Mountain Wan

Chapter 1: Leftover Evil

Ever since my entry into the Secondary World I had made a study of the methods used to behead Monsters and Demons. The Sun Master, Xaotato, was greatly pleased by my progress and suggested that I would benefit from going to further my training under Master Dazang.

As we approached from the Swallow Peak, the North Temple loomed on the horizon magnificently. It was covered by a blanket of snow, which glittered in the cold winter sun. The whole cliff top was silent and white. The Icy Palace of Sanmi lay just behind the Palace of Suffering. But upon meeting me Master Dazang was not so impressed, he believed me to be too weak to take on the more powerful Demons. I took the criticism with good grace, for surely this man was a better judge of ability than I. Having listened to all he had to say, remaining silent and nodding, I decided to continue training. It was the only way to reach my full potential. So with one decision I accepted Master Dazang’s advice and devoted my life to the cause of Good and the Banishment of Evil.

The first task given to me was to deliver a letter to the Master of Swordsmen, who could be found at Sword Grave Hill. I went at once to do so. The Master read the contents out loud; it seemed that some small but vicious Demons had fled from Miracle City to take refuge in the Jade Mountain Range. Master Dazang wished for this matter to be dealt with before it progressed into something much worse.

Seeing this as a perfect opportunity to advance my training I volunteered at once for the mission. I promised to see to the Vipermen and the Centurions swiftly and without mercy. Once they were all dispatched I vowed to move on to the Snailmen Captains, who were fleeing to Wan Mountain. Once I had completed these tasks the suffering of Sky Lake and Miracle Town would surely cease.

Chapter 2: Delusion

The Master of Swordsmen was so thankful to Master Dazang, for his assistance in the defeat of Evil, that he asked me to deliver a letter to him expressing his thanks and eternally placing himself in Master Dazang’s debt. The Monk accepted the letter and after carefully reading it he sent the reply; the wisdom to be good is the corner stone of both Buddhism and Taoism. He then suggested that I travel to find the Stone Cutter Master, Gaobo, to see if I could assist him in anyway.

When I found him I offered him my services at once. Sighing, he said the only thing he needed was to see his beloved Tower Tree again. In his younger days he had been assigned to protect this tree, but now he had been re-assigned and found himself unable to leave his post to check on it. But there might be a way that he could see it again! He gave me the Delusional Ball, a small treasure that has the power to record the landscape around it. With this I could capture the image of the tree and bring it back for him to see.

Promising to be quick I flew off to Wan Mountain to complete the mission. But as I drew closer, it became apparent that all was not well in the forest. The once peaceful and picturesque area had been ravaged to a state of chaos. This damage had been caused by the Hydra Lion and the Fiendish Lion, who had single handedly, ruined the forest for fun. These Tower Trees had special importance to the Sun Warrior as it was within them that he had hidden many of the Master Monks Spirit Balls. I must protect the remaining trees at any cost. So I had no choice but to defeat the rampant lions…

When he saw the devastation, Master Gaobo was horrified. He just could not comprehend how the residents of the forest had let such a thing happen.

Chapter 3: Irritated Monk.

Gaobo was furious at the situation in the forest at Tower Grove. He was adamant that there should have been a guard on duty there to stop this kind of travesty. To help him find the answers I went back t the forest to look for this guard. It turned out that the Sun Warrior of Wan Mountain had been charged with this duty. But when I caught up with him and questioned him about his lack of responsibility, he appeared indifferent to the situation; like he couldn’t care less.

I had no choice but to report his reaction to Master Gaobo, who became so angry I thought he may burst a blood vessel. He demanded that the guard be taught a swift and painful lesson. It fell to me to hand out the punishment.

But the news of the guards beating soon spread like wild fire. And the blame was being pointed firmly at Master Dazang. When he realized this, Gaobo owned up accepting the blame at once. He asked me to take the Delusional Ball to Master Dazang so he could see the destruction for himself.

Master Dazang agreed that we had dealt with the situation correctly. But the Flame Master used it as an example to find fault with the Sun Warrior of the North leading us further into trouble…

Chapter 4: Charitable meet

Master Dazang did not hold us responsible for the resultant chaos and chose to confide in us about a strange dream he had had.

“When the great Master Clearness led the Sun Warriors to Wan Mountain, he came across an old Sage. The wizened old man gave him some seeds from the Charitable Trees, to take and plant on the mountainside. However, once the fighting broke out between the Sun Warriors of Wan Mountain and the North many of these precious trees were destroyed.” The dream was very realistic but when he awoke he found his bed covered by strange leaves. Could they really be? This perplexed him greatly, so he asked me to take a leaf to the Medicine Master to get his views on the matter.

I flew to Miracle Town to present the dream and the leaves to the Master. He affirmed that yes, the leaves were from the legendary trees. It seemed that a Dryad had taken it upon herself to reintroduce the trees. To help her achieve this I must first go to visit with her Clan Leader. I arrived at the south of Wan Mountain and at once found myself captivated by the beauty of the Dryad Fairy, Zhanruo. She was sat in the midst of the trees; I took her at once to be the Clan Leader. So I went up to pay my respects.

She delicately blinked her enchanting eyes at me, each flutter drawing me closer in to her. And in a voice like a soft rain falling onto a flower’s petals she asked my name and what my purpose was.

Chapter 5: Salvation

At first my tongue felt tied and I was shy to speak, but as she giggled and smiled at me I soon warmed up. I related my story to her and she told me in reply that if I truly wanted to save the Charitable Trees then I would have to eliminate the Iron Lion and the Copper Lion, both creatures filled with Evil and destruction. They had taken to trampling the trees down for fun and would think nothing of doing the same to any forces of good that got in their way. I wanted to impress her so much that I went at once to area where they were creating their havoc and dealt with them swiftly. And impressed she was, so impressed in fact that she immediately entrusted another important task to me. She asked me to collect the spirits of the Mutated Dryads and the Betrayed Doe Fairies. With these she could try to save their corrupted souls. I went without hesitation to complete this for her and very soon had brought her back the souls.

Zhanruo was so happy at seeing my progress yet something still bothered her. I begged her to tell me for maybe I could help. She spoke of the Abhorrent Vipermen family who had turned the whole of the south of the Charitable Woods into a putrid swamp. As a result most of the precious trees had been destroyed and many of the Dryads protecting them had become poisoned. However the poison did not kill them but instead sucked out their very souls. Now they wandered around in the unconscious gait of the undead. To help ease Zhanruo’s pain I went to the swamp myself, in the hopes of finding out which poison had done this and maybe even a cure. But the undead Dryads did not welcome my presence and chose instead to attack. They didn’t understand that I was only trying to help. I tried my best not to harm them just to defend myself. I was able to extract some of the venom during the scuffle and quickly took this back to Zhanruo. She told me that if she could have a sample of the swamp as well then the creation of an antidote would be much easier. So under the cover of night I silently crept back in and grabbed a small handful of the mud from the banks of the stinking swamp. I then took it, along with the venom to the Zombie Lord in Desert City, for if anyone would know about this foul magic it would be him.

He tasted both of the substances and went into a long cogitative trance. When he resurfaced he proclaimed them to be deadly poisons from Snake Saliva. I flew back to the Charitable Woods and told Zhanruo of my findings.

Our next step would be to find the antidote and save her friends.

Chapter 6: Seed

The poison was one so concentrated that the only way to counteract it would be to kill the man responsible for creating it. It seemed however, that even though deadly the poison was unable to penetrate clothing giving us the protection we needed. The Dryads needed my help to defeat the accursed family and I willingly took on the challenge. Rushing at them by surprise, I managed to dispatch most of them at once. But the Captain had escaped, taking the Tundra Dryads and his Elite Guards with him. They had gone to find refuge in Buddha Head Cliff.

Zhanruo begged me to do away with them, for she feared if not after I left they would come back even worse than before. I summoned the powers of my magic Talisman and in one breath uttered the sacred spell; which destroyed all of the Snake Demons in one foul swoop. At last the Vipermen’s hold over the Charitable Woods was over and peace could return to the area.

Zhanruo praised me with her sweet voice claiming that my selfless dedication to the cause had won over the hearts of the Dryads and they would be forever in my debt. Her words of kindness tinkled softly in my ears like a thousand rain drops falling on silver bells. She told me that the rebirth of the forest was solely down to my bravery and honor. Then she presented me with a seed from one of the trees and asked me to give it to the Medicine Master as a thank-you for sending me. Of course I accepted and made at once to leave.

However, when I offered the seed to the Master he remained silent and looked pensive. Finally he turned to me and asked me to take it back to the forest. I was puzzled by this decision until he explained that the Charitable Trees can only grow strong near the Charitable Spring.

When I returned to Zhanruo I passed the Master's message on to her. His sentiments moved her so much that a perfect crystal tear dropped from her eye and rolled down the enchanting slope of her cheek turning to star dust and blowing into the ether. I was captivated as she told me that the Charitable Trees should stay where they belong and the Dryad Family will stay with them to protect them forever.

Chapter 7: Hermit

Zhanruo had once mentioned to me that there was a Hermit who had once helped the Dryads to hold back the Snake Demons. So I set off to find him. As I walked along the edge of the ocean I saw something, that at first I took to be a pile of old stinky rags on the beach and something the tide had washed up until it turned over and scratched its behind. To my surprise this was the powerful Hermit Dungou that Zhanruo had spoken of. I could barely believe that this was the same man that she described as looking like as though the Gods had given him extra souls when he performed spells, such was his talent. To me he looked like a washed up drunk. By all accounts he had sent the Snake Demons fleeing like frightened rats. She had also told me of his unique life style but I had not expected this. However, I knew that Zhanruo did not posses the capacity to lie, so I must believe her.

The drunken man, for I had been right about that part, was so far gone that I had to poke and prod him many times before he even opened his eyes. Eyes that were so bloodshot they appeared to be completely red. He was unhappy at being woken and as compensation he demanded that I find his gourd that had been misplaced the previous night. Taking Zhanruo's words to heart I chose not to argue with the man but to do as he commanded. I retrieved the gourd and handed it to him. The stopper was immediately removed and with a glug the contents soon made it down the Hermit's throat. All at once the wine hit him and the Hermit fell back into his drunken sleep. I knew the liquor was strong for I could smell it from where I stood and it burned my nostrils. Then he began to snore. I had to believe Zhanruo but this Dunguo lacked any of the impressive stature that I had expected from him. He could barely stand let alone fight.

Suddenly a sad and piercing scream could be was heard from just over the horizon and the sound of an army on the move came from the direction of the west bank of Clearness River. These noises woke up Dunguo and in his anger he leapt nimbly to his feet, exclaiming that the Sun Warrior of Wan Mountain was irritated. He bade me drive off the Mephet and Pyrodragon Bodyguards for him. I complied because the way the man had moved so effortlessly told of the hidden skills within the drunken stupor. Maybe I could learn something from him? Although I helped Dunguo out of respect also my curiosity was a factor as it troubled me what or who could have screamed so loudly.

Chapter 8: The Past

Whilst I searched for the cause of the noise, I came across a mysterious folder lying on the ground; it seemed to have been dropped by a Pyrodragon Bodyguard. It contained details of the secret execution plans and had a wax seal in the shape of a fire pattern. The letter referred to someone as "that guy" several times, it seemed he knew some of the secrets of the Flame Master…

This guy was obviously very important to them. I decided to sneak into the Green Mountain hoping to save him before the Flame Master got his hands on him. Eventually in the deepest cave in the mountain I found a badly wounded man named Dungwan. He had been hunted down by the Sun Warriors and was suffering from extensive injuries. To begin with Dungwan feared that I was a Sun Warrior sent to finish him off and refused to talk to me. So to win his trust I showed him the Venom Mephet and killed the Flame Master's underlings, the Pyrodragon Gunners and their ringleader Soku. Only when I returned with the Soku's Dragon Cannon did he believe me enough to relate his tale of woe.

Many years ago the Flame Master had told Dungwan to steal the Fire Vessel, unable to resist him, Dungwan had done so. But the duplicitous Flame Master had then laid the blame on a certain Warehouse Lama named Dunguo. In an effort to prove his innocence Master Dazang had removed both of his own eyes and was then forced to leave the Wan Mountain surrounded by the Sun Warriors. The Flame Master wished to leave no trail of evidence so he decided to dispatch Dungwan as well. Dungwan had no choice but to leave his home in the Temple, Dunguo had no idea about the truth but he felt so much empathy for Master Dazang that he left all of his possessions behind and lived the life of a hermit.

“Dunguo? I know him.”

“What? Pardon? You met Dunguo, where is he?”

Chapter 9: Friendship

Dungwan broke down into hysterical tears, he pleaded with me to take his cattle bone knife and present it to Dunguo, telling him the truth. He wished that I would bring Dunguo back to the cave with me so that he could end Dungwan's miserable life himself.

I flew at once to River Island and related the whole sorry tale to Dunguo; instead of getting angry he let out a long, sad sigh. He said that while the knife is meant to kill the scabbard is meant to protect and forgive. This symbolized the relationship between Dungwan and himself, for it was the same as the fate of knife and scabbard. He then returned the knife to its ivory scabbard and asked me to take it back to Dungwan. However, when I made it back to the cave I discovered the ground littered with the bodies of the Venom Mephet and the Polydragon Gunners. Dungwan's broken body was also lying on the ground. I helped him up but could tell that he wasn't long for this world. A smile crept on to his blood stained lips when he heard of Dunguo's kind act but he soon started to cough up more of the sticky red stuff as his life began to leave him. With his last breath he begged me to take a blood soaked letter to Dunguo. And then he was gone.

Upon hearing of the death of Dungwan, Dunguo was heartbroken and he cried aloud sadly. After he read the letter he spoke in quiet measured words and uttered the promise that he, the North Sun Warrior, would never disappoint a dying wish.

Clutching the bloody letter in my hand I went at once to the North Temple to tell Master Dazang the truth about the whole matter and I had the evidence to prove it. I pleaded with him to reveal its' contents to the world and clear his name.

Chapter 10: Bloody Criminal

Going along with Master Dazang's will, I snuck into the Wan Temple and secretly asked the kind hearted floor sweeper, Banbu, about the Fire Vessel. But Banbu told me that he didn't have enough information to determine its whereabouts. He suggested that I steal the temple affairs duty book. For surely where the most guards were placed, would be where the fire vessel rested. To accomplish this mission I defeated the Temple Master and stole the book and sure enough there seemed to be more guards stationed at the top of Nirvana Cliff than anywhere else. I ventured there and did away with all of the guards and the Flame Master's most loyal disciples, the Jinyan. Opening the treasure chalice I found what I had been hoping for, the Fire Vessel!

Now I had all the evidence I needed to clear Dazang's name. And it was high time that we took the Flame Master down. Master Dazang wrote letters to the Master Swordsman of Holy City and to the Master Summoner of Desert city detailing the skullduggery of the Flame Master. They were filled with righteous indignation and immediately organized a crusade against the Flame Master. As one army we all rushed Wan Mountain and quickly dispatched his guards. The Master however, showed no signs of concern and he sat composed in his temple. Only when we made it into his square hall could we see his features. He summoned flame monsters from the bowels of purgatory to defend him. They were no match for our collective, however. The Flame Master angered at this and turned the entire hall into a blazing sea of fire, the smoke smothered and choked us and the heat licked at our skin with its rasping tongue but we battled on. The Sun Warriors helped to ward off the most brutal flames, the Summoners were able to hold back the sea of fire as much as they could and the Bead Fairies healed our wounds so we were able to fight on. It became clear that controlling such powerful spells was draining the Flame Master of all of his energy. However, he still battled on and his arrogance increased as did his desperation. He mocked our skills and proclaimed his magic to be the strongest in the world. The evil in his heart was controlling him and soon he himself became a raging fire. As the flames began to dance all over his body it became clear that that which he once controlled was now taking back its power and he was lost to the fire. How poetic that such an evil man should die by his own weapon!

After the death of the Flame Master the Wan Mountain and the North Sun Warriors were able to make amends and peace reigned throughout. Now in Zu Mountain there is only one clan of the Sun Warriors, they all reside in the North Temple side by side waiting to be called to action.

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