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Author Topic: The Legend of the Blind Bandit - Rated PG-13 [Chapter 14 is up!] [Toph pre-ATLA]  (Read 19430 times)
yorokei
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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« on: Jan 21, 2007 09:17 am »

plot summary:

This is a story about Toph's youth, and what she's been through before she was picked up by Aang and the crew in 'The Blind Bandit'. In this story, I will try and construct what I think is a likely childhood for Toph, and how she rose up to become the champion of the Earth Rumble tournament.



sidenote:

I'm dutch, and I'm going to do the best I can to make my english writing a readable, pleasant experience for everyone. However, I know my grammar isn't perfect, and I can't express everything I could think up in Dutch as well as I could in English, but I will try. Thanks anyhow!
« Last Edit: Mar 31, 2007 09:45 am by yorokei » Logged

my Toph fanfic!http://forums.avatarspirit.net/index.php?topic=3697.0

Weapon master of the Rasengan And the Venom Symbiote
yorokei
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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Posts: 266

I will not draw as I am told


« Reply #1 on: Jan 21, 2007 10:21 am »

Chapter one: Locked Inside

It was another, boring day in the Bei Fong residence. Even though the sun shined brightly on the immense, beautifull gardens of the ancient estate, there was nothing that made this day stand out for Toph. She couldn't really care how beautifull the daffodills looked, and how the lotus tree had grown blossoms, which made it a beautifull sight to behold. Toph couldn't see it anyway. Sure, she could smell the scent of the blossoms, and she felt the sun shine on here pale white skin, but other then that, it didn't mean that much to her. Nothing really did. She was just sitting there on the porch, waiting for something to happen. She had done so ever since she could remember, which would make it six years by now. Somehow, Toph allways had the feeling that there was more to the world then just the gardens of the estate. As peacefull as it was, and as beautifull as she reckoned it would be, it was also a very boring place, where nothing ever happened. Slowly, Toph rose up, and picked up the stick she used to find her way through the gardens. Softly, she tapped the stick on the ground. By the noise the surface made, she could tell that it was most likely soft sand, which would mean it was the path through the gardens. She followed it for thirty steps, untill the path made a curve to the left because the wall around the mansion was in the way. She gently put her left hand on the wall, feeling its structure. The surface of the wall felt unusually smooth for stone, but that was the way it was in her family: only the best for the Bei Fongs. Toph took a right, straying from the path, and following the wall with the palm of her hand. It was the closest she had ever gotten to the world outside the walls.

'She's at it again, Senya', Toph's father sighed.
'What's that?' Toph's mother, Senya, replied. 'What do you mean? She at it again at what?'
'Sliding her hand along the outer wall, and walking across the entire gardens. I tell you, I don't know why she does such a strange thing. Every day, hours and hours. Just walking alongside that wall... Why doesn't she stay indoors, like a proper lady should?'
Senya looked at her daughter. She smiled at her husband. 'Well, she's blind and she isn't able to go into the city... I guess that she's just curious about the world around her, Jahn.'
'You know very well that it's far to dangerous to let her go out into the city, Senya!', he said with anger in his voice. 'We are a wealthy family. Everybody knows us. Someone would only have to think of kidnapping Toph, and she'd be gone! She can't protect herself! She's blind!'
'But she's not helpless, my dear!', she countered. 'She might not be able to see, but that doesn't mean you can keep her locked away inside forever!'
'I can if I want to!', Jahn said, ending the conflict. 'She is my daughter and I am responsible for taking care of her!'
Senya stood up and walked away.
'Where are you going?!', Jahn asked. 'Toph stays within the walls, and that's final!'
But Senya had allready left the room, leaving Jahn alone to stew in his own juice.

Meanwhile, Toph had walked across what she estimated was a quarter of the garden.
'He should be around here....', she whispered to herself. 'Where are you, Croak?'
She took out her walking stick and tapped it on the ground.
'Grass. Figures. The garden is full of it, anyway.'
She held out her walking stick in front of her, and swinged it around carefully. The stick hit nothing but air, so she took a few more steps until her stick tapped against something that sounded hollow and smelled a bit like wood and grass mixed gently together.
'There we are... That's bamboo allright. It should be here...'
Putting down her walking stick, she run her hand trhough the bamboo weeds, and slowly down untill her fingers suddenly felt a cold, chilling liquid. She let some of it flow through her hand, and then sat down.
'I knew the pond was here.... Now where is....'
'CROAK! CROAK!''
Toph suddenly giggled. 'Croak! Come here!' She quickly put some of the rice she had secretly kept during the breakfast this morning in the palm of her hand. It wasn't long before something else ended up in the palm of her hand. Something slimy and wet, but with flippers for feet and a hard, flat beak.
'Who's the cutest duckfrog in the world? That's you!', Toph said, slowly stroking the duckfrog. It stayed put, most likely waiting to get more food.
'You're my best friend, Croak', Toph sighed. 'Well, actually, I think you are my only friend. I don't get to meet that much people here. I'm not old enough to go into the city yet.'
The duckfrog let out a deep croak, as if he understood.
'Do moms count as friends, too?' Another voice said. Toph quickly stood up and, letting the duckfrog swim back into the pond again. She bowed to her mother.
'Of course they do, mother. I am sorry if I've disrespected you. It's just that... there's no-one else but you and dad, and I... well...' Toph stuttered, not finishing the sentence. Toph's mother sat down on her knees, and embraced her daughter.
'Oh, honey... I know how badly you want to have friends. I know that you are curious about what the outside world is like.... But it's just not safe for you to go there yet.'
Toph whimpered. A tear dripped down her pale cheeks. It felt cold. 'But I want to have friends, too, mom...... Other friends. Friends who can tell me what the outside world is like, without me having to see it with my own eyes....'
Slowly, Toph's mother took her daughter's hand and held it between hers. 'The world outside is beautifull, Toph. There is so much to see. In the city, there are markets, that carry anything you could ever want. Exotic fruits, strange items, beautifull dresses... It is a wonderfull place, but also a very dark place.'
'Why is it a dark place?', Toph asked innocently. 'Doesn't the sun shine there?'
'Yes it does, my dear!', her mother replied. 'It shines as bright as it does on our gardens. But the nature of the people that live there, can be very dark. There are people who would take you, our most precious belonging, away from us, if they knew you were part of our family. For people outside the walls will do anything, even the unthinkable, to get even a little bit of the wealth that your father has worked so hard for all his life.'
Toph's mouth fell open in awe. 'So I can't go out because it's my dad's fault?'
Her mother was shocked and surprised, and stuttered to correct herself. 'No, no it's not! It's not your fathers fault, Toph! Don't ever think that! Don't even say that to him! It would be disrespectfull! It is the fault of those who wish harm on us.... and us means you, too!'
She embraced her daughter and held her very tight. 'Just promise me you won't go outside the walls untill you are old enough, dear.... Please...'
Toph sighed 'I promise, mom..'.

That night, when Toph was lying in her bed, thinking of the words her mother had said.
' If they knew you are of our family, they would take you away from us!'
She muttered about these words, thinking of how unfair it was that she couldn't go outside just because people were jealous of her parents.
' Can I help it that my parents are wealthy?', she mumbled. 'It's not like I'm wealthy myself. I'm just a little kid, like any other!'
And then, it struck her.
She was just a little kid. Just like any other. And nobody would ever have to know what family she came from. She grinned to herself.
'Nobody would ever have to know who I am.....'


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my Toph fanfic!http://forums.avatarspirit.net/index.php?topic=3697.0

Weapon master of the Rasengan And the Venom Symbiote
CartoonJessie
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 21, 2007 10:32 am »

Well done, Joost! ^^ It's a quick read, but a really pleasant one and I can keep up with Toph's thoughts.

There are some small English/Dutch mistakes which I've seen a lot with other Dutch people, mistakes I made myself a lot too in the past.
The difference between then/than.
Than - dan ==> "groter dan you" = "bigger than you". "more than words" "crazier than Sokka is"
Then - om de tijd aan te duiden ==> "toen weende ze" = "then she cried". "it was then that she realised..." "And what happened then?"

Something you confused me with are the words "peacefull" and "beautifull". I personally think they end in just one L. Cause I thought those words only had two L's when it said "peacefully" or "beautifully". Though I am not sure at all! Perhaps it's correct like that?
If anyone can help out on that, gladly.

But anyways, nice story, can't wait to see where it goes!
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yorokei
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 21, 2007 10:35 am »

Chapter two: The Other Side

Sneaking out of the house wasn't much of a problem to Toph. She had quickly made her way to the front door, and ran into the gardens. As her heart skipped a beat, she tapped her walking stick on the ground to make herself more aware of her surroundings. She counted to herself.
'Thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three..'
She stopped and took a deep breath. Then, she started waving her walking stick around, untill it hit something hard. She put her left hand on the surface of the thing she had hit, and let it run across it. Putting her hand in front of her nose, she tried to figure out the scent of the thing she had hit.
'Pinetree... just as I expected. And those only grow next to the walls of the gardens. This is almost too easy', Toph grinned to herself.
Taking a part of her bedsheet she had taken along, she wrapped it along the base of the tree. After that, she put her feet on the tree, forcing her weight onto the bedsheet, making an effective rope to climb the tree with. Climbing trees was something Toph did in her free time more often, mostly under supervision of the guards to make sure she'd be safe. The fact that she was doing this all by herself now, with no help from others, made her a bit scared. But strangly, it also sent a rush through her entire body she had never felt before. The kick of doing something her parents most certainly wouldn't approve of, that was the feeling that now rushed through her veins like a cascading waterfall. After barely a minute, she had climbed up high enough to climb onto a branch, and creep towards the garden's walls.
'Allmost there...', she whispered, with an unusual amount of confidence in her voice.
Suddenly, Toph heard something. First, the sound was just silent, barely unhearable, but distinct at the same time. The branch she had been climbing was starting to crack under her weight. First, the cracks came slow and silently, but within a second, there was a snap. Toph closed her eyes, even though she couldn't see to begin with.
'Stupid, stupid, stupid!' She yelled at herself. She was now bracing the treebranch as if she was clinging onto life itself, which may have been very true. The branch snapped, and Toph started falling down to the ground. There was a soft, muted sound when Toph hit the ground. And then, there was silence.

Meanwhile, in the residence, Toph's mother had woken up from what seemed to be a nightmare. In her dreams, she had seen how Toph was getting captured in a metal cage, while she and her husband had been forced to watch. The cage was then flown away by what seemed to be a giant, furry windbuffalo with six feet. And she had been helpless to do anything against it. She woke up her husband.
'Jahn... Jahn! Please...'
Still half-asleep, Toph's father opened his eyes. 'What is it, darling... it's not morning yet, is it?'
Toph's mother sighed. 'No, my dear. I had the most awfull dream just now. Toph was kidnapped by a flying monster, and we couldn't help her.... I feel so... so...'
Jahn embraced his wife. 'Relax, honey... it was just a dream. Nothing can happen to Toph as long as she stays here... And we won't let her go anywhere, will we?'
'But Jahn, she is only human! Toph longs for the outside world! You know as well as I that one day, she will want to venture outside of the walls... And I don't know if we can protect her from the dark world that lies out there....'
Toph's father looked at his wife. 'Then, we will make sure that that day doesn't come anytime soon. We will protect her untill she is grown up, an adult woman. And perhaps then, we can see if she will ever be ready for what lies outside...'
Senya got out of her bed. 'Where are you going?', her husband asked worried.
'I'm just going to wash myself up a bit. Maybe that makes me feel better.'
'Yes', Jahn replied. 'That seems like a wonderfull idea to me.'
'Maybe I'll go check on Toph, too..... just to see how she's sleeping. She sleeps beautifully, you know? Just like a little butterfly amongst the cherryblossoms....'
Her husband smiled at her. 'You go do that dear... I'm sure there's nothing to be worried about.'

It took Toph three seconds before she dared to open her eyes again. Another five to find her walking stick. And just one second to figure out where she had landed.
'This is.... grass... but different.... it feels... kind of dry!'
She heard footsteps. Someone was coming. Quickly, she tried to hide herself under the heap of dry grass that had broken her fall. The footsteps were coming even closer.
'Hmmmm...', a male voice hummed. 'What's this. This looks like less hay then I left behind. And whats-'
'AAAA-CHOO!'
Toph sneezed so hard that her cover was instantly blown away. There she was, a girl in a fancy dress, six years old, sitting down in a haystack. Not to mention that her hair was a mess now.
'Hey!', the man shouted. 'What are you doing! You darn kids! Allways playin' hide and seek in my haystacks, aren't you?! Get out! You are ruining my business!'
Quickly, Toph got onto her feet and started running in no particular direction. She kept ticking her walking stick on the ground, even though she didn't really pay attention to what she heard, or what kind of ground she was walking on. Her heart kept raging in her chest, and she gasped for air.
'Just keep going... Just keep going!'
She repetead the sentence over and over again, until she had been running for at least two minutes. Then, she stopped, because something was happening. Something she wasn't quite used to. Hear ears heard sounds. Some sort of honking animal. The bells of a street merchant. The sound of a cart riding down an unsteady road. Instinctively, she shielded her ears. She was used to hear her surroundings, but in this case, she heard so many sounds, it was deafening to her, and it made her panic. At home, in the gardens, everything was quiet and serene. But wherever she was now, this was not the Bei Fong gardens. This was something even bigger. Something much scarier. And yet.... it was somewhat more exciting.

Toph's mother came to Toph's bedroom. She slowly opened the doors, and walked towards her bed. But when she got closer to it, she realized.... That her bedsheets were gone. And the bed itself was empty. Toph wasn't there. For the first time since she was born, Toph had gone missing.
'JAHN!, she shouted! 'JAHN! IT'S TOPH!'
In within a minute, her husband stood by her side in the entrance to the room. 'What's with Toph?! Has she fallen ill?!'
'No, Jahn, it's far worse!', Senya cried. 'Our beautifull girl.... She's gone!'
As she collapsed to the floor, Jahn caught his wife in his arms.
'Senya! Please, Senya! Wake up!'
But it was no use. Senya had fainted. Jahn placed her gently onto Toph's bed. A handmaiden came rushing into the room.
'What is the matter, master Jahn?!'
'Toph has gone missing!', he shouted.
The handmaiden just stood there in the hallway, not sure of what to do.
'Shall I-'
'Don't just stand there!', Jahn shouted. 'Go get the authorities and find her!'
By those words, the handmaiden rushed out of the room.
'Senya', Jahn whispered. 'Don't worry.... I will find our daughter. That, I promise....'

The noise got more organized. It had taken three minutes, but slowly, Toph's ears had begun adjusting to the huge amount of sound they were receiving. Carefully, she removed her hands from her ears, allowing the sounds to come in. And when she did, her stomach bursted with a strangre sensation...
'This is beautifull....', she said.
To a girl whose ears had been hearing nothing but the sound of birds and the wind for several years, this was a great surprise. She had never dared to dream such a colourfull pallete of sounds could excist in the world. She heard people gossiping, animals making noises, carts being pulled across the streets. It was a fascinating, life-changing experience for the young girl.
'I wish I could see it all...' Toph whispered to herself. 'Perhaps I should...'
She took her walking stick in her hand, and started tapping the ground. It wasn't as dry as the grounds in the gardens. It was more moist, with pieces of what she tought would be grass between it. This path had been suffering from years of usage by many, many people. To Toph, there was nothing more beautifull then this. And even though her parents would never permit her going there, she instantly knew that this was the world she wanted to be part of.
'Let's break some rules', she said with a big grin.
As she walked into the market, she felt herself becoming part of it... Part of a whole new world.
« Last Edit: Jan 23, 2007 03:01 pm by yorokei » Logged

my Toph fanfic!http://forums.avatarspirit.net/index.php?topic=3697.0

Weapon master of the Rasengan And the Venom Symbiote
Looneyluna
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 21, 2007 01:54 pm »

This post may either be removed or I will replace it with the next chapter later on. I wasn't aware of the fact that I wasn't allowed to react on reactions to my fic. Sorry and Thanks,

- Yorokei -

If you had reviewed the fan fiction forum rules which are at the top of the forum, you would have realized that replying to comments is considered a form of bumping. Bumping is intentionally posting in your thread to put it on the top of the board. As a fan fiction author, I realize that compliments and critqiues are wonderful. I realize the compulsion to say "thanks for reviewing my story" is difficult to resist. If you want to say thanks to the person who reviewed your story, send them a private message. It isn't fair for other authors to be bumped off the first page of the forum with other authors respond to their "fan mail."

Your story also needs to have a rating in the topic thread. If you have any questions or wish to respond to this comment, please send me a private message. Thanks for contributing to the forum. I admire anybody who is willing to write outside their primary language. Good luck!
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CartoonJessie
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 24, 2007 12:41 pm »

Wah, good story Joost! ^^ It's a very nice read and I love the way you describe her senses. Especially sound and sense were described really well. A tiny bit more attention to smell next time, perhaps? ^^ Just a suggestion. You did describe some smells, but not as much as you did the sounds, whereas I think there are also loads of smells on marketplaces etc.

Anyways, great, your English grammar is really good too and so is your vocabulary. Sometimes a little spelling error, but I suppose we all make those. Keep it up!
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yorokei
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« Reply #6 on: Feb 02, 2007 08:10 am »

Author's Note

Okay, lets look at this. Here I am, writing this particular chapter for the third time, because for some stupid reason my computer screwed it up two times when I was well underway with the story. Thus the delay, and perhaps thus the somewhat rushy feeling this story might have. I hope to write it without rushing on too much, cause I want to put as much effort into making this an enjoyable story as I can, but I can't guarantee this right now ^^. Oh, and people who've read it thus far: please let me know, anything is welcome! Now, onto writing!

******************************************************************************************************

Chapter three: The Most Prized Posession

The Bei Fong household was in total uproar. Young miss Toph had dissapeared from her room, miss Senya had fainted, and none of the guards knew what to do in such a situation. Some of them were running around the house, looking in every corner in the hopes this was one of Toph's rare little jokes, and that she had hidden herself somewhere just for fun, while others took to the gardens, climbing up every single tree, walking legdeep into the ponds and cutting down the beautifull bamboo weeds just to see if they could find the girl easier that way. But the chaos was not helping anyone, and only one person really realised that.

Jahn laid his wife to rest in her bed. He stroked her long hairs out of her face, and kissed her on the forehead.
'I am so sorry this should happen to us, especially to you, my dear', he said. 'I would never have thought that our daughter would actually manage to get out of her room all by herself. But....it seems I've been underestimating her.'
He looked at his wife, who was still lying very quietly in her bed, as if he wanted her to reply.
'I know what you'd say.... You tried to tell me yesterday. Toph's growing up and wants to learn about the outside world, even though that's too dangerous for her. I feel like such a fool....'
Resting at her bedside, he took a peace of parchment from his robes, and looked at it.
'And I know what to do to get her back....'

If Toph's jaw could be unhinged like a snake's, then it would have been lying flat on the ground by now. The sensations that were rushed over her like a rapid river, were starting to fall in place now inside her head. What was chaos and disorder to her at first, now slowly began to feel like a more organized kind of disorder, how strangely that may have seemed. She started sniffing, untill she picked up a scent she recognized from her own home.
'Chestnutbread...freshly baken.... delicious....'
Taking her walking stick, she took another deep sniff of the scent she had found amongst the other scents that were overwhelming her. Now the scent became more distinct, as if it were a path to her. A path she could follow. And since she was going to explore this strange, new enviroment, anyway, she decided to follow the scent to its source. Because all this exploring had made her hungry, after all. She took her first few steps into a big, new world.

Meanwhile, at the Bei Fong estate, a guest was welcomed into the main dining room. This room was used most of the times for dinner of course, but on some occasions, it was used as a place where the more serious conversations of the Bei Fong family could take place. The more private ones. Jahn sat at the head of the table, as his guest was directed to sit down next to him. His guest was of average lenght, with long black hair and a small moustache. He bowed, and then sat down next to Toph's father.
'Sit down, my old friend.'
The guest looked surprised, yet respectfull. 'Old friend indeed. How long has it been since our paths have crossed? It must have been-.'
'I did not invite you for a trivial talk about old times', Jahn said descisively and abrupt. 'There are much more pressing matters on my mind right now that need to be solved in a discrete manner.'
'Matters such as what, may I ask?', the guest replied, trying not to be inpolite.
Toph's father sighed, and opened a drawer from underneath the table. He took out a little, green book with a flying boar on the cover.
'I need you to find something for me', he said. 'Something irreplacable, fragile and something the world has never had any knowledge of. And shouldn't have by reason, either.'
Jahn's guest was confused. Most of the times he and his host had spoken, Jahn had been much more direct and to the point, not trying to dance around the facts. Now it seemed like he had to cover up for something.
'What is it that you want me to do, mister Bei Fong?', he decided to ask.
Toph's father opened the book. In it were several waterpaintings of the beautifull Bei Fong gardens outside, all accompanied by pictures of the flying boar, the family symbol. There were also pictures of the house, artworks that belonged to the family, and more things that had to do with the Bei Fong family. The guest looked up to Jahn.
'Is it one of your posessions that is in this book that you have lost? Must I find it?'
Jahn let out a deep sigh. 'Yes. I will now show you my most prized posession. It has gone missing this night....'
Going through the pages, Toph's father got through, untill he got to one of the very last pages of the book. The page had a picture of a beautifull, young girl, with very deep, grey eyes that looked like a lake during a full moon.
'This is my dearest posession. You need to find her. You need to find my daughter.'

Jahn's dearest posession was walking around the market, still following her nose in pursuit of the scent of bread she had picked up earlier and she was determined to find. But then, all the sudden, another scent interfered with her senses. A cart came by that smelled like.
'YUK!', Toph yelled out loud. 'What is this? What is that foul stench?', failing to notice that it had been a dungcart which had crossed her path right in front of her. Disoriented, Toph tried to pick up the scent of bread again, but she seemed to have lots of problems with that right now because the scent of manure had more or less done a number on her smelling sense for the time being. She decided she should take her walking stick, and just start walking again, and try to find the bread with her other senses. Just as she started to tap her walking stick around, she was suddenly bumped into by someone, and fell down with her face in the mud.
'HEY!', she screamed 'OW!'
Another voice also yelled. 'Watch it! Come, let me pick you up!'
Toph reached out as a hand grabbed hers, and picked her up from the mud. It had been a woman's voice, in her mid-forty's, Toph had guessed.
'You really shouldn't just stand around when you're as small as you are, little girl!', the woman said in a dictative voice. ' By all means, a girl like you shouln't be in the market at all! I almost tripped over you and could have gotten hurt!'
Wiping the mud off of her face, Toph turned towards the woman who had so rudely run into her. 'I? I SHOULD WATCH OUT?! YOU ALMOST TRAMPLED ME!'
The woman hushed that remark away, thinking not so much of it. She didn't even seem to notice that Toph was a blind, six-year old girl. 'Listen, I am Aunt Wu. I am a very important seeer and I don't have time to waste looking after little girls like you, who get lost on the market and don't look out for grownups like they should! You should have respect for your elders, and that means watching out and letting them pass as well!'
Toph's anger was reaching a boiling point, and that meant one thing: she would simply keep it in and outsmart this stuck-up piece of nobility.
'A seeer, huh? That should be interesting. A seeer that can't even see a helpless little girl in front of her very nose!'
'What do you mean? I have no time for such trivial-'
'A little girl that is BLIND, by the way? Something you also fail to notice even though you can look me straight into the eyes!'
Miss Wu was now starting to stutter, not having expected a little girl to outsmart her. 'Well, you can't deny that..'
'And you don't even SEE that it should be YOU owning ME an apology? Which is something I'm still waiting for!'
The woman shrugged. 'Well, allright then, I'm -'
Toph sniffed. 'Don't even bother saying the words. I know you won't mean them anyway. You know what, you stink. And I'm going to take a few steps aside from you before I get covered in that stench, too.'
As Toph walked away, the woman looked flustered. She was outsmarted by a girl who must have been barely six years old, and blind at that. And she had insulted her too! She was so confused that she failed to notice a cart that was backing up behind her, also failing to notice her. A cart full of.....
'AAAAAAAAH!' Miss Wu screamed, as a pile of dung fell onto her and her beautifull clothes. 'MANURE! MY DRESS! MY HAIR! RUINED! WHY?!'

A few steps away, Toph was laughing to herself.
'Told you you stink.....'

« Last Edit: Feb 02, 2007 08:12 am by yorokei » Logged

my Toph fanfic!http://forums.avatarspirit.net/index.php?topic=3697.0

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CartoonJessie
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« Reply #7 on: Feb 02, 2007 09:47 am »

Hmmmm... ^^ I was thoroughly enjoying this story while reading it, the part where my mind suddenly started to linger off was where you mentioned Toph was six years old.
She doesn't sound six years old at all. Not just that but also emotionally it looks as though Toph has been longing for "friends" and for "the outside world" for many more years... Whereas todlers aren't that busy making friends. You had some psychology when you studied to become a teacher, right? You must have learned as well that todlers are very self-centered. A girl Toph's age seems very young to rebel against her parents and run away. I only know one story of a boy who ever ran away at the age of six and he had gone through such emotional distress before... And he wasn't blind or anything, lol.
Would you make Toph 8 or 9 in your story, I would TOTALLY believe you. Because then I could really see Toph as a 6 year old being lonely, as a 7 year old being really lonely, as an 8 year old getting ideas to escape and as a 9 year old acting them out.

But a six year old? No.

Okay, just had to say that because the entire idea of her being six years old interrupted in enjoying the rest of the story. The way Toph talks is more the way of a 12 year old as well, she sounds way to intelligent for a 6 year old. 9 years old, again, would be more credible. She'd still be an incredible wise-ass then and perhaps slightly unbelievably so. But now it just doesn't fit with a six-year-old yourself. Go back to when you were six years old, you were a smart kid, yet you didn't sound as smart and snappy and sarcastic as a six year old. How is someone supposed to master sarcasm when being raised in a loving family and amongst guards that never portrait sarcasm themselves? To learn sarcasm, you have to hear it elsewhere, I suppose. But a six year old doesn't "invent" sarcasm to herself all of a sudden...

Okay, but other than that, it totally rocked!!! Your vocabulary is getting better with every chapter, much better than mine. Didn't see any spelling errors at all, which is great too. Aunt Wu, whoot whoot! Good thing she got into it as well!

I wonder who the guy is that is supposed to go and find Toph. ^^ Do we know him? I'm really curious.
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FullMetal TR
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« Reply #8 on: Feb 03, 2007 12:36 pm »

 Cartoon Jesie, I actually disagree about the age. I have a six year old sister, and, yes, she is a little, hmm, what's the right word, but what i'm saying is that, i can see Toph as six in the story. But then again, my sister still thinks that's she's actually Aang...but the point is, I can see Toph as six or seven years old, but not nine. I don't know any nine year olds even remotelly like in this fic. but, now you're going to say that they're not blind and stuff like that, aren't you? Oh, well.

But the story is so sweetnessical!!
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yorokei
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« Reply #9 on: Feb 04, 2007 07:32 am »

Chapter four: Fascinating

Silently, the stranger who had spoken to master Bei Fong, was standing outside the gates of the estate. Cleching a small piece of parchement in his hand, he was trying to come to terms with the knowledge he had just gained. He knew something. Something that, if it ever would get known to the outside world, would change the life of the Bei Fong family forever. There was a daughter to the family, one that had been sheltered away for her entire life, because of the rational fear of her parents that dubious individuals would do her harm in order to hurt the Bei Fong lineage. The name of the girl was Toph, she was six years old now, and had been blind since she was born. It was this last fact that had caused her father to grow overprotective of her, and now that same thing had caused Toph to grow curious to the outside world, which in turn had led her to escape. Looking at the picture of Toph that had been painted on the parchement one last time, the stranger made his choice. He would find the young girl, and take her back to her parents, just as he promised. And by the mention of that promise to himself, he pushed himself down the road in a rockslide.

The little girl he had been tracking just couldn't stop giggling to herself. Toph had really enjoyed handing it to that rude woman, who had thought she was worth more then Toph just because she was old and could tell fortunes. That last thing hadn't protected her from being drenched in dung, though. But Toph's senses had done just that for herself. By now, Toph was starting to realise just how much her senses could do for her. Normally, Toph would use them only inside the gardens of the estate. And even though those gardens offered a variety of hundreds of smells, sounds and surfaces, Toph had felt all those hundreds of things a thousand times and more. She had grown so familiar with them, that she hardly appreciated the fact that she could see so much without using her eyes. But slowly, her appreciation was coming back to her by experiencing all the sensations from the market. All the new sounds and smells.... feeling new surfaces... it was as if her senses were opened to her, once again. And that was a feeling she didn't want to lose ever again.

Back at the estate, Toph's mother was slowly regaining consciousness. As she opened her eyes, she noticed that the handmaiden next to her bedside had fallen asleep, probably because there was not that much to worry about anyway. She didn't feel angry about it. Sitting down at her bedside, she sighed when she realised what had happened. Who went missing. That very moment, her husband came rushing in.
'Senya? SENYA!'
Jahn ran up to his wife, and took her hands 'Thank goodness you are allright...But why didn't the handmaiden-..'
Looking at the sleeping handmaiden, Jahn's eyes turned angry. 'YOU! You were supposed to look after my wife! Yet you do not even notice when she wakes up?'
The handmaiden panicked. 'I-I-I... I-m so sorry! I have no words! I can't tell you-'
'She could have been sick! She might have needed immediate attention! She could have been harmed!'
Senya tried to calm down her husband by putting her hand on his shoulder, but it was to no avail. Jahn pointed his finger at the handmaiden.
'YOU ARE FIRED! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!'
The handmaiden walked out of the room, completely shaken and scared. When she had left, Jahn looked back at his wife.
'She should have been watching you.'
'Jahn...', she said 'It's okay. I'm fine... You shouldn't have done that... it is unfair.'
'What if I can't protect my own family, Senya?!', Jahn said. 'I've lost Toph... and I've allmost lost you...'
It was then, that Senya realised how Toph must have felt all that time. Jahn's protectiveness was a good thing... but perhaps too much of it.

Meanwhile, Toph had followed her senses and had found her way to the breadstand she had been smelling earlier. Now she had gotten there, she wasn't sure what to do. Toph didn't know much about the outside world, but she had of course learned about how the outside world was all about money, something her family had aplenty, but something that she lacked at that moment. But her trip had made her very hungry. And that chestnutbread smelled so delicious... Toph could smell that it had been baked just right, to the point where it had a small, cripsy crust, but not so crispy that one would hurt her teeth on it. And it had the right amount of chestnuts in it, too. It took the baker three minutes to notice that there was a little girl in front of his booth, just standing there, seeming to enjoy the smell of the stand itself.
'Can I help you, miss?', the baker asked kindly. Toph wasn't paying attention. She was still allowing the smells to enchant her.
'Miss?', he asked again. 'Can I help you?'
Toph chuckled. 'Oh! Sorry... eh... I'm Toph....'
Toph realised that she was meant to be hidden from the outside world, but she was pretty sure that just mentioning her front name wouldn't give anyone the idea that she was part of the Bei Fong family. And she didn't know for sure what else to say. Luckily, the baker took kindely to her, and smiled, even though Toph of course didn't notice that.
'My name is Jing. What would you like, Toph?'
Hesitating, Toph pointed at the chestnutbread. 'I would like some of that...bread... but I don't have any money.'
The baker looked around. He didn't see any parents with the little girl, something he found very strange. He also noticed the girl didn't look him into the eye, and that she carried a stick.
'You are blind, aren't you?' He asked with a warm voice. Toph blushed a bit, and nodded.
'Then shouldn't you stay with your parents, Toph?', the baker asked. 'Not that you don't seem to get along fine on your own?'
She sighed. 'I... I lost my parents.' She thought up quickly. 'But I can find them. I can find them by hearing their voices. I can hear more then normal persons, since I'm blind.'
'You mean, your hearing senses are better developed', the baker replied. 'That's fascinating.'
Toph just stood there. She had rarely had a conversation with a stranger before, and she wasn't sure how to keep up with it. Meanwhile, the bread was still smelling deliscious. The baker saw how the blind girl was sniffing up the smell of his bread, and it somehow made him feel very content with his work.
'Would you like some of that chestnutbread, Toph?'
Shily, Toph nodded. 'Yes, please.... I am hungry a bit. But as I said, I don't have any money.'
The baker just smiled. 'That's okay. You get a free sample because.... well, you're a very special little girl.' He handed her the bread, and Toph took it in her hands. She slowly let her hand run over it, now feeling the crust and the little pieces of chestnut on it. She tore off a small piece of bread and crumbled it between her fingers, delicately sensing the warmth and inside of the bread. The baker was looking at breathlessly.
'You know what I think, Toph?', he said. Toph looked his way, acknowledging him.
'I think that you are the most fascinating customer that has ever come to my stand.'
Toph smiled and took a bite of the bread, which tasted just as good as she had imagined. It was perfect.
'Thanks for the bread, mister Jing', she said politley. 'I will pass on your kidness to my family, so that they will come here more often.'
'But your family doesn't have the time to waste on something as civil as a market, young miss...', a snobby, yet dictative voice said. Toph allmost dropped the bread, and turned around to face the person behind her. Jing the baker fell silent.
'Master Yu?', he replied. 'What does an earthbending teacher like you want from Toph?'
Master Yu grinned with menacing glee. 'This little girl has strayed too far from home...'
Toph hunched backward, and clenched her arms around her loaf of bread as if she wanted to protect it. But in fact, she was more concerened with protecting herself. And she found a new sensation that she didn't like that much: sweating in panic.
'Come on Toph', master Yu said sleekly. 'Let's go home.....'
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« Reply #10 on: Feb 04, 2007 10:00 am »

Wicked chapter Joost! I really enjoyed it. The character development is coming along really well! I like how you give insight into the parents. I have to leave you with this banner I suppose:

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« Reply #11 on: Feb 05, 2007 04:01 pm »

Chapter five: The Punishment

It was unfair. There had been no way in the world, not the slightest possiblity for a young girl like Toph, to escape from an earthbender as talented as master Yu. His skill was legendary, known to all of the town. He was so famous, even Toph had heard word from him by the whispering of the guards, who envied his skills. Toph tried to reconstruct her capture in her mind, but only small details seemed to keep floating in the chaos that was her mind right now. The baker who had been so friendly to her, had tried to reason with master Yu, and had vouched for Toph. Most likely, it had been to no avail. She had considered running away for a moment, but once she quite realised how impossible that would have been for a girl in her state, she had decided not to flee, and to be taken back to her parents straight away. That way, perhaps, their punishment on her would be mild. But that possibility was so miniscule, that there wasn't much hope going for it anyway. Yet hope was all she had right now. Hope that her punishment wouldn't be too hard on her. And hope that she might one day venture to the world outside of the walls again.

'Toph! Answer me!', Jahn Bei Fong yelled at his daughter. 'Stop daydreaming and tell me why you put us through all of this!'
Her thoughts were blown away by her father's angry words, and Toph remembered she had been sitting in her father's study, a place she had never been allowed to go before. She had been forced by her father to sit on the cold, marble floor, even though she had heard the shoving of more then one extra chair as her father had picked one up for master Yu, who, by the sound of his breathing, was sitting against the wall to the left of her. Toph wondered why her father had insisted master Yu to attend her punishment. Wasn't he supposed to leave for a job well done?
'Toph!'
'Yes, father!', the girl quickly replied. 'I'm sorry! I was just trying to-'
'Trying to what? Trying to get yourself mugged? kidnapped? killed?! Answer me, young lady!'
Master Yu coughed, as if he did not quite approve of the harsh tone her father used, yet didn't dare to interfere with his employer. No doubt he didn't feel too comfortable about this whole ordeal, either.
'Father, please!', Toph begged. 'Please try and understand that I've never been outside the walls before, and I-'
'AND YOU HAVEN'T FOR A GOOD REASON!', her father yelled. Toph could hear the sceeching of his stool being pushed backwards in a fast motion, as if fingernails were scratched onto a schoolboard. Her father stood up and started walking around behind his desk. She could notice his breathing going faster, and then slower again. And fast once more. He made quick, small steps with his feet, rushing hin and forth impatiently. Toph had never noticed her father behaving like this before. She wondered how she should respond, scared or relieved. She chose neither. After a while, her father slowed down, and she could hear him putting his full weight on the desk, leaning on it, now looking down and facing her.
'Toph... you must try and understand.... I do this all for you...If you don't listen, then how can I protect you?'
There was a pause for a moment where no-one in the room spoke. Master Yu coughed again for no particular reason, and Toph was trying to think of things to say to her father that wouldn't instantly infuriate him again.
'I am deeply gratefull for your concern over my well-being, father...', Toph started. 'I do realise that you think of me as a helpless little girl, and with good reason. My condition is not one to underestimate. Not by mother, not by you, and especially not by myself.'
Her father made a clicking sound with his tongue as if he wanted to say something. But he remained silent, and kept facing Toph, who sat down on her knees on the floor.
'But with all due respect, father... I do long for the world outside. And I do know that right now it is too much for me to handle. When I first got across the wall, I got scared.... I allmost got lost. And allthough I admit I didn't want to come with master Yu at first, I soon realised that if I wouldn't come home, it wouldn't be safe for me, alone..... outside.'
After a while, she noticed her father sitting down in his chair again. His breathing had also become more steady, and Toph figured that was because she had indeed put him at ease by taking the blame and saying she had been wrong. Even though part of her disagreed with what she had just said. She had enjoyed the outside world. Every single second of it.

In one of the many rooms in the house, Toph's mother was sitting on her bed. She couldn't sleep of course, not even now, now her daughter had been safely returned to her by master Yu. She knew she should have felt relieved. But part of Senya didn't. She knew there was a reason her husband had been wanting to speak to Toph without her there. And in his work room, too! Senya knew Jahn only used that room for his work, and meetings that were too delicate, too private or too serious to be held in something as 'indiscrete' as their dining room. He had punished Toph before, for small things like saying naughty words or doing something he thought was dangerous for her. But those had been small punishments, and he had allways punished his daughter on the spot, not needing to speak to her privately. By taking her to his work room, Senya realised that Jahn must have thought of this as a serious act of disrespect against him on behalf of Toph. And that he felt she needed a real, serious punishment, with really serious concequences. And since he was the master of the house, only those he wished to attend her punishment, had been allowed entrance to his work room. As his wife, she might have held him back on his daughter. Caused him to cut Toph some slack. Sadly, Senya realised that that was exactly what her husband didn't want Toph to have this time around. Toph would get the full load, the entire weight of the punishment. And to Senya, as a mother, that felt as if she would have to endure that punishment herself, too....

'Go on, Toph', Jahn said, now calmed down a bit. 'You may speak.'
Toph bowed out of respect. 'Father, I will take whatever punishment that seems proper to you. Whatever you wish me to do, I shall listen to your wishes and respect them. But I do wish to speak boldly once more, before you judge punishment on me.'
Her father paused breathing for a small moment. She had surprised him, Toph figured, by asking so directly to be allowed to speak her mind about the subject in such a polite way. Jahn nodded.
'Allright, Toph. What do you want me to hear?'
She smiled, relieved. 'As I have told you, I have come to terms with the fact that the outside world is not the place for me yet. But there will be a time when I will grow up. A time when, perhaps, you won't be there to protect me anymore, as much as that fact would hurt me. What I am trying to say is....-' She paused for a moment. This might be a bit of a blow to her father. '-You'll have to let me go outside someday.... you can't keep me a secret from the world for the rest of your life, because.... well... after that.... do you want me to remain helpless? Alone?'
A lot of small things happened in the confined room. Toph could hear master Yu rocking nervously hin and forth on his chair, perhaps because he knew this might anger her father. She noticed that her own breathing also went faster, and that her heart was rushing through her throat. But most surprising of all, she noticed the actions of her father. There were none. Her father remained calm, breathing in and out slowly, not moving from his position a bit. As if he wasn't at all shocked by this remark by his daughter. He rose from his chair. Toph could hear his footsteps coming slowly toward her. Master Yu was rocking in his chair even faster now, more nervous. Her father's breathing remained steady. He now stood directly behind her, and even though she wouldn't see him, Toph didn't dare look behind her. Her own breathing stopped on the spot, as she gritted her teeth together, cursing her own stupidity and boldness to speak of such things in front of her overprotective father. And then, suddenly, she felt something warm. Her father's hand on her shoulder. She could now feel his breathing in her face, as he had come down her face level. There was yet another unbearable pause, and then her father finally gave her his reply.
'You are absolutely right, Toph....', he spoke in a mild voice. Toph gasped for air, and her heart sank down to the spot where it should be again. Master Yu had stopped the endless rocking in his chair. Her father embraced her.
'I can't protect you forever. That is what I realised the moment you had run away this night. And it has made me think about a lot of things. Things I could do differently. And thus, I have decided on what your punishment shall be...'
As he rose up again, he walked around to his daughter, now facing her in front. Toph realised the punishment would come next, but by the words that her father had spoken just right now, she had regained hope. Hope that her father might have finally realised the error of his ways, and that perhaps, perhaps even very soon, she would get to meet the world outside again. Her father raised his voice, as if he were a judge ready to pass judgement.
'Toph Bei Fong.... You have disobeyed my wishes and thus put yourself in danger. You have ventured outside of the walls of the estate, as I have forbidden you to do. But because you are a curious and inventive little girl, I have decided that keeping you inside the walls as it is, might be an impossible task.'
Toph's face smiled with glee. 'Thank you, fa-'
'I'm not finished', her father spoke strictly. Toph made a bow and went back to her sitting position on the floor.
'Thus, I will be forced to increase security around the premises. From now on, there will be guards posted in the corridor to your room twenty-four hours a day. They will work in shifts and keep an eye on you, to make sure you don't make any sudden movements to escape. Also, you will no longer be around to stroll through the gardens unattended, and I will have any high trees or other obstacles that can aid in your escape be removed from the gardens. It saddens me to do this, but you leave me no choice. It is the only way I can be sure that you won't be lost to me again.'
The words her father spoke hit Toph harder then any punch or blow could have ever done. Not only had she lost her hope for freedom, but the little freedom that she had, her stroll around the gardens, would also be taken away from her. She wanted to cry, but the tears didn't seem to want to come to her. She heard her father raise his voice once more.
'And as for the fact that you can't allways remain helpless.... in that, I agree. You might not be able to escape from inside the walls again, but that is to me no guarrantee that your little adventure outside today hasn't revealed your identity and existence to the outside world. So there is no telling if other people with dubious agendas may find their way into the gardens, and kidnap you all the same. That is why I have arranged for you the means to protect yourself.'
Only half the words her father spoke, seemed to actually reach Toph right now. She was totally flustered, saddened, crushed and hopeless. Her father was saying something about her protecting herself. She couldn't care less now her freedom was taken away from her. Her father seemed oblivous to this fact and continued without pause.
'You will receive classes in defensive earthbending from Master Yu here', he spoke. 'The kind master Yu has been a friend of the family for years, and I trust him to teach you the forms nescesarry to defend yourself, may the time ever come. But don't expect anything advanced from him. Nothing he will teach you will aid you in escaping again. So from now on, you will have earthbending lessons every thursday afternoon, in the gardens. Under strict supervision.'
By now, Toph was crying. It was the only thing she figured left to do now. Hazily, she noticed her father sitting down behind his desk again.
'You may leave to your room, Toph. I have arranged an escort of guards to take you there. They are waiting outside. You can go now and think about my words. I think we both learned something today.'

Still in her bedroom, Senya was stroking a small painting of herself holding a beautifull baby girl. She cried to herself, silently.
'I'm sorry, Toph... I really am....'



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CartoonJessie
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« Reply #12 on: Feb 05, 2007 04:44 pm »

Argh! Why is the mother so weak? XD
*dies*
No, sorry, lol.
Just the cliché of the goody-good-housewife protecting the daughter... But that is what Senya is I suppose, it's not out of character. So nothing wrong with your writing, just Jessie upset with a lack of emancipation, lol. (LIKE THE NORTHERN WATER TRIBE!!! *breathes fire at the thought of an arranged marriage*)

Anyways... *coughs*
I saw it coming that her father wanted Toph to learn earthbending, I was just waiting for him to say it. ^^ Like "Cut down to it, say it, Yu will teach Toph earthbending, come on!!" XD I saw it common, necessary for the plot too.

It's a nice chapter. Nothing really really really spectacular happening, but I'm not complaining. It's what needs to be written in order for the story to move along and I totally respect that. Still, some comic relief somewhere would have been nice. (I like comedy...)

But it's good.
*nods*
Approved.
*puts stamp on chapter*
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yorokei
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« Reply #13 on: Feb 08, 2007 05:18 am »

Chapter six: Training

At the Bei Fong estate, a little girl was sitting on the porch, with her arms crossed over her knees and with a look in her blind eyes that spoke a thousand words. Toph's father came walking up to her.
'Isn't today an exciting day, Toph?' he said happily. 'Today is your first earthbending lesson from master Yu! You should be thrilled!'
Grumpily, Toph blew away some hairs in front of her face. 'Forgive me if I don't jump up and down in excitement...'
Her father, however, paid no attention to his daughter's snide remark and chose to ignore it. 'Ah, yes... Earthbending. The defensive form of bending. You will be able to protect yourself against any dangers once you master this.'
He looked at his daughter. She didn't say a word.
'Well, I'm happy to arrange these lessons for you', he said. 'Anything for my precious little angel.'
Jahn walked away again, leaving his daughter behind with the guards.
'Lucky me', Toph sarcastically exlaimed once her father had gone.

Later that afternoon, master Yu had arrived. He didn't start class right away, but first had a set-up meeting with Toph's father in his office. No doubt about the things he was supposed to learn Toph. Meanwhile, Toph had to dress in the training Gi master Yu had taken with him for her to wear. She and her mother had retreated to her room to get her suited up.
'Why in tarnation do I have to wear a silly hat?', Toph asked. 'How does that help me earthbend?!'
Her mother grinned. 'I don't know that, dearie... but I do think it looks...' she was searching for the right way to put this to words ...'charming!'
'Great', Toph replied. 'I'm going to be the first earthbender ever to be called 'charming'. Well, huzzah!'
Straightening out the kaki uniform, Senya had to grin about her daughter. She might no be too fond of the class, she figured, but at least she didn't lose her sarcasm because of it.
'How do I look?', Toph asked. 'It feels kind of strange....'
Toph now wore a sleeveless kaki training gi with yellow, blocked borders. The trousers underneath were white, and she wore bronze bracelets on both her arms and feet. She wore no shoes, and of course, there was the hat to top it all off. Everything seemed to be just a size too big for the little girl, probably because training gi's weren't usally made little girls her age. It was a funny sight to behold.
'You look like a little warrior', her mother grinned. 'MY little warrior.'
'Great', Toph snarled. 'Because I'm going to kick some-'
'TOPH!', her mother replied. 'There will be no... well... whatever you were going to say just there during these lessons! You will pay your respects to Master Yu, and follow his every command. Do you understand me?'
The little girl sighed. 'Yes, mother...'

'You will do exactly as I tell you!', master Yu said like a true trainer. 'If you do not comply in doing so, you will be a danger to both yourself and the people around you! So pay close attention and heed my every word!'
Master Yu looked at the little girl, who was staring blankly into the gardens. Toph wasn't sure what to do.
'Do you understand me, miss Bei Fong?!', he asked, as if he had wanted a reply much earlier. He brought his face close to Tophs, who could smell he had onions for breakfast.
'YES, MASTER YU!', Toph shouted at the tip of her voice, nearly rendering her master deaf. Master Yu fell down on the ground in shock.
'Why did you do that?!', he said. 'A simple reply would have been sufficient!'
'I apologize, master Yu', Toph said more respectfull then sincere. 'I couldn't see you were standing so close to me. Frankly, I thought you were at least three metres away.'
Normally, this would have been enough for master Yu to give one of his students ten push-ups. But he didn't know too much about this girl and her blindness, and neither did he want her parents to get mad at him. They were very influential people, after all. So for now, he chose to ignore the incident.
'Right', he said. 'Now, before we begin the lessons, I have brought you some special gear. You must wear these in order to protect yourself from harm, because if you lose control over the earth, the earth will control you. And we don't want that, do we?'
'What kind of gear?', Toph asked. The little girl didn't like the sound of that.
'Sit down and put up your feet', master Yu commanded. 'You need to wear these in order to ensure your safety!'
Toph felt how master Yu was putting on a pair of shoes on her feet. He wasn't as gentle as any of the housemaids or her mother, and it seriously hurt her feet. She however decided to swallow her pains, and endure them for now.
'There...', the teacher said content. 'You can stand up now, you are ready for the lessons.'
As Toph stood up again, she noticed the shoes actually felt quite comfortable. There were cushions on the soles of them, which made them pleasant to wear. Though it eluded her how this would help her be protected, she shrugged and decided to go along with it.
'Very good, Toph', master Yu spoke. 'Now, I want you to sink through your knees, with your legs to both sides of your body. Then, put your hands on your waist.'
Toph obediently did so, and took the stance master Yu had mentioned. She could hear master Yu's footsteps walking up to her, and suddenly felt his cold hands taking her arms and bending them as if he was playing with a doll.
'A bit more like this, Toph', he said, as he nearly pulled her left arm out of its socket. Toph was gritting her teeth, but kept her cool, vowing to remember this and one day make master Yu pay for this.
'There, that's a lot better!', her master said as if he had done all the work. 'Now, I want you to breathe in and out, constantly, steadily. Just do that. I will be watching you.'
Toph started breathing. At the same time, she started wondering how this could all make any sense.

The rest of the lesson was no different. Master Yu had Toph standing in that pose for nearly thirty minutes, while the girl kept breathing in and out. She noticed she was getting tired, but moreso, she noticed she was getting frustrated. Also, she had heard that her so-called teacher had sat down on the ground after three minutes of watching her, and by the sound of parchement rolling out, had taken to read something no doubt more interesting then this lesson. After five more minutes, master Yu rose up, and Toph sighed out of relief, then quickly corrected her breathing and continued as master Yu had told her. He made that clicking sound with his tongue again.
'Yes...' he said. 'I can see that we have a lot of work to do. You can stop breathing now, Toph.'
'Stop breathing?', Toph said. 'Seems like a stupid idea to-'
The words flipped right out of her mouth, and the minute they did so, Toph realised her mistake. Her words didn't go unnoticed by master Yu.
'What did you say, young lady? Was that a remark? A funny joke? You think earthbending training is a funny thing, something you can laugh about?!'
'No, master, but..'
'You will now re-assume your pose and continue the breathing excercise without pause!', he said. 'I was going to give you a few minutes to relax, but your words give indication that you have no desire in such things! Now! Your pose!'
Toph sighed, and re-assumed the pose.
'Start breathing!' Master Yu shouted.
As Toph resumed her breathing exercise, she was cursing herself. And even moreso, master Yu. She now knew one thing for sure. She was never going to like this earthbending thing. Not one bit.



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Weapon master of the Rasengan And the Venom Symbiote
CartoonJessie
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« Reply #14 on: Feb 08, 2007 05:33 am »

Oeh. ^^ It's good. I like it.
Keep up the good work!
No remarks about this chapter really, all's as it should be.
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yorokei
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« Reply #15 on: Feb 09, 2007 10:04 am »

Chapter seven: The Visitor

The next two years, Toph would continue to train under master Yu's supervision. At least, if one could call it training. Ever since that dreadfull first lesson, Toph had done nothing but breathing exercises and strange stances that were supposed to help her master earthbending. After four months of training, she had asked her instructor when she'd actually learn how to bend earth itself, but master Yu had punished her for that question by letting her take a stance on one foot, and holding that pose for ten full minutes. Since then, Toph had decided it would be useless to ask her teacher for any advanced lessons. It was now clear to her that her father hadn't been lying: she'd learn nothing that could help her escape from within the walls from master Yu. So she had accepted that this was it: breathing in.... breathing out.... time and time again.

Even Jahn Bei Fong had realised his daughter wasn't exactly learning anything she could use to defend herself with. But he blamed it all on the fact that Toph was, after all, just a little girl, for whom earthbending was probably something she'd hardly master. But Toph wasn't the one on his mind today. Today, the Bei Fong estate would welcome someone who was even higher up the social ladder then himself. He combed his hair, and made sure to wear his best clothes. His wife straightened out his jacket for him, and he tried to hide his nervosity from his wife.
'Relax, Jahn', Senya said. 'He just a normal person, like you and me... Just be at ease!'
'How could I be at ease?', Jahn said. 'If we can strike a deal with him... Our family will be-'
'Just the same little family as before', his wife cutted him off. 'So just relax. By the way, have you seen Toph?'
Jahn nodded. 'She's outside, training with master Yu.'
'Any progress?', his wife asked. 'I mean, it has been two years now...'
'I think all is going well', Jahn replied. 'But now is not the time. Let us go welcome our guest!'

Toph was doing her breathing exercises as she held both of her hands to the right of her body, and her knees to the other side. She hardly felt silly anymore for doing this, and if she did, nobody would see it anyway. Master Yu had taken to reading parchements again, and by the sound of his snoring, Toph had figured out he had fallen asleep. She didn't blame him for falling asleep, but she did the more for the fact that he simply wasn't learning her anything new, or that he wasn't paying attention. Suddenly, she noticed something. Someone came walking up to her. She could hear something dragging over the ground, probably a long robe of some kind. Master Yu, however, never failed to notice when she'd stop her exercise, so she held her pose steadily, even though she was being approached by someone she didn't know. Suddenly, an old, scrappy voice started talking to her.
'What is this?', a manly voice asked. 'What in tarnation are you doing, young miss?'
'Breathing exercise...', she replied. 'I'm not supposed to talk right now... Master Yu will get mad!'
The old stranger looked at the sleeping master Yu. 'Hmph. Some master... He's fallen asleep. You can stop that ballerina act now...'
'This is no ballerina act!' Toph snarled back, getting impatient. 'This is a vital stance for earthbending!'
'Don't be silly!', the stranger replied. 'Please, just relax. I'll vouch for you when that bum of a teacher gets up.'
The little girl, however, didn't listen. She would not obey a total stranger over her master or her family. 'Who are you? How did you get past the guards? Why are you here?'
The stranger didn't seem amused. 'Those are a lot of questions. Let's just start by introductions, shall we? My name is-'
'KING BUMI!', Toph heard her father yell. 'Your excellency! I am sorry we were too late to give you a proper welcome! How did you get in? How was your trip? Where are your guards?'
King Bumi sniffed. 'Obviously, asking too many a question is a family trait', he said, nodding towards Toph. She was still standing in her pose. Master Yu had taken the time to wake up during the confusion, so his employer didn't notice a thing. If Toph'd tell on him, he'd simply say she was lying.
'Ah!', Jahn said. 'I see you have met my daughter, Toph. I trust you've greeted the king properly, Toph?'
Still in her stance, Toph answered. 'With all due respect, I would have, if I could have gotten out of my stance'.
Master Yu entered the conversation. 'Yes! Ehm... You can stop now, Toph. We are quite done for today.'
'I'd say..', King Bumi hissed at the teacher. 'What exactly are you trying to teach this girl? Modern ballet?'
Toph grinned. It was fun hearing that King Bumi obviously thought of the exercises the same way she did. And this time around, master Yu couldn't punish the person insulting his teachings. This was priceless.
'Toph is learning earthbending the slow way', Master Yu said nervously. 'Basic forms and breathing exercises only. She's blind, after all. And just so young...'
'Blind, you say?' King Bumi said. 'I didn't notice. Still, your teachings seem kind of silly to me. But, that's just me.'
Jahn decided it was time to get to the point. 'King Bumi, it is an honour to have you here. If you wish, I would like to escort you to our dining room. The chef has prepared his best meals, and imagine you must be weary of your long journey from Omashu.'
The king nodded. 'Yes, I would be delighted. Will your family join us? And perhaps the good master Yu as well?'
This was an odd request, Jahn figured you simply didn't say no to the King of Omashu. 'As you wish', he said. 'Please, follow me'.
As they walked up to their house, Toph smiled to herself. This guy could be interesting.

After a quick change of clothes, Toph joined her parents and King Bumi in the dining room. She heard the king speak up in a loud voice, talking about the daily things during his ruling of Omashu.
'And that's why you must never lose the key to your lunchbox!', King Bumi said, laughing about his own joke. Jahn laughed along, but Toph could hear he was just acting. The group fell silent as she entered the room.
'Ah, yes, Toph!', King Bumi said. 'Come sit next to me, please! Has this old geezer got some stories to tell you!'
Nobody was sure how to react, but Toph did as the king asked, and took a seat next to him. The rest of the meal, king Bumi would tell everybody all about his exciting adventures as a king, some of which Toph thought they must have been greatly exaggerated. As the courses came and went, the king would scuff up everything he could eat, and not in a way proper for someone of royalty. Toph could hear him chewing his food loudly, eating with his mouth open and spitting out random parts of his food he didn't seem to like. She also noticed she was the only one who really seemed to enjoy king Bumi's strange form of exitement, the rest of the family seemed to act nicely, but seemed not to genuinely enjoy his odd behaviour. After the final course, the king let out one last burp, as he tossed a wishing bone over his shoulder.
'Ah.. yes.. this is the life....', the king replied. 'Eating without rules... I am so happy this family doesn't insist on something as abstract as rules of behaviour..'
'Yes....' Jahn said. 'I can see you've.... enjoyed... your meal!', he replied. 'Perhaps this would be a good moment to talk about business? I understand you have interest in my company's products. I can ship them to Omashu on regular basis, with-'
'Just a minute', the king said. There was a pause, after which he let out another big belch. Toph started laughing loudly. King Bumi looked content.
'That's a lot better...', he said. 'Now, I would like to start business, but shouldn't this young lady go to bed?', he said, nodding towards Toph. 'Business is hardly an interesting thing for a young girl like her.'
'Yes', Jahn said. 'Senya? Would you bring Toph to bed?'
Toph's mother got up and Toph sighed. Business again as usual. Finally, there was something interesting happening at the estate, and now she couldn't be part of it. As she got up, king Bumi scraped his voice.
'I have a request', he said, surprising the family. Jahn got a bit impatient with the king now, but of course showed no signs of that.
'What do you wish, king Bumi?'
'Would you perhaps allow me to tell Toph a bedtime story? I've got a tale that's too good for this young girl to miss out on, and I hardly get to tell any of my stories to fascinating strangers like her nowadays!'
Toph held her breath. This was indeed an unusual, yet exciting request. She was hoping her father couldn't refuse the king, so he could tell her another of his wacky stories.
'But of course' Jahn said. 'Senya? Would you escort the king to my office as soon as he's finished?'
Senya nodded, and the trio left towards Toph's bedroom. 'A bedtime story from king Bumi!', Toph thought impatiently. 'This should be great!'
« Last Edit: Feb 09, 2007 10:56 am by yorokei » Logged

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Weapon master of the Rasengan And the Venom Symbiote
CartoonJessie
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« Reply #16 on: Feb 09, 2007 10:43 am »

I WANT TO HEAR THE STORY!! XD

No, seriously Joost, you made King Bumi a totally likeable character in his disgusting way. Yes, he appals everybody who's a bit decent, but makes Toph happy, so huray for King Bumi!
*is proud of her trading card King Bumi pack now, for the first time in her life* ^^
*happy face*

I really liked this chapter and I wonder what king Bumi will tell Toph next time!
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Windsong
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« Reply #17 on: Feb 09, 2007 12:10 pm »

This a very good story.  The effort put into this is exceptional!  Keep up the great writing, Many of us will be sure to read it. lol.
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FullMetal TR
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By Luna. <3


« Reply #18 on: Feb 09, 2007 03:19 pm »

*smiles* YAY!! Toph is happy!!! And I love the ballet pose stuff. From what i can tell (which is a lot, this story has so much detail), that's more like ballet than the ballet lessons that my sisters took last year!
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JakMakai
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« Reply #19 on: Feb 09, 2007 08:42 pm »

oh man! king bumi was priceless in this chapter XD

i read all of the previous chapters, and i like this story, its just amazing!

keep going, i can't wait for the bedtime story from KB either!

how far do you plan to go with this? up until she meets Aang and everyone?
or before then?
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By Luna. <3


« Reply #20 on: Feb 09, 2007 08:49 pm »

Or after? LOL, yeah. It's really good!! so, still waiting for more *sits and waits*
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JakMakai
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« Reply #21 on: Feb 10, 2007 10:02 am »

Or after? LOL, yeah. It's really good!! so, still waiting for more *sits and waits*

Well, if it would be after, i think it would be great as all of her adventures with the gaang from her POV(as well as her crush on sokka Grin)
« Last Edit: Feb 10, 2007 10:04 am by JakMakai » Logged

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Katara is a water-bending princess.


« Reply #22 on: Feb 10, 2007 11:04 am »

Wow. This story is amazing. I have been following the avatar in his show forever, and I decided to join a forum. This is the first board I have read.

The story is great. I could actully imagine myself among Toph, watching her earthbend.
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« Reply #23 on: Feb 10, 2007 05:32 pm »

I'm really liking this so far. The way the story is written makes it seem real, and as if I am standing right beside the characters, watching the action. I can't wait for more! I just have one question. Aren't Toph's eyes pale green, not gray?
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yorokei
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I will not draw as I am told


« Reply #24 on: Feb 11, 2007 06:05 am »

Okay, before I start of the next chapter, I would like to thank everybody who has commented on my story so far. It's really a great way to motivate me to write my story even further, because now I'm sure that the direction that I'm headed with this story is liked by lots of people out there ^^. Please continue to send me your comments, I will try and learn from them as much as I can. And now, we continue to the next chapter!

***************************************************************************************************************
Chapter eight: Bedtime story

After being guided to Toph's room, both Toph and king Bumi sat down on her soft bed, as if they had done so thousands of times before. King Bumi ran his hands over the bed, seemingly inspecting it.
'Nice bed', he simply commented.
'Thanks', Toph replied.
'Now, I do believe I promised you a bedtime story... let's see', king Bumi said, as his eyes turned to Toph's mother, who was standing in the entryway to the room with the guards. King Bumi threw them a nasty glare. 'How am I supposed to tell this young lady a nice, relaxed story when you are eavesdropping on me?', he said. 'Would you kindly step outside? I will join you as soon as I'm finished telling this girl my tale of excitement!'
The guards looked at Senya, not sure of what to do. She didn't seem to sure, either, but it simply wasn't done to refuse a king. So she nodded towards the guards, and they left the room. Toph liked it that way. Now it was just her and king Bumi. A promising thing to look forward to.

'Now, as for my story... I guess I should tell you a story that teaches you something. Ah, but those stories tend to be a bit boring... And stories should, be all means, not be boring.'
Holding her breath, Toph was waiting for king Bumi to make up his mind. He seemed to be thinking for ages what story he was going to tell, and suddenly, he stood up, pointing his index finger up into the sky. 'Ah ha! I've got it! Yes, I know just the tale!'
As king Bumi sat down again, he immediately started talking.
'It is a story of me when I was just a youngster, like you! A story about me, and one of my close friends, though I can't seem to remember his name right now... and it was such an odd fellow... He used to take little, light steps everywhere he went. Allthough he could run like the wind when circumstances required it...'
'You really can't remember his name?', Toph asked. 'Was it that long ago?'
King Bumi nodded. 'It must have been a hundred years ago by now... Well, since we don't have a better name for him, let's call him Twinkletoes!'
Toph laughed out loud. 'Twinkletoes?! Why?'
'Well, because of his tiny steps, of course', king Bumi said dignified. 'I'll tell you a story about young Bumi, and his friend Twinkletoes. And boy, what a story it is!'
Toph could feel the excitement somehow rushing down her spine. This would be really good.

'Well', king Bumi started off 'Let me first tell you the location of the story. It was in the earth kingdom city of Omashu, a city I happen to be king of nowadays, but that's entirely beyond the point. Those days, many people would come visit Omashu, and Twinkletoes was one of the more regular visitors. Most of the times, we would go racing in the transport chutes that are placed all throughout Omashu.'
'Isn't that illegal?', Toph asked.
'Yes, by all means it is...', king Bumi continued, 'But illegal things tend to have a way of being fun. So of course, we did it all the time. Racing down the transport chutes of Omashu had become a second nature to me and Twinkletoes, an art we had mastered, and something we never got caught with. Except for this one time, that is.'
King Bumi paused for a moment, obviously trying to remember how to continue the story. After a while, he got it, and continued with his story.
'Suffice to say, we got cocky, and got ourselves caught by the guards. Now, we were only children, yet we were thrown in prison for the time, waiting for my parents to pick us up. Something I myself wasn't looking forward to.'
'Parents wouldn't understand?', Toph asked.
'Not a chance', the king answered. 'My parents didn't quite approve of my reckless lifestyle, and getting caught and arrested wasn't going to do any good in that department, either. So Twinkletoes and I figured we'd ought to escape one way or another. But that was going to be hard. I had only begun my earthbending training, and Twinkletoes was an airbender, and at the time, I didn't see how that was going to help us get out!'
'An airbender?!', Toph said, not believing what she was hearing 'You actually knew an airbender?'
'Yes, didn't I mention he could run like the wind?', king Bumi said. 'He could, literally. But back in those days, airbenders weren't quite as rare as they are now. So yes, I knew an airbender. But I didn't know how he was going to help me. Then, suddenly, Twinkletoes got an idea!'
'What?!' Toph asked impatiently. 'What sort of idea?!'
'We only needed the keys of the guards, and then we could get ourselves free! Once out, Twinkletoes would be able to get us both out safely, by flying us out of the prison cell!'
'How was he going to do that?'
'I'm getting to that part', king Bumi replied. 'As I was saying, we needed the guard's keys. Now the guard would come walking past the cell blocks every few minutes, and Twinkletoes and I came up with a plan. I could send a little shockwave out to startle te guard, so he would drop his keys, and Twinkletoes would then airbend them towards us. He was that skilled an airbender. So we decided to try it!'
Toph was holding her breath. Her parents never told her daring stories like this!
'So, the guard came walking by, and I tried to send out a small shockwave. That wasn't too hard, but I was too late. The guard just walked by without even noticing. So I tried a second time, but to no avail. Twinkletoes was starting to make jokes about it, telling me to give up.'
'Instead of helping you?', Toph said. 'That's not very nice.'
'Well, that's just how boys play their games. Anyway, I decided to change my strategy.'
King Bumi paused for a moment, bending over to Toph, and whispering: 'Here comes the learning part. Pay attention...'

'I decided I had to think like a mad genious. So I took off my shoes so I would be in perfect contact with the ground. Then, I closed my eyes, unable to rely on seeing, just like you. I waited... and listened. I kept waiting....kept listening.... untill by the subtle vibrations in the earth, I could notice the guard walking up to our prison cell. He was coming closer.... and even closer... I could feel his vibrations much stronger now... and then!'
The little girl allmost screamed at the sudden release of suspense.
'Then, I sent out my shockwave! It worked! The timing had been perfect, and the guard dropped his keys! Twinkletoes was quick to respond, and pulled the keys towards him with airbending! He put the key in the keyhole, and before we knew it, the door swung open! Twinkletoes took my arm, and started running, like the wind, I told you, and got us out of the prison!'
'WOW!'
'Wow, indeed! My parents never found out about my little misadventure. I figure the prison guards weren't going to tell they let two little kids escape, they were that ashamed!'
'That was incredible!', Toph said. 'A really cool story!'
'It was, wasn't it?', King Bumi said. 'I told you it'd be worth your time! And I hope you've learned something!'
'What's that?', Toph asked.
King Bumi thought for a moment and looked at the little girl.

'Don't ask me why or how I know this, Toph', he said. 'But something, call it instinct, call it maddnes, call it luck, something tells me that you are deep inside, the makings of a great earthbender'
'Me?' Toph asked. 'But I haven't even mastered my forms and breathing yet!'
'I actually think you have', king Bumi said. 'I honestly think master Yu is keeping you at a low level. Those shoes he gave you?'
'What about them?', Toph asked.
'An earthbender draws his power from the earth. And needs to be as close in fysical contact with it as possible! Earthbending is done best on bare feet! Not on shoes with cushions in them, like those! They null your contact with the ground, making it impossible to sense it... Making earthbending darn near impossible.'
Slowly, Toph's mouth fell open. So many things made sense now. Why she hadn't been improving over the past few years, even though she tried really, really hard. She had been betrayed. Betrayed by master Yu! Betrayed by her parents! She gritted her teeth in anger.
'When I came to you, you refused to leave your stance. Even though I told you to. I saw your determination, your steadiness, your raw power that sleeps deep inside you. And I can tell you, you have an earthbender mentality!'
Toph had fallen silent. She wasn't sure what to say after all these revealations. King Bumi, however, continued.
'I hope, that from now on, whenever you get the chance, you will take the time to LISTEN to the earth. Take off your shoes. Feel the earth under your feet....and listen to it. I think you will take leaps in earthbending, if you do so!'
'You think I can earthbend?'
King Bumi smiled. 'No, Toph... I KNOW you can. I know you MUST!'
The old kind hugged the little girl. Toph was crying. Finally, somebody seemed to genuinly understand her. To genuinly want to help her. It was a whole new experience.
'Thank you, king Bumi.'
'It was my honour', the king said. 'But now, I must go. Don't want to get your parents suspicious just yet, do we?'
As Toph wiped her tears, king Bumi slowly walked towards the exit to her room.
'At least this trip wasn't a total loss', he said finally. 'I got to meet you, Toph. And something tells me that it wasn't a mere coincidence!'
As king Bumi left her room, Toph slowly slipped into bed. Even though she couldn't sleep the next two hours because she was still excited by king Bumi's story, she felt a lot better now. King Bumi had really given her a reason to continue earthbending. And that was exactly what she was going to do. She was going to learn earthbending... Her own way!
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my Toph fanfic!http://forums.avatarspirit.net/index.php?topic=3697.0

Weapon master of the Rasengan And the Venom Symbiote
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