After his shower Kade took some time to burn incense and meditate to ease his mind since the steam and hot shower didn’t seem to do the trick. His wet hair hung on him like black tendrils against his bare chest cool against his skin. Keeping a lotus potion with his hands clasped together lightly resting in his lap slightly cupped. Every breath was intentional until it wasn’t. His mind was clear for a moment until he saw the smiling face of Jo-Jo, Anna, Callista, and even Jorge and the kind woman named Nacht. They were welcoming and warm until they crumpled like shredded paper being blown away in the wind.
Death was natural. It happened. In normal society it wasn’t grasped onto so easily from what he discovered. His memories began to flood in almost to remind him why this life of peace and freedom may be impossible. The memories of watching funerals of innocent people who he either had a hand in killing or those he just couldn’t save haunted him now. It hadn’t before. Opening himself up to new sensations and new life was proving to be difficult. There was always collarteral damage when you fight such things as he has fought. The order was also moving away from their prime mission from when he was a child. New leadership has a way of doing that.
NO! Kade stopped himself and opened his eyes. It was going to be a restless night. He stood up stretching his legs realizing that from the pins and needles feel that he’d been in that position much too long. After the blood rushed back in and the uncomfortable feeling began to leave he could still smell the lavender incense he was trying to use to calm himself. Perhaps lemongrass dipped next time? It didn’t matter now, he was awake and there was nothing he could do about it.
Maybe a book? Kade went to the false wall near his bed where he pulled out his chest and grabbed a volume of a unlabeled book. Opening it the writing was in Japanese. Many of his books had different languages, some even fey in nature and vampire. This book was more about the oni; wicked souls turned into nasty demons that do despicable things to humans. This was in his old world however. This realm will have different rules; which was obvious by just what he had seen. The lore seemed to stay the same, though admittedly he wasn’t here looking. Kade was one to just stay up on his knowledge to recognize those around him.
As he read through a chapter of the book his naked body was being cooled by the drops of water falling from his hair with the air flow in his room. I looked over at the chest to see his Apok mask, he stared for a long while contemplating to put it on.
No. He shook his head free of the thoughts saving his page and closing the book putting it back into the chest, closing and locking it before stowing it back behind the false wall.
The light of the rising sun began to crest as he sat on his bed for what was the remainder of the time. Looking at the beams of light just starting break through the plastic blinds, it was a good time to train, he thought to himself. Getting up he dressed in a gray tank top with his athletic shoes and loose fitting kung fu pants. Grabbing a bottle of water and hand towel he grabbed a small bag and went to the roof.
On the roof top he looked around at the different areas with the vents, generators, and even the girded water tower for the building. This was a good place. The air wasn’t too frigid as he stood there looking at the dawning day. Kade set down his things looking out at the city and the landscape before him being covered in hues of yellowish orange. He closed his eyes feeling the warmth of the sun as it rose taking in the quite…well, quite for the Red Light District. Yes. This was what he needed. He tied his hair back in a loose ponytail and a serious gaze covered his face. Training isn’t a game, it is life or death. He whispered to himself, “I do not train for vanity or ego. I train so I may help those live another day without fear…” he paused the next part was new; an addition he put on to the end, “So they may live free and in peace.”
With every workout it was similar, starting out with warming up with his calisthenics; push up, dips, squats, animal crawls, pull ups, body flow motions, handstand push ups, sit ups, upside down sit ups, bridging, dive bomber push ups, and shadow fighting.
Shadow fighting displayed with a flourishes of kicks, punches, movements mimicking throws, footwork, knees, elbows, and even jumping techniques. From there he grabbed a pair of scimitars from his bag and began to twirl each one faster and faster until they were just a blur of steel moving with interesting spins along with intentional motions for attacking and defending. Kade did this with a retractable staff, escrima sticks, hand bo and jo staff. Bring his knives up with him as well to train with each of them through drawing and moving with every attack.
Kade spent around 3 hours doing just that perfecting his posture, positioning, and placement with everything he did. He chose to move on putting things away taking a small break to drink some water and take off his now soak tank top. He knelt down near his bag wiping himself with his towel and looking at a fully realized morning of the city of Consequence. He took another moment among the car horns and sounds of the people, some not so pleasant, moving around to just take in the sounds and the smells of the cars exhaust mingled with local bakeries, restaurants, and even street vendors. Some would be disgusted at this smell and noise. Kade was at peace. This was a pleasant sight and even smell and feel of the warming air. He looked back at the obsitcle coarse looking roof top and decided to finish off with something a little more fun.
Kade rushed around the roof top like a child smiling bounding over obsticles, swinging from girders, and flipping off ledges. The vaults and jumps were practical, the acrobatics were just…FUN! Kade lost himself for over 2 hours doing this until he had to stop and finish the refreshing slightly warmer bottle of water.
Kade sat in the shade the water tower gave leaning against one of the beams putting his head back. Rest…finally. With all the ruckus below one would wonder how this could give him peace. His only answer to that would be, “It just does.”
Kade nearly missed the door opening as he sat back. Peeking one eye open, he saw the cute little face and curly brown hair of Lilynn, Classita and Jorge’s little girl. She was holding her dingy teddy bear tightly as she stood at the opening of the roof door staring at him. Sitting up Kade smiled at the little girl who looked frightened just standing there. “Hello. Am I in your spot?” Kade said looking around at the area. She shook her head slowly standing still. “Okay, because if you need it I’ll be happy to share it with you, if you don’t mind of course. I mean…I heard you’re the boss of the roof. Is that true?” Kade pulled his legs in putting his knees up giving her a playful look of suspicion. Again little Lilynn stood there but this time gave a small shrug. “I thought you might be the humble type. Here,” Kade moved to his bag with careful movements opening it up pulling out an orange. “If you’ll let me share your roof I’ll share my snacks with you for payment.” Kade suddenly heard the sounds of Jorge and Callista fighting down the stairs; man they were loud. Lilynn looked behind her and moved out of the doorway onto the roof and shuffled towards Kade more afraid of what was happening down on the 3rd floor than him.
Kade smiled holding out the orange. “It’s okay. I have more snacks if you don’t like oranges. I also have,” he digs into his bag pulling out a bottled water, “Something to drink.” Lilynn licked her her dry lips and moved to him reaching slowly for the bottle, then taking it quickly and moved away from him sitting at the beam across from him. Kade grinned rolling the orange to her, “Don’t forget your snack.” she grabbed and pulled it close to her still watching him soundlessly.
Kade pulled out another orange moving it around his hands with agility and skill to entertain the little girl. He balanced it on the tip of his finger with a silly face, “I don’t even know how I did that.” he says to her making her smile. He moves his finger and the orange sit suspended in the air and he looks shocked, “Whoa! That’s some light eating.” she laughed be wrinkled her nose at the joke. “No. How about, that’s some good pick me up fruit?” She giggles and shakes her head. “Wait. I have more hold on.” he moves to his bad acting as if he has more notes in his bag showing the orange was on a string the whole time.
”Hey, it’s on a string!” Lilynn said laughing at Kade.
He looked and acted so embarrassed. “Oh no…you caught me. You know my secret now. You won’t tell people I can’t make fruit float will you?” he said with a mock pleading.
“No.” she answered with a giggle.
“Thank you. Lilynn right?” He looked at her with a smile. Lilynn nods, “How did you know my name?” She said it with a funny grin.
“Your mom and dad talk about you.” He lied. He heard it many times as they would argue about her and how Jorge didn’t think she was his daughter. But she doesn’t need to know the full extent of it. She was just a child after all. At that Lilynn fiddle with her orange a bit looking sad. Part of Kade wondered if she knew he was lying.
“Are you going back to school after the summer?” Kade asked her just gauging what was happening here…for the most part he just wanted to take her mind off things. Lilynn nodded giving a sad smile. “Yeah. But I don’t have any friends. They say I smell funny and just say mean things about my hair and clothes, and about Nugget.” She held up her teddy bear showing Kade who Nugget was.
Kade smile though inside he could feel the lump in his throat begin to fester. “Can I be your friend Lilynn? I promise not to make fun of you or Nugget.”
“Pinky swear?” Lilynn put her pinky out in a hook manner. Kade promptly hooked his pinky in with hers, “Pinky swear. And if you ever need me I live in 307, okay?” she nods with a dirty little smile standing up wrapping her arms around his neck. “I’m glad I have a friend now.”
Kade was knelt down shocked for a moment, but the warmth of the child’s need for a friend was all too familiar and he hugged her back. “Me too.” He helped gently pull her away, “Let’s find your mom and dad okay?” She smiled filling his hear with warmth that he wasn’t used to. Standing her hand holding his finger as she they walked down to the third floor where he took her back to apartment 301. He could hear the parents talking, oblivious to the child who had been on the roof with someone they really didn’t know. Dangerous. “Go ahead and go in Lilynn.” Kade knew this would be easier to act out if she went in without him knocking. He held his pinky up to her and she did the same to him as she went into the apartment as he left standing in front of his door. “New day…new friend.” Kade said going into his apartment to prepare for the rest of his day.