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Sun Fighter Pt. 1
As the monk set himself ablaze, the rest of the temple knew that the end was near. The Grandmaster sat on his throne and thought about the monk’s last words, “It is coming…” The Grandmaster stood and turned to his page.
“Please go and retrieve the elders” he said calmly.
“Yes sir” said the page, and he hurried away.
The Grandmaster then proceeded to walk to the Council room; the decision had to be made soon. He arrived and took his seat. While he waited, he thought about all the young monks that were taught in his temple. Today, the Council must pick a warrior to defend the world. As the Grandmaster thought, Master Dai Lan walked in the room. His face looked distraught.
“I see you heard the news Dai Lan. You know what we must do,” said the Grandmaster.
“I understand, but who could handle such a task?” asked Dai Lan.
“That is what we are here to decide.”
A few moments later Master Fei Xi walked into the room. “Fei Xi and now we must only wait on Ai Tai before we can start,” announced the Grandmaster. His face turned sour. Ai Tai was always late even in matters so pressing. Although Ai Tai was one of his longest friends, they had been through much together.
“Ok I’m here. Let’s get this show on the road,” announced Master Ai Tai as he walked into the room, “I understand that we need to pick an individual to defend us and wield Huo Kou (Fire Mouth).”
Huo Kou was a magic sword of legend that possessed great power. It could vanquish any evil when merged with the heart of a true warrior. Legend has said that Huo Kou could not only vanquish any evil, but also any good when used in the wrong hands. The last time that happened the results were disastrous, which is why it was placed into the care of the monks.
“Ahem. It seems that the day we have waited for has come and it is time to choose a warrior of great power,” said the Grandmaster.
“Out of all the warriors we have trained I think Rock Lee would be the best choice for this honor,” stated Fei Xi matter-of-factly.
“Are you serious? That hot-headed fool!” said Dai Lan, “He cannot keep a clear head half the time. He can run, jump, and fight, but what is power without patience. Someone who embodies these things is my student Rohan.”
“Rohan?! Are you kidding me? He wouldn’t last a minute in the outside world without master’s guidance,” said Fei Xi.
“That is enough you two. We are here to deliberate, not have a shouting match over who has the better student,” said the Grandmaster sternly. He was becoming quite annoyed with his pupils.
“Grandmaster, if I may. I do not believe the answer to our problem lies within the temple walls,” said Ai Tai, “Recently I have been having dreams about a boy with a great chi. I think he may be the warrior we are seeking. I ask permission to find him and bring him back to the temple for training to fight the quickly approaching threat.”
“Are you certain that this boy is the one we seek?” questioned the Grandmaster.
“No I am not certain, but I believe that if I find this boy he can make a big difference in the oncoming battle.”
“Ai Tai I have known you for a long time and I trust your judgment. If you say this child will make a difference then I believe you. I give you 3 days to find this boy and bring him back. Do not disappoint me,” said the Grandmaster, “And with that I think we are done here and you Ai Tai should prepare for your journey.”
“GET OUTTA HERE!” shouted a boy as a man peered into his room, “Better yet how about you get out of my house!”
“Hey, now boy your moms invited me to spend a little time here, so how about you sit down and shut up,” said the man with an evil grin on his face. He turned around and walked down the hallway. “Hey Mary, get your son in check before I have to do it myself.”
A woman’s head peaked inside the room. “Look Lucas, you are this close from being on the street. You leave Josh alone or I’ll deal with you myself.” She stuck her head back out the door.
Lucas got up, slammed the door shut and locked it. He hated all his mother’s boyfriends. Every week she seemed to have a new one. Josh was the latest and apparently greatest so far; he actually had a job. Lucas thought about the times when he and his mom used to do everything together, but that was when he was 11. He was now 14, practically an adult by his standards and he could take care of himself.
Lucas looked up for his thoughts. He heard noises in the other room. “Aww gross. I’m outta here,” said Lucas with a disgusted looked on his face. He walked over to his window, unlocked it and hopped out onto the fire escape. He took the ladder down and started walking down the street. It was almost dark out. Lucas didn’t know where he would go, all he knew was that he didn’t want to be here. He turned a corner and continued to walk.
The sun was almost completely set. Lucas decided it was time to go back, it was dangerous at night and he didn’t have any kind of protection.
“Hey kid, what you doing out, isn’t it a little late for the kiddies to be playin’?” said a slurred voice. Out of the shadows a group of drunken men began to appear. “Did you know there is now a toll to walk the streets, so pay up we need more beer money!” said one of the men followed by a series of chuckles from the others.
Lucas looked at the men. Five not too many, but still too many for me to handle thought Lucas. He turned and ran thinking he could lose them. The men started to chase him. Lucas ran up and down a few blocks, but the men were still tailing. Lucas made a sharp left and came face to face with a dead end. “Oh shoot,” said Lucas wearily. He turned and saw the five men coming towards him. They pulled out blades.
“You shouldn’t have done that kid. Now we’re gonna have to take that toll plus interest,” said the leader. He approached Lucas, blade fully extended and at the ready. He rushed at Lucas and almost instinctively Lucas parried to the side. He didn’t notice the second thug rushing at him as well. At the last second, Lucas did a hand spin of the thug’s shoulder and kicked him in a trash can.
Lucas was stunned. When did I learn to do that, he thought to himself. He looked at the second thug. He was lying in a pile of trash unconscious. “Wow….” said Lucas. He was so shocked he did not see the remaining four thugs sneaking up behind him.
“We got you now punk!” said the Leader as they were about to pounce. Oh no! thought Lucas, but just before the thugs could strike, a man front flipped over the thugs and landed in front of Lucas.
“Get behind me boy,” said the man. He stood on one leg facing the thugs and said, “Embrace the crane.” Lucas felt weird after the man said that, like someone had turned on a light only it wasn’t light, it was a kind of energy. The man took a stance that was low to the ground, his arms poised in fighting positions.
“Look at this Bruce Lee wannabe. Oh what are you gonna do? Flying mantis style, master butt head?” said the leader thug mockingly. With that the man struck down two of the men in a blink of the eye.
Before the thug could comprehend what had just happened he was lying on the ground seeing stars. The strange man took a look at the final thug. The thug’s face turned pale. He dropped the knife and ran. The man turned and looked at Lucas. “I am master Ai Tai and I have much to tell you,” said Ai Tai, “Please follow, I will escort you home.”
Lucas followed the Ai Tai and listened to what he said. “So what you are saying is that long ago a great evil formed of dark magic, named Tai Len, tried to take over the world, but he was defeated by a great warrior named Lu Kai and that I am possibly his descendent and destined to defeat this evil again? Bro that sounds pretty ridiculous, I’m not even gonna lie. You’re pulling my leg right?”
“Young one I do not joke with matters such as this one. Tai Len is the greatest evil the world has ever seen and he can only be defeated by the sword, Huo Kou,” stated Ai Tai.
“Then why don’t you just use it and kill him yourself,” asked Lucas, “You could have saved yourself a lot of time.”
“Hush your ignorance child. The sword’s true power can only be unlocked by a descendent of Lu Kai. I believe that is you.”
“Hmm so if all this were true how exactly would I be able to fight this ‘great evil’?” asked Lucas.
“You will have to return with me to the temple where we will train until the next full moon. For on that day Tai Len will rise once again to claim this world,” said Ai Tai.
Lucas thought about what Ai Tai had said. He could either potentially save the world or be embarrassed by a really, really good conman. He made up his mind and said, “Master Ai Tai, I will join you, but something you said worries me. You said Tai Len will rise again on the next full moon, isn’t the next full moon soon?”
Ai Tai’s expression gravened, “Yes child it is in the next five days. This means if you are joining me, we must leave now.”
“Ok” said Lucas, “Let’s go.” He thought about his mom, she can handle a few days without me.
“We are here, and we made excellent time too,” announced Master Ai Tai as they arrived, “We shall see the Grandmaster first and he shall decide what to do with you.” They walked into the temple and proceeded down a long corridor. At the end of the corridor was a giant door. Master Ai Tai opened it and walked through, Lucas followed. Inside, Lucas saw a man sitting on a large chair. “Lucas, this is the Grandmaster. He shall decide your fate.” Ai Tai then left the same way they came in.
“Come here child,” said the Grandmaster. Lucas walked over to the throne. The Grandmaster closed his eyes and placed his hand upon the boy’s heart. “Oh, interesting. Your chi is very strong for one who has not been trained in the ways of the warrior. Your training shall commence at once. You must learn the four styles of martial art. I believe Master Ai Tai has shown you Crane, he shall be your first teacher. Master Fei Xi will instruct you in the ways of Monkey and Master Dai Lan will teach you Tiger and Dragon. When you have mastered the basics of these forms, I will instruct in you in the ways of the sword. Now you are dismissed, report to Master Ai Tai in the garden.”
Lucas walked toward the door. He was worried. How I can learn all this within such a short period of time, he thought nervously. He went outside in search of the garden. He walked around for a few minutes until he spotted Ai Tai. “Ai Tai! I found you. Man this place is big,” said Lucas.
“Ni shi wo de xuesheng. You are my student. You will refer to me as Ai Laoshi which means Teacher Ai. You will refer to all your teachers as such from now on. Now, onto the task at hand. You must learn Crane style in a day compared to my lifetime of mastering. The style of Crane is one of grace and form, like the actual crane….
As the day wound on, Lucas began to understand the very essence of Crane style. “Good job Lucas, you have learned all you needed to know for your journey. Tomorrow you must learn the style of Monkey. Good Luck,” said Master Ai Tai.
As Lucas walked to the guest room of the temple, he thought about the day’s training. It was long and strenuous, but it seem like work to him. It was as if he was just remembering skills he had learned long ago. As he entered the room, he realized why. “Maybe I am a descendent of Lu Kai. It would explain everything,” said Lucas with certainty in his voice. Then with new found hope he drifted off to sleep.
“You call that Monkey?! I call that crap! Do it again!” screamed Master Fei Xi to Lucas.
“Yes, Fei Laoshi,” Lucas said gritting his teeth. He didn’t like Fei Xi very much; Fei Xi was nothing like Master Ai Tai.
“We’ll be at this all day so you might as well get it right. Monkey is about quick decisions and fast movements. Now run through the course again,” said Master Fei Xi in a crude tone.
They were on an obstacle course smack-dab in the middle of a giant field. Lucas started to run through the course again. It seemed easy at first, but then Monkey style came into play. Running from knives, surprise trap doors, and random dummies with weapons; all the things a master of Monkey style needed in order to hone his rash decision making skills.
By the end of the day, Lucas was more tired than he had ever felt in his entire life. According to Master Fei Xi, it would be a long time before he would be a master, but he had learned enough to make him able bodied in a fight. Lucas walked to his room. As he entered the door, he was hit with a wave of exhaustion and immediately decided to retire. He lied on his bed and began to drift.
Lucas opened his eyes. Fear struck him. He was no longer in his room; he was face to face with a demon. Its eyes burned a fiery red and it looked as if it were the twisted combination of a man and a bull. “Lu Kai, you will not defeat me. I shall destroy you and take over this puny, insignificant world,” it said with a great hatred in its eyes.
“You shall never destroy another soul as long as my spirit lives,” said a voice from behind. Lucas turned to see a great warrior. He looked battle damaged as though he had been fighting for a while, and in his hands was a magnificent sword. Lucas looked intently at the sword. It was as though he felt a connection to this object of immense power, though he had never seen it in his life. Huo Kou, he thought, That means this man is…Lu Kai!
“No longer will I waste valuable time conversing with you Tai Len. I will now send you back from where you came!” shouted Lu Kai. With that, Lu Kai jumped into the air, sword high above his head waiting to be brought down in a powerful slice. Tai Len was ready; he waited for Lu Kai to approach and then out of thin air a sword, whose blade shown a pure black and hilt glowed luminously white, appeared.
“I don’t think you’ve had the pleasure of meeting my sword, Shadow Monger,” said Tai Len with an evil grin on his face. The blades clashed and sparks flew. Lu Kai landed on his feet and immediately rushed Tai Len. Tai Len parried the attack and prepared for a counter, but Lu Kai was too fast. He jumped over Tai Len and managed to cut him over his right eye.
Tai Len roared in pain and lunged at Lu Kai. Lu Kai grinned. Tai Len stopped thinking and became consumed with rage. This was his chance; Lu Kai waited for Tai Len to come closer then he jetted into the air and brought his sword down with all his might into the back of Tai Len, right over his black heart.
Tai Len fell wounded and bleeding out. “You have not won warrior if I die you shall come with me,” shouted the demon. He then began speaking in a demonic tongue never heard before by the ears of man. A black aura started to form around Tai Len’s body. The aura then formed into a spike and flew straight at Lu Kai.
It zinged thorough the air with deadly accuracy aimed at Lu Kai. It hit directly on his heart. Lu Kai spit up blood; he knew he was going to die. “No, not like this,” he said, as he picked up his sword, “I use the remainder of my chi to seal my spirit into this vessel. The sword Huo Kou will forever be strengthened and fueled by my determination and hope.” As he said that, the sword started to glow brighter and brighter; it was blinding.
“No NO NOO!” Lucas heard the demon say. “I will return one day and claim this world,” shouted Tai Len. The glow from the sword was so bright that all Lucas saw was white. He felt himself growing distant, fading.
Lucas shot up in bed, breathing heavily, heart racing. Was that all just a dream, he thought, it seemed so real.
“Ahh you are right on time Lucas,” said Master Dai Lan, “Let us not waste a precious moment.” Dai Lan was standing on a training field. The field was similar to Master Fei Xi’s but it had different types of equipment. “Dragon and Tiger styles are very similar which is why you can learn them together,” stated Master Dai Lan, “The only true differences between the two are the speeds and ranges. Dragon style is a fast and long range attack whereas Tiger style is more powerful, but slower and short range. When used together they make a dangerous combination.”
Lucas found Dragon and Tiger to be somewhat natural to him. His body was starting to remember the ancient arts as he became more in tune with his destiny. With every jump, punch, and kick, Lucas could feel his new found strength coursing through him.
At the end of day, Lucas bowed to Master Dai Lan and proceeded to his room. He had one more day of training left before Tai Len would rise again to claim the world he lost so long ago. Then it hit him, this was no longer training it was a reawakening. He was just awakening the skills of his lineage.
The next morning, Lucas reported to the Grandmaster for his final day of training. “You have done well young warrior,” said the Grandmaster, “Today is the last time you will be a student, tomorrow when Tai Len rises you will be a warrior like your ancestor, Lu Kai. Please follow me.” They walked to the throne room, where Lucas had went on his first day at the temple. The Grandmaster walked over to his throne and pulled a lever. The room shook a little and a passageway on the floor opened. “Please follow me Lucas,” said the Grandmaster as he proceeded down the stairs in the passageway. As he went deeper into the passage, Lucas saw something glint at the end of the tunnel. The closer they got, the more he could make out. It was a sword.
“Is that what I think it is?” asked Lucas.
“Yes, this is Huo Kou, your heritage. Please take it and embrace your destiny,” said the Grandmaster. Lucas walked toward the sword, it was beautiful. He picked it up and almost immediately a surge of power shot through his body. This was no longer just a sword; it was now part of his being.
They walked back out of the passageway. The Grandmaster took out his own sword. “Now it is time for me to teach you the ancient art of the sword,” said the Grandmaster. Lucas realized that the Grandmaster wanted to spar.
“You sure? I feel as though I could take down anything with this sword in my hand,” said Lucas confidently.
“That’s exactly what I’m hoping for,” muttered the Grandmaster to himself. They both lunged and their swords clashed.