I received word that there was a monk who lived on top of a mountain in the north who studied alchemy. I had never been so far north before, however, the prospect of learning alchemy from a monk truly excited me and led to restless evenings as well as days of preparation to make this necessary but long journey possible. I was told by many to not attempt the journey. Family members said, “Are you kidding? You’re riding that old donkey north?”
My donkey, who I would be riding, was in fact old and her left hind leg had broken in the past. While packing her with supplies she looked at me as if to say, “Yeah, if my leg breaks again perhaps you will be the one carrying me north.” I snickered at either my own imagination or my donkey actually talking to me – I can’t remember which.
She was good to me. I fell asleep instantaneously from her calm and graceful stride. Perhaps she figured I should be well rested as if she knew that once I arrived it would be non-stop action.
When I arrived at the border up north the soldier who commanded the post stopped me. He didn’t point his sword at me per se, however, he made damn sure I knew he was ready to use it. He asked many questions:
“What business brings you here?” “Who are you staying with?” “How long will you be here?” “Do you have any weapons?”
Yikes. I could answer all of those questions honestly. All except one. I muttered:
“Alchemy. The Monk. 3 MoonLights. No..?”
The soldier looked me up and down and lightly snarled. Did I say too much? Did he know I was lying about the weapons? I mean, I always have my Rope Dart with me but he didn’t know that… did he? I kept silent.
The soldier lifted one of his eyebrows, his face became stern, his chiseled jaw clenched.
I waited in nervous anticipation.
“BWOOOHAHAHAHAHA!” He exclaimed. “Alchemy?!” “HAHA! Imagine That!” “A peasant as stupid as you certainly knows no martial arts,…no Sifu would teach you!!!! Hahahaha!”
I sat there puzzled, too nervous to say anything or move.
The soldier laughed out loud at me for a few more moments, coughed and then fixed himself. I continued to sit frozen and silent.
The soldier cleared his throat and continued, “Well then get on with it!” “Now git!” “Hahahaha…alchemy…”
99% of my body was still frozen from fear of what didn’t happen, my eyes opened wide, panned left, and then panned right. I blinked, nodded and ride off.
To Be Continued…