Here's the rewrite that I promised! Hope you like it just as much - if not more than the last one. Also, I have a new beta reader for this story: Korrasami 88. If you're a fan of Asami x Korra, then check Korrasami 88's stories. They're actually pretty good.
Gray Water, if you're reading this (and I really hope you are), just know that I miss you. You were the best co-author a writer could ever ask for.
(I suggest listening to "Sweet Dreams are Made of Screams" (piano version) while reading this)
Somewhere in the Fire Nation, more or less near its borders, was a town. It was a small town that didn't have many residents. It was one of those quiet little places where everyone knew each other and almost nobody had anything to complain about.
Or at least, that's what it would've been like if it weren't in shambles...
The town looked like the aftermath of a war zone. Almost everything seemed to either be torn apart or just plain destroyed. The homes and stores looked as if they had just been through hell and back. Some of them were charred while others looked as though they had been hit by a bulldozer. Repeatedly. Some of the buildings still had dying embers on them.
But the most disturbing thing about this scene wasn't the apparent destruction of the town and everything in it. It was the fact the place seemed completely desolate. Not a single soul could be seen nor were there any bodies to help identify what had happened here. If anyone were to walk through, they'd probably think the place was a really old ghost town. It was just devoid of life.
...except for one...
Inside one of the houses that were just barely standing, laid a figure. It was small, about the size of a thirteen year old but that's all you could tell about it from first glance, due to it laying face down on its stomach.
If someone were to find this person, they'd probably think it was dead and they would have every right to think so. It didn't appear to be breathing and wasn't moving in any way whatsoever.
But they'd be wrong. For it was still very much alive. Or at least, it was about to be...
"Awaken my child..." Said a deep and ominous voice, causing the figure to stir slightly. It's muscle felt extremely sore. Like they had been ripped off and slowly sewn back on. Especially it's arm.
That was the last thing it heard before it opened its eyes. "Wh-What...?" It muttered to itself, its voice revealing that it was a male, and a young one too.
He groaned as he lifted himself off the ground, trying his best to ignore the pain in his muscles. Not really succeeding but trying none the less.
"Ow ow ow..."
When he was at least able to get himself into a sitting position, he took a look around to try and find out where he was. Nothing looked familiar to him though.
When he finally made it to his feet, he decided to walk out of the building, only to be surprised by the fact that the rest of the town didn't seem to be doing any better.
'What the...? What happened here?' He thought as he began to walk around what was left of the town, hoping to find someone to explain what had happened or at least, some clues as to why he was here in the first place.
"Hello? Is anybody there?" He called, hoping that someone, anyone, would here him. Unfortunately, he got no response, just like the first three times.
He definitely didn't like it here. Something about the place gave him the creeps. Everything just seemed...odd. He didn't know why or how but something about this place made him feel strange. He couldn't describe the feeling though...
The fact that the place seemed completely deserted didn't help at all. He didn't know how long he had been searching but he was pretty sure that this town was abandoned, question is: why?
"Just where am I?"
He froze at the sound of...giggling? He turned to look for the noise but saw nothing but the remains of the destroyed town. He looked around to try and find the source of the gigging but found nothing. Very confused and a little bit frightened, he decided to call out to it. "Hello? I-Is anyone there?"
There was a moment of silence. He silently prayed that whatever made that noise was friendly and that he didn't just call out to something that had the potential to end him. He waited a few seconds for a reply. Just when he was about assure himself that there was no one there and whatever he heard was just his imagine, he heard it again.
He looked around again and tried to find the sound. That was definitely not in his head, he was sure of it. From the corner of his eye, he thought he saw a silhouette dash out of his field of vision. He turned towards it and saw a figure running away in the distance and immediately followed it.
"Wait, I just want to talk!" He yelled as he tried to catch up with it. The mystery person just ignored him and just kept running, gigging all the while.
Judging from the sound of its laughter, he figured that this person was a female but other than that, everything else about her was a mystery.
He chased her all over the town. Every time she'd suddenly make a turn, he'd stumble a bit before getting back to the chase. It was staggering how she was able to make such sharp turns so easily. Things just got stranger and stranger from that point on. It felt like she was playing with him. Every time he thought he was going to lose her, she'd slow down until he got closer before suddenly gaining a surprising amount of speed and taking off again.
'Is this just some sort of game to her?' He thought.
It went on like this for a while until eventually, the chase lead him out of the destroyed town and into a forest. He looked up, past the tree, into the sky and noted that the sun was beginning to set. He then got the shock of his life when he returned his gaze to the girl he was chasing. He saw the last thing he was expecting.
She was gone.
He immediately stopped in his tracks, almost tripping himself in the process and looked around, hoping to catch site of her. All he saw, however, was trees, trees and more trees. Whoever that girl was, she was gone now.
'W-wha...? But how did she...?'
When it became clear to him that he wasn't going to find her, he looked up at the sky once more and noted that it was getting darker and darker with each passing second. He needed to find somewhere to stay for the night but he didn't want to go back to that ghost town.
'Well...I guess I better find shelter...' He thought before walking in some random direction, hoping to find somewhere to rest before it got dark.
He didn't have to walk for long before he found a cave. He sighed in relief at the sight of it. He walked towards it but froze when he looked up at the sky once more. It was much darker now. He felt a strange sensation within himself as he stared at the darkening sky. He didn't know why but the idea of finding shelter started to seem a little less appealing to him.
He looked at the night sky for what felt like hours when it was really only minutes. He snapped out of his trance when he heard snarling coming form within the cave. He looked towards the mouth of the cave...
And nearly pissed himself when he saw a very big and VERY angry looking...thing charge straight for him.
It looked like a combination of a rhino and a warthog. It's body was covered in fur, it was bulky-looking and it had a horn just above its snout and right between its two canines that sprouted outward from its mouth and curled the higher they got.
He jumped to the side just in the nick of time, narrowly avoiding being skewered. Unfortunately that seemed to only further enrage the beast. It snorted and pawed at the ground before charging again.
The boy let out a very unmanly scream before making a break for it. Not the best idea but you know how one's mind works in a panic.
Seeing him run only made the rhino-hog madder. It gave chase, wanting nothing more than to kill the one who dared enter its territory. He ran as fast as he could but the rhino-hog was stubborn. It refused to let him escape, knocking down anything that stood in its way from trees to unfortunate animals.
Unfortunately, fate seemed to hate the boy at the moment because, when he turned back to look at the rhino-hog, he tripped on an exposed tree root. He let out a yelp as he fell to the ground. He turned over and saw the rhino-hog still charging right at him. There was no time to jump out of the way and he doubted that he could attack head on. This was it. He was going to die here after just waking up in some unknown town without knowing why he was there in the first place.
He braced himself, closing his eyes so he wouldn't see it coming. He lifted both his arms in a vain attempt to protect his body, dully noting an odd sound in the background. All he could do now was hope for best and prepare for the worst.
A moment of silence followed. He waited for something to happen. For anything to happen. But nothing happened. There was no sound of rapid stomping or born crushing impact like he expected. Either his death was really quick or he was still alive. Hoping it was the latter, he opened his eyes a little only to have them widen at what he saw.
The rhino-hog was dead. Impaled by three large black spikes that were almost invisible in the darkness of the night. They looked like black fire but they didn't seem to burn the rhino-hog corpse. They were also jutting out of its shadow.
Gasping at the gruesome sight, he quickly lowered his arms only for the spikes to follow, sinking back into the shadows where they came from.
"W-W-What?" He asked to no one in particular. He was both confused and frightened but at least he wasn't dead. That's got to count for something right?
He waited to see if they would return but nothing happened after that. He stood up and stared at the animal that tried to kill him a moment ago. He moved closer, hoping to find some sort of clue as to what just happened.
It didn't take him long to find one. When he moved his hand to see if he'd get some sort of reaction, the results did not disappoint. A black wisp suddenly appeared out of the ground causing him to let out a small yelp and pull his hand back. This caused the black wisp to vanish as quickly as it appeared.
Both confused and curious, he moved his hand again and got the same result only this time he didn't shy away. He slowly moved his hand side to side and the black wisp followed.
"Am...I doing this?" He asked himself, amazed at his newly discovered talent. He definitely did not see this coming. But seeing as this strange skill just saved his live, he supposed he should be thankful.
Making the black wisp disappear again, he decided that this was something that he'd rather deal with in the morning. He sighed and made his way back to the cave, going over what just happened in his head. He woke up in an abandoned village with no memories as to why, chased a weird mystery girl into a forest that he knew nothing about, nearly got himself killed by a crazed animal and discovered a talent that he never even knew he had.
'This sure has been one long day.'
He wasn't sure how long he was laying in that cave. Hours,minutes, seconds, he didn't know but he was pretty sure he wasn't going to get any sleep any time soon. Sighing in frustration, he sat up and looked towards the mouth of the cave. It was very dark now and it would be foolish to go out into the wilderness at this time of night. But the more he looked out at he dark forest, the more he wanted to go out there. It was like it was calling out to him, begging him to come out into the dark night and...and...and what?
The next thing he knew, he was on his feet, walking out of the cave and into the open. He looked at the night sky for what felt like the hundredth time since he entered this damn forest. As he stared at the night sky, he started to feel a strange sensation wash over him. He began to feel anxious and frantic for no logical reason. It was like something in the back of his psyche sleeping up till that point had suddenly awakened and told him to run into the night and do as he pleased.
The sound of voices suddenly snapped him out of his daze. It was faint, more like a soft murmur than anything but it was there. Curiosity overtaking his better judgement, he followed the sounds through the forest. Who knew; maybe the people talking were friendly.
The voices got louder the deeper he went. He could now distinguish that one of the people talking was male and the other was a female. Eventually he saw light coming from the direction of the conversation. He followed it and soon found himself standing near a campsite with a woman and man who were sitting around a fire. Not far from them was a river. The flowing water sparkled brightly in the moonlight.
"Did you see that town?"
Whatever thought he had was silenced when he heard the man speak to his friend. Were they talking about the town he woke up in?
"Yeah, the place looked completely destroyed. What do you think happened to it?"
"I don't know but whatever happened, it must've been big to cause that much damage."
"U-Um...excuse me?" He said, getting they're attention. They looked at him with wide eyes, like he was a ghost. He suddenly felt shy for some reason.
"Um..c-could you help m-"
He was interrupted by the shriek of the woman, causing him to nearly jump out of his skin. She started to back away from him while her male friend just stared at him with wide eyes.
The boy's eyes widened and he swiftly turned to see what they were referring to but there was nothing there. He adopted a look of confusion before turning back to the terrified pair. The male was starting to turn pale. He looked around again before hesitantly pointing to himself.
"Me...?" He asked.
Before he could even blink, the pair practically jumped to their feet and ran the heck out of there, screaming all the while. The boy blinked in confusion. Did they just call him a...monster?
'Monster...? But...why? I know I'm not a god among men but I don't look THAT bad do I?'
That's when he realised something; what DID he look like? It suddenly occurred to him that he never actually looked at his own reflection since he woke up in that destroyed town. How bad did he look to make to strangers run away in fear?
He turned his attention to the river. He slowly walked towards it. When he stood right in front of its crystal clear waters, he hesitantly looked at his reflection. What he saw made him scream in fear.
His entire body was body was covered in the same black flames that saved his life from that rhino-hog. There were three red curved horizontal lines on his body. Two black wings sprouted on his back.
He jump away from the river and looked at his own hands. Except they weren't hands. He had no fingernails and the tips of each finger were curved and looked razor sharp. They were claws.
He continued to back away until he stepped on something. He felt his whole body suddenly fall to the ground. When he sat up, he saw what made him fall. A tail, covered in the same black fire as his body and wings, sprouted out from his spine. It looked like the tale of a giant eel-hound. How had he not noticed that?!
Taking a moment to calm himself and get his breathing back to normal, he hesitantly crawled towards the river and looked at his reflection again. Upon closer inspection, he noticed that the sides of the curved lines on his body were lined with black triangles that faced inward. Like teeth. That's when he realised that the lines weren't lines at all. They were mouths. And they were grinning.
The next thing he noticed was the two horns that were sticking out of the sides of his head. Both of them were facing forward. The most disturbing thing he noticed however, was that fact that he had almost no face. No mouth, no nose, no ears, not even hair. The only thing he had to qualify it as a face were the two eyes he had. They were completely red. No pupils, no whites, just deep dark red.
"W-W-What am I...?" He asked himself.
"Man you really scared them good."
The boy gasped and turned to address the person that spoke to him. But there was nothing there. He looked around, wondering if he was going mad or not until the voice spoke to him again.
"Down here buddy."
He looked down at the water and saw bubbles distorting his reflection. He backed away from the water and something started to rise out of the water. What he saw was the last thing he expected.
It was a girl. A really cute girl.
She stopped rising when her entire body was visible while her lower body remained in the water. The boy took a moment to look her over. Her skin was a very light shade of green and her hair was light blue. Her eyes were a darker shade of blue. She looked very young, maybe age fifteen or fourteen, give or take. But that's not what got his attention the most. That honour went to the fact that she was completely and utterly...
The boy didn't know if he had blood or not but if he did then his whole face would be as red as his eyes. Fortunately for him, her long light blue hair covered her breasts which he may or may not have noticed were decent sized.
The girl giggled at the sight of his wide eyes. "Why hello there cutie."
The boy let out an "eep" before covering his eyes with his claws causing the girl the giggle again. "But really, I should thank you for scaring off those two. They were so annoying. Can you believe one of them tried to pee in my river?" She grimaced at the memory. Human are such disgusting creatures.
"Um...Y-Y-You're...uh...w-welcome." He said, not removing his claws from his eyes. To make matters worse, he could barely get any words out without stuttering like a fool. She found this very amusing.
"It's okay, you can look. I don't mind."
"N-N-NO t-t-thanks. That q-quite alright m-miss..."
"Oh!" She exclaimed, remembering her manners. "How rude of me. I forgot to introduce myself. I am Akua, spirit of the river." She did a small bow seeing as she couldn't curtsey. "Nice to meet you."
"I-It's nice t-to meet you t-too."
Akua eyed the boy with more than mild interest. He began to nervously shift his feet as he felt her eyes cover his body. He did NOT feel comfortable in this situation.
"You know, it's not often that a dark spirit comes to visit my river. More or less a cute one like yourself."
Choosing to ignore her comment about his looks, he removed his hands (choosing to ignore her nakedness for now) to give her a look of confusion.
"Yeah, that's obviously what you are right? A spirit of darkness?"
The boy took a moment to think about what she had just said. 'A dark spirit? Is that what I am? Now that I think about it, didn't she say that she was a spirit too?'
"So what's your name?"
He snapped out of his daze at the sound of her voice. "Huh?"
"I asked what your name is."
He blinked in confusion. "My...name?"
"Uh, yeah? Come on you can tell me. I won't laugh, I promise."
There was a long stretch of awkward silence as he thought about her question. What WAS his name? He had to have a name right? He couldn't not have a name. But then...what was it...?
After a long moment of thought, he finally gave an answer. "I...I don't know..." He said, sounding astonished by his own words.
Now it was Akua's turn to look confused. She raised a finely groomed eyebrow before asking another question. "Okay then, what DO you know?"
'That's a good question.' He thought. What DID he know. The only thing he remembered was waking up in that destroyed town and everything that happened afterwards. Everything else other than that was a blank. It was as if his whole life started at that point. 'Just who am I?'
"N-Nothing. I-I can't r-remember anything."
Akua gasped before moving closer to him. "Really? Nothing at all?" The boy simply shook his head instead of reply. Akua suddenly felt a large amount of pity wash over her. She couldn't imagine what it must be like to have no memories. She stared at him for a moment before giving him a radiant smile. "Well don't you worry. I'm sure your memories will return at some point."
"Of course. But until then I shall dub thee Cutie, spirit of cuteness!" She declared before breaking into a fit of giggles.
The boy stared at her for a moment before he too started laughing.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it. Next chapter will takes place over a time skip of three years. I'm thinking of having our dark spirit friend fight one of the Legend of Korra characters in a tournament but I can't decide who. Who do you think he should fight next chapter? The choices are: Korra, Kai and Jinora. Tell me your answer in the reviews. Or if you have a better idea as to how he can meet team avatar, feel free to PM me whag you think should happen.