He didn't know how much longer he had to go to avoid his assailants; he just knew he would evade his Pursuers.
Legendary Chinese Martial Artist, Philosopher, and Priest, Wong Shi Zhu was a Powerful man in his Youth. He was well-kown across the Country, and performed in many tournaments in the Martial Arts. He also told many Stories, and was even known for his Healing capabilities, Both Body and Spirit, to be helpful to all others.
During this time, he had gained many Pupils in the Martial Arts, and eventually founded a Group called, "The Warrior Aspect", which had somewhere around 50 students, and he alone was their Master. For nearly 20 years, they were completely Loyal to him.
And then there was one.
He was a New student, but he Progressed Faster than the others. He was a Strong person, and defeated nearly All the other Students in combat. During a Spar with the Master, however, the Student failed to achieve Victory. Zhu said to him, "A Powerful Body you have, and an Even Greater Spirit... but it runs wild, like the Ox of the Field when unhindered. You must Learn to Control your Spirit... or it is Pride and Power that will Control You." The Student's name was Chi Rao.
Nearly 6 Days later, Rao turned the Academy against their Master and sought to Kill him.
Now, 2 days after That, Zhu had evaded the majority of them, in all downing 24 of his own Students. The only thing he could do was Run; and find a way to defeat his Rogue Disciple... not for Revenge, but because he knew that Power was all he sought. If Zhu could not bring down his new enemy, perhaps All of China could fall.
Perhaps, he thought, as he ran into the Trees, I can turn the World on Him.
Ifuka Yuni walked out of her Home and started for School. From where she lived, Public Transportation wouldn't come until 2 Hours later, when her Mother needed to work. Unless she wanted to get to school late and get another Lecture from her Teacher, Yuni had to Walk.
This she Didn't mind.
Yuni was Tenacious, Meticulous, and sometimes Shrewd. She was in Junior High now, and was 13 years of age. She was in a Relationship with a Good guy, but decided that he would drag her Down, and so dumped him just like that.
I want Something SPECIAL to happen to me in my life...... she thought to herself as she waited for the Train to pass by in the Intersection. Something where the World is in Danger. And I want to be a part of it!
She might as well have asked for more Money, for she certainly would have been Rich. After School (Which, to her, was nothing special), she checked the Mail and saw an interesting Message from a Man she never knew of.
"To the Young Ifuka Yuni:
"You have been hearby Transferred to the School of the Twelve. You wished for a Better Life... and so, you shall become Important in the History of China.
" Shizumi Liong "
I wonder what this is? Yuni thought to herself. Oh well... as long as I get my way!
With that, she Skipped into her Home.
Emuri Akubi was a Peaceful 16 year-old. He was Stronger than most of his Friends, though there were plenty his Age who could beat him in a Strength test. Whenever he lost a Game, he would simply congradulate the victor. However, whenever he was Angered (Which wasn't often), he would go wild, and it often took several people to hold him down while he blew off his Steam.
Akubi was Logical, Narrow-minded, and a Born Leader. Many allowed him to be the Captain of the Group during Sport Games..... not only because he could take charge, but because he was also a bit Stubborn. However, when calm, Akubi was steady.
So when he got a message in the Mail from a Mysterious man, he had liked the idea at first... but when he read 'Transfer', he started a Fit. He was in his Room when this happened, and his Parents closed his Door and went out for Dinner for two. They came back later, and found him sleeping like an animal after a day's worth of hard work...
Hanzu Tang, 15, had spent much of his life around animals. He loved the way they seemed to go on through their lives without too much bother. But he paid little attention to people, who wanted to be his friends. In fact, the only one he listened to was his Mother; his Father was Dead, and his little Sister was too much of a Hastle to try to spend time with.
Tang was Unpredictable, Daring, and Vigorous, though to his Elders he was Affectionate and Generous. However, this did not change his opinion on Humans. He wanted to be an animal. He wished to be a Tiger, if anything. This wish, of course, was impossible to fulfill, so he kept it at the bottom of his Heart, and continued on with his life.
That was, until, he received a message one day, from a mysterious figure. Sensing Danger, but an opportunity to change what he was, he made sure he prepared himself for whatever life had made him face, for he would not back down from a fight.
Yan Chaki was a young 12 year old boy who lived in one of the poorest homes in his Region. His parents were killed by an attack initiated by Gangsters, and he had lived with his old, nearly blind, hard-hearing grandfather for most of his life; nowadays, he lived with his Uncle while his Aunt helped his Grandfather. He was Homeschooled, as not a single person in any other schools would accept him, Teacher or Student.
However, Chaki was a very lucky boy. Despite being nearly broke, his family managed to make it somehow, and every opportunity he got, he would try to work for a bit of money, just enough to have a celebrating meal every two months... a meal celebrating that they are still going on. He was good at solving little problems, but is frightened by things unusual to him.
Little did he know, however, that his luck was, as far as family finances, dependant on a man none of them had ever seen or heard of before. He also couldn't comprehend that such a man was bound to meet him... soon.
Suzhi Li was an unusual 14 year old boy. Those friends he did have, wished to spend little time with him. Li was Soft-spoken, but was Very intelligent, Enigmatic, and very, Very energetic. He took a little Martial Arts, in the realm of Kung-Fu, and as a practitioner he was Swift and Fast.
Li was an orphan, as his Parents abandoned him when they decided his face was too unusual. He grew to be of average height, but was skinnier and more flexible than other people. He lived alone in an abandoned Condo; no one that knows him knows where he lived.
That's why he was surprised when he receieved a letter. He was Dumbstruck by the fact that the writer, whoever he was, knew much of him, and had sent a location to him. Li began to meditate in his room immediately, for he wished to be ready....
Chen Ma was a sweet, passionate Girl of age 16 who loved people and animals and the things of Nature. She would be a giver when no one else was there to support them. She dedicated herself to Liberty, Confidence, and generally is gifted in many ways. She has a way of knowing things before they happen.
She was excited at many things her friends would tell her, but when told something, she could hardly keep a secret because she was so happy. This lead to the gaining and loss of many friends.
She received a weird message one day... a message that would bring her closer to her peaceful, animal side than she believed could ever be.
Xin Song was Optomistic, Artistic, intellectual, and thought before he acted, though some say he thinks too slowly or too much. He had an interest in Nature and it's aspects, and tried to charm the girls; however, the only ones that managed to be charmed by him were not charming themselves.
He was an observant person, but quite delicate. He had a very minor case of Osteoporosis, a case in which his Bones were weaker than that of an average person of his age. Something that was not helpful was the lack of a Mother, whom had died in Childbirth, and was raised by his lonely Father, who himself tried to charm those of the opposite Gender.
So when he received a letter from a mysterious man, he had prepared to meet him, and, if need be, teach him that he had no interests in people who belonged to his side of the Gender spectrum. Maybe he had a group of Girls he could try out...
Fon-Chung Liang was a smaller Teenage boy for his age, and was quite energetic. He liked challenges, as it provided him opportunity to expend his energy. He loved to play tricks on his older friends, and liked to spend time doing nearly anything; though when bored, he would often cause trouble.
As a result of an emergency procedure in which he was born one month Early, he was shorter than most childeren his age; His mother, miraculously, survived, but could no longer walk after his birth.
His Mother received a message while he was out at school. She was so furious of the idea of having a transfer that she threw it away. Little did she remember, as he often times does, that Liang would go through the trash on that day (Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)....
Xie Peing was almost 15; she had spent much time being loyal to most people she knew. She was not dishonest, but could sometimes be a bit Bossey. Her attitude in this state usually didn't affect anyone much, so she managed to keep a cool mind for at least 6 weeks at this point.
When she got a letter and her parents demanded that she transfer, she was a little confused and a bit angry, but kept loyal, knowing that she would probably end up not staying for long.
With all Honesty, she would eventually come to like being there.
Deng Chao had spent much of his life wanting to be a dog. Even now, at age 13, he wanted to be free of his normal, boring life, and run around like a Dog.
If he had been turned into a Dog, none could tell the difference; He was giving, Compassionate, and Loyal to his Elders, but when angered in any way, as if someone stole something from him, he would fight ferociously to defend his point or retrieve his lost item.
He was estatic when he received his letter. Now was the opportunity he wanted: a Different life.
Dao Pen was a Shorter 14 year old who wore Glasses and was shy, but honest and caring. She wanted to operate behind the scenes in her life. Her life was a little tragic; she is an Orphan, lives alone, was once abused as a very early child, her father left her and her mother was drowned accidentally, and no one was really friends with her. She liked reading a lot, but spent little time doing much else.
She had been secretly getting financial Support from someone she didn't know, but would soon meet. She lived alone in an apartment condo, which actually is a bit higher in quility than many in her area.
She had been receiving messages from this man all her life after abandonment by her parents, who had somehow been able to tell her emotions; now, though, it seemed that he wanted to meet face to face. The latest message showed a location, with which she was prepared to travel.
Before she went to sleep, during the night before her journey, she had packed everything she needed; clothing, Food sent from a neighbor, Her own Green Tea, And two special Attires plus a highly ornate Case in which had the last thing she knew of her family; Within this case was something great...... Something that would cause a pinnacle point in her life. This item was a part of her Secret, a Great secret that no one she knew was aware of. This secret was so important to her that she would go great lengths keeping someone quiet about it if they found out about it. But no one did.
At least... she Thought No one did...
Shizumi Liong, after doing what was directed of him by his colleague, walked away from the City where he traveled, and headed back home in the outer edges of the City. Soon, it would be time to Travel to the place where he had been before, and needed to help prepare along with his Colleague.
Despite being born and raised in America, Shizumi had been moved to China after his Parent's deaths at the age of 6. Here, he was adopted, and was given his Chinese name.
He decided later that he might want to shave his Sideburns and grow a little more hair on the top of his head, which to some prank done by a 5-year-old boy and his little gang of friends, had used a special cream and simply pulled the hairs out of his head while he was dozing off, after watching a Play in theatre.
Well, my friend... He thought;
Time to see if this works. For if not, then I'm not sure what else will.
Hanzu Tang walked on a dirt path within a Woody section of the road he was going on. He believed he might have been hiking on a Trail normally.
But this wasn't normal; he was going to meet someone very important.
The walk he didn't mind, for he had plenty of Energy to go. All that mattered was his destination.
He looked left and right, keeping his eyes on the trees around him. If there was any place from which Danger might spring, they wouldn't survive long enough to tell him why.
All the Teenagers had begun their hike today to the place where they were going. Those who had parents were given instruction in the letter that they were to hike on their own, in order to pass a test of Spirit and determination. All the elders of their kin had liked the idea.
The childeren were directed to different trails leading to the same location; a Siheyuan (A type of chinese House) at the Foot of a Mountain. Each had begun their journey at the same time, but not all would complete it in the same interval. Those who were more physically strong and energetic would finish first, and the slower, less stronger ones would come last.
Shuzi Li thought he heard a noise above him, and got in a stance. It was almost like there was a Monkey going through the trees...
Fon-Chung Liang wasn't walking. He was swinging through the trees, hopping from one Branch to another; he always wanted to do it this way, and for his first time, he was quite good. He was also, however, startling three other walkers on the trail....
Emuri Akubi was at first startled by the rush of noise above him, but now it's constant, persistant noise was getting annoying. He stomped on, crying out that anyone out there was about to eat dirt...
Men Cha, upon hearing the warning of someone in the trees, was getting nervous. Now she was speed walking, trying hard not to run in fear.....
Shizumi Liong, hearing all the noise and sensing an early interaction with the others, quickened his Pace. His Colleague would be furious that he had arrived late, after everyone had gotten there and he was not there to greet them...
Upon coming out of the Trail, Dao Pen, after Hiking for nearly 2 hours time, had finally spotted an open area. It was a large field at the foot of a large mountain further in the distance. And if she could see correctly, she could also barely see a Glint of Gold not too far ahead. Well, not too far compared to the distance she had just walked.
After adjusting her Glasses, she continued her journey. It shouldn't have been too much longer now....
Hanzu Tang had walked out into a field not too long ago. He came upon a large Siheyuan, and he spotted three others waiting at the top of the steps. He climbed them, and met the others; Men Cha, Shuzi Li, and Deng Chao.
After a few minutes, they heard the approach of energetic Fon-Chung Liang and the stomping of Angered Emuri Akubi. And not much longer after that, many of the others had come as well.
"Why must we wait out here in the Heat?" Liang spoke. "The owner of this home must not be here now."
"My Parents sent me here" Akubi stated. "What purpose are you all here for? Speak or I shall be angry!"
"I am here for that, too!" Cha stated, feeling odd. The others said the same.
"So..." Spoke Li, "You mean to tell us that we are all here for the same reason?"
"It would seem so." Spoke Tang. "It doesn't concern me one bit."
"So we are all here for the same reason, at the same time...." Li began walking slowly back and forth. "Why would someone who lives in a place like this want us all to be here? We're all just ordinary people."
As if in answer, the large Circular Bronze door rolled into the right wall. Out stepped Six Men in Wood-plate Armor, holding Quiangs (A type of Spear). They all were men and had their hair in a Bun.
One marched to them, pointing his spear to them. "Before you enter, you will face this test!" He thrusted his weapon to Cha.
Li acted without hesitation. While the others backed away or yelped, he pushed the Spear away, and kicked it so it would point upwards. He spun and met both his fists to the man's chest, pushing him back into the house. He was blinded by a smoke Bomb, however, and was put in a chokehold.
Then, Akubi had gotten frustrated again, and stampeded through two other Guards. His stride was stopped by the wall of the home.
Chao had leapt up onto the guard holding Li, and bit his neck. "I've got him!"
"I do not need your Help!" Li said back. He weaved through the other guards and tried to find a spear, but was knocked to the ground. Chao was thrown over the other childeren, landing on the grass below.
"These men are violent! We should go back!"
Liang shook his head. "We have come all this way for a reason. We cannot turn back now!"
Before anyone could ask why, he leapt into the Guards, acting like a crazy animal trying to hit them. He was easily thrown away.
Tang then shaped his hand into a Tiger-Shaped paw. "I'll drag you all to Hell!!" HE swept his hand at the nearest guard.
His hand suddenly was caught by another... but not the guard's. It was another man. He tossed Tang back, then that same man had used a fury of swift blows to knock the other guards unconcious. He then rolled Akubi down the steps to the others with one hand.
"...What madness is this?" Tang spoke. "What is the meaning of this?!"
Li stepped forward at the foot of the steps. "We were summoned here from separate areas. We wish to meet the one who did so."
The man up at the top of the steps was wearing a Light Grey Garb. His black hair was pulled back and braided in a Queue style. "I know what you have just said. I am the owner of this House, the Field, and the Mountain is my place of refuge. I am the One who has summoned you here."
Yuni spoke up for the first time that day. "Who are you?"
"Wong Shi Zhu."
Some of the childeren had widened their eyes or gasped. They had heard of the Legend of this man.
"Shi Zhu-San." Tang stated. "Why gather us here?"
"I am in need of students. You all shall be my pupils. You will be loyal to me. You will also be under direction of my assistant, Shizumi Liong." He gestured to a Man in a Gray suit, Black under-vest, Sky-blue long sleeved shirt underneath, and black shoes, approaching from the open door. "He is the one whom sent you all your summonings."
Li then took a step forward. "Wong Shi Zhu.... Liong-San....." He kneeled. "I am glad to call you Master."
The others hesiteted before doing the same, but they all joined him in his kneel.
Wong Shi Zhu looked at Shuzumi Liong. A grin was on his face. He then turned back to the students.
"Welcome to my estate. Please come up and enter; it is Hot out here."
They all had gotten through the doorway before Shizumi spoke up. "Wait.... wasn't there another one?"
Just then, a girl had walked up the steps. One or two of the male childeren was struck by her beauty.
Wong Shi Zhu was also taken aback by her face. He smiled and greeted her. "What is your name?"
She looked up at his eyes, her own very nervous, for she was now more shy and afraid than ever. "D...Dao Pen."
Wong smiled again. "You are late... but you are all here. Please, come in. The Sun is harsh today."
She hesitated before entering, and Wong took a last look outside before rolling the Bronze door shut.
The First DayEdit
The group had been led into the courtyard by Wong Shi Zhu, who was followed by Liong. Surrounding the large Square Courtyard, which was about 60 feet long, 25 feet wide, were buildings shaped like the outside front door structure. In the courtyard was a little running river, with stepping stones, and a fountain spewing forth water into the river. The fountain itself was surrounded by a small pond. On the other side of the entering Building was a long structure of a similar shape, with another Bronze Circle Door.
Shizumi moved ahead to roll it open for them. Walking in, the group saw that the floor was made of wood, and three steps would lead them down to it. A long corridor spanned to either side, and another Circular Door was directly in front of them about 10 feet. This one, however, was Silver.
"Take off your footwear" said Wong. "You may continue to wear your undershoes."
Leaving their socks on and their shoes at the top of the steps, Wong lead the group to the Silver door. He walked up the three steps up to that door, stopped, and turned. "Beyond this point is the Training grounds. We shall proceed to the main eating chamber once beyond here. To the left and Right are other Corridors within the outer walls. You may leave your belongings here."
They all placed their bags and such against the wall to either side of the door. The long wall was draped in thin curtains that stretched to the floor, covered in large Kanjis in Cantonese. Shuzumi opened the door for them.
The group couldn't believe their eyes. Not even Li, whom had seen Kung-Fu training areas, had not seen a place like this. The entire chamber was nearly 120 ft in length, width, and the walls were 30 ft to the ceiling. Two Larger Red Banners were hung on the far wall, each depicting two large Kanjis: "Strength, Courage, Determination, and Spirit."
However, this did not attract the childeren's attention. What did was the large Circular decoration between these Banners. The circle was about 16 ft in Diameter, and was Limestone within a Golden Frame. The Circle was actually two Rings surrounding a smaller Circle. The larger, outer ring depicted the Animals of the Chinese Zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. The middle, inner Ring depicted the Five Elements of Chinese Mythology: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. The Small, Inner Circle was a Gold Plate with the Face of Wong Shi Zhu sticking out of it. The other walls had banners of the Animals and their characteristics, Four on each wall, and descriptions of the animals and their personalities. The wall from which they just entered had Banners of the Elements, descriptions and how they are influential in life.
All around the Wood Floor were Mats, Pole Dummies, Bamboo walls, and Bamboo poles on which to balance on, the center square of them balanced in a pool of Water. Additionally, the walls looked as if there were slots in which could open up and darts could be fired from. In the corners of the massive chamber were large Pots.
Wong Shi Zhu turned to look at the faces of his Dumbstruck students. "This is where you shall spend much of your time learning your new lifestyle. Follow me to the Eating chamber." He led them to a Silver Door at the left Wall. There was another Silver door on the right, but in place of a door on the far wall with the Twin banners and the Zodiac, there was a Shrine.
Shizumi rolled open the door for them again, and Wong Shi Zhu led them around a corner. He slid open a Wall, revealing to them a square room about 30 ft long, 10 ft wide. A long table was on the floor, and many shelves lined the wall. Here, there were smaller drapes and banners, depicting Kanjis of Good fortune and A well-fed Society. There were pieces of Artwork of Chefs and Large men who ate lots of food.
"Please" Wong Shi Zhu directed with a simple hand gesture, "Come and sit. My servants have Prepared food."
They all took a place to sit along the Table. Wong sat at one end, and Shuzumi took the other end. 8 Servants came in bringing bowls of White Rice, Egg rolls, and Beef and Broccoli. Most of them were ok with the meal. Some of them would have preferred some other dish if given a choice, but kindly accepted.
Akubi, however, couldn't tolerate Broccoli, and would demand Fried Rice. He rose up and addressed Wong. "How am I meant to Eat something like this? This is not my Dish."
"Correction:" Wong said. "This is not your Normal Dish. And I shall tell you how you are meant to eat; As the Oxen are meant to eat of the Grass from the Earth, and how the Crane knows where the Predators are in the Water. It comes naturally. This is Tonight's dish, and it would be most disrespectful to turn away a Meal that has already been prepared for you by Willing and able Servants."
Akubi sat back down again without another word, and stubbornly consumed the meal in large portions.
During the Meal, Wong had told them all how he was a Grand Master of Martial Arts, and how he once commanded a school of Trainees in the art of Combat. He told them this was a new academy, and that they (The group of Childeren summoned there) were his first new pupils here.
Yuni spoke up: "What if we don't wish to learn Combat?"
Wong looked at her with great concern and confusion. "Now, why would you want such a thing? The Art of Combat is essential for Self-Defense, and is a way of Communication."
"At least we can still learn the normal things from school... right?" Chaki said.
"Of course." Wong stated. "You think I would only teach you Fighting? Where would the Discipline come from, then? You shall all learn Math, Literature, and more."
Li then raised a hand. "You said you are famous for your Martial Arts. Is there anything else you have skill in?"
Wong gleemed at him. "A wise child to consider not only Combat aspect. Yes, I am a Writer, and I am skilled in Medicine."
Tang then looked up at Wong. "So, you said you were a Teacher previously, of another school.... where are all the students here? What did you teach them before? Where are they now?"
Wong looked at him in the eyes, hard, and his face became like a Stone. A moment of silence filled the room. "Do not bring that up again until you have earned my trust."
The other students looked at each other in confusion. Why would he try to hide this?
Chao then spoke up. "Well, would you like us to introduce ourselves to each other? Reveal a little bit about ouselves to everyone?"
"You shall not need to." Wong stated. "I know all there is to know about you all. And You all will come to know each other in due time. It is time to rest." He then stood up. "You will all sleep here."
Cha stood as well. "But... it was bright as day when we arrived here."
Shizumi pulled back a curtain, showing them an opening, where they could see the darkness of evening. "Time flies in this region." The students stared at him and the outside in awe.
Wong moved to the door. "It is nearly time to sleep. I shall lead you all to your rooms now. My servants shall bring you your belongings as you sleep." He led them to another Silver Rollaway door, where an entire corridor was revealed, 6 sliding walls on either side.
Wong adressed them all. "You all shall pick your rooms. Stay in separate ones, and respect the courtesy of each other; sleep, do not make noise." With that, he and Shuzumi walked off.
After talking a little bit about what they were going to do, the students had gone to their rooms. Only Dao Peng had refrained from communication that night, going straight to her room. And with that, they all had gone to sleep. They would need it, for the next day would bring much knowledge to them... and they needed to be prepared for it all.
The Second DayEdit
Upon Dawn, the Group were awakened by the resonating noise of a Very Loud Noise. It sounded like it was a Gong. The Silver Door at the enterance of the corridor they were in was already rolled away, Shizumi stood there waiting for them, his suit the same color and style as the one he wore last night.
"Good Morning. Your tour of the House will begin now. If you have not yet changed in the new clothing provided for you, please do so now." He didn't have to wait very long.
He escorted them to the Meal chamber again. A dish of Geng (A kind of Soup) and a plate of Rice was prepared for them. Wong Shi Zhu, however, was not there to greet them or eat with them.
No one spoke during the meal. After they were done, Shizumi directed them to the Courtyard. This lead to great confusion between the Childeren, whom were believing that they would be taught lessons typical in Chinese Schools.
Shizumi turned to them in the courtyard. "Now... you know a little bit of My Colleague, Wong Shi Zhu; It's time you know a little about me."
Akubi raised his hand to speak. "May I ask?"
"You do not look Chinese."
This took all the Childeren by surprise. Of Course he wasn't Chinese! Why would he bring that up?
Akubi: "You do not look Chinese, so you are not Chinese. Why you come here, go back to where you came from."
Shizumi raised his left eyebrow, shook his head, and looked at the ground. He was impressed how courageous this Child was. "Now, now..."
"You are American." Tang spoke up. "You have the hair and the clothing of an American. You also are white and smell funny."
Shizumi looked at Tang. "Do not support your friend here who is obviously trying to destroy my spirit."
"I am not" Said Tang. "I am merely stating what you are."
"Listen here." Shizumi said; he was now speaking to them all. "Just because I am of a different Race doesn't mean I can't be welcomed here, nor practice your Customs. Address me with respect."
Cha pulled Tang's arm. "Please; he is our Elder. Do not attack him further."
Tang did as she said. Akubi, however, would have none of it. He swung a fist at Shizumi.
Before the others could widen their eyes in surprise at Akubi's action, Shizumi had grabbed his fist and tripped him.
Akubi got up. "You steal a Chinese Name.... I shall take it back from you!" With that, he charged.
Shizumi stepped aside, catching his fist again, and pushing it to the ground. This stopped Akubi again, and he didn't bother getting back up.
Shizumi looked at the other childeren, a bit of anger in his eyes. The others had shock and surprise in their own.
"I will not me toyed with." Said Shizumi, his face getting redder. "You will All Address me as your Master! Understand?!"
"Shizumi-San." Said a voice. From the wall to their right, Wong approached them. He stepped between them and Shizumi.
"I know you are protective of your past and origin.... but you must give these Childeren the same respect you demand of them."
Shizumi stared at him for a moment before bowing.
Wong turned to the others. "And for the rest of you: Give him Respect, and do not insult his Nature. If you were American, you would do the same for us Chinese. Remember that."
The others looked at him in awe, either at his statement, or at the way he came out of nowhere.
With that ending, and Akubi's arm checked for a scrape or bruise (Of which there were none), they presumed their tour of the Grounds. The South Building had the Main enterance and the courtyard. The Outer corridor connected this to the Training Building, and the corridor itself ran around the perimeter of this building. The East corridor and the West Corridor were connected to the East and West Buildings, which were used to house the Guards and Servants, and these buildings were connected to the East and West Gates. The North Building was inaccessible; the way was blocked by a Gold Circle door, which was not to be touched. Wong said they would have access to that area with time. Beyond this was some way that lead to the North Gate, which lead to a Road that went up the Mountain. The enterance to the mountain path was guarded by twin Limestone Statues.
The Field outside was a clear, open area where picnics would be held once every week. The picnics happened during Lunchtime. They were restricted from Hiking back on their trails back home. Shizumi stated that there were guards in the Woods to make sure there were no trespassers... and no escapees.
This, along with Dinner and More clothing deliverance before Bed, concluded the Second day.
The Third DayEdit
This time, Wong joined them for the Morning meal. After they had finished Eating, he stood.
"Today shall be the beginning of your standard Education. A few of my Servants will be your teachers; and if you need assistance, address Shizumi, and he will summon a Servant for you."
The childeren looked at each other. Li spoke first.
"Will you not teach us Martial Arts?"
"That will be tomorrow" Addressed Wong. "Besides, you already have knowledge in that aspect."
The others stared at Li. Li had a bit of shame on his face. He didn't want anyone knowing this, for he would surprise an attacker with his techniques. Not that he hadn't already shown them, though.
The day continued on like that. They had gone to another section of the Estate, where they were introduced to their teachers. Shizumi stayed with them the entire time.
This concluded the Third day.
The Fourth Day/TrainingEdit
All of the Students were assembled outside in white clothing; all loose long-sleeved shirts, loose pants, and Sandals. Shizumi wore another Grey suit, and Wong his standard attire as well, this one colored white. They were all in the field outside the South main enterance.
It was just getting light in the dark morning sky. All of the Students were tired.
"Alright," Wong started. "Your Training begins Today. Everyone.... Follow me in our Run!"
He took off, and the Students jogged after him.
"You will keep at this pace" Wong called out to them. "And you will not stop until I do." Wong was in the front, the students in two lines, Akubi in the back (Since the number of childeren was uneven), and Shizumi behind him.
It soon became apparent that not all of them were prepared for the run. Akubi was the first to slow; he then stopped, bending over to catch his breath. Shizumi smacked him on the back of the head. "Look at the others, how they're progressing. They have the spirit to go on, and look at you. You corrode their determination, making them want to stop even more."
Akubi: "I..... I can't.... go on..."
"You Embarrass me just by standing here next to you." He whistled, and two servants took out lashes, and began to work on Akubi. It only took one swipe from them both to get him going again, fast enough for him to catch up to the rest of the runners. At this time, they reached the woods, and continued running on the trail, never stopping.
After about an hour of running, two began to slow, then three, four, and soon all but a few kept running after Wong. Shizumi got his servants to escort them all back to the Estate. Akubi, of course, was one of those that went back.
The only ones left were Ma, Song, Chao, Pen, Li, and Tang. Liang had more energy to go on, but decided he'd use it to run back to the Estate; they had gotten pretty far. The Sun was now bright in the sky. Wong allowed Shizumi to go back to the Estate, to make sure the students there were behaving... they couldn't go back inside. Only Shizumi and Wong knew that a few well-placed stones in the Circular doors was enough to keep it from opening.
Ma finally slowed and stopped. She was escorted back to the Estate.
Chao also slowed soon after. He stopped and caught up with Ma , and they went back together with the escorts.
Pen was worn out more than the others. Her pace was slowing, and soon, she was left behind.
Only Li and Tang were following Wong now. Li managed to stay in his exact position behind Wong the entire time, never slowing, never getting closer or further away. Tang was going back and forth from slowing and speeding up, but he kept from passing Li. They ran side-by-side behind Wong.
After another Hour, Two hours total, they had emerged back out into the field, going back to the enterance. Tang finally was wearing down. He slowed again, and he tried a flat-out Sprint back to the Estate to beat Li and Wong. Wong, however, stuck his foot out, tripping Tang as he tried to pass.
Wong and Li made it back. Li was worn out, and sat on the ground. Wong continued to stand, only a single trickle of Sweat going down the front, Bald half of his head. He whiped it away swiftly, looking at the other students, who were laying or sitting in the grass, sweating, and breathing hard. They were all sweating excessively, except Wong, who had only one or two droplets of Sweat coming from his head.
"Hmm..." Wong said. "This is your first day of training. Look at you all... exausted beyond imagination, and yet you only did a Morning Run. You will come to like your standard education a lot more. I am disappointed by how fit you all are."
He inhaled a long breath. "Only two managed to stay with me the entire time... But the majority of you have decided everyone's fate. Inside, to the Courtyard, where you will be lashed five times, and OFF TO THE TRAINING CHAMBER!!"
All of the students had expressions of Sadness and Anger. They all cried out in protest. They all climbed the steps to the door, which was about to be rolled open by Shizumi.
"Look!" Ma pointed to the woods.
Shizumi walked over to her, grabbing her by the collar, pulling her close. "You do NOT speak until Spoken to. Understand?"
"Hold" Wong said. All the students looked at him, as did Ma. Shizumi slowly turned his face to Wong. Wong's back was facing the field.
He smiled. "I believe Miss San has a point." Ma opened her mouth to Speak.
Wong cut her off before a word left. "Do not explain... I noticed the moment She slowed."
Li had an expression of confusion on his face. "...She..?"
Wong nodded, and stepped aside to his left. Out in the field, the students could barely see a figure running to them way in the distance.
Shizumi walked to the edge of the head of the steps, and squinted. He raised his hand to his brow to block the Sun, which was now high and Bright in the sky. His eyes went Wide, and one could notice that despite his closed lips, his Jaw dropped.
Wong smiled at this shocked reaction from his assistant, and turned his body halfway, looking with his turned head out to the field. "There was one of you who, despite the Temptation to give up and the Body screaming in Protest, Had the Will and Determination to go on....."
The other's eyes went wide as well, and their mouths hung open. The shade of the Roof provided a little bit of cool, but what they saw made them sweat even more.
Out in the field, Stumbling more than she was walking, came Dao Pan. Her body was used beyond it's operational functions, and her tempurature was skyrocketting. She was stumbling along as if she were Drunk.
Pen fell over into the grass. Ma cried out in shock, Chao, Chang, and Li all rushing up to help her out. Wong raised his hand, and they stopped.
Shizumi began to walk out as well, but his Jacket collar was held by Wong. "Hold him" Wong said to Li. Li grabbed a hold of his collar.
Peing called out in protest. "Why is no one helping her? Someone DO Something!"
Chao shook his head. "No... she has made it this far."
To their disbelief, Pen slowly, but actually, got up, and continued to stumble. When she got to the steps, her legs gave out, and she hit the second step head-first.
The others cried out. Wong continued to remain silent.
Shizumi broke free of Li's grasp and rushed down the stairs, followed by Li, who stopped halfway down, knowing his help was not needed. Shizumi got to Pen, and extended his hand to her.
Slowly, Pen crawled up the steps, going past Shizumi. Shizumi looked at her going up all the way, dumbstricken by her Will, and her signal that she was not going to be helped.
Pen's legs could no longer move a third of the way up. She used her arms the rest of the way. When passing Li, he bowed formally to her, and followed her up the steps, slowly.
Shizumi noticed her Glasses at the foot of the steps. He picked them up, turning them over in his hands, then looking back up at Pen.
When she got to the top of the steps, Pen raised her hand to Li. Shizumi ran up the stairs to help Li hold her upper body up. She looked up at Wong. A trickle of Blood ran down her cheek from her cut forhead. Her clothes were drenched in sweat, and her face and hands were dripping. Her mouth Hung Open, drooling saliva.
Her eyes, however, was what everyone was looking at. They showed a tremendous will behind them; a Fierce Determination. Her Willpower made the other students shiver in fear.
Li took her other arm, nodded at Shizumi, and Shizumi allowed Li to hold her up by himself. Her expression never changed.
Pen stared into the eyes of Wong.
Shizumi's eyes were wider than ever. She sill had enough energy to SPEAK, let alone Joke about her first coming. Wong took the Glasses from his hands before they dropped.
Wong Smiled at her. "Pen-San.... You have demonstrated a Trememdous Will behind those Beautiful eyes. Your spirit is unrelenting. Despite the circumstances of the Energy you have, the time you took, and the Heat and Light of the Sun, You did not give up, even when given the option... I am proud to call you my Pupil."
She suddenly slipped from Li's hold, and landed again on the hard Brick. Wong picked her up, holding her in his arms, and directed Shizumi to open the door. It took him time to register the request, but he opened it for everyone.
Wong walked inside first, still carrying Pen, a Smile on his Face all the way. Li was also smiling; the others were still shocked out of their minds, including Shizumi.
"Come, everyone... we have much to do."
Despite the amazing feat preformed by Dao Pen, the Students still had to learn things that day on Martial arts. Luckily for them, Miss Pen being in the state she was in allowed Shizumi to figure that he would be fair and let the others take a break; However, Wong never planned to make them do much physical work after the Run anyway.
Pen was treated for her physical pains. She had suffered from Overheating, wearing out all of her body, and her blow to the head. Fortunately, she had no Brain damage as of yet, but her Glasses had been bent at the nose. Wong managed to bend them back in shape, but advised that she handle them more carefully now that they could break much more easily. Her minor bruises she obtained falling in the field and crawling up the stairs to the enterance were treated, and she also had a pulled leg muscle that was healed back to perfect condition by Wong and his Servents. The other Students watched his preformance, and were astonished by his skill. Shizumi stood behind them, nodding as if interested at one or two of Wong's medical remarks and the methods he used.
Wong had taken them to a Small chamber, which was mainly an open wood floor, but it also had several Paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling; additionally, there was a small rise at the end of the room, five steps leading to it's top, and on this rise was a sheet with two cups, a scroll, and a tray of what smelled like Soup. Wong had gathered his students near the rise, himself standing in front of them at the foot of the small steps. All the students were sitting on the floor.
"The Martial arts are more than simply just techniques in which you defeat enemies with Fist and Foot" Said Wong. "It is something more than just increasing your Physical ability. Martial Arts is a way of increasing Mental Preformance, and becoming More Spiritually powerful, which is Essential in the way of Life."
Wong looked over them all. "However, there is one of you who I do not need to address this too. One whom already knows many good, Novice Techniques, and has begun to be able to reach the first step in the goal I stated. Will that person please Stand and Step forward?"
The other students looked in the general direction of Pen, which was a completely normal thing since she pulled off that run earlier that day; however, when they saw Li stand and step towards Wong, they weren't that surprised either, once they remembered the first 'engagement' with the Guards on their day of arrival.
Li stopped about two feet from Wong, his back straight, his Hands behind his back. He bowed formally. "Master Wong."
"Li-San... though you know a little of Martial Arts, and have a good head-start, you will come to learn a few new things here... and perhaps, you may come to forget some of your methods, learning new, better techniques in which will be essential for your future." Wong addressed the rest of them. "For ALL your Futures."
Tang rose up to stand, then stopped mid-stand. Wong raised his brows and smiled. "Tang-San.... you have something?"
Tang Stood complete and Errect. "Master Wong; I also know a little of Martial Arts, though I am not a Practitioner of the Combat and Physical Methods. I..... I do not think my Mind is at peace."
Wong looked at him with Concern. "Please... tell me. What's on your mind?"
"About.... this place." Tang looked at the others. "I don't wish to push the issue on your old school; but.... why are we here? We all are just.... ordinary people. I'm sure Li would make an excellent student, maybe myself. Everyone else doesn't know much of Martial arts, and knowing how Great of a Man you are, why bother with Childeren like us?"
"What makes a Man Great is not his Power, Wealth, or Popularity," Wong stated. "It is acceptance of others who are weaker and helping them become a better person."
"Then..... what is it you wish for us to become?"
Wong Smiled. "The Best you can be."
Akubi raised a hand, speaking before he was called. "What good will Martial Arts do to make us better?"
Wong Bowed formally, turned to walk up the five steps, and retreaved the scroll. He turned on top of the platform to them. He extended it outwards and at Chest-height.
"Within this Scroll is what I wish for all of you to be. It is the principle of the Chinese people since Ancient Times. You have already seen it in the Training Chamber....."
He unraveled it and held it open. It was an ink drawing of the Chinese Zodiac, along with another smaller Ink Drawing, this one looking like a Yin-Yang with Two faces next to the respective colors.
"This.... is what I wish for you to be."
Shizumi walked to Wong with a Red-Wood Case, handing it to Wong with both Hands. Wong took it and opened it up. Inside were twelve Gold Circular cases.
" 'The Power of Twelve will join together to defeat One great Darkness.' That is what you all will be; The Twelve. I will tell you my story... then I will give you each your Talismans.
Wong sat on the Sheet, telling them his life Revelation.....
Wong Fei-Hung was a Chinese Martial Artist, Physician, Acupuncturist and Revolutionary who became a Folk Hero. There were many, many conflicts and fights during his age. He was not only famous for his Skill with Fist and Foot, but also as a healer, and his mysterious way of ending dangerous disputes, making even the worst of enemies become like Brothers. He was known throughout China, and eventually, throughout the world.
However, his Popularity and strength in combat were not what he was most proud of. He was happy that all of his friends, family, and enemies had a chance to redeem themselves in peace. Even after his death, Wong Fei-Hung was greatly admired, and his example was enough to make people stop fighting. His students carried out his lifestyle, doing what he had lived to do until their deaths.
He had Four Childeren, whom bore many childeren of their own. Ultimately, he would become the ancestor of the Great Master Wong Shi Zhu, who was much the same man as Fei-Hung, as far as skill, discipline, and peace-loving Passions.
Wong Shi-Zhu had made a school, teaching his students in the art of Wushu. One of his students, however, rebelled against him, turning much of the school against Wong. Only Wong's closest were not frayed, and he sent them all on missions to find youth whom could become great in their life, and be able to help Wong to do what must be done.
....Wong stopped for a moment, looking at the faces of his students. Ma raised her hand.
"What happened to your closer pupils?"
"They all spread further across the country, looking for more students whom can be my disciples after your ultimate task is done," answered Wong.
He walked to each individually, opening the case and bending down to them so they could retrieve the one he pointed out to them. After he had given them all their cases (Saving Dao Pen for last), he went back up to the foot of the steps.
Li tilted his head. "You said there were Twelve of us.... who is the last one? Is it a new student coming here?"
Wong shook his head. "No... in fact, you already know him. He has been a great help to me so far. In fact, you do not think of him as a student.... but he must learn as much as all of you do."
All the students were confused. They looked at Li, who instantly recognized who he meant. They followed his gaze.....
A few of the students, notably Tang and Akubi, had expressions of total Shock and disbelief. "....Him? HE'S one of your 'Students'?!" Cried Akubi.
Shizumi Gladly walked up to take the Last Case. Chan could have sworn she saw an expression of Pride at their surprise, as if he and Wong had planned this.
"Now, then...." Wong said. "You all have cases that will represent you. You are currently unable to open them now; You must first have achieved complete peace with your Body, Mind, and Spirit."
Immediately, some of them tried to open the cases. No matter how hard they tried, it didn't even crack a millimeter. They were sealed tight.
Xi looked at Wong. "You have locked them? When can we get the keys?"
Wong chuckled and shook his head. "I have done nothing to keep you from opening them; they were specially made to not be able to open until you have learned the way. This can teach patience. I have already told you that you must first achieve peace with ALL Your aspects in order to see what is inside... it is not just a Piece of yourself, but also a piece of yourself."
None of the students, not even Shizumi, recognized what he just meant. If you are confused at this as well, do not worry; this shall be explained later in the story. The above sentance is Not a typo; merely what you would hear if one had spoken it to you. After this, Wong took them for a meal.
In the Evening, They all had Fried Rice with Szechuan-Cuisine Chicken served with Kung Pao sauce. A cup of Water and Chestnut Cake was given to them all a few minutes later for dessert. They all spoke to each other about what they were to do tomorrow. Wong easily explained to them their combat training would begin the next day; Spiritual Preparation techniques would be taught for the first week, then Defensive skills the next few days, and all throughout the rest of that month, they would be evaluated for this.
Next would come Offensive moves just in case they needed to stop an attacker and couldn't defeat them them with words or Spirit. Only a few hours of the day would be spent on attacking though; Wong continued to press that Defense was the most important thing, and made sure they knew how to persuade an assailant out of Violence. However, he assured them all that in due time they would know enough in the offensive range that they would be able to defeat most martial artists throughout their region.
With this, he rose up to address them all again, this time on a different topic.
"Be ready tomorrow evening; After your Training, you will go to your rooms, and go to the Main Teaching chamber, where you shall bring with you what ou believe will benefit you most in your time here from your OWN Belongings. Good night, and rest well tonight, for you will need all your energy ready tomorrow. Good luck to you all. Dismissed."
With that, they all went back to their rooms. Here, Shizumi got their attention and spoke.
"Before the night is over, you all are to Bathe. There is a chamber in which you all may do so down at the other end of the estate; However, there are only 4 Booths to do so in your area of access. You shall all take Turns in cleansing. With that, Clean well and thorough, but clean quick; it will be about two hours until standard bed time, but I shall advise that an earlier sleep start will guarantee you a better and brighter Morning."
Luckily for the Girls, there were only Four of them, so they all could bathe at the same time. The Boys were whom Shizumi was addressing mainly for taking turns.
Out of all the girls, Dao Pen was unmistakenly the least clean at the moment. Ironically, she was the one whom took more care of her body than all the other Childeren.
In the Bathing area, the booths were similar to Western Showers, but the walls were made of a Paper material similar to traditional walls but thinner and water-proof. The water was always warm; Soap was provided on a small stand, and there was even a bench in the Booth.
Dao Pen was the last girl to arrive at the bathing chamber, and hid behind the door, not looking at the other girls. She made sure they were all in their booths before she entered. She still looked over her shoulder to make sure there were no observers before she removed her glasses, undressed, and quickly went into the booth. When she turned the water on, it was so hot it nearly burned her skin. She was used to cold showers.
Dao carefully adjusted the tempurature to it's lowest setting before turning the water back on. It still felt like she was being scalded, but after a while her body adjusted so it was not unbearable. She made sure to especially clean the dirt out of her hair first, and worked her way down. When she was done, she waited until the other girls were done and out of the room. Right as she opened the curtain, though, she realized she forgot to bring a change of clothes. She noted how mistey the entire chamber seamed before she pulled the curtains back again.
She heard footsteps coming towards her end. When a shadowy shape could be seen outside, apparently waiting for her, she gulped. "P....Please Go away..."
The voice of Wong was heard on the other side. "Why do you wish me to leave? I came to make sure you all went to your rooms."
She was startled at him. "Please forgive me Master..." She took her Glasses and whiped the Fog off of them before putting them on, in case she needed to stick her head out.
"No apology needed for your caution. It is good you are aware of a few dangers, though you need not worry of that here. But why are you still in there? It is time to go to sleep, and you certainly aren't spending the night in there."
"I....I...." She began. "....I left all my clothes in my room...."
"....Why would you forget such a thing? You should be smarter than this!"
"S...Sorry!" She shut her eyes tight in fright. She knew how responsible she needed to be; it was a simple mistake, why couldn't He see that?
".....You do not need ALL your clothes, do you?"
"No" Pen almost giggled. "Please... could you retrieve a set for me? I do not wish to.....come out...... without.."
But Wong seemed too silent. She slowly peaked out of the curtains.
Wong was Gone.
Startled at first, she remembered he was a Grand master of Martial arts; it was probably normal for that to happen. But did he leave to get her clothes, or just to leave her there in shame for being unprepared?
She could never know. Hesitantly, she tip-toed out of her Booth, looking desperately for something to cover with. She managed to find a White Towel halfway down the chamber where the sinks were, and she quickly placed it around her. She realized it was shorter than she wanted, revealing about 2 inches of thigh above the knee.
When she walked to the door, which was left partially open, there was a set of clothing laying on the floor for her. It was not anything she packed, however.
Wong came around the corner of the doorway, startling her again.
"It was faster and easier to provide you with garments of my own... it is past your bedtime."
She took the garments quickly. She looked at Wong in the eyes.
She hid behind the door to put the garment on. Wong smiled before she came around the door again, going to her room. Wong looked around the nearby chamber before he shut the door to the Bathing Room, then departing for rest himself.
The Fifth DayEdit
The day was bright and beautiful. It was a cool beginning that was proceeding to warm softly, the morning Sun rising steadily from the east. Today was to be the student's first day in instructions for martial arts, and they would be taught defensive techniques first.
They were all brought outside for a morning run. This time, all but Ikubi and Song kept behind their Master. After their run, they were given small cups of water that was slightly scented to smell like olives and had an odd taste to it; however, after such a run like this, it was the best water they'd ever had.
They were then brought to the courtyard. Wong had them standing in a square, Shizumi behind them, and gave off his first direction:
"Stretches! Come, take your arm and hold it across your chest for twenty seconds."
They all did as instructed, but some of them were confused. What good would stretching do? It seemed pointless, both to do but also to ask. They did all the demonstrated stretches; Knee curls, leg bends, calf stretches, and the like.
After this, they did Fifty push-ups; or at least were instructed to. None but Tang, Li, and the ever-determined Pen managed to complete all of them. Then there were a hundred sit-ups, followed by thirty pull ups by hanging from a pipe that ran along the walls of the courtyard.
It was nearly noon when Wong allowed them to take a break; all of the students were laying on the ground, soaked in sweat, panting, trying to ease their muscles and catch their breath. Akubi sat alone by himself as his odor was the most potent in driving them all away. However, they only had about four minutes to rest before they were taken inside to the main training room.
Here, Shizumi took the males and Wong instructed the females; each demonstrated the essentials and importance of a strong defense, and how much one needed to rely more on defense and not harming the assailant than outright attacking them. Each instructor gave their students five postures and responsive movements for them all to practice and memorize. Their training lasted only about fourty minutes; this caused major confusion to the students.
Wong explained that "Your minds are still young; like the rat caught by bait, it is best to give just a small amount of a treat, just enough to let it know that it is there, and allow the mind to have that want to learn more. It makes you more eager to learn tomorrow, and it will make training easier and simpler. Practice what you have now, though; you'll need to memorize and know Everything we do here and know how to do it as if I had just taught you a moment before."