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T'Riad Shy'Eve - Friend and Enemy

Started by Wildfire, April 05, 2006, 02:31:05 PM

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Friend and Enemy

?Again?, I said. Falion Du?Gren lay on the floor stunned that he had been struck so hard. I did hit him with great force because he was not performing to his potential. He sprung up and immediately positioned himself defensively. I went after him with a series of blatant strikes that allowed him to block easily and strike back. But he did not strike back. I could not allow this. I easily penetrated his blocks with a series of strikes and then I delivered the crushing blow to his chest. He fell down and gasped for air. The large practice room was filled with his wheezes and coughs.

Standing over him I said, ?Why do you not attack me? You defend but you do not attack. Explain.? Falion stood up on his shaky legs and ignored the pain that I knew he felt and said, ?Because I do not want to hurt my master and my friend.?

?When you are in here practicing with me there is nothing but your enemy. Am I not worthy of being your enemy? Think you so little of me not to know my risk while we engage in our katas*? Your enemies out beyond will not be so merciful. They will not wait for you to suppress your sympathy. I knowingly endanger myself Falion?you need not worry about hurting me.? I said.

Falion again stood at the ready for the next kata. His loose clothes were slightly wrinkled and his hair was mussed a bit but he was prepared. I moved in launching a series of quick strikes which he easily blocked. Damn him! He wasn?t striking when he could. Well, I had to drive the point home. I tightened my fist and when he was vulnerable I punched him right in the forehead. He stumbled back and lost his footing. He landed graceless bouncing his head off of the wooden floor. In addition to that I had split his forehead open and there was blood flowing from the wound. I now had to scare the boy. I wasn?t really mad at him at all but I had to make him think that I was. I had endured the same feeling when I was learning this art. I was fearful of the power that I was acquiring, as was he of his. I could easily see his reticence as a compliment to me but that would not protect him when he was being challenged for real. So now it was a matter of ?tough love? as my master would say.

?Strike me! Why don?t you strike at me? You see me as your friend but right now I?m not! I am your enemy! Hopefully that punch will knock some sense into you!? I shouted. I didn?t want to yell at him but I figured that it was the only way he would hear me. He sat up, touched the front of his head, and looked at his own blood. He glared at me with fire and fury. ?Now you understand my words, yes? Come to me you pathetic whelp! Show me what you?ve learned!? I hissed. It was so very odd to be saying these things to a boy who was essentially my son?I loved him. However, he needed to learn and this seemed to be an effective way to teach him.

He jumped up onto his feet. The blood from his head was flowing over his temples and down the sides of his nose. His hair was now free and wild. He looked positively savage and nearly out of control. ?If you let your anger unbalance you be assured that you?ll be lying back on that floor.? I warned. He didn?t listen.

He came at me throwing his fists and feet in precise fury. It challenged even me but soon he became sloppy in his execution. All it took was one overthrown punch. I grabbed his arm and flipped him over on to the floor. He slammed hard. Amazingly he didn?t make any sounds of pain but I knew he was in it. Still holding his arm, I came down with an elbow to his face. I landed with my elbow just touching the end of his nose. ?Do you see now that your rage has unbalanced you? Listen to me next time Falion. Seek discipline and you will find your freedom. Your barbaric outburst could have very well cost you your life in the outside world.? The tension in his arm dissolved and I released it and stood over him.

Again he got to his feet. ?Master, I was wrong to strike in anger. I do not understand why you speak of enemies that I do not have.? he said. I smiled at his naivet?. He truly did not understand the harm that he could face once he left the safety of his home. ?Falion,? I said ?the world beyond our monastery is not so safe as within it. There are others that would seek to harm you in some form or another.? Still he looked confused. ?Master, why would I ever need to leave my home? Everything I want is here.?

I suddenly felt the emotions that he would endure upon realizing that he would need to leave to a world that was unknown to him. I felt it because I went through it myself so many years before. He reminded me of myself at his age. ?There will come a day when what is here will not be enough to satisfy you. I understand that it is hard to believe right now. However, you are young still. What you do need is all here?now. But like the child that grows to large for the womb you will feel the need for growth beyond your home here. That day has not arrived yet. Now, let?s continue with the lesson.?

I could see that he still did not fully comprehend his need to travel beyond. I knew that he would sit in contemplation of the inconceivable departure. He would never truly understand my words until he was at the moment of revelation.

He bowed and immediately went into his defensive stance. I bowed back and went into mine. I moved towards him with controlled aggression. I sent punches and kicks at him with testing speed. He blocked them all with near perfection. I left myself unguarded to see if he would seize his chance. To my pride, he did. He landed his fist on my jaw and sent me back a step. That was perhaps one of my happiest moments. My student and son had gone beyond what he thought he was capable of.

He stopped immediately and bowed his head in apology. ?I..I am sorry master. I did what you said and?? he said tripping over his words. I shook my head and cradled my jaw with my hand making sure it wasn?t broken or misaligned. I hadn?t been struck like that for a long time. He was stronger than I thought. ?I laughed and said, ?No, no. Do not apologize. Remember, I knowingly endanger myself. That was a fine hit Falion?one I won?t forget for some time. How did it feel??

Falion, who later would be known as T?Riad Shy?Eve, looked up and smiled. ?To be honest Master, it felt liberating. Is this wrong?? he said. ?No Falion, it is not wrong to feel what you feel right now. Only when you exploit the art for personal power are you then out of balance with yourself and are blind to enlightenment. You would then become imbalanced with Xen?Chi. Greed is just as powerful as anger and it can consume you?like a blazing fire. I would consider that to be wrong. Enough of this talk for today. Shall we take a mid-day meal my enemy and friend??

*A ?kata? is a series of martial attacks and defenses.

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity