Part 31: Kung Fu - Update # 2 - The Master Embarks On His Journey and Meets A Young BanditKung Fu Chapter, Part 2: The Master Embarks On His Journey and Meets A Young Bandit
As the Master begins his day's journey, he collects supplies from his home. Meat buns are today's food, and he too gathers clothes for his students.
Besides his humble abode, he cultivates herbs which will become tea to energize his body throughout the day.
His first destination is a small village to the south of his home. It is a poor but lively town, full of bustling youths and a crowded market. When he enters, a locals greet him with dire news.
The Master's heart fills with sorrow as he hears this news. His own master had taught him that true inner strength came not only from cultivating the self from within, but also helping others in need. He sees it as his duty to journey to the west, into the bamboo forest where medicinal plants grow among the grass. For the ordinary villagers, it is a dangerous place, infested with preying bandits and prowling tigers, but such things are trivial to the Master.
Identifying and gathering the medicine is but a simple task. Even though tigers turn to the Master for their next meal, he easier dispatches them, sending them mewling away like newborn kittens.
The Master senses that he is being followed. Bandits have caught sight of him, but he does not deign to give them a second look.
At the forest's end, he is cornered by the thief trailing him.
: An old man, wandering unarmed deep in the Bamboo Forest? You really shoulda known better, gramps! Hand over all yer cash, an' make it snappy!
One look, and the Master sees a young girl who has never known a stable roof over her head, who has had to bitterly fight for every grain of rice in her stomach. But she is brave to live among tigers, and nimble to cross through the forest so quickly; the Master knows this.
: I don't carry a red cent... to give to rogues like you!
: Hah, you trying to shoot for sympathy just 'cuz you're older'n some of the trees here? You're cruisin' for a bruisin', gramps!
The girl lunges at the Master, leg outstretched. She is quick, but too aggressive and signals her attack too clearly. The Master steps to the side, out of harm's way.
: What the hell? How's an old geezer like you so damn fast?
: My, such anger is unladylike. Allow me to demonstrate some grace that would be more suited to your character.
: You old bastard, you beat me! What the hell...
: My, but you should be ashamed of yourself, little one. However, your technique shows promise... Why not learn kung fu and give yourself a new lease on life?
: Right gramps. Like I'd really believe that!
The Master turns his back to the bandit and calmly walks away. She calls out from behind him.
: But.. you still... Argh, dammit, I'm pissed! Alright, gramps, I'm game! I'll learn from you. But don't expect any loyalty or anything like that!! I'll kick your ass someday!!
The Master laughs to himself. Little does she know, it is every teacher's hope that the student surpass him, so that the kung fu may always grow better. But in due time, she will come to know that herself...
: Heheheh... If you say so, little one.
: Don't call me that!! My name, Li Kuugo, carries much honor!
: Alright, alright. Don't be so angry. Smiles suit you better.
: Hmph! You talk too much, gramps.
: Better to talk too much than yell too much.
: What the... Dammit!! Come on, let's get out of here!
Next Time: The Master Deals With Gangsters