By: The Gang
Chapter: …eleventh billion
DP: Hullo one and all! And welcome to our very very very late chapter of…ELEMENTS JOINED!
Audience: Assorted Boos
FK: Aww, shuddap! I was doing all sorts of camps this summer. There was one in Georgia of all places…
DP: I feel your pain.
"This is the tower your Uncle was talking about?" Ame said to Kidate, a faint touch of awe coloring her voice. The tower was indeed impressive, made of solid stone and rising up 100 meters into the air. Intricate carvings adorned the immense building.
The red head nodded. "Yup! I used to love it here- it was the only high up place I wouldn't freak out in." With a wave of her hand, Kidate opened the stone door of the tower, and the four walked in. "Now, if I remember right, there was some writing up in the top room. Never bothered to read it- I usually had a book of my own up here- but maybe it has something to do with the test." With that, Kidate began to run up the many steps.
"So, we go up there, see what that writing is, try to figure out how to complete this test, and figure out of were really Avatars? This seems a bit surreal, doesn't it?" Kaze asked as he, Kaji, and Ame caught up to the bounding Earthbender.
"I'm not sure I buy into this stuff. We can't be Avatars just because our names mean our element, and that we learn quickly. There are lots of people like that." Kaji pointed out.
Ame gave Kaji a dry look. "Well, we might not be. But we also might be. So it's worth it to take this test, right?"
Kaze groaned. "But it's not worth it to take these steps. Isn't there a way to earth bend the stairs up?"
"There is," Kidate said, "But ever since Avatar Aang died, no one has been able to bend at all here. Even Uncle hasn't been able to lift as much as a pebble here."
"Can't you even try?" The Airbender whined, running a hand through spiky blond locks.
"Did you listen to a word I just said? My teacher can't bend here, why should I be able to?" Green eyes narrowed at the thief.
"Well, have you even tried?"
"Why would I?"
Ame sighed, and once again began to play mediator. "Just try it, Kidate. Might as well shut him up." Kaze glared at her, but Kaji looked thoughtful.
"You said that after Avatar Aang, no one was able to bend here, right?" At Kidate's nod, he continued. "So maybe it's an Avatar thing- a test before the test, ne?" He nodded at the redhead. "Give it a try."
Kidate slowed to a stop, and nodded right back. "Alright." She said, and lifted up her hands. Concentrating, she moved her hands first palm down, and then shoved them forwards as fists. The stairs beneath their feet shuddered once, before slowly moving forward. Fists still forwards, Kidate's eyes widened, before she grinned.
It was silent for a moment, as the stairs began to pick up from their tentative speed and quickened their pace. Then, Ame spoke. "Does this mean that all of this Avatar stuff is true?" She asked quietly, whitish-blonde hair swaying as she shook her head softly. Her words seemed to echo oddly in the room.
Suddenly the stairs shuddered again, coming to a stop. Kidate let down her arms, breathing heavily. The Earthbender turned to the others. "Top floor! Wall carvings, great heights, and assorted Avatar tests!" She chirped, before walking into the large room. Stretched along the floor was a carving of a star-like object, with four points. Long, winding lines connected the four points, and each tip had a small letter- 'n', 'e', 's', and 'w'. On the far wall, words were carved in the stone. Kaji walked immediately to the wall, and began reading.
"Of water, of earth, of fire and air
Of North, of East, of South and West
Of spirits, of bridges, of all that is fair
Of a split spirit, that the points shall meet
The cycle you must follow, the journey you must pass
The circle has been broken, for four to fix."
A silence welled up in the room, washing over the four occupants. Ame spoke, snapping the tension.
"What does that mean?" The water bender's gaze ran over her comrades- Kaji was glaring at the words, as though they would jump off the wall and tell them what they meant. Kaze looked clueless, while one could nearly see the gears turning in Kidate's head as she walked next to the firebender, placing a hand on the stone.
"Well…it's obviously talking about the Avatar cycle- listing the elements in order, and talking about cycles and circles. I have a hunch about the compass points part, but I don't understand any of this 'split spirit' stuff." The royal bender sighed. "It's very…confusing."
"What about the cardinal points- what do they have to do with it?" Kaze asked the girl.
"Just look- the elements are in a certain order, so it makes sense that the points would be too. I think that it describes where we have to be to take the test. But, I don't have any idea, really."
"That sounds like a good plan." Kaji nodded. "But I think I might know about the spirit stuff- why would the Avatar spirit be in four different people if it hadn't split. It's saying that we have to unite- in this test or some other way."
Ame nodded. "Let's try it! We've got nothing to lose, but everything to gain." Ame looked around again. "Where should each of us stand?" She asked.
Kaji looked at Kidate, before replying. "You have to stand where your element would correspond. Water is the first in the cycle, so you have to be at the top of the compass- north."
Kaze caught on. "Which means I'm west, Kaji is south, and Kida is east?"
"Right." The dark-haired bender stood on the southern most tip, at the same time that Kaze jumped onto the eastern one. "Kidate…" The fire bender motioned towards the remaining spot.
Red hair fanning out as she nodded, Kidate dashed onto her spot. As soon as she touched the point, a bluish-white light began traveling from the center of the compass, and spread out until it reached each tip.
And four perspectives faded into white.
King Bumi the third smiled, slightly crooked teeth peaking out from his lips. The old Earthbender sat in a large green chair, facing an open window. The window faced perfectly towards the large tower- the top of which was glowing a bluish-white. The crooked smile only grew as Bumi thought over what the light meant.
It meant the Avatar was back.
The stone room melted away for the four benders, as the reappeared in what appeared to be a swamp. The whole place seemed to have a bluish sheen, and small lights danced about the area. Nearby, a monkey-like creature, dressed in what appeared to be robes, grumbled away about irritating mortals. It was Kaze who broke the silence.
"Where the hell are we?"
"I can answer that!" A cheerful voice came from behind the group. All four swiveled in place, only to find themselves facing a bald man who appeared to be in his thirties. Pale skin seemed to shine as brightly as his brown eyes, but his most striking feature was the blue arrows running up his arms and head. He smiled widely at them.
"Then do so." Kaji half threatened the odd man, hand reaching for where Kasai seemed to still be sheathed. The stranger's grin only grew wider.
"Well, allow me to be the first one to welcome you to the Spirit World! I will be your guide- I'm Aang." Aang took in the shocked faces of the comrades, eyes twinkling with mischief.
"…Does this mean the Avatar stuff is real?" Ame asked, blue eyes sparkling.
"Yes! You have entered the test!" The older Airbender informed her gleefully.
Kaze fainted dead away.
DP: Yay! We're late!
FK: Yeah...BLAME GEORGIA!
DP: Or you could blame Z77. Just sayin'.