“Quantum immorality” is going to be the first “multifilm” in the history of audiovisual entertainment.
Given its reduced dimension (smaller than the ones usually adequate for a multifilm) it could be maybe better defined as a “micro-multifilm”, small, yet still able to entertain for a minimum of 25 hours, with single visions from 15 to 20 minutes long and the “Grand Final” around the hundredth vision.
As all the 4 works that Maior Ltd. will dedicate to the theme of transhumanism, this first one will have a personal relevance, but it will also serve as introduction to the successive one, titled “Stay with me”; which will itself introduce to “The Onironaut”; that will finally lead to the conclusive chapter: “Beyond Human”.
Being this work not restricted to a single narrative line and subject to random changes and other mechanisms from one vision to the other, it’s not easy to make a linear description of it. However, an attempt will be made to present the fundamental dynamics, describing them from the viewer’s point of view.
“Quantum immorality” is constituted by two very distinguished parts that will alternate inside the single visions (there will also be visions entirely constituted by only one of the two): one intended to narrate (each time in a different way) a key experience in the life of a limp young protagonist (who will be the “antagonist” in the successive work “Stay with me”) happen in different ways with different outcomes; and on the other side, set 38 years after the events of the first one, in which the younger brother of the limp, now 45 years old (other character that the viewer will find in “Stay with me”, set in the same time), finds himself every time talking to a psychologist.
In the one we could define the “first” of these two parts, at the end of the situation in which the young limp will find himself to act again and again, there will be five possible macro-conclusions: he can die, survive, survive and become part of a certain organization, become part of it and set the premises (in the Gran Final, around the hundredth vision) to be able to become its future boss (as it will be in “Stay with me”).
In the second part of the work the limp’s brother will present himself years after to a meeting with his psychologist with different psychological configurations depending from which of the five macro conclusions happened, from time to time, in the first part; he will therefore incarnate, along the visions, 5 different variants of the same character, each one will have had different experiences, developing different personality and mental problems.
The character with the psychological profile that corresponds to the first part’s Grand Final, the one in which his brother is alive and has arrived to the vertex of an organization that has become in the meanwhile “pseudo-criminal” of which the brother himself is part of (even if only in a defiled position), he will not have an evident mental problem, but a very concrete problem for which he’s meditating to react with a very concrete action: the proved adultery of his young wife which he will finally try to clean with her blood, finding death instead (event which is the premise for the next work).
First part’s treatment
The story relative to the first part of the work is set almost entirely in a great Japanese villa, inside which, at night, a young limp criminal introduces himself with the intent of accomplishing his first murder on commission.
The young man, about 17 years old, physically robust, arrives near the villa in a car, accompanied by a another character, which is the murder’s instigator; a middle aged man with a vaguely unpleasant aspect and personality, which will then wait for the young man to come back to the car (which will be a vintage car, as the narration would be set in “our” 60’s)
Even if the young man walks using a crutch (which he will also use well as a weapon) he will result being incredibly agile and extraordinarily strong.
There will be different beginnings of the same story: sometimes we’ll find the kid directly popped up from the bushes (as if he had come alone) and proceed towards the villa’s fence; sometimes we’ll start from the precedent scene in which he arrives from the opposite side of the same bushes accompanied by the murder’s instigator; sometimes we’ll hear the dialogue that the two are having in the instigator’s car (this dialogue, like any other element of the work which is sufficiently large and recurrent, will be realized in different variants, each of them will be collected piece by piece by the viewer, which will therefore have access to the totality of the information that are inside it only after numerous viewings.); sometimes the story will begin from the point of view of other 2 characters: the old martial arts master, chief of the organization that has the headquarters in the villa (and the objective of the murder), and his first disciple.
Some other times the story can begin with the partial or complete vision of one of the flashbacks (passed happenings that have gone only one way and constitute the narrative premise of the multifilm; they won’t be subject to changes, what will change is the order with which they will be shown to the viewer) that essentially deal- but not only – the young protagonist’s difficult story (for example how he had become limp at the age of 11 because of his alcoholic stepfather, how the consequent rage had made him stronger, how he had lived in the streets and dealt with many challenges, how after his sick mother’s death he had killed the stepfather, acquiring this way the responsibility of his stepbrother – 10 years younger than him; and much more…).
The young protagonist has accepted to kill someone he doesn’t know, even if with some initial doubts, allured by the promise of a big gain which would be fundamental to take him and his stepbrother away from the street and give them both a more decent accommodation. During the trip the two make together by car, the instigator explains to the kid who his objective is in a more accurate way than the one he had made in a precedent encounter. Sometimes there will be references made about the “ancestor’s way”, which are a series of moral precepts and traditions that go back to a past Era, more martial (inspired by the samurai culture), from which also comes the “way of the warrior” (the kid will listen with great interest since he will remember to have heard already talk about this philosophy; one day he had in fact asked his mother about that and she had answered that his father – the kid’s natural father, died soon after his birth –could have answered better than her, having always being fascinated by it; the kid had decided that from that moment on he would have lived “as a warrior”, and so he had, at least in the most intuitive way.) The characters that live in the villa will be described as fanatic followers of a martial way of life and of the values passed on by the ancestors (quite unpopular in the present in which the story is told but still very fascinating for the young protagonist). The old master will be presented as boss at the vertex of a cruel criminal organization, also by enlisting the people there were killed by him during the years; from the tales (some close to reality, some completely false), sometimes the justification for the murder will come out more or less “acceptable”, sometimes they will seem like a crazy criminal’s actions (the false ones will surely have this effect). Anyway, the instigator will go on always discrediting one way or the other the figure of the old master (in order to ease the kid, so that he will push the trigger without hesitations). When the lie will come out too hard, the young man will receive an image of his objective so different from the impression that he will have once he’ll meet him in person and talk to him, that it will create inside him the curiosity to ask to the master why he had done certain things in the past or how a certain particular event had actually happened. In the most part of the cases the master’s version (the truthful one) will be completely different from the one told just before to the kid or the master will result to have had nothing to do with the reported facts. In a singular case the kid will point out a “uncomfortable” fact to the master, an homicide to which he will respond about it giving plausibly acceptable motivations; like for example that he had been forced to act in order to save a greater good. It will also be explained to the kid what he will have to expect, once entered through the stone wall’s small service door, which he will do thanks to the key the instigator tells him he got from a corrupted waiter, or even in other ways (since he actually had had it directly from the master, which at a certain point, will be found guilty of having instigated his own murder), and pass before 2-3 armed guards that are protecting the villa. He’s suggested not to open fire on the guards (the young man has a gun) and to try instead to elude them by passing unobserved; to shoot too soon would mean for the kid to never be able to kill the master, which is inside the villa, so the indication that is given to him is to move stealthily, locate the target, shoot only to him and then run away as fast as possible to return to the car.
The instigator also suggests to shoot to the master immediately after having located him, without giving him ways to even speak (the man knows that the old man is very charismatic and in the case he would have changed idea on wanting to die he could have convinced the kid not to kill him; which would mean the risk for the man of having to give back the money the master had already gave him to hire the young killer). The instigator says, among the other things, that the old man could try to dupe him, promising him an even higher fee than the one set before; generally he gives him the heads up from any kind of lie he could say to elude death.
The very first viewing of the work could even not include the part in which the boy founds himself acting inside the villa; they could just show the beginning of the story, a flashback (or the point of view of some other character inside the villa, without showing the principal action but just its consequences – for example showing the discovery of the old man’s corps without the viewer seeing how he died) and then directly the end, for example (but not only) the kid that goes back to the car having brought the killing to its goal, or not.
Generally it’s always better in a multifilm to show “the least possible” in each viewing so that one can continually postpone the full comprehension of the story to successive viewings.
The contents have to be deferred and brushed on the most possible viewings, creating at the same time a mechanism for which the viewer will want to recover the missing parts of the story in successive viewings.
Being this work a multifilm (even if micro), the narration will develop, each time, in a different way. For this reason sometimes the young man will manage to overcome the guards defending the villa and easily kill the old master (shooting him while he is in full meditation e therefore without even letting him open his eyes); sometimes he will instead be caught, knocked off, captured; sometimes he will even be killed or simply set away running.
The times in which he will manage to kill the old man he will also be killed from the murder’s instigator, which this way will be able to keep the fee for himself. Instead if he, paradoxically, will fail in his mission, he will have his life spared (as long as he doesn’t go back to the car mortally wounded; in those cases the instigator will prefer to kill him rather than taking his chances and bring him to an hospital).
Sometimes the master’s first disciple will be meditating in front of the garden’s lake of the villa; which will make it even harder for the young man to pass unobserved. Even when he will try to pass as far as possible, it’s not said that he won’t be perceived by the meditating man, which will in that case be sure to follow him and take him by surprise; when instead he will try to attack the man at his back, he will for sure (except in very rare cases) be knockout.
Some other times his first disciple will instead be training in the dojo; by himself or with a young student; with the swords – kendo – or fighting – taekwondo. Often the limp protagonist, while trying to find a way inside the villa, will manage to peek at the training from a small window. In these cases he will remain fascinated by the dedication, by the beauty and the elegance of the figures that are training.
In the case in which the kid will be found and knocked out by the first disciple or by a normal guard, he will then be conducted, still unconscious, before the master; which, usually, will command to the disciples to simply throw him out the villa (they will be very surprised by that much indulgence towards an armed intruder and by the fact that the old man would not even interrogate him).
The first time he will be knocked out the young man will then wake up few hours later outside the villa and won’t find the instigator anymore, which will have gone away by then (some other times he will find him dead, killed by the members of the organization); as the viewings go on, the boy will tend to recover from the stun taking less and less time.
Thanks to this established “tendency” which will develop during the course of the different viewings, he will manage to hear a larger and larger portion of the dialogue that happens while he’s unconscious inside the master’s room; until when, in a particular viewing, he will manage to clearly hear the words of one of the people present in the room (a young apprentice) that, since he’s sure the subject of his words won’t hear him, makes a joke on his handicap.
At this point the young intruder will show all of his spirit challenging who has just made fun of him in a duel (which will be very interesting for the old master).
Two very different young men will find themselves challenging each other several times, one of them oddly armed with a crutch and the other pushed to use a wooden sword; one that takes his strength from the street and the adversities in his life; the other that has the typical techniques of someone who has been knowingly trained in the art of combat.
Most of the time (but especially at the beginning) the apprentice’s technique will overcome the intruder’s ferocity.
One of the multifilm’s prerogatives is that the story, apart from changing, can “evolve” towards a certain direction; therefore, during the different viewings some behaviors could be profitably proposed to the viewer in an established order rather than a casual one (always maintaining a context in which the rest of the variations are left casual), this way tracing a narrative evolution from the first scene to the “Grand Finale” (that in this work does not collide with the protagonist’s initial intent, which is to kill the old master; instead collides with an objective he’ll develop only after several viewings and that is the opposite of the original one: save the old master from death!).
Thanks to this mechanism, after a probable series of defeats, the viewer will start to collect also some victories.
Sometimes, for example, the two young men will hit each other contemporarily, but the limp kid will be the only one left standing, often bleeding, proudly showing off his superior temperament.
The young apprentice will also get better, not making the mistakes that in precedent viewings had made him loose.
The times in which the limp kid prevails, he will often become filled with a quite familiar frenzy (the young man is used to victories in physical clashes e feels pleasure in pointing it out on the losing part; it’s not a coincidence the fact that the flashbacks show how he had managed, time before, to become the boss of a street gang of kids his age imposing himself through brutal force on numerous contesters), which will prevent him to stop and push him to theatrically challenge the others and their presumptive martial superiority.
In this case it will be the master’s disciple, a complete and mature martial artist, that will challenge him and defeat him every time.
This character will represent the insurmountable wall on which the young man’s blind arrogance will crash into.
The master’s first disciple is himself a master of great strength and experience. He’s the one that for long time has cared for the martial instruction of the organization’s younger apprentices.
Having to respond to the challenge made by a young man, not to mention limp and armed only with a crutch with which he helps himself walking, the man will refuse to use the wooden sword and will fight him unarmed, making the young man notice that he’s anyway wearing a protective training bodysuit that protects his body and arms (similar to the kendo one but without the helmet).
Even if the first disciple’s level is neatly superior to the young man’s one, in some very rare variants the latter will manage to tie the fight or even to defeat him.
Almost all the fights will end with the man’s victory, he will always manage to dodge the young man’s vigorous blows and hit him with his kicking techniques (he will rarely use his hands).
Generally all the matches represented in the work will be constructed by a very limited amount of exchanged hits; the first one that arrives on target will often be the conclusive one (this in order to guarantee a higher realism of the fights and also to help realize easily a large series of variations); at the same time the action will be dilated and narrated second after second (underlining this way how the smallest change in their movements or in the reaction time, between a variant and the other, can mean the difference between losing and winning).
Like we said before, if the young limp will manage to pass undisturbed, and take care of the guard that often guards his room, he will easily kill the old master which he will always find meditating, perfectly still and in silence.
Some other times he will ask why of this decision (incomprehensible for him) and the old man will give different explanations (very generic ones; without lying but also without saying all the truth) that will be more or less convincing or more or less meaningful for the young man.
He will often speak about life as an illusion; and about the absence of a strong incentive that would justify his permanence in it (he will often say that his circles are all closed – inspired by the sequent extract from Mishima’s “The life of the samurai”: “to the man of action life often appears as a circle that must be completed adding one last piece. From instant to instant, he cares about discarding these circles, uncompleted by the absence of that conclusive piece that consolidates them, and goes on, challenging a series of similar circles. On the opposite, the life of an artist or philosopher seems as a set of concentric circles, that grow larger and larger around him. But, when death finally comes, who will feel more satisfied, the artist or the man of action?
I think, the death that, in one moment, completes your world through the adding of one single piece, gives a much more intense meaning of success, of crowning achievement.
The biggest disgrace, for the man of action, is that he doesn’t manage to die after the adding of that last unique piece.”).
He will also talk about the old age and young age, of death and rebirth.
The young man will be disoriented and perplexed in front of the old man’s words, but usually, in the end, he’ll decide to please him (following soon after the same fate by the hand of the instigator).
Some other times he’ll start to refuse himself to pull the trigger (or to use one of the katana present in the room to finish him).
The kid will start to grow a visceral hatred towards the suicidal will of the old man and towards the fact that this task has to fall on him: in fact, if he wants death why doesn’t he just provide to bring it on himself with his own hands?
Why does he have to be the executor of such an unnatural and absurd will?
The old man has conducted an entire existence dedicated to the spiritual growth and to the respect of the “ancestor’s ways”; a system of values from which emerges “the way of the warrior”; which he had taught and practiced for a long time.
At the base of his formation there’s also a doctrine very close to the Zen Buddhism which will often be present in his thoughts and sometimes in his words.
But the master has been, for some time, in a full spiritual crisis.
The Buddhist philosophy, as well as the totality of the religions and big part of the existing philosophies, start from a fundamental premise: the human being has to die.
Religions aim to “resolve” this crucial point talking about afterlife, reincarnation or rebirth.
In the Zen the problem of death is not directly challenged (given his obvious unavoidability); this doctrine more resembles a moral philosophy and a set of precepts useful for avoiding suffering.
In fact not only the human being has to die: life is suffering.
In the Nikaya Buddhism you avoid suffering through an illumination that leads to ataraxia.
In Zen in particular there is the experience of “satori” that aims to an aware and active participation to the world even if conceived in his dimension of vacuity.
In synthesis, and in my interpretation, the Buddhism aims to defeat human suffering reaching a state of awareness in which this suffering is not perceived anymore because causes a detachment from it (in the Nirvana) or because brings to learn how to transform it in positive feelings (in the satori).
We could also say, recapping further, that Buddhism is the way to “accept life as it is, avoiding suffering the most you can”.
Man therefore doesn’t try to overcome his own limits, considered inescapable, but instead works on himself to learn to accept them and even to find a positive side to them (as if it could be possible to find something positive in growing old and dying).
The old master has lived all his life trying to achieve an “illumination” conceived as “propitiating acceptance”, “detachment from the ego and the desires”, “ability to flow stolidly and happily with the cosmos” regardless of all the limits imposed by the human condition; just like it was preached by his master and the master of his master, going back to the ancestors themselves, “model” for everyone.
The detachment from the ego and desires is anyway something in which he has always failed.
In the last times he has also become aware that he cannot stand the effects that aging is having on his body, on his mind and, as a consequence, on his martial ability, gained hardly during the course of decades of severe training, and has understood how all this “acceptance of one’s limits” is much easier to reach when you’re young (when you actually didn’t have any) and how it’s harder now that the old age manifests itself in all his horror.
A fundamental relevance has his relationship with his first disciple; the two man have been lovers for years until the master’s spiritual crisis, about two years before the events narrated here.
The master has always had the desire that the disciple could one day become better than him in the art of the sword (as he had become better than his own master years before) and has confessed it to him; but unfortunately, during his years long apprenticeship, the disciple has never managed to prevail in a single match.
This has caused a huge frustration to the master, who had whished that the disciple would beat him, before his strength would reduce too much because of his age, and not because of his hideous decline; the useful time has unfortunately finished and the overcome, as he had desired happening, has never occurred.
The master is in a crisis because he regrets not having searched a way to overcome his limits instead of accepting them; the way of the warrior means to take everything as a challenge so why not also take the one against aging, disease and death?
All this comes from the premise that the human being has to necessarily die and this is what, in his mind, strengthens the unavoidability of it.
Thanks to the constant meditation (typical of Zen) he has a very developed “self awareness” and often manages to maintain it even during the night, experimenting the so called “lucid dream” (which is a dream in which the dreamer is aware of being dreaming – differently from the “ordinary” dreams in which what you dream is perceived as real and only after waking up becomes clear that it was an illusion, given that one can remember it; with practice, not only it’s possible to “recognize” the state of dream, but you can even get to modify the content of it at your pleasure).
In particular, he loves to recreate the dream sequence in which he challenges the disciple in a duel and the latter defeats him showing an ecstatic strength and beauty.
In Zen life is an illusion as well as dreams are and the master, reasoning on this analogy, imagines that as well as it’s possible to gain a state of awareness thanks to which he can dominate his dreams, in the same way it could exist a form of “waken up” awake state in which it’s possible to change and overcome the limits of the great illusion called “human life”; which would also give a meaning to dreams and to the possibility to control them as a preparatory experience.
After all, the world is filled with unexplainable phenomena that demonstrate how little the human being has comprehended his how limits and possibilities.
The master, even if he moves uncertain steps caused by doubt and ignorance typical of the human condition, hypothesizes the existence of a path of spiritual growth that could take Man to cross his limits, without having to settle for their acceptance.
The fact that this path has not yet been found by anyone doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist; but if it’s existence is ancestrally considered unreal and energies are not put into its research, it’s obvious then that no one will ever find it.
The human being should try to go further, apart from looking back and take as a model those that have made “acceptance” and “detachment” as their only goals.
The paths already traced by others cannot be the only ones that deserve to be followed; especially if they imply to give up the overcoming of one’s limits.
During the period of spiritual crisis the master has therefore tried to reach this new, different illumination, through alternative forms of meditation; but after two years of failures, he surrenders to the idea that his methods aren’t the right ones and therefore decides to give up.
Wherever life is an illusion or not, and it can be controlled or not like a dream, old age hangs over him and his strengths are leaving him; he therefore decides to confront one last time the disciple, giving him this way one last chance to redeem his weakness and finally satisfy his expectations.
Even this match, the umpteenth, will resolve neatly in the master’s favor, which right after retires in his rooms and waits meditating the arrival of his killer.
The true warrior is the one that doesn’t accept and manages to defeat even death (as will in fact happen in the third work “The Onironaut” in which will in fact be showed a human being that, thanks to a determined plan executed inside his own lucid dreams, manages to start an auto-evolutionary mechanism that will transform him, in the end, into a “superhuman”; in other words a being with total control over his organism, not any more subject to aging, diseases or death and that has superhuman characteristics); since he hasn’t dedicated his life to the research of a “method” that makes this possible and not seeing in front of him the chance of finding it in this last part of his life, he will manifest his “non acceptance” in the only possible way: renouncing to his life and to its hideous compromises (like having to witness the overcome of his disciple happen only thanks to his own physical decadence).
The old man decides to organize secretly his own murder instead of killing himself, because he doesn’t want the disciple to learn about his suicidal will and understand that it’s partially caused by his weakness.
Even if he’s not in love anymore with the disciple since he had realized that he would never have been better than him (now he sees him beautiful and powerful only in his dreams), he still has feelings for him and whishes to protect him from a truth that he probably wouldn’t manage to handle.
For this reason, in some occasions, in front of the young man’s refuse to pull the trigger, the master will rise up, he’ll take two katana, will simulate a brief fight, making them clash one with the other, and then he’ll take away his life with one of it.
The kid, baffled, will be often encouraged to get out quickly.
In these cases the young man will be either wounded or not, or even be killed, by the first disciple or one of the guards as he tries to escape and the disciple will either listen to the master’s dying words which, while trying to hide his suicidal will, will tell him that he’s been defeated by an incredibly able warrior sent by a nameless man.
In this case the first disciple will initially believe to the master’s fake version presuming that he has been assassinated (even if he’s shocked that someone was able to complete this deed); he’ll cry his death and instead of thinking at suicide he’ll swear revenge.
The next day in fact he’ll find and kill the instigator (that could have or not killed the young limp); when he’ll still be alive, he’ll also track down the kid (recognized as killer of the old man not only because of the instigator’s confession, but also thanks to the fingerprints found on the kid’s crutch) and will challenge him to a fight, sadly realizing that he could have never been able to defeat his master, which, it’s now obvious, had therefore necessarily whished his own death (hypothesis often confirmed by the young man himself); in this case he’ll finally decide, as often happens, to take his own life.
More rarely, when the young limp won’t be able to fulfill his task because he’s stopped by the guards or because he refused to collaborate, the master won’t care to hide his intentions, he’ll take one of his katana and will eviscerate himself.
This cathartic jest can happen when the old man is alone, in front of the limp, in front of him and his disciples or only in front of them, once the limp has been sent away from the villa.
When his first disciple assists to the scene he, usually, cuts off the master’s head with an elegant strike of his sword in order to avoid his suffering; as it is intended in the “seppuku”, the Japanese ritual suicide.
Having to justify himself with his disciples, the old man will try to be more evasive as possible; usually he will only bring up secondary motifs to justify his jest or he’ll even refuse to give explanations.
Only in rare occasions he will confide to his disciples his “trans-humanistic” fantasies (at the base of his spiritual crisis) and therefore he’ll transmit to them a different and new kind of teaching, based on the un-acceptance of one’s limits and on the research of a new human condition.
Most of the times he’ll prefer not to make word about it, feeling haunted by huge doubts.
He is also aware that only a man with great capabilities could manage to achieve in this kind of task (the same that neither he or anyone before him as ever managed to achieve), while for ordinary people, as he reputes his disciples, the way of acceptance remains the best and the most secure one to follow.
The first disciple is still in love with the master, even if the latter had stopped to meet him at night for over two years now; he’s aware to have profoundly deluded him (because he had never got better than him) and to have contributed, with his insufficiency, to his spiritual sickness.
For this reason, when the master’s suicidal intentions manifest, are guessed, or in some ways reconstructed, he’ll be crushed by it and, often, he’ll decide to take away his life too.
Sometimes he’ll express his feelings to the master before he kills himself (asking forgiveness for not being better than him) e then the latter will say something that will convince him, or not, not to kill himself.
Sometimes he’ll threaten theatrically to emulate the jest; in that case the master will get angry (only occasion) and will try to stop him from doing it, calling for his honor and his responsibilities towards the organization; sometimes the disciple will stop himself, some other he’ll respond to the master that he’s not yet worthy of taking his place (because he hasn’t become better than him) and that therefore he prefers death.
If the disciple insists in threatening to kill himself, the master disowns his apprentices and starts to go away, threatening with a katana anyone that will try to stop him; in this case the first disciple will confront him and will always be heavily wounded (at this point the master will go to kill himself next to the lake and the disciple will reach him to cut off his head); some other times he’ll get killed; once they’ll both die; once he’ll finally manage to prevail, defeating the master and saving him from his sad destiny.
Making a step backwards, if the dialogue between the old man and the young limp goes on enough, a waiter will notice the lifeless body of a guard or he’ll directly see the intruder and will warn the other disciples of his presence, and they will soon after rush in the room.
The master will forbid to harm the kid and sometimes (especially when he had refused to shoot) will order to assure that he gets his fee from the instigator (instead of having him killed like it happens when the limp fails, which means he gets found, caught or knockout and brought before the master); in that case the disciples will accompany the kid to the car and order the man to pay his debt with him (therefore the instigator won’t be able to kill the boy and keep the money for himself like he had done in so many occasions).
Sometimes the master will fake to have deduced or guessed the presence of a accomplice\instigator of the young intruder hidden near around and will send one of his men to check; in rare occasions he’ll confess his own role as instigator.
This confession will upset his first disciple even more, he’ll find asking himself if the choice of designating a kid wouldn’t also be a way to put to a test and probably criticize the villa’s level of security of which he’s responsible (obviously the fact that an armed intruder arrives undisturbed to the master’s presence represents by itself a shameful fact).
The times in which even the first disciple will decide to kill himself, he’ll entrust his young apprentice to do the same thing he had himself done for the master, which is decapitating him to shorten the suffering; the young man will execute the difficult task without the needed competence and he’ll often miss the strike, enlarging the man’s suffering.
Sometimes the second attempt will be the good one, sometimes there will be two errors in a row: in this case usually it will be the limp that will finish the agony of the first disciple by shooting at him.
Sometimes the young apprentice will manifest the intention of wanting to kill himself for the shame of having failed one or more times the final blow that had been requested; in those cases (if he’s present) the limp will beat up the young apprentice and will make him stop his intent (only rarely the apprentice will manage to kill himself).
As we said before, the protagonist’s behavior towards the old master will change very much during the successive viewings: initially the young man will do his job without making himself too many questions; then he’ll start to hesitate and sometimes interact with the old man, towards whom he’ll grow less and less diffident; at last he’ll develop a growing aversion towards his suicidal wishes until, paradoxically, will even try to save him.
The kid will never understand the motifs behind the master’s choice; nor the behavior of his disciples, that even if they certainly care for his fate will never try to stop him (being used at not discussing his decisions); only his first disciple, in some versions, will try to discourage the project and won’t do it bringing up reasons to sustain life (like the limp could have expected), but threatening to kill his own self (sometimes he’ll just kill himself right after him, without making word).
The young limp will therefore be the only one to dialogue with the old man, trying in some ways to dissuade him from his proposition; but he’ll be almost always ignored or liquidated with quick answers to which will follow one or more self eviscerations.
Only in the “Grand Finale” (around the 100th viewing) the kid will behave in the only way able to shake the master: he’ll grab a katana and challenge him to a death match.
The old man will be forced to accept the challenge and won’t spare his strengths: he’ll dodge the kid’s first assault and will profoundly wound him to a shoulder; the kid, even if hurting badly, won’t let himself be discouraged and will bring on another second furious attack with the katana and the crutch at the same time; the sword will be dodged, the crutch cut in half, and the other shoulder will get stabbed.
The young man, regardless of his deep wounds, won’t stop and will carry on a last desperate attack that will make the master’s katana vibrate before he fainting and falling down lifeless in his arms.
The master will remain so struck by the young man’s spirit, that will order to cure him, then he’ll announce that he doesn’t want to die anymore: “a new circle has just opened” for which living will be worthy again.