Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Masters ep04 : Legends of the Wulin

9/03/2016
Masters

Episode Four
"6th, and 5th and 4th Ring"

Legends of the Wulin

It was loud enough for Auntie Lo to hear.   The three, Rose Lin, David Yezi, and Matt Biao were meeting with their respective companions, Gong Bei, Hoi Lam, and Samantha Wong, to discuss the fact that three martial arts masters are all under one roof and that there is a baneful being of such immense power hunting them down.  It became apparent their attacks seem to be leading up to something.  The fight against the twins confirmed that the attacks were instigated by the baneful being, and discussions even explored the ideas of leaving or finding other solutions to reduce the threat to others.  Gong Bei, in frustration, slams his fist against the desk and shatters it as he yells out no to the others and demands they must act and hunt down the threats before they are the ones found.  When warned about Auntie Lo hearing his tantrum, Gong Bei screams, "What do I care about Auntie Lo?!"  His voice, however carries through the many floors, down and down until they reach Auntie Lo's ears.  She pulls out another unlit cigarette and tucks it in her mouth.    Rose asks him to stop getting her in trouble.  Gong Bei however insists the two martial arts masters must at least try to protect Rose, given she does not even know martial arts.  David sits in lotus position and tries to meditate.  Rose insists she knows martial arts, but when questioned about having a clan, she diverts the discussion and insists it doesn't matter. Both David and Matt thought she was under the other's style.  Rose reminds them she is not owned by any man.  Knocks pound on the door.  Samantha wonders if they should hide, thinking this place is like a dorm where women and men should be separate.  "I wouldn't know, I live in a house."

Rose opens the door and finds Tommy outside.  He tell Rose his mom is wondering if she has guests.  Tommy sees the others in the room as Rose introduces each one and tells Rose that they could hear them all the way downstairs.  Rose apologizes and promises to be quieter.  "He will fix that," Rose adds upon seeing the shattered table. Gong Bei suggests they leave, but Rose reminds him this is her home.

Matt talks to Samantha, explaining to her how the Wulin was about perfecting one's best.  Samantha seems to believe it just about finding who is best.  David breaks from his meditation to share his knowledge of a legend among the Wulin of the clans uniting to beat an evil one.  Their enemy, it seems, claims to be that very person.  If they have any chance of defeating him, it will require all the remnants of the clans to defeat him.  David admits he is all that remains of the Falling Leaves Society.  Matt confesses he knows of no other members of the Little Forest Sect, despite Samantha's nudging that she is one of them now.  Having received the needles from the old man, he is clearly sending them all a challenge.  David reprimands Hoi Lam for having stopped his practice of unlocking the Lightfoot techniques, but as he scolds him he realizes Hoi Lam claims the old woman hit him with her wooden sandal.  Hoi Lam was a martial artist, yet the old Auntie was able to hit him? Something was inconsistent here.

They talk to Gong Bei, asking about the Blade Dogs and he admits they are not aware of each other's numbers for safety and security, but offers to introduce them to his master who would be more than willing to help out.  David teases its too soon to meet the parents, and Gong Bei looks away as he blushes and lights another cigarette.  When they question Rose on her Clan lineage, she insists its the past and has no intention of reliving it. She does confess she left her family choosing to start her life anew.  David however muses on the fact she is a doctor, and she might be using her medicine skills with her kung fu.  They consider talking to the Blade Dogs' master, to ask about the Rings and perhaps talk to them about what is happening.  But as Gong Bei flicks the cigarette to throw it away, Rose leaps to try to grab it before it hits the floor! She lightfoots after it, and catches it in her hand.  Matt's eyes widen as he recognizes her skill with the Storm God's Fury, given it is not a common martial art.  Rose kills the cigarette at the sink and throws it in the trash.  She places a glass ashtray down in front of Gong Bei - given her secret habit of smoking - and reminds him to dispose of them there. Gong Bei stares at the ashtray, surprised at it, having noticed something. Samantha offers to them to move out, and that she can provide them a place to stay.  David feels however destiny has drawn them together to this place for a reason.  Rose adds they might attack the people here to draw them out.  Matt suggests maybe in the next fight, they should grab someone to question.  Samantha nearly walks out in frustration as she feels the three Masters are clearly not acting like what she thinks masters should be.  

David finally opens his eyes, stands up, and tells them there is work to be done.  Matt stands up as well and when David insists he is not the type of priest that gives blessings, Matt teases him that he's been conning people for money all these years.   Rose, now alone, lights a cigarette to smoke.

*

At the streets,  a car is being chased by shadowy figures. The target is Johto, who had escaped from the clutches of the Baneful Starving Tiger Dragon.  Needles are hurled at her, and she catches them before they hit her.  She realizes she cannot fight the others alone.  She lightfoots and lands on a bridge above her, allowing the car to crash into others.

*

David traces the constellations on the courtyard of the compound. He uses the Ritual to study the compound's auspicious  influence upon them all.  He notes an expansive energy of Righteousness and flames it into a Hyperactivity for those who do what they normally do.  Hoi Lam does not notice he already is starting to tap into his basic lightfoot techniques as he jumps back and forth from the rear wall.  Samantha leaves the compound for the night, but as she plays with her Professional Begger app, she fails to notice Johto and the shadow figures chasing the woman.  Matt takes time in his room to practice his battle arts, banishing himself of emotions and urges.    Rose notices the bat symbol on the ashtray and now wonders if that's what Gong Bei noticed.  She heads out to look for David to ask if he recognizes it.  The ashtray was something she bought at a flea market and wonders now if the bat symbol connects to the Clans in anyway.

A car crashes against others as Johto lands near where Samantha is.  Samantha tries to help the woman, but realizes the woman is trouble.  Poison darts fly and one sadly hits Samantha.  Johto is about to leave, but Samantha asks her to help.  Johto chooses to help.  As she picks her up, Samantha asks her to bring her back to the compound to bring her to her friends.  Johto carries Samantha back, even as the shadow figures take chase.


*

David, Matt, and Rose meet up.  Rose suggests they talk, as she raises the need to check on something. They discuss the bat symbol, and about the auspiciousness of this whole place.  They see the five young girls again, the bullies who attempt to shake down Matt for money.  He reminds them he is usually broke.  One of the girls steps forward to ask them how he learned to fight that way.  They claim to have been here all their lives and they are very territorial about their place.When they try to steal his cellphone, Matt starts gently using his martial arts to try to retrieve it from them, despite them moving with the coordination of a pack of dogs.  Matt can't believe kids are stealing from adults.  The kids however challenge Matt that people would believe five over one.  The talk about the ashtray and they think the Blade Dogs have been observing her longer than they think. Gong Bei's reaction suggests there's something up.    David however sees a Wood Influence upon Rose.  Something encouraging New Beginnings.    The group heads up to David's room to discuss things and there, they find...

Gong Bei.  Gong Bei is in the unit, calling through David's phone.  Once again, Gong Bei has decided to use David's room for his plans.  David takes the phone and hears the voice in the line, the leader of the Blade Dogs.  The man who David calls the Rabid Dog is actually someone who calls himself the Brother Bat.  The Brother Bat confesses interest in the events that have been transpiring and how they have changed to survive the times.  Brother Bat is willing to meet  to them on a condition - David interrupts him to admit they haven't agreed to meet yet.  He stresses Gong Bei has broken into his unit and Brother Bat slips, admitting he can "see that." Rose and Matt realize Brother Bat is also in the compound.  The phone is placed down.

They notice more footprints in the room.  Rose looks at  the others.  Rose slowly follows them, and signals the others to wait.  She slams the door open to reveal... Hoi Lam.  David confronts him and learns he wasn't supposed to be here. He slipped in, but then someone arrived so he hid in the room.  Hoi Lam was the one who broke into David's unit, which matches Gong Bei's statement that he arrived and the door was already open.  Gong Bei confirms Brother Bat is willing to meet with them at the roof deck.  Matt wonders if its possible FOUR masters are in one compound.  David mumbles there are probably five and exits to his room to grab something.  He comes back and hands them a scroll that contains information on the former clans.  He then hands Hoi Lam a dandelion.  Hoi Lam stares at it, wondering what meaning it befalls.  Matt hears the sounds of a car accident nearby.  He wonders if it was some kids street racing again.  Gong Bei exits, heading for the roof.  Rose asks if they will all go.  David feels he best needs to see Auntie Lo.  He asks if Hoi Lam is okay to stay in the room.  Hoi Lam remains staring at the flower.

Rose learns from Gong Bei that the ashtray bat symbol is a mark by Brother Bat, which he leaves on those he is watching over for other Blade Dogs to identify.    Matt chooses to join them.

*

Johto lands at the outer wall with Samantha.  The incoming shadows close in. Johto realizes what the building is, however, and suddenly realizes she wants to leave.  Samantha however gives her a death stare to do so.  They jump in.

*

Down below, David arrives at Auntie Lo's place to hear Rihanna's Diamonds playing through the door.  He feels like this is not a time to bother her.  He hesitates.    When the song ends, David finally knocks at the door.  Auntie Lo peeks and sees him at the door.  He apologizes for the lateness of the hour, but she doesn't seem bothered.  She does ask why he smells like cigarettes and asks him to step inside.  David asks Auntie Lo if she knows of the Wulin.  Suddenly the cigarette in Auntie Lo's mouth is reduced to ash as she inhales it in a single drag.  As David stars to back away, Auntie Lo stomps down on each foot, keeping David pinned in place.  Auntie Lo tells David that Tommy had informed her of what they all did in the previous fight.  "Danger comes and destiny has brought us all here," David mutters.  Auntie Lo however asks if all eight have come.  David feels, counting Auntie Lo, there are only five of them.  When Auntie Lo exhales out the smoke from the side of her mouth, she propels it strong enough to shove a curtain aside and reveal her son, Tommy.  She tells him to relax as David is one of them.  David asks Auntie Lo to get off her feet.  She asks him to prove he's of the Falling Leaves Clan.  When David shows his knowledge of creating lightning with his feet, Auntie Lo kicks a carpet away to reveal a sigil on the ground.

Tommy (Tae-Hyun Cha)
The ancient symbol features eight sides, each one suggesting the marking of each Clan.  David, however, only knows of the seven clans: The Little Forest Sect, The Falling Leaves Society, The Dragon Well Sect, The Liquid Metal Delegates, The Southern Dragons Pirate Clan, the Hundred Ghost Faction and the Blood Wind Cult.  And how they fought against the Infernal Alliance of the Black Lotus Society, the Fire Doctrine, the Blade Dogs and the Vile Rain Cult.  Auntie Lo realizes this does mean the baneful one has returned.  Auntie Lo asks David to take her to Rose Lin when he admits he isn't sure of her clan.  But worse, David tells her they are at the roof, which infuriates the Auntie.  "I said no one should go to the roof!"

Upstairs, Rose and Matt accompany Gong Bei to meet the Brother Bat.  Gong Bei shares how Brother Bat lead him back from a life of wrongdoing and misfortune. When Gong Bei keeps lighting a cigarette, Matt starts to realize his smoking all this time might be his Combat Condition.   Brother Bat reveals his presence in the shadows, silently watching them as they talk about being figures of darkness and light.     When he demands a promise from Matt that he is present for non-violence, Matt gets insulted and begins to leave.  But when Brother Bat throws Rose a black pill, she stares at it and understands he knows her secret.  "Shall we speak freely or will we require your friend to make his promise?"  Rose realizes Brother Bat's request for Matt to swear was meant to protect her from what she was going to admit about her past.  The truth that Gong Bei was sent to kill Rose is revealed, but he admits he is no longer able to fulfill that duty.  
David learns from Auntie Lo that she and her son Tommy are the sole members of the Hundred Ghost Faction.  They had been killed by the baneful one a long time ago, but they were able to retain their existence in the world thanks to their martial arts.  They are true ghosts, vengeful ones, seeking for a final retribution.  Their clan was destroyed by fire, brunt by the baneful.  They vowed to avenge themselves against the Infernal Alliance.  The sigil on the ground was created by her husband many years ago, as an attempt to draw the heroes together in an attempt to fight the threat again someday.  But suddenly, she looks up as she senses someone having breached her walls.  She recognizes one to be Samantha, but not the other.  "Your friends will have to wait."   Auntie Lo heads away, while David rushes upstairs to talk to the others.


Rose finally admits to Matt the truth. She shares her real name is not Rose Lin and that she sought to find a fresh start.  Matt cuts her off and asks her to admit what clan she is part of.  Before he can answer, however, he sees something connect into his throat.  A fine needle.  Then Rose twists in time to catch the other one which nearly hits her.  Two women land on the roof, crashing against the gravel.  Gong Bei runs close to Rose to protect her.    Brother Bat vanishes into the shadows.  Landing on the roof, after the two women, a group of shadowy ninjas arrive. Matt realizes he is seeing in double, as he realizes something must have hit him.  Rose rushes close, pulling the needle free, and checks the injured girls on the floor.  Matt realizes the poison is making his movements sluggish and uncertain.   As David nearly arrives at the roof deck, he realizes it is too quiet.  He figures something is wrong and lingers below the roof deck to scope out what is going on.

Matt stumbles to the two women Rose is trying to help and he realizes one of them is Samantha and the other... is the Johto, the woman they fought the other day!  Rose tries to use her bodywork medicine to help the two, even as the shadows close in to attack.  The group finds the shadows to be deadly assailants as they realize they are skilled with Doctor secret arts!    From the darkness, however, Brother Bat occasionally downs a few shadows as well, brutally breaking their backs and skulls with each crushing blow.  David joins the fight, using his Flowing Universe to try twisting the tide of the battle.  Terrifyingly, they discover these shadows are skilled poisonous strikes!  Rose Lin uses a martial art style infamous in many ways and with it, they soon defeat the shadows.  They recognize Rose Lin's skills in the Unstained Lotus Mastery, Matt and David clearly understand why Rose opted to hide the truth about her clan.   Matt confronts the sole shadow that remains and threatens him to explain who sent him.  The shadow admits they came for Johto.  None of them were the targets this time.  Matt asks for the antidote to cure Samantha and the shadow surrenders it to him.

They wonder now if the Baneful Starving Tiger Dragon fights to seek redemption. Perhaps he seeks to find others who can defeat him because he desires to be defeated.  The three have yet to formally receive the challenge, Brother Bat explains.  David agrees that they have not because he has not challenged them with the honorably.  Brother Bat however admits times change and force them to change with the times.

Matt admits the fact they barely defeat the baneful one's minions is proof they are not ready.  Rose feels she definitely has no plans to go to her family to ask for help.  Brother Bat however confesses the Rings are being sent to fight them to prepare them for the final battle.  There is no honor in fighting those who are not ready to fight.  Samantha admits that Johto seemed to need her help, and they felt this was the safest place to go.  David notes once again the auspicious pull upon them to go to this place.  Brother Bat talks of redemption, suggesting to Rose that she had committed a crime.  Rose however insists her only crime was being born in the wrong family.  Brother Bat insists her true crime was not trusting those who trust her.  Dawn breaks.  They realize the 6th has not shown themselves.   Was the Ring attacks not pushing through this time?  Brother Bat admits the events now seem tied to the decisions the three would choose to do.  David admits the threads of destiny have entangled them all in ways they did not expect.  Even Gong Bei has taken a whole new direction from what he was intended to take.   Rose finally admits she is the sole heir of the Black Lotus Society - as she bids farewell to a normal life - David admits he suspected it, while Matt is somewhat bothered.  Brother Bat however informs them that the Black Lotus society has paid the price of defying the Baneful Starving Tiger Dragon, and that the Blade Dogs were tasked to hunt the last two remaining members of the line.  They realize a terrifying truth: Brother Bat is still one of the Rings that will challenge them in time.  They have not gained an ally, but have instead demonstrated before the future opponent their skills.  Brother Bat gives the address of the other remaining member of the Black Lotus clan, then bids them farewell.  "We will meet again, but perhaps by then it will no longer be as allies."    

Gong Bei digs into his pocket but finds an empty pack.  Rose offers him her own pack of cigarettes. The two lock gazes for a moment.

Johto later accounts how the baneful enemy devoured her brother, and how she too would have been eaten if she did not escape somehow.  She felt this was the best place to escape after she sensed the righteousness in Matt.   She asks them if she can stay with them.  Matt allows her to stay given she's saved Samantha's life.  Johto's partial deafness, however, is easily noticed by the others.   David reminds them all that there are still some matters to be discussed with Auntie Lo.  Rose worries if she heard the fight.   David implies its something far more important. Gong Bei assures them he will handle the disposal of the bodies.

*

At Auntie Lo's unit, the group gathers there to speak with the newly discovered Clan survivor.  They find her entertaining a young woman who seems to be in a state of shock.  The young woman introduces herself as Jin and claims to be hiding from someone.  She claims to be hiding from a woman named Jade who is the leader of a criminal gang.  She knows secrets about that group.  Auntie Lo locks the door and motions to Jin to speak freely. Jin admits she is being hunted by the Black Lotus Society and holds out her hand to reveal three black pills.  She claims to have uncovered their secrets and wants to hide from them, to be protected from them as they might be headed here to find her.  Auntie Lo promises her that no Black Lotus Society member will ever live in this place, "I swear that I will murder any one that I will find."  Even when David tries to calm her down, the Auntie insists they will all pay for what was done to her family.  Jin hands out a scroll, asking them to take it even if its just to give her a day or two to rest.
Jin the Runaway (Katie Leung)

Inspecting the scroll, Rose realizes the scroll might contain the recipe to craft the Black Lotus Pills.  The scroll confirms that Jin did have a brush with them.  David finds the scroll too technical for him and suggests Rose focus on deciphering its contents.  Rose confirms her suspicions.

Auntie Lo shares to Jin the information that the others are part of the different clans.  She mentions that they aren't certain of the eight spot in the sigil, uncertain who the eight segment is supposed to be representing given there are only seven clans as far as they know.  The segment is an empty space showing no symbol.  Rose wonders if the space suggests the Black Lotus Clan will end up being part of the heroes, hence the black spot.  David reassures Jin that they have warriors on their side, so they should be enough to protect her.  

Jin confesses they tried to force her to be one of them.  About losing her daughter and forcing her to replace the lost child.  Samantha is asked to come forward by Auntie Lo and she admits she isn't able to come forward.  Rose, instead, is asked to come forward to share her time as a "Liquid Metal Delegate."  Rose gives a lame excuse about needing rest, while both David and Matt realize she's trying to hide her past from Auntie Lo.  None of them have touched Jin.  She pulls away from any physical shows of trust or intimacy.  As the girl is shown to a room to rest, they all notice the red dots covering her skin.  They all knowingly look at Rose.

*

Samantha and Matt talk about where to stay for the night. Samantha refuses to sleep in the place, talking about affording a hotel room. Johto watches the two, amused.  Jin settles down to sleep at one spot. As she undresses, they notice she has more red dots all over her back and body.  Samantha tries to slap him, but Matt catches it.  She whispers to Matt to stop asking women questions like that.  Jin is given the bed to sleep in. Johto takes the couch.  Samantha rolls her eyes and wishes she could get a massage.  Samantha admits she doesn't trust Jin.  Matt reminds Samantha to come back to practice tomorrow.   Johto admits to Matt she appreciates this, apologizing that she last tried to kill him.  Matt muses how almost all the women he meets tries to kill him first.  Matt sees Jin seated on the bed, unable to sleep.  Jin asks him how does one move on from almost dying.  Matt admits he does not know.  All he knows is he is not dead yet.

"How about moving on from having killed someone," she adds.

"You don't," Matt replies, "But you learn to live with it."

*

Rose arrives at the address Brother Bat gave her.  The address matches the place she remembers, the place she used to visit.  This was a relative's place.  Her aunt's.  However the place is cordoned off with police tape, with reporters and cops in the area.  She waits til interest dies down, and then sneaks in using lightfoot.  The place is a mess, with blood stains and lots of shattered furniture.  The place looks like a fight had happened.  Shelves show photos of familiar faces, including childhood photos that included her.  Rose tries to make sense of what happened here and soon she sees a sight that catches her off-guard.  There is a small altar with urns.  The photographs beside them suggest they are her parents.  The dates suggest the deaths happened close to the time she left.

Rose wonders if her aunt had taken over.  She sees photos of a young girl, and she realizes they must be the photos of Jin.  They had totally replaced her.  She continues looking around and find a room that has been emptied of records and files.  Only empty metal drawers remain.  Rose promises to inspect hospital records soon if she can trace any survivors of this event.  She notices the bullet casings all over.  The crime definitely felt passionate.  Personal.

She finds a basement level.  There, she finds the remnants of a laboratory where the Black Pills were probably being produced.  Deeper in, she finds a fake wall still partly open, revealing a tiny room with a few shreds of mattress, broken mirror shards, and drawings on the wall.  Rose wonders if Jin actually lived in this prison room.  She hears a sound upstairs and stealthily moves to check.  She sees no one there.

*


David admits things are moving too quickly for his comfort. Auntie Lo feels the days are counting down to something.  David admits he is not sure if they are enough.  Auntie Lo however admits she suspects that she is of the Black Lotus Clan, and that she was the daughter of the Clan.  Which would explain why she ran.  David starts to realize Auntie Lo isn't speaking in reference to Jin, but instead of Rose.  He suggests maybe not everyone thinks the same way and was trying to leave.  A path to righteousness.  Auntie Lo however still cannot accept that she and Tommy survived that assault.  David wonders what Influence really keeps them here, if its the sigil or an unfinished demand of Ruthlessness.  The two see the five girls at the courtyard.  Auntie Lo wonders if they can be brought back.  David admits all deserve a second chance.

The Influences and Curses at work cannot be denied.

Auntie Lo however promises she will still fulfill her promise to her family, when the right time comes.   David reminds her there are good reasons for the old traditions, but there are times as well for change.   "It is the nice ones you can never trust."

David walks over to the sigil again, and wonders how the clans defeated the baneful ones before. "No one wrote about them in detail, at least not in the materials I have."  Auntie Lo shares how one story speaks of all seven Clans uniting as one.  Other stories say great heroes defeated them because they were blessed with the Auspicious Weapons from Heaven.  Auntie Lo thinks those are all foolishness, however, and that the bane things were only delayed.  It is up to them to finally defeat them.

They turn to see Gong Bei.  He just got confirmation that the 6th Ring is already dead.  Brother Bat paid him a visit but learned that someone had come to him and killed him.  The 6th Ring owned a massive club.  Hundreds of people surrounded him.  But someone walked into the club, killed everyone in the club, including the 6th Ring, a handsome man with a perfect smile whose words could charm one's heart to stop... he was shot multiple times in the head.

David wonders who would sink to that level of violence and use guns.  Gong Bei admits whoever it was, it was someone the 6th Ring recognized enough to let him inside.  The man was able to catch the first bullet fired at him, before the rest killed him.  Auntie Lo smiles, wondering if that means they are not alone.  Maybe there is an eight faction to count on.
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