I was standing in the middle of the raised platform, waiting for my two competitors, who were arriving any minute. I was doing a few stretching exercises, while talking to myself to pump me up, "Alright, today's the day, the sun is shining, and I am ready, *crack*, to kick, *crack*, some ass, *crack*. Whoo man, that felt good".
While I was busy doing my exercises, Tenzin, And three other members of the White Lotus were underneath the wooden Pavilion also waiting for the two guests to arrive. Lin already left a few minutes ago, after giving me a small motivational speech before she left. Which was basically, "Lose this fight, and I will kill you".
Quite the motivational speaker, that woman.
A couple of minutes went by when I suddenly heard the gates of the compound open. Tenzin and I and the others looked towards the gate that opened up, revealing three large snow vehicles driving in. Each had the emblem of the White Lotus on the side, and they made their way further inside the compound and stopped a couple of meters in front of the platform I was standing on.
The three members that were standing next to Tenzin made their way to the vehicles to welcome them. They went to the vehicle in the middle, where they were conversing with other members of the White Lotus, who were coming out of it. As I was preparing myself, I watched curiously when Tenzin suddenly appeared right next to me.
I glanced at him and I spoke, Whilst still doing my stretches, "So, they're finally here. Considering the mystery that shrouded around them ever since I came here, they have to be good, Huh?".
"Well, they have trained their whole lives for this. So, don't underestimate them. Just focus and concentrate, understand?", Said Tenzin.
"Don't worry, Sir. I never underestimate my opponents, no matter how weak or strong they look", I replied. "Oh, and also why haven't I heard of them? Weren't the White Lotus, ya'know, not a secret society anymore?".
"That's true, but they still have a couple of things they kept hidden from the world. Like them, for example".
"Ah, okay. Hehehe, now, I'm even more excited".
Tenzin saw me grinning like a maniac and raised an eyebrow, "Kai, what did I tell you? Focus and concentrate".
"What? Oh, sorry, hehe. I was just excited, that's all".
After a while, the three White Lotus members were done conversing with one another and one by one, other members stepped out of the vehicle. I watched and waited for the people I was going to face.
The first person that came out of the vehicle was a tall, muscular, light-skinned man, wearing the same White Lotus uniform. Accompanied by another tall, muscular, and light-skinned man, also wearing the same White Lotus uniform, but without the headpiece. Both of them had similar facial structures and intimidating expressions. They both had short dark brown hair that was tied in a bun.
I looked at Tenzin and asked, "Is it them?".
Tenzin shook his head, "No, they're not."
I looked back and saw another pair coming out of the vehicle. This time they were men that looked the same age as Tenzin. One had a happy expression, while the other had a sort of gloomy expression. This time they both wore Earth kingdom clothing. which were long dark green robes and a buckle around their waists, that had the symbol of the Earth kingdom. They seemed to fit the description of Earthbending masters.
I looked at Tenzin and asked again, "Is it them?|
but Tenzin shook his head again. Now I was starting to get a little nervous.
'Who in the world could they be?'
After a few seconds, two figures, who seemed to be the last people, walked out of the vehicle. I couldn't make out who they were, but the two walked up to the three high-ranking Lotus members and bowed their heads. The three bowed their heads in return, and the one in the middle pointed towards the stage.
The two figures then looked towards the stage and then looked towards me. They then walked from the shadow and stepped into the light. The first that stepped forward was, surprisingly, a young man who looked to be about 17 or 18 years old. He was slightly browned-skinned like me, and his face was slightly oval, with narrow eyes, thin eyebrows, a sharp nose, thin lips, a well-defined jawline, and short dark brown wavy hair. He had a calm and relaxed expression while he walked, and he also wore a White Lotus uniform, but without the headpiece, and the white mantle that was supposed to be around his shoulders.
The second one, who walked behind him, was a girl. Probably the same age as the boy. She also wore the same Lotus uniform, but also without the headpiece, and the white mantle. She was of similar height as the boy, with a similar oval-shaped face. Furthermore, she had the same narrow eyes, a perfectly shaped nose, slightly thin eyebrows, and lips, and beautiful dark-brown wavy hair that reached to her shoulders. As opposed to the boy, who had a rather calm and relaxed expression, she had a more serious expression.
They walked towards us, with the two men behind them and the twins beside them. When I saw the two walking toward the stage, I was a bit caught off guard. I looked at Tenzin and asked, "Is…Is it them?".
"Yes. That's them", he replied.
I was in disbelief, as I saw the two who were supposedly the Earthbending masters I had to face. They were just teenagers. I was also a teenager, I know that, but that was…to be honest, not what I was expecting.
The two, accompanied by the two elderly men, came closer and walked up the stairs and onto the platform. They stopped in front of Tenzin and me and bowed their heads in respect.
"Good evening, Master Tenzin!", greeted the boy.
"Good evening, Master Tenzin", greeted the girl.
Tenzin bowed his head in return and greeted, "Good evening, Ganu, Tola."
"So, How were their trips? No, problems, I hope?"
Tenzin looked at the two men standing behind them.
"It was fine, Master Tenzin", answered one of the men behind them gleefully, who was still bowing his head, while the other just stayed silent.
They stood back up straight and the man who answered Tenzin looked at me.
"So, Master Tenzin. Is this the boy you have told us about?", asked the man.
"Yes, it is", Tenzin nodded. He put his hand on my shoulder, and said, " Kai, would you introduce yourself?".
I was still eyeing the two so-called 'Earthbending Masters' in front of me, while they greeted each other. When Tenzin told me to introduce myself. I walked forward, put my hands together, and bowed my head slightly, "Hello. It is pleasure to finally meet both you, uh, master Ganu, and master Tola. My name is Kai".
When I introduced myself, I didn't receive any greetings in return, but silence. It seems that they were also observing me. It felt like they were looking right through as I was introducing myself.
"Ganu, Tola, show some respect.", said the man.
The two listened to the man behind them and put their hands together, and bowed their heads. The man shook his head and sighed, "Ah, My apologies, Master Tenzin".
"No, no, it's fine. It seems that the fight has already begun".
After a moment of silence, I returned to my previous position next to Tenzin.
'Well, that was something, wasn't it?', I thought to myself.
Wanting to break the silence, Tenzin let out a small cough and spoke, "*Ahem*, Alright, so, Let's begin".
The two men nodded and told the two benders to make their way further onto the platform. The two benders walked right past me like I didn't exist a few seconds ago, and took their positions on the platform.
One of the men walked up to me and started to analyze me. He narrowed his eyes and let out a small chuckle, "Hehe, This boy is quite special. Where did you find him, Master Tenzin?".
"I'm not the one who did. Do you know Lin Beifong, Chief of the Republic City Police?", asked Tenzin.
The man rubbed his chin, and said, "Lin Beifong? Oh, why, yes, I know her. She's the daughter of Toph Beifong, correct?". Then the old man looked at Tenzin with a mischievous smile, and asked, "Wasn't Lin Beifong your old flame, Huh?".
Tenzin smiled wryly, and said, "Ah, y-yes, uh, she was. Umm, anyway, she was the one who found Kai in Republic City and has been training him and been wanting to recruit him in the police force ever since".
"Ah, splendid! It seems like this trip wasn't a mistake after all. We have been looking for someone like this young man for a long time. Isn't that right, Shen fu?".
The man looked at the other man whose name was Shen Fu, who was standing behind him the whole time and who hadn't said a single word this whole time.
"Mmm", the man named Shen Fu nodded.
"Hahahaha, I knew you would agree. Now, then. Let's get this show on the road, shall we? Master Tenzin?", the elderly man let out a loud laugh and he and the other made their way to the wooden pavilion.
I stared at them a little more while they were walking away, and I said, "Well, they're a strange duo. Don't you think so, Tenzin?".
Tenzin paused for a bit and sighed softly at my statement.
"You have no idea."
"Are they also Earthbenders?", I asked.
"Yes, They are. But don't let their expressions and their attitudes fool you, Kai. They are very powerful Earthbenders."
He then guided me to my spot and gave me a small pep talk, "Alright, remember what I told you? Do not underestimate them. They may look young, but they have trained ever since they were young. So, fight well."
Tenzin ended his talk and walked over to the wooden Pavilion where the others were standing. I then turned my attention to the two, who were a couple of meters in front of me. The boy, who was Ganu, had the same relaxed expression on his face, but now added a small grin, and the girl, who was Tola, had the same serious expression.
I walked a little closer to them and said, "So, how do we do this? Rock, paper, scissors, lady's first, or how about head's or tails, 'cause I have a small coin here in my pocket."
Hearing me say this, Ganu smirked, and said, "Why don't we try heads or tails, then?".
"Alright, Call it."
I took out the penny in my pocket and I flipped it in the air. It stayed there for a couple of seconds, and I then caught it in my hand. I covered up the penny with my other hand, and I looked at Ganu, who still had a smirk on his face.
"Heads.", said Ganu
I opened my hand and it indeed showed heads.
"Heads it is. So, who goes first? Or why don't both of you come to me at the same time? That'll make things even more exciting, don't ya think?"
Ganu pondered at my suggestion for a while and responded, "You know what? I've been thinking the same thing too. What do you think, sister?"
Ganu looked back at Tola who had been silent during our talk and nodded. Seeing her reaction, Ganu looked back at me and said, "well, you heard the lady. Let's do it."
"Alright, I'll throw this penny in the middle, and the moment it reaches the ground, we begin, Is that good?"
"That's alright with me."
I walked back to my previous position and then threw the penny high in the air, and we immediately got into our stances. They both went into their Earthbending stance, while I was in a traditional boxing stance. A few seconds went by and the penny started to descend. Five more seconds before it reached the ground, and Tenzin and the others were waiting patiently under the pavilion.
We looked each other in our eyes and waited for the penny to reach the ground. Sweat was running down my face, and my heart was beating immensely. I was starting to feel the adrenalin already pumping through my body. Excitement and anticipation were building up in my eyes.