Archivo de la etiqueta: xianxia

95 Savior

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.

94 I am

The next day we went to the City Lord’s manor. He was expecting us and the guards let us pass without a problem. A servant let us to a room, different from the one from before. It was smaller but more comfortable, it felt like a home. “Please sit down —said the City Lord—. First I want to congratulate this boy for obtaining the second place, I have seen the recording and it really was a wonderful fight. It really is good how much you have grown.

As you both accomplish our deal, it’s time for me to do the same. The man who you are looking for, it’s me.”

That was something that we didn’t expected to hear. He saw us astonished and began to tell us his history.

“I was the second son of a mortal merchant. He was very rich and loved his family as any good parent do. He was also a good man, even if sometimes did immoral business, he treated his people well and nobody could complain about him. He was respected and he was powerful in the city. He wanted that all his sibling have the knowledge of a merchant, even my sisters. He always said that someone that doesn’t know how to earn money is useless, not matter if it was man or woman. So all the family was in the business. I was really good at it, but I didn’t want to become a merchant. As you can see me right now, perhaps you think that I wanted to become a powerful cultivator, but that it’s far from the truth, I wanted to be a chef.

Could imagine? I had everything that I would ever want, but I wanted to be something else. My father didn’t see chef as more than mere cooks. I didn’t exactly why I wanted to be a chef, perhaps the exotic spices that my father imported were the reason, and perhaps it was the delicious smell of our food. I don’t know, but I wanted to be a chef. 

My father didn’t know that, and I would never tell that. So after my studies I escaped home and went to a restaurant near my house, an I asked if I could work there. He didn’t know who I was, if he knew he would have said no right away, but I changed my clothes and I seemed to be a nothing special kid, even an orphan. So he take care of me while I was working with him. He was very strict, and I could tell you how difficult to me was t master the art of the knife!  Received a lot of hits because of that. And after I finished my job, I returned quietly to my home. That went ofr many weeks, until my father found out.

Loved that man, but, when he yell, I could sense my ear blooding. I tried to explain him that I wanted to be a chef no matter what, and he exploded. He almost slapped me, and he had never hit me before, but stopped it. ‘Do you really want to be a simple cook?’ he asked almost resigned. ‘No, I want to be the best chef, to make a restaurant where people will make large queues to enter, and where all people could enjoy a good meal’.

He began to think, most of his fury disappeared. ‘How large the queue?’ he asked. ‘Two or three blocks perhaps’. ‘Would you not do reservations?’ ‘Depends of how large would be my restaurant”, I responded. After that he asked many things. And saw that I my merchant blood was there, but not in that business. ‘I will paid your studies, I will make you a good cook. For five years you will study how to do it besides studying the family business. If you can accomplish that, I will support your dream, if not you will stay with the family forever.’

When he said that I was happy, my father would help me, but at that moment I didn’t understood his last words.

Then he gave me the best culinary tutoring that money could buy. Great chef came to my home and teach me many things. It was very tough but it what I wanted. So I kept studying cooking and the merchant way for those four years. And when that years ended… my father threw me out of the house. “I have given you the best of the best, now you have to make your own path in life. As you will not be a merchant, you will be officially banned from this household. You will never return. But I will give you these two guards and money for your journey to begin, because you will no longer will live in this city. This is the path you wanted, this is how things will be from now on.”

Nobody of my family knew about that, it was a shock for all of us. My mother implored to him, but he was not someone who changed his mind. I still remember my mother crying while I left. In that moment I couldn’t understand what he was thinking, I tried to hate him, but he did a lot for me. He gave me the best education, guards to protect myself and money to use to open my own restaurant. The only thing that I could do was to follow my own path outside the city.

The first days were normal, my guards didn’t like to talk to much, but they kept me safe. They were hardened warriors, and if my father put his trust on them, I thought they were trustworthy. However, trust is an expensive commodity. The fourth night we were camping, I was preparing the meal when I felt a stab in my back. I didn’t felt pain, only surprise. “Did you father really give you this money to open a restaurant? —one of the guards said—. He is an imbecile, don’t you think? All that gold is better if we used to other things, don’t you think?”

And they stabbed me two more times and went their way. I was on the ground, my blood was running everywhere, but I only could think that my dreams were about to end before they began. I cry. And them, I closed my eyes.

93 Prize and gift

The City Lord invite me again to see him, this time in another smaller room. He was alone. “We have understand that we were wrong accusing you of cheating, for that I, as the City Lord, apologize.” I knew from what my Master said that this would happen, but seeing a mighty figure apologizing to me was kind of unsettling. “City Lord —I said—, there is nothing to apologize, what you try to achieve was fairness in the tournament. I can understand why you thought that I was doing that, so there is no need for that.”

He nodded and smiled lightly. “It’s good to know that juniors of this generations acknowledge the difficulties of being fair. Even so, we made a mistake and even destroyed your knife without intention. For that reason, it would be simply unjust to let it be. I can’t give you an artifact equivalent to the knife you had, and even if I have one, I’m sure you Supreme Master could make something better easily. So what I can give you is four months in my private meditation room.”

A meditation room where places that were rich in energy. That energy serves to improve the power of the cultivator and even with the possibility to ascent to a superior level. Many cultivator’s families have them in their post secret places in their manors. Sects have them too, although they aren’t as secretly as the families, not many people could use them. And now, the City Lord was saying that I could use his, probably the best in all the city for four months, which was something that I couldn’t refuse. “Also —he continued— the referee who was wrong want to give you and compensatory apology, he is really ashamed that his actions lead you to a disqualification.”

“Oh! So he actually found someone to take the blame for him —said my Master—. He was the one who disqualified you, but it would be a loss of face if people knew that he made an unjust mistake and even destroyed your weapon. So he needed other person for blame him or her. I heard that they didn’t think that anyone would accept that, but well, money move mountains sometimes. Accept all that, it would be good for you.”

I cupped my fists and thanked the City Lord for his generosity. He was glad and invited me to see the award ceremony. I asked who had won, and he said that it was Yuan Ling, and the second place was Meng Shang. I was surprised that he didn’t win first place, but my suspicion that she was someone completely different of what we thought was confirmed.

We went to his honor seat, and everybody could see me next to the City Lord. He explained that my disqualification was a mistake, and they will be not unjust with me. One of the referees come to me and apologized in front of everybody. He was very courteous and I responded in kind. After that, nobody said anymore about this fact and all the attention went to the ceremony.

Meng’er saw me and he was happy. Probably he thought that I would be in problems, but seeing me now, he was relaxed. Yuan Ling also saw me and she smiled. It seemed that she was actually happy that I was well, but before I tried to make her a friend, I wanted to know how she beat Meng’er. If she beat him in a good fight, I would not have any problems with her, but if she backstabbed him… she would be my enemy forever.

I asked politely to the City Lord how the fight went, but he didn’t know also. He had the problem with me, and he didn’t see the fight. But he told me that if I wanted I could receive a recording of the fight. I gladly accepted.

Now it was time for the ceremony. The Vice City Lord presented the prizes to the winners. Yuan Liang was presented a beautiful sword that began to glow when she touched it. I sensed that their power was great, that was a real artifact not like my knife. “Do you think that that sword could win against your knife? You really underestimate the things that I could do —said my master chastising me—. That sword is not bad, I can feel the power of it and is a good prize for this kind of tournament, but nothing more. I could make something heaven deifying without much trouble that would be like compare a mortal to a god.” I didn’t know if my Master was gloating or if she actually could do it, but she was my amazing Master and if someone could do it, I hoped it was her.

Meng Shang was presented a pill. It was the River Dragon Ascend pill. The City Lord explained that that pill would make Meng’er to become a high quasi-divine after took it. Obviously he had to meditate, and prepare a lot for it before took it, but it was something that not many people could have the chance to obtain and it will help him a lot. I felt happy for him, but in my heart f hearts I was sad because the gap between us would become larger and larger.  

After the ceremony concluded, I went to see Meng’er and he was with Yuan Ling talking happily. I was intrigued and then they told me about their fight. According to them it was a fair fight and both were satisfied with the results and wanted to celebrate it. I felt better knowing that he was in a good mood, so I followed them to a restaurant to eat.

It was a good night, we eat a lot, Yuan Ling pay all. She said that it was the least she can do after having so much fun. The restaurant was not cheap and it was the same one that started the debacle of the Metal Turtle Sect. The food was amazing and everyone treated her as someone with reputation. Meng Shang also noticed that but didn’t say anything. We already knew she was someone important in a sect, so it was natural the treatment. We kept talking, drinking and eating. It was fun.

Who would have thought that it would be the last time that we would have this kind of fun.  

92 Curiosity and hand

While I was waiting in the room, my Master get out of my inner self and said that she would spy them. I was worry that they could discover her, but she said that nobody there had the ability to do so. She was there for some hours and when she returned, she told me everything.

“You don’t have to worry about, they will even gift you some good things —explained my Master—. It was difficult for them to decide what to do with you, especially….

She stayed quite while grinning. “Especially, what?” I asked preoccupied to my Master.

“Well… remember when you said that only you could use the knife? They tried to prove if it was true. Now they know the answer, and we could say that they really have learn a lesson.”

She was grinning more and more. “Master, what did you do? You have not offended that people, no? They are very powerful and we can have problems!”

“Little girl! —she said while laughing hysterically—, that’s why you are still a little girl! Do you really think that after knowing the true, that you are really the disciple of a incredible array master as me, they would try to make problems for you? Do you think that they are so dumb? I’m not a modest person, so I could say that there are not many people that can be my equal in arrays. And they have earned that the hard way.

By the way, they have broken your knife, also she had destroyed her right hand and they have multiple injuries, even the City Lord have ones although minor ones.”

I was terrified of what I was listening. What happened there? Why I didn’t hear anything?

“That room is sound proofed, even that kind of explosion would not be heard by anyone outside the room. I have to say that if the now cripple array master create the sound proofing array, she is not that bad, but well… curiosity killed the cat… or in this case destroyed a hand.”

She was still laughing, and I was terrified of how happy she was while talking of destroying hands and injuries. In that moment she really look like a demon. ”They thought that they were masters, and in this city, they are; but outside, oh! Outside! You soon will discover the wonders and the dangers of outside! But for now, you are very safe.”

I wanted to be reassure with the words of my Master, but I felt insecure. A Master had lost a hand! And it was my knife! How would this not be punished?! I try to explain that to my Master, but she took it like I was joking. “Do you really believe that they will punish someone that they know that is innocent? Well, it’s true that in another moment they could do just that, but remember that frog you call venerable Founder. They know that he is as powerful as the City Lord, even more; they know that you are a disciple of a powerful array master. Perhaps they could try to fight one or another, but both? That would be stupid, and the City Lord is anything but stupid. He knows his place in this type of matters.

You will see.”

91 Cheater

I didn’t have time to react, when I knew it, I was near the City Lord. “Why have you cheated?” he asked me. I didn’t understand what he was talking about, I never cheated. I tried to explain him, but he silenced me. “I’m a friend fo the turtle —he said—, so I will judge fairly, but if you have cheated, you will suffer the consequences.” Then he released a little of killing intent and I was frozen.

I was again transported to another place. “Call Chan Fong, Mao Tang and Seng Dao right now”, the City Lord ordered to one of his servers. He immediately obeyed. I didn’t know what was happening this? Perhaps he saw the help of Tenth Turtle in my inner self as a kind of cheat? That was the only thing I could think about.

“Tell me, who give you that knife?” The City Lord asked me. The knife? All this was because of the knife? I couldn’t believe it. I explained that it was a gift of my Master for becoming an apprentice of her. “Why this Master of yours would give you so powerful artefact?” I began to understand what was happening but even so, it was strange. I told him how that knife was before: a simple knife and my Master tinkered with it, nothing more. He didn’t show any change of attitude and his face was as ice.

“City Lord, we greet you! How do we can service you?” two men and a woman said at unison. “Come here and take a look at this knife, you are all experts and could tell me if this knife is beyond the quasi-divine realm.”

The first one who touched the knife was called Chan Fong, later I learned that he was the master blacksmith of the City Lord. He was a semi-mortal, but his experience at smiting was legendary in the city. He analyzed the knife, like if he was toying with it. “City Lord, I don’t’ know what uses could have this knife, but I could say that even in our kitchen we have better quality of knives that this one. It even began to rust, and the sharpness is laughable.

The second one who took the knife was an artefact refiner. He observed the knife and used qi to analyze it. “City Lord, this knife is not and artefact. It doesn’t have any kind of energy within, is empty. If I saw this knife in any other place, I would even look at it. As Master Chan Fong said, we really have better knives in the kitchen, some even are real artifacts! This one is not.”

I felt relaxed when I hear the first two. I knew that I didn’t cheat and what I was telling them it was true. So, they were helping me in this way. I expected that the third one would say something similar, but life is not that easy.

She analyzed the knife and was surprised of what she saw. She was an array master. She had the duty of repairing and maintaining the arrays of the city. She was one of the most important figures in the city, and all the Sect, even the powerful ones had to be courteous to her even if she was only a semi-divine. “City Lord, I have many years study arrays, and even thought of me as a master, but seen this knife I now understand that I was a frog inside a well all this time. I can’t understand at full the complexity of the arrays in this knife, but what I can say is that whoever did these arrays is a true array master, perhaps even a legendary one.”

The city Lord was surprised by that. He knew Seng Dao well and knew that she was very haughty and proud of her work. She even competed with many array masters that come to the city and she never lost. She had gained her reputation with years of study and sweat and blood. But now, she was saying all that, it was not a little matter. “Could you tell me what exactly is the function of this knife?” the City Lord asked her.

“I can’t be really sure of all the arrays here, but in general, it allows to use more efficiently your qi. When you use your qi in an array is you are not a Master you will waste a lot of your qi activating it, but what I can see with this knife you can use your full power without lost. It’s amazing.”

“Could you make something like this?” the City Lord asked.

“Make something like this? If I could have a knife with the size of this palace, I think I could do it; but doing this in something so little like this, with this precision? Impossible.”

“So do you are telling me that this knife is a weapon beyond the quasi-divine level?”

The Array Master was thinking how to respond. First, she asked to Chang Fong if the materials where really that bad. He asked that it had cheap iron, it was something that it was worthless. Then asked Mao Tang if he really didn’t feel any kind of artifact’s qi in that, perhaps something than could strengthen the material. He responded that it was merely a bad knife and if it wasn’t for her mastery in arrays, he would consider that weapon, trash.

While she was still thinking my Master tell me to say some word for them. I didn’t want to do it, but if not probably my life would be at risk. “City Lord, great Seniors, —I said while bowing— this humble junior have to interrupt you, knowing that is an offense for your majesties, but this junior have to said that my Master told me that this knife could only be used by me, any other person would suffer. And when I grew stronger, she would make a better weapon.”

“So only you could this knife? Show us how do you use it!” said the City Lord, allowing me to take the weapon. I put my vital qi in it and stabbed the air. They could feel the shockwave. The smiting master was surprised. “Is that all the power you can use with the knife?” said the City Lord without showing any kind of emotion. I poured more qi to the knife and a more power shockwave started, this time blew some minor things in the room. Now the Artifact Master was shocked. “It’s that really all the power?” the City Lord kept asking. “If he wants you to show power, show it”, my Master told me, so I used vital and lighting qi this time and stabbed the air again. This time, it was not only a shockwave but lighting attacking everywhere. The City Lord had to protect the blacksmith, and the room was partially destroyed. This time, both the Array Master and the City Lord were surprised. It was obvious that this knife was a powerful weapon and greediness begin t show in the eyes of the Array Master. However, things were not so easy for her. The knife was fractured, it couldn’t resist the power. The City Lord as seeing how the state of the knife was, understood that although very powerful for someone of my level, it was not a quasi-deity weapon. If it were, it would be a very terrible weapon for a cultivator of that stage. Also, he understood, how powerful was actually my Master as an Array Master. “Please, go to the waiting room and give me the knife, we have to make a verdict” he said to me, this time very politely.

90 Battle against all II

We entered to the stage and the referees made us separate us so we couldn’t sneak attack our opponents at the first seconds. I was near Yuan Liang but far from Meng Shang. Our strategy would begin the moment the fight commenced. We had to group up. It was the only chance we had to fight against the others.

When the referees ordered us to commence, we run to the middle of the stage. As we thought, the rest was following us, they want to eliminate us quickly. Yuan Liang-was faster than me so I was at the rear, two of our enemies attack me. I could use Shell defends, but I didn’t want to show that I could make two, so I used the artifact she gave us before the first part of the fight. The artifact glowed and dispersed both attacks and even knock backed them. That gave me time to group with Meng Shang.

When the three were reunited, she asked how I made them knock back. That seemed strange, because that was something that she gave us. “Yes, it’s a shield —she said—, but it never showed that kind of ability, how do you did it?” I didn’t know, and we didn’t have time to search for an answer, all the four were coming at us. “Are you ready?” Meng Shang asked, we nodded.

If we were alone, we would have not known anything about of them, but Yan Liang had lived in this city for a long time and know all the participants. She gave us what she knew about them, and that was the basis of our plan. My opponent would be a fat cultivator, but his techniques were swift, and the armor he used was really well made. He was the son of another Sect Master and it showed. He was quickly catching me, and I immediately used Changing currents to attack him instead. He was prepared for that and activated a shield.

That shield looked powerful, so if I wanted to break it, I had to use the Beak technique and perhaps even had to use metal qi, but I didn’t want to use it. If I used it, I would have to show my techniques to my allies that I knew in a few moments would be my opponents. I decided to use the beak without elemental qi. It didn’t work, not at all; he even had time to counterattack me, and I was in an instable position and didn’t have time to use Shell Defends. “Let me handle it”, said Tenth Turtle and he used the technique denser that what I had achieved until now.

The fist clashed with my technique, it made a loud sound, and both had to step back. My technique was broken, but his was nullified. He was surprised by that, and I had to take that opportunity. I still didn’t want to use my technique, so I remembered the knife my Master gave me! I charged it with vital qi and stab the shield. Not only the shield exploded, but the fat cultivator got blown out of the stage. I didn’t think that the knife could have so much power, but at least I won to that person.

I was about to turning to my allies when I heard something that petrified me: “Tang Jian! Disqualified!”