Disclaimer: I do not own Fairy Tail or Avatar: The Last Airbender
To say the light that had encompassed Ba Sing Se that day was blinding would have been an understatement. All across town people were forced to look away as a flash of the purest white struck the middle of town, dead in the centre of the upper ring where the royal palace was located. Members of the Royal Guard who had been unfortunate enough to be looking in the general direction before the light struck cried out in pain as if their eyes were on fire. While their blindness was only temporary, so was the light and as quickly as it had appeared it had vanished. Yet it hadn't only been in the middle of the Earth Kingdom's greatest stronghold had such an occurrence happened. In three other distinct locations similar beams of light had burst from the sky only to vanish moments later.
Guru Pathik had been meditating in the forest surrounding the Eastern Air Temple, the flying bison Appa nothing more than a speck in the distance with the note for Aang to receive training with the enlightened elder. Pathik would have been oblivious to the light's presence had the birds that had been resting on his shoulders and hands not flown off simultaneously, squawks of fear present in their previously sing-song chirps. Opening his eyes, it took him a few moments to get out of his meditative pose to go inspect what all the commotion was about. To say he was surprised to find a young girl with blue hair barely alive would have been an understatement.
The other two lights had fallen across the land in distant and far off places but for the soldiers of the Earth King's Royal Guard as they charged at the person who had entered such a highly fortified structure they could not give a second thought. As they went to work apprehending what they could only deem as a criminal, Long Feng walked towards the commotion with a calm composure that he had upon his face at all times with two Dai Li agents walking in time behind him. While he himself hadn't seen the light at the time it had only taken him seconds to realise that something was amiss and it was his duty to ensure that the cultural behaviour of the city remained intact and that such a phenomenon would not occur again.
"What happened here?" asked Long Feng as he approached the guards who held the one responsible. In moments Long Feng had sized up the invader, although giving him such a title was proper at this stage he would delve deeper into the subject with his Dai Li agents.
"He appeared out of nowhere in a blinding light," explained a guard who held the intruders arms behind his back while several other soldiers stood nearby prepared to attack if the need arose. "He looks like he's been in a fight of sorts, he needs urgent medical attention."
Long Feng's eyes tinted slightly as he looked at the wounds the guard had spoken of. Indeed it looked like this man had been in a grandiose fight, scratches and bruises covered his body and only a handful had been covered by bandages that had gone red with blood; fresh blood at that. He wore white pants and a sleeveless waistcoat with a golden trim that resembled nothing that he knew of from the Elemental Nations. Upon his arm was a red insignia, once more he was confused as to what it truly meant but knew that the answers that he sought would come in time. One of the most interesting points about the boy however was the colour of his hair; somehow the pink spiky locks seemed to indicate a wild side to the boy's personality even if he hadn't yet said a word.
"Make note of the tattoo he has on his arm and be wary of anybody who has similar markings as they may be part of a tribe or clan," instructed Long Feng, the guards immediately carving the symbol into a stone tablet with their bending abilities. "Send word to the residents that everything is fine and that the light they witnessed was nothing more than a natural phenomenon. The Dai Li and I will take this trespasser to a safe location to interrogate myself."
"As you command," said the guardsmen as they released the pink haired boy into the custody of the Dai Li agents. During the transition however was when the pink haired teen slowly came back to consciousness, his eyes fluttering open to see a bunch of faces he knew nothing about.
"What...where am I?" he asked as he found his voice.
"Look, he's waking up," said one of the guards finding it necessary to point out the obvious.
"Come with me and we will get to the bottom of this mess, any act of violence will see you arrested as an enemy of the state," declared Long Feng, knowing that the law would be in his favour due to the fact that willingly or not this teen had invaded the Emperor's private grounds.
"And why should I trust you?" asked the teen as he found the strength to stand on his own two feet despite the amount of damage he had taken.
"Are you threatening the Grand Secretariat of Ba Sing Se?" questioned Long Feng knowing he was perfectly safe with the members of the Royal Guard along with two of his personal guard protecting him.
"I don't care if you're a prince or a king, if you don't tell me where I am or where my friends are I will beat you senseless," threatened the pink haired boy as he clenched his fists. In the palms of his hands he could still feel the warmth of Lucy and Erza who had been holding his hands only moments ago, before everything felt like a burning fire in a white light.
"Arrest him for threatening an official of Ba Sing Se!" commanded Long Feng, pointing an accusing finger at the perpetrator. Without hesitation, his Dai Li agents did their best to bind his hands with the gloves of stone that covered their hands, only to be punched squarely in the face before they had even had a chance to lock his hands in place. As they reeled back in pain, the teen wasted no time in following up on his assault, taking out every guard surrounding him despite the aches and pains that were created with every movement. Driving his knee into the midriff of a single guard, his instincts alerted him of danger as he turned his head to see a stone tablet soaring in his direction, catching him squarely in the chest and sending him bouncing across the tiled floor several feet before he found his feet as he skidded to a halt. Looking up he found twin tablets heading in his direction. Sidestepping out of the way of the first tablet, a swing of his right fist destroyed the second slab of stone, turning it into pebbles and debris which scattered across the floor.
From his position, Long Feng could see the focus and drive within this person's eyes. This was somebody who had been fighting since he was young and while it seemed he didn't have any bending qualities the fact that he could destroy solid stone with his hands alone told him that this was a fighter who demanded respect. With a hand signal, six more members of the Dai Li stormed the battlefield, slamming their feet into the ground as they raised their hands to lift a pillar of stone up from beneath their enemy's feet. As he climbed higher and higher into the air, there was no sign of surprise written across his face as the eye contact with he and Long Feng was broken as the altitude grew higher and higher before coming to a stop several stories above the ground.
"How do you wish us to proceed?" asked one of the royal guards as he got to Long Feng's side. "We could let the bastard rot up there for several hours, weaken his morale?"
Long Feng opened his mouth to respond but before he could respond their foe leapt into action, leaping high into the air and into the line of the sun, causing all of the members of the Earth Kingdom who had been fighting to shield their eyes. As they did their best to imagine what the pink haired boy had planned, none could suppress their surprise as when their body descended back towards the pillar they drove their fist dead into the centre of the stone. For several moments nothing happened before a definitive crack echoed across the pavilion before the stone shattered into hundreds of chunks that crashed to the ground forcing the guards and Dai Li to leap away in order to not get hit by the debris. As the smoke cleared they saw that the pink haired teenager was standing in the centre of them, a determined look still imprinted on his face.
"Just who are you?" asked Long Feng, wondering just who this demon of a boy was.
"Like you need to know," answered the citizen of Earthland as he wiped a bit of blood from his lips with the back of his hands. While he still had a great deal of his physical strength with him, the battle in Tenroujima including the one sided fight against Acnologia had left him with nearly no magical power in his system. That didn't matter now however as he charged forward, intent on finding his friends the only way he knew how. For every enemy he knocked out several more took their place until he found himself utterly surrounded as more and more blows rained upon his body, unable to mount a feasible defence against everything that was coming his way.
Minutes passed as he succumbed to the damage that had been dealt and as Long Feng stepped forward the bloodied mess beneath him hardly represented the fighting force it had earlier. "Should we lock him in the dungeons?" asked one of the royal guards.
"No, leave him to the Dai Li and myself," instructed Long Feng, the royal guards bowing their heads in understanding before returning to their posts, many with a number of fractured ribs and bruising across their body that they would later need to get checked on at the infirmary. With the teen in secure custody by the Dai Li agents, Long Feng gave the simple instructions for his men to do with the pink haired teen. "Take him to Lake Laogai, I don't want him to remember anything of his past. He will become a great asset if we play our cards right."
"Understood," said the Dai Li agents in unison as several went about taking the pink haired brawler to their secret underwater prison while the others returned to their posts. Long Feng took several strides in thought as he walked towards the palace, knowing that he would have to take drastic measures to ensure that the boy remained his puppet, with a strong will like his there was no telling how long it would take for his mind to become docile. Yet these thoughts were pushed to the back of his mind as he realised he needed to come up with a viable excuse to explain to the Earth King why a good number of his loyal subordinates were wounded without making the head of the country panic.
Several days later, the Avatar would arrive in Ba Sing Se with his friends looking for their sky bison Appa. Not only that but Zuko and his grandfather Iroh, exiled royalty from the Fire Nation had managed to sneak into the city by posing as refugees. Yet none of these people meant anything to the pink haired teen who walked around the slums of the Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se. Walking past a market vendor, he hears the sound of glass shattering followed by angry ranting. He paused momentarily in the middle of the street, his head turning towards the commotion and for some reason he found himself walking towards it before once again coming to a stop down an alleyway.
Why had he decided to go towards trouble instead of ignoring it like everybody else, or had they not actually heard it? As for he himself, it wasn't like he had anything in particular to do today, so was it normal to go looking for some kind of entertainment? "Give me your money pal!" threatened a voice from nearby causing the teen to turn his head again, this time to see himself staring down a mugger who brandished a knife in his hand.
"Look, I don't want any trouble," said the teen as he raised his hands in surrender.
"Give me your money and there won't be any trouble," said the mugger as he edged closer to where the pink haired boy stood, the knife still held at chest height.
"If I had any money, don't you think I would've given it to you by now," said the teen as if it would have been the obvious response for somebody holding a knife in their direction.
"Well...umm...give me that scarf of yours, that'll sell..." the mugger had no time to finish his sentence as the knife was kicked out of his hand with a single motion before the teen's forearm pushed him by his neck against the wall.
"Nobody will take me scarf away from me," growled the teen through a clenched jaw, only a couple of seconds passing before he realised what he was doing before backing away, the would be mugger dropping to the floor holding his throat as he gasped for breath. The pink haired boy looked at his hands, realising that he had merely acted without thought just from the idea that his scarf would be taken away from him.
"Now now, what have we here?" asked an elderly voice as they walked down the alleyway. Turning his head once more, he found a wise looking man with a bold head walking towards the pair. "A young pair of misfits it seems."
The man who had once held the knife took this opportunity of distraction to get to his feet and rush out into the street, desperate to get away from the pink haired menace. "Seems it's just me now," said the teen.
"Your fighting skills were most impressive just then, even if you do not realise it," said the man as he walked forward, his green cloak swaying with the breeze.
"Well it's not like fighting's going to get food into my stomach," said the pink haired boy as his stomach rumbled fiercely. Coming to think of the situation, he couldn't even remember the last time he had eaten.
"If you would help an old man to a spot where he could mourn the death of someone precious to him, I'm sure there could be something in it for you," offered the elderly man.
"Really old dude, that would be great," said the pink haired teen as he rallied at the thought of getting something into his stomach.
"Do you have a name to which I might call you?" asked the gentlemen as he calmed down the teen.
"Natsu, Natsu Dragneel."
Hope you enjoyed.
This story had been in my mind for a while now and with a recent challenge I heard of from one of my mates at Team Dragon Star, I thought I would give it a go.