Part 32: Kung Fu - Update # 3 - The Master Cures Those Ailing From a Plague and Discovers Courage in a YouthKung Fu Chapter, Part 3: The Master Cures Those Ailing From a Plague and Discovers Courage in a Youth
His first student recruited, the Master resumes his day's work. The plague still ravages the poor village, and he must come to their aid.
: Come child, we must deliver this medicine to the village.
: What?! Gramps, I agreed to learn how to kick ass, not how to be a doctor!
: Very well, you may remain here in the forest and sit among the tigers.
The Master returns to the village, knowing that Li will follow.
When he arrives, he distributes medicine from the forest to the sick villagers. The herbs cure them almost instantly, and the victims offer gifts, from food to their favorite vase. The Master does not help these people expecting payment, but he is unable to refuse their gifts.
: What the hell does passing out herbs have to do with kung fu?
: Shaq Fu is not only about fighting. To truly understand it, you must also understand kindness and compassion.
: Ugh, do you have anything to say except these stupid platitudes?
: The Shaq understands patience. Perhaps you would do well to learn some yourself.
As the Master continues to hand out medicine to the villagers, a youth runs by, none to subtly colliding with him.
The Master notices his coin pouch is missing, but he makes no note of it. The plague victim he has just cured explains to him.
When the Master reaches the end of the market, a giant of a man blocks his path. He refuses to budge.
: What, is this it? You ain't gonna make a profit stealin' from the poor!
: Well, go on! Get lost!
: … No!
: What'd you say!?
: I... I did what you wanted because you scared me, b-b-but... I-It's wrong! I c-c-c-can't do it anymore! You even m-made me mug my g-g-grandma!
: I'll give you one more chance. Apologize!
: N-no! I-I don't want to be a loser...!!
: You were born a loser, monkeybrain! Now get going!
: Yer askin' for it, kid!
The giant curls his hand into a fist and approaches the much smaller youth. The Master wastes no time in acting, slipping by the guard without effort.
Behind him, he can hear Li snorting, failing to contain her laughter. The larger man notices the Master walking towards him and addresses the venerable man.
: You believe yourself to be stronger than this boy, is that correct?
: Well, duh!
: I beg to differ. You are much weaker than he.
: The hell you talkin' about? I'm the Tiger King, and this kid's just a spindly little pile of bones!
: Power comes not only from the body. In my eyes, the boy has much strength, indeed.
: Yer pullin' my leg, old man! I could crush the kid like a bug if I wanted!
: You still don't get it, do you?
The Master steps again.
The Master steps to the center of the three gangsters. They all dive at him, but they are just as aggressive as Li, without any of her speed. He twists the wrist of one, sweeps the ankle of another, and tears the ponytail of the third, into a humiliating hold.
: Dammit... You old sunnuvabitch... Wait, I-I remember now!! Y-You're the...Shaq Fu Master!! F-f-forgive me!!
The Tiger King runs off, his tail between his legs. His henchmen follow suit, running away almost as quickly.
: I-I...Even though I stole...oh!
The youth hands back the Master's money.
: Thank you, young man. Remember that power doesn't just come from the body.
: But in this case, all you've got is the power to get beaten up!
: W-wait, sir!
: Do you desire revenge?
The young man stays silent, but the Master already knows the answer in his heart.
: Why worry? You have already bested them.
Without warning, the youth prostrates himself before the Master.
: Master! Please, Master! I'll do anything! Really, anything!!
: I admire your courage. I thought, perhaps, that you could become stronger without my aid. Your mind is alread fierce, and your will to become strong is great. That is real power.
: Easy for you to say, when you can already beat the crap out of anyone who walks by.
:I haven't asked your name yet.
: You mean, y-you'll...?
The Master nods, and he can see the boy's eyes widen in excitement. He can barely keep his voice down, yelling above the din of the marketplace.
: Yuan... Yuan Jou! N-nice to meet you, Master!
: Hey, is it too much to say hi to me too?
: Oh, forgive me, missus. I did not realize the Master had a wife so young!
Li lifts a leg, ready to deliver a blow to Yuan's head, but a glare from the Master stops her.
: I'm another student, you dumbass. I'm going to owe you one for thinking I could be married to this old coot!
: O-oh... s-s-sorry, please don't take it out on me...
The Master pays no heed to the bickering of his students. Instead, he looks to the sun overhead, noticing how time has flown on this day.
: Come, my disciples. It is time we eat lunch.
Next Time: The Master Catches Yet Another Thief