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50 The New Sect Master

Hello everyone, I had a little problem with the chapters, apparently I don’t know how to count! So please, forgive me! This is the chapter 50! The other ones are in order, so don’t worry, but I until I find the culprit and change it please I hope you can understand how I suck at counting! Well For now, enjoy the chapter!

“Could you be the new sect master?”

I tried to understand what he was asking me. A sect master? This kind of title was for powerful people, not people like me. With my poor cultivation, I would be a joke of a sect master. I wanted to decline, but how to do it when a powerful being asked you that?

“No, she will not be your new sect master, old frog —my Master said firmly—. Her path is different, and she will be free to roam the world is she wants, not to be chained into the struggles of a sect.”

“But it’s better than a mortal or a quasi-mortal! —he retorted—. The sect is basically gone and she is the only one that knows about the situation and cares. If not her? Who? You?”

“Little frog, are you so old that your brain doesn’t work anymore? Think! Who can lead your own sect? Who do you think that have the power to stop any more loss of face? Who do you think it’s the better candidate?”

The turtle began to think and then realized. “Me? The sect master? I have never been a sect master. People call me ‘venerable founder’ for respect, but never because I was their leader. I can’t do it.”

The turtle was timid when he said that. He never thought that he could be the sect master, even if he was the older and most powerful being in the current sect.

“So this will be the end of the sect —my Master said as a matter of fact—. Even with their best effort, this sect will not reborn. You have lived enough to know how the things in the cultivation world are. You are the only one who can change that, if not, the legacy that you are so proud will end.

We can help you a little bit if you accept your role, but if not, after the tournament ended we will leave, and the sect will die.”

“Nothing in our world is permanent —spoke the turtle with regret—, all will change, even the Heavens. I was happy when his sons grew up, I was happy when they formed the sect, also when they told me to teach them. I was naïve thinking that the hearts of men would be always the same. When only the Sect master began to talk with me, I believed his words. When he put me in this so called “shrine”, I believed when he said it was for respect. At first he came every day and I was happy, and even when he started to come only once a year I was still happy thinking about the wonderful things he told me. When he didn’t come for years, I believed that it was because he was occupied.

Now the truth hurts, and I want to cry for all that is lost but you are right. If I want that the legacy still lives, I have to do it myself. If the hearts of man can change, this two thousand old turtle can also do it!

Little girl, please call the Sect Master and the Elder, bring them here. Things will change, they have to.”

45 Meditation

At the practice time, we gather the disciples and made two groups, one of the mortals and the other with the cultivators. Meng Shang would be the one who would teach the latter, and I the former. At first, I wanted t teach them, but he said that probably they will try to fight, and after losing to a junior much stronger than them, they would understand that they were nothing but newbies.

Meng Shang went to them to another part of the Sect, I saw their faces of contempt. He was right, and they would learn a valuable lesson that day. I stayed with all the mortals, they were expectant. They knew how powerless they were, and even that everyone else was mocking them, but they don’t had other option than to stay there. It was not only their sect, but their home.

“Do you know why you have to meditate?”, I asked to the children. Like kids, no one raised their hands, so I selected one to explain it. “We do it to become cultivators”, he said meekly.

“Yes, that’s true —I responded smiling at him—, but why we have to do that? Why meditation is important? You can meditate for all your life and never become a cultivator, so… what do you need to do to become one?”

Nobody said anything. This time I saw that they didn’t know the answer, they were trying to think about it. Even the elder who was with me, began to ponder. That was a little bizarre, but not unexpected.

“When you meditate to become a cultivator, you don’t do it thinking about becoming one. You have to meditate about yourself first. Do you understand why?”

“But teacher! —one of the kids interrupted— I know who I am. Why do I have to think about it?”

“Then tell me, who you are?”

“I’m Chen, I was abandoned at the sect an all my life have live here. I’m 8 years old and I want to be a cultivator.”

Abandoned? I looked at the elder and he slightly nodded. I had heard it that sometimes people did that, but hearing it, it was something different.

“Good! But that inly is half of the answer —I said calmly—. You are Chen, an abandoned kid who is rised by this sect and want to be a cultivator. What else? You are nothing more than that? Who are really you?”

Chen began to think, but every time he tried to say something, he stopped. I have to say that this question is difficult to answer, when my Master question me exactly that at the beginning of my meditation, I didn’t know how to answer neither. Only when I begin to introspect I see my soul seed I began to understand what I was. Even now that answer is difficult to respond, because being a cultivator is the way of knowing yourself and the universe. Not even great master could answer this question with all its complexity. But the first step to being a cultivator was to think about it. At least that was what my Master said.

“Does any have and answer of who you are? —I continued— if you have one, answer it. If don’t meditate about it. Try to do it all day, if you don’t have an answer by tomorrow, you don’t have to worry. Take it slow.”

The kids didn’t say anything and began to meditate. When I saw that they were really trying to think about it, I left. That was something that they have to do it alone. The elder went with me.

“When I studied here, no one said that to us —said the elder when we were far from the children—, meditation was always about being a cultivator and they gave us pills to help us become one.”

That surprise me, Meng Shang told me that there was this way to become one, but it was an easy one. Many of his family did that, but most preferred the other way. It’s was more difficult, but by beginning to understand the principles, then it would be easier to improve. But if was not frowned to take pills, everyone wanted power, and most don’t care how you do it.

“So the children who are cultivators, had taken pills?”

“Yes, he had a little, so we used in the ones that had better possibilities to become one.”

That made sense, and that was their qi was so poor. They have taken the path of pills, but still don’t know how to meditate, if they don’t they can’t consolidate their flux of qi. Probably the elder was the same. I wanted to see something that perhaps could help him. “Elder, I know is impolite to asking you this but… could I enter your innerself?” He was stunned for a moment, but he understand that I want to help him and nodded.

We went to an empty room, so nobody could see have we would do. Entering to the innerself of another person was not difficult, you only had to share a wisp of your consciousness to the other cultivator. Obviously he had to lower his mental barriers, for me to enter. The process went smoothly, and I could see how his inner self was.  

44 Turtle bites, Shell defends

“What do you think about our disciples?”, the elder ask while we were walking to the Sect’s repository.  “Senior, I’m new in the path of cultivation —I said honestly—, but what I saw was bad. Their mortal techniques had a lot of flaws. Their concentration is almost not existent so it difficult to them to meditate. Even the ones who are quasi-mortal are not in the best shape. Their qi is poor, their techniques are also bad, and I could see that they temper is not the best. I think that even a well prepared mortal could win in a battle with one of them.”

Meng Shang nodded, and the elder blushed. He knew that what I said was true, and he was ashamed because he was the one who has been teaching them. Nobody could blame him, with the conditions of the sect, there were not much that he could do. We walked silently to the repository. He gave me two elder tokens. They were necessary to enter the repository, without then a barrier would prevent entry to anyone. Meng Shang took one, and we entered.

It was a small room, with only tenths of books. The elder explained that many elders chosen by the Sect Master simply disappeared with many books. It was disgraceful, because they were chosen by their ethics and good disposition. It was a big blow to the already hit sect. “At least they couldn’t steal the core techniques —said the elder—, these techniques are guarded by a strong array, and only the Sect Master, a cultivator Sect master, can take it.

Well that was also bad for the sect, they had something that they needed by nobody to obtain it. It was really a terrible situation. ”This book will serve to know more about our sect, these are most basic techniques, and I can show you then if you like.” Like techniques were two: Turtle bites and Shell defends. The forms was a punch that destroyed a stone statue like is was nothing. “With more power —the elder explained—, it can even destroy steal as if it was paper.”

Next was the Shell defends. It was obviously a defensive technique. He ask me to hit him hard at the stomach. I wasn’t so sure about that, but he insisted, he said he would be fine. I didn’t use all my power, but it was not low either. If the hit landed, he could have a lot of broken ribs. I hit, but apart for step back some steps, he wasn’t injured. I was amazed, and asked how the techniques worked. He could only give me a few pointer and said that the rest we will have to study. Fair enough. It was good techniques.

After analyzing them, they were easier than we thought. Turtles bites was about to release your qi in an instant. I t was same thing similar as the knife my master have gifted Meng Shang, but with the fist. With a little practice, it was not difficult to do. Shell defends however was more difficult. It was about to condense your qi in a specific point of impact, so you could reduce the damage. If was not bad, but it require precision by doing so, and it was difficult to do when they were attacking you multiple times.

They were not bad, but the techniques that my Master gave us, were much better. Even if I couldn’t still use it. “ I like this Turtle bites —said Meng Shang to me—, it almost made it for me. I think that I will try to master it, and I think that it would be good if you master the other one. You have not master the one that the Goddess gave you, so at least you need something to protect yourself.

He was right. I couldn’t understand why my master gave me a difficult technique to learn. Every time that I tried to used, it exploded. Using opposite elements in an attack was very risky, and I couldn’t master the simplest things. For now this turtle techniques perhaps could be useful.

We study most part of the night, I realized that techniques and the mortal techniques that they were studied were like opposites. Mortal techniques were the base of the other ones, if you not teach the adequate, your other most complicated techniques will not be good, worse than mediocre. If they would use these techniques, we would have to change their form to train. We hoped, that this would not cause problems, but we knew that probably it would.

Another thing that we discovered, was that these techniques were only level one of three, and the other books detailing the other parts were missing. We hoped that the bad elders didn’t steal them, but for now, we could only teach what we had at hand. We prepared our methods, and we were almost ready to teach something to this kids.

And hope for the best.

42 The Turtle Metal Sect II

“Wait, are you telling me that from all the men who the Sect Master could pick up a fight, he had to do it with the City Master?”, Meng Shang spoke as surprised as I was.

“Yes —said the merchant—, I have always heard tales aout the City master. He is one of the most affable persons you will know. He is modest and he never use his fist first, but he is angry. Well, now you know.”

It was obvious why the new Sect Master used that condition to help us. They were very screwed.

“So this happened some months ago?”, I asked.

“Months? Years! Ten years had passed since that day —said the wife while munching some vegetables—. My uncle lived in this city when this happened, and he saw the tournament. It was a disaster for the turtle sect. Could you imagine? All their true elders were dead, half of the treasury was gone, the best disciples were exiled and even the Sect Master was a simple gardener! All their haughtiness was gone. And the disciples that remain were very shocked and they moral was low. They lost every match. Worst of all, the opponents, fought to restore the face they lost while losing the street brawls and while enduring the humiliation. The disciples of the turtle sect were almost crippled.

After that, most of then quitted. Who would wanted to stay there? To prevent that all the disciples leave, the Sect Master had to low the tuition so much that it is almost risible. Only people that don’t have too much money or abilities to be in a better sect stays.”

“But in ten years they always end in last place? —I asked—, the disciple are that bad?”

“There have been good prospects that achieved the semi-mortal stage, even a genius! The sect tried to pamper him when they discovered his abilities, but he moved to another sect that could give him more, that also happened to everyone else.”

“But they were formal disciples and they were not expelled, how they simply could quit the sect?” —asked Meng Shang. When you join a sect, you join for live. Even the people who were expelled from the city were still part of the Turtle Metal Sect. It was taboo to try to change sects, some ones could even kill the person who tried. Perhaps, in another city were nobody knows them, they could start anew in another sect, but here? I had to be impossible to do that.

“Nobody cares”, said the couple at the same time.

After thinking about, it made sense. It was a sect that lost all its face, didn’t have money nor power, and the most important person in all the city was against them. Who would care if someone move from that sect to another? The situation of that sect was much more critical than what I imagined. It was terrible, and now we were part of all that.

I really hoped that all this was worth it.  Really, really hoped.