Warrior Monk

In a distant Eastern land a peasant sought to raise his rank by becoming a soldier. Besides, he enjoyed the fight. His superiors soon saw his potential and promoted him. He became a hero of his men for his habit of issuing one to one challenges. He always won. Luck was also on his side. Just as he had consolidated his position in every rank, something would happen to his direct superior, a fatal infection, an accidental death, and he would be promoted again. When he reached the status of General he orchestrated a coup and became King.

As a King he cared nothing for his people. He took the view that everything they owned, he owned. He taxed everything and passed laws that made Royal theft legal. The people suffered and even the loyalty of his men began to wither.

But the King whose lust was fighting could not resist continuing his practice of one to one combat. Faced with complaints he would grandly proclaim “Any man in the Kingdom who wants to can fight me. Is any other King so open to his people?”

At the beginning his men who knew better refused to challenge him. But as the burdens on the people grew  some started to come forward to challenge him. And lost. The people grew desperate. They sought champions from many lands who all came and fought the King and died by his sword.

The people sought amongst themselves for a solution. They searched for wisdom, and wisdom led them to a wizened old healer who lived alone at the base of the mountain. She listened to the problem carefully and asked some questions.

She told them that in the mountains of a neighbouring land was a monastery of fighting monks.

The people sent a messenger to the monastery to ask for help.

The young man climbed the mountain and travelled many miles to the monastery where the monks welcomed him with kindness. He awoke early to see the men working in the terraced fields, then before breakfast carrying out military exercises, armed and unarmed. The monks were superlative fighters. After a simple breakfast the monks invited him to a meeting with their elders.

The young man explained the situation. Then there was a long silence. Then a younger monk said “It is no small thing to replace a King”.

The young man stood still in shock at what had been said. His people were so desperate to get rid of the King they had hardly thought at all about the character of the replacement.

The monks gazed at him calmly. Then the eldest monk said “The King has issued an open invitation to duel to all-comers. Therefore the procedure is legal. We will send you the best man for the job”.

The messenger bowed and thanked the monks humbly for their help.

In the morning the monks furnished him with food for his return journey and their champion. He stared in horror. The man, though youthful was clearly blind. Nearly crying he stormed at the monks “Do you mock us? We come for help and you send a blind man?”

The monks bowed politely and said “We have provided the best man for the job. We wish you a safe journey home”.

The messenger returned to his people who were also dismayed.

“You are a fool” one said.

“They are on the King’s side” said another.

They went to the wise woman, but she just said. “The others all lost. How are you any worse off?”

The people decided they would offer the monk in duel to the King, most with bitterness, but some in faint hope.

When the King heard the circumstance of his new challenger he rejoiced. It told him the people had given up hope and his rule was secure. His strategy had worked.

All turned out to the town square to witness the fight between the blind monk and the King.

The King proud in his shining black armour. The monk, humble, lightly clad in clothes allowing perfect flexibility of movement.

Silence fell.

The King charged sword upraised expecting to fell his opponent in one stroke. At the last moment the monk moved like lightning, side stepped, spun and leapt onto the King’s back. Hands like steel dug deep into the King’s throat. And stayed. The people froze in silent shock at the spectacle of their King vainly trying to throw off his attacker. As his struggles weakened and he fell to the ground the monk’s grip never wavered. When he lay completely still the monk lifted the Kings sword and severed his head in one blow.

The crowd roared. The monk was lifted on the crowds back and carried into the palace. There the dead King’s General and senior officers bowed and swore their allegiance.

The Blind King sent for the wise woman. When she came into his presence he asked “How did you know?”

“Even a great warrior loses sometimes. The old King NEVER lost. So he had to be cheating some way. Have some hidden advantage. Many years ago a passing pedlar stopped by my cottage. He told me there were magical people who could see through others eyes. I thought perhaps, if the old King was one of those people he could anticipate an opponents every move. I did not know the Monastery had blind warriors. But I thought the monks might understand the situation and know what to do”.

“That was our conclusion. The King could not see through my eyes, so he could not anticipate what I would do”.

The Blind King reduced taxes to the lowest level necessary and instituted just laws with just penalties. He also encouraged the opening of schools and hospitals and encouraged his people to learn responsible husbandry of the land, and required everyone to learn how to defend themselves, including children, women and the blind.

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Copyright 2014 Prayerwarriorpsychicnot

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