Author's Notice: This was adopted from Captain Ash's fanfic, "The Woodbender". I asked for permission and received a notice it was alright to rewrite the story. There might be a few similar quotes and phrases used by Captain Ash, but C.A said it was okay for me to use them. So please, no flames or complaints about this issue.
In addition, my original story "The Soul's Capability" might be on a permanent hiatus due to an immense writer's block. I apologize for those who followed that story. But, I will try and figure out the second chapter for it.
Finally, it's been a long time since I watched the first season of The Legend of Korra. If there are any misconceptions or mistakes, please feel free to write in your reviews. Since I addressed all of the issues at hand, I hope that you'll have a nice time reading, "The Woodbender: War and Peace".
"Do you actually think you'll be the best bender out there, dobe?" A haughty smirk made across the pale face of his best friend, dark obsidian eyes twinkling with laughter. "You do realize there's also the Avatar?"
Grumbling, he shuffled his feet around the sand, and raised his head to glare at the boy next to him. His hands dug into the worn pockets of his pants and he slowly walked to the shore. "The Avatar hasn't been seen after Avatar Aang died in his sleep. And besides, it's not like the next one has wood-bending-"
"That's because they never received the chance to study the deeper aspects of their elements. You know, with the 'saving the world from absolute evil' thing going on in their lives?"
He stopped midway to glare at his friend once more before reaching the edge of the ocean, where he reached out one hand, raised it up high, and grasped it into a tight fist. As if he defied the laws of gravity, a clear stream of water rose up from the surface, smoothly moved a few feet away from him, and curled into a small sphere. Then, he waved his fingers in an intricate pattern, letting the ball of water swirl around in different directions; the water became hotter with the forceful movement and rapid increase of speed.
He looked at the ball in wonder, despite the fact that he has done this for so many years. "Yeah, but that doesn't stop me from being the best of the best Sasuke. I'm going to be the Hokage of Konoha, believe it."
Bringing his fist back and immediately swinging it forward, the heated water ball moved at high speeds that Naruto knew Sasuke couldn't see. But, what they noticed was how sudden a wooden branch appeared to collide with the ball, making a small explosion of water and steam. He knew that Sasuke glanced at his other hand, which was raised higher, and made him look he was defending himself like a shield.
"Heh, good luck dobe."
"Hey kid, wake up. We're here at the Republic." The grouchy voice startled Naruto from his sleep, making him fall from his seat, and dropping Kuruma to the floor in the process. The nine tailed kitsune gave a disgruntled growl and glowered at his master with ruby iris eyes, who only responded with a sheepish smile. The fox trotted away with its head up high, leaving the blond sixteen year old to face with the sailor in front of him.
"Sorry about him; Kuruma's usually more happy than that." He rubbed the back of his head, tilting it back to see the worn smile of the sailor and his scarred face. Both gave a little laugh as Naruto stood up from his fall and stared at the breathless scenery.
It was a beautiful day in his opinion, with the clear blue skies, and the glittering sunlight reflecting on the glass buildings of the Republic City. Some of the other sailors were tying the ropes to the piers, while the captain surveyed the rest of the passengers. Everyone looked cheerful for the glorious weather and Naruto was glad that his adventure could begin with a positive step.
He turned around and bowed to the man with a thankful smile. "Thanks for the trip, old man. But, do you know where I could get some grub?"
The sailor received a tick on his face as he only pointed a finger to the center of the city. "Kid, just get off the ship already. Tell your pet that it doesn't need to steal the captain's hat again."
"Heh," Naruto responded and grabbed the blue backpack, brought it around his shoulder, and ran off the stairway. He waved a good-bye; his orange jacket flapping from the gentle breeze and his jade necklace swinging side to side. Black sandals tapped on each step of the stairway; a timbre voice humming to a seemingly random tune. Finally, he reached to the end of the stairway and to the side of the ship, where he could see Kuruma waiting at the edge.
"Hello Republic City!" Naruto raised his arms to a V-shape, screaming his greeting to the vast city. People started to whisper about the strange boy and Naruto nervously chuckled at the sudden attention. He heard a husky snicker and looked down to see his friend grinning with a mischievous glint in his eyes.
"Very funny," Naruto grumbled and started walking on a busy pathway to the center of the city. Merchants passed by the two foreigners, many bustling with immense energy to scream out their deals, and others using their charm to gather customers. Most of them were selling exotic merchandise, similar to rare jewels and fur pelts. It was an immense city with modern technology that Naruto couldn't handle with his childhood spent with trees that towered over buildings. However, Naruto didn't care about any of those as of right now with his stomach growling in hunger. As he continued to go down the wide streets for a few minutes, he could smell a distinct scent of noodles waver
in the air.
It was a wonderful aroma that got his stomach roar louder than before; he clutched his midsection with an arm, giving a loud 'shush' in fear of someone laughing at him. Yet, he heard the same husky snickers from Kuruma, except it was more pronounced and clearer. He glared at the kitsune once more, "Shut up Kuruma. I know you're hungry too."
The fox only smirked and trotted after the wonderful scent, leaving his master in the dust. Immediately, Naruto followed the animal, excused himself from different people of all ages as he accidentally bumped into them. Some acknowledged his apologies, while others ignored the hungry teenager. Yet, there was one middle-aged man who stopped Naruto at the middle of the roadway. His furrowed eyebrows and glare startled the blond teen, but didn't intimidate him at all. Instead, Naruto offered a cheery smile to the angry man, and asked, "Is there a problem?"
The man looked as if he became angrier with a crinkled rolled up poster in his hand. "Yeah, what's your problem kid? Some people are trying to get pass their lives with no problems. Why are you making this hard for us, huh?"
Naruto began to look confused, as did the rest of the crowd around them, and did exactly what he did to the rest of the other occurrences. "I'm sorry for bumping into you. If you want, I can treat you to some food."
With another cheerful smile, he lent a hand to the angered man, with hopes of cooling down the man. However, the man continued to become more furious by the second, and unleashed it by burning the poster in his hand. A fiery red glow from his hand traveled up to the rest of his arm, black ashes floating to the ground.
"Don't mess with me, you punk!"
With a punch empowered by fire, the man ran forward, aimed it towards Naruto's chest. However, he quickly shifted to the right of the man, dodging the fire fist in time. The man abruptly stopped midway, realizing the miss, and gave a round house kick. Naruto jumped over, landed gently on his toes, and gave a frown to the quick-tempered male.
"Hey man, chill for a second there; don't take it out your anger on me. I apologized to you, remember?"
Continuing on without trying to listen to the boy, the fire bender sprinted with lighted fists. Flashes of the red fire lingered off in the air and dropped to the ground. Throwing punches and letting burst of flames fly to Naruto where he dodged every one of them, the man jumped to the air, mere seconds after his attack. He flipped and gave out his right leg; his foot pinpointed at where Naruto's head was.
From a distance, Naruto could see the tiniest of smirks on the guy's face, and gave a muttered growl. He knew he didn't have the time for a fight with his stomach pleading for food and the people around them were fleeing. While he was dodging the barrage of flame attacks, he heard someone yelling for the police force.
'This has got to stop,' Naruto thought to himself and grabbed the man's foot with a vice grip. He threw the man overhead and made sure the fire bender lied on his stomach with his remaining hand on the nape of his neck. He watched as the man continued to struggle, with streams of fire whip-lashing around his area. For a few more seconds, Naruto grappled the man to submission, while keeping himself safe from the fire with microscopic droplets of water he created from the air.
The people, who remained rooted in their spots, were amazed by the scene in front of them. Some of them couldn't believe that a non-bender in their eyes defeated someone who could bend one of the most dangerous elements. With the fight finished, they all ran off into different directions; they all seem eager to tell what they saw.
"Ugh, you got to be kidding me here." Naruto firmly pressed the spot behind the man's ear canal for a few seconds, before striking it with his forearm. He saw the man's eyes rolled up and head promptly dropped to the floor. He waited for a few seconds until the man's breathing could be heard. Then, he got up and ran off to the same direction Kuruma went to. He could hear the sounds of the police force and a stern female voice barking out orders to stay calm. A sweat drop trailed down his neck from his chin as he pumped his legs to move faster. He passed by other stores and people; his mind focused on the aroma of noodles which still remained in the air.
Eventually, after he got lost in front of a dead end, he asked for directions, and stopped in front of a restaurant called "Narook's Seaweed Noodles." It had a nice exterior design with the roof painted a calm blue shade and had flaps attached to the ceiling. It was similar to the Ichiraku ramen place he would go to as a kid. There were tables with chairs and small stools that were aligned underneath a bar; Naruto could see his kitsune napping underneath the first seat. With a tired sigh, he sat down on the first stool ungracefully and unconsciously slid his bag underneath him, face-palming his forehead on the cool tabletop. Kuruma woke up from the sudden movement and stretched out his legs. He jumped the next seat and looked over his friend. With unkempt hair and wrinkled clothes, the fox snorted at the overall appearance of his friend. He nimbly dodged the lazy attempt of a swipe from Naruto and turned to the chef, who was watching with an amused look on his face.
The chef asked with a smile, "And what would you like, son?"
Naruto looked up and smiled with a tired expression. He looked to the side of the restaurant, where there was a large menu taped to the wall. He looked all the way down, not knowing how each bowl would taste like. With a limited budget and no ideas on how the noodles tasted like, Naruto ordered a simple bowl of seaweed noodles.
The chef nodded in reply and left Naruto to his own thoughts. A few minutes passed as the blond boy could smell the beautiful smell of the seaweed broth boiling in the pot. He watched as the chef skillfully chopped the vegetables with a sharpened knife and grilled the meat with seasonings. Putting it altogether, the chef completed the dish, and gave it to him with a side of soy sauce and fresh crab. Giving his thanks, Naruto rubbed his hands together, and dug right into the noodles. It wasn't as delicious as the homemade noodles back at home, but Naruto brought a thumbs up to the chef.
Kuruma watched with a bored stare that made Naruto stopped midway with noodles still in his mouth. Swallowing the rest, Naruto offered some from the bowl to the kitsune. "Do you want some of these? It's really good."
The fox growled and turned its head to the side as if he was refusing the offer. In return, Naruto shrugged his shoulders, and continued to finished his meal. It was a peaceful moment for both him and Kuruma as they took their time to rest. The chef gave some meat to the fox and the animal gladly accepted the offering with a swipe of his teeth. People passed by the restaurant, while others came in and ordered different bowls, which got Naruto interested in trying all of them. By the time he was full and his stomach felt bloated, it was almost evening with the sun gradually setting down the horizon.
"Thanks old man, everything was delicious." Naruto grinned with one of his hands holding the exact amount of money he owed. He set it on the counter and signaled Kuruma to go outside. The fox huffed at the order, but jumped to the ground. He walked across the exit and waited for his master to get everything in order. Naruto acknowledged the chef's greetings with one of his own and tried to look around for his bag. It was nowhere to be found as he checked the seats around him and to the opposite direction of the restaurant. He asked the chef if he seen his bag and dropped his shoulders in sadness once the chef shook his head.
He went outside of the restaurant, moving the flaps out of the way. He stared at Kuruma, who had a prankster-like gleam in his eyes. Immediately, Naruto crouched in front of the animal, and asked, "Where is the bag?"
Kuruma didn't say anything and moved on with high pitched snickers that annoyed the hell out of the blond bender. He made a grab for the fox's tail and lifted him up to his own eye level. The fox continued to laugh in his own way and stopped once he was shaken slightly by his human. Kuruma curled up to bite his friend's hand and was dropped to the ground when Naruto yelped in pain. He landed gracefully like a cat and left the vicinity before he could be captured again.
Naruto cursed at the fox's sneakiness and began to run towards the same direction, but collided with another person. He fell to the floor on his butt and clasped a hand to his forehead, which got injured in the process of bumping into the random stranger.
"Ouch, watch where you're going!" Naruto heard the stranger's voice and realized it was a girl. He glanced at the now-categorized girl and saw it was a Water-tribe girl, with the semi-bulky clothes and furry boots. She looked around his age and had clear aquamarine eyes that made Naruto blush a bit at the beautiful shade. However, he knew he needed to find his bag that had all of his essential items.
He stood up quickly and gave an apologetic smile that seem to made the girl stop herself from yelling any further. He ran off to the streets with his hand still on his forehead and left the girl standing in her spot. While he was almost around the corner, he heard a loud shout of "Wait, come back here!"
Naruto didn't look back and turned the corner with a smile on his face. "Sorry about that!"
LATER THAT DAY
"Where the fuck can a stupid bag go?" Naruto collapsed on the sidewalk and leaned against a building. He couldn't find Kuruma either even though he spent a good two hours scourging through the streets of the city and asked almost all the occupants at a nearby distance from the restaurant. All of them shook their heads and made Naruto apologize for interrupting their time repeatedly. Then, he almost got into more trouble as he met with some of the gangs that lived around this side of the district. Apparently, some of them were furious of losing to a girl who could water bend pretty well. They needed to lose some of their stress and Naruto was their target. Fortunately, he was able to escape all the men with a quick climb up the apartment buildings, and outran all of them in a matter of an hour.
"Great, this is perfect. I can't believe I got robbed on the first day here." Naruto grumbled at his loss and focused on the problem of finding Kuruma within this large metropolis.
"Hey you," he perked up at the loud shout and stared at the direction of which it came from. He saw it was the Water tribe girl from earlier and was running to him. He noticed that she was holding a large object with a little shadow behind her as well. Naruto waited for a few seconds and concentrated harder on the object in her hand; it was his backpack. The boy broke out to a large grin and got up from his position next to the wall. The girl stood a few feet away from him with her arm stretched to his chest. He took his bag and gave his gratitude with words of thanks.
Then, he also noticed a small animal near his feet, and he looked down to see it was Kuruma. He appeared bewildered with his fur spiked out and his ears pointed upwards. Naruto gave a small laugh at his friend's looks and turned to face the girl, who was chuckling at the situation as well.
He stuck out a hand and the girl returned the gesture by shaking his hand. He asked with a curious tone in his voice, "How did you find the bag? I've been looking for it everywhere."
The tanned girl brought back her hand to cover a loud laugh. Her cheeks were rosy and her eyes twinkled with happiness. "Narook said he found it underneath your seat."
Naruto felt like an idiot right there and then as he slapped his face with his entire hand. He couldn't believe that he didn't checked his OWN seat before leaving the restaurant. "Ugh, thanks a lot for finding my bag. You wouldn't believe the day I was having."
"It's no problem, helping people is what the Avatar has to do." The girl responded with a clear smile, causing Naruto to look at her surprised and wide-eyed.
"You're the AVATAR?"
"Yep, Avatar Korra at your service." Korra replied and saluted the blond boy with her eyes closed.
Naruto nodded his head.
"Naruto Uzumaki," he dropped the bag to his side and opened it. He scourged his bag and took out a camera, while Kuruma ran up his sleeves to rest on his neck. His nine tails brushed against his birthmark scars and made Naruto to sneeze. Korra giggled at the cute image and took the electronic device from his hands.
"Do you want to take a picture with me? My grandma would be happy that I have proof I met the Avatar." Naruto asked after he finished wiping his nose and smiled when Korra nodded. He gave a nudged to Korra's hands, who lifted the camera at an angle. The lighting conditions were perfect and Naruto stood next to Korra, while putting his arm around her shoulders. She looked shocked at the close contact, but ignored it as she smiled at the lens.
Naruto counted down, "Three... Two... One!"
Korra gave the camera back to her new friend and asked, "So, what're you doing in the Republic?"
Naruto put away the device and responded, "Well, I'm just here to try out a new life here. If it works out, then I might as well stay here permanently."
"Oh really, I hope you'll do well in finding something that you want to do. If you want to hang around, then send me a letter." Korra gave her address to the boy, who in return memorized it quickly.
"HEY KORRA! WHERE ARE YOU?"
Both Korra and Naruto jumped at the sudden noise, turning around to the opposite side of the street. Korra seemed to recognize the voice as she faced towards him. "Hey Naruto, that was my friend, Bolin. I have to go now; but see you later?"
He gave a nod as he waved her away. "Yeah sure, go find your friend."
Korra then ran off, screaming that she heard the Bolin guy and to stop shouting. Naruto smiled at the disappearing figure and picked up his bag. He made eye contact with Kuruma, who stared back disinterested. "Alright Kuruma, let's go find our new home!"
He ran to the other side of the street, never noticing the three angered stares that kept burning holes at the back of his sweater.
To Be Continued...