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"The Beast" is the nineteenth chapter of The Rise of Kyoshi.

Overview[]

The Flying Opera Company is forced to flee Hujiang after a shirshu attack orchestrated by Jianzhu.

Synopsis[]

Kyoshi wakes up after spending a beautiful night with Rangi on the beach. Kirima walks by the snuggling couple and asks them how their night was. Rangi and Kyoshi quickly sit and try to act normal. Kirima, squatting next to them, playfully teases about how close of "friends" they must be. Kyoshi and Rangi look at each other, agreeing to be honest with Kirima. Kyoshi asks if Kirima has a problem with them together, to which she replies that she is not the type to give grief over whom people love, though she still warns them that dating within a brotherhood does not usually end well. Kyoshi defends herself, arguing that Hark and Jesa founded their group and were a couple. Kirima confirms that Kyoshi's parents were madly in love, then lets the matter go.

Rangi plays with Kyoshi's hand as the three girls walk back to Hujiang. Kyoshi is giddy as she walks by Rangi's side. After they make it back, Kirima wakes Wong up using her cold waterbending and tells him that she wants to leave the town as she grins at Rangi and Kyoshi.

Suddenly, the group hears a loud crashing sound from somewhere near the bazaar. Rangi asks if the loud sound of something collapsing is possibly a landslide. Kirima is not sure what it is, but Wong suggests that they leave town before getting close enough to find out. They walk back to the inn, hoping that Lao Ge and Lek will meet them there. Men scream from the streets as a horrendous beast writhes in fury. Kirima asks the group what the beast is as it approaches behind them. The shirshu's large nostrils point toward Kyoshi, prompting her to back away. When the Avatar, frightened by the raging creature, concludes that Jianzhu must be behind the attack, Wong begins to defend against the beast using earthbending, telling the others to run or fight. As the shirshu climbs over Wong's earth wall, Kirima fights back with waterbending and Rangi tries to burn the shirshu's feet by firebending at them. Kyoshi is relieved that this time she has allies to help defend against Jianzhu's attack, and she attempts to pin the beast down with earthbending, but it burrows headfirst into the dirt. Kirima is shocked by the shirhu's ability to burrow as it tunnels mysteriously underneath them. Rangi and Kyoshi discuss whether they should spread out or not. Kirima and Wong decide to dust-step onto a nearby roof, trying to avoid the shirshu's grasp. Rangi grabs Kyoshi and boosts them away from the debris above. They crash hard on their sides as the shirshu bursts through the ground. There is a zipping sound, followed by a sudden crash; Lek attacks the beast, earthbending stones toward its sensitive nose, and then asks Kyoshi to move out of the way as the beast thrashes around the group. A new group of daofei appears and they begin to prod it. Rather than staying to watch the shirshu's fate, the Flying Opera Company run for the hills.

They find Lao Ge at Pengpeng's cave and criticize him for his laziness. He tells them that it is a bad investment of effort to fight a shirshu, so he fled instead. Kirima, who had no idea what the beast was, asks Lao Ge what he knows about it. He explains the fearsome capabilities of shirshus to her as he feeds cabbages to Pengpeng. Lek informs Kyoshi that she was the shirshu's target, meaning it was sent to track her scent. They look beyond the cave and notice Brother Wai searching for someone as he organizes the daofei. Kyoshi says that she will explain it all once they are in the air on Pengpeng. The group complies and dashes onto the bison.

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