Zero was walking towards the river outside of the Wolve’s Den that Syferr and Seren were training at.
He noticed Syferr and Seren from afar and started walking towards them. They had their backs towards him and both had their arms stretched out in front of them as they were chanting.
What in Om’s name…? Zero thought to himself as an eyebrow of concern raised on his face.
“Uhm, hey guys! It’s time to go…” Zero shouted at both of them.
“BREATH IN!” Syferr had shouted.
“BREATH…Out?” Seren broke her shout as she looked behind her towards Zero. One of her eyes began to twitch as her cheeks turned rosy.
Zero grew a very large smile on his face as he began to chuckle at the situation, “Hahaha, what are you two doing?”
“BREATH IN!” Syferr shouted again ignoring Zero’s call to him.
“Syferr!” Seren shouted at him.
“Huh?” he gave her and confused look as he broke out of his trance.
“Zero is here, it’s time to go.”
“Oh?” he looked behind him and saw Zero standing there laughing. “Hey! Z! What’s up!?” he wasn’t embarrassed at all. “What’s so funny?” he smiled at Zero.
“Hahahaha! Nothing, nothing! Let’s just go, Ijneg is waiting for us at the Bonfire Circle. We shouldn’t keep him waiting.” Zero smiled as he shook his head at Syferr.
“Hehehe.” Seren scratched her head, she was still blushing.
Syferr and Seren walked up to Zero. “How’d your meeting go with Grandmother Gaia?” Syferr asked Zero.
“Oh that..” Zero remembered some of the things Grandmother Gaia had said about him and Syferr. “It went very good! She helped reassure me that all is well.” Zero said as a small smile formed on his face.
“Good!” Syferr said as he patted Zero’s back.
Seren peered at Zero and then grew a small smile on her face as well. “Do you think we have time to have our fortune’s told?” she asked Zero.
“Oh yeah! That would be awesome!” Syferr looked back and forth at Seren and Zero.
“Well let’s go meet Ijneg, we can ask him if there is time.” Zero beckoned the two to follow him.
“Right, sure thing!” Syferr started following him.
“Mm, let’s go!” Seren nodded and began to walk beside Syferr.
They all began to walk back towards the Wolve’s Den. “So what were you guys doing back there? Seriously, haha.” Zero asked.
“Oh that…” Seren said softly.
“We were breathing water!” Syferr enthused.
“What?” Zero raised an eyebrow.
“Uhm, I’m teaching Syferr how to water bend.” Seren inserted.
“Oh? That’s awesome of you, Seren!" he looked at her and smiled.
“Yeah it’s so cool!” Syferr said looking at her too.
“Thanks you guys.” Seren’s blush returned.
“But breathing water? What is that about? Haha.” Zero began to chuckle again at the thought of it. They had reached the entrance of the Wolve’s Den and were walking through the Front Earthen Doors. They were left open during the day it seemed.
“Haha, well yeah. Let’s just say I’m teaching Syferr how to use water to stay cool while he’s fire bending.” she chose her words carefully.
“Oh? How so?” Zero inquired.
“It’s probably best you don’t know…” Seren put up her hands to him.
“Sweat Bending!” Syferr shouted with his fist in the air in excitement.
“Uh… yeah. I’d rather had not known.” Zero’s face morphed into a scowl as he began to fake the act of vomiting.
“Syferr!” Seren shouted at him.
“Uh.. Oops? Hehe…” Syferr scratched his head.
“Hehehe.” Seren chuckled.
Zero looked at them both and shook his head.
“Oh look there’s Ijneg!” Syferr shouted.
Zero and Seren looked in front of them and saw Ijneg standing beside the three horses they had ridden to get to the Wolve’s Den. They were all saddled up and ready to go.
“I guess we don’t have time for fortunes.” Syferr’s arm's and shoulders hunched forward.
Seren looked at him and matched his look of disappointment. “Maybe next time.” she said as she patted his back.
Ijneg extended his arm out in front of him, he was holding the reins to Symbol and Zero’s horse, “Here.” he implied for them to be taken. “I’ve refilled our pouches with water, they should last us the trip to Bell Town.”
Zero and Syferr both grabbed their respective reins.
“How far is Bell Town from here?” Syferr asked.
“About two hours by horse.” Ijneg said.
*Sigh* Syferr’s head fell back on his shoulders as he moaned.
“Patience can get you places, kid.” Ijneg looked at him.
“Yeah, yeah.” Syferr jumped onto and mounted his horse. He extended his arm to Seren who grabbed it then jumped onto the horse as well.
“Good job, you made it this time!” Syferr smiled at her.
“Haha, I guess I did!” she smiled back at him.
Zero was about to mount his horse until he heard a small shout.
“Zero! Wait! Zero!” a little girls voice could be heard from afar.
“Huh?” Zero turned around. “Wahh!” *OOMF* He had been tackle-hugged by a little girl.
“Are you leaving, Zero?” Inopa said to him. Her wolf companion had caught up to them running circles around them both.
“Hehehe, yeah I am, Inopa." he said to her as he hugged her back.
“Hehehe.” Syferr watched them from upon Symbol.
“She’s so cute.” Seren said to Syferr.
“Mhmm!” he agreed.
“I don’t want you to leave, you only just got here.” Inopa frowned.
“Awe, no worries, Inopa. I’ll be back. Your big brother Zero just has a really important mission he’s on. We’re going to help someone.” Zero looked at her and winked.
Ijneg looked at them from his horse. He seemed to be watching closely.
“You are?” Inopa asked him.
“Mhmm. Someone needs our help, so we are on our way.” Zero was smiling.
“Okay. Well make sure they are okay! And come back soon!” Inopa looked at Zero and smiled.
“We will.” Zero promised.
Inopa’s companion wolf had stopped circling them and started rubbing up against Zero.
“Hehehe, you’re going to miss me too, huh?” Zero said as he petted her wolf.
“I named him Zero, after you!” Inopa said.
“Hehe, what? Really?” Zero’s face opened in surprise.
“Mhmm! He’s just as sweet as you too! Hehe!” she giggled.
“Awe, I’m honored, Inopa.” His smile grew bigger as he stroked her pet wolf. “Well, he will have to study hard and practice air bending if he’s going to live up to the original! Haha.” Zero teased her.
“Wolve’s can’t read or bend, Zero!” she teased back. Both Zero and her pet wolf Zero looked up at her.
“Ahahaha, now when we say Zero, we’re gonna get both of you looking at us.” Syferr was giggling.
Zero and the wolf Zero looked up at Syferr.
“Oh no… I didn’t think of that. Oops? Hehe.” Inopa continued to giggle.
“Hehehe, I guess it’ll get a bit confusing.” Zero laughed.
“Just call the human Air Head and you’ll be fine.” Ijneg teased from atop his horse. It looked like he was smiling but it was hard to tell through his bandages.
“Heyyy!” Zero eyed him from afar.
“Hahaha! Air Head! I never thought of that one, that’s great!” Syferr was dying of laughter on his horse.
Seren just looked at Syferr and shook her head, she had a slight smile on her face. It seemed she couldn’t resist the silliness of it all.
“Alright, well I shouldn’t keep you all anymore. Have a safe trip!” Inopa said to everyone while waving her arm at them. Her companion wolf Zero had stood beside her now panting a great smile towards the squad.
“Thanks, Inopa!” Zero said as he mounted his horse.
“Alright, let’s go! Yah!” Ijneg shook the reins of his horse directing it to go forward. It started to walk towards the exit.
“Bye Inopa!” Syferr shouted to her and waved as his horse, Symbol, started following Ijneg.
“Bye!” Seren joined in with him.
“Bye! We’ll be back!” Zero joined in as well as he waved at Inopa.
“Bye Air Head! Bye Hot Head! Bye Wet Head! Hehehe.” Inopa waved more at them and laughed as she teased them.
Zero shook his head back and forth as a bellow of laughter emerged from his body. Syferr and Seren, however, seemed a little put off by the nick names.
“HOT HEAD? Awe..” Syferr hunched forward again.
“Well it fits, haha!” Zero said from in front of them. Each of their horses were following each other towards the exit.
“Wet head? Hehe, I guess that makes sense.” Seren said a little put off by it. “Hot head, however, fits so well.” Seren patted Syferr on the back as a tease.
“Awe… You guys are mean.” Syferr moaned.
“We’re only kidding!” Seren hugged Syferr from behind.
Syferr jumped in surprise of her affection, his cheeks colored a little with red. “Thanks…” he peeked behind his shoulder.
“Mhmm!” Seren said to him as she rubbed her cheek on his back.
Zero was looking back at them and noticed the affection, Well, Han, you really got your work put out for you. They’re a natural blend it seems, he thought to himself. They are cute together, though, he smiled.
Their horses had just exited the stone entrance of the Wolve’s Den and they started heading East. “We should make it to Bell Town by noon, we won’t be making any stops this round because we have a tight schedule. Is that understood?” Ijneg yelled back at the rest of Squad Zero.
“Yes!” Zero shouted towards him.
“Yeah!” Syferr joined in.
“Yep!” Seren joined in as well.
“Alright, good! Let’s go then! Yah!” Ijneg shook his reins again directing his horse to run faster; It started to gallop. Zero’s horse and Syferr’s horse, Symbol, started galloping as well following the horse’s lead.
TWO DAYS EARLIER
“THAT’S NOT THE SUN! SISTER CERULEAN GET DOWN!!!” Kurma shouted to her in utter panic.
“Whhaahh!?” Sister Cerulean shrieked as Kurma bucked in the air and out of the water, lifting the front end of her dinghy upwards out of the water. Sister Cerulean started falling backwards out of her dinghy. *ZZZIIIIIIISSSSS* a highly pitched whistling bolt passed right between her and Kurma, destroying the dinghy into many pieces. It looked like an arrow of lightning and made it’s way to the other side of the horizon. For a split second Sister Cerulean looked towards the horizon from where it came. It looked like the silhouette of a man with long hair holding a bow while standing up in another small dinghy. *SPLASH* Sister Cerulean fell into the ocean.
Kurma, still looking shocked, shouted, “Sister Cerulean!” and dove underwater going after her. Sister Cerulean’s body was sinking deeper and deeper into the ocean. Kurma bolted towards her in the water, his speed much faster under water than above. He took his flipper and wrapped it around her body, securing her to the underside of his shell. She was unconscious. I’ve got to get her above the water, she needs air, Kurma thought to himself. He looked up and saw the broken pieces of Sister Cerulean’s dinghy floating at the top of ocean. He then looked towards the side of them a little and saw the bottom of another dinghy sailing through the wreckage. The attacker! If only I could get a look! Kurma then looked back at Sister Cerulean. No, I must prioritize her safety. Hang on, Sister! Kurma bit her clothing and secured her body underneath his shell and in his mouth. He bolted back towards the direction of the Islands of Tejas. If I can only just get far enough out of sight. Kurma was swimming extraordinarily fast, always checking to make sure Sister Cerulean was still underneath him. After about thirty seconds, Kurma looked back to see if the dinghy was in sight. It was nowhere to be seen. Okay! Kurma bolted towards the surface of the water throwing Sister Cerulean’s body up in the air a few feet so she would land on his back. She began to cough up water. “Sister Cerulean! Are you okay, Sister Cerulean!?” Kurma shouted to her. She still seemed out of it. “Oh no, Sister Cerulean!” Kurma was freaking out. “I’ve got to get to Tejas, quick!” Kurma then grabbed her clothing by his mouth and moved her body upon his shell. He turned her over as if she was hugging his shell with her arms around his neck a bit. “Sit tight, Sister Cerulean! We’re almost there!” Kurma bolted West towards the Islands of Tejas once more.
Ten minutes had passed and Kurma could see the Islands of Tejas in his sight. “We’ve made it Sister! We’ll have you help in no time!” he shouted looking back at Sister Cerulean. Kurma swam and swam towards the Islands until he hit a beach. He finally had reached land! “Alright, let’s do this!” Kurma shouted aloud trying to encourage himself. He started walking as fast as he could. “What’s wrong? Why I am moving so… oh no! My flippers!” Kurma shouted aloud once more. “I only have flippers… I can’t change them back into feet without Sister Cerulean. I can’t move very far like this!” Kurma started freaking out. “Well I’ve got to try!” Kurma wouldn’t give up, he started to drag his already heavy body across the sand but with Sister Cerulean on top of him, it only moved him but a few inches here and there. “Ugh! I can’t give up! Sister, just hang in there!” Kurma was starting to freak out. He kept moving as much as he could until he started to feel heavier. “Urghh! Why do I feel so much heavier? I’m stronger than this!” Kurma looked back at Sister Cerulean only to notice that she looked like she had gotten larger! “What!? Oh no! The spell!” Kurma’s voice had gotten squeakier. “It’s running out of power because Sister…" he stopped speaking. His body only grew smaller and smaller until he was just a small sea turtle once more. He couldn’t move anymore, as Sister Cerulean’s body was crushing him. Kurma’s small little head looked at Sister Cerulean’s face as two tears started forming in his eyes. He rubbed his little head against her cheek wiping the tears away as two more soon replaced them.
Sister Cerulean opened her eyes slowly, she was laying on a very hard cot in a dark and damp room. She looked to her right and saw a small square window with metal bars in it. It was letting in some sunlight. She looked to the left and there were metal bars forming a wall, enclosing the room from the outside, she was in a cell. “What..?” she spoke aloud in her confusion. “Where am I?” she asked herself. “Kurma?” she called for her companion sea turtle. “Kurma!? Where are you?” she called again. She waited a few seconds and listened but she heard nothing in return. Sister Cerulean got up from her bed, her clothes had been changed. No longer was she wearing her original blue garments, but instead she was wearing basic beige clothing. “How dare they…?” she muttered to herself noticing she had been changed by someone. She gripped her fist and bellowed, “HELLO!? IS ANYONE THERE!? I AM SISTER CERULEAN, HOW DARE YOU LOCK ME UP!?” Again she waited for a response and heard nothing. “Fine. If this is how they want to play, we’ll play.” she muttered once more. She took a deep breath in and put her hands up against the metal bars in front of her. Water started to appear on her hands until she made what looked like a very dense floating bubble. She then backed away from the bars a few feet as she started to stretch the water different ways with her hands. She grabbed the water and shaped it into what looked like a whip.
“Those barbarians… I will teach them.” She said as she thrust her water whip at the metal bars in front of her. *SHRICK* *SHRICK* *CLANK* *BRANG* *BRANG* *CLANK* The whip had cut four metal bars from the top and bottom cleanly, they had fallen to the ground outside of her room. “Underestimating MY power, scoundrels!” Sister Cerulean said aloud as she walked out of the opening she had made for herself. “KURMA!? WHERE ARE YOU, KURMA!?” Sister Cerulean continued to shout as she walked away from her cell and up a set of stairs, it was the only way out it seemed. She reached a long dark hallway made of stone. It was lit by torches on each side of the wall. She walked all the way down the hallway until she reached another entrance, it was to a room with another set of cells. Sister Cerulean was still on guard, with her water whip ready to defend her. Looking around she noticed what looked like a room full of pirates. The smell of onions and ammonia drifted throughout the room. The pirates gasped at her presence.
"Oi! Look! It's that lady they brought earlier! She's free!" one of the pirates said to the other pirates.
“Get us out!” one of the pirates shouted towards her.
“Yes, please! Save us!” another one called out.
Sister Cerulean looked around, her upper lip curled and her nose wrinkled. He just leaves them down here to rot? she thought to herself. Disgusting. She continued to walk past the cells and the screams for help of all of the pirates. “Wait.” she said to herself as she stopped in her tracks. “Hehe… yes, why not have some fun while we are here?” she said aloud to herself. “You want freedom!?” she announced to the pirate prisoners in the cells.
“YES!!!” all of the prisoners in their cells shouted in unison.
“Alright, I’ll make you a deal! I will free you if you lead the way out of here!” she offered to them.
“OKAY!” one pirate shouted to her.
“Yes, of course!” another agreed to her deal.
“We want Brother Draco’s head!” another pirate shouted.
Aha, I knew it! Sister Cerulean thought to herself. She held a proud look on her face as if she had figured something out. She walked up to each cell and started thrusting her water whip at each cell’s bars. *SHRICK* *SHRICK* *CLANK* *BRANG* *SHRICK* *SHRICK* *CLANK* *BRANG* “Alright, lead they way!” she shouted to them once she had freed them all.
There were about seven pirates in total and each of them ran towards the door on the opposite side of where Sister Cerulean had come from. *SMASH* The door had been broken down by the sheer force of all the pirates working together and hitting it with their shoulders.
Brutes, I swear, Sister Cerulean judged them in her mind as the pirates started shouting and grunting down the hall behind the door. She followed them up another set of stairs but this time the room they entered wasn’t full of cells or prisoners. Instead, it was a barracks for guards who were guarding the cells below. There was a door on the opposite end of the room and four small windows that were also barred up. There were about four guards total in the room who were each in shock of the pirates coming and shouting up the stairs.
“Whh-what? How did they get free!?” one of the guards panicked as the pirates charged after them. Two of the guards held pole-arm weapons while the other two wielded a scimitar blade in their hand. The pirates were really muscular and had already taken down one of the guards with a pole-arm. The other guard screamed in fear as three of the pirates grabbed and pulled his pole-arm from his hands into their own. They started chasing him with his own weapon.
“No! Please! I was just following orders! I have a wife and child, please!” he shouted at them as he ran into a corner and cowered down to the ground. The three pirates had cornered him and we’re about to attack him with his own weapon.
“Stop! Just knock him out… he’s telling the truth.” Sister Cerulean shouted at the pirates cornering him.
“That wasn’t part of the deal!” one of them shouted at her.
“Yeah, forget that!” another one joined in.
“Fine!” Sister Cerulean raised her water whip in front of her and lashed it towards the three pirates direction. The whip released what looked like three big water-filled orbs, each one hitting a single pirate. *SPLOT* *SPLOT* SPLOT* Each pirate was hit directly on their backs by the water orbs. They each fell over, revealing the cowering guard from before.
“Get them!” one of the guards with a scimitar yelled at his comrade, they were facing the other four pirates. They both were being pushed back to a wall when one of the guards yelled, “Do it!” They both proceeded to pour a liquid onto their scimitars. The pirates stopped and watched them. With their free hands, the guards thrust their own fists towards their blades. *SWROOSH* Fire emitted from their fists onto their scimitars and lit the blades on fire. “Haha! Now what, pirates!?” one of the guards yelled as he started moving towards them swinging his fiery blade at them. Three of the pirates backed away in fear of the fire, one stood still. The pirate left in front had neck-long, slicked-back, blond hair and a beard that was a couple of inches long. He was very tall and muscular. He looked as if he was in his mid-thirties. “What? You think you can take us? You have a death wish, friend!” the guard had pulled back his fiery blade behind him and a little upwards as he was about to swing it at the brave pirate. The other guard followed suit.
Sister Cerulean was watching from afar, Who is that? she pondered.
“AHHHH!” the guards swung their arms forward towards the pirate, intending to end him where he stood.
*FWUUUUUUUUUUU* All of a sudden, out of the windows, a huge gust of air blew into the barracks.
The three pirates behind this man were pushed to the ground by the force of the blast. Sister Cerulean braced her self with her arms in front of her face, shielding it from the gust. Her water whip had evaporated from the wind. She peeked through as she watched the guards’ fiery swords get blown out. *FIZZzzz* the swords returned to normal.
“Ahhh!” the guards yelled in unison as they both were thrown back towards the wall. *THHHUCK* *THHHUCK* the guards bodies began to slide down from the wall to the floor. They were both knocked unconscious.
*FWwuuuu* the air started to dissipate.
“Wwwhhaaa? Whhaattt wwas that?” one of the pirates asked from the ground.
The blond pirate that was still standing turned around and looked at him, “Haha, I don’t know, I guess some dumb luck!” he laughed at the situation while he rubbed the back of his head.
“Whaa? Yea, I guess! Haha.” the pirate along with the other two pirates started to laugh at the insanity of it all.
That was no dumb luck… Sister Cerulean thought to herself as she put her arms back to her side. She stared at the blond pirate from afar.
“Well quick, let’s go get Brother Draco’s head before they send more guards, they probably heard all of that!” the blond pirate commanded.
“Ohh, yyeah, good point!” one of the pirates said as he got up from the ground and started heading towards the door opposite from which they came. The other pirates followed his lead.
The blond pirate glanced at Sister Cerulean and then back at the pirates attempting to tear the door down. He started walking towards them.
“Who are you?” Sister Cerulean called out to the blond pirate.
He stopped in his tracks and then turned and faced her. “Who, me?” he asked. His eyebrows were raised and he was making an circle with his lips as he pointed towards himself with his index finger.
“Yes, you aren’t just some lowly pirate. You’re an Air Bender too, aren’t you?” she interrogated him.
“Hahaha! You got me, yeah what can I say?” the blond pirate started rubbing the back of his head again acting a little embarrassed that he was found out.
“I know how Brother Draco feels towards Air Benders… how are you still alive?” she further inquired.
“Well, he didn’t know I was one, haha! And let’s maybe keep it that way, please?” he pleaded to her with his hands clapped together and his body bending over a little bit. “It would cause a bit of trouble if he knew." he added.
“On one condition.” she stated.
*BRUUM* *BRUUM* the pirates were having a much harder time smashing the door down with fewer people.
“Uhm, sure?” the blond pirate seemed a little worried of what her request may be.
“Tell me your name.”
The blond pirate calmed down and stood tall as he gazed his eyes upon hers.
Sister Cerulean returned the stare.
*BRUUM* *BRUUM* “We’ve almost got it!” one of the pirates yelled.
In the blink of an eye, the blond pirate snapped his gaze from her to the cowering guard in the corner that Sister Cerulean had spared.
“Nnnoo.. Noooo!” the guard yelled in fear.
The blond pirate picked up a pebble from the ground and swiftly threw it at the guard. The pebble flew incredibly fast, hitting the guard directly on his forehead and knocking him out instantly. The blond pirate then looked back towards Sister Cerulean.
“Because you saved me, and only because you saved me.” The blond pirate said to her.
She looked at him curiously.
*SMASH* “We got it, let’s go!” the pirates started running out the door.
Sister Ceruleans eyes bugged open. “No.. No way.” She said as she stared at Merlin in shock.
“Mm." he nodded at her. “Keep it secret, it could cause a war. I’m trusting you.” Merlin said to her looking her dead straight in the eyes.
“A war…?” she seemed confused.
Merlin looked at her then turned towards the door and ran.
“Wait! No, don’t go!” Sister Cerulean called for him as her arm reached out in his direction.
He kept running, “I’m on your side, Sister Cerulean! Trust me!” he shouted as he went through the door.
Sister Cerulean started running towards the exit. *kshhhhkshkshsh* A loud shattering sound could be heard from the exit. She walked through and was now in a hallway that had a spiral staircase to the left and a corridor with many stained-glass windows on each side bordering it to the right. One of the stained-glass windows was broken. Sister Cerulean walked up to it and looked out the open window. She looked around and couldn’t believe what she spotted. *Gasp* “No way.. I can’t believe..” she said to herself out loud. She saw a man gliding in the air towards the beach. It was Merlin! He was parachuting down from the prison on the mountain using the shirt he was wearing to slow his fall. It seemed like he was blowing air inside it with his mouth, forcing the shirt to ascend and fly higher into the sky. “Incredible..” Sister Cerulean shook her head in amazement. “I’ve never witnessed such… talent.” She kept watching in disbelief. “Other than mine, of course.” She added as she turned away from the window. “Hmm. I will keep your secret, Merlin. Only because I want you to owe me. You could be helpful to the Realms of Water in the future.” She concluded. “Now where did those brutes go?” she asked walking down the corridor. She looked around and concluded, This must be the main castle. The corridor led to an open door on the opposite end of the spiral staircase. Sister Cerulean walked through it into another hallway where she saw the pirates waiting at the next door. Confused, she walked up to them and asked, “What are you waiting for? Break it down!” she commanded them.
“Rrright. Uhm.” One of the pirates spoke.
“What is it?” she asked them.
Another pirate stepped closer to her and spoke, “We’ve been thinking, maybe we should just run away?" he proposed.
“WHAT!?” Sister Cerulean yelled at him as she grabbed her fists and thrust them down by her sides.
“Ittt..it’s jjjust, Brother Draco is through the next two doors and…” the other one spoke up again, he was shaking a little.
“Yes, annndd?” Sister Cerulean emphasized her non-acceptance of fearful behavior. She had lifted her arms from her side and crossed them over her chest.
“We lost a lot of men… to just guards… how can we take on Brother Draco?” the third pirate added.
“OUR DEAL WAS YOU WOULD LEAD ME THE WAY OUT OF HERE!” she shouted at them.
They all cowered in fear of her.
“Huh? What’s that noise?” A voice from behind the door spoke up.
“I don’t know, let’s check it out.” Another voice spoke from behind the door.
The pirates looked at the door and started to back away from it. Sister Cerulean looked at them and started to scowl.
*Click* the door was unlocked from the other side. *Creeeeaaaakkk* it began to open. A couple of guards were revealed in the doorway as it opened all the way. The were just as equipped as the prison guards.
“Huh!? Intruders!” one of the guards shouted.
“THE PRISONERS!” the other shouted.
“AND BROTHER DRACO IS THE WAY OUT OF HERE!” Sister Cerulean shouted loud once more. “UGGHHHH!” she hastily re-formed her water whip from before and lashed it at the two guards.
*SPLEECHK* *SPLEECHK* “That’s it! I don’t care anymore!” Sister Cerulean shouted as the two guards fell to the ground from the lashing. “And you call yourself PIRATES!?” she shouted at the pirates then turned and started walking through the door. The pirates looked at her and shook. Then they looked at each other and nodded. Their stature calmed and they began to follow after her.
“BROTHER DRACO, WHERE ARE YOU, YOU BLASTED, ARROGANT, PIG!” she shouted for the whole castle to hear.
“Thh-that way, mmmuhh-mamm.” One of the pirates pointed towards a large double door at the end of the hallway to the right. It had a very large triangle on it surrounded by fire.
Sister Cerulean snapped her body towards the pirate and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, “I AM SISTER CERULEAN! One of the FOUR Leaders of all of Eden! If you EVER call me ‘Mam’ again I will snap your neck, do you hear me!?” she was outraged by his insult.
“Yyuu-yesss…mmma.." he stopped his words as his eyes grew bigger in fear. Sister Ceruleans grip tightened on his collar as she began to grit her teeth at him. “SSSIISS—SISTER!” he corrected himself as he shook at her outrage. The two other pirates were behind him cowering in fear as well.
“GOOD! NOW, LET US WELCOME OUR NEW GUESTS!” she shouted as she turned towards the door the pirate had directed her to. A whole group of about ten guards had emerged from the double door all fully equipped with weapons and armor. Sister Cerulean had an eerie smirk on her face. “REVENGE IS SWEET!” she shouted as she grabbed her water whip with both hands and split it into two.
“HALT! You are not allowed through here, prisoners! Surrender now and we may let you survive!” the guard in front of all the others shouted towards Sister Cerulean and the pirates.
“MY WORDS EXACTLY!” Sister Cerulean shouted as she charged towards the guards. The pirates followed behind her.
“BROTHER DRACO’S HEAD!” one of the pirates shouted.
“Huh!?” the guard seemed caught by surprise from their confidence. He and all the other guards put themselves in a defensive stance.
“AAAAAHHHHH!!!” Sister Cerulean shouted as she whipped back and forth her water whips at the guards from a distance. Orbs of water started shot from the whips hitting a few of the guards up front. *SPLOT* *SPLOT* *SPLOT*
“Back her up!” one of the pirates shouted as all three of them charged after one guard. They tackled him to the ground and grabbed his spear and shield out of his hands. *BANG* *CLANG* Loud echoes of the soldier’s gear being hit could be heard as they beat on him with his own shield.
*FLLEECHK* *SPLEECHK* Sister Cerulean continued to whip guard after guard. A couple of them had fallen.
*SHRICK* “Ahh!” Sister Cerulean shouted, she had been sliced on her side by a guard with a scimitar. He began to smile at his success in landing a blow. “AGGHHH!!!” Sister Cerulean roared. *Drip* Blood was dripping off her side to the floor. Instantly, like a bolt of lightning, Sister Cerulean charged at all the guards striking them with her water whip. *SHRICK* *SHRICK* her whip began to get sharper, she was cutting into each of the guards now. “YOU WANT TO PLAY FOR BLOOD? FINE!” she shouted as she sliced three guards down to the ground.
“AACK!” one of the guards yelled as he fell.
“CHARGE THEM!” the pirates yelled as they just finished beating down their first guard.
*SWROOSH* Two of the remaining guards started bending fire blasts from their fists towards Sister Cerulean. She began to dodge their blows. In return, she whipped her water orbs at them from afar, putting out their fire and giving her a chance to close in on them. She jumped up just in time, *SWROOOOSH* another flame came bursting below her where she just was. *SHRICK* *SHRICK* She sliced at him as she fell towards his direction. She cross cut him across his chest and he fell to the floor.
The pirates began to charge the other guard, he had lost his focus as he watched his comrade be relentlessly taken down in front of him. “Aahhh!” he shouted at their surprise. They tackled him down and began to beat on him as he cowered to protect himself.
*Pant* *Pant* *Pant* Sister Cerulean began to breathe heavily as she stared the last two guards down. They were standing directly in front of the double doors. They were shaking at the sight of all the bodies laying in front of them.
“ENOUGH!!!” A very deep voice shouted from behind the double doors. “LET HER THROUGH!”
Sister Cerulean looked up past the guards to the double doors. The guards started to open them. The Fire Crest on the doors began to split in two.
*WHACK* The pirates stopped beating on the guard and looked up. “Huh?” one of them said.
“I WANT MY TURTLE!!!” Sister Cerulean shouted as she charged towards the double doors and struck down the last two guards opening them. *SHRICK* *SHRICK* Their bodies hit the floor. *CREEAAAAUMMMMKKKKK* the very heavy doors opened as Sister Cerulean walked up on the red carpet to be met with a few more guards blocking her path. Behind them was a towering, bald man dressed in dark red robes. He was very muscular and looked intimidating. Looking past him Sister Cerulean shouted at a man sitting on an exquisite throne, “BROTHER DRACO, I WILL HAVE YOUR HEAD, I SWEAR IT!”
This man, who had medium-long white hair and a white beard about three inches long looked at her with stern eyes. He was dressed in red and black robes and was also very physically muscular and big. “Sister Cerulean… welcome.” Brother Draco greeted her.
Squad Zero was approaching the entrance of Bell Town. They were all now slowly riding their horses along the dirt road as they were preparing to approach the town when Syferr asked, “So why do they call this place Bell Town anyway? I don’t hear any bells.”
“Really, Syferr?” Zero looked back at him and shook his head in disbelief.
“What? I don’t hear anything!” Syferr eyed Zero from behind. He didn’t understand his irritation.
Seren patted Syferr’s back then started pointing towards the town but a little upwards at the sky, “Look!” she said.
From afar they could see a large brick clock tower and directly underneath it was a large golden bell.
*BRRYYINNNGGG GGYYONNNGGGG* the extraordinarily loud bell startled Squad Zero as it rung throughout the town.
“Did you hear that? Hehe.” Zero picked at Syferr.
“What!? I can’t hear anything now!? What did you say!?” Syferr was offering Zero his right ear.
“Oh, tch, nevermind.” Zero lips slanted to the side.
“Hehehe.” Syferr looked back at Seren with a grin.
Seren shook her head back and forth with a slight smile. “You dork, you can hear just fine!” she pushed Syferr’s shoulder from behind.
Syferr put his finger over his mouth and went, “Shhh!"
Zero watched from afar and figured out what he was doing, “Why you little.. hehehe.” Zero laughed at Syferr’s counter-joke as he shook his head back and forth too.
The horses had finally made it to the town entrance. There were two guards on each side of stone walls three times their height. They both were in iron plate armor and wielded a short sword and kite shield. The kite shield was painted white with a golden bell in the middle of it “Welcome to Bell Town! Please state your business here.” the guard on the right stated.
“We are emissaries of Mother Gaia, here is her mark.” Ijneg said as he extended his arm out in front of him and opened the scroll.
The guard walked up towards the scroll and read it’s contents. “Very well, you may proceed!” the guard beckoned them inside.
“Thank you. We need to stable our horses inside, can you point me to where they are?” Ijneg asked the guard.
“Of course, the stables are located on the west side of the town center.”
“Thank you again.” Ijneg tossed an Emerald Star Piece to the guard.
The guard caught the piece and smiled at Ijneg along with a nod. He then walked back to his spot in front of the stone wall.
Ijneg led the way into Bell Town with his horse and they began to walk down one of the main streets. The streets were made of various stones that seemed to be the work of Earth Benders.
“This place is pretty well guarded.” Syferr was eying the place around.
“It’s a trading town.” Ijneg explained.
“They don’t want just anybody entering. Bandits or thieves would not be a great thing for the people who live here and do business.” Zero explained further.
“Ohhh! I see, that makes sense!” Syferr said.
They continued to ride their horses slowly down the street towards the central zone. Ahead of them from afar, it looked as if this is where most people were trading goods. There were many people and lots of stands with goods laying out. To the left of Squad Zero was what looked like a small town park. There was a water well, along with some trees and stone benches that people were sitting on. There were also some children running around together playing. To the right of the Squad were some houses built almost entirely out of wood, most likely from the forests to the north. There were a couple of cottages that looked like they were made of clay stone but there were fewer of these. Everyone continued to look around until eventually they made it to the central zone.
“Oh wow!” Seren said as she looked around. She was excited because there were many different shops and stands with numerous goods to be traded for. “There is so much!” she added.
“Hehe! Cool!” Syferr joined in on the excitement as he looked around.
“Definitely worth exploring!” Zero nodded.
“Alright, take some time and look around. Get familiar with the place and learn it well, that’s why we’re here early. Don’t forget your mission! Search for clues, anything you can find. And if you do find something, come find us. I’ll take your horses and get them stabled. I’ll be on the west side of town, I’ll start there.” Ijneg said as he dismounted his horse and grabbed it by the reins. He then walked up to everyone’s horses and did the same. Everybody else dismounted as well.
“Okay, remember, if you find anything let us know.” Ijneg reminded them once more then he started to turn away and head west.
“Uh, guys!” Zero shouted.
Syferr and Seren looked at Zero.
Ijneg stopped and looked back at him.
“I think I found something…” Zero said as his mouth was hanging halfway open.
“What?” Ijneg's eyes rose in surprise.
Zero pointed at a wooden board on the side of a building. Everyone looked towards the direction he was pointing.
“It’s Ciro…” Zero said.
“Huh?” Syferr said now opening his mouth as well.
“*Gasp* No way!” Seren covered her mouth in disbelief.
“What are you talking about, Zero? I don’t…” Ijneg stopped talking as he saw what Zero was pointing at.
Posted on the wooden board on the side of the building was a poster that read:
WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE - 5 Star Jewel Reward!