It was a calm in the city of New Amsterdam. The streets were busy and bustling. Greg had left his apartment and walked towards his favorite coffee shop. He had his bag with his gi and weapons. No one knew he was secretly the Silent Shadow. He worked at the Nightshade Dojo teaching taijutsu to the deaf and mute children as he was mute and could communicate with them.
He was about six feet tall. He had what they call dirty blond hair and green eyes. He was well toned for his wiry frame. He always wore a turtle neck shirt to hide the scar on his neck. He walked into the shop. He was still new to the neighborhood, so not everyone knew his order yet. When he reached the counter he signed, “I would like one Chi Tea, please.”
The young barista looked confused the name tag read Cici. He began to pull out his smartphone when the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen stated, “He asked for a Chi Tea, please. He's using sign language.”
“Oh, I'm sorry. I don't know sign language,” Cici explained. “What name would you like on the cup?” Greg typed out GREG.
He turned to the woman who helped him and signed, “Thank you, I'm Greg.”
She had long wavy brown hair and deep empathetic brown eyes. She smiled and the world seem brighter to him. “I'm Mindy, it's nice to meet you,” she signed and spoke at the same time. “My mother's deaf. That's why I know sign language.”
“I'm mute, not deaf,” Greg explained, “but I teach both at my dojo.”
Mindy ordered her coffee then said, “Oh, you teach martial arts? That's cool. I work at the news station in editing.”
“You work in editing? What do you think of this 'Silent Shadow'?” Greg asked.
“Anyone willing to risk their lives to make the world a better place and clean up this city is a hero in my book,” Mindy stated. Greg smiled at that and she blushed.
Greg pulled out his smartphone and pulled up a song by Kiesza called “All the Feelings” he tapped play and began to dance. His movements were graceful and fluid and matched the rhythm of the music perfectly. Mindy smiled. It was charming and silly and a grand expression of new passion and hope.
“Your making a fool of yourself,” she laughed. “I'm guessing you'd like to ask me out on a date?”
“Yes,” Greg signed not missing a beat in his dance. “Eight o'clock tonight?”
She waited until the song ended still smiling, “Yes, eight is good. I'll meet you here then?”
Greg agreed. Turned off the music player and went to his dojo and Mindy went to her job. Both were looking forward to tonight's date.
Greg finished teaching his second class. This was the younger students from three to eight years of age. He had to make sure they were physically and technically the same level. They all enjoyed the class but the competitive nature of the students sometimes caused issues. One of those issues came up today when a five year old student wanted to prove themselves against an eight year old of a higher dan. (Taijutsu uses dan instead of belts.) They failed and were taking it a bit hard as the eight year old laughed.
"Sensei Greg, what did I do wrong?" they signed through tears.
"You did nothing wrong. You were not ready to face them," Greg noted. "The fact that they are two dan higher than you, and you faced them and stood your ground shows that you were brave but not ready to face them yet."
"I wanted to prove I'm ready," they signed in disappointment. "I'm a loser."
"You are not," Greg signed back. "Next week you test for your next dan. Practice for that. Do not try to skip ahead. You are very skilled and you will do well. With your next dan you get to choose your weapon. Look forward to that. Each weapon is special and the ones you choose to master will shape the way you fight."
"Thank you, Sensei Greg," they stated. "I will make you proud."
They left and Greg noted the time. 5:00 PM he had three hours to get ready for his date with Mindy. He went to the office to write his reports to Master Tani. These were to say where students needed work and who was ready to test for their next dan. There was a loud crash outside. He quickly changed into his Silent Shadow outfit (his black gi rather than his white that he taught in.) Slipping out the back door he saw Raptor was attacking.
"That's just great," he signed. "I hope this fight is over before my date."
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