The wind blew some dust through the air as Tenzin was slowly walking through a not so densely crowded area of the Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se. He could hear the monorails grinding over the tracks nearby. Tenzin had his hands in his pockets, staring more towards the ground than in front of him. He was heading for his home, where his father lay sickly in his bed. For the last few months, perhaps even the last year, his father's health was rapidly deteriorating. Several doctors had visited his father, draining most of their hard-earned coins. To make it even worse, none of them was able to determine his illness, let alone make any attempt at curing him. He went around the corner and walked to the street. His home was located at the far end of this street.
The sun was slowly descending from the high skies, to later disappear behind one of the many buildings or walls Ba Sing Se has. Tenzin was standing in front of his house. He raised his head. He opened the door. It took quite some force to slide the door open. It needed a fix. He saw his mother sitting at the table, staring out of the window with some tea standing in front of her. It must have been standing there for a while, since there was no vapor coming from it whatsoever, and his mother liked very hot tea. Undrinkable for most, even. She seemed even deeper lost in thought than Tenzin was before. What would you expect with her husband lying in his bad, dying. Tenzin sat down on the seat opposite to her. She noticed him. She took the teapot and poured cold tea into a cup, then sliding it in front of him. She then stared into her tea.
Tenzin leaned forward. "Mother, the tea is getting cold. It already is cold, actually," he said, "h-how.. is father?" It seemed as she had not heard me at all. Perhaps it took some time to process the words that came out of my mouth. After some moments, she shook her head, most likely implying that there was no improvement. Tenzin sighed and stood up. He walked into his parents their room, where his father was lying.
The room was rather cold, compared to the main area or outside. His father had his eyes closed. Tenzin sat down on the old, wooden chair that was standing next to the bed. The chair squeaked. His father opened his eyes, and slowly turned his head towards Tenzin. He smiled upon seeing him. He opened his mouth, wanting to speak, but did not say anything. Perhaps he did not know what to say. But then he found his words: "It was bound to happen some day. It's fate." Fate. You could call it that. "My time has almost come to... an end, son." His father used somewhat awkward pauses now and then. "Your... duty is to carry on the Shao bloodline. Also..." He reached out to an object that was lying on the small cupboard that was standing next to the bed. Whilst reaching for it, he coughed heavily and had trouble holding the object.
He put the object on top of his belly. It was a statue of a dragon. He said: "This ancient relic has been in... our family for many generations. Tradition tells us that it... must be given by the father to his first-born child." He picked up the relic and held it in the air. "It's our protector dragon, a guardian spirit." He put the relic in Tenzin's hands. He looked at his father, who was staring at the wooden ceiling. Out of nothing his father said: "Happy is the man who finds refuge in himself." He closed his eyes and continued resting, after some coughing. Tenzin examines the relic. He has no clue what it is made out of, but he suspects solid brass, with a damaged coating of gold. On the front is a Earth Kingdom symbol which has 'Shao' (邵) encrypted in it. He thanked his father and went to his room to store the relic in a safe place. He peeked out of the window and saw the sun was setting. He decided to go to bed and wished goodnight to his parents, especially his father who smiled and nodded when Tenzin wished him goodnight.
Tenzin's father passed away the following day, still to unknown illness. Tenzin was sitting outside of the house with the relic, remembering his father.
"Happy is the man who finds refuge in himself."
It was late afternoon, and the streets were relatively empty, because most people were at home eating, and the others were out in a restaurant of some sorts. Tenzin was sitting on the staircase to his home. He was closely inspecting the relic. He wanted to know more about it. Who made it? When was it made? Any information would do.
Some would say it was a bad timing to do this, but for Tenzin the time couldn't be more appropriate.
After a long walk from the middle of the Lower Ring to the middle of the Upper Ring, Tenzin reached the Ba Sing Se University. Someone who studied history was bound to know at least something about the relic. Tenzin asked several people, none of which knew anything about it. But, he did not give up so easily. He went to the next person and asked if he knew recognized the relic.