CHAPTER 18 (REMIX / ARIOUS’S BLUES)

Art by Archie Valdez

It had been a long day. Arious was concerned about the police presence and his parent’s restaurant. “How did they find me?” he thought to himself. He knew that he’d have to be extra cautious over the next few days.

His thoughts were interrupted by the evening news, which was displayed on the television.

“Good evening, I’m David Alverado!” 
“And I’m Nora Ortiz.”

DAVID: “Police are still baffled by the sweeping epidemic of the new drug known as Ying Yang. The drug is believed to be the product of organized crime in Chinatown.

Yung came from the front of the store after locking the main entrance. Sue had gone home earlier. Yung told her that he would speak to Arious in private and find out why the police had visited their restaurant.

“Arious, we need to have a talk” says Yung.

Arious wiped his hands and turned towards his father. Arious notices that Yung wore an expression of extreme concern. 

“Let’s have a seat” says Yung as he gestures towards the front of the restaurant. They sit and Yung searches Arious’s face for the truth as he had in the past. Despite his power, he felt a weakness when looking at the man who had demonstrated love for him throughout his life.

“Arious, what’s going on?”

Arious looked at the table.

“Arious, Sue and I have noticed a dramatic change in your behavior. We don’t say much to you. You’re a young man and we want to give you your space. I never say anything about the late hours you spend out. The thing is, well, we’re concerned about what you’re into these days. The police came here and I am concerned!”

Arious looked at Yung and the tears welled up in his eyes. He wished he could tell him everything. He wished he could tell him about his great gift that has turned into a curse. He wanted to tell Yung everything, about the struggle about the killings and about his pain.

Yung sensed his pain. He watched the tears fall from Arious’s face and tried to change the subject.

“We don’t talk as much as we use too! How is school going? We enjoy having you in the restaurant, but we want you to start thinking about your future. The restaurant is our dream” said Yung.

“I’m just taking two classes this semester. I’ve got a lot on my mind. Not sure what I want to do these days” replied Arious.

Yung knew that something troubled Arious. He couldn’t force his son to share. All he could do was be a friend.

“I understand. No one should have to make up their mind at such an early age. Do you know that when I was your age, I wanted to be an actor, and work for the Shaw Brothers” said Yung.

The two have a good laugh.

Yung’s disposition changes.

“Do you still train with Meng?” asked Yung.

Arious sighed and answered “Kind of, sort of.”

Not knowing what to make of the response, Yung asked “So you’ve completed your training?”

“I wish.”

“Arious, Sue and I love you. You can talk to us about anything. If there is anything that I can do for you, anything at all, please let me know.”

Yung knows that there is conflict in Arious’s heart. He wonders what Arious has been involved in.

“Arious have you visited your mother’s grave lately?” asked Yung.

“Not lately” replied Arious. He had done his best to block out her memory, and concentrate on the future.

“We have to have respect for our dead loved ones. If you’re having a problem going, let me know and I will go with you” said Yung.

Young hands Arious some napkins from the dispenser. Arious wips his tears. Yung does the same.

I often have a hard time recording these facts. For each Neverending Master endures an enormous amount of pain before his ascension to the scroll. For if it were an easy task, then there would be no glory in this legacy.