Release date – 2/10/2020
Magic remains a free to read work scheduled for release in October.
Weekly updates every Friday.
Subscribers can login and read Season 2 chapters as they are uploaded in preparation for release.
*ML2020 holders please refer to your usual link to access episodes*
2/10/2020 – Published
9/10/2020 – Published
30/10/2020- uploaded ( Subscribers & ML 2020 only )
The 1st group of candidates lined up and they took turns stepping through a portal that the emcee, Yeow conjured up.
He must be a water user like me.
The frame was made out of greenish coloured water, much like those you find in an algae infested pond.
I assumed it must be some detector of sort to make sure no one is cheating.
Why would anyone cheat in this anyway ?
Right about then, I saw a kid about 9 years in age walk through and the green water turned an angry shade of red.
There was a collective groan from the audience as the kid was promptly removed from the test.
Everyone looked towards the side where the kid was and Yeow pulled string that was looped around the kid’s waist.
The kid looked like he was about to cry as Yeow held up the string and reminded everyone in the audience not to cheat and carry anything that might amplify their control of their elements.
Yeow : I would like to remind everyone that cheating is strictly prohibited, and if anyone is caught, they will be disqualified from the test and banned from joining for the next 3 years.
The audience remained quiet and from the corner of my eye, I saw another kid, slightly older down the row from me removed a ring made out of string and dropped it to the floor.
There is this tension in the air among the candidates. I could feel a similar one among the all the elders seated in front of me too.
No one seemed to like each other very much and they all kept mostly within their own group.
Fong was the only one getting out of his seat, walking around and talking to the rest of the elders. Kristin rest her face on the back of her fist as she waited for the whole thing to be over.
After getting cleared of any prohibited items, the candidates were ushered into a series of tents to change out of their clothes into a white robe.
They must want to be sure no other magic items were hidden within the clothes itself that the portal could not detect.
As soon as the 1st group started changing, the next row of candidates were ushered to step into the portal.
Yeow wasted no time.
The moment the 1st candidate stepped out. He asked the boy to begin.
The boy went to front of all the elders, took a bow before standing in front of the fire elders.
He clasped his hands together and within 3 seconds, ignited a ball of flame about the series of candles that were lit beside a large vat of water and a small mountain of soil.
The flame disappeared as fast as it appeared. With the fire shield up, he earned a round of sporadic applause from his fellow clan mates.
The kid stopped the shield and walked off as Yeow nodded.
Yeow : Sanhuo’s 3rd disciple, Hui, shall take the new candidate under his wing….
The process repeated for the other candidates.
Upon successful completion of each shield, Yeow would announce where the young padawan would go to for his tutorage.
A 10 year old boy from the water clan did his best to put up the shield but he could not do it.
The shield would not hold and he started crying.
I saw Heshui closed his eyes, visibly embarrassed while those from the fire family smirked in the same way a parent would when they saw another kid underperform while remaining secretly pleased with their own.
Yeow led the kid away from the stage and ushered him to his assistant standing at the side.
There was no time to waste. No time to spend pacifying a kid who is not ready.
I cannot tell if there is any specific order the candidates were arranged by to take the test. What I could see however, I was among the very last batch base on what I could see.
The only old fart in the test, sure, just chug him in the back.
There were no breaks or stops.
The line moved with eerie efficiency. You either can do it, or you can’t. It’s as simple as that.
I heard a long-sustained shout coming from a earth user who erected a shield of sand before he opened the 1st gate.
For the first time, applause and whistles echoed from the audience and everyone cheered. The wall of flipped from the bottom up in small sections like rotating Tetris blocks. What was originally a simple shield of sand and soil is now a solid block of hardened slabs.
The earth elders looked pleased and I could not help but noticed them looking over at the fire elders who tried not to notice the commotion.
That kid that opened the 1st gate looked to be in his early teens.
15, 16 years max.
1 hour in and finally the fire family beamed with pride as one of their older kid too, opened the 1st gate. You could feel the difference in power when the gate was opened.
A heatwave rippled outwards and I could feel the temperature of the air around me raise a couple of degree when the girl with fiery eyes opened the gate.
Dahuo from the fire clan stood up and beamed proudly, giving thumbs up to the girl which I assumed was related to him by blood. He remained standing and clapping in an enthusiastic manner as the girl stopped her shield and nodded at Dahuo.
Opening the 1st gate is not a laughing matter.
The earth boy that opened his first gate was sitting down by the side of the amphitheatre. Someone was fanning him and giving him water. A couple of private paramedics came out from behind a door and started taking his blood pressure.
Even the girl that did so impressively walked unsteadily towards the exit.
You could see her whole face had gone white, even her lips. Still she endured towards the end before her fellow clan mates held onto her as she collapsed.
I shook my head as I took in the scene.
Why do they push themselves like that ?
Finally it was my turn to get up.
Needless to say, I attracted quite a bit of stares from my fellow candidates.
I must be at least 4 times the age of the youngest candidate. I could feel the eyes on me but I did my best to ignore them even though I must say, I felt a little nervous
Unlike the talks I usually given where i was in control, this is something different.
The final batch of candidates stepped through the water portal and Yeow shut it down with a snap of his fingers.
The green puddle of water collapsed onto itself without splashing before slithering towards the sea like a lazy slug.
Yeow : and we are coming to the end of the test, the final batch of candidates are getting ready now…. hahah..
When I saw Yeow walking towards me, I knew something was going to happen and I have a feeling that I’m not going to like it.
Yeow : We have a very special candidate today ladies and gentlemen….hahah… Mr Joel ….. who is sponsored by Fong….!
Fong stood up and nodded at Yeow who, like the salesman he naturally is, started to sell me as a potential student.
Yeow : Now I’m sure you know that there are only 2 air users left in the country, Fong and his daughter, and although Joel is being sponsored through Fong, he is actually a water user !….
Yeow put his arm around me and orientated me to face Heshui and Jingshui.
Yeow : Now, Joel is what we would call a late bloomer…. He only knew what he could do a few months ago….
Laughter erupted from the crowd and I wish I could bury myself in a hole.
Yeow : Now kids, kids, please, don’t laugh at Uncle Joel over here…. Hahaha…. We all grow old….. one day you too would be his age… hahah… nevertheless, we should all keep up the spirit of always learning something new right ? hahaha…..
Yeow looked at the 2 water elders in a manner anyone looking could tell he was trying to spite them.
Heshui looked damm pissed and upset. His dignified look strained under his forced expression. Not only is his water clan the only one so far without a student that could open the 1st gate, he was getting ridiculed by the appearance of an overage student.
Jingshui on the other hand, looked on in amusement, chewing his sugarcane as he shook his leg violently like a gambler waiting for the winning hand.
Kristin stood up and Fong held onto her hand to stop her from doing anything.
Yeow : Now, I took special notice of Mr Joel because, since he is not part of the water clan since young, he has no one to guide him on his element….. and so, I am obliged to sell him to the water elders… hahaha
The laughter grew louder and I could see the fire elders trying hard to contain their laughter.
Heshui’s fist were clenched tight as he looked at Yeow who defiantly continued his taunts at the water family.
Yeow : So Mr Joel, your job today is to convince water family to take you in or assign you to one of their many branches….. which I think would not be so hard because there are simply so many of them…..ahem…!….
This must be some inside joke because for the first time, everyone laughed out loud.
Yeow : I hope you don’t mind Mr Joel, the water family is big and, many are just….really normal and not motivated…. Some just chew on sugar cane the whole day….. hahah
I could not believe this.
Yeow was openly taunting the water clan elders.
Heshui was fuming by then while Jingshui’s expression remained calm and he was smiling.
Smiling in the same manner a triad boss looks at his opponent knowing that he is just talking shit without substance.
Yeow : I’m saying this only because you are an adult Joel, I think the water kids won’t be able to take this…. And if you have been paying attention earlier…. Most of the kids that cried are from your clan… hahah….
Heshui massaged the ridge of his nose and I could hear Hector speaking to me.
Hector : Let’s kill him shall we ? I think you would enjoy doing it Joel…
I pretended I did not hear Hector as Yeow went on.
Yeow : So Heshui, if Joel don’t dry like the rest, please take him in ok ? hahaha
Heshui stood up and shouted, throwing a punch in the air towards Yeow.
Yeow pushed me back as I watched him raised up his left wrist like a boxer blocking a punch. An explosion of water vapourised in front of me as the other elders stood up at the ready.
What was supposed to be a dignified clan meeting is now descending into a shameful fight and taunts between fellow members.
Kristin buried her face in her palms while I could see Fong trying to stop Heshui and Yeow from going all out at each other.
The fire family smirked at the way the others as behaving, remaining on their corner of the amphitheatre like they belong to another rung of ladder in the pecking order.
It took 15 minutes for the commotion to die down and Yeow apologised to everyone for the outburst.
Yeow : It’s been a while since saw my cousin, I must have been too excited….hahaha
Turning to me, Yeow asked me to go ahead and get changed.
No longer speaking into the mic, Yeow walked with me to the tent.
Yeow : I’m sorry Joel, I went a little overboard earlier…..but my cousins are all assholes…. And if you start working with them, I’m sure you would feel the same way… hahaha…
I said nothing and just gave a polite smile.
Yeow : Anyway…. The tutelage under the families have been assigned before hand, and since you are without one, you have to convince Heshui to take you….i’m sure after my taunt earlier, he would surely take you in…. as long as you can get the water shield up….
Joel : Oh…. Must it be Heshui… ? What about Jingshui ?
Yeow looked at me with a surprised expression.
Yeow : Oh? You mean you don’t know ?
Joel : Don’t know about what ?
Yeow : Jingshui never took in disciples since his 1st one passed away many years ago….
Joel : Oh….
Yeow gave me a tap on my back and wished me the best of luck.
Entering the tent, I saw a robe hanging on the rack that is obviously for me. The others are too small.
I removed every article of my clothing, including my underwear.
Putting on the robe, I felt a little airy and insecure but a quick check at the mirror gave me some reassurance. The loose and airy robe is made of pretty thick cotton and there’s no way my dick would show even if I have a hardon.
Not that I could have one in front of a group of old men and women on short fuse.
I stepped out and waited for my turn.
Yeow asked me to let the younger ones go first and I nodded, choosing to go to the back of the line.
Hector : Joel…. Open the 1st gate…
I turned away and mumbled softly to him.
Joel : Are you mad ? I can’t….
Hector : I’ll help you…. you just need to feel it…
Joel : No…. I don’t want to….
Hector : do it….hahaha… it will be fun to knock everyone off their chair….and we could see where the other GBM is hiding too…
I stopped talking to Hector and chose to ignore him.
One after another, the last few candidates stepped up and did their thing.
I could see the disappointment in Heshui’s face when another water user failed to get the shield up long enough.
Finally, it was my turn.
I walked to the front of the vat of water and already I could feel it tingle.
I don’t know if it’s because I was too excited or nervous.
I thought the smell the of earth felt a little too strong and the heat of the flame seemed to be gravitating towards me as well.
Yeow : Alright Joel, please go ahead and wrap up the annual test…. Ready when you are…
I exhaled and took a bow in front of Heshui.
He looked at me like a suspicious old man who had doubts of the candidates’ ability.
Calming myself down, I clasped my hand together and the water immediately reacted to my call.
I pulled the water out of the vat and within a second, a round and well formed shield of water appeared, covering me from head to toe.
Yeow : Wow…. Nice…..
I could see Heshui nodding his head, I’m sure he expected nothing less of a 36 year old man especially when the rest of the candidates are barely out of their teens.
The 1.5 radius water shield remained up as I counted down from 5.
Everyone held for about 5 seconds before stopping.
Just when I was about to release the water, I felt a surge of energy creeping up into me.
Joel : What are you doing Hector !, I whispered sharply.
Hector : Giving you a boost….
I felt my muscles tightened in my core and the water around me started to churn slowly.
Yeow : woah… woah… woah…. Look at this … look at this…. Woah….. is this what I think it is…? Hahahaha….
Everyone got excited and many of the water kids got up on their feet and started to whistle and cheer.
Yeow : Oh my god..hahahah… he’s trying to open the first gate…. ! ahhahaha…..
Joel : Hector STOP!….
I whispered sharply and I tried to stop him with my own energy.
The strain slowly build up in my core muscles to the point I felt I was going to get a cramp as if I overdid the planking exercise.
Hector ignored me and he continue pumping more energy into me while I resisted.
It’s like a tug of war. Hector trying to pull while I pushed.
And as this invisible tug of war continued, I could see the shield I called up grow in it’s circumference as it started to churn in the clockwise direction.
Yeow got excited and he rallied the rest of the water kids to cheer.
Finally a smile broke on Heshui’s face as he nodded at the swirling ball of energy in the middle of the amphitheatre.
Everyone is smiling but I’m not.
The tug of war inside my body is one of pure agony.
I could feel my stomach churning as well.
Joel : Hector……! Stop… stop…. Or we’re fucked!…
He didn’t stop and as I used more of my energy to counter his, the 1.5m radius shield grew to 2.5m.
The applause got louder as everyone thought I was gearing up to open my first gate in the same manner you up the revolution of the engine before changing gears.
Joel : Hector !!…
I felt my rectum twitch and I knew I was fucked.
I knew I should have gone to the toilet earlier.
I squeezed my anus tight as a feeling of dread built up inside me.
Joel : fuck… fuck… fuck….. Hector….!!!
I was wound tight as a spring and I could feel it.
I could feel the massive build up oy energy not just within my core but also at the entrance of my shithole.
It’s like trying to hold back a tummy ache when you have had a combination of curry and Mala Hotpot for dinner. What would have been a solid piece of shit in my intestine is being broken down.
I could feel tears filling my eyes as I gasped for air.
The cheers in the audience got so loud and I could see Kristin covering her both with both hands in anticipation of me opening the 1st gate.
I wanted to curse at Hector but it was too late.
The clockwise spin of the water picked up speed, drawing the rest of the water from the vat into the ball of energy.
Yeow : WOAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Give it up for JOEL !!!! hahahahaha….
Right about then, I felt it.
I felt that surge.
My eyes opened and I felt as if I detonated an explosive within my body itself.
Joel : 1st gate of will…. KAI!…
The ball of water spun at such speed that it extinguished the flames on the candles and it started to thin out the sand in the pile by the earth elders.
2 seconds after I opened the 1st gate, I felt as if a massive floodgate had opened.
Or rather, a massive dam had broke.
I squatted halfway and I let loose my bowels because I could not control it any longer.
Joel : ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Everyone : ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Yeow : HOLY FUCK!!!
Jingshui : WHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH!!!!
I shit myself and it wouldn’t stop.
Holding the spinning ball of water, I watched in horror as my shit got pulled into the shield, turning it a fucking shade of brown.
The cheers in the crowd turned into screams of horror as elders of the different clans scrambled to get off their chairs and on their feet at the horror happening in front of them.
Yeow : STOP JOEL !!!… Enough ! sTOP!!!
I felt a hard squeeze and I let loose another round of poop, staining my robe and darkening the colour of my shield another notch.
Hector started screaming at me.
Hector : oh what the fuck JOEL!!! What the fuck !!!
Joel : arNGHHH!!!…
The ball of expanding shit shield grew to a 4m radius and I could hear Yeow screaming into the microphone, asking me to stop.
Yeow : enough… enough…. !!! you can stop now…!!!
I was trembling and I realised I can’t stop. The energy just kept flowing into me.
I was about to ask Hector to stop fucking around but he beat me to it.
Hector : Stop fucking around JOEL!!!… this is not funny… stop pulling in more energy !!!
With the Vat empty, I was pulling in water from other sources I don’t even know where. It doesn’t matter where the water is coming from.
It’s what’s in the water.
Yeow by then, realising I could not stop, started screaming for the kids to run for shelter.
I felt horrible as I looked at the screaming kids scramble and run as the elders stared in disbelief at what was happening.
Kristin was staring at me with her jaws opened.
I took a deep breath and I shouted as I concentrated in my attempt to stop the ball of energy.
The fire elders were the first to react.
I saw a flicker of a flame and Erhuo stepped up, putting on a shield of fire.
Fong clasped his hands together and I saw the dust and soil kicked up as the too, put one up to protect himself and Kristin.
The earth users followed suit and while Heshui pulled water from the sea to protect himself, Jingshui was kneeling on the floor.
He was laughing so hard that he was literally rolling about with his half eaten sugarcane fibres sticking out the side of his mouth.
He just laughed and laughed.
Joel : AGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I’M SORRY…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I knew I was fucked as I released the energy in one go.
The soiled water infused with my shit split horizontally out like the planetary rings around Uranus.
It sliced cleanly through the whole amphitheatre.
I first noticed the shit stains hit the walls of the industrial building, giving it a clean line of brown before I looked collapsed onto my knees.
I panted for air and I looked up at the shock and horrified face of all the clan elders who were dripping wet.
The energy sliced opened their shield and splattered my shit water all over them.
They were literally dripping wet as a horrible smell lingered in the air.
Hector : bloody hell….. Joel…
The churn in my stomach is not over yet and as I grabbed my tummy in pain, I shit myself again, depositing more of my digested dinner onto the robe and the floor below me.
While the whole magic community stared at me in horror, the only sound I could hear from the deafening silence, was Jingshui’s laugher.
Jingshui : HAHAHAHA…AHHAHAHA…HAHAHAHAH…
He was still laughing.
Scrambling to get up on his feet, he was the only one that remained dry.
He laughed and stumbled into the middle of the amphitheatre before throwing his sugar cane aside.
Turning to Fong and Kristin, Jingshui pointed to me.
Still laughing and clutching the side of his stomach, Jingshui declared to everyone present.
Jingshui : FONG !!! ahhahahaha!!!…. I’ll take him…!! Hahahahaha!!!!!
I have never been so embarrassed before in my life.
I looked at the expressions of the people caught in the literal shit storm and I don’t even know how to start apologising.
Everyone is in utter shock as that horrible smell lingered in the air.
The awful smelling water is dripping from the clothes of the elders and I felt faint when I spotted some solid bits on the wall.
My forehead went forward and landed onto the concrete floor as I groaned in embarrassment. I hit the ground a couple of times, wishing that the ground will just swallow me up.
Jingshui nudged me with his foot and he was still laughing.
Jingshui : you ….. my friend…..hahahah
He paused and I could hear his footsteps as he took a few paces to my front, addressing all the elders present who are drenched with my shit water.
Jingshui : Have done something that I dreamed of doing for the longest time… ahhahaha…..
Sanhuo : JINGSHUI !!
I looked at up at a furious Sanhuo who looked like he was going to explode while Jingshui gave him his finger.
Jingshui : There is nothing I want more…. than to piss on everyone of these old farts here…. Hahaha…. But you my friend….
He turned to me and continued laughing.
Jingshui : You took a dump on everybody’s head literally… ahhahaa….
Heshui : Jingshui !… enough !…
Jingshui could not give 2 fucks about what the other elders think and he told me to clean myself up.
Jingshui : go clean yourself up Joel. Hahahaha….. this is some good shit… good shit indeed. Hahahaha….
He laughed so hard after that as several of the elders stormed off that he ended up on his knees before collapsing onto the ground beside me.
I don’t remember what happened or rather, I think my mind chose to block out what happened from the point I got up off the ground with shit dripping down my robe till when I reached the bathroom.
I stood under the shower in the gym bathroom and I groaned when I thought of what my boss would say if he finds out what happen.
He sent me on a mission to find out what is going on and I took a dump on everyone’s head.
Imagine he had sent me out on official business.
Imagine I was there as a representative of the police force.
I would be the laughing stock of the force and would probably go down history as the man who is full of shit.
Hector was oddly quiet and I wanted to scream at him if not for the fact that the bathroom is choked full of people.
I came out of the cubicle and the gym size bathroom with 4 shower stalls had a line of men and other unfortunate kids who could not get out of the way in time.
The hostile looks they gave me reminded me of those army movies where some fucked up trainee did something stupid and got everyone into trouble.
The fire clan looked like they were ready to burn me to a crisp while the earth family looked as if they were ready to drown me with cement if not for the fact I was surrounded by water.
As I walked towards the exit, I farted.
I never expected the release of gas to have such an impact as several kids hugged onto the ground and I saw a few shield went up in the bathroom as everyone scrambled to get behind them.
Joel : oops… sorry….
I left the bathroom and came out to the locker area.
Fong and Yeow were talking among themselves and from the look of their hair, looked freshly showered.
The full height walls of the locker room stocked robes of various sizes and I grabbed one.
Walking out of the gym and into the atrium of the industrial building, I could see everyone giving me a wide berth. From the corner of my eye, I saw someone walking rapidly towards me.
Hector shouted a warning and I could feel my skin tingling, reacting to all the water within that confined space.
I turned and I saw Kristin with her hair still dripping wet.
Joel : oh fuck…
Kristin : JOEL !!!
I bit my teeth and braced for the hit. I pulled enough water from the wet hair of everyone in the atrium to formed a small tower shield but it was not enough.
Kristin threw a punch and the moment it connected with my shield, sent me flying and sliding across the atrium as I collided and toppled the decorative plants beside some seating.
Kristin : arGHH!!!
Joel : I’m sorry…!… wait… !
She clasped her hang together and everyone scrambled to get out of her way. I could feel the pull of the air around me and Kristin’s wet hair blew upwards as if she was standing on an air vent.
Fong and Yeow came running and they intervened in time to stop Kristin from doing anything stupid.
Fong grabbed his daughter and I felt a whoosh of breeze speed past me and the father daughter duo disappeared from the atrium like they were never there in the first place.
Kristin may be gone but the slow swirling ball of air remained in the atrium.
It continued spinning but you could tell it’s getting slower, like a spinning top coming to an eventual stop.
Yeow : alright. Alright, nothing to see here. Please head back out to the amphitheatre….. you too Joel, go… and don’t shit your pants again…
Walking out to the open space, i could see it has already been cleaned up.
The seats are dry and I secretly thanked my lucky stars that my pile of shit is no longer in the middle of the amphitheatre.
The shit stains on the walls were cleaned and no awful smell remained in the air.
It’s like nothing ever happened.
Avoiding looks and glances from everyone around me, I mumbled to Hector.
Joel : I’ll get even with you for this you fuck !…
Hector : It wouldn’t have been like this if you allowed me to just expand your energy and open the 1st gate…… which reminds me, the other GBM did nothing after you splashed it’s host with shit… hahah..
The elders began taking their seats and Kristin was among them.
She gave me the sliding thumb across her neck gesture and I looked away.
Yeow took the centre of the stage and upon the arrival of all candidates and elders, announced the closure of the exams.
He gave a series of figures, the total number of candidates from each clan, how many passed and how many had failed.
Yeow : results will be made available on the notice board as well….
Bringing the test to a close, all the candidates rose and took a bow, a token gesture of respect and appreciation for the time the elders took to officiate this event.
Everyone took their seats and Yeow announced that he is handing the floor over to the fire clan.
Sanhuo got up from his seat and walked slowly to the centre. Turning to face the other elders, he began to speak.
This is the part Yip is interested in.
Sanhuo : I would like to take this opportunity to inform all the other families that the GBM has returned to our shores…
Sanhuo paused as murmurs and whispers started to spread among all those present.
Sanhuo : Not just one, but a total of 2 GBM has been detected in Singapore…
Pacing the front of the stage, Sanhuo seemed to enjoy his 3 minutes of fame where all eyes are on him.
Sanhuo : The last time a GBM was defeated in Singapore was back in 1997….. and a GBM has not been seen since…..the appearance of 2 of them at once, does not bode good news I’m afraid.
Sanhuo let the news sink in.
Sanhuo : it took 50 of us, from different families close to a day to defeat it…and may the souls of those who died fighting the GBM rest in peace…..
An eerie silence descended over the meeting.
I could see the look of worry and fear on the expressions of the people around me. A GBM is not a laughing matter to them.
Hector has been pretty ok so far, afterall, the worse thing he did to me was make me shit myself.
People are afraid of what they don’t know.
Sanhuo : I propose setting up a joint task force to capture the 2 GBM and this time round, I suggest keeping them alive instead of killing them….
The mere suggestion of something so bold started to draw remarks and criticism from the earth family who started accusing Sanhuo of having ulterior motives.
The Wee brothers stood up and interrupted Sanhuo’s speech.
Dawee : What are you trying to say ? Your fire family will keep the GBM ? Is that it… ?
Erwee: You want everyone to help you catch a new pet so you can use it, can you be more obvious than that ?
Dawee : We have the best facility to keep the GBM in case you forget…
Sanhuo : Oh please… if you can catch one, you would have one in that stupid bunker of yours by now…
The Koh sisters joined the squabble and within seconds, the so call dignified meeting became a coffee shop confrontation with middle fingers and hokkien vulgarities flying about.
Yeow stepped in and separated the 2 groups, reminding them that the juniors are watching their every move.
Sanhuo regained control of the stage and he went on with his proposal.
Sanhuo : To have a live GBM for research and study, would benefit all of us… the amount of things we can learn from it, we will share it all… there will be no secrets, all materials will be made available.
Sanhuo sales pitch did not seem convincing and the Wee brothers are the first to get up.
Dawee : Go catch the pet on your own if you want…. since there are two, I believe there’s more than enough to go around…
As the Koh sisters got up, Dahuo and Erhuo too joined in the squabble, each trying to accuse the other of trying to make the 1st move.
Heshui announced to everyone present although I’m not sure if anyone is listening.
Heshui : The water clan has no interest in the GBM… and I’m sure you can tell from the quality of candidates earlier, we will not be able to offer much help in the capture of one….. I wish you guys the best of luck….
Heshui got up and started walking towards the exit and I could see Yeow throwing a middle finger towards his direction. Jingshui on the over hand, sat with his legs resting on the side armrest, trying to adopt a sleeping position as he fanned himself with a straw fan.
True to his ‘don’t give a fuck’ mantra, he looked like he was in his own world.
Fong and Kristin got up and they too, made their way towards the exit.
I could see Fong shake his head in a disappointed manner. So much for the annual family meeting. They are all a bunch of loose sand.
The elders finally separated after each declaring that they will deal with the GBM on their own.
Yeow turned to the candidates and dismissed everyone.
I remained seated and waited for the crowd to clear.
Yeow lit a cigarette and walked over to me.
He blew a cloud of smoke towards me and added.
Yeow : what a shit show isn’t it ? …. No pun intended hahah…
Joel : is it always like this… ? the clan meeting… ?
Yeow : pretty much…
Joel : What’s the point…? It’s like nothing will ever get done if the meeting always goes like this…
Yeow : Oh you are wrong…… it might appear as if nothing was concluded but it’s the opposite. Everyone made their stand clear, or rather, everyone staked their claim clearly.
Joel : How so ?
Yeow : Fire and Earth each wanted a GBM, Wind and water want nothing to do with it, it’s as simple as that… haha….
Joel : You’re kidding ?
Yeow : No I’m not.
Joel : wow… that sucked.
Yeow : things weren’t like this when I was young.
Yeow revealed that back when all 5 clans were present, things were done in an orderly manner.
Yeow : I may be a young boy back then but attending the annual meeting is something I look forward to…. There is a sense of pride… a sense of belonging… I look forward to seeing my friends from other clans too…. But now…haha…
Yeow shook his head and blew a cloud of smoke into the air.
Gesturing with his head towards Jingshui who is the last person left among the elders, Yeow added.
Yeow : Jingshui is waiting for you….
He told me that Jingshui has never took in a disciple since his first one passed one.
Yeow : Among the water family, everyone wanted Jingshui to lead the clan, he’s better in all aspects but he could not move on beyond the death of his disciple…. And he has turned down everyone who wanted to learn from him….it must be your lucky day….
Joel : I don’t know If I would use that same word to describe what happened to me today.
Yeow : hahaha.
Yeow added that it has been years he has seen Jingshui laugh that way.
Yeow : genuine joy man… hahahah….
Yeow got up and flicked his cigarette butt towards a bin 30 metres away. The butt fell down barely 1m into the trajectory but was immediately lifted up by a blob of water and deposited into the bin.
Yeow : I wish you the best of luck Joel…… if Jingshui is serious about it…. Don’t miss out on this opportunity…
By the time I got up, the amphitheatre has been cleared.
I walked over to Jingshui whose eyes remained closed.
His face is weathered with age. The clothes he wore might as well be picked up from the dumpster. He wore a old Seiko watch and his flip flops looked like they will give way anytime.
He was humming a old tune from the sixties and I don’t know if I should disturb him.
Jingshui knew I was standing near him and he broke the silence first.
Jingshui : That’s a very powerful 1st gate you opened there….
Joel : Oh… it’s my first time, I’m not really sure what I was doing either. …I would say it’s more of an accident.
Jinghsui kept quiet for a while, fanning himself slowly before speaking.
Jingshui : I spoke with Fong earlier. Heard about your story…your abilities were blocked on purpose…. That’s interesting….. I wonder why….
Joel : I wished I knew why too…… I want to find out more about my parents as well….. I guess getting involved in this clan meeting and all is the first step.
Jingshui nodded and he went quiet again.
Joel : Ermmm …. So… I’m Joel by the way…
Jingshui : Everyone knows who you are by now, Mr Joel…. Haha..
Joel : Do you mean it earlier… when you…. offered to teach me…?
Jingshui opened his eyes and righted himself on the chair.
Jingshui reached behind him and pulled out a small droplet of brownish water.
Joel : Is that what I think it is… ?
Jingshui : The remnants of your energy…. From earlier….
Joel : Oh fuck… I’m so sorry about earlier by the way… but how did you remain dry….? When the others all got… ermmm.. wet…
Jingshui : The shield you summoned is rotating in the clockwise direction…. To counter it, I would have to do mine in the opposite direction….
Jingshui also explained that he would also have to match his energy output against mine so both shields neutralise each other.
Joel : what about the others ?
Jingshui : The other elders are aware of something as basic as this and if you had time to notice, you could see that their shield are all primed to counter yours but what they didn’t expect was the spike in your energy output.
He explained that it was too strong and it happened too fast.
The elders never expected something like this to come from a fresh candidate trying to take the exam.
Jingshui : I got lucky, I caught the spike in energy but I too, was a little slow, so I cheated….
Joel : Cheated ?
Jingshui : I entered Heshui’s shield, his took the brunt of the initial hit…. While mine, managed to survive the rest of the hit…
Joel : I see.
Jingshui : I’ll teach you what you want to know about water, but I have 2 conditions.
Joel : what are they ?
Jingshui : You shall swear an oath that you will not teach others what I taught you, unless I tell you to, or until I’m dead..
Joel : Ok.. … What’s the other one ?
Jingshui : Clear your bowels before your training…
I laughed and I could feel my face turning red.
Joel : I’m really sorry. It’s really an accident.
Jingshui then said something which wiped the apologetic smile off my face.
Jingshui : Does Fong know… ?
Joel : Does Fong know what ?
I could feel my heart beat faster as Jingshui looked at me in a coy manner.
That look in his eyes.
My mind started to think of my next move or reply if he revealed that he knew I have a GBM inside me.
Jingshui : why start with water ?
Joel : What do you mean why start with water ?
I looked at him, unable to comprehend what he was trying to get at.
Jingshui expression went from being puzzled to one of realisation and one of sheer excitement.
Jingshui : Bloody hell….hahhahaa….
He started laughing and slapping his thigh as he appraised me from head to toe.
Jingshui : You don’t know…. do you…
Joel : Know what… ? what are you trying to say… ?
Jingshui : hahahah…. Hahahha…
Jingshui looked around the empty amphitheatre before walking over to the lit candles that were burning to it’s end.
He pulled one up and walked over to me.
Joel : What are you doing…. ?!
Turning my palm upwards, Jingshui inverted the candle and jabbed it right at my palm.
Just when I was about to react to the pain, I froze.
The wick of the candle remained suspended on my palm and a soothing warmth started to spread throughout my body like I just had an orgasm.
Joel : What the hell…. ?
Goosebumps spread throughout my skin, raising hair on my neck as the fire on my palm danced lazily for a few seconds before it fizzled off.
I felt the caress of wind on my cheeks and as I relaxed, I could smell the earthy goodness of the soil around me.
Jingshui : you really don’t know….. hahahha…..
I backed up a couple of steps and my legs grew weak before I collapsed onto an empty seat.
The empty seat.
The one reserved for the head of the space family.
Jingshui gave me his card as he laughed, asking me to look him up at his sugarcane stall when I’m ready to start learning.
He left the amphitheatre, leaving me alone, facing the empty row of seats.
Hector decided to speak right at that moment, and the realisation of why he chose me out of so many others finally sank in.
Hector : Why would I even bother, if your blood is that of a normal water user?
2020 Annual clan meeting
1st day of the lunar 2nd month
23rd February 2020
I floored the accelerator of my car as I swerved to overtake a slower vehicle.
A delivery van hit the horn and kept his hand on the horn angrily as he showed me the finger when I cut dangerously in front of him.
A louder horn from a sand carrying truck blast at me when I beat a red light to turn into the industrial estate where the clan meeting is held.
The familiar road came into view and I pushed my car’s engine to its limits as I sped down the road.
I felt a sense of dread creep in when I saw the security booths unmanned.
The containers holding the sand and water were toppled over and the flames no longer burn on the candles.
The cement truck did not even have time to move into place to block the roads.
I turned and looked at the open truck parked at the side. The last time I was here, there was a menacing looking fire Hydra inside it.
It’s not here today.
Aside from the burning interior of the truck, there was nothing.
Hector : Are you sure you’re doing this Joel ?
Joel : Yes.
I continued to the entrance of the industrial building and everything looked ok and peaceful on the outside.
20m before the main gate, I passed through a barrier and the true state of the building reared its ugly head.
I could see flames burning through several window and the water feature by the security booth is not longer working.
Stopping my car by the severed head of a stone lion, I got out and saw it’s body strewn 5m away.
There were blood stains on the ground but no bodies of the other clan members.
Instead, I saw the remains of the dead hags and gluttons. Bits and remnants of their energy were everywhere.
Sections of their former body parts laid scattered throughout the compound. Hands, fingers , spine, chunks of head, bits of teeth.
It’s like they went through a blender before being spat out.
Every chunk of it is still fizzling with the remains of their energy.
Walking into the atrium, I could hear shouts, screams and grunts of pain.
A flaming arrow flew straight at me.
I did nothing, looking at it head on.
5cm from hitting my flesh, the flaming arrow fizzled and dissipated into nothing as Hector took care of it.
That arrow was not meant for me.
Another dozen more was shot, passing through the body of a hag, they lodged themselves near the exit sign of the entrance I just walked in. The arrows burned and seared a dark hole into the aluminium cladding before disappearing into a puff of smoke.
Walking over to the member of the fire clan who was bleeding on the ground, he could barely muster up enough strength to speak. He had shot those arrows in a desperate attempt to stop the hag from eating him.
His shoulder looked like some beast took a bite off it and he was missing a ear while bleeding profusely near his thigh.
The fire user tried to lift his hands, but they were literally ripped to shreds. 2 of his fingers were dangling off bits of flesh.
He looked towards the upper levels with his eyes before closing them forever.
They’re all up there.
Walking towards the stairs, I saw a glutton feeding off the body of a clan member. That body belonged to that of a child.
It was chewing and gnawing at the body.
Turning it’s attention towards me, the glutton stood up to it’s full height.
It’s legs twice as long as the average man and it had one hand that is enlarged abnormally, like the claw of a hermit crab.
Screaming and baring it’s teeth, it started to scramble towards me.
I did not stop walking.
I kept walking.
Raising my right hand to face the sea, a giant octopus the size of a car made out of sea water crashed through the curtain wall of the lobby.
The creature rammed into the glutton with such force that the 2 of them flew towards the walls on the other side of the lobby.
Latching itself to the glutton, the octopus wrapped it’s salty tentacles around the glutton, pulling and dragging it out of my way.
The glutton screamed as all 8 tentacles wrapped around it’s limbs and body before the octopus’ head moved to cover it’s head.
Reaching the top of the stairs, I tightened my fist and I felt a pop.
The octopus I conjured squeezed and pulverised the glutton into nothing as the salty spray of sea water flooded the lobby.
Turing into a corridor, I felt sick at the carnage that greeted my eyes.
More severed parts of hags and gluttons laid beside 2 bodies of clan members.
From around the corner, I saw a teenager carrying a younger child, both of them covered in blood as they ran towards me.
A hag twice the size of the usual one we see crashed onto the side wall at it charged out into the narrow corridor the 2 young padawans just ran into.
They were shocked to see me but between me and the Hag, they made the obvious choice. They started running towards me.
The Hag’s flexible limbs held onto the walls as it pulled itself backwards building up tension. It’s going to launch itself at the kids.
With a sharp shriek, the hag flew down the corridor.
Joel : Hector…
A burst of energy shot out from within me as Hector literally blink forward, covering the distance of 10m without effort.
Hector, in his full grown state is 2.2m tall.
His body is sculpted and if there was a body building competition for GBM, he would easily be in the top 3.
Hector grabbed onto the hag with his left hand, allowing it to struggle and winced in pain from the burn of his energy cloak.
Turning to make sure the 2 kids were well out of range, Hector grabbed the hag with his other hand and removed it’s head from the body like a child decapitating a toy doll.
Throwing the hag’s body over the side, Hector re-entered my body as I reached the end of the corridor.
Pushing the door to access the staircase, I realised I can only go up 2 floors. The rest of it were blocked by fallen chunks of concrete. Those were too heavy to move.
I took the steps 2 at a time, coming up to the 4th floor.
I’ll need to take the corridor back down the other direction to access the other stair.
I felt a spray of water hit me as screams from a nearby room reached my ears.
Hurrying over, I saw a member of the water clan blocking 2 gluttons with his shield as the 4 kids behind him scrambled to get to safety.
One of the glutton had his skeletal spine exposed and it was flaying towards the group like whip while it balanced itself on it’s 2 hands.
The other glutton look normal in every aspect and it was very athletic.
Like doing parkour in a small space, it leapt onto walls and bounced off furniture as it launched repeated attacks at the weakening water shield.
I focused on the water shield in front of the man and I grabbed it, wrestling control from the user. Pulling it towards me, I crashed the 2 gluttons backwards towards where I stood, buying time for the man and the 4 kids to get away.
They scrambled out of the room as the 2 gluttons turned their attention towards me.
I did not give them the chance to get near to me.
The floor was wet and a layer of water covered the entire floor. Stretching out my hands with my palms faced down, I changed the properties of the water around the glutton’s feet into a solid sheet of ice.
I could feel the biting pain of the wind beneath my palms as the temperature of the room dropped rapidly.
The gluttons tired to move but their limbs were frozen to the ground.
Struggling and cracking the layer of ice, the gluttons began to break out from my grasp. In order to do that, they needed leverage. One limb supporting the other while it pulled, however the moment one limb comes into contact with the ice, it froze over rapidly.
They shriek angrily, the frustration evident on their faces.
When the ice sheets were hard enough, I stopped the wind and turned my palms to face each other.
There was a series of soft cracks followed by a loud one as I clasped my palms together.
The floor of ice lifted and shut like a hard-covered book, smashing the 2 gluttons into nothing before breaking into chunks of ice.
Just as I was about to exit the room, my nose felt the hit of a familiar smell.
I turned to face the room I was in again as that smell of ginger got stronger.
I saw the head first, the bald head appearing from beneath the floor in the same manner Hector first made his appearance to me.
A young one, maybe in it’s teens.
It smiled at me, revealing a row of eerie looking teeth as I felt the room heat up from it’s energy.
Hector : You need my help ?
Joel : No . I can handle it.
The GBM’s cloak appeared the same time Hector cloaked my body with his.
We trashed the room and blew out all the windows as the young GBM and I got into a savage fist fight. Every punch and kick, though absorbed by the cloak of energy, was enough to damage whatever that happens to be near.
We chipped concrete walls and knocked tiles off the ground.
I put the GBM in a chokehold but it slipped out from under my arms as it shrunk it’s body for a split second before returning to it’s full size.
It charged onto me, slamming my body against the wall and loosening more bits of sand and concrete.
I saw his fist come for my face and I used the loose sand to stop it. Springing out of the ground like a trap, the sand took the shape of a 3 fingered hand, grabbing onto the wrist of the GBM as it hardened.
It stopped the punch but it was not enough to stop the GBM.
Breaking the hold on its wrist, he attempted another punch but I was faster and it took one to his chin, sending him reeling back and onto the floor.
It’s hard to think barely 30 seconds had past since we first started.
Clasping my hands together, a gust of wind build up around me, instead of sweeping the dust, sand and water away from where I stood, I pulled everything towards me, churning and mixing them into a thick muddy mixture.
Forming the mixture into 2 large fist that mirrored what my hands were doing, I smashed it onto the GBM.
As the sludge spread outwards from the point of impact, I saw the GBM is gone. It got away.
He’s the least of our problem.
I left the room and started down the corridor.
20m away from the staircase I want to get to, Hector warned me in time to stop as flames erupted through the glass windows facing the corridor.
The flames burned intensely for a few seconds before stopping.
Ashes and bits of cinder remained in the air as I looked inside that room.
Sanhuo. He was panting and struggling to remain on his feet.
In front of him, is a woman. A woman dressed in white.
She looked eerily young because of her smooth complexion but I know she’s much older. While it may appear that she is barely 20 years of age, she has to be at least 3 times that age.
She turned to look at me as I walked into that room and she smiled.
Sanhuo : I’m THE ONE YOU ARE FIGHTING !!! aGHHH!!
Sanhuo punched his fist with his arms raised and parallel to the ground. The tinder still burning on the floor around him ignited and from the flames rose a fire cobra twice as tall as Sanhuo.
The neck ribs of the cobra flattened into a hood as it rear up and got ready to strike.
Instead of concentrating at the giant cobra made out of fire, that woman came straight for me instead.
Sanhuo : WARHGHHHH!!!
Before she could get close, Sanhuo’s snake slammed her into wall, punching through the reinforced concrete and exposing the metal bars within. The force was so strong that the woman was pushed into the next room while the heat from the snake melted the metal bars within the wall.
Liquid steel dripped onto the chunks of concrete on the floor like melting ice scream as Sanhuo collapsed onto his knees.
A year ago, I would not have believed if you tell me anyone could survive that.
Yet from beneath the rubble, the woman rose. Pushing aside chunks of wall and furniture, the woman stood back up.
The closest sprinkle above my burst open and it started to mist up the spot with a 2m radius of fine water droplets.
I expanded the water on purpose to burst it from the pipes.
Sanhuo : NO !. She’s mine !…
Sanhuo tried to stand up only to fall back down onto the ground.
Forming a triangle with both my index finger and thumb, I placed the woman in the centre of my makeshift crosshair.
She clasped her hands and an air shield expanded outwards, knocking debris away from where she stood just as I fired the 1st burst of water bullets at her.
There are no propellent, no combustion, but the hail of water bullets streaked towards the woman like the M230 chain gun on a apache helicopter.
She flinched for a second, unsure of the air shield can stop my water. It could.
The water bounced off the air shield initially but as I concentrated my energy and focused on a single point, it began to crack the shield.
The woman pull fire from the burning cinders and furniture towards her but was stopped by Sanhuo.
Sanhuo : Oh no you don’t ! aRGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Like a tug of war, the flames were pulled rapidly towards Sanhuo instead of the woman.
By then, I had built up enough energy to change the properties of the water again. Splinters of ice shot though the air shield and the woman barely had time to shift a block of concrete in front of her.
The moment that piece of concrete came up, it was shot to shreds by the needle sharp ice that I sent her way.
Realising that she is outmatched, she pulled up air shield after realising I was holding a monopoly on the water around us.
She charged sideways towards the parapet and dove straight down to the ground floor as I directed my angle of fire at her.
Joel : aRGHHH!!!
The ice peppered and drew an angry line of destruction across the internal atrium of the industrial building as I tracked her descent to the ground floor.
Suddenly I was hit by a large chunk of concrete, sending me sprawling backwards and onto the floor.
It would have been fatal if not for Hector’s shield.
I shook my head to clear my blur vision only to see Sanhuo shoot 3 pythons towards the woman who somehow was still on the same floor as us.
The earlier one was a clone damm it.
She cloned herself when the block of concrete came up to block my ice. From there, she put the shield on her clone to draw my attention as it dropped to the ground floor.
This in turn, gave her the opportunity to recover and attack me while I was distracted.
She blocked and kicked Sanhuo’s python away before trying to reuse the fire as her own.
Sanhuo got back on his feet and he was bleeding from his nose as he clasped his palms together. Veins popped from his forehead and neck as he opened his first gate, wrestling the fire from the python back to his side.
The woman charged towards me so fast that if not for Hector appearing to pull me back, I might have been seriously hurt.
She blinked with the same speed as Hector as 1m huge fist of concrete slammed onto the spot where I was sitting on earlier.
I thought things moved in slow motion as debris and sharp chunks of rock flew up into the air.
Hector kicked her back but she blocked with a shield of water around her stomach, preventing a burn from his energy cloak.
I got back up but Sanhuo slid in front of me and reinforced his steatement from earlier.
Sanhuo : I’M THE ONE YOUA RE FIGHTING !!!! ARGhhhhhhhhhhh
Hector cloaked my body with his energy shield a split second before Sanhuo’s body erupted into flames as he opened his 2nd gate. Hector pulled me to the side as the area near Sanhuo got charred soot black with that eruption of energy.
Sanhuo : aRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
The woman smirked in a condescending manner as if what Sanhuo did was futile.
She started gathering rocks and debris, pulling them towards her as I watched Sanhuo swept both hands in opposite direction, clockwise and anti clockwise at the same time.
Both hands connected with his palms facing outwards towards her.
I never expect Sanhuo to do it but he opened his 3rd gate and a blinding light flashed as a figure of a flaming thousand hand Bodhisattva appeared behind him.
Sanhuo : aEGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
The expression on the woman’s face changed and she tried to react but it was too late.
She underestimated her opponent.
Sanhuo’s eyes gleamed with burning fury and before his opponent could counter, he sent the flaming fists and palms towards her, striking and destroying entire floor slabs in a modern building.
The hands and fits pummelled the same spot with such speed that I could feel the shockwaves in my throat.
A shield of air I put up in front of me did not lessen that shockwaves as Sanhuo’s shouts were drowned by the absolute carnage from his attack.
Sprinklers in the whole building activated all at once but the water had no effect on the relentless strikes that seemed to stem from the wrath of god.
The thousand strikes was completed in less than 10 seconds but the rumble of the damaged building continued to echo from that powerful skill.
The fire disappeared like magic and when Sanhuo collapsed onto his knees, his body was smoking and steaming. The immediate area around him sizzled like someone took a flame and went over each surface.
The spot where the women was is now a giant hole with red hot steel still melting from within the concrete slab it once supported.
Hector : She’s dead….
I blanketed Sanhuo’s body with water to cool him down. His pulse is weak and he is slipping away. Several clan members ran into the building to help and I could hear them trying to coordinate rescue efforts.
Just when I thought things could not get worse, I heard 2 loud thud.
I sighed as I sent Sanhuo’s in the bubble of water down to the ground floor where a few other clan members had gathered. Making sure they took over Sanhuo, I looked back at the 2 massive being who jumped down onto the terraced balcony from the top floor.
Two fully armoured threshold guardian, or Menshen, I cursed under my breath.
They raised their weapon at me and stood up to their full height and it looked like there’s no way I am getting pass them without a fight.
Hector : ok… this is going to suck…
Joel : I’m a wanted man after all, it’s a miracle we made it this far….
Hector cloaked my body with his energy as he exited my body while remaining tethered via a series of thin silk like strings of energy.
Hector : I’ll find you an opening….. you get to the roof.
Joel : ok.
2019 Annual clan meeting
8th day of the lunar 12th month
I could not believe what I was hearing.
I’m not from the water family ?
But Fong said I was from the water family.
Joel : You knew ? You knew and you didn’t tell me !
I was on the verge of shouting at Hector.
Hector : initially I thought you knew, but then when I see you struggling with everything, I realised you’re pretty much a dumbass… hahaha… so I just kept quiet…
I got up from the chair and turned to look at the spot reserved for all the elders from the respective families.
This is a lot to take in.
Hector : Word of advice Joel….. don’t tell anyone you are from the space family…. Not even Kristin and Fong….
Joel : Why not ?
Hector : Just don’t….
I was still in a state of shock when I left the clan building.
Driving along the expressway, I had a hard time coming to terms with what I just found out about my own identity.
I remembered Kristin telling me that the space family is long gone. The last records of them appearing was back in world war two in Malaysia.
Then why am I here ? If I’m a space user, then who exactly are my parents.
I returned home and opened a cold beer fridge.
My phone was buzzing and ringing. One of the messages I saw was from Yip.
“ I heard someone shit his pants in the middle of the test. What did the clan head discuss ? I want a report asap.”
I looked at the next few messages and it all involves a series of heads being removed emoji from Kristin.
Joel : Hector…. You there… ?
Hector : Yeah… what… ?
Joel : What do you know about the space family… ?
Hector : you mean their history…?
Joel : Yes…
Hector : The space family is long considered the most powerful family for obvious reasons. Being able to manipulate all the elements literally put them on the same level as gods in olden days…. In fact, many were worshipped as one…
According to Hector, wielding such power, invited jealousy and competition.
Not all space users are power hungry god wannabes but those who rose to the top, they made themselves a target for the other clans.
While some used their powers for good, many used their powers for their own greed and purpose.
Hector : There are black sheep everywhere, in every society, every race, every country and clan….
At the peak of it’s family’s influence, the space family sits at the head of every clan meeting in the world.
Hector : They are the undisputed head and leader no matter were they are….
Good times don’t last, and eventually a few let the power get to their heads. A few black sheep in the space family collaborated with the Japanese invaders during the war and secured their own safety while helping them.
This angered the other clans.
Someone took the opportunity to hold an uprising or sort. They started wiping out the rest of the space family, even those that are not involved in helping the invaders during the war.
Before the war was over, those that were not dead were driven underground.
Which is why the last records of the space family goes back almost 80 years ago.
The other clans, eager to secure their own power and position after the war, went ahead with writing off the space clan.
Their seat at the clan remained not as an icon of respect, but as a warning.
Those who let power get to their head, will eventually fall.
Hector : Singapore and Malaysia used to be under a single organisation, after the split, the families in both country decided to separate the clans. The ones across the causeway don’t meddle with the affairs of this and vice versa…..but…
Joel : But what… ?
Hector : The energy from my contact with the other GBM rippled not just within this country, it has travelled across to Malaysia as well….i have a feeling there will be interested parties coming across just to find out what is going on….
Joel : Why do I feel like there’s going to be a shitstorm happening soon….
Hector : You already made one happen hahaha…
I ignored Hector’s comment and finished my beer.
Hector : Being able to use all the elements may sound powerful and almighty but it’s not easy to control all of them…. Just like any other apprentice, you need to spend time to master each and every of them….
Space users usually choose a single element and start working with it. When they get good enough, they pick another to learn until they build up their competency in it before moving on.
Hector : And I’m sure you know, in order to get good in one element, it’s impossible to do it on your own…. You need a good teacher…… you have Jingshui for water….and since everyone thinks you are part of that family…. I suggest you continue with the lie….
Joel : What about Kristin and Fong…. They brought me into this… this crazy world of magic… surely I need to tell them about this… ?
Hector : Joel…. Revealing your cards is a big deal, especially of who you are… I suggest you consider it carefully….
Joel : Kristin and Fong are not power hungry people….
Hector : I’m sure they are not…. but knowing this secret may be a burden to them… have you thought about it that way… ?
Joel : Bloody hell…, did you grow up overnight or something… you’re sounding more matured already….
Hector : I don’t know…. after coming into contact with the other GBM sort of triggered something in me….
Joel : then what should I do now… ? ?
Hector suggested I play the dumb card and continued with my training under Jingshui.
Joel : Can I trust Jingshui… ?
Hector : You’ll have to be the judge of that… but seeing how he don’t give a fuck about clan matters and how much he wanted to take a piss on the elders, i don’t think he is interested in the power struggle…. The fire and earth family however, is a different matter altogether….
I reported to my boss what happened at the clan meeting and I deliberately left out the fact that it was me who shit my pants during the test.
There was no need to tell him that although I have a feeling the knew. He probably did not want to embarrass me in front of the others.
Yip : 2 GBMs appearing in the country is a big deal, I’m sure there’s going to be an all out arms race among the clans….
Joel : What so you want me to do… ?
Yip handed me a file and just when I thought it would be something related to the clans, I saw a series of complaints about sex for credit scams.
Joel : You’re kidding me…
Yip : There’s been an increase in these scams around the Hougang area, one particular 7-11 has a 5 fold increase in the number of people buying top up cards before sending it…. I need you to look into this… I’ll follow up on the GBM…
Seeing that Yip has already looked away from me, I knew there was no point in arguing with him.
I finished work for the day and I paid Jingshui a visit at his sugar cane juice stall.
It took me a while to find a parking spot in the middle of Serangoon Garden.
This place is perpetually packed in the evening.
Crossing the road to the hawker centre, I walked into the middle of the bustling crowd.
There were a few sugarcane drinks stall in the centre and I finally found Jingshui fanning himself at a corner of the hawker centre while his staff attended to the customers.
He saw me from a distance away and he smiled in a sly manner.
Jingshui : you want a drink ?
Joel : Sure…
Jingshui gestured to his staff who promptly served me a mug of that ice cold sugary drink.
Jingshui : what do you want… ?
Joel : ermm… I want to learn from you….
Jingshui : what do you want to learn from me… ?
I looked around at the people walking by us, some standing around waiting for a seat at the crowded food centre and wondered it if was a good idea talking about magic there.
Joel : I want to learn water skills from you….
Jingshui looked at me from top to toe.
Jingshui : I have no water skills to teach you….
I stared at him and I did not know what to say to that.
Joel : ermm…what about water magic… ?
Jingshui : I’m just fucking with you… hahah… what time do you finish work… ?
Joel : On normal days, 6.30pm , 7pm if I stay late…
Jingshui : I finish at 11pm… and I reach home at 11.45pm…. if you want to learn, your lesson starts at 12am…. Is that too late for you… ?
I shook my head.
Joel : No… not at all…
Jingshui : I am very demanding when I teach….i rather not have a student than have one that tarnished my reputation, you get what I’m trying to say ?
Joel : Absolutely… I understand…
Jingshui : good… I’ll see you at my place at 12 midnight….
Joel : Where do you stay… ? can you text me your address… ?
Jingshui laughed and put his left foot on the chair he was sitting at while scratching his hairy legs. After scratching his leg, he went to rub the spot in between his toes with his fingers intertwined.
His shirt and pants had fibres of sugar cane on them and his hair looked like he did not wash them for a while.
The current top he is wearing looked to be in a worse shape than the one he wore to the clan meeting.
Jingshui asked for my phone and when I handed it over, I tried not to cringe when I saw him reached for it with the same hand that was scratching his leg and rubbing in between his toes moments earlier.
I reminded myself to wipe my phone down with alcohol wipes before putting it to my face later.
Looking at the address that Jingshui just entered into my google map, I looked at him before looking back down at the address in disbelief.
Jingshui : What… ?
Joel : Ocean drive… ? You stay at Ocean drive ? …
Jingshui : Yeah… what’s wrong… ?
Joel : That’s in Sentosa….!
Jingshui just waved me off as if I made a big deal of him staying in one of the most expensive stretch of neighbourhood in Singapore.
Joel : What the hell…
Jingshui got up and say he will see me there at 12 midnight.
Jinghsui : remember…. 12 midnight…. Not a minute early, not a minute late…
It felt surreal driving all the way into the end of Sentosa.
It’s an island resort, there’s the casino, the theme park, even a golf course.
The houses here cost upwards of 10 Million and I wonder how much sugar cane Jingshui need to sell in order to afford a property here.
I arrived early at 11.45pm but I stopped my car just after the roundabout.
At 11.48, I put my car into drive and let it roll slowly towards the house.
Arriving at the gate, I saw it opened automatically for me.
I entered the property and parked behind an old truck that looked out of place in that luxurious mansion. When I got out of the car, I saw a helper approach me.
She asked if I want a drink and I declined.
The helper looked at her watch and she stared at it for a few more seconds until it beeped 12 midnight, signalling the arrival of a new day before telling me Jingshui is by the pool and she will bring me to him.
Walking into the house, I was blown away by the interior.
It’s tastefully done, no doubt by an experience designer.
Along the hallway I just passed through, I saw artefacts of armour and weapons that looked like they belonged in a museum. No, not the chain mails and armour that knights wear, but a variety of smaller weapons that were literally pulsing with energy.
A fishing rod made out of bamboo vibrated slightly as I walked by.
An old leather glove displayed on a stand with it’s fingers moving and gesturing at me as I looked at it.
There’s a fishing spear as well. Old with rust on it’s metal bits and instead of it being displayed on a pedestal like the others, it was in a tank. A fish tank with decorative fishes swimming along side it.
Yes, that spear was swimming in the 4m long tank.
A necklace of shiny pearls slithered at the bottom of the enclosed glass case like a sea slug and it reared itself upright as I walked past, looking at the curious visitor.
I walked past the grand piano with an old score sitting on the music rack, a half drank glass of wine and a half eaten sugarcane.
Arriving at the pool, I was left speechless at the view that greeted me.
Joel : Woah….
The helper gestured at Jingshui who was standing at the edge of his private pool looking at the vast open ocean.
The view was truly one of a kind. To the left of Jingshui’s house laid one of the most exclusive golf course in the country, separated by a narrow waterway.
Right to front is the open sea. The sea breeze and the sound of the waves lapping against the breakwater is hypnotic. I inhaled the salty air and felt a sense of calm as I looked at the limitless amount of water going as far as my eyes could see.
Jingshui was no longer in his tattered and worn clothes.
Dressed in slacks and a long sleeve tunic, he looked different.
Or rather, he felt different.
Clothes maketh the man they say.
Instead of a sugar cane, he held a glass of liquor in his hand.
I went over to him and Jingshui poured me a glass of whisky.
Joel : Thank you….
I raised my glass at him and proposed a toast and he kicked me in my shin.
Joel : Owww !… what was that for….
Jingshui : That drink is not for you… it’s for me….
It suddenly hit me what was going on and I quickly apologised.
I held the glass with 2 hands, bowed and served Jingshui the glass of liquor.
I don’t know any rituals or clan rules or anything, but I know holding the glass with 2 hands is the least I could do.
Joel : Shifu !….( master )
Jingshui : oh fuck off… are you living in the past… ?
Joel : What do I call you then ?
Jingshui : by my name…
Joel : ok…
Jingshui finished the drink in one go and offered me a drink as well.
Jingshui : With this drink, you swear that you will not teach anyone what I have taught you without my permission. Say it…
Joel : With this drink, I swear that I will not teach anyone what you have taught me, without your permission….
Jingshui nodded and I saw him close his eyes the same time I felt a bubble of energy rising from the ground up on the boundary of the estate.
Jingshui : removed your phone, car keys and your wallet…
I did as told and put all my belongings on the table.
The bubble of energy rose up twice as high as the house itself, enveloping us within it’s protective barrier.
As soon as the barrier is up, I heard a warning from Hector.
Hector : He’s pulling a lot of energy from the pool….
I barely had time to react when Jingshui clasped his hands together and a fish leapt out of the swimming pool. It came straight at me.
Jumping backwards to avoid it, I walked straight into a waiting trap.
The tentacles of an octopus smelling of chlorinated water grabbed me by my foot and pulled me into the water.
Holding my breath, I struggled to swim upwards but it was no use.
The octopus started wrapping it’s limbs around my body.
I struggled and kicked but it was too strong.
Hector : fight it Joel…. ! if you die… I die !!!..
I did what I could with the limited amount of air in my lungs but I could feel it was a losing battle.
Hector : do something now or I’m going to do it for you…!
Just when I thought I was going to drown, the octopus lifted me out of the water and I gasped desperately for air, coughing and choking.
Jingshui : why are you afraid of the water Joel… ? you can control it as well…
Before I have time to reply, the octopus dragged me back into the pool.
I barely had time to take in one deep breath.
Trying to calm myself down, i tried to work with the hint Jingshui gave me earlier.
The water around me is mine as much as it is his.
Closing my eyes to concentrate, I could feel the energy running through the octopus as it increased the pressure around my body like it was squeezing the life out of my lungs.
It was an invisible tug of war.
I just need to concentrate to feel the grip of the invisible rope.
I could feel my lungs screaming for fresh air but instead of struggling, I forced myself concentrate.
Hector’s shout started to get buried by an eerie silence and suddenly I felt the water octopus relaxed it’s grip.
It’s limbs slowly loosened and like a netballer rising up for her winning shot, the Octopus lifted me out of the water with 3 tentacles.
I coughed and retched as I expelled the water from my body.
Jingshui : good…. always remember… as a space user… no matter what is used against you, you can use counter it with the right skill and element….in this case, you wrestled for control of the energy….
He explained that when I get more competent with other elements, I can use a different one, to counter the one used against me.
Jingshui : but always remember…. As a space user, you can be a jack of all trade, but a master of none….. going head to head with a true master of the respective elements, you will still be at a disadvantage unless you are fast and experienced enough…
Jingshui’s energy bubble around the house expanded 50 metres towards the sea in an elongated shape.
Stepping beyond the boundary of his house, I followed Jingshui towards the sloping sand leading to the sea.
Standing at the edge of the water, Jingshui explained that main advantage of water users is that it’s all around us.
The purer the water, the better the quality of magic.
Jingshui : I draw the forms of my magic from the creatures of the sea…. So does my brother….Heshui…
Jingshui pulled a small ball of seawater and he was about to explain some theory or something when felt a breeze hit me on the sea facing side of the body.
It’s like standing in a closed room and someone suddenly opened the window and you feel fresh air coming in.
No one opened a window.
We’re in a bubble.
The body of seawater dropped from Jingshui’s hands as we turned towards the sea.
Hector : Joel…. It’s here….
Breaking through the bubble of energy is the same GBM that engaged us in the park.
It literally ripped a hole through the shield, prying it’s way into the private space shared by Jingshui and me.
The shield regenerated itself as Jingshui looked on at the GBM standing 50m out at sea from us.
There was an expression and shock and disbelief on his face as he took a couple of steps forward to confirm what his eyes were seeing.
From shock, to surprise, to laughter, Jingshui’s expression started to change.
Jingshui : my oh my….. what do we have here….. hahahha…..
Joel : what the hell…..
The smell of ginger filled the bubble Jingshui had put up around his house.
Jingshui closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, feeling the sting of the strong ginger smell in his nostril as he exhale.
Jingshui : unbelievable…. Hahahhaha… hahahah…..
Suddenly the choppy sea flattened itself and went calm into a smooth plane as I felt a massive flow of energy leaving the water and accumulating in Jingshui’s body.
Joel : Wait… wait… Jingshui…. That’s a GBM….what are you doing… ?!!….I don’t think this is a good idea….
I heard Jingshui’s helper shouting and running out of the house towards her employer.
I could feel Hector stirring inside me.
Jingshui’s Filipino helper cursed in her native tongue as she looked at what was in front of her and she was shouting at Jingshui to get back into the house.
The GBM remained stationary at a distance.
Joel : We don’t know what it wants… we should probably go !…
Turning to me, Jingshui chuckled.
Jingshui : I have stayed here for so many years….. and the first night you visit me…. a GBM pays a visit…..
I saw a massive tentacle jab itself into the sand beside me and looking up, I realised Jingshui had used all of the water from the pool to conjure up a giant octopus. It was now hovering above us, it’s water tentacles swaying lazily like the ends of a kite in the air.
Jingshui : It didn’t come here for me …. It came here for you….
The helper, exasperated from all the shouting, finally came onto the beach.
With each step she took, the footprints in the sand rose up into a terracotta warrior.
Jingshui : Marie… go back in….
She ignored her employer’s orders and within seconds, half a dozen warriors made out of sand stood behind Marie.
Marie : don’t do this Jingshui….let’s just go…. !
Jingshui : but…. this is a once in a lifetime opportunity…. hahaha
I felt droplets of water dripping on me and looking up, I saw the octopus had already started walking towards the GBM.
Jingshui’s index finger and his thumb touched, forming a circle while keeping the rest of his fingers connected like a pyramid.
The sea is as flat as solid ground within the shield, at one glance you would probably think it’s flat concrete.
Jingshui : Lesson one Joel…. Remember…
He spoke the same time Marie’s terracotta warriors cladded themselves with more sand, beefing their body up like they were putting on armour. As they marched towards the solid slab of water, a shield of sand and spear appeared in their hands as the grains of lifeless sand and dirt built upon one another.
Jingshui : A space user may not be able to reach the pinnacle of each element’s potential, but having the ability to manipulate all the elements allows the user to learn anything fast once he grasped the basics…..in theory…. You should be able to use skills that have been used against you…. all you need is practise…
Jingshui shot me a glance, asking me what am I waiting for.
He wanted me to start learning right away.
Jingshui : What better way to start than a real fight ?
I pulled water from outside the shield and a smaller and uglier octopus about the size of a motorcycle crawled into the shield.
Jingshui : concentrate…. Feel how I change the way I mould my energy….and how I control it.
Jingshui’s massive Octopus picked up speed, it’s tentacles whipped the surface of the sea as it pounced onto the GBM with mine struggling to balance on it’s tail.
Wrapping it’s tentacles around the GBM, Jingshui closed his fingers together as if he wanted to crush the GBM into a pulp.
There was an explosion alright but the GBM remained unharmed.
The octopus however, was no more. All that’s left is the massive spray and puddle of swimming pool water that Jingshui is trying to recollect.
My own octopus jumped onto the GBM and there is no need for me to do anything. It crumbled on it’s own like someone throwing snow at a solid tree.
I immediately tried to mould one more but Jinghui’s energy pulled and absorbed whatever water I brought into the fight .
By then, Marie’s warriors picked up it’s pace and started charging in formation towards the GBM like a platoon of soldiers.
Determined to continue his lesson despite what is going on, Jingshui added that every element has it’s own properties.
His fingers interlinked and as he spoke, he began his next move.
Jingshui : Water can be hard as stone, or it can be as fluid as the river…… It’s not solid…. But you can change it’s properties…..water slips through your fingers……but you can feel it better than fire….. it’s shapeless like the wind but easier to mould… It’s not as rigid as the soil but it can remain hard enough for you add on other properties…. Like the MenShen at the clan building…
Marie’s sand warriors engaged the GBM and what followed was a massacre. The GBM cloaked itself with it’s energy and started engaging the sand warriors with it’s bare fist.
Marie went down on her knees not out of fear but to seek a deeper connection with her element. She slammed her palms down onto the sandy beach and a ripple of energy spread across the beach. More heads of warriors started to form from the ground up.
It’s like there’s some magic 3D printer above us, printing out an endless wave of terracotta warriors.
The moment they formed, they started charging towards the GBM.
They may be constructed out of sand but your ears don’t lie.
The heavy foot and sound from Marie’s sand warriors are as solid as concrete itself. Their charge trembled the very ground we stood.
The GBM fought like a seasoned fighter, kicking the heads and limbs off the soldiers that did not exist a few minutes ago.
A sand warrior stabbed at the GBM and missed. The GBM came in for his strike and the tower shield the sand warrior was using to block the retaliation crumbled like a kid trashing his sandcastle.
Drawing his sword, the sand warrior put up a valiant fight as it struck the GBM in the face with his weapon. The GBM barely registered the hit and clapped his palms on both sides of the warrior’s ears, reducing it to a pile of sand within a split second.
Several spears were thrown at the GBM and he ducked and avoided them, doing a couple of back flips before bouncing back into the fray.
One of the redirected spear flew towards a palm tree. The force of the hit ripped an elliptical hole on the trunk itself before the sand crumbled.
Soldiers continue to rise out of the beach like zombies rising from the grave.
The moment they were on their feet, they charged at the GBM. Picking up whatever sand they could from their fallen friends along the way as weapon and armour, the new additions did what they could to keep the GBM from coming towards us.
The GBM fought with an uncanny likeness compared to a human being.
The punches he threw, the kicks he executed, it’s like he was a tireless fighter in the middle of a mix martial art ring.
He tackled. He boxed. He kicked. He performed throws using Judo and Jujitsu moves. No matter how many Marie threw at him, he took them all using his fist and his leg.
Every strike was deadly.
I felt water dripping on my head and looking above, I was blown away by what I saw.
A school of fish is swimming above us. A school of fish made with the remains of the octopus that failed at his job.
The energy felt different. It’s still water but instead of amalgamating it into a massive lump, it was made up of many smaller balls of energy.
Jingshui : There are no limits to what can be done as long as your mind knows how it’s done….. you just need to make sure your energy can support what you want to do….
I followed Jingshui and while I could manage a smaller school of fishes barely the size of a car, many of them were falling onto the ground. Dead before they could be used.
Jingshui : moulding a thousand different balls of energy is different from moulding one big one…..you can hold a ten dollar note in one hand easily, but try holding 100 ten cent coins and you will struggle…..
The value or rather, the amount of energy in play is the same, the difference is the denomination.
Joel : I get it… it hurts more to throw coins at someone that to throw a ten dollar bill….
Jingshui kept a close watch at the GBM that is slowly fighting it’s way towards us and he kept checking on his helper to make sure she is not overstretching herself while he continue building up his school of fishes.
Joel : How did you manage to hire an earth user helper ?
Jingshui : Being a helper is just a cover for Marie…. She’s much more than that….
Marie : aRGHHHHHHH!!!
The plane of solid water is starting to turn into a beach as Marie literally hollowed out the beachfront in front of Jingshui’s property of sand and dirt.
Jingshui did not attack and Marie was in fact buying him time.
Jingshui’s school of fishes got so huge to the point it’s like it took on a life of it’s own. It reminded me of the dark blobs of sardines I see on documentary shows about the oceans.
Tens of thousands of fishes congregating together and moving as a single body to survive.
While I continued replenishing the ones that my own school had lost, I could not stop many from falling onto the ground with my lack of control.
The GBM ripped the head off the last terracotta warrior and threw the head right at us.
A single fish dove out of the swarm above us and blocked it, splattering water and sand all over.
Hector : It didn’t even use it’s magic…..just it’s fists…
From Hector’s tone, I could tell he was impressed.
Jingshui looked like he was ready to make his move.
Determined to continue my lesson despite the circumstances, Jingshui started to school on the abilities of the GBM, some of which I already knew.
Jingshui : GBM, like us, uses magic…. Some can use one, some 2, the most powerful ones can use 3…..we still don’t know what this one can use.
I was surprised at Jingshui’s analytical skills even at such critical juncture.
He deduced that the GBM in front of us is fighting only with his limbs because he is hiding which element he uses.
Jingshui : It’s hiding the hand it holds…. If you don’t know what element your opponent uses while he knows yours, you are at a tactical disadvantage….
Joel : you can’t be serious…
Jingshui : It’s the only reason why it’s only using unarmed combat…. Remember…. Do not engage a GBM up close…. Always at a distance… their energy cloak is meant to sting and maim… you will not be his match…
The school of fish swarm towards the GBM and the vanguard of the swarm shot at where he stood like hot lead leaving a weapon.
The 1st fish led a dozen more, which led hundreds more.
A relentless swarm.
Jingshui : Let’s see you fight this with your hands !!
The GBM leapt and somersault backwards before ducking left and right. He did it with such speed that it’s impossible to follow him. It’s literally seeing a flash of light streaking across the battlefield.
The sound the fishes make when they strike is deafening.
Jingshui’s school of fish went in all at once, enlarging the surface area it was hitting. The fishes left the swarm at a 45 degree angle like dive bombers shooting out from a spectre gunship from the sky.
You could tell how hard the fishes are hitting by the amount of sand and water it is throwing up into the air.
Jingshui had unlimited ammunition. The fish streaked at the GBM and pierced the surface into the sea only to swim back out to rejoin the swarm.
I sent my own swarm in but they hardly made a difference.
The GBM was too fast while I was on the other end of the spectrum compared to Jingshui. Eventually, Jingshui’s stronger energy absorbed all of my fishes.
The GBM continued to rely on it’s energy cloak and speed to counter Jinghsui’s magic. I could see Jingshui landing several hits.
Hits that are hard enough to send the GBM back like it took a strong hit by a professional boxer. A successive number of hits looked like it almost threw him off his feet before he quickly recovered.
Powerful it may be but the magic drains your stamina fast, especially for such a big school of fishes.
Less than a minute in, Jingshui was perspiring and shaking a little by then and you could hear it in his tone.
Jingshui : you… control the battlefield and you ….you… Will never run out of your element to use…. Arghhhhhhh!!!
Jingshui opened his first gate, the energy was so strong that it threw me off balance for a second.
The fishes were hitting with such intensity and speed that the GBM stopped evading. It was no longer in his interest to evade it seemed.
I saw a glow of light and a radial shield of energy expanded outwards, repelling Jingshui’s water fish swarm.
I could feel the searing heat from it’s energy shield and I heard a growl inside me.
Hector was stirring.
I could feel he wants in on the action.
The energy shield expanded outwards as the GBM took a stance similar to Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man.
Jingshui’s fish were literally vaporising when it hit the GBM’s shield.
Seeing that it’s not working, Jingshui stopped channelling his energy, allowing a massive volume of water to fall back onto the ground like a water tower just burst.
Taking the chance to catch his breath, Jingshui panted and took deep breathes like he just finished a run.
I could tell he was looking for a possible exit.
Jingshui : Marie…. Get back in the house…. !
Marie’s eyes were closed and I could feel the amount of energy she was pulling towards herself as well.
Seeing that the attack had stopped the GBM stopped his energy shield.
The GBM looked like it was about to attack us when the strangely quiet Marie exploded with the opening of her 1st gate.
4 terracotta warriors appeared. This time round it was different.
Instead of raising up from the ground part by part, these 4 just went from a lying position to a standing position like targets in a shooting range.
These 4 are made from wet sand and upon closer look, I realised it’s not your average sand soldiers.
Marie got back on her feet and as she raised her hands like a conductor in front of an orchestra, 4 horses appeared under the 4 warriors, lifting them up.
Sand climbed and cladded the horse and soldiers with armour and filled their hands with weapons including a 2m long lance each.
Jingshui : The 4 horsemen….
The 4 horsemen spread out on the battlefield like proud champions.
They did not charge.
The horses walked calmly as Marie’s fingers manipulated them like puppets on a string.
The GBM grew cautious as the hooves of the horses dug and clicked on the ground. You could tell it’s no longer taking this lightly.
It’s carefully observing Marie’s horsemen and her next move.
Jingshui : Marie was the head of the earth family in Philippines but was exiled….
Jingshui let on that when Marie stepped up to take up the head of the earth clan after her parents passed on, she was only 19. It invited jealousy and conflict within the clan and the elders forced her out.
They tried to kill her.
She went into hiding but during her flight to safety, many of her clan members were killed by her.
She had no choice. Kill or be killed.
Jingshui : The 4 horsemen is a high level magic unique to the earth family in Philippines…. You have to control 4 different warriors at the same time…. only a handful has ever mastered it….
Marie shouted at Jingshui from where she stood.
Marie : Jingshui…..i hope you’re thinking of a way out of this…. We’re not his match…. The 4 horsemen won’t hold him for long….
Joel : It came here for me…. if I go, he’ll go…
Jingshui : as if I would let my student die on the first day of his lesson…. No way… I am not done with my teaching today…
Jingshui replied confidently that he has an idea.
Jingshui : I’m going to Moby dick the shit out of this GBM..
Marie, apparently caught on to what Jingshui meant nodded and turned her attention back to the GBM.
Jingshui clasped his hands together and opened his 1st gate.
Jingshui : arghhhhhhh!!!….. watch and learn Joel !! ARGNHHHHH!!
Marie’s horsemen lowered their lances at the same time as they started towards the GBM.
They charged at full speed with their lance lowered like champions going at their opponent.
The GBM, recognising the threat he was facing, deemed it worthy for him to reveal which element of magic he can use.
3 miniature gust of whirling tornado took shape as the GBM cloned himself.
Joel : air… it’s using air !
The 4 GBM faced off with the approaching horsemen and I heard Jingshui laugh.
Jingshui : ahahahhahahaha….. gotcha….! ARGHHHHHHHHH!!!
I felt goosebumps all over my body as a fucking huge whale with it’s open mouth crash up from the bottom of the battlefield. The sea water which was solid a moment ago turned back to it’s original state, throwing everything off balance.
The whale’s mouth swallowed and sucked everything.
It scooped up everything. The GBM, the clones, the horsemen all disappeared into the dark belly of the leviathan.
Jingshui : arGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!
Jingshui opened the 2nd gate as I watched the whale clamped it’s mouth shut as it sailed 20 metres into the air before crashing back down into the sea.
The impact was so strong that it ripped Jingshui’s water shield into shreds.
If anyone was looking, there’s no way they could miss that giant tsunami of water crashing onto the beach.
I could see the veins popping on Jingshui’s neck as he struggled to get a new shield up. Marie ran from where she was standing back towards Jingshui who looked like he was going to pass out anytime.
Looking at the dark water with chunks of floating sand, there were no signs of the GBM.
Joel : is it dead… ?
All eyes are at the water surface looking for signs of the GBM.
Jingshui’s knees buckled and collapsed while Marie and I quickly held onto him.
Marie : Jingshui… Jingshui !… bring him inside….
Marie and I dragged Jingshui pass the empty swimming pool and into the house.
We barely got Jingshui onto the sofa when Marie shouted.
She ran towards the gallery where the artefacts were displayed and they were gone.
They were all gone. The front door lay wasted on it’s hinges
That GBM attack was a distraction. They came for Jingshui’s artefacts and weapons.
Hector told me he could detect a large number of magic users crossing the bridge from the mainland onto Sentosa.
Hector : everyone knows the GBM was here….
Jingshui sipped the water Marie brought and his nose was bleeding nonstop.
Marie : We need to get you to the hospital….
Jingshui : Don’t make a big fuss… I’m ok….
Marie : the artefacts are gone…
Jingshui looked at his empty display and he didn’t know what to say.
Jingshui could hardly speak. The toll of what he did earlier is starting to show.
I walked towards the pool and looked at the calm sea.
There are no signs of the GBM at all.
Joel : Can you feel it Hector.. ?
Hector : It’s gone… but it’s not dead… if it is, we would be able to feel the remnants of it’s energy…
Barely 10 minutes later, a long line of cars parked themselves along the private road.
Erhuo and Sanhuo literally ran into Jingshui’s house with the Koh sisters hot on their heels.
Everyone started talking at once and they demanded answers from Jingshui.
Jingshui, exhausted he may be started cursing and trading words with the elders that had arrived.
Seeing how uncooperative he is, Sanhuo turned towards me and demanded answers to his questions.
Jingshui : leave him alone… I was the one who fought it !!..
Sanhuo : you fought it ?
Erhuo : where is it !?
Despite their age, the group of them squabbled like kids over a lost toy.
Marie tried to stop the quarrel while I went over to the gallery.
I did what I was trained to do.
No, not magic.
I looked at the destroyed door.
The handle was literally ripped out by brute force. The damaged handle was discarded by the side of the lawn.
I went over and I noticed the grass patch it was lying in is charred. Like someone put hot coal on it.
I tapped the door handle lightly and I could feel the heat on the mangled metal.
Joel : It’s still hot…
I used my shoe and tipped the metal over it’s side and I could see bits of melted metal.
Hector : Fire…. There’s still remnants of it’s energy left on the door handle…
Walking out onto the road, I looked around the neighbourhood.
More cars are coming in.
Dahuo arrived too with his own entourage.
Marie came out into the street and she told me Jingshui wanted me to go back.
I guess he didn’t want me to hang around the other elders in case they find out I’m not a water user.
I went back home and after parking, did a double take at my car trunk.
Joel : What the hell…
There’s a hole in my car.
The spot where my key should go if I want to open the trunk is gone.
I poke my finger in and it’s an empty space.
I quickly opened my boot with the lever by the driver seat and when I lifted the cover, I groaned at the sight that greeted me.
All of Jingshui’s artefacts are in my trunk.