Let it Grow
The trees grow dense in the forest immense
On the hilltops and the plain
My creation of vegetation
Can no longer be restrained
The mountains tower overhead my kingdom bound
And I feel my soul's been buried underground
It seemed rather ironic yet all too perfect that it was a new moon this evening. Toph and Suki agreed that the night of new beginnings was fitting for leaving their life of oppression.
They'd been plotting this for over a month presently. If they could pull it off? They'd emancipated not only themselves but the boys as well. No one deserved to be shut up inside all the time. Not if it wasn't their choice, anyway. It hadn't been effortless for Suki to slip the sleeping medicine into Lao and Poppy's evening tea. To guarantee they'd be knocked out for the night, she'd doubled the dosage.
Once they're confident the entire household was dead to the world, they moved onto phase two. Toph employed her earthbending to manufacture a subterranean passageway that went beneath the entire geographical region.
The tunnel didn't end until they'd reached the geological formation where the badger-moles were ready and waiting for them. Now Toph wasn't a spiritual individual by nature. However, she'd see a powerful kinship with her fellow blind Earthbenders. She even identified them by name! The ones expecting them were twins named Ela and Vale. Astonishingly, even Suki appeared to translate what the twins were speaking.
The Kyoshi warrior flew over to Vale. "Nice to see you again, Vale. Well, you know what I mean. I hope you are ready for such a lengthy journey," as she stroked his muzzle. He licked her once before replying. Vale's 'voice' in her head sounded precisely like a goofball adolescent. "I'm more then get out of the place. The other humans are so nuts. No sense of fun or anything."
His sister jabbed him in the shoulder before chastising him, "Vale! This is neither the time nor place to whine regarding humans! Not when our charges need to get away from here ASAP!"
"Geez, sis, take a chill pill. We'll get them where we need to go!" he rubbed his bruised shoulder.
"Um, as much as I love it when you guys get into it, Ela is right, Vale. We need to get out of here lickity split. If we're going to liberate my cousin and Daichi."
The four of them all nodded. The girls climbed onto one of the badger-moles before they immediately headed to Ba Sing Sa. With three master Earthbenders plus Toph's unique metalbending abilities, they cut their traveling in half.
Don't feed the roots. Let them dry out
And surrender to all the seeds of doubt
You know you're dead, no good in life
Well, I'm alive!
As one expects, wandering in a dark underground tunnel for miles gets tedious pretty darn fast as the girls didn't have much to talk about. Alternately they listened to what the badger-mole twins had to say. The twins recounted the legend of the first human Earthbenders, Oma and Shu.
They went on to say once the lovers been laid to rest, they'd ascended into the spirit world. Once there, they'd transformed into the patron spirits of the Earth Kingdom. Once more, Toph wasn't spiritually-minded. Nevertheless, she did take to heart what they said regarding the mother and father of Earthbending that she couldn't simply brush aside.
Suki probed regarding Avatar Kyoshi if the twins remembered any stories regarding her. Or if they somehow knew something about her spirit in the spirit world.
Let it grow, let it grow.
With the soil in these hands
Let it grow, let it grow
The earth I shall command
I will rise, to the dark's dismay
Let the vines climb high
The dirt never bothered me anyway
Eventually, they called it a night. Everyone was unquestionably wiped out in desperate need of some shut-eye. Consequently, they all hit the sack. You might perceive it as quite peculiar that someone blind would be capable of dreaming, yet Toph's dreams were quite disturbing that night.
In her mind's eye, she observed herself forcible returned to her parents, under guard 24/7. Suddenly she discovered herself buried alive incapable of Earthbending herself out of a tiny coffin. The entire time beseeching Oma and Shu to free her. That she didn't desire to die this way, the atrocious nightmare shifted to a grove of fantastical trees with extraordinary fruit.
The figures of a man and woman were addressing two individuals hidden in the shadows. The man spoke first, and he didn't sound happy. He sounded both angry and fearful at the same time.
"My children! I don't believe you understand the gravity of the situation! Do you intend to neglect all your obligations?"
"My love, don't be too harsh on them. After all, in human years, they'd only be sixteen. They're still children who have to learn and grow."
"Be as it may, beloved, the entire spirit world is jumping out of its skin. Our children are supposed to fulfill their roles as guardians of the Shard. As well as the protector of the soul proficient of containing its power."
"Father, please don't lecture us!" spoke a vaguely familiar female voice. "We know what's at stake. Why do you think we're seeking to get all the children out of danger?"
"Yes, Father. My twin sister is correct. We recognize we're undertaking a perilous journey as it is right now. Yet, you must understand why we must relocate the children."
"They speak the truth, love. All the spirits are whispering regarding it. The danger is in the air. We must move all the children or under stricter guard if we're to defend the Shards."
The concealed father let out a loud sigh before turning to face his hidden children once more. "Have you heard a word from Neona and Llyr? Have they yet succeed in moving the human guardian of the Water Shard?"
"From what we heard through the grapevine, they've not yet moved her. Though they promise they'll do it before the next full moon," his daughter replied. His son then inquired. "What of Agnimitra? Has she been able to contact the protector of the Fire Shard?"
"I don't know. We've not heard from the Phoenix in a while. It's troubling Alanna a great deal. We already lost centuries ago the patron spirit of the air."
"The entire spirit world still grieves the demise of patron spirit of the air. They will be missed. Though what can you do if your spiritual anchor is destroyed?" his wife spoke in a melancholy tone.
"It still leaves the Air Shard without a guardian spirit. Because unfortunately, the air spirit had no children to take up the responsibility," countered the husband.
"Either way, all the elemental spirits agree. We must double our attempts to protect the Shards as well as the children who inherited them. We've kept our sacred vow since the Shards came into existence.
We will keep our vow, including fulfilling our duty until the kingdom come. Now you two must return to the mortal realm. Your charges will need you shortly. Please be safe, my children."
"We'll do all in our power to keep the Shard and the children protected, Mother, that we promise you."
I never thought my worries
It would tear my mind apart
And that loneliness would someday
Cut down my thorny heart
Toph woke with a start breathing hard. Even in her peculiar dreams, which she'd never spoke of to anyone before, it was intense. Why did she have the nagging feeling she'd witnessed something she wasn't supposed to?
Who had that family been? Who were they talking about? What 'shards' were they speaking of? It hurt her brain to think about it. Toph didn't feel at the moment it was a good idea to share with Suki what she'd witnessed in her dreams.
Therefore, Toph kept the secret to herself. However, Suki immediately discerned Toph wasn't revealing her something of the essence. Nonetheless, she knew better than to push Toph to talk about something she didn't want to.
Toph's blunt honesty remained challenging to deal with on occasion. The young lady still wasn't one to bear her heart and soul to anyone. Toph figured she'd to be tough-minded. Consequently, do not display any imperfections. Hence speaking regarding one's feelings didn't come naturally to her.
I can't look back. There's so much more
The path ahead is just too green to ignore
No crown, no sword can limit me. I'm free!
Let it grow, let it grow
Every breath is like the first
Let it grow, let it grow
I've overcome the worst
Now let die
Those years have gone by
Let the vines climb high
Three days later, they'd entered Ba Sing Sa. People continuously maintained the walls were too mighty to disintegrate. Or too high to reach the top. No one ever thought of going under the wall.
Therefore they'd no problem getting into the city-state undetected. The girls soon ended up in the crystal caverns beneath the city. After informing their escorts to remain hidden, the girls went topside. Both dressed in peasant clothing to avoid attention. Also, Toph do anything not to have to dress up ever again. Now they just had to hope Brock made it to the rendezvous point.
"You certain your cousin got everything we need? I mean, its not precisely straightforward to fool the government," Suki pointed out, which caused Toph to scoff.
"Please, Suki, everyone knows you pay a man enough he'll walk barefoot into volcanic rock plains in the spirit world. My cousin stocked up for months all the most priceless gemstones. I believe it'd be reasonably effortless to grease one's palms to grant us paperwork for brand-new identities."
"Well, I, for one, don't like we're utilizing such disgraceful methods to achieve our freedom. However, Avatar Kyoshi herself said the ends justify the means. I simply wonder if its the right thing to do. You know removing Prince Daichi from the city."
Toph whipped around like she'd been slapped. "Seriously, Suki? You heard him! He's as much a captive as we are. He's treated like he can't do a damn thing for himself.
He desires to escape too. Plus, I doubt any of these fuddy-duddies are honestly going to notice anytime soon he's gone. Like me, he's better seen, not heard. Plus, I'm reasonably confident his father is considerably humiliated of not having a 'proper' son."
"I believe you might be projecting your feelings towards your parents onto the Earth King. We have literally no idea how the Earth King treats or views his son.
All I'm saying is we better make positive this is the right thing before we escape. I have no problems freeing your cousin. However, the prince? I'm sorry, but I don't feel so sure about it."
Before Toph could retort, she felt danger coming towards them. Quickly they hid. After several hours they eventually met up with Brock. He also disregards his wealthy apparel for more mundane attire. He'd also colored his hair green and spiked it once more. Truly he looked quite pleased.
"Hey, cousin. So you ready to get the hell out of here?" he asked brightly.
"Not so fast, cuz. We need to get Daichi out of the palace. You figured out how to do that?"
With fields and valleys in my palm, I have no fear
The chlorophyll runs in my veins in color bright and clear
I must not wither. I must face the unforeseen
They can call me Mother Earth
'Cause I'm sure that I'm no Queen!
"Well, we have to meet him in the royal gardens. So let's shake some lamb tails, shall we?"
Suki still had some reservations regarding 'kidnapping' the Prince of the Earth Kingdom. So with a great deal of trepidation, they made their way to the gardens. The trio spotted the prince alright. They're surprised his wheelchair could move on its own now. Apparently, a man known as the Mechanistic figured how to make the chair move on its own. Simply put, it was like winding a music box. Meaning just wind the chair, and it could move for several hours on its own before you needed to rewind it.
The trio advanced on the prince, but he seemed to be grappling with saying something to them. The group had a split second to ready themselves for an ambush by Dai Lee agents. Though it wasn't Long Feng in charge of these, Lady Setsuna came out of the shadows with a simpering smile. "You all are such dopes. As if I'd let you seize the Earth Prince."
Tossing her sable locks over her should she continued, "Once you're all locked up on the charges of baby-snatching moreover treachery? Well, I expect it will be quite momentous hanging. Then I'll be Daichi's fiancée. From there, I'll rise to Earth Queen. But first, you three need to get out of my way. Such men? Crush them! Leave them an inch from death!" the twelve-year-old snapped at her uncle's men.
Yet, neither the tiny bitch nor the Dai Lee knew who they're up against. They unquestionably never fought a warrior woman, someone who could bend gems, and a blind earthbending master who knew how to bend metal. Consequently, in under fifteen minutes, the Dai Lee agents were rendered obsolete. Evidently, Setsuna had miscalculated. Nor was she a fighter in any sense of the word.
Before Setsuna could sound the alarm, Suki had knocked her out. Brock bent diamonds to bind her to the terrain while Toph fashioned a metal gag to place over her mouth. It'd be an extremely long time before someone frees the bitch or getting the gag off her mouth. By then, they'd vanished into thin air. Before they left, Daichi gave Toph a fashionable headband to make up for the one destroyed in the conflict.
As soon as it touched her head, Toph got a mysterious picture in her mind. She 'saw' some type of jewel shard inside the headband. However, it was there one minute and gone the next. Shrugging it off, the four escape to freedom. Setsuna came too sooner then expect, raging, striving to escape her bonds. Shrieking obscenities that wouldn't get past her metal gag.
Suddenly cackling filled the air as a menacing voice spoke to the tiny bitch. "My, my, young lady. You unquestionably have a lot of spunk. I love that. Why, with the appropriate mentor plus teammates, you'd be unstoppable! Though first young lady, let's get that gag off your mouth."
There was a crack of a whip, and Setsuna's binds were destroyed. However, she screamed when the same whip ripped off the gag. The words out of her mouth weren't something any young lady should know. "Okay! Who are you, wiseguy? Show yourself! I demand it!" snarled the little bitch.
"My such a temper. However, we shall satisfy your request. Come, my children. Time to introduce ourselves to this good-looking young lady, " as a peculiar portal opened.
Emerging from the gateway, a trio of teenagers. Next to them was a diabolical lord with bone-white skin, tawny feline eyes dressed entirely in black armor—a whip on his left hip and a sword on his right.
"Who the hell are you freaks? How did you get here?!"
"My name is Princess Azula," spoke a rather hot-looking Fire Nation female," she jerked her thumb back at the boys. "Those two are Anil and Sitka. As for him?" pointing to the Black Spirit of Death, "That's Anto. I'm confident he doesn't require an introduction. A pleasure to meet you, Lady Setsuna!" Azula approached her holding her hand out.
The young lady's eyes shimmered with great interest into the Fire Nation Princess's golden eyes. It didn't take Azula long to figure out this girl had instantly become enamored with her. The thought sickened her insignificantly. Yet she had to acknowledge the female before she was quite attractive too. Again truly like-minded. So the girls eyed each other with lust in their eyes.
Finally, Anto coughed loudly to get the girl's attention back to the business at hand. "Let's get down to business, shall we, ladies? Lady Setsuna, is it?" the young girl nodded as the rogue continued, "To put it frankly, Lady Setsuna? Your greatest desire is to become Queen of the Earth Kingdom, correct? To dispatch both the King and his son? To have unlimited power? Not to mention get rid of that monstrosity, Toph?"
"Yes, I crave that more then anything. Yet how can you support me in accomplishing that?"
"Simple. We work together to seize power even more substantial then the Avatar!" Once more, recalling the tale to enlist the young lady to their side.
"Eons ago, the initial benders concentrated their essence into four shards. Each shard includes the avatar-level power of its element. Yet, more significantly, if all four shards fused?
Not only would they've got the capability to rival the Avatar, but they could also enslave the Avatar. With the Avatar as your thrall? Why you could have anything, your heart desires."
Lady Setsuna's sinister eyes glitter with both lusts for Azula plus the prospect of power.
"Hmm, there got to be a catch. What rational motive could you possibly possess to distribute this kind of power with me?"
"It's simple, honestly," the Fire Nation Princess informed the captivating young girl. "The shards are both concealed. Plus have impressive protection. Furthermore, only humans can locate them. In exchange for helping us, we will bestow the earth shard's power to you. All we ask in return is you swear allegiance to us. There is one more requirement we ask of you."
"What other condition?"
"You've to assist me to liberate my father, Prince Ozai, from Soto Island. Once my father has all the shards, he will become the Phoenix King. As King, he can impart his associates a fraction of the power. With him in charge. Plus, you've got a fraction of the avatar's power? Well, what more could you dream of?"
Licking her lips, the diabolical dame vigorously shook the princess's hand. "I see we are surprisingly similar. I'll happily join you in the hunt for the shards. I'd do anything to serve you, Princess Azula!"
Anto grinned widely before saying, "Then shall we retreat to my castle in the Spirit World? We need to plan if we desire our dreams to come true!" Anto snickered darkly. Chortling as the portal reopened before they all evaporated into thin air.
Let it grow, let it grow.
In the wood, I take my place
Let it grow, let it grow
The past has been erased. I'm awake,
I will live today
Let the vines climb HIGH!
The dirt never bothered me anyway.
Ela- (Daughter of Oma and Shu) Liza Balkan- Sailor Mercury- 90's dub
Vale-( Son of Oma and Shu) Brad Swaile- Nightcrawler- X-men Evolution
Create Change with Action
Change begins with your thoughts and magnifies when you take action.