Burning Earth
Chapter information




Written by


  • AvatarRokusGhost
  • Lady Lostris
  • Minnichi
  • Wordbender
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Convergence, Part 2

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Energy Oasis

Previously in VortexEdit

A strange black hole in the sky has sucked up five individuals and deposited them in a strange place. Tensions runs high between Ursa, Kaddo, Yun, Yuhan and Ling as they realize their stories don't match up, and especially when Yun realizes that Yuhan is one of the hated Dai Li. Ursa wonders if they have even come from the same world, but before anyone can decide, Eris, a woman with terrible powers, attacks. Avatar Kin escapes on the back of his dragon and Eris gives chase, leaving the others stranded. Yuhan has found another vortex and they decide to plunge in, each hoping against hope that their world lies on the other side.

Burning EarthEdit

The light was blinding and the static overwhelming. The vortex that they had followed Eris through felt just like the first. The one that had sent them to her world in the first place.

A dozen sounds assaulted their eardrums, not the least of which was the clanging of metal and the whistle of arrows.

Arrows... Yun glanced up and—remembered where they were. Impossible! The Yu Yan's arrow barrage at the Battle of Pohuai Stronghold was now coming straight toward them, and Yun didn't have time to think, only to act.

The earth slab shot up, but Yun couldn't even register the sound of arrows thudding against the rock. His ears rang, his head felt like it had been split down the middle, and he could feel warm blood dripping down his nose.

This was not good.

This was unfamiliar territory; it was a war zone. And one of their own was already unconscious.

"Ugh..." Yun groaned as Yuhan formed an earthen shield around the group.

"He's not waking up!" Ursa glanced around frantically before her gaze rested on Kaddo. "You! You can heal him!"

The waterbender shot her a glare. "No way! I don't heal; that's women's work!"

"Shut up and heal!" The Dai Li agent held the earthen barrier as outside forces struck again and again.

Kaddo's eyes widened, both because he was insulted and because Yuhan had barely said anything at all when it wasn't necessary. "But—!"

"Do it!" Ling narrowed his eyes before glancing at Yuhan. It appeared that the earthbender was beginning to feel the strain as the enemy earthbenders outside the dome were attempting to get in, a lot of them. "He knew the arrows were coming! This is his world, and he is the only one who can get us through this alive!"

"He's...Yuhan's right..." Yun grudgingly admitted as he sat up against the earthen wall, blood still dripping from his nose. "This...this was a terrible battle; one that I'd hoped that I would never have to relive..."

Ursa cringed as the dome cracked. "So do we have a plan?!"

Yun nodded. "Yeah...we...uh...we need to get underground...before they break through. I can handle that while Yuhan holds them off..."

The agent grunted as more cracks appeared. "Make it quick."

"Yun, you just almost killed yourself! We need to—!"

"Ursa...we don't have time." He swallowed. "Here goes..." He pushed downward, palms open, creating a small hole. "Everyone in. Quickly."

Kaddo grinned and moved to jump down, but Ling's grip stopped him in his tracks. "Ladies first."

The Princess smiled before jumping into the hole. "Thanks, Kaddo!"

"Whatever..." The waterbender rolled his eyes as he followed.

"Come on, Yuhan!" Yun motioned for him to go next before wincing in pain. "I...can follow after you and...close it."

A terse nod encompassed his entire response as he too went into the hole. Meanwhile, more cracks appeared in the dome, causing Yun's heart to beat faster.

Gotta move! With that, he entered, and sealed up, their escape route.

Sand was a constant, and it was an annoyance. It rolled along with every gust of dry wind as the midday desert sun beat down. Every single thing about the desert seemed determined to toy with Eris as she looked out over the dunes, her golden eyes scanning for any sign of the one thing that would explain what was happening. She grimaced and plucked yellow-white grains out of her hair, sighing in frustration as the tiniest droplets of sweat began to form on her forehead.

The desert saw fit to attempt to destroy her manicured appearance, to make her less than perfect, and that alone made finding the elusive tower a priority. Though she assumed it was a stagnant structure, the shifting sands had a way of making Wan Shi Tong's library seem as though it could change location.

When the spirits are involved, it is not out of the question. A strand of hair moved into her field of vision, and her eyes narrowed as she pushed it back into place.

Scanning the dunes once more, she finally noticed the tall building in the distance, off to her left. She exhaled slowly; she would now get the answers she needed.

Still, the on-foot trek provided the desert with a few more opportunities to irritate Eris, and she found herself almost relieved when she reached the shade of the lofty tower. To her surprise, the massive double doors opened when she merely pushed on them.

You would think Wan Shi Tong would take better care to keep out intruders. She scowled. The bird could be anywhere, and not knowing did not sit well with her.

The rustling of feathers echoed throughout the massive, open atrium as Eris entered the main hall. She smirked.

"Do not think that you can ambush me. Our last encounter proved that to be a mistake."

Rustling turned to flapping as the spirit brought himself down from the upper levels, but even that was overshadowed by Wan Shi Tong's hoarse voice. "You are foolish to come back here, after what you've done."

"Who is the fool, Wan Shi Tong? Stay out of my way."

The owl spirit twisted its head almost completely sideways as he landed in front of her. "How desperate are you? I am He Who Knows Ten Thousand Things, and I have learned much since our last encounter, Sa—"

Eris raised her hand and clenched, eliciting a strangled cry from the spirit. He slowly collapsed to the floor as she lowered her arms.

"You obviously haven't learned enough, 'He Who Should Perhaps Look At Ten Thousand And One Things'. Spirits are composed of energy, just like any other living thing, or did you forget that? Never cross me again."

The energybender walked past his fallen form without a second glance. She had work to do.

Every member of this unlikely alliance was filled with fear; they were in an unfamiliar place—in a war zone. And the only one who knew anything about it was still shaken. Yun Zhen leaned against the wall and glanced at the ragtag group.

"You need to follow my instructions exactly...or we won't make it out of this..."

"Wait..." Yuhan took a step toward Yun. "Why should we listen to you?"

The Captain's golden eyes narrowed as he caught his breath. "Weren't you paying attention? This is my world, and I've seen all of this before."

"But there were Earth Kingdom soldiers fighting for their lives against the Fire Nation! We can't just—!"

"I hate to burst your Dai Li bubble, but it was the other way around, genius!" Yun got to his feet, the tattered remains of his red cloak falling behind him. "We have to move to the outskirts of the battle. I'm not sure what's going on, but I don't want to find out what happens when my past self meets my future self."

The Dai Li agent frowned. "What are you talking about? We can't let the Fire Nation win this war!"

Rage burned in Yun's eyes as he got in Yuhan's face. "Whatever happened to 'there is no war', huh? I don't understand you agents, taking everything from the people of Ba Sing Se under some misguided sense of loyalty to a man who couldn't care less about anything but his own power!"

"Enough..." The dark circles under the agent's eyes became more pronounced as he lowered his head. "What gives you the right to speak about Long Feng that way?"

Ling and Ursa shared a look. "Uh, guys..."

"Ling, Kaddo, Ursa..." Yun Zhen turned to the three observers. "You have no idea what they do..." He glared at the other man. "Tell them what it is you do in the Dai Li, and don't give them any gemsbok bull crap."

Yuhan looked tired, ragged. "I am a Peace Orator, dedicated to preserving the sanctity of Ba Sing Se, and I am going to...continue to do so."

"Yuhan..." Ursa took a step toward him. "What is it you do...really?"

"I...I ensure that dissidents are...reeducated."

A sound unidentifiable to the ear came from the direction of the Fire Nation captain, but the eye revealed it to be Yun unsheathing his earthen blade. He was trembling. "'re one of"

"You mean he...brainwashes people?" Ursa winced.

"Yeah...that's what they do. The Dai Li even tried to do that to the love of my life." He held the blade out toward Yuhan. "And I fought to the bitter end to get her back."

The agent sagged, as if weighed down by the revelation. "It was...probably necessary..."

"How dare you!" Yun lunged at his once erstwhile ally, swinging wildly. Yuhan dodged each strike as they came, with little effort. In order to stop the attack completely, he pressed his gloved hand against the wall and sent a horizontal pillar to halt Yun's advance, but the young earthbender flipped over it, sideways, and thrust out with his sword even before landing.

As the weapon drove toward his face, Yuhan twisted to the side and redirected the strike even further away by catching it in his rock glove and allowing it to slide along. However, he underestimated Yun's rage-enhanced strength and soon found that his opponent was pushing him against the tunnel wall. As the sword moved closer, he pressed his other hand against it.

Yun, now having his opponent pinned against the wall, spoke once more. "She did nothing...Long Feng sought to use her and myself to get to Zuko. Luckily, when he was going to have her kill me...she snapped out of it, and I decided to finish it."

Yuhan's eyes widened. "—?"

"I beat the Grand Secretariat within an inch of his life, but I still couldn't kill him." He gritted his teeth. "And he went on to kill Chief Arnook and Tyro, Haru's father."

"Long Feng is a man of great vis—!"

"Don't. Even. Start! He only uses people for his own gain. You wouldn't understand what he did, brainwashing the girl I love and turning her against me. You wouldn't know what it's like to watch that happen!" Yuhan cringed as if he'd been slapped, but only for a moment.

"Yun..." Ursa reached for his shoulder. "Whatever Yuhan has done...we need to work together to get out of this."

The tunnel shook as the battle raged above them, and Yun finally came back to focus. He lifted the pressure from the Dai Li agent. "You're right, Ursa...this is about all of us. But you will have to follow my lead...all of you."

Everyone nodded, and Kaddo and Ling just stared on in speechless silence. Yuhan brushed himself off. "Very well, Yun Zhen, you have seniority here."

The hole opened up just large enough for the five allies to climb out. Yun glanced around, though he already knew that they were far away from the fighting, at least, far enough. He glanced back at them, ready to begin outlining his plan, when he saw Yuhan's gaze resting on a point behind him. The captain whirled around and saw Haru standing over Long Feng, boulder poised to end his life, and he saw his younger self trying to convince Haru not to do something he'd regret.

"Grand Secretariat—?" The Dai Li agent took a step forward, but Yun held out a hand to stop him.

"If you try to help him, Haru, Mai, or my past self will kill you...or seriously injure you. Trust me; this was a bad day for Dai Li agents." Yuhan narrowed his eyes slightly, but did as he was told and stepped back.

"Mai?" Ursa cocked her head. "My mom's down there?"

Yun smiled sadly. "Probably not your mom, exactly..."

She still looked over his shoulder and saw the knife-thrower doing what she did best.

Kaddo scanned what he could see of the battlefield. "Where's my da—er...the Avatar?"

Appa's distinctive roar drew everyone's attention, and Yun remembered what happened next. "I hate to break up these almost-reunions, but we need to regroup and come up with a plan."

Yuhan nodded tersely while Ling turned to their guide. "What now?"

"Hold on...Kaddo! Ursa! We have work to do!" Both heads turned from watching their "parents" as Yun motioned them over. "We have to find the vortex and use it to take us home."

Ling furrowed his brow. "Vortex? Like the one we followed Eris through?"

"Yes. I assume that, like me, you can all feel the energy that's out of place here. That's where we need to go to set this right."

"So..." Ursa looked out toward the strait. "It's out there somewhere. Well, it seems close; that's good."

Yun's heart sank. "Except for one tiny problem...the energy seems to be coming from that ship out on Pohuai Strait..."

Kaddo raised his eyebrows. "So what? You said the Fire Nation were the good guys; we shouldn't have a problem."

"That isn't a Fire Nation ship. That is Yuan Chong's flagship..."

"Wait..." Yuhan frowned. "You mean the 51st Earth King, don't you?"

"Yes...and he is...insanely powerful. Zuko barely killed him...and if his general, Ri Wu, is there, well...we'll have no way of reaching the portal. It seems like it's on the main deck."

"Well...our destiny lies before us, so we have to face it regardless." Ursa smiled. "Between the five of us, we shouldn't have a problem."

"Another of Iroh's proverbs..." Yun smiled warmly. "At least he seems consistent across universes. Alright, let's go."

Eris forced herself to maintain a calm veneer in the face of further setbacks. Scrolls littered the table, ranging from basic energybending to the existence of other dimensions, but none of them could explain what had occurred.

"Why did those...children...appear? What went wrong...what am I missing?"

She was a master of an unknown art, a threat to spirits, yet the knowledge to control what she had unleashed still eluded her grasp. Those children should never have crossed over, but they had. Even worse, they had dared to try and oppose her.

I must master every facet of these 'vortexes'; I will not fail. The vortexes were her way of truly controlling the energies of multiple worlds, but that control had proven difficult.

If they could bring unknowns into her once perfect plan, she was not truly their master. So she continued, pouring over each scroll, soaking up every piece of useful information.

Minutes turned into hours, and Eris's patience wore thin. She furrowed her brow and nearly tore the scroll she had been reading in two. Despite her frustration, when she recovered only her eyes showed any trace of the rage that had been there moments before.

A calm mind must prevail if I am ever to find what I am searching for. Still, doubts remained. What if they were truly uncontrollable?

It appeared that fate favored the unlikely group, as they noticed that the 51st Earth King had dispatched landing craft in order to push the attack forward, and some of those craft were still present, as were the pilots who would know how to operate them.

Despite the size of the group, they managed to sneak up, relatively unnoticed, to the closest boat. Yun Zhen whipped out his earthen sword and pointed it in the pilot's face. "We need you to get us to Yuan Chong's flagship, now!"

The man trembled when he realized no help would come for him fast enough. "B-but...they'll...they'll..."

"Trust me," the captain's gaze darkened. "We're your priority at the moment, not them. Take us there now, or there will be consequences."

Ursa glanced back and forth. "Yun..."

"Not now, Ursa." He glared at the boatman. "Now get us moving!"

A shaky nod was the man's only response, and soon the vessel rumbled to life. Yun looked to the Fire Nation princess. "What did you need?"

"Your threats...they sounded serious." She looked him straight in the eyes. "Did you mean it?"

The waves moved under the boat as the three others—Ling, Yuhan, and Kaddo—watched the exchange.

"Mean what?"

"The threats." She sighed. " just seems like you're always angry, distrustful."

Yun was glad that their driver was too focused on his task to hear their conversation. "No...I didn't mean it...he's just a guy. I've just been through a lot, and I thought...nevermind."

She pressed. "Thought what?"

He narrowed his eyes; they were close to the vortex now...and Yuan Chong. "We have work to do, everyone. Prepare yourselves."

"What exactly are you scared of?" Kaddo smirked. "I bet these earthbenders won't even know what hit 'em!"

"You don't know Yuan Chong; we go straight for the vortex. No side trips."

Yuhan closed his eyes for a moment. "So...if this weird feeling in my chest in any indication, our objective is on the main deck."

"Yes." The vessel thumped against the flagship and was soon dragged up by several hooks. Yun turned to the boatman and sheathed his sword. "I'm going to honor our agreement, but I can't have you sounding any alarms."

With that, he lashed out with quick flurry of light punches across the man's body, rendering him paralyzed. The main exit to the transport opened up, revealing that they had been brought up on the far side of the main deck. The vortex was all the way on the other side, it's swirling bright light visible to all as its destructive arcs cut across the metal deck.

Ling cocked his head as they all leaned out. "Interesting..." Yuan Chong's men looked like they were attempting to get close to the anomaly, but every time they reached a certain distance, it lashed out, throwing them back.

Yun's heart beat in his chest. "'s how it goes: Kaddo and Ursa, break for the portal. Ling, Yuhan, and I can fight off the earthbenders most effectively, so we'll bring up the rear. We need to move fast. Now!"

They ran, and Yuhan and the captain were especially aware. However, to Yun's horror, Yuan Chong stepped in front of the vortex, dripping wet from just having climbed his own ship.

"What is this? Why are there children on my vessel?" He glared at Yuhan. "You! Why are you not on the battlefield with the others?" The 51st Earth King narrowed his eyes. "You know what? It matters little."

They soon found themselves surrounded.

"Is this..." He motioned to the vortex. "...thing your doing?"

"No..." Yun stepped forward. "King Yuan Chong, we are only trying to get to our own worlds. Please, allow us to—"

"Is this a Spirit World intervention? Because, if so, I have spirit allies of my own. I will not be challenged by you!"

"No, we're not—!"

The king set his eyes on Ursa, her golden eyes and attire revealing her homeland. "Fire Nation...? If you have allied yourself with this scum, we have nothing more to discuss." The Earth King turned to his soldiers. "End it."

Yun whirled as Yuan Chong's soldiers charged at them. "Ursa, Kaddo, make for the vortex! Yuhan, Ling, and I can hold the earthbenders back while you figure out where it leads!"

The first wave, about ten men, moved against them. Ling glanced around.

"There really isn't that much earth on this metal ship is there?"

Yuhan lifted one of the rocks that was to be used for the catapults while Yun Zhen pulled his sword from its sheath. "Make do!"

Yun cut down two soldiers as they lunged forward, attempting to impale him on their own weapons, and the Dai Li agent planted his forward foot and punched out with his right hand, launching the boulder and causing it to crush two more of the attackers. Three more of them fell when Ling launched metal spikes from the ship's deck into their chests.

Yuhan and Yun glanced at each other before shooting Ling perplexed looks.

"What? I made do with what I had."

Three more men remained for the moment, and one of them wielded dual war hammers. Yuhan thrust both of his arms forward as they charged, and the chains that flew from his sleeves gripped the men on either side. When he pulled, both crashed together and crumpled, but the loss of those men did nothing to halt the advance of the man with the hammers. So Yun brandished his blade and stepped forward.

"Ling, you go and make sure Ursa and Kaddo are alright."

" are more than just kids." The man sneered. "Good. I needed a challenge!"

Ursa and Kaddo had found a challenge of their own, as a few of Yuan Chong's earthbenders now blocked their path to the vortex. Five of them faced a waterbender and a firebender now, and Kaddo stepped in front of the princess.

"Stand back, Ursa, let me handle these guys!"

She raised an eyebrow. "I'm not exactly helpless, you know."

"Well...sure...but..." Her eyes widened and she pulled Kaddo out the way of a rock aimed for his head.

As he spun away when she let go, Ursa's mind went to the knives in her sleeves, but she nixed that idea in its inception. I might need those later.

The firebender ran forward, and flames began to trail behind her. "I'm glad I paid some attention in Ryo Da's training sessions." Her breath became regulated even as she ran, and the firebender quickly reached the first of the five.

The man lifted a small rock from the bin nearest him, but Ursa jumped into the air and kicked it aside. As she landed, the girl punched the ground, releasing the pent-up flame in her right fist in a wave that knocked her opponent, as well as two of his friends, off of their feet.

The other two rushed toward her, forgoing earthbending in favor of their swords. Ursa allowed flames to grow in both hands, but the whistling of icicles past her head stopped her and, rather helpfully, her attackers as they found themselves pinned to the metal siding of the vessel.

She whirled. "Hey! Watch out, Kaddo! You could've killed me!"

"What? No 'thank you', Princess?" He smirked. "I'm finally starting to have some fun!"

The three she had knocked down were hardly out; they stood once more. Kaddo pulled the remaining water from the skin at his side wrapped a water whip around each arm. Ursa rolled her eyes and exhaled.

"Breath is the crux of firebending." Iroh's words echoed in her mind, and they had often been repeated by her tutor. "Bend not in anger, but in peace."

Her golden eyes narrowed as she slid her primary foot forward and readied herself, body and mind. Kaddo walked up next to her as their mutual foes charged.

His grin was almost feral. "Try to keep up."

She allowed herself a small smile, and they met their opponents. Ursa weaved around the rocks that were being sent her way while simultaneously keeping them off-balance with precise fire blasts at their feet. Kaddo made use of the tactic to move in on their right flank, finding the prospect of battle exhilarating. A small chunk of earth flew toward his face, but he deftly caught it with his water whip and flung it back at his adversary.

As the man fell to the deck, the waterbender glanced at Ursa. "Did you see that?!"

"Focus, Kaddo!" She ducked under a sword swipe and pressed her left hand against his armored midsection, putting only enough firepower behind her to send him reeling against the metal wall.

Only one man remained between them and the vortex, and he shook. Kaddo laughed.

"Yeah, you should be scared!"

A sudden flux of energy hit the man in the back and sent him sailing over their heads to the deck below. Ursa glanced at Kaddo and shrugged.

"Well, that was easy."

Ursa and Kaddo stared at the whirling, pulsing vortex as it continued to violently expand and contract. " we just walk through it like last time?" Kaddo scratched his head.

The Fire Nation princess pursed her lips. " saw what this thing is doing to Yun's world. It's going to cause more harm than good if we let it just keep going." She cringed as she heard the cries of the earthbendes behind them. "But whatever we do, we need to do it fast! Yun and the others can't hold them back forever."

"Yeah...okay." He went to touch it.

"Wait! What are you doing?! We don't know—!"

The waterbender pressed his hand against the curiosity, and it thrummed and bucked. "Whoa..." Kaddo's eyes widened. "Are you seeing this, Ursa!?"

Her own eyes were as dinner plates, and she pressed her own hand to the vortex, finding that it reacted even more strongly when both of their hands were pressed against it.

"I think we're doing it!" She turned to let Yun know of their progress, only to find Ling running up to them and the other two in combat.

"What've we got?"

The hammer-wielder swung wildly, causing both earthbenders to jump back and reassess their tactics. Yuhan grimaced.

"I can stop him for a moment with my chains...can you chi-block him?"

Yun nodded.

The Dai Li agent whipped his arms forward, catching the Earth Kingdom soldier in a trap that momentarily halted his assault, and a moment was all Yun Zhen needed. Several strikes later and the man was completely immobilized.

"Enough! Now I shall end this!" Yuan Chong stepped forward. "It appears that these are no mere children, and I will handle them personally."

The Fire Nation captain exhaled. "Wonderful..."

In a surprise maneuver, Yuan Chong ripped up a chunk of the deck and flung it toward the two young combatants, who dove in opposite directions to avoid it. Yuhan, upon righting himself, allowed the small rocks that made up his gloves to let loose and fly towards his opponent, but the Earth King simply lifted his earthen gauntlets to intercept and absorb them.

Yun charged forward in his moment of distraction and thrust his blade forward in an attempt to drive his opponent back. However, the significantly larger man caught the sword in his gauntlet and threw a knee into Yun's midsection; he followed by twisting the young man's arm and causing the sword to fly from his grip. A final crushing blow to Yun's cheek sent him flying backward even as Yuhan lunged forward, lashing out with his chains.

Both found their mark, snapping around Yuan Chong's wrists, but that was almost the worst thing anyone could've done. The Earth King pulled back, dragging Yuhan toward him and catching the agent with a push kick to the chest even as he flew toward the man. Yun slowly stood, his vision dimming in and out.

"Yun!" Ursa gestured wildly toward Yuhan, and the captain got the message. Despite the gauze in his head, he rushed toward the massive earthbender again.

Yuhan's chest was on fire, and he was sure that the king's kick had cracked a few ribs. As he slid backward, he disconnected his chains so that the same thing would not happen again. However, he wasn't out of the woods yet.

Yuan Chong rushed forward swinging precisely, and it took all of the agent's strength to keep just out of reach.

"I don't understand your mindless devotion to that simpering fool!" The 51st Earth King kept driving Yuhan closer to the vortex inadvertently. "Long Feng is useless; he couldn't even keep the Fire Nation out of my city!"

Yuhan's focus turned partially to the words he was saying, and that was exactly what the king wanted, a distracted fighter.

A knee to his already cracked ribs would've been enough, but Yuan Chong decided to continue with a backhand that sent him spiraling to the right.

"All you Dai Li know how to do is capture helpless rebels who can't match your prowess; your skill, which was legendary in my day, has atrophied."

"Then maybe I'll make a more interesting opponent!" Yun jumped forward, raising his blade to strike at his opponent's unprotected left flank, but the Earth King brought up his right gauntlet. Both earthen constructs clashed, and the larger man ripped Yun's blade from his hands and sent it flying off toward Yuhan and the vortex.

"And you..." He launched his own gauntlet in the form of a fist, and it struck true, spinning Yun around. "You are an earthbender, yet you wear the garb of the Fire Nation military. Traitor..."

Yun cried out in rage and charged Yuan Chong, meeting with a clothesline maneuver that dropped him to the deck. Then, to add insult to injury, he felt himself being pulled up when the king grabbed a clump of his black hair.


"Now you will die."

Before Yuan Chong could do anything more, Yun faintly heard the whistle of his own blade through the air. The king's grip loosened as the sword grazed his cheek, and Yun caught it by the hilt before it could fly past. A stunned look passed over the Earth King's face before Yun Zhen took the opportunity to crush his nose with the hilt.

He fell to the ground as his foe released him. "Yun!" Yuhan gripped the captain and pulled him toward the vortex. "We have to do this!"

The young earthbender looked at the Dai Li agent and smirked. "Thanks for getting me my sword back."

"Not a problem; we need to get out of here."

They got within five feet of it, and when Yuan Chong and his men tried to follow, they were thrown back by the oddity.

Ling looked at both of them. "You two look terrible."

"Thanks..." Yuhan rolled his eyes. "Now, what do we do?"

Ling turned to Kaddo and Ursa. "Tell them your theory."

"Well, we think that—"

Ursa was cut off by an enthusiastic Kaddo. "We think that if we all put our energy into this thing at once, it'll collapse!"

Yun narrowed his eyes. "Why would we want that? I thought we were just going to go through them?"

The princess shook her head. "Kaddo and I think that the vortexes, if left unchecked, would severely damage your world. Or any other, for that matter."

"We don't have time for any doubts," Yun said, "Let's do it!"

They all pressed their hands against the swirling mass, and a bright light enveloped them as it expanded.