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[Fic] Balance [complete]

Arak Noak

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June 10, 2009

Tian Qiang, the Celestial Spear, walked a circle moving his hands through complex circular motions. The gathered in yin, negative Qi, forming it into ball and then tore the ball apart in the next step. The process repeated with yang, positive Qi, as he walked through the kata. The excercise helped him with focus and balance, assissted him in controlling the forces of Qi and thus acted as practice for the power of Taiyi, the Great Principle. Qi was an important part of life, both negative and positive Qi were required for proper healing, for health in general in fact. Qi, like the Force, bound all living beings together, it was spiritual energy and Qiang could, with effort, control it.

As he walked through the exercise he focused and meditated on his own Qi. His life had thus far been eventful and, all things working out in his favor, it would continue to be eventful. His life however was still not balanced, his life was heavy in negative Qi, his yin outweighed his yang. He strove now to maintain balance and to atone for his past so that he could balance his Qi. Part of that process had been distancing himself from the Triad, normally an event that resulted in banishment at best or death at worst. Tweaking the strands of fate he had used his magic and cunning to ensure that neither had happened. Now he was a man alone, a single scion of the Celestial Bureaucracy. A heavy grunt nearby broke through his concentration, his eyes swung outside the circle even as he maintained the kata. Huilang, the Wise Jade Chime, lay in a coiled heap nearby watching him move through the form. She looked bored, which was something one did not want a thirty foot long dragon to look like. Qiang ended the form and bowed, "You are bored?"

"I am boooored," her head rolled and regarded him upside down, "Can't we find something evil to chew on? Or maybe go play in some water? You know how I love the water! Or even just flying ... you never let me fly you anywhere." Her voice was delicate as wind chimes and resonant as a gong. She regarded him with eyes like sparking rubies.

"My dear you know that I would let you fly to your hearts content if I could. However I would be terribly saddened if the Air Force were to shoot you down. Perhaps though we can visit the reservoir and you can swim." He made it sound like a concilliatory gesture even though he had been planning for the past week to take her to the Quabbin. She smiled even as she half walked half slithered toward him, wrapping her cool body around him in an affectionate embrace. Even as she did her form began to shrink until she was small enough to coil about his arm.

"Thank you Tian," she said as her body flattened itself against his skin becoming, instead of flesh and scales, ink and skin, a tattoo that nearly covered his right arm from shoulder to hand. Qiang smiled, Huilang always called him Tian, she said it suited him more than Qiang. She claimed that he was more celestial than he was a weapon, let alone a spear. Qiang wondered if she was right, the dragon was wise in her own way and his mother had never tasked him specifically with the tasks of a warrior. As he walked to his car he mused on the balance between his warrior nature and talents with Qi and Fate Magic. He started the M3, and its engine revved to life. The tires crunched on the gravel path out of the woods and he headed west, his mind was already contemplating how to bring his life into full balance.

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The BMW crunched down the access road and pulled to a stop. Qiang could see the sunlight reflecting off the water of the reservoir as he got out of the car. He stretched, the ride was over an hour and it was nice to be able to move freely. Locking the car he walked down to the water. The tattoo on his arm writhed, Huilang could see the water and she was getting anxiously restless. Qiang smiled and focused a small portion of his power into releasing her. The dragon tattoo seemed to inflate and leap off his arm, growing once more into a great serpentine form as she leaped into the water. Qiang found a fallen tree and sat down on the horizontal trunk looking out across the water.

Some time later the surface of the water was broken by a great spout of water as Huilang broke the surface. Gliding through the air she shed water from her scales before coming down to land on the shore, her head resting on the log next to Qiang. "Tian, why do you torment yourself so? What is in the past is past, and what lies ahead cannot be seen. Well, not by you anyways, at least not yet. Still, you misunderstand the concept of balanced Qi."

Qiang ran his hand through Huilang's spun gold hair, he knew that she liked it when he did so. "I misunderstand? What is there to misunderstand, my past is filled with the yin of my criminal life, and the lives I took. And I must ..."

"You must do nothing Tian, unless you fear that your mother will damn you to the realms of the Yama Kings for killing a few rotten scions from other pantheons." Huilang's large eyes rolled in exasperation, "You cannot look at your Qi as though it is a ledger of your whole life and you must not think that your personal Qi must be balanced perfectly. You are not the sole being in the universe my dear, and you are not even of that much consequence right now. Tian, you know I am fond of you so please do not take this the wrong way, but sometimes you are still just a stupid naked monkey!"

Qiang burst out laughing, "A stupid naked monkey eh?" Huilang's copper scales darkened slightly. "I appreciate your wisdom, and perhaps you are right."

She rested a clawed hand on his leg gently, "Of course I am right, I am a mighty dragon and you are just a stupid hairless monkey. The Titans and their spawn are plenty evil to balance out all the good deeds you can manage and more, but more importantly you forget that not all Yin is evil and not all Yang is good. You would not seek to remove my Yin simply because I am female?"

Qiang nodded, "No I would not, because I think I would feel less comfortable with a male dragon roaming about on my skin as I sleep." Her eyes grew wide in surprise, "Do not think I did not know love, you are not as stealthy as you think you are." The red of her copper scales grew deeper still and Qiang smiled. He leaned over and kissed her nose, "Do not fear, I do not mind, it makes me feel safe. I will take your advice to heart, I will let my deeds be directed by what is right, regardless of the balance."

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