me: I should really work on my other wips

brain: how about a story for ray and maya, they deserve it

me: *slams keyboard* THEY REALLY DO

As the people on the streets walked by him without helping him, Ray had to gather the weapons he had dropped on the stone path by himself. He didn't wish any ill will towards the person that slammed the door on him; they could have been kinder to him, though. When he looked up, he saw a young man staring at him, accompanied by a much older strange-looking man.

"A little help," he said, calling out to the younger man. He gathered the nunchaku and several blades. Looking up again, the young man had not approached him yet to help. In fact, he had his back turned. "Please, friend. I just need a hand." Struggling to grab the last of the weapons, Ray hoped the young man would help him. However, taking one last look, the two men were gone. He frowned. The young man seemed willing to help, if not leaving meant anything to him. It was probably that strange older man that told him to leave.

Once all the weapons were in his arms again, Ray decided it was time to return home. No one in this village wanted to buy from, much less trade with him. Besides, if he started heading home now, he might be able to get there just before nightfall. Sighing, Ray began his long trek home.

Just as the sun disappeared behind the distant mountains, Ray made it back to his home. It was small and not much room, but it was his. The forge took up most of the space, so he could barely fit a bed in one corner. He was the only blacksmith in these parts of Ninjago, and he was proud of that.

Yawning, he rubbed his stomach, growling out of pain from hunger. Could he eat now? Did he have any food to spare?

Before he could ponder any longer, one of the village elders entered his home. He had no door; he trusted all who entered.

"Hello, Ray. You returned quite late. We missed you," the old woman said, carrying a basket as she shuffled inside. Ray smiled and took the basket from her and gently held her frail hand with one of his. "Thank you, dear."

"No, thank you. I was just about to check whether I had enough to eat for tonight," Ray explained, bowing in respect. "What's in here? It feels heavier than the last time you brought me a meal."

"Oh, a special treat!" the woman clapped her hands as she sat down on a low stool Ray led her to. "I was trading today and this kind young man gave me so many fruits and vegetables. And salt! I suppose he could not resist my youthful charm," she said, patting her hair down. Ray chuckled.

"You joke," he said but knew she told the truth. "What did you trade? And why salt? We have nothing that needs to be specially preserved." Ray uncovered the basket and softly gasped. Along with the rice that the village people, including him, grew for their meals and for trade, there was yellow, green, orange, red, and purple. What grabbed his attention most was the block of salt carefully packaged and something else wrapped up in the leaves of the rice crops. Setting down the basket, he unwrapped the object. He gasped again, much more loudly this time, and looked up. The elder was smirking.

"Is this- It couldn't be-" The woman tutted.

"Meat. Like I said, he couldn't resist my charm. He gave me so much food, I had to share it with everyone else. You have the biggest slab of meat. Don't worry, I already salted it so it won't rot," she explained, slowly standing up. Ray carefully grabbed her wrist before she could turn to leave.

"No, I couldn't possibly take this. You should have gotten the biggest piece. Please, give me a smaller piece." Ray bowed, holding the meat out in front of him. The woman patted his head in affection.

"Ray, dear, look at you. You're ready to begin adulthood and you're barely taller than me. You're young and have time to grow still, as well as a long life to live. I'm reaching the end of my time and don't have to grow anymore. Besides, you need as much protein for your muscles if you are to be a blacksmith. You can't get that protein from fruits and vegetables alone, and especially not rice. You understand, dear?" she asked, gesturing for Ray to straighten himself out again. He nodded, blushing slightly.

"I understand. Thank you."

"Of course. Now, go eat. I'll make it home just fine. I've walked up and down this hill countless times," the old woman teased and waved goodbye, leaving Ray alone once more.

Ray picked up the basket and sat down on his bed. He bowed and prayed over the food. "Thank you for this meal," he said, mostly to whoever was the man that brought the food. Maybe it was that young man he saw earlier. Whoever it was, he was grateful.

Ray was pounding heated metal when he came.

"Ray, dear!" he heard the elder call out. Looking up from his work, he saw the woman was holding the hand of a man with short, blond hair. He was quite tall and carried a bamboo staff and satchel. "Look, it's the young man who brought the village so much food! What was your name again, love?"

"My name is Wu. Ray, correct?" the man addressed the young blacksmith. Biting his lip, Ray nodded. Wu stepped forward. "It's wonderful to meet you." He bowed deeply and smiled at the shorter man.

"All the same to you," Ray repeated. He felt uncomfortable when the man kept staring at him. "Um…"

"Did you enjoy the food?" Wu asked, walking past the counter.

"Uh, yes, I did. Thank you so much," Ray said, bowing to show his appreciation. "It will last me for many weeks." Wu raised an eyebrow.

"The rations I made were only for one week, perhaps less than that. Why do you save so much for so long?" the blond man asked. Ray swallowed thickly.

"Um, I, uh… I don't have much to eat usually and… well, if you don't have much to eat, you get used to it and can't eat a lot at once." Ray shrugged and ran his hand through his hair. Wu nodded solemnly before searching through the satchel on his side. He pulled out a sack that jingled when he shook it. "What is that?"

"It's money. I hope it will help you. Although I would like to see you very soon. Goodbye," Wu said. He turned and left. Ray glanced at the elder quickly, whose head only gestured towards the blond man.

"Uh, wait! Where can I meet you?" he asked. That got the man's attention. He faced Ray and the woman and grinned.

"There is a monastery north of here. I will return early in the morning and take you there. Bring your belongings, you may be living there for quite some time," Wu said. He bowed deeply.

"But why me? Why not someone else?" Ray asked. Wu stood up and smiled warmly.

"Let's just say that I sense a something powerful… burning inside you." Wu walked away, his staff gently tapping against the rocks. Ray scratched his neck. What did Wu mean by that?

"Oh, Ray. Dear, your sword," the elder pointed out. Ray returned his focus to the weapon he was forging and found the metal completely cooled. It did not look how it was supposed to be and was warped. Ray sighed and picked up the sword. "I'm sorry."

"No, it's alright. I can scrap the metal and use it again. I guess I better hurry so I can go to bed sooner."

hahahahahahahahahaha yeet

if the writers are going to ignore two of the coolest parents in Ninjago, then I'll give them a proper back story because bITCH

okay bye