Elemental Story Chp 33: Sokenzen’s Sabbatical

Antonio D. Anaya (DarkTortuga)

Sokenzen’s story arc… I mean sure. that.

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Chapter 33: Sokenzen’s Sabbatical

A young adult looked up into the sky and shielded his eyes, he watched as a figure fell towards the ground. As it neared the ground the figure was consumed by dark red flames. The male ran towards the figure and hesitated as he felt a large shockwave bloom from the impact site. He looked backwards at his village, simple wooden houses and a single large stone building. He looked forward and continued towards the impact site. He reached the area and looked at the massive crater that turned the surrounding trees and grasses into black Ash. He slowly moved to the edge of the crater and looked down, a man slowly moved to his knees. The boy called out, “Hey! Are you okay?”

Sokenzen got onto his right knee and with his right hand rubbed his head, he looked at the black Ash that surrounded him. He thought to himself, where am I? What is this place. How did I end up here? He heard the boy call out to him and looked. He slowly stood, his back and knees popped, he grunted and slowly climbed up the crater towards the boy.

He looked at the boy who was dressed in a simple red shirt and blue jeans, he spoke, where am I?”

The boy looked confused he spoke in the fourth cities language, “I don’t understand.”

Sokenzen spoke again, “where- “he stopped, he spoke in Fire Elemental. He touched his jaw and his rebreather was not equipped, he touched his forehead and near his eyes, his goggles were also gone. He grabbed for his sword it did not reconstruct. He rubbed his sash, empty of all equipment. He thought for a moment and with a slight accent he spoke, “This place, where am I?”

The kid pointed to the west, “In -” Sokenzen fell onto his knees and the kid tried to hold him up. In a panic the boy looked at Sokenzen’s eyes, his pupils shook, “Mister are you-” Sokenzen slumped to the ground and gave labored breaths, “Help. Ayud.”

The kid stood and sprinted towards the town.

Sokenzen woke up on a hospital bed, he looked around and he sat in a room covered in medical equipment. He rubbed his head and tried to sit up. Straps across his chest kept him from moving. A nurse and doctor both entered. The doctor moved to Sokenzen’s side and asked, her voice soft and full of interest, “What are you? The boy said that you fell from the sky on fire and yet…” The nurse handed her the medical chart and she flipped through it, “No broken bones, fractures, internal bleeding. Nothing. Physically you are actually very healthy.” She handed the chart back to the nurse and rubbed a faded scar on Sokenzen’s left forearm, “Your skin tells a very different story. These scars say that your internal organs should be destroyed. You should not be alive.” The nurse moved to Sokenzen’s right, he shifted and closed his eyes, “Experiment if you want. I have no idea how I got here, nor do I know my purpose.”

The nurse unstrapped her chest and presented his blue shirt. Sokenzen looked at the shirt then the nurse, she shook slightly, “You fear me… Why?”

The nurse quietly said, almost a whisper, “You are a monster.”

Sokenzen looked at the Doctor who continued to look at Sokenzen with interest, “I agree with her but it was my duty to keep you alive. When you can walk.” She pointed at the door where two armed guards stood across the door, “They will escort you to our elder. He wishes to speak with the man who fell out the sky.”

Sokenzen took the shirt from the nurse and put it on, he sighed and moved to the edge of the bed. He placed his feet down and slowly gifted his weight forward. The doctor moved to his side and stopped him, “Ae you sure you can stand? Even if you survived the impact we still have to do an x-ray, cat scans, we have to check your internal organs.”

Sokenzen gave a low growl causing the nurse and doctor to back away. The guards entered the room and looked as Sokenzen stood tall and his upper back, shoulders, elbows, and knees popped. He torqued his neck side to side and it popped as well, “I’ll follow. More out of curiosity then respect.” The doctor nodded she pointed at the guards who holstered their Tasers, “Follow them then. Let them satiate your curiosity.” Sokenzen scratched his neck and held a metallic necklace. He ran his fingers along the strand until he grabbed a ruby encased in silver. He lifted it into his vision and chuckled, “What’s this?”

The doctor replied, “It was on you and when we attempted to take it off you grabbed the person’s wrist almost breaking bones from the force.”

Sokenzen bowed his head and moved towards the door, “Thanks for the info doc.” He looked at the nurse and smirked, “Pretty nurse.”

The nurse visibly shivered out of fear. Sokenzen looked at the guards both wore body armor under their shirts, Tasers, a pistol, one had two pairs of handcuffs and the other only a single set, “So, where to?”

The guard with two handcuffs spoke, “We are to escort you to our elder. Policy says we have to handcuff you.”

Sokenzen smiled, “Why tell me? Why not just make me?”

The guard shifted slightly, “Because you are a lot stronger than you are letting on, and I do not plan on dying to you.”

Sokenzen chuckled, “Fair enough.” Sokenzen turned around and placed his hands behind his back. The guards quickly cuffed him and escorted him to the squad car. They drove north and stopped in front of a large building, the dark brown stones were held together with a grey mortar, the stairs were made of chiseled stone. He looked at the building and smiled a large toothy grin, “This will be interesting.”

They entered a large room several people sat in benches that surrounded a single chair in a semi-circle, they wore robes and had stripes of green, blue or red. Sokenzen moved to the chair and sat down, he shifted and reclined. He looked at the single man in front of the chair the benches high above him made him look up, he was the only one who wore gold stripes, “Let me guess. Leader?”

The man cleared his throat, “You fell from the sky. Our enemies fall from the sky in the same manner. You are here in this court to hear your side.”

Sokenzen smiled and sat tall he moved his hands to the front the handcuff chain easily broken by his strength, “If you wish to kill me.” The group murmured and the two guards entered pistols at the ready, Sokenzen raised his hands presenting his handcuffs, “What this? I told your doctor. I am curious. However, if what I do does not please you then kill me right now. Order your two rifle men to fire.”

The judge shifted uncomfortably, “How do you know of the rifle men?”

Sokenzen reclined and pointed at his nose, “I smell gunpowder, oil and the metals used for large caliber bullets. I may not see them but I can sense them.”

The judge raised a hand the two guards behind him lowered their guard and stepped back, “Tell me this what is your name?”

Sokenzen cocked his head, “Good question. My name is Zen.”

The judge continued, “What is your purpose?”

Sokenzen leaned forward onto his elbows, “Another one. I do not know. I woke up to that kid. As for my purpose, here, what am I supposed to do when I wake.” Sokenzen shrugged.

The judge clasped his hands together and rubbed his thumbs against one another, “I see. Then you have no reason to harm this city?” Sokenzen shook his head, “You have no plans to hurt her people?” Sokenzen shook his head again. The judge looked at the others as they mumbled at each other.

Sokenzen sighed loudly, “Even if you were to order my execution when those words leave your mouth I will destroy this building and all the occupants. Like I said you can monitor me but I will not be your animal on a leash. I have lived that life, and trust me when I say I ate the hand that tried to tame me.”

The judge motioned at the two guards behind Sokenzen, “Remove the remains of his cuffs.” They did as ordered and Sokenzen rubbed his wrists, “As for you… Zen.” Sokenzen looked up at the judge, “Figure out your purpose. If you do not need to remain in our city, then leave. That is your judgement.”

Sokenzen nodded, “Sure.”

The judge motioned to his side and a young man in the same robes with no stripes walked in, “This sash was on you when you arrived in the hospital. It bears the symbol for the Fire Elementals. We will confiscate this and return it when you promise to leave this city.”

Sokenzen looked at the sash, it had his symbol embroidered on a side however he could not feel Kame’s or the Twin’s power that normally flowed through it, “Alright. Like I said, I will figure why I am here.”

The judge motioned at the guards and they escorted him out of the building. The older guard looked at him, “Two miles north. There is a temple. The monks will take anyone in, in exchange for keeping the temple clean.”

Sokenzen looked to the north, “Why help me?”

The guard replied lifting the broken handcuffs, “Better you there then causing trouble inside the city.”

Sokenzen gave a toothy smile and began walking to the temple.

Sokenzen approached a wooden building traditional in design it held a symbol he did not recognize, “This must be it.” He approached the large wooden doors and knocked.

They slowly opened and a monk greeted him with a bow at the waist. Sokenzen bowed his head, “I was told that you could house me in exchange for physical labor. Is this true?”

The monk motioned for him to follow. They entered the large stone courtyard, Sokenzen looked around at the small groups practicing their fighting techniques. They entered a building made of wood and the monk stopped at the edge of a large red carpet. In the middle an elder sat, he was bald, held a light tan, tattoos on his left hand and a walking stick stood up on its own in front of him. Sokenzen stepped next to the monk, “I see. A bow of silence.” The monk nodded, Sokenzen knelt down on his right knee, pressed his right-hand knuckles on the ground and stated, “Hai. Yos Sokenzen. Tortuga foll. Respt.”

The elder bowed his head, the silent monk exited the room, “Not many know the language of Elemental. Few know how to speak it and even less can read. What brings a fighter to bless these halls?”.

Sokenzen stayed on his knee and placed both hands on his upright knee, “I was sent here, but my purpose or the reason is unknown to me. Tell me Elder, can you host a murderer?”

The elder stood and grabbed the walking stick, “Come. We will host you. However, you will meditate, clean, and practice with us.”

Sokenzen bowed his head then stood, “Of course.”

The walked to another building, inside a heavyset monk stood over a stone with an indentation, another monk placed plant fiber in the divet. The large monk raised a wooden hammer and slammed the fibers, as he continued to pound away liquid poured from a channel into a glass orb, the elder spoke, “This is our main product, the plant gives us the nutrition we need to stay blessed. However, the plant is hardy and requires work to extract.” They exited the back door of the building, they had a view of a tree covered valley, below them they had several hundred terraces filled with water. The watched at monks in different steps pulled and sliced the fiber from hidden plants beneath the water line. The elder moved to the left and Sokenzen followed, “Here we harvest. The plant can be harvested year round. You can start here. Learn about the start of life and then progress with th plant’s life cycle.” The elder moved to another building, this one two stories and made of the same wood, the elder opened the door, “You will sleep here. We do not have a curfew however the city itself does. I believe the Creatures are responsible for that.”

Sokenzen accepted a robe from a monk and began to change, “Creatures? Sir.”

The elder bowed his head, “creatures that breath fire. If they are as the reports describe them they are fire Elementals, but they move as if controlled by instinct. Their attack patterns are random. The city attempts to protect her people and we send warriors when we can.”

Sokenzen tightened his belt and bowed fully at the waist, “Thank you elder.”

The boy ran up to Sokenzen, “Hey! You survived! I was sure you died.”

Sokenzen looked at him and recognized him as the first human he saw when he woke up, “Thank you for alerting the hospital of my whereabouts.”

The boy smiled, “Wow. I can’t believe you survived. What are you mister.”

Sokenzen eye’s widen, “Oh right. Elder.” The elder looked at him, “I go by Zen.”

The boy quietly said, “Zen… huh. Well I’m Marcus or Marc for short.” He pointed at his chest with a thumb, “I can show you around it you need.”

The elder chuckled and began to move away, “How odd you make friends so fast Zen.”

Sokenzen pointed at the kid, “What him?”

The kid’s eyes shined, he gave a small gasp, “You mean we are friends?!” He grabbed Sokenzen’s hand and pulled, “Come on! I’ll show you where to go!”

Sokenzen sighed to himself and thought, “This is going to be a long mission.”

The Scientist sat in his office, he continued to read the emails that Nousagi sent him. He closed two of the emails and left two up. One a Dragon profile and the other a Werewolf. He took out his phone and called a number titled N.S, Nousagi answered, “Have you made the decision?”

The scientist answered nodding at the same time, “Yes.”

The phone cut out and Nousagi appeared in front of him in a thick cloud of black smoke, “Who are they?”

He pointed at the screen, “Two candidates.”

Nousagi moved around the desk and looked at the screen, Theodore continued, “These two, a Dragon from the Acid Nest, and a Werewolf from the Fire-Claw Clan.”

Nousagi stepped back slightly and cocked her head slightly, “That’s it? What of the others?”

He took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes, “The others, they were, are strong, but they have no foundation. These two have beginner level experience in their element. This will ease the process, also it will increase the chances that they will not die during this process, well your process.”

Nousagi moved to the front of the desk, “Good. The Blood Mastery transition can be taxing.”

He bowed his head, “Of course.”

She disappeared in a thick cloud of black smoke. He reclined in his chair and closed his eyes. His computer chimed as he received another email. He sat up slowly and clicked on the email, it held a time and location of where to meet, “Tomorrow, their place, twelve noon. I hope these two are as strong willed as Johnathan. Hopefully they can turn the tides.” He stood and exited his office.

Next day. Eleven thirty.

With an escort of six troops, the scientist traveled to the home of Nousagi and Kaiho. Theodore stepped out of the SUV and looked at the Captain who sat on a large rock outside of the large wooden doors. The two candidates sat on the ground next to the Captain. Theodore greeted the Captain, “Captain. Are you here for the testing?”

The Captain nodded and lightly grunted as he stood, he began to speak when the doors opening grabbed both of their attentions.

Kaiho and Nousagi exited the building and the two candidates stood. Nousagi approached Theodore, “These two will demonstrate their abilities. After, you will determine who will become the next blood master.”

Theodore approached the two candidates, he looked them over, “Have either of you unlocked your Feral Mastery?”

The Dragon nodded, “A month ago I fulfilled the quota and received my mastery.”

Theodore took his phone out, “What is your mastery?”

The Dragon raised a claw, water in the form of metal circlets formed around his wrist, “I gain these bracelets and whatever they touch burns the target away, like acid to skin.”

Theodore tapped an app and raised his camera to the Dragon’s wrist, “So you focus your Elemental Energy into concentrated areas. Is it just your wrists or are there other areas?”

The Dragon looked at his foot and raised it slightly, a water anklet formed, “I can form the circlets or create armor for myself.”

Theodore stepped back and raised the camera, “Create the armor.”

The Dragon lowered his claw and water formed around his chest and abdomen.

Theodore looked through his phone observing the path the Dragons Elemental Energy took, “Okay, you can relax.” He looked at the Werewolf, “And you?”

The Werewolf held out a claw, pushing his palm outward an orb of flame appeared about the size of a basketball, “These orbs. I can throw them and with my say they explode, coving the area in flames that stick to anything.”

Theodore pointed his phone at the orb, “Are they all this size or can you manipulate their size?”

The Werewolf paused to focus and keeping his hand open he flexed his forearm muscle, the orb shrank to the size of a tennis ball, he grabbed it, “Yes. They move faster but they explode smaller.”

Theodore continued to observed the orb through the phone, “Okay. Any defensive skills?” The Werewolf lowered his claw, causing the orb to disappear and shook his head.

Theodore lowered his phone and moved in front of Nousagi and Kaiho, “Madam Nousagi, is it possible to create two at the same time?”

Kaiho growled light and Nousagi placed a hand on Kaiho’s hip calming him, “Yes, however we will be weakened considerably. We will not be able to fight at max strength for a few days.”

The captain took his phone out and began to call a number, “I will set up several squads to protect you during this time.”

Nousagi nodded at the Captain and looked back at Theodore, “Why both? I asked for one.”

Theodore pointed at the dragon, “He will be able to kill the Fire Elemental.”

Kaiho added, “Sokenzen.”

Theodore nodded then pointed at the Werewolf, “He will be able to kill the Water Elemental.”

Kaiho looked at the two with piercing eyes causing both to look down, “Then both will be converted. Get this done.” He forcefully opened the large wooden doors and entered as they slammed against the walls. The others followed behind and the Captain being the slowest pulled the doors shut. The group took a spiral stair case to a lower level and entered the open room, a set of stairs inside the room lowered the floor further down.

Nousagi grabbed a wooden stick that leaned against the wall, that stood an inch taller than her with a piece of chalk on the end, and began to draw the symbols for Light, Dark, Earth, Wind, Water and Fire in the shape of a six pointed star the symbols at each point. She drew a large circle around the symbols then lines connecting each symbol to the other. She stood next to the symbol for Dark, “You Dragon.” She pointed at the Dragon with her free hand, “Sit.” She tapped the symbol with the end of her stick. The Dragon moved an sat crossed legged on the symbol. She moved to the symbol for Light, “You Werewolf, here.” The Werewolf moved and sat in the same manner over the symbol. She moved off the large drawing and stood next to the Captain, “Kaiho, brother, begin.” The Captain shuffled backwards anticipating a shockwave, as usual from Kaiho whenever he summoned any form of Elemental Energy, his heel tapped the stair and with a small grunt sat on the steps. Theodore heard his grunt and sat down as well. Nousagi held onto the stick with it behind her back, parallel to the ground, she waited.

Kaiho moved to the center of the drawing and knelt down, using the momentum to punch the ground. A small crater formed at his knuckles. Tendrils began to bloom from the cracks and wrap around his forearm, he grunted and the same tendrils began to bloom around the two sitting beings. They wrapped around their stomachs and legs. Kaiho shifted and opened his hand placing his palm on the ground of the crater, he spoke not looking up, “Focus. This will test your body.”

An ice block instantly formed, surrounding the Werewolf. Fire erupted from the Dragon’s body and surrounded him.

The Captain took out a cigarette pack and pulled one out of the pack. Theodore looked at him, “Thought you quit?”

The Captain rolled the end of the Cigarette in between his fingers and it lit, he took a deep drag and exhaled, “Thanks to Kame and his damned group. I have restarted, it helps ease my pain.”

The Scientist took his phone out, “The process began at five pm in the afternoon on July thirty first, the process will finish in three days on August second. I will document their progress.” He tapped his phone and it stopped recording.

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