In the year 845 Master Po commanded me to find a wife.

He warned me that upon leaving the mountain my Tateshinkai style would be tested throughout the known world and I would be thrust into war.

“The happiness many find in the mundane will never come to you cobra, their excitement in so little is bred of ignorance. You are destined for better things, through the way of Wudan” He warned.

“You will require a females touch to prevent your heart turning to stone. War can consume anyone, even me” were his final words.

I packed my bag and walked the 44 days to the nearest village.

Upon arrival I laid my eyes upon the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.

Unfortunately I was not the only one…

As the most prized possession in town, she had gained the attention of two powerful poets, Han and Fei. Each would follow her, describing their love for her in the most beautiful of words.

They were equally skilled at debunking as they were describing, and every time either would make progress – the other would use his poetic powers to undo the others good work. These two men had followed her for over 75 years, locked in a stalemate of words, letting some of lifes most beautiful poetry be destroyed as quickly as it was built.

My way with words was nothing compared to theres, I decided to not approach her.

I spent 6 months in the village mainly meditating. Everyday I would see the beautiful girl walk, with the poets behind her, hurriedly scribbling and reciting in battle for her heart.

The 19th time she walked passed me, I knew I would never love another. I had to have her. So I returned to Wudan to consult Master Po.

I told him of my story.

“How could I possibly contest? Anything I say will be rebuttled by the powerful words of Fei and Han. I have nothing to offer her.” I asked.

“He who does not contest, can not be contested against” He replied. “I recommend you smile”.

I assumed by smile he meant to worry less about it and find somebody else. I was unsatisfied with his response.

I returned to town and sure enough the beauty walked the street being followed by the competing bachelors, producing beautiful poetry while destroying their counterparts work.

This time as she walked past me, I smiled. She nodded her head and carried on.

For the next 6 months everytime I saw her, I would smile. At first she would nod back, but after a few weeks, she would smile in return. The poets never paid attention to me. I did not contest, therefore I wasn’t contested against.

One morning as I left my lodging she was waiting for me. We packed some food and sat beneath the apple blossom. It was here that we fell in love.

We were married for nearly 700 years, she died in 1539.

Leave a Reply