Part 37: Kung Fu - Update # 8 - The Master Meets An Old Foe and Must Make A Difficult ChoiceKung Fu Chapter, Part 8: The Master Meets An Old Foe and Must Make A Difficult Choice
One day, as the Shaq Fu disciples study their art, the owner of the Master's favorite restaurant bursts into the Master's home. He is sweating and panicked.
: It wasn't me this time, I swear!
: ...what? Oh, no, nothing like that! Some thugs from Wong Town came to Yuan Hua Market and...!
: It must be the Tiger King! Do they think the Master doesn't care about Yuan Hua? I'll take care of it!
: Give me a break, if those goons even sneeze on you, you'll snap like a twig! Let me handle this!
: Wait! I owe Yuan Hua Market a debt! Master, send me instead!
The three students begin quarreling amongst themselves over who should have the privilege of dispatching the Tiger King. The Master is dismayed at the attitude shown by the three, and realizes he has yet to succeed as a teacher.
: None of you will be able to stop them. Or rather... While I am sure that you all could beat the stuffing out of them, one musn't fight fire with fire. Aggression only leads to more hatred. Your minds have not been trained yet. I am sorry...
: It's okay. I shall head to Yuan Hua myself. Be sure to continue your exercises in my absence, yes?
All three students nod. They have been humbled by the Master's words.
As the Master strides down Yuan Hua Market, he can hear a commotion. Down the street, hoarse voices howl and cackle, demanding food and wine, calling after the local girls. The Master makes haste and approaches the Tiger King.
: You can either leave here now, or you can get hurt. I'm sure you don't want that, yes?
: You think I've been horsin' around since we last met? I've mastered Yi Po Men Kung Fu! Eat this!!
The Master smiles, knowing that the Tiger King is a fool. Even a prodigy cannot master kung fu in such a short time. The thug and his underlings leap at the Master from all sides, but they are quickly defeated by the Old Fox's Dance once more. From the dusty ground of Yuan Hua Market, the Tiger King looks at the Master. His eyes burn with humiliation and defeat.
: Grr... It c-can't be... This isn't over! Master Odi Wang Lee will beat yer tiny bony ass!!!
: Odi Wang Lee....? Yi Po Men Kung Fu...
The Master recalls these names somewhere in his mind. The details are elusive, and the thought disturbs him on his walk home. He is slowed as he walks through Yuan Hua Market. The villagers and merchants crowd around him, to shower him in gifts once again. They offer him local delicacies and handmade pottery. The Master has no choice but to accept their offerings, and thank each individual personally.
When the Master returns, Li is lying outside his house. The Master hurries to her side, and sees that she has been brutally beaten.
: S-Sorry... Some guy from... Yi Po Men Kung Fu... came a-and... we... fought... but... We... were... out... numbered...
: Li... Li!!!
Li's eyes flicker and shut. The Master checks her breath and she is alive, but barely. The Master fights his urge to linger and rushes inside his house. In the training room, Yuan's body lies broken among the vases.
: M-Master... I... was f-finally brave...
Yuan's head falls to the floor. The slight movement of his chest tells the Master that he still lives. The Master dashes off again, to the living quarters. He can see Sammo in the back, face down.
: I-I'm... so hungry... s-s-starving...
Sammo answers with only a cough of blood. The Master sees the destruction before his eyes, and comes to a realization. All three of his students lay dying. He has only the medicine and time to nurse one back to health. Whatever his choice, the Master will be heartbroken. He swears revenge at that moment.
You all have until the new year to vote. Possibly longer depending on how skull-shattering my hangover is.