Deidara's world faded back into existance. His head spun wildly as he felt an exploding headache split through his head. He wanted to drift back into the unconscious world to escape the pain. It didn't help that he felt like he was roasting.
'Wait? Since when was it this hot?' Deidara thought and cracked an eye open.
He looked around, squinting as the heat of the sun simmered onto his fair skin. His eyes searched the wide range of his surroundings. Sand. Nothing but fine particles of sand and very few cacti with sparse dried out shrubs. Sandy dunes stretched for miles around Deidara, showing no end anytime soon. Some strange giant wasps circled above him, most likely scavengers, waiting for him to die so they could feast on his corpse. No clouds in the sky, which meant no shade anytime soon.
Deidara got up and put his right hand in one of his pouches. Both pouches, unfortunetly, had about one half of the original amount of clay left in them. The little mouth on said hand took some clay and began molding it. When it was done, a bird popped out.
'Why didn't I stock up earlier? I wasted too much of what little I had on that old sack of wrinkles!' Deidara groaned in his head.
He made a hand sign, causing the bird to come to life and grow to a large enough size for a passenger. Deidara hopped on to the bird and took off into the never ending blue sky of the unforgiving desert.
"This desert is almost as big as the one in the Land of Wind. Maybe even bigger... hm..." Deidara mused.
Hours of flying didn't help Deidara at all. The blazing heat slowly siphoned his energy, forcing him to use more Chakra to keep his bird flying. His hair and clothes were drenched with sweat.
"This desert is more unforgiving than any other desert I have ever been in!" Deidara moaned in aggravation.
Deidara lifted up his bangs. Using the eye scope over his left eye, he scanned the desert. In the distance to the northeast, he saw a small settlement made of sand. Way too small to be the Village Hidden in the Sand. He begun steering his clay bird to the settlement, glad he could finally get out of the merciless heat.
He landed the bird outside the settlement to see a what used to be a giant crystal of ice and men dressed in strange robes. The robes looked well suited for the environment from one glance. The robes were mainly baggy and off white, thus reflecting the sun rays. Some of the men had turbans on their heads, and some of those said men had lost a few teeth. He learned that when one of them spit at Deidara's feet and gave him a not so sincere smile. Deidara frowned and continued his way, wanting to save his clay for someone who was actually worthy of getting blown up.
He walked into what seemed to be a small tavern. He saw a bunch of people there. Some looked like the scholar type, others looked like thugs. One man behind a counter wielded a pair of swords, using them to slice and dice fruit and serve them as a beverage in a large cup made of ice. Deidara walked past several tables before coming up to the bar tender.
"Excuse me sir, can you tell me where I am, hm?" Deidara asked.
"Sure, kid. You are in the Si Wong Desert in the Earth Kingdom." The bartender said.
"Earth Kingdom? I never heard of it." Deidara said.
The bartender let out an amused chuckle.
"You hit your head or something, kiddo?" The bartender asked.
"I did wake up in the desert and I remember fighting Tobias, one of the guys who have hired me, hm." Deidara said, spatting Tobias's name as if it were venom.
"Hired you for what kid?", The bartender asked in concern.
Deidara faced the bartender with a small glare.
"You ask a lot of questions, hm." Deidara said.
"Ah, I see. This war has brought many unpleasant things to the world. Kids are now being put on the front line as well. I can understand why you don't want to talk about it." The bartender said.
'You don't understand anything...' Deidara thought.
"So what kind of fruit do you want? It's on the house." The bartender said.
Deidara took a look at the selection that was behind the bartender. Some of the fruits he had never seen before. He pointed at the fruit that looked like a peach. The bartender got to work, grabbing a few peach like fruits, slicing them until they were mush, and put them in a large cup. An small umbrella and straw was added. Deidara grabbed the beverage.
"Thank you. Hm." Deidara said and began to slurp the beverage.
The beverage was not like anything he had tasted before. While it tasted like a peach, it tasted like a whole different kind of peach. He went and sat down at a table.
After a few moments passed, heard something spill. He turned around and saw four kids, two girls, two boys. The pale bald boy in the orange and yellow had a large spill on him. The other boy was tan and was wearing a blue outfit. One girl had a similar shade of skin and wore a strange blue dress. The other girl was pale and was wearing a yellow and green robes that was covered in dirt and wore no shoes. In front of the kids was a man wearing robes and a large hat with a veil in the back.
"No worries. I clean up easy." The boy in the orange said.
The boy took a stance and the air around him began to move, effectively drying off his clothes. Deidara was surprised that no hand signs were used.
'How is that possible? I have heard of ninjas using one hand for hand signs, but no hand signs is completely different.' Deidara thought as he got up to get a closer look.
The man in front of the kids was amazed. You didn't need to see his face to know he was amazed.
"You're a living relic!" The man said.
Deidara was confused by those words but decided to listen closer, hopefully to get some information.
"Thanks, I try." The boy said with a casual shrug.
"An Air Nomad is standing right in front of me." The man thought out loud and immediately gave a respectful bow, "Professor Zei, head of anthropology at Ba Sing Se University."
Zei grabbed the bald boy's arm and began studying what appeared to be arrow tattoos on the kid's arms, head, and legs. He even pulled out a pair of calipers to measure the kid's head.
"Tell me, which Air Temple do you hail from?" Zei asked.
"The Southern Air Temple." The bald kid said, surprised by Zei's antics.
"Oh, splendid! Now tell me: What was the primary agricultural product of your people?" Zei said and begun writing on a notepad.
"Are fruit pies an agricultural product?" The bald kid asked with a hint of uncertainty in his voice.
Deidara mentally face palmed.
'What a dumb question...' Deidara thought.
"Oh, truly fascinating. That is one for the journal." Zei said, jotting down even more notes.
"So Professor, you're obviously a well-traveled guy. Do you have a more current map? Ours seems to be a little dated." The tan boy said.
That perked Deidara up. A map would tell him where he was and in worse case scenario, if he even was still in his world.
"Certainly." Zei said and pulled out a map.
Deidara walked forward. It was now or never. He tugged at Zei's robes lightly. Zei looked down to see Deidara.
"Can I also have a look at the map too, hm?" Deidara asked.
"Sure. I have never seen such a shade of hair color before. You must have been blessed by the spirits to get such a color." Zei said and looked at Deidara's hair in awe.
'You're weird.' Deidara thought.
A few minutes later, the tan boy studied the map that was now on the table. The boy groaned in frustration as the pale girl took sips of a mango beverage.
"What, no Fire Nation? Doesn't anybody have a good map of that place?" The tan boy whined.
Deidara took a look. The map was definitely different than any map he has ever seen. It was safe to say, he was no longer in the Five Great Shinobi Nations.
"You've made a lot of trips into the desert." The tan girl said as she studied the map.
"All in vain, I'm afraid. I've found lost civilizations all over the Earth Kingdom, but I haven't managed to find the crown jewel: Wan Shi Tong's Library. " Zei said.
Deidara then knew what would help him really get information on this world. A library.
"You spent years walking through the desert to find some guy's library?" The pale girl asked.
"This library is more valuable than gold, little lady. It is said to contain a vast collection of knowledge, and knowledge is priceless." Zei said.
Even better. If the hand gestures weren't enough to describe how vast it possibly could be, then only seeing it could tell.
"Sounds like good times.", The pale girl mused sarcastically.
"Oh, it is. According to legend, it was built by the great Knowledge Spirit, Wan Shi Tong, with the help of his 'foxy' knowledge seekers.", Zei said.
"Oh, so this spirit has attractive assistants, huh?" The tan boy mused with a sly smile.
The tan girl next to the tan boy whacked him.
"I think he means they look like actual foxes, Sokka." The tan girl said.
"You're both right. Handsome little creatures. Wan Shi Tong and his knowledge seekers collected books from all over the world, and put them on display for mankind to read, so that we might better ourselves." Zei said.
"So it even holds the history of everything in this world, hm?" Deidara asked.
"Yes, young lad. They even say, it holds records from the era before the Avatar." Zei said.
Deidara had no idea what an Avatar was, but one thing for sure, he was definitely going to that library.
"If this place has books from all over the world, do you think they've got info on the Fire Nation? A map, maybe?" Sokka asked.
"I wouldn't know. But if such a thing exists, it's in Wan Shi Tong's Library." Zei said.
"Then it's settled. Aang, I do believe it's my turn. I'd like to spend my vacation: AT THE LIBRARY!" Sokka said pointing to the ceiling dramatically.
Deidara rolled his eyes at the unnecessary display of drama. Even his explosions didn't have THAT much drama.
"Uh, hey, what about me? When do I get to pick?" The pale girl asked, slightly annoyed.
"You gotta work here a little longer before you qualify for vacation time, Toph." Sokka said, making the girl slam her drink onto the table in anger.
"Of course, there's the matter of finding it. I've made several trips into the Si Wong Desert and almost died each time. I'm afraid that desert's impossible to cross." Zei said sadly.
Professor, would you like to see our sky bison?" Sokka asked.
Deidara was confused. How would a bison help them cross a desert?
"A sky bison?! You actually have one?" Zei asked in amazement.
Deidara's jaw dropped. Right in front of him was a six legged bison. He had never seen such a thing.
Next to the bison, other than Deidara's clay bird, was a group of those mummy-looking people.
"Sandbenders, shoo, away from the bison!" Zei shouted.
The Sandbenders backed off, having that look of a possible second encounter maybe inevitable. Deidara was far from amused when the Sandbenders tried hijacking his clay bird.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you, hm." Deidara warned, "Nobody has gotten away from stealing my art without punishment."
The Sandbenders laughed at Deidara, unable to take him seriously.
Deidara frowned, getting aggravated. He reached into his pouch and pulled out a small chunk of clay. He then let the mouth in his hand mold it. The Sandbenders were a bit disturbed by the sight of the mouth regurgitating the clay in the form of a centipede. Deidara then launched the centipede at the Sandbenders. The centipede grew in size, making it capable of strangling a person. The centipede wrapped around one of the Sandbenders. The one bounded struggled as the centipede constricted his torso.
"Good luck getting that off, hm." Deidara chuckled darkly.
The Sandbenders began tugging at the clay centipede, trying in vain to remove it. Little did the Sandbenders know, that when the centipede was removed, it would then blow up.
Deidara turned around to see that the kids, Zei, and the bison had left.
"Aw man!" Deidara sighed in frustration, quickly got onto his clay bird and took off.