11 SPRINGMONTH 1501 AFTERFIRE, 13 YEAR OF JULIAN ERA
FIFTH MONTH OF THE MIDGARD CALENDAR
The door creaks as a person pushed forward the heavy door. That person stepped inside the area, swishing his sleeve as he flung away the leaves stuck on his clothes.
It has been three days since that night he met that old man. He is now once again in that Pagoda.
Since it has been days he visited this pagoda he learn to appreciate the structure. A standalone four floor building that conveyed a proud loneliness, and a building that seems to frustrate him. He is so close to that fragment, but also so far.
In the evening, there will be a few flying birds that comes out from this structure.
Charles did not know how but that Old Monk will always be there no matter the time he tries to come to this Pagoda.
After that night defeat, knowing that this structure holds the Enlightened One, Charles has tried to come over in the morning.
The dew just falls down from the leaves, the birds just woke up and searching for worms, yet that Old Monk is still there, waiting for him.
The other day, he tries to come at dawn, a few hours after he fought the Old Monk. Yet, he is still there.
For some reason, Charles do not believe that Old Monk will guard the Pagoda all day, at all time.
Because there is no food, and there is no place to sleep. Every human need to eat and sleep. But if that is the case, how is that Old Monk always know when he is coming? Could it be the Monk could even predict his movement, and seeing Karma of three generation?
No matter how exquisite his movement technique or how forceful his internal energy, and how lethal his move, in front of that Old Monk, none of his martial arts seems to even compare.
It almost seems like a child showing a few insignificant moves.
Tonight, he came again, like the night before and the night before. The moment he came, he sat down on the chair he brought before.
Now, the first floor have a few furniture.
All of these furniture he brought form his courtyard. Bought from the peddlers below the Mountain, using his gold.
He is still after all the descendant of a Princely House.
Spring has just come, the air is breezy and soothing but he is thirsty.
A few days ago, his body transform, his meridian points swell and genuine energy flushed out, his major meridian is being washed out by a flood of energy and opened up
His internal energy rose and now he possess the cultivation energy of a twenty year old attainment but he is still at the Body Freeing realm.
This is the advantage of possessing the Extreme Poisonous Yin body.
While you would die if you did not find the cure, but for the Jade Palace Gate sect, those that afflicted by that constitution leaning their technique would enable them to rise to the peak in martial arts.
That is how it happens for the First Ancestor of the Jade Palace Gate.
Charles is walking his first step to martial arts, his strength has increased, his body structure sturdier and he is also getting taller almost reaching five feet
Finished, drinking the water he got up into the staircase and arrive at the fourth floor. Arriving at the third floor, he sighed.
The Old Monk is still there waiting for him, standing like always on the path leading to the fourth floor, unmovable like a mountain. Charles then said
‘You are a martial art master, are you not ashamed fighting a kid like me?’
‘You are a kid, are you not ashamed overestimating yourself like this? This treasure is the treasure that is seek by the Heaven and Earth gate and many other sects of martial arts. What makes you so confident you will find it? This is after all only one part of the map. What will you do even if you find all of it?’
Charles did not reply.
The Old Monk put his palm together. There is silence for a while, the Old Monk is waiting for Charles to make his move.
But Charles did not move. He is thinking of something. No matter what he know he would lose. Even though his strength has increased, he knows he is not this Old Monk match.
‘If I said the reason will you let me pass?’
Charles ask this question because he suddenly realizes that this monk has been asking him this same question for these past few days.
Always asking him what he is about to with the map. But he never answer. Because the answer will sound ridiculous.
But tonight like he was being prodded, he felt that the Old Monk is testing him. This Old Monk could have notified the Temple about his attempt but he never did.
And it is for that reasons he could stay in the Temple without worry. But then why is the Old Monk still seek to obstruct him?
The Old Monk clearly knew he would try and try again to get the map. Getting him thrown out of the temple would be the most reasonable thing to do.
Yet, he waited for him, every day. It is only today, as he ignore all those threat and the mysterious existence of this Old Monk he considers another possibilities.
‘This Old Monk is testing me!’
That is why he ask that question. He wanted to know.
‘Tell me the reasons first’ The Old Monk said.
Charles nodded and said
‘The seven Kingdoms of Midgard is approaching its end. Long divided, it is time to unite. Seven Kingdoms plotting against each other, armies gathered, talented people are summoned, all portent to a great warring period. New kingdoms will rose and chaos would prosper. I wanted the treasure to gain an advantage in the coming chaotic years.’
‘An advantage? To do what?’ Charles could lie to this Old Monk but for some reason, he felt that if he lied he would easily be seen through
So, he decided to be truthful.
‘To unite the Seven Kingdoms under one rule, to create back the Empire.’
‘Long divided, it is time to unite’ the Old Monk said and he nodded
The Old Monk then sits his palm put together and he chants the Enlightened One name
He did not laugh. Charles thought that the Old Monk would laugh and scoff at his ambition but he did not.
Instead the Old monk said
‘Uniting the Seven Kingdom of Midgard, blood will fall and the common people will suffer, sea of blood will form under your feet, yet you would still do it?’ Seeing no reason to lie, Charles answered
‘I will still do it.’
‘The world will burn’ The Old Monk said
Only if the old world is burned, a new world could emerge. This world…is cruel. The common people did not have enough food to eat in some Kingdoms and when the war will come, imagine their plight. Suffering is everywhere.,
‘And you are the solution?’
‘Yes.’ Charles said, his confidence could not be broken. He truly believes that from the ashes of the old world, a new world, a better world would emerge under his rule.
‘Since that is the case, let us talk about the world, little child’ The Old Monk said and then he ask
‘What will make a country prosperous and profitable little child?’ Charles also sit down on the wooden floor. And then thinking for a while he said
‘Benevolence and righteousness.’
‘And how would that be achieved?’ The Old Monk said. Charles take a moment to think and then he said
‘When a ruler say “What is to be done to profit my kingdom?” the great officers and officials will say, “What is to be done to profit our families?” and the inferior officers and the common people will say, “What is to be done to profit our persons?” Superiors and inferiors will try to snatch this profit the one from the other, and the kingdom will be endangered, full of chaos and evil.’
Then smiling maliciously Charles explain to drive his point home
‘In the kingdom of ten thousand chariots, the murderer of his sovereign shall be the chief of a family of a thousand chariots. In the kingdom of a thousand chariots, the murderer of his prince shall be the chief of a family of a hundred chariots. To have a thousand in ten thousand, and a hundred in a thousand, cannot be said not to be a large allotment, but if righteousness be put last, and profit be put first, they will not be satisfied without snatching all.’
‘Righteousness be put last, the kingdom would be chaos, not satisfied, the heart will rot’ the Old Monk said.
‘While it did not conform entirely to the doctrine of the Enlightened One teaching, of the Path of Nirvana, this policy would bring peace if implemented and practiced.’
‘There never has been a benevolent man who neglected his parents. There never has been a righteous man who made his sovereign an after consideration’
The Old Monk nodded then he proposes another question
‘Then how will you conquer the Seven Kingdoms?’ The Old Monk was expecting an answer in line with what Charles has just said.
‘With steel, fire and blood, with my body and mind, I will conquer the four corners of Midgard and pacify the world. Whoever in my path I will cut it down. Nothing and no one would be in the way of my ambition!’ Charles said, his voice is loud and full of excitement, his eyes flashed with such unwavering confidence that it is infectious.
Hearing this the Old Monk frown.
‘Didn’t you just say Benevolence and righteousness as the way of governing a Kingdom?’ The Old Monk said, clearly baffled by the different method
‘The way of the world is not pretty. Words are always pretty as long as it did not touch the boundary of truth’
‘Then did you just lie to me?’
‘I did not lie’
‘Then what it is your meaning, little child’
Then Charles explained
‘You ask how best to govern a kingdom, then I answered. Then you ask how to conquer the Seven Kingdom, so I answer. One question, inquire how to govern. The other question inquire how to conquer. The nature of both question differ, so the answer would also differ.’
‘To govern a kingdom, first one must have a kingdom. How would one have a kingdom, if you did not fight for it, to wage war for it? And in war, blood will certainly spilled, and lives will be reaped. Being merciful to an enemy, is being cruel to yourself. Only when there is a kingdom, and people to govern, and the world at peace can a ruler govern with benevolence and righteousness. If the world is in chaos, ruling with righteousness and benevolence is easier said than done. As long one do not lie to oneself, then that is good enough.’
The Old Monk pondered Charles word and look at him.
Sinful, sinful’ he said. But he saw it of course. There is a Dragon aura coming from this young child. The aura of a ruler.
And the Blessing of Ulr.
Ulr is the God of Thunder, one of the most favorite child of Aesiron. In the myths of the Northmen, Ulr was born from the stormy emotions of Aesiron when he is about to create the Seven Realms.
When he was born thunder fills the world and strike the world, creating fire and allow human to survive the cold and harsh world full of beast and darkly creatures.
Aesiron then bless him with a thunder shaped scar, as a right to govern when he is slumbering. It give shim good luck, a strong fate and accumulating the fate of the world.
Blessed by the Gods.
The Old Monk knows only one person that also possess this kind of scar in his life.
A fate of a Founding Emperor…..this is a momentous event.
But whether he truly will become the Son of Heaven and sit on the Dragon Throne, nothing is certain Fate and Destiny could be cut short.
It is the accumulation of one deeds that leads to the Fate being fulfilled.
But….this Old Monk could cut that Fate and Destiny short. If he killed this child right now, would there be a new Empire?
He saw that this young child will bring fire and blood with him and the lives that will fall under his hand would be numerous.
This is sinful. But the Old Monk also saw the possibility of a new world emerging, a world that is better.
If this is when he was young, he would surely kill this young child even though he is a monk.
But, season have come and passed and he has seen many things. Would it be so bad for this old world to burn….and for a new world to emerge? He shakes his head but then he stands up and move beside the stair case.
Then he sits back down. The path to the fourth floor is opened. Charles who was looking at the old monk is shocked.
‘This…’ The Old Monk jus nodded and Charles smiles as he quickly rushed forward to the fourth floor. The Old Monk watch Charles back and said to himself
‘I hope I make the right decision.’ Then he jumped down from the third floor as he flies down from the third floor and rushed towards the forest to return to his residence.
The Old Monk return to the Sweeping Courtyard. And then he enter his room and meditate. Yet, his forehead is relaxed and there is a slight smile on his ace.