So I'm back once again, this time bringing you a little action from the upcoming series "Legend of Korra". I hope you all enjoy reading this action-packed oneshot, and please review! I love hearing your thoughts and opinions!
NOTE: For those of you eagerly awaiting the next chapter of "A Lifetime of Love", I have an idea for just one more oneshot before I get back to writing more chapters for that story. This break has helped to clear my mind, and after the next oneshot I will get back to work on "A Lifetime of Love". Promise. :)
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender. The show and its characters belong to Mike and Bryan, the brillant geniuses behind one of the greatest cartoon shows in the history of cartoons. Their work is legendary, and I salute them for it. I also do not own The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra.
Let's Get Ready To Rumble!
"I gotta say, guys," mused Korra, "I'm really liking these uniforms." The teenage Avatar looked down at her Pro-Bending uniform, admiring the armor as she turned her body to get a better look at it. Underneath the hard, brown leather plates was a white collared body suit. The leather plates were strapped to her arms, hands, shoulders, waist, chest, abdomen, and legs. A tan sash was wrapped around her midsection, the loose ends hanging in front of her. A leather helmet was on her head to prevent hard blows to her precious noggin, but still allowed her pony-tail to stick up out of the top. "This stuff is protective and yet highly flexible." She smirked as she looked up at her two companions and added, "If the uniform's this awesome, then the actual sport must be mind-blowingly amazing!"
Her two companions, Mako and Bolin, were dressed in the same way as Korra. The three of them stood on the far end of the orange side of the Pro-Bending arena, which was an oblong hexagonal platform colored blue on one side and orange on the other. Two black, curved lines were marked into the floor of the arena on both sides with a black circle and line in the middle, the designated playing area for the sport. Fifty feet below the platform was a large pool of water, the safety measure that caught contestant unlucky enough to get knocked off the platform. A hundred feet away from the platform on all sides were the stands, which were filled to the brim with thousands of Pro-Bending fans.
Bolin, who was standing on Korra's left, laughed and cheerily said, "You bet it is! Pro-Bending's the most popular sport in all of United Republic, with matches happening every day!" He patted Korra on the shoulder and said, "Thanks again for taking our injured teammate's place, Korra. I don't know what we would have done if we couldn't have found another Waterbender."
"We wouldn't be participating in this match," simply stated Mako, who was standing on Korra's right. Mako was Bolin's older brother, and the tallest out of the three of them. The two brothers were special, for Mako was a Firebender while Bolin was an Earthbender. He was also the most serious of the three of them, and he rarely smiled or even laughed. Bolin was the most relaxed and laid-back, in other words the funny man of their small group.
Korra scowled at Mako before turning back to Bolin and happily saying, "No problem, Bolin." She pounded her fists together and said, "I've been itching to get into a fight ever since I got to this city. Let's get it on!"
Bolin chuckled and said, "Then trust me when I say that you won't be disappointed. Pro-Bending's pretty intense, though." He quirked an eyebrow at her and asked, "Are you sure you're ready for this?"
Korra laughed and casually replied, "I'm the Avatar. How can I not be ready for this?"
"Overconfidence will only lead to your downfall, Korra," cautiously warned Mako, earning him a dirty look from the Avatar. "An Avatar shouldn't act arrogant in the face of opposition."
"What would you know about being the Avatar?" angrily snapped Korra, narrowing her sharp blue eyes at the serious Firebender. "Have you been away from your home for almost a year, running around the world learning how to be the Avatar? I don't think so!" Mako looked at her, an emotionless expression on his face as he watched Korra scowl angrily at him.
Bolin placed a hand on her shoulder and said, "Calm down, Korra. We both know that you've been on the road for a while and that you really miss the South Pole." Korra looked back at him, her eyes softening as she looked at the calm Earthbender. He smiled and said, "Besides, all we have to do is beat all of them." He pointed to the opposite end of the platform at their opponents. The three of them looked to see that the enemy team was dressed in the same way as them, although rather than the white body suit and brown armor, they had black body suits and teal colored armor. All three of them were men, although each were different benders due to the nature of the sport.
Korra scoffed and said, "No problem." She cracked her knuckles and confidently said, "I could beat them all with one arm tied behind my back." Bolin gave her a cautious look, knowing full well how aggressive and hot-headed Korra was.
"Remember," warned Mako, "Pro-Bending is a team sport. All three of us have to work together and-"
"Yeah, yeah, I get it, Mr. Emotionless," Korra interjected as she waved her hand dismissively at Mako. "Kick as much butt as possible while working with my teammates. That I can do." She squared her shoulders and cracked her neck, smiling smugly to herself as she thought, Oh yeah. I'm going to enjoy this.
"I have to agree with Mako," said Bolin. "You shouldn't underestimate our opponents." His voice softened as he said, "These are the same guys who injured out last teammate in that practice match you saw. They're not your average benders…in fact, each of them are masters in their own right. We've gone up against them several times, and we've only won one or two matches against them."
Korra jerked a thumb at herself and coolly said, "That's why you've got me…your new secret weapon." She dropped her hand onto her hip and added, "With me on your team, there's no way we can lose."
Before Bolin could say anything else, an amplified voice from above them shouted, "Good evening, Pro-Bending fans!" The spectators around the arena cheered loudly, and a bright spotlight hit the platform. The three were blinded for a brief moment, but soon their eyes adjusted to the sudden burst of light. Korra looked up, but she saw no one standing on a platform that was projecting the voice. She figured that the voice was coming from loud speakers and that the announcer was hidden from her view. "We've got a special treat for you all tonight!" the voice continued, a charismatic air emanating from the man's booming voice. A smaller spotlight hit the blue side's team as the announcer said, "On the blue side, we have Team Dragon Fury!" The blue team waved their hands to the cheering crowd, smug looks on their faces.
"Now it's time for the individual introductions!" said the announcer cheerily. "On the left, we have Team Dragon Fury's Earthbender. He's a hard-hitting fighter with a knack for chucking rocks and knocking opponents off the stage with his powerful Earthbending attacks. He is also known for being practically unmovable in his fighting stance, having never been knocked down once in his whole career. You all know who he is, so give it up for Shan of the Earth Kingdom!" Shan, a young man in his late teens, had green eyes and a strong face. He raised his fist into the air, causing the crowd to cheer even louder.
As Shan lowered his fist, the announcer said, "On the right, we have Team Dragon Fury's Waterbender. He's a cool and swift fighter, able to change his battle style in the blink of an eye. One moment he's as calm as a pond, smoothly blocking his opponent's attacks and then BOOM! He becomes a crashing tidal wave, swallowing up everyone in his destructive wake! He's a favorite of the ladies in the crowd for his smoothness and dashing good looks, so let's hear some screams for Yuji of the Northern Water Tribe!" Yuji, also a man in his late teens, had dark blue eyes, tan skin, and a gorgeous face. He had a lock of his dark, wavy hair sticking out of the top of his helmet, which he flipped fabulously for his adoring lady fans. Several girlish screams filled the air, to which Yuji responded by blowing air kisses into the crowd with a charming smile.
Korra leaned over to Bolin and whispered in his ear, "Ugh. Kill me now. This guy's way too smooth for my tastes." Bolin covered his mouth to suppress his laughter, causing Korra to smile as she stood back up. Out of the two brothers, she definitely liked Bolin better as a friend. Mako would just take some getting used to, but she felt like she connected better with Bolin. But she liked them both equally as friends, and she was glad she found some new people to share her long journey with.
"And last, but certainly not least, we have Team Dragon Fury's Firebender in the middle," said the announcer in a dramatic voice. "He's a ferocious and deadly fighter, using overwhelming firepower and blazing attacks to crush his opponents. As the leader and founder of Team Dragon Fury, he himself is a master Firebender, having been taught by Fire Lord Zuko's own grandson. You would not want to meet him in a dark alley, because he'll just light it up with the fierceness of an enraged dragon. Make some noise for Diyu of the Fire Nation!" Diyu, yet another man in his late teens, had fierce amber eyes and a scar across his right eye. He snorted flames out of his nose, his fists smoking in anticipation of the upcoming match.
Bolin nervously gulped and muttered to Korra, "That's the guy who injured our teammate. He can go toe-to-toe with Mako any day of the week. My advice to you: Watch out for his Burning Phoenix Blaze attack." Korra nodded in understanding, keeping her eyes on the fearsome Firebender…although she didn't know what the Burning Phoenix Blaze was. She had a feeling she was going to find out, though.
The spotlight moved from the blue side to the orange side, illuminating Korra, Mako, and Bolin as the crowd continued to cheer. "And on the orange side, we have a team you're all familiar with. You all know the two famous brothers, the dynamic duo of Earth and Fire. Let's hear some applause for Mako and Bolin!" The crowd cheered as Bolin waved enthusiastically at the crowd while Mako stood with his arms crossed, his stern face still not expressing any emotion.
Suddenly, a chorus of voices screamed, "We love you, Mako!" Korra instantly recognized the voices to belong to a group of fanatical teenage girls, and she instantly burst out laughing.
"It looks like you got some admirers, Mako," she said teasingly as she looked over at him. Gesturing to the crowd, she added, "Maybe you should wave back or blow kisses at them."
Still staring at Team Dragon Fury, Mako firmly said, "They're nothing but fan girls who only desire me for my physical looks. They have no interest in me as a person."
Korra smirked and said, "That's because if they knew how you really were, they'd steer clear of you." Bolin couldn't help but chuckle at Korra's teasing of his older brother.
Mako looked over at Korra and smugly said, "And yet, you can't seem to keep yourself away from me." Korra's face instantly dropped as a bright blush came across her face, causing Mako to let out one of his rare smirks.
"I do not like you that way!" she quickly said, her face burning with embarrassment. "You're just some emotionless bozo who can't even bring himself to smile!" Bolin burst out laughing at that moment, causing Korra to shot him a look. Bolin caught her look and instantly stopped laughing, looking away at the audience as he innocently whistled. Korra looked back at Mako, who had turned his attention back to their opponents. She scowled as she looked at Team Dragon Fury and muttered, "Whatever…let's just get this over with." She glanced back at him as she thought, I'll get you back for that. You just wait and see. She smiled to herself as she thought of her personal revenge, turning her gaze back to Team Dragon Fury.
"And now, it's time to introduce the last member of Mako and Bolin's team," said the announcer. "As you all know, their last teammate was recently injured in a practice match with Team Dragon Fury, and this young lady has taken their place on the team." The announcer took on a serious tone as he said, "But first, let us take a moment of silence." The crowd fell deathly quiet and the announcer said, "As we always do before every Pro-Bending match, we take time to honor the man who led up to the event we are all witnessing today…Avatar Aang, the Air Nomad Avatar who saved the world from the Fire Nation during the Hundred Years' War. Because of him and all his friends, we all live in the world that we know today, and for that we are eternally grateful." Korra could feel her heart ache with pride and grief as the announcer honored her past life's memory, thinking about how she had inherited the world Aang had built up from the ashes of a terrible war. She smiled to herself, and for once in her brief life as the Avatar, she felt honored to have been chosen by Aang to succeed him as the Avatar.
"You all know that seeing an Avatar is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," continued the announcer, slight excitement building in his voice. He chuckled and enthusiastically said, "Well, it is my pleasure to say that you all are going to be given that honor tonight in this very arena!" Murmurs could be heard throughout the crowd, many of the spectators obviously confused or excited by what the announcer was saying. "She's come all the way from the Southern Water Tribe and has traveled through the Earth Kingdom as well as the Fire Nation. She knows three, count 'em, three bending styles, which include Water, Earth, and Fire. She's rough, she's tough, she's hot-headed, and she's powerful…get on your feet and give a big Republic City welcome to AVATAR KORRA!"
The spotlight narrowed until it illuminated only Korra, and the entire crowd stood up and cheered loudly for the Water Tribe Avatar. They all started chanting, "Korra! Korra! Korra! Korra!" over and over again, stomping their feet loudly in rhythm as they cheered. Korra suddenly felt very awed at the moment, overcome with surprise at their warm welcome of her. She timidly raised a hand and waved at the crowd, causing them to cheer even louder. Soon her uneasiness faded away, and when it did a big smile came over her face. She laughed to herself, overcome with emotion as her greetings to the crowd became even more enthusiastic.
"Good evening, Republic City!" she shouted to the crowd, causing them to cheer noisily for her. She raised a fist in the air and loudly asked, "Are you all ready for some awesome bending tonight?" The crowd screamed its approval, drowning out Korra's ears with their deafening cheers. "That's good!" she shouted. "When we get through with Team Dragon Fury, they'll remember the day they got beat by…TEAM AVATAR!" The crowd burst into thunderous applause and deafening cheers, and a smug smile burst across Korra's face. She boldly placed her hands on her hips and said to her companions, "Now that's how you get a crowd going."
"You overdid it," simply stated Mako, causing Korra to glance in annoyance at him.
"He's right, Korra," added Bolin, causing Korra to glance at him in the same way. "We know that you're pumped up for the match, but you really need to simmer down."
"How can I simmer down?" asked Korra with a coy smile. She dropped her hands by her side and clenched them into fists, lighting them on fire as she shouted, "I'm all fired up!"
Suddenly, the announcer's voice said, "Hold it, Avatar! Since your teammates are already using Earth and Fire, the only element you can use is Water. If you use any other style of bending than Waterbending, you and your team will automatically forfeit the match!"
Korra put out her burning hands and sheepishly rubbed the back of her head, timidly saying, "Sorry." She let out a nervous laugh and added, "I'll just be sure to get Team Dragon Fury extra wet then."
The announcer laughed and cheerfully said, "Ha! I like the new Avatar already! She's so full of spunk and charm!" He cleared his throat and said, "But seriously, folks. It's time for the event we've all been waiting for…let's get ready for some PRO-BENDING!" The spotlight hit center-stage again as the crowd settled back into their seats and continued to cheer while peppy and upbeat music blared from speakers all around the arena. The music got Korra's blood pumping, the adrenaline already flowing throughout her body. "Benders, take your stances!" shouted the announcer over the pumping music and the cheering crowd. Team Dragon Fury dropped into their stances: Shan spread his feet wide in a strong stance, shifting his left side to face his opponents as he held his bent left arm downwards in front of him and his bent right arm facing upwards behind him. Yuji held his arms out loosely from his sides, his fingers outstretched as if to snatch something as he widened his stance. Diyu held a burning fist out in front of him, keeping the other in reserve by his side as he leaned back on his right leg.
Bolin took a wide stance and held his bent left arm up in front of him, keeping his right hand by his chest. Mako took a deep breath and leaned back on his left leg, igniting the fist by his face and holding his other hand out in an open palm in front of him. Korra smiled smugly and held her hands off to the side, her palms facing each other while she loosened her legs. The six benders held their stances for several long moments, all of them waiting for the starting signal. "Ready?" asked the announcer, and an air of tension instantly set into the audience. The crowd held its breath as they stared at the contestants, eagerly waiting for the match to start.
Korra saw Team Dragon Fury shift slightly, as if they were preparing for something. "Looks like they're going for the tri-pincer attack, Mako," firmly said Bolin to his older brother, causing Korra to look at the Earthbender in confusion. How did they know what the other team was planning?
"I see it, Bolin," replied Mako in just as firm of a voice, and Korra now looked over at him in confusion.
"Which plan do you suggest?" asked Bolin. "Plan 12 or 25?" Korra quirked an eyebrow as she looked over at Bolin, now completely lost in the conversation. What was all this talk about plans?
"Actually, I was thinking more of Plan 84," replied Mako. The two brothers chuckled to themselves, obviously pleased with that idea. Korra looked back and forth between them with a confused look on her face.
"What in La's name are you guys talking about?" asked Korra. "What is this 'Plan 84' that you guys are talking about?" The two brothers simply ignored her, their focus entirely on their opponents. She felt her frustration burn red-hot inside of her, and a scowl appeared on her tan face.
Before she could say anything else, the announcer shouted, "BATTLE!" The crowd screamed and the music was turned up even louder, pounding in Korra's ears like a war drum. She snapped her head to watch as Team Dragon Fury leaped into battle. Yuji drew up water from below up to his hands and down to his feet, freezing the water and creating an ice slide that he glided on as he headed towards Team Avatar. Shan jumped up into the air and landed hard on the arena floor, sliding on a rock wave as he brought down his right foot and shifted his arms in front of him. Diyu shouted and brought his fists together, igniting fire daggers in his hands. He brought his fists down behind him and sprinted towards Team Avatar, flames sputtering out of his nose as he ran.
Korra watched as her teammates leaped into the fray, Mako jumping up into the air on a flame jet while Bolin shot forward on an earthen pillar. "Wait!" she shouted as she looked up at them. "What am I supposed to do?"
"Don't get burned!" shouted Bolin in reply before he slammed into the ground, sending an earthen wave of spires racing towards Yuji. The Waterbender melted the ice slide and bent it into a sharp, water blade that cut the spires in half and sent them crashing to the ground. Mako spun in mid-air as he extended his arms outward, shooting blazing fire streams from his palms and sending them towards Shan. The Earthbender stopped and stomped with his foot, raising an earthen wall in front of him to block the flames.
"What does that even mean?" shouted Korra, not getting what Bolin was saying. Suddenly, she remembered the fact that only two members of Team Dragon Fury were occupied…while the third was heading for her. She looked down to see Diyu still sprinting for her and she muttered, "Oh crap…" The Firebender shot towards her on a burst of flame jets, and Korra quickly dodged to the right as Diyu brought down a fire dagger where she had been standing just a second before. Diyu quickly recovered and spun around, bringing down the fire daggers again and again as he attacked the Avatar.
Korra was being pushed towards the middle of the arena, still swiftly dodging Diyu's attacks. She yelped as she dodged one that came close to her chest and shouted, "Whoa! Watch it, buddy!" She swiftly dodged around him, putting her behind his back as she quickly bent water from below up to her hands. I wish I could use Firebending right now! she angrily thought to herself.
Diyu shouted and turned on Korra, wildly swinging his fire daggers at her. She bent the water around her hands to create liquid gauntlets and used them to block Diyu's daggers, the liquid hissing and steaming with every hit. "What's the matter, Little Miss Avatar?" taunted Diyu as he continued attacking. "Afraid of getting burned?" As he continued attacking, he asked, "I bet you wish you could use your Firebending right now, don't you Avatar?"
You have no idea, dude, thought Korra to herself as she used fluid motions from her hands to keep up her defense. Seeing an opportunity to get away, she slipped past Diyu and ran for the other side of the arena. She looked back to see Diyu running after her, hands blazing with flames. She quickly stopped in the middle of the platform and bent a water stream to her hands. She shifted her legs and sent the water at Diyu, whipping the liquid around his leg and yanking hard. Diyu smirked deviously as he felt the whip tightened, shooting up into the air on flame jets as she pulled. Korra looked up in shock as Diyu flew above her, shooting flames from his hands as he went over her. Korra quickly dissolved the whip and bent it into a shield above her, blocking the red-hot flames.
As she dropped her shield, she whipped around to see Diyu land behind her. The Firebender turned around and began to punch, but before he could launch a fireball a rock hit him from the right side and sent him flying ten feet away. Korra looked over to see Bolin with an extended fist, the floor underneath him slightly crumpled from his recent Earthbending. "I got your back, Korra!" he shouted as he ran towards Diyu, who had recovered his footing and had begun launching fireballs at the Earthbender.
"Thanks, Bol-blub!" she had begun to say before a water stream hit her and engulfed her. As she landed on the ground, Korra could see Yuji running towards her, his arms encased in watery tendrils. She quickly jumped on her feet and bent the water around her into a sphere and whipped at Yuji, engaging the Waterbender in a contest of water whips.
On the other side of the arena, Mako was still fighting Shan. Mako got in close to the Earthbender and begun striking at him with a series of roundhouse kicks, blazing arcs of sharp flames coming from his feet. Shan quickly dodged each of Mako's attacks, shifting his footing and allowing the rock beneath him to slide. Mako speedily shifted from his blazing offensive kicks to quick, flaming hand strikes. Shan kept stomping on the ground as he retreated to try and knock Mako off balance with tremors, but it was no use. Soon they were at the edge of the blue side, the water below beckoning for its imminent guests. Shan looked back to see the water below him, nervous sweat appearing on his face. He quickly twisted his feet, encasing them in stone. Just as Mako was bringing in a flaming punch, Shan bent down and punched the ground in front of him. The earth below erupted beneath Mako's feet, but he had seen the attack coming and had quickly jumped back.
"Watch out, Mako!" called out Korra from behind him. He quickly turned around to see Yuji and Diyu running up behind him, with Bolin and Korra hot on their tails. Mako turned back to see Shan leap through the dust cloud of his attack, his fists by his sides as he flew through the air. Mako quickly back-flipped just as Shan hit the spot where he had been standing, the earth erupting in a mass of pillars. Mako flipped over both Diyu and Yuji, shooting streams of flames from his open palms as he landed on the ground. Diyu blocked his fire stream with crossed arms while Yuji bent a wall of water in front of him, blocking Mako's attack. Bolin and Korra took their place by Mako's side, taking fighting stances as they faced down their enemy.
Suddenly, three earthen pillars were launched up into the air by Shan's kicks. The Earthbender jumped into the air and hit the floating pillars with open palms, angling them towards Team Avatar. He quickly struck the levitating pillars with open palms, launching them at Team Avatar with deadly speed. Mako quickly jumped back to dodge his pillar while Korra sent a blade of water up towards her pillar, slicing it in half and letting it fall around her in a crumpled heap. Bolin took a wide stance and punched upwards, shattering his into dozens of pieces. He raised his hands, taking control of the debris with his Earthbending. "Eat rocks, losers!" he shouted as he stepped forward, launching the rocks with double fists.
Shan jumped forward and thrust his hands forward, stopping the flying projectiles in their tracks. He grunted and sent them flying back at Team Avatar, eliciting a cheer from the crowd. "Woops," said Bolin clumsily, realizing his mistake. He quickly turned serious again and stomped his foot, raising his arms in front of him. A rock wall erected itself in front of them, blocking the returning rocks. The stones crashed against Bolin's defense, cracking the wall slightly as the crowd cheered even louder. As the final rock smashed against the wall, Bolin punched forward with his right fist. The earthen defense shot forward, cracking the ground as it raced towards Team Dragon Fury. Diyu and Yuji quickly jumped out of the way while Shan stood his ground, widening his stance and thrusting his chest forward.
The rock wall crashed against Shan, causing the crowd to gasp as the earth fell around him. When the rocks stopped moving, everyone could see that Shan had been encased in stone armor. The crowd's cheer returned as Shan shouted, "Ha! Did you really think that a little earth was going to stop me? Think again!" He looked over at Yuji and shouted, "Now!" The Waterbender nodded and ran towards Shan while Diyu got in front of the Earthbender and blasted fire at Team Avatar. Mako jumped in front of his team and blocked the fire blasts, dissipating the flames with hand blocks.
"What are they doing?" Korra asked Bolin, confused by what Team Dragon Fury's strategy. Bolin had a look of fearful recognition in his eyes, as if he knew what was going on.
"Two words…" simply replied Bolin, his eyes entirely focused on Yuji and Shan. The armored Earthbender cupped his rocky hands and held them downwards, as if to provide a boost. Yuji stepped into Shan's hands, turning himself to face Team Avatar as Shan threw Yuji into the air. As the Waterbender flew through the air, he whipped his arms around him. A massive water stream floated into the air above him, creating a liquid halo high above the arena. Korra watched as Yuji thrust downward with a clawed hand, freezing the water and sending ice shards screaming down towards Team Avatar. "Ice Storm!" screamed Bolin as he looked up, watching as the icicles fell.
"On it!" shouted Mako, thrusting a clawed hand above his head. A massive fire stream shot out of his hand, melting the deadly ice attack. Korra saw Yuji bend a stream of water underneath him, sending him gently back down to the ground just behind Shan. Diyu also took his place behind his Earthbender teammate, taking a spot just in front of Yuji. Team Dragon Fury began running forward, using the armored Earthbender as mobile cover.
"It's a trick!" shouted Korra, bending water around her as she jumped in front of her teammates. She thrust her hands forward, sending the water outward in a massive geyser. Shan crossed his arms in front of him, blocking the water stream as he continued to surge forward with his team. "A little help!" she shouted to her teammates, who sprang into action. Mako launched fire balls while Bolin chucked rocks, all of which were blocked by Shan's mobile defense. When Team Dragon Fury got close enough, they broke formation and attacked. Shan's armor fell off as he went after Bolin, Yuji went after Mako, and Diyu went after Korra again.
As Shan and Bolin moved to the left during their sparring, Mako and Yuji went to the right as they fought. Diyu pushed Korra backwards as he attacked her, flames burning on his hands as he struck at her. When she had been pushed back fifteen feet, she thrust outward with a closed fist. A water stream rushed past her and struck Diyu, sending the Firebender to the far side of the arena. Korra looked over to her left to see Bolin jump into the air on a pile of earthen blocks, Shan just underneath the pile. Korra bent her left wrist behind her head while hooking her right hand in front of her, leaning forward on her left leg. A large water stream hooked around her and smashed into the rock pile just as Shan was smashing into it with his fists, making the rock explode from the force of the water.
As Bolin twisted through the air, he saw Diyu stand up and shoot fireballs up at him. Two of the fireballs stream past him harmlessly while the third came very close to hitting him, although his eyebrows became slightly singed in the process. Down below him, he could see his brother kick at Yuji, an arc of blazing flames coming out of his foot as the Waterbender ducked to avoid the attack. Yuji quickly bent a stream of water around him, but Mako cut through it with a blade of fire. Bolin landed and punched the ground, sending a wave of earthen spires at Diyu. The Firebender jumped over the earthen wave and charged up an attack between his palms, thrusting outwards with clawed hands and sending a large fireball at Bolin. The Earthbender flipped backwards just before the fireball hit the ground, scorching the floor beneath him. Bolin landed and looked up to see Diyu rushing towards him, fire whips sprouting from his hands.
Suddenly, Bolin was spun around so that he was facing Yuji. He looked behind him to see that his brother had taken his place and was now engaging Diyu in a heated battle. Bolin turned back to his new opponent and thrust his fist upward, bending three rocks out of the ground. He launched the first one with a kick and the other two with punches. Yuji swiftly dodged the rocks with fluid movements, twisting his arms around him. A rush of water came up on Bolin's left, hitting the Earthbender in the side and sending him flying. But rather than crashing to the ground, he landed on his feet and punched downward with a fist. An earthen pillar erupted under Yuji's feet, but the Waterbender smoothly jumped off before he was thrown from the platform.
On the other side of the arena, Korra was still engaging Shan. The Avatar tried her best to knock the Earthbender off balance, but no matter what she did he stood strong against her watery attacks. This guy's like an Artic-Hippo! she thought to herself as she launched another water stream at Shan, who easily blocked the attack and didn't even move an inch. Shan suddenly looked over to his left, looking over at Diyu. His Firebending teammate looked over at him, and an understanding passed between them. Diyu turned his attention to their Waterbender and shouted, "Do it, Yuji!" Diyu quickly rushed over to Shan and picked him up, taking off high into the air on flame jets from his feet.
Team Avatar halted their assault for the moment, confused by what their opponents were doing. They watched Yuji raise his arms up, as if he were drawing up something. A massive wall of water rose all around the arena, blocking the crowd from view. As the wave rose higher and higher, Korra shouted, "Get over here, guys!" Make and Bolin rushed over to the Avatar, eyeing the wall of water the whole time. When they got to her, Yuji brought his arms down. The tidal wave descended on the platform, rushing towards Team Avatar. "Bolin!" she shouted, but the Earthbender knew what she wanted. He stomped his foot and punched over his head, and an earthen dome covered all three of them just as the wave hit. The water crashed against the rock dome, pounding the eardrums of Team Avatar with the sound of an exploding wave. Finally, the wave died away, leaving a lone rock dome in the middle of the arena.
Diyu and Shan dropped back down to the arena, and Team Dragon Fury surrounded the rock dome. "Come on out, Team Avatar!" shouted Yuji, still pumped up by his impressive feat of Waterbending. "I want to show the ladies how a real bender fights!" The fan girls in the crowd squealed girlishly as Yuji mentioned them, a suave smile appearing on his face. He bent water from the floor below him around him in a streaming arc and began lashing at the rock dome in an attempt to cut through it. Shan launched dozens of rocks at the dome while Diyu blasted a large fire stream from his palm, engulfing the dome in a fireball. The crowd cheered its approval of Team Dragon Fury's attack, the upbeat music pounding loudly as the assault continued.
Inside the rock dome, Bolin was in a wide stance with his arms above his head. He grunted and told the others, "We better think of something fast…otherwise we're going to lose." He winced in pain, his chi being expended at a great rate while he tried to keep his defensive dome up.
Mako looked at Korra and said, "Well, Korra…since you're the one who's leading us, I think it's time that you took charge of the situation." Korra's eyes widened in surprise at Mako's words, not expecting this kind of behavior from him. He was asking her for help, of all things. But she smiled smugly at him and nodded before she closed her eyes, taking in the situation and formulating a plan in her mind.
"Diyu's behind us," she said without opening her eyes. "I can feel the heat of his flames coming from that direction. Shan's off to our right…his rocks are smashing against us from that way, while Yuji is slicing at us from off to the left." She opened her eyes, knowing what she had to do. She looked at her teammates and said, "I'll take out Shan. Mako, you go after Diyu, and Bolin, you go after Yuji. Hit them as hard as you can, no holding back." The two brothers nodded at her, firm looks in their eyes. She looked at the Earthbender and said, "Bolin, on the count of three, I want you to blast the rock dome out in all directions. Throw the debris as hard as you can. Got it?" Bolin smiled and nodded, sweat drenching his face. Korra smirked and said, "Good. Now get ready." They took their places, getting ready to hit their respective targets. "One…two…three!"
Bolin shouted and stomped his foot, thrusting his open palms outward. The rock dome exploded and shot outwards in all directions, earth shrapnel flying through the air. Team Avatar ran through the dust cloud, ready to win this fight. Bolin launched an earthen wave through the dust, a loud grunt resounding from Yuji as the attack hit its target. The Waterbender was thrown clear off the platform, landing in a huge splash down in the water below. The crowd screamed and cheered, causing Bolin to smile with pride. "Yuji's out!" shouted the announcer, and the dismayed cries of several fan girls filled the air.
Korra summoned water around her, sending it forward in a giant wall of water. The wave rushed through the dust cloud, hitting an unsuspecting Shan with a mighty crash. The Earthbender tried to secure his foothold, but it was no use. The water swept him off the platform, throwing him to the pool down below. Korra smiled and punched a fist in the air as the announcer shouted, "Shan's out too! Unbelievable! In all my years, I've never seen Shan knocked out of his stance! Not even the mightiest of Earthbenders can stand up against the Avatar!"
"You got that right!" shouted Korra in reply, eliciting a cheer from the crowd. She looked back behind her to see Mako get thrown back by a blast of fire, and her smile instantly vanished. "Mako!" she shouted, rushing over to the Firebender's side. She and Bolin helped Mako to his feet just as the dust cloud blew away, reveling Diyu to still be standing tall. Team Avatar took fighting stances as they surrounded the lone Firebender, and the Avatar boldly said, "Give up, Diyu! You're all alone now! There's no way you can beat us!"
Diyu chuckled deviously and asked, "Are you sure about that, Avatar? I will show you the true power of fire!" He shouted and thrust his fists outward, his armor bursting into flames. The crowd collectively gasped, then cheered even louder than before.
"What in the name Yue is he doing?" exclaimed Korra, horrified by what she was seeing. Even in all her Firebending training, she had never seen anyone willingly burn themselves like this.
"Oh no…" whispered Bolin fearfully, as if he knew what was happening. Diyu's fire grew even larger, completely engulfing him in a large firestorm. The inferno began to take shape and turned into a flaming bird, and Bolin shouted, "The Burning Phoenix Blaze!" Korra's jaw dropped as she looked at the blazing phoenix, which bent its head down and roared hot air at them. The fiery phoenix took flight, flames coming out of its feet as it flapped its wings. Team Avatar watched as the phoenix swooped around, blasting fireballs from its wings at the ground. The three heroes quickly dodged the onslaught, the fireballs scorching the ground wherever they hit.
As Korra rolled to safety, she shouted, "How do we beat it?"
"We don't," grimly replied Mako. "No one's ever beaten this attack, not even me." He punched through a fireball and said, "It's one of the ultimate Firebending moves, having been invented by a Fire Nation Avatar one thousand years ago."
"We don't need a history lesson right now!" shouted Korra as she dodged a large fire stream from the phoenix's mouth. "We need to figure out how to put this thing out for good!"
Bolin yelped as he dodged a large fireball and shouted, "It'll take a miracle to beat Diyu!"
Korra's eyes widened, realizing what she needed to do. "Guys, I got a plan!" Her teammates looked over at her and she said, "It's crazy, but it just might work. Can you two cover me?" Both brothers smirked and nodded, and she said, "Go get 'em!" Mako and Bolin began attacking the phoenix, launching fireballs and rocks at the flaming bird. Korra rushed over to the edge of the platform, eyeing the water below her. She closed her eyes and cleared her mind, focusing all her energy to the waves below.
As she felt the energy build inside of her, she could hear the voice of her Waterbending master resonate in her head: Do not see yourself as just the controller of the water. You and the water are one with each other, flowing with the same movement and energy. In order to master water, you must learn to become one with it. There is no separation between a Waterbender and their element, but rather a connection that runs deep in our blood. When the water pushes, you pull back with as much energy. That is how the Moon and Ocean Spirits work together in harmony with one other, just as a Waterbender must be in total harmony with their element. You are the water, Korra…become one with your element, and you will be unstoppable.
Korra opened her eyes, feeling her chi flowing throughout the water below her. She took in a deep breath, exhaling gently as she began swaying from side to side with her arms. The water below began to churn, sending large ripples throughout the surface. She drew her hands up, funneling a large column of water from the pool below. The stream grew in size until it became a raging torrent towering high above the arena. The crowd gasped as they looked at the water stream, surprise on their faces. Mako and Bolin looked to see what Korra was doing, while the phoenix hovered in mid-air as the Firebender inside watched the water rise. Korra turned around to face her teammates, her arms still raised above her head. She began making fluid motions with her arms, shaping the water stream into a shape of its own. Everyone watched as the top of the water stream turned into the head of a giant Koi fish, the rest of the water stream taking the shape of the rest of the body.
"Awesome…" whispered Bolin as he looked at Korra's creation, and even Mako had a surprised look on his face. None of them had ever seen this level of Waterbending in their whole lives before, and they instantly knew that there was much more power behind Korra's youth than they had thought.
Korra smiled smugly and shouted to Diyu, "You showed us the true power of fire. Now see what happens when a Waterbender is in harmony with her element!" She spun around and punched forward, sending the massive Koi fish at the phoenix. The massive bird roared a large stream of fire at the Koi fish, but it had no effect on the watery creature. The liquid Koi fish slammed into the fiery phoenix, sending the two crashing down to the water below with a mighty splash. The crowd was silent for several seconds, stunned by what had just happened…and then they burst into thunderous applauses and loud cheers.
"Incredible!" screamed the announcer, his voice an octave higher than normal due to his excitement. "Team Avatar has managed to come back from what seemed like certain defeat to total victory over Team Dragon Fury! That was the most amazing Pro-Bending match I've seen in all my years as an announcer here! Give it up for TEAM AVATAR!" The crowd screamed its approval of the three heroes, their cheers drowning out the dying music.
"Yeah! We did it!" shouted Korra as she ran up to her teammates, pulling them into a huge hug. She and Bolin were laughing joyfully, while Mako's eyes seemed to shine with a certain kind of emotion. The three separated from their hug and Korra said, "We were awesome out there! Good work, guys!" Bolin smiled at her, and when she looked over at Mako she gasped. Mako…was smiling. "Whoa, whoa!" said Korra jokingly. "Is that a smile I see on your face, Mako?"
Mako chuckled and replied, "It is indeed a smile. We were, as you said, awesome out there…pretty much the best Pro-Bending match I've ever been in." He patted the Avatar on the shoulder and said, "Nice work, Korra. Glad to have you with us."
Korra smirked and said, "That's good, because you'll be seeing a lot more of me during my stay here." The three of them laughed, their bonds of friendship growing even stronger with each passing moment. She put a hand in the middle of them and said, "But we're just Team Avatar in here. Would you guys like to be Team Avatar for real? I could use guys like you by my side. What do you say?"
Bolin put his hand on top of Korra's and said, "I'd be happy to be a part of your team, Korra. We work well together, and we need to stick together." Both of them nodded at each other, understanding passing between them.
They looked at Mako just as he put his hand on the pile and said, "You guys are going to need all the help you can get." He chuckled and added, "Besides, one of us needs to keep a level-head in the midst of your craziness."
"Ha ha ha," said Korra sarcastically, smiling at her Firebending friend. They turned their gaze on their hands and shouted in unison, "One, two, three…TEAM AVATAR!" They raised their hands in the air, eliciting a cheer from the crowd. Korra looked at her two friends, and she knew that, after months of wandering the world alone with her Polar Bear-Dog, Naga…she had finally found a family away from her home. She had found two loyal friends, and she intended to keep them close to her. Thank you, Aang, she said to her past life. Even though I was mad about being the Avatar at first…I've realized that there's so much more to being the Avatar than training in the four elements. She smiled to herself and added, The Avatar makes new friends from around the world, and I'm thankful that I've been given the opportunity to meet these two wonderful brothers. Thanks for everything, Aang. Her smile widened, knowing for sure that the deceased Air Nomad had heard her thoughts.