About 4 years ago. That’s when it all happened.
I was out with my parents in the middle of the woods, practicing my water bending. We thought we were safe under the full moon, but I guess no one is safe anywhere. Certainly not those soldiers who were unlucky enough to spot us. I was just practicing my water whip, when I heard some branches cracking. Dad cheered for me, saying I was a top-notch water bender now, being able to perform an ancient move, and even though it was kind of basic, I smiled and cheered on with him! “So what if it’s basic? I’m just a little girl” I thought. “I don’t have to be a master.” But mom didn’t cheer. I think she heard it too, since she was always so observative. For an instant, the cold and dark night lit up in sharp flames. My parents fought them, and to be honest, I wasn’t really scared. My parents were the strongest benders I’ve ever met! I didn’t even bother trying to help, I was too busy observing their fighting style, thinking this is a great learning experience. Flashes of light disappearing into blows of water. Needle sharp ice spears flying around me. It was like a dance, and I looked at it in awe. A loud battle horn sound struck the air, and I could see hundreds of birds fly away in fearful coordination. A tree tore apart, like it was a leaf, dispersed in all directions and turned into a water slide. Mom came down it in a rush, looking worried. She gave me a small rugged brown bag, tied up with a small rope at the edge. “Take this, and run Yin. Now! let us handle this” she shouted. I looked at her trembling eyes… I didn’t think that would be goodbye… Had I known, maybe I would’ve argued to stay! But to be honest, I probably wouldn’t. I just did as she told me. Like always. I started running, I don’t even know where. Through the scary night, running and running, not looking where I’m going or where I’m stepping. I’ve never seen mom scared… I always trusted her and dad to know what to do, and there I was, running away on my own from the howls of the wolves as they overshadowed my own. I just kept running, not looking back to the blazing forest my parents were still in.
“Man, I almost fell asleep in there!” Hikari said jokingly, as we walked down the stairs. “Almost? I could hear you snore from the other side of class!” Bo replied. We all laughed. All kidding aside though, I really like meditation class, It’s the only one where I can work on my water bending in school, but of course no one here knows I’m a water bender.
Someone started approaching us. He had a stylish hair and even though he was wearing school uniforms, you could tell he was rich just by the way he walked. I knew most people around the school so I was a little confused as I didn’t know who he was. When he reached us, we all stopped and he looked directly at me. “Hey, I’m Kota.” he said in a formal manner. “Yin.” I replied. I was a bit startled. He was quite direct to just come straight to me, ignoring my friends. I didn’t really know what he wanted from me. “You seemed pretty focused in your meditation earlier…” he said. I was a bit nervous. Did he realize I was meditating about water bending? How could he get inside my head? Nevertheless, I had to say something before he realized something was up. “Yes… well… I just focused on my breathing” I said, and then looked at him, trying to interpert his curious gaze. “How fascinating. Thinking like a master firebender. You are quite impressive!” Did he buy it? Was he on to me? I had no time to contemplate. I had to stand my ground and stick to my story. “Actually I’m not a bender” I said. “That’s unfortunate. It’s my first day here and I thought I’d ask you to be my couple at bending class. Perhaps we can do something else together? How about a dinner tomorrow night?” He replied, with a suggestive look. I didn’t even know how to react! I was relieved and embarassed at once! At least he didn’t realize I’m a water bender, but I started blushing! It took me a moment, but I shook my head and opened my mouth. “That’s very nice of you, but I’m actually not really looking for a date…” I said, looking at the ground. For a split second, looking up to his eyes to see his reaction, and immediately looking back to the ground. “Oh please, a beautiful fire lily such as yourself, how could you back away from me?” he replied, and grabbed my chin, forcing me to look at his colorful eyes. Bo immediately interfered, sending Kota’s hand away from me. “She said no.” He said fiercly. “And who are you, that you dare strike me?” He replied, angry. Kota honestly looked shocked that Bo had dared to touch him, let alone strike his hand. “Why don’t you come here and find out, firebender?” He said, flenching his fist. Bo was always like this. Always looking to fight firebenders, to prove he can beat them even without bending. He often fails. I sometimes admire that about him, but this time it just seemed over the top. He just seemed like a bully to me. Of course, Kota was being rude but that’s no reason to beat up the new guy on the first day of school. Kota raised his arm up to the sky, and threw it down as it lit up. A fireball was sent at Bo’s direction. At first it seemed like he dodged it, but the ground beneath him caught fire. He rolled away from the flames, and reached for his pocket. Hikari immediately put an end to the fight, with an extravagant fire wall that separated them. “Stop!” she yelled. Bo was panting on the ground, and Kota looked down at him in contempt. Aura, our alchemy teacher, walked up to us and stood infront of us. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” She said, angry. “You’re lucky no one got hurt, and even luckier it was I that caught you.” I looked at the ground. I felt guilty, even though all I did was stand there. How could I be at fault if I did nothing? She looked at Kota and said “You’re new aren’t you? What’s your name?” She stopped, sighed, and continued “Nevermind, you’re not in my class. I’ll let this one slip since you’re new, but there’s no firebending when you’re not allowed. Especially not at another student! Do you understand?” He nodded, scared. “Good. Now, go. You don’t want to be late for class” she said, dismissing him with her hand. It was weird to see her so rough. Aura is usually a lot lighter than the other teachers. It’s almost as if she’s our age. We could joke with her and she would cover for us when we needed. It’s unheard of really, most of the teachers won’t even let us talk without permission. But now she looked at us disappointed, and angry. “You three are in a lot of trouble. Luckily for you, I have a way for you to make it up to me” she said, looking away with a smirk.
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