Chapter Seventeen:

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Ruka (1)

It was a beautiful day today. The sky was a bright blue, the clouds were all fluffy and white. The air felt great when it breezed through my hair.

"Those clouds look so soft, don't they?" Katara said as she laid on her stomach and watched the clouds under us. "Like you could just jump down and you'd land on a big, soft cottony heap."

I had my head laid on Sokka's lap while he was carving something above me.

"Maybe you should give it a try." Sokka suggested and I snickered. "You're hilarious." She replied.

"I'll try it!" Aang said before standing up from Appa and jumping down. Katara and Sokka moved to the edge of the saddle to see, and my head thudded down. "Hey!"

Aang flew back up onto the saddle and he was dripping wet. "Turns out clouds are made of water." He blew a gust of wind off him and he was dry.

I scooted back to Sokka and laid my head back onto his lap. Sokka looked down at me then pulled my ear. I smacked his hand away and rubbed where he pulled, "Jerk."

"Hey, what is that?" Katara said, looking past Sokka. I sat up and looked ahead. We walked over to the front of the saddle to see it better.

"It's like a scar." Sokka said. "Aang, let's stop there for a second." I told him. Aang nodded and went to the reigns, guiding Appa down to the 'scar'.

When we landed, we all got off and observed the place. It looked like it used to be a pretty land of grass and trees. But now, everything was burned to a crisp. Black tree trunks were all that was left.

"Listen. It's so quiet, there's no life anywhere." Sokka said. "This is so sad." I said, bending down and picking up ashes with my fingers. "The only things living is us right now."

"Aang, are you okay?" Katara asks Aang who was ahead of us. I stood up and looked at Aang sadly. Sokka pulled down on the sleeve of my shirt, pointing to recent footprints in the ashes that was paired with rhino prints. I sighed, "Of course."

"Fire nation! Those evil savages make me sick! They have no respect for-" Sokka yelled out but Katara shushed him. "What? I'm not allowed to be angry?" Sokka asked in a whisper with hands on his hips.

Katara pointed to Aang who was looking down at the floor then dropped to his knees. He sighed, "Why would anyone do this? How could I let this happen?"

"Aang, you didn't let this happen." Katara said softly.

I nodded, agreeing. "Yeah Aang. The fire nation destroys everything they see. It has nothing to do with you."

"Yes it does." Aang put his head on his hands. "It's the avatar's job to protect nature but I don't know how to do my job."

"That's why we're going to the North Pole - to find you a teacher." Katara said. Aang looked at us over his shoulder, "Yeah, a water bending teacher. But there's no one who could teach me how to be the avatar. Monk Gyatso said that avatar Roku would help me."

"The avatar before you? He died over a hundred years ago. How are you supposed to talk to him?" Sokka asked.

"I don't know." Aang said sadly. I walked over and sat next to him. "Well, maybe there's a way to reach out to a dead spirit who's basically in your blood."

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