◈ Soul of a Champion
The little boy who grew up scrounging on the streets of the eastern continent was not always so poor. His first memories are that of luxury, the laughter of noblewomen, the feasts, and extravagance. Calpheon was his original home, but that all changed on one fateful day after the ship he was on with his family capsized in a storm, and he washed up on a beach in the Far East.
He quickly became an outcast. The foreigner with the blonde hair and blue eyes stood out amongst the black hair and dark brown eyes of the locals. This drew the unwanted attention of thugs, who terrorized the young foreigner day in and day out. Through these scraps, the boy learned how to fight. Each punch he took, he threw two back. Every kick he took, he learned to throw one harder. His fights were never pretty, but eventually the thugs learned that to attack the foreigner was a sure way to end up in the infirmary. One day, a martial arts master stumbled upon the boy as he was scavenging for food, and took him under his wing.
Under this master, the boy learned to read and, more importantly, to fight. Traveling all across the eastern continent, the boy became a man. During their travels, the master tutored the boy in the fighting styles of the beasts. He was taught how to mimic the strength of the tiger, the stealth of the panther, the precision of the snake, the agility of the monkey, and the balance of the crane. He devoured the imparted knowledge and showed abilities far above his station.
He eventually entered the Martial God Tournament. This tournament occurred once every ten years, and was widely known as the largest martial arts tournament in the east. His rough but controlled fighting style overwhelmed his opponents, and he easily took the title.
After winning the tournament and proving his skills, he joined the Western Frontiers, a group of the finest martial artists who accepted people not based on their looks, but purely based on their skills. However, the young boy who grew up with no boundaries found the organization constricting and eventually headed back to Calpheon to rediscover his roots.
The martial arts of the fist with the longest history in the Orient is the one involving movements of the tiger, panther, snake, monkey, and crane. Master had told me it all started when the weak mankind, shuddering under the greatness of nature and in hopes of gaining some force to stand with, started imitating the motions of beasts.
If I could ever go back to the times before the discovery of metal and fire, where only the strong will to survive against the brutal world existed, will I be able to surpass my limitations? This question haunted me all through the lonesome voyage on sea back to the western continent.
When I had finally disembarked at Calpheon, the worries to find my true roots soon melted away as my days went by buried in the crowd of blue eyes and golden hair. But this is when yet another desire started blazing up. I needed to reach the ultimate stage of martial arts. I needed to be the master of fighting. I settled down in a small valley in southern Calpheon, and went into meditation and training right away.
3 years had passed. My days were spent studying the beasts of Calpheon and trying to imitate their motions and behaviors. This is when I felt enlightened by an unknown force. I wanted to embrace the newly-found energy, resembling that of the elementary nature.
6 years had passed. My breathing had changed completely, and I was letting energy flow naturally within my entire body. The concept sounded simple. Putting it into action was a completely different story.
9 years had passed. The results of the training were truly remarkable. My hair speckled with white had regained its golden hue, and fresh teeth grew out. The energy of nature saw no limits. My movements flowing ever so naturally were pure martial arts. I had reached a whole new realm.
Overwhelmed and drunk by the mighty power, I started losing control over the energy and started suffering. I felt split up… stuck in between the energies old and new. Until the newly-acquired energy took form out of my body as a spiritual alter ego.
Though I tried to contain the energy, I failed to do so over and over. I felt hopeless and defeated under my own energy. And this was when I remembered the promise with my master. We had promised to meet in Goma Naru around this time. I also remembered the words of Nana Gora’s fortune telling, which said the world in the end would face an enormous dark energy. I was sure it had foretold who I became now.
I was sure I would receive the answers I needed. Convinced, I was already off to meet my master before dawn.
“Put my arrogance behind, receive the teachings of the master again. The great master will see right through me and give me a solution.” Little did I know… I was never to meet my master again.