After mastering Wudan, I descended from the mountain.
The only way back to civilization was to cross the Xing Gou river. This river had a single bridge. A bottle neck. And this bridge had a small town surrounding it.
A town occupied solely by pirates, bandits and thieves, who would harass tax and rob anybody who had to use it. I had no choice but to walk through them.
By now, my abilities were well known. I was adept number 1. Although Wudan had very few visitors, stories of the adepts achievements somehow permeated the outside world.
Carried by the winds themselves. I intended to pass through the town peacefully, relying on my reputation.
Yet, as I approached the local tavern, a veteran warrior blocked my path. “I do not fear you! I have been to war 5000 times and I still stand.
I am ferocious, when I attack - and no matter how much you hurt me, I will keep coming forward!!” Eyes locked, in the center square - a crowd had now gathered around us.
“When you knock me down, I WILL GET UP!” he screamed.
“When you strike me, I will continue to FIGHT!” At this he drew his sword.
I raised my hand with a single finger pointing towards the sky - as Po had done many times before to command silence.
“Brother. Listen to your words. You have already said, I will hurt you. You have already said, I will strike you. You have already said, I will knock you down. You know the future. Apologize to me.”
He paused. His eyes twitched as he was thinking. He saw the crowd around him, jeering him on to attack a student of Wudan. His sword was already drawn, I was only a meter in front of him.
His eyes darted back and forth as he contemplated what to do - Attack? Apologize? By now the crowd was screaming. Urging him to fight.
After a second, he made a decision. He swung his sword. As his neck snapped, and his body fell lifelessly to the ground, there was a loud moan of disappointment amongst the onlookers.
“Awwwwww...” The show was over. Not a single bandit bothered to check or show care to his body, they simply left him in the square to be eaten by the birds.
They were so interested in the prospect of his success. And absolutely uninterested in his failure.
Of course, the remaining bandits hurriedly afforded me safe access to the bridge. This was the first life of many I would take on my journey.
Such is the way of Wudan.