Drunken Longbow


(A quick glossary exists at the end)

The next day…

Li-Li’s chamber was audaciously decorated by a fresco, a fresco featuring the historical teachers of the Meteor-Hand sect at play with strange golden dragons, regal white cranes, and bold tigers.

A cloud of ceremonial incense cloaked Li-Li’s wizened face, making it appear as if she was both permeable and impermeable.

Even this is a teaching, Kailifae said to herself as she meditated, meditated and waited for her sigung to open her spirited eyes and take notice of her. Even this moment changes, even I  change moment by moment, spilling into the–

“–the Jingong,” Li-Li said, eyes snapping open.

“Yes,” Kailifae said, bowing to her teacher, hands clasped, head bowing.

“Jingong doesn’t care who you are or what you want,” Li-Li laughed, “and like these ancestors on the wall behind me, it teaches you all the same.”

“It is as you say, sigung,” Kailifae said, eyes cast to the wooden floor.

“Look at me girl,” Li-Li said, her almond shaped eyes alive with the moment. “What is this attitude you bring to such a holy room?” Li-Li playfully pointed to the ancestors who played immortally with the cranes and tigers on the wall.

“Monks from other temples,” Kailifae confessed, “they doubt your wisdom.”

“They are dried dung on a stick used to measure the poo in an orc’s bedpan. Girl, surely by this stage of training, you know that some temples produce sleeping monks?”

“Yes, sigung,” Kailifae said, hands to her forehead again, bowing again to the wisdom radiating from Li-Li.

“You worry too much for starters,” Li-Li laughed gruffly, hinting at a season at sea as a pirate, “the fates have woven in different notes into this tapestry of life and it confuses you. For instance, the Red Hats train strength in order to make sweeping raids against strongholds only for profit. They rush to mayhem. They trust their muscles to bring them fame and wealth, but yet they sleep…spiritually.”

Kailifae nodded, drunk with the wisdom of her sigung. “They rush,” she said, “and often stumble in their mad pursuits.”

“Yes!” Li-Li nodded, clapping her hands, filling the room with a bang.

Kailifae’s eyes opened wide, startled.

“That is Jingong, girl,” Li-Li admonished, “or did you forget that I do not teach those who sleep?”

“Never, sigung!” Kailifae said, suddenly alive, suddenly aware.

“This is Jingong,” Li-Li nodded, thumbing backwards to the fresco, “you just became more aware than your sect’s ancestors. What do you think of that?”

“I think I like the longbow, sigung. I think I like this Jingong. I think I will slay the foe in spite of the sleeping monks who labor for profit. I think I will be the only one awake.”

“And do you have it? The book I gave you?”

“Yes,” Kailifae said, bringing the book to court.

“Ah, yes. The manual of bow-and-arrow exercise from The Order of Syncletica. Heretical teachings, girl. What were you thinking?”

“You left it in my cell, sigung,” Kailifae giggled.

“Ha! Already you understand,” Li-Li bowed, her hands to her forehead.

“Sigung!” said Kailifae, her cheeks red.

“Understand now?”

“Not exactly,” said Kailifae, her voice a tad daring.

“Jingong is dark exercise, girl. Understand now?”

“No,” Kailfae dared, her elfin ego blooming.

“Then go drink wine, girl. Drink deep from the cup, drink deep in some stinking tavern, and then suddenly, like a tiger, your mind will become a crane. Go!”

Kailife nodded suddenly, getting it, obtaining it–unceremoniously leaving even as she tumbled, tumbled over and over in her mind. To become intoxicated by the idea, by the delicious contrary itself! Was this enlightenment, finally?

Jingong: Quite literally, a Buddha’s Warrior Attendant (or symbolically: a flexible mindset, a mindset both made of gold and inflexible metal).





4 Responses to “Drunken Longbow”

  1. T
    hank you very much!

  2. If only we had more defined stances and meditations as your stories describe. My dojo seems like a McDonalds compared to your’s. 🙂

    • Ha! I cheat! I do not use “canon” style Eberron. It’s too restrictive for me.

      And your dojo is NOT McDojo! Grrrrrrr! Your flavor is 100% original, and that’s all that counts. I feel your life experiences shape your dojo, and that’s good material. So there:)

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