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Avatar The Last Airbender: Not Avatar

Everything has an end. Everything has a limit of strength. There is a ceiling beyond which it is impossible to grow. But at the end, you can find a new path, repair or reshape a broken object, and break through the ceiling. Weaknesses can be overcome, and shortcomings turned into an advantage. I know that well. I learned it on myself. {Author: Шэтэл-Соркен (shatal-sorken)} https://ficbook.net/authors/1711049

Vandalizer · Anime & Comics
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64 Chs

Chapter 24

The latest pirouette ended with a landing on my feet. I wasn't sweating, though I was breathing rapidly, each breath spreading a weak tremor and a wave of warmth throughout my body. The oxygen content in my blood was now increased, firstly due to the oxygen I materialized directly in my lungs, separate from the rest of the air I breathed, and secondly because my blood began to absorb and retain much more oxygen per unit of this precious fluid. I think, if the weather were cooler, steam would probably be coming off me. Shedding excess body heat into the surrounding environment significantly increases efficiency, as does oxygenating the body. Significantly improved control over my metabolism and bodily processes allows me to advance much faster.

Regaining my former physical condition didn't take much time - two weeks, after which I started to improve my physical condition and practice firebending. In the latter, I worked by myself, as replicating the tricks of the fire performers without teachers was relatively simple after I managed to get a good handle on controlling flames. Creating fire in huge volumes turned out to be very simple. In the Spirit World, this was more difficult, but here, away from the circus, creating fire resulted in a wave of flame that scorched many meters of ground, leaving it charred and black. The main goal of my training now was to bring fire under control. It always sought to break free, and holding it was difficult. Perhaps all firebenders face such issues, but they gain control over fire from childhood, subsequently facing no problems with it. Or perhaps it's even simpler - most firebenders use their bending to create flames and hurl them at their enemies in one form or another. They don't aim to maintain and control fire. Maybe this is what distinguishes masters from ordinary firebenders. Releasing lethal fire charges at an opponent and holding it for a while I can do, but after some time, it gets out of control, as if I tire. My hands tremble, and I feel weakness in my body... not physical. Another kind, perhaps spiritual, but weakness nonetheless. So, at that moment, I could use fire, but freely manipulating it was beyond my abilities. Meditation and constant training aimed for full control over fire. I wanted to take power into my hands, to subdue it completely, without any conditions!

And finally, I succeeded. It was somewhat similar with earth. Only with it, there was a limitation on the volume of impact, while with fire, the limitation was on control. However, something happened again... and the fire suddenly became obedient, like a loyal dog. I realized this after the very first flame I created in my hand. It felt as if before, I was using someone else's fire, not my own, a fire that belonged to someone else. As if the fire didn't want to submit to me!

But by morning, the flame became mine. As soon as the fire appeared in my hand, I knew that this fire was now MINE!

Then, after a few training sessions, I was able to replicate the circus firebenders' tricks, such as the fire whip, fire ring, fire wall, and a couple of other tricks. All of this seemed more like spells to me than tricks. The fire ring, for example, should lose stability once it gets out of control and disintegrate, but no, it continues to fly and, with good technique, can even cut through stone...

and so can the fire whip and lash. A fire wall can burn and hold for a very long time. Ideally, everything should work exactly like that. And that's exactly how I learned to do everything. The main challenge in this endeavor was making the fire do unnatural things. For example, burning on water.

Physical development was harder. Specifically, everything was as usual, but...

Unexpectedly, I found someone with whom I could train. And train much more effectively! Suffice it to say, I was incredibly exhausted after our sessions! Only water baths and bloodbending with control over bodily processes helped. I even came up with and implemented the technique for oxygenating my body just to keep up with my partner. Specifically, my training partner.

The unparalleled acrobat and gymnast, the incredible Ty Lee!

It all started when she began to watch my own training sessions.

"Where did you learn that?" she asked me, standing on a tightrope that, among other things, supported the tent, when I finished training one day and was heading to the dining area, wanting to eat.

I was dedicating a lot of effort and time to my body and its development, requiring resources. A lot of resources! I assisted my body in returning to the peak of my physical capabilities in the shortest time possible through control over my bodily processes, but that was only because I had reached this level before and knew how to get there, so I was pushing my development with the strongest nudges. But upon reaching this level... to put it bluntly, I didn't know in which direction to push my development further. From that moment, I could only train and let my body develop as it needed, careful not to mess anything up with my "clumsy hands". However, I could significantly speed up the processes occurring within the body, allocate more resources and time to some processes, and slow down others as much as possible. This allowed for several times faster development of the body. With the technique of oxygenating the body and shedding excess heat into the surrounding environment, I reached a whole new level... only slightly lagging behind Ty Lee in speed, agility, reaction, and so on. Except in physical strength, I surpassed her.

"I picked up some things from others, learned some on my own. And you?" I asked.

"It looks beautiful!" Ty Lee said, jumping off the rope and, after doing a couple of somersaults, landed on the ground. She then walked on her hands towards me, bending her legs at the knees above herself, seemingly without any discomfort. "I'm Ty Lee, and you?"

"I'm... Garo. Listen, are you okay walking like that? Doesn't anything hurt? Don't your limbs fall asleep? Don't you get dizzy?" I couldn't help but ask.

"Mmm... no. Don't you get tired of always training alone here?" she asked again, still on her hands but now on her elbows for more support.

"I've been training like this for a long time, so I'm used to it. Will you teach me how to do it too?

"Walk on hands? It's simple! Just stand on your hands and go."

"Wow, with such an explanation, anything seems simple and not at all difficult. Just took and did it."

"Well, yes. Just try it, that's all."

"Hmm, okay."

Heeding her advice, I bent over and tried to stand on my hands, but I applied too much force when pushing off the ground with my feet and ended up crashing onto my back.

"Pff-ha-ha-ha!" Ty Lee burst into laughter.

"That's what happens when you try something for the first time in front of someone. End up being laughed at, the lot of them."

"Oh, come on, watch and learn how to do it right!" Ty Lee said, falling to the ground from laughter and curling up into a ball, continuing to laugh until she finally stopped.

At first, there were demonstrations and explanations of how to walk on hands, then I started training with her, and on the very first training session, I realized I got much more tired than on my own. That's when training with her became a regular thing.

The circus didn't stay in one place, hence it being a traveling circus. It moved, and I moved with it. After I got to know the circus owner and demonstrated my skills, including firebending, he happily accepted me among the performers. Initially, I performed as a simple fire creator, showing tricks with fire combined with acrobatics. Then, after the owner noticed our training session with Ty Lee and, upon his request, we demonstrated our full training session, he suggested we perform as a duo.

Ty Lee agreed immediately, and I did too, after a while. In any case, the circus now doesn't hinder my development; on the contrary, it only helps. So why not?

I constantly gathered information from some circus visitors about what was happening in the world and learned interesting news. The Fire Nation attempted to capture the Northern Water Tribe, but their entire fleet was destroyed after the Avatar's intervention...

These news are important because they show how weak I am. Before, I only understood that Aang was stronger than me. But I didn't even know the approximate levels of his strength. I just couldn't compare his power to anything. In the Spirit World, I also encountered many beings, even those not wielding elemental bending but something completely different, yet much stronger than me. And now, I can at least gauge the Avatar's strength. A fleet. When I can destroy an entire battle fleet, then I can hope for a comparison of our strengths. Until then, he remains stronger than me in brute force. I take this into account, so I try to gain advantages in other ways. If not strength, then diversity and mastery!

Also, from the very first day I could move more or less normally, I started taking necessary actions to conceal myself. Aang is very mobile and could easily show up at the circus. Knowing him and his companions' character, the likelihood of their appearance at the circus, should they be nearby, is very high!

And so, every evening, before sitting down to meditate, I slightly change my facial muscles. I add a bit here, reduce a bit there, lighten my skin tone a little... in short, I change my appearance bit by bit every day. This pace is due to several reasons. Firstly, if the changes are not big but very minor, they set in very quickly, in just three to four hours, and don't require further maintenance. Secondly, too rapid a change in appearance would be very noticeable to those I work with in the circus.

Especially for Ty Lee, whom I see every day. However, gradual changes smooth out the effect, and no one notices, even though my appearance has drastically changed in just a month, and a completely different person now looks back at me in the mirror. However, no one notices this because the process was slow.

In general, I learned a long time ago to make such minor changes through controlling bodily processes, but there was never a need for it before. Now, I've found a use. Unfortunately, this won't achieve much. Only changes to facial muscles, skin color, and so on. Minor changes, nothing more, but even that is very significant!

And then, a few days before the performance, a special guest paid a visit to our circus...

Enjoy reading, and don't forget: for every 200 Power Stones you donate, I'll post an additional chapter.