"So how's Amestris?" Katara asked to Alphonse curiously, with a smile, while they were waiting outside of the dojo where Aang was learning earthbending, although the Elric siblings were still wondering what Earthbending is.
"Well..." Alphonse began. "It's really different from here." He simply said, trying to find the word with he could explain to her how Amestris is. He had the image of Amestris really burned into his mind, but he couldn't really explain it.
Katara frowned a bit and placed her hands on Al's armored arm, shaking it a bit. Her curiosity was too big to hold on. "But different in which way?" She almost squealed.
Alphonse sighed and looked down at her, meeting her big, blue eyes, opened widely and shining with curiosity. He couldn't say no to that. "We have big buildings," He began looking up at the sky. "Tall and big building, that seems to almost reach the sky." The image of Amestris gave him memories. Although they've been away only a day, it felt like forever to him. He felt so powerless because Father was out there, doing who knows what right now. "We have big and beautiful valleys. Green and full of life" And of course, think of Resembool didn't make him feel better. His home, his history, his past, his parents, grandmother Pinako and Winry. What made him feel worse was the fact that Pinako and Winry mustn't know that they were missing in a whole new world. He missed them so much.
Not too far, leaning his back against wall was Edward hearing everything. The same thoughts came to his mind while Alphonse related everything to Katara. Winry. He really missed her. Edward sighed and walked toward the group, sitting on the floor besides Alphonse.
"Do you mind if I ask, why are you wearing an armor?" Sokka asked to Al. He looked down at Sokka and shrugged. He already thought of what he would say if someone ever asked that question.
"I kind of got stucked in here, so I can't get out now." He answered. Ed looked at Al and then nodded.
"Yeah." he continued. "We've been trying to get him out of there, but it's kind of difficult, really difficult." He finished. Everyone kept wuiet for a while until Ed broke the silence. "When is he coming back?" Edward asked annoyed for the third time this hour. Sokka turned his glance from his bag to Edward with a frown and was about to answer until a voice interrupted.
"Nah," Aang said tired while leaning his head to the left side and hitting his head on the right side, getting the dirt out of his ear. "He's not the one."
Sokka and Katara looked at Aang with disappointment in their eyes.
Edward was getting annoyed about not knowing what the hell earthbending was. He stood up and walked towards Aang. "Excuse me, but what is-"
"I think the Boulder's going to win back the belt at Earth Rumble VI!" they heard, interrupting Edward's question. They turned their head and saw student walking out of the dojo with a partner of his, cleary talking.
"He's going to have to fight his way through the best earthbenders in the world to get a chance!" The partner replied.
At that mention, Aang's eyes opened widely and his face lit up again with hope. He began to walk towards the students with a smile on his face
"Excuse me, but where is this earthbending Tournament, exactly?" He asked
Both of the students smirked and one said: "It's on the island of Nunya...'nunya' business!" and then they both laughed, walking away. Aang pouted a little at that. What have he done to them to being so mean with him? He just asked something!
Sokka began to laugh and Edward chuckled a bit. "Oh, I got to remember that one!" Sokka said.
Katara walked to Aang and placed her hands on his shoulders in a reassuring way. "I'll take care of this." She then began to run the same way the students walked before. "Hey, strong guys, Wait up!" She screamed at them.
Edward looked up at Alphonse and Alphonse looked down at Edward, both thinking the same: How out of the group they felt. They knew it was a matter of time, that they just have to wait and they'll be included, but however, everything was messed up for them right now, and Edward really didn't feel like waiting.
"What was I thinking?" Sokka said frowning at the green purse he bought. "I don't need a bag!" Oh, so is a bag? Edward thought smirking. "Why did you let me buy this?" He dropped the bag at the ground and momo climbed on it.
Aang turned to Edward with a small smile. "Sorry, you wanted to ask me something." He began. "What is it?"
Edward sighed and rubbed his neck with his automail arm. He looked down at his hand, which was covered with a glove and his red coat. The group didn't know yet he had metal limbs. They'll find out sometime soon, and he really didn't know if it was better to tell them directly or to let them find out by themselves. When he realized he was paying too much attention to his arm he quickly turned his glance up at Aang, who was still smiling at him. "I wanted to know what is Ea-"
"You ready to find an earthbending teacher?" The voice of Katara interrupted Edward for the second time this day. Edward frowned a bit and sighed with annoyance. "Because we're going to Earth Rumble VI" She almost squealed.
Aang was surprised at this and looked at Katara. "How'd you get them to tell you?" He asked to her. Edward heard some sound besides him and found Alphonse and Soka almost fighting. Apparently, Alphonse tried to grab the lemur they called Momo but he didn't wanted to get out of the bag, so he grabbed the border of the bag with his little paws while Alphonse pulled him. Sokka was pulling the bag too.
"Oh... a girl has her ways." Katara said, rolling her eyes.
Edward walked to Alphonse and whispered to him. "Let go of that Lemur, Al!"
Alphonse sighed and let the the lemur free, making Sokka fall backwards on the ground with his bag and Momo falling on top of him.
"Hey! Front row seats!" Aang yelled at the rest of their group to make his voice audible over the screams of the rest of the people at the arena. It was really difficult to enter, since Alphonse was wearing armor, and apparently all the people were running from the so called "Fire Nation", and everybody thought Alphonse was some kind of Fire Nation soldier. It took almost half an hour to convince the police that they were just citizens, even when that was also a lie. It was hard to convince them to not take off the head of the armour, trying to convince them it was stucked and that they've been trying to take him that thing for days. It was hard, but they finally got to enter and now there they were, walking through the benches, looking for a place to sit.
"I wonder why no one else is sitting here." Aang screamed again while sitting. The rest of the group did the same and they soon discovered why no one else was sitting there. Everyone jumped when a big rock flew just besides Sokka, scaring everyone.
"I guess that's why." Sokka commented.
In the center of the ring, the event's host raised an earthen platform, throwing big rocks everywhere; he then brought it back to the level of the rest of the arena. The Elric siblings gasped at this, thinking in just one thing: Alchemy
"Welcome to Earth Rumble VI!" He screamed "I am your host, Xin Fu!" At this, the screams turned louder than before
"This is just going to be a bunch of guys chucking rocks at each other, isn't it?" Katara asked annoying while checking at her nails.
"That's what I paid for." Sokka said to her.
Alphonse looked down at Edward. "Niisan! Did you saw that?" He asked to Edward.
Edward nodded at him, but kept staring at the ring. "Alchemy" He whispered.
So Alchemy also exists here, eh?
"The rules are simple. Just knock the other guy out of the ring, and you win!" Xin Fu screamed to the audience. A bell rang and Xin Fu flew to his place at a big and tall earthmade podium. "Round one: The Boulder vs. The Big Bad Hippo!" He announced.
Two men walked to the ring. The one called the boulder was muscular, tall and tan. He had black hair tied on a bun, and black haired beard. At his back, he had a tattoo of what it seemed to be a badger... or a mole.
On the other hand, Hippo seemed like a big baby, a very, very, very big and fat baby. He only had four teeth and always had his eyes narrowed at the point they seemed closed. Bot of the fighters only had their green pants on.
"Listen up, Hippo" The boulder said to Hippo with a mean tone of voice. Of course, if it was a fight! "You may be big, but you ain't bad! The Boulder's gonna win this in a landslide!" He said everything with overreacted hand moves and facial expressions.
"Hippo... mad!" He screamed with anger. He then raised his arms, revealing very hairy armpits. In anger, Hippo stomped one foot, making the floor shake. At this, Momo crawled inside Sokka's bag out of fear.
The Boulder fired three rocks, making them crash into Hippo, but he does not move, as it the rocks haven't damaged him. He took one piece of rock with his mouth and chewed on it and spat it out. Hippo then jumped up and down, causing the surface of the arena to tilt and causing The Boulder to lose his balance.
"Unbelievable, ladies and gentlemen! The Hippo is rocking the boat!" Xin Fu screamed in his podium.
Because of Hippo jumping and making the arena shake, The Boulder reached the edge, but saved himself by bending out part of the ring into a small platform. He grabbed it and threw it at his opponent, hitting him on the back. As Hippo turned around to look at him, The Boulder bended up, with difficult, Hippo's part of the ring, making it float. It was obviously a hard move for The Boulder because his face was showing how much strength he was using. He then threw him out on it making Hippo crash in the lower area of around the arena. The fight ends thus in his favor.
"The Boulder wins!" Xin Fu screamed.
"How about The Boulder?" Katara asked to Aang. "He's got some good moves."
"I don't know. Bumi said I need a teacher who listens to the Earth. He's just listening to his big muscles." Aang answered.
Edward and Alphonse weren't really hearing the conversation. They were focused at what they just seen in front of their eyes.
"This isn't Alchemy." Edward whispered.
Alphonse looked down at Edward. "What did you said?!" he screamed at him. "The people screaming aren't let me hear you!"
Ed looked up at his brother and repeated what he said, this time screaming. "This isn't alchemy!" Ed smirked at his brother and crossed his arms. "They weren't using transmutation circles" He simply said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
Al looked down at his brother again. It was hard for Edward to describe how his brother was feeling at sometimes because of his armor. He wasn't able to show any emotion. He was an emotionless armor, and it was his entire fault. "We don't use them either." He commented to Ed.
Ed looked at the ring and sighed. "Yeah, you are right." he closed his eyes, trying to focus at what happened in front of his eyes. Of course, they didn't used circles, but it still wasn't alchemy. When someone performs alchemy it emits a bright glow, blue or red. That glow didn't appear in here, they controlled the earth as if nothing.
Edward suddenly opened his eyes and screamed at Alphonse. "I think this is what they call earthbending! And it has nothing to do with Alchemy!"
"What do you think, Edward?" The eldest brother heard besides him. He snapped his head at Aang and noticed that he and Katara were expecting for an answer. Shit! Edward wasn't paying attention; he really didn't know what they were talking about.
"I'm sorry." Edward apologized to them. "I wasn't paying attention; can you repeat me your question?"
Aang leaned his head closer to Edward and asked a little bit louder. "I asked: what do you think about The Boulder as an earthbender teacher?"
Ed turned his head to glare at Alphonse for a moment and then nodded, turning his head at Aang again. "I'm sorry, Aang" He screamed to make his voice audible over the creams of the people who were waiting the second round. "But not even Al or I are familiarized with Earthbending."
Aang and Katara nodded and looked at the ring again.
"Next match..." Xin Fu screamed. "The Boulder versus Fire Nation Man!"
A man dressed as a Fire Nation citizen entered the arena while happily waving a Fire Nation flag. The crowd and Sokka began to boo at him loudly, some giving at him thumbs down.
"Please, to rise for Fire Nation National Anthem!" Fire Nation Man screamed to the audience and then knelt with one knee and began to sing, placing a hand on his naked chest. "Fire Lord! My flame burns for thee!"
The crowd and Sokka booed at him some more and then began to throw rocks at Fire Nation Man.
"Go back to the Fire Nation!" Sokka shouted while throwing a rock which hits Fire Nation Man's head.
"Nice shot!" Edward commented to Sokka, who only shrugged and added: "It's all practice"
Before Fire Nation Man could recover from Sokka's rock against his head, the Boulder sank him into the ground. Fire Nation Man dropped his flag by the movement while The Boulder raised high above him on an earth pillar he bended. Fire Nation Man looked up at him and opened his eyes widely with feay.
"No, no please!" Fire Nation Man begged to the Boulder in fear, but of course the Boulder ignored it. The Boulder grinned broadly and jumped off the pillar with his knees downwards, while grasping his ankles behind his back. He slammed the surface of the ring, by which he created a pillar under Fire Nation Man that ejected him out of the arena. He landed upside down on the big rock that was next to the group of guys.
Sokka screamed with excitement at the Fire Nation Man who was at his side. "The Boulder knows how to put the hurt in the dirt!" He screamed at him and then began to scream as a madman again.
Edward kept silent all the time after that round, studying the movements of the earthbenders, fascinated. If I could find a way to incorporate earthbending and alchemy together He thought. It'll be really usefull. But before that, I have to study what earthbending is.
After, The Boulder defeated several opponents, some of them using earthbending as if they were mole people and other ones wearing masks which hid their faces totally.
A bell rang, marking the final round. The lights went down except for one, which shone over Xin Fu.
"Now, the moment you've all been waiting for." Xing Fu said lowering his voice to add drama. "The Boulder vs. your champion..." "
A young girl appeared into the arena, holding a belt, which the group supposed was the belt the champion wins every season, over her head and wearing a green cape. The girl was short, really short, actually. Black-haired and pale. Two female assistants help her carrying off the cape and the belt. And when they did he noticed her eyes while his opened widely in surprise. Is she...?
"The Blind Bandit!" Xin Fu screamed at the audience.
Her name answered Edward's question.
"She can't really be blind. It's just part of her character, right?" Katara asked to Aang, worried.
I've seen eyes like those before. She is blind. Edward answered mentally to Katara.
"I think she is." Aang said under his breath.
"I think she is... going down!" Sokka exclaimed while pointing his thumbs down at the girl.
The Blind Bandit just stood up in the middle of the ring, calmed as if nothing was happening.
"The Boulder feels conflicted about fighting a young blind girl!" He yelled to the girl, but it was obvious that he was talking to the audience.
The Blind Bandit only smirked and pointed at the Boulder, looking at a completely other side, not looking at him. "Sounds to me like you're scared, Boulder!" she taunted.
The boulder pouted and frowned. "The Boulder's over his conflicted feelings, and now he's ready to bury you in a rock-alanche!"
The Blind Bandit pointed at her competition again and smirked at him. "Whenever you're ready, The Pebble!" The girl said and laughed like a maniac, "looking" up at the ceiling.
Aang's eyes opened widely when he heard her laugh.
"It's on!" The Boulder said.
All tugged Edward's red coat sleeve. "How will she get out alive?" he whispered in his brother's ear. Edward just stared at the ring, asking himself the same question. He then smiled and looked up at his brother.
"Don't underestimate the small ones."
As the boulder began to take a step towards the girl, she just stood there, doing nothing. At the moment that the boulder stepped his foot on the floor, the Blind Bandit createed a fissure which caused The Boulder to fall in a split. Sokka looked disappointed when this happened, Ed could see. The Boulder howled in pain when that happened and then she kicked up three earth-made pillars, ejecting him out of the ring.
"Your winner, and still the champion, The Blind Bandit!" Xin Fu screamed. The girl smirked and lifted a fist in the air in victory.
Ed smirked while the rest of the group looked shocked. Yeah, he knew better than you shouldn't underestimate the small ones. He growled as he thought of that because that was like admitting he was small and he didn't like that at all. Meanwhile, Sokka was yelling in disappointment when his new idol lost the fight.
"How did she do that?" Katara asked to no-one in particular.
"She waited... and listened." Aang answered looking at her, smiling.
Xin Fu jumped from his podium to the ring with a green small sack. "To make things a little more interesting" He began screaming, lifting the small sack in the air for everyone to see. "I'm offering up this sack of gold pieces to anyone who can defeat The Blind Bandit!" After that, everyone kept quiet and didn't make a sound, not even Sokka, who was still mourning the loss of The Boulder. "What? No one dares to face her?" Xin Fu teased to the audience.
Edward saw this as the perfect moment to find someone to help him understand earthbending, to teach Aang and maybe even teach him; so he stood up, surprising his young brother and the rest of the group, not realizing that Aang stood up too, but didn't took a step when he saw Edward walking towards the ring so confidently.
"I will!" Edward screamed as he entered to the ring.
"Go, Edward!" Sokka exclaimed to him when the shock left him. "Avenge The Boulder!"
The girl's expression changed when Edward stepped his left leg on the ring. Nobody noticed that, not even Edward. The girl smirked at the alchemist. "You'll really be hard to defeat, I feel." She began, talking loud enough for just Edward to hear her. "I would even dare to say you are made of metal." Edward gasped internally. How did she know?
"I don't really want to fight you." He said to the female fighter. "I came looking for help."
"Boo! No talking!" Sokka screamed at Ed. Katara slapped him.
"Don't boo at him!" She scolded.
Ed took a step towards the girl. When he did that the girl smirked and created a rock pillar which lifted Edward up. He spun a bit in the air and landed on his left arm and right leg, landing softly his left leg, trying as much as he could to not show his metal limbs, to not making them clench and to not making them make sounds when they touched the rock.
The Blind Bandit swiftly turned around and bended another rock pillar under Ed which lifted him up, again. Edward spun in the air again but this time he fell on his chest and rolled a few times on the ground, creating a big cloud of dust and dirt. When he stopped rolling he stood up with difficult. He looked around, looking for his opponent.
"There you are!" The blind girl said behind him. He turned around to face her and ran backwards until he almost reached the edge of the ring.
She launched a big rock at him. Ed, tired of running, took advantage of the big cloud to make the transmutation glow less visible and clapped his hands together to then hit the rock with the palms, making it turn into a big rock-made fist, which flew towards the girl. When the rock hit her, it fell on the ground, just like the Blind Bandit did when she flew out of the ring. When the rock touched the ground, it destroyed.
Everyone looked at Edward stunned: Xin Fu, The Boulder and the crowd, even Alphonse, Sokka and Katara, who looked at each other and smiled proudly. The crowd began to cheer the alchemist like the cheered no-one before at this tournament, not even The Boulder. But Edward didn't have time to accept that glory and ran behind the fallen girl, who was walking away from the ring, angry.
"Please, listen! My friend needs and earthbending teacher, and we think you'll be the best at it!" Ed yelled at her.
"Whoever you are, just leave me alone!" The Blind Bandit said without turning around or something and when she was about to reach the wall, she stepped the floor with a foot, creating a squared hole on the wall. She walked inside and then bended the rock as how it was at the start.
Ed stood there, looking at where the girl disappeared and then turned around to the ring, where Xin Fu was waiting for him to give him the prizes. When he reached him he just stood there, looking down at the ground, while Sokka ran towards Xin Fu and grabbed the sack of money and the belt, to then hug him in gratitude and showing the prizes to everyone as if he was the one who won them.
"Way to go, champ!" Sokka said to Ed while hugging his shoulders with an arm.
Ed looked up at his right side and found his brother looking up at him, and patting his shoulder in reassurance.
The only thing at Edward's mind at the moment was: "I really screwed up this time, don't I?"
CHAN CHAN CHAAAAAAAN! I'M BACK!
Sorry it took me so long! I had exams and I really like to procrastinate some things (like this).
Well, this chapter is loooong, as you found out (more than 4000 words) and… I don't know what you think about this chapter. I really wanted to end this thing right now to if it sucks, I'm so sorry!
As everyone would say: Review! To be honest, your reviews and follows are the things which motivate me to keep going, because then I see things like "OMG! 19 people are waiting for a new chapter! I can't disappoint them!" or "they think I'm a good writer! Look at the comments! They are so nice! asdfghjkl;!"
Poor Edward, he messed up the things and he just got into the group (kind of) what will they think about him?
Well, I think that's all. So Bye!
P.S: Visit the first Tophward page ever made! .com In here you'll find only tophward to satisfice your feels.