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Lek was an earthbending criminal of Si Wong Desert tribal origin, and one of Avatar Kyoshi's earthbending teachers. A long-time member of the Flying Opera Company, a daofei outlaw group operating in the Earth Kingdom, he was a talented bender in his own right, capable of hitting targets with small stones with pinpoint accuracy.

When the Flying Opera Company began to decline, Lek wound up as one of its few loyal members, and along with his remaining comrades came into contact with Avatar Kyoshi, daughter of their former bosses Jesa and Hark. Lek was a strict follower of the outlaw code and staunch defender of Jesa and Hark, who became his pseudo parents.

History

Early life

Lek grew up in the streets of Date Grove, a settlement near the Misty Palms Oasis. Orphaned at a young age, he considered his best friend, Chen, to be his only family. A self-proclaimed gang of two, the pair ruled over their meager territory, mimicking the older vagrants who would enter the settlement looking for work.

One day Chen got caught stealing some rotting lychee nuts. The normally tolerant townsfolk took umbrage to the theft and put Chen in a gibbet, a high-hanging cage that held prisoners on display until they succumbed to dehydration. Lek, hoping to save his friend from certain death, gathered every rock he could find and threw them as hard as he could at a weak point in the hinge of the cage, trying to bring it down. The villagers mocked Lek in his failed attempts of rescue.

A few days later, Lek was discovered by Jesa and Hark, passed out under the gibbet. Tragically, it appeared that Chen had died before they had arrived. Lek awoke on the back of the couple's flying bison, Longyan, as they flew away from the settlement. He could not use his arm for two weeks afterward as his shoulder and elbow were too swollen from his non-stop attempts to save his friend, but he eventually learned how to earthbend and swore an oath that he would never miss a target again. Under the care and guidance of Jesa and Hark, he learned the tricks of the trade in the criminal underworld and grew to idolize the couple.[1]

Jesa and Hark's death in 299 BG[2] heavily affected Lek, who greatly adored the two, and their group, especially after Jesa's flying bison's abandonment of the group. They reduced to a handful of members in a single village and ended up in debt to more unscrupulous figures in Chameleon Bay, and to protect themselves chose to be affiliated with the Autumn Bloom Society of Hujiang as their elders.

In 296 BG, while they were stationed in Madam Qiji's Teahouse, they got visited by Kyoshi and Rangi, who were on the run and looking for allies. Lek assumed the role of the leader and sat with them on a table. Soon after the two sides started talking and the group deciding to accept the duo among themselves Governor Deng's men busted the teahouse and a chase began. Lek used the dust stepping technique to get on higher ground and ran outside the town to Kyoshi's flying bison, Pengpeng, to get away. The group decided to go to the secluded daofei hub of Hujiang in the Taihua Mountains, and Kyoshi took the shortened version of their oath on the way.[2][3] Tensions quickly brewed between Kyoshi and Lek as he was angry at her loathing of Hark and Jesa, while she resented Lek for being raised by her parents in her place.[4]

When they arrived, Lek and the others were summoned and called in on a job by the Autumn Bloom, to whom the Flying Opera Company were indebted after they saved his life. The job was to free a prisoner from the house of an Earth Kingdom governor named Te Sihung. Mok, the leader of the Autumn Bloom, told the Flying Opera Company they would be free of their debt to his group once the job was complete.[4]

The next day, when a shirshu sent by Jianzhu, Kyoshi's pursuer, who was a known political figure in the Earth Kingdom, tracked them down, the group escaped and quickly deduced that she must be important, which she revealed herself as the Avatar in return.[5] After they tried to disconnect themselves from her, as they believed the Avatar should not associate with criminals like them, Kyoshi surprised them by deciding to stay with them. The members then took it upon themselves to train her to bend the four elements and Lek became her earthbending instructor with Wong.[6]

Later, Lek and the rest of the group successfully rescued the prisoner, apart from Kyoshi and Lao Ge who split up to assassinate Governor Te. They returned him to Mok and the Autumn Blooms, only to find out that the prisoner was Xu Ping An, the thought-dead leader of the Yellow Necks. The Autumn Blooms promptly revealed that they had been the remnants of the Yellow Necks the entire time, functioning under a false name to avoid detection. With their leader free, the group declared themselves restored.[1]

Lek and the rest of the group were shocked as Xu and his Yellow Neck rebels were infamous because of their fanaticism and the atrocities they had committed during their past rebellion. Though he and the other Flying Opera Company members were treated cordially by Xu, who appeared thankful for their help, the Avatar immediately recognized that Xu's friendly demeanor thinly veiled an underlying madness. Having absolved themselves of their debt to the Autumn Bloom Society, the group thus excused themselves and retreated from the Yellow Necks' camp. Afterward, however, discussions erupted about what to do next: On the one side, they did not want an insane mass murderer like Xu to go free, but at the same time they could not defeat him and the rest of his small army in an open battle. Eventually, Kyoshi decided that they should monitor the Yellow Necks before intervening. Just as they had feared, however, Xu immediately ordered his followers to resume their rampage, attacking a nearby civilian family. Fearing for the family's safety, Kyoshi decided on a whim to challenge Xu to a duel per the daofei code of conduct, to halt his reign of terror before it could truly begin anew.

Lek watched as Kyoshi dueled Xu, who turned out to be a firebender with lightning generation abilities. Xu struck Kyoshi with lightning at the start of their fight, incapacitating her in seconds and continued to fire several more blasts of lightning at her seemingly lifeless body while accusing her of ungratefulness. Lek watched in shock as Kyoshi, who he thought to be dead, entered the Avatar State and lifted Xu up in a tornado of air and fire with glowing eyes and let him fall to his death. He and the rest of the group, who were very anxious at this point, got greeted by Kyoshi afterward, assuring them that she was still the same before falling unconscious for three days.[7]

The group then took her to a nearby village where Kirima and an Earth Kingdom healer attended to her. Lek was in her room when Kyoshi eventually woke up, and the two talked about their pasts and Kyoshi's parents. He suggested that they had left her in Yokoya to spare her the dangers of the daofei lifestyle and had taken him in because he could be replaced far more easily than their own flesh and blood. Kyoshi told Lek that she was glad he was the one raised by her parents if it could not have been her. Having fully overcome their past differences, Lek addressed her as "sister" for the first time, which made her very happy. Thereafter, Lek, Kyoshi, and Rangi went to buy gloves for the wounded Avatar. Kyoshi got gifted a fine pair of military gloves by the leatherworker, who understood that she was the Avatar and saved them from the resurgence of Xu.[8]

As they went back to the healer's house, the group was ambushed and shot with shirshu-spit darts that rendered them paralyzed. Rangi was dragged away while Lek allergically reacted to the poison, slowly dying without Kyoshi being able to help, watching in horror. After regaining control, the devastated Avatar took Lek's corpse to the healer's house, informing Wong, Kirima, and Lao Ge of what had happened. He was buried there by his friends, who went on to avenge him and rescue Rangi.[9]

Physical description

Lek was described as youthful in appearance, with sandy short-cropped hair and long, wiry arms. He wore sleeves bound with thin straps of leather, boots, and headwraps in the style of the Si Wong tribes, which he wore loosely around his face and neck. He would sometimes wear the wraps behind his ears for a more dignified, indoor style.

Appearances

Kyoshi novels

Preceded by
Jianzhu
Avatar's earthbending master
296 BG
Succeeded by
Sud

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Five, "The Raid". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Fourteen, "The Introduction". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  3. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Fifteen, "Escape". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Eighteen, "The Town". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  5. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Nineteen, "The Beast". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  6. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty, "The Avatar's Masters". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  7. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Six, "The Challenge". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  8. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Thirty, "Farewells". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  9. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Thirty-One, "The Return". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
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