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420 years after the fall of Ozai, decades of tranquility have brought about an era where peace is no longer only a mere philosophical abstraction. However beyond the grasp of the Four Nations, a long lost legacy resurfaces.
 
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 The merchant's son (open)

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drakendottir
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PostSubject: The merchant's son (open)   Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:29 am

Toran Dorkeen



"Don't you run out on me, young man! Don't you dare run out on me!" The voice of his father shouted after Toran, but the young lad did not mind. Angrily, he stormed upstairs two flights of stairs, turned left, and traversed several hallways until he finally burst into his room, slamming the door behind him.

Furiously, he kicked his cabinet, throwing himself diagonally over his bed afterwards. Slowly, his anger subsided, leaving him tired and frustrated. Finally, he could feel the pain on his upper body again. With contracted eyebrows, he losened his broad belt of brown cloth and opened his tunic. The bruises on his upper body were fresh, they were just starting to swell, light red in colour. Well, they would be bright blue tomorrow and then shade away into violet, green, yellow. Next week they would be gone, but Toran did not kid himself. By then, he would probably have some more bruises in their place. He always got into trouble at school. It's not my fault, he thought bitterly, it's not my thought these illiterate dumbasses keep looking for trouble... I never told them to steal all my books from my locker and read my journal aloud in class. No, sir, I never told them that. I keep my things in my LOCKER for a reason. Because they are supposed to be LOCKED UP.
Stupid dumbasses...

No one was allowed to read his thoughts, let alone laugh about them.

And of course, they had all stood together and told the teacher that he, Toran, had started the fight. As they always did. Toran, the dreamer. Toran, the loser. Toran, the POET. He hated those names. His teacher had taken him aside, asking him if there were problems. No, madam, no problems at all. If he had any sorrows. Sorrows, madam? No, madam, no sorrows. Why then he did get into trouble all the time? Did he not know that Chan Ju would always be a bully and tease him? He should not let those other children get to him so easily, they were just jealous, that was all... Sure, madam.
As if he believed her. Did they all think he was stupid? He knew it better, he was not stupid, he was a FREAK. Toran LAMEbender. Always the troublemaker, constantly asking for trouble with the other children.

CHILDREN.

Toran sat up abruptly, getting over to his writing desk, and producing a feather and ink. He took out his journal from its hiding place and started writing on the next side.

I am no child. I am no child. I am no child. I am no child...

After one and a half side, he finally believed it himself, staring at the strange pages in front of him with a numb feeling in his chest.

No, it was too much. He felt caged, unable to breathe, the room seemed to close in on him, the walls came nearer and nearer.
Part of him was still angry, he felt like blowing something up, or hitting something a million times, or just crying. Angry with himself, he wiped over his brown eyes, stepped over to the window, and pushed it open. It was early afternoon in the outer upper ring, the merchants of the upper class were either at home, like his father, or in their offices and stores, their rich wives treaded outside, enjoying the light summer wind, the beautiful weather out. Toran was grounded. His father had not told him so, but he knew it anyways. He was always grounded. So what? It was not the first time he broke a rule and definitely not the last time.

Thankfully, he was not too tall for his age, a quite skinny teen, and slipping out the window and up the rainwater downpipe was easy for him. He would crawl over the roof, and use one of the trees in their backyard to get to the ground. Then climb the wall and get out of his father's estate, as he had done so many times. Nothing cleared his mind like walking in the streets. Even, especially, when he was not supposed to.

Where he was going? He himself could not answer the question. He just let his feet wander off where they liked to, dwelling on thoughts and cooling off his furious mind.

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Zexenuma j'nah, vaex bekiw, waph vis.


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PostSubject: Re: The merchant's son (open)   Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:58 am

Kat



It was a beautiful day, far too beautiful to spend it inside the palace walls. Kat had taken her favourite book, The Bird and the Prince - an old fire nation fairytale - out with her, and sat under a tree in the palace gardens, her long, red hair flowing down her back and in the front over her shoulders. She was wearing comfortable, green robes that were only slightly darker than the colour of the grass and the tree's leaves around her, and no shoes as she enjoyed feeling nature all around her, inhaling the beauty of the summer afternoon in her favourite environment.

Her boyfriend, the Fire Lord, was very busy, she knew that. He had a lot of important matters to attend to, and a lot of difficult political decisions to make. He could not stay with her all day and hold her hand, she knew that, she respected that, and she did not mind.

She lived for the nights they spend together, curled under the silken blankets of their bed, talking and planning and dreaming as one person. Those sweet summer nights... they were the best part of her new life in the palace.
But she could not complain otherwise, either. The palace gardens were huge, more a set of parcs than gardens, and they helt the most beautiful plants and animals. She had wandered through all of them, making them her home during the day, even when there was rain or fog. Most days, however, were sweet and sunny like this one, with birds singing in the trees, the turtleducks splashing around in the little lake nearby, and a soft wind sighing in the majestic trees. This was her favourite place, indeed. She loved it here.

Her only regret was that there were almost no people around, the palace lay in the sunlight like the mansion of an invisible people. If one went through its enormous corridors, one could easily get lost, and despite the occasional guard or servant, and maybe the one or other highly important person, there was no one around. She had imagined it a lot more crowded here, but she had been wrong. Owlan lived in this palace, and it seemed as if two of his siblings came by from time to time, but Kat had not yet had the pleasure to meet them. She was not even sure if they knew she existed. But then again, she had only been here a week, and if her boyfriend was busy, his siblings were surely swamped, being the Lord of Ember Island and the Fire Nation's ambassador. Kat was well aware that Owlan had also a second brother, who lived near the Capitol in a mansion of his own, but Owlan scarcely talked about him, and it did not seem as if they had any contact whatsoever.

Although she herself came from an unhappy family, Kat was confused by this. They were siblings, after all, how could they not be glad they had each other, no matter how hard their childhood had been? She herself would have done almost anything to have a sibling, someone she could talk to, share all, even her silliest, feelings with, and most of all, share her joy about all her luck with. Most of these things she did with Owlan, but she could not actually talk to him about how happy he made her, how everytime he touched her hand, her belly was a fluttering chaos of butterflies... How his eyes seemed to touch her deep underneath her skin, as if they were looking right into her heart.

Kat sighed and clapped the book closed, that had laid uselessly on her lap for quite some time now while her deep, blue eyes stared into space, with her mind wandering off.

It was time she stretched her legs, got out of the palace, out on a walk. She would sneek out of the palace gardens, otherwise, if she was unlucky, there would be a pair of guards directly behind her all the time. She had no use for guards making her look all official. She wanted to walk on her own, enjoy the spare time she had, watch, eat, live in the streets, at least for one or two hours.

She left her book under the tree, and left the gardens through a small side gate.

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Zexenuma j'nah, vaex bekiw, waph vis.


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PostSubject: Re: The merchant's son (open)   Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:30 pm

Toran

He should have paid better attention where he was going. Not being attentive was his major problem, he was aware of that, but this self-awareness was no help whatsoever.

He stood in front of his school, the one place where he had not planned going. He knew, of course, that the cool kids met here after school, roamed the square in front of the school, hanging out together and do whatever it was they were doing in their spare time. He suspected they did not read books, stare out of the window dreaming or listen to music, like he did.
His first impulse was to back off and get out of here the sooner the better, he had no desire to meet his torturers outside of school, too. It was bad enough they ruined his fornoons, they did not need to get his afternoons, too.
But he had just turned around to leave, when he saw them. They had not been on the square. They had been right behind him while he stood there, deep in thought, and had watched him. Toran froze as if he had run against an invisible wall, his eyes narrowing.

He was not up for a fight, especially not in broad daylight in the middle of a square. He would lose anyway, like he always did, and then be even more embarassed. Plus, if they got caught fighting, some town guard might drag him home to his parents and tell them that he had been in trouble. Again. Toran had been in quite some fights lately, and he knew how mad his father became every time he was brought home by some official. But being dragged home twice on one day - that would beat the record, even by Toran's standarts.

"Toran Dorkeen." There was neither greeting nor insult in Chan Ju's voice, just a calm statement. But this only fortified the menace that radiated from him. Chan Ju was only one and a half year Toran's elder, but he was taller by at least a head. It did not matter when they stood far from each other, but when he came closer, like he did now, towering over his victim, Toran felt like a dwarf in his presence.
"Thank you, I know my name," he heard himself answer, and wondered where he had taken the courage to be that brazen. "Feeling cheeky again?" The girl next to Chan Ju was in Toran's class, to be exact, she was the class representative - Virida - and although she was exactly Toran's height, he still felt threatened by her presence and her cool, superior voice.
"Yet I thought you might have learned your lesson earlier today, when Ju demonstrated the kind of whimp that you are. What, no tears this time?" She pushed him only so slightly, enough that Toran had to retreat two steps in order to keep his balance. He pressed his lips together and tried to calm himself down. Fear and anger boiled inside him, making it hard to control his emotions.
The girl turned backwards to one of her friends, her long, braided black ponytail whiped over his face thanks to the velocity of that movement. In all there were six children other than Chan Ju and her, some of them had been with them this very morning, but two had not. "You should have seen him. Chan Ju only touched him so slightly and he WEPT." She laughed, and the others joined her laughter, some of them measuring Toran with an amused gaze. He hated this. He hated her. He hated her stupid laughter.
"Just shut up, Virida," he answered brusquely, and tried to sideline her in order to get past and away from them. Maybe he should just have walked in the other direction, because this did not work out the way he had intended it to.

"Oh, make way, Dorkeen is un-corking his tear bottles again!" Although that was about the worst pun he had heard in his entire life, the others obviously thought it had been brilliant. All, but Ju, who grabbed Toran's upper arm and held him by it, joined the laughter. "You're going to apologize for that, Dorkeen. No one talks to my girlfriend like that. Especially not a little POET like you," he snarled. Toran later could not have said what had gotten into him. Maybe it was because there were no teachers around. Maybe it was because he had been angry and frustrated before he ran into the bullies. Either way, he felt himself push free from Ju, smoothing down his tunic, and telling the taller boy sincerely, lifting his eyebrows in a supercilious way: "If she does not wish to be talked to in that manner, maybe she should refrain from using that same tone towards others. Only a lady can demand to be treated as one. Think it over."
With that, he left them standing there, this time getting through their group without difficulty, simply because they all stared at him in disbelief. None of them could comprehend he had just shown the balls to stand up to Chan Ju, their unquestioned leader.
Toran even got the feeling that the two who had not been there this morning and did not belong to Ju's regular group watched him with some admiration.

"You're gonna beg for forgiveness when I am done with you!" Ju cried out as soon as he had realized the full extent of the indirect slander on his girlfriend. Virida cheered Ju on as he charged forward, knocking Toran flying from behind. Before Toran had fully realized it, they were rolling in the dirt of the square, Ju was hitting him multiple times, and the other kids had formed a circle around them, most of them cheering for Ju.
Toran was about to coil himself up and wait until it was over, but then his anger prevailed and he let himself get carried away in the fight, punching, hitting and scratching his elder opponent where he could. He was not half as strong as Ju, but he was furious and far more accustomed to being hit and feel pain.
To his own surprise, he was not losing half as quick as he usually did, and between the hits he even thought to hear his own last name between the cheers for Chang.

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Stand fierce, bow deep, live honest.

Zexenuma j'nah, vaex bekiw, waph vis.


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PostSubject: Re: The merchant's son (open)   Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:13 pm

Broin Beltana



Broin felt sick. The ship rolled up and down, up and down, up and down, leaving her with a death wish. All she knew was that her intestines moved down and up, down and up, down and up again with the tide as if they had a life of their own.
Rory was with her the entire time, but his wet snout was only a small comfort for the sickness in her stomach, the loss of her home, and everything she had ever known. Broin had never before started all over again. Now she would have to. Her father had raved about her grand new room, but he did not get it. She did not want a new room, she wanted her old room, the room she knew inside out, where not even a square centimetre was undiscovered territory. The new house allegedly was great, but it was not their old house, the house where Broin had grown up in, where she knew her way around without Rory’s help because she had learnt to crawl, to walk, to run even in it.
She was looking forward to their new garden though, grander than the old one. Also – according to her dad, sadly – their new estate lay near a main street. Broin was totally looking forward to all the new sounds, smells, and tastes her new life would bring.
But deep down inside she was one thing above all others. Broin was scared. She had just been halfway accepted at her old school, she had just found her first few friends. Now she would have to go through it again – people thinking she was weak, and helpless, and STUPID. And why? Just because she was blind. Broin could not have said whom she despised more, the people who made jokes about her – like “Watch where you’re going!” or “Do I LOOK like I know where the bathrooms are?” – or the other ones, the sympathetic ones, who tried to help her all the time, getting more in her way than anything else, treating her like she could neither talk, nor understand, nor breathe on her own.

The mixed feelings about her new life vanished at once when the next took the ship, rolling it higher than the waves before. Broin pressed her hand to her mouth, and leaned over the side of her bed, her free hand fumbling for the bucket in panic. She found it just in time, drawing it towards her and emptying her stomach into it. Thanks for her sea-sickness, she had not much left in there, so besides some bitter gall, nothing came up.
Broin could not wait for this ship to finally reach the land, just so she might have solid ground under her feet again. Since they had been on the high seas, she had not even dared go to the bathroom on her own, afraid she might lose her balance in one of the ship’s major rolls and tumble, or, even worse, not find back to her cabin afterwards.
Oh yes. Whatever that new life was bringing, it could not be worse than this…

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Zexenuma j'nah, vaex bekiw, waph vis.


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PostSubject: Re: The merchant's son (open)   Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:57 pm

Kat

As soon as she left the palace area, the small, deserted byroads became more crowded. Kat got some strange looks because of her rather casual clothing and because she was not even wearing shoes. Angry with herself, she remembered that this was the nobles' area, a neighbourhood of grand estates and gardens as great as parcs. As the Fire Nation Capitol's upper city was laid out in a ring pattern, with the palace district in the middle, of course she would get into the nobles' area when she left it.

After some time she stopped minding the curious looks most passerbies gave her and took in her environment. It really was a beautiful city, and the farer she went, the smaller the estates became. Soon, they were but grand, multistorey houses with large gardens in the back and the one or other establishment in between. She had reached the merchant's area of the Fire Nation Capitol, the most remote ring of the upper town. If she crossed this area too, she would come to the path that led to the lower town. Kat had no desire to go there, it would be too far for a simple walk and the streets had become less clean as it already was.

But she also had no wish to turn back right away and get out of here immidiately. She tried to remember everything she knew about this district, it was not much, in fact. The merchants' area was the least of the three parts of the upper town, and although its main structure was clear and neat, there was a myriad of little paths and ways, linking the grander roads like the web of a spider, dividing the several smaller estates from each other.

Kat had always been a friend of small alleys, especially when they were as pretty as the ones in the merchants' area. High walls of sandstones in all shades and colours lined the winding cobbled streets, with ivy and the branches of high trees reaching over these walls and giving them a romantic atmosphere. Birds sang behing those walls, and from the main roads the noise of a busy afternoon breezed over like the low sound of a constant tide. It was peaceful, but not as deserted as the palace area and not as extensive and garish as the nobles' district. Kat could imagine normal people living here, people of the rank her parents had been.
And then she remembered. Her father had once told her of a sister he had here. They had not spoken much of her at home - since they had mostly not talked at all - but Kat, for some reason, remembered her aunt's last name. She had married a merchant with the name of Dorkeen.
Kat was curious if she lived someplace around here, but she knew of course that it would be stupid to just ramble off and look for a house in this sea of estates. It would take her forever.
Maybe Owlan can find out about my aunt, just if she still lives here and how she is, Kat wondered. It should not be too hard for the Fire Lord to find out who lives in his grandest city, and they are not nobodies, they are a merchant and his wife. Maybe he even knows them, has bought something in their store some day or something like that...

Pondering on her thoughts, that fast moved away from her distant family and back to her pretty surroundings, Kat walked further and further into the closely woven net of byroads. Until she got to the next grand road. After hesitating shortly, she decided on the path that would lead her back towards the palace area. She should probably get home now, there was a risk Owlan had missed her and she had told no one where she was going.
She decided to stick to larger roads now, since they sooner or later would lead her back to the palace. But before she could get even to the nobles' area, she came onto a place, that opened up in front of a large, massive building of red bricks. On a sign over the main entrance stood in grand, copper letters the words "Roku Middle School". From the looks of it, this was the school for the merchant children and maybe even some of the lesser nobles who could not afford or did not wish to have their children homeschooled.

As Kat moved past the massive portal, she suddenly heard noise. There were people shouting, as if they wanted to cheer to a competition, but it sounded more eager. Like a bunch of crows that watch a fight, she thought and trembled at the imagination, waiting to feast on the loser.

Curiosly she moved closer to the bunch of children she could make out on the far end of the place. Six or seven boys and girls of around 14 to 17 years of age stood in a circle. Kat pushed through and could see two figures rolling in the dirt of the street, locked together in combat. It was impossible to determine who was who, she could not even have said if they were two boys or girls.

"Stop it!" she shouted after she had overcome her first shock, "Stop this immidiately! What do you think you're doing?"
Her voice was drowned easily by the shouting children, and although she had the impulse to intermediate and get the fighters separated, she did not dare to touch them. The way they punched, kicked and rolled there was no way she could separate them on her own without risking to be injured badly.

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Zexenuma j'nah, vaex bekiw, waph vis.


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PostSubject: Re: The merchant's son (open)   Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:51 am

Toran

Through the hot, red flash of anger he was still feeling, Toran sensed no pain, no tiring, he heard and saw nothing. There was just him, and his opponent, both of them hitting, kicking, rolling faster than he could take in. All he could to was flinch away when he was hit - most of the time he did not manage to, but somehow, he just noticed he was hit, he felt no pain whatsoever - and hit back, punch as hard as he could, struggle, scratch, use anything he had on Ju.
To his surprise, he had yet not passed out, in his fury, he seemed to stand a fair chance - and then they turned once more. Ju lay on him, suddenly it got hard to breath, a fist closed around his neck, another one dashed into his brow. The world became dark, then turned into a flaring rain of red stars.
Choking, twitching, Toran tried to breath, but could not, and suddenly his strength was gone. But he tried to shove, push, fight his way free nevertheless, and for a short moment, it almost felt as if he had succeeded. The weight on his chest was less, the hand on his throat vanished. With a loud shout, Toran sat up and threw his fists where his opponent had to be, but somebody grabbed him from behind, pulled him back, and the more he struggled, the tighter those hands closed around his slender upper arms, drawing him back and leaving him helpless.

Slowly, Toran came to his senses. Ju was about two steps away from him, struggling in the hands of two guards just like he had shortly before. Toran realized that one of his eyes hurt badly, he had trouble breathing - the stinging pain in his left thorax was simply too bad - and apart from that, he hurt in a million places he had not even known he had on him.

One last, angry attempt to break free and Ju's nose so they were even was handled by the guards with ease.
"There, there, little one... don't hurt yourself!" One of the guards said to Toran, and just held him a little tighter - seemingly he did not even have to put some effort into there.
The other guard chuckled, as did one of the men who held Ju, but the fourth guard was not so amused.

"If it isn't my dear friend, Chan Ju," he concluded, sounding not at all friendly. "I'd thought your father finally taught you some manners. But I see now I was wrong. We'll have to see you home, and have a serious talk with your old man."
Toran had stopped struggling, and the guard that had teased him let him go. "And who might you be? Don't I know you, too? You're that Dorkeen kid, aren't you?" Toran nodded, it was pointless to deny it. They would escort him home and then he would be in REAL trouble. This time, his father would take other measures. He had never been humiliated by his only son twice on one day, and he would not like it.
"Sergeant, how about I bring the young Chan home, and you take that Dorkeen kid back?"

Toran's head sunk to his chest. Oh, yes, his father would be definitely pleased being visited by guards twice a day. Great.

"I can do that," the guard that had laughed and recognized Toran grinned broadly. "We'll meet back here in twenty minutes." He put a strong hand to the back of Toran's neck, as if he was holding a puppy or something, whereas Ju was still fighting his two guards, taking up all their strength with his anger.

"Actually, I don't think that will be necessary," a sweet, dark, female voice suddenly disturbed them. The guard turned around to her, as did Toran. "I will escort my cousin home personally. No need to trouble yourself, sergeant, I am sure you have more pressing matters to attend to." Toran stared at the beautiful, elegant young woman that had just stood up for him. Her long, red hair was open, flowing past her back down to her waist. She was dressed in casual, yet very costly light robes - and, as he noticed to his complete confusion, she had bare feet. First he meant she spoke about Ju, but she was looking at him, directly into his eyes. Don't tell them otherwise, this look said, and he followed her lead. Anything would be better than be returned home by the guards again.

"Mylady, I was not aware you are related. Might I ask your name..." - "Of course, excuse me, Sergeant. I am Katsumi Mahika, daughter of Zoru Mahika. My father's sister is this young troublemaker's mother," she winked at the guard, and for some reason the grasp on Toran's neck grew lighter.
"I am sure my cousin will behave now that I am with him, won't you?" She smiled at Toran, and he, who could not believe his luck, had to remind himself to nodd hastily. "Alright," the guard did not seem to be fully convinced, but his direct supervisor nodded towards him and he joined to group of guards that wanted to bring Ju home.

"Just see to it that he stays out of trouble this time, Miss Mahika." - "I will, Sergeant, thank you very much." Her slight courtesy was an image of perfection, then she lay one of her white hands on Toran's back and tried to get him to walk away with her. Stunned still, he followed her without a second question.

_________________
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Zexenuma j'nah, vaex bekiw, waph vis.


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PostSubject: Re: The merchant's son (open)   Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:43 am

Kat

They walked side by side, and silent, for a while. She looked her cousin up and down from the side - she hoped she had not presumed something wrong, but the last name "Dorkeen" was rather rare and thereby there was quite some chance that he really was her cousin - and wondered about him. Besides him looking all messed up, blood spilling down from his lip and also his left eyebrow, he was a nice looking kid. She had no idea how old he might be, but thought that he probably was about thirteen or fourteen years of age. His brown hair was all muzzed up and looked a bit shaggy, spilled with dust from the street. And all his clothes were either torn up or dirty, some of them both.
Most of all, though, she looked at his expression. It was dark, thoughtfull, the brow furrowed, the lips pressed together. He had put both hands in the pockets of his trousers, and stared to the cobblestones on the street while they were walking.

"Wait," Kat suddenly interupted their pondering silence, "I don't even know if I helped the right boy here." She laughed a bit, but the weird feeling she had prevailed. The boy looked her up and down, too, and shrugged. He had yet not said a single word since she had met him, she realized. For all she knew, he was mute. "My name is Kat, and I think my father is your mum's brother. We have never met though, I think they don't like each other too well... could that be?"
The boy shrugged again. Kat grinned. "You know, you will have to talk to me at some point." He lifted his brows as if to ask why, and that facial expression - one brow lifted, the other just tense, swelling up like a balloon, made her laugh. "You should see your face. What were you even thinking? That guy is about one and half a head taller as you, and I bet he's older, too!"
She was not lecturing him, though, merely asking out of curiosity, and she let some respect swing in her voice as well. At once she realized she had met the right tone. "He's a jerk, that's what he is." The boy said, and turned around, walking further on. Kat had to hurry to get by his side. "You can't get in a fight with every jerk there is, you know? There are just too many of those." - "Doesn't mean I can't try..."
Kat laughed. "He sure looked like a major jerk. And you gave it to him not badly..."
The boy stopped abruptly. "You really think so?" Kat stopped, too, and looked directly in his eyes. "You did not stand a chance, that's what I think, and although it was probably brave to stand up to that kid, it was also stupid. Jerk or no, he had you there. You gave him one spiritworld of a fight if I might say so, but in the end, you were losing."
The boy nodded, and surprisingly, smiled a bit. She could not tell for sure, since his upper lip was all swollen up. "Thanks," he murmured, "for telling the truth."

Kat nodded, and smiled back. "Anytime."
They walked on, but slower this time, and now Kat realized he was checking her out as well. "So, I've told you my name, will you tell me yours at some point?" He tried to grin, but it grew freakishly lopsided due to his swollen lip. "I'm Toran. And I think I'm your cousin. Mother does not talk about her brother a lot but I know she has one, he's a merchant like my father." Kat realized that he, like her, said Mother and Father instead of Mum and Dad, but she did not nail him down on it. If he wanted to tell her, he'd tell her.

"How did you know it was me?" - "That's a funny thing, actually. I just moved here, to live at... my boyfriends house." She chose to tell him the truth, but only partially, to not intimidate him. They were finally talking, she did not want to mess this up, After all, strangely, this kid was the one thing she had close to a sibling.
"And I was going on a walk, when I started to wonder, I remembered my father said something about having a sister here. Well, actually one of the maids said something like that one day. I only recalled her last name after her marriage, my father and her were never close, it seemed. So I wondered if she might be fine. And then when I was about to look for my way back, I stumbled over you. Almost literally, actually." She chuckled. "I never went to a school like yours, and I never imagined it to be so... martial." She winked and realized he was getting slightly red ears.
"You didn't miss anything." He concluded after a short while.
"I think I did, I mean, I would love to have some childhood friends, to have gotten together with some children my age... That would have been far more fun than being lectured at home." - "It's no fun. I would love for a tutor at home", Toran told her, and strangely, she believed him - and felt sorry for him. Was he being bullied? Was this the reason why he had been in a fight? She had drawn the conclusion that it meant he was playing in the same league as those other kids, just having a slight disagreement of some sort and solving it the "cool" way, but apparently, it went deeper than that. If she remembered one thing from being a teenager, it was that false pity, or even real pity, was the one thing you did not want growing up. You wanted to be taken seriously, not pitied.
So she pondered a short while on what to say, and then slowly nodded while she answered: "It has its ups, no question, but it is also very lonely. Trust me, not all children are jerks, you will meet someone nice one day and be glad you went to that school. And even," she suppressed what he wanted to say with a raised hand, "even if I am wrong and there is not a single nice adolescent your age, you at least had the opportunity to study all kinds of jerks in school. They won't surprise you when you meet them as an adult."

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PostSubject: Re: The merchant's son (open)   Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:58 pm

Toran

“You’re a real optimist, aren’t you?” Toran rolled his eyes at her. Kat smirked back. “Just a realist with a sense of humour.” She winked at him and suddenly, strangely, everything felt less… bitter, as if her smile had opened up a new world. She really had the most miraculous smile he had ever seen, it not only filled her eyes, it seemed to flow out of her, and enlighten her surroundings. He had just met her, but he felt a strange bond developing between them already.

“Do you really have to escort me home?” She lifted her brows, but did not answer, so he felt oblidged to say something more. “It’s just – I just came from there. I don’t want to go back there.”

Kat nodded slowly. “Won’t your parents be worried about you?” The teenager snorted. “They’ll not even have noticed I’m gone. They’ll notice if I’m not at dinner, but even then… it’s not like they really care.”

She looked at him in a strange way, and for a moment, he was sure she would patronize him for speaking this way of his elders. But she did no such thing. Instead, she nodded, and they walked further on. “So, if you don’t want to go home, where else would you like to go?” Toran shrugged. To his surprise, she did not lecture him, once more. She just smiled. “I could show you my favourite place in the city, if you want to. It’s a bit of a walk, but I think you’ll be back in time for dinner. That is, if you want.”

Anything was better than just strolling around on his own, aimlessly, for another few hours. So he followed her. To his surprise, they went through the nobles’ ring and then entered the palace area. Toran felt strangely displaced here, but his cousin lead him on strange sidestreets, and they did not even meet a single guard. Finally, they got through a small backdoor in a high wall. Toran was about to tell her that this surely was illegal, that they would be in trouble for this, but then he froze in disbelief. It was the most beautiful, wide garden he had ever been in, an oasis of peace and quiet. And it seemed to be deserted, at least for now.

“Come, Toran, sit with me by the lake and tell me something, anything about you. We know so little of each other.” To his own surprise, he did not find that strange at all. They sat down as if they belonged there, and started having a talk. She did not treat him anything like a child, or even an adolescent. She treated him as her equal, and she was a great listener. She did not interrupt, or lecture, or give stupid advice. Sometimes she asked him a question, but those were good questions, questions that he himself had to think about before he could give her a straight answer. He had never talked so much in his life, or given away this much about himself. It felt completely natural, though - Kat was the first person he had met that he felt he could trust completely.

When he finally left through the backdoor, it was already darkening. “Are you sure you want to go home all on your own?” She asked him sincerely. “I can ask one of the guards to escort you if you want.”

He lifted his brows, just realizing that they had not spoken about her the entire afternoon, just about him. Suddenly, he grew suspicious. “How comes you can give the guards orders around here? Why did no one stop us on our way in, and why are we sitting in the palace gardens?” Apologetically, she sighed. “I did not want to intimidate you, you know… I… my boyfriend is someone with a lot of influence. That is why I can dwell in these gardens. That is why the guards know me. I hope that won’t keep you from returning some other afternoon? You’ll find me here, but you probably best ask for Katsumi Mahika at the palace front entrance. I think it would be the more proper way to do this, at least until the guards know you.”

Toran nodded, and was only mildly surprised as she hugged him for goodbye. The he rushed out of the backdoor and hurried home. He was in huge trouble as it was, with his swollen up face, his ragged clothes, and the absence despite being grounded all coming together. But he had gained a friend today, a cousin. That seemed to be worth it all.

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Zexenuma j'nah, vaex bekiw, waph vis.


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PostSubject: Re: The merchant's son (open)   Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:46 pm

Init walked through the streets of the capital. It was darkening quickly now. Her footsteps were soft, she didn't like the idea of someone hearing her. Her stomach rumbled, " A place to steal some food," she thought. " That's exactly what I need."
She stopped and looked around. One of the top floor's of a merchant's shop was lighted. She quickly figured out, that the people were still awake, but the shop was closed. That included , that if she was lucky, she could sneak into the shop without them hearing her, because they would be talking, or doing other late night stuff. She didn't like to sneak into empty shops, if you made a small noise, people immediately heard that, and you were caught easy.
She waited in a small portal, it was almost completely dark now.
No one was in the shop, she was sure about that.
She laid her hand on the lock and made a small fire blast. The lock cracked, and she walked in.

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PostSubject: Re: The merchant's son (open)   Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:22 pm

Toran Dorkeen

Toran walked home on his own. The streets in the royal and nobel sections of the town were almost deserted, but the farer to the outer ring of the upper town he got, the more people he met. Some gave him strange looks as he passed by, he looked like a common thief or something in their eyes - or as if he had been in a fight. Which he had been.

He had just passed a shop to his right, as he got that strange feeling. Something was amiss.
It was late, most shops were closed, some shopkeepers were still busy cleaning, but all in all, the lower parts of the buildings were supposed to be empty. Even more important, the doors were supposed to be shut.

Frowning, Toran turned around and looked back. One of the doors had been opened only so slightly. A voice in his head told him that he really needed to hurry, or he would be too late for dinner. Well, he would be too late anyway, but he was always late. As it was right now, he could still clean himself up and pretend the swellings were from the fight of the forenoon, not the afternoon. But if he came like this to the dinner table... which he would have to when he was far too late...

Like most of the time, curiosity prevailed. The voice ranted on, ignored, while Toran stepped back and had a closer look at the door. The area around the lock was burnt, as if it had been opened by force. The shopowner, however, was a man Toran knew. He often bought his breakfast here on his way to school. The people living here were from the Fire Nation Colonies, none of them was a Bender, let alone a firebender. This got stranger and stranger.

Another silent voice emerged, telling him to call the guards. But Toran had had too many encounters with guards for the whole year just today. Carefully, he pushed the door open, and had a look inside. The shop lay there in darkness, somewhere upstairs he could hear voices. The baker's family was probably having dinner. But their lock was broken. Toran needed to tell them, before something got stolen or demolished. This was a pretty secure area of the town, but still.
"Mr Alryk?" he asked, while he stepped into the shop. "Mr Alryk, are you there?"

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