Friday, October 14, 2016

Masters ep05 : Legends of the Wulin


Episode Five

Legends of the Wulin

Two days have passed.  No new challengers have appeared.  Celine Dion's song, My Heart Will Go On, plays as the whole group sits in a room with a massive TV shows the lyrics to the song. Auntie Lo is singing with the microphone in her hand.  The others glance at each other every now and then, knowing they had no choice but to attend the event.

David Yezi stares at the words, his mind flashing back to the last few days as he watched the news and learned that a very large notorious drug dealer was found slain in his own club by someone with a semi-automatic weapon.  This man was the supposed 6th Ring member, but the witnesses claim a young man with a buzz cut hair, and a scar across his entire face, had killed him from close range.   He supposedly just walked straight in, was welcomed upon arrival, but then pelted the security and the boss with bullets.  Not a single shooter was able to hit him as he walked out of the club.  David visited his temple and found it clean and untouched.  There were no other encounters.

Matt Biao stares and also begins to flashback. He stares at the swirling lights of the discoball and remembers how Samantha has purchased a room in the building. She has been trying to grasp the clans of each person, to understand what is going on.  She wonders who the Blood Wind Cult could be given the group is supposedly brutal and barbaric, using pack tactics as they target their victims.  Matt sees the young girls outside the window, using the very tactics discussed to steal from another visitor.  Matt wonders if he actually did just find them.  Against the seven, the four of the infernal alliance exist, and of the four only the Blade Dogs have been encountered.  The twins are of the Vile Rain Cult, but that's not certain.  Johto arrives, but Samantha shuts the door on Johto's face, not welcoming her to the room.  They discuss the symbol in Auntie Lo's room and they wonder if the Infernal Alliance could be part of it, unless there were actually eight Clans.  Samantha does admit she's getting tired of "Matt's girlfriend."  Samantha denies being jealous though. Johto tells Matt she owes him her life and sees him as family now.  She even gets Matt to have her stay with him.

Rose Lin also flashes back as Auntie Lo sings the song for her birthday.  Rose smiles at how beautiful Auntie Lo's voice really is, and how she stopped singing because the last time she sang was at a fight. She whispers with the others on the needs for plans and how they've been handling things.  The discussion slips to touch on a topic Rose did not want to talk about, Mothers, and this leads to her bitterly recalling having left her family.

Soon, Auntie Lo goes through a few more songs, even urging Rose Lin to sing Ace of Base's The Sign, Auntie Lo tells Jin to sing for her birthday.  Matt tries to turn it into a duet, to encourage her to sing.  David is looking at the book for another song to sing.  Another song begins to play, and it is Meghan Trainor's Lips are moving.  Rose and Gong Bei step out, and discuss things.  Rose sends Gong Bei to head to the compound to invite the others to show up here for Auntie Lo's party.  They see the waiters who try to help show them out.  Both start to realize how maze-like the karaoke place is.  As Matt finishes the song, Auntie Lo suddenly shuts the television off and confronts Jin about lying to all of them.  About how Jin is lying about everything. Johto directly asks what this is about.  Auntie Lo admits it was bound to happen as the sigil calls them after all.  As Matt stands up to head for the door, Jin presses backwards against him, and her leg pins him against the chair.  Auntie Lo asks her to stop wasting their time.  She asks David to confirm how many rings they should have fought by now, and explains the reason the other rings have not been showing up was because someone else has defeated them beforehand.   "Brother Bat would not be here unless I was in danger," Auntie Lo admits.  David and Matt realize Brother Bat is present in the room, sitting in the shadow the whole time.  "They are Mercenaries. If you pay, they obey," Auntie Lo muses.

Jin moves, kicking off Matt, at an attempt to reach the door.  Matt attempts to pin her down with his own foot, but to his surprise, Jin uses his foot instead as a step to move further.  David stands by the door as Jin lands.  She swings the door open, keeping David behind it.  Jin claims she's not here to fight anyone.  Matt asks then why she is running and Auntie Lo explains it is because she has already done what she was planning to do.  They have all been poisoned, it seems.  Johto wonders if it was the refreshments.  They all start to feel the poison burning in their veins, bringing dizziness, heavy limbs and stomach pains into their bodies. Brother Bat admits only one cult uses such a poison.  Matt agrees, "The Black Lotus."  Johto tries to use her weapon, the metal ribbons, to catch Jin, but the doors slam shut as she steps out.  Auntie Lo tells the warriors now is the time to go after her. She admits she celebrated her birthday here to keep the compound from becoming another battle zone.  Brother Bat confirms the Blade dogs have surrounded the building to make sure no one is leaving.  Matt and David begin to stumble out of the room.

Gong Bei and Rose feel the poison in their veins as well.  As they catch each other from falling, Rose notices the poison and realizes it is the same one in her own system.  She hits her acupuncture points to help him pee the poison out of his system. It does not completely work, however, and she realizes she needs to help hold him up as they stagger into an empty room, ignoring a nearby waiters staring at them silly.

Jin lands nearby, and upon seeing Rose and Gong Bei, stabs her finger a number of times upon the waiter's back.  His face begins to bloat, his eyes all red as the pressure points incapacitate the waiter.  Rose catches the waiter, trying to undo the imbalance she has caused on him.  If she acts too late, the waiter's head might explode!   Jin lightfoots past her.

Matt and David chase after Jin, stumbling as they move in pain and discomfort making for the stairwell.  Tommy admits to Auntie Lo that while everyone was singing, he was observing Jin. She was focused on a formless martial art.  Jin is not who they think she is.  Auntie Lo has an idea which one she is using.  Brother Bat however admits that if she is of the Black Lotus Clan, she killed her own family to gain their trust.    Matt and David see Samantha crumpled against the floor, in pain as well from the poison.  Matt helps rest Samantha against the wall.  David continues heading for the stairwell area.  He sees Hoi Lam crouched by the stairwell, also in pain.  He nearly falls over the edge, with David stepping on Lam's foot to keep him from falling over, telling him to ignore it as it is only pain.  Hoi admits he saw Jin rushing down.  Using his metal cables, Hoi and David rappel down to the lower floor.  People are walking about, and thankfully none of them have noticed the two of them hanging between the spiral staircase.

Rose studies the waiter and see s two imbalances in play.  Elemental Progression is making the man's Fire (Joy) to feed into his Earth (Stomach).   Then Earth (Stomach) overwhelms the Lungs.  She realizes she can just promote the Fire to control the Metal and cut the sickness out in one move.  She relaxes the waiter and partially relieves him of the imbalanced state.  Gong Bei admits he needs to choose between pain or shame, and decides to let it out and urinate the imbalance out of his system.  Samantha is in pain too, and Matt asks if she saw Jin.  Samantha admits she didn't.  Matt carries her and tries to bring her back to Auntie Lo.  Thankfully, the screaming singers drown out their cries of pain.  Samantha is frustrated that Jin would be betraying them given the last few days they spent trying to help her feel welcome.  Even when Jin was crying against Matt's lap, Johto and Samantha were just choosing to be understanding of her need to let it all out.  Was it all a trick? A lie? A stratagem?    Back in the room, Auntie Lo admits to Brother bat she had her suspicions but needed to confirm them first.  Even Brother Bat is currently poisoned despite Jin not knowing he was in the room.  They realize the poison was not in the refreshments, but something else.  They wonder if it was in the air conditioning.

David and Hoi heads down further.  David finds himself reminiscing yesterday how he found Jin outside his door.  She asked him to pray for her, resting her head against his shoulder as she laments about being part of a deadly cult family. He told her to either embrace the darkness or work towards the light for the rest of her life.  She hugged him tight and asked why Rose looks familiar.  David admits she's a doctor and she probably saw her at the hospital before.  Jin however explains that she was imprisoned all her life, there was no way she could have seen Rose.  "Do you know who she really is?"

The heroes begin to realize Jin has been touching them when she can.  Her stealthily work has been planting Lotuses upon their skin!  Seeing the opportunity, David leaps from Hoi to land before Jin and confront her.   She claims she is not a bad person and she even claims to not recognize the red dots on David's skin. To his surprise, she is not lying.  David suggest she goes back to the room with him. "Running away makes you look guilty."  She asks why the doors are barred outside, and there is a woman standing outside, laughing.    David isn't sure who that woman could be.

With the waiter and Gong Bei now settled, Samantha tries to shift Gong Bei's feelings of shame into contemplation.  Rose starts to remember Jin having a lot of moments where she touches them, but at the beginning, when they met her she refused to touch anyone.  Now, however, she's been extra-touchy feely.  Gong Bei reminds her to knock Jin out before she unleashes the blossoms.  "Maybe Auntie Lo brought her here to place her in a location she can't escape easily."

Jin wants to be just left alone.  The others, however, admit there might be a reason she is among them.  Jin's words to David about his doubts digs into his psyche, giving him a growing minor weakness of Doubt. "I know what it feels like when the world you are in is a world you don't think you should be."  She ties his growing Doubt to his Strength, weakening him as his doubts grow.  David does not realize it is a Courtier battle.

Matt and Rose pull Hoi Lam back to a room to recover and they learn David is somewhere down below.  Unable to get the floor, Matt decides to risk using the staircase instead as a means to find where David went.  As Matt makes his way down the cable, he realizes he feels the need to exert himself more and more.  None of them are respiring chi!

Brother Bat asks Auntie Lo what her plans are, and if she was merely counting on the three to stop her.  She admits she noticed Jin seemed confounded when she tried to inflict the petals on Auntie Lo and Tommy, but she could not touch them since they were ghosts.  "Now it is up to them. If she killed the Black Lotus Clan, then she is the remaining 4th Ring."  Brother Bat however tells her she isn't, as Lily is still alive.  Auntie Lo realizes the mother would be the true 4th Ring, which makes Jin irrelevant to the fight.  She is not one of the rings.  It turns out Brother Bat was the one who rescued Jin from the family.  That's why he came to see them that night.  He knew what happened in the family house because it was he to freed her.

David insists Jin and he return upstairs.  He tells her every journey begins with the first step.  David seeks to strengthen his confidence to break the spell Jin has placed on him.  He drops the doubt to trivial.   Jin launches tiny needles at David, and they stealthily slip into his skin.  They make their way upstairs. David notes that this place is a place of letting go of inhibitions and of being oneself.  Jin insists she didn't poison them, given she only just got there too.  She insists it isn't her.  Matt and Rose arrive, and they all hear her words.  They all see she is not lying, oddly.   A voice reaches them from the intercom system.  The voice turns out to be Lily, Jin's mother, who tells her she knows Jin tries to show she's strong, but Lily didn't die.  Her father protected Lily so he could survive.  She tells them not to bother leaving as she has dealt with all the men outside.  "If you surrender, I will let everyone else leave.  They will eventually recover.  I hope. If you don't... then I will just have to increase the dosage until you are the only one who can take it. Do we have a deal?"

Jin tries to lightfoot to escape them.  Matt leaps past them to try to block her progress.  Rose pins Jin and they hit the ground.  Rose hurls a Lotus needle at Jin, hoping to impair her.  "You.. you know the art! You work for her!" Jin gasps in shock.  She panics, thinking they are all working with the Lotus.  Matt tries to calm her, but his words fail to reach her.

Brother Bat and Auntie Lo wonder why the Lotus marks last longer than they should, given they should only last a day.  Auntie Lo realizes, "Transcendant."  Brother Bat begins to put the pieces together in his head.  "She wasn't just a pawn.  They were raising her.  Training her to make her a Black Storm Buddha. She wanted her to become one of the Dark Heavenly Kings.  To the right Courtier, everything can be seen as Elemental."  But before he can speak more, Brother Bat's begins to scream as his body erupts in tiny successions of explosions as his Lotus blossoms explode.

Jin tries to leap backwards, crafting more Lotus forged needles at them.  Rose moves to try to disarm Jin before she can launch them.  The needles fall from her hands.  Jin kicks them back into the air, however, to launch them even as Rose lands a kick against her hand.  The kick strikes powerfully, rippling into Jin and forcing her to feel a paralysis spread through her hand.  Matt leaps after Jin, hoping to punch through her defenses.  But Jin sidesteps the punch, and replies with a punch to his face.  David then tries to grab Jin's ankle to force her down to the ground. Jin, however, resists the pull and she kicks David to stop him from dragging her down.  While in contact, David unleashes electricity to stun her.

Lily Shen (Constance Wu)
A ting sounds.  They all turn as they land to see a woman step into view.  Dressed in a tennis outfit, complete with a racket in her hands, the woman known as Lily Shen, head of the Black Lotus Clan, steps forward.  She gasps upon seeing the group and mutters, "Jade!"  Jin, thinking it was she whom the mother called out to, complains that until now her mother confuses her for her sister.  Rose realizes Lily is addressing her, however, and proclaims she is a doctor now.  Lily is amazed to see her daughter alive and well.  She tells Jin to "stop wearing that stupid look."  Jin angrily hisses she only did this cause it was what she wanted.  After hitting a number of pressure points on her body, Jin begins to unravel and her body begins to shift and crack and shift back into a buzz cut young man with a scar across his face.  David and Matt gasp upon bearing witness to the Daoist Sexual Transformation!  Jin turns out to be the suspect of the murder that has happened in the city.  Rose is aghast that Lily adopted someone else to replace her when she left the family.   The man once called Jin explains that their family was the only family that actually wanted a daughter instead of a son.   When Rose exclaims she wanted to be a doctor, not a murderer, Lily reminds her that only the good families want a doctor, "We're not good. We're evil."

Lily points at David and asks him if they look evil.  Rose flicks the tennis racket into the air, and it unfurls like origami until it becomes a flexible weapon, a Judge's Brush.  "Oh you recognize this, don't you?  The Imperfect Love? A very rare legendary weapon."    When David confesses he doesn't know what is happening, Lily explains this is a private affair.  She has come to get her daughter and bring her home.  She just didn't expect to see both of them.  When Matt and David ask if this was about the Rings, Lily admits she is the 4th Ring and yes she is Rose's mother.  "Down in her heart, she knows she is a growing Dark Buddha."  Rose gasps about her brother being the better one to be the dark buddha as he developed his techniques to make the petals last for days.  Lily however shrugs as she tells them it is all pointless if you don't know how to make them explode. "That's the problem with men. Always thinking of problem solving but not thinking all the way through. Now come back home and we can recreate our Clan."  They learn Lily had Jin pretend to be Rose for the last few months because it was the only way to trace her steps if he thought the way she did.  Lily tells David to go to the temple and pray for some patience as hers is running out.  "The current reigning demon paid the family a visit and informed her that she is to be facing the masters. But that is only best if she had her family with her, so she sent her brother to find her. But instead of just finding you and bringing you home, he is wasting time fighting these two people."  David and Matt realize she really does not know they are the Masters she is to fight.  But when Rose shows the needle the Baneful Starving Tiger Dragon had thrown at him, Lily begins to realize they are the new Masters.

Lily challenges Rose then, realizing the Baneful Starving Tiger Dragon probably believes Rose has surpassed her.  She twists the Imperfect Love into a throwing chakram and prepares to fight.  They agree to first blood.  As Lily moves to launch the weapon into the air, Rose sees Lily covering ground to get closer.  Jin asks David and Matt to leave with him to leave the women to fight.  He tells them it is a family thing now, to determine who is the leader of the Black Lotus Clan.  David suggests they head back to Auntie Lo's room upstairs.  As they head down the steps back towards the room, Jin apologizes for the complication.   "It helps to understand you are not really Masters.  That simplifies things."  David however admits they never said they weren't.     Rose kicks a nearby vase to block the chakram and tells Lily she does not want to hurt her.  Lily sneers that Rose won't be able to.  The chakram breaks through the vase and hits Rose, but she uses the weapon's momentum to launch herself at Lily to strike at her with her scalpel.  Seeing an opening, Lily spanks Rose at her behind, leaving a Lotus petal on her. Worse, she uses her technique that if Rose moves, the petal would blossom into a wound.  Lily rolls her eyes at Rose's performance, questioning why she isn't planning extra steps ahead when she raised her daughter to learn chess.  Rose counters she thought Lily only wanted her to win the National Tournament.

Jin admits their mother can be very demanding.  Matt insists that in the Wulin tradition, there was no need to kill, only to prove one's prowess.  David questions the Baneful one's actions as they do not truly reflect the ways of the Wulin.  Jin starts to realize the number of people he had just killed, and wonders why he feels no remorse or guilt.  It is almost as if he knows "she" did it and not he.   Samantha and Hoi Lam stare at Jin, confused at who the man is.  David doesn't bother to explain.  Matt only hopes Rose succeeds.  David feels they need to find a better path.  "This continued struggle against the Rings only plays into what the Baneful one desires.  That cannot stand."  Samantha asks if he's a new ally against the enemy.  Matt admits he doesn't think so.  David does not like how the Baneful one challenged them all dishonorably, having ambushed them with the challenges.

Lily and Rose continue to exchange blocked blows.  The emotional exchanges however seem more vicious than their physical blows.  Rose realizes her storm will laugh at her fluidity and attempts to strike at her mother.  Lily, however, laughs at her daughter's aggression and stubbornness.  Lily grabs hold of the Imperfect Love and splits it into two weapons, "The best way for Imperfect Love to function is if it is kept separate between two people."  Rose runs upwards to the next higher floor. Seeing her daughter run, Lily hurls both her weapons at Rose in hopes of drawing first blood. Rose is able to block both blows from causing any bleeding, thankfully, and their battle continues.

Confirming this is no ring battle, David and Matt wonder how this battle will end.  They arrive at the room to see Auntie Lo and Tommy worried about Brother Bat.   The whole place has gone quiet. No one is singing.  Tommy seems the most shocked at Jin being a guy, although he does not explain why.   Auntie Lo finally understands that Rose is actually the missing daughter of Lily Shen.  Matt and David look away, not wanting her to know they hid it from her.  When asked about poisoning everyone, Jin admits he did it, not the female version.   He wanted to weaken them all for his mother's arrival. Matt asks if they should fight whoever wins the match, if tradition is to be followed.  David admits they didn't have time to resolve that.  The winner would become the fourth Ring, whom they would have to challenge.  David hates how complicated this is getting, since she is on their side.  Auntie Lo suggests then they should be fighting alongside her. Auntie Lo reminds them they are now making decisions for the standing and reputations of the Clans they still bear. "You must decide where you stand and where the clans stand in relation to her."  David studies Jin and tries to think of finding a new path.  He determines an influence of Righteousness upon Jin and asks him if he really is a new person when he transforms.  Jin admits he does.  David starts chanting, as he walks around Jin to trace the constellations.  He finds a major Inspiration of Righteousness within Jin and encourages him to be the male Jin from this point on.  Jin realizes it should be him fighting for the title.  He heads out.  Matt is about to leave but Auntie Lo stops him too.  She asks them to look eight steps ahead as well.  Brother Bat admits he is the 3rd Ring and in his current state, they can best him as well when they best Lily Shen.  He thinks the poison hit him harder because of the deep breathing he does when he makes his voice.  They tell him they will fight him only on equal standing, most likely not to fight on this day but the next.  If not by dawn.

David finally questions Auntie Lo on bringing the fight here, given the auspiciousness of the compound and how it was already aligned for combat.  Auntie Lo insists she does not want to endanger her property and the peace within.  When David exasperatedly asks how a ghost can be so learned in property law, Auntie Lo grins and admits, "It's all about possession."

Lily screams at Rose about being a bringer of death and how she must show she can hurt her!  Rose admits she can hurt her in many other ways, but chooses not to.  Finally, Rose finds an opening, and moving faster than her mother, she attempts to diagnose anything her mother might be suffering from. While doing so, Rose entangles both of Lily's weapons in her hands, bringing her mother closer.  Rose catches signs of kidney problems.  Lily however shifts the trapped twin weapons into blades that try to slice Rose for the first blood.  "Let me share you some wisdom," she hisses as the blades rake against Rose's flesh.

Blood is drawn.

"Congratulations, mother.  You are still the master of the Clan," Rose tells Lily.  The others arrive and see her bleeding.  Matt and David notice her smiling though.  Imperfect Love is once more flicked together into a single blade.  David brings up the challenge against the Masters and Lily seems shocked that the two young men are the new masters.  With the Brother Bat not feeling too well, Lily admits Matt's realization that she was planning ahead to finish off the Blade Dog to take the 3rd Ring, so the rest of them are now the 4th Rings.   "The challenge only existed because there was a break in the balance of the rings," Lily explains.  "New masters needed to have a place among the rings."

"This ends now," Matt mutters.  David however still feels there must be some other path.  He asks if she plays, "Mixed doubles" and they all stare at him. "I know I know, it was a horrible joke."  David raises that the Wulin have faded.  This tradition does not make sense anymore.  Matt however admits he still keeps the tradition alive.  Rose does not like the idea she will fight alongside her mother.  David does not want to let Lily kill Brother Bat.  They feel however the traditions are twisted. Wrong.

"Tradition is what makes us Chinese," Lily insists.

The three gather and face Lily, ready to fight against her.  David feels as they fight unarmed, first blood seems unfair.  "First to hit," David suggests. But the others suggest first to knock someone out  might be best.  Finally David thinks, "Disarm. If we disarm you, we win." Lily claims they cannot expect to take from her the Imperfect Love in her hands.  She might have to kill them with Kindness.

Matt begins to bring forth his emotionless Battle Condition.  David braces for the battle. Rose stays alongside the two as Lily unfurls her weapon into a long sharp cord entangled around her arm.  At the end, a hatchet like blade.  Lily tells Rose she loves her.    But just before the battle starts, a slam happens upstairs.  Tommy runs down below to inform them Brother Bat is dead.  As Lily runs up to check, she mutters that the Ring is no longer occupied.  The others follow and get to the room to see Brother Bat dead on the floor.   Rose diagnoses the cause while Lily asks Jin if he did it.  Jin admits he did not.  The poison on his mouth seems different.  Lily moves close to check the body and inspects the body.  She finds a note in Brother Bat's hands that states, "That Even a Dragon Can Be Slain And His Plans Foiled By An Act Of Peace."  Lily identifies it as a passage from a poem by the forgotten Vagrant.  It was written about a warrior who serves a great King.  But when tasked to betray him, he hurls himself from a mountain instead of being martyred and lead events to a war.

Did Brother Bat offer his own life to try to halt the Rings?  Lily raises her blade to strike at the Brother Bat's body.  "I claim the Ring," she tells them, "You've earned your Fourth."  David wonders if they should still challenge her.  Lily admits only if they choose to.  "Do you wish this to continue to the Baneful Starving Tiger Dragon?"  David feels they still need to prepare for the events to end in two days.  But Lily feels this is considered done and over.   "If you wish to challenge me, you know where I still live."  Jin shakes his head and follows Lily as she leaves.

Auntie Lo looks at the others.  "Is this what is supposed to happen?"  David feels nothing makes sense.  Matt wonders if this is the ending they want.  Tommy feels sad Brother Bat gave his life for this.  Rose turns to check if Gong Bei witnessed it.  They now wonder if the Baneful one wanted this to happen to eventually start a war between the Blade Dogs and the other clans.  Auntie Lo tells them she and Tommy will handle the body.


Back at the temple.  Hours have passed. David wonders if this is all a ploy in that direction, a risk to make them feel like they must challenge the Baneful one.   He sees Lam sitting outside, quietly.  He too isn't sure if it is settled.  David asks Lam what the point was to fight them back when they had no Rings.  Hoi admits it was the Baneful one's claim they were all Masters befitting the First Ring. David hates how they were forced into this test, but Hoi insists it is merely the way of their Traditions.  David feels it is madness.

"Do we stop it at its root?  At its heart?" Hoi wonders, "We are the heart of the matter. But the baneful one is the root."  With only one Ring left above the Brother Bat, Hoi Lam suggests they pay him a visit.  At least to know if he still plans to fight them as well.  David is surprised that Hoi Lam knows where to find the second Ring.  Hoi Lam admits it would be the Master of the Fire Doctrine.  No matter what, he may see them as antagonists whether they come as a group or alone.  Hoi however wonders if the Baneful one was right though.  In less than a week, they have climbed up the ranks, even if they were forced to climb.  David stresses however they were not all always challenged, the forms were not obeyed, the fights are sometimes single sometimes groups, none of the true traditions are being embraced.

"If you were not part of this," Hoi Lam asked, "If you were merely reading of this, what do you feel the solution would be?  What would you wish the story would do if this were just a tale?"

"This would all be just misdirection," David muses.  "Is it all misdirection?"


Samantha and Matt discuss in his room. She's not accepting the idea that its over.  The man killed her Mother.  She insists she still has to fight the Baneful one.  "We defeat him and the world gets better."  Matt shakes his head, insisting that is not the Wulin.  "Then what should be more important, the Wulin or the World?"  Matt admits the Wulin exists to protect the World.  Samantha stresses that the Wulin isn't exactly doing anything out there to stop the crime and protect people.  Either this isn't the world for the Wulin anymore, or its time for the Wulin to step forward and become something greater.

Samantha stands silently by the door and suddenly thinks aloud, "I think I've learned everything I can from you. I think it is time to leave you.  When we first met all you were looking for was a paycheck. That's the world.  That's not going to change."

Gong Bei and Rose talks at the rooftop of how there are no more Blade Dogs.  The Clan is done.  Rose asks if Gong Bei should become the Alpha, but that would mean Challenging the Rings.  "Or do you mean, Challenge Us?"  Gong Bei simply looks at her.  She knows the answer to that question.   Rose tells him she is clanless but she doesn't mind. Gong Bei tells her she never wanted a family.  She tells him he's wrong.  Gong Bei admits he tried to steal Brother Bat's tires when he was young, but he caught him and trained him instead of submitting him to the police.  "You can choose," Rose reminds him, "I won't get in your way."  Gong Bei admits he has not been acting as a Blade Dog in a week, but he realizes he seems happier now.  Rose admits she plans to see this through.  She became a doctor to help others, and continuing fighting seems to be the best way to keep more people from getting hurt.  Gong Bei tells her he will stay at her side.


The group decides to meet with the 2nd Ring. They decide to meet him, and with Gong Bei guiding them they visit the floating barge where the 2nd Ring stays.  Perhaps there they will find the answers they need and the truth to why the challenges were thrown at them.  The Fire God is known as the God of Cookery.

Perhaps there, at the Eternal Barge of Celestial Delights, they will know how it will all end.


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