towards the youth.

He was ready, however. The young man stepped back, and to the right with his left foot, and adjusted his upper body at the same time. The movement, which happened in an instant, resulted in the fireblast missing him by mere inches. He felt the heat dash across his skin for a moment, and then disappear as quickly as it arrived. As his body moved into the a position opposite his previous one, the youth threw his right fist forward, and to the left in a sweeping punch. A jet of flame shot toward his opponent.

The older man stepped toward the approaching blade of flame with his left leg, and crossed his arms diagonally before him. The fire struck his arms, and dispersed around and behind him as the man threw his arms to either side of his body. An effective block.

The younger man did not relent, however. He began throwing a flurry of punches, unleashing a plethora of fireblasts. His opponent punched, swung at, and dodged them. The attack still forced him to back peddle, giving the youth an advantage. He advanced, pressing his attack as he walked. The older man still had no choice but to stay on the defensive.

The two fighters were slowly moving, one advancing, one retreating, to the far edge of the arena. The man could tell that he was running out of space.

He dodged left to avoid a fireblast, and then right as another one approached. He had been watching carefully, and thought he saw a chance to counter attack. He stepped forward and kicked low with his right foot, several fireblasts soaring above his head as he did so. A burst of fire shot toward the youth, forcing him to stop his attacks. The flame grew in size as it approached him. He assumed a rigid stance, his right leg ahead foot forward, his left leg parallel and behind him. His arms were crossed in front of him. He inhaled deeply as the blast approached:

The toddler reached the doorway, and looks outside. Fire glimmers against the tears dripping from his blue eyes as he watches buildings burn. The buildings are familiar to him, and he knows them as places he often played. Two men in black armor with gold trim, and red uniforms underneath quickly rush towards the boy. One of them yells to "Get him back inside! Somewhere safe!", and the other complies.
Before the man guarding the boy can leave, a boulder comes soaring in from somewhere behind the flames. "NO!" The other armored man screams before sending a fireblast at it with his fist. The boulder is diverted, and the toddler sees no more as the other guard picks him up off his feet and begins running back down the hallway.

He finished exhaling just before flame reached his arms.

The youth blocked the attack in a way similar to his opponent's, throwing his arms apart and bending the fire away. But then he did something different. The young man brought his arms ahead of him, and turned around to his left, "holding" the flame the whole time. When he finally reeled back to his opponent, who was much closer now, after running in the wake of the blast, he threw his arms toward him, turning the older man's own attack against him.

The man hadn't expected this, and knew he could not effectively block in time. He stepped forward with his right let, stopping his run, and threw a punch with his right arm. The enlarged fireblast warped around the man, and wrapped behind him before extinguishing. Still, while the attack was diminished, the proximity of the fire to the man's skin was felt, distracting him for a moment.

The youth had wasted no time in rushing to his opponent and began launching a series of blows less than two feet from the man. The man dodged the attacks, although he was dodging more fists than fire now, given the closeness of his attacker. The youth jabbed at his face, and he cocked his head, then at his ribs, so he dodged to the opposite side. The man tried to counter with a swing of his right fist, but the youth ducked under it, putting him in perfect position.

The right fist of the younger man connected with the jaw of the older one. The man reeled back, forcing him to step backwards a few feet and in the second long gap that he was defenseless, the youth pounded his right foot into the ground ahead of him, and sent a vicious fireblast searing from his right fist.

The older man was struck directly in the stomach, his abdomen scorched with a second degree burn. He let out a grunt, and fell forward, to his knees.

The youth walked towards him, in a more relaxed manner now. As he strode toward his essentially fallen opponent, he inhaled a deep breath:

The man in the armor storms into the the large room, and sets the boy down gently in a bed. He then turns back to the door and closes it behind him. No footsteps are heard in the hallway after that, meaning the armored man hadn't left. The toddler looks around, still confused as to what was going on. The only thing he knew was that he couldn't find his mother.
He knew he needed to find her, because she always made everything okay. All he needed to do was get to her, and she would make things okay again. He got back up from his bed, and did as good a job as he could running to the door. He tried opening it, but the knob kept stopping.
As far as he knew, he was trapped.


The youth exhaled.

The man was breathing heavily, and clutching his stomach in pain. He was looking down at the ground ahead of him, when the youth's shadow came into view. He looked up, and his view was largely obstructed by a glare from the sun. The best he could see was a silhouette of his opponent.

"Well, have you proved your point well enough, Zhengqi?" The man asked a confident, yet exhausted look on his face. The youth merely shook his head as he stopped in front of him. "Then do it." The man said. "Strike me down, like animal we both know you really are." His eyes still burned, but no longer with confidence. There was anger.

A great amount of noise was rising from the crowd now. They were cheering, knowing what would happen next. What had to happen next.

The youth raised his right hand, and clenched it into a fist, and the man did his best not to look away. He looked the younger man straight in the eyes.

He brought down his attack, and the man was knocked to his right hand side. Surprisingly enough to him, there was no fire involved in the strike.

The crowd went completely still.

"To kill you now, would only prove your point." The youth said to his fallen opponent, who was now sporting a large bruise near his eye. "You said to me, in front of my fellow nobles, in my own home that the Fire Nation should have won the war, and burned Ba Sing Se to the ground. I am sparing you to prove my point: This is no longer Ozai's land. Nor is it the land of Sozin, or Azulon before him. The war is over, and contrary to your beliefs, that is a good thing."

Without another word, the youth turned and walked away. Nearly everyone else in the arena was left stunned and wide eyed, including his opponent. They watched as he walked through the freshly made canyon of people before him to exit that part of the estate. Another man, this one middle aged, with slightly graying hair, handed Zhengqi a towel.

"That was a very noble decision Zheng."

The youth nodded. "Thank you Zhidao." He took the towel and wiped the sweat from his face. "But it wasn't entirely a moral one. If I were to kill him, or even to wo-"

"I understand." His mentor and guardian replied. "You said it yourself out there." He looked down for a moment, and sighed as he looked back up, putting a hand on the youth's shoulder. "Are you sure you want to leave now? The war has hardly been over a month. They're surely still somewhat hostile in that area to someone from our nation." There was worry in his gray eyes.

The youth looked away. "I have to go. My sources say that there has been a Water Tribe woman spotted in several towns throughout that section of the Earth Kingdom. If it's her I-" He was stopped by his foster father putting up his hand.

"I know, I know." He sighed again, taking his hand off the youth's shoulder. "Perhaps I should have waited to tell you that she was still alive until a few months after we thought Ozai had won the war." His eyes looked down for a moment, as the memory of the day that victory was declared flashed through his head. "But must you go alone?"

"I'll be fine Zhidao." The youth replied as he began to walk past him and go to change his clothes. He wiped his face with the towel again, opening his blue eyes again after he did so. "I'm fourteen years old now." Just before he rounded the corner, he turned around, hands held out to his sides, and a prominent grin on his face. "Practically full grown!"

The older man shook his head. "That's what I'm afraid of."
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The Village of Anquan
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« Reply #4 on: Jul 22, 2010 10:51 pm »

Chapter IV: The First Steps

"Here." The woman said as she held up her hand, and Cao stopped in his tracks. "This place is perfect." Cao walked up from behind her to see what she was looking at. She used the same hand to gesture to a large, rectangular, and flooded area in the mostly flat field. All of the crops had already been harvested at the end of the summer, leaving a vast expanse of land covered in mud from the previous days storm. The same storm that had flooded the drainage pool.

Her name was Yu. She was the woman who had saved Cao and Zhan from the bandits, and claimed to have known Cao's mother. After she'd helped them, she'd insisted that Cao and Zhan get some rest before she tell them anything more than what she'd said. Cao had tried to protest, but had promptly passed out. The following morning, however, Yu had woken him up early, and had refused to divulge any information on what they were doing. He didn't have the energy to object.

"This is where we're going to start your Waterbending training." She said. She waded into the shallow pool, soaking some of the bottom edge of her robe. She waved for Cao to follow. The boy looked down at the water. It looked murky, and he couldn't see his reflection. He slowly put one foot in, and felt it sink at least an inch or two. The water was more than ankle deep for him. He stuck his other foot in before looking up at Yu. She began to walk deeper into the pool, and Cao struggled to follow. It was the same level of depth for the most part.

She stopped in the center of the pool, and Cao did as well. She turned to the boy. "Now, the biggest problem that I noticed when you were fighting, was that you didn't really know what you were doing. You didn't so much feel, and control the water. You looked like you were just flailing your arms around, and hoping it had an effect."

"Wait," Cao interrupted. "You were there the whole time? And you didn't do anything?!" There was a sort of angry despair on his face, one that came with confusion and rage. Yu laughed.

"I wasn't there the whole time. I got in just near the end of the fight. I saw enough of you and your friend to see that you were very new to this. Your friend, on the other hand, seems to have had some practice in the past." She kept a cool demeanor.

"But still, why did you wait until he was about to kill the both of us?" Cao's face remained the same.

"Because I was waiting for the most opportune time. There was a lot of rainwater out there, but it wouldn't have done any of us much good for the rest of that man's friends to come down and join the fight. I actually would have waited for an even better time, but that Earthbender didn't leave me much choice."

Cao stared at her for a second, but the look left his face soon, and he nodded. "Well then, now that that's cleared up," Yu re-began. "It's time we start your lesson. We'll start with just moving the water..."
_______________________________________________________________
His preparations were nearly complete. The last few provisions were being loaded into the boat Zhengqi would be using to sail to the Earth Kingdom. A small ex-military crew would take him there and drop him off. After that, he would be on his own. He watched as the men brought the boxes of food and barrels of water onto the ship. It was enough for two days. It was a quick little skiff, quick enough for him to travel there in a little over one day's time.

He was already at the closest island, and all the chaos that was trying to organize the captured Earth Kingdom territory would only make it easier for him to slip in and begin his search. "Sir," he heard a voice from behind. He turned to see one of the men from the crew. "We have a package for you. It's from your guardian, Zhidao." He handed him a package, before walking off. There was a note attached. Zheng pulled it from the string tying to the box, and read it.

Zhengqi,

I know you don't want my help, but I also know that it will be unwise for you to Firebend on this journey unless absolutely necessary. I've taken the liberty of sending you this to ensure that you can hold out as long as you can without having to bend. I think you'll find it familiar enough.

Your custodian, teacher, and friend, Zhidao.


Zheng opened it to see a double edged longsword sitting atop a bed of straw. He brushed some dust off, and saw that there was an inscription on the blade:

讓知識成為你的武器,這是你的工具

"Let knowledge be your weapon, and this your tool"

He recognized the sword as one his mentor Zhidao had helped him make and train with when he was younger. Zheng had asked him why he would need one, being a Firebender, and Zhidao had said: "Because a man of many disciplines can be more dangerous than even the most formidable of only one." And that had been that.

He dug a little deeper into the box to find the scabbard. It was a simple black leather one with a silver tip. Emboldened, and also in silver, was another set of symbols:

日食

Zheng stared at it for a moment. The word was "Solar Eclipse". It was meant to be the name of the sword, but he didn't remember it being named in the first place. Why would Zhidao choose to name my sword after the darkest day in our nation's history? He pondered it for a moment, before shrugging. He would probably find the meaning sooner or later. He brought the sword over to a wash room, and began to clean it along with the scabbard.
_______________________________________________________________
Much like in his scrolls, Cao moved his arms and legs in one continuous motion, but he now had guidance. Yu had taught him how to make full use of his fingers when Waterbending, and to feel the water, rather than just move it around. He closed his eyes, seeing the water move mentally, not physically, before him. He opened his eyes, when told, and he saw the patch of water in front of him shifting forward and back with the motion of his body. It was like what he'd done to the pond earlier, but much more controlled, and fluid.

"You're doing good Cao." Came Yu's voice from behind him. "I think you're ready for the next step in your training." She slowly began to raise her arms at her sides, keeping her fingers facing down. Two streams of water rose with each arm, and slowly combined into a single large sphere above her head. She brought up her fingers, and the streams stopped. She began to move her arms towards Cao, and the orb of water followed. At about the halfway distance, she told him: "Now, I want you to use your bending to hold this ball of water above your head. Do you think you can do that?"

He nodded, and moved his arms ahead of him, closing his eyes so he could better feel the water before him. He "grabbed" the orb, and slowly brought it above his own head. After a few seconds of balancing, he kept it there. Cao smiled, brimming with pride. "Good." Said Yu. "Now, hold it there."

His smile vanished.

"For how long?" He asked, the orb trembling above him somewhat. It was Yu's turn to smile.

"Not too long. Just as long as you can."
_______________________________________________________________
There was still dew on the grass when Xinxin reached the spot. It was a secluded place, far from the village or the crop fields that lay in the flatter portions of the land. There was a small hill, and at the top of this hill, sat a tree. The tree had several scars, places where something had clearly struck it. It also had many low-hanging branches, some of which were broken.

Xinxin dragged a weapon behind him. It was a long, wooden kanabo-like weapon, but with a longer shaft, and shorter studded bludgeon. It also had a metal stud at the bottom. It seemed slightly heavy for him, but he didn't mind the weight. He usually kept this weapon under his bed, in a sheath that it had once been stored as his father rode to battle.

His father. He was one of the men "recruited" into the Earth Kingdom army that was not a bender. And most certainly was not coming back. Xinxin would never forget the day he learned that.

With a small struggle, he hefted the weapon into an upright position to his right side. He'd practiced with it before, but it had been a long time. At least a year. He tipped the kanabo forward, and grasped it in his other hand as well. He reeled it back, and swung it downward, towards the tree. It missed, and he walked forward several steps by reflex, to keep from falling over. He didn't fall, but unfortunately, that was only because he stumbled face first into the tree.

"Ow!" He yelled as he dropped his weapon. He fell back and landed on the ground, still sitting up. He got back up to his feet, grabbed the weapon from the ground, and swung it at the tree again. He hit it too hard, however, and the recoil from the weapon bouncing off the tree combined with the weight landed him right back down to where he was. "Gah!" He screamed as he slammed his fist into the ground. "Why can't I fight?!" He shouted.

He was quiet. A tear rolled down the fresh red mark down his face, stinging it. The tear had nothing to do with the pain. "Why can't I fight?" He said it more quietly this time. He sat in silence, staring at the weapon. Cao can fight. The thought crept its way into his head. Cao fought without even having to learn how. He just picked it up, pulled it out of thin air right on the spot. Cao can fight. Why can't you?

The expression on his face shifted from despair to determination. No. No I'll be better. I can be better than Cao. I can beat Cao! He picked the weapon back up, but this time leaving the tip on the ground behind him. He picked it up as he swung it at the tree, sending the momentum into the trunk, and chipping the bark deeply.

The boy grinned. He still had his work cut out for him, but at least now he knew it was possible.
_______________________________________________________________
It was still somewhat cold, but the early morning sun on the horizon signaled that that would soon change. Still, while the fire didn't keep the men warm, it did well enough to cook the stew that was sitting in the pot above it. The men were hungry, and so were their ostrich horses. They were still upset about their embarrassing defeat the night before, but breakfast would make that go away. At least for a few hours.

Their leader, the Earthbender who'd been immobilized and used as a weapon against them, was still asleep. He'd done most of the beating during the fight, but had lost in the end. And then, the bandits retreated, running off into the rain like a bunch of cowards. It wasn't something to be thought of over breakfast. A mealtime for them, after all, was the closest thing to sacred they had. It could be scarce enough during a bad week, and was a good time to talk in the morning.

"What do you think we'll do now?" One of them asked, proposing an open question to the group.

"Who knows." Another replied. "We might pack up and leave. I don't think he wants any more trouble."

Rustling was heard, and the group looked to see their leader, Wuqing, exiting his tent. His wrists and face were bruised, but strangely enough, his pride was not. He walked over the the group, and leaned over the pot to inspect the inside. "Hmm." He said, inhaling the aroma. It was little more than rice, water, and bits of rabbit floating around, just coming to a boil. "Not ready yet?" He turned his gaze to the one apparently cooking it. His eyes were baggy, and bloodshot, but there was no anger in them.

"No sir, not yet. I just got it started a few minutes ago." The man tried not to show it, but he was terrified. It didn't seem like Wuqing to be this calm after such a humiliating loss. He had no idea what was up, so he was just going to play along, and hope it went favorably for him.

"Very well then." Wuqing replied as he sat on the ground between two men, who had promptly made the space upon his arrival. He looked around at the faces of his men. They tried to avoid looking him in the eyes. "I know what happened last night in that village was...unfavorable for us." He began. "But I am not angry at you for running." Surprise flashed across their faces, and several looked up to see his face. He simply nodded. "You made a tactical decision. That new Waterbender was completely unexpected, and unusually powerful. All of us combined may not have been able to beat her in the rain."

He waited a moment before going on. "What we did was foolhardy, and stupid. We shouldn't have just rushed into that village like that."

The men nodded, looking around at each other to ensure approval.

"Which is why this time, we're going to have a plan." The nodding halted, and all eyes turned towards Wuqing. "I spent all night thinking up a plan. We made several mistakes last time that we could have never foreseen, that we will not make again. Firstly, there will be no rain during our next attack. That approach worked last time because it provided reduced visibility, but it won't do us any good with those Waterbenders, especially the woman. Speaking of the woman," There was a tinge of rage in his voice, but it quickly passed.

"The woman will have to be our first target. We'll have to take her out when she is alone, and far from a water source. This won't be easy, but I think that if only one man is used, it can be done. We can't do anything else before she's out of the way. We're going to deal with her soon. Very soon."

He took the ladle sitting in the soup pot, picked it out, and sipped at the steaming concoction it held. He grinned. "Like this stew, a plan is always best when well prepared, well aged, and well executed." He looked to the man who had prepared it. "Hopefully our plan can be as good as this stew."
« Last Edit: Jul 24, 2010 11:55 am by PiElord » Logged


"Can you imagine what I could do, if I would do all I can?"
- Sun Tzu
The Village of Anquan
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« Reply #5 on: Jul 24, 2010 02:51 am »

I've only read the prologue and started the next chapter so far, but I think it's a nice start. However, that was a big info dump you did: you introduced too many characters with their descriptions so there's no way I could keep up with figuring everyone out by the second chapter. I couldn't remember who Zhi was when I started the first chapter.
And the periods when there should be commas is a nitpick of mine. ["It does...I think," Zhi chimed in.]
Also, I was wondering how you pronounce their names since I'm probably doing it wrong... [Xinxin = zinzin? Zhan... Cao... etc]
But I like the dynamic between Zhan and Cao so far, and how it seems like Zhan does know Cao might be a waterbender but is discouraging it... at least that's what I'm getting out of it. Tongue [IT'S A CONSPIRACY!]
I'll continue reading the rest soon. ^^ Smiley

Btw, water is totally super effective against fire.

EDIT:
Reading the rest..
Chapter One/Two:
You have some redundancy/"show don't tell" issues, like here for instance:
"Is Cao still crazy?" A grin adorned his face. He had taken a liking to poking fun at Cao lately.
We already know he likes to poke fun at him because of what you showed us, what he said about Cao. Stuff like that.
lightening = lightning
Ooh, I like the Zuko Alone-ish vibe here. Good on Cao for protecting Zhan's madre and pulling one over them by being a different bender. Water is super effective against rock too.
I like the action in the rain, and the cabbage destruction. XD And Zhan's an earthbender, no conspiracy. Poo. Sad
Chapter Three:
You write action really well! One thing: in the flashbacks, you switch from past tense to present tense ["reached the doorway and looks outside"]
Aw, I was waiting for the guy to actually strike the guy and kill him to surprise me... Tongue But I guess these are 'noble' people we are working with... XD
Oohhh, so this is after the war... and it looks like there are different benders born in different nomads places. Like Cao as waterbender in the EK and from Zhenqi's flashback it seems like there was an earthbender in the FN.. at least I think I'm following this correctly. I guess I'll have to keep reading. And this Water Tribe in the EK is probably the Village of Anquan...
Chapter Four:
"Now, the biggest problem that I noticed when you were fighting, was that you didn't really know what you were doing." That WOULD be a problem, wouldn't it? Cheesy
I honestly can't really follow Xinxin much, I can really go with Cao and sort of with Zhenqi. What happened to Zhan? D<
Wtf at the stew quote at the end. Grin That really made me laugh.

This is actually pretty interesting... Hope WT lady doesn't really get offed if the bandit people execute a good plan like stew. Update soon. ^^
« Last Edit: Jul 24, 2010 03:34 am by puddlesandmistakes » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: Jul 24, 2010 02:28 pm »

First off, thanks for the review. This is the first for this story I've gotten on this site, and you've shown that I clearly needed one.

One thing I'd like to point out first, before I start, is that this was originally posted on the Avatar Wiki, so a few bits of information are on the wiki page itself, and not posted here.

I've only read the prologue and started the next chapter so far, but I think it's a nice start. However, that was a big info dump you did: you introduced too many characters with their descriptions so there's no way I could keep up with figuring everyone out by the second chapter. I couldn't remember who Zhi was when I started the first chapter.
And the periods when there should be commas is a nitpick of mine. ["It does...I think," Zhi chimed in.]


Yes, I've had a few problems with forgetting things with quotations. Thanks for pointing that out.

Also, I was wondering how you pronounce their names since I'm probably doing it wrong... [Xinxin = zinzin? Zhan... Cao... etc]
Zhan = "Z'an"
Cao = "Caow"
Xinxin = "Shin-Shin"
Zhi = "Z'ee"

But I like the dynamic between Zhan and Cao so far, and how it seems like Zhan does know Cao might be a waterbender but is discouraging it... at least that's what I'm getting out of it. Tongue [IT'S A CONSPIRACY!]
I'll continue reading the rest soon. ^^ Smiley

lol, thanks.

And it's not so much that Zhan knows that Cao can Waterbend, it's just that he knows Cao thinks he can, and doesn't want him ridiculed by the village. He's like an older brother figure to Cao.

Btw, water is totally super effective against fire.
lol

EDIT:
Reading the rest..
Chapter One/Two:
You have some redundancy/"show don't tell" issues, like here for instance:
"Is Cao still crazy?" A grin adorned his face. He had taken a liking to poking fun at Cao lately.
We already know he likes to poke fun at him because of what you showed us, what he said about Cao.
Now, this may seem a little redundant, but serves a purpose.

It's just to show that Xinxin's antagonizing Cao is a recent thing, and is meant to hint at their relationship for the rest of the story.

lightening = lightning
Thanks.

DAMN YOU SPELLECHECK! WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME!

Ooh, I like the Zuko Alone-ish vibe here. Good on Cao for protecting Zhan's madre and pulling one over them by being a different bender. Water is super effective against rock too.
I like the action in the rain, and the cabbage destruction. XD And Zhan's an earthbender, no conspiracy. Poo. Sad
Thanks.

I was originally going to put this fight into Chapter II, but it would've made the chapter too long, and I just wanted to be done with it at that point.

Chapter Three:
You write action really well! One thing: in the flashbacks, you switch from past tense to present tense ["reached the doorway and looks outside"]
I'll fix that, thanks.

Aw, I was waiting for the guy to actually strike the guy and kill him to surprise me... Tongue But I guess these are 'noble' people we are working with... XD

But if you were waiting for it, it wouldn't be very surprising now, would it? XD

Oohhh, so this is after the war... and it looks like there are different benders born in different nomads places. Like Cao as waterbender in the EK and from Zhenqi's flashback it seems like there was an earthbender in the FN.. at least I think I'm following this correctly. I guess I'll have to keep reading. And this Water Tribe in the EK is probably the Village of Anquan...

A few more things here that would've been more clear if I'd just posted links to the original articles:
1. Yes, there are different benders born in different places, that's one theme.
2. Actually, I should post a link to my story Legacy, because that's actually a drabble I did that ties into this story, and sheds some light on that event, and some of Zhengqi's backstory. That attack was actually on a Fire Nation base in Earth Kingdom territory. It explains why Zhengqi and his mother were there in Legacy as well. I'll post the link in this thread.
3. The Village of Anquan actually is the village that the story centers around. No, there isn't meant to be a Water Tribe in the Earth Kingdom (besides of course the Foggy Swamp Tribe, but that's not in here either).

Chapter Four:
"Now, the biggest problem that I noticed when you were fighting, was that you didn't really know what you were doing." That WOULD be a problem, wouldn't it? Cheesy
I honestly can't really follow Xinxin much, I can really go with Cao and sort of with Zhenqi. What happened to Zhan? D<
Wtf at the stew quote at the end. Grin That really made me laugh.

Yeah, This chapter in particular needs a lot of editing on my part. I was kind of in a rush to get it finished, so I desperately need to go back and fix a lot of things. Especially the stew quote  Roll Eyes

This is actually pretty interesting... Hope WT lady doesn't really get offed if the bandit people execute a good plan like stew. Update soon. ^^

Trust me, I have big plans for that later on. Expect an epic fight scene.

Thanks for reading! Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

P.S.: I'm adding the link to Legacy in the title of this thread.
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 24, 2010 11:39 pm »

I read the Prologue.

It's established that they're in the Earth Kingdom, through dialogue, but the names of the characters sound very Fire Nation.  So by the 'Show Don't Tell' principal, one would assume they're in the Fire Nation.  Yet, they're not.  Then the characters are all introduced by description and we're suppose to identify with them by description, but it's a much stronger choice to introduce and identify characters by personality.  This can be achieved more easily by telling the story through 1st person, or 3rd person limited voices.  If not, then it has to come through the dialogue.

There's also the matter of 'Grabbing Your Audience'.  I think the reason your story doesn't get a lot of attention is because nothing really happens in the prologue.  The first scene is a group of kids playing a game.  Then your protagonist argues with his friend, and we realize he's a waterbender in the Earth Kingdom.  There's no sense of danger in that though, or the promise of a coming adventure.  I've seen it done where the protagonist was a waterbender in the Fire Nation, and already you know that's going to lead to trouble.  You need to grab the audience's attention, especially in fan fics.

Honestly, I have no idea where this could go.  Cao is a waterbender in the Earth Kingdom and he's very young.  Too young to play an active part in the military.  So what is he going to do?  I need to know.  You need to hint at it.  Or pull me in with something.

Now I liked the length.  Long chapters in fan fiction get on my nerves, and I shouldn't be one to talk since I use to write very long chapters for my story The Hunt.  I look ahead at the other chapters and I also see that they're a good length.  I'd keep reading.
« Last Edit: Jul 24, 2010 11:52 pm by Kaiser Avatar » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: Jul 24, 2010 11:51 pm »

Thanks for your review Kaiser.

Trust me, it gets better after the prologue. It was hardly a prologue in the first place really, not a good one.
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 09, 2010 11:01 pm »

Okay, I added another Drabble piece that relates to this. I also cleaned up the first post a bit.

Link is in the first post.
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