Archivo de la etiqueta: Empress

83 A friend of the turtle

What he said was unexpected for both of us. That was too much information, and we really didn’t know what to think. What would we do? We could accept the deal, it was excellent for us, but why we trust in a man that have damaged so bad the sect that we were currently in? This sect had helped us in every they could, and he was the one the made it to fall down, and even if the Founder was happy with his new “friend”, we didn’t trust him

“City Lord —spoke Meng Shang after a while—, I am the one who want the most this information, and I would be happy to do what you want me to do, but first I have to know, why did you almost destroy the Metal Turtle Sect?”

The City Lord was not surprised after that question, and keep drinking. “You are really bold asking things like that, it not bad to be like that, but you have to be careful —said the City Lord after drinking—. However, you are mistaken, I never tried to destroy the Sect, I was helping it.”

The Supreme Elder was still eating and drinking as what he said had all the reason of the world, and the City Lord could notice our incredulity after hearing that. He laughed. “It is difficult to believed, don’t you think? I some other person said that to me, I probably would have the same faces as yours. But I’m telling the true.

Long time ago, when I was a semi divine cultivator, I had plenty of adventures that came also with plenty of risks. One of these almost killed me if not for a turtle disciple, I would not be the man I’m now. He helped me and even teach me some techniques, I still use Turtle defends when needed, it has saved my life so many times. He not only taught me techniques but the philosophy of the turtle. I was really impressed that they would be so carefree to eat with a stranger without worrying. He was one of the few people who I can call Master, and he made me promise that if one day I saw that someone for his sect has troubles, I had to help him because now I was a friend of the turtle.

I had met many disciples of the turtle in my life, and most of them were like him, when I needed help, they did it without question, and I did the same for them. Even if I was not part of the Sect, they treat me as their friend, and I understood what really meant to be a friend of the turtle and I was really happy to be one.

Many, many years passed, I found this city, and suddenly I heard that the Metal Turtle Sect was coming here. As a friend of the turtle, I helped them at first, but years passed and I saw how they have changed. They were no carefree anymore, but people of worldly desire like power and money. They even began to bully other sects, and I tried everything I could to stop their behavior without being cruel to them. However they insisted in their ways. I really didn’t know what to do in that moment. As the City Lord my duty was to impose order even by killing them, but as a friend of the turtle I didn’t want to do it.

That day… all changed that day —he said like whispering—. I think that you already know what happened, but until no you don’t understand why I did it. When that Sect Master wanted a table, I was willing to be with him, but he didn’t want that. I was trying to be cordial, but he simply demonstrated me that the ways of the turtle were dead, and that’s had make me decide to eliminate the sect. It was not the sect I was friend with.

I wanted to kill all of the sect, if the Sect Master was as rotten as him, what kind of hope was left for true turtles to be born? But then, that gardener tried to save the life of the disciples. He was just a simple mortal, but he was trying to protect them while the elder were trying to run. I saw the heart of the true turtle in him, so I made him the new Sect Master. I wanted for them to rise up with the true teachings of the turtle, and I thought that they would do it in a couple of years with their techniques. And for that I created the tournament, to push them to improve themselves, and be really cultivators of the turtle. I even prohibited bullying the sect, so nobody could harn the metal Turtle Sect while they were down. But after many years, they could only obtain the last place. I didn’t understand why, I had learned their basic techniques and I knew that they could do much more than what I saw. How would I know that the former Sect Master was so rotten that he didn’t even teach their disciples the true techniques? When I learned that, everything mad sense.

Now you have your Supreme Elder, and he has brought you the true way of the turtle, and I could see the difference. He has told me that you are not true disciples of the metal turtle Sect, but you are friends of the turtle, that I can see it clearly, and I’m happy to know that the old ways have reborn.

And now, you know the full story of what happened and why it happened. So as a fellow friend of the turtle I would gladly tell you who that man is, but as the City Lord, I also have responsibilities, but that’s why I don’t want you both to win or something like that, you only have to participate and bring all your power, you can fake it out. In that way, the city will not lose too much, and we can still help each other. That’s why I’m asking you to do this.”

After he told his story, we looked at the Founder and he nodded at us. If he was really a friend, we didn’t have any problems with that. We accepted.

82 Free for all

We went to the City Lord’s manor. It was exquisite made. I went to many beautiful houses in my city, but they all looked like a shack in comparison. In was ornamented with gold and jade, but not too much, as if the one who decorated knew how to make it elegant and simple at the same time.

We went only with the Founder, and near the entrance two guards stopped us. He showed his invitation and the guards changed their brusque behavior to a very polite one. The interior was the same as the exterior, it was visually impressive but without exaggeration. All things were in their correct place, and everything had an order. I hadn’t seen this kind of manor in my life.

A servant come and apologized for being late and made us follow him to the dining room. What I saw was something that I thought it was for a king not for a City Lord. Meng Shang was less surprised than me, but not by much. The only one that felt right in home was the Founder. The City Lord was expecting us already and tell us to sit down and enjoy the meal.  When I began to eating it, I felt and strange sensation. “Keep eating it, even if you are full —my Master said— this food is very good for you. I will help you with all that after we return to the sect.” I followed her instructions and began to eat all what I could, Meng Shang was more refined than me, but also ate a lot. We could ate all without worrying because the City Lord was chatting with the Founder. It really seems that he was like a friend. He even told us that if we wanted more, we only needed to ask.

After a long time, and when we really were full, he began to talk to us. “I have heard from your Supreme Elder of your mission. I know that name, and know who he is. I could help you, but nothing is free in this world. Both of you have to do me a little favor.” What kind of favor would a powerful cultivator as the City lord would need from us? It was really strange.

He noted our expressions and explained it. “As you know, I started the tournament as a punishment for your sect, but over time it became a important moment in the city and generate a lot of money, especially from bets. But now because of you, I had to close the tournament, at least for this year. If I didn’t do that, we would had a enormous trouble from the bets. But, even if the bets were not an issue, the city needs the revenue of the tournament.

So I was thinking and after talking with your Supreme Elder I found a good solution. We would choose two member of each sect who has to be at least a quasi-divine and make you fight in a free for all. In this way, the organization and money that we had already spent will not be lost, and the bets could be more entrancing for many people, especially after the rumors about you have circulated. So what I want if for both of you to enter in this free for all as the representatives of the Metal Turtle Sect. I don’t care if you win or lose, I only want you to compete and after that, I will tell you all you want to know about that man, and perhaps even more. What do you think?”

81 Friend

“This King have seen enough for today —said the City Lord—, I hope that this will not happen again. The punishment of the Metal Turtle Sect had been lifted so I hope that everyone understand what that means. So follow the customs of the city, if not, you are free to go.”

“We will do as the City Lord orders”, all the sect master involved in this mess said. Later I found that the City Lord didn’t permit infighting between the sects in the city. If something like that happened, they would have to pay to the sect they have offended. This law started after the problems with our sect, and nobody had problems with it. In years there was no fighting in the city and this was also a loss of face of the sects who were involved in the fight.

Like that, all ended. The parties returned to their sects, because there would be not tournament now. That caused other problems but in that moment we didn’t know anything about it. We only knew that now we were so near to the man who knew the one we were looking for. I noticed the tension in Meng Shang, I knew that he wanted to go to him and asked directly, but he did do that, probably he would in best case scenario be punished, worst case, he would be killed. So near and so far.

We went also to our sect silently. There were not words that I could say to him to animate him. I could only smile and he did the same.

When we went to our rooms, I tried to say something but he looked at me with red eyes and I didn’t talk. He entered his room, and I returned to mine. He wanted to be alone, and I could comprehend him. I really hoped that he could sleep that night.

I woke up early to practice my body techniques and I encountered with the Supreme Elder, he asked to wake up Meng Shang because he wanted to talk to us. It was weird, but I did it. When he opened the door, I could see his red eyes. I didn’t say anything but what the Supreme Elder said. He changed clothes and went to see him

 We went to his shrine, and we salute him as the Founder of the Sect. He knew that in some time we would leave the Sect, but even so manners mattered. “Good! You are here —said the Founder—. I have good news! The little girl knows a little bit of that, but probably she didn’t told you anything. That’s alright, it’s better if it is a surprise! You know? I have made a new friend. He used the code we use when we want to know if were a talking to a friend of the turtle, and he is one! Could you believe it? So I talked to him about your mission, and he was very interested and want to see you both, so we will have a dinner with him today at his manor. Isn’t that good news?!”

That was… a lot of news… he was a friend to the turtle? The same that killed the old Sect Master and most of the elders? The one who taxed the Sect through the roof? The one who made a tournament only to making the Sect? He was a friend? Also why the Founder talked about our mission? Why he did that?! Now we were to see the City Lord, and we didn’t know if that was good or bad news.

But soon we would know.

80 Contest

I could see many different faces in the young cultivators. Some had panic, others smugness and also happiness. The people of my sect didn’t know how to feel, even Meng Shang, only I was the one who knew what had transpired there, so I was more relaxed than they.

People from the group we had beaten up were the first who went running to him and tried to explain what happened. It comes without saying that they were telling a story fitting their desires. We were terrible beings, bullying everybody because of our Supreme Elder. We were trying to fight but nobody wanted, so we began to fight anyway. We were monster, and we had to be punished.

The Sect Masters of the one who were beaten didn’t know what to say. In other occasion they would ask for a severe punishment, even death, but now? Didn’t they not saw how the City Lord acted with the Supreme Elder? And even if they would not have seen that, would the City Lord would really believe that the always meek Metal turtle Sect was capable of this? The evidence was right there, and they couldn’t believe it.

The City Lord after they finished their story, asked to the girl if hat they said was true. Her face said how awkward her position was. I understood her problem: in that moment she had to choose enemies and allies. If she choose correctly, it would be no problem, but if not… it would be difficult to know what the consequences would be. Did she would choose between the not so powerful but renewed little sect or the long standing and powerful sects? She cupped her fist and salute the City Lord before answer. “City Lord, I didn’t see enough to know what exactly happened here. When I became aware of the fight it was too late.” It was obviously an answer that neither party liked, but it benefited us a little more. He asked other people of her group and all said the same thing.

After asking several people, nobody saw or heard anything until late. “Yes, we have valiant disciples of all these distinguish sects —said the City Lord annoyed—. All the Sect Master here, hear me out! Teach them better! If they can’t even sense what is happening around them, they will die easily. I always said that there are not bad disciples but bad teachers! Do you understand me?!” All the Sect master of these sects kowtowed and acknowledge their “mistakes”. It was a slap in their faces, but all understood what their disciples were trying to do. They knew that they were not innocent, how could they wouldn’t? Every year it was almost a tradition no bully the sect, but now things were different.

“So now it’s time to ask the other party. Who of the Metal Turtle Sect wants to speak?” Meng Shang and I saw each other and in that moment we decided that I was the one who would talk. I cupped my fists, and tell the City Lord all what happened but didn’t say anything about the other groups. I could feel how grateful were both the girl and the boy. Making enemies to allies was better than the other option.

“I see, I think that this is more credible than what they have told me. What do you say Sect Master?” The City lord asked to the Sect master of the boy who began all. He was pale, and in that moment I’m sure that he wanted to strangle that guy. “What City Lord have said has merit —said the pale and angry Sect Master—, but why my disciples would attack first to a weak sect? That is something shameless, and I am sure that it is not something that they would do. It is not easier to think that because the disciples of the Metal turtle Sect have an amazing backer thought that they could offend us without any type of repercussion? We all saw how their Supreme Elder treated the Sect Master of the Thunder Warriors, so obviously the cubs tried to imitate the lion.”

“That makes sense —said the City Lord—, but I want to see something first. The ones who got their hands smashed, come forward.”

Both of the boys were frightened. They began to walk as if they were going to the gallows. “Sect master, tell me how you think they have their hands in so deplorable state?” “I could only suppose that it is a nasty technique make for killing,” responded the Sect Master without thinking. “Yes, I suppose that could be an option, but do you really think that those guys there had a powerful technique like that? I they had that; they would have not been in the last place all these years. Also, only those two have this kind of injury and it looks more like if they had smashed their hands against something, don’t you think?” Now the Sect master observed the injuries, and how he would not know what kind of injury it was? He had years of fighting experience, and knew many types of injuries, it would be pointless told a lie. “Yes, you are right, City Lord.”

“Good! And it happens that I know that one of the basic techniques that the disciples of the Metal turtle Sect learn is a defensive technique. If you mastered it well, people at the same level as this two, could be in great troubles. But for using a defensive technique, someone have to attack first, or I’m wrong?” In that moment the Sect Master realized that even if he tried to defend their disciples, it was a lost cause, the City Lord had already made a judgment. “It is as the City Lord said” finally the Sect Master had to admit.

“I really can’t see how much the sect have changed —said the City Lord—, and I also could see that now the tournament is pointless. Forty people was beaten up and the other group have minor injuries that said a lot of how strong this new batch of disciples is, they even have a quasi-divine cultivator in their ranks, that’s incredible.” That last thing shocked everybody, all the disciples there were only at the quasi-mortal level, if the quasi-divine wanted to kill them, it would be as easy as torn paper. Even the Sect master were intrigued, how they obtain a genius like that in that Sect?!

“If you want —the Sixty Lord continued—, we can continue with the contest, but the deal I made with the Sect Master of the Metal Turtle Sect is now rescinded. I will give you all the thing I had taken from you, and you no longer had to pay the high taxes. You have showed me today, that you are not like before.”

Our Sect Master kowtowed thanking him for his words. He cried of happiness. He never believed that this day would come, all thanks to two kids that wanted information. In that moment he sworn that he will help them in anything he could, even if it costed his life.

79 Our room

I was very strange what happened there, but when Tenth Turtle was begin to tell me what they were talking about, in our room problems began to start. The information that the City lord had arrived spread like wild fire, and most of them thought that our most powerful cultivator would die soon, so they weren’t as afraid as before.

Every gatherer there, except Men Shang and I was at quasi-mortal level. After Many years of defeats, the other sects didn’t bother to bring their most powerful disciples. It was enough to use the low level ones, and see how they were doing. We were not relevant to them, but our sect was always the butt of the joke every year. So it was not strange when many of these younglings went to our table to make trouble.

“So you think because you have a powerful cultivator behind your backs, that means that you can beat all of us?” That voice came from a boy of my age. He was a high quasi-mortal, and perhaps in a couple of weeks he would advance. I could see that he was one of the leaders of a small group, but there were certainly other groups than also were coming to us. Chen and the other get up from their chairs, they were not eager to fight, but they would neither be provoked.

“Friends, this little Meng Shang is almost a junior for all of you, and I only want to enjoy a very peaceful and happy meal. Please come with us to join us at the meal, we, disciples of the Metal Turtle Sect, never said no to friends sharing food and their company with us. We welcome you if you want to join us!”

He was trying to deactivate whatever would happen. It was not a bad idea, but not many of the people coming seems to be the good intentions Meng Shang wanted. “Why would we want to share a meal with trash?” said another boy. “You being here is like pigs going to a buffet” said this time a girl. I looked at her and she had a group of middle size, mostly composed by girls, but also had some boys in it. “Please friends —Meng Shang continued—, don’t ruin the meal of all the juniors gathered here. It would be a loss of face if we had troubles here, don’t you think? I don’t’ think your Sect Master would want that this day would be a bitter day for us.”

The younger ones, almost stopped at that words; but their seniors quickly instigated them to follow. It was a tense situation, but I didn’t think it would escalate more. Even if they wanted to fight us, this was not the moment, and they knew it. What they were trying to do is for us to do the first strike, so they could retaliate without problems from them. I signed Chen and the other to sit down. They didn’t want to do it, but I did it again ordering them verbally. This time they listened to me, after all I was their teacher. Unfortunately the other saw that and assumed that I was their leader. If they could mess with me, the rest would be easy.

“Hey Stupid —the first boy yelled at me—, what’s your name?”

I didn’t respond to him and kept eating. He has still shouting something about I was trash and stupid things like that, when I sensed that something was threw to me. It was some kind of a fruit, quite large and heavy for a fruit. A mortal, at the speed it was going, it would be killed instantly. Even a low quasi-mortal could suffer some injuries. They really were desperate for us to retaliate after that. Shame that was not was going to happen. I used Shell Defends, and the fruit impacted and was destroyed. The meat and juices of the fruit were sprayed everywhere. “Damn bastard, what did you do?!” it was the same boy, but now he was comically dirty. He couldn’t take it anymore and punched me with all his strength. I simply used again Shell Defends while still eating, and after the punch, a cry was heard in all the room.

He had broken his hand. I was behind him eating, so I didn’t know how much damage he received, but by the faces of my companions, I could deduce that it was terrible. “Friends —Meng Shang talked again—, I invite you again to share our meal. Accidents happens, but it not something that could not be healed. The Metal Turtle Sect will always treats like a friends to the people who share a meal with us.” With that last phrase his tone was different, it was clearly a warning.

Many of the cultivators stepped back, they were trying to bully a weak sect, but now they realized that the Metal turtle Sect was not weak anymore. The girl after thinking about it for a moment, decided to return to her table. She had worry in her face, like she knew that a great change would soon occur and she had chosen the wrong option.

The second boy also stepped back. He only did it for fun, but now it was not fun anymore. His group returned to where they were at the start. Only the first boy who had his hand destroyed, was still there with all his group. They were the majority and we could fell their bloodlust. Now they don’t wanted to bully us, but to kill us. One of that group decided to hit Meng Shang. He also used Shell Defends, and the result was almost the same. “I see that you don’t want to share a meal with us —he said as a matter of fact—. It’s really a pity. We are turtles, we are patient and sometimes slow. As turtles, we think that having more friends is better —now he tone changed again—, but having enemies to kill is good enough.”

All of us got up from our chairs, and the fight started. Meng Shang and I had a clearly advantage because of our training, but the rest of our group was doing well. Their turtle techniques were very basic, but for that group of enemies, it was enough. This even was good for them as a live training. After that, they techniques would be polished.

The fight was very unequal, our group was winning everywhere, thanks that Meng Shang and me were at the frontline, and the rest were at the rearguard, so they only had to fight with a few. The scene was chaotic and bloodied, but nobody was killed. Even if he say that we would kill them, we knew that it would be impossible. Not because that we couldn’t do it, but it would not be beneficial for the sect. Chen and the other also understood this.  

The people who decided not to fight was grateful that they followed their instincts. What they were seeing was a massacre, and it would be a slap on the faces of all the Sects who were being beating because, the ones who were doing it, were supposedly the weaker ones.

Part of the room was a mess, and after a breath, the fight was over. Less than ten kids had beaten more than forty. It was formidable.

“Had what happened here?!” a manly voice shouted and all of us stopped. It was the City Lord and all the Sect Masters, including our Supreme Elder.

78 City Lord

The presence of the City Lord was different like everybody. While the rest had golden ornaments, or expensive trinkets, he only worn a simple white suit. If someone looked at him at the street only by what he worn, it would pass as any other people around. But what it made him special was his aura. It was difficult for Tenth Turtle to describe it, but he said that if was like if a god was upon them.

“What has happened here?” asked the City Lord. He didn’t use a thundering voice, he only talk soft, but the sensation he emanated was worse than anything the tenth Turtle had sensed before. Some people went to him and explained the situation. Some even exaggerated the situation, they only wanted the City Lord to kill the Founder. The City Lord went to the founder and asked him if that was what really happened. “More or less —said the Founder as if that was not a big thing—, he badmouthed you, so it was my duty to kill him.”

“And who are you to decide who to kill or who to not?” said the City Lord with the same soft voice. “A Turtle who can” it was the answer. Many were expecting a fight. They didn’t know exactly how strong was the Supreme Elder was, but nobody thought that it could be stronger than the City Lord. “I have seen how turtles died easily” said the strongest man in the city with the same tone.

“A turtle who died easily is not a real turtle. A real turtle wait, is patient. Don’t need to move like everyone else. A turtle is a turtle.”

“A turtle is a turtle….” The City Lord repeated the phrase many times. “But sometimes, they had soft shell.” “But sometime its shell is as hard as steel”, replied the Supreme Elder. “Even the turtle with the hardest shell can be make a soup” retorted the City lord. “But what wonderful soup will be!” said the Supreme Elder and nobody understood what was happening. Are they were having a dialectical contest? Why?

“Could his majesty could accompany me and my Sect Master to share some of this exquisite food? It would be a shame to waste it.” Said the Supreme Elder. That was the last straw, everybody thought. It was impossible that the great City Lord could accept it. It would be a loss of face.

“Would you eat with me, knowing that I almost wiped your sect?” asked the City Lord, surprising everybody who thought it would be blood. “Many things happens in this life, but one thing is sure, a real turtle would never say no to drink and eat with strangers. Because what is life but strangers knowing each other in different circumstances? You said that you had almost wiped the sect, but I could say that you save it. For that I want to toast with you.”

The impossible happened, the City lord sit down and began to toast with the Supreme Elder. Silence was in all the room, except those two who began to speak as friends. Everyone was frozen, even the Sect Master. Even Tenth Turtle when we told me what happened.

Who could understand the mind of the powerful?