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Blossoming In Adversity (Xiaofen's Tale)

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:30 pm
by Tsekande
Xiaofen since she had hatched learned that she was to follow the ways of fist, feet, and tail. Her avocation was to be that of an monk. So she went obediently with trepidation to the Court of Pain to see Grand Master Glox. He barely broke his meditation to put her first shackle of rank on her, and left her to mingle with the other hatchlings to begin thier instruction. Xiaofen was nervous, partially for the cool chill she felt coming over her scales and penetrating her heart, and the looks of utter disdain from the other masters.

The feeling of dread continued to build within her...was this because she has incurred the attention of their god, Cazic-Thule, or was it the response to the uneasy silence in the Court of Pain? Xiaofen watched as a fellow male hatching approached Master Raska and asked what was he suppose to do. Master Raska hissed savagely and strucked the hatchling with his claws, marring the young Iksar's facial scales. Xiaofen took a step back mentally and looked around. Many of the hatchlings had watch that interaction with shocked expressions. Xiaofen figured that instruction would be long and without a modicum of patience and observance, a hard road indeed. None of the masters have moved she noticed....and the other initiates were restless and could not quite keep thier voices quiet. The air was intense with the scent of fear, almost to the point where it was a poison to incur panic.

Xiaofen walked to an unoccupied corner of the courtyard, and sat down. As she closed her eyes, she pushed out the sounds, and the events that have transpired. She focused on her own dread, determined not to surrender to it, but to use it as a source of strength. Soon she felt calmer as she grew to accept it. Cazic-Thule's greatest weapon was to inspire fear. She would in time be able to wield fear as a weapon. Her name meant "Fragrance of the Night". In time the fragrance of fear would be a scent to treasure like any delicate flower smell.

Panicing or acting scared was not something a Iksar monk would do. A monk needs a steady, focused mind....not one that came and scattered due to how one felt. For if fear was not properly controlled it could spell disaster for her...

Xiaofen was startled out of her meditation by Master Niska's hiss. The Master looked at her with an expression of contempt. "So this hatchling thinks she is better then the others?" Xiaofen looked back at the Master holding the her elder's graze steadily and raising her chin in definance as Xiaofen hissed at her, "This hatchling came here to learn her avocation as her birthright as an Iksar. Not to be cowering in a herd like a bunch of cattle awaiting slaughter."

The backhand was swift and hard as Xiaofen expected from Master Niska. The elder Iksar woman noticed how calm and determined Xiaofen's eyes were, never backing down from her challenge. "So you seek instruction, hatchling? Yes?" Niska's voice was mocking. "You will never learn it here, for you are unworthy, a weak hatchling."

"Weak?" hissed Xiaofen right back, feeling the terror mounting in her. She wanted nothing more then to be a monk! Granted she is not a strong as a hatchling her age should be, but she was quicker then they were. "Since when does the body dictate where this hatchling can or can not do? I was bred for this path!" Master Niska looked at Xiaofen with scorn. "Yes, you are too weak. Your body would not survive instruction, are like a softskin."

Softskins...yes, the humans practiced an martial art similar to thiers. They were weaker then the Iksar, but - then a thought came to Xiaofen's mind. "So may it be as you say, Master Niska." Xiaofen looked hard at her with a savage hiss. "I may not have this Courts approval to do what I was born to do, but I will find my own master and learn what I can. I will see what skills the softskins have to teach - even if that means making myself worthy to those humans." With that comment, Xiaofen rosed so she stood toe to toe to her elder. "I will return from time to time to see how I measure up to the 'stronger' hatchlings and will enjoy smelling your fear when you realize how wrong you are - and how I could have been your pupil, the one who when she was blossoming into her potiential you forsook!"

Those were bold words but could she make them reality was the question that evaded an answer in Xiaofen's mind. She was terrified of the prospect this undertaking will be for her - to leave home and to search for a master, an instructor to teach her. A human no less...would this human do this out of pity or a source of amusement as it suited him/her? Or could there be the proper respect a master has to a pupil, and the reverance that a pupil has for her master? What if she could not find a master at all? How would she learn or was she destined to be a failure? The thoughts held on to her worse then any mire that ever got stuck to her scales.

Xiaofen walked out of the Court of Pain, her eyes unfocused lost in her thoughts as she walked to the gates leading to the Field of Bone. There she will find the portal to the Plane of Knowledge...

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 11:41 pm
by Tsekande
**Second chapter, second post**

Xiaofen walked around in the Plane of Knowledge looking at awe at all the races there, some she had only heard of until now. There was a few of course that didn't appreciate her scales - but the residents of this plane was indifferent to her. Xiaofen learned to avoid making eye contact with the ones most fanatical in thier beliefs to thier gods - mostly clerics and the knights. She wasn't interested to learn what they knew anyways.

She found a softskin high master, but he stated that he could not give her proper instruction, only tips every now and then. Xiaofen mentally checked herself: how was she suppose to accept having a human master - and the instructor amiable to teaching her - if she always called them that? Time to start thinking of those sof- err, humans - as a race that maybe not as inferior as she was raised to think. Equal? That could be another story, but in time that too will be learned.

Soon she wandered to an opening in this plane that had portals for just about anywhere and found a monk meditating. There was a serenity to her, and underneath that a determination that Xiaofen found admirable. She was alot wiser then other monks she noticed in this plane, and had an commanding presence too. Perhaps she could teach her? Xiaofen sat down infront of her, keeping her eyes downcast, and fighting the surge of doubt and fear inside her - the same old questions coming back with a vengenance now. Xiaofen waited humbly for the sof - err, human - woman to end her meditation, despite the uncertainty ripping apart any notion of calm in Xiaofen's mind.

The wait was mind-racking for Xiaofen, and she wished she could meditate it away, but what if the elder monk didn't sense her wanting to ask her a question? She could not meditate, for it would be rude of her to expect a master to wait for her! So Xiaofen kept her head down, intent to study the ground, only stealing glances her potiental sensei, not wanting to miss the moment when she could ask her audicious favor.

Awhile later - Xiaofen did not know how much time it was for the internal strife was too much of an distraction - Xiaofen stole a glance and saw the woman looking at her. Xiaofen took a deep breath and looked up at her briefly, then lowering her head, quietly said, "Sensei?" Xiaofen never felt so exposed, so tense, would her fears be dead on accurate or would her hopes be realized? Xiaofen dug her claws into her knees, setting as she was on her heels.

"Yes? What can I do for you?" asked the woman, looking rathered puzzled. "Why are you calling me Sensei? It is obvious that I would not be your instr-"

"Forgive this one's interruption, but it is my wish that you would instruct this, " mentally Xiaofen winced at the word, "unworthy pupil. For she has only one desire, and that is to be a monk, and that is a path her masters are all too eager to deny her at home."

"Why would they deny you?" asked the elder human. Xiaofen cringed inside, feeling the fear mount in her to unbearable levels.

"For they at Calibis say that this Iksar am too weak of the body. She faster then they are, but her peers are stronger. She feels her peers are lacking in determination, and in the will, but she feels that is not a weakness she shares." Xiaofen said rapidly, her composure gone and the words flowing from her mouth, forgetting to talk befitting her station. "Master Niska called me weak as an human and I told her that if I am that weak then I shall learn from the humans and someday return to prove otherwise, teach them they should fear the mistake they did so long ago. I am hoping that you would grant me a chance to prove worthy of being your student so I can be what I desire and was born to be."

"Well, does this potiental student have a name?" the human monk asked, her eyes focused thinking the matter through. "Xiaofen, is my name, Sensei." whispered the scaley monk, barely able to give an audible reply. Would she or would she not teach her? Is this some type of game to her?

"Well, Xiaofen, I guess there is nothing against me taking a student, even though the circumstances are highly unusual to say the least. We cannot use our respective hometowns dojo's so that could prove a problem." The elder monk thought some more. "Yes, Xiaofen, I will be your sensei. My name is Tchien, by the way."

Xiaofen straightened up her posture, looking at Tchien with barely concealed relief and fear. "Sensei, this pupil is eager to begin her instruction."

Tchien shook her head, somewhat amused. "Xiaofen - can I call you Xiao? - let's go over here and start on your training."