Hey guys! For my first entry, this is fanfiction sequel of Nickelodean’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra (a preview of one anyway). This was an idea I started out back in 2017 and had been working on and off. With that out of the way, here’s the opening to Avatar: Tales of Mushi. Enjoy!
A burning fist struck through the shadows, lighting the darkness with red flames.
Leaves floated on wisp of a silvery breeze and danced around nimble legs of the one directing it.
Blue waves flooded the floor, then rose and fell upon their caster in the form of several thousand raindrops.
At the beck of slender hands, several green and brown pillars erupted from the ground into the sky.
The pillars did not stop. They went higher and higher, until they finally stopped and their tips had transformed into an army of statues.
“For many years, I have heard tales about the Avatar, master of all four elements. I have heard how each one would be born and bring peace to the world…”
The statues, avatars of centuries past, stood side by side, each representing the Fire Nation, Air Nomads, Water Tribes, and Earth Kingdoms. And one by one, the avatars’ eyes glowed until they were an army of lights. Yet, the two casted a larger shadow over them all.
“Out of the many avatars, I haven’t heard more than Avatar Aang, who ended the Hundred-Year War, and his successor, Avatar Korra who helped to bring the Spirit World and mortal realm together…”
The calm and joyous Aang stood side by side with the powerful and fierce Korra, both watching over the bay of Republic City. Their eyes glowed with the ethereal power of previous Avatars and the Avatar Spirit within them.
“But Aang passed long ago… And Korra has joined him…”
The light from Avatar Aang’s statue faded, followed by his successor’s.
“Korra’s, however, was unexpected. Sudden… and the whole world was left to wonder why.”
Tiny white specks, remnants of the avatar’s white light, sparkled as they left Korra’s eyes and disappeared into the darkening sky above. A sky that now hovered above cities and lands filled with the confused and uncertain people of the Four Nations.
“And so, like with Avatar Aang, there was no sign of the new avatar. There have been rumors, though. Sightings of a stranger wandering from place to place.”
Amongst the whispering crowds of merchants, workers, soldiers, and even Spirits, a lone figure in a coat and hood strolled down, alone and aimless.
“I will search for this stranger. I will see if what they say is true. If it is, if this is the avatar, then perhaps I can find what I’ve been looking for so long…”
Under the shadow of the lonesome being’s hood, a pair of eyes glowed bright white…
TALES OF MUSHI
BOOK 1: VOID
Chapter 1: Powerless
The early morning sun fell on Kyoshi Island and the statue of its namesake as it had for centuries. The natives didn’t notice the sun or the statue they passed by, their focus on the time on their pocket or wrist watches. The young man by the statue’s base, on the other hand, hadn’t paid attention to how much time had passed. He didn’t really pay attention to anything.
He sat on the grass, hands resting in his lap. He pushed aside the itchy feeling on his legs, along with the buzz of a Satomobile engine and the soft wind breezing by. He focused on his breathing, on his state of mind, and on his inner self. As he was taught, he kept his aim on being calm like water.
Sadly, he was anything but calm. There was the slight irritation, the tiniest irksome that stopped him from reaching his goal. And that irksome thing was only he could see:
She stood in the empty ocean, her dark hair blowing in the wind…
He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to block out the image. He remembered what his mentor had taught him. He tried to focus on something, anything to keep the woman away. His efforts were rewarded with something else:
… her Water Tribe outfit, once newly made, was torn in several places…
A frown cracked his calm facade. He was not supposed to be seeing that. Not again. “Come on…” he whispered, hoping to be free of the image. His hopes were rewarded with the opposite:
… and though her back faced him, she slowly turned with that expressionless face and those dead eyes…
At last, he opened his eyes and slumped his shoulders in defeat. “Ugh, I not again,” he murmured to himself. After running a hand through his dark short hair, his gray gaze slanted up at the statue of Avatar Kyoshi. “There has be to another way to doing this.”
The statue didn’t answer him, but someone else did. “Meditating again, Mushi?” said the man whose brown head of hair suddenly loomed over.
A startled Mushi jumped, placed a hand on his thumping chest, and whirled to the stranger. “Sifu Niko, don’t do that!” he exclaimed.
Keeping his back in a hunched position, Niko shook his head and laughed. “I don’t think I had any other choice. You were doing it again…” he told his old student. “… I swear, you are too tense sometimes.”
“I’m not tense!” Mushi snapped up.
Holding his hands behind his back, Niko frowned down. “Don’t start with me, Mushi,” he said. “You’ve been at this statue all morning. I don’t know what has gotten through your head but stressing over it will do you no good. You need to relax.”
“I told you, I’m not-”
Mushi’s stopped as something jabbed at the back of his neck. The joints in went crick-crack, and the shoulders spasmed from the built-up tension now trailing down Mushi’s spine. All of it happened so sudden that he never noticed his own lanky body shaking like a leaf on in the middle of autumn.
Once the feeling faded, a far more relaxed Mushi turned to a smirking Niko. “Well?” the older man asked as his hand returned to behind his back.
Mushi sighed and uncrossed his legs. “Okay, you win,” he grumbled and grabbed his coat lying beside him.
The younger man didn’t complain as Niko led him away from the statue and into the paved street. As annoying as the older man could be, Mushi found Niko to be endearing. Niko had taken personal interests in all his guests. It wasn’t hard, seeing how Kyoshi Island kept a population less than two thousand. When he arrived a few months ago, the atmosphere took Mushi by surprise with the fewer Satomobile, one or two telephone lines, and the additional rows of modern buildings to the centuries-old wooden houses.
Niko, the governor of it all, stopped to let a new Satomobile pass by him. “Close one,” he breathed in relief. Eyes glaring after the vehicle, he went on and mumbled, “I swear, I need to set up new laws. I can’t have these junkies drive wherever they want.”
“Maybe you need a new road,” Mushi suggested offhandedly. “I think that’s one way to help deal with traffic.”
“We have one road already. No need to make another one!” Niko huffed then changed the subject. “So, do you wish to tell me why you’re at the statue instead of being with your friends?”
At that, Niko turned to a quiet Mushi with a flourish of his long green jacket. His patient stare was the opposite of Mushi’s pursed lips. “I don’t think that’s a big deal. You always said I need to focus more, so I just thought I’d try some techniques you gave me.”
Now, it was Niko’s turn to frown. “I know you wish to work hard. You have shown that over the past few months, but today is your last day here, Mushi. You should be with the other students, laughing with them. You may not have the chance to ever see them again.”
Mushi shouldered his coat in uncertainty. Admittedly, he hadn’t been very sociable with the others. That was obvious as those students, dressed in the same forest green gi as Mushi’s, rush past their mentor. “Maybe…” Mushi said, eying his fellow students, “but I’m not sure if they’ll ever miss me.”
“They will,” Niko assured. “You just need to give them a chance to know you first.”
If Mushi had anything to say, he stopped it and drifted his eyes to the side then up. On the cliff above stood a girl with soft brown hair tied into a bun. Mushi had seen her over the past few days, always at a passing glance. Then, and now, he watched saw the girl take a typical Earthbending stance, right arm up and right leg forward to raise a boulder from the cliffside itself.
“Mushi? Mushi…?” Niko had said to the side, but Mushi was too busy with the spectacle to listen.
Swerving to the side, the boulder levitated a foot into the air before splitting into two tinier halves that orbited each other. There had been the “oohs” and “aahs” of the spectators–all of them nonbenders who had been part of Mushi’s class. Mushi was more interested in the Earthbending girl. Her form was near perfect, her expression the epitome of calm he wanted. The girl herself could’ve been from another part of the Earth Confederation-maybe Zaofu. Her outfit was a mix of green and blues, so it wasn’t easy to tell.
“You know, you could go always talk to her,” Niko whispered to him, rather cheekily.
Reality fell back on Mushi and his hopes, pushing down his lips into a frown. “Thanks for the advice, but I don’t think I have the time now. I have to get going.”
“Always the spoilsport. I swear, you’re like my wife sometimes.” Niko sighed. He paused, as if remembering something important. “Oh, one more thing. I have a gift.”
Niko reached into his jacket, and Mushi froze at the present held out to him. It was a tiny statue, no bigger than Niko’s palm. The piece of wood had been finely sculpted and chiseled into a woman. With that strong physique and shoulder-length hair, she held a posture that proclaimed strength and confidence. Those things alone Niko perhaps hoped to encourage Mushi.
Mushi, holding back a frown, hesitantly reached out to touch it. “It’s…” he said, swallowed, then finished, “… it’s well-made, sifu.”
“Good. I spent hours working on it. I think it’s something that may help you on your way back home,” Niko smiled and pushed the token into Mushi’s hand. “Please take it.”
“I’m not sure, sifu,“ Mushi said and tried to push the token back.
Niko pushed the token back. “I insist. Please.”
“Sifu, I can’t–“
“If you don’t take it, I’m going to give it to that girl over there and say how my ungrateful student didn’t want it,“ Niko said with that oh-so innocent smile of his.
The mental manipulation pulled down at Mushi’s lips. It took everything he had to not frown as he at last accepted Niko’s gift. The governor, unaware of Mushi’s inner conflict, smiled and said, “Be safe on your journey. May Avatar Korra’s spirit guide you.”
Mushi unknowingly tightened his grip around the token. “Thank you, sifu,” he forced a smile and pocketed it.
Mushi let that smile disappear once he turned and put on his long coat. He didn’t want his mentor to see it and ask what was wrong. There was no need for that. After all, he had to get going.