Avatar : Crimson Leaves IC

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Sketching101, Jan 12, 2015.

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  1. [​IMG]

    For some time, Omashu has been a place subject to unrest. Recently, there have been rumours of rebellion in the slums, the neglected, dark home of the scum of the city. In the Humming Badgermole, a woman was sitting on one of the seats on a round table with several men and women gathered around her. Everyone in that tavern knew her by name, the fearsome metalbender Alicia Albright. "Tonight's the night," she said, swinging her mug from left to right in her hand. "When the streets empty, Willy ‘n I’ll be in ‘ere, upstairs. The doors’ll be open, so you can all come on in and join our little meeting. Tonight…. Tonight we take down the Royal Palace."
    Night fell upon the walled city of Omashu. The sounds of the wind echoed throughout the small streets. The last pit-patter of the night were heard as the remaining people on the street disappeared behind doors of a closed tavern. The windows of the buildings were shut tight and the inside was blocked by wooden panels with metal patterns facing outwards. There were some voices coming from the attic of the building, but the voices ceased soon after the infamous metalbender walked in.

    Northern Water Tribe
    The port of the beautiful city set on ice was filled with ships. Men were unloading crates, leading them into the city. Only one ship had no one getting off. It was seemingly made of the rock hard, dark wood of the Earth Kingdom, appropriately nicknamed Axe Reaver. A man stood in front of it, grumbling on one of his crates. The rest of the port was pouring into the city to celebrate the end of the summer. There were lights hung up from buildings to buildings, across the walls, lighting up the tribe as the sun hung just below the horizon.
    On the streets were men and women preparing the decorations, either by simply hanging something, or sometimes by building ice-sculptures in a matter of seconds. The children playing with the snow would get shooed from time to time by the workers, though this didn’t stop them from coming back. Other than the gamins and pranksters, everyone on the scene was working hard to make that night the best of the year.

    Luca Céleste - Northern Water Tribe

    A young boy stood outside, hanging over the edge of the deck, leaning forward with his eyes gleaming as the city came within their reach. They’d been navigating through the ice for days on the ship, though it wasn’t until now that the waterbender felt home. He hadn’t seen his tribe in over a year, ever since he’d returned to Ba Sing Se. It was mostly dark as it mostly was during that time of year. Luca loved the festival so much; he hadn’t been to it since his childhood but he could still remember the eloquent balance between the aurora and the lights swinging across the buildings.
    The ship set itself at the docks, lowering the anchor. While one of the sailors was tying line from the head of the ship, the boy impatiently hopped off, letting out a little oof as he almost fell into the icy cold water. He grumbled for a moment before turning to the ship and waving to no one in particular. "Thanks for the ride!" He quickly dashed off, his bag swing from over his shoulder from left to right. The boy made his way inside the walls, hoping to get a chance to look around before the night.
    #1 Sketching101, Jan 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
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  2. EVENT: The Shangtan Market

    An endless sea of bright, colourful drapes and gaudy signs decorate the endless sprawl of tourist-trapping goodness that is Shangtan City. Anyone who ever wanted to visit the City would be a fool to avoid this landmark of the hulking, industrial beast - it seemed to be kept mostly traditional, with stalls of all shapes and sizes littered across the sooty cobbled streets.

    Despite its origins, the encroaching industrialism has painted the market with modernized technologies. Some stalls sold mechanical limbs, others advertised with bright electric lights around their stall. Traditional earth-kingdom style noodles ("The taste of Ba Sing Se, without the walk!") were being boiled on an electric stove. A woman was hollering about her "ONE-OF-A-KIND ANTIQUE VASES, LOWER PRICES THAN YOU'D EVER FIND IN OMASHU" whilst waving the clay pots high in the air over the sea of intermingling races and cultures. In the corner, a few grubby children were juggling shiny pebbles with their rudimentary grasp on earthbending, and a few kind souls popped coins into the upturned hat on the road.

    Wherever one happened to look, something new and exciting stood before them. It is well known that the Shangtan Markets are easy to get lost in, and whilst people flowed like a crashing river through the cheesy, stereotypical Earth Kingdom stalls, the markets take on a seedier nature as one delves too deep and finds themselves quickly encroaching the Downtown Districts. Here, the stalls were not as bright and colourful, and seemed to hold desperately to the thin guise of selling souvenirs whilst items are passed under-the-counter. Here, there are people lurking in the shadows of the grimy drapes, waiting for you to trip over so they could kindly help you to your feet, and guide you deeper into their trap.

    Whilst it is well-known that the Shangtan Market is an endless labyrinth of shops, there are some stores that perhaps you shouldn't approach alone...
  3. The city of Shangtan proved to be an interesting stop along Yun's travels, he wasn't sure what to think about the residents he ended up encountering as he traveled through an area where people seemed to be yelling at anyone in the area. He figured he was probably near a market going off all the stands and the such though he had to ask a passerby for confirmation of that. After being attacked by wolves the night before he was happy to be out of the forest and after finding out the name of the city he decided to try and find some lodging or at least somewhere to sleep before night came.
    One guy pointed him in a particular direction which he told him was the downtown districts so Yun headed in that direction, at least that was his intent.

    Trying to stop his shaking Yun shut his eyes trying to ignore the cramped darkness around him as footsteps ran past, stopping a few feet away as he listened to the voices that seemed inches away from him yelling. He held his breath as he opened one eye peering through a small hole to see his pursuers, he gripped his pants his heart beating rapidly in his chest as he mentally screamed for them to leave.
    Eventually the group turned and ran off down the road, waiting until he couldn't hear their footsteps anymore he let out the breath he was holding and standing up lifted the lid to the barrel he was hiding in.
    Stepping out he put the lid back on before a long relieved sigh came from him, he leaned around the corner making sure they were gone before walking out and continuing through the Markets.
    "What was that all about, I just bumped into the guy," Yun said ruffling his messy hair. "Made me lose my hat too, he's lucky I decided to be merciful to...ah who am I kidding I hate dealing with Earthbenders."
    He wasn't a fan of having chunks of earth thrown at him, just thinking about it was painful and he wanted nothing to do with it.

    Yun walked down the market district bringing a hand to his chin as he recalled the man's recommendation from earlier.
    "He told me to visit a place called The Red Orchid, he told me the tea there was worth visiting for."
    The man said 'tea' in a strange way though but he wasn't going to turn down the chance to have something soothing while he was in a city, he also needed to find a new map to figure out where the next city was and a place to sleep.
    While walking he passed by kids messing with pebbles by Earthbending. Looking at their hat he dug in his pocket and tossed a few coins in before continuing along, he expected he'd be doing the same in the next city.
  4. "My, my, would you look at the time," Shen Rong, known simply to most as "Shen", remarked. Since his arrival, much of his time had been spent in two places, the market and the teahouse - perhaps more in the latter. It helped that he came with the intent to purchase something from the market. That simply meant he had a sizeable sum of money, which led to the highlight of his trip thus far - the simple placement of his money pouch atop the counter of the teahouse. Seeing the young serving girl's widening eyes, the turn of heads from some less than savory characters behind; these were sights rarely seen in Omashu. Or perhaps it was because most people already know him well. Then again, with such distinctive facial hair and an unmistakable cross scar on his bald head, it was hard for anyone not to know him at least by his appearances.

    That seemed to have paid off in Shangtan as well, he noted wryly. "Sleep tight, will you?" He chortled to the unconscious men sprawled on the ground, just another to add to the growing list of attempted muggers. He proceeded to step out of the dark alley, turning in the direction of the Red Orchid, only a small distance away. The building was hard to miss, standing out in stark contrast with the rest of the buildings in the Downtown District. Where most were either faded in color or simply dilapidated and abandoned, the teahouse was ornate in architecture, featuring eye-catching colors. The "serving girls" stood lined up outside the building, their melodious voices calling out to the passing man on the street. In his several days in Shangtan, he could already recognize some of their faces. They in turn, recognize him easily enough, grinning and bowing in his general direction.

    He returned with an exaggerated bow as he went by them, taking in the by-now-familiar scent of tea and perfume. The counter girl was immediately at his side the instant he stepped in - an endless source of amusement for Shen who knew very well the mercenary intentions of the girl. "Is it the table or the room for you, Master Shen?" She asked, smiling ever so sweetly. Shen shrugged," The table it is, I could use a meal."

    The girl nodded and was about to lead him to a table when Shen added," Oh, yes, the same one please!"

    She smiled knowingly, directing Shen to the empty table facing the entrance. Shen gave her his thanks, slipping in some coins in her hands as he took his seat. There was perhaps no need to do so, he had to admit, given the fact his present seat was the least favored of all. Situated right in front of the entrance, it was in full view of anyone and everyone who entered. As such, it was almost always empty. To Shen, it was somewhat of a culture shock, for in Omashu, men would hardly care if anyone saw them. From the lowest of low to somewhere in the middle, men of various classes took the most prominent seat with little attention to the 'attention' potentially invited by the location. Only the upper-class and the nobility had cause for concern, most of them coming without their wives knowing.

    Here, rich or poor, no one really dared.

    So now he sat, with the pot of tea just served to him, watching, giving cause to the avoidance of these seats near the entrance. With every person that stepped in, he gave them a long hard look. For men, he guessed their class, guessed their heritage. They were the least interesting to him, compared to the rare women that stepped into the teahouse. Now these were what he looked forward to seeing each day. Some stepped in to catch their husbands; those were the sort to raise hell and were nothing short of entertaining to see. Some stepped in out of desperation; those were pictures of ill fortune, of their own lives and of his, for each time one appeared, he 'lost several gold coins' to them. Regardless, it had become a sort of habit to Shen, and it was one that he was unlikely to change.
  5. Meanwhile, scurrying around the filthy downtown alleys were a group of rag-tag children, arms full of coin-purses, jewellery and other trinkets. They did not run across the ground, but hopped from wall to wall, high up in the air using their earthbending skills, leaving naught but a small shadow on the floor as they ran, laughing. One of these kids broke off from the group and landed in the dark, dusting off her shoulders.

    Ming Xiang never ran around with the Stompers for too long. Most of them were inexperienced little brats who managed to trip and get caught by the guards, and she expected that at least one of them will get their face recognised the next day...but it was still an impressive haul they managed to pull off. More than enough to cover their rent, perhaps they'd be able to scrounge up some nice clothes for everyone to wear...

    A heavy weight fell onto Ming's chest, the burden of responsibility sucking the fun out of her actions. She glanced down the grimy alley she landed in - there wasn't anyone in this part of Downtown that she didn't know, and most of them knew to keep their distance when she was in a pensive mood like this. Ming sank down onto her behind, sitting on the floor as she pulled out her stolen goods - a couple of half-empty coin-purses and a handful of necklaces. She stared at the necklaces bitterly; why couldn't she have things like this? Why did everyone else get to have good food and nice clothes and warm beds but there were so many people out there who could barely manage to get a meal each day?

    On top of that, whilst she lived and breathed the scum of the city, what was out there? Why couldn't she be poor and travelling, surely she was old enough- Ming's mind rushed back to the group of urchins she was looking after, the ones who depended on her, relied on her imposing presence. She sunk her head down and drew her knees up. "It's too much. They gotta learn on their own sooner or later. I can't keep doing this." she thought, her amber gaze slipping up to the stained, sooty wall in front of her. Of course, the heavy realisation that she probably wasn't going to get out of the City without some small twist of fate sat on her shoulders, reminding her that she'd barely make it out unless she traversed the dangerous mine tunnels as a quick getaway, else she'd be stuck in jail the moment she crossed the market. Her little acrobatics were hardly going to get her past such tight security in the Embassies.

    Ming stood up abruptly, grabbing her loot and exiting the alleyway just in time to see a boy tossing a coin into the hat of one of the many street performers that she couldn't look after. He was dressed in some traditional clothes...in other words, an idiot. A target, certainly. She'd grab something off him and head back to the Orchid for the day - he certainly wore nice clothes, at least.

    Ming weaved through the crowd, accidentally-on-purpose bumping into Yun as she walked past, flashing a bright smile and apologising for the action. She quickly checked the man's pockets, but found nothing; looks like this meal might not stretch as far as Ming's plate without the extra coin to boost it up. Ming looked disheartened, and was about to leave until she realised something - he put a coin in the kid's hat.

    Some sort of honour code obligated Ming to at least help him find his way before she left, so she turned around to approach Yun again. "Hey! Hey mister, where you off to? You look lost." she called, trying her best to pull back the bite at the edge of her voice that usually accompanies such a sinister introduction. In fact, getting approached by a lady in slightly revealing and dirty clothing was shifty in and of itself, but she looked around Yun's age in the first place, so surely she wasn't that mean...right?
  6. Yun came to a stop crossing his arms over his chest as he tried to figure out where he had ended up, he let himself get distracted by one of the vendors and lost his sense of direction. He tried following the street but he was pretty sure he turned somewhere at one point and now he was on a different road, that or he was on the same road walking in a different direction which wasn't much better.
    Reaching up he squeezed the bridge of his nose irritated at his own sense of direction, he was in a new city he should have paid more attention where he was going, if he kept this up he'd be sleeping in one of the alley's tonight and going off his previous experiences in the city that didn't seem like a good idea.
    He had already been chased once and he could feel gazes on him every now and then as he walked, he thought it was imagination but he actually caught a person quickly turn their head when he looked in their direction.

    He was considering taking the risk of asking another person for directions when he stumbled feeling something bump into him, he turned to see a young woman and he had use all his willpower not to involuntary twitch.
    When she apologized he just gave a nod and watched her walk away, once her back was turned he pat his pockets his eyes narrowing as he noticed nothing had been taken, not that he had too much to begin with anyway, he barely earned anything in the last city.
    He couldn't help but be cautious already having the pleasure of his personal possessions taken from him before, though he admitted he felt a bit guilty for making the assumption she had tried to rob him.
    Closing his eyes he offered a small mental apology in Ming's direction but he picked up a voice which caused him to open his eyes.
    Seeing the girl was talking to him he involuntary took a step back as she asked her question, one he was both grateful and bothered for being asked, he had his hands up slightly in front of him and he mentally measured the distance between them before he lowered his arms to his side relaxing his body a little.

    Yun's eyes looked Ming over mostly the revealing garment she had on, his eyes twitched as he shifted uncomfortably his mouth forming a straight line, a part of him wondering if this was a woman of the night, he really didn't want to meet another one of those right now.
    Granted it was daytime but he was pretty sure they did night things during the day, he didn't have any confirmation of this but he was positive he was correct in that assumption. He wanted to ask her so he could decided whether to put a bit more distance between them and end the conversation, if he was right then she probably wouldn't mind being called one the last one didn't.
    However if he was wrong that'd be a pretty big insult and seeing as he already labeled her a thief he decided not to put any more on her, that and going off what he could see her punches would probably hurt.
    She was showing too much skin though it was extremely uncomfortable, it wasn't something he hadn't seen before but it didn't make it any easier.
    "Sorry it's just...never mind," Yun said deciding not to bring it up locking gazes with her. "Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, I'm looking for a place called The Red Orchid. Some guy recommended it to me, I figured I could go there and sample what this town has to offer. I'm a bit lost though if you could just point me in it's direction I'd appreciate it."
  7. Mei Guang
    Arriving in the North.

    Mei took a small bite. Munching on the smile bite, Mei didn't enjoy the taste of the apple she was eating. Throwing a glance around, she took slowly in where she was. Though walking in a normal pace, she seemed to have a somewhat careful expression on her face. As if every person she saw was somebody she had to distrust. Another small bite.

    Walking around, Mei wasn't however disappointed. Not angry or even near any negative emotion. She was impressed, but careful. Coming to a halt, she waited till a group passed before she would cross a crossroad. The city was more impressive than Mei had heard and it was worth ever coin she had to pay for the merchant, which had been wary off her offer. But she had managed to convince him and not being harmed in any sort of way. Taking a last bite of the apple, Mei decided to first find a suitable place. A place where she could rent a cheap room and then find herself some work. Knowing well enough, the kind of work she could do was always needed. People always had arguments and fights, she thought with a small smile on her lips.
  8. Fang Lei

    Fang leaned back in his seat. He had received at first an order that he was supposed to travel to a new city. But then another had came in. He was now required to wait a week or so as there were some rumours that had been pique the interest of his superiors. Not that he cared much for the whispers and rumours that went about. All he wanted was to do his job and then get a sort of break. Perhaps later head towards a location with a nice beach. A grin started to creep on his lips as he placed his hands on the back of his head.

    Nice women and cold alcoholic drinks. With a nice warm sun and a soft pleasant breeze. And then the instruction to just wait and relax. That would be a life where Fang wouldn't grumble or complain at all.

    But oh no. Here he sat, in his room, waiting. Just waiting for what? To confirm something that would happen in a city he didn't care about? Half closing his eyes, Fang wondered what he would need to do if something would happen in the city. Would he then be required to do something about it or just watch and observe to report it to his superiors? It was in his opinion not as great as his fantasy, the one about the beach.

    After some time, Fang decided to hit the streets. Perhaps he could pay a visit to the market and see what he would prepare for dinner. Not taking his sabre with him, Fang didn't think he would need a weapon with him. It was going to be a simple walk after all.
  9. Jia Zhang_Northern Water Tribe
    Jia stood in front of a counter slicing up meat into small chunks and dropping them into a pot along with some of the vegetables she bought from the traders at the port. “Thank you again for cooking, Jia. You’ve been such a help these past few days.” Said a middle-aged woman sitting at the table not far away. “It’s no problem. I should be the one thanking you. You let me stay here for free and you even feed me. Honestly everything you’ve done for me so far was too kind.” The girl replied while reaching for the bag of salt, and finding it surprisingly light. Guess I’ll have to buy some more of that too. “Ah, I suppose so, but you’ve pretty much earned your keep. I honestly never thought someone from the air nation would of been that adept at hunting. Anyways, have you found that guy you were looking for, that one from your previous group?” The woman spoke up again “No, I’m not sure he’s even here. He did say he was going to return here, at least for a little while, but I guess I missed him.” Jia replied, turning on the stove. “Anyways I’m going to get some salt as soon as I’m done cleaning up. Can you make sure the stew doesn’t boil over while I’m gone?” She added, and began throwing out the inedible parts of the vegetables while putting the leftover meat in a bowl and called to her cat who finished up the remains.

    Heading to the small living room, the girl pulled out her bag from behind the couch and searched it for her coin purse, counting how much she had left. That’s not much at all, I guess I’ll have to get a job soon. Maybe I can do some hunting for myself and sell the pelts? Maybe. Putting the backpack back, she pocketed the coin purse and walked over the doorway.

    Grabbing the borrowed coat she’d been using the past few days, she put it on along with the pair of glove laying in its pocket before calling to her cat once again. The animal trotted up to her purring. Patting the cat’s head, the girl went about putting a makeshift coat and boots onto it. Figuring that she had everything, she went out the door.

    The docks weren’t terribly far from the house, but they weren’t close and Jia was starting to shiver by the time she got there. There are a lot of boats here today. Well that family did say there was some sort of festival going on. Maybe I could spare a little money and buy a few decorations. There’s no big rush to get home. Shaking her head and sighing she pulled over one of the merchants as they were unloading their ship and quickly paid them for a small thing of salt before heading back in the direction she came.

    Before heading back home, the girl decided to stop by a shop and get a nice cup of hot tea, but due to it being packed, she was figured it was best to sit outside on one of the benches. “It’s going to be fun here, don’t you think Goldie?” She asked the cat who seemingly purred in response causing the girl to chuckle. The cat began to wander off, meowing at strangers to pet her as the passed her. “Don’t wander off too far, alright buddy?”, she told her, still smiling, a thought in her head.

    “The golden beast, friend to all, could do not a creature wrong. Its purr could heal and its fur was always warm, it could not refuse to help a someone who’d been harmed. So it wandered around, helping all.” She spoke absentmindedly as she though it up “Pfft, okay that was probably lame.”
  10. Shun Min, orange

    He blew out a small puff of smoke and looked at the bump next to him. His eyes followed the lines of her soft hips as they went over into her beautifully long legs. Her death had been such a shame. He inhaled from his sigaret once more and got up. He looked at the corpse sitting against the door, a small stream of dried blood hanging on his lips. Oh well, nothing to be done about it. Opium overdose, a common death in the backstreets of Shangtan eversince the introduction of the drug. And perhaps a slight bit of dagger between the ribs aswell, but after some post-mortem make up he looked just like an opium victim. The police probably wouldn't even look past the obviosu signs. It was sad that he'd killed the lady before he went though. She had been kind and warm enough. He had put her in bed in a large puddle of blood left by her slit throat. The owner of the place or one of his cleaners would find it like this. The lady brutally murdered, and the guy renting the room killed by an obvious overdose. Yet another violent and useless death.

    Shun got up and climbed out of the window into the roof, and decided against pissing on the streets from here. It was a tad too late for that in the morning. people'd notice, and they might bring this into connection with the sad events inside the room. Instead, he used his usual parcours towards the thing he called his appartment nowadays.

    "Shit happens."

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  11. Shiue An - Northern Water Tribe

    Shiue An opened her eyes and looked around, she could hear her mother calling her, what was she doing? Oh, right, she was practising "Damn I must have fallen asleep again.." she got up and headed downstairs,"Hey, mum." she said and rolled her shoulders "How's Uncle doing?" she inquired, as she had done every day since the Tribe's leader "disappeared", her mother gave her the same old answer "Yeah - he's alright." and Shiue sighed and sat to have her dinner "What's the point of being his niece if I don't even get to know what's going on?" she retorted while angrilly eating her dinner. Her mother sighed and ran a hand through her hair, muttering a "Not this again.." before speaking up, "Because he's a very busy man, now go out to the markets today and get some food - if you want you can go see the docks." Shiue brightened up at this and shovelled her food down - darting upstairs and getting dressed hastily. She bounds down the stairs, calling a "Thanks mum!" and threw herself onto the streets.

    Shiue landed outside the leadership buildings of the Tribes leaders and glanced back, the tall, large buildings were already decorated brightly. Now Shiue was on a mission! She didn't go out too much, it's not like she was a celebrity but being the niece of the Tribe's leader, she always gets asked questions she doesn't know the answers for. She pulled her hood up, hoping that might be enough to guide her from the prying questions that she often faced helplessly and ran straight to the docks. She pushed through the crowd and spotted a boy running off the ships, she watched him curiously for a moment but as he neared she ducked back, turning around to "buy something" from the stalls behind the crowd.
  12. [BCOLOR=transparent]Luca Céleste - Northern Water Tribe[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Luca could feel the nostalgically freezing air on his face as he walked through the streets. There were houses made of ice and stone left and right, everywhere one could look. He didn’t have much of a plan for a place to stay, nor did he know what to do until he got accommodation, but he still was quite glad to be back home after so long.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Souvenir shops were selling icons of past waterbender avatars or simply irrelevant characters, postcards, and small snow globes. The festival preparations were still ongoing in the town square, the lights hung from the edges of the pillars and roofs just ahead. Deciding he wanted a closer look, Luca started a quick paced jog forward, moving towards the wide, festive area. It was quite an enormous square with a large monument to the tribe leader who reigned almost a hundred years ago. There was one tram line that traversed the circumference of the square that was filled with only people. When Luca looked around, he noticed the old theater not too far from the crowd. It was a large, black building with a beautifully designed facade. He could remember going there with his sister to watch some play once every few weeks. The square opened into two main roads and several dozens of alleys and smaller streets. One of the main roads led to a well known school district, and the other to the popular Pera road. The only vehicle that passed through there was the tram, on which one would quite often see young children hanging and getting a free ride. Anything one wanted to find; clothes, food, a place to ‘hang out’, or even the greatest street musicians, was on Pera.[/BCOLOR]
  13. Fang Lei

    Walking down the street, Fang threw on occasion glances around. Though he wasn't sure if it was just him, but there was a sort of something amiss. Like that he was missing something crucial. Something that didn't seem important and was easy to forget, but somehow was yet important to not cause a strange feeling like that. Wondering what that was, Fang kept walking towards the market.

    ''Forgive me, kind sir, but would you like an apple?''

    The question made Fang come to a halt as he threw a glance at his left. An elderly woman smiled at Fang, reaching out the fruit while she stood near a stand. ''Most certainly, miss Han.'' Fang politely reacted as he accepted the apple. Taking a bit from it, he then nodded several times after his bite. ''This.... is delicious...'' He told her. That was what he had been missing. The apple of Miss Han. Taking another bite, this time smaller so he wouldn't have too much trouble talking, he nodded towards her stand. ''And? How has your day been so far?''

    ''Oh, you know. The occasional happened.'' The older woman started to sum up what indeed most of the day. That her neighbour, the old man Lee, had tripped and almost fell on his face. But like every time he managed to get in balance and avoid it. A reason why some joked he had been raised by cats, which was believed by some as the man didn't make any other noises than simple grunts and snorts. She then continued about other people that were known by Fang. Some others weren't as Fang had only heard about them, but never met them.

    ''And what are your plans today?'' Miss Han eventually asked. Fang had already finished the apple and shrugged. ''Like you always expect from me, Miss Han. Looking for trouble.'' Grinning, he winked at the woman. The latter sighed and shook her head as she would stare at the young man while he would walk away. ''The youth these days...'' She muttered.

    Walking further down the street, Fang started to whistle an old tune he had his mentor. For a moment, Fang wondered how the old grumpy man was. Perhaps now looking for another student? Or maybe he was the last student of the old man? That was an interesting thought. ''Hope he is the same old fart.'' Fang mumbled, though smiling as he remembered the good time he had back then. While he continued towards the market, Fang wasn't sure, but eventually the feeling from before came back. Something wasn't right.
  14. (@Superpiggeh)


    The colourful maze of overhanging tapestries seemed to dim and glimmer curiously in the gloom of the night, but the market lost its vivacious charm with the sun dipping under the tall buildings and took on a more sinister atmosphere under the flueorescent light of evening. On top of that, bitter winds from the mountains start to chill the participants to the bone, and herald the oncoming mass of criminals, thugs and ne'er-do-wells who seep from the Downtown District into the pretty market stalls. Already, a distant clash and clatter signals the first shop raid.

    Meanwhile, in the Downtown district, the nightlife starts in earnest - a filthy, disease ridden circus of entertainment, lust and greed leaking out of every sweaty pore and mingling with the smell of exotic foods and the dull thump and tune of outlandish, traditional, cheery and in some cases raunchy music. Ladies in very little clothing start to emerge from the various buildings and the drunken yells start in earnest at this time of night.

    Ming Xiang

    Ming Xiang's grin only seemed to widen at Yun's remark about the Red Orchid. "Really? Didn't think you the sort. Lissen, kid, I need to tell you something...this fruit is going to start rotting now that the sunshine's gone away for the day. I'll take you to the orchid, Big Bo's a lovely lady and I'd personally suggest you ask for Minx; she's always...really good with her hands." rambled the young girl, her golden eyes seeming to glimmer mysteriously in the flickering yellow lightbulbs. She firmly grasped Yun's hand in her own, dragging him closely behind her and deeper into the cesspit of the Downtown district.

    A few burly men and women glowered at Ming as she passed, muttering amongst themselves and pointing towards the duo menacingly. Ming Xiang didn't bother going to check - already her pace was brisk and she knew for a fact that she couldn't wipe the floor with them, not whilst she was trailing this little tourist to the local whorehouse. Something told her that tonight was different, there was an electric tang in the air that signalled danger or great change. When she could feel it like this, Ming knew to get back to the Orchid and fast.

    At the Red Orchid

    The entertainment really started as the last few tourists started to head off after their meals. A jolly, traditional earth-kingdom drinking song began to play on the radio in full blast whilst a bunch of little street-urchins ran up and down the stairs, hollering and laughing and playing around with each other amidst women in low-cut kimonos who scold the little brats for tugging at their silken cloths and revealing the goods. A large, curvaceous woman emerged from behind a mouldy linen curtain, looking to be in her mid-fifties. "Settle down you snot-rags! You're gonna scare the customers away! Gentlemen, please, all of our girls are clean and healthy for you. Just call out for Big Bo if you want something besides food this fine evening!" called the woman, slamming her portly fist on the reception desk rowdily with the ruddy-cheeked smile of a motherly lady.​

    Ming stopped abruptly at the teahouse with the big Red Orchid sign, and looked over Yun warily. He certainly didn't seem the type to go in here at all, but Ming assumed that they started young, is all..."Right, we're here mister. Hope you don't mind, I'll be heading in now." she announced, but didn't just leave him at the doorstep, she ensured that the boy was firmly inside the building before making a beeline to Big Bo and started talking to her in hushed, murmured conversation.
  15. Shen amused himself with the local delicacies as he watched the street urchins as they playfully ran about the place. Or rather, at the working ladies whose short skirts were so often flipped about as they ran. There were oh-so few interesting people to observe of late. He picked up the meat, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, placing it in his mouth as he chuckled. That was yet another difference from Omashu where one was more likely to have sand dogs for a sorry excuse of meat. Or older, matronly ladies. Shen's lips curved upwards as he recalled his first night. "Best night ever," he muttered as he tore his gaze from the working ladies around the teahouse and back to the entrance.

    Yet another sprightly old man, and a dull-eyed younger man; then suddenly, a peculiar sight. He watched the two, a young girl and boy, as they stepped in.

    She was by no means short, and although she was dressed in a provocative manner, she seemed too muscular to be a working lady. She did know the matron of the teahouse, however, and that got Shen intrigued. The boy, however, was clearly a foreigner to the city like himself. That was all he bothered to think. He exited his mind almost as soon as he came into conscious thought. "Ah, Big Bo, who is this beautiful young lady," Shen smirked as he got up from his table, approaching the two. His eyes shamelessly wandered about Ming's body, assessing her as he did for everyone else before her.

    "Not much on the chest, but I'll take that!"

    He broke into raucous laughter as he said that, inviting giggles from some of the working ladies within earshot.
  16. What happened next happened very quickly in the time period of a few seconds.

    For starters, the children stopped shrieking almost immediately and stared down at the reception desk, wide-eyed, in fear. Ming wheeled around, her golden eyes narrowed in an impressive amount of unbridled fury for someone as young as her, and she raised her clenched fist high into the air. At that precise moment, the voluptuous Big Bo sprang into action - she stomped her foot onto the wooden planks of the ground and there was a slight rumble as a brick shot out of the wall next to Ming Xiang, collided with her side, and sent her sprawling across the ground in a crumpled heap. The silence prevailed for a few seconds as Ming Xiang got up, trembling in anger.

    Big Bo broke the silence, laughing heartily, causing her ample bosom to jiggle with the motion as she waved a manicured hand dismissively at the commotion. "Eheheheheh, now don't you mind Ming; she's not exactly for sale. I think you can figure out why, sir." Ming Xiang had her back to the duo, sitting on the floor, hunched over in a childish sulk. She twisted her body left and right to try and work out the bruise that was bound to crop up from that brick sooner or later. "Apologise!" snapped Big Bo to Ming, the brick floating in the air as it settled itself back into the usual spot in the wall. Any observant person would've noticed how the cement binding it was ground smooth around the edges, letting in a faint but pleasant tell-tale draft into the otherwise stuffy building without having to open any windows...And implying that the same little trick has been done numerous times.

    Ming Xiang drew herself to her full height and peered at Shen coldly. Just another tourist who she'd seen hanging around the joint for a few days now, perceived the girl, exhaling through her nostrils loudly as she seemed to struggle to pull an apology out from her lips. Some of the kids had already bolted it upstairs, but a few sleepy little ones had tottered over to Ming and hugged her legs, asking her to "just please say sorry...". Ming placed one hand on each of the two heads protectively, her glare softening a little.

    "Sorry I didn't break your nose, mister. I'm an exception to the rule; I don't work here, I just live here. If you need anything that isn't sex, I'm forcefully obligated to help you in a kind and courteous manner, so feel free to ask for Ming as many times as you like this evening." rolled out Ming Xiang in a monotonous voice, the fight in her extinguished to a more tolerable degree by the looming figure of Big Bo and the presence of all of the street-rats in the near vicinity. She was by no means happy with the arrangement, but it looked like a tried and tested method - Ming gets mad, Ming tries to hurt people, Ming turns into said person's waitress for the night.

    She crouched down a little and her mood shifted so completely that it's almost impossible to tell if she was ever actually annoyed in Shen at all. She smiled down at the two children gently. "Sorry, kids...I thought you'd be used to bumps-in-the-night, ever since you figured out what they really were. Go on back to bed, will you? It's getting late." she murmured, ushering them back up the stairs. She pulled a younger, scruffy teenager to the side and muttered something to him gravely, to which the boy nodded and went up the stairs whilst yelling at the kids to get to their beds.

    Ming Xiang returned to her duties. She was doing a bit of everything - clearing up the dishes at one point, coming out with frothy mugs of beer on a platter the next, prettying up a rather flustered-looking working girl after her previous customer...one of the more notable moments happened 15 or so minutes after the ordeal, when a muffled shriek of surprise notified the ladies of a particularly rowdy customer.

    "Ming! Go sort him out, will you?" ordered Big Bo, snatching the beer platter off the girl. Ming sighed wearily and went up the stairs. A few distorted yelling voices ensued - Ming's certainly got a set of lungs on her, managing to out-yell the drunk with some choice swear words - and there was a rumbling thumping noise as Ming emerged from the upstairs, dragging a comatose man with a large swollen bump on the side of his head outside of the Red Orchid like one would drag a particularly heavy sack of potatoes.

    When she re-entered the brothel, her gaze settled on Yun and she frowned a little. He really didn't fit in and that didn't seem quite right...so Ming approached him. "Hey," she asked curiously, wiping a smear of blood off her knuckles. "Is everything alright, sir?"
  17. Ming's response to his request caused his eyebrows to furrow not expecting an expression like that to come from her, he was heading to what he believed was a tea-house that wasn't exactly a rare activity.
    Her words only seem to confused him more, aside from being called a kid, she was talking about the fruit and brought up some woman named Minx who was...'really good with her hands'.
    He supposed she was able to mix the tea well with the right ingredients, he did find if two people used chamomile in tea depending on who makes it the taste could differ greatly, this Minx must be skilled in the process which only made him want to see this place even more.
    All these thoughts faded however as Ming grabbed his hand, which Yun had to use every ounce of willpower in his body not to quickly snatch his hand away at the rough touch, his eyes twitching as the distance he put between them was destroyed in a moment.
    He wanted to scream, lash out, and ask her to let go...however his mouth remained shut as he soon realized he wasn't paying attention to where she was pulling him...which meant he was even more lost and judging by the looks of some of the people in a place he didn't want to be lost in.
    He hated this but this girl knew how to reach the Red Orchid, he just had to endure this until they got there, he tried to focus his thoughts on other things, but with the firm grasp she had of his hand it was extremely hard to ignore which only made the growing uncomfortable feeling worse.

    When they finally reached the place Yun held his wrist staring at his hand for a moment, he wondered if she'd be offended if he put it in the dirty puddle that was nearby to try and wash the feeling away.
    Shaking his head he looked back at it lowering his arms to his side as he looked at the building as she mentioned they were there.
    Yun blinked a few times tilting his head slightly as he stared at the Red Orchid, it seemed normal enough at least so he saw no harm in going inside.
    His gaze landed on an older man once he entered sitting at one of the tables and a small relieved sigh came from him, at the very least he wouldn't be in here alone and the guy looked normal enough, muscular but nothing like the guys he ran into earlier.
    He took a seat at one of the far tables at the edge of the Red Orchid away from everything, shifting in the chair a little as he rested his hands on the table, he wasn't sure what the song was playing but he tapped his finger too it finding it catchy his head moving back and forth slightly.
    This place had a nice atmosphere about it, different then other tea-houses he visited but still welcoming...maybe a bit too welcoming.
    His gaze moved over to the garment of the women in the establishment, his eyebrows twitched seeing how short their skirts were and how much skin was showing on each of them, he figured it was a way to bring customers in and seemed to be working at least.
    He still found this was starting to become torture with how many were dressed this way but as long as he didn't look he'd be fine.
    He told himself this especially when a child messed with the woman's skirt causing him to quickly avert his eyes to avoid seeing what was underneath.

    Yun admitted he wasn't sure what to really think about this place, it didn't seem bad the older woman even said the girls were clean and healthy which was a good thing since they handled food and drink, cleanliness was an important quality when serving.
    Deciding he may as well get what he came for Yun raised his hand and politely asked for a cup of ginseng tea from one of the girls, reaching into his sleeve the only safe place he could keep his money, he pulled out a gold coin before handing it to her as a tip rested his hands back on the table.
    Once he received his tea he offered a small nod to her before taking a small sip, his eyes widening as he lowered the cup from his mouth.
    "This is delicious, is this the work of Minx?" Yun said before taking another sip. "She really is good at this."

    Yun took his time with the tea in his hand wanting to savor this moment, he had come to a new city, found a wonderful tea-house and aside from getting chased his day was actually going extremely well. Moments like this made traveling worth it, even with all the hardships that came with the territory.
    His gaze moved over to the older man as he went to talk the older woman, whose name appeared to be Big Bo.
    He wasn't too interested in their conversation up until he commented on Ming's chest and made a very provocative statement, the girl whose name was Ming seemed about ready to tear into the guy...until a brick came flying out of the wall and slammed into her.
    Seeing that Yun promptly turned his attention fully back to his cup, his hand started shaking slightly and he gripped it to steady his shivering.
    That was Earthbending right...Earthbending hurt since it was the earth flying at someone...he needed to make sure not to get on the bad side of this Big Bo he didn't like the idea of bricks flying at his head.
    What she said next however destroyed his fear of being on the wrong end of her bending, when the word 'sale' came from her the little alarm bells going off in his head grew extremely loud.
    He closed his eyes and brought the tea to his mouth deciding to just ignore it, finish his tea and leave here as soon as possible not wanting to know what she meant by that.
    However Ming herself answered the very question he wanted to ignore, she said the word 'sex' and Yun hunched forward choking on his tea as he pat his chest trying to recover.
    Everything in Yun's mind clicked at once and he realized where exactly he was at, and he was not pleased at this development especially with all the warning signs that he now understood.
    "No..no no no.....a brothel...I'm in a brothel of all things! Okay stay calm...stay calm...I'll just finish this tea...and leave...no big deal..."
    Painful as it was to sit in a place of ill respite surrounded by the very thing he was trying to avoid this tea...was delicious and he was torn at finishing it and running away, that and he feared the pain that might follow if he made himself look suspicious.
    The longer he sat there however the longer he realized this place really as a brothel, not that he doubted it after what he heard but seeing the evidence first hand was...more than enough.
    He finished his tea, which had grown cold by now, just as Ming was hurling the drunken man out of the Red Orchid and looked up at her as she approached.
    "Huh...oh yeah I'm great. I-I love brothels!"
    Yun stared at Ming a small 'ah' escaping from him as he realized what had just come out of his mouth.
    He cleared his throat and lowered his gaze to the table gripping the tea cup with both hands as slight tint of red flowed into his cheeks.
    "Okay...I'm willing to admit I misunderstood where exactly i was going," Yun said looking back up at her keeping his voice low. "The guy told me it was a 'tea-house' I didn't know it was some weird hint at a brothel. He could have just said it was and kept this situation from happening."
    He made sure to enunciate it the same way the man had before continuing.
    "Look I really thought it was a tea-house and your tea is quite delicious, if not for me realizing where I was definitely would have enjoyed more of it. I didn't mean to walk into your brothel...I mean I've passed a few in my travels, heard of them too never went in though. There's...there's not some custom where If I walk in I have to buy...uh...time with one of the girls right?"
    He pointed over in the direction of one at this his face clearly showing he didn't like the idea, his eyebrows arched and a bit of worry and fear in his eyes at the idea of going near one much less any kind of intimacy.
    "I would have run away earlier but I didn't want that Big Bo lady to think I was skipping out and have a brick hurled at my skull. That and those people who looked at us on the way here, I'm tired of being chased by people. I just want to order some more tea, because it is pretty delicious and I did enjoy it, then leave and find a place to sleep even if it's in an alley. I don't want any women or anything...or men if those are here not sure how this place works."
    Yun let out a long sigh and released the tea cup having calm down just a little.
    "I still need directions too...I'm stuck until I figure that out."
  18. Now that was definitely the highlight of the day, Shen had to admit. Not even the opportunistic would-be muggers could even come close, no matter how skilled they were (or fancied themselves to be). Not even the young working ladies, whose touch roused him in more ways than one. Not even the food he now ate, which was quite possibly the best he had in a while. His cool gaze met Ming's fiery glare, his smile still etched on his face. Her movements were hardly subtle... Too predictable. Her fist rose, and ordinarily it would be a threatening gesture, but in the hands of a novice, it meant nothing. Still, it would have been entertaining to see her try. Which was why Shen was thoroughly disappointed when Big Bo stepped in before Ming could make her move. Though, admittedly, Big Bo's instantaneous response was nothing short of marvelous.

    The silence that followed was deafening, but Big Bo was quick-witted enough to break the silence before it devolved into something more awkward than it already was. "Ah, I understand, Big Bo. But I must say, I would never have thought such a beauty as yourself would hide skills like this," Shen teased, drawing laughter from the well-endowed matron. It was a measured laughter, more intent on damage control than flattered, but Shen hardly minded it. He had no need of apologies, only entertainment. It made Ming's apology all the more an attention-grabbing one. He spoke nothing of it for the moment, watching her silently as she acknowledged her 'forceful obligation to help him in a kind and courteous manner'. Without a doubt, Shen was already intent on making good on this obligation.

    Now although he had been a picture of calm for the most part, beneath it was a bruised pride. Still, there was no reason for him to flare up so he went back to his seat, calling for a second serving while he watched the patrons. This time, he took interest in the boy that came in with Ming. He hadn't immediately took notice the first time he saw him, but this boy was like a fish out of water. He silently sipped from his tea as he watched the boy grew more and more aware of his present location. Seeing his very obvious discomfort was entertainment in itself, but Shen was feeling a growing sense of sympathy. It was exacerbated by the first words he said to Ming as she came to him after hurling out the drunken patron. Unable to hold it in, he broke into loud laughter which he tried to stifle with his hands to no avail.

    It drew stares from those around him - after all he was sitting alone - but he paid them no mind. Instead, he got up, and approached the two with his tea cup. Without the invitation of the other, he took a seat. "Ah, the tea here's great!" He remarked as he looked at the two, clearly barging right into their conversation. Looking to the boy, he said," You're new here as well, where're you going? Omashu, by any chance?"

    He took a quick sip from his cup, expecting interesting responses from the two.
  19. Jinhai Su, peru
    Shangtan City | The Blue Box

    Sometimes Jinhai really wished that his son wasn't so much like he had been in his younger days. Not only reminded it him of the days that had passed, it also taught him that he had been really annoying as a child. The little boy was standing before him, pouting, his head slightly faced downwards so that his brown locks - Lian's color brown, the lighter shade, not his dark brown - blocked his pouty eyes that Jinhai just knew were hiding there. He probably shouldn't have spoken so harshly, but Huan had to understand that going into the fighting area alone really was a bad idea. It was the third time he had caught the boy in two weeks as he was trying to sneek away when Jinhai wasn't looking. He knew the antics, they reminded them of his own, but that didn't mean he was approving of them.

    Jinhai wondered if he was getting old.

    He rubbed his eyes and finished the move by dragging his hand upwards through his hair. "You are on dishwash duty, got it?" He told the boy before him. The little head shot up. Green eyes. Huan seemed to have inherited most of Lian physical traits. His hair, his eyes, his posture. Jinhai could tell that the boy was never going to be the fighter he currently wanted to be. He wasn't going to be a powerhouse. If Huan wanted to fight, ever, he would have to start realizing that. But goddamn, the boy was eight. He was not going to listen. He was going to figure it out for himself.

    "But daaaad..." His boy threw back.

    "No." Jinhai's reply was immediate and stern. "The topic is closed Huan." He used his son's name to put more emphasis on the words. Huan would know that he was serious and he knew not to question his dad when he was serious. "I will not have you there. End. Besides your mother would kill me and would forbid you to ever set foot inside here again. And we don't want that do we? Now shoo. The cook is waiting for you. You can use your energy to clean glasses." Even though Jinhai sounded stern he gave his son a ruffle through his hair as he walked past him and smiled slightly. Huan pouted a bit more, but turned towards the kitchen.

    After the boy had dutifully disappeared Jinhai returned to the tabroom. There were several guests that wanted his attention. He shot an eye to the clock on the wall. The evening was getting started. He would have to get Huan out of the bar in about an hour before the real fights started. The night always got rougher the further it got. People got drunk, the stakes became higher. It was no place for an eight year old boy. He wiped his hands on the towel that was laying on the bar and turned his attention to his next customer who wanted a private room for the night. Jinhai demanded the payment, handed over the keys and had one of his servers lead the way.

    Another night, the same work. Jinhai sighed as he grabbed himself a drink. The beer had never been the best out of town, but it was totally drinkable and was a good moneymaker. Surely, his thoughts went as he placed the mug at his mouth, tonight would be the same as yesterday. And he was okay with that.

  20. Shun Min, orange

    "Hello there Jinhai." He said, looking up from his glass of shitty beer as the host of the famous 'Blue Box' approached his lonely table. Sadly eversince his 'adventure' of the day before where he ended up bedding with a beautiful hooker who ended up really dead, his luck with the ladies was a bit off. Hence he had decided to try his luck here. Perhaps he had some pent up agression he needed to get rid of, and Jinhai's inn was the perfect place for that. It also offered him the opportunity of a riddle. Eversince he met the guy he'd been trying to find out why the damn place had been called the 'Blue Box'. He still didn't have a clue.

    "Your beer's as shit as ever, and I'm up for a bare-knuckles round tonight." Shun announced to the other man, stroking his beard as he did. "You know, the usual bets and all. Also, could you get me some brandy for after the fight?" He added. "I feel like beating someone up real good and then getting really drunk."

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