Dragons in the Dojo

I trained for many years. I was absolutely determined to be the best of the best of the best. It was my destiny, or so I had been told ever since I could remember.

By age 12, all the masters I had sought out in my huge home city had nothing left to teach me. I was a black belt in each form of martial arts. I spent the next year alone atop a mountain, forced to survive with only those martial arts skills. Not even a knife or a canteen was left there with me, only the clothes on my back.

The first thing I had to do was find a cave. Unfortunately, it was already occupied. I evicted the former inhabitant, a black bear (meaning the bear had black fur) by tempting it out with a fish from the convenient river.

What was also convenient was the extremely poisonous root I’d dug up during my search for the cave. The bear died. I fashioned knives from the claws and teeth and used them to skin the bear and cut up the meat. My first few meals were then cared for, as well as my blanket. I also earned my first impressive scars defending my meat cache from some large cat.

After that year, I was young, wiry, muscled. I began weapons training then.

By the age of fifteen, I was considered the master of every weapons skill and martial art. I knew little else, but I could win any type of fight, hand-to-hand combat, shooting contest.

I was not positive, but I began to think I was the best. I searched for champions to challenge. I searched quite hard and each challenge I issued or accepted, I won.

I had followers at this point, students I was teaching to fight as well as I. I finally quit traveling and settled for a sensei position in a large dojo. Many students learned from me and came to be almost as excellent a fighter, but none surpassed me. As I grew older, my reflexes slowed, and some came to be equal. I wondered what destiny I had been meant to fulfill. I seemed to have done nothing but prepare for some horribly climatic event that never came. I had spent my entire life for decades making sure I was ready for this fight, and it hadn’t come.

As the days came when I began to lessen the amount of practice I did each day because my health was beginning to fail, the enemies came. All my foes, the children and grandchildren of champions I had defeated, had been finding each other and training all these years just to find one lad or lass who could defeat me. Some had come to my dojo, though I knew them not. Now the entire group of black belts and weapons experts had bearded me in my den, demanding a battle.

I was already old. I knew I could never survive so many onslaughts. Yet to whom could I turn for help? I agreed to the fight, upon the condition that I would face but one of the opponents at once. I also requested a three day period to put my affairs in order. They allowed the first concession, but gave me only three hours. These hours now draw to a close. I go now to fight for my honor and my name. I can only beg my dragon guardian to be with me.

To be continued?


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