Mommy’s training is too hard! My fingers hurt so much, and my arms are sore. I don’t like it, but I like my mommies fighting even less. They don’t fight a lot, but when they do, it’s always about me. There was one time, my mommy fed me a really delicious steak, and my other mommy got mad. They didn’t talk to each other for a whole week, and when they talked to me, they were so grumpy. It made me sad.
Now, I’m taking a break from training while my mommies argue. I’m standing in the first pose of the technique Teacher Lin taught the class, but I don’t feel any qi. Am I not good enough? I couldn’t feel my qi like Ri could, and I couldn’t lift a single brick that Mommy put down. I’ll find Mrs. Feathers and talk with her. She always makes me feel better. My mommies won’t notice if I leave; they’re too busy fighting.
It’s nighttime right now. Mrs. Feathers should be home. She lives in a pouch inside Mommy’s room. It’s her room. I’ve been inside it before, and it’s very, very big. There’s so much space; it’s like there’s another sect ground inside the sect. It’s a pretty place filled with flowers and animals and a wide, open sky. Mrs. Feathers says she likes staying there because there isn’t a giant door in the sky like the one above Mommy.
I’ve asked Auntie Ilya about the door in the sky before. She says it leads to the immortal realm. I didn’t know what the immortal realm was, so I asked Auntie Ilya about that too. She said it was a scary place that I can’t go to unless I become stronger than Mommy. I asked her how long that would take, and Auntie Ilya said it might take a thousand years or more. A thousand years is a very long time. I’m only six years old and that already felt like my whole life!
Here’s the pouch; I found Mrs. Feathers’ room. All I have to do is eat a spirit stone and press my hand against it to open it. When it’s open, I slip inside. Mommy thought it was weird for me to eat spirit stones, but when Auntie Ilya said it was the only way I could use interspacial items, Mommy changed her mind. “Mrs. Feathers! Are you home?”
“Sophia?” Mrs. Feathers appeared in front of me. She can teleport. Everyone can teleport except for me; it’s not fair. “What are you doing here?”
“Oh.” Mrs. Feathers rubbed her head with her wing. “Why don’t you go find your mom to help you with that?”
“I’m sad because of Mommy.”
Mrs. Feathers tilted her head. “How about your other mom? Doesn’t she always cheer you up?”
“She made me sad too.”
Mrs. Feathers sighed. “You know what, your mom makes me sad as well.” Mrs. Feathers sat next to me. She was very warm. It felt like I was sitting in a patch of sunlight. “Go on, tell me how your parents made you sad.”
“Well.” Where do I start? “They’re fighting with each other, and I don’t like that.”
“Is that it?” Mrs. Feathers blinked at me. “People fight all the time. As long as no one dies, fighting is okay.”
Is that right?
“Actually”—Mrs. Feathers cleared her throat—“even if someone dies, it’s still okay. Living, dying, fighting, these are all a natural part of existence.”
Sometimes, I don’t understand what people say. I know what the words mean, but they don’t make sense when I put them together. “Is my mommy going to kill my other mommy?”
“Maybe.” Mrs. Feathers shrugged. “It’d probably be on accident though. Anyway, how’s school? Have you felt your qi yet?”
“School is okay. The class isn’t as fun as I thought it would be. I thought I was going to hit people, but all we did was practice a technique instead.” I was looking forward to hitting people with Ri’s help. My first teacher lied to me about body training. “I can’t feel my qi. Mommy said I didn’t need qi, and I could be just as strong by training my body, but I’m too weak to train my body too. Maybe I’m not meant to be strong.”
Mrs. Feathers snorted. “Even if you don’t want to be strong, you’ll naturally become strong. Do you know how many precious treasures your mom fed you while you were growing up? You eat more rare herbs and meats in a day than I do in ten years.” Mrs. Feathers placed her wing on my head. “Why don’t I help you out a bit? Show me your qi-gathering technique.”
With Mrs. Feathers helping me, I’ll learn this in no time! She’s the second strongest person I know, and she explains things much clearer than Mommy. “Okay, I’ll start now.” I’ll do the technique Teacher Lin showed us. It goes like this!
“Stop! Stop, stop, stop!” Mrs. Feathers stood up and frowned. She pointed at my tail. “What are you doing with that? Why’s it twitching and flopping all willy-nilly?”
“Teacher Lin said to let my tail do whatever it wants as long as it’s comfortable.”
Mrs. Feathers blinked three times. “What the hell? Your teacher can’t teach for shit.” She coughed. “Ahem. That’s not what I meant to say. I meant to say your teacher is a bad teacher. If anyone asks, you didn’t learn any weird words from me, okay?” She coughed again. “Anyway, you can’t let your tail do whatever it wants. Evidently, your teacher hasn’t taught any beasts before, and your mom didn’t notice anything wrong because she’s a moron. Luckily, you have me.”
There’s something wrong with the technique Teacher Lin taught me? “What do I do with my tail?”
“Curl it inwards.” Mrs. Feathers smacked my tail with her wings until it was in the position she wanted. “Like this. Hold it just like that. Do you feel anything different?”
“I do!” A hot feeling is spreading into my tail! Is this qi?Previous Chapter Next Chapter