Muri (Part IV)

Muki Po awakes Muri from his sleep and takes him straight to the opening field for training. His students were already there, learning and practicing. Muri barley got any sleep because he was up all night thinking about his mother. He felt guilty leaving her behind like he did. He couldn’t get her out of his head, but he knew that he did what he had to do in order to avenge his father’s death. Muri witnesses Muki’s students training and he was in awe. He instantly became hooked. The warm up, the stance, the combat, he was itching to get his training started.

Muki introduces Muri to his students.

Muki Po: “Students!! Hault!!”

The whole class stops in their tracks and bows to their master.

Muki: “This is Muri. Welcome him and show him respect.”

The class welcomes Muri and bows to him as well. The level of respect was already at a all time high for Muri, and he instantly felt welcomed.

Muri: “Um….thanks guys. I can’t wait to train with you all.”

Muki: “My son, what we do is not neccesarily training. We build ourselves. We build for dedication. We build for strength. We build for honor. No man leaves here until he’s ready to deliver that honor to his homeland. In your case, young man, you have a bigger purpose. I know that, these men know that. We’re here to help you. Here, you’re going to reach that dedication, your strength will be built up, and you’ll earn that honor. Are you ready my son?”

Muri: I’m ready Mr. Po.”

Each student trains on their own mat. A mat was set up right in the middle of the field, for Muri. Muri slowly walked towards the mat, gazing at the eyes of each student as he could see the fire inside of them. Muri finally stepped on the mat and he knew right away, he was indeed ready.

Muki: Already my sons. Stand! Stiff! Hault! Today, we must show our newest brother Muri that absolutely no one leaves here without honor. No one leaves here without the knowledge of power. True power. Knowledge of a hero. Muri, this is your day one. From here on out, you will train to gain. Gain strength, gain heart, gain honor. Are you ready Muri?

Muri: “Yes sir….”

Muki: “No, louder Muri.”

Muri: “Yes sir!”

Muki: “No, LOUDER MY SON!”

Muri: “YES SIR MR. PO!!!!”

Muki: “Remember Muri, for honor.”

Muri: “…..for father.”

Muki: “Alright, let’s begin!”

Training starts. So much technique to unravel. Muri’s already feeling it. He already loves it as well. Muri at first was having trouble keeping up with the other students Obviously, it’s his first time training. Training for anything at that. Muki shouts drills at his students. Each drill being more difficult than the other. How to strike, how to block, how to overpower your enemy, so many others. All Muri could think of was, “When am I going to hold a sword?”

Hours and hours, all drills. Muri was exhausted, while others were full of adrenaline. It’s the just first day yet Muri didn’t know if he would last long. He was already starting to have that self doubt. Muki could sense it. After a brutal 10 hour training session, Muki tells his students it’s time for dinner.

Muki: “Alright students, ENOUGH!! Time for dinner! Go eat! Except you Muri, you stay with me.”

Muri was so exhausted, he couldn’t even walk towards Muki. The students leave to go grab dinner from a nearby tent full of cooked meals while Muri stayed with Muki. Muki wasn’t too happy with Muri showing self doubt. Muki wanted to show Muri a lesson in which any kind of doubt was not acceptable on Muki’s ground. Muki walks up to Muri and picks his sluggish body up from his mat.

Muki: “Muri, we need to talk. Let me take you to my tent.”

Muki and Muri head to Muki’s secured tent. Muki’s tent was quite signficant. All there was to it was a table and bed with a bookshelf. Muki loved reading, especially about the history of great warriors and combat. They both sat down at the table and Muri reaches for a book. Muki slaps his hand, looks at him in disgust.

Muki: “Muri, no. You’re not here for that.”

The two had a stare down for a minute.

Muki: “Do you remember what I told you when you got here Muri?”

Muri: “No sir.”

Muki: “I directly told you that I know the men whose responsible for your father’s death.”

Muri was silenced by Muki’s statement.

Muki: “These men were four of my best students. Marko, Levi, Xavier, and Jin. Marko had fire. Levi had desire. Xavier had the will. Jin immediately had the skill. It was quite fascinating how these young men developed in great gladiators in such a short time. They meant business. Big business. Turns out Muri, the business they were on were more than big. It’s evil, my son. I guess from the time they’ve entered my camp, their plan was to use me. They wanted to know my tricks, my secrets, my gameplans. Muri, they went to know me. They wanted to know me, to abuse me. They wanted to take full advantage of my training. I don’t tolerate that whatsoever Muri. No one takes advantage of me. You know what’s worse about that? I assure you those bastards feel very good about themselves. They know they’re evil and guess what? They like it. Muri, those bastards killed your father and his friends.”

Muri was in absolute shock. Total silence. Muki’s words had Muri’s attention from ear to ear.

Muri: “But……….why sir??? Why his friends?? Why my father??

Muki: “Let me tell you something about your father Muri. I didn’t know the man too well, but I can sure tell you that he wanted to be the best damn gladiator our village has ever seen. He had honor, he had wisdom, he had the skill. Most importantly, he had heart. Something that I already know you have. When I heard about your father wanting to become a gladiator I wanted to offer him an opportunity to train at my camp. I sent one of my students out to him one day to deliver the invitation. Your father turned in down my son. Your father, wanted to become the best damn gladiator on his own terms. You know what? I respect that greatly my son. Not only do I respect that, I love that. Determination. That is also key. Like I said, I didn’t know him too well, but just from that rejection alone your father had gained my respect. Now, I’m sitting here next to his son. You, Muri. You can carry your father’s legacy. You can carry your father’s determination. You, my son, can carry your father’s honor. What do you say? Do you, Muri, want to be the best gladiator of all time?

There was a long silence. Muri and Muki locked eyes, all while Muri had deep thoughts going through his head. After thinking for so long, Muri had his answer.

Muri: “Can I kill the guys who killed my father?”

Muki: “My son…….let’s get to work.”

From there on out, Muki put Muri through intense training. Months have gone by, Muri is getting stronger by the day. Muri finally begins to understand the true skill of being a gladiator. He understands what it means to have the fire, the desire, the will, the skill. Muri is the youngest of the students but he’s earned all of their respect. Muri is improving tremendously. After months and months of training, Muki already knew Muri was ready. Muri was not only ready to massacre the men who killed his father, but to be the a gladiator.

One night after a long day of training, Muri was resting in his tent. Sweating profusely, heavy breathing, muscles are sore. Muki suddenly walks in with his hands behind his back, clearly hiding something.

Muri: “Yes sir?”

Muki stands there, not moving a muscle. Looks like a total statue. Muri was a little freaked out.

Muri: “Um, what’s behind your back sir? If I may ask?”

Muki: “Put your hands out, my son.”

Muki, slowly, unveils this sword from behind his back. An 8 ft sword. His own personal sword. Muri was stunned. Mouth left wide open and had no words.

Muri: “Sir…….are you sure?

Muki: “My son, you’re ready.”

Muri grips the handle of the sword, and at that exact moment he knew. Muri was ready. Muri was ready for revenge. Muri was ready, to honor his father by becoming the greatest gladiator of all time.