".....Is he.....are you sure?"
"....breathing.....look fire nation."
Quick little snippets of conversation filled Jak Yanda's ears as he slowly gained consciousness, the dark world around him slowly coming into light as he opened his eyes. The voices surrounding him became more pronounced every second that passed by up until the point where he could make out each and every person by the mere sound of their breathing and the slight shift of their weight against the snow-ridden ground. Pitch black hues opened up, greeting the surroundings with emotionless depths as the young man with dark hair, tinged with scarlet tips, tensed up.
"We can't just leave him here," the young man heard one of the men mutter, a deep voice filled with concern. "He'll freeze to death."
"True, but we could also be putting the village in serious risk," another rebuttaled, bringing up something Jak could only identity as polite logic with hostile undertones. "If he's a spy for the Fire Nation then we may as well sign away all of our water benders today."
The prostrated youth kept on listening, his body automatically prepped for attack should the need arise. He couldn't recall a single thing about his past nor where he was, his memories locked away with him unable to touch them, but it appeared as if he could recall enough to put up an attack and defense should it require.
With that realization, Jak decided to get off the floor, unwilling to die laying down when he had only just regained consciousness. His head hurt and was ever so murky, but his mind seemed more then capable of running diagnostics about multiple concepts at once without trouble. There wasn't any fear despite the lack of knowledge nor was there any apprehension residing within, it was as if all remnants of emotion had been sapped, leaving only logic and deductive reasoning. Due to this lack of feeling, his judgment remained unclouded as he pushed himself off of the cold ground and onto his black and cyan sneakers.
The grown men that had been discussing vigorously with one another not a moment ago took notice of Jak and the majority quickly took up stances, holding out their spears in a defensive formation. However, the youth didnt fret over them as he found it unlikely they would attack and, should such a situation present itself, he could always kill the warriors to protect himself.
Instead of merely tunneling his full attention on the group of fully grown men, Jak scanned his surroundings, giving the area a smooth once over.
(("A region with ice and snow a plenty. Not very much to look at nor many places to hide and attack from. Ambush chances are minuscule to nonexistent.")) Jak flicked his hues back towards the group, eyes taking them in, noting their slightest movements and positions. (("They seem like warriors but they wouldn't be much against a well trained group of soldiers. Well fed and strong as oxes but definitely more skilled as hunters then fighters."))
The surroundings, the men, their stances, the way they stood and their expressions; Jak saw it all without overlooking a single detail. He analyzed and pieced together as much as he could with the information obtained from staring, seeking to understand what was happening.
(("So....these guys are natives of this region, having previously argued about a village of sorts before they were aware that I was awake. Given that they were debating amongst themselves, it's useless to ask either who I am or how I got here.")) Jak dusted off the white powder that had collected on his hoodie as he thought over everything in split second intervals. (("Everything points to them being a group of villagers seeking to live in peace. Logically speaking, it would make sense for them to be on their toes as they have no idea who I am and could prove to be a threat. Of course, they should possess valuable knowledge about where I am. Itd be a good start on figuring everything out."))
"Hey, state your business," One of the men interjected, lowering his spear after a few seconds of silence. He seemed to pick up on the lack of hostility emanating from the stranger and chose instead to confront him directly, opting instead to resolve the situation peacefully. "Who are you and what are your intentions?"
(("That is indeed the question isnt it,")) Jak thought to himself as he readjusted the sheathe strapped to his back waist, a katana held deep within it. (("Just who am I?"))
"My name is Jak Yanda," The teenager responded after some internal back and forth pondering. "As for my intentions, even I am unaware of that. However, I do not wish to fight so please refrain from making any actions against me. I will have no hesitation on ending your lives should my own be threatened and that...is a guarantee."
The area became silent once again as the two sides stared at each other, the one who had looked for peace having backtracked into the pack. On one, a group of tense adults poised for a scrap and looking unmoved by what the boy had said, and on the other, a young man whose hand was inching ever so closer to the blade strapped to his hip. It looked as if a fight was close to breaking out and blood shed was close to inevitable. While it was obvious neither side desired a brawl, something seemed to be driving the villagers forward as the one in the front leaned forward to charge with his spear.
Jak paused in his tracks, his crimson blade halfway out of its encasement. He had been all set for a slaughter and resigned himself to killing them off, but a sudden deep voice that radiated authority caused him to hesitate. At the same time, it also seemed to affect the blue garbed villagers as they halted their movements, lowering their weapons as they turned around. The once strained situation quickly fell apart as an older gentleman walked forward from the back of the cluster, everyone making a path for him as he parked himself in the front.
"Are you all out of your minds?!" The man exclaimed as he turned around, addressing the men instead of Jak himself, which momentarily caught the youth off guard.
"Have we fallen so low that we threaten anyone we see? As Water Tribe warriors, are we proud of ganging up on some lone stranger, especially after he states he harbors no ill will?" The man looked disgusted as he shouted at the group, his deep voice carrying anger and disappointment. "I understand. You're angry and resentful of the Fire Nation, but taking it out on a total unknown child shouldn't be something condoned."
Jak wasn't able to follow the bit about the Fire Nation, but he easily got the gist of what the man was saying. He was insulted that his brethren would attack someone they just met especially after said stranger made his position known. From what he could tell, the older gentleman was a high ranking individual within their village, hence why they all stood down, taking the verbal beating rather then refuting anything that was said.
Jak slipped his blade back into its sheath, preferring not to kill until he had garnered enough info about the surrounding area.
The man continued to chastise his fellow warriors for a bit longer while Jak looked on, every now and then glancing back over his surroundings.
"I apologize for the way they behaved," the man said as he finished his stern scolding. He turned to face the black eyed youth with an apologetic look on his face, offering a bow as he continued to speak. "If you'll allow, let's start from the top. I'm Hagoda, the chief of the Southern Water Tribe. I welcome you to our home."
"Southern Water Tribe," Jak repeated to himself as he gave the man a once over.
The man was about six feet tall with a head of black hair, a few grey streaks gathered in some of the roots, and light brown eyes. Like everyone else, he bore a thick blue hooded coat lined and trimmed with white fur intended to keep the wearer warm and darker blue pants also trimmed with fur. The only difference that set the others clothing apart from the chief was the lack of design on Hagoda's outer wear, it being much plainer and simpler then everyone else's. Whether that was purposefully done or not, it was easy to set him apart should one not have the ability to differentiate faces or vocal tones.
"I'm Jak Yanda," The teen replied, his tone void of emotion as he tilted his head. "I appreciate you calling your men off. I dont think I could have spared them given the circumstances."
Hagoda's face seemed to flinch considerably at something Jak had said, something the youth noticed immediately but didnt comment on as the chief continued the conversation. "No need to worry. They'll be reprimanded for their actions. It's just, lately, we've been a bit on edge as of late due to various.....problems. Please pay it no mind."
Jak opened his mouth to respond, intending to simply let bygones be bygones so he could ask more questions about said Water Tribe. However, at that moment, it began snowing.
Black soot clinging to the pure white flakes as it rained down over them.