I was sitting in a lotus position outside on the roof. The cool breeze of the morning air on a Saturday was a refreshing feeling. My eyes were closed, my breath was steady, counting my heartbeat in a steady motion. Sitting still for the past weeks wasn’t easy, especially sitting in a lotus position, my hands placed on my lap with palms facing upwards. Even my back was unusually straight, in which helped me breath a lot deeper and stronger than I normally do.
Who knew that the change of breathing techniques and the way I sat changed the flow of air that entered into my body, giving me a whole new rejuvenating feeling. At first, I was displeased in waking up so damn early, 4 am in the morning was way too early for my taste, but Zhang had specifically told us to get up at that time.
In the beginning, everyone was reluctant to get up so early in the morning. Zhang would personally go to the comm and blast a loud blaring sound that would woke every Ouroboros in the whole building. Everyone bolted up awake, cursing at being suddenly waken up in such a way that they threw a fit. Even I was cursing up a storm later on, because I was frightened awake.
Jones and Timothy were the few that literally fell off the bed and smacked their head, while I jumped up onto my feet completely dazed. Marcus was the only one who had earplugs in his ears, and was sleeping away like a baby. Just out of spite, Timothy crawled his way over and pulled out the earplugs.
If the first blaring horn like sound didn’t wake us up the first time, the second and third was spaced out in intervals of ten minutes, scaring the pants out of everyone. This went on for a week, until everyone finally gave up attempting to even try to sleep through it. We would slug our tired bodies over.
Zhang was always wearing his orange type of toga like clothes with orange pants. In which case supposedly it’s his traditional clothes that he always seem to wear. I don’t know how he was exempt from wearing the ugly piece of gray clothes, but he somehow succeeded. Right now, he had one of his arm out on one side, showing off his nicely toned muscles, and rippling pectorals. Even his bald head seem to sparkle underneath the light, making it kind of distracting. His angular jaws, slanted eyes with slight wrinkles, all pointed to his age being around his mid thirties.
His posture was straight, peaceful, and almost inviting. It wasn’t proud like Marcus, but the power behind his walk and demeanor could be felt from his posture. He wasn’t someone to trifle with and majority of the people knew this, better yet, they felt it.
At first the meditation in the morning was difficult, trying not to fall asleep sitting was difficult. Zheng would smack us numerous times with a willow branch, and shout at us with his broken english. If anyone got up and tried to punch the shit out of him, Zheng would flip them under three seconds and make whoever it is look like a complete fool. Especially to see Timothy culled by Zheng’s amazing martial art skill that shut him up, it was worth watching.
I wasn’t stupid enough to go against Zheng when he was teaching, even though it was a bit spartan-like. We all knew that Zheng wasn’t someone to mess with, though I didn’t know if Marcus or Zheng was better. I hope one day, I could see them both sparring against each other.
“Breath in slow. Keep your mind focused.” Zheng said in short staccato like voice. “Do not let your mind wander out too far. Breathe out.” All of a sudden a loud smack could be heard, followed by a yelp.
“Do not fall asleep.” His lesson was a reminder for us that he was paying attention to our posture, breathing, and our whole flow of energy. “This is not nap time. You must dive into yourself to find a piece of yourself.”
Sometimes, his words were strange, I wasn’t sure what exactly he meant by finding a piece of myself, instead all I had was the constant nagging thoughts that seem to persist like an annoying parrot. If that what he means by finding myself, than I for sure succeeded.
“What kind of bullshit are you spouting? Finding a piece of our- ouch!” Timothy yelled out in pain, this was his second time getting whipped in one day.
“It’s for you to find out. Now, quiet your mind and sit up straight!”
“I’ll give you a piece of my mind,” grumbled Timothy. Another lightning strike to his shoulder could be heard. “Ow! What the hell man!”
“Grumble less. Meditate more.”
Timothy threw in a couple more curses. The broken silence from Timothy was no more, instead the usually sound of the busy street life could be heard increasing in volume around me.
“Listen to the wind, the sound of the city life. Listen and let your mind be empty.” Zheng voice was soothing like a hypnotising metronome. “The energy that flows in the world also flows in yourself. It is a feeling of emptiness and whole.”
Once again, a contradiction in himself that confused me. A energy that flows in the world and myself? An emptiness and a whole? What? Was he talking about the gold energy that I been unconsciously summoning up without my own free will? If that’s what he’s talking about, I might understand, but still….it was something I didn’t fully understand.
“Less thinking.” Zheng tapped me on my shoulders. I flinched from the sudden tap, causing me to lose my train of thought. “It is better felt to understand.”
Once again, doesn’t make any sense. How come gurus makes thing sound so complicated? It’s like saying the sun is bright, but more in a scientific way, adding unnecessary detail that could be useful in some other way. Wouldn’t a simple answer be just as more direct?
“As you listen to the world, bring back your focus to your body.” Zheng’s steps were barely audible that he seems more like he as floating on air. “Find the places in your muscles that are tight and relax them. Too much tension will deter your mind in unnecessary places. Breathe in. Breathe out.”
For some reason, when he said that it reminded me of a yoga class that I saw on the T.V in the fitness channel. They were doing stretches and breath control, but compare to what we were doing it was slightly different.
“If a loud noise or when someone hits you distracts you and breaks your concentration.” Zhang snapped his hand forward, smacking Timothy by the head.
“Ow!” Timothy yelled out in pain, covering his head in the attempts to ease the pain.
“It means that you are meditating incorrectly.” Zheng replied with a frown. He tapped his stick in his hand. “Meditation can be done anywhere and everywhere. The loudest, busiest city can become the most tranquil and quietest place. If you can focus in on yourself, quiet your mind, and become aware of your surroundings, you will have achieved the first level of meditation.”
I felt a stinging pain on the side of my shoulders, causing me to jump and yelp in complete surprise. I didn’t even feel his presence even walk up behind me to smack me so suddenly in one hit. This man seriously has a gait and presence like a cat. Coming one moment, striking, and skittering away back into the darkness.
Ugh, this is a pain in the ass. Time flew by painfully slow, the first hour, second hour, and eventually to the third, until I felt like I was able to zone in around myself and around me. Slowly but surely, I was able to enjoy the light breeze, the beeping sound of the cars that was becoming less audible, and the gentle beating of my heart, keeping in a steady pace. What was even more surprising was that I felt a bit of Zheng’s presence, walking quietly like a cat in between the large number of students.
My range of feeling wasn’t far, but I could sense a good distance away from me. I knew they were a total of forty-five people up here at the same time, but I only could sense about ten around me. Every hour, I thought I could feel the proximity of what I could sense growing bigger. Even my hunger was strangely being quelled in the back of my mind.
I didn’t know how long it took, but I felt a soft stir in my belly button that I haven’t noticed before. It was calming and gentle like the sunlight, the swirl of energy spiraled in a continuous motion as if a snake was eating itself in an infinite cycle.
It was then I felt as if an epiphany had struck me down. Was this what Zheng was talking about? A part of myself? I could feel the flow of energy slowly, but surely creep from the base of my stomach and go outwards on all directions. It was a warm creeping feeling that made my body feel warm and alive, I could even feel it at the tip of my fingers, starting to vibrate with energy that I had never felt before.
When the energy creeped up into my neck, and up into the top of my head, I felt a rush of tingling feeling that shot down my spine, causing me to shudder. What the heck was that? Without realizing it, I opened my eyes and gaze down at my hands. A soft glow of gold covered each hand in a blazing fire like energy that swayed with vigor.
“Good.” Zheng spoke with a nod. “You have unlocked your first step.” He had the willow stick behind his back, while he look down towards my hand.
“I did?” I know it was a stupid question to ask, but I was a bit confused. The worst thing was that the blaze of gold was starting to simmer out into a paper thin energy that barely flickered at all. Any minute now, I believed that the gold energy would disappear, and I didn’t want that.
“Yes. The color of energy tells you how far advance you are into your advancement in your spiritual path.”
I gazed back down at my hands, trying to will it back to its goldish fire, but for some reason it wasn’t happening the way I wanted to. Instead, it was doing this weird puffing, similar to the sparks that reminded me of cartoonish farting, making me scowl. Then it struck me in what he said, “Wait, you can see energy too?”
“It’s normal.” He replied, waving his hand as if it was not even a big deal. I cocked my head in complete surprise at what he said. How was seeing energy normal? Out of the first 98 Ouroboros nobody was able to see energy except me, and now Zheng was saying he could as well.
“People can see energy when they become better.” Zheng tapped his finger on the willow stick. “Remember this, they are over 88,000 chi points with the body. You can say that chi is another word for energy. To simplify for beginners, they are seven basics ones that goes up and down the spine.”
I suddenly felt a weird shiver that ran up and down my spine as if I got shocked by electricity. The feeling was strange, and I didn’t want to go through that again.
“The first is the root chi found at the base of your spine, or your spine, which the color is red. Red signifies the primal instinct and need of man. The area where man and woman conjoin to share the sacred energy to become one.” He tapped at the base of my spine, near my tailbone. Then his rod went upwards my back. ”Second is the sacral chi found at your navel, which the color is orange. This area is where our vast energy are stored and transferred. Third is located at the solar plexus a couple inches above your second, which the color is yellow. The fourth is located at your heart, which the color is green.”
It was weird being used as a reference of where each chi points were. I kind of felt like a dummy reference for the whole class, even though he was mostly talking to me.
“The fifth is located at your throat, the color is blue. Remember this, sound has color and energy. How you use the energy, you are able to draw or push away the attention. The sixth is located at your third eye, in between both your eyes. This is why we are able to see the demon before us.” His willow stick eventually rested up in between my eyes.
Surprisingly, his english was getting smoother and a lot easier to understand as he explained in more depth. I believe Zheng is the type of guy, who gets better when he’s explaining in long sentences than short.
“Our third eye awakens to see the truth of this world. Normal who are normal do not have this area opened. The final is the crown on top of your head, the color is indigo. This is where we receive our message from a higher being. With that being said, there are three distinct colors that stands out among man. The first is the color white, or you can say the absence of color. When you see this color on a being, it would at first seem like a bright sunny light that dazzles around the being. In which case you are meeting a pure, untainted soul. A child can have it and even an adult.”
I was surprised that an adult can have a pure soul, especially in this dark world called Earth.
“Black is the mixture between all the colors for there is no true black. Tainted and corrupted from the mentality of humanity’s greed, hatred, jealous, lust, and the basis of human emotions mixes these color into what we see as black. The reason why, we see demons also with the color red, is because of the carnal desires of one’s own wants and needs. Remember this, just as black can be purged of its colors and become white, so can the opposite be true.”
“Isn’t yellow and gold basically the same?” I couldn’t help but ask.
“No. Did you not listen? Yellow chi is located around your solar area.”
“Yes, I did though I thought yellow and gold were usually the same color.”
Zheng sighed. “No, the color of gold is different, borderlining in between pure yellow and a metallic yellow. Gold represents a higher spiritual mind, rarely seen in normals. You are blessed, you will go far in your study of energies.”
I thought over what he had said, it was quite a lot of information to down in my head, but I was starting to slowly understand why each person that I have met had different colors of energy around them.
“You can say each person has their own personal energy signature that they are comfortable in, even nature has similar color traits and emotions as the chis.”
“Wait, chi’s have traits and emotions?”
Zheng lips curled upwards. “You’ll know later. Now back to meditation!” He snapped.
All I could do was sigh, and focus back on the task at hand. This damn cryptical bald monk and his mysteriousness. Why can’t they just give a simple and straight answer? Was it hard to ask? My only thought was that Zheng just likes to give half explain answers and leaves the rest for me to find out. All I could do was moan, groan, bitch a little, and go back to meditating, trying to find the question to his answer.
Days quickly passed by the repetitive cycle of training, meditating, and resting until finally the day has come. It was like any other sunny day, I was eating my usual Frosted Flakes Cereal in the morning, half awake and slugging my tired and aching body up for my usual routine.
Timothy and Jones wasn’t even looking as great as well, they weren’t morning person like Simon and Crystal who seem unusually chirpy. I wonder how they do it, it’s just really not for me to be fully awake so early in the morning.
“Rise and shine ladies.” Marcus comes over, slams his hand on the table with a gleeful expression on his face.
I jump from the sudden loud sound, jolting me half awake. A large frown plastered on my face at the sudden unexpected loud booming voice from Marcus that I couldn’t help but give him a glare. He didn’t even care that I glared and rubbed it off as if it wasn’t his problem.
“I got a treat for all of you today.”
“Oh god. Please no.” Timothy groaned. He had his head in between his hand with his eyes partially open. “Not today.” With a whine, he slouched even further.
“Don’t get your panties in a bunch, we have our first mission.”
“First mission?” Jones asked stupefied in what he was hearing. “You were actually serious about demon hunting? I thought you were saying it as a joke. You know hahahah?”
“Why would I joke about this?” Marcus asked, looking at Jones funny.
“He just doesn’t want to go demon hunting just as much as I do, right now. I want to go back to sleep.” Timothy droned, his head was propped with one hand ready to slip off any minute now.
“Oh for pete’s sake, it’s ten in the morning. It’s not like we’re waking up at four like the other days.” Crystal rolled her eyes at the exaggeration that Timothy was giving. “Plus, it’s good for you to start your day early and refreshed.”
“I concur with that thought. Today is Sunday, this is my sleeping time. I don’t even know why I am still awake.” Timothy wasn’t pleased at Crystal words. “I been up all night finishing my project and I only had four hours of rest. You dragged me out here so early in the morning for no reason at all.” His head slipped out of his hand, and fell forward. With a bang, his head slammed onto the table as he stay down unmoving.
“It’s no time to rest. We have to leave in the next hour,” said Marcus.
“In the next hour? Where are we heading?” asked Simon. He had a sip of his morning coffee, listening in on Marcus with interest.
“We’ll be heading towards China Town.”
“Apparently in one of the buildings, there is a demon infestation.”
“It’s not rats, is it?” Jones asked with a frown. “I don’t want to get poisoned, you know.”
“No, it’s cat problems.”
“Why don’t they just call animal control? I don’t like killing cats.”
Cats? I didn’t think that cats would be the next target for demon infestation. I honestly thought demon’s would stay away from cats from all that superstition about cat’s being able to see demons or spirits. Plus, seeing a cat being possessed didn’t sound to well with me. I actually liked cats, and thinking about going after them to hunt them down wasn’t something that I wanted to do.
Marcus drummed his fingers on the table, “No, I said it’s a demon infestation.”
“How do you know? It could just be an horder that collects multiple cats in their homes.”
Shaking his head, Marcus gave out a grunt. “The past owner wasn’t just a hoarder, she played with black magic and summoned a damn demon cat into existence. There already has been over ten cases of mauled humans who have died around the vicinity.”
“So, you’re saying just because ten people died in one area it’s all because of a cat demon? That doesn’t sound quite demon like to me. It could be a serial killer you know.”
“It’s not. Demon also leaves a trace of their energy behind when they kill, I have seen a bit of their work, and it’s not pretty. No human will kill their prey like what I have seen. Also, it seems the cats only like to target young males.”
“Why?” Simon asked with curiosity.
“Apparently, the owner casted a love spell that backfired on her. She died the next day, while the cat demon went around creating havoc by killing the man she supposed had a secret obession with. The cat’s target is around the early mid twenties, brown haired, fair skin latino male around the height of 5 feet 11 inches.”
We all glanced towards Timothy automatically without a second thought.
“What?” Timothy look up from the table half awake. “Why are you staring at me?”
Simon hand patted Timothy on his shoulders. “Thanks for being our bait.”
“What are you talking about?”
“He’s saying you’re our live bait.” Crystal had a mischievous smile plastered on her face.
“A live bait? Me?”
“Yes, you. Who else?”
“I don’t understand where we are going with this.” Timothy was still half asleep to process all this information.
“It’s really simple really. You’re going to be our stand in, so our cat demon friend could maul you alive.”
“What?!” Timothy bolted up awake. His eyes became wide, while he gazed at Crystal and then towards Marcus, hoping that he wasn’t hearing things.
“She’s right. Your our perfect stand in.” Marcus shook his head in agreement. I suddenly felt bad for Timothy. Even though he was a douche bag at times, he wasn’t a bad guy. Yes, he has his moments that irritate even me, but that didn’t mean I would throw him to the wolves. Maybe Jones or Crystal would, but I rarely got the butt end of his jokes and pranks that he likes to pull.
“This is bullshit. Take someone else!” Timothy threw out his hand in annoyance at what he was being dragged into. “I’m not going!”
“You got to go. Higher up orders.” Marcus replied.
“Screw them. I’m not going to get myself mauled!”
“You’re going to have your toys revoked for five years.”
“What?! That’s not fair!”
“You were specifically mention to take part in this operation.”
“No buts. You’re going.” Marcus said sternly, he wasn’t going to hear no for an answer.
Timothy scowled. “Then I get another new toy when this is all over.”
“We’ll see about that.”
“No. I get the latest technology that I been wanting to try or the deal is off.” Timothy crossed his arm in front of him, pouting like a child.
“You have no say in this. Now let’s go and get ready.” Marcus got up and started to head out the doors.
“That’s not fair!”
“Life’s not fair.” Crystal replied. She too got up to follow.
Simon patted his back once again, Timothy frowned and grumbled. We all got up to get ready to begin on our mission that we were all getting ready for till this day. I hoped and prayed that nothing would go wrong, but I knew that was just plain out denial on my half.