The air around Metalonia was filled with the smell of oil and smoke as workers tore down the opulent castle that had once been so huge it blocked out the sun. The palace had once been the home of Chromoly, the former lord of Metalonia and possibly richest person in Ninjago, however after a change of heart following the declaration of him as Master of Metal he decided to tear down the palace and donate the precious metals and jewels it was made out of to the poor. Though he was proud of his friend for making the change, Li Wei found tearing the palace down a bit of a drastic measure. After several arguments with Chromoly, however, Li Wei agreed to help in the demolition process. It was gruelling work, even for an elemental master, and Li Wei could only ever hop to keep up with Kopi who had taken over the lead of the project, but Chromoly was a good friend so Li Wei complied. Many days later the castle had been torn down to a lot Chromoly intended to turn into a park, the job was done.
"So what are we going to do now?" Kopi asked Li Wei a cool, calm morning. "Leave, look for new elemental masters or do we have enough. Are we going to rally and challenge the Nightmare Revolution and bring them down?"
"No, I was thinking something quite different." Li Wei replied gazing into the sunrise.
"Training? Weapon making with Chromoly?" Kopi guessed to which Li Wei shook his head "Well what then?"
"I love how you're so eager to jump into action, yet I was thinking we should take a day off."
"What? And, like, relax?"
"Have you forgotten how?" Li Wei joked. "I wouldn't be surprised, we've been on the move for months and I find that very draining. Everyone needs time to relax. One day can make a difference, besides I have a feeling Metalonia hides more surprises we have yet to find." Li Wei took his conical hat off his, a rare gesture, and then slowly pulled the string out of his hair that held the top knot in place, an even rarer gesture. His dark brown fell chin-length. This made him look far younger and more human than he usually did.
He stood up "If you wish to come Kopi, I implore you to, however it's your decision." And Li Wei walked down toward the village market Kopi trailing behind him.
The market was a bustling place full of vendors selling anything one could imagine. Around every corner was a blacksmith shop turning out hundreds of unique metal items. The pounding on the anvil only made the noise of the market even louder. Clothes were being sold in every style, color, and fabric. There was the smell of a dozen different cultures' food including exotic fruits, creamy pastries, and fancy hor d'oeuvres that cost more than a bar of gold. A haggard looking woman tried to sell Kopi a very large set of earings and even offered to pierce her ears after Kopi reveled she didn't have piercings. It was an incredible sight in Kopi's eyes--the market was a huge bustling place, yet everyone and everything seemed to work together like a machine. Li Wei saw it a bit differently, for him it was different to be regarded as just another shopper, not the great First Spnjitzu Master.
Li Wei and Kopi turned a corner, Kopi admiring her purchase of a beaded scabbard, Li Wei eating a large cotton candy, when they saw a crowd gathering. "I hear she comes here everyday" one man said. "Her shows are said to defy the laws of nature." Said another woman
"What are they talking about?" Kopi asked
"Care to find out?" Li Wei smiled back
Li Wei and Kopi were about to join the crowd when they were gathering when someone whispered in Li Wei's ear.
"Psst, don't follow the crowd, the real magic is over there." A gloved hand directed to a place on the cobblestone street that immediatley burst into yellow smoke. The smoke faded to reveal a slender figure wearing a tailed, sleek, black coat, a red choker, and charcoal gray leggings. She flashed a smile of blinding white teeth, winked one of her twinkling black eyes, and flipped her unnatural black and white streaked hair. "Good afternoon everybody!" She mused "Are y'all ready to see some serious...magic." And from out of nowhere a boquet of flowers appeared in her hands. The crowd cheered wildly. "My name's Yoku and I'll be your mistress of the mystical arts this fine day. Shall we get started?" And the flowers turned into a flock of doves with the snap of her fingers.
Yoku's show was nothing less than incredible. She started off with 'simple' card tricks that would've taken even the most seasoned of magicians weeks to learn. She continued with several mind bending dove tricks, and then some escape tricks that left the crowd on the edge of their toes. She only picked up the pace from there performing distortion tricks, quick change and sword swallowing.
"For my last trick." Yoku announced to the swelling crowd "I need a volunteer from my audience, let's see how about, you." She pointed at Li Wei. "Yes, sir what's your name?"
"Li." He responded simply.
"Yes, alright Li, for my grand finale I will need you to put this on." She said holding out several glittering bangles. "These are 20 karat gold bracelets made by the finest jewlers in Metalonia, impossible to snap, distort, bend, et cetera. Now I'm just going to put these on you, tell me when they're tight."
"Ouch, right there."
"Are they cutting off your circulation?"
"Yes, it's quite painful."
"Good, now audience take a look, doesn't our friend Li look fabulous--and restrained?" The audience laughed, Kopi gasped, Li Wei's arm was turning purple. "Now I'm going to take these bracelets off Li using levitation, ready? Keep your eyes focused on Li's arm." Yoku screwed up her face in deep concentration, and began making pulling motions in the air, the bracelets didn't budge. The crowd grew restless, that's when a young child cried out "She's flying!" The crowd gasped the bracelets had not gone anywhere but Yoku was twenty feet off the ground, floating in midair. The crowd gasped, Yoku flashed a smile before walking down the side of a wall. She took a curt bow, then disappeared in a puff of yellow smoke. The crowd dispersed, chattering about the incredible performance.
Kopi rushed up to Li Wei. "Wow! That was amazing, I mean we've seen dragons and Spinjitzu and elemental powers, but wow."
"We have to find her."
"I know, I totally need her autograph!" Kopi squealed
Li Wei rolled his eyes "Yes pupil as incredible as she was, I need to give her these." He said holding up his purple arm. The gold bracelets were still clamped to his arm. Li Wei flexed his arm and the bangles snapped off. "They're very valuable, and probably vital to her act."
"Are you sure she headed this way?" Kopi asked ducking a metal beam and jumping away from a scampering rat.
"I sense a vague trail of her energy around this area. So, yes."
"But it's so...Ew. Yoku seemed glamorous, high class, not living here." Kopi sadi gesturing to the dingy slums around them.
"It breaks my heart as well Kopi to see places like this. I created Ninjago as a place where all my people could live equally, sadly not everyone has that vision. But as Yoku proved you can not judge one by their background." Li Wei looked to the muddy ground, as flashbacks of his childhood came back. He was in the midst of a memory when Kopi grabbed his shoulder. "Don't live in the past, it's some of the best advice I can give you." She said quoting Li Wei's lesson to her. He smiled softly and looked the other way. All of a sudden he jerked his head up and motioned for Kopi to look.
It was Yoku and she was sitting in a ragged dress, hair pulled back in a messy bun, and confident smile gone her face; she hardly looked like herself. She was sitting near a pile of trash with a small trunk of looked like to be all her belongings, most of which were magician's props. She was counting out all earinings from her most recent show--an impressive pile of silver coins.
"Look at all that money." Kopi whispered "Maybe she can use it to buy her way out of this dump. But you'd think with all the money she earns she could've already."
"There's most likely another side to this story." Li Wei muttered back. Just as he said that four children of varying ages and degrees of scruffiness came running to Yoku. She smiled at them before giving them each a portion of her silver coins, they then ran off.
"She's looking after those kids." Kopi said gently. "We should help her."
Li Wei turned to her "Indeed." He stood up and walked over to Yoku who was staring at her now non-existent pile of silver. She looked up. Her cheeks flushed red. "Oh, hey Li."
"I came to return these to you." He said handing her the bracelets.
"Oh gee, I totally forgot about them. You know I had to leave early 'cause the kids were expecting me and...nevermind. You don't want to hear about my problems." She turned to walk away.
"Wait. Please, Yoku. I was astounded by your show, not only for your incredible feats, but also for your charisma and dedication. Then I saw how selfless you were to those kids. Ninjago needs more people like you. Will you join me and Kopi and the other elemental masters to help defend Ninjago."
Yoku eyes lit up as Li Wei spoke, but then the light faded. "You're the First Spinjitzu Master aren't you? I would love to help you, but I can't fight and also you saw those kids they need me."
"Fighting will not be an issue and if you are worried about the children, I am personnal friends with Lord Chromoly I'm sure he could find them good homes or at least a top of the line boarding school."
Yoku thought for a minute then she smiled her brilliant smile and declared. "Yes, I've always been one for adventure. As much as I love magic there's no future here for me in Metalonia and you know I sense I have a chance for greatness here, with you."
"Then by the power vested in me, Li Wei, Master of Energy, I pronounce you, Yoku Master of Gravity." Yoku floated up into the air, before landing in a graceful stance. She then cracked her knuckles and then dramatically stated. "Let the show..begin!"