Gen IV Chapter 17 - Trial of the Heart


Weeks have passed since that day, brushing closely with death and receiving a very serious threat. It took days for Aerie to recover, and she made sure to look the other way when she ran into Biyu at the school. Though as the weeks went on she ran into her more and more, so much so that she stopped going to the school during the day altogether.

She now paid her visits to the school after sunset once the students have left for the day. Training with very little regard to her body. “There has to be a reason” Aerie thought to herself, “why?”



Several nights later Aerie found herself really turning up the training a notch, relentlessly assaulting the wooden dummy and getting worked up more and more. “KYAAAA!” She let out a menacing cry as she kicked the dummy, sending it spinning around hitting her just as hard right in the mouth. “Fuck!” Reeling from the pain of the blow Aerie checked her mouth for blood. Distracted and in obvious pain she didn't even hear the approaching footsteps.

“I think that's enough for one night.” Aerie looked up at the stranger, “the hell are you to tell me when it's enough!?” she lashed out. The woman looked at her silently, her eyes locked on to Aeries with a look of sadness. “You don't understand” continued the woman. “Have you not wondered why you've been so angry lately? When was the last time you even smiled?”

“Who are you anyway?” questioned Aerie, “how do you even-” “I'm a simple teacher here” interrupted the woman. But if you think on it, you will know that even bystanders have felt your anger and hatred. Or did you always feel like this when you trained?” Without waiting for Aerie to respond the woman left, leaving without so much as giving her name.



Aerie let out a long shaky breath, closing her eyes as she sat to meditate and think. “When did I get so irritated?” she thought to herself. “Sim-fu usually calmed me down, when did it switch?” She sat for over an hour, recalling the moments. Her fights with Biyu, the words Biyu spoke of, the disappointment on Biyu's face. Even the hottie that felt her murderous intent, but she continued to push back further. After 3 hours of thinking and meditation it finally dawned on her. “I get it” she sighed to herself, feeling embarrassed and ashamed. “If I'm right, tomorrow is going to be a trip... I just hope I'm actually right.”

By sunrise Aerie was in uniform, at the school and in meditation. She spoke to no one, thought only of clearing her mind and focusing on what she was about to do. As morning turned into early afternoon her meditative focus heard the sound of footsteps on the wooden platform. The sound of feet she knew, and slowly she opened her eyes and stood up. Intentionally blocking the path of the woman standing in front of her. Biyu. With out saying a word, both women assumed their fighting stances.



After staring at one another for what seemed like a very long moment the women bowed to begin. Aeries face clearly expressed her shock as she heard the words, “your victory.”



“W-wait, what?” Started Aerie, clearly confused. “We didn't even start yet, what do you mean-” “I mean you pass” interrupted Biyu, "I don't sense a single trace of anger coming from you, and you're actually speaking like a civilized person instead of shouting blood-soaked words while blindly charging at me."  Aerie scratched the back of her neck, blushing a little.  "I'm sorry" whispered Aerie, "I just-" "I know" interrupted Biyu as she let out a long sigh as she looked at Aerie, “you get it, just not all of it” she whispered just loud enough so Aerie would hear her. “Listen, Lu noticed your mixed emotions. Your pent-up aggression, and your confusion. You needed to acknowledge and get control of yourself before it consumed you.”

“What do you mean?” questioned Aerie “I don't get it.” A long moment passed before Biyu spoke again. “Aerie, both Lu and I were your age once, we know what it's like to be a 17 year old girl. The issues, emotions and frustrations. We've also known people, friends of ours who didn't manage to control themselves in time. Many made bad, bad choices; some of them even fatal.  Sim-Fu is a great gift, one that can calm our worries, keep us safe and help others.  But if left unguided, without proper instruction, that same gift can turn into a weapon.  Especially if that person is skilled, the more skillful they are the more dangerous they can be to others if they decide to use that gift to harm other people.  You are skilled Aerie, but I'm going to be honest, these last couple weeks you've had one hell of a mood swing.”

“You almost killed me!” hissed Aerie, fighting to control the anger she could feel stirring. “I didn't want to go that far” replied Biyu calmly. “I was told to help knock some sense into you, help you see the path you were headed. I only took it to that extreme because you refused to back down, I didn't even know who Claire and Iris were. Lu gave me that information, they were never in danger to begin with.  The one who was in danger was not only you, but everyone around you.  I heard how you lashed out at the teacher last night, and all she did was talk to you.  What if you attacked and killed her?  Then what?  While she was telling the truth about being a teacher here, she's a children's teacher.  She is not nearly skilled enough to defend herself against someone of your level."



“I...  But...  Wait, so this was some kind of test?  Just to teach me to control myself?” questioned Aerie, “then why couldn't I beat you? No, to hell with beating you, I couldn't even TOUCH you!” It was then that Biyu couldn't help but let out a small laugh. “Aerie, didn't Lu give you advice before we fought? Not to underestimate your opponent?” “Yeah” Aerie replied, nodding. “But how did you-” “I apologize for deceiving you” Biyu interrupted; “To be honest I'm not really a green belt, I only wore this gui until you were finished with your test. It's my old green uniform, I'm surprised it still fits!”

Aeries eyes dropped as it all sunk in, “so what belt are you?” She asked, staring at Biyu. “The same as my sister” replied Biyu as she winked at Aerie. “So who's your-” “not telling” Biyu interrupted, “but you are skilled, especially for someone your age. A strong seed indeed...” Aerie raised an eyebrow at this, “strong seed?” she thought to herself, “the old master said the same thing when she met me during my first trip here...”

Feeling strangely satisfied with her answers Aerie began to bow and Biyu began to do the same. “Do not forget this lesson” Biyu warned, “you are a member of our family, and you need to keep your emotions in check.” Aerie gave a small nod and started to leave when Biyu placed a hand on her shoulder. “Call Lu, and don't misunderstand, I was the opponent she intended for you. I however am not the last, she has one more for you.”



With that, Biyu left, but not before assuring Aerie that there would be no more hidden tests. As she was on the phone with Lu she saw the schools grandmaster walking toward her. Though not in uniform Aerie felt her stomach drop, “I'd never want to fight her” she thought. She felt her legs grow heavy as she realized that the woman was staring right at her!

Petrified by the time the woman was in arms reach she simply patted Aerie on the shoulder, “well done” said the woman as she smiled, “you actually made my sister work a little. That's commendable from someone so young.” With that she left, and Aerie was left speechless.



Feeling a bit overwhelmed from all that she'd found out and learned in such a short amount of time Aerie decided it best to meditate for a few hours. Once her mind was clear and focused she found Mrs. Hua who she'd learned had recently graduated to green. After chatting for a short while Aerie smiled warmly before asking. “Care to enjoy a match?” Mrs. Hua politely accepted.



Much to Aeries surprise she could feel her senses heighten. As much as Mrs. Hua tried she simply couldn't touch her. Aerie easily dodged everything she threw at her.



In one clean motion Aerie easily countered with a solid blow to Mrs. Hua's face.



Aerie could feel the difference, there was no anger. In fact, her body felt much lighter than ever before; not to mention much, much faster. She baited Mrs. Hua with a false attack, waiting for her to make her attempt to block it. Only to swing around and catch her with another blow to the face. “This is how it's supposed to feel” Aerie thought to herself.




“Thank you for the opportunity to learn from you” thanked Mrs. Hua, “you have improved greatly.” “No, thank you” replied Aerie, now, if you'll excuse me...



As Mrs. Hua headed for the showers Aerie called Lu. “Better do this now” thought Aerie as she dialed the number. Only one sentence came from Aerie's mouth when Lu answered, “contact my next opponent, I'm ready.”



After dinner and a couple hours of meditation Aerie returned to the school at the time she and Lu agreed upon. Her opponent should be arriving any minute. “I'm such an idiot” thought Aerie, “all that pain and stress over nothing..”



Seeing the door open Aerie had assumed it was her next opponent, only to feel butterflies swarm her stomach. “Talk about a perfect distraction!” Aerie cheered to herself as she eyed Xiang from head to toe. Her imagination swarming of what she'd do if she ditched her opponent and left with him.



“Hey” said Aerie as she approached him with a smile. “Hey there” he responded politely. “My hearts going to pop at this rate” thought Aerie, “I need to say something that isn't too cheesy...” Her thoughts were interrupted as Xiangs lips parted to speak. She began to imagine what they felt like, tasted like, feeling herself getting all hot and bothered until the words came from his lips. “ady?” “I'm sorry, what was that?” said Aerie, “I spaced it for a sec.” Xiang looked at her and smiled, “I said, are you ready to begin? The sooner I win this match the better.”

Aerie's eyes widened a little, though not enough for him to see her shock. “He's my opponent!?” she thought to herself. “But I can't- how am I supposed to- but- but- but-” As she fought the wave of excuses that flooded her mind only one word parted her lips. Soft, inaudible, barely even a whisper, fearing her heart would shatter if Xiang heard it. “Damn it.”



Until next chapter...


1 comment:

  1. now she has a tough challenge! lol! good luck gal! yet again, i know i have said this over and over again awesome chapter! :D

    ReplyDelete

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