150G Chapter 1
By Ersatz Sobriquet
"Oh god, no!!!" The scream was soon muffled with a firm backhand across the face. The woman fell to the ground, long, flowing brown hair out of place, sticking on her sweat filled face. Fear gripping her, she tried to crawl away when the imposing force leapt on top of her. Another scream, and another backhand sent blood spraying out of her nose. The man quickly ripped open her blouse, revealing her bare bosom.
Relishing in the magnificent sight before him, he was a bit taken aback when she struck him on the temple. Stumbling off of her, she again tried desperately to get away as she started crawling through the grassy field. Not even two feet from her attacker did she feel him grab her ankle and herself being pulled back into his grasp. Twisting her around once more, she again resumed the position she once was in. This time, the maniac pinned her arms to her side.
"Why'd you hit me, girly?" he asked psychotically, a slight smirk on his face. "Why would ya wanna harm me, missy?"
She only twisted a bit and thrashed, knowing what was going to happen to her. Not wanting to feel yet another blow from her attacker, she made no attempt to scream, but only a simple request. "Please leave me be and I won't say a word about this, Vashti, I swear." she concluded, hoping such a worthless promise would free her of the torture she was going to experience.
"I want to love you," Vashti innocently replied. "I want you to know that there will never be anyone better than me." he laughed slightly. "Look at you." He paused as he looked at her pretty face that was slick with blood and sweat and continued looking down to her chest and then back to her face. "You are too pretty not to know what it feels like to make love to someone."
The moment, too much for him to bear anymore, went and bit her neck in a savage, lust filled rage. The pain was too much, and she cried out. No, why is this happening? she questioned herself over and over again as the mad man bit so hard that soon blood was drawn. When she thought that she couldn't bear it anymore, the weight of her attacker was suddenly gone.
Eyes once shut tightly opened slowly to see her attacker neck swiftly forced into a position that shouldn't be. He then fell to the ground, obviously dead. She looked up in awe and amazement at her savior. He simply looked at his fallen victim as he lay there, oblivious to the woman still on the ground. Realizing that her blouse was still open, she tried to button it back up. Realizing that attempt was futile as her buttons popped off after her assailant ripped it open, she merely tried to close her blouse up as best she could.
Struggling to her feet, she looked at her mysterious hero. He wore a tan tunic accompanied with loose fitting black pants. A small black band was wrapped around his head. His shoes, nonexistent. His head was bowed, eyes closed and she could see his lips move silently. After a moment, he looked at her. His eyes had a slight slant to it. The light brown eyes seemed to be wise and instinctive. His skin looked soft, like it was well oiled and had a natural tan to it. His hair fell short of his shoulders and it blew freely in the breezy field.
Trying to mouth words to thank him, she finally stammered out, "Th Thank you, dear kind sir."
He simply looked back into her fear-ridden eyes. She wondered what he planned to do to her. Is he going to do to me just like he did to him, she pondered slightly.
Finally, the man spoke after nodding slightly, "You are welcome." His words were spoken with a delicate touch, the likes she can only relate an older one would use. "What were you doing out here? Who is he?" he inquired, looking again back down at the fallen foe.
"Oh," she began, shuddering slightly as she cast her gaze on her attacker as well. "We were to wed over a year ago, before he started to act badly." she left it at that simply, not answering his first question.
Looking back at her, he simply nodded slightly and stated, "Well, if you are fine, I will be on my way," he trailed off as he began walking away.
Seeing that he was leaving, this unknown stranger that had saved her life, she quickly ran in front of him and began to prod a bit more as to who he really was. "What's your name, milord? Where are you from? Where are you off to?"
Stopping and jerking his neck back slightly at the barrage of questions, he answered, "My name is, Weturo. I am only but a simple student in the ways of martial arts. I am only looking for a suitable instructor to further my skills." he stated informatively.
"Well, milord. My father is such, a fine instructor in the ways of martial arts." she began. "Maybe he'll be your instructor, especially after he finds out you saved me." she smiled slightly. There was something about this fellow that drew her to him. Maybe it was his charming good looks. She wasn't too sure, but she liked this fellow, despite his rather cold responses. She also felt dirty inside. Not but so much ten minutes ago was she being violated and she's now staring at a man she knows nothing about that she feels for deeply? She wasn't sure. But, she felt something.
Her smile was pleasant, this he did perceive through his thick wall of training that shielded his mind from such thoughts. But, this proposition is interesting, he thought to himself. Someone to teach me. "What is your father's name?" he inquired of her.
"Master Kenryo, of the Obtainne Clan."
Those words made a being inside Weturo rejoice with happiness and glee. Master Kenryo is a legendary figure throughout the world of martial artist. He was able to defeat a whole dojo full of worthy students in one incident. He is also able to defeat any animal that ever walked the earth. To be under his tutelage would be a dream come true.
Immediately, Weturo agreed to meet her father. As they began to walk to Master Kenryo's domain, Weturo felt bad that he hadn't inquired on the status of this lovely lady. "Umm how are your wounds?" he asked trying to sound sympathetic. Looking at her neck, he could see that it was still bleeding slightly. "Your neck " he said simply.
She stopped to feel it. She had forgotten that her attacker had bitten her there. Now that she recognized its presence, she felt a slight sting. Weturo reached into his pouch that fell along side his hip and took out a plant simply known as "Medicine" and rubbed some on her neck. In a matter of minutes, the pain subdued and the blood dried up.
Trying to make conversation, Weturo softly said, "I do not know your name. May I ask what it is?"
The journey to Master Kenryo's domain proved to be quite peaceful and relaxing for the two. They spoke very little on the way, though it was mostly Weturo asking about Master Kenryo. What was he like? How old was he? What's his disposition? She found all the questions to be quiet amusing, but heartily answered each and every one. There was just something about this stranger she felt a close bond to, the likes she never felt before. Not even with Vashti, she remembered as the thought lingering for a moment.
"Vashti," she said softly, not realizing she had thought aloud.
"What was that, Mai?" Weturo asked Mai inquisitively.
"Huh? Oh, oh nothing." she stammered. "I was just thinking about Vashti... the one I was to marry." The thoughts of her being attacked prior polluted her mind quickly, and she soon stopped and began crying slightly.
Slightly surprised at her recent actions, Weturo stood there for a second, wondering how he could console her. This was something his years of dedicated martial art training never prepared him for. He started looking around, probably hoping to find someone that could relive him of this awkward situation. Of course he was met with an empty crowd carrying on their nonexistent business, and he was left to find a way to mute her sadness alone. Slowly, he walked over to her and touched her shoulder slightly.
That touched warmed a part of her heart she hadn't realized still existed, and she quickly fell into his arms, hugging and holding him tightly. The tears now began to flow freely and slight sobs escaped her person. She tried to wash all the images of the attack from out of her mind and heart. Why did he do such a thing? she questioned herself. If he wasn't so stupid, he wouldn't be dead now. Dead. Dead... The word floated throughout her subconscious for a moment before continuing on it's way.
Weturo, on the other hand, was still surprised at her recent actions. He wasn't sure what to say or do. Something deep down inside, though said that that was probably best in this situation. So he just held her close and began to stroke her soft brown hair. Something deep down also let him know that he liked this. Holding someone. Something he hadn't experienced before. He liked this. He liked her.
What the... Where did that come from? he questioned himself. Trying to shake the thought out of his head, her tears and sobs began to die down and she tried to speak.
"I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to impose on you like this, milord." she spoke, voice muffled as her head was buried within his tunic. "I just need someone... I need someone to know that I... that I..." she couldn't get the words out as the tears once again began to choke her very speech.
The thoughts becoming clearer on how to console her, he said simply, "Don't speak. Just relax and empty your mind of all the demons within." Again, the sobs slowly died down and the tears subsided as she rested in his arms.
After a few moments, she released her grasp slightly and looked up at him, all smiles. He is so considerate! she thought. Then, she quickly gave him a slight peck on the lips and resumed her joyful expression.
A bit shocked, embarrassed and happy, he looked down, her face suddenly becoming unworthy of his eyes viewing. That's when he saw it. Her bosom. It was exposed, blouse flying freely in the wind. Quickly, he covered her up, clumsily doing so. She, in turn became red in the face, forgetting that her blouse wasn't buttoned. She again resumed holding her blouse together with both hands and they both stood there for a moment before silently agreeing to continue on.
The house truly was a house for the martial artist. It stood upon it's foundation with the utmost authority and commanded everyone who ventured nearby to respect it's imposing visage. Yes, Weturo thought. This will truly be a learning experience for me.
They stopped a bit before walking on the grounds as Mai obviously stated, "We're here." Smiling, a slight glint in her eyes, she grabbed his hand and began to run towards the house. Weturo was unprepared for her recent actions and stumbled a bit behind before gaining his ground once more. After the short sprint, they arrived at the entrance of the house of Master Kenryo. Throwing the door open, she cried out for her father, where ever he may be.
Following a bit behind, Weturo stood at the entrance of the door for a moment, not wanting to venture in too far inside the house without the Master's permission. He was going to take every liberty he could possibly take to ensure the Master would not be upset at him. Mai, though ran around the large spacious living room still calling her father's name out, wondering where he could be.
Within moments, a voice was heard off to the side. "Mai, dear. Why do you call for me so?" his voice was a bit shaky, which surprised Weturo. Not at all the kind of voice he would think a legend would possess.
Mai turned to see her father walking out from amongst the shadows. She ran over to him and hugged him tightly. The old, short, bald man stumbled away once she released him and he looked up to her in surprise. "Well," he began. "I'm happy to see you, too." he chuckled. Noticing that she was a bit unraveled in appearance, he asked, "Just what happened to you?"
Looking down at her person, she did notice that her skirt was slightly torn on the side, something she hadn't noticed before and her shirt still lay in it's deplorable state. She blushed slightly and again felt the shame of the attack return but only momentarily. After the thought transpired, she looked up at her father and said, "Vashti, father. He attacked me. He was trying to... to.., force his love on me. I would have been violated if it weren't for the courage of this fine man." she finished, directing her attention to Weturo. Weturo peeked into the little room, wanting to make sure that all was well.
A slight smile landed on Master Kenryo's face as he summoned Weturo to come within the living room. He obeyed and immediately began to prostrate himself before the Master. Master Kenryo quickly scolded him while rasing him up saying, "Never allow any man to become the master over you. Though you may call me a 'Master', I am only a Master when it comes to martial arts not over you. When you call me Master, please, only recognize that I am a master at my skill and not you, my son."
A blow already! Weturo lamented to himself. Already I have made a fool out of myself.
"Father, this young man's name is Weturo." she continued on, obviously accustomed to hearing that speech. "He has come, not only to escort me here," Mai said with a slight smile while staring at him, "But, also to see if you would be so kind as to teach him the ways in the martial arts."
The old man simply nodded, never taking his sight off of Weturo's downcast face. Finally, after a moment of silence, he spoke and said, "I will teach you, Weturo. I will teach you many things. Already you have proven to be worthy of my training since you saved my daughter," he said, placing an arm around his daughter. His words were slow, but yet continued to come out, "I know you will be a fine student." Looking back at his daughter, he suggested "Why don't you change into something a bit more comfortable?"
She silently agreed and began to make her way up the stairs. "Tell me, Weturo," Master Kenryo again began. "Just how did it come about that you saved my daughter's life?"
"I left my village about two years ago after my sensi died. There was no more purpose for me to stay there, so I left in search for opponents to increase my skill and, if ever possible, find a suitable instructor to show me the proper ways in which to fight." Weturo started. "While I was about on my journeys, I heard cries off into the distance. A woman crying, no less. That was when I went to investigate and saw the scene of Mai's attacker ready to assault her in ways more worse than physical attacks ever would."
Master Kenryo nodded simply. "And how did you stop him?" he asked, already having in mind what it was he did.
"I lifted him off of her and broke his neck." he stated simply.
"Why?" he asked calmly, starting to walk around Weturo. "Why kill him?"
"He was a threat to someone's safety." he began his defense. "I was trying to eliminate that threat. Words do not always work, and I concluded that if I tried to reason with him, he would have simply become provoked. It would have erupted into a fight, and wasted time would have transpired if I what I did wasn't done."
With those final words spoken, Weturo was tripped by Master Kenryo. Dropping to his knees, Master Kenryo stepped on Weturo's shins while quickly placing him and a neck grip. Weturo knew that if he moved even slightly, Master Kenryo would no doubt break his neck. "Tell me, Weturo. What prevents me from breaking your neck?" the words were spoken with no malice, no contempt. He simply posed the question to him.
"I did nothing to you, Master Kenryo," Weturo stumbled out, voice shaking a bit. "There's no reason you should kill me."
"You mean you never attacked me, my son?" Master Kenryo simply asked.
"No, Master. I would never attack you." he assured him. What did he do to deserve this, he wondered.
A few tense moments passed by before Master Kenryo released his grip as Weturo fell to the floor.
"Lesson One. Never, ever attack someone without being attacked or provoked first. You saved my daughter's innocence, but at what loss? A man's life." he answered his own question.
Quickly, climbing to his feet, he again stood straight and attentive and replied, "Of course, Master. I'll never do such a thing again."
Smiling slightly, he nodded his head and said, "Fine. Fine. Now, go rest up. Tomorrow we have lots of training to do."
For months, Weturo was constantly working hard under the direction of Master Kenryo. Meditation on Weturo's part was greatly increased which resulted in better concentration in the heat of battle. Kenryo proved to truly be a worthy teacher. One of the many lessons Weturo went through was the "Sense Test" where only Weturo's limited senses were used in battle. Blindfolded, he had to estimate where his opponent lied just by using his ears and nose. The slight smell his opponent carried was used to pick up where he was and his ears picked up any slight nuance he may have made.
Master Kenryo was very pleased with his pupil. He took his training very seriously and constantly strove to become better, stronger each and everyday. But, Master Kenryo wasn't the only one who took notice of Weturo. Mai also noticed him, especially his body.
He's gotten so big since he's been here! And looking cuter. she would often think to herself. By this time, it was apparent, even to thick headed Weturo that Mai liked him. A lot. And, as much as he tried to fight the natural urge, he too felt a special something for the lovely lady.
"A man of training should not be distracted by such a woman's wiles." he often scolded himself. It was all in vain though. Pretty soon, he found himself accepting invitations for picnic lunches with the young lady. Being with her, happily in Mai's as well as Master Kenryo's eyes, made his heart less formal and military-like and more human. Why, several times, out of complete shock to Mai, she found him making jokes, something he never attempted to do before.
Mai was twenty-three years old and Master Kenryo didn't want her to go through life without having someone. But, he didn't want her to have just anyone. Weturo seemed, though, like the perfect match for her. A twenty-two year old man with a serious shoulder on his head, is how Master Kenryo often saw him. He hoped and prayed that Weturo would take responsibility and try to pursue his daughter. But alas, that would not be for a while.
One day while, after a taxing day of training was over, Weturo went up stairs to take a shower. That was when they came. As Master Kenryo was meditating within his training chamber, ten men in black mask arose from their hiding places and sought out Master Kenryo. Wearing a completely black outfit, they slid inside the house with little to no effort and soon arrived within the training center. Confronting Master Kenryo, the leader of the pack spoke up.
"Master Kenryo, please give us the orb and no harm will come to you." he spoke, deepness and anger in each word.
Without opening his eyes, still remaining in his folded leg position, he replied, "Hentre, do not cause trouble once more. Remember what happened last time." He let the last comment linger in the air for a moment, as thoughts of Master Kenryo subduing Hentre and his five other lackeys invaded Hentre's mind.
Shrugging it off, he continued, "This time it is different. My companions and myself have trained hard and long for days and nights continually so we may be a worthy opponent to you. We know for a fact that you would die if you dare resist us. That fate can be avoided if you merely hand the orb over to us."
"If fate would have me die," he spoke, eyes opening slowly while facing him, "Then I greet death with open arms."
"Baka!" Hentre yelled. "Then let fate take it's course!" and with that he rushed to Master Kenryo, unsheathing his sword in the process. With a fierce swing, he nearly struck his target if it weren't for the fact that he leapt to his feet and was above him within seconds. Time seemed to have frozen for but an instant, Hentre looking up at this old man's outstretched leg waiting for the blow to strike him across the face.
As soon as Hentre fell to the ground, the other men immediately rushed at Master Kenryo. One by one they fell to the wayside, Master Kenryo moving very smoothly, very effectively, very precisely. Soon, sprawled bodies lay within the training room as Master Kenryo stepped up to Hentre and raised him to his feet. Looking square into his eyes, he told him, "The fifth time, Hentre. This is the fifth time you've attacked me. How many more times will it be before you realize the orb will never be in your possession?"
Blood dripping slowly out the side of his mouth, he replied, "The orb rightfully belongs in my family's possession! Vashti was to marry Mai and you were to give the orb to my family. That was the original agreement. Even though my brother is dead doesn't mean the arrangement doesn't still stand!" he spat, words now full of hate and malice and contempt.
"You will never receive that orb, Hentre. I was a fool to ever agree between the marriage of your brother and my daughter. Now, though that it's over, my family has nothing more to do with your family. I grow weary fending you off, Hentre. Never come back again." he said, walking away from him and to some of his fallen companions. "Or I'll make sure you won't have to worry about coming back."
Hentre spat on the floor as he kicked a few of the men lying on the ground to get up. As they all began to leave, Hentre looked back, anger filled eyes and said, "Pray that your loved ones live." And with that threat, he left.
Master Kenryo sat down once more, folding his legs and closing his eyes, but not for mediation purposes. No, his mind was to concerned with the threat Hentre just made. He knows all too well that that threat might be carried out, and his daughter, the only one he has left would be gone if it wasn't handed over. The orb. This smoky black orb was becoming too dangerous to keep. He needed to get rid of it, hopefully alleviating the threat of death off his daughter. But how? How could he get rid of such an accursed item without it falling into their possession?
As he sat there, contemplating the dilemma, Weturo sauntered in, oblivious to the previous engagements. That was when it came to him all to clearly. "Weturo," Master Kenryo started. "Please, sit down for a moment."
Weturo did so, and asked, "What is it Master? You look concerned."
Chuckling slightly, he replied, "I am, my son, I am." He was always amazed at Weturo's innocence. "A threat has fallen over my daughter, and only you can prevent it."
Weturo's ears perked up over this recent news. He has gotten incredibly close to Mai over the past two months. His life was once bland with his whole goal in trying to be the best martial artist ever. Now, he wants to be the best martial artist, while living his life with the loveliest lady any storybook could have ever conjured up. If anything were to happen to her, he knew his life would again be bland and monotonous. He didn't want that, and if he knew he could prevent anything from happening to her, he would do everything in his power to do so.
Losing a bit of his composure, he blurted out, "What is it, Master? What is it that I need to do?!"
Not realizing Weturo's feelings for his daughter were so strong, he replied, "There is an orb I have in my possession. I want you to take it and leave this place."
He couldn't believe the words he just heard. Leave Mai? And his Master? All forms of composure now gone, he questioned, "But, why? Why must I leave?"
Master Kenryo knew this was going to be hard on Weturo. He began to explain to him the orb and the agreement that he had between Vashti's family and Mai and how this orb that was past down from generation to generation was to be given to Vashti's family as a gift. Vashti's family wanted the orb so much so because they heard rumors that it could bring wealth and power to anyone who holds it. That was concluded generations ago when Master Kenryo's family enjoyed great success at almost anything they did.
Master Kenryo soon realized that his daughter's life was going to be either ruined forever if Vashti wasn't the man she wanted to spend her life with. Reassuringly, he asked Mai if she wanted to marry him and if not, she didn't have to. She said that she never did and wished not to. Once this was made known to Vashti, he lost all sense of decency and sought out ways to be with her. The pressures from his own family to be reunited with her, as well as his inner demons prompted him to ask to speak with her in the forest one day.
"And that was when you found him violating my daughter." he ended the history lesson. "I need you to remove the orb from our presence. Go somewhere, anywhere. Your original goal was to become the best martial artist in the land. If you take this orb, your powers will no doubt increase ten fold. I predict you will even become a Master like me one day." he said, trying to use that as reason to leave Mai behind. Weturo could do nothing but hold his head down.
"Do not worry, my son." he again started, trying to reason with him. "I feel in my heart that you will be with Mai once more." Weturo looked up surprised that he knew his feelings for his daughter.
"How did you..." Weturo trailed off.
"You should not wear your heart on your sleeve, son." he answered simply. "Will you do this thing for me, son?"
Hesitating for a moment, he replied, "Yes, Master. I will honor your wishes."
Mai cried profusely when Weturo told her he had to leave. He didn't tell her why, though. The recent string of attacks on Master Kenryo were oblivious to Mai. Weturo did tell her that he will certainly come back. He confessed his love to her and said that his life now had meaning with her in it. Certain she was going to beg for him to stay, he was surprised when she simply nodded and wished him a safe return. A long kiss was drawn afterward and Weturo immediately left from before her presence before he talked himself out of agreeing to Master Kenryo's wishes.
Master Kenryo gave him the orb and told him to return. He knew he was going to return in fact, and only wished him the best of health on his long and no doubt arduous journey.
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