“I wish I knew more specific tales of the man who was my great, great, so-many-times-over great grandfather. Everything about him is quite mythical, which is hard at times for me to believe because he is Master Yi. Though brothers and a father surrounded him, it was he that first took a teaching roll, and first headed the school. He created… Wuju.
He made the sword form. He named it, and he fathered it on into the future. He was the Rain of the West. The Calm in the Storm, for when Lightening struck from the East, and the Wind roared in from the North… the Rain of the West still fell with the softest patter. He was undisturbed and undeterred… yet in all this bluster of poetic verse no one thought to remember his name.
Just Xī. In this tongue as I have said, he is known as West. The bane of his brothers East and North, who similarly have had their names lost to history. The title comes from the direction he traveled when his father, a man known simply as the Yi Zongshi, told him to travel the world in order to further his understanding in the philosophy that was Wuju at the time. So he went to Navori from Shon-Xan. To
Zhyun, and Kashuld, and beyond. It is somewhere in the Ionian Mainlands that he honed Wuju into what it is today, and it is in such a place and time that one of the few stories of him without his brothers is told.
West was hungry. Starving, in fact, in the wilderness. So very far from civilization. Even the Vastaya seemed to not tread in these lands… and for good reason. In his weakened state he was stalked by a terrible foe. A demon the likes of which would have terrified other men. Six arms were upon its person, and two heads stared him down. It towered over the Wuju Master of five and three immensely, but West was not ready to succumb to such a beast. He said something to it like… ‘I do believe I would first die of the rumble in my stomach than to the slobbering teeth of something as ugly as you.’ or something similar. Needless to say he would not fall without fighting first, and so it began.
Now West was never the most optimal fighter. You might think he was a genius with the blade if he was the father of modern Wuju, but it was not necessarily so. He won his fights with his mind and his awareness of his surroundings, so as the beast assaulted him he was thinking in a rush. He noticed in his hungry stupor that whenever he tried to take one arm of the best, another two would instantly set upon him. He had no opening to truly attack with his jade carved blade. He was not fast enough.
Instead of thinking of some grand plan or some sort of trap, the man’s first thought was ‘Well, I must make myself faster then. I must become more fleet of foot if I am to live.’ That is not exactly how I would have handled the situation, but it is how he did. Perhaps it was because of being in such a moment, and the blood pumping furiously through his heart, but he was able to push through his hunger and attack and dodge again and again. Most of his efforts were futile with no damage done, but as the sweat fell into his eyes, and he though it might be his last swing…
… His body said back to him, ‘Okay. You may swing faster now.’
Suddenly, when he thought he had only struck once, two of the beast’s mighty arms fell clean from its body. But he was not permitted to stop by his seizing hands near bloody about his blade. He struck a few more grazing strikes, and once again another two mighty ones came from deep in his soul. More arms fell, and with but two arms left of the creature he felt it was his time to advance. One, two, and three strikes hit just barely, but when he leapt into the air and swung his sword with all his power… two heads fell for the strike of one. The demon, now decapitated twice over, nearly fell on the exhausted man as it let go of its terrible life.
And, for West’s efforts, he got to be one of the few men who would dare to dine upon demon flesh. Raw flesh even. With his hunger quenched by meat, and his thirst somewhat quenched by blood, he took a moment to reflect on the anomaly of swordplay that had taken place. He went on to get into better circumstances, practice the technique to the point it was second nature, and he called it the Double Strike. Though he was a thinking man, he was not belong naming his techniques practically.
… I used to like this play – the story is a play as well – when I was other a place and time to perform Wuju history. It is one of the few plays where the demon got more than just a prop sword. Naturally pretending to be a six armed, two headed demon is a lot of work to dance around in, but I did not mind. I think my Master had quite the negative association with the play, however. We only ever performed it twice.
But that is at least one story of many, and one Master of many. Truly if you wish to hear more, you need only ask me.”