Chapter 42: How Humble!
“My God! Please stop speaking Chinese!” Saint grinned, and then his answer was the furthest possible of the question: “Some respect please! You’re should be struggling even with Vernacular Chinese, let alone Classical! Oh god! Hearing your accent makes me want to kill myself…”
Coulson stared at Saint for a moment, in awe of his reaction, and then understood that it was just Saint being Saint: “Mr. Lee, be a little more serious, please!”
“You have sense of humor… Well, of course there are secret techniques, but there aren’t too many Kame School disciples, and not too many rules. If what we are teaching is just our own observations, and not Kame School specific techniques, we are free to do so.”
“So that’s the case!” Coulson nodded: “Then, let’s assume that we’re willing to hire you as an instructor; would you be willing to train our agents?”
Saint’s face showed an evil smile, and he raised his eyebrow saying: “How much will I get paid? If it’s too low, I’m not in!”
Coulson looked at Saint who was looking back at him eagerly and answer helplessly: “We’re merely talking hypothetically here. Could you please answer my question first?”
“Well, if you can, hypothetically, afford my services, then I would hypothetically provide them…” Saint said, taking a pause, and then added pessimistically: “But, can your agents understand my instructions? Colleen and Danny Rand have both spent at least ten years laying the foundation. I don’t think SHIELD has agents of such a caliber. Perhaps, you should ask me again in ten years?”
“Uh… In fact, we want your help with laying that foundation…” Coulson said embarrassedly.
“That won’t work. I can’t help an absolute beginner get started. To do so, I would have to teach them the secret foundations of Kame School. I would end up dead!”
“Dead? Mr. Lee, you’re exaggerating; right?” Coulson narrowed his eyes.
Saint shook his head and said: “No I’m not. Agent Coulson, you’ve been working on your Chinese lately; have you ever heard of the term 清理门户 ’Cleaning out the courtyard’?
Coulson was a little disappointed, but he couldn’t argue. Knowing that he had nothing else to ask about, he simply said: “Mr. Lee, Ms. Wing, I have to go now; I need to visit ‘Rand Enterprises’. I’ll see you again soon!”
After sending Coulson away, Colleen approached Saint with a worried expression on her face, saying softly: “Saint, by just practicing Ki with you, I already feel a lot stronger. Therefore, you don’t need to teach me anything else; this is too dangerous for you!”
Hearing her, Saint smiled, slightly happy about her being so worried, and then leaned his head over to her whispering: “Don’t worry! All that ‘Cleaning up the Courtyard’ stuff is made up!”
“You sneaky bastard! I actually fell for that!” Colleen raised her voice, slapping Saint’s head gently, and then she added, still nervous: “Still, it should be forbidden. And what if SHIELD notice that I’ve learned Zanzoken, they’ll realize that you’ve lied to them!”
“Don’t worry about it so much. Even if they know, I can always just say that it’s my own technique that I’ve invented.”
“Would they believe you?”
“Does it matter? All that matter is that I would have an excuse!”
Colleen stared at Saint in silence, and then said: “Saint, you should change your manners. If you don’t, you’ll end up being killed by someone….”
“Hahaha, I can sense Ki Colleen. For now, I’m not seeing people I can’t beat. Once I do, I’ll make sure to be very polite. But for now, they could just try, and see who would get killed!”
“Thank you, I know I’m great, you really don’t have to praise me.”
Because of Coulson’s visit, Saint already had the closed sign on the door. Therefore, with so much time wasted, he just decided to have the day off, so he let Lorna and Peter go, and then went and brought a slab of glass.
He went with Colleen to the Dojo, fixing her window personally. Later, he began teaching her about the principles of Zanzoken. After hesitating for most of the noon, Colleen finally decided to begin learning. This wasn’t just because she was so lured by the power of this technique; it was also because she saw how trivial it seemed to Saint… It didn’t seem like he was teaching her a secret that’s several millennia old…
She spent the whole after noon mainly grasping the foundation and theoretical basis of the technique, just to understand that she still had a long way to go before beginning to practice it. For now, she had to further master Ki Cultivation and Release, while only simulating the technique through image training.
After dinner, Saint did not go to the quiet room as usual. Instead, he stayed at Colleen’s dojo, helping her practice for the whole night. This wasn’t only for her sake though; he was also doing this for himself. Training revolved around physicality and calmness; Saint wasn’t going to let go of such a chance to accompany Colleen, not after the “breakthroughs” their relationship had made.
Colleen was less knowledgeable than Saint in Martial Arts. She was the one who really benefited from these sessions, as his methods of cultivating Ki were improving her level at a pace she had never even dreamed of. As the two practiced, her only response to Saint’s “slippery” hands and eager eyes were a few glances. Needless to say, if he was anyone else, he would have to face the sharp edge of her Katana!
Although the relationship between the two did not change in name, but after what happened on the previous night, the intimacy between them has undoubtedly improved dramatically. Once the relationship between a man and a woman crosses a certain line, it becomes rather hard for them to come back. They already held hands, each other’s wastes, embraced each other, touched…. cough!
By midnight, Saint finished teaching everything there was to be learned about the Zanzoken. Although he did not want to leave, he found himself forced out of the Dojo by Colleen. He returned to the restaurant in dismay, greeted the awaiting Lorna as he walked through the door, and went to wash his teeth and sleep.