Refreshing Tales From The F5 Sect: Chapter 11 (The Eldorado Arc Chapter 7)
??? (Atleast 1) Chapter Per Week
An old F5 sect cultivator, who, after sending 89 keyboards, 52 computer mice, 27 monitors, and 11 CPUs to the electronics graveyard of the F5 sect, decided to leave the mythical land that is the F5 sect, was walking in a crowded city, looking here and there, noting the changes that had taken place since he had last visited his hometown, which had been around 30 years ago. His hairless head and pale face gave off a fragile aura, but his eyes were eyes that had seen a lot, and experienced a lot, and gave the person who looked into them an inferior feeling.
His decision to quit the sect had not come suddenly; he had spent weeks thinking about it, weighing the pros and cons, but in the end, he decided to quit. Decreasing number of comments in the top ten and splitting headaches when he stared at the screen for long periods of time had played a not insignificant role in him abandoning the Dao of the Refreshing Webpage.
He departed, and teary eyes and heartwarming speeches were filled his farewell banquet. But all of that was when he was within the sect. When he walked out of the gate that led to the group of buildings which had served as his home for the past few decades, he could not help but tear up. But he steeled himself and walked out into the world which he had forsaken, forsaken for the sake of his dreams.
He travelled the world as a vagabond; his savings from the F5 Sect were enough to pay for 1000 gamers' net connections; for at least a century. He had money, which almost everyone in the world wanted. He had fulfilled his dream, which very few had. He had travelled the world. He had done all that he had wanted to when he was young, he had visited all the places that he had wanted to visit when he was young, but he felt empty inside. He tried befriending people, but was disgusted at their narrow-mindedness and their mercenary instincts. He briefly moved about in the society, meeting people, but then he remembered the reason why he had deserted it long ago.
Finally, he had run out of options, when a sudden longing for home seemed to fill his hollow heart. His mind, the tactless logician, told him that his actions were pointless, but his heart, the impulsive gambler, vetoed him and the man found himself back in his hometown.
It was completely different from how it was when he had left it, and very few people who he knew still lived there. His family had disowned him after he had secluded himself, so trying to meet his family members who barely remembered him was a foolish idea.
After roaming the town for around 2 hours, he had to admit, that the gambler had backed the wrong horse. He walked along a crowded street, when a shop on his right drew his attention. Nostalgia coursed through his very soul, and he walked towards the cyber café on his right, the same cyber café where he had taken the first few steps towards becoming a cultivator of the Dao of the Refreshing Webpage.
He pushed the door open, and walked in. The cyber café was half full, and all the young males and females were staring at the exact same webpage, while their hands recklessly tortured the computer mice and keyboards. The man smiled, as he remembered doing the exact same thing when he was their age. But his smile also had hints of sadness; he no longer had the same energy, and the café was not doing nearly as well as it had been doing when he had been a regular there.
He continued moving forward, and reached the desk, where a pretty young lady sat performing the same ritual as her customers. The man did not disturb her, and waited patiently. After a few minutes, she stopped clicking, before she started slamming the keyboard. She then smashed the left click button, and then let out a howl of disappointment. Similar howls emanated from the mouths of all the customers. The girl then looked up, “How can I help you grandpa?”
The man tried not to flinch at the word grandpa. He had been referred to as grandpa in the past 2 hours too many times, and he realized that he was a grandpa, at least in the eyes of the newer generations.
“Where can I find Mr. Archer? I am an old friend of his.”
“He has gone on a trip, and will return 2 months later. He said that he was nearing the end of his life, and wanted to visit certain places before his death. I am sorry for not being able to help you. I am his daughter, Kate Archer so if you have any message, you could leave it with me.”
“Oh no, it’s alright, I don’t have any message in particular.”
He turned to leave when his gaze was drawn once again to the many young customers. A few of them were stretching, while some were chattering away on their phones. The man shook his head sadly. He had made the exact same mistakes years ago. He then froze. Kate, who had been watching him saw him stop moving, and grew concerned.
She came out from behind the desk and moved towards the man, when he finally thawed, and turned towards Kate and said,
“I haven’t repaid your father for all the help he has given me throughout my life. You seem to be managing this cyber café all alone. I will be happy to give you a helping hand with managing the café; for free of course.”
Kate frowned, creases appearing on her face. A strange man suddenly offering to help her, for free, just because he owed her father? Suspicious, to say the least. The man realized that he was on shaky ground, and immediately came up with an idea.
“How many computers do you have here?”
Hearing his sudden question, which seemed like a diversion, only served to increase her suspicion. However, she answered, “30.”
“And what is the cost of this shop?”
“Seriously old man, get out! I am not some foolish idiot.”
“Quiet, child! Just answer the question.” The man was miffed. Here he was, trying to help her, and all he was being treated like a common thief. He was a former member of the F5 Sect!
His commanding voice forced her to answer. After hearing her answer, the man pushed a hand deep into his cloak, and moved it about, searching for something.
Kate moved back, on her guard. She kept a hand on a hammer which was kept under the desk. The man removed a thick wad of notes, and counted a few off, and handed it to the dumbfounded Kate.
“There. That amount should cover the cost of the computers and the shop. Keep it as a deposit, and return it to me when I leave.”
“B-but how do you know that I will not run away with the money?” Kate asked, after inspecting the notes. All of them were genuine, and in mint condition, which was surprising considering he had to search for them for quite some time.
“In order to build a relationship, my child, at least one person has to trust the other. I trust you.”
Kate felt ashamed, and apologized. The man found cheap lodgings nearby, and started working in the cyber café from the next day. He opened the cyber café, and sat on the desk, waiting.
His wait proved to be a long one, and only after an hour did the first customer enter. The rest of the customers slowly trickled in, and after around three hours, around half of the café was filled. The man smiled to himself. It was time to put his plan into action.
He tapped the bell that he had purchased earlier in the morning, and drew the attention of the customers. Kate had informed them that he would be managing the café sometimes, so they had not paid any attention to him when they entered, and went up to him and registered as usual. But suddenly, the old man decided to ring a bell loudly, so they turned, annoyed.
He then said, “I am a former F5 Sect cultivator. I found old age greatly limits ones prospects as far as cultivating in the Dao of the Refreshing Webpage is concerned, which is why I left the sect. However, I wish to water you saplings.”
Silence. And then a skeptical voice rang out, “You’re a F5 Sect cultivator? Nice to meet you. I’m the Patriarch of the F5 Sect, and am in secluded training here.”
The man smiled wryly. He had expected resistance, and had come prepared. He produced a medallion from inside his coat. It was golden, with an amethyst square inside. The medallion was bare except for the square and the letter ‘F’ and the number ‘5’ which, shining with a purple light, were embedded in the center of the square. Everyone thought of the possibility of the medallion being fake, but looking at its luster and beauty, they immediately dispelled the thoughts.
Lightning did not strike, nor did storm clouds gather. But the few customers who had dismissed the man’s talk as the ramblings of a drunken old man and were using their systems as usual, found that the speed of the internet rose; drastically. They turned, and saw the medallion, before losing the ability to speak. In fact, almost all the people in café seemed to have lost control of their bodies. A few faint hearted people fainted, but they too were better off as compared to the person who had claimed to be the Patriarch of the F5 Sect; not only did he faint, but he also lost control of his bladder, and a yellowish liquid spread out from near his feet, surrounding his eagle spread body. The others jostled to move away from him, while the man looked on, amused.
There a few people who knew just what the F5 Sect medallion was capable of, so after noticing the rise in the speed of the computers, which occurred due to the packet converging power of the F5 Sect medallion, which not only affected Wi-Fi but also affected broadband, the knowledgeable people immediately brought out their smart phones and checked the available Wi-Fi networks. The first Wi-Fi network, with ∞ strength, named “F5 Sect former cultivator #45” proved it.
All of the customers started to kowtow; a few who became too enthusiastic ended up banging their head so hard on the ground that their foreheads started to bleed.
“I will not ‘teach’ you. The Dao of the Refreshing Webpage….you must gain enlightenment on your own, so that you can follow your own unique path. But when you need advice, or need to be consoled, you can come to me. I will ‘refresh’ you with my stories of the F5 Sect.” After saying this, the man looked around him, before snapping his fingers. “See what I did there??!”
The people in his immediate vicinity were all suddenly snorting and coughing, while those who were further away ran into either the washroom or outside. The man could not figure out just what was wrong with them; not only did they not get his ‘joke’, but they also started behaving abnormally.
When Kate entered the café 2 hours later, after sleeping peacefully for the first time in weeks, her jaw hit the floor, and managed to get stuck. After she returned her jaw to its rightful place, she rubbed her eyes, pinched herself; hit both of her cheeks with her palms, and then looked at the scene in front of her once again. It was the wrong thing to do; her recently restored jaw decided that it loved the ground far more than her face, and promptly dived down and embraced its lover.
All the customers in the café were sitting on the ground, listening to the man, who was sitting cross legged on the desk.