5 Chapter Five-The Lei Tai
In Main Central, Wobbleton City's maximum prison, a few hours after the event at the park. Silver received a piece of paper slipped into his prison cell by one of the guards, underneath his cell door. He picked it up and read it and once he was done, he took a deep breath and then calmly exhaled. 'Time to leave,' he muttered to himself and in that moment his cell door flew open off its hinges as if someone had used explosives. This was suddenly picked up by the prison cameras and the sirens went off. All prison personnel geared up, first thinking it was a prison riot before they could get a perfect idea as to what was exactly happening. Silver moved within those crucial seconds. Bashing open other cell doors letting prisoners out, this created confusion. The warden and prison guards never knew the full extent of his capabilities, what was thought of as myth became a reality. Silver made his way to the prison main entrance after busting open some doors and crushing skulls with his bare hands. Stealing one of the trucks in the prison parking bay, he busted his way out smashing the entrance boom out of place and running over one of the prison guards who had shot at the truck. He broke into a burst of erratic laughter as he drove off, Silver was free.
Felix received a call from Carl that shuttered him, his father let him know that Uncle Fred had been killed. Everything Carl had told Felix went in accordance with what he later saw on the news, that Uncle Fred was tracked down and shot by a special counter-terror unit of the Union Guards. Felix had tears trickle down when no one looked. However, setting his mind on the Lei Tai, he intensively meditating emptying himself out, his training became less physical as he worked on his mind.
Felix, Money Sling and a few of his henchmen had boarded flights, for the big buzzing cosmopolitan metropolis of a city that was Feiville, where the Lei Tai took place. As per, history thousands of years ago, it was the village were the legendary General Fei was born; Feiville was situated in Eastland, it was the commercial capital of the country. It had the highest population of people and the city was littered with skyscrapers, the tallest being the Fei Tower. It was also where the Union of Nations had its headquarters and not far from the city, was the famous Dragon's Lair mountains, where ancient Daoist hermits once dwelled.
Given that it was Lei Tai season, the whole world had flocked to Feiville, security was tight, with
Union Troops and Eastland police patrolling the streets and having a twenty-four seven presence. The Lei Tai was to take place in the Red Crow Arena, a mammoth of a stadium with a seating capacity of five hundred thousand.
Felix and the rest were staying at a hotel exclusively for the fighters and their entourage and just like in the Sanshou, the Lei Tai began on the first day of the weekend and ended on the last day of the weekend.
They had arrived on the fourth day of the week, where fighters were interviewed and signed autographs. Felix was not the only new face out of the eight fighters from across the world. It was him and four others.
From the Northern Republics was the tall and large Emike Larson, she had short blonde hair and icy blue eyes synonymous with the cold of her country. Emike was pale and when in combat her skin reddened at a tinge; she was an aggressive fighter known for her tiger style. The Nordic East had Ana Nzinga, she was dark of complexion like milk with a drop of coffee. Her hair was thick, black and tied up to a ponytail, her wide eyes were dark brown tending towards black with epicanthic folds. Looking very feminine with a petite thin curvy structure of a body, Ana was deceptively fierce and a sight for eyes just like the many women from her region, she was known for her Loham Snake style. Igor Blade was the champion from The Nordic West, he was short, white with a stocky build. He had short brown hair, and greenish like eyes. His tiger style was what brought him to the Lei Tai and The United West had Kel Marr, he was black, bald, and was tall with a thin frame; crane style was his speciality. His victory over the former champion of the United West resulted in the former champion's death.
The veterans comprised of East-South Union's Bill Sterk, a tall muscular white man with a slightly greying full beard, he did not have a style to name. His survival in the past Lei Tai competitions was him losing by falling off the platform like the other returning competitors. The Sud-West Republics had Jim Stones, known for his tiger-crane style. He had an intimidating face and sharp piercing blue eyes; he was a force to be reckoned with. Last was the local Eastland reigning champion, Sun Guan, he was about Felix's height, fairly lighter of complexion with small hazel eyes, which had epicanthic folds. He had a boyish face, was beardless with thick black hair and he was a magnet to his many female fans. A practitioner of Shi San Shi as it was called in the ancient Daoist tongue, meaning thirteen postures. Its origins were from Dragon's Lair and it was said to have come from the Water School; it was the martial arts practised by General Fei and was passed down by Yu Guan (General Red Crow).
The first day of the weekend (first leg of the Lei Tai) determined who were the next four to progress to the second day of the weekend. Then the outcome on the second day of the weekend determined who the final two fighters will be on the last day of the weekend. It was simple and the battle on the last day was the conclusion to who would be crowned champion.
On that first day, Felix was feeling keen and nervous as he stepped in the Lei Tai platform exhaling and inhaling calmly a few centimetres below his abdomen. The raised platform was cylindrical and a meter and half off the ground with steps leading to the platform. The same structure as the Sanshou platforms, the distinct difference was the cheering crowd inside the stadium, it was at full capacity and the crowd's roar deafened any other sound. This made Felix feel tingling sensations as he waited for his opponent to come up the platform.
His first adversary was Bill Sterk, who marched up the steps into the platform, lifting his hands and beating his chest as he then turned towards Felix giving him an intimidating stare. The crowd warmed up to Bill, Felix was not booed, but he did not receive any significant cheer.
'Ladies! And gentlemen! We have our two gladiators ready to fight it out!' exclaimed James Jets, as his voice went around the stadium projected by a microphone. He was the event MC, a worldrenowned entertainer, James Jets paraded around the stadium, bubbly and full of energy with a face full of make-up. 'Oh, my gawwd doesn't he look handsome…um, yummy, ladies and gentlemen our usual Bill Sterk! Seems like they about to start,' he said as Felix and Bill circled each other. After a few seconds, Felix stood still, and then came the commentary, 'Our newcomer has stopped moving, oooh the suspense!' Bill made his move as he launched a front kick, which Felix dodged moving backwards. The front kick was followed by a series of rapid punches; the first and second deflected and then on the third as Felix deflected it he launched a left vertical straight punch. Aimed at Bill's chest, it made him lose his footing once on impact. He stumbled and fell, he tried to quickly get up and ended up kneeling on one knee with one hand on the ground and the other to his side as he looked at Felix in disbelief. Felix looked back with barely an ounce of emotion and the crowd including James were quiet. Not giving up easily, Bill got up grimacing as he felt the internal pain linger. He grabbed hold of his chest as he took his first step forward, the pain increased. 'Jump off you lose, continue you die,' said Felix. Bill responded with a wry smile and then kept silent. Felix felt a bit hesitant to make the final blow, and then muttering 'fuck it,' he dashed towards Bill. Using his reach and pumped on his last bit of adrenaline, Bill launched a front kick knocking the wind out of Felix who stepped back, grimacing for a split second feeling the pain and he stepped forward again. Then came Bill's roundhouse kick aimed at Felix's head. Felix raised his arm blocking and deflecting the kick as his front leg and body were at a forty-five-degree angle. Simultaneously his other hand moved and like a cannon (as Felix sunk his body a bit low) hitting Bill on his groin. Bill let out a cry of pain as he landed on the floor grabbing his groin area and leg. The fight was over and as a sign of forfeit Bill crawled towards the steps exiting the platform.
'Ohhh nooo, my sweet Bill oh…it is okay I will nurse you! However, our winner! From…The Sud Republic is none other then Felix Sobek!' said James with added theatrics. The crowd then started to scream, 'Felix! Felix! Felix!'
'What a fight!' exclaimed Money Sling slapping Felix on his shoulder. 'That kick though…my chest I will need some massage,' said Felix who was rubbing his chest. 'Don't look at me, go to the medical bay they will help!' said Money Sling as he frowned. They were back at the hotel and Felix did indeed get a massage at the medical bay. He had made it to the second leg of the Lei Tai, it was just two more fights and then he would be crowned champion. Felix thought of Uncle Fred and then he remembered the promise he had made to his mother to bring him back to the ground.
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The remaining fighters were Emike, Felix, Ana and Sun, Felix's next fight was against Ana who had easily crushed her adversary Jim Stones. Emike had literally torn the arm off, of her adversary on the first leg using her bare hands, a testament of the brute force of her tiger style, her next opponent was none other than the remaining veteran and reigning champion, Sun. His fight on the first leg was short, with a powerful snapping side kick he had Kel Marr land flat on his back out of the Lei Tai platform.
The first fight of the next day was what everybody considered the de facto main event of the day, Sun Guan against Emike. 'Oooooh our handsome Sun look at him, hmmm would not mind him teaching me that Shi San Shi form of his…Awwh and there our hideo…I mean ferocious she male…manly!' as James entertained the crowd, Emike replied to him by displaying her middle finger and he continued, nonetheless.
Both fighters greeted each other with martial yinyang gestures bowing their heads slightly and the fight begun. Casting a sneering look at Sun after the greeting, Emike exclaimed, 'Little man I am gonna fuck you up!' Sun immediately replied with a blank facial expression, 'Your brute strength is no match for my internal strength, bring it!' Smirking Emike charged for Sun and the crowd went crazy, she grabbed both of his hands and Sun looked up as she towered over him. Looking relaxed as Emike held his hands firmly by the wrists, he immediately pivoted his wrists up as he felt a sudden internal current come to birth flowing from his feet, surging up and out his body. It went in and out Emike's body. As it went in her body she suddenly shook and was projected up in the air. Once it left her body she was out of the Lei Tai platform landing flat on her back. She looked shocked struggling to get up and panting with bewilderment. 'And the winner is SUN!!!!' exclaimed James as the crowd roared.
Up next was Felix and Ana; Felix was enchanted by her looks prior, as he peered at her fighting, focusing as much as he could he knew any form of softening towards the siren Ana would be his defeat. Once they greeted each other the fight begun in that instant, Ana was coiling and springing out like a snake. Her blows aimed at vital areas like the eyes. Moving quickly with the fingers of her hand, held together and the thumbs tucked in, looking like the head of a snake. Managing to grab her as she mistakenly stepped forward and was double weighted, Felix tossed her from his back. She broke the fall rolling up and turned to launch her next attack. Felix had enough, he deflected her attack with his one hand as the other one simultaneously struck her abdomen. Stopping her in a sudden as she knelt grimacing and groaning. Felix grabbed her ponytail pulling her to face him, 'You give up!' he barked. Tears trickled down her eyes as she muttered, 'Yes.' The fight was over, she struggled to walk out the platform and was assisted by medics that came in. The crowd had mixed emotions some cheering, some silent, 'Oooh this fella is cold! The winner is Felix! Would not mind that piece of candy!' commented James with his usual theatrics.
Felix forced a smile with an uncomfortable look on his face at James' words.
'Kid, rest well tomorrow is the big one!' said Money Sling and continued, 'Ten million Dinares…sweet Daruma that is a lot of money.' 'Yes, we going fifty-fifty don't you forget,' said Felix. 'Yea, yea kid,' chuckled Money Sling, 'can you believe this kid', he added as he looked at one of his henchmen.
Felix had not spoken to Carl, ever since the Sanshou he thought of calling his father and then rejected the idea. His mind was on the next fight and Felix knew of the Shi San Shi style. It shared many similarities to the Harmonious Fist. The difference was the Harmonious Fist favoured an offensive strategy and Shi San Shi the opposite, this distinction was only at the beginning levels of both styles.
A boisterous crowd was at sight the final day of the Lei Tai in the Red Crow Arena, with the local faithful filling most of the stadium, the name Sun Guan was heard the most. However, the Sudese from the Sud-Republic managed to get the name Felix heard. Sun Guan looked supremely confident
stepping into the platform the same time as Felix. After all, not only was he the local favourite, the name of the stadium was named after his ancestor of whom he was a direct descendant.
No time was wasted and even James was silenced as everybody watched the two gladiators go at each other. Sun struck Felix with his shoulder after Felix deflected his one punch down and he stepped forward seizing the opportunity. Felix hit the ground feeling as if his body was electrocuted, quickly standing up, he threw a jab as Sun approached, Sun dodged it but did not see Felix's sweeping leg. He tried to quickly to maintain his balance however after the sweep, Felix had immediately struck Sun's abdomen with both his palms. Sun stumbled backwards, they both stared at each other and a smirk appeared on Sun's face, 'The Harmonious Fist…ha! Just remember softness defeats hardness', he sniggered as he lifted both hands settling into a fighting posture. 'Yes, and yang is but a manifestation of yin,' replied Felix with a blank expression on his face as he charged forward. He launched a vertical straight punch feeling his energy surge like an electrical current flowing up and out his fist. Sun deflected it with his left as he internally spiralled, externally turning to the left as his waist moved and his right hand did the same coming down Felix's elbow joint. Sun's left hand-held Felix's wrist (he struck with his left hand) and Felix was kneeling a little. He relaxed before they could snap his joints and quickly slipped his left foot behind Sun's right foot tripping him backwards as Felix's launched himself up.
Sun rolled backwards and then stood upright, that is when Felix launched at him with a fly kick. Just missing Sun who dodged it. He then gave Felix a front kick pushing him close to the edge of the platform. The crowd was in suspense and Sun's arrogance got the best of him, as he launched another front kick, which Felix caught. His one foot stepped slightly to the side as he turned his body blending in with the momentum of Sun's kick and leading Sun out of the platform. Sun fell outside the platform and Felix had won. He was the champion; his supporters now dominated with their voices, while Felix was then trying to assess the aftermath walking to the centre of the platform, he lifted both hands joyfully looking at the crowd around him. 'Yes!' he yelled, his childhood dream had finally come true. Tears trickled down his cheeks as he thought of his mother and Uncle Fred.
Celebrations and fireworks marked the end of the event, and the city was ignited to party till the sun came up. Felix was back at the hotel and away from the mayhem, he was looking for Money Sling who he had lost spoken to at the hotel lobby. To his surprise, he received a call from Carl, 'Hi Felix, I am very proud of you son.' Felix felt delighted and really appreciated those words, he replied with, 'Thanks.' Carl then told him he had to go, they did not talk about anything else. Felix then thought of Uncle Fred for a few minutes as he headed to Money Sling's room.
Knocking on the door, he realised that it was already slightly open. Stepping inside he was astonished to catch the glimpse of blood on the floor. On the one side were Money Sling's henchmen lying dead and on the other side the lifeless body of Money Sling, face down with the eyes open and his tongue out touching the floor. Felix was swarmed with feelings of confusion and as he immediately made the decision to call for help. He felt an electrical zapping sensation from behind that propelled him forward into a fall as he shook uncontrollably. Suddenly, his eyes closed, and everything just went black.
Felix woke up panting and breathing heavily as he looked around, it took seconds as he thought what he last saw must have been a nightmare. Then he realised where he was currently, his legs were handcuffed and so were his hands, he could not break them, they were prison standard. He knew with experience should they sense any intent from him to free himself it would trigger the sensors of the handcuff, which would then electrocute him to a momentary paralysis. It was a very unpleasant sensation. Glancing further around, he realised he was inside a moving van used to transport prisoners. He did not know what was going on, then he remembered the dead bodies, and getting electrocuted from behind. His mind felt like exploding as he yelled, 'NOOOOO!'
Back in Wobbleton City, Silver was trying to calm down a fuming Carl Sobek, who paced up and down the pool at the mansion. 'Carl if we try anything now they will lure us out, we need to be calm!' Silver's words did not enter the ears of Carl who grunted back, 'You don't have a son, what do you know!' Silver's eyes sparked up for a split second, and Carl whom he gazed at stopped dead on his track. Carl could not move his body, only his head as he looked back stunned, 'Wha…' his words drowned as he choked. Silver walked towards him and said, 'I looked after that boy in prison…your brother knew and respected me, even your boy knows better than to act like a fool in my presence. We will save Felix but today we wait!' After that, he walked away and Carl in disbelief regained his mobility as he gasped for air. 'You bastard!' he snapped as he rubbed his throat. Silver laughed at Carl and said, 'Fred ironically said you and I would get along…on the serious, it is a revolution Carl and our enemies are outside as well as inside the movement. We need to be careful. I promise we will save Felix, as we know they are framing him as an alleged killer…we also need to clear his name.' Carl who was calm by now, fixing his red necktie said, 'Fine I agree, you just lucky my Harmonious Fist is not half as good as my brothers'.' Silver just smiled and said, 'Ah…the Sobeks…your distinct pride is surely a family trait.'