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The Monkey King's School of the Mystical Arts
#1
Opening the doors had gone as well as to be expected.  No one was busting down his doors because he was spouting non-sense.  And no one had truly come for anything other than the traditional reasons.

The first class Li had held was for a bunch of children wishing to learn how to fight.  Or displine because of their parents.  For whatever reason.  The whole thing was a fun experience.

No one had come in looking for the Mystical Arts.  He hadn't expected it.  But Li had a morning class that focused on Tai Chi like movements and focus like he used to gain his mystical powers.  While they weren't here to reach this power of the gods like the Ascendancy it was there if they wanted it.

The lore wasn't something anyone but gawkers came to see.  The Oni teeth, the trophies of his hunts on proud display.  Though Li's accomplishments were not really of note compared to most Atharim.  But the Oroborus hung over the trophies.  He was proud and not, but it was a sign that the Atharim in the open were welcome here.  

Gods were welcome.  Children, and women who wanted to better themselves.  Men who wanted to train.  Everyone was welcome at the Monkey King's School of Mystical Arts.
“What you must do," said Monkey, "is lure the monster from its hiding place, but be certain it is a fight you can survive.” 
― Wu Cheng'en, Monkey: The Journey to the West

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#2
So whatever. Rowan had disappeared with Old Man River and the Witch Queen. Lucky bastard. Guy was probably living it up in some threeway. He tipped a hat he wasn't wearing. Respect, man.

And the Lady laughed and laughed at him. I never promise you anything, my love.

Hahaha! Fuck you, you fucking bitch. Eh, but she'd drop a line for him to follow at some point. A thread of chaos. Seams in the world to tug at and pull apart. He loved the look on people's faces as they saw their foundations questioned. Their world crumble.

In the meantime, he cast himself into the air, floating and flying. There were so many opportunities out there. Something would get his attention.

So walking down a street, he was open to anything. Fucking cunt would show herself eventually. Something. anyway. Maybe she'd let him play this time, too. Gotta give me some fun, babe.

He laughed as he saw the sign. Reminded him of Rowan. Mystical arts. You could piss in any direction and hit someone peddling mystical arts. Monkey King. Wonder if the teacher was a monkey. Be funny at least.

He was bored. Whatever. Like he was doing anything today. He walked in. Yeah, clearly the owner was raking in the dough. The silence was deafening.

Maybe if the sign had some hot girls or something on it at least the douche factor would show up. You know, like the bikini coffee joints. Shit was swill. But the lines around the building said that sad pathetic losers would do anything to get close to a chick. Even if she literally took your coffee order and served it.

Not like it was gourmet crap grown on the side of a volcano fertilized by bats from Madagascar; or that was ground by the most recent refugee children from Sumatra; or served over ice formed in protected caves in Siberia; with cream from the milk of lactating mothers in the Himalayas; or whatever else fucking pretentious thing coffee jerk offs wanted. Just plain old coffee. And still, the lines didn't end. Fucking morons.

Nope. Just an empty studio.

So Mik is walking in, looking around and notices the sign. Goddamn snake eating its tail. Now why did that spark a memory?
"Good and ill. 
We're like the wind, 
we blows both ways."
- Mad Sweeney, American Gods
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#3
Someone walked into the dojo with little ceremony, the tinkling bell a notification that someone was there, but only in the office so as not to distract the classes going on. Not that any were going on at the moment. The children were in school for the day so the dojo was free for adults or other uses. Li wasn't struggling for money so he added to the commercials, and the billboards, and hired a marketing team. It was their job to put his face out there more. His agent didn't like it, but his agent let him lose his last job so fuck him.

Li recognized the man from the park with the Voodoo Queen. He'd been up on her stage flnging magics about like it was nothing.

Li smiled as he stopped near the man. "Mikhail, right? Quite the spectacle you and the Voodoo Priestess put on." Li remembered wondering if he'd been a pawn in her game. "How well did you and she know each other before that moment?" He still had the three tarot cards, they were sitting on his desk as a reminder that not all things strange were monsters. He should call Nhyssa, he thought to himself. Maybe she'd like a friendly spar.
“What you must do," said Monkey, "is lure the monster from its hiding place, but be certain it is a fight you can survive.” 
― Wu Cheng'en, Monkey: The Journey to the West

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#4
Mik looked at the guy who'd come out, hair all gelled or whatever to look perfectly messy. He wondered how many hours it took to get just right. And the clothes. Probably lasered and smooth like a turtle shell everywhere, he thought to himself, laughing.

But before he could say anything, the guy spoke his name. The fuck? He thought he heard the slightest tinkle of laughter. He laughed to himself. Ok. Good! The bitch hadn't wasted any time. Alright, love. Let's see what fun you have for me.

He smirked. "Heh. So you were there, huh? Sorry mate. Don't really remember you. Course I was a bit lit. More than a bit." He laughed, winking. "And had a nice firm woman grinding on me. Tends to cloud up the thought-sicles, you know."

He stuck out his hand. "So yeah. Name's Mik. You already know that. As for the other, nah. Didn't meet Rowan till that night. Called me out of the crowd with her hoodoo whatever. Girl is all kinds of crazy with that. But in a good way, you know?" He winked, then stopped, an image seeming to float up from the cobwebs of his mind. "Wait! You weren't that other guy, were you? I seem to remember her doing that calling thing again."
"Good and ill. 
We're like the wind, 
we blows both ways."
- Mad Sweeney, American Gods
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#5
She had called him up there but Li hadn't wanted to be part of the show. "She did. She gave me her card so to speak." Three of them to be exact. Death The Wheel of Fortune. The Fool.

Li'd done a little research on the cards themselves, and with all things of mysticism it was left to interpretation. And Li wasn't sure he liked the implications. But he didn't believe in any of it so he didn't give it much passing thought other than a curiosity.

"Which of the mystical arts brings you in?" But Li was more thinking he was here because he was bored, or to heckle. Either way was fine with him, business was business.
“What you must do," said Monkey, "is lure the monster from its hiding place, but be certain it is a fight you can survive.” 
― Wu Cheng'en, Monkey: The Journey to the West

biography


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#6
Alright. So that explained it. So....what did his Lady want him to find in this place? He wandered around, not answering right away. Instead, his attention jumped from one object to the next. Idly, he asked, "You a big game hunter then?" gesturing at the massive tooth. "What is that? Tiger? Some kind of wild Bear?"

He looked at the man, a lopsided grin on his face. "What do you teach?"
"Good and ill. 
We're like the wind, 
we blows both ways."
- Mad Sweeney, American Gods
Reply
#7
Li laughed. The trophies usually brought strange looks, and even more questions. Li expected them. And he didn't need to lie anymore either. At least no one had come hunting him yet for telling his small world that monsters existed. The Ascendancy created a realm of possibility with his display. "That is from an Oni. A huge hulking monster that is the stuff of legends." Li untucked his shirt and lifted it to show Mik the scar the very same Oni had left clawed across his body before he lobbed off it's head with an ax.

"I mostly teach martial arts and meditation, but in meditation you might learn a thing or two about the elements." Li went in to a trance like state and pulled up the power with in. It wasn't as slow as it had once been, and with more and more practice it might be instantaneous, but for now it was not. Li wove a quick flame above his hand. Li wouldn't admit yet that he knew little, he could manipulate the elements but not as well as he'd seen others - Rowan included.
“What you must do," said Monkey, "is lure the monster from its hiding place, but be certain it is a fight you can survive.” 
― Wu Cheng'en, Monkey: The Journey to the West

biography


Reply
#8
The name was unfamiliar to Mik. "Oni, huh? Never heard of it." But when the guy- who hadn't given his name. Bad for business, that- lifted his shirt he whistled. "Holy shit!" he exclaimed. "Like seriously, that's a bitch of a scar." He grinned at the guy, remembering something. "But worth it, I bet. Remember. Pain is temporary. Glory is forever. And chicks dig scars." Then a laugh to show it was all in fun. He didn't reach out and touch the scars, though. You didn't do stuff like that.

He looked at the tooth again. "Monsters, aye? Sounds like fun. Be kinda cool to take one on." The Lady laughed. Yeah, she would. Leave him high and dry, his guts all hanging out, him . But man, what would people do if they actually saw them! Freak the fuck out, that's what! But hey, then maybe people might wake up. "Any of them around here?"

"Yeah, meditation's not my thing. Too slow. But martial arts might be fun. Whatever style."

He watched as the guy relaxed and seemed to close his eyes, then seizrf the power. The feel of someone breathing down his neck was not something he was used to. Last time was with Scarface at the bar. Speaking of which, what the hell had happened to Ori. Be nice to run into her again. Little troublemaker, though, she was. He liked trouble. And she was cute in a bitchy way.

Bah, he didn't like that oppressive feeling. He pulled his lighter and flipped it on, feeling the power surge into him. He pulled the flame from the wick and began to make it dance all around his hand, spinning in a circle faster and faster until sparks began to fly. The firelight glinted in his eyes as he spun the wheel into two, touching at the side, a sideways eight. Touches of earth gave the wheels different colors.

God he loved the feel of the power flowing through him. He could feel the Lady now, feel the fabric of the universe like it was a silk scarf in his hand, delicate and soft between his fingers. And she was on the other side, calling to him.

Yeah, maybe Mik was a little crazy. Who cared? You had to be, though, right? Fucking absolutely! Only way you could really have fun in this world.

He looked back the the teacher. What were they called? "Yeah, Sensei. Hook me up. If you're teaching the power and fighting....and where to find monsters....fuck yes, sign me up."
"Good and ill. 
We're like the wind, 
we blows both ways."
- Mad Sweeney, American Gods
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#9
Li laughed at the man's presumption that he could teach him more than he already knew.  "Sensi," Li shook his head.  "Li will do fine, if you must hold to tradtions, Master Li will work just fine."  Though he waved away the thoughts and the power fled with it.

"You do misunderstand however, I am not qualified to teach you about this power if you already possess the power.  I'm hoping to draw in more experienced players in the game to teach, but at the moment with only myself, my teachings are limited.  However as you know the basics it is easy to extrapolate from there."  Li smiled, "And I would be willing to share knowledge. But the fighting and the monsters - yes that I can pass down all my knowledge - again, only fighting am I say a black belt and then some.  Lore, and understanding, how to take one down, I can pass on.  Finding them isn't precisely my thing."

Li laughed.  "We all have our specialties.  And in the new world that Ascendancy opened for us, the possiblities are endless.  This is a home where all mysticism is safe - even the unfanthonable things such as Rowan's gifts."

"If you are interested, there is a small fee, per session, a monthly fee which opens up to whatever you want." This was a business but Li wasn't out to make money on this, it was a thing of his time. "You are however free to look around and make use of the spaces available. Only the classes are costly - a friendly joust on the floor with a friend is always free."

Li wasn't kidding when he said he wanted to make a safe have for all things bizarre, but he did need to pay the rent and classes did that.
“What you must do," said Monkey, "is lure the monster from its hiding place, but be certain it is a fight you can survive.” 
― Wu Cheng'en, Monkey: The Journey to the West

biography


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#10
So no magic classes. Well fuck. Still, if others came in who knew. That might change.

But all the rest, though..."Put me down, then. The cost wont be an issue." He did pretty well with his side jobs. People always paid for important information. "Won't call you Master, though. Sorry, bro. Not really into the submision scene." A laugh.

"So....when can I start? What do we start with first? You're the teacher, after all."
"Good and ill. 
We're like the wind, 
we blows both ways."
- Mad Sweeney, American Gods
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