Deidara sat in between Sokka and Toph on the train. The train was not like any form of transportation Deidara has ever rode before. While they did have some vehicles in the Shinobi Nations, none were powered by man like this. It was truly a new experience for Deidara. Too bad he wasn't allowed to blow it up.
"For the last time Deidara, you are not suppose to blow up the train!" Sokka said sternly.
"Why?" Deidara asked, looking to get a rise out of Sokka.
"Because! It is not meant to be like your art! It's to help people get from point A to point B. Transportation! Just like your birds, Appa, and Momo in the case of the Tickfleas." Sokka said eyeing Momo, who chattered, "Yeah I know the feeling, I once fell into a colony of them. One of the many injures Katara couldn't take care of."
"Sokka, I didn't know how to heal at the time." Katara said, "Besides, can we please drop it."
"Sure, like the time you told me to drop it when I got two fishhooks IN MY THUMB!" Sokka said.
"Don't even want to know how that happened, hm." Deidara said sweat dropping.
"I do. It could make some good blackmail material." Toph said with a grin.
"TOPH!" Sokka squeaked, "You wouldn't!"
At that moment they entered the inner wall of Ba Sing Se. Deidara was wondering how many walls the city even had. It took long enough to even see the inner wall.
"Look, the Inner Wall! I can't believe we finally made it to Ba Sing Se in one piece." Katara said, diverting the topic away from Sokka's amusing injuries from over the years.
However, this spun up Sokka in another direct as well.
"Hey, don't jinx it! We can still be attacked by some giant exploding Fire Nation Spoon. Or find out the city's been submerged in an ocean full of killer shrimp!" Sokka said.
Deidara gave Sokka a weird look.
"How is that even possible, hm? Who the heck would even use a SPOON to blow up a CITY?" Deidara asked, slightly riled up.
"Kinda like how you do you art." Sokka said.
"Two totally different things, Sokka! A spoon, A SPOON is NOTHING like my CLAY! Don't you even DARE try to compare the two again!" Deidara snapped.
"Sokka, have you been drinking Cactus Juice again?" Toph asked.
"I am just saying, creepy and weird stuff always happen to us." Sokka said.
As if the world hated Toph, Sokka, and Deidara, a fat bald guy who was sunburned (except for where he had apparently been wearing a tank top) wearing sunglasses, swim trunks, and flip flops came in with an ice cream cone. The Ice-Cream Man sat down right on Deidara's lap, disturbing Deidara in many ways.
"GET OFF OF ME, HM!" Deidara shouted and began hitting the guy.
The Ice-Cream Man didn't budge, he only continued to lick his ice cream with his creepy, vacant facial expression. Deidara groaned in irritation and bit the man in the back. After what seemed forever, the Ice-Cream Man got up and sat down on the other side of Sokka while continuing to lick on his cone.
"You just had to say that creepy and weird stuff always happens to us, didn't you, hm?" Deidara asked harshly.
"Sorry." Sokka said sheepishly.
"Don't worry, we will find Appa." Katara said comforting Aang, who was letting his mind wonder to the thought of Appa.
"I am not sure. It's such a big city." Aang said.
"He's a ten ton flying bison? Where could they hide him?" Sokka asked just to see the sheer size of Ba Sing Se from the inside, "Oh..."
Eventually the train arrived at their location. A train station. Deidara looked around. It was empty. Too empty. Something wasn't right.
"Great, back in the city." Toph grumbled.
"What's you're problem! This fantastic!" Sokka said.
"It's just another dumb place with walls and rules. You'll get sick of it after a few days." Toph said.
"It seems too quiet here. When you said people use these trains, I thought this place would be packed." Deidara said.
Aang took out his whistle and used it. He lifted his head up to the sky, wishing to be with Appa again. It jerked his heart a bit but it wasn't as unbearable as it was in the desert. It was because he had friends to help keep him going and keep his hope in sight.
The moment was busted when out of no where from behind a fast moving train, a woman with a large, unnatural, creepy smile appeared. She had long dark hair, dark eyes that held no real identity, and a long and elegant yellow and green dress. She approached them with her hands in her long sleeves.
Deidara mentally winced at the woman. This reeked of 'danger' and 'caution' from just meters away. He decided he would keep his guard up and keep his eyes on her.
"Hello, my name is Joo Dee! I have been given the great honor of showing the Avatar around Ba Sing Se. And you must be Sokka, Katara, Toph, and Deidara! Welcome to our wonderful city." The woman said.
"How do you know my name?!" Deidara asked spitefully, gaining looks from the others.
"I wouldn't be a good host if I didn't!" Joo Dee chirped, "Shall we get started?"
Deidara fumed at the lousy answer. People just didn't know names right off the bat.
"Yes.", Sokka said narrowing his eyes slightly as he put on a smile, "We have information on the Fire Nation that the Earth King needs to hear about-"
"Great! Let's begin the tour! After that, I will show you to your new home.", Joo Dee said, ticking off Sokka.
Sokka rushed up to Joo Dee, hoping to get his point across.
"Look! You might have missed what I said. We NEED to talk to the Earth King about the war." Sokka said.
"You are in Ba Sing Se now. Everyone is perfectly safe behind these magnificent walls." Joo Dee said as if she had said it thousands of times before.
This didn't seem to ease Sokka at all. Joo Dee walked away, leaving a simmered Sokka. Deidara's eyes narrowed in suspicion.
'I don't like this. This doesn't seem right. No city is perfectly safe from war behind walls. I have heard of ninjas actually busting down walls stronger than these stone walls here.' Deidara thought.
Later in a carriage...
"Here is the Lower Ring." Joo Dee said as the carriage entered the Lower Ring.
The world outside the carriage was sad and gloomy. People dressed in rags and old clothes walked among the roads. Many of them had little money to spare in the markets that were present. The markets themselves had little to offer. Some of the things on the shelves were a bit stale but still edible. Some people had weapons concealed on them in various places, which Deidara instantly noticed.
"What's that wall for?" Katara asked pointing to a wall that seemed a bit out of place.
"Oh, Ba Sing Se has many walls! There are the ones outside protecting us, and the ones inside, that help maintain order and conduct." Joo Dee said, "This is where the new arrivals, refugees, artisans and craftsman, those who work with their hands live."
Deidara frowned. This was not a very stable way for a city to be run. He knew that cause he took out several villages that were like this and they fell apart faster than he expected. Ah those good old memories where he bombed for the giggles and soiling and pleasure of 'sharing his art' before adding 'for payment' to the list of reasons to bomb things.
"You do have to watch where you step though." Joo Dee said spotting muggers.
"Why do they have all of these people in one part of the city?" Katara asked as she sadly watched the people of the Lower Ring go on about their day.
"This is the reason I never came to Ba Sing Se. People have always said it was the complete opposite of how the monks told us to live." Aang said.
Soon the carriage passed through another wall, leading to a more ornate scenery. Deidara scoffed at the 'artistic gardens' that Joo Dee called them.
'There're just stupid flowers...' Deidara thought.
"This is the Middle Ring. Home to our shops, restaurants, finances, and university." Joo Dee said.
"Yeah, sure sounds nice." Deidara said sarcastically.
"It sure does." Joo Dee said.
Deidara winced in slight irritation.
'If she doesn't stop being this peppy, I WILL blow her up!' Deidara thought maliciously.
"Oh! We met a professor from Ba Sing Se University! He brought us to an under ground spirit library where we found information that is vital for the Earth king to hear!" Sokka said, growing more and more irritated with each word.
"Isn't history magnificent? Oh look there's the oldest building in Ba Sing Se, Town Hall!" Joo Dee said pointing to an old ornate building.
The carriage came to a halt and Joo Dee stepped out for a moment. Sokka then let his fumes loose.
"Is that woman DEAF!? She misses almost every single word I say!" Sokka shouted.
"It's called being handled. Get used to it." Toph said as she crossed her arms.
Aang and Katara gave sad glares to Sokka. Deidara on the other hand was pondering. He hadn't said a word since his last sarcastic comment.
"What's on your mind, Deidara?" Sokka asked, noticing the intense thinking Deidara was doing.
"Something's not right about her. It's as if she was placed in a Genjutsu and thus being controlled into saying and doing what she does." Deidara said.
Everyone sat in silence for a moment, wondering if what Deidara said could be plausible. However, one question broke the silence.
Deidara sighed. He looked at Sokka, who asked the question, and thought out a way to explain it easily.
"Genjutsu is illusionary techniques. They are used to distract and or trap your opponents. It can also be used to brainwash people into doing your bidding." Deidara said and noticed Sokka was opening his mouth to say something, "And no, I don't specialize in those cheap Jutsus. It's disgraceful to me as an artist."
That got Sokka to shut up. By this time, Joo Dee had returned to the carriage. The carriage began to move again.
"I hope I wasn't gone too long." Joo Dee said.
"Not long enough, hm..." Deidara said spitefully under his breath as he gave the peppy woman a small, unnoticeable glare.
Joo Dee, thankfully, didn't hear the comment. With Deidara's suspicions of her being under Genjutsu being silently thought out, they all decided to keep their eyes open for anymore abnormalities. And that feeling of something dark was going on in the background of the seemingly normal city sent shivers down Deidara's back like ice cold water was running down it. If there was something not right, then the feeling was correct.
Eventually the Upper Ring came into view. It was by far, the most ornate part of all of Ba Sing Se.
"This is the Upper Ring. It is home to the most important citizens and officials in Ba Sing Se. Your home is not to far from our current location." Joo Dee said.
The 'eternal beauty', as Joo Dee called it unfortunetly, of this part of the city made Deidara gag. He wondered what Ninjutsu made them dub this part of the city as 'eternal beauty'.
"Just being in this part of town makes me sick now, hm!" Deidara said with a purely disgusted look.
Joo Dee surprisingly, ignored the awful comment. But that didn't mean the others didn't. Katara whacked Deidara in the back of the head and shot him a glare. Deidara returned it in full. Katara ignored him and took a look outside the carriage. There was a very peculiar wall there and it gave off a bad vibe.
Sokka took a look himself and saw men in dark green and gray uniforms. They had dark green brimmed hats that obscured their lowered faces. They too gave off bad vibes.
"What's inside that wall?" Katara asked.
"Talk about over protection." Deidara said as he glared at the wall.
"Who are those weird looking mean guys in the dark robes?" Sokka asked.
"Inside that wall is the Royal Palace. And those men are the Dai Li, the cultural authority. They protect all of our traditions." Joo Dee said.
"Do they include being overly peppy and suspicious, hm?" Deidara asked showing slight irritation.
"Don't be silly! They make sure everyone has the freedom to enjoy society and the peace that reigns in Ba Sing Se." Joo Dee said, chuckling a bit at Deidara's rather sour attitude.
"I wasn't being silly..." Deidara whispered to himself and crossed his arms.
"Can we see the Earth King now?" Aang said with boredom lacing his voice.
"Oh no! One doesn't just pop in on the Earth king." Joo Dee said.
This made groans spread through out Team Avatar. And one voice became rather irritated rather quickly.
"When we get to our 'home', can I blow SOMETHING up?!" Deidara shouted.