When I open my eyes, I felt the pain. I tried to move but I couldn’t. “Don’t move, I just cured your injuries so don’t undo what I did.” I wanted to turn to knew who was talking, but I couldn’t. At least he would not kill me, that was the only relieve that I had in that moment. “Thank you for saving my life” I said to the stranger. “It was nothing —he said— but I would want something of you.”
It was logical that he would want something, nothing is free on this world. I didn’t had money nor anything of value, so probably when he knew that he would left me to die. “What do you want?” I asked, afraid of his answer. “Can I eat that?”
He was talking about the meal that I was preparing before the attack. I would have laughed if the pain would allowed me. “Serve yourself —I told him—, eat everything if you want.” I was relieved that he only wanted that. “No —he said— you have to eat too. You are very weak and need food.”
After that he served me a little of the soup and even help me to eat it. I really was surprised of this man. He was almost a saint to my eyes, and he renew my hopes of a new life.
The next day, he took me on his back and carry me to the next city. There he looked for a doctor who could tend my wound better than him. I thanked him a lot and said that I would pay it when I could. He laughed and he said that I was already paying for it and he show me the bag that the “guards” took from me. I wanted to ask how he had it, but the answer was obvious. I also wanted to return it to me, but if he wanted this to be his pay to all that he did to me, I wouldn’t say no. Why helping me to survive if he only have to take the money and leave? He earned that money.
“Don’t worry about this bag. I will use some of it, I also need a place to live while in the city —he said when he saw my desperation face when he took the bag—, the rest is still yours. I didn’t save you for the money, but for the food.”
That was interesting to hear. He was a man much different than any other man I have known. He went daily to see me so he talk about his sect. He was from the Metal Turtle Sect and they would never steal food, they always or invite or are invited to join a meal. That was a strange concept, but something that I could understand. A meal was the perfect moment to forge friendships. I told him about my dream of being a chef, and he was one of the few people who didn’t laugh. “That’s a good goal, but right now it will be difficult for you, don’t you think?” He was right, I was beginning my journey and almost died. “I think that a good alternative is for you to become a cultivator, so you can defend against people who want to harm you and harm your goal.” He said that seriously, without any kind of mockery in his words.
I knew what a cultivator was, I have seen a lot in my city and even I have made deals with them. Some ones were good like this man, some were very arrogant, but all were very powerful. “I don’t think that I can become a cultivator —I said—, I’m not made to be one.”
He in that moment said something that I would always remember in my life: “Everyone can be a cultivator, but need to have guts to become one.”
After saying that he left, but it let me think about my life and what I wanted to do.
I spent all the night thinking about that. If I become a cultivator, I could overcome my weakness and achieve my goal easier, but it would make me postpone that same goal a lot. What I really wanted to be? Only a chef? Or something else?
There were many questions that I made that night and one thing that I was sure it’s that it was not fair to me to choose. I want to be a chef, I wanted to be free to become one, but there was not a place to do that. And if there was not a place, I had to create one for myself. That was my goal.
When he came I explained what I wanted to do. He was surprised that I thought that far. ”I will help you. I like your dream and I think that it would become a great place to be. I will teach you how to become a cultivator, and help you in what I can, but you are the master of your own destiny, it’s you who will make your dream, not I; so if you quit, I will not say anything, I will not try to convince you of otherwise. Do you understand?”
And that’s how my journey began.