Ty Lee is a part of the Kyoshi Warriors - or so, she thought. Suki informs her of a trial that all Kyoshi Warriors must pass to make the group. If she fails, she faces banishment from her new homeland for life...
The story Edit
Fire Nation Capital, 4 October 100 ASC Edit
Ty Lee and Katara walked side-by-side to the Fire Nation Royal Palace, the warrior's arm wrapped around the waterbender's shoulders.
"It's just so exciting!" Ty Lee exclaimed to her new friend. "I mean, the girls are great. They were all so friendly to me after I explained my past to them, and told them I wasn't associated with Azula anymore."
"Then Suki came to you and pretty much gave you the clear?" Katara asked.
"Well," Ty Lee began, "At first, she was a bit worried. But then, she talked it over with the rest of the warriors, and then she felt convinced enough. So, she let me in! It feels so great to be a Kyoshi Warrior!"
Katara looked ahead to notice the Kyoshi Warriors' leader sitting out front of the Royal Palace, decked in her normal attire; the green kimono, shielding, facepaint, and leaders' headdress. "Well, speaking of Suki..."
"Suki!" Ty Lee exclaimed. "I was just telling Katara about how awesome it is to be a Kyoshi Warrior!"
However, the leader said nothing. Instead, she stood up, her look clearly more serious than it had been in days past. Suki's eyes of purple demonstrated clearly that she was quite serious in what she was about to tell her new ally. Her mouth was more aligned in a straight line as she began to speak, taking a deep sigh.
"Is something wrong?" Ty Lee wondered, her smile fading to a frown. "Suki?"
"Ty Lee," Suki stated. "You're currently not a Kyoshi Warrior."
The Fire Nation girl frowned more, her grey eyes growing a crushed look, wondering how suddenly she could not be in the group.
Katara then looked toward the leader. "Suki, what do you mean she's not a Kyoshi Warrior? I thought you had accepted her and whatnot. Did she do something wrong?"
"Look, she's not officially amongst our group yet," Suki answered. "I'm personally quite fine with her being in the group." She held her hand over her heart. "I'm not saying she's kicked out. But...there is still one more test she has to face."
Ty Lee looked back up at Suki, her look now more wondrous as her eyes shifted side to side. "What do you mean, a test? I thought earning your trust was enough!"
"We have to go back to Kyoshi Island for it," Suki answered. "Every Kyoshi Warrior has to face it to officially become part of the team, and it's administered by Avatar Kyoshi herself. Appropriately, it is called Kyoshi's Trial. Come on, Ty Lee, take a seat." The warrior sat down on the bottom step of the Royal Palace. "Katara, you too. I think you'd be interested in hearing about this."
"Katara?" Another voice called out. A younger man came out of the Royal Palace; despite his age, he was clearly matured beyond his years. His head was decorated with nothing but a blue arrow, his eyes were of grey, and he was clothed in elegant decorations of his people, including a wooden necklace with his native element. He was the Avatar; the world's savior at the tender age of twelve...or 112, depending on who you asked.
"Aang!" Katara answered, not wasting any time before running up to him, giving him a hug and a quick kiss.
Aang returned her affection warmly, glad to see her back. "Hey Katara, I haven't seen you all day. You have a good day with Ty Lee?"
Katara slightly nodded. "Yeah...we did...until we got back here." She then looked back at Suki; though not annoyed, she was wondering what the warrior meant about Kyoshi's Trial.
The Avatar looked at Suki. "Is something going on?"
"I have to tell Ty Lee about something she needs to do so she can officially become a Kyoshi Warrior," the warrior's leader answered. "It's about one of your past lives, so, maybe you too would be interested in hearing."
"Sure," Aang answered. He wondered a lot about Avatar Kyoshi's history; her past related to Chin The Great was something that had occupied him on and off at times, especially now that the Hundred Year War was over, though what Suki was about to say did not relate to this.
Ty Lee sat down in a cross-legged position in front of Suki, while Aang and Katara took their seats on either side of their friend.
"Kyoshi's Trial is a long-established ceremony," Suki began. "It was started over three hundred years ago by Avatar Kyoshi herself. When she created the Kyoshi Warriors, she wanted to make sure that everyone who passed through would be worthy of defending her land. As a result, when a girl made it through warrior training, she was then brought before Kyoshi. It has been said that Kyoshi would use her powers to read the girl's chi lines after administering the oath, and by looking at the chi lines, she could tell if they were telling the truth or not. If they were loyal, she would let them in. If not...they would be banished from Kyoshi Island...for life."
Ty Lee gulped nervously at Suki's final words. "F-f-for life?"
Suki nodded. "Yes...Kyoshi would kill them if they attempted to return to their homeland. In fact, someone even dared try to challenge Kyoshi - they were dead within moments."
"But wait," Katara then broke in. "Suki, since Kyoshi is long since gone, how does Kyoshi's Trial work now?"
"Avatar Kyoshi's spirit still watches over her homeland," Suki explained. "As a result, her spirit still conducts the trials. The Kyoshi Warriors' leader, of course, who is currently myself, will lead the trial. It is up to me to call upon Avatar Kyoshi's spirit. What will happen is, as soon as I call upon her, a light will shine from Kyoshi's statue. It is Kyoshi's spirit still reading their chi lines. If the judged passes, the light will fade away with no additional effect. If the judged fails, however, the light will turn red, and Kyoshi's voice will boom the order to leave the island for life."
Again, the hopeful warrior gulped nervously. I can't leave Kyoshi...I just can't! I just made all these new friends...
Seeing her nervous look, the waterbender quickly pulled her new friend into a hug. "Ty Lee, it's going to be okay...don't worry..."
"Yeah," Aang replied, resting a hand on the warrior's shoulder. "We'll be there for you, and if something -"
Suki quickly cut the Avatar off. "I'm sorry, Aang and Katara, but Kyoshi does not let anyone outside the Kyoshi Warriors view the trial. She will promptly banish them; even if they are the current Avatar. It is written on Kyoshi's final will and testament regarding the trial."
"That's crazy," Katara replied, turning up to Suki, her arms still around Ty Lee's shoulders. "What if Ty Lee gets hurt or something?"
"No one really gets hurt," Suki said. "Though, there have been a couple deaths mid-trial - Kyoshi is a strict judge, and -"
Ty Lee began to tear up somewhat, her nerves increasing. She then buried her head into Katara's shoulder.
"All right, Suki, please!" Katara protested. "You're really scaring Ty Lee!" She pulled her friend into a closer, tighter hug. "Shhh...it's going to be all right, Ty..." her voice dropped to a whisper. "You're not going to get hurt...you'll be fine..."
"I don't want to get banished," Ty Lee said, her voice breaking as tears dropped down her face. "I can't...betray my new friends..."
Aang joined his girlfriend in hugging their new friend. "It's okay, Ty Lee...you've changed a lot...and I know Kyoshi won't misjudge you. You're truly loyal to the warriors."
Suki sighed dejectedly. Uggh...I only wanted to warn her...not hurt her like this. She then got up off the step, and walked over to the scene before her. "Aang, Katara...can I talk to her, please?"
The couple nodded to Suki and released their hugs of the now crestfallen warrior. They then got up and locked hands, hoping Suki would get through to Ty Lee.
Ty Lee turned her moistened eyes up to Suki, wondering why she said what she did. The new warrior was quite upset and shaken by all that had been said, and was now a nervous wreck as opposed to her usual optimistic, upbeat attitude.
Suki frowned and placed her hands on her friend's shoulders. "Look, Ty Lee..I didn't mean to scare you with all this business regarding Kyoshi's Trial. I didn't mean to make you think that you are going to wind up banished from the island forever. I just had to let you know, though..."
Ty Lee wiped her tears away before giving in and hugging Suki. "No, Suki...please, don't worry. I just...I got carried away. It's just that you girls are awesome, and I don't want to lose you...I mean, bonding with them in prison was probably the best time I had in years! I don't want to give it all away..."
The Kyoshi Warriors' leader returned the hug. "Look, I can't control what Kyoshi will do...but I can see your changes as clear as day. You've left your past behind, and grew close and loyal to all the warriors. You may be of the Fire Nation...but you have the heart of a Kyoshi Islander...and the loyalty she seeks. You will make it...I know you will."
Ty Lee smiled at these words, feeling a bit of assurance flow through her. She separated from the embrace before asking, "So, when will the trial be?"
"We'll be leaving the capital in two days," Suki replied. "At which point, we will detour to Kyoshi Island to have the trial." She then turned to the Avatar and the master waterbender. "Aang, Katara...I know you wanted me to join you all in Ba Sing Se, but..."
"We can pick you up along the way," Aang answered. "After all, we'll be flying there on Appa, so, certainly no problem with making a stop in the island after the trial."
Suki nodded. "Sounds like a good plan."
After things settled for a moment, all four stood up. Katara walked over to Ty Lee and asked, "Are you all right now?"
Ty Lee nodded. "I'm fine now, thank you, Katara. I guess I am just a little nervous about potentially losing my new life."
Katara placed a hand on her shoulder again. "Don't worry...like Suki said, I'm sure you'll pass. I can see your new personality in you as well...you're really loyal to us, from what I can see, even though we have only known each other as friends for four days. You've changed a lot, and I can tell you're really committed to your new life."
The hopeful warrior smiled. "Thanks, Katara. You've been really great to me the last few days..."
The waterbender flashed a smile back. "No problem...you're a great person, and I'm glad we've gotten to know each other."
The two girls nodded, before Aang took note at the setting sun. "Hmmm...looks like dinner will be upcoming soon. Zuko will want us back in soon, so..."
"Good point," Katara answered. "I guess we can reproach this later if needed. Come on, Suki, Ty Lee...Zuko's giving us all a nice dinner, we may as well take it."
"Right!" Ty Lee answered. "Let's go."
The four walked into the Royal Palace for their dinner, now with more minds at ease. However, the hardest was still yet to come. A new warrior was still face the judgment of an Avatar past, and questions remained unanswered.
Departure, 6 October Edit
Fire Nation capital Edit
Clouds attempted to block out the sun on that autumn morning, but overall, it continued to shine down on the shores of the Fire Nation Capital as an Earth Kingdom ship began to sail into port. Today, it was picking up the Kyoshi Warriors to return them to their homeland, but this time, they would be one heavier.
Team Avatar gathered at the port to bid their friends goodbye. Only Suki would be rejoining them in a week for their trip to Ba Sing Se, as for Ty Lee and the rest of the Kyoshi Warriors; it would be a bit more difficult for things to work out.
"So, Acrobat Girl's going to get judged by Kyoshi, huh?" Toph asked, crossing her arms.
"That's right, Toph," Suki answered. "Once the test is complete, she'll be a part of the Kyoshi Warriors."
"I thought dressing up in the kimono and painting her face was enough," the blind earthbender replied. "Where the heck did this trial business come from?"
"It's a long story," the Kyoshi Warriors' leader turned to Toph and said. "Maybe someday, when we meet up again, I could tell you. Or, ask Aang or Katara."
"Fine, if Twinkle Toes and Sugar Queen aren't busy being all kissy-kissy," Toph snapped back with a mocking smile, punching both the Avatar and his girlfriend in the arm.
"They'd better not be..." Sokka muttered quietly.
"I'm going to miss you all..." Ty Lee mused, clearly not ready to leave her friends, both old and new. "I hope we can stay in contact..."
Katara walked up to Ty Lee and said, "Well, as long as my brother's involved with Suki, I might still be coming to Kyoshi a lot. So, we can see each other then. Even if I can't, I'd still be willing to write to you."
Ty Lee smiled and hugged the waterbender. "Good...I'll be looking forward to hearing from you, Katara."
Katara hugged the hopeful warrior back. "Same here...and don't worry about the trial...you'll pass."
After the two separated from their embrace, Ty Lee walked around and hugged the rest of her friends, finally reaching her two oldest and long-time friends, now-Fire Lord Zuko and Mai.
"Guys...I'll miss you the most of all," Ty Lee began. "You two...we've had a lot of fun times together, especially me teasing you two about one another," she said with a laugh, leaving Zuko and Mai blushing somewhat.
"Well," Zuko began, "Even if you're constant 'up-beat-ness' got a bit annoying at points, Ty Lee, you're pretty cool. You were the only one who could keep my sister at bay..." he said with another laugh. "But I'll miss you too. Take care, and try to write as often as you can. Maybe when I get some free time, Mai and I can visit you."
"I'd like that," Ty Lee said, and she then proceeded to hug Zuko for a brief moment before walking over to Mai.
For Mai, it was a more interesting moment for her. Although she had typically been a non-caring person except around her boyfriend, it was hard for her to keep her emotions aside as she looked at Ty Lee's bright smile.
"Mai..." Ty Lee began. "I don't even know where to begin with you. You were my true best friend all this time, even if you didn't show it. You were always more...there for me than Azula. You always cared about me, and when I felt down, you'd be willing to talk to me...even if your attitude didn't show it. I'm sorry for saying your aura was dark that night on Ember Island...and when it came down to it, I couldn't let Azula do what she was going to at the Boiling Rock. You are a true friend Mai...and I love you."
Mai looked down at her oldest friend and smiled warmly. She had been getting more open the past few days thanks to being around Zuko and in real happiness; now, it was starting to show. A light mist coated her eyes as she spoke. "Ty Lee...like Zuko, I know your being upbeat all the time did annoy me...but you are indeed a great friend. I can't ever thank you enough for saving me from Azula...that took a lot of courage that, to be honest, I wasn't sure you had. But...you found your way, and I'm so proud of you for that. You too are a true friend...and I love you too."
The two girls wrapped themselves in a tight embrace. Ty Lee couldn't help but let a couple tears drip down her cheeks. As they embraced, her ticket to Kyoshi Island arrived.
"Ty Lee, let's go!" One of the warriors said.
The warrior broke her embrace with her best friend, and then turned to the rest of the team. "Hey...I just wanted to wish you all a fond farewell. It's been great getting to know you all over the last few days, and I am so thankful you have let me become a part of your group. Your combined auras, I can tell, are all a bright-shining pink, and you will all definitely be friends for life...and I hope I can be the same way with you all."
"We hope so too," Aang said.
Toph walked up and punched Ty Lee in the arm. "Yeah, you're cool with us, Acrobat Girl. Now go ace that trial."
Ty Lee rubbed her arm. "Heh, thanks Toph."
The Kyoshi Warriors then began to board the ship. Sokka and Suki shared a moment of their own, enjoying a hug and a kiss, and their promise to see each other for the trip to Ba Sing Se.
Soon enough, the warriors were all aboard, and the ship left the capital port. They all waved to Team Avatar, which the friends all returned, hoping that their newest entrant would accomplish her new goal.
Aboard the ship Edit
As the Earth Kingdom ship sailed eastward through the serene waters, Ty Lee couldn't help but think about the trial that faced her. She realized that potentially, tomorrow, most of the new friends she had just made could be gone from her just like that. If Kyoshi looked at her wrongly based on her affiliation with past troubles, that would be the fall of Ty Lee's new life; gone before she even had the chance to live it.
With Suki having a conversation with the boat's captain about the remainder of their trip to the island and potential worries, Ty Lee decided to discuss the trial with another warrior. Not too far from her, she saw one of the girls she had become closest to; Mianna, who had been a part of the group for two years. Like Ty Lee, she was 14, albeit closing in on 15.
"Hey, Ty Lee!" Mianna said to her, catching her approach. She put her fans back within her shielding, having been training somewhat when Ty Lee approached. "What's up?" She asked with a smile. "You look tense, girl."
"Well..." Ty Lee began, her head somewhat tilting down.
"Let me guess," Mianna replied. "Something to do with Kyoshi's Trial?"
Ty Lee could only nod idly, not saying anything else.
Mianna could only retain her smile as she looked at Ty Lee. "Look, I'm not going to stand here and say that Kyoshi's Trial is easy. But, I think you're worrying about it just a little too much."
"I'm worried, Mianna," the warrior hopeful replied. "Because, I don't want to lose you girls. Over that time we spent in prison, I became so close to all of you...you helped me really regain a happier side I haven't had in a long time. If I get banished...then what?" She frowned toward her new friend, her head sinking.
The warrior walked over to her close friend, lifting up her head by her chin. "Look, let me tell you a little bit about the trial. I went through mine a couple of years ago. It doesn't take much to get past it...all you have to do is demonstrate loyalty and honesty...and really, with one comes the other, Ty. If you're loyal to us, you'll be honest when you give that oath."
"But, what if I get nervous, and Kyoshi sees something in me? I mean, after all, I was affiliated with Azula, the Fire Nation..." Ty Lee could not shake the nervous feeling she had.
Mianna then took Ty Lee's hands in hers. "Girl, I can say, beyond a shadow of doubt, that you are one of the most loyal to us than I have ever seen. I mean, you were quick to apologize in prison, you spread the chi-blocking teachings to us without any question, and we all heard about how you defied Azula to save your best friend. We can tell you're loyal...and Kyoshi will too. She will definitely see that you would be willing to give your life for us, and do anything for the island. You will be fine."
"I hope so..." Ty Lee mused. "I love you all so much, and...the thought of getting banished for life is frightening."
"I understand," the warrior answered. "I too, was nervous about my trial. I had grown close to all the girls, and heck, I'm still close to them, and now you. I barely slept the night before the trial; I was so worried I would lose everything I had built up on the island too. But look...I had built up the same loyalty and trust around all the other warriors, that when the trial came, I was able to recite the oath perfectly. Then, when the trial came...Kyoshi could see my honesty and loyalty shining through, and, I passed. It's the same way with you...you'll be fine. Don't worry about being Fire Nation."
The Fire Nation girl nodded her head somewhat. She truly wanted to believe Mianna, but she could not help but worry about the loss of her friends. However, she knew she had to get past it - worry would not do her any good at this point. "You're right, Mianna...I shouldn't obsess. It's just a little trial...and I have done my best."
The warriors then embraced for a moment before breaking it.
"You will do just fine," Mianna assured Ty Lee. "If you don't...you never have to say or write another word to me."
"I'm holding you to that," Ty Lee said with a chuckle.
"Listen," the active warrior began. "I'm going to get back to training. I'll catch you in a moment for lunch, okay?"
Ty Lee nodded. "All right, see you then, Mianna."
With her friend departed, Ty Lee looked out towards the eastward sea. She silently pleaded with the spirits for Mianna to be right, and that her acceptance to the warriors would be complete.
Kyoshi Island, 7 October Edit
A celebration Edit
As the sun flooded the small island village in a beautiful day, people were about doing their daily business when the town crier came into the center, ringing a hand-held bell.
"The Kyoshi Warriors arrive today! All residents who wish to rejoin them, go to the Kyoshi port at 10:00! Ceremony in the town square upon arrival! The Kyoshi Warriors arrive today!"
The villagers began to grow abuzz; it had been months since the Kyoshi Warriors were around. During that time, they had resorted to a ragtag police force which had not been overly effective. They were also aware that an outsider had joined the team and was revolutionizing their fighting style; but they were a bit wary of accepting her.
"What do you think about that new girl we've heard rumors of?" A male villager asked his friend.
"Apparently she used to be allied with the Fire Nation princess," his friend answered. "I'm not convinced until she passes Kyoshi's Trial. Sounds more like a treacherous woman."
"Well, I won't like about being a bit nervous," the other villager replied. "But, apparently Suki really likes her style. All rumors for now, though..."
Excited villagers began to take to the port just outside the village; though it was barricaded to allow the Kyoshi Warriors a pathway back into their homeland. They all cheered, discussed the changes, and overall just looked forward to seeing their proud defenders back amongst their people.
Aboard the ship, the warriors stood at the forefront as Kyoshi's statue came into view. Ty Lee held a mixed bag of feelings; some nervousness, but also some happiness and excitement to officially kick off her new life on Kyoshi Island. The question was -
Is this also going to be my last day?
Suki held a hand on Ty Lee's shoulder. "Don't worry about the villagers...I'll back you up. Remember, you have my trust, Ty Lee."
"Thanks Suki," Ty Lee replied nervously.
The ship soon made its way to the end of the seas, and brushed up upon the sand. The villagers began to cheer louder as the small platform opened and fell to the beach, giving the Kyoshi Warriors their path off. Suki gestured them to follow her, and soon, they all came in behind her. The villagers' cheers continued, establishing a warm greeting.
However, Ty Lee looked around, and saw she was getting some glares. The Fire Nation girl bit her lower lip nervously, not able to wave like the other warriors were - instead, she forced some smiles at those who did cheer for her. It was clear to her that the village heard about what she had done previously, and people did not want her there. Nevertheless, she continued with her fellow warriors through the crowd, and they made their way through the forest.
Soon, the girls made their way into the village, cheers continuing.
"Mommy, daddy, the Kyoshi Warriors are back!" A little girl of about five years yelled to her parents as they all sat out on the porch of their home. "I'm so excited! Suki, you're the best!" She waved at the Kyoshi Warriors' leader.
Suki was happy to wave back and smile at her young fan as the procession continued to out in front of the town hall. There, Mayor Oyaji stood with an eager smile, ready to re-greet the proud defenders of Kyoshi Island.
The warriors stood out in front of a small podium; Oyaji stood in back, ready to address the people of the island on their return. Suki had also prepared a small speech to give the people.
Many of the villagers flooded into the town center, with them again being separated via barricade from the Kyoshi Warriors. Suki, as standard, took the center position, with Ty Lee standing two warriors to her right. The Fire Nation citizen studied the crowd, looking to see how the people were taking her in, and she found a mixed bag of people not minding or others showing nasty looks.
Oyaji then gestured for the crowd to settle before he began his speech.
"Residents of Kyoshi Island, I am glad that you all could join us this morning for our own special way of celebrating the end of the Hundred Year War. I could not be any happier this morning than to welcome back our glorious defenders of this island after they risked their lives to assist our nation, and the entire world, in finally bringing this war to its close - the Kyoshi Warriors!"
The crowd applauded loudly once again, and the warriors all took bows, though Ty Lee's wasn't quite as hearty as the others.
After the applause subsided, Oyaji resumed his speech.
"These brave ladies dueled against some of the strongest fighters, including Princess Azula, to help assist the war effort. Then, their heroic leader, Suki, provided a pivotal assist in stopping Phoenix King Ozai's airship fleet from burning the Earth Kingdom down. Without her, and all the other women here, we would still be in the mires of a war. In addition, it is partially in thanks to their newest addition, that Princess Azula was able to be brought down. At this time, I welcome Suki up to the podium to give a few words of her own about their experiences and also about the newest warrior."
The crowd picked up their approval again as Suki stepped up to the podium. She pulled out a small piece of paper and laid it down on the podium, then look toward the crowd, she too having to gesture for them to end their applause. The warriors' leader then began her speech, an appreciative smile on her face.
"Thank you all for being here this morning, everyone. I can't express how thankful I am that you have all arrived to greet us here, on this day of our return. Assisting in the war effort was probably the greatest task we have ever undergone. But, after Avatar Aang and his friends visited here, we knew we had to chip in our own efforts as well. As a result, our journeys took us across the Earth Kingdom, wherein we helped to assist some small security efforts, and assisted a few small villages in rebuilding after invaders attacked them. We eventually made our way to the ports outside Ba Sing Se assist weary refugees in getting to the Earth Kingdom capital, and establish better lives within its walls. Along the way, we dealt with a few invading firebenders, but we managed to turn them back."
As Suki paused, not sure how she could continue with her speech, the crowd applauded loudly for all the warriors' good that they had accomplished. After a moment, the warriors' leader sighed.
"Unfortunately, our success did not last. We were defeated by Princess Azula and sent to prison shortly thereafter. It was during this time that Ba Sing Se fell, and the defeat of the world seemed inevitable. It was not easy to hear of every defeat, as we could do nothing but sit worriedly as the world crumbled. I can not express in words how sorry we were for letting you all down, for letting the world down...and even though I did make my own escape with friends of the Avatar's, to know that the girls were miles away, and that the world still suffered was painful." Her head dropped as she gave another sad sigh. "But, fortunately, thanks to the Avatar's efforts, here we stand, once more. Again, I can not express how thankful I am for all of your support, and I thank you for being here today. Before you applaud though, I must introduce you to our newest recruit."
She then gestured to Ty Lee, who walked over and soon stood at Suki's right. The crowd continued its murmurs before the warrior leader spoke again.
"This is Ty Lee, of the Fire Nation, formerly an ally of Princess Azula. On the day I escaped from the Boiling Rock prison, Ty Lee was with Azula, and her other friend, Lady Mai. It was thanks to Mai's intervention that we were able to escape - and at this point, Azula confronted her. Under the heat of having to decide between friends, Ty Lee chose her real friend, Mai, and she blocked Azula's chi. Because of Ty Lee, Azula became more vulnerable, allowing for her to be defeated! It was after this betrayal, that Ty Lee was imprisoned along with the rest of the Kyoshi Warriors. She met our warriors and developed a close bond with them, teaching them in the art of chi-blocking. Although she is here with us now, however, at this time, we will be taking her to the Kyoshi statue for her trial. So, I now ask, if any residents still at the statue would clear the area."
Oyaji stepped back to the podium. "Residents, return to your homes, please. As you know, Kyoshi's Trial is limited only to the Kyoshi Warriors. Thank you."
The trial Edit
Over the next few moments, the villagers retreated to their many homes, and the Kyoshi Warriors marched to Kyoshi's statue at the town entrance. Suki was given the ceremonial scroll from Oyaji, with which she would read from and call on the Avatar's spirit. Ty Lee began to grow more nervous as she prepared for one of the most critical moments of her life. Mianna stayed next to her friend during the walk. "Remember what I told you, Ty Lee. You're going to be all right. Don't worry about the Fire Nation."
Ty Lee could only nervously nod.
The pathway to Kyoshi's statue was not even that long; maybe a ten-minute walk for the warriors. But for Ty Lee, it felt like hours as she processed every possible scenario in her mind. Her heartbeat began to increase, beads of sweat appeared on her forehead, and she could feel herself shaking.
Finally, the pathway reached its end, and the young women in green took their positions in front of Suki, who was standing about a foot away from the base of the Kyoshi statue. The leader looked toward them, the scroll in hand. She then opened it and began the trial ceremony. "Warriors, please be seated."
The other warriors complied with the command and knelt down.
"At this time, may the judged please come forward."
Ty Lee stood up, and then came to within a couple of feet of Suki.
"Be seated, judged."
Ty Lee complied again, kneeling before her friend.
"At this time, please state your name and where you are from."
The hopeful girl took a deep breath. "My name is Ty Lee, and I am from the Fire Nation."
Suki then looked back at her scroll for a moment, and then continued by turning toward the Kyoshi statue. "Avatar Kyoshi, Ty Lee of the Fire Nation wishes to join your ranks. At this time, I will now administer your oath as you have so written it." She then turned back to Ty Lee. "Judged, please stand."
Ty Lee rose to her feet again. She took another deep breath and stood straight, trying not to give off any nerves that might cost her a position.
"Ty Lee...do you solemnly swear to protect Kyoshi Island against all invaders, internal and external?"
Without a moment of hesitation, she answered, "I do."
"Do you solemnly swear to give your life for the protection of the island and your fellow warriors?"
"Do you solemnly swear to hold up the legacy of Avatar Kyoshi, and not allow it to be defiled in any way, at her statue or her shrine?"
"Do you solemnly swear to be honest and loyal to this island and your fellow warriors at all times?"
"And finally, Ty Lee...do you solemnly swear not to allow yourself to be corrupted by any influence, internal or external?"
"So completes the Kyoshi Warrior oath. Judged, be seated."
The Fire Nation citizen again knelt, taking a few deep breaths here and there. She hoped that when it came time for Avatar Kyoshi to come down, she would see the true honesty deep in the meaning of the simple "I do"s. There was nothing she more wanted than to just be among her new friends, settling into a better life.
Suki then again turned to the statue of Kyoshi behind her. "Avatar Kyoshi, Ty Lee of the Fire Nation has just given the Kyoshi oath. She has sworn her life to the honor of your homeland, your legacy, the defense of your warriors, and fully against all invasion and corruption. Now, we turn to you, humble founder of our island. Please, provide Ty Lee with your judgment, and determine if she is acceptable for your ranks, or if she is to leave your land permanently."
Upon hearing the words "leave your land permanently", a sting broke into Ty Lee's already-fiery mind. Her thoughts were all over the place, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. She didn't need the reminder that everything she had been working for may crash down on her at any second.
Within a moment, bright white lights emerged from the eyes of Kyoshi's well-maintained statue. The lights went over the leader's head, and soon locked themselves on the warrior hopeful. This was now the moment Ty Lee had been preparing for and also fearing for the past three days - her judgment was starting.
The white light struck Ty Lee in her face, and soon, she could feel it. Avatar Kyoshi's spirit was in her mind, and she was going through it, checking for her true honesty and loyalty. Was she going to judge her unworthy, and kick her off?
As the judgment continued, Ty Lee could see the figure of Avatar Kyoshi right before her very eyes. She was in the Avatar State, her eyes shining brightly in white. Kyoshi had a tight look on the warrior hopeful, and she could hear her murmurs.
"Fire Nation...an outsider. Outsiders...you know how it normally works with them."
Ty Lee's heartbeat again picked up, and sweat began to drip from her face. She was breathing a bit harder, as it seemed Kyoshi was going deep into her mind, examining every last bit of her words and feelings. The Kyoshi Warriors observed the trial, watching their potential entrant duke it out, mentally, with the old Avatar.
"Should we stop the trial?" Mianna asked worriedly. "I haven't seen it as bad this!"
"We can't," Suki replied. "Once the trial is started, it must be finished."
Mianna nodded in understanding, but silently whispered to one of her fellow warriors, "I'm scared for her now...this is brutal..."
Ty Lee was trying to tough it out as Kyoshi went through her mind. Soon, in her vision, the Avatar came closer and closer to her. The young woman found it hard to face her judge.
"You are from the Fire Nation, a land responsible for the waging of a brutal one hundred year war. I was also informed that you were part of an attack on my warriors."
Tears began to stream out of Ty Lee's eyes as the vision of Kyoshi spoke to her. She's going to do it...she's going to deny and banish me...
As the lights of the statue came further down Ty Lee's body on the outside, Kyoshi continued to speak on the inside.
"But your saying of the warrior oath was of a true, honest, Kyoshi Warrior and islander. I have heard about your tasks completed and accomplishments achieved since then. Your heart is true, and your mind is clean. I have never seen an outsider of the Earth Kingdom more worthy than yourself. Congratulations...welcome to the ranks of my warriors."
Like in trials passed, Kyoshi knelt down in front of Ty Lee and kissed her forehead. After this, she then faded away slowly.
On the outside, the white light began to fade from Kyoshi's statue slowly but surely. It returned towards its originating source before fading totally, thus bringing an end to the trial.
An exhausted Ty Lee wiped away tears and beads of sweat that had dripped down her face. She forced her head up toward Suki, wondering what had just happened. She heard Kyoshi's words, but she needed to be sure before it was time to celebrate.
Suki looked down at the scroll and gathered the words.
"The white light has faded without any changes or the voice of Kyoshi speaking. The Trial of Ty Lee is a successful trial! I hereby officially welcome you, Ty Lee of the Fire Nation, to the Kyoshi Warriors!" She couldn't help but smile compassionately at her friend; after seeing the struggles she had gone through before, during, and afterwards.
Ty Lee's look turned overjoyed. Her frown quickly turned to a smile, and her eyes began to water up again. She didn't even know the words to say, now being officially accepted into a new life.
Suki saw this, and she put down the scroll. She then walked towards Ty Lee, knelt down, and drew her into a tight hug. "Congratulations...welcome..." she said quietly. "I'm so proud of you..."
Mianna shed a tear as she also smiled brightly. She then gestured her fellow warriors to come toward the scene. They then all knelt down, and joined into the hug. They were all very happy for Ty Lee; she had overcome all her past misgivings, made great friends of them all, and they sorely wanted her with them.
Ty Lee wrapped her arms around all the warriors the best she could as she continued to tear up, her head primarily buried in Suki's shoulder. Long live this...long live this new life...thank you, Avatar Kyoshi. She then spoke quietly. "Thank you, Suki...thank you, everybody."
After a moment, the warriors separated from the hug. Ty Lee got herself up off the ground and looked toward all the warriors with appreciative looks. They allowed her the opportunity to become a part, and now she officially was.
"Let's get back," Suki said. "The people are anxious for results."
On their way back, Ty Lee stopped and looked at the statue of Avatar Kyoshi. She bowed in a show of respect to the woman who had just granted her her new life, quietly singing a praise in her mind.
Suki gave the news to an again regathered crowd. "It is my pleasure to announce that Ty Lee has passed Kyoshi's Trial. With a sense of honesty and loyalty, I am proud to say that I welcome her into the Kyoshi Warriors, and I hope you will accept her into the team, as much as you have all of us!"
Even the doubters knew they didn't have much ground to stand on now; if Avatar Kyoshi said she was okay, then this Fire Nation girl had to be all right. The entire crowd began to applaud mightily for Ty Lee, who could only bow in respect until she heard the chants.
"Speech! Speech! Speech! Speech!"
Ty Lee looked around sheepishly, but Suki was mentally nudging her to get in and talk. Finally, she accepted and took the podium as the crowd quieted.
"Well," the new Kyoshi Warrior began, not comfortable with such a large public setting around her. "Uhhh...all I can really say is, thank you. Thank you, people of Kyoshi Island for being so warm to me and accepting me among your people. Thank you, to the rest of the warriors, for accepting me when we met in prison after my betrayal of Princess Azula, and thank you, Suki, for deeming me worthy in the first place before I faced Avatar Kyoshi. I just...I don't have much else to say," she finished with somewhat of a chuckle. "But honestly, thank you all so much for this opportunity. I couldn't be any happier with how this turned out."
She stepped away from the podium to more applause...and that continued for many moments. Ty Lee smiled at her fellow warriors, continuing an appreciative look toward all of them.
After the day was done, and a small reception took place, Ty Lee had been given new housing assignments. She received a humble but serviceable home in the valley, not too far from the town hall. She then took her time to write a letter to Team Avatar back in the Fire Nation Capital, telling everyone about her success and her future plans - she would be staying on Kyoshi Island for a quite a while to come.
Following the completion of her letter - which she rolled up for a sending tomorrow, she took a walk into the mountains. Night began to settle in on the island as a slight breeze rustled the leaves in the trees, but otherwise, it was quiet around the warrior. Finally, she reached a clearing at a cliff's edge. She walked to the edge and took a seat, folding her hands together in her lap.
Slowly, she began to think about her family. Many years ago, she had abandoned them - left them behind to start a new life of her own. She was not unique, did not even feel like she existed, just like she was in a completely matching set.
"Wait...I still am part of a matching set..." she murmured, knowing the Kyoshi Warriors were all clad in the same uniforms. "But...it feels...different..."
Ty Lee had her own identity - everyone know who she was. They were her true friends now, showing up for her when she needed it. She may have looked the same, but on the inside, she was finally herself. She brought her own unique brand to the Kyoshi Warriors. She wasn't just another warrior...she was Ty Lee.
Appreciated for who she was.
Loved by her new friends.
She thought about a friendship gone wrong with Azula, how it had turned to mainly the princess pushing her around into tasks wih the threat of ending her life. At this, she teared up somewhat.
But she had new friends now.
She smiled as she thought about the support she had gotten from not just Suki, but from the people she was once bitter enemies with - along the lines of Aang, Katara, and even Toph, despite how opposite they seemed on the surface. They were people who truly cared about her and wanted her best. In addition, she still had the care and support of her old friends, Mai and Zuko, who remained alongside her all the way.
Ty Lee wiped her stray tear away, and smiled brightly.
Soon, she heard Avatar Kyoshi's voice, and a vision appeared to her again.
"I am proud of you, my child. All that you overcame, defying evil, and standing up for what is right. It's not very often I come across people like you. I know you will stand up for my homeland the same way you have your closest friends. Just remember, you also work for the Avatar's team...he will call upon you too, when the time has come. But for now, child...congratulations once more."
"Thank you, Avatar Kyoshi," Ty Lee replied, giving a respectful bow as Kyoshi's form vanished again.
She had passed her trial.
She was now living a new life.
A new beginning.
Kyoshi Warrior Ty Lee.
[The warriors return to Kyoshi Island for a ceremony. Thereafter, the trial ceremony begins, and Ty Lee is judged.]