CHAPTER 27 (REMIX / THE UNDERSTANDING)
THE TRUTH BEHIND MASTERNEVER AND THE NEVERENDING MASTERS — ART ED WATSON / WRITING ILLMATICAL
Arious and Judi sat on a bench that overlooked the park. There were a few minutes of silence. Neither knew how to begin the conversation.
“Arious, I need to know what’s going on,” said Judi “and I need to know everything. Don’t sugarcoat shit. I’m ready to arrest you. Either you let me know what’s up or I’ll lock your ass up. Plain and simple.”
Arious felt that he could confide in her. She already knew his identity and she was giving him an opportunity to share. Truthfully, he had been looking for someone to share his secret with.
“I’ll try, but it won’t make sense,” said Arious.
“After last night, I’m ready for anything” replied Judi.
Arious stared at some children in the playground and then as if in a trance, his mind drifted to the origins of the Neverending Masters.
“Two thousand years ago, in China, there was a mighty warrior named Guan Yu. He was a fearless warrior, respected by all, even his enemies” said Arious.
“I know of Guan Yu.”
“Let me continue because there are things about him, things that you do not know. While he was here on Earth, during an epic battle, he found himself wounded and outnumbered. He was saved by a warrior named Cuixu. Guan Yu was grateful and he would soon honor Cuixi for his courage. In 219, Guan Yu was elevated to the status God of War. At this time, he remembered Cuixi and through a vision, he told him that his knowledge of war would continue without end. This began the legacy of the Neverending Masters.
Each master is appointed by a previous master. Once appointed, that master has the fighting knowledge of all previous masters. In addition, the appointed master has increased strength, heals quicker from wounds and lives longer” explained Arious.
Judi tried her best to believe everything that Masternever said. As she thought on what had been explained, she realized that Arious must be one of these so-called masters.
“When I was younger my mom had drug problems. My father, I don’t remember much. My mother, her name was Alexa… Alexa Alcide.”
Tears fell from Arious’s face. He wiped them off and continued.
“When I was very young, my mother had a serious overdose. She almost died and I was taken away from her. I was placed in the city’s welfare agency. Soon after, I was adopted by Yung and Sue” said Arious.
“One day, my master, Meng the one who appointed me, was injured while in some kind of dispute. He never explained what it was or who he was fighting. All I know is that Yung and Sue found him in the alley behind the restaurant. From what I have been told, any ordinary man would have died from the wounds that he had.
Yung and Sue helped him into the basement and tended to his wounds. He healed completely in three days. Meng often told me that the first person he saw when he awoke was me. He was indebted to my parents. He talked with them when he recovered, and he found out that the two of them could not have any children of their own and that is why they chose to adopt me…” explained Arious.
Things started to make sense to Judi. Arious’s presence in Chinatown and his aversion to drugs because of his mother’s addiction.
“To show his gratitude for their help, Meng offered to train me for free. Sue had initially refused. Meng told Sue that he had no children of his own. He explained that he was able to recover from his wounds due to his background in martial arts and he assured Sue that he would train me to use my power for goodness. Yung and Sue agreed.”
“I stayed in contact with my mother until she died from an overdose two years ago. It was right around then that Meng decided to proceed with my appointment” explained Arious.
“Appointment?” asked Judi.
Arious looked at her in silence. He thought on his appointment ceremony and reflected on the time he had spent developing his new powers. The hours of physical and mental training.
“Yeah, I had been training with Meng since I was a child, but it was two years ago when I was appointed as a Neverending Master. Over the past two years, I’ve been learning to use the powers that I have been given” said Arious.
Still somewhat confused, Judi asked, “What is it that you have to learn?”
“Well, there were 18 masters before me. Each master has a special fighting style that is passed on to the next master. These styles require strong mental focus and physical training. They’re in my mind, I just have to use them. Each master adds to the legacy by getting added to the legendary Scroll of the Masters” explained Arious.
“And the Scroll of the Masters? What is that?” asked Judi.
Arious stood up and took off his book bag. He took out the Scroll of the Masters and handed it to Judi. She looked at the weathered scroll with suspicion before accepting it. She opened it carefully and looked at the writing with confusion.
“This is the Scroll of the Masters. It contains each master and the special technique that he has contributed to the legacy of the Neverending Masters” said Arious.
Judi looked at the scroll with disbelief. Despite everything she had witnessed and everything she had heard about Masternever, she still had a hard time believing what she was being told and at the same time, she felt that Arious was sincere. She knew that he was truthful about some things he has said.
”So you’re telling me that you’re on this list?” asked Judi.
“Nah, I’m not on the list yet. I have to get a style… ”
“You have to get a style?” asked Judi.
“Right, like every other Neverending Master, I have to add my own style to the Scroll of the Masters” replied Arious.
She shook her head and grinned.
“Arious, the Neverending Master,” said Judi with a hint of playfulness. Arious smiled.
“Nah, I call myself Masternever. I had to flip it and come up with something on my own” explained Arious.
Judi hands the scroll back to Arious and playfully pats him on the arm.
“I bet you’re wishing that you took the blue pill on this one,” said Arious.
“Well, it is a bit to digest. But I’m glad you told me. It helps me understand what I saw last night at Club Sin. It also explains all of the things I’ve been hearing about you over the past few months. So this is the reason you’ve been crusading against the Jai family?”
“Not just them. A part of my responsibility is fighting evil. The people in Chinatown keep to themselves. They don’t have anyone to look after them. Some triads extort businesses here. That is the reason I have been involved. That and I have issues with drug dealers” said Arious.
“Because of your mother… So you’re aware of the problem with the drug Ying Yang?” asked Judi.
“Yeah! The Jai family has done a good job of keeping the production location to themselves. I have followed a few members but they never go near production, only the money” said Arious.
“Arious, you’re a brave guy, but what you’re doing is dangerous!”
“Yeah, and what you do is dangerous too!”
“Look! I’m trained to do my job” explained Judi.
“So am I,” said Arious.
“Look I have to go. I’ll talk to you later” said Arious.
Before Judi can say anything, Arious stood up, and walked away. Judi sat on the bench and thought about what Arious told her. It’s a lot to process. She did see the value in having Arious on her side — at least until she had more information on the Jai family.