Korra had changed into her air nomad clothing once more and drove the speedboat to the island just in time before the boat arrived. The birds chirped her to hurry up before her father realized she was fifteen minutes late. "I know, I know, I'm moving, I'm moving!" she was stopped when the white bird chirped in front of her. "What?" the bird used her tail to wipe away the remaining oil from her cheek. "Thanks, Rarity." she said before making a mad dash to the temple while the birds followed close behind. They tried to get a better view while standing at the window and Korra rushed inside, greeting her family in the dinning hall.
"I'm here!" she exclaimed, only to received concerned looks from the rest of her family, and a stern one from her father. "I know, I'm late, I'm sorry."
"Korra, I told you to be home by four. It's ten minutes to four thirty, your grandmother, uncle and aunt are about to arrive any minute."
"I'm sorry, there was terrible traffic and Asami insisted on driving me to the docks and---"
"It doesn't matter now." Pema intervened, "At least she made it. Now, sweetie why don't you go wash your face in the kitchen." Korra complied and Pema scorned at her husband, "Honestly, Tenzin."
"What? I expect my children to be punctual. Jinora, Ikki and Meelo got here in time."
"We live here, dad." Jinora stated matter-of-fact-lively.
Korra washed her face and noticed her dragon bird friends were at the window, "I know. Close call." she said to them.
Applejack then began to chirp excitedly, using her tail to point towards the ocean. Korra looked out the window and a smile appeared on her face. The ship of the south pole had just arrived and Korra was excited to see her grandmother, aunt and uncle.
Tenzin and his family made it outside as the ship's sailors let down the catwalk for the elderly woman and two more people to step out. The man from before was in his mid thirties, white skinned with a tint of tan, dark messy hair and beard with gray eyes. The second person was a stunningly beautiful young woman who was actually younger than the other man, but her hair was already grey, styled into a long high ponytail with long bangs styled to the side of her face. Her eyes were a dark icy blue and wore blue clothing with white lining.
Tenzin hugged the elderly woman, "Hello, mother. I'm so happy to see you."
The three children rushed on over to hug their grandmother. "It's so good to see all of you." said the woman.
"We missed you, Gran Gran." said Jinora. "And you too, Aunt Kya!" she hugged her aunt, and the woman hugged her in return.
"I missed you too. Your father doesn't bring you to visit nearly enough." she smiled at her brother and playfully punched his shoulder, "Probably scared I'll beat him up like when we were kids."
"I'm not scared of you!" Tenzin exclaimed, right before rubbing his shoulder, "Anymore."
Meelo jumped up and the man caught him in his arms. "Uncle Bumi!"
"Hey, squirt! How's my little soldier doing?"
"Great! I commanded a whole lemur army!"
"No kidding! That's my boy."
Kya rolled her eyes at her older brother's playful antics, "So, where's the birthday girl?"
"Here she comes now." Pema said with a smile as their eldest daughter ran up to greet her family. She hugged the elderly woman first.
"Korra, it's wonderful to see you again." she took hold of the young lady's shoulders and studied her. "Look at you. My strong, beautiful girl." she caressed her face with her free hand.
"It's really good to see you too." her eyes turned to her aunt, "Aunt Kya!" the two tan skinned woman hugged one another tightly.
"There's my tough little warrior princess." she then took a good feel of her arms, "And I do mean 'tough'. Somebody's been hitting it hard at the gym, hu?"
"Like you always say; No pain--"
"--No gain!" they both said in unison and high five'd.
Bumi approached next and hugged his niece, lifting her a few feet off the ground for a brief second. "Aren't you a sight for sore eyes! I sure missed ya."
"I missed you too, Uncle Bumi." then, the sound of chirping got everyone's attention when Korra's seven dragon birds appeared near her feet. "You all remember the girls, right?"
Rainbow Dash and Applejack blew up and landed on Bumi's shoulders, "How can I forget?" he cooed as he tickled under Applejack's chin, "Who's a little cutie dragon bird? You are. Yes you are!"
"Mother, I'm sure you must be tired after the trip." said Tenzin to his mother, who only swatted his hand away.
"My boy, I may be old but I'm not that old."
While Pema led Katara towards the temple, Korra, Kya and Bumi snickered at how the old woman managed to get the best of her youngest son. The three only stopped when Tenzin glared at them. He sighed, "This is going to be a long visit.
"And that is what happened to Lord Zuko's mother."
The three children and older adopted sibling stared at their grandmother in awe, "Wow…."
"That's some story!" Ikki said, still fascinated.
"But enough about that, I want to hear how you've been doing Korra."
The eldest child bit her bottom lip nervously. She knew she couldn't reveal everything that has happened. Her father couldn't know about her job or the pro-bending match tonight. She needed to say the truth, just not the whole truth.
"Nothing much really. Just, typical stuff."
"How is that friend of yours? Asami?"
"She's great, working hard at the garage."
"Meet any nice boys recently."
Korra's cheeks flushed with red, "Gran Gran!"
"What? It's only a simple question."
"She hasn't gotten involved with anyone." Tenzin replied for his daughter, much to her annoyance. However, she did have the pleasure of meeting Prince Wu of the Earth Kingdom."
"What? He's a nice young man."
Korra rolled her eyes and grunted in annoyance. "He's just a friend. Actually, not so much as a friend, more of an acquaintance. Actually, he's more the annoying neighbor who, when around, you make up and excuse or pretend your not home."
"Korra, mind your manners." her father said, and Korra only scoffed.
Kya stood up from the table and clapped her hands together once, "Well, to change the subject, I have got the perfect outfit for my niece to wear tomorrow." Kya reached into her bag and gave Korra a white box. Once she opened it her eyes widened as she took the dress out. It was in a water tribe design with long sleeves that were open around the shoulders and the skirt was long but open at the front, so she could swear slim dark bleu pants underneath.
"Aunt Kya, it's perfect! Thank you!"
But Tenzin was not amused, "Oh, no, no, no, no! No daughter of mine is wearing that in public!"
"Oh, come on little brother, she's seventeen! She's old enough wear whatever she wants."
Korra held the dress close to her chest, "Well, I love it. Thanks." she hugged her aunt who kissed her on the crown of her head.
Tenzin crossed his arms and huffed in annoyance. Bumi then raised his hand enthusiastically. "Me next!" he took from his bag something that appeared to be very long and wrapped in brown paper, tied with a red ribbon. "For you, my dear. Happy Birthday!"
Korra gently removed the ribbon and the paper. She gasped happily while Tenzin's eyes widened in horror. "Wow! An actual sword! Cool!"
"Not cool!" Tenzin stood up in fury, "Bumi how dare you bring a weapon into my home?!"
"Relax, it belonged to Uncle Sokka." he said before addressing to his niece, their reflections could be seen in the cold hard blade. "It was made from a special meteorite that fell from the sky. Your great uncle used it to fight in the hundred year war. It's been gathering dusk for a while and I thought you would like to have it. As a reminder of your epic family."
Korra was literally speechless. This gift was amazing and wonderful. "Thank you Uncle Bumi! I love it!" she hugged her uncle tightly to thank him for the gift.
Tenzin realized he had been beaten. The gifts his brother and sister gave her were both wonderful, and exactly what she would have wanted. But, he was certain that his next gift to her would be the best one. Mainly because it was the best one to secure his daughter's safe future.
"So long as you keep it in your room."
Korra groaned, "Dad, it's just a sword."
"A young lady shouldn't have weapons, in my opinion."
"What about Aunt Suki?" Jinora asked, "She had weapons. I read her fans were so sharp they could slide a man's arm in half!"
"That's it! No more of Uncle Bumi's war tales!"
"Oh, don't be such a kill-joy, little brother!" said Bumi, "Lady or not, learning to defend yourself is essential."
"Not for my daughters."
Even Kya had to scoff, "Leave it to Tenzin to try and take control of things."
"I don't try to take control of things."
While the elder siblings bickered, Korra began to suddenly felt a ringing in her ears. She cringed as her eardrums buzzed with a strange noise that made it feel like nails were piercing her head. Followed by a strange voice. The voice of a woman who, strangely enough, sounded kind of….familiar.
The ringing continued and the young woman could barely hear what her family was saying as the voice in her head grew louder.
"Korra….it's time, Korra….it's time…."
She grunted as she rubbed her temples to try and ease the pain and ignore the nagging voice in her head. She felt her grandmother's hand on her shoulder. She noticed her lips move but couldn't make out the words.
"I said; are you okay?"
The ringing finally stopped and Korra could hear clearly again. This was the second strangest thing to have happened to her today. Everyone was looking at her with concern. She didn't want anyone to worry so she stood up from where she sat.
"I'm fine. I think I…I think I need some air." she walked out the door, while her family watched in confusion. They didn't know why Korra was behaving so strangely all of a sudden.
But her grandmother Katara had a hunch on what it could be.
Korra's legs dangled on the edge of a cliffside, where she had a perfect view of the city. This was her favorite spot in the whole island, a place where she could be apart from anything else and just think. Her dragon birds rested beside her. Rarity nuzzled her head against her hip while Korra stroked her mane.
"I knew I'd find you here."
Korra turned around to see her grandmother arrive and sit beside her in a lotus position. Both gazed out into the horizon, admiring the statue of Avatar Aang.
"They captured his face perfectly, I'll admit."
Korra chuckled, "I wish I could have met him. Even though he's not my biological grandpa, I can't help but feel a connection with him. Is that weird?"
"Not at all, my child. In fact, I have a very strong feeling you two would get along wonderfully."
Korra sighed and her expression fell.
"You seem troubled. What's wrong?"
"Do you ever get the feeling that you don't really belong? That, maybe you're not like anybody else? I've felt that way my entire life, yet I don't know why. I mean, I can't bend, I don't have any special talents other than drawing, I'm good with animals but that's nothing extraordinary, and---"
"Stop right there." Korra ceased her rambling when her grandmother spoke. "I think you're selling yourself a little too short, Korra. You are the most spectacular child I have ever laid my eyes upon. You're courage is rivaled by that of a polar-bear dog. Your loyalty is as firm as a mountain, and you have more kindness in your little finger than most people posses in their whole body."
"Of course you would say all of that. You're my grandmother, it's your job."
"That may be true, but I truly believe you are destined for great things."
"But, how can I know for sure? How will I know which the right path for me?"
Katara smiled with a chuckle, "You know, your aunt asked me the same question when she was your age."
"She did? What did you tell her?"
"I told her, to listen. You see the earth, the sky, the water, the plants, the creatures, you and me. We are all alive. Everything was created by a single energy called Light. It's that same light that lies within all of us. It is what guides us, the seas, the skies, shows us what we must do and where we must go. But you need to be willing to listen. Some are too scared to do that because they want to choose their own paths, which can often lead to greed, anger and pride. But the voices are all around you. Some are good, some are bad. But, if you listen with your heart and open your mind, the right voices will guide you."
Korra always listened to her grandmother's words. She was so wise and insightful. She was the reason she was the way she is today. The young teenager decided to give it a try and see if she could at least try and communicate with whatever it was that was talking to her before.
Que que na-to-ra
You will understand
Listen with your heart
You will understand.
Korra felt the wind blow upon her cheeks as colorful levees from the trees behind them swirled around her and Katara. The dragon birds noticed this and Pinkie Pie started to surf on the levees like a surfboard on the ocean.
Let it break upon you
Like a wave upon the sand
"Korra…." the voice sounded again.
Listen with your heart
You will understand….
Korra opened her eyes, almost as if she felt a spark or something. "Wow. I think I actually felt something."
"You see? Listening changes things."
Korra hugged her grandmother who hugged her in return. She knew the child was well on her way to discovering the truth.