Wudang: Legends Of Qi Earth Chapter 33
[For people of the dark continent, conflict and killing is our blood. Long before civilization sprung up and empires were born, we've had a history of chaos and anger, blood and rage, death and destruction. I guess you could say of all the people to exist in this world, no one but us has a natural predisposition to fighting and killing. For us there's no peaceful option, we prefer to let our fists do the talking, which is why magic and power was birthed here, on our lands, our home.
The first time a man of the dark continent kills someone, its as natural as breathing, especially when it turns out that person deserves it. We feel no remorse or anguish, just a simple sense of justification and it's all because of one thing. We don't kill for fun or just because we want to, we only do so to protect, defend and to pay back a harm that has been done to us. But behind all that killing affects us differently than it does to the rest of the world, and after the first time, our heart, soul and spirit are fundamentally changed forever, and in this age of cultivation, magic and auras, killing becomes our trade, our skill, and no one is better at it, both in mind and in act than we are. The moment we kill, we become monsters.]
The world burned red, flames licked the edge of his vision as he felt heat in ways he had never felt before. He felt himself falling from the sky, there was nothing in sight but the red and the flames and then it stopped. The world still burned, and everything was still red, but at the very least he was no longer falling.
Alex looked up to find himself right in the middle of a volcano. It was active, alive and it flowed all around him like a cascading river drawing a path of domination across a country. He was standing on a platform twenty meters in diameter. The platform seemed to be carved from a giant red ruby, and Alex could see flames dancing within it's edges. There was a walkway leading from the platform all the way to the wall of the volcano where it opened up into a giant Archway.
The Archway was beautifully made out of the same ruby the platform he's standing was made from. It glowed red, and pulsed as if following the sounds of a heartbeat. But Alex knew that the heartbeat did not belong to him, and as it pulsed, so too did the sound of footsteps coming closer ring out. The entire scenario was quite unsettling, and Alex focused his gaze on the open Archway, waiting for the owner of the footsteps to appear, but he never did.
Alex could feel himself growing weaker and weaker, and as he did the flames got hotter and brighter. And when it seemed as if the owner of the footsteps was about to come out of the Archway and meet with Alex, the footsteps halted and a deep male voice called, and he spoke with such power that it caused a rippled across the air, carrying with a heat wave that singed Alex's hair.
"You're not ready, come back when you're stronger."
And then Alex felt himself falling backwards, right into the boiling lava below him as he felt a pull he couldn't resist. Alex couldn't fight against this current of events, helpless and left with no other choice but to watch as he was dragged through and fire. And then eventually black covered his vision and his consciousness slipped away, his peace and respite from the heat found.
Alex opened his eyes to a white ceiling, the sound of breathing was heard beside him, and the constant beeping of an EKG machine was almost driving him nuts. He turned his head to the side and found Anya sleeping beside him, her head resting on the side of what looks like his hospital bed, looks like the competition was over and they were back in Lokoja. Thank God that was over, Alex might have been unconscious, but even now he could still hear screams, he could still remember the feeling of his swords slicing through flesh as blood stained his battle clothes and he reaped lives like plants. Alex was no throwing up or anything, but without a doubt there was a haunted look in his eyes that wasn't there before.
"I see you're awake, that's good. We were not sure how that Demonic fire ruby affected you, and seeing how you have a very different constitution than flames it was a point of worry for me and your father. But at least you're safe and thanks to what you did you save the lives of many more contestants, you made things a lot easier for us I'm pretty sure the sect elders will reward you once we get back."
Alex's uncle was sitting on a chair opposite him, and he was so quiet that Alex had not even noticed him when he woke up. Alex really had no idea how he was supposed to relate with this uncle of his, obviously his father did not get along with his uncle as much as it seems they do, plus the history between his father and the Wudang sect was too much and too deep, and right in the middle of all it was Alex himself.
He had no idea what to feel, so he was not going to pressure himself into liking someone, even if that person was his uncle. But Alex had no idea what his uncle was talking about, the confused look on his face was more than enough to let his uncle know that he had to explain a little bit deeper.
"Somehow someone planted that demonic fire ruby in the particle world. That ruby came from a monster within the heaven's gate cultivation stage, which means if it was nothing more than a core and the real monster was here, Lokoja would already be nothing more than smoke and death, and it will be at the hands of it's own residents.
The core causes people to have an unquenchable thirst for battle, all in the hopes of a chance to get the core who's force field is lethal even to those at the peak of the open Dantian realm. It was bloodbath, and over 800 contestants lost their lives in their bid to get that ruby, all of them children who would never get the chance to live life as they want to.
The amount of injured children is roughly the same amount, eliminating many from the competition. Plus most of the students couldn't handle the trauma, and many of them have dropped out of the competition. For now the amount competitors left number about 248,excluding those who have been eliminated from the competition for not having up to 4 notches on their medallion. Your friend Anya has a 126, the highest in the entire competition, beating the second place by 56 points.
The both of you are a weird and yet oddly powerful pair. You only have 20,just normal with the scope of everyone else who advanced, but that's good enough. There would be matches to determine the hundred that would head for Abuja for the finals, before the last three would be chosen, a spot that's been specially given to you and Anya, and I don't care what you and your bloody father say, this has gone on long enough.
Your grandfather explicitly told me not to tell you, because he thinks you're to young and not ready for such a hard life but damn if I would let him dote and spoil you without you knowing what kind of life you're getting into. All these kid, these children that all just lost their lives today, the reason they're dead is because of you."
Alex was confused, he was about to refute that claim when his father walked in with a heavy look on his face, his heavy footsteps forcing Anya to wake up. But before Anya could say anything his father spoke up.
"It's true Alex. As much as I hate to admit it, your uncle is right about this. Those children were killed, because that trap was set for you, a legacy disciple of the Wudang Sect, the son of an elder, and the grandson of the former sect head.
Somehow your identity has been leaked, and now both you and Anya are in danger. You're uncle is right in that you can't continue this competition, the people who placed that freaking time bomb in the particle world released a statement that, it was meant to kill you, and that the parents should blame the death of their children on the half breed spawn of Wudang's White Lotus, which is a name your mother is known by.
This might turn into a political scandal, and the grounds for a rebellion if something is not done about it. And as such for the safety of whatever remains of the contestants, we will head to Abuja, where your grandfather would be coming all the way from the Wudang Sect to introduce you to the world as his blood, you would be exposed, but the publicity is the greatest protection you would ever have.
But from now on, your life will no longer be in your hands, not unless you become strong enough to control it. You're now a political chip in the hands of Wudang sect, you won't be able to fight against the decisions they make for you. And I hate how incapable I am in protecting you, but this is the only way that you can live, even if it's a life of unhappiness. I rather condemn you to that, than watch you die at such a young age."
It was weird being held accountable for the deaths of so many promising young men and women, people who would have helped the dark continent grow in strength and power. But Alex understood responsibility, it was something his father has always been teaching him about ever since he was a child. So what if he lives the rest of his life unhappy, he has already lived fourteen wonderful happy years, with his father and best friend by his side. That was more than enough to last him 30 lifetimes. Alex looked up and asked.
"So what happens now, and do you guys know who is trying to kill me. It would be nice to know who I have to watch out for, I already know I can't trust anyone but myself. But I rather not have a blindfold over my face when someone with a knife is standing behind my back."
"As soon as you're out of the hospital, which should be in an hour or so, we'll transport you and your friend Anya to Abuja. There father, that is your grandfather would administer the special entrance test into the sect. Your constitution, spirit root and cultivation talent would be examined and officially documented, and it would be done publicly, for you and Anya, though hers would be private. I've spoken to your grandfather, and Anya would be trained as a maid and bodyguard for you, and while those titles might seem derogatory, as the lady in waiting to the young master of the Wudang Sect, she would have a higher standing and access to more resources as opposed to other normal disciples with talent equal to hers.
After the public test, Wudang will release a public statement with you as the mouth piece. You would apologize, though to be honest it's not as if the victims or their families can do anything to us, we're freaking Wudang sect after all. But this is your home, the place you grew up in. Your Grandfather doesn't want you to leave on bad terms. After that you'll be given a going away gift by the president of the colony, and after that you're both off to the empire of heaven, back home to the Wudang sect where you will train, grow in power and as opposed to what your father thinks, you get to live your life anyhow you want it. You just have to take care of some tasks for the sect and once you're strong enough, get an official position. And as for the people responsible for the attack, your grandfather wants to tell you that himself, so your father and I, and you too, has to respect his wishes."
Alex nodded his head and then he asked the one question that's been nagging at him, even though he already knew the answer.
"And what of my Dad, is he allowed to come with?" Alex asked.
Matured as he was, he's still just a fourteen year old boy, and the longest he's been away from his father had been the seven days he spent in the particle world. His dad was the only parent figure he ever knew, the idea of being separated from him, scared Alex, it scared him a lot.
"Alex I'm sorry, but this is a journey you'll have to take on your own. I have to also grow stronger, so that I can give you an Inheritance you would be proud off, to gain enough power so that what happens in the particle world will not happen again. I'll do what I've always done since you've been born, and that's protect you. Only this time you won't see me do it. You have to be stronger that yesterday Alex, you have to be a man now. The world won't let you remain a kid, as you can see it has used this competition to brutally destroy your innocence. You have to fight back boy! You have to be a man. Can you do that, not for me, or Anya of any other member of your family, but for yourself. Can you be strong?"
Alex looked up at his father, eyes red and filled with tears as he gave an answer that came to him in the most natural way possible.
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