It came at a bad time. Then again perhaps there was no such thing as a good time he thought to himself.

Second sight was like that, uncontrolled and perhaps uncontrollable though as a Master of Sinanju he hesitated saying that. At this particular time though, while still in mourning over the death of his son? It seemed unfair. He had been forced to come out of retirement to not only take over as Reigning Master but to take over the training of his grandson. He found himself contemplating mysteries that never bothered him before. Then in the midst of it all, he had the vision. It came more clearly than they used to, perhaps due to the clouding of his physical eyes with onset of age. At first he thought the vision was that of a tiger, an ancient sign of prophecy in Sinanju. As it came more clear he saw that it was not a tiger, but a jaguar, the great cat of the barbarian jungles to the far west. Then he heard the jaguar speak in a tongue not heard to Sinanju in almost 2,000 years. From the void the jaguar voice told him of ba’ch’ok k’inich, the sun-eyed prince of the jaguar tz’am, the jaguar throne who would come to him from chik’in, the west. The prince would come, the voice said, and Sinanju would benefit, as would the entire world for the jaguar prince would was destined to restore the jaguar throne to what it once was. So Master Hwa sent his grandson and pupil on a voyage that would last many days, and came himself to the rocky promontory at the edge of the tiny Korean bay. There he faced the west, where he believed the prince to be coming from, and waited for he knew not when the vision would come to pass. It was not long before he heard a sound coming in from the bay, from a direction he wasn’t expecting. It was the sound of a boat sliding through the water, a near-silent

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of the great Kodiak 2 . Dimly he could make out the man climbing out of the umiak. When the man stepped forward the villagers gasped and stepped back. The wind shifted. a giant of a man clad all in furs and sealskins. startled by the size of the visitor who stood at least a full head taller than anyone in the village. Swiftly the craft sped through the frigid water. As it approached even closer Hwa could hear the breathing of the craft’s sole occupant. and even at this distance the Master could catch the scent of seal. which stopped when the giant spoke “Is this the village of Sinanju?” in Korean that strangely enough the Master realized carried the accent of one of the southern provinces. making note of the strange craft in a place where few visitors ever came. Surely this was no ordinary man who approached. a slow and steady rhythm and not the rapid. a seal skin boat from the far north.” monster”. the Master recognized it as an umiak. By this time several of the villagers had appeared. Hwa thought to himself. It was not something he ever expected to see this far from the waters of the Aleut. Finally Hwa was able to see the craft coming out of the morning fog and reaching the shore. stopping just past the high tide mark.hiss that any ears but his own would have missed. The Master could hear the murmured whisperings of “giant”. murmurings. then pulled a small bag from its place of storage. the sound of its paddles almost perfectly in time with the breaking of the surf. The man stowed his paddle in the craft. The man pulled his tiny boat up the shore. From its motion and sound. and “barbarian”. shallow gasping he expected in the frigid air of a Korean winter. As it approached closer he could separate the sound of a double-ended paddle as it dipped ends alternately into the water to propel the tiny boat forward. nor could the Master understand how it could be connected with his vision.

” Well over six feet tall. and often acted as their spokesman. “Is this the village of Sinanju?” Tremulously. only to jump back when the giant spoke once more. 3 . “I have spent many years learning many different languages. Where were the scents of the southern jungles. looking up at the giant standing before him. he approached the stranger.” With that.bear. Pak had traveled further than most of his fellow villagers.” Replied the Master. a part-time fisherman named Pak asked. of the great cats he had been expecting? Slowly the bravest of the cowardly villagers approached. but a ruler of lesser men. swayed by the voice that even the Master could recognize as the voice of a ruler of men. “Well. the man still appeared to be in that awkward period of time between being considered a youth and being a man. “Who are you that asks of Sinanju. Not his ruler of course. the stranger replied “Greetings. the villager approached once more. Stepping down from the promontory and covering the distance to the beach in a few seconds.” asked Master Hwa. and of whale blubber. “I am from America” the giant replied. Master Hwa while still confused. Performing a kyeongre bow with a greater deal of respect than Pak deserved. at least you are not white. I have come to seek audience with the Master of Sinanju. The villagers all stepped back to make a path for him. and where do you come from?” the villager. realized that this must be the one to whom his vision had led. “Who are you that speaks Korean like a native? You are clearly not Korean.

Also. “but I do not take contracts from children. you imbecile.” replied the Master. Sinanju does not teach one to fight. “Get on with it. can’t you see I am busy?” Replied the Master. For a long time I thought you were but a legend. I have heard that Sinanju is the Sun Source of the Martial Arts. but Sinanju is no "martial art".” “Well.” “I am sorry. Children are notorious for not paying on time.” “Of course I am a legend. “Master. the youth stammered. And for paying poorly. and that you are the greatest in the world. Besides. I did not come here to hire you to assassinate any one. With a sigh the old man answered. no master has ever taught the skills of Sinanju to an 4 . it teaches one to fully live. but I have come a great distance to meet with you. the youth hesitated for a second. “Yes. Am I not the master of Sinanju?” Momentarily taken back by the unexpected rudeness. I have always heard that the Jaguar Empire had their own assassins. “I am sorry to be disturbing you Master. Sinanju is the greatest in the world and I am the greatest of Sinanju. but to ask you teach me your skills. who appeared to the boy to be doing nothing but standing by the frigid bay. that is partially true. revealing a shock of deep bronze hair.” Again confused by the Master’s words.Am I addressing the Master of Sinanju?” again asked the youth. And again I ask you who are you to be addressing me?” “Master” replied the youth pulling back the furred hood of his sealskin parka. yes you are. “I have traveled very far and searched for a long time to find you. and skin dark as though bronzed by tropical suns. yes.

perhaps thinking that this was a type of test.” With a sigh. 5 . He showed not the least bit of discomfort in the bitter cold. “I am 17. Go seek one of the Ninja. It is beyond that I wish to learn. One hour passed. or like cords under his skin they stood out. And as I said before. and though he felt the bitter cold he stood almost as motionless as the Master.” With that the Master turned away from him. Like steel bands. “Too old. The youth’s deep bronze chest was open to the winds. rhythmic rise and fall of chest revealed him to be a living being. heard it slow to a pace that was almost not a pace. Someday. the youth thought to himself. The Master stood as still as rock. The Master listened for the heartbeat he could not see. as westerners measured time. I will not teach you. The youth appeared to be a statue carved from bronze. I am in mourning for the loss of my son. Master Hwa himself realized that this was a man of far greater strength than he had seen in his life. to once again stand like a statue in the sub-zero Korean winter. the Master turned back and peered closely at the youth with eyes that the youth could see were growing filmy with cataracts. I am too busy. and only the very slow.outsider. Not even breathing was evident. “My most humble apologies Master. I will be able to help him. or those Shaolin thieves to teach you how to break boards.” the boy replied. The youth. but I long ago learned how to break boards. Those few villagers who remained aahhed at the muscles revealed. “How old are you boy?” asked Master Hwa. removed his sealskin parka and sealskin trousers to reveal long silk shorts. Two hours passed.

the night into dawn. Before he could fall. the Master was there. and carefully tended a fire in the small hut. he instructed the woman to bring tea. and the slight warmth of the Korean sun faded. The Master stood exactly as before. Still. with strength unbelievable in such a small frame. he laid the youth on a straw mat. he did nothing. said nothing. There. only the glitter in his almost sightless eyes showing the existence of life. The dawn turned into the full light of day. the master carried the youth who was more than twice his size from the bay back to the village. one that would never have been noticed by ordinary men. 6 . It started with a slight tremor in his fingers. and as the sun reached it’s zenith the bronze youth showed his first signs of movement. but this time no amount of concentration on his part could prevent the tremor from spreading through his hands. black and cold as the emptiness of space. The evening turned into full night. Calling one of the villagers. But Master Hwa was no ordinary man. He awoke with a start. the Master did not move. pushed beyond the limits of normal human endurance. giving no evidence he was aware of that he was awake. but lay there. then into his full body. and a bowl of rice. while the master sat in silence. The day once again turned into evening. the warmth of the fire and the aroma of the rice and tea revived the youth.More time passed. Still. the bronze youth started to collapse. into his arms. Then. Reaching his limit. Eventually. and he saw it with eyes that went beyond normal sight. This she did. The tremor in the bronze youth’s finger started once again. The evening turned into full night. catching the boy in less than the blink of eye.

At that point anther person came into the hut. the Master looked at the youth and said “Nothing. An unusual American indeed.” “White?” answered the bronze youth. A growing child needs proper nourishment to reach adulthood. you also wake to full awareness rather than that half-dead state most men think of as awake. and are filthy beyond imagining! Who knows what disgusting habits they bring?” “Young Nuihc.” For a moment the Master was silent. a young Korean even smaller than the Master. many times have I advised you to be more tolerant of nonKoreans. “I heard from the villagers that a giant had attacked the village! Then when I arrived.” And with that he slapped the younger man on the side of the head in a move the bronze youth could barely even see. Apparently it is not yet time. just an ancient prophecy that I hoped was being fulfilled.” But what does that have to do with anything?” Sighing. “While less noisy than most. my student? Protect your elderly grandfather?” “Master.” The Master smiled as the youth drank his tea with just the right amount of respect. “Are you sure you are not white? There was a period of time out on the bay that your heart slowed almost to stopping. And he ate with chopsticks. “Master!” he cried. Now it is time for you to drink your tea and eat your rice.“Do not pretend. They cannot all be as fortunate as we and we must make allowances for their frailties.” said the Master at once. With a start Nuihc 7 . Unlike most. And do not be rude to our guest. I heard that he was an American!” “And you thought to do what. and with the proper manners. your breathing still gives you away. he thought to himself. “I am an American. I have heard that Americans practice all kinds of disgusting habits.

The youth made no attempt at a return blow. why should I greet this American or treat him with honor?” asked Nuihc. Nuihc just stared at the hand. his oversized and swollen body! And his smell! I could smell him long before I could see even him!” Again the Master slapped at his student. and was so amazed. oh most unworthy of students. who was just now getting to his feet. He knew he had not been attacked. this time stinging him to the point of almost bringing him to his knees. “Tell me Grandfather. with his big ungainly feet. making no move to grasp it as even he knew was the standard American way of greeting.realized that the American had seen the slap. “DO NOT EMBARRASS ME FURTHER!” spoke Master Hwa sharply. a sonnal mok anchigi that he knew would not be fatal even if it connected. holding his hand forward. ignoring the young American. just a momentary twitch from a blow he saw would not connect. “I greet the student of the Great Master of Sinanju. Only the massive willpower of a full student of Sinanju kept Nuihc from embarrassing himself in front of one he considered his inferior.” said the American.” The Master then threw a knife hand stroke at the young American. “Look carefully at the youth. he never even registered the stinging that the slap had caused. Again the Master struck. He towered nearly two feet above the Korean. a useless movement that would have left him open for the reciprocal movement. then think back to the scrolls. and would have ended with a broken arm. A normal man would have tried to block it. The bronze youth hardly moved. launching a bandae-dolryo-ch-gi or twirling hook-kick at a speed no 8 . “Look at him. A faster man would have ducked.

He knew little of his family history. evading not only kick but also the accompanying pyeonsonkut jireugi stroke. He still couldn’t figure out why the Master kept asking him if he was white. and that he had been raised by his father and a series of scientists to be the perfect crime fighter. “Precisely” replied the Master.700 years ago. a move Nuihc had just recently learned himself. “The unfinished contract!” He whispered. Of course he was white. and the payment in ten times his weight in gold.other martial art could approach. He couldn’t understand why they were talking about him as though he was someone they called “the Jaguar Prince”. could not comprehend their import. only that his mother had died shortly after his birth. though he understood the words the Koreans spoke. and should have been. Master Can-wi took that contract. and most importantly. though he had to admit he never knew where his mother had come from. impossible for one not trained in Sinanju. To his knowledge. 9 . That one would come. but still far short of true Sinanju. were. he was totally American. but in the lesser skills. “The Jaguar Prince has returned in fulfillment of the prophecy given 1. The youth performed a perfect counter move from a standing start. Slowly awareness crept into Nuihc’s face as he noted the youth’s high forehead. the deep bronze skin. and asked to be trained not in the Assassins Art. the swirling gold-flecked eyes. The bronze youth. Nuihc scrutinized the youth more closely. The American knew the near perfect responses that no white man could have ever learned. “The Jaguar Throne” Nuihc said softly.” Turning back to the bronze giant he added "No refunds".

Is it possible you are not aware of who you truly are?” The American replied. though I believe it is far to late for that.” Nuihc started to protest. We do not like competitors. and that is all I need to know. And try to correct his breathing. of healing. meager though it will be. My grandson Nuihc will be allowed to teach you what he knows. as the lesser races count it. “I see within you the mark of greatness. “My name is Clark. but the nearest thing to it. “You seem puzzled young Prince. Not the greatest of Sinanju.” the Master said to his grandson. take your first student and teach him well the arts of survival. The skills I teach are for none but Sinanju. I can not. but a lesser greatness. but again a stinging slap by a near invisible hand silenced him. “You will not teach him Sinanju. I see that in the years to come this man will become great.” he continued. Will you teach me the skills of Sinanju?” “No young Prince named Clark. However." 10 . It will still be more than any westerner had ever learned. As the Reigning Master. "Nuihc. I cannot risk the livelihood of the village.Looking at the youth with his inner sight the master noted.

not violating any copyright that I am aware of. Bryan Hassenpflug 11 . The Characters of The Master of Sinanju and Nuihc are copyrighted characters and used with permission in this work. living or dead.I hereby certify that I am not consciously using the names or likeness of or person. and the this is a piece of fiction and that any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidence.

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