A peculiar caravan moved by four salamanders made its way through the dense forest. The Salamanders presence was enough to scare the wild beasts occupying the above-mentioned patch of forest, but being a valuable beast, the caravan soon attracted unwanted presence.
Four burly men immediately jumped out from their hiding places and smiled at Nik maliciously.
In the end, the result was the bandit group's total annihilation.
Of course, Nik left them with their lives, after all, Ignit and the Trio Fury Salamanders were safe and sound.
The trews grew sparse and the land started to look a bit cracked and rougher as Nik's caravan made its way towards Omashu. After a while, Nik's group finally entered into a clearing with the cracked ground and in front of the trio's eyes stood a behemoth of a city constructed in the shape of a tower while thick earthen walls surrounded the perimeter.
Omashu, one of the strongest cities of the Earth Kingdom that is able to keep its autonomy even during the siege phase of Ba Sing Se.
This city was simply one of the stops where Nik had to stock up his supplies before moving forward. Since the remaining part of the journey included crossing a desert before arriving at the designated location.
If Nik was still with the Fire Nation, he could have simply used one of the many vehicles created to cross the desert, but for now, he had to make do with his precious salamanders and that meant that he needed to buy enough supply for a week's journey and also enough equipments to keep the salamanders safe from the harsh climate of the Desert.
As Nik's turn came to enter the city, he was immediately stopped outside the gates, the guards looked at Nik before carefully examining him and his group and then turned their grim eyes towards the four Salamanders.
"Where did you get these monsters?!"
One of the guards spoke up, clearly agitated as his voice shook, not from fear, but rage. If Nik hadn't chosen to change his attire and the fact that even Karna and Yue wore simple green clothes, their group would have been attacked.
After all, the water tribe officially turned against the Earth Kingdom after joining hands with the Fire Nation and now, every single water tribe member within the Earth Kingdom faced a threat to their lives, causing them to flee to the Fire Nation or return back to the Tribe.
And in such manner, the merchants and other administrative positions that were held by talented water tribe members were left hastily, creating a gap within the once robust economy of the Earth Kingdom.
"Hmm? Loot, my good man! I killed a bunch of Fire shits and got these babies as my prize!"
Nik grinned. He wasn't wrong. While he returned to the border of the Earth Continent using a battleship, he actually raided a small Fire Nation camp stationed along the continent's perimeter and looted a lot of stocks and this particular caravan before he was able to start his journey.
"Hah? A pretty boy killing fire shits?
You think we're blind? Get down here!"
The other guard hissed. The lance within his hand moved towards Nik to threaten him and yet, simply looked at him while a mighty pressure exploded over the duo guards. Of course, Nik didn't shift the gravity around them too much. Only by a few decimals and they had a hard time coping with the change.
"A pretty boy isn't only good in bed, you know."
Nik shrugged as the Guards retreated hastily, but instead of anger, they simply nodded and let him pass, meanwhile, appreciation grew within their eyes.
Nik's strength was easy to understand and the guards only felt grateful when they linked his strength to his statement of killing a bunch of Fire Soldiers.
"That was anti-climactic. But... I want to learn it."
Yue sighed as she felt a similar force within her, but she simply couldn't control the Gravity around her so easily.
"It's not all that easy, you know. The moment you shifted the Gravity too much, you will find that you had accidentally committed a murder."
"Yeah. But first..."
Karna didn't even complete her sentence as her glimmering eyes looked around with her heart filled with excitement. Various stores and stalls immediately attracted Karna's and Yue's attention. Clothes, foods and cultural accessories.
There were also a lot of stores dealing in weaponry but such stores were royally ignored by the girls.
"Say, should we first go find a nice place to eat? I am hungry... a lot."
The moment they entered, Sokka opened the small metal window cutout on the front of the caravan and spoke with a sad look. The rumbles of his stomach were already becoming a pain in the ass for Katara and now it was also starting to annoy Nik and Yue.
Meanwhile, Karna was simply thankful that the growls of her own stomach were overshadowed by Sokka's outrageous stomach.
Nik slowly led the caravan at the higher levels of the city as most of the citizens immediately gave way after looking at the malevolent faces of the salamanders.
Evidently, Ignit and her party were also famished.
Soon, Nik found a hospitable spot that was willing to let his Salamander caravan park outside their establishment, of course, this took a lot of coins in his budget, but still, Nik had many more, credits to the numerous bandits he had looted during the way.
Ordering the largest serving of Elephant Koi, one of the most famous delicacies in the Earth Kingdom, for each one of his precious, Nik led the girls and the siblings inside the establishment to finally fill their stomachs to the brim.
(2 Chapter Advance)