18. A New Beginning…

After several hours, you and the other Jing-Xi are brought before the Lord of the Shado Pan and his officers. At first, you fear this is a prelude to an execution but notice the lack of soldiers and equipment for such a purpose.

Quan Zhe, one of Taran’s oldest friends, speaks, “You have admitted to being a Jing-Xi.” The air is thick with tension, “A crime which is punishable by death. For centuries the art of the Jing-Xi has led to wanton mayhem and destruction without exception”, and a groan of concern rumbles softly through the room.

“Until today. Today, we saw something that has never been seen – Jing-Xi helping to protect life and preserve Pandaren instead of enslaving. Several veterans and trusted officers witnessed and testified under oath to that effect. You fought selflessly and with honor.”

Quan Zhe looked to his fellow officer, Jiao who stood up and paced slowly, “We have faced one who called himself a Jing-Xi – and defeated him. But one of your group was given the opportunity to share that that is not your way. Your fellow practitioners’ sacrifice today in the face of the Legion has demonstrated that statement. Had it not been for the wisdom of Lord Zhu, however, this meeting might have taken a different turn.”

Both Quan Zhe and Jiao remained standing and Lord Zhu remained seated.

“A long time ago, my father taught me…that watching without learning is to miss an opportunity. We watch to protect…to react…and ultimately to grow. Otherwise, we are nothing more than idols of a bygone ideal. Today, your example has shown me that there is more to your teachings than we knew and more to you than we saw. Therefore, today, I make a change that the Jing-Xi are no more an outlaw practice and no longer a sentence of death…provided…it is in the service of Pandaria and the security of our people…our family and that we may have harmony in our lands against the Legion. But know that your practice will no longer be in secret nor hidden – you will be here by our side and under our watch, that no more like Xiaoyin or any other in history might arise.”

At the conclusion, Taran stands in silence looking at the group and waits…and watches.

After an uncomfortable pause, Shing Sing looks up and speaks, “For hundreds of years, we have watched in the darkness while you in the light. Now, for the first time, we will swear to walk together – shadow and light, summer and winter, chaos and choice. Now, we the Jing-Xi will stand alongside the Shado Pan and watch and work together – any who would do otherwise is an outcast and will be subject to our combined answer. Will you all swear?”

The rest of the group bows and swears, “We are the watchers on the hills, in the forests, and the shadows. Together, we will serve and agree or we are not Jing-Xi.”

Taran and the officers nod, “We have much to discuss – the Legion is on the move.”

THE BEGINNING…

17. Harmony is the Storm of Chaos and Choice

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